EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – November 2017 Edition with data for September

A Guest Post by Islandboy


The EIA released the latest edition of their Electric Power Monthly on December 1st, with data for September 2017. The table above shows the percentage contribution of the main fuel sources to two decimal places for the last two months and the year to date.

According to the Electricity Monthly Update at the EIA web site:

Net generation in the United States decreased by 4.9% compared to September 2016, in part because the country experienced a cooler September in 2017 than it did the previous year.

Nuclear generated 4311 Gwh (6%) less than it did in August but, the decrease in the total generation meant its percentage contribution increased to 20.37% from 19.01% in August. A decrease in the absolute contribution from Solar from 7632 to 7384 GWh, translated to the percentage contribution actually increasing slightly to 2.21%, up from 2.09% in August. It is worthy of note that the percentage contribution from solar was below 2% in January and February only and continues to be on target to end the year with a contribution of slightly more than 2%, in line with the increase in capacity seen over the last twelve months.

The gap between the contribution from All Renewables and Nuclear narrowed slightly as All Renewables increased to 14.30% as opposed to Nuclear’s 20.37% contribution. The amount of electricity generated by Wind increased, resulting in the percentage contribution increasing by 1.73%. The contribution from Hydro continued to decline in absolute terms but the decrease in total generation meant that the percentage contribution remained essentially flat.

The combined contribution from Wind and Solar increased to 7.38% from 5.53% in August and the contribution from Non-Hydro Renewables also increased to 8.63% from 6.69%. The contribution of zero emission and carbon neutral sources, that is, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, landfill gas and other biomass increased to 34.67% from 31.33% in August.

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


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


The graph below shows the monthly capacity additions for 2017 to date. In September 11.3 percent of capacity additions were Natural Gas. Solar added 39.4 percent and Wind contributed 49.3 percent of new capacity. In September the total capacity added was 505 MW only slightly higher than the lowest monthly figure for the year so far, 492 MW added in August.


Subsequent to the preparation of the initial draft of this report, it was reported by PV Magazine, among other sources that the EIA has reported a 47% increase in the amount of electricity generated by solar between the period of January to September 2016 and the corresponding period for this year.

EIA: US solar output increases 47% in 2017

In market segment terms, utility scale growth was twice as high, increasing 58% from 2016 to 2017, as small scale at 29%. The residential sector increased by 32% year-over-year, while the smaller sectors, commercial and industrial each grew 23%. Overall, PV continues its climb of market share of total electricity generated, going from 1.3% from January through September 2016 to 1.9% in the same time period in 2017.

This is not too far off the 2.04% shown in the table at the top of this report.

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317 Responses to EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – November 2017 Edition with data for September

  1. Dennis Coyne says:

    Thanks Islandboy.

  2. Dennis, while thinking about your comment yesterday that human nature is not fixed, (it is, of course,) a quote by Katharine Hepburn just hit me.

    “Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.”

    The African Queen

    Don’t you just love that quote? We can rise above our natural desires but we cannot destroy them. But if you are a star, you do not have to rise above your natural desires, your human nature, you can just let them naturally flow, you can just grab them by the pussy.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Ron,

      Human nature is a complex subject. I do not agree that it is fixed.

      Perhaps we do not agree on the definition, if you define human nature as being fixed, then of course it is.

      Let’s forget “human nature” and consider human behavior.

      Do you believe that on average this has been fixed over the past 10,000 or 100,000 years?

      • Doug Leighton says:

        “Do you believe that on average this [human behavior] has been fixed over the past 10,000 or 100,000 years?”

        No, I’d say its become progressively worse over time. Did Bronze Age people practice genocide, something quite common over past 100 years.

        • The percent of humans who died violently at the hands of other humans has declined dramatically over the years. Read: “The Blank Slate” and “The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined”, both by Steven Pinker. Or “Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage” by Steven Le Blanc.

          But of course, there is a reason why violence has declined over the years. We are governed by civil governments and don’t have to destroy the neighboring tribe in order to survive.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            How about drug abuse and rape, almost unheard of when I was young. Dennis was talking about past 10,000 or 100,000 years. The following events weren’t really that long ago:

            1915. Armenia.
            1933. The Holocaust.
            1975. Cambodia.
            1990. Rwanda.
            1995. Bosnia.
            2003. Darfur.

            • GoneFishing says:

              There may now be over 2 million rapes per year actually occurring across the globe. Drug abuse occurs in more than five percent of the population, statistics are fuzzy and under-reported.

            • A graph at the top of Page 57 of “The Blank Slate” by Stephen Pinker shows nine bars, eight of them representing the percentage of male death caused by warfare in South America and New Guinea. I have converted the bars to percentages of deaths because I cannot post the chart itself. The figures may not be exact but they are as close as I could glean by just looking at the bars. The names represent indigenous tribes.

              Jivaro 59 percent of males died as a result of war.
              Yanomamo (Shamatari)39 percent of males died as a result of war.
              Mae Enga 36 percent of males died as a result of war.
              Dugum Dani 30 percent of males died as a result of war.
              Murngin 29 percent of males died as a result of war.
              Yanomamo (Namowei) 25 percent of males died as a result of war.
              Huli 20 percent of males died as a result of war.
              Gebusi 9 percent of males died as a result of war.
              US & Europe 20th C. 1 percent of males died as a result of war.

              Pinker’s next two paragraphs:
              The first eight bars, which range from almost 10 percent to almost 60 percent, come from indigenous peoples in South America and New Guinea. The nearly invisible bar at the bottom represents the United States and Europe in the twentieth century and includes the statistics from two world wars. Moreover, Keely and others have noted that native peoples are dead serious when they carry out warfare.
              Many of them make weapons as damaging as their technology permits, exterminate their enemies when they can get away with it, and enhance the experience by torturing captives, cutting off trophies, and feasting on enemy flesh.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Evolution of The Social Contract

            “In response to these claim, Ferguson [2013], who is one of the scholars accused of ‘pacifying the past,’ responds that there is in fact very little evidence of widespread warfare in our evolutionary past. He argues that the examples that are listed by Pinker, and which are made up by the previous lists, are hand-picked and are by far the most violent examples. Of this list, he first excludes eight of the original twenty-one — five are eliminated because there was only zero or one instance of violent deaths, and three were dropped because they were duplicated. The fourteen that remain represent the most extreme examples, and are in no way representative of pre-historical warfare.

            Ferguson argues that there is no evolved predisposition to go to war, but instead that humans have plastic behaviour (much as I have been arguing throughout this dissertation)…”

            “Taleb and Cirillo bring convincing evidence that Pinker’s idea is statistically unfounded, and he based his arguments on a failed understanding of the probability distribution that describe violent historical events.

            Taleb and Cirillo show from Pinker’s data set that the distribution of these events is fat tailed with a low enough tail exponent that a few decades without large samples is insufficient data to draw conclusions from about whether the parameters of the distribution have changed, so Pinker’s conclusion, that humanity as a whole is no longer as violent as before, is baseless.

            Basically, Pinker used high-school statistics to reason about something that requires high-level understanding of a completely different kind of randomness.” ~ Tony Bellamo

            Continued from here

            “Caelan, I think you are not just wrong, but horribly wrong. Well, that depends on exactly what you mean by ‘plural anarchy’. I am just not sure. Anyway:

            ‘When law enforcement vanishes, all manner of violence breaks out: looting, settling old scores, ethnic cleansing, and petty warfare among gangs, warlords, and mafias. This was obvious in the remnants of Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and parts of Africa in the 1990s, but can also happen in countries with long tradition of civility. As young teenager in proudly peaceable Canada during the romantic 1960s, I was a true believer in Bakunin’s anarchism. I laughed off my parents’ argument that if the government ever laid down its arms all hell would break loose. Our competing predictions were put to the test at 8:00 A.M. on October 17, 1969, when the Montreal police went on strike. By 11:20 A.M. the first bank was robbed. By noon most downtown stores had closed because of looting. Within a few more hours, taxi drivers burned down the garage of a limousine service that had competed with them for airport customers, a rooftop sniper killed a provincial police officer, rioters broke into several hotels and restaurants, and a doctor slew a burglar in his suburban home. By the end of the day, six banks had been robbed, a hundred shops had been looted, twelve fires had been set, forty carloads of storefront glass had been broken, and three million dollars in property damage had been inflicted, before city authorities had to call in the army and, of course, the Mounties to restore order. This decisive empirical test left my politics in tatters (and offered a foretaste of life as a scientist).’
            Steven Pinker: The Blank Slate” ~ Ron Patterson

            The ostensible problem with Pinker’s anecdote quoted here is that those violent examples apparently just occurred after there was an ’embedded-violence/energy vacuum’ (if nevertheless still within the State context). Breaking the ‘energy-hold’ releases the ‘potential energy’, so to speak. Think of popping a balloon.

            The so-called order restored by the so-called authorities in those scenarios was ‘fake’, like that Truman Show I mentioned in one of our discussions along these lines…
            We’ve discussed Pinker before of course, and anyone can do a search in that regard.
            Example from this comment

            “Anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen argued that most of Pinker’s arguments were flawed since they employed a strawman fallacy argumentation style, and selectively picked supporting evidence as well as foils. He wrote: ‘perhaps the most damaging weakness in books of the generic Blank Slate kind is their intellectual dishonesty (evident in the misrepresentation of the views of others), combined with a faith in simple solutions to complex problems. The paucity of nuance in the book is astonishing.’ “

            “Bands have a loose organization. They can split up (in spring/summer) or regroup (in winter camps), as the Inuit, depending on the season, or member families can disperse to join other groups. Their power structure is often egalitarian, a feature, it has been argued, which arose from the emergence of a counter-dominant mentality that overthrew the hierarchical relationships in man’s evolutionary background, by vigilance over sharing. The best hunters would have their abilities recognized, but such recognition did not lead to the assumption of authority, as pretensions to control others would be met by disobedience. Judgments determined by collective discussion among the elders were formulated in terms of custom, as opposed to the law-governed and coercive agency of a specialized body, as occurred with the rise of the more complex societies that arose upon the establishment of sedentary agriculture.” ~ Wikipedia

            By the way, did you see that video that’s been making the rounds where an apparent psychopathic and violent young-man-as-cop in Arizona murders an unarmed non-violent young man in a hotel? The violent young man got off.

            • The so-called order restored by the so-called authorities in those scenarios was ‘fake’,…

              Caelan, just what the hell is “so-called order”? Is that when people stop rioting, stop killing people, stop looting stores, and start living normal lives? Is that “so-called order”? How does that differ from regular order?

              And just who the hell are “so-called authorities”? Are they the police who keep order in the streets? And just what the hell is the difference between “so-called authorities” and regular authorities? You know, the policemen who risk their lives to keep order in the streets?

              And why was the order that was restored “fake”? When people stop rioting and looting is that “fake” order?

              Caelan, your argument is just so goddamn stupid it is beneath me to continue this discussion.

              Bye now.

            • Survivalist says:

              I quite like Pinker’s work. However, IMHO, his book The Better Angels of Our Nature, to me, does not demonstrate that violence has declined. In terms of incidence, violence has clearly increased, and in proportion to population it has decreased. This only shows that our ability to reproduce exceeds our ability to kill when given abundant energy resources.
              War! What is it Good For? By Ian Morris followed a similar reasoning as Pinker; war makes States and States make peace (internally), although not amongst each other.
              I saw the slaying video. The whole making them crawl thing was a tactical error. Should have cuffed them where they lay and had someone cover the door to the suite in case there was a third person inside. The pigs failed to ask if there was anyone else in the suite. Too busy being assholes I guess. Clearly the training and standard operating procedures are weak. The drunk guy pulling up his pants was not a great move. Reaching for your waist line is poor form when some pumped motherfucker has an AR pointed at your chest.
              I did some tours in the 90’s and my impression is that a NATO soldier in the Balkans in mid 90’s would get charged for that shooting. Cops in Arizona skate. Go figure. Rules of engagement are a bitch. I stopped considering calling the cops as an option a long time ago. Most of ’em are a waste of rations. The good ones are basically social workers in Blue. I had to call the cops once because I needed a police report number for an insurance claim. So basically pigs are a clerical extension of the insurance industry as far as I’m conserved.

              • Survivalist says:

                Furthermore, I live in a city of about 1 million people. The police force numbers about 1800. If they went on strike for a week the primary outcome would be that all the career criminals, gangsters, meth dealers and pimps would be found floating face down in the river within 72 hours. Seems to me that they, the criminals, are the primary beneficiaries of the law and order gang, as they get a ticket on the revolving door justice system instead of a kneecapping.
                My retreat is just outside of a town with a population of about 5G, and another 5G in the surrounding area. So let’s call it 10G. Don’t know how many cops serve the area but never more than two cars in the staff parking area of their detachment office. If they went on strike nobody would notice.
                To suggest that the thin blue line is the barrier between civilization and chaos doesn’t ring true with me. Perhaps 1970’s New York, or a city full of assholes (same thing?) might appreciate the cops more than I do. But hey, I like to solve my own problems.

                • Survivalist, you are fucking dreaming. You dearly hope that would be the case if the police went on strike. There is not one iota of evidence that supports that position.

                  That is the problem with ideology. Virtually all ideologies deny reality. They all deal with wishful thinking rather than reality. And anarchy is the very stupidest ideology of all.

                  If law and order disappeared, men would not become peaceful noble savages. That is just not their nature. If rape would go completely unpunished, especially the rape of very young helpless girls, what the hell do you think might happen?

                  • Survivalist says:

                    Quite right Ron. Thanks for the reply. However I just don’t feel that the 1800 police officers are responsible for much restraining of the 1 million people in the city I live in. I think the people mostly restrain themselves. I worked in health services in the local jail for a bit (pre trial custody- so those awaiting trial who couldn’t catch bail) and it seemed to me that about 500 shitbirds were responsible for about 80% of the trouble (property crime etc) What I think would happen if the cops went on strike is that a lot of rapists would start getting cut up into one once pieces. I’m not advocating that. I just think that’s what the outcome would be. Peace likes a full plate, grub before ethics, that kinda thing. As long as folks are well fed most of them to me seem quite peaceful. While I do believe that quite a bit of urban angst does exist (road rage, fist fights at the pub etc) and needs policing, I just don’t see it the small town I frequently spend time in. I’ve seen a cop once with my own eyes in that town. It was a somewhat portly middle aged lady. I don’t think she’s holding much back in terms of a tidal wave of violence, and if she went AWOL for a week the townies probably wouldn’t notice. Perhaps a lot of this violent crime is an urban phenomenon? I did see quite a bit of nastiness in the Balkans but it was mostly political conflict between rival ethnic armies. From my understanding most of the rapists in the Balkans during that time period were soldiers/militias taking it out on the civilians. I came across many small towns that appeared to have no law enforcement presence and the villagers seemed all very nice to each other, unless the food ran out. Then it got a bit staby/shooty.

                    Btw what do you think of Pinker’s ‘violence has declined’ thesis as it pertains to tribal war vs modern war? In my mind, as a proportion war violence impacts a smaller group, but as a whole it has increased. I feel quite certain that what Pinker has demonstrated is that given abundant energy resources the human ability to reproduce exceeds the human ability/need to field soldiers in battle. I’m just spitballing here. Pinker does seem to have a lot of good points.

                    Have you had a look at books by Ian Morris?- ‘Why the West a Rules…. For Now’, and ‘War! What is it Good For?’ are among my favourites.

                    In my line of work I’m often reminded of a saying that I’m told existed in the ‘Wild West’, that is ‘pick a fight, dig two graves’. I’ve seen a good number of folks who ‘won’ a fist fight come in for IV antibiotic therapy due to infections caused from cuts on knuckles/punching people in the teeth. Without IV antibiotics those ‘winners’ would have died quite quickly of blood poisoning. Once peak oil hits hard I suspect most communities will experience ‘government by ox cart’. Several months of that will thin out many of those with a propensity for intercommunal violence. People will learn to avoid intercommunal violence by seeing the example made by those who who can’t avoid intercommunal violence. Never underestimate the power of a someone making a bad example of themselves.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Survivalist, the big reason that people are so calm and nice to each other is because everything is owned. The food sources are owned and protected by armed men on call, the clean water sources are owned, the transport, energy, roads, everything is owned and generally protected.
                    In that framework, people are totally dependent on others and the system. It’s like being children but still having to shave. Permission is required for just about everything. There is no benefit to bucking the system because for 99 44/100 percent of the people, there is no viable place to run. It’s all taken and controlled.
                    There is no gain in violence, only in submission and compliance.
                    Welcome to the “free” world.

                    In primitive societies or in war there is gain from violence to outsiders. One can gain territory and resources, or hold territory and resources. In civilization, there is no real gain, just loss from violence.
                    Now grabbing money and political power, that is wide open.

                  • Survivalist says:

                    What in your mind explains then the large difference between USA and Canada in rates of intentional homicide? Both States are proximaly located, have strong property rights, and have quite a lot of armed people on call/cops. In fact I’d suggest the cops in America are perceived as quite a bit more of a violent threat to their own citizenry than are the Canadian cops, and USA has a death penalty in many communities, which Canada has not had for decades.



                    I like Johan Galtung on violence. To paraphrase him- if you don’t like violence then identify the underlying conflict and solve it.

                    Perhaps it’s not property rights and armed people on call to defend them. Perhaps it’s the resolution/avoidance of underlying conflicts that cause less violence.


                    Oh and btw, I’m not an anarchist. I self identify as a libertarian that drifts to the left because I care about people more than property. I also quite like libertarian models of justice, although I am not an extremist who ascribes to a view that denies the existence of positive rights. Freedom, I feel, is more than negative rights.

                    Regarding culture (nurture), I suspect that if we took the new born son of a Christian pacifist preacher and time warped him to a family in the Persian Empire circa Darius I, then checked up on him 25 years later, we’d likely find him, perhaps despite his genetic makeup, cheering on some public executions by way impalement. It seems to me that perhaps nurture outweights nature in regards to violence.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    If you were responding to me, you missed my point.
                    Comparing two civilized countries means just comparing nuances.
                    Although the US is a much different country than Canada and promotes violence and impolite behavior.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Stop Kidding Yourself: The Police Were Created to Control Working Class and Poor People

                    “The police were not created to protect and serve the population. They were not created to stop crime, at least not as most people understand it. And they were certainly not created to promote justice. They were created to protect the new form of wage-labor capitalism that emerged in the mid to late nineteenth century from the threat posed by that system’s offspring, the working class.”

                    We could remove all the lions and tigers from the natural ‘Serengeti’ contexts and plant them into circuses (with bread), and then have some kind of ‘Pinkerist’ note how less violent and conforming the lions now are as they obediently jump through hoops and stand balanced on large balls at the crack of the masters’ whips, all the while allowing them to put their heads into their mouths without biting them off. Later in the evenings, they eat preprepared Ready Meals™ of dead-meat slabs thrown into their cages in the evenings.

                    Kinda like us.

                    Of course the lions and tigers have been decontextualized. They have been circusified/zooed.


                    ‘Truman Showed’…

                    ‘Plato’s Caved’…

                    ‘The Matrixed’…

                    Any society that treats its people with certain kinds of ‘violence’ will invariably will treat the rest of the planet similarly.

                    If we pay attention to initial conditions (‘butterfly effects’), we may see more about how and why things play out the way they do.

                    It’s all connected.

              • Policemen are just policemen. There are good ones and bad ones. But overall I would say that the good policemen far outnumber the bad ones. To lump them all together and call them all pigs is really bad verbiage, bad reporting.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  What Is The House And Does It Always Win?

                  ❤ Place a ‘naked’ human being into a particular position of power (power corrupts absolutely, it has been said). Give them a gun, a club, a taser, a special car, access to information on people, a uniform with a badge to wear and watch what happens…

                  ♣ Take a human who entry-level-flips burgers at McDonalds and give them a new title, such as ‘manager’ or ‘supervisor’, a slightly different-looking uniform, and a little bit more chump change, and see what happens…

                  You can get a few sheep to control the rest of the flock for you if you know what you’re doing. It’s not that hard.

                  ♠ Take a 20-something, who hardly knows much about the world or themselves, and throw them through the military-industrial soldier-mill, and then send them to some foreign land and have them ‘mingle’ with the natives there.

                  What could possibly go wrong? Absolutely nothing. Move along, nothing to see here…

                  Take The Money and Run

                  “Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas
                  You know he knows just exactly what the facts is
                  He ain’t gonna let those two escape justice
                  He makes his livin’ off of the people’s taxes

                  Bobbie Sue she slipped away
                  Billy Joe caught up to her the very next day
                  They got the money, hey
                  You know they got away
                  They headed down south and they’re still running today

                  Singin’ go on take the money and run
                  Go on take the money and run…”

                  • (power corrupts absolutely, it has been said)

                    No, you have that quote all wrong. It goes:
                    “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

                    Anyway, what’s your point?

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    For The Trees

                    Apparently any point is lost on, or less important to you, Ron, as you diddle with the truncated sentence and maybe miss the forest?

                    ‘Policemen’ aren’t just policemen. The construct comes with a forest, a ‘system’, an ‘ecosystem’.

                    I have read Pinker described as a ‘State apologist’ by the way.

                    Bill Mollison: “You see, the worst thing about permaculture is that it’s extremely successful, but it has no center, and no hierarchy.

                    Alan Atkisson: So that’s worst from whose perspective?

                    Bill: Anybody that wants to extinguish it. It’s something with a million heads. It’s a way of thinking which is already loose, and you can’t put a way of thinking back in the box.

                    Alan: Is it an anarchist movement?

                    Bill: …You won’t get cooperation out of a hierarchical system. You get enforced directions from the top, and nothing I know of can run like that. I think the world would function extremely well with millions of little cooperative groups, all in relation to each other.”

                • Caelan, apparently you thought all that stuff you posted proved some kind of point. It did not.

                  To an anarchist, anyone who believes in law and order would be a “state apologist”. So given that you read literature written by other anarchists, I have no doubt that you have read that about Pinker.

                  • I think the world would function extremely well with millions of little cooperative groups, all in relation to each other.”

                    And I am sure you think so too Caelan. But what you apparently cannot get through your head is that is just an ideology, a firmly held belief that if the world would just adopt this system, your ideology, then it would be a much better world.

                    But that is all that it is, a utopian belief, nothing more. It just ain’t gonna happen. Get over it and start living in the real world, the world as it is, not the world you wish it to be.

                    There is a real world out there. The sooner you start living in it the better off you will be.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Accept To Affect

                    There are a lot of ill-conceived ideologies floating around out there, Ron, with many clearly not working out for people or the rest of the planet, in case some of us still haven’t noticed.

                    ‘Ideally’, we can choose to truly prosper and take the entire planet along with us for the ride– and maybe even manage to go to Mars and colonize/terraform it to boot, etc.– or, as you ostensibly suggest, we can just passively accept some sort of notion (whose?) of reality that you may think is our lot.

                    The very fact, however, that I and others are having this kind of ‘ideological’ discussion, such as with you and others online and in real life, means that reality is something that we can affect– beyond mere acceptance.

                    So, ya, there’s a real world out there, a world full of people living in and affecting it– ideally for the better.

                  • The very fact, however, that I and others are having this kind of ‘ideological’ discussion, such as with you and others online and in real life, means that reality is something that we can affect– beyond mere acceptance.

                    Good grief, Caelan, if you know anything you should know better than that. We can have an ideological discussion about building a colony and putting a billion people on Mars but that does not mean we can do it.

                    Philosophers have been discussing their particular ideological Utopia since there have been philosophers discussing anything. They are no closer to their Utopia today than they were two thousand years ago. Being able to discuss something does not mean being able to bring it about.

        • OFM says:

          While it is yet to be fully accepted by the mainstream in the field of social sciences, I believe it’s inevitable that within another decade, or two at the most, that academics will necessarily agree that so called primitive ( early ) societies were quite as violent as modern societies, but of course violence in those long gone days was limited in scale because populations were smaller and more isolated and communications and weapons weren’t as good.

          I can’t access my research notes at the moment, so no links, but there is more and more evidence coming to light to this effect.

          In one particular case I remember reading, a large supply of baked clay balls, essentially synthetic stones, was discovered during the excavation of an old city, and the various researchers scratched their heads and threw up their hands in frustration not being able to figure out what they were FOR.

          WHY? Because they believed what they WANTED to believe, rather than what the evidence was showing them, all along. These balls were ammo, and you can very kill a man with a stone thrown from a sling at a hundred meters, if you can hit him. Throw enough, and some of them hit.

          My friends and I made lots of slings back when we were kids. The bigger guys could throw a rock as big as their fist two hundred yards.

          Other than the aiming issue, I judge that a sling is as good or better weapon, in the hands of a strong man, for use against other men, as a bow and arrow, considering the effort needed to make a good bow and a stock of arrows for it.

          All you need to arm yourself with a sling is ten feet of good strong rope or leather cord, and a piece of leather big enough to make the pouch. Even a fresh animal hide will temporarily suffice for both.

          For what it’s worth, considering the limitations of casual conversation, I’m with Ron about human nature being essentially fixed, at least in the short term.

          I’m with Dennis in that our human nature allows us to respond to problems and opportunities in a very wide variety of ways, including cooperation on the grand scale.

          We are intelligent and capable of cooperation to the point that we have been able to organize ourselves into cohesive groups hundreds and thousands of times larger than “primitive” tribal bands for the last few millenia and this emergent behavior has recently made it possible for us to band together at the continental level and sometimes even at the global level in order to pursue our common interests.

          The world may indeed be headed to hell, I won’t dispute that. But we naked apes are intelligent and capable of cooperation to the extent that there’s a good chance some of us will pull thru the bottleneck more or less whole.

          I’m man enough to cry at the thought of a world denuded of birds and larger animals, and seas without fish, but speaking as professional ag guy, I can say with certainty that we will find ways to eat, so long as we are able to preserve a few key species of plants and animals. Countless other species, wild species that are not dominant ( meaning numerous and widespread NOW ),will also survive, and their numbers will expand VERY quickly, and they will soon evolve to create a new all around ecology.

          It will be an unstable ecology for quite some time, but there will be life of some sort just about anywhere and everywhere, even as there is now.

          Let’s suppose collapse results in the total extinction of every larger predatory species in North America, even the whole of the Americas. Somebody is going to pull thru with a few cows, goats, and sheep. Unless the grasses disappear as well as the predators, it won’t be long until there are plenty of grazing animals running wild again.

          Their numbers will rise and fall dramatically, without predators to damp their population swings, but not all of them will ever starve in a bad winter or for lack of water during a major drought or die from an epidemic disease transmitted by the ticks that will likely survive along with them.

          And before too long, a few domestic dogs born of those that survive along with surviving men will turn feral, and it won’t take very many generations for them to adapt themselves as very effective defacto wolves and foxes. Those of us who believe evolution can happen only very slowly have fallen behind in their reading of the biological news.

          Some of us believe describe such a scenario as I have outlined as the end of the world. That’s a matter of opinion.

          So long as rain continues to fall, and it doesn’t get any hotter here where I live now that it does in most of Mexico, and I can breathe the air, I can survive on my little farm with a few friends to help for a decade or two, without setting foot off the place, and we still have some chickens, pigs, goats, rabbits, guinea fowl, and cows cows, not enough for proper genetic diversity but ENOUGH, considering there will be somebody else around that has a few of each as well. Hell, we’ll still have rats as well. I suppose we could domesticate rats if we really wanted to.

          The real question is whether we would be able to defend ourselves. Since I DO believe in a hard crash, with uncontrolled violence being a very real possibility, I’m going to bury my weapons where they cannot be found and confiscated, if confiscation appears to be a real possibility. If it comes down to a mandatory enforced with jail time penalty for failing to REGISTER my weapons, I’ll take my chances on jail.

          I’ve read a LOT of history, lol. My own ancestors no more than a couple of hundred years back were the victims of other people better armed than they were, with the result that they were forced to flee their homelands. No more than a hundred and fifty years back they finished off the local people who were here before THEY arrived HERE. Now the only trace I can find of the original citizens who lived on my place is the occasional arrowhead I turn up with a plow.

          I’m not ready to trade my fundamental rights for a mess of pottage, a little temporary safety which is by no means guaranteed by the presence of police, whether good honest and competent or otherwise.

          I’m hoping this comment will result in a lot of hot replies.

          I suppose it should be in some other thread, but one logical conclusion of any discussion of energy is that a lack of affordable energy is apt to result in the destruction of life as we know it in the here and now.

      • Human nature is in your genetic makeup, it is fixed from birth. It can be changed only by evolution.

        Behavior? Of course, human behavior changes. It changes daily. People get committed to institutions to change their behavior. It is shocking how malleable human behavior is. Consider lining human beings, men, women, children, and tiny babies, up before a pit and shooting them all. German soldiers did that to Jews. Today, you and I, find such behavior shocking. But they had no problem with it, they were just following orders. The fact that human behavior is malleable is part of our human nature.

        But the desire to survive and to put everything else below your desire to survive is human nature.

        Don’t confuse human nature with human behavior, they are two different things entirely.

        • George Kaplan says:

          Ron – this supports your view more than counters it I think, but there’s a lot of evidence that the German soldiers had very significant problems with the atrocities they were ordered to carry out, many went mad or committed suicide and all the SS divisions were kept fuelled on alcohol and methamphetamine, and I think there is some research (might be in the book Blitzed, which I haven’t read but was well reviewed last year) that shows a correlation between the highest drug use and the worst atrocities.

          • Survivalist says:

            Fully agree. Not just SS though. Einsatzgruppen did plenty of killing too, as I think you perhaps point out by referring to German soldiers. If you want to ruin an otherwise nice day just google images for einsatzgruppen. It may well be that the psychological pressure upon, and the push back from, einsatzgruppen officers resulted in the formation of SS death camps.
            I quite like Black Earth by Timothy Snyder in regards to holocaust history. If you find history uninteresting then just read the conclusion chapter of the book. Required reading I’d say.

            • Lloyd says:

              The stats on suicides in the US and Canadian armys (the ones I’m most familiar with) suggest that even when you’re not busy committing war crimes, long deployments and, shall we say, non-positive military outcomes, are hard on the soul.


        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Ron,

          You have not defined human nature, but perhaps it cannot change by definition.

          Yes humans will try to survive just like most animals, they will eat, procreate etc all things we are genetically programmed to do.

          We also have the capacity to both compete with other humans and to cooperate with other humans which is also part of our nature.

          The ways that humans interact and form social structures has changed over time and had a profound effect on human behavior.

          It is human behavior especially at the societal level that will influence the course of future events in my opinion.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Dennis — So, is this an example of human behavior at the societal level? Currently, the richest 1% hold about 38% of all privately held wealth in the US while the bottom 90% hold 73% of all debt. According to The New York Times, the richest 1 percent in the United States now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.

            • OFM says:

              Hi Doug,

              The fact that a few of us are very rich, and most of us by comparison are very poor does not indicate thate we aren’t cooperating at the national level, to a very substantial extent.

              Rich people have paid me to work for them, not as much as I would have liked, but enough to live on, lol. If that ain’t cooperation, albeit only reluctantly offered on my part, I don’t know what the word means.

              I don’t know anybody with a working brain who would exchange the life of a modern day working man for the life of a plutocrat two hundred years ago, considering the plutocrat had to get by without electricity, fresh food in the winter, comfortable transportation, etc. Just the thought of dying from one of the plagues that frequently swept thru the country would be more than reason enough to choose the modern worker’s life.

              Cooperation, like just about everything else involving humanity, is generally best measured on a continium scale, from zero to complete.

              I’m feeling grouchy, and the rest of this comment is a redneck rant.

              Ignore it.

              I enjoy poking fun at people who think of themselves as scientifically minded, while making absurd comments about things about which they know only enough to make fools of themselves.

              It’s undoubtedly mighty crude and insensitive of me to point it out, but about half of the people I know personally who are hard up ARE hard up because they have made a habit out of making bad decisions.

              ( This is NOT to say that the other half are responsible for the miserable lives they live. . Half of the poor people I know have never had a real chance at doing better for one reason or another, and in most cases, the reasons have to do with the fact that we do indeed live in an inequitable society.

              I know people who were born crippled, and people who have had bad accidents from which they have never recovered, people who are the victims of unjust laws, and above all, people who drew only low cards, not even a pair, in the poker game of life.

              If you’re born into a ghetto like existence, you are not apt to escape living out your life in that way, except as a matter of luck. )

              If the half who are poor due to their own bad decisions were to go to Sunday school, and attend the adult classes taught along the lines of the ones taught where my folks are buried, and take the lessons to heart, most of them would be self supporting tax paying citizens within a few years.

              Those of us who have so much fun preening their intellectual superiority by making fun of religious people apparently don’t have any real idea what’s taught in Sunday school at the adult level in a typical Protestant church.

              Here are some of the key rules that are taught at the church on the hill across from my farm.

              Work hard.

              Live modestly.

              Put something away for a rainy day, any and every day it’s not raining.

              Help out your neighbor who has problems, because one day you will need HIS help.

              Turn away from strong drink.

              Don’t fuck around, especially with your neighbor’s spouse, because if you do, you may catch the clap or worse, and bring children into the world without provision for their support.

              Don’t steal. Don’t kill. Don’t covet thy neighbors house or car or hot young wife.

              Pay your taxes.

              Obey the common laws of your society, as well as the laws of God
              Honor thy father and thy mother ( for someday you too will be old and dependent on the good will of younger folks).

              Just be NICE, don’t be an asshole and take offense at every little slight. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

              Miracles and Heaven etc are mentioned in adult class, but only in passing, by way of providing a framework to hang the real teachings on, the way clothes are hung on mummies in stores.

              Take care of God’s gifts to you, such as the land you live on. Leave it better and more productive than you found it. ( This is not to say the owners know how to do this. But neighbors who farm and go to church are taking very good care of their land, as best they know how, and constantly working to improve it, by way of building little lakes, putting in roads, replanting trees in spots not needed for crops, etc.

              That all of these rules are VERY frequently honored in the breach rather than in the observance doesn’t negate the fact that when you follow most of them most of the time, you are much more likely to be healthy, happy , safe, and prosperous.

              Incidentally ,I’m a defacto atheist, although I think of myself technically as an agnostic, since I haven’t run across any evidence that there AREN’T any gods or a god.

              An absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, lol.

              • Nick G says:

                Yes, good choices make for a better life. And, yes, some poverty is due to bad choices.

                OTOH…a lot of middle class and wealthy people make bad choices, and are insulated against the consequences because they were lucky enough to have the resources to get through them. And, the vices of poverty tend to be illegal, while the vices of the more affluent tend to stay legal.

                So…a poor meth-head may die. An affluent alcoholic may go to rehab.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Doug,

              The US made some progress on equity from 1933 to 1980. The Reagan revolution was a revolt of the capitalist class, with their leader Marl Karx who wanted to stop the appropriation of capital by workers from the poor capitalists, importantly they needed an objective Capital Theory of Value which proves that the source of all value flows from capital. 🙂

              This is somewhat different from the Labor Theory of Value proposed by David Ricardo.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hey Doug,

              I never claimed that humans are well behaved, just that human behavior may have changed over time. Maybe it is worse than in the past, I would not agree that is the case, nor would I suggest it is necessarily better, just different. I do think there has been some progress on racism, sexism, and homophobia, though more progress is needed in my opinion.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Ron,

          Is it possible that “human nature” has evolved over time?

          Maybe changing social structures end up “selecting” certain “desirable” traits so that there has been a gradual evolution in human nature.

          This seems to be in the realm of neuroscience and psychology and possibly philosophy as well, I claim no expertise on the matter, but my guess is that there are different opinions on this subject in the scientific literature.

          Or maybe all the scientists agree, which would be unusual. 🙂

          • Dennis, of course, human nature has evolved over time. After all, human nature did evolve, and it had to happen over time. So by definition, human nature has evolved over time.

            Our human nature evolved, primarily, during our hunter-gatherer existence, when our population was much smaller and isolated to a given area. It has changed very little, if any, since then.

            Let me explain. For any characteristic to change due to evolution, it must have some survival or reproductive advantage over the absence of that characteristic. And that is not all, this advantage must take place during a time when the absence of that characteristic, would be harmful to the survival or reproductive success of the species. And… and… this is the really big one, it must be a species-wide selection. In other words, if it happened to just one, or two tribes or population groups, it would have little effect on the entire human population.

            If you can explain how such an evolutionary change could possibly happen, over the entire human population, since the age of agriculture began, about 10,000 years ago, then I will agree with you. But I really don’t think you can do that.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              If you can explain how such an evolutionary change could possibly happen, over the entire human population, since the age of agriculture began, about 10,000 years ago, then I will agree with you. But I really don’t think you can do that.

              The age of agriculture began, roughly speaking, a mere 10,000 years or so, ago. While one could argue that Homo sapiens inhabiting our world today differs not at all, from those walking around 10,000 years ago.

              I’d posit that while from a strictly anatomical perspective that might be true. I’d strongly disagree that there has been no significant evolution occurring in humans.

              Humans are very unique apes in that they have developed eusociality and have rapidly evolving cultural aspects that must also be taken into consideration.

              This paper by Curtis Marean might provide a bit of context for modern human evolution. And perhaps give some perspective as to the potential for rapid changes in behavior through cultural and technological shifts. 10,000 years ago a farmer in a small village might have had interactions with at most a hundred or so other individuals and had a world view just as limited. We on the other hand are now living in a highly technological global industrial civilization.


              The transition to foraging for dense and predictable resources and its impact on the evolution of modern humans
              Curtis W. Marean
              Published 13 June 2016.DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0239

              Scientists have identified a series of milestones in the evolution of the human food quest that are anticipated to have had far-reaching impacts on biological, behavioural and cultural evolution: the inclusion of substantial portions of meat, the broad spectrum revolution and the transition to food production. The foraging shift to dense and predictable resources is another key milestone that had consequential impacts on the later part of human evolution. The theory of economic defendability predicts that this shift had an important consequence—elevated levels of intergroup territoriality and conflict. In this paper, this theory is integrated with a well-established general theory of hunter–gatherer adaptations and is used to make predictions for the sequence of appearance of several evolved traits of modern humans. The distribution of dense and predictable resources in Africa is reviewed and found to occur only in aquatic contexts (coasts, rivers and lakes). The palaeoanthropological empirical record contains recurrent evidence for a shift to the exploitation of dense and predictable resources by 110 000 years ago, and the first known occurrence is in a marine coastal context in South Africa. Some theory predicts that this elevated conflict would have provided the conditions for selection for the hyperprosocial behaviours unique to modern humans.

              This article is part of the themed issue ‘Major transitions in human evolution’.

              Human evolution is most definitely a continuing story.

              • Survivalist says:

                As peak oil and climate change make their impact I’m quite interested to see how the transition to foraging for scarce and unpredictable resources has its impact on the behaviour of modern humans. Reminds me of another good way to ruin an otherwise nice afternoon; google images for ‘Russian famine’, which occurred not that long ago/a long time after the implementation of agriculture.
                I think peak oil and climate change will likely bring overreactions (choices in behaviour) in response to temporary anxieties, which will exacerbate conflict and violence.
                Once the dust settles, and if the population bottleneck selects for intelligence, it might be quite a nice bunch of blokes on the other side.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Nothing has really changed. Once the food source was established through agriculture, the hunting and foraging moved to extended trade, materials gathering and fuel gathering. Also exploration, both physical and scientific, is just another form of hunting and gathering.
                We can’t help ourselves, we are still hunters and gatherers, just different areas of hunting, exploring and gathering. Gathering, materials, knowledge, fuels and forging our own tribes (businesses and organizations) is driven by the same human nature we have had for tens of thousands of years and longer.
                In the end it is all about getting food, shelter, mating and producing offspring, just different ways to do that are available now.

                • OFM says:

                  GF is dead on. His seven twenty one pm comment nails it perfectly.

                  WE haven’t changed, we’re still hunter gatherer’s between our ears.


                  Our outward behaviors have changed along with circumstances, to the extent necessary, to accomodate ourselves to new circumstances.

                  Our outward behaviors will continue to change as our circumstances change.

                  Our motivations , our drives, our BASIC behaviors, will stay the same, for a very long time to come, or as long as we last, because there’s little or no evolutionary pressure to force our outward behaviors to change.

                  Hell’s bells, the behaviors we are exhibiting now have resulted in our overrunning the planet!

                  And when our population crashes, these same behaviors will serve the survivors very well in the future, as they have in the past, enabling them to reproduce successfully, and reoccupy the landscape over time…… leading, eventually, to overshoot again.. but maybe never again on the global scale.

                  One extremely but mostly overlooked important factor about human overshoot is that while we are now globally involved with each other by way of trade, overshoot is still apt to play out locally ( over very large areas in some cases ) rather than globally, in terms of human population collapse.

                  Some populations may survive almost whole, in relative terms. If for instance only fifty million Yankees perish, our numbers would be diminished by less than twenty percent.

                  Farmers and biologists are used to encountering bigger swings in populations without the concept of overshoot even crossing our minds. Weather alone can make this much difference from one year to the next in countless species.

                  Some years I ladybugs are EVERYWHERE, others I seldom see one. Ditto stink bugs. These wild population swings are mostly determined by how many overwinter successfully.

                  If fifty million Chinese or Indians starve due regional famine, the odds are pretty high that there will still be plenty of food in North America that same year.

                  It’s possible that the environment will go to hell globally over a short period of as little as a few decades, but it’s more likely in my estimation that REALLY bad droughts, floods, heat waves and so forth will occur piecemeal , a few more than usual at first, which is already happening…….

                  And then more and more will happen, but they still won’t happen all over the world right away.

                  It’s damned unlikely that our endowment of fresh water, topsoil, and so forth will be exhausted globally all over the space of a very few years. It’s damned unlikely, ditto, in my estimation anyway, that the climate will go to hell globally over a space of a few short years.

                  It seems far more likely that things will be ok , or at least less than hopeless, well to the north and south of the equator, for a long time, maybe a couple of generations or even longer, even as it gets so hot and (also probable some years ) dry in tropical and semi tropical regions that food production collapses, and fire takes out huge swathes of any remaining forests and so forth.

                  Just about every body could potentially perish through out most of India due to a super drought imposed on a super heat wave while food production holds steady that same year in the USA.

                  I’m not predicting that things WILL NECESSARILY play out this way, but rather that I believe it scenarios similar to this one are far more likely to occur than a general world wide economic and ecological collapse, at least within the easily foreseeable future, meaning the next generation or two.

                  This is not to say that the world wide ecology won’t implode due to forced climate change and other environmental damages, but only that it if it does implode, it will likely do so over a fairly long period of time, in relation to our own personal lives, and the way our brains are programmed. .

                  Except for scientists and other professionals such as historians, we just can’t think very well in terms of time longer than two generations, and mostly we can’t manage even that.

                  Hell, half the people I encounter can’t don’t think any farther ahead than payday. Half the remainder have never given a minute’s thought to what the world will be like when they get old.

              • Fred, from your article:

                Over hundreds of thousands of years of slow gene–culture coevolution, the cognition of this hominin evolved to the point where it was able to recognize novel associations, use symbols, communicate via language and thus start to do complex analytical tasks such as construct symbolic systems of time and space.

                Yes, absolutely, over hundreds of thousands of years of slow gene-culture coevolution, the cognition of this hominoid evolved to the point where it was able to recognize novel associations, use symbols, communicate via language and thus start to do complex analytical tasks such as construct symbolic systems of time and space.

                I have no argument with this article. It all happened over hundreds of thousands of years.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  I have no argument with this article. It all happened over hundreds of thousands of years.

                  That view is not one that is necessarily upheld by recent research into human evolution. As I stated, the rapid evolution of humans is an observable phenomenon.


                  Many people think evolution requires thousands or millions of years, but biologists know it can happen fast. Now, thanks to the genomic revolution, researchers can actually track the population-level genetic shifts that mark evolution in action—and they’re doing this in humans. Two studies presented at the Biology of Genomes meeting here last week show how our genomes have changed over centuries or decades, charting how since Roman times the British have evolved to be taller and fairer, and how just in the last generation the effect of a gene that favors cigarette smoking has dwindled in some groups.

                  “Being able to look at selection in action is exciting,” says Molly Przeworski, an evolutionary biologist at Columbia University. The studies show how the human genome quickly responds to new conditions in subtle but meaningful ways, she says. “It’s a game-changer in terms of understanding evolution.”

                  Emphasis mine.

              • Fred, I agree, cultural evolution can happen very fast. Also, biological behavior based on cultural changes can happen very fast also. Texting is biological behavior and it happened almost overnight.

                However, physical-biological changes, what biologists call “adaptations” take many generations to happen.

                I realize that there are some changes that can happen over the entire population. For instance, if large breasted women were seen by the average man as more sexually desirable, and if that greater desirability leads to more children, then the average breast size over the entire population, would increase. But such changes are small as well as cosmetic and would still take hundreds of years for a significant change to take place.

                Innate characteristics such as obedience to authority are something else altogether. There must be a survival or reproductive advantage for any evolutionary change. No evolutionary change can happen unless there is evolutionary pressure for survival or reproduction.

                That’s just how biological evolution works. Cultural evolution is a different matter altogether, however.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  However, physical-biological changes, what biologists call “adaptations” take many generations to happen.

                  Not necessarily! From the same article I linked above. They are detecting biological evolution on the scale of a human lifetime. Not thousands of years.

                  Joseph Pickrell, an evolutionary geneticist at New York Genome Center in New York City, has used a different strategy to put selection under an even keener microscope, detecting signs of evolution on the scale of a human lifetime. He and Przeworski took a close look at the genomes of 60,000 people of European ancestry who had been genotyped by Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, and 150,000 people from a massive U.K. sequencing effort called the UK Biobank. They wanted to know whether genetic variants change frequency across individuals of different ages, revealing selection at work within a generation or two. The biobank included relatively few old people, but it did have information about participants’ parents, so the team also looked for connections between parental death and allele frequencies in their children.

                  Bold, mine.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Variations in genetics always occur. If we are selecting for a technical/industrial society versus a natural environment, then the evolutionary track that is selected is not natural selection nor will it necessarily be positive in a natural environment. It is a branch off natural evolution and is most likely a dead end (benefit lasts only as long as the socio-technological advantage exists with the caveat that those changes disappear within a generation or two at this point due to a fast changing techn0-culture). This means that any genetic changes that positive adapt to the culture and technology will no longer be advantageous within the lifetime of the individual and any descendants will probably be stuck with useless or harmful adaptations.
                    That is assuming technology and society keep moving forward at a fast pace.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Variations in genetics always occur. If we are selecting for a technical/industrial society versus a natural environment, then the evolutionary track that is selected is not natural selection nor will it necessarily be positive in a natural environment.

                    Evolution or natural selection, does not distinguish between what you or I might consider an artificial or natural environment, it happens regardless. “WE” are not in control of the selection process. Unless we’re talking about something like GMOs via gene editing technology such as CRISPR-cas9, applied to artificial evolution by means of gene drives, that’s a completely separate dissertation.

                    Just so we are on the same page with regards definitions and the evolutionary process by means of natural selection, here’s a refresher on T.O.E. or “Descent with Modification”.


                    Natural selection can change a species in small ways, causing a population to change color or size over the course of several generations. This is called “microevolution.”

                    But natural selection is also capable of much more. Given enough time and enough accumulated changes, natural selection can create entirely new species, known as “macroevolution.”

                    And we now have direct evidence of microevolution in humans on very short time scales. As mentioned in this link I posted before:


                    just in the last generation the effect of a gene that favors cigarette smoking has dwindled in some groups.

                    “Being able to look at selection in action is exciting,” says Molly Przeworski, an evolutionary biologist at Columbia University. The studies show how the human genome quickly responds to new conditions in subtle but meaningful ways, she says. “It’s a game-changer in terms of understanding evolution.”

                    I would venture to guess that fast short term genetic changes which reduce detrimental behavior such as smoking, would probably have a strong cultural component brought about by a better knowledge base about human health which in turn is a consequence of relatively recent advances in medical technology. Not to mention public education. So the plot thickens!

                    It is a branch off natural evolution and is most likely a dead end (benefit lasts only as long as the socio-technological advantage exists with the caveat that those changes disappear within a generation or two at this point due to a fast changing techn0-culture).

                    Macroevolutionary adaptations are still highly unlikely to be tuned to short term socio technological changes, though according to recent research, microevolutionary changes might still become manifest and detectable. In any case it is only changes that confer long term reproductive fitness that ultimately matter to the species as a whole.

                    Another important thing to keep in mind is that we really don’t know how things will evolve (pun intended) with any particular mutation and if and when it will confer a survival benefit as the environment changes.

                    A good example is sickle cell anemia a debilitating genetic disease common among people of African descent. Individuals who are carriers for the sickle cell disease (with one sickle gene and one normal hemoglobin gene, also known as sickle cell trait) have some protective advantage against malaria…

                    This means that any genetic changes that positive adapt to the culture and technology will no longer be advantageous within the lifetime of the individual and any descendants will probably be stuck with useless or harmful adaptations.

                    Since we don’t know how the environment, let alone the culture and technology might change, I don’t think we can be sure of that at all!

            • OFM aka pistol packing foaming at the mouth redneck caveman says:

              Ten thousand years is ample time for a newly evolved behavior or physical trait to spread from a tiny beginning to dominate any populations with adequate gene flow. Such flow existed thru out Europe, but not across the Atlantic to the Americas.

              So as our communicable diseases associated with agriculture evolved along with us, Eurepeans evolved substantial resistance to those diseases.

              When we Euro’s crossed the Atlantic, and brought those diseases with us, they literally wiped out entire populations of native Americans.

              Physical evolution of GROSS or major anatomical features such as let us say the human foot and skeletal map ( the same in general but varying enormously in the precise shape and size of bones from chimps ) takes a very long time.

              Behavioral evolution can occur in a matter of just a few generations, as for example certain species adopting a primarily noctural life due to hunting pressure by humans. White tail deer are constantly being culled by hunters where I live if they are more apt to be out during daylight hours. Every hunting season, they seem to disappear from view within a few days of open season, but plenty are left…… but more of the ones that tend to stay out of sight, avoiding feeding during daylight, survive. It’s arguable that if current conditions ( controlled legal human predation during daylight hours only ) prevail for a few more decades, the white tails in this area will be recognized as a species that mostly feeds and travels at night.

              Ron is dead on about the cops being responsible for maintaining order, to the extent we have order. If it weren’t for the fear of the cops, who are efficiently organized and able to bring enormous force to bear, without risk to themselves other than getting hurt or killed ” on the job” I would have solved a great many problems ( rather than only a very few ) I have had to deal with over the years by violent means myself……. at some substantial personal risk of course.

              Right now, on this date, I have a lawsuit on my hands, and have been charged with a minor crime, destruction of no trespassing signs, placed by a neighbor on some recently purchased property, in a dispute over the exact location of the property line. HIS MOTHER sold the land, WITH A SURVEY, to the people who sold it to the people who sold it to me, with it being surveyed EVERY time, and with the title searched every time.
              Not one four surveyors has ever indicated that any of the original stakes placed at the time of his mother selling the property is improperly placed.

              But this guy is so stupid he KEEPS posting my property, and SOMEBODY took the signs down. Now I’m forced to spend a thousand bucks plus on this foolishness for a criminal defense lawyer, since my personal old friend and attorney is dealing with his wife who is bedridden and expected to die soon. I’m going to be acquited, zero doubt according to the surveyor, who’s going to charge me by the hour to sit in court until my case is called, lol, and according to my lawyer.

              I’m old now, and a little fat, but I wouldn’t have any problem at all whipping this guy’s ass, because he’s older and fatter, lol, and if I didn’t have assets and responsibilities, I would, and just pull my thirty days with good behavior. I have friends in the regional jail to play cards with, and books and writing materials are allowed, lol. It’s a modern jail, and well heated, and I would be out before hot weather. AND I would have reestablished my bonafides as an old time mountain man who doesn’t put up with being dissed.Being known as dangerous is excellent insurance. Bullies generally only fuck with pussies. I learned that in elementary school, when I suffered some bullying for fear of the principle’s paddle, and my Dad, who would have paddled my ass even harder. But after a few weeks, I did fight, and won very easily, due to being stronger by a mile, if slightly smaller, and after that……. I was never the target of a bully again.

              Forty years ago the local sheriff would have ignored such a fist fight, unless one or the other guy got badly hurt, hospitalized.

              Now….. if I punch this pain in my backside out………. I’ll go to jail myself, no question whatsoever.

              And he knows it.

              What he DOESN’T know, and is too stupid to find out, until he shows up to testify, is that I will have a warrant sworn out for HIS arrest for posting land that doesn’t belong to him without the owner’s permission, lol. It won’t be served until then, because he lives across the state line, and it’s a misdemanor warrant. The sheriff will wait until he’s in state. In court. Prosecuting me. Except for the money, it’s as funny as I Love Lucy, or The Three Stooges.

              I’m signing off aka as “pistol packing foaming at the mouth redneck caveman” to save HB the trouble of a response.I’m thinking he’s sick or something, since he’s posting so little these days. I hope he gets better, I miss him.

              I’m going to win, or I should say the state is going to win, on this one, because the chain of deeds and surveys and title searches, plus the expert witness I have retained, guarantee it.

              But…. it would be so much SIMPLER, and so much more EFFICIENT, and SATISFYING, if I could just whack him upside the head a few times.

              And if this little mole hill of a dispute were to grow into a mountain of a family feud, and a few of us were to shoot each other, fatally, well…… that would help a little with the OVERSHOOT problem, would it not?

              For those who may wonder……. my sarc light is blinking, but not hot and fast.

  3. GoneFishing says:

    Islandboy, I notice a typical rise in coal and natural gas use during the summer followed by a decrease in the cooler months. I take this to be the air conditioning energy use. However, I also see a repetitive increase in coal use in and around mid-winter to early spring. Natural gas does not follow that winter pattern, it stays low in use during winter. Is this due to natural gas being used for heating thus reducing the availability for power generation?

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Gonefishing,

      Sounds like a reasonable guess.

      • OFM says:

        I’m betting that within another decade or so, depending on how the difference in prices for various fuels and wind and solar electricity play out, that you will be able to call up a local heating and air guy, and have him come out and install a heat pump driven by a gas fueled internal combustion engine, if you live in a place with a long heating season and piped gas is available to you. Even bottled gas might work out economically.

        The cost of the necessary control systems for such small engines is falling contantly, and if mass produced, they can be built to last in frequent intermittent use for decades at very reasonable prices.

        The sixty percent or more of the “waste heat ” generated by the engine will of course be captured and used to heat hot water and for space heating, and the engine will also be coupled to a small alternator that may or may not be tied into the house wiring, so that anytime it’s needed, it can be used to provide peak load power, or emergency back up power.

        With a hundred gallon or larger hot water heater, a typical homeowner could easily get by without buying any grid sourced electricity to supply his hot water supply, and at no more than half what it costs in fuel to run a gas fired hot water heater. The computer will feed the exhaust heat right into the water heater, along WITH the electrical energy, if it’s not needed elsewhere in the house.

        I’ve seen some small generators built to be used especially in low noise environments, and from fifty feet away, you hardly even notice they are running. Put them in a little shed or in the basement or crawl space, and you won’t even know they’re there.

        Of course home scale solar power may turn out to be even cheaper….. but batteries big enough to heat a house, or cool it, while also providing needed hot water, will likely cost a LOT more, so I’m betting such gas fired heat pump and generator combo’s will be big sellers.

    • coffeeguyzz says:

      You can see that happening right now in real time on the New England ISO site on the “Fuel Mix” graph.
      From 04:00 to 08:00 gas fueled juice dropped with only a slight coincident electrical drop.
      Coal is steady as the remaining plant is, I believe, maxxed out.
      Oil is making up the shortfall in gas supply.

    • islandboy says:

      Hey GF, astute observation. This is one of the cases where Google is your friend. I did a search for “winter time natural gas use for electricity generation in the us” and among the answers was:

      Natural gas consumption has two peaks each year

      Consumption of natural gas is seasonal, with consumption patterns among end-use sectors highly driven by weather. Total natural gas consumption peaks during the winter, when cold weather increases demand for natural gas heating. A second, smaller peak occurs during the summer, when electricity generation using natural gas increases to serve summer air-conditioning load.

      Residential and commercial demand for heating accounts for over 50% of the natural gas delivered for end-uses in the United States during the winter. During the summer, total consumption of natural gas is, on average, about 30% lower than in the winter, with about half the gas used to generate electricity for air-conditioning.

      In contrast to these seasonal patterns, natural gas demand in the industrial sector is more even throughout the year, although it has varied from about 20% to 40% of total consumption over the past six years.

      I guess that’s as good as answer as we’re gonna get! There are some interesting graphs at the link.

  4. Doug Leighton says:


    “So it probably only took a little bit of human-induced change to start the Arctic down this cascading pathway; a little bit of ice melting led to a little bit of warming, which led to more ice melting, which led to more warming. And now we’re seeing an acceleration – a runaway effect that may eventually be a catastrophic runaway effect starting to take hold in the Arctic.”


    • Doug Leighton says:


      “As a result of climate change and increasing development in the tundra, permafrost thaws earlier and deeper and organic layers dry out faster. This biomass can then ignite easily. After a fire, the insulating effect of the then burnt organic material is missing and consequently the albedo changes, i. e. the proportion of light reflected from the ground. Darker soils heat up more, causing their surface to dry out and permafrost to thaw even more, releasing further flammable organic material and leaking stored methane into the atmosphere.”


      • GoneFishing says:

        The Arctic is tumbling fast, the Blue Ocean event and reduced snow cover events will coincide in a short time. The release of GHG’s is a dispersive event diluted quickly across the whole planet, but albedo changes are fixed locally and are intense in those locales causing dramatic and fast changes to both the structure and biosphere in that region.

        As the physical planet moves at hyperspeed into the past climates, evolution will be mostly left behind. Humans have stopped up much of evolution in the larger species anyway. Those that possess the ability to adapt, migrate and eat a wide variety of foods will survive with lower populations. The rest will be pushed to the edge of extinction. Some who are at the edge already will disappear quickly.
        Once the system settles down in a few thousand years evolution may again become a factor in the progress of species, until then the die is cast, we (all species) have what we have and if it is not enough….???

        • GoneFishing says:

          Oh yes, one more thing. The big difference between albedo changes and GHG’s is the albedo changes don’t get absorbed into the ocean and land or disappear due to atmospheric chemical reactions as happens with GHG’s. Once in place they tend to stay in place and keep their intensity.
          So enjoy the shrubs and forests as they approach and surround the Arctic Ocean. Show awe as the ice caps disintegrate and tumble into the oceans.

          Having spent lots of time around rivers and in/upon rivers, changes can happen quickly and brutally. I have seen a small waterfall (ten feet) and large sluice with pool beneath (over thirty feet deep) completely filled by stone and buried by one flood. No water flows there anymore, the river changed course. One can walk now over ten feet above where the water level used to be and never know there was a waterfall, ledge and pool there at one time. A great swimming hole and place of natural beauty gone in just a few hours, just a few years ago.
          Those kind of fast and brutal natural changes are happening and at a much larger scale now. I expect them to continue to happen and increase in scale/magnitude with time.

          • Doug Leighton says:


            “We are losing the battle,” Macron said at Tuesday’s “One Planet” summit. “We must all act because we will all be held to account.”

            Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler, reporting from Paris, said the US pullout has left “an enormous shortfall in the funding for the battle against climate change”.


            • GoneFishing says:

              Good luck and good speed to them. Maybe Trump and the Repugs did us all a favor. A bad example is often used to spur good works.

          • OFM says:

            GF knows what he’s talking about when the subject is climate. I believe he is dead on that changes in albedo are playing and are going to play a far larger role than we usually hear about. WAY WAY LARGER.

    • OFM says:

      About the collapse of ice sheets,

      As my neighbor’s little girl puts it, even a ninny com poop can understand it.

      All the ninny needs to do is watch one of the old cartoons they used to run on tv on Saturday mornings, wherein the snowball that starts fist sized grows as big as house as it chases the characters down a mountain side.

    • George Kaplan says:

      I read somewhere yesterday, and can’t find it now, that a warm, ice free Arctic is going to be pretty bad for wind power in Europe and North America because without the large temperature gradient from the equator as a driver average wind energy over land would drop by about 40%. Good if you’re a golfer though, I guess.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Even with the constraints of looking at only unforested rural areas as sites, wind power has the potential to provide 16 times the power demand in the US. So a 40 percent energy loss (23 percent drop in wind speed) would not be a big deal. Changes in blade design, larger (higher) turbines would take care of most wind losses.
        Wind speeds over about 3o mph add nothing to wind turbine energy output.

        • Cats@Home says:

          You can’t have wind power and a wild bird population. Actually you have mentioned the decrease in wild bird population you see around your area but you haven’t said anything about this major reason why.

          Windfarms kill 10-20 times more than previously thought


          Extrapolating that and similar (little publicized) German and Swedish studies, 39,000 U.S. wind turbines would not be killing “only” 440,000 birds (USFWS, 2009) or “just” 573,000 birds and 888,000 bats (Smallwood, 2013), but 13-39 million birds and bats every year!

          However, this carnage is being covered up by self-serving and/or politically motivated government agencies, wind industry lobbyists, environmental groups and ornithologists, under a pile of misleading studies paid for with more taxpayer money.

          Wildlife expert Jim Wiegand has documented how areas searched under wind turbines are still confined to 200-foot radiuses, even though modern monster turbines catapult 80% of bird and bat carcasses much further. Windfarm owners, operating under voluntary (!) USFWS guidelines, commission studies that search much-too-small areas, look only once every 30-90 days, ensuring that scavengers remove most carcasses, and ignore wounded birds that happen to be found within search perimeters.

          These research protocols are designed to guarantee extremely low mortality statistics, hiding the true death tolls – and the USFWS seems inclined to let the deception continue. In addition, bird mortality data are now considered to be the property of windfarm owners, which means the public no longer has a right to know.

          Nevertheless, news has leaked that eagles are being hacked to death all across America. This is hardly surprising, as raptors are attracted to wind turbines. They perch on them to rest or scan for prey. They come because turbines are often built in habitats that have abundant food (live or carrion) and good winds for gliding.

          • GoneFishing says:

            I do agree that the bird kill protocols should be examined and confirmed by outside agencies and protocols made more realistic.

            However, your jumping to conclusions about my region without evidence makes all of your claims suspicious. I have no wind farms anywhere in my region. You need to actually read my comments and understand the reasons I have stated. In fact I know of only one wind farm along the flyway and that is just 3 towers.
            There are a few wind farms inland but the eagle population is rising there and they have stronger bird populations and insect populations, due to less spraying and large forested regions without spraying.
            There are few bats left in my region due to fungus attack which is probably initiated by spraying of insecticides.
            The insect population drop is not due to wind turbines.

            As far as bird kills from human causes in the US, habitat destruction is the biggest cause. The graph below lists some of the causes but needs to be updated.

            So before we get rid of the wind turbines, we need to get rid of all windows, cats, high tension lines, communication towers, cars, and pesticides. Without the high tension lines, there would be little need for the wind turbines.

            You also need to understand the position that Audubon has taken toward wind turbines and why. The bigger hazard by far is climate change.

            Audubon’s research shows a particularly stark threat for North American birds: Our Birds and Climate Change Report confirmed that 314 species stand to lose more than 50 percent of their current ranges by 2080.

            Audubon and other leaders in the science and conservation space agree that that in order to help prevent species extinctions and other catastrophic effects of climate change, we must significantly reduce pollution from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. This will require rapidly expanding energy efficiency, renewable energy, and alternative fuels and making changes in land use, agriculture, and transportation.


          • Fred Magyar says:

            You can’t have wind power and a wild bird population. Actually you have mentioned the decrease in wild bird population you see around your area but you haven’t said anything about this major reason why.

            Windfarms kill 10-20 times more than previously thought

            Even if that last sentence were true the number of birds that are killed by habitat loss, deforestation, agricultural pesticides, plastics in the oceans, glass windows on sky scrappers, and domestic cats makes the total killed by wind farms pale in comparison!

            The claim that you can’t have wind power and a wild bird populations is absolute bullshit!

            Furthermore the link you provide is just blatant anti renewables propaganda without any reputable scientific studies to back up what you say.

            You are just another sad little troll!

  5. Doug Leighton says:


    “According to the team’s data, ice advanced from the Aurora Basin and retreated back again at least 11 times during the first 20 million years of the ice sheet’s history. Researchers also found that the young ice sheet was much wetter than it is today, with meltwater from the surface flowing into a network of channels beneath the ice. These channels were eroded into the rock below the ice, leaving distinctive formations known as “tunnel valleys.” This dynamic time for East Antarctic glaciers occurred when atmospheric temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels were similar to or higher than present day.”


    • GoneFishing says:

      Makes sense that ice is vulnerable to temperature changes versus the idea that Antarctica is stable.

  6. Survivalist says:

    A surprise to no one, but it has been quite dry across much of the contiguous United States so far this December…


  7. Longtimber says:

    Update on the US PV Trade war malice. Resistance is Futile You will be assimilated

  8. Longtimber says:
  9. Survivalist says:

    New attribution (statistical) study of extreme precipitation in Hurricane Harvey near the Houston area.


    And a bit more


  10. Eulenspiegel says:

    Due to strong deep preassure weather conditions, Germany is between 25 and 40% of all electric production with wind this month:
    November was a very good wind month, too.

  11. GoneFishing says:

    Since the subject of religion seems to keep coming up here and it’s near Christmas ( a very stressful time of the year for many), here is some religious comedy. Enjoy.


  12. GoneFishing says:

    One scenario that is not talked about often is the trading the oil problem for the solar problem and synthetic fuel problem.
    Let’s say that high temperature superconductors are invented and adapted to long distance power transmission. That drastically lengthens the distance power can be transmitted. The East coast could be using Arizona solar power for example. Or Europe could be powered fully by less than 1 percent of the Sahara desert. Mexico would have a great energy resource to export.
    But then Europe would have to protect those resources, more extended problems similar to oil.
    The place to make hydrogen or synthetic fuels is where the energy is, deserts or islands closer to the equator. Places with lots of sunny days all year round, then the fuel is shipped to the various users around the world. Again, the problem of having your energy supplied by distant places.

    Will economics and convenience just put us into a similar world with similar geo-political problems? They say history repeats itself or at least rhymes.
    At least the depletion problem would be solved.

    • OFM says:

      Hi GF,

      You may not be reading my comments, but I’m reading yours.

      Your four fifty nine pm is dead on , and furthermore, it illuminates a blind spot in my own thinking. Until now, I haven’t given very much thought to the physical transportation and military security problems that will STILL be problems if and when we manage the the transition to renewables.

      Now I’m looking at researching and composing another chapter in my book to be, since this issue is too important to be left out of a “big picture” book.

      Thank you, sir.

  13. Survivalist says:

    Preliminary JMA analysis indicates November 2017 as the 3rd warmest on record globally since 1891 (1st = 2015, 2nd = 2013)


  14. Survivalist says:

    November 2017 will be remembered not for total Arctic ice extent, which was the third lowest recorded over the period of satellite observations, but for the record low extent in the Chukchi Sea. This is a key area for Arctic Ocean access, and is an indicator of oceanographic influences on sea ice extent.

    Arctic sea ice extent for November 2017 averaged 9.46 million square kilometers (3.65 million square miles), the third lowest in the 1979 to 2017 satellite record. This was 1.24 million square kilometers (479,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 average and 830,000 square kilometers (321,000 square miles) above the record low November extent recorded in 2016. Extent at the end of the month was below average over the Atlantic side of the Arctic, primarily in the Barents and Kara Seas, slightly above average in western Hudson Bay, but far below average in the Chukchi Sea. This continues a pattern of below-average extent in this region that has persisted for the last year.


  15. OFM says:

    It’s great to see Eulenspiegel’s link showing that Germany is getting twenty five to forty percent of the country’s electricity fuel cost free, and pollution free as well!

    Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I’m now convinced that a successful transition to an economy based on renewable energy and recycling is technically possible, and that a renewable energy economy can support a dignified and comfortable living standard for those of us young enough to see it arrive… IF we manage necessary transition.

    Whether we succeed is ( in my opinion at least ) now a question of politics and economics, rather than technology. Sacrifices will certainly have to be made, but these sacrifices will be offset by equally impressive benefits.

    We’re going to have to use a LOT more mass transit, and live closer together than we would like, and give up oil fired personal automobiles and light trucks. We’re going to have to pay more for super efficient appliances, and super insulated houses, and spend some money that we spend these days on things such as new cars we don’t really need on things that not only don’t depreciate, but actually generate net income…. things such as personal solar power systems. We’re going to drive smaller cars. Two seater fore and aft cars with lawn mower sized engines there to extend the battery only range beyond a hundred miles or so if necessary are going to be very popular someday. Air travel is going to be very expensive. VERY expensive, barring miracles on the battery or fuel cell front. Trains however are likely to be running to almost every mid sized or larger city, and fast enough to get us just about anywhere we really want to go, or at least within an hour or two by car .

    The cost and inconvenience associated with these sacrifices will be more than amply offset by improved public health outcomes alone, never mind the savings on things such as armies and navies we need now in large part just to gaurantee access to imported fossil fuels.

    It’s my opinion that just about everybody who has actually put some serious study into the possibility of a successful transition will agree with what I have said so far, and that those who think a successful transition is impossible will agree that transition is nevertheless a do or die proposition.

    SO……. IF success depends on political and economic considerations, rather than on the technology, then it should be OBVIOUS that we must get our political ducks in a row and figure out how to win friends persuade them to support policies designed to speed up the growth of the renewable energy industries and slow down the consumption and destruction of nature’s one time only gifts of non renewable resources.

    I have often remarked here in the USA at least that elections are usually won in the middle.

    Even in places such as Alabama and San Francisco or NYC, elections are usually won by winning the votes of middle of the road or independent voters, given that we understand what is meant by a middle of the road or independent voter at the LOCAL level.

    A moderate or middle of the road SanFrancisco or NYC Democrat is pretty much a pinko commie in the eyes of a typical rural Alabama or West Virginia voter. A typical middle of the road Alabama Republican voter is pretty much a redneck caveman or worse in the eyes of a typical San Francisco voter.

    ( I’m painting very fast with a very broad brush of course, but I think anybody who WANTS to understand what I’m getting at will get it, lol. )

    The one major exception to this rule, the rule that elections are won in the middle, involves elections in which the electorate is seriously disturbed or angered for some reason, or perhaps enthused with enthusiasm for a new course of action. Jones winning his seat in the Alabama Senate race exemplifies a disturbed and angry electorate. The coming to together of the American people, who were mostly isolationists the day before Pearl Harbor exemplies emergent enthusiasm for a radical new course of action.

    Let’s take fast look at the Alamaba Senate election to help illustrate my argument.

    It’s great to see Eulenspiegel’s link showing that Germany is getting twenty five to forty percent of the country’s electricity fuel cost free, and pollution free as well!

    Now other that entertaining myself, being stuck inside the house these days, my primary goals in commenting include discovering he blind spots in my own thinnking,learning all I can about the technology and politics of renewable energy, and honing the technical and political arguments I am using in my book in progress.

    Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I’m now convinced that a successful transition to an economy based on renewable energy and recycling is technically possible, and that a renewable energy economy can support a dignified and comfortable living standard for those of us young enough to see it arrive… IF we manage necessary transition.

    Whether we succeed is ( in my opinion at least ) now a question of politics and economics, rather than technology. Sacrifices will certainly have to be made, but these sacrifices will be offset by equally impressive benefits.

    We’re going to have to use a LOT more mass transit, and live closer together than we would like, and give up oil fired personal automobiles and light trucks. We’re going to have to pay more for super efficient appliances, and super insulated houses, and spend some money that we spend these days on things such as new cars we don’t really need on things that not only don’t depreciate, but actually generate net income…. things such as personal solar power systems. We’re going to drive smaller cars. Two seater fore and aft cars with lawn mower sized engines there to extend the battery only range beyond a hundred miles or so if necessary are going to be very popular someday. Air travel is going to be very expensive. VERY expensive, barring miracles on the battery or fuel cell front. Trains however are likely to be running to almost every mid sized or larger city, and fast enough to get us just about anywhere we really want to go, or at least within an hour or two by car .

    The cost and inconvenience associated with these sacrifices will be more than amply offset by improved public health outcomes alone, never mind the savings on things such as armies and navies we need now in large part just to gaurantee access to imported fossil fuels.

    It’s my opinion that just about everybody who has actually put some serious study into the possibility of a successful transition will agree with what I have said so far, and that those who think a successful transition is impossible agree that the transition is nevertheless a do or die proposition. Depletion and the destruction of the environment literally guarantee we will either do it, or die.

    SO……. IF success depends on political and economic considerations, rather than on the technology, then it should be OBVIOUS that we must get our political ducks in a row and figure out how to win friends persuade them to support policies designed to speed up the growth of the renewable energy industries and slow down the consumption and destruction of nature’s one time only gifts of non renewable resources.

    I have often remarked here in the USA at least that elections are usually won in the middle.

    Even in places such as Alabama and San Francisco or NYC, elections are usually won by winning the votes of middle of the road or independent voters, given that we understand what is meant by a middle of the road or independent voter at the LOCAL level.

    A moderate or middle of the road SanFrancisco or NYC Democrat is pretty much a pinko commie in the eyes of a typical rural Alabama or West Virginia voter. A typical middle of the road Alabama Republican voter is pretty much a redneck caveman or worse in the eyes of a typical San Francisco voter.

    ( I’m painting very fast with a very broad brush of course, but I think anybody who WANTS to understand what I’m getting at will get it, lol. )

    The one major exception to this rule, the rule that elections are won in the middle, involves elections in which the electorate is seriously disturbed or angered for some reason, or perhaps enthused with enthusiasm for a new course of action. Jones winning his seat in the Alabama Senate race exemplifies a disturbed and angry electorate. The coming to together of the American people, who were mostly isolationists the day before Pearl Harbor exemplies emergent enthusiasm for a radical new course of action.

    Let’s take fast look at the Alamaba Senate election to help illustrate my argument.


    “Exit poll data on Tuesday showed a gigantic shift among people in the demographic and political center of the electorate, as well as enthusiasm among the Democratic base.

    In 2012, Obama was edged out among Alabam voters who considered themselves “moderate” ideologically, losing the group to GOP nominee Mitt Romney by 5 percentage points. On Tuesday, Jones won self-described moderates by 49 points.

    Obama lost voters who called themselves independent, rather than Republican or Democrat, by 52 points in 2012 in Alabama. Jones won them by 8 points.

    Obama lost voters who had attended college by 30 points. Jones won them by 5.”

    It’s obvious that the hard core D’s voted D, and that the hard core R’s voted R, and that Moore would have won by a landslide instead of losing by a hair, except for his scandal problem. But the voters were angered, dismayed, and or embarrassed, with the result that the D’s got a bigger than usual turnout, and that ENOUGH R voters ( It didn’t take very many at all, since it was a close race . ) either stayed home or voted D as a matter of conscience and principle to put Jones over the top. These R party “turncoats”, as few as they were, were the straw that broke Moore’s back.

    The real key to Jones’s victory, other than the impressive D turn out, is that he won the votes of self described indepentents by eight percent, whereas Obama lost to them by fifty two percent. These independent voters aren’t unhappy with Republican policies………….. but they were damned unhappy with Moore the R candidate. They were angry, embarrassed, or ashamed, or all three, by Moore the R candidate, and so they voted D…… something they were loathe indeed to do , and will probably never do again.

    Bottom line, the self identified middle of the road or independent voter is the key to winning elections in the USA.

    This comment is getting long, and I’m afraid it will get lost in the ether, so I’m cutting it off, and resuming with another one.

  16. Hightrekker says:

    In the grand scheme of the NFL, the unjustified unemployment of a mid-tier quarterback wouldn’t seem to be a terribly significant story. It’s not really a new one. Chris Kluwe was a solid punter for the Minnesota Vikings until his activism in favor of gay rights drew criticism from his coaches. When the Vikings let him go in 2013 he spoke out against his homophobic coaches; he hasn’t worked in the NFL since. Kerry Rhodes was an above-average NFL starting safety for eight seasons, but never even got a tryout with a NFL team after a man claiming to be his ex-boyfriend outed him on a gossip site. (For whatever it’s worth, Rhodes, who’s now a successful film actor, was married to Australian actress Nicky Whelan this spring.)

    But the confluence of a number of factors worked to turn Kaepernick and his protest into the target of an inquisition unlike any prior crusade in NFL history. The nature of Kaepernick’s grievances and the pointed symbolism of his protest; the broader spirit of unease in the country and the specific impunities of the NFL and its corporate culture; the strangeness of seeing a player in the most popular and theatrically authority-positive league take such a stance—any one of these things, by itself, would have been enough to attract notice, and probably enough to seal Kaepernick’s fate. But taken together, they created that strangest of NFL spectacles: a league-wide backlash against Kaepernick as a thought criminal. This was no small irony, of course, for a sport that had appointed itself the televisual guardian of the very idea of American independence. As is often the case with the NFL, the tangle of hypocrisies and contradictions and weird umbrage unravels cleanly when you remember that this is all mostly about power. For the NFL’s most powerful people, being seen to be in charge isn’t everything—it’s the only thing.

    And Bernie Sanders is a grumpy old man

    We have a bit of political sophistication to achieve——

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      We live in the age of Trump

      • Fred Magyar says:

        First a disclaimer: I am biased in favor of renewables such as solar as opposed to continuing tax breaks, support, subsidies and incentives for fossil fuels. I also think the current US administration is on the wrong side of history in this matter. While continuing use of fossil fuels may still be a necessary evil for some time to come, it is an evil nonetheless!


        2017 showed the global clean energy revolution is unstoppable no matter what Trump does. The solar, wind, battery, and electric car “miracles” have gone mainstream.

        It must always be repeated that the clean energy revolution can’t prevent catastrophic climate change without far more aggressive government policies to speed the transition off fossil fuels. And President Donald Trump can at least temporarily slow the revolution in the U.S. with his pro-polluter policies.
        Bold, mine.

        But the revolution is now unstoppable at a global level. That means the super-cheap solution to climate change is at hand — and in 2017, these individual technologies started to team up, joining their powers like the Marvel superheroes in the Avengers movies.

        Solar remains the most amazing story. Solar panel prices plunged by a shocking 26 percent in the last year — despite having already dropped 80 percent in price in the previous 10 years and 99 percent since the late 1970s.

        • DimaondJoe says:

          There has been no greater overall anti poverty welfare program in the history of the world other than the reliable and plentiful energy given to us by fossil fuels. Now let’s get to frackin for more!

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            Yea, cocaine is great the first couple of times too

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Let me guess, your retirement plan is to buy another lottery ticket.
            BTW, I thought you trolls were against welfare for the poor…
            And as far as reliability, would you care to wager against the sun coming up tomorrow morning.

          • Survivalist says:

            Lol what a shill. Shale is a Ponzi scheme. I’m interested to see how many investors lose their shirts over this bullshittery.

  17. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Our Enemies In Blue: Police And Power In America

    Everybody thinks they know. But to assume that the police exist to enforce the law or fight crime is akin to beginning an analysis of military policy with the premise that armies exist to repel invasions. The ends an institution pursues are not always the same as those it claims to pursue…

    Modest demands can be the seeds of major upheaval. The demands for human rights, for community control, for an end to harassment and brutality– the basic requirements of justice– ultimately pit us against the ideology, structure, interests, and ambitions of the police. The modern police institution is at its base racist, elitist, undemocratic, authoritarian, and violent.
    These are the institution’s major features, and it did not acquire them by mistake.

    The order that the police preserve is the order of the state, the order of capitalism, the order of White supremacy. These are the forces that require police protection.
    These are the forces that created the police, that support them, sustain them, and guide them. These are the ends the police serve. They are among the most powerful influences in American society, and some of the most deeply rooted.
    In this sense, our society cannot exist without police. But this needn’t be the end of the story. A different society is possible.”

    ‘Who watches the watchmen’?


    • OFM says:

      “Who watches the watchmen?”

      The people themselves must police the police. There’s no other way, no other option.

      One extraordinarily powerful conservative argument to the effect that government should be kept small is that the bigger the government gets, and the more powerful and all pervasive it gets to be, the more people become directly dependent upon it, and thus less likely to oppose it, in any respect, because one of the first rules in working in government, and in the corporate world, is that you go along in order to get along.

      Beyond that, the government, having gotten to be so incredibly big and powerful, is doing so many things in so many different areas that it’s virtually impossible for even an academic paid to study what the government is doing to know doo doo from apple butter about the overall activities of the government.

      Bureaucrats operate like ratchet wrenches set to clockwise , they only tighten up, as a rule, excepting in cases where the regulatory agency is captured by its intended target businesses. In THAT CASE, the old rules are relaxed and new are written IN FAVOR of the captors, and constantly revised to protect the captors. Tightening up is still the rule, in the last analysis, but with the tightening being in favor of the captor business or industry being allowed to do as it pleases.

      The surest way there is to bore the hell out of a typical person is to try to get him to listen for five minutes about something to do with goverment in which he has no immediate interest, such as for instance the regulation of the trucking industry….. even though almost everything he owns or eats is shipped by truck. Hence most people are only vaguely aware, if aware at all, of most of the things our goverment does on a daily basis.

      Armed robberies and home invasions are virtually unheard of, in relation to the size of the population, in my part of the country. We have plenty of burglars and other thieves, and an ample supply of men who molest women, etc, but those of us who are inclined to committing premeditated violent crimes don’t carry thru very often for fear of getting shot for their trouble.

      The police don’t HAVE ANY OBLIGATION to protect you, as a matter of well settled law.

      It could be that we don’t have more than an extremely minor percentage of rogues on police payrolls in this area because the people themselves are prone to taking care of such problems…. by going rogue themselves.

      If Bernie (?) Madoff had stolen my parents old age money, and left them destitute, I would have hunted him down myself, the consequences be damned.

      SOME people don’t believe in the deterrent effect of capital punishment. I don’t think it’s a very effective deterrent myself, as it’s practiced by the criminal justice system, because capital crimes are usually committed in the heat of the moment or by stupid people who don’t think they will be caught or by professionals who are reasonably sure they won’t be caught and willing to accept the risks considering the rewards.

      Capital punishment as meted out, or threatened, by credible individual men, is a VERY effective deterrent. I ‘ve looked a man fixing to do something stupid in the eye, and told him , in no uncertain terms, that if he carried thru, another man ( named but not me, personally) would surely kill him.. and he believed me, because he knew I was telling him the honest to Jesus truth.

      No doubt all this sounds melodramatic to the audience here, but on the other hand, so far as I can see, I’m the only member of this forum who is actually a MEMBER, born and bred, in and of a society where violence is ( or used to be but not so much these days) considered perfectly normal and ordinary everyday behavior, given sufficient provocation. Some other members have lived and worked in violent societies for a while, but that’s not ALL the same thing as being a true MEMBER of such a society. That’s like a man saying he knows what it’s like to have a baby. He may know a lot about it, but he’ll NEVER live the experience.

      My family history lists about as many violent criminals as it does preachers, plenty of both. Most of the men , and women as well, who committed violence over the years did so on only rare occasions, being peaceful and productive citizens the remainder of the time. They found it necessary to resort to violence only at long intervals BECAUSE they established their reputations as people not to be bullied and robbed or defrauded and so were generally left alone for years or decades, often for the remainder of their life. Cops were very few and very far between in those days of course, and such witnesses as were to be found were almost dead sure to be highly partisan, so the police mostly looked the other way, unless they got lucky and came up with indisputable airtight evidence to convict.

      Professional criminals have been a rarity.

      There are only two today as closely related as second cousins or closer, with one of them in jail for another fifteen years, thank Sky Daddy. He’s a psychopath, a man born without the capacity to feel guilt. The other one is a solid family man, except he finds the easy money to be had dealing drugs too big a temptation and he’s very likely to be jailed soon.

      On second thought, maybe I ought to include a couple of lawyers in the family among the crooks. They’re legally clean, but in my estimation they’re morally bankrupt, and guilty of defacto robbery when they charge some poor working jerk a months take home pay for a couple of hours of THEIR time.

      Sometimes the people themselves have to act together to do away with the police, who become soldiers of the state, rather than the protectors of the people. It’s best that the people always be armed to a substantial extent in case this becomes necessary.

      I have a lot of respect for our local police, and for the Va and NC state police, and get along fine with them…… but if I lived in Chicago, I would make it a habit of avoiding the police to the extent possible.

      This is not to deny that some essential jobs can only be managed by big government, among them national security, a national post office system, protection of the environment, and enforcement of federally guaranteed rights such as the right to vote, or assembly peaceably for political or other purposes, etc.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        I think the problem people have with the police is one of accountability, or lack of accountability. When a trained officer shoots somebody in the back, somebody who has his/her hands in the air that officer should be held accountable. Awhile back we had a situation where a man, lost and confused in a large airport with no English, was tasered to death (while handcuffed), by four burly RCMP officers with almost no consequences to the officers involved.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Obviously the handcuffs were necessary. One wonders if a couple of taser jolts were needed as well.



          • GoneFishing says:

            One day notice of eviction, what kind of a place is Florida? So these people are there on a day by day basis with no recourse and the police jump to the situation?
            She would have done better to go somewhere else then get a lawyer and sue the place.

        • Survivalist says:

          “Awhile back we had a situation where a man, lost and confused in a large airport with no English, was tasered to death (while handcuffed), by four burly RCMP officers with almost no consequences to the officers involved.”

          I watched that video. I suspect the victim you are referring to was suffering from Delirium tremens. It’s worth noting that the pigs in that particular case also lied under oath when the murder was being investigated. If the video hadn’t surfaced then the cops would have been believed. Another pig involved in that event killed a civilian in a hit and run while impaired. Most cops are total pieces fucking of shit.


      • Survivalist says:

        “The people themselves must police the police”

        The People™ are too busy bowing down at the alter of troop and police worship to offer any criticism of the police or insist that they be held accountable. Sacralizing troops and cops is a social disease.

        “At some point in our recent history – and I would argue it was after 9/11 – we, as Americans, decided that we weren’t going to have a thoughtful conversation about the proper role of law enforcement in our society. Instead, we decided that we were going to label all police officers “heroes” and ask questions later. Never mind the fact that it’s actually more dangerous to be logger or a fisherman than it is to be cop. If someone wore a badge, we made them into gods in uniform.”


        “Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible.”


        • Cats@Home says:



          WASHINGTON, December 14, 2017—The Federal Communications Commission today added a new alert option—called a “Blue Alert”—to the nation’s emergency alerting systems. Blue Alerts can be used by state and local authorities to notify the public of threats to law enforcement and to help apprehend dangerous suspects.

          Blue Alerts warn the public when there is actionable information related to a law enforcement officer who is missing, seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, or when there is an imminent credible threat to an officer. A Blue Alert could quickly warn you if a violent suspect may be in your community, along with providing instructions on what to do if you spot the suspect and how to stay safe.

          In an Order adopted today, the FCC created a dedicated Blue Alert event code in the Emergency Alert System so that state and local agencies have the option to send these warnings to the public through broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline video providers. Officials may also send Blue Alerts through the Wireless Emergency Alert system to consumers’ wireless phones.

          Today’s action supports the development of compatible and integrated Blue Alert plans throughout the United States, a goal consistent with the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015. The Act, which is implemented by the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), directs cooperation with the FCC.

          Today’s Order provides a 12-month implementation period for Blue Alerts to be delivered over the Emergency Alert System and 18 months for delivery over the Wireless Emergency Alert system.

    • Survivalist says:

      Michigan Police Won’t Explain Why They Arrested an 11-Year-Old Girl at Gunpoint


      Probably because they were scared. Fucking cowards. I’m quite certain most cops are human garbage.

      • Paulo says:

        As I read this I imagined the event where you actually call the Police for help. And, I’ll bet you do it, too.

        While I concur about the danger of the job or lact thereof, the biggest problem of being in police forces anywhere is having to constantly deal with the lowest elements of society. It breeds cynicism. Try teaching public school for awhile and that’s nothing compared to being a cop.

        I remember some time ago I mistakenly let the insurance lapse on my truck. I seldom used the truck so I just loet it slip. Anyway, one day I drove it to work in order to pick up some fencing on the way home. Of course I was stopped for an unsecured load as the tailgate was off and I just had the roll of wire wedged lengthwise with a 2X4. It was fine, but I was also speeding like hell….just wanting to get home. I wasn’t ‘clocked’ as the RCMP was just heading home too, but it was fast enough for him to turn around and do the stop.

        To make a long story short, after the RCMP proved to me my insurance had indeed lapsed, (I argued because i could simply not believe it), I just said, “True enough, my insurance has lapsed so do what you have to do…..I am always on my kid’s back to take responsibility and I should expect no less from myself. Have at it”. And I remember laughing as I choked it out.

        Anyway, instead of hitting me with a $575 fine for no insurance, he gave me a $95 fine for not being able to produce a license. His words, “I have to charge you with something because when I pulled you over and did the search you are ‘in the system, it is in the system’. No license is the cheapest charge I can come up with so it’ll have to do.”

        Then, he offered to drive me to the insurance outlet about 10 miles away.

        Just sayin.

        • Hightrekker says:

          You are in BC Canada.
          Sorry– it is a anomaly if compared to US.
          (I love the place, and it has the best steelhead left)

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          “As I read this I imagined the event where you actually call the Police for help. And, I’ll bet you do it, too.” ~ Paulo

          That’s a bit of a ‘flatland’ comment. Just sayin’.
          It’s along the lines of the kind of shallow treatment I used to see on MSM television way back when. Seeing as I haven’t watched tv in a long while, I wonder if it still exists. What with the issue of ‘fake news’, perhaps it does.

          When you have a society create specializations like ‘police officer’, it can ‘displace’ what a community would otherwise do for itself.

          So for example, with respect to Ron’s Pinker quote elsewhere in these threads, if police suddenly go on strike, there is the possibility– maybe especially if it is an obvious announcement– that, like a wave caused by that ‘collapsing displacement’, it can take awhile to permeate through the system before the system can regain equilibrium and smooth out.

          “Anyway, instead of hitting me with a $575 fine for no insurance, he gave me a $95 fine for not being able to produce a license.” ~ Paulo

          Are you a member of some ethnic minority and one that is obvious to the police? If not, I wonder if you had been in the context of your anecdote…

          “…the biggest problem of being in police forces anywhere is having to constantly deal with the lowest elements of society.” ~ Paulo

          “…when the police enforce the law, they do so unevenly, in ways that give disproportionate attention to the activities of poor people, people of color, and others near the bottom of the social pyramid. And when the police violate the law, these same people are their most frequent victims…” ~ Kristian Williams, ‘Our Enemies In Blue’

          “…These ‘rich’ claim they own land, and the ‘poor’ are often denied the right to make that same claim. A primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of pieces of green paper… Those in power rule by force, and the sooner we break ourselves of illusions to the contrary, the sooner we can at least begin to make reasonable decisions about whether, when, and how we are going to resist.” ~ Derrick Jensen

          • Paulo says:

            Sorry Caelan, I can’t agree. This might be true for your home but it doesn’t apply everywhere.

            I am not a police fan by any means, but I have absolutely no illusions about what life is like without them. If they are adequately paid, have vetting in hiring and ongoing evaluation of their work, then we are lucky to have them. If they have none of those things, they will most likely succomb to criminal activity in order to simply survive.

            I worked in a town in northern Manitoba that had no RCMP living there. This was in the days of cb radios. Local tough guys would pull over and block the streets while drinking beer in broad daylight. Women were afraid to go downtown and shop. When the RCMP was dispatched from 20 miles away a warning would go out over the radio and the jerks would disperse. If a local lodged a complaint, they would get the shit kicked out of them, or their kids would if it was a woman who complained. I suppose CCTV and cell phone videos of today might stop this, but that was what it was like then, (1978).

            Where I live now there are 3 cops stationed here so one is always on duty and another can be called in as required. Without this coverage, it would be pretty bad around here for drunk driving and violence. They are very nice folks, and seem to practice community policing. They get along, for sure.

            I have just found in my life that most people seem to do their best if given an opportunity to do so. I firmly believe that most people want to do a good job, and I have always treated people with that in mind.


            • Paulo, what happened in that little town was the beginnings of what would happen if the RCMP never showed up. The thugs would vie for power and eventually each group would be taken over by the most powerful thug in that group. They would become what is usually called “Warlords”. Warlords always take over when a state fails. Witness Somalia. Witness the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When a state fails, when police protection fails, Warlords always take over.

              It’s just human nature.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Only you’re not doing a good job if your job is predicated on systemic theft for your salary. You might want to get your RCMP ass over to have a word with your boss, the so-called government.

              Dennis mentioned in a previous thread under a previous article something about the free rider problem… What he may not realize, or forgot, however, is that some people’s lifestyles, such as in the USA for example, can be predicated on a larger than per capita proportion of global energy and materials consumption and on large-scale crimes (like ‘of humanity’ for those materials and energies) that transcend continents…

              in the name of ‘democracy’ or hidden ‘weapons of mass destruction’ or whatever rationalization/deception/dupe…

              So, while Dennis may not feel like he’s free-riding or warring as an individual, he may still be doing so, systemically.

              I have answered the generic ‘warlord objection’ to anarchy elsewhere

              “I have answered the generic ‘warlord objection’ to anarchy elsewhere. Regarding Somalia in particular, Ben Powell et al. have done fantastic work analyzing Somalia before and after its transition to statelessness, and also comparing its fate with similar African nations. Their conclusion is that — of course — stateless Somalia is no paradise, but its lack of a corrupt, brutal government has given it an advantage over its former self and its current peers.

              Somalia has achieved remarkable progress since the collapse of the brutal dictatorship of Siad Barre in 1991. If people in the more developed countries of the world wish to help the impoverished region, we can certainly send money and even visit to offer medical services and other assistance. But if the West foists the ‘gift’ of another state on the beleaguered Somalis, their appropriate response should be, ‘No, you shouldn’t have.’.”

              Three Felonies A Day

              “The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey A. Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English commonlaw tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior.”

              Every Day Is Exactly The Same

              “I think I used to have a voice
              Now I never make a sound
              I just do what I’ve been told
              I really don’t want them to come around, oh no…”

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Caelan,

                I believe you live in Canada and are on the same free ride.

                I would prefer greater equity. Can you suggest how this is accomplished? I would require that there be no coercion for it to be acceptable.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Insofar as the State can displace/mask/whitewash free-ridership, so too does your ‘red herring’ WRT ‘masking’ your ostensible agreement to that.

                  Nevertheless, to indulge us with your red herring (pass the tartar sauce), I would take a stab that you would likely find it relatively miserable to reduce your free-ridership levels to mine, our locations notwithstanding.

                  Incidentally, presumably you don’t allow your propensity for logical fallacies where some of your responses to some of my comments are concerned to leak into your new book, or that its subject matter (fiction/non-fiction?) can tolerate it?

                  As for the problem of how anarchy, equity and whatnot can be accomplished, there can often be many solutions to a problem, with the caveat being that one has to recognize first and foremost that there is a problem, like State-enabled free-ridership for example, and then that it needs to be addressed/remedied.
                  That said, I’m unsure you are at that point, given your cavalier/rhetorical tone and/or fallacy-laden and/or repetitive comments in that regard.
                  If you genuinely beg to differ, feel free let us know.

  18. Survivalist says:

    Israeli-Iranian proxy war
    Israeli security machinery is manpower limited. There are only so many people that they can throw at a problem before they deem the problem overwhelming. That is my understanding as to why they have to be so aggressive with their options. They simply can’t afford to have any problems that exceed their human resource limitations. By and large today, IMHO, the average Israeli suffers from severe war/threat fatigue. With a wide spectrum of threats and with a lot of high tech solutions, it is still a struggle to keep up with the threat load. Too many threats and too few people to assess/understand and classify them with appropriate priority levels. Hence the streak of initiative/aggressive behavior. Making nice with the neighbors does reduce the load somewhat, hence Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz wants Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to visit Israel and would like King Salman to officially invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Riyadh (The Daily Star reported Dec. 13). Saudi Arabia and Israel have no diplomatic ties and the Crown Prince’s visit would be the first of its kind for Saudi Arabia. They will likely plan to share intelligence and resources to counter growing Iranian influence.

  19. notanoilman says:

    Banamex payment network has gone Tango Uniform, just in time for the quinzena before Christmas when everyone wants their money and no-one can get any. What fun 🙁

    Correosdemexico, the national postal, service is out as well. Little information in the news about network issues in Mexico, wonder what’s up.


  20. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Pinker & Patterson’s Policed Park

    Police are just one specialization of the subjugation of a particular facet of nature, namely, the great unwashed masses (of humans).

    There are of course many other forms of the subjugation of nature which many people are well aware of as they lament them and their effects, such as seeing the planet increasingly heading off the cliff and into one giant suburban park…

    But the subjugation of human nature via assorted forms of policing and control is apparently ok for some people, as long as it discludes other forms of the subjugation of nature…

    So get rid of the Monstantos of the world and stuff like that, say, but keep the State thugs, otherwise the human weeds will rear their ugly heads in the wrong places and times and flourish and contaminate the State and bring down the elite monocrops and well-manicured parkways of civilization, and then ‘chaos and anarchy’, as their media voicepieces warn, will rein supreme.

    It all sounds so neat, tidy and believable, until you realize that, in order to have a properly functioning and viable human society and planet, we absolutely need a relatively-wild and free people, and planet, not a zoo, circus or park.

    • Caelan, you are hilarious. The world is the way it is, not the way you think it should be. You sound like a Baptist Preacher saying, “If we would just go back to the Bible….” No, the world will not go back to the Bible and the world will not adopt your ideology either.

      The world is the way it is. Learn to live with it.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Glad to hear you had a good laugh… That was part of my point that it is the way it is, like with cops and parks (which we will not live with for long)…
        So no need for us to lament too hard about the planet, then, ay? We can dispense with the teary POB text and facial tissues. Fuck it, the species, AGW, etc., it’s all good, just graph/quantify the drawdowns and demises in sublime details… In 100 million years, maybe sooner, none of this will matter and Eden may once again reappear. Woohoo, can’t wait.

        • Survivalist says:

          In many areas of the world they lack fuel for police cars, rural Pakistan for example. This likely results in what Tyler Cowan called “government by ox cart”. It won’t be long until much more of the world faces the same condition. I’m quite interested to see how it plays out. Personally I think it’ll be nice to have some frontier territory again where one can go and experience minimum State supervision. Those that feel they need State supervision can stick around in the cities where they can worship cops and bask in their glow. I spent a little bit of time in ‘Liberated Burma’ shortly after the fall of Manerplaw. Saw quite a few KNU/KNLA troops around (mostly kids), but no cops. It was a bit of a shit-show but the lack of law enforcement personnel didn’t seem to create any problems that I could detect. Other than the violence associated with the civil war I’d say most folks in the villages I went to got a long pretty good. It’s worth noting that there wasn’t much inequality. As well I spent a bit of time in the Balkans in the early/mid 90’s. All the rapes that I was ever made aware of were committed by men in uniform or were militia/irregular type soldiers.

          Also interesting to note that in the movie Blackhawk Down they changed the name of the Army Ranger rapist. Not supposed to exist I guess.


  21. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    The Energy Transition: Too Little, Too Late

    “In short, a transition that could maintain the ‘BAU’ (business as usual) is technically feasible and physically possible if we were willing to increase of a factor of 5 (at the very least) our investments in it. Unfortunately, the trend is going in the opposite direction. The global investments in renewable energy seem to have levelled off and In 2016 were approximately at the same level as they were in 2010. Too little, too late.

    Can we hope for some miracle that would increase the efficiency of clean energy technologies by a factor of 5 in a short time? Unlikely, to say the least…

    So, basically, we are not making it. We are consciously choosing to go down the Seneca Cliff…”

    “I am not yet in the business of doing anything with solar PV… How about viewing this as something I see as as worthwhile pursuit for the future of mankind, given my skill set and thus my advocating it as a worthwhile area for me to pursue a vocation in?” ~ Islandboy

    No prob.

    • OFM says:

      If I were young enough to go into business in a new line of work, my top three choices would include working in the solar power industry….

      It’s hard to imagine a field with better prospects for the next couple of decades at least, especially in a tropical island nation with sunny weather that has to import virtually every dime’s worth of fuel used to generate electricity and run cars and trucks.

      The market’s going to include just about every last household, from people so poor they can only afford one little panel and battery to run just one light to well off people who will own two or more electric cars, so one will be charged up all the time….. in the event both gasoline and grid sourced electricity are rationed or taxed at prohibitively high rates.

      • islandboy says:

        Right on target as usual! My most recent mission is to acquire one the vehicles pictured below and step up my grid tied solar system to as close to 5 kW as possible without having to change my breaker panel (4.8 kW). I had been discussing the possibility with a local importer of used cars from the Japanese Domestic Market when they imported a Nissan Leaf earlier this year and two weeks ago he told me that he has bought one of the vans pictured. I intend to put graphics on it, highlighting the fact that it is a pure electric, zero emissions vehicle that will never have to stop at a gas station.

        As I see it, the best way to get people to start thinking about alternative ways of doing things is to show them by example. If I can arrange the finances to buy this vehicle and emblazon it with zero emission graphics, it should provoke a lot of thought, especially among my fellow islanders with far more money to spare than I have, you know, the ones driving around in shiny new European luxury sedans and SUVs! This will be my way of “sticking it to the man”, moving around and having electricity in my house without forking out huge amounts of cash to the usual suspects! By the way, my carbon footprint should go way down as a result. Works for me despite Caelan’s protestations. I’m doing what I can and showing those who are averse to the kind of lifestyle Caelan proposes that, you don’t have to live like a caveman to reduce your carbon emissions.

        I’ll leave it to someone with more disposable income to show the wealthier folks in my neck of the woods that low carbon can mean doing zero to sixty faster than any of their gas guzzlers can and be just a comfortable, as in showing them a Tesla.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          All looks more-or-less like BAU to me: more people with more cars with more (asphalt covered) roads, with more steel/cement bridges, needing more (asphalt) parking lots, etc. AND all feeling purified because they fill their fancy new autos with FF generated electricity. 🙂

          • Doug Leighton says:

            At least my Niece, a petroleum engineer, who kindly drove me in her Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV through the 24-km-long Lærdal road tunnel north of Bergen recently, sees the irony of EVs vs new infrastructure: as do most Norwegians.

          • GoneFishing says:

            See, that’s why we have to move to VTOL aircraft, get rid of most of the roads, bridges, asphalt infrastructure. Just need small flat areas to land and take off from. Forget roads, they are so twentieth century.

    • Ulenspiegel says:

      OMG, to use investments as argument is stupid when the products get cheaper at a high rate.

      Do we see a stagnation of installed power? Get relevant numbers, then come back.

  22. Heinrich Leopold says:

    Island boy,
    Thanks for your informative article. The question I am most interested is:Will natgas be a swing producer for renewables? Because this determines the future of natgas very much. From your chart I can see that natgas is a swing producer for hydroelectric generation as a dry and hot summer not only increases demand, yet also decreases supply from hydro resources. However, will this be also the case for wind and solar? Wind and solar neutralize themselves as solar produces the most in the summer and wind blows more likely in the winter. However, what about daily fluctuations? Something has to cover the solar shortfalls over night. Did you make any research about this and what is your opinion?

    • OFM says:

      Hi Islandboy,

      I too want to thank you too for all the great work you have done here, which is of great value to me, considering how long it would have take me to look up all the statistics and create the great charts and graphs. I ought to be PAYING you for all the stuff you have posted here in the public domain that I’m including in my book.

      Given that you obviously possess greater skills as a researcher than I do, perhaps you might be interested in researching just how fast solar and wind power are displacing the use of coal, natural gas and oil, not only in your country but in some other countries as well, especially in the USA ,lol.

      I have a couple of courses in basic economics , and understand the concept and realities of elasticity of supply and demand, especially in relation to agricultural markets, but I’m not having any luck finding good statistics about the effect that the growth of the wind and solar power industries are having on the prices of fossil fuels.

      It’s obvious enough that most or maybe nearly all the power produced here in the USA off sets the use of coal and gas as generating fuel, since I don’t hear about nukes being throttled back when the wind is howling and the sun is bright, and we Yankees burn only a trivial amount of oil to generate electricity.

      Theory tells us that when we buy less of a commodity, the price of it goes down, and given we’re getting eight percent of our juice from wind and sun now, that means utilities are buying substantially less coal and gas.

      So not only do the utilities, and in the end their customers, with costs being passed along, save money directly on the purchase of coal and gas, it stands to reason that there is an ADDITIONAL savings involved, because when the market for a commodity shrinks, the price of it goes down.

      Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any work done on this aspect of the renewable energy industry that actually tells me anything. All I have found is puff pieces that might as well have been written by the sales divisions of the various companies that manufacture wind and solar infrastructure. Hard figures, or at least professionally generated estimates are bound to be out there, but it’s going to take a better researcher than yours truly to find them.

      But something tells me that when I do, they’ll prove that what we are collectively spending on subsidizing the wind and solar industries is already earning us a positive cash return by way of lowering the prices we for ALL the coal and gas we collectively use in ALL industries and to heat our homes, etc.

      If you ever happen to be in northwest NC or southwest Virgina, you are hereby cordially invited to drop in for an hour or a week and enjoy a heaping helping of hillbilly hospitality for the trivial price of some talk about your country and your vision of the future. . I’ll put you up in the house with us, or in a large camper (caravan to Europeans ) in the woods where it’s dead quiet and totally private with a scenic view, with all the usual amenities such as heat and air conditioning, refrigerator, bathroom, etc. The nearest neighbor is a quarter of a mile away mile thru the woods.

      • islandboy says:

        Given that you obviously possess greater skills as a researcher than I do, perhaps you might be interested in researching just how fast solar and wind power are displacing the use of coal, natural gas and oil, not only in your country but in some other countries as well, especially in the USA ,lol.

        Actually, if you haven’t guessed it already, the whole point of going over the EPM every month is to determine exactly that! The EPM gives the monthly data and in another two and a half months we will have the data for December 2017, capping the year. It will be interesting to see just “how far the needle moved” in 2017! I am intrigued by the thought of renewables and EVs actually making a measurable impact on the demand for FF myself. I guess the analysis will emerge with time. I am definitely not up to it!

        Thanks for the invite but, I hardly think I’ll be venturing that way. In March of 09 I was in the Raleigh/Durham/Greensboro area for a few days and then drove down to Miami via I85 to Atlanta and I75/Florida’s Turnpike. How far are you from Greensboro?

        • OFM says:

          Hi Islandboy,

          Close enough to join you for dinner and drinks, my treat, if you happen to be in Greensboro again !.

          Give or take ninety minutes by car, depending on which side of town you’re on.

    • islandboy says:

      Heinrich, I’m having difficulty seeing what you are seeing in terms of ” I can see that natgas is a swing producer for hydroelectric generation as a dry and hot summer not only increases demand, yet also decreases supply from hydro resources”. To be honest in an effort to provide as much information as I can the charts have ended up a bit “noisy”. Having read your post though I did notice something else. The line for All Renewables (green) and the line for Natural Gas (light blue) in the top graph are very roughly mirror images of each other, suggesting that Natural Gas is indeed the swing producer for All Renewables.

      As for short term fluctuations, I believe that one of the reasons natural gas plants are favored over coal plants these days is the combination of lower capital cost, shorter lead times for permitting and construction and much greater operational flexibility. This makes natural gas plants a good complement for renewables, specifically wind and solar. They can be fired up at relatively short notice and a pure natural gas peaker can go from off to pretty much full power in less than fifteen minutes. A combined cycle GT (CCGT) can take up to an hour and a half to reach maximum output because of restrictions added by the steam portion of the plant but, newer plants can have their combustion turbines (usually two, combined with a single steam turbine) running at over forty percent of maximum power in less than fifteen minutes. For more background see:

      A user’s guide to natural gas power plants
      Which natural gas power plant is best for tomorrow’s grid?

      Fast Start Combined Cycles: How Fast is Fast?

      I think my opinion is far less useful than the stuff expressed in the above articles! 😉

  23. Hightrekker says:

    Tesla largely responsible for slide in U.S. home solar sales

    (Overall, the residential solar market is expected to fall 13 percent this year, according to GTM’s quarterly solar market report, released on Thursday. That compares with a 19 percent rise last year and four straight years before that of increases above 50 percent.)


    • OFM says:

      Tesla is apparently making more money, or at least losing less by allowing the solar installation sales volume to drop off..The link says margins are up.

      If memory serves, things turned sour in at least one or two states for political reasons, states where Tesla was really moving a lot of product.

      Maybe the work load and financial landscape are finally taking a toll on Tesla’s resources to the extent that some portions of the company are going to be operated more along the usual rules than following the super growth now betting on profits later model.

      I’m wondering if an insider will spill the beans about why the Model Three ramp up is going so slowly.

      All I’ve seen is claims that some parts suppliers aren’t getting it done, plus speculation that the battery factory is behind schedule as well, and unable to supply the necessary batteries for now, meaning that there’s no point in trying to ramp up the Model Three assembly line until that problem is solved.

      Any links about Tesla are always appreciated.

  24. Hightrekker says:

    Video shows one of Trump’s judicial nominees struggling to answer basic legal questions during a Senate committee hearing

    “Have you ever tried a jury trial,” Kennedy asked Petersen. “I have not,” Petersen replied.
    Kennedy: “Civil?”
    Petersen: “No.”
    Kennedy: “Criminal?”
    Petersen: “No.”
    Kennedy: “Bench?”
    Petersen: “No.”
    Kennedy: “State or federal court?”
    Petersen: “I have not.”
    Kennedy: “Have you ever taken a deposition?”
    Petersen replied that he was “involved in taking depositions” as an associate attorney fresh out of law school.

    • notanoilman says:

      Worked for a GOP campaign, doesn’t know the law – perfik candidate.


  25. Hightrekker says:

    Concentrations of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere surged to a record high in 2016, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

    “The 3ppm CO2 growth rate in 2015 and 2016 is extreme – double the growth rate in the 1990-2000 decade,” Prof Euan Nisbet from Royal Holloway University of London, UK, told BBC News.


    “It is the largest increase we have ever seen in the 30 years we have had this network,” Dr Oksana Tarasova, chief of WMO’s global atmosphere watch programme, told BBC News.
    “The largest increase was in the previous El Niño, in 1997-1998, and it was 2.7ppm; and now it is 3.3ppm. It is also 50% higher than the average of the last 10 years.”

    • GoneFishing says:

      Less than ten years to a doubling of manmade GHG’s. Doesn’t that just give you a warm feeling.

  26. OFM says:

    Back to politics.

    Earlier I argued that elections are won in the middle, most of the time, with the votes of self described independent or middle of the road voters determining the outcome, given the understanding that in local and state races, middle of the road and independent mean very different things in different places. Alabama’s moderate Republican is a cave man in NYC, and a moderate Democrat, in NYC terms, is a pinko commie in Alabama.

    Now consider the perfectly obvious but generally overlooked ( except when making fun of them ) fact that most people in this country are functionally illiterate, in respect to the hard sciences, or so close to illiteracy that the difference doesn’t matter. Most people don’t give a damn about peak oil, and most people don’t really give a damn about the environment, as evidenced by the fact that on average they spend very little time reading science articles, or watching science shows etc. Consider net neutrality. Not one person out of a hundred has even bothered to send an email, although just about every body except babies and geriatrics uses the net these days and has at least heard about this issue. The vast majority of people who profess to believe in the superiority of organic foods and can afford them by perhaps making some minor sacrifices in other areas don’t actually buy them. I’ve met a lot of people who are extremely health conscious but only a couple who have moved away from big polluted cities primarily to avoid air pollution. Some members of this forum have a lot to say about firearms and violence but I really doubt more than maybe one of them has ever actually participated directly in a gun control political event.

    Bottom line, it’s reasonable to argue that we are basically apathetic and disengaged from the world we live in, except as it relates directly to our work, our homes, our our personal passions. We may profess to be liberal Democrats and say we believe in everybody having a decent and dignified standard of living, but if we happen to be a liberal Democrat who’s a lawyer, CPA, doctor, dentist,, auto shop owner, or computer technician, etc, we don’t waste more than a minute or two a year thinking about the fact that we charge enough for an hour of our time that paying us means a poor person does without what we consider necessities for weeks and months, or simply does without our services, period. I’m not interested in hearing about the two or three days a year such a person does charity work, that’s just enough to prove my point.

    I’ll just go the shorthand route and say conservative Republicans tend to make greedy money grubbing liberal Democrats look like Sunday school teachers when it comes to running roughshot over anybody and everybody they can, up to and including their own personal friends.BIZNESS IS BISNESS, in their estimation.

    But the fact that we are apathetic and disengaged, and spend ten or twenty or fifty times as much time watching sports as we typically spend on advocacy work of any sort, unless we get a salary for doing so, doesn’t mean we are apathetic if our it comes to our attention that our own personal welfare is apt to be threatened or enhanced by some given factor that we may be able to control or manipulate to some extent.

    So…. There are plenty of people who rant and raise hell about the guv’ mint telling them what they can and can’t buy, running their lives for them. I know a dozen who got all hot and bothered about energy efficiency standards for light bulbs, and swore they would never use cfl’s or led’s. Only one of them actually bought a couple of closet full of the old incadescent bulbs.

    All the rest have switched to led’s, lol, because they soon realized how long they last and how cheap they run,and to hell with them there librul Dimmerkrats and them old style bulbs too. The point here for those with iq’s down around eighty or so is that their personal welfare trumped their political opinions and convictions. Ten bucks or more a month saved on the electricity bill makes believers out of them,lol.

    It turns out that at least one woman I know who rants about collecting every pistol in the country has a pistol of her own, and she goes heeled, legally, having a concealed carry permit. ETC. We ARE motivated, we do GET motivated, when it comes to our own personal circumstances, once something grabs our attention.

    Next comment, I’ll get to the point I started out to make yesterday,lol.

  27. Survivalist says:

    The Brazilian government issued a decree on Dec. 15, effective immediately, that will allow Russian wheat imports into the country, MercoPress reported. The government also introduced guidelines importers must follow to buy and unload Russian wheat in Brazil. Brazil’s shift to Russian wheat follows a poor 2017 Brazilian wheat harvest. Its effort to increase bilateral trade with Russia could also mean the lifting of a Russian ban on some Brazilian meats. Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter and has been searching for additional markets after yielding bumper harvests.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Yeah, it’s otherwise known as foreign trade. It tends to happen between many countries the world over, usually with mutual benefits accruing to all participants.

      BTW, I actually worked as a consultant to executives from one of the largest meat exporting companies in Brazil and also with scientists from the beef regulating agencies from the Brazilian government and biotech departments in business and academia.

      If ever there was a case of politicization and blowing something way out of proportion, the recent ‘Beef Scandal’ in Brazil was a case in point. Disclaimer: I rarely eat red meat anymore but have no doubts that the safety of Brazilian beef is on par with that of any first world country. I’m sure the Russians are quite confident of the safety of Brazilian meat products…

      I’m also sure that Russian wheat is just as good as wheat from the US or any other major producer and see no problem with Brazilians importing it if they have a need for that product. Problems of global agricultural production notwithstanding.

      • GoneFishing says:

        But if we keep shipping our soil nutrients to far lands where they are flushed down toilets into the river systems there, what will replenish the soils?

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Soylent Green! What else?

          • GoneFishing says:

            That still misses all the fertilizer and nutrients sent down the river systems which is the bulk of the mass. I propose a new eco-organization, the Brown Movement. Their slogan will be “Don’t flush, give it to a farmer!”

            • Fred Magyar says:

              ‘The Brown Movement’ brought to you by Bowel Movements Inc.

              It is addressed in this Youtube video which I have previously posted.


              Towards the Circular City: Designing and Planning Urban Ecosystems (DIF 2017)
              Metabolic HQ

              BTW, it really helps if you live in a highly educated free democratic society such as the Netherlands that isn’t squeamish about openly discussing normal biological functions, including human waste streams.

              As opposed to the fucking fascists in the current US administration that want ignorant evangelicals to believe storks bring babies!


              Report: Trump Bans ‘Transgender,’ ‘Fetus,’ ‘Science-Based’ From CDC Documents
              “We cannot replace truth with bias,” a bioethicist says.

  28. GoneFishing says:

    3.2 C or 3.4C by 2100, make your guess. Latest climate action tracker report says:
    0.2oC improvement in climate action since 2016,
    reducing projected warming by 2100 to 3.4oC. For the
    first time since the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) began in
    2009, the CAT has identified a significant improvement in
    implementing climate policy action over the past year,
    most significantly in China and India.
    o Current policies are projected to reduce emissions by
    1.7 GtCO2e in 2030 compared to estimates in 2016. The
    size of the gap between current policy pathways and the
    Paris Agreement-compatible benchmark is estimated to
    be 24–27 GtCO2e in 2030.
    o Factoring in planned, but not yet implemented, policies
    and a continuation of recent developments, projected
    emissions would be even 4.1 GtCO2e lower in 2030
    compared to last year, leading to a warming estimate of


  29. GoneFishing says:

    Expansion of the world’s deserts due to global warming and vegetation-albedo feedback

    Albedo is a leading component in vegetation-atmosphere interaction (9). Theoretical estimates suggest that an albedo increase of 0.1, typical for the conversion of forest to savanna (even larger for savanna to desert), will lead to a decrease of about 20 W m-2 in surface absorbed solar energy. Although acting on regional scale, such a large negative radiative forcing can significantly reduce upward motion, resulting in less moisture convergence and a reduction in rainfall of approximately 1 mm d-1 in a convective atmospheric environment (10). This ‘Charney-mechanism’ has been demonstrated to be particularly effective in semi-arid regions such as the Sahel (11-14). Vegetation feedback has also been shown to be of key importance in the drying of North Africa during the Holocene(15, 16). In cold regions, vegetation reduces albedo by masking bright snow. This may have played an important role in early Holocene boreal warming (17), and it can partially offset cooling from carbon sequestration for envisioned reforestation (18, 19). Vegetation change due to anthropogenic land-use also impacts climate during the industrial time, a factor often under-appreciated compared to fossil fuel CO2 (20-23).


  30. Fred Magyar says:

    3.2° C ? No worries! I’m sure we can adapt and artificially evolve plants to thrive in the shifting extremes of temperature… And feedbacks and tipping points? Probably won’t happen either.
    Even all those all undiscovered fossil fuel resources wont be enough to put us into any real danger zones. /SARC!

    • GoneFishing says:

      The weeds and woody shrubs will tolerate the changes. People all over the world will install air conditioners and the dripping below those units will even enhance the weed growth further.
      People will install large fields of angled solar PV panels, the weeds will grow well in the shade and borders.
      Wind turbines will march across the landscape. The fertilizer falling from the sky will help the weeds and shrubs grow.
      All those weeds and shrubs give the bugs a better place to live and improve the soil.
      See, no problem. Just be a weed. 🙂

      • notanoilman says:


        Bonus points to whoever knows where that came from.

        • Hightrekker says:

          doing the calypso
          Getting really high.
          “Getting so high that you refer to yourself as a sea goddess.”
          Raheem: Your face is five different colors right now.
          Meredith: Damn, boy, have you been doing the calypso?

          Raheem: I am Calypso, goddess of the sea. Let me read your palm, then you can give me some magic herb.
          #calypso #weed #blazed #hallucination #marijuana #getting high
          by weeeeeeeeeeeed January 15, 2009

          Of course I could be wrong—–

          • notanoilman says:

            Yep, wrong but I like it so only 1 point. Brits are more likely to get it, note the hyphens.


            • Hightrekker says:

              Seems like a model airplane thing if it is Brit——–
              But I’m on a losing streak.

    • Doug Leighton says:



      “A lot of what we are seeing right now in the coastal regions is that warming ocean waters are melting Antarctica’s glaciers and ice shelves, but this process may just be the beginning,” Shevenell said. “Once you have that combination of ocean heat and atmospheric heat — which are related — that’s when the ice sheet could really experience dramatic ice mass loss.”


      • GoneFishing says:

        Since, according to Milankovitch cycles, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are at peak insolation the Antarctic could be the wild card in the climate change equation.

        Look Doug, all this talk about sea level rise is just silly. The global average land height above sea level is 797 meters. That means one would have to be in a very below average place to be affected by even maximum sea level rise.

        Uh,oh. 10 percent of the world’s population lives at 10 meter or less above sea level. A big wave could wash them away. Now if we go to 1oo km from the coast and 50 meter sea level rise that is 40% of the world population. sunk just from East Antarctica.
        A rising sea lifts all boats equally. Just no ports left.
        Not worried though, it will never reach me. 🙂

        • notanoilman says:

          I’m looking forward to a beach front property, maybe not my generation though 🙁


        • Ricky Monon says:

          Here’s my main beef with the theory of quickly rising seas causing armageddon. The science says we can agree the ice age in North America ended about 10,000 years ago and the ice was 1/2 to 1 mi thick in the NYC area. I live in the upstate New York area so the ice was even thicker here. Anyway it all leads me to wonder? The speed that planet earth warmed up, all that massive amount of ice melted and the seas rose had to be caused by humans, right? Just like today’s quick warming according to the scientists. So what SUV makes and models were available back then to cause such a quick warming? How many were on the road and who drove them, were they mainly for the very wealthy or would the middle class be able to afford them? Back then?

          • The speed that planet earth warmed up, all that massive amount of ice melted and the seas rose had to be caused by humans, right?

            Goddammit man, no one can possibly be that stupid. No one in their right mind has claimed that the last ice age ended because of human activity. Are all global warming deniers really this stupid? Or, are you just the exceptional really stupid one? No, I think at least 90% of all global warming deniers are really as stupid as you.

            • GoneFishing says:

              No Ricky not SUV’s, it was dinosaur farts that melted the ice. A completely different mechanism caused by eating too many slow cavemen.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Ron, trolls like Ricky are not stupid. They have an agenda and are here mostly to annoy us and disrupt our conversation with ridiculous or outrageous statements. Just add him to the ignore list. Bye Ricky!

            • Survivalist says:

              ” Are all global warming deniers really this stupid?”

              Some are even stupider. Bob Frisky for example.
              A famine is long over due. It’ll likely clear up a lot of these idiots. They’ll make better fertilizer than they did human beings.

              The bones of Waterloo

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          “population lives at 10 meter or less above sea level”

          Some of us live only 10 feet above sea level


          Coastal Hazards, Appendix B:

          Another major factor influencing the future use of the site is the issue of sea level rise (SLR). Given the site’s low elevation, proximity to the ocean and Magnolia Marsh, addressing the future effects of SLR up to year 2100, has been a major consideration in formulating a land use plan and design features to comply with the CCC’s adopted SLR guidelines. As climate change accelerates,
          development close to the coast cannot be treated in the same way as inland development, where hazardous conditions may be less dynamic.

          Based on information in the CCC’s SLR Policy Guidance (adopted August 12, 2015), mean sea level along the southern California coast is projected to rise up to 5.5 feet by the year 2100. This SLR is expected to lead to increased tidal inundation, coastal erosion, and saltwater intrusion as well as increased flooding during coastal storms (high waves during high tide conditions), fluvial storms (river floods), and tsunamis. A summary of SLR considerations is provided below.

          1 Tidal Inundation

          Using the vertical control datum for orthometric height NAVD88, and based on data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the Los Angeles Outer Harbor (NOAA Tide Gage Station No. 9410660), the mean diurnal tide range along the southern California coast is 5.49 feet ranging from a mean lower low water (MLLW) of -0.21 feet (NAVD88), to a mean higher
          high water (MHHW) of 5.28 feet (NAVD88). In year 2100, this range would be expected to change with SLR from a low of 5.29 feet (NAVD88), to 10.78 feet (NAVD88). The flood control channel along the southwesterly boundary of the site includes a channel wall with a crest elevation at approximately +13 feet (NAVD88). As long as there are no hydraulic connections between the site
          and flood control channel the site would not be expected to be inundated by typical high tides between now and the year 2100.

          The highest tide ever recorded (Jan. 27, 1983) at the Los Angeles Outer Harbor gage was +7.61 feet (NAVD88), and a similar high tide may have occurred in the flood control channel at that time, but there were no measurements made to verify the actual water elevation reached during that high tide condition. If a similar event were to occur in the year 2100, and if that event yielded a similar high water elevation in the flood control channel adjacent to the Specific Plan area, then the high tide would reach an elevation of 13.11 feet (NAVD88) where it would be expected to result in some overtopping of the flood control channel wall.

          The City of Huntington Beach, along with the County of Orange and the US Army Corps of Engineers have a responsibility to provide regional flood protection improvements over time to protect public safety and property. It is a reasonable assumption that over the course of the lifetime of the Specific Plan development, capital flood control improvement projects will be implemented
          to reduce SLR impacts for the thousands of residents potentially impacted within the region.


          Scroll to the bottom for more detail

          “dinosaur farts that melted the ice”

          No, it was Smokey’s cousin the a Polar Bear playing with matches.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Some of us live only 10 feet above sea level

            And some of us not even that much…
            This is a picture I took the day after Irma hit my town of Hollywood Florida. I live about a mile and a half west of this spot and maybe 3 ft. higher.

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              What a difference a Governor makes. If I remember correctly, old Rick Scott doesn’t even let Florida state employees use the words climate change. Talk about denial.

              I also found it interesting how the report talks about “The City of Huntington Beach, along with the County of Orange and the US Army Corps of Engineers have a responsibility to provide regional flood protection improvements over time to protect public safety and property”. I find it doubtful that improvements will ever happen. Back in the 90’s, there must have been ten’s of millions of dollars spend to upgrade about 20 miles of retaining walls to protect about 6 square miles, or about 50,000 people from flooding. It was done with interlocking pilings some 40 feet deep into the ground. The sea level rise is going to be exponential and when the time comes to do something about it. I don’t think the cost to add 10 or 20 feet to the sea wall is going to justify another 20 to 50 years of protection. Mother nature will take back her property. Besides, we all have to get past the age of Trump before we need to worry about sea level rise.

              • Hightrekker says:

                Lived in Huntington Beach in 1967.
                Does anyone remember the Golden Bear?
                At $90 for the entire summer, it was quite affordable.
                But everything was affordable in 1967.

                “Musicians performing during this time period included Janis Joplin, Neil Young, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Jimmy Reed, Seals and Crofts, Richie Havens, and others. The Doors and Jimi Hendrix are also reported to have played at the Golden Bear.”

                (Hendrix for sure, as I remember the show)

                10′ is quite a elevation– after Micronesia.

          • GoneFishing says:

            I figured he would be familiar with the Flintstones and be able to relate.

            Yeah, I would stay clear of towns with Beach in their name. One moderate tsunami and it’s over.

  31. JN2 says:

    For OFM:

    You often make this point. I think you’ll like the article.

    >> Research says there are ways to reduce racial bias. Calling people racist isn’t one of them. <<


    • OFM says:

      Thank you Jn2 ,

      From this link, a quote by a professional:

      “Telling people they’re racist, sexist, and xenophobic is going to get you exactly nowhere,” said Alana Conner, executive director of Stanford University’s Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions Center. “It’s such a threatening message. One of the things we know from social psychology is when people feel threatened, they can’t change, they can’t listen.”

      Of course any body of adult age with a working brain knows this sort of thing without having to read it in a professional journal.

      One of the surest and fastest ways to make enemies of people is to ridicule them.

      While I’m appalled at the crookedness and incompetence of Trump and his administration, I must nevertheless point out that although he entered the presidential race as a fucking total amatuer politican, he made a goddamned fool of HRC, and made a collective of fools out of the Republican Party establishment.

      He knew when to attack. He knew when to keep his mouth shut, although he seldom found it necessary.

      “Imagine, for example, a white man who lost a factory job due to globalization and saw his sister die from a drug overdose due to the opioid epidemic — situations that aren’t uncommon today. He tries to complain about his circumstances. But his concerns are downplayed by a politician or racial justice activist, who instead points out that at least he’s doing better than black and brown folks if you look at broad socioeconomic measures.

      Maybe he does have some level of white privilege. But that doesn’t take away from the serious problems he sees in his world today.

      This is how many white Americans, particularly in working-class and rural areas, view the world today. So when they hear politicians and journalists call them racist or remind them about their privilege, they feel like elites are trying to distract from the serious problems in their lives and grant advantages to other groups of people. When Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called half of Trump voters “deplorable,” she made this message explicit.

      That sort remark, made often throughout her political career, although seldom so explicit, earned her the enimity of tens of millions of men and women who perceived that she had no respect for them. People don’t forget this sort of thing. That ONE remark , ONE TIME, was enough to cost her a million or more votes. Considering how close the election was in the last three Rust Belt states that put Trump over the top, it may have actually cost her the election.

      Getting along with our fellow man is pretty simple, in principle. The first thing you need to do is show respect, and LISTEN to what the other fellow has to say. Start off by insulting his intelligence, his culture, his family, his profession, etc, and you have about the same chance of winning him over to your pov as a snowball on a red hot stove.

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        OldMacDonald aka KGB says:

        “While I’m appalled at the crookedness and incompetence of Trump and his administration”

        “Maybe he does have some level of white privilege. But that doesn’t take away from the serious problems he sees in his world today”

        “When Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called half of Trump voters “deplorable,” she made this message explicit”

        Trumpster you can’t handle the truth

  32. Doug Leighton says:


    “In 2016, 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste were generated globally, a weight that’s equivalent to about 4,500 Eiffel towers. That number is up 8 per cent from two years ago, and it’s likely to continue to rise as prices the for electronics fall and the availability of products increases. China is the worst offender on the list, generating 7211 kilotonnes (kt) of waste. The United States isn’t far behind at 6,295 kt. According to National Geographic, that’s like every American family throwing out the equivalent of 400 iPhones a year.”


    • Fred Magyar says:

      “In 2016, 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste were generated globally, a weight that’s equivalent to about 4,500 Eiffel towers. That number is up 8 per cent from two years ago, and it’s likely to continue to rise as prices the for electronics fall and the availability of products increases.

      Well, to put it bluntly that sucks bilgey! And is a rather poor use of such materials. There are better ways to handle this and there are people around the world thinking about and acting to address the matter.

      The two short talks I link below address some of the issues involved. Basically we need to start thinking of waste, such as metals and particularly e-waste as resources. We need to transition from a linear, extractive, use and dispose, economic paradigm to a fully circular web like model.

      The first talk is about attempts at this transition in Australia.

      Precious Metals – Urban Mining – Wealth in Waste

      While the second talk does not directly address metals and e-waste it does address an equally important aspect which is materials science and design and systems thinking at the product design level so as to make sure that at the end of life stage of products they can easily be reincorporated into a new product lifecycle similar to how nature reuses all materials in a healthy ecosystem.

      The Future of Materials in a Circular Economy

      One way to adress the issue of e-waste is to apply similar ways of design systems thinking to make components of electronic products easiers to retrieve, reprocess and reuse. This isn’t far fetched because there are obviously huge economic incentives for manufacturers of such products to do this and it is already happening on a number of levels around the world.

      The fact that China has signaled that it will no longer accept e-waste for processing is a shot across the bow of a system that is completely unsustainable at present.

      Fossil fuel use and climate change aren’t the only things that are in urgent need of addressing.

      • GoneFishing says:

        There might be $2 to $3 of precious metals in a cell phone. There are also small amounts of rare earth metals. Recovering these saves a lot of mining energy and pollution.
        However, I personally think that most of the circuitry is still good in phones, usually it’s the screen that dies. Why throw away a mini-computer? Must be some ways to find secondary uses for them.


        • Fred Magyar says:

          Why throw away a mini-computer? Must be some ways to find secondary uses for them.

          And there are!

          Ethical, Modular, Repairable: Fairphone Is Making a Smarter Smartphone

          There is a growing movement for open source modular smartphones and computers that can easily be repaired, reused or repurposed.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Looks like a good phone and the ability to easily repair is great. Is it less expensive to repair than to buy a new phone?
            That type of phone costs about $99 here in the US.

          • OFM says:

            There’s a lot to be said for standardization and modular design. I have two Honda all terrain vehicles, that I can’t get new parts for, less than twenty years old. If I can’t find used parts on ebay or elsewhere, they’re scrap, although they are still in excellent condition…… except for one or two parts out of a thousand that make up the whole machine.

            Somebody gave me a gasoline powered pump a while back, which he had tossed onto his own personal DUMP , a big pile of trash, at least ten years ago, when it failed to start. It was thirty years old THEN.

            I got around to fixing it Friday. Took the gas tank off, cleaned it, disassembled the carburetor, left it soaking in solvent, and went to the nearest full service Briggs and Stratton dealer and bought all the parts I needed, complete fuel system rebuild kit right off the LOCAL shelf, didn’t even have to wait overnight. She runs like new now, starts the first pull. .A new .comparable pump costs at least a thousand bucks .

            If I were in a position to do so, I would make it against the law to sell anything that costs over a few hundred bucks, maybe five hundred, unless sufficient bond is posted to guarantee essential (functional) repair parts will be available for at least twenty years. Otherwise, you get your money back, prorated.

            Not many machines actually WEAR OUT these days, excepting industrial machinery kept in steady use year after year.

            A typical car that winds up in a wrecking yard, with the exception of rust or damage from accidents, is ninety five to ninety nine percent perfectly service able, except that it’s so designed and assembled that getting at one or two parts that cost very little to replace them takes a day or two of skilled labor in a well equipped shop.

            Scrapping old machinery because it’s inefficient, or unsafe, or because it pollutes is one thing. Scrapping it even though it could serve economically for another generation simply because you can’t get parts for it ought to be against the law.

            I’m not holding my breath waiting for such laws to be passed, lol.

            And it would be the law that along with the owner’s manual, you get a complete parts list, wiring diagrams, and basic troubleshooting and repair guide. This could be paper, thumb drive or online,so long as it’s included in the purchase price.

            • notanoilman says:

              I believe Canada has some rules like that for cars. I obtained a shop manual for my Jeep, online, from Canada because of this.


            • Paulo says:

              Have you tried Beatrice Cycle Mac? I get stuff for my Honda ct 90 and 110 all the time. They are 38 years old and run great. They do ATVS, too.



          • Fred Magyar says:

            BTW, if anyone is so inclined, you can burrow down the rabbit hole a bit further by reading this paper about a few of the things that are starting to happen with the implementation of Circular Economic principles in Brazil:


            There is a PDF document at that page that can be downloaded for free and it addresses the issues surrounding e-waste in quite some detail.While this paper is Brazil specific, the issues are global. One of the main problems that leaps out from this study is how past linear design and marketing principles of the major corporations have created roadblocks to reuse and circular economic principles.

            Here is a list of some of the major points addressed and how those roadblocks could begin to be addressed. It is also almost a case study of why head in the sand nationalist only approaches are doomed to fail. Fortunately most of the institutions involved ranging from government agencies, academic institutions, and both large corporations and SMEs are cognizant of the challenges and aware of the global implications.

            Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE)

            7. Leverage EEE market dynamics specific to Brazil to create new circular economy business opportunities. These market dynamics include: the proximity of growing consumer markets to manufacturing centres, established reverse cycle infrastructure, and existing knowledge, skills, and capacity.

            8. Integrate the informal economy into the EEE sector for a win-win
            collaboration. Bring the best of the two worlds together: integrate the
            efficiency and operational capacity of the formal industry with the agility, scale and capillarity of the informal sector.

            9. Develop new business models to increase access to and affordability of
            EEE products. With the appropriate system conditions in place, circular
            economy business models that promote sharing, pay-per-use, and
            refurbished products can provide more affordable, higher value and more updated products to users.

            10. Create mechanisms to inform design processes. A bottom-up approach, where Brazilian companies provide feedback into the design process of global EEE players, could leverage the knowledge generated by the market to improve design processes in the sector.

            As French president Emmanuel Macron said recently:
            “Make Our Planet Great Again!”

      • nonomykitty says:

        Its unclear to me whether redesigning already complex products would benefit the stock performances of public companies involved in selling the products. You’d think they would already have done something by now if there was really a profit incentive here.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          You must be a Republican’t. It’s to bad you don’t care as much for the environment as a two cell fetus.

          • nonomykitty says:

            You know you make an ass out of yourself when you make assumptions like that.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            I have to be a bit of a nit picker here, the first two cells are not called a fetus.

            The First Cell Division. The final steps in zygote formation include replication of the male and female DNA and the alignment of chromosomes in preparation for the first cell division through mitosis (mi-to’sis).10 The chromosomes assume a formation called a cleavage spindle, which is a phase of mitosis.

            The technical term for the first two cells formed after mitosis is: Drum roll please! A Blastomere !

            I think the Trump administration hasn’t banned the term as of yet, so even the CDC can still use it in its official documents…

            Side Note: Since the Trump administration hasn’t officially banned the CDC from using the term FUCK YOU !. I suggest they start incorporating it into their official correspondence with the idiots who banned terms like: ‘Evidence Based’ …

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              Please excuse my French. I was a finance and economics major without even a high school class in biology. But, I’m pretty sure my point got across. Probably have learned more biology here than anywhere else.

              It’s good to see the Ron and Dennis administration run their show like a big boys club. The beauty and affect of the F word is not to abuse it. Sometimes going nuclear should be avoided. I’ve gotten to the point that when the knuckleheads post. I enjoy making fun or fools of them and that’s ‘Evidence Based’.

              • OFM says:

                Glad to see you’re still posting, HB.

                Most people who know a lot about the physical sciences, and especially about the life sciences, generally have an extremely low opinion of financiers aka bankers and economists, since they have obviously been at the forefront leading us right up to the brink of the existential crisis staring us in the face, nose to nose, belly to belly, today.

                Blue ticks are generally considered to be one of the dumbest of all breeds of dogs, but my old bluetick hound knows more about making friends and getting what he wants than you do.

                Keep right on making smart ass remarks of the sort you habitually make, and the real Trumpsters will continue to laugh their asses off at your stupidity.

                Every remark of the sort you are prone to make about Southerners, etc, is worth money to them.

                And you’re so stupid you actually think I’M on their payroll, rotfl.

                It MIGHT do you some good to read the excerpt I posted up above from the work of people who are PROFESSIONALS in the field of human relations.

                It would do you a lot more good to read the entire link, which was posted by JN2, but I really doubt you can manage it, due to lack of sufficient attention span.

                I have a REASON to make fun of you.

                Hopefully our little pissing matches will be read by other forum members who will as a result think a little oftener about how they phrase their comments, in order to make converts rather than enemies.

                Every playwright, every poet, every classical novelist has always understood the things the professional psychologists and other scientists of human behavior are just now coming to recognize as being fundamentally true about our relationships with each other.

                I understood this sort of thing before I got out of high school, lol. That’s not exactly bragging, so did at least half the other kids.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                To be clear, I wasn’t poking fun at you personally. I wasn’t giving a biology lecture either. My sarcasm was directed more at the trolls and Trump supporters in general. As for the F word, I genuinely think the CDC should use it when communicating with the Trump administration.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          You’d think they would already have done something by now if there was really a profit incentive here.

          First of all, you are a complete imbecile for framing this issue as a purely profit motivated paradigm shift. Having said that, there is most definitely a profit driven component to it and it has not been ignored by major corporations.

          Here's a short list of major global corporations that are apparently run by people that are a heck of a lot smarter than you, who understand what is at stake, are willing to tackle complex non linear systems thinking and are already on board with this concept.


          The Circular Economy 100 brings together members from across the economy to provide unique opportunities for multi-stakeholder collaboration. Member groups include corporates, governments and cities, academic institutions, emerging innovators, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and affiliates.

          Then there is this:
          Today the UN Environment Assembly, the world’s highest-level decision making body on the environment, will discuss the role of a circular economy in addressing pollution, the overarching theme of a conference being held in Nairobi, Kenya.

          ‘The Role of the circular economy in the transition towards a pollution free planet’ is the first of three side events exploring how a circular economy can address resource constraints and generate economic opportunities for a pollution-free world, and will set a precedent for global action on production and consumption.

          European Commissioner for the Environment, Karmenu Vella, Executive Director for UN Environment, Erik Solheim and Minister of Environmental Protection for the People’s Republic of China, Li Ganjie will open the session. The Foundation’s Executive Officer, Joss Blériot is among a panel of speakers including Edna Molewa – Minister of Environmental Affairs, Republic of South Africa, Marcelo Mena Carrasco – Minister of the Environment, Chile, Lorna Rutto – CEO and Founder, Ecopost and Kenya Harry Verhaar – Philips Head of Public and Government Affairs, Netherlands, who will discuss how to accelerate and scale up collaborative action and policies which redirect investment for a clean, efficient and circular economy. The session will be moderated by Co-chair of the International Resource Panel, Janez Potočnik with closing remarks from Siim Kiisler, Minister of Environment, Republic of Estonia.

          Notably absent from this group are any representatives or members of the Trump administration…

          Goodbye Troll!

  33. OFM says:

    This link’s a great read to pass along.


    Lot’s of good info, including some historical stuff new to me, such as over a third of the men Linneaus inspired to go out collecting for him never coming home again.

    It’s not altogether unreasonable to assume that at least one or two of them were eaten by lions or men.

    Early settlers in California saw grizzly bears in riverine oak forests as many as a hundred at a time.

  34. GoneFishing says:

    Everything Must Go

    When you hear that something makes economic sense, this means it makes the opposite of common sense. Those sensible men and women who run the world’s treasuries and central banks, who see an indefinite rise in consumption as normal and necessary, are beserkers, smashing through the wonders of the living world, destroying the prosperity of future generations to sustain a set of figures that bear ever less relation to general welfare.

    Green consumerism, material decoupling, sustainable growth: all are illusions, designed to justify an economic model that is driving us to catastrophe. The current system, based on private luxury and public squalor, will immiserate us all: under this model, luxury and deprivation are one beast with two heads.


    Forward on this path is not viable. We need to step off the path and settle down.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Economic growth will destroy everything. There’s no way of greening it – we need a new system.
      By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 22nd November 2017

      Yep! I think we can all agree on that part of the equation. Though it still begs the question as to what the ‘NEW SYSTEM’ should look like and how do we go about implementing it. How do we provide food, shelter, sanitation, education, opportunities for a fulling life with health care and a universal basic income to all the 7.5 billion citizens of the planet and when do we start openly discussing how we go about reversing population growth?

      Will it look something like this?
      A one and a half minute teaser.
      Published on Apr 2, 2017
      Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist, the new book by Kate Raworth, is out now.

      51 min version of the concept.

      Anyone out there have any better ideas? Let’s hear them, especially from all the Trump supporters who have been showing up around here…

      • GoneFishing says:

        The circular economy sounds like a great first step and is somewhat modeled after nature so it might even be made to work if we change our ways and materials.
        We are also so full of delusions and myths right now that we can’t even see what we don’t need and what we actually do need.
        The move toward solar and zero energy is another good step.
        We need to dramatically change agriculture and stop poisoning the environment now or we will hit a food crash and environmental crash in the near future. I think that the small scale collapse on the land and in the oceans is being ignored as we look at the large scale problems. The small scale is what the whole biosphere is based upon.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          The small scale is what the whole biosphere is based upon.

          I agree, they are what compose the individual nodes in an integrated tensegrity structure.

          You are quite right that the concept of Circular Economy is but a rather tenuous and timid first step in a long, hard and arduous journey of necessary paradigm shifts. One must be careful of not falling into what might end up being the Circular Economy washing trap, which would be just as bad as ‘Green Washing’…

          Right now our view of the economy is a linear non dynamic model based on extraction of resources, manufacture and consumption of products and the discarding those products at the end of their life cycles. Up until fairly recently not a whole lot of thought has gone into how we might get the most return from any of those stages…

          That has to change! We need a new story and new ways of depicting the interconnections.

  35. islandboy says:

    This ones for Doug. Further up I posted a comment, including a picture of what I hope will soon be my new means of conveyance, an all electric, zero emissions vehicle. Doug’s response was, “All looks more-or-less like BAU to me: more people with more cars with more (asphalt covered) roads, with more steel/cement bridges, needing more (asphalt) parking lots, etc. AND all feeling purified because they fill their fancy new autos with FF generated electricity. 🙂”

    Sorry it is just about impossible for me to feel purified and to explain I present exhibit A, pictured below. The image below shows a picture I took looking westward at about 9:30 am yesterday to the left, with a map of the city to the right. The red dot between the words Bob and Marley on the map shows the exact location from which the picture was taken. The blue lines running through the city are not rivers but, open storm drains or “gullies” as they are called here. The picture was taken from a bridge on a road crossing over the main east to west artery of the gully system called Sandy Gully that joins with another major artery called Constant Spring Gully at it’s western end.

    So, what does all this have to do with the stuff we discuss here? Well, take a look at the center of the photo. If you can get to zoom in on that section and examine what is against the gully wall, under some trees, in the shadows, it is a pile of household garbage, consisting of polystyrene food containers, plastic bottles, cardboard, paper, plastic shopping bags and other general household waste. The government at the time the gully system was constructed should have created paved roadways along the banks of the gullies to create a safe reserve along the gully banks but, it seems this safe space was just designated. I’m not sure about any regulations for building adjacent to gullies though, since in some instances the land along the gully banks has had structures built immediately adjacent to the gully walls. The structures seen in the picture along the southern (left side) banks of the gully are not those that would have gotten approval from the relevant authorities. They are informal (squatter) dwellings despite the fact that, their steel reinforced cinder block walls make them more or less permanent structures. It would appear that these squatter settlements either do not have or cannot be bothered with the municipal garbage collection systems, opting to just dump their garbage in the gully instead.

    This is a part of the waste disposal problem in the city of Kingston. Those of you who have been here long enough and have been paying attention to my posts, might remember me describing a fire at the city’s landfill that burned for weeks back in early 2015. For a better perspective of the problem with the gullies, those readers who do not mind having their ideas of island paradises changed for the worse, can have a look at the following link:

    Google image search results for ‘Jamaica garbage in “gully”‘

    Bear in mind that this city has been experiencing a very wet year. So far, it feels like it has been raining every afternoon, not to mention the heavy rains associated with various “weather features” including the hurricanes we experienced in September. These rains wash the contents of the gullies out into the harbor where much of it ends up along the shoreline (as shown in a few of the pictures at the link above). Last year, when we had very little rain in comparison, a picture taken from the location I used would show a lot more garbage in the gully.

    So, what’s a guy like me to do? For starters, I recently had a 27 year old passenger in my vehicle, passing over the same bridge where I took the picture yesterday. I pointed out the pile of garbage to them and asked them what they thought would happen to it, where they thought it might end up? From their response, I realized that this 27 year old had never faced such a question before and had never given such matters any thought. For all I know, they just think I’m a miserable old fart who worries far too much about things that do not concern me! When I recently told that individual that I was depressed, they told me that I let too many things bother me. Looking at the pictures in the link above, does anybody here think I shouldn’t find them depressing? I actually find the fact that so many of my fellow citizens don’t know or don’t care about what is in those pictures, more depressing than the pictures themselves.

    I’m also concerned about the fact that the transport system on my island is just about totally dependent on fossil fuels. Not only that, driving around I see lots of old diesel vehicles belching out thick black smoke, including buses owned by the city’s municipal transport company. I’d love to be like Elon Musk and be involved in accelerating the transition to a (more?) sustainable transport system but, I ain’t exactly in his league. In that respect, my desire to own and drive a zero emissions vehicle, reflects a desire to show others (like 99.999% of my fellow citizens) that, one can move people and goods around without using much in the way of FF, given certain conditions. My planned 5 kW PV system wont be visible but, it should produce close to 10,000 kWh a year, enough to charge the vehicle I’m looking at almost 400 times, enough to drive it over 30,000 miles. So as far as I am concerned, driving an EV, emblazoned with graphics telling people exactly what it is, is far more likely to get people thinking about alternative paths, than retiring to the countryside, riding a bicycle and practicing permaculture is ever going to. Only my friends would notice and casual or business acquaintances would probably just think I’ve left the island!

    On another note, installing solar PV and driving an EV, tends to get one thinking about how to survive on a real time energy diet as opposed to a diet of energy stored up over millions of years. Thats if you are a “system thinker” as I suspect most readers of this blog are (with the exception of the trolls of course).

  36. OFM says:

    Hi Islandboy,

    I read your work very carefully and really appreciate it for both the hard data and for your insights into the problems and possible solutions.

    You have just repeated a point I have tried to get across often, this being that people simply aren’t ENGAGED in what’s going on around them, unless it affects them in a DIRECT, IMMEDIATE, and OBVIOUS fashion, OR unless the subject matter involves their personal situation, for instance their job or business.

    The VAST majority of people are either illiterate, in respect to the hard sciences, or so close the difference doesn’t really matter, and this is true right on up thru the faculty level of most universities. The chairman of the English department most likely took at the MOST one real science class as a freshman decades ago, lol.

    Most people don’t know doo doo from apple butter when it comes to peak oil, or peak water, or pesticides pollution, or forced climate change, or hardly anything else. And FURTHERMORE, they don’t CARE, because before you CAN care, you must be well enough informed TO care.

    My own work, such as it is, for however long is left to me, will be geared to helping people understand, as a practical matter, how to make friends for the environmental camp.

    In principle, this is not very complicated at all. The first thing everybody who wants to help should do is get a copy of ” HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE” and read it until they can repeat long passages verbatim, lol.

    In no particular order after that, they must come to understand that we mostly all want the same things, namely health, prosperity, friends, economic and physical security, etc. even though we reside in different cultural camps that tend to regard each other as enemies.

    So we should avoid insulting each other unnecessarily, lol, especially on the basis of our religions, economic backgrounds, cultural prejudices, etc.

    Once this much is clear in our minds, we must come to accept the fact that since most people ARE scientifically illiterate, preaching science at them is no more effective in changing their minds and attitudes than preaching Heaven and Hell is effective in changing the minds of evolutionary biologists, lol. In neither case will the argument be taken seriously.

    So since preaching science, even though it happens to be rock solid science, isn’t going to work, well then, we need to approach this problem from a different perspective.

    That perspective is the enlightened best self interests of your intended new friend and convert to your political and environmental camp.

    The “you ” in this comment is the rhetorical you. I’m sure that YOU Islandboy gets it already.

    But most of us DON’T get it. We want to argue, and prove we’re smarter, morally superior, and better looking to boot, we want to build ourselves up by talking down to others whom we see as in need of our enlightened guidance in running their own lives, changing their own culture to suit US, etc, etc. We want our target converts to be humble, and thank us for pointing out that we see them as fools, or at best as spoiled and ignorant children.

    As my bluntspoken old country woman Mom used to say, you might as well shit in one hand and wish in the other and see which one gets full faster, if you use this approach. If you want to catch flies, the best bait is honey. Vinegar doesn’t work worth a damn.

    So .

    You’re driving around town in your electric car, and you have an opportunity to strike up a conversation with somebody who wonders why you bought it, and whether you’re happy with it, and how much it costs you to run it, and so forth.

    The LAST thing you want to talk about, IF you decide you want to bring up the subject at all, is global warming. Save it till last. Save nearly all or ALL of your politics till dead last, by which time you should have a decent idea what motivates your new acquaintance, what scares him, what worries him, and what he’s most interested in…… his own welfare……… although you know THAT in advance, lol. You only need to learn the details concerning his welfare, his job, his health, etc, in order to win his friendship and allegiance.

    No NO NO. You don’t even MENTION anything about anything except how your electric car works better for you than the old ordinary car you traded in on it.

    First thing, you put on your best cat that ate the canary grin and tell him that since you have some of those newfangled solar panel things, you hardly ever have to plug it in to charge it up, so you’re saving nearly all the money you used to spend on gasoline.

    And then you tell him how little you have to spend to maintain it, since it doesn’t need oil changes, or antifreeze, or regular brake jobs or mufflers and it doesn’t even HAVE A STINKING TRANSMISSION.

    And if you feel safe doing so, you offer him a ride in it, on the spot if circumstances permit, or the next time you bump into him around town. Once he’s buckled in, just casually floor the old gas ( er electric ) pedal, and impress him with how fast she’ll scoot away from a light.

    And of course he’ll be impressed with how well he can talk to you, and how well he can hear the music.

    You’ll have made a friend for the environment, and your new friend will KNOW the truth, first hand, about electric cars, having experienced yours. He’ll figure out quickly enough that an electric car can be a BETTER deal, for HIM, than a conventional car, and thus predisposed to buy an electric car. He will be predisposed to think about how much money he can save on electricity, and so predisposed to think about buying some solar panels, REGARDLESS of his politics.

    Save the politics for later, once you know him better. It might be best to just avoid politics altogether sometimes, and be content with having demonstrated the advantages of electric cars to him. That’s enough to nudge him in the right direction, enough to make him aware that when other people bad mouth electric cars and solar power, they’re trying to bullshit him.

    Nobody wants to be prove wrong by somebody else, especially somebody who is smirking at them, talking down to them. But when a man figures out for himself that he’s been wrong about something, he suddenly develops and strong resentment towards the people who led him wrong, while professing to be his friends.

    He will never really trust them again.

    You may never succeed in making a true partisan convert out of him, but you can often succeed in making an independent or middle of the road voter out of him. .

    • Fred Magyar says:

      If you want to catch flies, the best bait is honey. Vinegar doesn’t work worth a damn.

      Actually shit works pretty well too. But the real question is: why the hell would anyone want to catch flies in the first place?!

      Then again, 63 million flies were attracted to The Gilded Donald Turd… and now we are all in deep shit!

  37. Survivalist says:

    The same weekend Star Wars is released we find the usual suspects that push gov propaganda within their pages releasing UFO stories and videos to shore up rationale and support for Pentagon UFO research budgets.
    Number one rule in intelligence analysis is that receiving unsolicited topical information, of interest at the present time, should always be considered suspect.
    Gotta take the heat off the black budget.
    The ‘UFO’ in one video appears to make a rapid departure from the screen by moving to the left. This is more than likely a result of the pilot re centering the Raytheon IR pod, a pod that can move around very quickly, to be inline with axis of flight.
    They think we’re idiots. They are mostly correct.

    • OFM says:

      I wish to make it perfectly clear that I do NOT believe in the equivalent of the rich kids of little green men, or any other sort, buzzing the Earth in their flying saucers the way rich kids and their parents are apt to invade a national park here and drive their motor homes to places against the rules. I do believe however that it’s extremely likely that there are other intelligent and technologically advanced life forms in the universe, and that some of them may be close enough that we can eventually establish communications with them…. EVENTUALLY.

      Having said this much, the amount of money spent on this particular program is the equivalent of something along the line of a single cup of coffee at McDonalds, in terms of the federal budget.

      There is and there remains a possibility that such money spent on investigating ufo sightings will pay a dividend justifying the risk. This dividend may include but is not limited to discovering previously unknown flaws in our defensive and offensive technology, the discovery of odd facts about little known atmospheric phenomena , or the discovery that our enemies, perceived, real, or potential, have discovered some new technology that can actually do something dangerous to us…… such as SPOOF the radar systems used on our military aircraft…… thereby leading them astray in firing missiles, or causing them to evade a fake missile and maneveur into the path of a real one, etc.

      We test the eyes of automobile drivers these days to be sure they can see well enough to be at worst only moderately likely to have an accident due to poor eyesight.

      We subject commercial truck drivers to a fairly comprehensive physical, including eyesight, hearing, and overall health, and refuse a license to any body who is a far gone diabetic, or who is at high risk for a sudden heart attack or stroke, etc. because the risk to the public is greater.

      We subject commercial airline pilots to an even more comprehensive health check, as well as extensive background checks beyond the ones imposed on truckers, because while a truck driver could potentially kill a hundred people or more in a bad wreck, a bad plane crash can potentially kill thousands on the ground plus the hundreds actually on the plane.

      When national security is involved, rather than purely local security, the entire three hundred million plus of us are potentially at risk.

      The military does the right thing in investigating such possible threats.

      This is not to say some friends of some powerful politicians didn’t make some money out of it, lol.

  38. Longtimber says:

    “An unreleased White House document offers the strongest hint yet that the Trump administration is laying the groundwork for punitive tariffs on Chinese-made solar power equipment — a step that would promote the president’s “America First” trade agenda while sharply increasing the costs of solar power in the U.S.”
    US Tier 1 PV Prices are currently approaching 50% above Global Prices.

    • notanoilman says:

      I think the companies are more worried about their margins. American companies profit by keeping margins high with high prices and selling less while the Chinese cut margins to the minimum to keep prices down to sell a lot of units.


      • Longtimber says:

        Also investment, commitment and production scale. Newer Lines – effectively obsolete existing lines. Asian PV is now hard to beat.

        • OFM says:

          Hi Longtimber,

          I’m not one morons who goes around waving a flag reading USA NUMBER ONE , but something tells me that on a truly level playing field, American business men and engineers can produce solar panels or just about anything else as well and as cheaply as the Chinese or anybody else.

          But the playing field isn’t level, and may never be level again. American manufacturers have to comply with waste water regulations, and air pollution regulations, and employee safety regulations that are essentially non existent in China, by comparison, and they have to pay much higher true wages to a truck driver or inventory clerk than a Chinese manufacturer has to pay for engineers and skilled craftsmen.

          American manufacturers pay taxes to support a welfare state here in the USA that simply doesn’t EXIST in places like China, at least not yet, and not for quite some time to come. My own SS check and Medicare bills are taken care of in part by American manufacturers, and by the taxes paid by their employees.

          So there’s something to be said for either taxing the hell out of imported solar gear, or else subsidizing domestic manufacturers…….

          That is, if you happen to think there are good reasons to HAVE wind and solar equipment manufacturing industries survive here in the USA. I happen to believe we MUST have such industry located HERE, within our borders, as a matter of national security, domestic prosperity, pride,……. just plain old common sense, when you get down to the nitty gritty.

          Furthermore, the LESS industry of any sort that we have, the LESS industry we CAN and will have of ANY sort, because higher level industrial capacity feeds off of an industrial base capacity made possible by having MANY industries supporting the BASE.

          There used to be three thriving industrial supply stores, and a HUGE industrial machine shop in the small city nearest my home. I worked in that industrial machine shop once upon a time, cutting my teeth as a welder there, earning the right to call my self a journeyman, a craftsman that could be trusted to go out on tough jobs by alone, without supervision, and come back again with the job finished right and on time.

          The last of the three industrial supply houses closed a few weeks back, and that huge shop is down to three mechanics now. There were around two dozen of us there when I worked there in the mid seventies. It will close when the owner dies. He’s just keeping it open because the three guys left are have been with him forty years.

          Now there’s a big box store that sells a lot of stuff I used to get at the industrial supply store…… the little items that moved fast. The ninety percent of stuff that moves off the shelf slow…… I get that stuff in Greensboro, Winston Salem, Roanoke , or Charlotte, or on the net, if I can wait a day or two for it to be delivered.

          New industry is less interested in moving here because the support base is shrinking. Guys with two or three years of experience as industrial maintenence men who would be ideal trainees are scarce as hell, and the old guys who are thoroughly experienced ……. well they aren’t much interested in starting over as helpers again in a new industry, or they have retired, or moved away, or living on their wive’s salaries, or whatever.

          We are getting along , as a nation, with a small remmnant of our former furniture and textile industries, the industries that supported the industrial supply stores, and the many smaller businesses such as the machine shops that used to do custom work on a short order, small volume basis.

          The last place serviced industrial electric motors closed recently too. Now if you need motor rewound, you have to haul it forty miles one way to the next closest shop capable of doing this work.

          But part of the price we’re paying, as a country, for that is that we’re supporting a hell of a lot more people on welfare, locking up a lot more people in jail, condemning the children of those people to a rinse and repeat life…. whereas when I grew up, and such industries were thriving around here, lots of parents who worked in the mills and factories had money enough to send their kids off to college.

          Half of my first cousins were the first members of their immediate families to ever get a college education. Their parents provided most of the money, with the kids earning or in some cases borrowing the rest.

          There’s something to be said for telling BOTH sides of the story. Partisans seldom ever do. Note that I am not accusing you of being a partisan, I ‘m just pointing out that partisans generally cherry pick their facts to suit their agenda.

          The working classes of this country may be ignorant of the hard sciences, but they sure as hell know who it is that TALKS about exporting the industries that employ them overseas.

          I have zero use for Trump, but at least he was smart enough to lie about his intentions in respect to American industry. He may even be serious about bringing a couple or three industries home, if somebody offers him a big enough bribe to put getting them home again on his agenda.

          It’s worth repeating over and over an over again that elections aren’t won or lost on the basis of voter’s actually knowing the facts involved when it comes to industry, the environment, pollution, free trade, health care, or just about anything else.

          Elections are won and lost mostly as a result of the PERCEPTIONS and BELIEFS of voters. Sometimes they believe things that are actually facts, sometimes they believe otherwise.

          In order to first win the votes of the people, the people have to trust you.

          Those of us who believe in free trade ( I’m one, if it’s TRULY free trade, rather than a subsidized take over of an industry, etc, by a foreign country ) must come to an understanding of the fears that those of us who still work in industry, or work in industries that service industrial workers, such as the restaurant down the road from a factory, are REAL fears.

          Making fun of them simply guarantees that they will vote for anybody who says they will be protected rather than thrown out of work.

          The environmentalists in this country have made some awesomely stupid mistakes in terms of bragging about why the air is now cleaner in this country, claiming credit for this being the case, which is true enough.

          But the VICTIMS of their activism know why their former jobs are now located in China or elsewhere, in large part. It’s because the Chinese don’t have to play by the same rules environmentalists forced on American industry.

          There are many straws in the load that breaks the camel’s back. This is one whole “bat” of straw, which is what we farmers call about the little five pound compressed bales that are packed together and tied together to make an ordinary full size bale of straw or hay.

          My personal judgement is that we should subsidize American solar and wind equipment manufacturers to the extent necessary that these industries survive and thrive.

          Otherwise there will likely come a day when we regret the hell out of not doing so.

          There may come a day when we look back fondly on times gone by when we had all the industries NECESSARY to our country surviving and thriving within our borders.

          • Longtimber says:

            There really has been a Global Manhattan scale effort employing millions in Asia. Newer Giga production lines depreciate current production. Global Production has blasted thru 100+GW barrier Annually with new production tsunamis now from countries like Vietnam and Korea. The Local Jobs are Downstream in distributed deployment. Utility Solar Sucks but has resulted in more Life Changing affordable PV. There just is no meaningful Crystal Si PV Production in North America in comparison. It will take a Fossil Event to open people eyes.

            • notanoilman says:

              How do you see solar prices going over the next 5 years? Still a downward trend or leveling off.


              • Longtimber says:

                MW Global price is ~ .40 cents/watt – USA mid sixties now. I would SWAG PV Price 2 B Flat for next couple years, but it would be easier to predict crude price. Margins are slim but the Switch over to Mono PERC production has obsoleted a lot of Poly crystalline production but has reduced system costs and sweetened payback! A 250 watt class Module is now ~300 watts, that Reduce costs. PV cost is way under 30% of Residential – at least in Florida – The Sunshine Wasted State. PV has one BIG factor going for investors – You know costs and you know annual production withing tight ranges.

            • OFM says:

              Back atcha, Longtimber

              If we were talking about toys, or products that are entirely or mostly discretionary, it wouldn’t matter much if we were dependent on foreign manufacturers located in countries that will not always necessarily be our friends.

              In this case, we’re talking about the industries that are going to determine who runs the world in the future.

              Now it may be just a tad on the redneck side of me to say so, but I LIKE my country being a leader rather than a follower in any critical industry, and if the energy industries aren’t critical, well, there aren’t any critical industries.

              We’re already so far behind that I believe you’re right about the Asian producers simply swamping the market, with below cost product if necessary, until they drive out the remaining producers in western countries…… IF we allow them to do so.

              There seems to be two ways to do that… one is to put a big tariff on imported wind and solar gear…. and the other is to subsidize our domestic wind and solar manufacturers so they survive.

              More than JUST the survival of these industries is at stake. Our very EXISTENCE as a leading country, rather than a defacto COLONY is at stake.

              We’re ALREADY a defacto colony in a lot of respects.

              In the early days of this country, the English ruled us in such a way that they used us to supply raw materials such as timber to build ships while forcing us to buy manufactured goods from them, rather than producing our own, or buying them on the free market.

              At the rate they’re going, it’s not unreasonable to think that maybe the Chinese plan to utterly dominate certain industries in the future, and once you’re big enough, and rich enough, that’s easily accomplished……. if your customers are dumb enough to become dependent on you. You just undersell any and all competition until there’s little or no competition left, and then raise prices.

              Your former competitors are quick to learn that starting from scratch again, when they will be undersold again, is a very bad move. They will have to start again at a small scale, meaning high costs are inevitable, and just about the time they get big enough to matter… WHAM… dumping.

              But I do agree that for now, it’s a big net plus for our Yankee economy to have very fast growth and lots of employment in the wind and solar industries even if it means using nearly all imported equipment.

              So instead of advocating high tariffs, I advocate subsidizing our domestic manufacturers as necessary. Supporting these domestic manufacturers means also supporting the many smaller businesses that supply and service them, and supporting our own industrial craftsmen.

              Once we allow these smaller companies and craftsment to go the way of the dodo bird , we may never get them back again. If we do, it may take a generation or two to accomplish this renewal.

              Make no mistake, fucking bankers aren’t ESSENTIAL. Industry IS. Any country can hang all it’s bankers, or throw them into dungeons, and replace them over night for all practical purposes, with new ones.

              Once our industrial base is withered away to a certain point, past what we call a TIPPING POINT, recovery will be either extremely tough, or impossible.

              As Watcher often points out, electrons on electronic ledgers can be conjured out of thin air. Ink can be conjured onto paper ledgers, it’s been done before and will be done again.

              Industries can’t be conjured out of thin air.

              Anybody who fails to understand this is a goddamned idiot.

              Please understand that I am not calling you, or any other particular member of this forum a goddamned idiot, unless he starts mouthing off about how it doesn’t matter if we get all our manufactured goods from other countries, and pay for them by sending them paper money we can’t make good ……. except one way…….. allowing the people who receive that money to spend it buying up our country, so that we will be in the position of the Irish when the English owned all the land in Ireland, and forced them to live as peasants, and then forced them out altogether, except for the ones who were mean enough or miserable enough to hold on.

              Of course we might just repudiate all our debts, lol. The problem with that is that it means war. If we want oil, or solar panels and wind turbines after that, well….. we would have to go to the places that manufacture them, and subjugate the people there, and occupy their countries……..

              That’s been tried before….. and it worked, sometimes. For a while.

  39. Longtimber says:

    Comment from Article on Vogle – Don’t know if Factual.
    “Shockingly, when the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) walked the Donald through the mechanics of the newly commissioned Gerald R Ford in April, and tried to explain the technology of the electro-magnetic jet catapults, which can launch fighter jets twice as fast as the current steam catapults, the “president” asked why the Navy couldn’t use coal to run the new catapults, the CNO, trying not to laugh, stated that carriers have never used coal because its weight alone would slow the carrier dangerously. Bemused by the moron, the CNO asked Donald, “Why would you ask that question?” Donald’s response, “Because I really like coal.” God help these United States of America.”


    • notanoilman says:

      Well, he’ll be alright. He’s going to get a load of it for Christmas.


      • OFM says:

        Too soon.

        But the Republican party will be getting a lot of coal in the mid term elections.

  40. Fred Magyar says:


    The Royal Aeronautical Society rewards the Solar Impulse Team
    Michèle Piccard, on behalf of the Solar Impulse team, received the Royal Aeronautical Society 2017 Team Gold Medal, in recognition of the first solar flight around the world, completed in July 2016.

    During the event, Michèle commented:

    “I am very honoured to receive this award from the Royal Aeronautical Society on behalf of the Solar Impulse Team. By way of rewarding pioneering spirit and innovation as a contribution to aerospace, it also encourages efforts towards protecting the environment and improving the quality of life on Earth.

    Aerospace and aviation have always paved the way for pioneers and innovation, and they will surely be at the forefront of implementing new clean and cutting edge technologies across the globe. Upon the final landing of Solar Impulse in Abu Dhabi, Bertrand said that: ‘within 10 years we will see electric airplanes transporting 50 passengers on short to medium haul flights.’ Today, things are already moving faster than he thought, and I know he looks forward to seeing the progress that is being made in this direction.

    But completing the first ever round-the-world solar and electric flight, which we did in July 2016 without a single drop of fuel, was not only a first for aviation; it was a first for energy. The technologies developed for our revolutionary airplane, such as electrical motors with 97% efficiency, LED lamps for public/private lightening system, extremely efficient insulation foam that can reduce energy consumption for houses, high energy density batteries and ultra-thin solar cells, can already today be used on the ground to contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable world.

    By demonstrating that change is possible, Solar Impulse opened a new path for people, the planet and the industry. With this award, you give resonance to our message. Our adventure is first and foremost one that we share together. Thank you!”

    Yep, and some people really like coal!

  41. GoneFishing says:

    The atmosphere controls 70 percent of the energy flux of the planet. There has been some research lately that clouds contain less ice than previously estimated and that trend will deepen as warming continues. This means that the reflectance of clouds is lower than previously thought and that the reflectance (cooling effect) will continue to diminish in the future.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      You’re so yesterday Fish. Think solar radiation management, climate engineering, geoengineering. The troposphere is where weather is made, the troposphere is where airplanes fly. We simply use jumbo jets to seed the atmosphere with a suitable chemical concoction, presto, no more global warming. Think positively man.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Doug, be careful… These days reality and sarcasm are becoming almost indistinguishable!


        H.R.4586 – Geoengineering Research Evaluation Act of 2017
        115th Congress (2017-2018) | Get alerts
        BILLShow Overview icon-hide

        A BILL
        To provide for the National Academies to study and report on a research agenda to advance the understanding of albedo modification strategies, and for other purposes.

        • GoneFishing says:

          You mean we will keep pumping GHG’s into the air while we try and put up an atmospheric filter? This will not end well.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            This will not end well.

            Oh, don’t worry, Bro!

            The agenda is only to advance the understanding of albedo modification strategies, and for other purposes…

            All the members of congress are highly ethical, intelligent, scientifically literate individuals who have only the best interests of the American people at heart. What could possibly go wrong?

      • GoneFishing says:

        You are so right, I sometimes even forget what day it is. It was Sunday yesterday, right?

        I don’t want you to spread this around Doug, so keep a lid on this. We are geo-engineering and have been for a long time. Even the conservative IPCC estimates a global loss of 1.5 w/m2 due to aerosols.
        It’s kind of schizophrenic though since we also keep pumping GHG’s up there to counteract the global cooling. Apparently the alarmists see this as a big problem but all we have to do is stop cleaning up those coal burners and things should balance out energy wise.
        Our ancestors knew how to do it, Pittsburgh area was an example with the streetlights coming on at noon from the smog. They slowed GW over decades. They also had burning rivers but I think that was just for decorative purposes or some kind of primitive religious rite.


      • OFM says:

        Hi Doug,

        While we’re at it, we can load up any surplus cargo space with powdered iron, and dump it in the sea, lol.

        Then we can see some REAL algae blooms in places there have never been any, at least not during known history, lol.

        Don’t laugh too hard folks. Doug and I are just practicing our sarcasm skills, having a little fun, at the moment, but later on……. we may actually be doing these things.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Hey, maybe the Trump administration will ban the words: ‘atmosphere, clouds, reflectance and ice’…

  42. OFM says:

    HB should be posting this link, since he CLAIMS to be so dead set against Trump, Republicans, Southerners, and so forth, but it looks like I will have to do his share of the work to keep our little pissing match running.


    Be forewarned, this is a LONG READ.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      The Senate is reportedly probing former presidential candidate Jill Stein for possible collusion with Russia.

      The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Monday that the Stein probe was one of two investigations about Russian collusion that his panel is pursuing, according to The Washington Post.

      Stein dined with Russian president Vladimir Putin during a 2015 Moscow event that was also attended by Trump’s former national security adviser Mike Flynn.


  43. Hightrekker says:

    (this should not be happening with a la niña)

    • GoneFishing says:

      One or two degrees Centigrade? Big deal. Temperature here varies as much as 70C over the course of a year. 🙂

      It’s the clouds.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        It’s the clouds.

        I think that last word is banned! Maybe try substituting it with something like,
        diaphanous dihydrogenmonoxide nebulosity…

        • GoneFishing says:

          You forgot to add multiphasic.

          • Fred Magyar says:


            That would just go over the average lay person’s head, too technical and sciency. You can’t really expect people to intuitively grasp the concept of dihydrogenmonoxide, depending on its temperature, being able to transition from an aqueous state to a quasi vitrified phase let alone being able to transform into a mist.

            Not to mention you’d have to explain sublimation of the vitrified from directly into a substance which expands freely to fill any space available, irrespective of its quantity. You’d just be opening up a real Pandora’s box…

            Of course you could bring a snowball to a session in the senate where people are scientifically literate enough to deal with such extremely complex subjects…

            Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) Snowball in the Senate (C-SPAN)

            • GoneFishing says:

              How about gravitationally enhanced condensed dihydrogen oxide impinging upon my os parietale?

              A double dog triple point to you Fred.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                What? You don’t know enough to carry a parapluie?

                And gravitationally enhanced?!!

                Sheesh! Next you’ll also expect our Congress people to be conversant with Newton’s Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica…

                That’s not what I would consider to be a safe calculus…

      • D. Graham says:

        That’s the way the climate changes here in Albuquerque also. Look at the ABQ wiki under “climate” the average daily temp at the airport during the coldest months December and January is right around 36F while the hottest month July is around 78F. Right there at https://m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albuquerque,_New_Mexico#Climate you can see that information.

        So that’s a yearly climate change of right around 42F. But the differences are even bigger most years as, by the airport they can get up past 100F in the summer then below 20F in the winter. That’s all within a 12 month climate period. Besides that there are other big differences in the foothills, valleys, and Sandia mountains. So there’s much climate change to go around in this region every year. From sometimes to much of the time, the people will grumble because of all these temperature changes, but the plants and animals do seem to get on just fine.

      • Hightrekker says:

        So, how old are you?
        It seems such a short answer, without any perspective.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Only from your perspective. Keep studying, it’s old info but you might come across it someday.

          • Hightrekker says:

            But you still haven’t answered my question———–
            Seem a bit short on data.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Your question “So, how old are you?”
              Well above the age of majority. Not much data involved merely subtract the current date from the initial date of birth.
              That is of course personal private information that has nothing to do with your initial declarations about ENSO and my comment. Just a smartass comment, eh? Too smart to actually study the situation.
              I will make it simple for you.
              ENSO is driven by solar radiation inputs (the ocean does not generate it’s own heat).
              The largest modifier of EM energy on the planet is the atmosphere which controls 70 percent of the energy flow. Clouds are a big part of this.
              It’s the clouds.
              Hopefully you have some idea that clouds reduce incoming radiation and lack of clouds increases it.
              Thought experiment for you: What temperature would the earth be if half the clouds were removed?

  44. Longtimber says:

    Details on US Tax Bill’s impact on Energy – No Easy Love for Nukes – We find out Vogel fate on Dec 21.

    • notanoilman says:

      How often does the USA make these tax bills? Is it an annual thing, random, per administration or whatever?


      • OFM says:

        Not very often. Decades usually. It’s been a long time since the last time previous to this one.

        Most of the time neither party is strong enough to force thru much in the way of real change, and some of the time, neither party even wants much in the way of change.

        Grid lock or political deadlock is the name of the game when it comes to energy policy in the USA, as a general rule.

        This time may be different, because I foresee a real possibility that the D’s will regain control of the federal government by the time we have another presidential election. They might even have power enough in 2021 to push thru a new energy law and new energy policies, just as the R’s have enough power to do that right now.

        • Longtimber says:

          Someone ask Rand Paul why he votes N O on most Bills. He says “because I read them”. A Constitutional amendment IS IN ORDER – No law exceeds the Constitution – 4401 words. Period included.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        The last major US Federal Tax legislation was about 31 years ago (1986).

        So major tax bills happen only occasionally. The last time it was a bipartisan effort, it is quite rare in the US for one party to hold majorities in both houses of Congress and the Presidency, though that was the case when major Healthcare legislation was passed.
        Unfortunately many of the good tax ideas of Republican economists were not included in this legislation which was rushed through and saw very little public debate.

        The bill also has very little public support, based on poll data, so this may not buy the Republicans many votes, though it may help with campaign contributions from all of the wealthy folks it helps.

  45. GoneFishing says:

    Wings of the future. Research into large aircraft that may be 70% more efficient than what we have now.


    • Fred Magyar says:

      Wow! It’s more than a bit sobering to grasp the massive amounts of computational power needed to model the fluid dynamics involved. Try doing that on your slide rule!

      • GoneFishing says:

        Yes, it’s a case of technological entropy. To make a flyable moderately efficient aircraft took a modicum of tech and computation. To increase modern passenger jets beyond the efficiency of the last ICE prop driven large passenger aircraft of the 1940’s – 1950’s takes extreme tech, huge computational power and a new and diverse material set.
        It’s worth the effort because of the huge amount of traffic and energy savings involved. Just think of all those dispersed families that will soon be brought together via the jet aircraft/airport/ ground transport system during the holidays.

        On Jan. 1, 1914, the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line became the world’s first scheduled passenger airline service, operating between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Fla. It was a short-lived endeavor ­— only four months — but it paved the way for today’s daily transcontinental flights.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          I always find it more than a tad ironic that same individuals who find fault with, and criticize climate modeling, never seem to express their outrage when exactly the same modeling techniques and computers are employed to model say, the fluid dynamics of aircraft wings and fuselage prototypes.


          NASA’s Ames Research Center is a key participant in the advancement and use of supercomputing in support of its missions. Applications have included modeling fluid dynamics phenomena and full aerospace vehicles, Earth’s weather and climate, solar physics and the formation of the universe, and much more. All of these disciplines require high-fidelity numerical modeling of complex systems and processes, including detailed analyses and visualizations of large-scale data, both enabled by supercomputing, to advance human knowledge and technology.

          I would strongly suggest that all anthropogenic induced climate change skeptics, stick to traveling in donkey drawn carts and not board any of today’s modern aircraft. After all, the models might be flawed…

          On the other hand since these individuals seem to know so much more than the scientists and computer engineers at NASA they might want to respond to this challenge.


          NASA Issues a Challenge to Speed Up Its Supercomputer Code

          Do you, or someone you know, know how to program computers? NASA has a challenging assignment for you.

          NASA’s aeronautical innovators are sponsoring a competition to reward qualified contenders who can manipulate the agency’s FUN3D design software so it runs ten to 10,000 times faster on the Pleiades supercomputer without any decrease in accuracy.

          The competition is called the High Performance Fast Computing Challenge (HPFCC).

          “This is the ultimate ‘geek’ dream assignment,” said Doug Rohn, director of NASA’s Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP). “Helping NASA speed up its software to help advance our aviation research is a win-win for all.”

          • GoneFishing says:

            This is well below the request made back in the 90’s by NASA to the computer design firms. Goldin requested, often very strongly, that they develop a whole new computer that was not based on the transistor. His reasoning was that the transistor based systems were reaching their limits and we needed huge sensor systems across the planet that would provide vast amounts of real time data to be processed.
            This has not really happened and we are still limited in processing of data (basically massive parallel processing).

            Without fifth generation computing we will have to start thinking and understanding again.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              This has not really happened and we are still limited in processing of data (basically massive parallel processing).

              Well, yes and no! How long before the genie is out of the bottle for good? From my first link above if you scroll down a bit.

              Quantum computing is based on quantum bits or qubits. Unlike traditional computers, in which bits must have a value of either zero or one, a qubit can represent a zero, a one, or both values simultaneously. Representing information in qubits allows the information to be processed in ways that have no equivalent in classical computing, taking advantage of phenomena such as quantum tunneling and quantum entanglement. As such, quantum computers may theoretically be able to solve certain problems in a few days that would take millions of years on a classical computer.

              NASA’s QuAIL team aims to demonstrate that quantum computing and quantum algorithms may someday dramatically improve the agency’s ability to solve difficult optimization problems for its missions. The hope is that quantum computing will vastly improve a wide range of tasks that can lead to new discoveries and technologies, which may significantly change the way we solve real-world problems.

              So what is the potential, either good or bad, of mating advanced AI algorithms and processors with this kind of capability?

              Caption for attached picture.
              The D-Wave Vesuvius processor, which provides the computing power of the quantum computer, is cryogenically cooled to 20 millikelvin or about -460 degrees fahrenheit, two orders of magnitude colder than outer space.
              Credits: NASA

              • Fred Magyar says:

                This is the pict of the cryogenically cooled processor. It almost looks like it has an alien like claw…

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Throughout my professional career computer power was always the bottle-neck. In other words, the math and the massive data sets we had were always just beyond the available power of mini-computers available. Now, with 3-D seismic (I’m told) it’s still that way. I expect that when the bugs have been worked out and quantum computers have matured it’ll (maybe) be different. I’d love to have one to play with. Are you listening Santa?

  46. Survivalist says:

    November 2017 was the 3rd warmest November on record globally in at least 137 years.


    (Cigarettes are good for the environment. They kill people)

    • Bob Frisky says:

      In the U.S. only four states were inside the top 3 warmest Novembers.

      • Survivalist says:

        Hey short bus, 24 (25 if you count Alaska) were at least above average… outside of the USA there is this place called ‘the rest of the planet’. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

        • Bob Frisky says:

          Yes there is “The Rest Of The Planet” but here is the global equivalent to the map I posted. The polar regions are all greyed out. There’s no data there, so they just have to guess. Also noticeable is very brutal cold in both Canada and Siberia. This evened out the warmth shown for eastern and western Russia.

          • Survivalist says:

            From the site where you obtained that image:

            “The combined global average temperature over the land and ocean surfaces for November 2017 was 0.75°C (1.35°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (55.2°F). This value tied with 2016 as the fifth highest for November since global temperature records began in 1880. November 2017 marks the 41st consecutive November and the 395th consecutive month with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th century average. The 10 warmest Novembers have occurred during the 21st century. The global land and ocean temperature during November has increased at an average rate of +0.07°C (+0.13°F) per decade since 1880; however, the average rate of increase is twice as great since 1980. The global land surface temperature was the ninth highest on record at 1.10°C (1.98°F) above the 20th century average of 5.9°C (42.6°F).”


            • Bob Frisky says:

              See, originally you said third warmest, now you changed it to fifth warmest. Everything is a guess due to the missing/unknown data in the Arctic and Antarctic.

              • HuntingtonBeach says:

                Russian Troll Alert

              • Survivalist says:

                I didn’t say anything Bob. It’s called a quote. Do you know what a quote is? One quote is from NASA and one quote was from NOAA. NASA includes polar temperatures, NOAA does not. As one might imagine in a polar amplification scenario the inclusion of polar data increases the measured warming. Also different baselines. One is a 1951-1980 (that’s 29 years Bob) mean baseline, the other is a 20th century (that’s 100 years Bob) average baseline. This ain’t rocket surgery Bob.

                “Last month was +0.87 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean November temperature from 1951-1980”

                “The combined global average temperature over the land and ocean surfaces for November 2017 was 0.75°C (1.35°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (55.2°F)”

                Here’s a quote from a European site-
                “November 2017 extended the spell of exceptional global warmth that has now lasted since mid-2015. It was:
                ~ 0.45°C warmer than the average November from 1981-2010;
                ~ the third warmest November on record;
                ~ 0.16°C cooler than the warmest November, which occurred in 2016.”

                Here’s a quote from a Japanese site-
                “The monthly anomaly of the global average surface temperature in November 2017 (i.e. the average of the near-surface air temperature over land and the SST) was +0.30°C above the 1981-2010 average (+0.64°C above the 20th century average), and was the 3rd warmest since 1891. On a longer time scale, global average surface temperatures have risen at a rate of about 0.72°C per century.”

                I know, it’s a bit tough to keep all these different agencies and different baselines straight in your head, but if you write things down and keep notes it might help. You should take up smoking cigarettes Bob, that might help too.

      • OFM says:

        Bob’s used to talking to stupid people.

        It’s really easy to fool stupid people.

        Either that, or he’s actually an environmentalist parading as a forced climate change skeptic, lol, knowing any normally intelligent reader will immediately notice that his map shows four record warm states but not a SINGLE ONE below normal, lol.

        Or maybe he’s actually as stupid as his words indicate.

        • Survivalist says:

          It’s hard to figure out if he’s actually that stupid, or if he’s aping the deniers. Could go either way lol

  47. Survivalist says:
    • Survivalist says:

      2017 is gaining on 2015

      Could be a new record


      • OFM says:


        Usually Santa Ana winds last two days,” said Ventura County firefighter Antonio Negrete. “We’ve been firefighters for decades and have never seen anything like this.”

        The Thomas fire has scorched 271,000 acres across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, destroyed more than 1,000 structures and damaged 250 more. An additional 18,000 structures remain threatened and thousands of residents still can’t go home.

        Some 8,450 firefighters are on the lines, making the response to the Thomas the largest deployment of fire resources in California history. The cost to fight the fire has exceeded $130 million.”

        Records of the sort we would rather not see are being set across the country and around the calendar.

        I’m looking for links that list the number of new record highs, for the year, and on given dates, and all time lows, for the year, and on given dates , for as many locations as I can find.

        These seem to be the sort of statistics that grab the attention of thinking people who nevertheless doubt whether warming is actually occurring.

        Let’s try to remember that we all believe what we please, in accordance with what we actually KNOW, and that the vast majority of people DON’T know even the abc’s of physics, chemistry, geology, biology, etc.

        So it’s no surprise that they are skeptics, having no actual first hand knowledge of what science IS.

        When we insult them, and when Democrats with their noses in the air insult them, they react just like we guys used to react when somebody implied that our baby sister was sleeping around. We got mad, we were ready to fight sometimes, regardless, even if we KNEW for a fact she was sleeping around. Sometimes we did fight.

        When a man’s cultural enemies believe something, whether that belief is factual, or not, unless he is actually a scientist, or a cop maybe, he tends to believe the opposite, UNLESS he has PERSONAL EXPERTISE enabling him to judge for himself.

        When you provide him with facts he can easily comprehend, from sources he trusts, you are providing him with the foundations of growing personal expertise.

        There are always ways to communicate with people who are doubters, or deniers, when you are in possession of the truth, if you remember the FIRST FUCKING RULE.


        Otherwise, you will succeed in providing more evidence to the MOUNTAIN of evidence indicating that when you insult a man or woman’s culture, morals, religion, politics, life style, etc, you have made an enemy of him.

        If he’s a voter, he is thereafter strongly predisposed to vote for your enemies.

        If you treat him with respect, and casually and indirectly supply him with the right kind of data, he will gradually crunch that data of his own accord, over time, and change his mind about some things, maybe a lot of things. People don’t mind changing their minds, if they do so as a result of their own violition. But TELL them to change their minds, and they react as stubbornly as my Old Pa’s mule, when he decided enough was enough, and that he was thru working for the day.

        He just stopped dead in his tracks, and the only way you could move him, so long as he was still in harness, was to light a fire under him, literally. Take the harness off, and after a while, he would decide he wanted to be somewhere else………. back at the barn, where he customarily got a measure of corn on days he had to work. Most days, he lived on grass, fresh or dry, in the form of hay.

        Incidentally, the mule lead a much nicer life than we did. We all worked, including kids, at least a few minutes EVERY day, even on Sunday’s, because some work, such as milking, and feeding the fire, has to be done. That old mule ate as well or better, in mule’s terms, as we did, and he had a nice draft free stable, water brought to him in freezing weather…. and about nine months of the year off. H e also got a better old age bennies package than we did. We fed him until he finally died of old age. We had to feed ourselves.

  48. OFM says:

    Tesla just got an order for another hundred twenty five all electric trucks.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      And BMW hit its 2017 EV sales target and expects to double its global EV sales next year.


      BMW reaches 100,000 electric vehicle sales target for 2017

      • OFM says:

        I maybe ain’t able t’ git it, bein’s I’m a Trumpster and Koch brother loving kgb election hacker, lol, but I betcha old HB and them there Germans gits’ it.

        They have to pay for damn near ever drop o’ gasoline ‘n diesel they burn, ‘n back in the day when ‘t twas still considered right ‘n proper ( by ever body ‘cept the ones what had ALREADY TOOK, ‘n wanted to call the empire game off, cause they wuz the big winners ) well them there Huns ‘n Japs decided it’z all right to do the same as US Anglos and Spaniards, and Dutch ‘n French ‘n jis about ever body else big ‘nuf to git away with it , ‘n go git ’em some oil ‘ n some coal ‘n some iron ore ‘n some gas ‘n some o’ this ‘n that ‘n mos ever thang else they wuz short of, ‘n needed, or jis wanted fer the missus.

        But now’days, they’s got a giniration er two ahead o most ever body else, yes sir, they have , both of them Japanese ‘n them Germans ‘ n side’s which , being’s they both been on the losing end of a big war in living memory, they got better sense about it than most any body.

        So’s if the fuel cell biz works out the best, them Japanese’izes is gonna be ten years ahead o everybody else, and the Germans, being as they ain’t got much o nuthin in the way o them there nat’rl resources iz, ‘cepting tween the ears, o ‘ which they got plenty, they ‘head o bout everbody ‘ cept ole man Musk in the lecterc car biz, taking inter account how many of them there is, ‘n how big them Chinese iz, ‘n in the wind and sun power biz nis too.

        Now bein’s I jis a dumb ass ignerent ole farmer, and larnt all o this from keeping my mouth shet, mos’ly, an lis’nin to the other fellers at the store , I mighta got some o the details wrong, but I’m thinkin I got it mos’ly right. Couple o them fellers has been places, like all over Germany ‘n France back in the war. They seen some stuff.

        Ole HB might wanna thank about moving to Virginyer one o these days, cause after midterm ‘lections, this gonna likely be a blue state.


  49. GoneFishing says:

    Observed Arctic sea-ice loss directly follows anthropogenic CO2 emission

    Arctic sea ice is retreating rapidly, raising prospects of a future ice-free Arctic Ocean during summer.
    Since climate-model simulations of the sea-ice loss differ substantially, we here use a robust linear
    relationship between monthly-mean September sea-ice area and cumulative CO2 emissions to infer the
    future evolution of Arctic summer sea ice directly from the observational record. The observed linear
    relationship implies a sustained loss of 3 ± 0.3 m2 of September sea-ice area per metric ton of CO2
    emission. Based on this sensitivity, Arctic sea-ice will be lost throughout September for an additional
    1000 Gt of CO2 emissions. Most models show a lower sensitivity, which is possibly linked to an
    underestimation of the modeled increase in incoming longwave radiation and of the modeled Transient Climate Response.


    Interesting, a linear result from a logarithmic effect. Seems like they are missing something here.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Interesting, a linear result from a logarithmic effect. Seems like they are missing something here.

      Haven’t read the paper yet…. but from a quick glance the only graphs that look linear seem to be log-log plots?

  50. Doug Leighton says:



    The new strategy suggests Trump administration will actively oppose efforts to reduce the burning of oil, gas and coal for energy. “US leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth energy agenda detrimental to US economic and energy security interests,” it says. In June, Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement, saying: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”


    • Doug Leighton says:



      “The region is now definitively trending toward an ice-free state, the scientists said, with wide-ranging ramifications for ecosystems, national security, and the stability of the global climate system. It was a fitting venue for an eye-opening reminder that, on its current path, civilization is engaged in an existential gamble with the planet’s life-support system.”


      • GoneFishing says:

        It’s about time that scientists starting disseminating the information about the Arctic.
        Losing the ice is just the start of process that could go on for thousands of years, changing the climate and releasing the stored GHG’s in the region. There is some evidence that both poles act together and with Antarctica at it’s insolation maximum that does not bode well for climate change and sea level rise.

      • Cats@Home says:

        Climate alarmism is now recognized once and for all as a national security threat to the United States.

        National Security Strategy of the United States of America
        President Donald J. Trump
        The White House December 2017


        Climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system. U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests. Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty. The United States will continue to advance an approach that balances energy security, economic development, and environmental protection. The United States will remain a global leader in reducing traditional pollution, as well as greenhouse gases, while expanding our economy. This achievement, which can serve as a model to other countries, flows from innovation, technology breakthroughs, and energy efficiency gains, not from onerous regulation.

        The United States will promote clean and safe development of our energy resources,
        while limiting regulatory burdens that encumber energy production and constrain economic growth. We will streamline the Federal regulatory approval processes for energy infrastructure, from pipeline and export terminals to container shipments and gathering lines, while also ensuring responsible environmental stewardship.

        The United States will seek to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable energy, including highly efficient fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables, to help reduce poverty, foster economic growth, and promote prosperity.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        “The region is now definitively trending toward an ice-free state, the scientists said, with wide-ranging ramifications for ecosystems, national security, and the stability of the global climate system.

        Meanwhile our Moron in Chief and his enablers have decided that despite the long time position of the DOD considering climate change to be a national security threat, they know better than the experts. Dunning and Kruger can add the actions of these clowns as a case study to their research!


        Trump Removes Climate Change as Threat to U.S. in New Security Strategy
        In its first update to the U.S. National Security Strategy, the Trump administration has removed climate change from its list of major threats to the country, several news outlets reported. The decision puts the administration at odds with the Pentagon, which has for years made military decisions with climate change in mind…

        …The one area climate change is addressed is in the policy’s energy section. “U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economy and energy security interests,” the conservative news site The Federalist quotes from a draft of the new strategy. “Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty.”

        Of Course both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis disagree.


        Trump’s Defense Secretary Cites Climate Change as National Security Challenge
        James Mattis’ unpublished testimony before a Senate panel recognizes a threat others in the administration reject or minimize.

        Secretary of Defense James Mattis has asserted that climate change is real, and a threat to American interests abroad and the Pentagon’s assets everywhere, a position that appears at odds with the views of the president who appointed him and many in the administration in which he serves.

        In unpublished written testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee after his confirmation hearing in January, Mattis said it was incumbent on the U.S. military to consider how changes like open-water routes in the thawing Arctic and drought in global trouble spots can pose challenges for troops and defense planners. He also stressed this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if.

        Coming full circle and very much on topic with all this is a recent podcast by Sam Harris.


        Sam Harris speaks with Tom Nichols about his book The Death of Expertise. They discuss the “Dunning-Kruger Effect,” the growth of knowledge and reliance on authority, when experts fail, the repudiation of expertise in politics, conspiracy thinking, North Korea, Trump, and other topics.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Hmmm, seems like promoting, building and installing renewable energy systems, a smart grid and storage would give the USA a vitally robust economy far into the future. Sticking with the old systems will keep the system down and in a state of oscillation. Maybe that works out for the rich but the rest are not going to like it at all.

  51. Cats@Home says:

    Meanwhile, could this impact global population? People who couldn’t have babies before could now have many, or older women could get pregnant when they couldn’t before?

    The embryo is just a year younger than the mother who birthed her
    By Susan Scutti, CNN
    Updated 6:15 PM ET, Tue December 19, 2017


    The longest known frozen human embryo to result in a successful birth was born last month in Tennessee.

    Emma Wren Gibson, delivered November 25 by Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, medical director of the National Embryo Donation Center, is the result of an embryo originally frozen on October 14, 1992.

    Emma’s parents, Tina and Benjamin Gibson of eastern Tennessee, admit feeling surprised when they were told the exact age of the embryo thawed March 13 by Carol Sommerfelt, embryology lab director at the National Embryo Donation Center.

    “Do you realize I’m only 25? This embryo and I could have been best friends,” Tina Gibson said.

    Today, Tina, now 26, explained to CNN, “I just wanted a baby. I don’t care if it’s a world record or not.”

    Sommerfelt said the birth is “pretty exciting considering how long the embryos had been frozen.”
    Previously, the oldest known frozen embryo that came to successful birth was 20 years old.

    Weighing 6 pounds 8 ounces and measuring 20 inches long, Emma is a healthy baby girl, and that’s the only thought on her parents’ minds.

    “We’re just so thankful and blessed. She’s a precious Christmas gift from the Lord,” Tina said. “We’re just so grateful.”

  52. Mick Aitken says:

    Say Survivalist, what did you make of the reaction, to the Atlanta airport electrical outage? A sign of what the future might hold?

    • Survivalist says:

      I must admit I’m not terribly well informed on the reaction to the Atlanta airport electrical outage; just what I see on MSM. Although, I’m sure that before the trucks stop running, as a result of peak oil, the commercial airliners will have stopped flying for quite some time.

  53. Bob Frisky says:

    The temperature departures from average this month through December 18. So far the month has been a very cold one in the east. Really quite remarkable. The central region has seen warmth, but this is about to be completely wiped out by an impressively cold Arctic blast over the weekend.

    • Bob Frisky says:

      Now before I get accused again, I can point out December 1–December 18 temperatures in N. Dakota and Montana have been about 13 to 15 °F above average. Although again, this will get balanced out by the upcoming cold blast.

      Glasgow, Montana
      AVERAGE MONTHLY: 31.6 °F
      DPTR FM NORMAL: 13.7 °F

      Wolf Point, Montana
      AVERAGE MONTHLY: 31.4 °F
      DPTR FM NORMAL: 15.0 °F

      Havre, Montana
      AVERAGE MONTHLY: 34.4 °F
      DPTR FM NORMAL: 14.0 °F

      Miles City, Montana
      AVERAGE MONTHLY: 34.7 °F
      DPTR FM NORMAL: 13.2 °F

      Williston, North Dakota
      AVERAGE MONTHLY: 29.8 °F
      DPTR FM NORMAL: 14.2 °F

      Minot, North Dakota
      AVERAGE MONTHLY: 30.7 °F
      DPTR FM NORMAL: 13.6 °F

      Bismarck, North Dakota
      AVERAGE MONTHLY: 32.2 °F
      DPTR FM NORMAL: 14.3 °F

      • OFM says:

        Hi Bob,

        Some of the other regulars here may still think you’re a troll, but I think myself you’re just spoofing the trolls.

        You could maintain your camo a lot better if you would post a chart or graph once in a while that matches your comment, lol.

        I’m hereby outing you as a comedian.

        Unless maybe you actually are dumb enough that you failed to notice that your map shows at least twice as much of the country above average as below, rotfl.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Yes, Frisky, it’s winter in the northern hemisphere and what you keep describing is weather. Albeit increasingly aberrant weather due to more and more extreme oscillations in the Jet Stream which has now quite clearly been shown to be related to anthropogenic induced climate change. Your posts are now becoming more annoying than Javier’s and you continuously demonstrate a profound disdain for any of the actual scientific research. Now while the following link addresses this topic I’m afraid it will both figuratively and literally go over your head.

      A new study from a team of climate scientists in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands suggests climate change is affecting the jet stream, which is, in turn, causing extreme weather events to occur more often. While their study only looked at spring and summer extremes, the researchers believe this is breakthrough proof that human-caused global warming is actually messing with the steering mechanism for weather systems.


      Influence of Anthropogenic Climate Change on Planetary Wave Resonance and Extreme Weather Events
      Michael E. Mann, Stefan Rahmstorf, Kai Kornhuber, Byron A. Steinman, Sonya K. Miller & Dim Coumou

      Persistent episodes of extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere summer have been shown to be associated with the presence of high-amplitude quasi-stationary atmospheric Rossby waves within a particular wavelength range (zonal wavenumber 6–8). The underlying mechanistic relationship involves the phenomenon of quasi-resonant amplification (QRA) of synoptic-scale waves with that wavenumber range becoming trapped within an effective mid-latitude atmospheric waveguide. Recent work suggests an increase in recent decades in the occurrence of QRA-favorable conditions and associated extreme weather, possibly linked to amplified Arctic warming and thus a climate change influence. Here, we isolate a specific fingerprint in the zonal mean surface temperature profile that is associated with QRA-favorable conditions. State-of-the-art (“CMIP5”) historical climate model simulations subject to anthropogenic forcing display an increase in the projection of this fingerprint that is mirrored in multiple observational surface temperature datasets. Both the models and observations suggest this signal has only recently emerged from the background noise of natural variability.

      Full paper available at link.

  54. OFM says:


    Nature works in strange ways. I can see the peacock’s tail working as a sexual advertisement, even though it must detract from fitness in other respects. There must have been plenty of food, and ample cover, for peacocks to be able to AFFORD such tails, and still avoid predators.

    But for the life of me, I haven’t yet discovered any GOOD explanation for why roosters do so much crowing at night. It sure as hell seems as if this would be more of a problem, in terms of helping predators locate them, and their females and offspring, than it could contribute to their survival.


    I suppose these particular fish have done ok even though they are so noisy, because they congregate and make all that racket only at certain times, and at those times, their numbers are so great that predation doesn’t matter.

    This strategy works out quite well for the thirteen and seventeen year cicada.

    If the commercial fisherman are smart enough to cooperate, this fishery ought to survive at least for the easily fore see able future. It’s easy to limit commercial fishing in such a small area, technically. Politicallly it’s a different ball game altogether.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      If the commercial fisherman are smart enough to cooperate, this fishery ought to survive at least for the easily fore see able future. It’s easy to limit commercial fishing in such a small area, technically. Politicallly it’s a different ball game altogether.

      The true dilemma is how do you get the people invested in the fossil fuel economy to understand ocean acidification as a serious threat to their own, and the marine ecosystem’s survival. Cooperation among fisherman to limit commercial fishing alone, just isn’t going to cut it, in my view.

      • GoneFishing says:

        As the foundation crumbles so does the house.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Doesn’t that presume that there is something upon which the foundation can actually rest?

          • GoneFishing says:


            • Doug Leighton says:

              Turtles are good.

              • OFM says:

                And all the way down too, nothing to worry about folks, move along, nothing to see here.

                But I’ve yet to meet a flat earther preacher. All the ones I have ever met seem to understand that the Earth is actually round, and they have a more or less firm idea that the Devil lives somewhere down near the middle.

                It’s worth a smile to note that they have one thing right…… It’s LITERALLY ” hot as hell” down below once you get down a few kilometers, lol.

                I can’t recall the name of the author, or the story, at the moment, but there’s a really hilarious story about flat earthers by a famous English author who’s a well known for his deft humor. I’m thinking it’s either in public domain or will be shortly.

                Fred’s right of course. But smaller victories, even if temporary aren’t to be sniffed at, because they are good for the soul of the environmental camp, helping keep people motivated, and may result in some significant portions of the ecosphere surviving the fossil fuel age.

                Ocean acidification to the extent of catastrophe is real possibility, but so far as I know, there’s no emerging consensus as to how bad things may get in that respect, or how long it might take for the ph of the world ocean to drop far enough to flip away from producing to consuming oxygen.

                If that happens, the only humans that would survive would be the handful of super rich who may be able to build totally enclosed cities , something along the line of domed cities in old science fiction novels.

                They might make it a few years inside their living tombs.. if they were to succeed in finishing them quickly enough.

  55. Doug Leighton says:


    “Uncontrollable infernos that have torched about half a million hectares and displaced more than 100,000 people have made this the worst wildfire year yet for California. From such ashes, ecosystems usually bounce back, but a new study reveals this is no longer a guarantee. Thanks to climate change, areas ravaged by wildfires may never recover, wiping out entire ecological communities forever…

    And this may become a vicious cycle. Fires pump more carbon into the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change, and fires decimate the trees that would normally suck this carbon out of the sky. “If we lose forests through increased fire and limited regeneration, this could result in more carbon in the atmosphere,” says John Abatzoglou, a climatologist at the University of Idaho in Moscow who was not associated with the study. This, in turn, may further change climate and reshape the landscape, he says.”


    • GoneFishing says:

      As can be seen in the South Dakota Badlands and the red rock country of the western US, once areas dry out and lose their life/soil they can stay that way for a very long time. Regions that supported huge amounts of wetland life and large savannah creatures in the far past are now mostly dry rock fossil and geology museums.
      We don’t know how long present changes will last or which way they will go in the long run, but the current trends are quite disturbing. The American West appears to be on a continued drying, along with some other areas in the world.
      Maybe we should move large chunks of the ice caps into the desert regions to provide water. What could go wrong?

      • GoneFishing says:

        This Map Shows Where the World’s Water Is Drying Up

        Groundwater loss isn’t just a California problem: According to a recent study by researchers at NASA and the University of California-Irvine, humans are depleting more than half of the world’s 37 largest aquifers at unsustainable rates, and there is virtually no accurate data showing how much water is left.

        The study, published this week in the journal Water Resources Research, used 11 years of satellite data to measure water depletion. Eight aquifers, primarily in Asia and Africa, were qualified as “overstressed,” meaning they had nearly no natural replenishment. The most stressed basin was the Arabian Aquifer System, beneath Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Other quickly disappearing aquifers were the Indus Basin aquifer, between India and Pakistan, and the Murzuk-Djado Basin, in northern Africa.
        Five other aquifers, including California’s Central Valley Aquifer, were “extremely” or “highly” stressed, with some natural replenishment but not enough to make up for growing demand.


  56. Doug Leighton says:

    I think (hope) this is good news,


    The first resident pod of bottlenose dolphins has been discovered off the south-west coast of England.

    • GoneFishing says:

      I can’t wait for hippos in the Thames!

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Well the Hippos and the Dolphins did have a common ancestor about 55 million years ago.

        • GoneFishing says:

          We all have common ancestors. Not many were royalty. 🙂
          The hippos were there about 3 million years ago. Not being good at ice skating they left when it got cold.

  57. Doug Leighton says:



    “Drilling for crude in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge may be just the start as President Donald Trump seeks to revive Alaska’s beleaguered oil industry. Republicans in Congress handed the industry a long-sought victory on Tuesday, approving exploration in the vast Arctic preserve as part of their tax overhaul. The legislation, which Trump is expected to sign into law, would lift an almost 40-year old ban on prospecting for oil and natural gas in the refuge’s coastal plain, where endangered polar bears, caribou and other species roam.”


    • Doug Leighton says:

      There are few places left on the planet that remain unscathed by the heavy footprint of humanity. The 19.6-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in the northeast corner of Alaska, is one of them—a vast primordial wilderness that stretches from spruce forests in the south, over the jagged Brooks Range, onto gently sloping wetlands that flow into the ice-curdled Beaufort Sea. ANWR is the summer breeding ground of nearly 200,000 caribou, the winter den of dozens of polar bears, and the gathering place of millions of migratory birds that descend upon it each spring from every flyway in North America. Now it may soon be home to oil wells, gravel roads, air strips, oil camps, and all the infrastructure they entail.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Well, the Eco-war will now wind up another notch. I expect there will be very strong retaliation for this transgression. People don’t respond to insects dying in droves but they will respond to the loss of their hard won iconic preserve.

  58. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi all,

    A new post is up


    and a new Open Thread Non-Petroleum


  59. OFM says:

    There’s no reason to give up , not YET, anyway.

    This is from today’s Washington Post.

    READ THIS LINK and IGNORE the rest of this comment, but READ THE LINK. PLEASE


    “That means Republicans and Democrats will have a rare tie in that chamber — something even the most optimistic Democrats didn’t think was possible going into last month’s election. Republicans had held the majority in this statehouse for two decades, and before last month, they controlled 66 out of 100 seats. After Tuesday, both sides hold 50 seats.

    Add this dramatic win to the growing pile of evidence that Democrats are positioned to put a dent in Republicans’ control of government in 2018, at all levels.

    Democrats have flipped 34 contested statehouse seats since President Trump got elected. Some of those seats — such as those in Oklahoma, New Hampshire and Iowa — represent districts that had voted for Trump by double digits in November 2016. (By comparison, Republicans have flipped four statehouse seats this year.) ”

    Other folk’s mileage varies, but for what it’s worth, I will go to my grave believing that the PRIMARY reason the R’s have been able to more or less TAKE OVER the country over the last decade or two is the culture war.

    The R’s haven’t won control of so many state level and local level and national offices just because they gerrymandered after the last census. They won some or maybe most of them because the people didn’t like the overall D agenda.

    The R’s couldn’t have used the culture war as a tool to win elections if it hadn’t existed.

    There’s an old story about a pipe smoking corduroy elbow patches earth shoe wearing English professor at a small New England women’s college who said ” I can’t understand how Mondale lost. Everybody I know voted for him. ”

    I haven’t been able to determine if this is a true story, but it could be, because such a professor, if he was real, would have been speaking sarcastically. You can’t know without context.

    The members of this forum, or at least the ones who are in the habit of commenting often, are like this professor, in case he was serious. ( If he is or was real, he wasn’t, he was joking. )

    You guys who love to make fun of working class, conservative and religious people, etc, and point out how stupid and ignorant they are , then ask is if you’re mystified why they vote the way they do.

    Perhaps you ‘re simply commenting sarcastically, but the truth of the matter is that the VAST majority of people in this country, including a substantial percentage of those who are graduaten of some of elite universities, don’t REALLY know shit from apple butter about any of the various technical or scientifically oriented subject matter discussed in this forum.

    This may come as a shock, or a major new insight to those of us who ARE technically literate, live among technically literate people, and seldom associate with unlettered people, and then only as their underlings or clients , etc.

    Suppose you go to any randomly selected college campus, and interview the first hundred young senior women you encounter. You will find that the vast majority of them are Democrats, or leaning D, and that they are all in favor, in principle at least, of strong environmental law, freedom from government involvement in their private lives, in favor of such initiatives as single payer health care, etc.

    You will find that almost without exception, they know a hell of a lot about politics, considering their tender age.

    And you will find that they know at least about as much as climate and environmental science, BUT NO MORE, than the dumbest hillbilly knows about astronomy, such as that the Earth is round, and goes around the sun, and that the night lasts for over a month at the North Pole, etc.

    Even the most backward hillbilly knows these things these days, and has known them since the arrival of television, because he has have heard them so long he has have come to accept them as true, and because the people he looks up to, his role models, have come to accept them as true. ( His role model may be his own son or daughter, as is the case of my own ancient old Daddy, who never really wanted to believe the sun shines for weeks, and fails to rise for weeks, if you go far enough north… at least not until my baby sister soldier got into the habit of calling him from up that way when she was stationed as far North as you can get, as the result of asking for duty in wilderness areas. She got it, maybe because not many medical specialists, and especially female specialists, were interested in spending weeks and months in such places.

    He has never hand any problem accepting that the Earth is round, because he very quickly points out that if it’s NOT, then people would have found the EDGE a long time ago. He has traveled enough that he understands that the world is round because the horizon always slopes down and away, no matter where you go, or how high up.

    (He’s been as high as thirty two thousand feet in a passenger jet.He specifically asked the stewardess how high it went . The Commonwealth of Virginia, and his parents, during the Depression, were able to send him to a one room school…… occasionally.. for a while. HIS role models, the people HE looked up too, were technically ignorant. There weren’t any professional people in our family back then, and we didn’t know any, because there WEREN’T any in this neighborhood, excepting a few teachers who knew better than to challenge the preachers, if they wanted to keep their positions.

    Yes, my ancient old Daddy is technically ignorant , yes he is uneducated, but he is NOT STUPID. He thinks as well and as clearly, or at least he USED to, before he got so old, as anybody, given the data he has to work with. )

    You would have to be as dumb as a fence post to fail to understand that MOST people who don’t believe in forced global warming, or single payer health care, etc, believe as they do BECAUSE THE PEOPLE THEY LOOK UP TO tell them forced climate change is baloney, and that single payer health care is a horrible idea that will cost them double.

    ( One of my best old friends, a graduate of a respectable university with a degree in business administration, gone some years now, a guy who was brilliant, except for his political blind spots, used to be very fond of saying that if you think health care is expensive NOW, just wait until it’s FREE, lol. )

    Now to get to my POINT, which I usually do, EVENTUALLY, rotfl, at myself, if you offer each one of that hundred young women some pointed questions about climate science, and environmental science, you will find out VERY QUICKLY that they don’t know any more about these sciences than the typical hillbilly knows about astronomy.

    THEY CHOOSE TO BELIEVE WHAT THEY HEAR FROM SUCH PEOPLE AS ARE THEIR CULTURAL ALLIES. It’s just an accident that the party we call the D’s happens to be RIGHT based on the science.

    The D party is the party they associate with because their CULTURE meshes with, is part of, IS D party culture.

    Out of that hundred young women, the ONLY ones who will be able to answer one question out of ten requiring an ACTUAL abc level of technical literacy, such as is to be earned by completing a REAL freshman level course in biology, with labs, lots of reading, etc, BOTH semesters, rather than a survey course, will be the ones who have actually TAKEN such a course.

    At a typical university these days, not more than one out of every ten such young women has actually completed such a course, unless she’s a STEM major. The proportion of randomly selected young men having taken such a course is higher of course, but that’s because so many more men choose STEM majors.

    OK……. liberal young women and men believe in forced warming MOSTLY because their cultural peers and role models believe in it…. not because they know enough about it to come to a CONCLUSION about it, based on their own personal training.

    Now what does all THIS rant have to do with anything?

    Well, the quote I excerpted from the Washington Post up above, indicates that the people of Virgina who voted R are very fast changing their minds about Trump and the R’s. As I see it, it makes far more sense to conclude they have voted mostly R, rather than D, for the last couple of decades, not because they are especially fond of the R political agenda, but rather because they were NOT fond of the D political agenda, which involved force feeding them a lot of cultural change they weren’t interested in.

    The people of this country haven’t voted so much FOR R’s over the last twenty years as they have AGAINST the D cultural agenda..

    Now that Trump and the worst of the R’s are going for whatever they can get for themselves and their homies, the people of Virginia are fast changing their minds about them, concluding that they would rather have moderate or even hard core D’s represent them than R’s.

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