Open Thread- Non-Petroleum

I don’t have anything ready to post and have noticed the conversation has wandered far from Oil and Natural Gas in the previous thread.  Please post comments on non-Petroleum topics in this thread.  Petroleum (Oil and Natural Gas) topics should go in the Open Thread- Petroleum post.

It is too much work to move comments from one thread to the other so I may delete posts that are in the wrong thread.

It will help if you don’t respond to posts that are in the wrong thread, even simple stuff like “Wrong thread” will not allow me to delete the comment without messing up the conversation.

We will see how this works.

So two threads, Petroleum and non-Petroleum, when in doubt use the non-Petroleum thread.  By Petroleum, I mean Oil and Natural Gas.

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255 Responses to Open Thread- Non-Petroleum

  1. Forbin says:

    vote of thanks to Dennis for doing the split thread


    PS: almost posted this in the oil thread – I guess this is non oil related 😉

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Forbin,

      Your welcome. It would have been ok in either thread, I think it is often not clear which thread to post in which is possibly why Ron may not like the idea that much (we have never discussed it as far as I remember, so I am guessing).

      We will see how it goes, there have been several people who have requested such a split.

      Some will like it, some will not.

      For now its a trial run.

      • I think the split a good idea. This blog is actually conducive to climate science discussions, because it takes a more neutral stance than the extremes on both sides. Frankly, I can’t think of a real good climate science blog (suggest one and I will say what’s wrong with it :). One side is afraid of discussing novel ideas, while on the other side, all the new ideas should be filed under wacko.

        This is really a systems science topic with the system under study being the earth. So by combining geology/natural resources and climate science you have earth sciences, which is really the key.

        • clifman says:

          What do you think of Robert Scribbler?

          • clifman,
            You know, I was actually thinking about that one. Scribbler is one climate blog that I can recommend because the commenters contribute quite a bit, much like here. I do read it, and Scribbler is good considering he is not a professional scientist. My problem with it is that I don’t think I could get a sustained back-and-forth discussion on a science topic.

          • Aws. says:

            Scribbler’s posts are always worth reading. Good recommendation.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          I am very much in favor of always having a non petroleum thread open.

          Having it this way will keep some of us, including me, visiting and posting, if we can’t post about things that are not directly related to petroleum.

          Peak oil is just one thing that we are going to be dealing with as time passes.

          It behooves thinking people to know as much as they can about all the things we talk about here including the things not directly related to oil.

        • SatansBestFriend says:

          What are your thoughts on real

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Satan’s Best Friend,

            Who are you asking?

            Real Climate is excellent but the focus is on climate change only there.
            The discussion here is somewhat broader, alternative energy and the transition away from fossil fuel, economics, population, farming.

            A little different than Real Climate in my view.

            For a discussion focused on climate change, Real Climate is great.

            • SatansBestFriend says:

              Thanks Dennis.

              Webhubble in a previous comment said he would give his opinion on climate blogs.

              That is what I was responding too.

              You guys are smarter than me. But I like real climate.

              Quit ignoring Satan! He is pissed!

              • Satan’s BFF :

       is not very good only in that every comment is held for moderation. Nearly useless IMO for commenting. The blog itself is good but the blog postings are only sporadic.

                • SatansBestFriend says:


                  What do you think of Joe Romm?

                  I thought is old climate progress blog was a lot better than this new think progress stuff.

  2. HVACman says:

    This week’s big news from the EV world – Tomorrow (Thursday, 3/31/16) at 8:30 pm PDT, Tesla will “reveal” their long-anticipated Model 3 EV, slated for $35K base retail price and 200+ mile range. Tesla claims they will be delivering these vehicles to retail buyers starting in late 2017. Reservations also will open up tomorrow at $,1000 per pop, first at Tesla’s stores, then online. Rumors suggest that reservations may quickly top 100,000.

    Online access to the reveal will be at

    • aws. says:

      Long line ups to reserve Model 3.

      The line up in Montreal is impressive considering it’s pissing down rain and cold.

      Seemed like the cars parked at the Tesla stores, presumably that belong to those in line, aren’t EVs but ICEs, some of them SUVs.

      Pay attention to the potential petroleum “demand destruction” as these non-early adopters start driving EVs (there not buying a replacement for their Leaf). For these buyers, it is a Tesla they are buying, it doesn’t matter to them that it is an EV… and these buyers are going to take there neighbours and colleagues on a test drive, and once they’ve been in or driven an EV they’ll seriously consider a Tesla or another EV when they purchase there next car.

    • Bob Nickson says:

      115,000 reservation had been made for a Tesla Model 3 in the 24 hours prior to the reveal. 115,000 people who had yet to see the car and most of whom went to a Tesla store to make the deposit.

      It will be interesting to see how quickly the reservations stack up now that reservations can be made online. Online reservation went active at 19:30 Pacific time.

      My brother, after seeing the car, has decided to reserve one. He’s a Master Tech, and owns a car repair business. He knows his industry’s days are numbered.

      • Bob Nickson says:

        That’s $115,000,000 in reservations. At $35,000 starting price of the base model, that is over $4 billion in sales commitments.

        • Nick G says:

          When will Tesla pass the 200k sales mark, which ends the tax credit??

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Tesla Model 3: Why The Details Don’t Matter

          Elon Musk unveils Tesla Model 3 (FULL EVENT)

          Personally I think this should go in the oil thread because it is ideas like TESLA’s that will continue to drive down demand for oil.
          115,000 orders in 24 hours shows a huge pent up desire to get off oil! Whether TESLA itself succeeds or fails in the long run is almost irrelevant. What has already failed is the fossil fuel based model of BAU. May it RIP!

          To be very clear I don’t consider TESLA or any other EV as a way to save us all from ourselves, but there is definitely a very big sea change afoot!

          Wow! Hadn’t even seen this!

          :Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk tweeted Saturday afternoon “253k as of 7am this morning,” meaning reservations for the Model 3 that was unveiled Thursday night after reservations for it opened around the world that morning. It’s far more than expected and Musk said Friday “definitely going to need to rethink production planning.”

  3. GoneFishing says:

    Business insider just put up an article on how big an asteroid would need to be to destroy New York City.

    I think it would be more telling if the simulation hit offshore, a more likely scenario since there is a lot of ocean on planet Earth. Would the resulting waves and tsunami’s wreck most of the seaboard towns and cities and ports? While we are discussing peak oil and it’s problems (things we actually have in our control if we exercise it), it’s just a matter of time before we get hit by some space rock large enough to do major damage.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Well send up some oil men to take care of it, just like the movie. 🙂

      • GoneFishing says:

        Very funny, I had forgotten about that movie.
        I think robots would do a much better job, small pushes at a distance is all we need and no need to return the robots to earth. They can stay there and help monitor position of the rock in the future. No big explosions or hail Mary saves at the last minute. Hollywood needs drama and insane action, we don’t. Just a small shove or two will do.
        Improvements in surveillance are needed to give us more time to act.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Wrong thread. 😉

  4. Ralph says:

    I’ve had my Nissan Leaf about 4 weeks now. Paid £14K for it, less than 1 year old, just 1000 miles on it. Still can’t get my wife to drive it. Anyway, I would love to power it from renewable energy, but I do not space for PV , so I buy my electricity from a company that claims to buy only from renewable sources. This seems a bit tenuous, and since I still have cash burning a hole in my pocket, I have found a community windfarm project which has not yet been killed off by our Tory government, looking for the last 30% of its funding, offering 7% dividends. For another £10k I could buy a share that as a fraction of the windfarm’s output would be twice my own total electricity consumption (house +car) and provide a dividend that would would cover my electricity costs for life (or until the farm goes broke) . The wind farm will be selling it’s output to my electricity provider, so I will even be providing some of my own electrons (yes I know it doesn’t work like that )

    However, it is really tempting to put down the cash and be really smug in a wimbi style way.

    • wimbi says:

      Aha, fame at last!

      My wife says to say to your wife that she too was initially wary of anything so eccentric as an electric vehicle, but now, after a bit of experience, she would have no other kind – quiet, solid, exuding a sense of reliability.

      I admit she had long since become acclimated to those invariably chosen by me as cheap to operate, easy to fix, and certainly never new.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        I am wondering how much of a ‘novelty’ and EV is, since it is currently in context with a whole bunch of ICEV’s. I mean, what happens when you strip the context away and ‘give’ everyone EV’s. For example, where do they drive to; where do they get the material for the new EV’s for hundreds of millions, if not billions of people; what happens to all those ICEV’s and ICEV dealers and EV batteries; and what happens to the energy systems required to drive them?

        IOW, what happens to the entire context and subcontexts when we swap out an ICEV for an EV?

        Sure you have some differences between ICEV’s and EV’s, but they are still V’s and still have to drive everywhere down ribbons of asphalt and park different places, and in a post-peak oil and increasingly degraded and overpopulated world.

        • GoneFishing says:

          What makes you think that the world will become increasingly degraded by using technology that greatly reduces pollution and general degradation?

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            I am suggesting that the world right now is degrading increasingly.

            Still, though, were you here or lurking when I posted, a few months ago, something of the University of Maryland’s research regarding equality and collapse, as well as Dennis Meadow’s (Club of Rome) contention about the same thing?

            Also, did you hear about what you can do in a Tesla, and the exciting Rapa Nui Supercharger Network?

        • chilyb says:

          Hi Caelan,

          I agree that when you think of things at that scale, it doesn’t seem like much of a solution. But at least we will have some cleaner air to breathe. Improving public transit seems like a better use of resources to me.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Or we could do both EVs and public transportation (there are some places where population density is too low for public transportation to make sense.)

            Note that I have driven and EV on a gravel road, works fine if the road is graded from time to time.

            The overpopulation will subside as the demographic transition is accomplished worldwide and total fertility ratios fall below 2.1 and continue to fall to 1.5 by 2150. Education for women is key as some research suggests that more educated women have fewer children, so a two pronged approach of lower poverty rates and better education for women should reduce population with a peak reached in 2050 and population falling to under 7 billion by 2100 and continuing to decrease from there to under 2.5 billion by 2200.

            So the people that currently make ICEVs switch to EVs. As resources become scarce the smart companies will build their cars to be easily recycled and will take them back at the end of life and use the recycled materials as inputs to making new vehicles. The reduced employment at landfills will go with increased employment in recycling centers.

            In addition we could build better cars that last longer so they don’t need to be replaced as often, in the future most vehicles will probably be self driving and vehicles may mostly be owned by Uber type companies that will prefer quality cars that will last for a long time.

            There are many problems and many solutions as well.

            • George Kaplan says:

              Education for women, at least full time until 14 is key, but so is providing ready access to preferred contraception method and ideally a minimum level of social security so children are not seen as necessary to provide for the parents’ old age care.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Countless small businesses already own a small car or truck used to avoid the expense of running two larger, more expensive vehicles on a regular basis, if they can get by with one small one and one larger one.

                This will also apply to having one long range car or light truck, and one with a limited range.

                I asked the driver of a pharmacy delivery vehicle a couple of days ago how many deliveries he makes, and how far from the store. His reply indicated that he could get by just fine with a Nissan Leaf every day. Between trips he works as a stock clerk and could easily keep the Leaf plugged in. I could very easily get by with a Leaf myself by driving my conventional pickup truck on the odd day a Leaf lacks sufficient range.

                There must be at least a few million people and businesses who will opt for an electric as a second economical vehicle once the price of them comes down.

                And the smaller the battery, and the shorter the range, the cheaper an electric will be.

                Once oil goes up again, and it will, gasoline will be close to ten bucks a gallon in some countries. I think subcompact electric vehicles will sell like ice water in hell to businesses in those countries, to be used as courier vehicles, one or two passenger taxis, personal commuter vehicles, etc.

              • Nick G says:

                50% of births in the US are unplanned. The US fetility rate is well below the 2.1 replacement rate, but there’s a lot of room for reductions in fertility,

                50% unplanned!

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  If we were to sharply limit immigration, afther the fashion of just about all the other advanced countries ,our population would peak and start falling a lot sooner.

                  The environment is THE keystone issue, and while I am more optimistic about us pulling thru without a VERY HARD crash here in the USA and a few other fortunate countries than I was a few years back, I am dead sure we are at very high risk of a general more or less world wide economic and environmental collapse.

                  Population is THE key to the environmental question.

                  • Nick G says:

                    I hear that in the last several years, immigration from Mexico (and south of the border in general, I believe) has essentially stopped.

                    More enforcement, less disparity in opportunities perhaps.

                    So, illegal immigration from Mexico is at the moment pretty much a scapegoat, rather than a major problem.

                  • MotherEarth says:

                    I would quit worrying about immigrants and get an education. California is doing just fine without demonizing. Knowledge is key to success, not fear.

                • MotherEarth says:

                  50% – that covers all the men

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    I just thought about this whole ‘educating women to decrease fertility’ thing today, and then thought, coincidentally, ‘Well what about the men?’.

                    I also thought that literally forcing women/girls/people to be ‘educated’ (more like kidnapped and indoctrinated in another kind of prison) through ‘governpimp compulsory education’ to be tax-coerced wage slaves (and to, for example, outsource the raising of any kids that they might somehow manage to have) in order to get women to reduce their fertility looks a lot like a corrupt means to an end.

                    Another Brick In The Wall

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Caelan,

                    Men and women should both be educated, in many parts of the world women do not have access to education.

                    You seem to imply this is a good thing, I disagree.

                    The education does not need to be compulsory, people can be free to choose no education for their children, seems unwise to me.

                    In most places in the US people can educate their children at home if they choose to do so.

                    My main point is that women should have access to education, it would be best in my view if education were free though the University level and if there is not enough University slots for all, the slots would be granted on merit.

                    This no doubt does not address your concerns, local communities could control the education system locally, which I think you might like.

                    I am guessing you don’t think education (freely chosen by families and/or individuals) is a bad idea. Or do you?

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi George,

                I agree, those other things tend to go with reduced poverty, I believe education to 21 would be preferred, or at least until 18. The aim is to get the World to approach OECD levels of education or beyond, we should aim high.

                • George Kaplan says:

                  I agree that providing choice for availability of tertiary education for all would be preferred but in terms of limiting population growth, which is what was mainly being discussed, then it needs to be only until 14, but compulsory.

                  As far as achieving OECD wealth levels I’d say we are currently going the opposite direction in most places. In the UK we are maintaining our current lifestyles only through increasing debt and it has to end some time. Our current account deficit is at an “eye watering” maximum ever recorded, wage levels for the lowest quartile are decreasing, the government miss almost every borrowing target but austerity is biting hard for many, GDP is just about positive but GNP is negative, capital account has gone negative (those last two indicate we are selling up to foreign money – probably a lot of it with pretty dodgy pedigree, and which tends to just increase non-productive asset prices so house ownership is a distant dream for a lot of the young), over 50% graduates are in jobs not requiring degrees, we are heavily reliant on service industries (especially finance, tourism, some IT) which will be the first to go in a major contraction, steel industry on it’s death bed, there aren’t any tax receipts from the North Sea so decommissioning is going to be a problem as the operators are going to have to carry it all etc. The main English sports teams actually doing quite well though.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi George,

                    There is a range of prosperity within the OECD, if the World as a whole begins to approach the current low end of the OECD GDP per capita and the OECD remains stagnant while developing nations become wealthier, then total fertility levels will decrease.

                    I disagree that education only needs to be until 14, I would say to 18 minimum. The research shows more educated women have fewer children, if we want to tackle the population problem, access to modern birth control (it should be free in my opinion) and education of women is key.

                    Education to 14 is better than nothing.

                  • George Kaplan says:

                    Dennis – I am not saying it would be best to limit education to 14 only, I am saying that that is the age after which there is no more gain in terms of population control. There have been a few academic studies on this – see for example the lectures by Robert Wyman from Yale (which should be compulsory viewing for all new university students in my view).

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “…it needs to be only until 14, but compulsory…” ~ George Kaplan

                    So institutionalize all children by force, or just yours?
                    If the former, that seems like ideological kidnapping, George… Not that it’s not already happening, mind you.
                    See also my recent, somewhat related, comment here.

                    Incidentally, I just saw a film called ‘Spotlight‘ about a journalistic investigation of rampant systemic abuse of children by a religious organization, otherwise known as ‘The Church’. It’s a well-done film too. You might like it.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Caelan,

                    In the US, children can be educated at home in most states. Would it be better to send the children to work like in the 18th and 19th centuries? That was idyllic.


                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Hi Dennis,

                    While they may have their limited uses, attempting to kludge/bung/square-peg-into-a-round-hole the world into neat little dichotomous and disconnected compartmentalizations (through some rationalizations)– sort of like petroleum/non-petroleum threads– just creates different sets of myopias, decontextualizations and problems, such that we have both today– and in the past.
                    Your example just helps embellish my point, and I have already posted hereon, issues with industrialization. For example. Quote from it:
                    “…our insulated industrialized culture keeps us disconnected from life beyond our windshields…”

                    Your ostensible notion of home-schooling, incidentally, doesn’t take the ideological indoctrination or coercion out of the curriculum/equation.
                    It is also not for you or George, or anyone else, to dictate to people how, when or where to raise or educate their children.
                    If you think otherwise, then I assure you that you’re sorely mistaken and it will come back– and is already coming back– to haunt you and your society.
                    That’s why we are here on this blog and in these sociogeopolitical predicaments.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Caelan,

                    Did you miss the part about people have the free choice of education. Note it was George who said education should be compulsory.

                    I think it should be free, if people choose other options, fine with me.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Caelan,

                    Before the industrial revolution children probably worked on the farm, for the most part education, in terms of reading and writing was for the affluent upper class. Now if we roll the clocks back 5000 years or so, things might have been great, we really don’t have much historical evidence from that far back except the Bible in Western culture and a few well known epic poems.

            • Nick G says:

              Light vehicles (cars, SUVs), including both ICEs and EVs, are 99% recycled.

              99% recycled, right now!!

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Nick,

                Didn’t know that. In general more could be recycled (of stuff in general). Is that a Worldwide number or US only?

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  “When comparing the amount of steel recycled from automobiles each year to the amount of steel used to produce new automobiles, automobiles maintain a recycling rate of nearly 100 percent.
                  By weight, the typical passenger car consists of about 65 percent steel and iron. The steel used in car bodies is made with about 25 percent recycled steel… Currently, 75% of the materials are able to be recycled.” ~ Wikipedia

                  Are able‘ doesn’t mean they are and that’s still only 75%, not 99%.
                  There’s also the matter of where– what products (i.e., more cars?)– the recycled material goes and how long that lasts and how much of that gets recycled, etc..

                  In any case, if we could have a link from Nick G to support this 99%, I’ll take a look at it, otherwise, I may wonder if they’ve decided, after their little hiatus, to approach some (new?) level of sleaze.

                  Also, the process of recycling, itself, of course takes time, materials and energy.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Recycling 99% of cars is not incompatible with only recovering 75% of their material.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Well maybe stuff like that has to be made a little clearer then so as to, in part, avoid being misleading or vague, deliberately or otherwise.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Just like everything

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    ‘Just like everything’ appears as a kind of cherrypick of my comment, Dennis, and seems to ignore its gist.

                    That said, I wonder if or how long we’ll be waiting for that link that elaborates on that 99%-recycled figure.

                    By the way, and speaking of context, how’d you like my roadkill image?

                • Nick G says:

                  That’s for the US.

                  Cars don’t go to land fill – there’s too much demand for the scrap steel. As a practical matter, many junked cars are partly recycled in the form of reclaimed and re-used parts, which is a much higher value form of recycling. The steel that remains is recycled. Of course, some car materials are not yet recycled, because those materials are not yet widely recycled.

                  Finally, in much of the world cars are essentially never junked: they keep running forever. Think of those 1950’s cars in Cuba.

                  Here’s a source for current stats:

                  which shows 85% only because of a mismatch between scrappage and production: we see from the chart
                  that in some years the number is above 100% for the same reason.

            • Brian Rose says:


              Elon Musk has stated for years that autonomous vehicles are the end game for Tesla, and that in a few decades (2040-2050) he believes human drivers will be restricted to specific roads.

              Elon Musk has stated in interviews numerous times that vehicle ownership itself is a problem. Even if I own a fully autonomous Model 3 it will still be sitting around wasting space 95% of the time. I personally believe that the legal and insurance complications of sending out your autonomous vehicle when you’re at work or asleep would be a nightmare.

              What Tesla wants is really to destroy the ownership model in the long-term. The Model S, X, and III are just stepping stones to develop the tech, acquire data, get funding, and reach mass production capacity.

              Here’s a question: why is Elon Musk spending millions of dollars on developing an autonomous snake charger? So I don’t have to plug-in when it’s raining?

              Elon wants to develop a full autonomy taxi service – from the doors to the driver to the charging hub.

              I personally believe that the development of the Falcon Wing doors was actually in anticipation of a future autonomous taxi, just like the snake charger is.

              The Model X was an ideal way to absorb the costs of development for the autonomous doors.

              The Falcon Wing doors were an insanely complex engineering problem on both the hardware and software side. The software has to correctly identify and quickly react to 100% of potential situations thrown at it. The hardware and sensors has to survive significant loads (those doors aren’t light) and a lifetime of asymmetric use (it isn’t a simple hinge so stress and force vectors are different every time the door opens).

              Elon Musk was talking about EVs in 1990, and he’s been talking about autonomous vehicles since 2000.

              The Model 3 is not Elon Musk’s goal. His true “mass market vehicle” will be an autonomous taxi with Falcon Wing doors.

              Multiple companies will be releasing autonomous taxis, and each needs to set itself apart.

              Tesla’s brand will be autonomy starting at the door. Look at a picture of a Model X with it’s Falcon Wings open on a busy street. You can see it for a block in all directions, and it immediately identifies the brand. This will be incredibly important as autonomous taxis are deployed. It is a constant reminder of “this new service exists, and people are using it, you can use it to”.

              As a side note, the autonomous snake charger is such a novelty that I think it is the best mental entrance point for seeing Musk’s ultimate goal, and the things he’s done along the way to prepare for it. Like the equally novel Falcon Wing doors they only SEEM novel from a limited vision.

              Even the Model 3 is really only a means to an end – it brings Tesla to the mass production of vehicles and batteries, and large cap structure the company needed to build millions of autonomous taxis in the future; the Model 3 is built on a new platform with a new motor specifically designed to, literally, last forever; with 500,000 vehicles on the road ALL COLLECTING DATA the autonomous software – which already updates itself every night using the global fleet information – will be perfected for free.

              There were numerous threads and posts in the Tesla Motors Forum after the autopilot was released where people stated that on uncharted roads, like in their neighborhood, the autopilot started off like a student driver, and every single day it got a little better until after a few months it nailed it every time.

              Just my two cents on the matter.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Brian,

                Interesting stuff, thanks. AVs seem like a good idea, with smartphones it would seem easy to arrange carpools for people to reduce costs for commutes. The fleet moves to the city in the morning, then goes to a location in the city to charge (repurpose old perking garages maybe), then returns to suburbs in the evening. A portion of the fleet will be used as taxi/uber services in the city and suburbs.

                Seems an efficient use of resources to me.

                The labor force will need to shift from producing vehicles (because fewer will be produced) to producing and installing wind turbines and solar panels along with producing and installing HVDC, rail, light rail and making buildings more energy efficient.

        • aws. says:

          Sure you have some differences between ICEV’s and EV’s, but they are still V’s and still have to drive everywhere down ribbons of asphalt and park different places, and in a post-peak oil and increasingly degraded and overpopulated world.

          If crude oil isn’t being run through refineries, whether because were past the peak or because of emission reductions then there won’t be the refinery residues, in particular asphalt to maintain asphalt roads.

          I’m keen on EVs, but I am anxious that many see them as a long term solution. I think EVs are a transition in the short to medium term. But given the need for rapid emission reductions I can’t figure out how asphalt roads will be maintained, (concrete is not an option)

          Light commuter rail seems the only long term option; steel rails on wooden ties.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            There will be enough asphalt to maintain most of our existing roads for a very long time, and asphalt can be recycled right back onto another nearby road, as good as new, with the addition of a modest amount of refinery tailings.

            But I think there will be a lot of light rail built in the not so distant future.

            The primary reason paved roads need a lot of maintenance is that they are not built well enough to stand up to the pounding they get from heavy trucks. One large commercial truck does as much damage on average to our road system as a thousand cars.

            Getting freight off trucks and back onto rail will work wonders when it comes to keeping our roads in good repair.

            Light rail can’t go every where, but maybe it can be built to go most of the places trucks go often now, such as shopping malls and manufacturing plants. Small electrically driven AUTOMATED trains will rule, so the individual cars can be much smaller and lighter than conventional rail cars.

            An automated rail car could be self propelled by it’s own built in motor,so a locomotive wouldn’t even be needed for the last few miles running local pickups and deliveries.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              I think there is quite a lot of asphalt in the oil sands reserves. About 600 Gb or more. Moving freight to rail will help, but it will still need to be moved to its final destination from the rail head to factory or store on trucks. Light rail to almost everywhere is not practical. We should use as much light rail as is practical and use AVs for the rest, just minimize costs including external costs in the calculations.

              Appropriate government regulation of externalities through proper tax policy and an otherwise “free” market should in theory result in the minimal cost solution that satisfies consumer preferences. A problem with the “theory” of consumer preferences is that it does not address how advertising can influence those preferences, neoclassical economic theory assumes consumer preferences are a “given” external to the theory.

              • aws. says:

                I think there is quite a lot of asphalt in the oil sands reserves. About 600 Gb or more.

                No disagreement here.

                That said, to meet our global warming obligations, which means staying under 2 degrees Celsius we realistically have to go to zero energy related emissions by 2050. Which means we can’t burn methane to steam bitumen out of the ground, and we can’t burn methane to process bitumen into asphalt at asphalt refineries.

                • 70%H2O says:

                  It is worse than that.

                  1: We are currently at roughly 0.8 above 0, so half the way is basicly covered.

                  2: There are a lagging effect due to the thermal inertia of the oceans. Todays climate is in balance with the CO2 levels of 30-50 years ago.

                  3: Add these together, we have probably already emitted most of what is needed to cover that.

                  4: Last month saw a global anomaly of 1.35 degrees. That is huge. 2016 is a parallel to 1998, and it took about 12 years for 1998 to be considered a cold year. This gives us a hint of how far things have gone.

                  When I first read a summery of the UN climate report in 1997 I said they are underestimating, and they did. I still say that, and have always been right. My firm belief is we already have emitted CO2 for those 2 degrees. The new challange is to avoid 4 degrees. 2 is to late, sorry.

                  • DJW says:

                    Millions of years ago our planet had magnitudes more CO2 in the atmosphere and was naturally much warmer of course. But, you know what was also remarkable and special about that time? Our planet, in fact, was brilliantly teeming with life of all in kinds. Indeed, as a real scientist I have access to the latest scientific literature; a through review of that literature will, in fact, reveal how our planet never has had such little CO2 as well as such low temperatures since the supremely recent (geologically considering) appearance of man on the soil here. Moreover, recall how a mere 40-years ago, the exact same groups talking up the global warming now were instead talking up the likelihood of pollution creating a severe global cooling. None-the-less, then (as now) the talk from all these groups was all about advancing political and ideological agendas and government control. By the way, I will let you know, I have experience in real science performed at the Ivy Leagues by PhD’s.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi 70% H2O,

                    If the medium scenarios I have estimated for coal, oil and natural gas are roughly correct we will peak at 515 ppm of CO2 and then levels will decline. It takes about 400 years for the ocean to mix so it will take that long for the ocean to approach equilibrium with the excess heat input from elevated CO2, in the mean time the atmospheric CO2 will fall to about 400 ppm.

                    Let’s assume an ECS of 3 C for a doubling of CO2 (and remember we don’t get close to that equilibrium until 2500 when atmospheric CO2 has returned to 400 ppm.
                    The TCR when we are at the peak is more like 2C (its actually a little less), so at 515 ppm we have 2.9*LN(515/280)=1.83 C in 2110 when CO2 reaches 515 ppm and when equilibrium is reached in 2500 at 400 ppm we have 4.3*ln(400/280)=1.5 C.

                    The medium scenario has about 1200 Gt of carbon emissions from fossil fuel, cement production and land use change.

                    The high scenario for fossil fuel URR would be more of a problem, if fossil fuels are very abundant we would have a problem, but they are not that abundant.

                    If we focus on land temperatures rather than global temperatures (land and ocean).

                    Then over land we may see temperatures above the 2C limit, but my understanding is that the 2C limit applies to land-ocean temperatures.

                    In any case the solution to both peak fossil fuels and climate change is very similar.

                    A rapid transition to other energy sources is the solution to both problems, you only need to believe either fossil fuels will peak or climate change is a potential threat to human welfare, to think that an energy transition is necessary.

                    Only those who believe that both peak fossil fuels and climate change will never pose any problems for mankind, would logically argue against an energy transition.

                    That is why is seems a waste of energy for people that mostly believe in either a near term fossil fuel peak or climate change to spend so much time arguing.

                    The solution to both problems is very similar.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    I suspect that the best option is, for the most part, to ‘stop’ driving (car-sharing, anyone?), get out of the rat race and go local/self-/community-empowered.

                    Take your thumbs out of your mouths, wriggle out of your diapers and start doing things for yourselves again, rather than continuing to suck at your nanny-state and corporate-daddy teets/Koch’s.

                    Find some less-status-quo-gutted small town community and try to leverage it into a bit of an ecovillage or something along those lines.
                    Why are we not talking much about local resilience? That’s part of Peak Oil 101 isn’t it?
                    (Hey, wimbi, what about your involvement in that Community Solutions site? Any essays/articles there by you yet?)

                    This bizarre car fetish that some of you seem to have really does make me think of those statues over at Easter Island, where they may not have been able to bring themselves out of their large-scale religious funk to save themselves and/or their environment.

                    By the way, if we car-share, we may not be able to support the mass industry. Apparently, much industrial processes take much mass production which demands much mass consumption to keep things like mass investment in mass infrastructure chugging along.

                    We are not only in overshoot for our footprint, but overscale as well (car-oriented development, etc.)– such that we are locked into. Why perpetuate the lock-in?

                    Abandon ship! Abandon ship!

                    Cars (lyrics)

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Caelan,

                    When a car is shared, doesn’t someone drive the car? 🙂 Car sharing doesn’t stop driving, as far as I can tell.

                    We could ban motorized vehicles, that would stop driving, unless one was driving a horse and buggy. We would want the buggies to be homemade of course. 🙂

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi DJW,

                    For the past 800,000 years atmospheric CO2 was less than 290 PPM until about 150 years ago. Modern humans (homo sapiens sapiens) has been around for about 200,000 years. The current earth system is not well adapted to much warmer temperatures, also the sun’s output was lower in the past so the carbon dioxide levels of the past might not work well today.

                    Most biologists think high CO2 will not be good.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Hi Dennis,

                    Your comment is just full of smilies… How are you managing with the blog so far by the way?

                    Anyway, what I was suggesting was the idea of the manufacturing industry– most any kind, perhaps– needing a certain constant level of manufacturing and above a certain threshhold to be viable, which car-sharing at a certain level would seem to go against (less cars on the assembly lines; demand destruction). Think of ‘planned obsolescence’ and how that might tie in too, for example.

                    That idea seems similar, incidentally, to getting the oil industry back up and running to previous levels after a crash in prices and production.

                    3D-printed car?

                  • George Kaplan says:


                    “That is why is seems a waste of energy for people that mostly believe in either a near term fossil fuel peak or climate change to spend so much time arguing.”

                    I agree completely with that but I think you are assuming a logical explanation for human behaviour where one doesn’t exist. I think a lot of climate skeptics put a stake in the ground some time ago and it is now impossible for them to change. Like most of us, when push comes to shove the older reptilian part of the brain dominates the newer mammallian (if that is a word) part and we argue for consistency, short term exigencies and no changes of mind.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Good point,

                  We could mine the oil sands (I realize there would not be 600 Gb available I that case), asphalt can be recycled, or we could use concrete for roads that absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and has no net emissions of carbon. Or we could use gravel roads.

                • Nick G says:

                  All you need is heat. Concentrating solar power works pretty well, even in Alberta. Or, you could just use electricity from various clean sources – it’s a bit more expensive, but it works.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            I got home from a bike ride earlier tonight, and, during it, stopped to look at all these funny machines on the railroad track, apparently repairing/maintaining/adjusting it.
            There was some kind of robot computerized vehicle that seemed to check if the rails were parallel and then to adjust them with hydraulic adjusters if they weren’t. Every now and then, the guy in that vehicle would honk the horn and a guy walking behind the contraption that towed a wagon with some tools, like sledgehammers and large crow-bars and the like, would go over and manually adjust things.

            Anyway, it made me wonder about the kind of upkeep rail needs. I guess it is much less than roadways in any case.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Maintaining a properly built rail road is child’s play compared to maintaining a highway.

              Once it is on grade, excepting the places it must cross obstacles such as rivers and mountains, basically all you need to do is pile on plenty of very coarse gravel, and then set ties in place and spike down the rails. Gravel never wears out, and damned little of it washes away, because it is heavy coarse gravel.

              So all you really have to do in most places is replace the ties and rails, eventually. Both last many many years, and ties and rails can easily replaced by automated machinery these days for a very minor fraction of the cost of repaving a highway, which must done every decade or so, max, if it sees a lot of heavy truck traffic.

              An old friend of mine, now passed on, was a rail road lifer, and he sure loved to talk about his work, and especially about how it changed over the last half century he lived.

              Dennis is right, light rail will never go every where , but it can go eventually go enough places that trucks can be used only for the last ten or twenty miles rather than the last hundred or more.

              Now here’s a thought. I have seen trucks equipped with train wheels that travel on the highway, or on the tracks, as needed. The driver simply lowers the appropriate set of wheels, and raises the other set, which takes him only a minute or two.

              So – suppose individual train cars have individual electric motors,and drive themselves overhead lines. They could have a similar dual purpose suspension system, and batteries big enough to drive them twenty miles or so on rubber road wheels.

              Sure it would cost a lot to build such dual capability vehicles, but the cost savings would be enormous, and cancel out most or all of the extra expense.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi OFM,

                I think light rail could work to a degree. The trucks could run on batteries and have more wheels to reduce their impact on the road, the rail truck crossover sounds interesting but expensive, charge appropriate registration fees to trucks (based on miles for the previous year read from the odometer) to charge them for the damage to the road and let the market decide. Trucks with more wheels pay less because they do less road damage per mile travelled.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Thanks for the insight, Oldfarmermac.
                I’m inclined to prefer rail over road and do like the idea of retrofitting vehicles, (including bikes), to run on it.

                And of course ‘trucks’ run on rails by virtue of standardized shipping-container ‘box-cars’, which can be swapped back and forth off and onto trucks for ‘first and last-miles’.

                Road, River and Rail

  5. Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: The Threat of Irreparable Harm 22 March 2016 James Hansen We made a video discussing some of the main points in our “Ice Melt” paper1 , which is about to be published in Atmos. Phys. Chem.: The main point that I want to make concerns the threat of irreparable harm, which I feel we have not communicated well enough to people who most need to know, the public and policymakers. I’m not sure how we can do that better, but I comment on it at the end of this transcript.

    • GoneFishing says:

      With the fast rise in temperature, I agree that we may be passing the points of control we have to slow or prevent future changes. What is good is that much of the technology and knowledge needed to implement change is already in place. Global communication and sensing systems are in place or at least partially in place. The door for action is open, whether we will hang at the threshold or pass through is unknown. Certainly, we know the path we tread now is dangerous for many reasons and the changes we need to slow global warming effects are similar or the same for some of other major problems.
      Once albedo changes progress at the surface and in the atmosphere, we will lose control and have to go along for the ride.

      • Jef says:

        “What is good is that much of the technology and knowledge needed to implement change is already in place.”

        Appreciate trying to put an upbeat spin in there but that is entirely inaccurate. We have neither the knowledge nor the tech to implement change. It is all theoretical and politically unfeasible.

        Economy first biosphere later ;-{

  6. ezrydermike says:

    so didn’t somebody say coral bleaching wasn’t about climate change…?

    “When I asked Hughes about the cause of the bleaching, he replied simply: “Global warming – the link is incontrovertible.””

  7. ezrydermike says:

    as an fyi..

    Here is the type of thing we get behind the Orange curtain in So Cal. See any familiar themes?

    BY MARK LANDSBAUM / Staff columnist

    “Let’s be blunt. Forty years of global warming hysteria never has been about the globe getting warmer, or saving the planet. It’s always been about control and money. Their control. Your money. If you need to be told who “they” are, you haven’t been paying attention.

    They are a cabal of intertwined common interests that include government regulators who stand to gain power, financial opportunists who stand to profit and ideologues whose mission is to separate you from your money, and from control over your lives. They are socialists or progressives. They like to be called “environmentalists,” tarring the reputation of an otherwise well-intentioned group.”

  8. robert wilson says:

    I rarely discuss climate change as I have no particular expertise. Most of my knowledge has come from reading what others write. The fact that I lived at sea level in Southern California for the better part of fifty years did give me a vested interest. I witnessed property damage particularly during the late 20’th Century. And I saw occasional waves splash on my front steps. But my real disinterest arrived because of the following belief system.
    1. Has temperature risen? – bla bla bla etc.
    2. Is it anthropomorphic? – bla bla bla etc.
    3. Can anything be done? – probably not. I see little on peakoilbarrel to convince me otherwise. In all likelihood the 7+ billion people on earth will ultimately burn everything in sight. Sea levels may rise. Survivors may carry on as in Huxley’s Ape and Essence or Charles Galton Darwin’s The Next Million Years. Neither Trump nor Clinton will save us.

  9. aws. says:

    Time to checkout the updated version of this graph.

    From Andrew Slater’s Real Time Arctic Air Temperature Images

    Data Sources

    The NOAA Climate Forecast System (CFS) model data is used in these plots. The CFS Reanalysis (CFSR) ran from 1979 to 2010. In 2011 the model resolution was increased and was renamed as the CFSv2 – as far as I am aware, the model physics are the same. Analysis (and intermediate forecast) fields of the CFSv2 are archived as a continuation of the CFSR. The CFSR is the only reanalysis to include a sea ice model (the GFDL Sea Ice Simulator).

  10. aws. says:

    Sea Ice in Melting Arctic Dwindles to Another Record Low

    For the second consecutive year Arctic sea ice has reached a record-low for winter maximum extent, federal scientists reported.

    “I’ve never seen such a warm, crazy winter in the Arctic,” Mark Serreze, director of the Boulder, Colo.-based data center, said in a statement. “The heat was relentless.”

    • GoneFishing says:

      As predicted by Hansen and others, these warm periods will come and go until they become a permanent fixture. The temperature distributions have all been shifting to the high side, higher highs, higher lows on average. More higher high temperatures than higher lows.
      Not just in the Arctic either.

      Remember the old comedy routine “Slowly we turn, step by step…”? Now it is “Quickly we warm, step by step…”. Not so funny now, is it?

  11. aws. says:

    Sea levels set to ‘rise far more rapidly than expected’

    New research factors in collapsing Antarctic ice sheet that could double the sea-level rise to two metres by 2100 if emissions are not cut

    Damian Carrington, The Guardian, Wednesday 30 March 2016 18.00 BST

    Previously, only the passive melting of Antarctic ice by warmer air and seawater was considered but the new work added active processes, such as the disintegration of huge ice cliffs.

    “This [doubling] could spell disaster for many low-lying cities,” said Prof Robert DeConto, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who led the work. He said that if global warming was not halted, the rate of sea-level rise would change from millimetres per year to centimetres a year. “At that point it becomes about retreat [from cities], not engineering of defences.”

    • Walt Seh says:

      Good Morning aws.,

      What I see is that most of the sea rise and temperature increase is VERY LIKELY in the first place according to the latest batch of links and excerpts you’ve found. Then again, let us make no mistake, many of the scientists who we NEVER see quoted at present by mainstream news-gathering organizations such as The Guardian will tell you, were they actually to be questioned on the matter, that these sorts of things are manifestations of the planet continuing to witness the late stage — but nevertheless statistically significant — effects of exiting the most recent ice age.

      So, keeping all of this in mind, what exactly is the world to do to somehow “fix” the problem presented in this article? Some on the left side of the political spectrum in the western world (including the Liberal Party here in Canada) are inclined to take such approaches as to raise taxes so that ordinary people can no longer afford such freedoms as the ability to drive a car where they want, when they want. However, actions along these types of lines are entirely unworkable, not just because there would be no mechanism to prove what was done had any impact at all on the world’s woes, but also because countries like China and India wouldn’t have to go along, meaning that long-term, their economies would prosper at the detriment of our own.

      Be well,

      • aws. says:

        Some on the left side of the political spectrum in the western world (including the Liberal Party here in Canada)

        The LPC is a pretty middle of the road, corporate-friendly party, placing them on the left of the spectrum is a ssssstretch.

        can no longer afford such freedoms as the ability to drive a car where they want, when they want.

        Personally, I consider an hour long commute both ways by car to be a soul destroying experience, it’s a necessity… not freedom.

        but also because countries like China … wouldn’t have to go along, meaning that long-term, their economies would prosper at the detriment of our own.

        China seems to be serious about transitioning to a post-carbon economy, and probably for good economic reasons. The West should be concerned about being left behind. Renewable infrastructure costs money, but the energy is free… solar and wind. And if wind is already cheaper than coal why would you burn coal?

        Like the US, China wants a national electricity grid. Unlike the US, China’s just building it.

        For years, the government has pushed a rapid buildout of renewable energy; the country now boasts the highest renewable energy growth rates and the most wind and solar capacity of any country in the world.

        But now it has, at least temporarily, overbuilt. In those energy-dense regions, there is more wind and solar capacity than there is transmission to carry it. So a lot of that power is going unused.

      • Nick G says:

        Some on the left side of the political spectrum in the western world (including the Liberal Party here in Canada) are inclined to take such approaches as to raise taxes so that ordinary people can no longer afford such freedoms as the ability to drive a car where they want, when they want.

        Nah. Drive a Prius. Drive a Chevy Volt. Drive a Nissan Leaf. They’re better AND CHEAPER. Even now they’re as cheap to own AND drive, and they’d be much cheaper if we took pollution and oil wars into account.

        Or not. You can take rail, telecommute, or become a farmer.

        But let’s be clear: carbon taxes don’t prevent anyone from driving.

        • wimbi says:

          Way better. Don’t drive or own anything. Use uber or equivalent. One of my saturday science kids made at my request a super-uber simulation 20 yrs ago, with all the features and more than present ubers have, including personal choices on what level of luxury. It was an excellent job, and the kid won lots of science prizes for it, and then dropped it entirely.

          He is now a moderately successful business owner, and when I remarked to him if he had followed my advice back then he would be a few billion $ ahead today, he remarked – “Yeah, right, but I wasn’t in the mood at the time.”

          Nobody was. Then.

          Moral of story. Lots of ideas always floating around, damn few people noticing, and then only the far-out types with strange personalities, likely to fail for non-technical reasons.

          Solution – selection procedure, proven by data, with lots of support to those getting thru the gate. I think of the very effective RT program in the Navy, and it’s notoriously tough and effective Eddy test, qv.

  12. R Walter says:

    7.4 billion and counting. 375,000 new births everyday. Somewhere near that number each day, and it doesn’t stop.

    By the end of the year there will be an additional 136,875,000 new souls wanting something to eat. 58,400,000 deaths in a year, net increase of about 79,000,000 humans.

    In ten years, the human population will probably top 8 billion. Going to have to produce more grains, rice, it will have to be done. Limits to what can be done, some of us will have to become breatharians. 😂

    It was -21°C at Baffin Island today. Been cold up there.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      79,000,000 humans.

      To put that in perspective that’s roughly the combined populations of Tokyo, Japan, Dehli, India, and Mexcico City, Mexico.

      Anyone who thinks we can continue to add that many people to the planet every year is just plain nuts.

      • Raymond Sloop says:

        Agreed about that being too many people, but on the flip side of the coin you have to admit that for the First World technologically advanced countries of the world population size maintaining through balanced birth and death rates is the best option as far as economic growth, stability and prosperity is concerned. Unfortunately, we are instead experiencing the exact opposite in some parts of the First World, leading to the devastating economic and social consequences of negative population growth.

        Ultimately, ensure a fertility rate above 2 but below 2.5 and a country will stabilize its population. Needless to say, much of Europe has a fertility rate around 1.4, which is just far, far too few babies being born. Japan is even worse off, particularly since they have such limited immigration. In a short amount of time, they will find themselves in the black hole of being a country without a workforce or a stable, growing economy.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          ” In a short amount of time, they will find themselves in the black hole of being a country without a workforce or a stable, growing economy.”

          It is true that too fast a drop in birth rates can possibly leave a country with too large a population of old geezers to be supported by a relatively scant population of younger folks still able to work.

          But otoh, as the old folks die off, the smaller younger generations in a country with a falling population stand to inherit awesome amounts of long lasting infrastructure from hydro dams, solar and wind farms, highways, water and sewer systems, houses, schools, fire stations, etc etc etc. It is true these things must be maintained, but maintenance cost peanuts compared to new.

          So far as I can see, there is no real reason to believe an ever expanding economy is necessary.

          And while it is theoretically possible, according to most economists, for the economy to expand indefinitely, it is theoretically impossible for this to happen according to most scientists of the biological sort.

          It doesn’t take a genius to understand that the quality of life for people who have plenty of privacy, and nice open spaces to enjoy, is higher than the quality of life of people jammed together in mega cities where even a cubby hole living space costs megabucks.

          We are already well into overshoot, using more irreplaceable resources faster every year, even as the population grows, and the expectations of that growing population grow as well.

          This continued growth scenario cannot possibly end well.

          But as the old folks in Japan die off, the cost of buying a place to live in Tokyo will fall to a point younger people can afford to own a home there again. 😉

      • GoneFishing says:

        I just don’t see it Fred, only a small increase in population in my neighborhood for the last two decades. In fact a number of people are trying to move out, so it might just go down. All my data shows a hiatus in population increase and most of it is not caused by humans. It is mostly caused by homo numbheadis and skepticus denialus 🙂

        But all seriousness aside, this large mass of people being added each year is mostly on one hemisphere (one side of the earth). This will cause an earth wobble with all that mass displacement being unbalanced. Like a tapped spinning top, the earth will start to circle within it’s own orbit causing epicycles and numerous changes to the Milankovitch cycles. This in turn will occupy many of the anthropogenic global warming skeptics as they use their calculators to determine the effect on climate. It will also keep them busy mining and cherry picking any data related that is gathered by actual scientists, so they can refute all claims that it is caused by man. This could give us a two or three year “hiatus” from skeptics and deniers as they will be too busy to bother us much.
        That means increased population is far less annoying then I thought. ! 🙂
        Ptolemy would have been proud.

        I do have the solution to the population problem. It’s called Global Warmng Reduced Food Crops Drought Floods Super Hurricanes Coal Oil Natural Gas Trump. Feel free to run it all together in one word and pretend you are speaking German. You can also derive your own versions by adding and subtracting effects and predicaments.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          lol… I liked the Trump bit at the end. Kind of came out of nowhere.

          “Now you, too, can speak German, with GoneFishing™! And if you order now, you will receive these… at no extra charge!”

  13. Oldfarmermac says:

    One thing that always frustrates the heck out of me is that our supposedly free press is only so free, because the people that own it and run it have agendas in addition to selling the ACTUAL news, as it would be perceived by a person entirely disinterested, but very well informed, about any given news topic.

    Somebody at any major paper, an editior, or an owner, determines the subtle and sometimes not so subtle slant put on any given topic. The choice of words used can and does have an enormous influence on the impression created in the mind of the reader.

    So- right now, if you read a whole lot of papers, the writers have gotten their marching orders from editors, who get theirs from the owners. The result is that the reporting indicates that every body ought to quit making goddamned naive fools out of themselves, and tell Bernie Sanders to go home, that little Bernie cannot slay their gaintess hero HRC.

    Anybody who actually looks at the real news, and does a little thinking for themselves, will soon come to understand that Bernie actually does have a pretty good shot at slaying the giantess. If calling HRC a giantess gets me in trouble with the pc and anti sexist police, so be it. Maybe I ought to cow tow to my self designated superiors and just say the gaint HRC, lol.

    Her wins with only three or four exceptions are coming by relatively slim margins, and while Sanders may in fact have gotten onto the scene too late to overcome her ownership of the party machinery, he has been mopping the floor with her lately, all things considered.

    It ain’t over till it’s over folks. IF all the major polls, internal and external, say that Sanders is a hell of a lot more popular than Clinton, when the nomination convenes, are all of those super delegates really going to stick with Clinton, and abandon the more popular candidate who owns the future of the party?

    Sanders owns the well educated young demographic, by a mile.

    Now if the reader has made up his mind, there is no point in pointing out my case.

    But if anybody is really interested, in terms of how he will vote himself, and in the future course of the Democratic party, and the country, it behooves him to read this piece from the Huffington Post.

    Things are NOT necessarily as they seem to be, according to the vast majority of mainstream pundits who talk as if HRC has the nomination sewn up tight, and that even discussing the issue is a waste of time.

    Their actual unstated ( but obvious to me at least GOAL) in all too many cases is to convince the undecided D voter that it’s all over already.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Yes, it’s quite disturbing how the media has been taken over by special interests. Most of what we read, hear and see today is either propaganda or brainless tripe. When I listen to the old radio and TV broadcasts of news, those people had some honor and honesty in reporting. Now I need a giant BS filter constantly on so some of that crap does not leak into my brain.

    • R2D2 says:

      “Sanders owns the well educated young demographic (an oxymoron) ” and $4 will get you a cup of coffee if you get it yourself

    • islandboy says:

      I am of the opinion that interests with a huge investment in the status quo have been manipulating the discourse in the media for a long time and there are enough obvious and some not so obvious examples of this to justify my position. Here are some of the the things that I have in mind:

      Tobacco industry suppression of research linking smoking to cancer and other corrupt Tobacco industry activities has been thoroughly settled in a US court of law. Exxon Mobil is now facing somewhat similar litigation surrounding it’s treatment of it’s own research into Carbon Dioxide emissions and climate change. IIRC it was brought up in a comment on this blog that Koch Industries is planning a huge media campaign aimed at disparaging EVs.

      The constant refrain that “EVs can’t work” and “renewables will never be able to power our civilisation” despite reasonable assertions to the contrary. Note that the renewables can’t work meme was explained by the late Hermann Scheer almost every chance he got. I am highly suspicious of the circumstances surrounding Scheer’s death at 66 years old, in light of their being no previous reports of him being in poor health despite being overweight before, as stated in Wikipedia, “He suddenly died in a hospital in Berlin from heart failure[7] after an unspecified short and severe illness.” Let’s just say there are a significant number of people who saw him as a dangerous “loose cannon” and must have been relieved by the news of his passing.

      It is also inexplicable to me how the idea that regular exercise, eating properly and in some cases the use of vitamin supplements can work wonders for health, has escaped such a large body of the population especially in the US. Well, not so inexplicable when one considers the constant stream of advertisements and other messages, delivered through the mass media, encouraging the consumption of sugary beverages, fast food and other edible products that contribute nothing to nutrition apart from energy (carbohydrates). Add to these messages. those promoting the use of labor saving devices and the ones promising a quick fix in a pill for all that ails us and I guess that makes it totally explicable.

      For every right wing libertarian argument about the evils of those who claim that “Some on the left side of the political spectrum in the western world are inclined to take such approaches as to raise taxes so that ordinary people can no longer afford such freedoms as the ability to drive a car where they want” or “you will come to the same conclusion as millions of Americans have and that is that they have been conned into giving up money and lifestyles”, I’ll raise you a well heeled corporate interest behind a well funded, mass media delivered, public (mis)information campaign design to give people exactly those ideas.

      So, one guess as to who this island native hopes will win the Democratic nomination, despite the odds (big clue)? IMO big money has become so overwhelming and it’s influence in public discourse so pervasive, it is trying to strangle the inevitable disruptions that are due to befall several industries. The effort to preserve the status quo on behalf of old wealth is damaging to the planet on so many levels.

  14. chilyb says:

    I posted this at the end of the previous thread. I am curious what people think – those who are more up to date on the issues of wind/solar storage.

    With a combination of theory and clever, meticulous gel-making, scientists from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Toronto have developed a new type of catalyst that’s three times better than the previous record-holder at splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen — the vital first step in making fuels from renewable solar and wind power.

    The research, published today in the journal Science, outlines a potential way to make a future generation of water-splitting catalysts from three abundant metals — iron, cobalt and tungsten — rather than the rare, costly metals that many of today’s catalysts rely on.

    • Ulenspiegel says:

      The cost of the catalysts in a reaction is one contribution to the process costs, the hardware another (more) important one. A chemical reactor is nothing new and has, therefore, a not so impressive learning curve, the catalyst still has.

      It would be useful to get data on the catalyst’s share of the process costs in an industrial catalysis and how the substitution of noble metals affect the economy of the process, the other aspect is how much the reduced overvoltage affects economy.

      However, the 800 pound gorilla in the room is IMHO that we do not need any chemical storage of wind power as long as more transmission lines could connect not correlated sites and offer for the next two decades a redcution of storage demand for much less money than hydrogen or other power-to-gas approches deliver storage.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Personally I think splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen for use as motor fuel in transportation is not going to happen for a LONG time.

        But it might be a good way to put any excess wind and solar power to use during times of high production and low demand for renewable power. Oxygen and hydrogen are not exactly CHEAP to store even at stationary facilities. Storing hydrogen is especially tricky, it leaks right thru steel at a fair clip. Then when you burn it, you still have the energy losses associated with running gas turbines or piston engines.

        Then there is the gorilla sized question of the cost of the infrastructure, which would be used only intermittently, instead of routinely around the clock and around the calender, the way most utility type infrastructure is used. An industrial installation that runs most or all the time will have a capital cost per unit of output that is a very minor fraction of the cost of a similar installation that can be operated only a few hours here and there, which would be the case with using any “excess” wind and solar power.

        Texas now routinely handles up to forty percent wind on the Texas grid.

        A year or two ago, the antirenewables guys were insisting that about twenty percent wind and solar power would be the upper limit of renewables on the grid.

        The rest of the country, and the world, will learn how to use more wind and solar power pretty soon, so as to avoid the money costs of buying so much gas and coal, and paying the environmental costs of burning the same.

        It will be a long time before enough wind and solar capacity is built to supply enough juice to run a hydrogen plant more than a few hours once or twice a week maybe.

        Taking into account the losses involved in the manufacturing process, the losses involved in burning the resultant hydrogen , and the capital expense of building the infrastructure, in my opinion it will likely be more practical and economical to store any excess electrical energy in batteries in cars or stationary batteries in homes and businesses than to use it to split water.

        We hear that there are very few suitable sites for pumped storage to be built, and this is true today. But a few years down the road, it won’t be true anymore, because HVDC lines are going to be built hither and yon, and some of them will be in places they can deliver wind and solar power to places dependent on EXISTING hydro plants that don’t have enough water to run full tilt on a continuous basis. . So with wind and solar power available, due to the long distance lines, these plants can be dialed back, allowing their reservoirs to fill up maybe even to the max, and then they can run flat out for many more hours, at times when demand is high.

        This would in effect result in a substantial amount of FREE storage, if the management problems can be worked out.

        The flip side of this coin is that wind and solar farms might be built in places with excellent wind and sun resources specifically to run a water splitter plant, which could be built in the same area. Then the plant could run MOST of the time on renewables, and BUY power from conventional producers sometimes when THEY have excess power to sell cheap. Some nuclear juice for instance is more or less wasted keeping skyscrapers lit up during the wee hours.

        Hydrogen and nitrogen electricity equals expensive ammonia, compared to ammonia manufactured using natural gas, but gas won’t always be cheap. We gotta have that ammonia, or starve.

        • wimbi says:

          Pumped hydro sites. Not anything close to rare, just not recognized.

          Any big hole in ground is one. Many rivers, like mine, are another.

          I live on a ridge running along a river, height about 200 meters, average.
          Lots of water in the river, lots of space for big recreational lakes along the ridges, both sides. So, lots of potential pumped storage.

          And while we’re at it, put rotating PV islands on the lakes, with fishing rights sold at high prices. And a fish haven under each island.

          Quick! Buy up that ridge.

  15. Longtimber says:

    Lot’s of Info on EV’s if you can ignore the madness of Imperial gals, Right side drivers and even worse the Roundabouts going wrong way… 🙂

  16. Paulo says:

    For Fred,

    re: self driving cars

    ….Not working in California due to poor road lane markings. (Once again, we need that public paid-for infrastructure in place) 🙂

    • GoneFishing says:

      That’s OK, I won’t need my car to drive itself for a while yet. It’s almost like the autonomous cars are out there already, cars only one or two car lengths behind me and we are traveling 55 mph.
      The cars with drivers also wander lanes already, a lot. So what is the problem?

      Does this mean that some kids with black spray paint can cover up the lines and cause traffic to come to a standstill? What a cheap solution to reducing energy usage by vehicles.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I’m pretty sure there are going to be a lot of unemployed truck and cab drivers in the near future. Have them fill pot holes and paint the lane markings fer criminies sake. 🙂

      • wimbi says:

        How long for people to start seeing the obvious – that we are in the start of a transportation revolution that’s going to turn the oil business inside out. Fast!

        I’m guessing the new Tesla will start a stampede for EV’s.

        And I’m still selling the idea that a used Nissan Leaf is a great buy right now. Has plenty of range for most uses by the average person around here.

        • Bob Nickson says:

          Reservations for the Tesla Model 3 have reportedly now topped 150,000.

          Methinks there may be very great buys on brand new Nissan Leafs soon.

          The base model Leaf starts at $29k. The base Model 3 will start at $35k.
          105 mile range vs 215 miles range
          6.6kW fast charging vs 120kW Supercharging (for free, and with blanket Interstate coverage).

          Carlos Ghosn needs to step it up at Nissan Renault. They’re eating dust now.

          GM too. The Tesla is cheaper than the Bolt.

          • Bob Nickson says:

            Compare and contrast.

            I actually like the looks of the Leaf though.

            • Paulo says:


              My 30 year old Toyota 4X4 should be out of the body shop, today. For a $1500 investment the rusting is again delayed with new fenders, etc, and my truck will look brand new. I want another 10 years out of it. The Warn winch is outstanding and my new deck is, well…also brand new. It hauls lumber, my boat, firewood, groceries, materials. I paid $6,000 for it including the cost of the first restoration. This is the 2nd. It is very common for people to come up to me and comment on ‘my aged beauty’. One 80 year old codger at my mom’s seniors residence said, “Man, they just don’t make them like that anymore. What a beaut”!!

              I guess I could buy a Tesla, but I’m not sure I want to climb on that bandwagon. Herd mentality, as far as I’m concerned…and no offense intended or given. Too complex, too costly, and Musk dishonest. I think I’ll save my money and put it towards some property, (that doesn’t depreciate the day after purchase).

              I have never understood the drive to trade one’s hard earned dollars, (your time on this earth), for a depreciating asset, albeit trendy and sexy. I guess that’s why they call it a consumer driven society. (Excuse the pun).

              • Bob Nickson says:

                Yeah, my Daihatsu Rocky is 25 years old, and it’s mechanically sound. I have a home office, live in a city center, and like to cycle. Last year I only drove 2,000 miles. I may not replace it until it dies. It may outlive me though!

                The appeal of electric car however, is that I would never buy, nor burn, fuel again. I can understand why amongst oil producers solar powered cars do not have immediate appeal, but for myself, the notion of driving on harvested sunlight is an amazing and beautiful notion.

                We are at a technical knowledge point where it is possible to live in a net energy positive home, drive electric vehicles, and provide your own transportation energy at a lower total cost of ownership than the B.A.U. fossil fuel dependent model. Once people understand that, they will demand that.

                Why would one prefer to put dollars into the atmosphere than into an asset?

                There will be electric pick-up trucks, and electric cargo trucks with mass market appeal, mass market utility, and mass market prices within ten years.

                As for hard earned dollars, the value of money is a very relative thing. It is a medium of exchange, that is all. It is fiat. I, and many others work hard for it, but not everyone does. For many, $35k for a car is no big deal.

                I’m curious as to what you think is complex about electric cars though. They are much, much, less complex than a combustion engine car.

                • Paulo says:

                  Hi Bob,

                  “the notion of driving on harvested sunlight is an amazing and beautiful notion.”

                  Which is exactly what we do with ICE, as well. 🙂

                  Certainly, basic electrically driven propulsion is simple and wonderful. I taught electronics and am well aware of the beautiful and useful aspects of electricity. But the Musk Tesla is not a simple machine by any means. It is a highly complex computer driven machine in all aspects, as are most new cars produced today. They are also heavy, and needlesly full of ‘sexy’ add ons, designed to compel purchase.

                  I laugh at the idea of a $35,000 purchase price. That is the first step to get in the game. I await the horror stories of maintenace costs as the single soccer mom takes her car into the dealer and receives a $2,000 bill. I’ll give you a current example. My brother has a Prius….my brother-in-law had a Malibu, he now has a Prius. Both contained the new and improved soy-based plastic mats, shrouds, and wiring insulation. Guess what, mice like soy…it’s food, afterall. Both had their wires chewed off by mice. The brother on Quadra Island (that one I can see happening), the brother-in-law in Kirkland WA. The cost to repair chewed wiring and seat controls were well in excess of $2,000/each. A few chewed wires!!! Tesla could give the cars away, or supply them at a loss and simply build in software that requires their future maintenance at dealerships and they will come out ahead. It will be extortion.

                  I also love the idea of sunlight driven cars. However, the modern atuomobile is not about transportation, instead, it is some kind of marketing psychological substitute for self-worth. “I am ________ because I own a _______, use an _______, and live _____, and can afford the new and latest ________.

                  $35,000 being ‘no big deal’, okay. I accept that POV as there is a lot of wealth out there. But I’ll tell you what is really no big deal. It is 6 months later after purchase and the ‘new car’ has become just ‘the car’. The thrill is gone, as well as the $35,000. It’s now nothing special as there are dozens of them in every neighbourhood. Your post was bang on, and I respect and appreciate your POV. But what you write is not what is being marketed. Not in a long shot. After all, car shows aren’t journal write-ups or brochures, they are sexy cars on carousels, with sexy models handing out flyers. (But I digress).

                  In your last paragraph you asked me what I think? Yes, I agree modern ICE driven cars are also too complex and costly. But what I really think is that persoanlly driven vehicles for urban transportation is and will soon become unaffordable in all ways. The nearest big city where I live is Vancouver BC. There is constant news stories about new bridges, tolls, replacements, etc all for moving low occupancy cars into the city. Billions and billions of dollars!! The tolls are collected by image with computer generated billing. The rush hour congestion is now 24/7….and the hamster wheel turns on and on. I just see it as a monumental waste of energy and purpose….of human potential. “Hi ho, Hi ho, it’s off to debt I go”. I see electric cars as a new version of the same paradigm.

                  As I write this my computer and ‘fridge is the only load right now on our renewable energy powered home. I get it, I just don’t get the drive to buy new products as a way fix much of anything. I believe the future will be more modest as it unfolds, but hell I’m probably wrong!! 🙂

                  regards…and thanks for writing and asking.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Hi Paulo,

                The weather must be milder where you live than it is here in the mountains of southwest Virginia and northwest NC, because just about every thirty year old Toyota in this neck of the woods is retired and sitting out in a cow pasture with an entirely rotted out FRAME, which simply cannot be economically repaired, never mind the sheet metal. I have seen a dozen literally break in half on the road, but they were from other places without mandatory safety inspections. I used to buy them up and sell the good mechanical parts off of them.

                Nissans were about as bad, as were Chevy LUV’s. Virtually all the foreign makes over twenty five years old have gone to the great wrecking yard in the sky in my part of the world.

                The old Chevys and Fords are about all gone too, but not because of rust in the case of the Fords. They are just too expensive to maintain , considering they are fuel hogs compared to relatively low mileage later models which can be bought dirt cheap.

                I could buy half a dozen RUST FREE mechanically decent mid nineties Fords or Chevy full size or compact trucks for well under three thousand bucks each tomorrow.

                Any of them with good maintenance could be expected to last another ten years or longer.

                I totally agree about spending money on depreciating status symbols. I have never paid more than two grand for a vehicle in my entire LIFE, but otoh, I am pretty much of a lifelong gearhead.

                My current pickup truck is a ninety one Chevy four by four that I bought ten years ago, for less than a thousand bucks, and I expect it to last me until I have to give up driving. It sees a lot of hard use, just like yours, but I don’t use it when my ninety nine ESCORT will giterdone, as in fetching groceries or just TEN fifty pound bags of grass seed, lol. The Escort might outlast me as well, but I wouldn’t mind having a more comfortable car.

                If I were still working full time , I would need newer vehicles so as to use less gas and spend less time on maintaining them.

            • Longtimber says:

              They are both too complex, Chicks would go for the Tesla.

              • Paulo says:

                Chicks will go for the Tesla!! Funny, this morning I was thinking about our local long defunct drive-in movie theatre. What an era!. I remember going with my girlfriend, half sack of Silver Spring beer to sip, and the funny sound of the little window mounted speakers when you left your cocoon to head for the can or buy a burger from the consession stand. Sometimes we hid people in the trunk, and the less-inclined to parent let their kids play with Tonkas in the gravel while they got it on and watched the movies. I think it closed in ’75.

                Chicks like the drive-ins…at least if you drove a Javelin or nice truck. It was pretty fun. Maybe nothing has changed, but those days were sure fun to live through. 🙂

              • Longtimber says:

                Perhaps I should have said – Chicks would get a Charge.. wait a minute.. Anyway.. We want the Donner Organ Battery Paks.. There are actually Model S’s that never make it home to the Garage. 0-100 klicks in Under 3 seconds ya don’t say.. Now Madison Ave must electrify “The Ultimate Attraction”

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              One advantage of owning a EV, is reduced electric charges (one can get a industrial rate here in Sonoma).
              This can be a significant savings.

  17. ezrydermike says:

    Wind, solar and other renewable energy sources now make up just about 10% of the U.S.’ electricity supply, but transitioning to 100% clean energy is both necessary and feasible, according to a new report from Environment America and Frontier Group.

    On Wednesday, David Freeman, author of All-Electric America and longtime utility CEO, joined other clean energy advocates and academic experts for an online presentation and discussion of the new white paper.

    “My colleagues have exhaustively proven, in infinite detail, that we can put together an electric power supply that’s all renewable,” says Freeman. “Their studies prove that beyond any reasonable debate.”

    The report, titled “We Have the Power: 100 Percent Renewable Energy for a Clean, Thriving America,” lays out whys, wherefores and how-to’s for transforming the nation’s energy supply entirely to non-polluting sources. The paper cites the rapidly falling costs of both wind and solar and notes that the growth in solar has outstripped even clean energy advocates’ expectations.

  18. farmboy says:

    In the prior thread Javier had this to say about this paper titled The role of ruminants in reducing agriculture’scarbon footprint in North America

    “So what they say is that ruminants produce 11.6% of emissions and produce about 5% of our food, while all crops produce 13.7% of emissions and about 85% of our food, plus a big percentage of the food of those ruminants.”

    “Did I understand it correctly? If we do need to start reducing land emissions I think it is clear where we should start cutting”

    My response; All you need to do is read the abstract. That should be easy for you to do since you are always interested in what the research says.

    “Permanent cover of forage plants is highly effective in reducing soil erosion, and ruminants consuming only grazed forages under appropriate management result in more C sequestration than emissions. Incorporating forages and ruminants into regeneratively managed agroecosystems can elevate soil organic C, improve soil ecological function by minimizing the damage of tillage and inorganic fertilizers
    and biocides, and enhance biodiversity and wildlife habitat”

    We need to look at wholes rather than parts ie. discuss the elephant not the trunk. Termites supposedly emit lots of greenhouse gasses but the air around termite mounds is lower in methane than in our atmosphere thanks to the methanotrophs that are flourishing in this environment.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Javier is right, from the ecological impact pov, in that grain fed beef is environmentally costly, in and of itself ,or compared to poultry.

      We used to raise some beef on the family farm, and I am in the process of converting my farm from orchards to a cow calf setup , due to orchard work being too demanding and time consuming at my age. I will be running only about twenty cows , because at my age I don’t want to work long or hard any more.

      The primary purpose of the cows will be to keep me moving rather than vegetating. A couple of hours a day will mostly giterdone except in hay season, once I am up and running again.

      There is nothing wrong ecologically with pasture raised beef, as I said before,especially if the land used for pasture is not suitable for other agricultural purposes. That’s the best use of that land, the world is short of quality high protein food, and lean grass fed beef is unquestionably a super food.

      The ecological problem with beef mostly arises when you finish off slaughter animals with grain in feedlots. Putting a hundred pounds on a confined steer in a feed lot takes a lot more feed that it does to raise a hundred pounds of chicken.

      This is not to say industrial style chicken is problem free, it is not. But a pound of that sort of chicken has less of an environmental footprint than a pound of feedlot beef.

      If we were seriously interested in our own long term welfare, we rich yankees would eat a hell of a lot less meat of all kinds in total,excepting fish, and more beans, fruits, veggies, grains etc.

      A modest amount of meat is very good for us. A lot is bad to very bad, in terms of our long term health.

      Knowing these things is not going to stop me from selling my animals to folks who will will finish them on grain, nor will knowing them will not stop me from eating well marbled steak.

      But who wants to live forever anyway? lol

      There are reasons why chicken sells for half or less the price of even the cheapest cuts of beef. The biggest one has to do with the cost of feed. Grass and hay aren’t free.

      • farmboy says:

        OFM Good points.

        Comparing chicken to beef keep in mind that feedlot beef is our worst case scenario. well not quite, I could imagine worse. Anyways, I had posted this on the prior post.

        I don’t know exactly at what weight that the average stocker goes onto high grain rations, but i would guess arond 950 lbs, so only the last ~425 lbs come from a high percentage grain ration.
        This is the part that the mainstrean wolves and sheeple so not take into account when they correctly point out that the conversion of grain to live animal weight gain is ~6.3-1 feedlot beef, 3.2-1 hogs, 2-1 chickens.

        Correct me if I am wrong on my estimation of what percentage of the average feedlot beef is raised on grain or if my math is messed up. 425 lbs from grains divided by the total live weight steer 1375 lbs = .3 x 6.3 =1.95- 1 grain to live weight ratio is on par with the chicken.

        Of course you know I don’t support feeding high percentage grain feed to ruminants, for so many reasons. Grass fed beef continues to gain market share and grow by 25% to 30% per year and is now around 5% of the total US market.

        Now for your juicy steak.
        The MSU research station in Lake City MI is finishing on grass at 18.5 to 20 months; 60% grading choice and prime and 40% grading select compare that with the ave feedlot beef of 76% and 18% ; not that big a difference is it?

        True; grass and hay are not cheap. How well I know. BTW rule of thumb, hay is twice the price of grass, and it will not produce more beef than the half price grass. This is another reason why we manage the grazing of our pastures so that we can graze them far into the winter. In Your area I see no reason why a cow calf operation couldn’t graze all year except for some Ice storms and hard crusty snow conditions at times.

        Holistically managed grazing Is the best solution I know of to rejenerate soils, pump them full of carbon, get the water cycle working on those acres, and produce a significant amount of food at the same time within the confines of a budget that we can afford. Grassfed meats fats organs and bones are a vital part of a nutritionaly complete diet. I think vegetables greens fruits nuts and grains grown on these rejenerating soils can then be the basis of our diet.

        Cafo meat is the most expensive meat, but most sheeple don’t care since most of those costs are not paid at the grocery store but those costs can never be avoided, they can only be passed on to someone else. That bill is part of our tax bill, and healthcare insurance, it has gutted the very essence of rural communities accross this world. This bill adds to the hopeless contitions in the middle east and to the horde of migrants heading into Europe. It adds to the floods and to droughts by destroying the water cycle.

        I grew up in a religious setting same as you where thievery is supposedly anathema. But these same pious people are some of the biggest polluters, and destroyers of this planet with all the life it contains, which they claim to all have been created by their own Deity. How ironic.

  19. GoneFishing says:

    We already know that the greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere trap enough energy to warm Earth by 33 degree C, otherwise Earth would be a an ice covered snowball.
    But what effect does albedo changes have one the earth? If the albedo of the earth (currently 0.31) reduced by 10 percent, I calculated it would increase the average global temperature by 3 degrees C. Add to this the 2 to 3 degree C rise that increases due to increased greenhouse gas will produce and we have a 5 to 6 degree C increase in planetary temperature on average. Of course there will be gradients so some regions will experience higher and lower changes.
    So what will cause this decrease in albedo? The biggest factors are changes in snow/ice cover and in cloud formation. Smaller changes will occur as the ocean expands and vegetation recovers.
    The big lesson here is that just one natural factor can cause as much global warming as all of our efforts over a couple of centuries. The increases in natural methane and CO2 release as the permafrost melts is yet another factor, which at this point has a very wide range of possibility but which no one can predict with certainty.
    So will earth global temperature rise above the Eemian peak? Guaranteed.
    During the Eemian, Greenland lost most of it’s ice. That should happen again.
    Could we reach Eocene temperatures? Considering all the factors that line up to increase temperature, it’s possible.
    So where is the good news in all this? Warming is much better than cooling. A snowball earth scenario is best avoided because it eradicates most life on earth. A warming scenario still allows life to exist in great variety. The downside to warming is that it is happening very fast and will not give many species time to adapt as well as CO2 influx dropping the pH of the oceans causing biological havoc.

    We were promised change. We are getting it, so tighten up your seat belts and take the ride.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Gone Fishing,

      As the albedo changes, carbon dioxide levels will likely drop as there will be less fossil fuel to burn.
      As far as snow and ice changes, the ice sheets on the planet are relatively small so the effect is unlikely to be 10% and that change will happen relatively slowly, over hundreds of years while CO2 levels gradually fall. Do I think we should reduce carbon emissions? Yes.

      Fossil fuels will peak and energy prices will rise and we will transition to other energy sources. Population will also peak as more nations become developed and improve the education of their populations and there is better access to contraception and the education necessary to plan families.

      Yes we need proper policy to accomplish these things, but the energy crisis that may occur by 2025 may result in the adoption of better energy policy, population policy, and environmental policy.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Nice story, but just the Arctic Ice alone controls 10 percent and if you read my comment I also included the atmosphere which controls 70 percent of the radiation. Easy to get a 10 percent change from clouds and Arctic ice alone. And when those winters with reduced snow or ice south of 60 degrees start to add up that is even more depression of albedo. Forests are advancing into the tundra now, not millennia from now.
        The Arctic Ocean Ice will be gone within this century for the summer periods (when most of the light happens) and snow cover in the north will be greatly diminished. How is that a slow change? Slow changes happen over a thousand years or more, not in decades.
        Once these changes start they are self-feeding. No need for anthropogenic carbon addition. I also do not believe that there will not be large scale burning of fossil fuels over the next few decades. Need to add in the 4 decade time delay on heating also, we are just seeing 1976 effects now, overall. The last few decades of carbon are just getting started.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Gonefishing,

          It is not known how cloud will effect things as the atmosphere warms, some cloud effects cause higher albedo and some cause lower albedo, the science is far from clear on this. We can assume the worst case to be cautious, but from a science perspective we just don’t know at this point.

          Hansen’s speculation on a 6 C Earth system effect for a doubling of CO2 is not accepted by many climate scientists. Part of his calculation is based on glacial interglacial transitions where there were huge ice sheets in the Northern hemisphere during glacial maximums. Those melted long ago (with the exception of Greenland) so the Earth system effect would be much smaller at present due to the absence of giant ice sheets.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Hi Dennis,
            It wasn’t Hansen speculating, it was me calculating. I chose 10 percent because it is within realm of possibility and that is what the numbers gave. I didn’t say that it was a given or a prediction. I do say it is possible and the fact that we don’t know as much as we should about atmospheric interactions with electromagnetic radiations makes it well within the realm of possibility.
            The atmosphere might just become a negative factor if many highly reflective clouds form at higher temperatures, but I would not bet on it. Even in the dark of winter, clouds in the Arctic have been shown to be a positive forcing effect.
            The fact that my choice produced a similar figure to Hansen’s (and others) is both coincidental and due to the fact that I purposely left out other forcings. I would not at all be surprised if the eventual temperature rise was similar to the Eocene, +12C. Enough feedbacks are in play now that they may trigger the remaining natural feedbacks, then it is hello to a completely new ecosystem.
            I think Hansen was being quite conservative in his estimate, since he is fully aware of the paleontological history of this planet and of the potential forcings involved.
            We also exist in a time when the sun is brighter than in the past, another factor that is often ignored or diminished. The results of our actions may be far more extreme than even the most extreme predictions of our scientists (which I consider to be well within probable eventualities).
            Large uncertainty only means a lack of solid understanding of the system, it does not in itself place bounds on the system, only bounds on our willingness to predict the system.
            What has me slightly concerned is the lack of negative forcings. The negative cloud forcings seem to need extreme volcanism or global geo-engineering.
            One of the big considerations is an overall reduction in clouds as large areas change from jungle or woods, to savannah and desert or just plain rock. That happened a long time ago when the world was half desert and the temperatures were much hotter than now. With the increased radiation from the sun, well, I will let you figure that one out.

            No one has complete understanding of the earth system, but my scientific training taught me to look at boundary values and +6 degrees is nowhere near a boundary value for this planet.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Gonefishing,

              The total solar irradiance has not changed significantly over the last 800,000 years. What the estimates show are roughly 6 C global temperature swings from glacial maximum to interglacial over the last 800,000 years. That is as big a swing as we are likely to see with a CO2 change of 180 ppm to 280 ppm. The CO2 level over the 400 period that it will take for the ocean temperature to approach equilibrium will drop to about 400 ppm. If we make the incorrect assumption that the Earth system sensitivity(ESS) is 9.4 C for a doubling of CO2, we would get a temperature rise of 4.84C with CO2 stabilizing at 400 ppm by 2500 (it would probably take at least this long for all Earth system effects to approach equilibrium.) Using Hansen’s more realistic 6C ESS we would get a 3 C rise in temperature at 400 ppm, certainly a problem but as I mentioned there are many climate scientists that do not agree with Hansen’s estimate for ESS. We can speculate on clouds and albedo changes. Forests in the north may be offset by desertification elsewhere, this is difficult to predict.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Gone Fishing,


          A medium scenario of carbon emissions based on no attempt at mitigation (just limited availability of fossil fuels in my “medium scenarios”) results in about 1200 Gt of carbon emissions, as fossil fuel peaks in about 2025 the price of fossil fuel will rise and society is likely to transition to wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, and nuclear power. This is likely to limit carbon emissions to the 1000 Gt target, hopefully we can do even better with proper policy, maybe keeping emissions to under 900 Gt.

          • GoneFishing says:

            From the nature letter:
            “Total anthropogenic emissions of one trillion tonnes of carbon (3.67 trillion tonnes of CO2), about half of which has already been emitted since industrialization began, results in a most likely peak carbon-dioxide-induced warming of 2 °C above pre-industrial temperatures, with a 5–95% confidence interval of 1.3–3.9 °C.”

            Interesting, I have access to Nature so I will read the full article later.
            They only seem to consider anthropogenic CO2, none of the other greenhouse gases or natural feedbacks. The confidence interval is extreme and they are setting an upper boundary from just anthropogenic CO2 at 3.9 deg C, quite high.
            So we add another watt/m2 of forcing during this century from CO2 (unless be tap all the coal), then as the air clears add about another 2 watts/m2, next 2 to 3 watts/m2 (minimum) from ice/snow loss and an unknown amount from natural releases of CO2 and methane as the tundra melts and some methane hydrates also melt. Oh yes, add in another watt or two due to increases in atmospheric water vapor as the planet warms.

            Follow the alligators, they are heading north lately.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Gonefishing,

              They do indeed consider the natural feedbacks, most of the forcing comes from carbon (reflected in both methane CH4 and carbon dioxide CO2), as the carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere much longer than methane it is more of a problem. The simulations done include the fast feedbacks (mostly from increased water vapor in a warming world), it has been a while since I read the paper. I was able to find a free copy somewhere previously, but cannot any longer.

              The trillion tonnes is far from perfect, but we will have a hard time achieving that goal. Ramping up renewables quickly will be far cheaper than carbon capture and storage, best not to burn the fossil fuel.

              The hope is that higher fossil fuel prices after the peak in fossil fuels will make non-fossil fuel energy sources more competitive.
              The ramp up in other energy sources (wind, solar, and hydro) reduces their cost relative to fossil fuels due to economies of scale. The more alternative energy ramps up, the greater the cost reductions up to some technological limit. Greater efficiency in the use of energy with AVs, better designed cities and buildings, and demand management using smart meters for electricity will reduce the growth in energy use, as will an eventual peak and decline in population.

              An optimistic ramp up of non-fossil fuel energy could keep total carbon emissions to under 850 Gt of carbon from fossil fuels, natural gas flaring, cement production and land use change.

              If wind and solar power grow by 20%/year until 2023 (growth rates have been about 25%/year for the past 10 years) and then gradually decrease to 9.5%/ year by 2044, then all fossil fuel use can be replaced by 2045. Higher taxes on carbon and air pollution would help to accomplish this goal. The scenario assumes past trends in the reductions in Energy intensity (energy consumed per unit of GDP produced) will continue and that growth in real GDP per capita falls from 1.4%/year to 1%/year by 2036 and remains at that level, it is also assumed the UN’s low fertility population scenario for World population is followed. By 2050 growth rates in real GDP per capita could increase as wind and solar energy will be plentiful, if the population scenario proves correct. Chart below with Wind and solar output in Mtoe where it is assumed the Mtoe of fossil fuel replaced have 38% conversion efficiency in thermal power plants ( the metric used by BP).

              • GoneFishing says:

                I accessed the nature paper “.. trillionth ton” and it does not take into account the natural feedbacks. so one can look on it as merely a model calculation of one component of the system.

              • wimbi says:

                A few comments from the local member of thePPP (Pleasant Pollyanna Party).

                1) Any comment on cost of ff is worthless as a guide for future action if it does not include a cost to the biosphere – ie, all of the cost discussion on the oil thread.

                2) A carbon tax is certain. Reason, some big catastrophe re climate change in the near future.

                3) Solar/wind will QUICKLY become dominant, because the Chinese will make it so.

                4) There will be a swift switch to EV transport, because in real terms it’s CHEAPER. And so much for the major demand on ff’s.

                Enough for the nonce.

                Q for the group – how come the oil guys refuse to factor all this into their microscopic analyses of oil costs, thus rendering them empty air???

                • GoneFishing says:

                  I would think that is obvious.

                  • wimbi says:

                    Yep, obvious to me – nobody wants to admit that they spend all day on empty air.

                    Obvious to you any other way you want.

                    Spherically obvious, as Fritz Zwicky liked to say.

                    Next Q. how come all present here let them get away with all that empty air?

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    It is obvious that oil is a business and that the calculations are based on the costs and profits from that business, externalities be damned.
                    We all are paying for the externalities or ignoring them. Once the realities and externalities become part of the business scheme then the oil guys will add those in. Until then, those damages and problems are not taken into the accounting.

                  • wimbi says:

                    My point. There is no such thing as “externality”. We live on a closed sphere, every cost is paid.

                    FF’s have big costs we all know about, accounting or not. Costs like robbery and murder of next generations.

                    So “business” is allowed to ignore them?

                    And, my second point. We ignore THAT.
                    So what’s OUR excuse??

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Wimbi,

                  The externalities get taxed on sales of the product, this cost is simply passed on the the consumer and will simply reduce demand for fossil fuels. So for the oil producer they simply look at how much they can sell their oil to the refinery and take this price as a given, can they make any money producing oil if the price is x.

                  The other stuff is a society wide question which the answer to me is obvious, tax the externalities so the marginal benefit is equal to the marginal cost when all costs are included.

                  In fact this is what neoclassical economics tells us is the most efficient solution. Unfortunately policy makers don’t often heed the advice of experts.

      • Jef says:

        WoW!! It is truly amazing how you are able to do that.

        Is that some sort of attempt at an online Jedi mind trick.

      • 70%H2O says:

        Dennis: CO2 level in the atmosphere does not drop when we emit less of it. It increases more slowly.

        Even if we would stop emitting this very moment, levels would still increase for a good while. Tundras are thawing and so on. You seem to be unrealisticly optimistic about this.

        No one in his right mind think there is any chance what so ever to make the concentration stop rasing and then going down before 500 PPM. We are already at 400 and are adding to it every year. And the natural feedback is only beginning.

        I guess we will hit Peak CO2 emiisions within 10 years. Mainly for reasons discussed on this blog. Will we be down at 0 emission before we break 500? Probably not. Will we stop it before man made natural emissions start adding into the mix? Absolutley not. The 2 degree target is already busted. The new goal in to stop it from reaching 4 degrees.

        • Dennis wrote: As the albedo changes, carbon dioxide levels will likely drop as there will be less fossil fuel to burn.

          70%H2O replied: Dennis: CO2 level in the atmosphere does not drop when we emit less of it. It increases more slowly.

          What the science says… bold mine

          Individual carbon dioxide molecules have a short life time of around 5 years in the atmosphere. However, when they leave the atmosphere, they’re simply swapping places with carbon dioxide in the ocean. The final amount of extra CO2 that remains in the atmosphere stays there on a time scale of centuries.

          70%H2O wrote You seem to be unrealistically optimistic about this.

          Hey, that’s just Dennis, he is unrealistically optimistic about everything. 😉

  20. R Walter says:


    Nice number, eh?

    The number is the circumference of a circle with a radius of 93,000,000.

    Measure in miles. 584,336,233.56 miles in distance takes 365 1/4 days to travel that far. 1,599,825 miles in a day, 24 hours. 66,659 miles per hour, 1,111 miles per minute. 18.52 miles per second.

    Gettin’ nowhere fast. One entire year to go 584 million miles and you start all over again doing the same thing. Groundhog Day every year here on earth. A lot of energy expended to get the earth to go that fast. Nobody is trying to harness the energy resulting from the earth’s movement through space and make it usable. Humans need to figure that one out.

    186,000,000 miles, it will take light 1000 seconds to travel that distance through space. 141,000,000 miles to Mars, so it takes light longer in time to reach Mars than the Earth. When light from the sun reaches the earth, it is 500 seconds old. When you see the sun, the image is already eight minutes old, you’re looking at the past when you view the sun.

    The US Congress needs to enact legislation mandating the sun to shine more, it shines, but it is not enough. The More Sunshine Act, have a commission, an agency, Sunshine Enhancement Administration, SEA. A great acronym, good for a billion in funding. Who would oppose more sunshine? If you tax it, it can grow into more sunshine, a win-win for everybody. SEA will make sure that old sunshine accumulated on and in the earth over the past 4 billion years is used appropriately. The Sunshine Enhancement Administration would have control over all fossil fuels since fossil fuels are formed from sunshine, beginning with the Hadean all the way through to the Anthropocene.

    The US owns the sun too, so it only makes sense.

    At a penny tax per hour of sunshine, sunrise to sunset, today has right around 12 hours and 56 minutes of sun shining in the heavens, it would cost you about 13 cents for today’s sunshine.

    An average of 15 cents per day, times 300,000,000 US citizens, you will have 45,000,000 usd. Every day!

    16,425,000,000 dollars per year. If the money were applied to the total US debt, it will take something like 1,200 years to pay the debt of 19.2 trillion dollars. Probably have to increase the sunshine tax to 50 cents a day to pay the national debt in just 400 years.

    Surely everyone can afford 50 cents each day to have more sunshine and also pay down the national debt, even a dollar a day isn’t asking for too much, then in just 200 years all of the money that is owed will be paid in full.

    Of course, Goldman Sachs would be part of the sunshine pie, so there will be other administration and administrative fees.

    All from the sun, which shines rain or shine.

    • GoneFishing says:

      “Nobody is trying to harness the energy resulting from the earth’s movement through space and make it usable. Humans need to figure that one out.” Good reason for that, the earth will spiral inward in orbit if you reduce it’s orbital energy. A really hot plan you have there.

      “. When light from the sun reaches the earth, it is 500 seconds old. ” Actually it took at least 4000 years for that light to reach the surface of the sun. Old energy.
      By the time we see changes happening, it’s way too late, most of them happened a long time ago.

      We already have a light tax and a Sunshine Enhancement Plan. My property tax includes light and air (rain too). The EPA and other pollution agencies as well as carbon taxes are already trying to reduce global dimming from polluting fossil fuels, that will increase sunlight by about 10 percent.

      Remember your sunblocker (that is already taxed too).

  21. Oilman2 says:

    I can’t afford a Tesla or a Leaf or a Volt – the cost is too high.
    I can’t tow a trailer with any of them, and they can’t carry anything but people – no utility in them at all.

    For general perspective, I paid $85,000 for my home in 1996 – and I am supposed to pay how much for a vehicle that cannot pull my boat to go fishing, cannot haul anything but a human or two, and does not do very well in flooded streets when hurricanes hit? hmmmm…

    I am NOT against the revolution – it would be nice if it happened. But the single smartest thing we could do in North America is emulate Chinese HSR – which I have ridden and enjoyed immensely more than getting groped by TSA pervs just to feel like spam-in-a-can for several long hours, or being strapped into any car. If you haven’t been in one of their mid-level or better trains, then you will just not understand. Coach on these trains puts First Class air flight to complete shame.

    To me, the smart play is HSR hub-to-hub, then EV to local destination.

    And self-driving cars? Seriously? They can’t even make a chatbot that will not go rogue. They can’t make AI that even emulates a capuchin monkey, and they want to let AI drive in traffic? Heaven forbid wi-fi drops out or the power goes down or any other thing anomalous. What if mud covers a sensor or a rock hits it and knocks it out? AI is just nowhere near complex enough, not when one considers the dynamic environment you are asking these systems to operate in. This is a huge waste of money when a train requires one driver and can carry hundreds without any of these worries.

    Kind of like a talking GPS – which pissed me off so bad by being consistently wrong that I just ripped the thing out. Never forget the programmers rule – GIGO – garbage in, garbage out. And there are ever so many ways for garbage to get into software.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Some of us will argue with damned good cause that we cannot now and may never be able to afford high speed rail.For sure there is a near zero possibility any will be built close enough for me to use it more than once in three or four years, so I am not much interested in paying for it.

      Like it or not, the USA is a spread out country that got that way because oil and cars were both dirt cheap for just about a whole century. Most of us live in places where even ordinary mass transit is barely better than a potential joke.

      So what will we do, when the fossil fuel shit hits the fan for good and all?

      We simply cannot afford to move on a collective basis, it’s as simple as that. There is nowhere to move TO, all the housing in our cities is already occupied. We can’t afford to abandon suburbia, no way in hell can we afford THAT.

      It appears to me that our only realistic hopes are one, to learn to live in place to a substantial extent, the way our great great grandparents did as a matter of course.

      There is a time coming when Walmart clerks who live on one side of town and work in a store on the other side of town are going to be assigned by law to the store nearest their home, if businesses don’t take the initiative themselves.

      I know a middle aged woman who has worked in the same fast food place I stop for cofffee once in a while for the past ten years. I asked her if she ever looked elsewhere for work, and she said she expects to work there until she retires, or until the place closes, because it is CLOSE ENOUGH to her home, which she owns, for her to walk to work.

      And hope number two, pray like hell that electric vehicles get to be cheap enough that they can affordably displace petroleum powered vehicles, and that they can be charged up with renewable wind and solar power, most of the time at least.

      Electric vehicles are still pretty expensive, especially compared to the cheaper models of conventional cars, but they are definitely already a hell of a sight cheaper than the alternative of giving up the house in the suburbs, and moving to a non existent house in the city where you might or might not be able to get around on buses and trains.

      We aren’t going to run out of oil, coal, and gas overnight. We have at least a decade or two to perfect electric vehicles and scale up the production thereof, before we run desperately short of fossil fuels, assuming folks like Dennis are right, and the downslope of ff supply is gentle and reasonably steady.

      I am confident that by then you will be able to buy a compact electric car that will get you where you have to go at a reasonable price, and that you will be able to charge it up with renewable electricity most days as well.

      And hybrids such as the current BMW model that has a very small gasoline engine adequate for highway cruising, but not drag racing, will enable you to get to grandma’s house using your saved up monthly gasoline ration, lol.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Here is an older view on the conversion to electric cars and hybrids. It is done by the car talk guys who are usually both informative and entertaining. It was done at a time when the first Chevy Volt was shown at a car show, when they did not have the batteries for it yet, still a concept car. So much has changed and so much has not changed since then.
        Car of the future

        I agree with you, we will not give up our new “freedom of the road”. No one wants to go back to the railroad days or the horse and buggy days. The wind does blow and the sun does shine, that much we can guarantee.

      • Oilman2 says:

        The downslope is not gentle, OFM. It is full of jerks and starts and failed attempts, as we see when trying to eke out oil on the downslope across the world. That is not even taking into account anything political – it is just the way of it when trying to glean oil out of a shrinking reservoir. You try this tech and see if it gets more oil – if not, then you lost money and try another idea.

        We old geezers who have these ideas and experience are going – 60+ in age for most of us. The new generation only knows shale oil and gas, so its kind of like software programmers trying to build computer hardware.

        Suburbia may not be abandon-able, but 90% or more is not owned – it is mortgaged. That has ramifications most do not think about.

        Lithium alone has extraction and political issues. We now import all lead here in the US. There is a lot more to the whole EV switch than most want to think about. I can’t even put ONE solar panel on my city house due to stupid ordinances – yet the city replaced the street lights with PV powered ones – and they didn’t consider the 80-90 foot tall oak trees in every yard that block the panels… Those issues never go away when the bureaucrats are involved.

        I hope you are correct in your confidence.
        But I am not counting on it personally.
        I am counting against it if the government is involved at all.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          HI Oilman2,

          I am not confident that the downslope will be gradual, which is why I put that all important weasel word “assuming ” in there.

          But given that the industry is so scattered out over such a large world, I am hopeful oil production will not fall off shark fin fashion. I do expect some very serious and sharp price spikes, and I expect the price of oil to get up there again, and stay up there, mostly, barring ( more weasel words) the world economy remaining flat to declining.

          In the past, I have had a lot to say about the strengths and weaknesses of government. In the short term, government generally manages to ignore or downplay coming troubles, until the troubles get to be absolutely critical, and threaten the existence of government itself.

          But once reality hits government, and society, upside the collective head, hard, with a series of sharp broken Pearl Harbor Wake Up Bricks ( which phrase I shoulda copyrighted ! unless somebody beat me to it) government can make things happen at an astounding rate.

          If for instance we were to experience an oil shortfall here in the USA, suddenly, one which PROMISES to be long lasting, and one big enough to cripple the economy, within a few months these things will come to pass, depending on how bad the shortfall is:

          Gasoline rationing.

          A substantial tax on new gas hog personal vehicles of any sort, and a prohibitive tax on real hot rods, excepting ELECTRIC hot rods.

          Subsidies for subcompact cars.

          Tax credits for low income people to be used to buy electric and hybrid vehicles.

          Restrictions on the non essential use of motor fuels.

          A junker program to get older larger cars and trucks off the road, one with REAL TEETH this time, not one mostly designed to sell new cars and trucks.

          The abandonment of safety regs that add hundreds of pounds and lots of dollars to the weight and cost of new cars, so as to enable more economical cars to be built. They would still be a hell of a lot safer than two wheelers!

          Speaking of two wheelers, bike lanes would suddenly be priorities, considering how cheap they could be ,all you MUST have is paint, so as to close off the outer edge of a street for bikes only.

          Subsidies and make work programs to cut the use of oil for heating oil in residences by encouraging the use of heat pumps, installing new windows, insulation, etc.

          A CRASH program to increase domestic oil production, subsidized as necessary.

          You might find yourself wearing a uniform issued by the feds, and TOLD where you are going to work , namely someplace Uncle Sam wants you on site, hands on, as a mechanic or supervisor in an oil field.

          Emergency investment in coal to liquids, emergency investments into converting heavy trucks to run on either natural gas or diesel fuel, and getting natural gas fueling stations built.

          Changes in insurance and other motor vehicle laws to allow people to carpool without worry about liabilities in the event of accidents, people allowed to own and operate buses uber style, laws written to force companies such as Walmart to schedule workers who live near each other to work the same schedules, laws allowing people to freely modify their homes to include what used to be referred to as inlaw quarters, and rent these quarters out, laws enabling some businesses to operate out of residential districts so as to reduce driving.

          Substantial emergency investment in biofuels, which would mean pedal to the metal on corn, and planting a lot of sugar cane any place under our control where it will grow.

          Partnerships involving buying oil from any body who has some to sell, guaranteeing their physical security as part of the deal. A really bad oil crisis will mean open warfare, and tankers won’t leave port unless they are escorted by warships. At present the only country in the world with a first class blue water navy is Yankeedom. Given the blessing of the Prez and Congress, the navy wouldn’t just escort tankers, enemy ships would find it prudent to stay in port.

          If this sort of stuff doesn’t prove to be adequate to address the crisis, there would be great pressure put on Canada, diplomatically and economically , to increase production of tar sands oil on the triple time , with plenty of carrots dangling from the stick of course.

          Incidentally I am worried enough about the possible consequences of an oil supply crisis that I think one of the dumbest fucking things our government has done in recent times was to spit in Canada’s face and deny the Keystone .

          That oil will eventually flow east and or west to the Atlantic and Pacific and then to whoever finances the pipeline for them, with the financiers having contracted first dibs. If we want it, we will have to TAKE IT , by force, off the high seas, if that scenario comes to pass. If the pipeline took that oil down to the Gulf, well , you know what they say about possession being nine tenths of the law.

          We might very well find it expedient to EXPORT DEMOCRACY to the Middle East again and maybe down Venezuela way too.

          Some people think it can’t be done, and maybe it CAN’T , but simply OCCUPYING such places more or less indefinitely IS POSSIBLE, and if the price of doing without oil is substantially greater than the cost of occupation, IT WILL BE DONE, regardless of which party is in control of Washington.

          Hard ball is hard ball, and survival trumps everything else.

          Stopping terrorism here in the USA and in Western Europe under wartime conditions will not be a problem at all, if we find it expedient to go to war. Anybody with even a whiff of suspicion about them will be watched using all the new tech, and everybody else who might even by the remotest stretch of the imagination be a terrorist will be denied admittance.

          If things get bad, air travel will be greatly restricted or be banned outright, with the people who depend on it for a living going on welfare.

          Beyond that, things could get so bad we suffer an outright economic collapse so deep we can never recover.

          People could wind up living in refugee camps in the USA.

          But I am MUCH more hopeful NOW than I was a few years ago that at least a few countries will avoid an outright catastrophic economic collapse due to peak resources and over population. Renewables are coming on a lot faster than I ever thought they would, and birth rates are falling faster than I ever expected them to.

          I don’t have a good grasp of the economics of lithium. But there is plenty of it available, world wide, to enable us to build as many electric cars as are APT to be built , anytime soon.

          Beyond that, there is a virtually unlimited supply in the sea. Maybe somebody will figure out a way to extract it at a price we can pay. Given that we will need it REALLY bad, we can pay a really steep price for it.

          Lithium batteries can be recycled, if the price of the lithium in them makes it worthwhile. As I understand it, right now lithium is still cheap enough recycling batteries is a borderline proposition.

          We won’t give up suburbia until we are starving, because the investment is too big, and the cost of providing new housing in existing cities is too high, higher than the costs of eletrifying transportation, etc.

          • Oilman2 says:

            OFM, you have much more faith in our divided and subdivided country and it’s corrupt politicos than I ever will. If any of these things get enacted, it will be because select individuals and corporations are pre-positioned to skim the takings.

            I think it much more likely that this country may split apart – as the interests of the left and right coasts further diverge from the rest of the country, and the federal government continues it’s inexorable bloat, law-passing and debt madness. Both east and west coasts live in their own self-generated “info-bubble”, and DC is a double-bubble, which is one reason the people are so fed up elsewhere.

            I hope you are right, and that this may happen. But the timing is one more generation – that’s all we have left.

            And frankly, I do not see a knowledgeable and credible leader in sight. We can talk and envision these things here, but those who we elected do not have this ability or refrain from letting their minds roam free of the rutted path of their forebears. I see folks scrambling for their own little ‘piece-of-pie’ and very few with power and money doing anything else. Maybe we get lucky and as the crazies in congress die or retire, better folks appear. But that hope didn’t pan out for Mark Twain or anyone else – so I am not latching on to it now.

            My feeling is that the can will get kicked down the road until it falls over a cliff, and then the elephant and the donkey go right over behind the can. Other countries are not in any better shape – they just have different players.

            There is an entire group of mindsets that must be transcended by billions for this to happen…. I just don’t see it happening until after BAU is impossible.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        “The development of roads affects wildlife by altering and isolating habitat and populations, deterring the movement of wildlife, and resulting in extensive wildlife mortality. One writer states that ‘our insulated industrialized culture keeps us disconnected from life beyond our windshields.’… Moreover, a culture of indifference and hopelessness is created if people learn to ignore lifeless bodies on roads…

        Mortality resulting from roadkill can be very significant for species with small populations. Roadkill is estimated to be responsible for 50% of deaths of Florida panthers, and is the largest cause of badger deaths in England. Roadkill is considered to significantly contribute to the population decline of many threatened species, including…

        In 1993, 25 schools throughout New England, United States participated in a roadkill study involving 1,923 animal deaths… Extrapolating these data nationwide, Merritt Clifton… estimated that the following animals are being killed by motor vehicles in the United States annually: 41 million squirrels, 26 million cats, 22 million rat, 19 million opossums, 15 million raccoons, 6 million dogs, and 350,000 deer. This study may not have considered differences in observability between taxa (e.g. dead raccoons are easier to see than dead frogs), and has not been published in peer-reviewed scientific literature…

        In 2003-2004, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds investigated anecdotal reports of declining insect populations in the UK… Almost 40,000 drivers took part, and the results found one squashed insect for every 5 miles (8.0 km) driven. This contrasts with 30 years ago when cars were covered more completely with insects, supporting the idea that insect numbers had waned.

        In 2011, Dutch biologist Arnold van Vliet coordinated a similar study of insect deaths on car license plates. He found two insects killed on the license-plate area for every 6.2 miles (10.0 km) driven. This implies about 1.6 trillion insect deaths by cars per year in the Netherlands, and about 32.5 trillion deaths in the United States if the figures are extrapolated there.” ~ Wikipedia

        “I’m guessing the new Tesla will start a stampede for EV’s.” ~ wimbi

        Replaced By A Heart of Flesh

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:


        • Fred Magyar says:

          This contrasts with 30 years ago when cars were covered more completely with insects, supporting the idea that insect numbers had waned.

          BTW, Correlation is not causation! Fewer insects could more likely be related to increased use of agricultural pesticides and increased habitat loss in form of suburban lawns etc…

          I just finished reading reading E.O. Wilson’s Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life

          I was already a long time fan of Wilson’s so perhaps I’m biased but I think he is one of the greatest biologists ever, living or dead! What struck me the most while reading it, was Wilson deep grasp of interlocking ecosystems and how they are affected when species are lost. It contrasts with the profound ignorance of such systems by the average supposedly educated person. His depth and breadth of knowledge and systems thinking are the antithesis of the simplistic black and white linear thinking typical of those who think they know better!

          While EVs will certainly not save us they are still a step in the right direction! Less consumption and human population reduction are where we need to go. BTW Wilson is not a luddite he embraces technology as an integral and necessary part of the solution. However he emphasizes the need for a completely revised set of priorities!

          • Fred Magyar says:

            A deep ignorance of the complexity of living systems, is prevalent among the general populace. It remains to be seen, if as Wilson believes, we will awaken in time. Personally I’m less optimistic than he seems to be!

          • Synapsid says:


            You miss the main point about insects on windshields: the insects are LEARNING.

            Next comes cooperation, then planning, then…well, that does not bear thinking about.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:


            • Fred Magyar says:

              Next comes cooperation, then planning, then…well, that does not bear thinking about.

              LOL! I vaguely recall watching a B horror flick about that years ago. 🙂

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            “Fewer insects could more likely be related to increased use of agricultural pesticides and increased habitat loss in form of suburban lawns etc…” ~ Fred Magyar

            That’s good enough for me!

            And it isn’t just insects!

            If you can’t get enough of ’em with cars, get ’em with the rest of our insane lifestyles!

            • Fred Magyar says:

              If you can’t get enough of ’em with cars, get ’em with the rest of our insane lifestyles!

              Or you can join the Half Earth movement and be a part of the solution yourself.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                I don’t drive and am working on Permaea. I also incorporated in its manifesto, your previous recommendation. Remember?
                I am also considering a microecovillage in a small town context. I think it might be successful, if not more so than either an ecovillage or a Transition town, in that it is a hybrid of sorts.
                I already tried something along these lines, but it didn’t quite work out, at least not yet.

                What about you, by the way? And Wimbi? Both of you have mentioned possibly doing some stuff, like, in Wimbi’s case, maybe an essay over at Community Solutions’ site, but I’ve yet to hear of any news.
                I will also be posting my 3D designs hereon and have already posted an adult live-in treehouse design (using, as a design constraint, mostly wood pulled from palettes) I had been working on before losing my operating system last Dec..

                BTW, with cars in general of course comes surrounding contexts, not just collisions with animals. For example, their roadways interrupt migration and feeding-patterns.
                This seems to fit much of the Half Earth incentive, which sounds interesting, and which will be looked into, thanks.

                Anyway, it’s all in context, Fred, and I wish some of you guys would be more sensitive to it, or at least more vocal about it when discussing some things, like maybe ‘silver bullets’ and the kind of thinking that can revolve around them.

  22. ezrydermike says:

    Why this is just alarming!

    Why the New Sea Level Alarm Can’t Be Ignored

    The physics of ice predicts that sea level will rise twice as much by the end of the century as previously estimated.

    • Amanda Di Gironimo says:


      Now here is a simple way for you or anyone at home to perform climate science just like the big shot scientists at the universities & public sector institutions! If you have children this is especially something fun for them to see & experience. Pay attention

      — take any cup or even, an empty bathtub
      — fill it with as much ice as psbl even overflowing with ice if you can
      — now add warm not hot water (about 75*f temp, same as all the ocean’s) right up to the top of the rim, don’t let it overflow over the rim & spill but keep it right at the rim
      — wait/watch what happens as the ice slowly melts…it will take some time
      — Don’t read any further if you don’t want to spoil the surprise at what happens

      Ok this is the final warning about ruining the surprise. All right, you want to know just what happens as the ice melts? I’ll let you know…the water level in the cup or bathtub actually DROPS!! Therefore what you can say in conclusion about this real life science experiment is that melting icebergs and polar ice caps aren’t really what cause rising oceans, all the news ppl just want to trick you into thinking that’s a basic fact.

      • robert wilson says:

        I do not believe that the water level will drop. It will stay level. Basic physics. This applies to floating ice. But much of the ice on land is not floating.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Hi Robert,

          Amanda is either a shill ,or she is ignorant of the basic physics involved.

          If you do actually HEAP up the ice over the top of the tub as she suggests,( — fill it with as much ice as psbl even overflowing with ice if you can !! ) and then fill it with water to the rim, it will most DEFINITELY over flow as the ice melts.

          I don’t know which is the lesser insult, to refer to her as a shill dumb enough to think the audience here is ignorant enough to fall for such an asinine argument, or to just dismiss here as ignorant of the fact that as you point out, most of the ice that exists, exists on land rather than IN the sea , and so WILL raise the sea level as it melts and flows into the sea.

          Now she may be thinking she is clever , in that she may know water shrinks a VERY VERY little as it cools from room temperature down to near freezing temperature, but you would not be able to see this shrinkage with the naked eye. You would need some very pretty sophisticated instruments to measure this shrinkage, not to mention expertise in the use thereof.

          My opinion is that she is knows just enough to be dangerous.

          People like Amanda tend to post just a couple of comments and disappear. Our old friend Glen Steele is the only one that hung around for a long time, but he left eventually, after Fred Maygar and I pointed out the errors in his arguments one after another day after day until he finally gave it up.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Yes, the water level will drop since the ice becomes denser as it melts and occupies the majority of volume in the tub. Ice has a density of 0.91 and goes to a density 1.0 as it melts thus taking up less volume. The ice is the major component and is not floating.
        Nothing new here. Nothing to do with climate science either. I wouldn’t overfill the ice though, just to the rim. Then add enough water to see the level, essentially filling in the interstitial spaces.
        The error Amanda makes is that her experiment is not a model of ocean ice or added water from melting glaciers. It is a demonstration of the contraction of ice as it phase transitions to the liquid state. She has mislabeled it, such is the fate of science in the hands of the public.

        Ocean ice does not add volume as it melts, but melting glaciers do since they are land based. Water also expands as it warms so that is another factor in ocean rise.

        A more proper demonstration of global warming ocean rise would be to fill a glass to near the brim with cold water. Then suspend an ice cube over the glass on a string. Place tiny model cities (use sugar cookies) around the base of the glass. As the ice cube melts the added water overflows onto the model cities, making quite a mess. The warming water also expands continuing the process.
        Voila! Global warming in action. The dog can clean up the mushy sugar cookies the kids don’t eat.

        This is also a demonstration of a huge error in communication that scientists have made about global warming. We should not have scientists present the science to the general public, they do not have the tools needed to understand what is being communicated or have the time and inclination to learn. What needs to be done is merely list out the actions needed because of global warming. Actions need to be communicated, forget the science, dimwits, the ignorant, the greedy and shills will always run the scientists in circles. Give the people and the politicians action lists. Something they can grasp and do something with. Ignore the naysayers, to engage with them is to give them credence and power.
        Present science to other scientists in the field, present consequences and action plans to the public and governments.

          • GoneFishing says:

            The ice was not floating, it would take a greater mass of water than ice to displace the ice and make it float. The water was merely filling voids and used to measure change in level.
            So let’s say 90 percent ice and 10 percent water initial by volume. The force of displacement of water is 0.1/.90(.91) = .122 of ice weight will be displaced by water initially, not a floating condition.

            When all the ice has melted it will have 0.91 times it’s initial volume so the total volume will be .90 X.91 +0.10 X1.0 = 0.919 X initial volume.
            Ergo, the volume has decreased.
            Try it in a glass of crushed ice, add a little water to just reach reach the top of the ice, cover to prevent evaporation or condensation from the atmosphere, mark the height and watch what happens.

          • robert wilson says:

            By coincidence I was studying such matters 65 years ago. Circa 1949-1950 I was a physics major. But I always declared pre-med to protect me from Korea where some of my friends were killed and maimed. One close friend was captured, escaped and had to walk out of North Korea at night. The third year I decided to go to med school thus didn’t complete physics. I was deferred for a decade. Military medicine was never the best. After three years x-ray training the Navy assigned me to practice part time pediatrics. Fortunately the nurses could tell me how to handle measles etc. I was clueless.

  23. ezrydermike says:

    Like the US, China wants a national electricity grid. Unlike the US, China’s just building it.

    Updated by David Roberts on March 30, 2016, 3:00 p.m. ET 

    • Longtimber says:

      In the Early 90’s After Clinton loosing a Court Battle – Arkansas’s Industrial electrical rates jumped to Pay for Grand Gulf Nuclear overrun’s in Louisiana. $4 to over $19 per kW Demand. Drove Jobs out of the State.

      Texas Need no Stinking National Grid. Grid Independence ! “By not crossing state lines, Texas utilities avoided being subjected to federal rules. “Freedom from federal regulation was a cherished goal”

      • aws. says:

        The price for Texas wind on the wholesale market on a windy night is negative. Texas needs to be connected to the rest of the U.S. Grid.

        If you extend that isolationist thinking then you might also say that oil and gas shouldn’t be exported.

        Yes, grid reliability is important, but grid reliability would be one of the benefits of modernizing the grid.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          The fact that wind energy can be given away, and that a wind farm can even pay somebody to take it, is not evidence of any thing intrinsically wrong with wind power.

          The negative prices, when they occur, are artifacts of less than perfect regulatory schemes intended to help wind break into the market in competition with long established ff generation. I

          It is perfectly reasonable to expect that down the road a few years, such regulations will be overhauled, and wind farms will simply be shut down, in part, if they are over producing in relation to demand.

          Nobody gets excited about it when we shut down other industries on a similar basis. We run subway trains and city buses flat out during rush hours, and only a few during times when demand is low. We close up most stores during the night hours, most pharmacies, indeed most businesses in general.

          In order to have enough wind power to cut deeply into fossil fuel consumption during periods of high demand, ya gotta have enough wind capacity to idle some or most of it during periods of low demand for electricity.

          It’s the same for just about everything else, from automobiles to airliners.

          If the Germans were possessed of wind and solar resources comparable to those of Texas, they would probably be eighty percent of the way to fossil fuel free electricity by now.

          • Ulenspiegel says:

            “The negative prices, when they occur, are artifacts of less than perfect regulatory schemes intended to help wind break into the market in competition with long established ff generation.”

            Yep. It does not make sense to let electricity prices become negative as long as there is a huge demand for thermal energy. The price of a thermal kWh is around 0.025 EUR and should, therefore, be the lowest price for electricity.

      • Aws. says:

        Long timber,

        Thanks for the Texplainer. It Texplained a lot about why ERCOT is the way it is, and by extension Texas itself.


    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Given the stupidity of the public, it is necessary for TESLA to produce cars that are better not only in the ways that REALLY matter, but also in the ways that don’t, in order to sell cars to people who are super sensitive to their perceived sexual attractiveness and performance as measured by the performance of their car.

      Hot cheerleaders tend to avoid dating boys who drive dull cars, even if they are on the football team. The folks who are brave enough to buy something new are not brave enough to buy it unless it is demonstrably as good or better in every way that matters to status seeking individuals.

      All the OTHER guys would be laughing at the owner of a new TESLA if it weren’t capable of drag racing conventional hot rods, even though Teslas ( so far) are luxury land yachts, rather than purpose built sports cars.

      How will the proud male owner of a new THREE be able to brag about it, and defend it against the snarky criticisms of his dingaling peers, unless it is at least as fast as standard issue new Mustangs and Camaros in a drag race?

      Now I can AFFORD to drive a car that performs about like a turtle, because I am old enough now that the size of my water works no longer matters, and besides I own some other big boy’s toys such as a backhoe with forks on it that can literally pick up and tote a full sized car around, or pound it into scrap metal,in one lick with the digging bucket, and a tractor that can drag any pickup truck backwards with the brakes locked up tight.

      The old saying that the only difference between a man and a boy is the size of his toys is not far from literally true in our society. Men are scarce in comparison to the supply of middle aged boys.

      Having said this much, I still really enjoy the sound of a big v8 winding out, and the sensation of going sideways when you hit second without letting off the gas driving a stick shift hot rod. A man with no boy left inside might as well be dead himself.

      I still like to catch a big fish, and I still like to THINK about pollinating one of Twain’s “hot young blossoms”. LOL

  24. Oldfarmermac says:

    Sanders is going to win in Wisconsin. HRC’s campaign manager has already basically said so, so as to forewarn her demoralized foot soldiers that the country is tired of her.

    For some reason the msm keep on talking about the deep south states she won, in terms that indicate the nomination is in the bag for her, and that Sanders ought to go home like a good little boy and quit pretending to be an adult.

    But the polls coming out are showing that his support among minorities is picking up substantially, while of course it is falling as a result for Clinton.

    Anybody who reads carefully can make up his own mind. This is an unabashed supporter of Sanders having his say, but his points are based on facts.

    I spent twenty minutes or so listening to an unabashed Clinton advertisement, provided free on the NPR show All things Considered, about four or five pm. It made me just about puke, it was Clinton all the way, all her supporters given endless time, with a few seconds here and there for Sanders. So much for balance.

    Hardly anything was said about her negatives,only one single sentence, and nothing at all about Sanders lack there of.

    Nothing while I listened was mentioned about the dramatic changes in polls in favor of Sanders.

    Consider what this man has to say, one line at a time, rather than the fact that he is obviously a Sanders advocate.

  25. Oldfarmermac says:

    Or consider this:

    “The Clinton campaign has blazed new trails in the post-Citizens United campaign finance environment by announcing recently that it would openly coordinate with Correct the Record.

    Most experts believed that campaigns were completely prohibited from coordinating with Super PACs, but the Clinton campaign has argued that Correct the Record’s online communications are exempt from that prohibition.

    As her campaign has pushed the boundaries of Super PAC coordination, Clinton has decried the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case and vowed to overturn it through a constitutional amendment, an effort that legal experts say could dramatically restrict nonprofit groups’ free speech rights.”

    This is the sort of establishment cynicism that just won’t wash with people who really give a shit about ethics and integrity. In past times, the msm could emphasize or ignore this sort of thing, but the internet has changed everything. Younger people just won’t stand for such brazen hypocrisy when they get their noses rubbed in it.

    Incidentally Cruz has said something I wholeheartedly agree with. He said the msm has donated about two billion dollars worth of free publicity to TRUMP. I never thought I would totally agree with ANYTHING he might say, even about what day of the week it might be.

  26. Pingback: Open Thread- Non-Petroleum | Energy News

  27. GoneFishing says:

    One of the ideas floated around in discussions is the fact that people commute to work, sometimes long distances. No one ever seems to discuss why.
    From an economic standpoint, I think it is the cost gradient that keeps many people from living close to work. To move from a more rural setting to within dense towns means tripling basic housing costs. To give you an idea, a $150,000 house out in a more rural area ends up costing $450,000 with taxes and mortgage over the long run. Services and car insurance are less expensive also.
    To move to the town areas, houses cost $300,000 to $500,000 and to get close to many areas even more.
    That triples to $900,000 and 1.5 million over time. Services and insurance are more expensive.
    So with $750,000 to $$1,o50,000 savings involved, spending an extra $100,000 to $150,000 on transport is a no brainer.
    There are huge economic incentives to commute long distances. The new electrics will just short circuit the energy problem, but will not decrease commuting.
    BTW, I was talking to someone who has a Tesla sedan and they are really happy with it. Have no problem getting battery switches and charges (Washington DC region).

    Aside: Winds here are gusting over 55 mph, clear sky. This has been happening after or during every storm lately, used to only happen during severe thunderstorms. The winds go on all day or night not just short bursts. Trees and limbs are coming down. Temperature differentials seem to be larger than in the past. I live in a moderate temperate zone. I can only imagine what people in the upper Midwest are experiencing.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Hi GF,

      “One of the ideas floated around in discussions is the fact that people commute to work, sometimes long distances. No one ever seems to discuss why.”

      I have made this same general point many times in this forum, and in the old TOD forum as well, plus some other places where I usually use a different handle.

      We will drive micro mini cars, carpool, take uber type buses, work out of our houses, allow the neighbor to convert his mcmansion into a barbershop or law office, etc, before we give up the suburbs. Spending thirty or forty thousand on a new car to get to work and the other places you must go, in the event gasoline is unavailable, tightly rationed, or super expensive, is a no brainer, compared to walking away from the house with plenty of room inside and out in exchange for a dinky little apartment in the city that will cost as much or more than the house payment.

      This is going to indeed be a no brainer decision. Even a doofus Republican who is convinced that the shortage of gasoline is the result of a commie loving, tree hugging dimmerrat conspiracy will buy a Volt or Leaf or Tesla Three when gasoline hits ten bucks. And it will , sooner or later, because like the poor, war and depletion will always be with us.

      I have enormous respect for the WONDERFUL WONDERFUL MARKET and the INVINCIBLE INVISIBLE HAND. Give them time to work, and they can more often than not work near miracles.

      But in the case of oil depletion, the time signal between a shortage and a crisis may be too short for the HAND and the MARKET to do their thing.

      Folks who are used to having it their way in times of plenty insist that hardly anybody will ever buy a short range electric car. I totally disagree. If necessity forces the issue, plenty of people will be willing to buy a car with only a thirty or forty mile range, a car barely big enough to fit in one supersized adult, if that is all they can afford and it will get them to work.

      Cut a LEAF down to a two seater fore and aft oriented, strip out all the nice little touches such as ac, air bags, etc, electronically limit it to forty five mph, and you could cut the battery size by two thirds at least and still manage a forty mile round trip commute with some range to spare. And you could save your two gallon a week gasoline ration to use in your existing conventional car for the occasional longer trip.

      I posted a list of things off the top of my head that will happen in the event we have a sudden and lasting oil supply shock someplace up thread.

  28. islandboy says:

    The latest edition of the EIA’s Electric Power Monthly was released on March 25th. Nothing particularly interesting happened in January, unless one considers that most of the increased electricity production for January came from coal, with NG and Hydro more or less holding steady in terms of absolute amounts generated. The increase in the amount generated by coal resulted in the percentage contribution for most other sources falling, even for nuclear, despite the absolute amount generated by nuclear increasing slightly.

  29. islandboy says:

    As usual electricity generation from solar appears to have bottomed out in December and is on the rise again. It will be interesting to see how much is generated at the peak in midsummer this year given the ongoing strong increases in capacity.

  30. Oldfarmermac says:

    The Clinton campaign is bitching and peeing and moaning about scheduling debates with the Sanders campaign saying Sanders is acting childish, etc, even as HRC grubs for every possible advantage. Her lackies first suggested a day final day of the NCAA tourney will be played with Syracuse in the tournament. The obvious intent was to reduce the audience to the absolute minimum by way of this trick.

    I don’t know yet what partisan advantage the other two dates she proposes offer her, but you can bet your last dime they are dates more favorable to her campaign than to Sanders.

    A link from a respected outfit detailing the various candidates donations from and proposals relating to the MIC, the military industrial complex.

    Like most headlines, this one was written by an editor, but the article is fairly well balanced.

    And from the LA TIMES:

    illary Clinton said Sunday that the FBI has not asked to question her about her use of a private email server when she was secretary of State, a controversy that has dogged her presidential bid.

    FBI agents looking into possible mishandling of classified information have begun to set up formal interviews with Clinton’s close aides, the Los Angeles Times reported last week, a sign that the inquiry is moving into its final phases.

    Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if the FBI had reached out to her for an interview, Clinton replied: “No, no, they haven’t.”

    Clinton said she would agree to be questioned about her sending and receiving work-related emails on a Blackberry tethered to a potentially insecure server in the basement of her family home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

    “Back in August, we made clear that I’m happy to answer any questions that anybody might have,” she said. “And I stand by that.”

    AND OF COURSE the only way you can get out of talking to the cops when they are investigating you is to stonewall and take the Fifth.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Sounds like Hillary Clinton is a smart opponent. Why fight a battle from a disadvantage, take the high ground? Shows intelligence and good tactics.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        She is as slippery as an eel, knowing how to talk the teflon talk.

        Sounds to me like the boilerplate every defense attorney puts out, we are looking forward to clearing this thing up when we have our day in court.

        The supposed vast right wing conspiracy couldn’t possibly be responsible for this mess, she brought it on herself and her party without any help.

        . But anybody who is fool enough to actually BELIEVE she is happy to talk to the FBI about her astounding lack of judgement in using a personal server for government business is surely dumb enough to vote for either her, or somebody as bad as TRUMP, depending on personal tribal loyalties.

        Nobody believes such bullshit. In the meantime, Sanders has closed the gap in New York polling to about twelve points, starting from about forty points behind a few months ago.

        The state department actually argued in court that the government had no obligation to comply with FOI requests about her email BECAUSE STATE DID NOT HAVE HER EMAIL.

        NOW how many people would have to be involved in State Dept management , covering it up and ignoring it, for that to have escaped attention for the time of her tenure?

        Only a dedicated true believing HRC partisan could possibly believe laws weren’t broken. Of course other people have broken such laws, and got away with it, but they did so on infinitely smaller scales, and were in arguably less sensitive positions in nearly every case.

        The true count of FBI agents on this case is said to up close to fifty, but nobody actually knows who is telling. One thing is clear, though, to even the greenest lawyer doing public defense for welfare lawyers wages.

        It wouldn’t take more than a couple of agents more than a couple of days to say either way whether laws were broken, in terms of going ahead with gathering evidence or dropping the case.

        The only really rational explanation for such a drawn out investigation is that the agents working on it are trying to find out how many emails are actually missing, and how many might have fallen into the wrong hands, which wrong hands, and that sort of thing.

        Every opinion I have read, written by somebody who actually supposedly knows something about communications security, has said that there is no way her homemade set up could have ever been secure against REAL pros trying to get into it.

        I don’t think there is a soul in Silicon Valley who has a professional rep to maintain as as security guy who would say her system was actually adequately secured considering what it was used for.

        But the email thing is just one more thing. The real thing is that Clinton is in the pocket of Wall Street, and Trump IS Wall Street.

        It’s time to move on, and Sanders is the only candidate in a position to actually move the country, and without being hindered by tons of smelly baggage.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Old Farmer, the whole email thing is bogus. No one who actually researched it would say that she did anything that was not done in previous administrations. It has been standard operating procedure for a while. Also some of those classified documents didn’t get classified until after the fact.

          Tell me more about how Hillary is in the pocket of wall street. We need some details on that one.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Tell me who has ever set up an entire email system in secret handling the highest level secrets of the country on their personal server PREVIOUSLY.

            Scope matters. Stealing a candy bar is not the same thing as robbing a bank. Telling a few things to your lover is not the same thing as exposing every thing the State Dept does on a nickel and dime system.

            Anybody who believes this email tnhing is ALL BOGUS simply HAS to be either a true believer partisan, or else just a cynical defender of HRC.

            IF HRC weren’t totally ashamed of herself for having this system, then her primary tech guy would not have taken the fifth amendment in talking about it, and it wouldn’t have taken a furious assault on the State Department to pry out the details.

            You are defending a politician who is arrogant as hell, and thinks the rules are for every body else OTHER than the empress, and has displayed an astounding lack of judgement, and yes , has lied her ass off about it, from the word go, or used weasel words to the same effect,

            I am meeting and talking to a LOT of hard core Democrats, some of them nearly as old as I am, which is old, most of them thirty or less, for the first time , helping out with the Sanders campaign by participating in various on line forums. I am also meeting with a lot of D people face to face, considering the part of the country I live in, and my personal obligations, which prevent me from getting out of the house very long at a time. . For a very large portion of them, this email thing is a final nail in the Clinton coffin, and the clinching reason they are working for Sanders.

            If you are mathematically literate, check out Cattle Gate. You can read up on it in the archives of the major liberal papers of the time.

            Google HRC and Wall Street connections.

            If I weren’t looking after my near bed ridden and increasingly senile Daddy who is approaching the century mark, and I would be on the road somewhere, for the first time since the sixties , doing politics.

            Start here,

            It took five seconds to type in Clinton and Wall street. This is one of the first hits.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Old Farmer said
              “Anybody who believes this email tnhing is ALL BOGUS simply HAS to be either a true believer partisan, or else just a cynical defender of HRC”
              “You are defending a politician who is arrogant as hell, and thinks the rules are for every body else OTHER than the empress”
              You do seem over the top on this one and not capable of logically answering the question I did ask. You will more than likely estrange anyone who has questions or a different point of view, i.e. you will only engage those who think like you and do nothing for a political campaign.
              In your present inflammatory, hissy-fit state, you might do well with Trump supporters. Ever thought of going that route?

              Dial it back and learn to talk to people, otherwise your are only going to harm your candidate.

              From your response to me it is probably best you are not on the road in politics. Your buttons are way too easily pushed.

              • wimbi says:

                Hillary is an ordinary politician, ho hum. Sanders is better, and the R’s are highly unusually awful.

                Gimme a little money and a couple of weeks and I will find thousands of folks who would make a better president than any of them.

                Time for an upgrade of our operating system. Way past time.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                I am doing everything I can to put Trump out of business on other sites, but he apparently has zero adherents or even defenders on this one , so I see no need to post anti trump stuff here, other than in passing.

                You may prefer to think of such issues as trivial, but I can assure you that they are NOT taken as trivial by at least a couple of dozen or more or less life long democrats I have talked to PERSONALLY already.

                How about Clinton’s speeches on Wall Street at two hundred large a pop? What is in them, that she is so reluctant to let us commoners know what she has to say to her GOOD friends , who are so generously keeping her off food stamps?

                Who do you think actually would or will be free to do the right thing, not having taken taking mega bucks from big biz?

                The D party position has been pretty much consistent in that big money ought to be driven out of our politics.

                Now she starts playing sleazy lawyer, and claiming that it is OK to coordinate with a super pac, when SHE does it.

                If you can’t see it, you are sort of like one of my less than well educated relatives who has no problem literally believing Noah and his kids could build a wooden boat as big as a super tanker at LEAST, necessarily using only primitive hand tools, and gather up a couple of every species of animal in the world, and put them all on that wooden boat………… Ya sort of get it?

                That would stress out even a man who has nine hundred years to giterdone, Methuselah style.

                Skepticism and doubt have no place in the closed mind of a true believer. If you believe in HRC, you will NEVER listen to anything critical of her.

                Now the young people of this country are very good at detecting the smell of dead fish, and are supporting Sanders in droves, except the ones who are R true believers of course.

                Sanders is running on little guys money.

                Now since I have gotten only only your response defending HRC ,it seems obvious she has few fans here.
                So I will take it elsewhere, mostly, where it will hopefully do more good.

                Now I don’t really give a shit about Trump getting the R nomination, so long as Sanders gets the D nomination, because Sanders can easily beat him in the actual election.

                HRC has awesome negatives, from the R point of view.

                Elections are won in the center in this country , nearly every time , at the prez level.

                Trump has awesome negatives too, from the D pov.

                Put a CLEAN CHARISMATIC D on the ticket, against a soiled R , and a D win is in the bag.

                Trump might beat HRC, but he will never beat Sanders.

                DO you really believe that a couple of hundred million in BIG CHUNKS from BIG BIZ and foreign governments has poured into the Clinton foundation out of the goodness of the hearts of the donors?

                Look up the word FUNGIBLE, and think about it hard for a while.

                Want a challenge?

                Here is one for you.

                Find a defense of HRC’s run in the cattle futures market that is defensible, one that can pass even the MILDEST sort of smell test.

                Her answer to that sort of thing is always its old news, but ya get to know people over a lifetime.

                People in North Korea may be so poorly informed that they actually believe doughboy hit a hole in one the first time he played golf, and in a fog so dense nobody could even see the green, no less.

                Nobody who ever passed a real university level math course believes HRC did that honestly.

                At the fundamental level, we are looking at a choice between government of the people, by the people, for the people versus government of the elite, by the elite, for the elite.

                Clinton and Trump and the rest of the R candidates are much more for the elite than otherwise,compared to Sanders.

                Now I am MOSTLY done with it here, and taking it elsewhere.

                • R Walter says:

                  Remember when Bernie Sanders was arrested for protesting the Vietnam War? Think those photos won’t surface if Bernie becomes the Democrat’s Choice? Applied to be a conscientious objector to avoid being drafted into the armed forces. Also, he was arrested for spying for the Soviet Union. More faults than in a California earthquake zone. Steee-rike one, two, and three, you’re oudda here! It don’t look too good for Bernie. The Socialist is done for. Bernie won’t pass the smell test.

                  Hillary is an old bag. Purn’t near as old as she looks. har

                  Been building a foundation for years to be a US President. The book of faults on Hillary is as fat as a full book of S&H Greenstamps. She flies to her campaign rallies, so she uses fossil fuels to get there. The list can go on.

                  If she can get votes, nothing else matters for Hillary.

                  Jeb burned through 150 million dollars to be a loser.

                  Ted Cruz is awful. God wants nothing to do with Ted, it is that bad.

                  Why in God’s name Donald Trump wants to run as a Republican defies all reason. A glutton for punishment.

                  Something doesn’t smell right here, the smell test stinks.

                  The whole enchilada is not smelling very good.

                  Somebody like Caroline Kennedy would make a good president. Draft her at the convention and forget about all of the losers out there.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Old Farmer,
                  Sanders would make a good president. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the dirt being thrown at Clinton, that is an old Republican trick and the media love it.
                  I think the main objective now is to stop the R’s from getting in and break their hold on Congress so more can get done. Luckily the R’s are in shambles and have some very strange people running.
                  What we don’t want is to split up the D’s.
                  We really need to get in some strong third and fourth parties going but status quo seems to be the way of it now. One would think in a large and powerful nation that there are more than two ways to do things.

                  • Oldfarmermac says:

                    From heavy dot com, I am not sure how reliable this site is but they are quoting USA today, Politico, etc.

                    Bernie Sanders’ public disclosures place his net worth at between $194,026 and $741,030, Politico reported. Some media sources just take the highest number and report his net worth at $700,00, but this is inaccurate. The total is likely around $300,00, since as early as 2013 he had an estimated net worth of $330,000, NPR reported. This is far below most members of Congress, where the median net worth in 2013 was $1 million. In the Senate, the median was $2.8 million.

                    Compared to other political candidates, Sanders also ranks low. Hillary and Bill Clinton made more than $25 million in the first half of 2014 just from speaking engagements. According to USA Today, Donald Trump’s net worth is between $2.9 and $10 billion, Hillary Clinton’s is $15.3 to $55 million, and Ted Cruz is $1.7 to $4.5 million. Marco Rubio has the net worth closest to his, at somewhere between $100,000 and $400,000.

                    How has HRC gotten rich, while at the same time recently saying she was broke? Flat broke if I remember correctly.

  31. Oldfarmermac says:

    There is a lot of great stuff on UCT, free for the viewing. Anybody who wants to keep up on the environmental front can get on their email list.

    I haven’t watched this one yet.

  32. R Walter says:

    Non-oil post is 72 comments behind the oil post.

    Have to catch up somehow.

    And… the whooping cranes were flying through the sky yesterday, that is one consolation. I suppose there were twenty of them, they were about a mile away and flying at maybe 1500 feet, but you could see the black at the ends of their wings.

    Extremely cool bird.

  33. Oldfarmermac says:

    I posted this over on the oil thread, but it is worth reposting here.

    If you have time to listen to it, this is a great piece about the history of Hubbert and his work on peak oil.

    I haven’t yet found a transcript, and there may not be one. I personally prefer to read, rather than listen, it’s MUCH faster for me.If any body runs across a transcipt, please post the link, thanks.

  34. GoneFishing says:

    Decreasing Arctic albedo:

    Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice
    “The Arctic sea ice retreat has been one of the most dramatic climate changes in recent decades. Nearly 50 y ago it was predicted that a darkening of the Arctic associated with disappearing ice would be a consequence of global warming. Using satellite measurements, this analysis directly quantifies how much the Arctic as viewed from space has darkened in response to the recent sea ice retreat. We find that this decline has caused 6.4 ± 0.9 W/m2 of radiative heating since 1979, considerably larger than expectations from models and recent less direct estimates. Averaged globally, this albedo change is equivalent to 25% of the direct forcing from CO2 during the past 30 y. ”
    Full paper:

    Things are heating up and not just from greenhouse gases.

  35. ezrydermike says:

    NASA took the wraps off a new website on Monday dedicated to tracking global changes in the sea level. It’s packed full of free online resources that will likely be useful to teachers, the climate-change-curious, and anyone just looking to dig into publicly available data.

    The Sea Level Change site is NASA instead of NOAA because the site focuses on space-based observations — though the latter agency’s mark is all over the place as well. There are sections on the history of observing sea level, ice reach, and other climate markers that make for good primers if you’re not up on your oceanography.

    • Jeffrey Bromberg says:

      What’s genuinely amazing is that at first the pundits and philosophers at NASA at NOAA tried sowing fear and panic into the general public several years ago by warning that sea temperature increase and the resulting sea level rise would bring about these big, awful hurricanes which would destroy anything and everything in their paths. Well, much to their dismay, these storms just haven’t materialized, save for perhaps Sandy, which wasn’t actually a hurricane at landfall. All the same, the highly touted sea level rise has been facing significant difficulty getting going as well. Otherwise my summer home along the Atlantic coast would for sure be underwater by now. So now NASA and NOAA are down to trotting out a flashy, expensive (read: taxpayer-funded) web site. Is that desperation or not? I guess you can decide that for yourself. However, maybe what they should do is really go all in, try to tie global warming to impotency or something and find out if that’s the ticket needed to scare us into submitting to the tyranny.

  36. ezrydermike says:

    not an energy or climate change post, but it is about food and well, sometimes, we do something right…

    “Orange County has come up with a public-private partnership for reducing food waste that can serve as a model for other counties, the state and even the nation.”

  37. aws. says:

    Why fossil fuel power plants will be left stranded

    Far from having years to work out how to curb the risks of climate change, we face a moment of truth

    Martin Wolf,, April 5, 2016 1:57 pm

    Virtually all new fossil fuel-burning power-generation capacity will end up “stranded”. This is the argument of a paper by academics at Oxford university. We have grown used to the idea that it will be impossible to burn a large portion of estimated reserves of fossil fuels if the likely rise in global mean temperatures is to be kept below 2C. But fuels are not the only assets that might be stranded. A similar logic can be applied to parts of the capital stock.

    Note : paywall, though the first few views are free if signed up. Could have gone in the petroleum post I suppose.

    • islandboy says:

      I glossed over the article and couldn’t quite get why the team from Oxford thought that, “all new fossil fuel-burning power-generation capacity will end up “stranded”. Tony Seba also believes that but, he believes that conventional generation assets are about to be disrupted by a combination of battery storage and solar PV.

      In the most recent presentation by Tony Seba that I linked to in a post below, the first section deals with energy storage and he concludes this first segment of the presentation (at 21 min 30 sec) by saying:

      “So essentially, even CEOs of conventional company’s, energy companies, are saying that after 2020 there may not be another peaker ever built, ever. What they are not saying is that, even existing peakers are stranded because, once you have these kind of storage over the grid, that’s it, no need for peakers, stranded assets right? So these are ways, different ways in which energy storage can be disruptive to the grid.

      • Aws. says:

        Wolf wasn’t very clear on the why, I guess he assumed people would read the study.

        I expect that it will be the case that even existing peakers will be stranded. It’s worth looking at the German experience as the big utilities there have already gone through this. They kept building conventional ft generation plants and they weren’t needed as the demand was being met with renewables.

  38. islandboy says:

    Tony Seba has recently uploaded a new edition of his presentation to youtube:

    Clean Disruption – Why Energy & Transportation will be Obsolete by 2030 – Oslo, March 2016

    I first saw one his talks after somebody linked to it in the comments section over at

    Keynote – 100% electric transportation and 100% solar by 2030 – AltCars Expo

    It’s kind of interesting to look at how much has changed in the eighteen months between Sept 19, 2014 and March 2016. He appears to be making the claim that the disruption is proceeding faster than his original projections and in the more recent presentation, (at about 29 min. 8 sec in) actually is now saying, “essentially what this cost curve says is by 2025 all new vehicles will be electric”. That is five years earlier than he was projecting in the September 2014 video.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      If we get just halfway there, to fifty percent electric vehicles, by that time, that will probably be enough to off set the worst effects of peak oil, assuming Dennis and other guys who believe the decline in oil production will be only one or two percent annually.

      I might live long enough to buy a cheap used electric car myself, lol.

      The art and science of rustproofing cars has advanced enormously in recent times, and electrics will be even better in this respect, due to needing to be light weight. Carbon fiber, aluminum, etc, are BORN rust proof.

      And except for rust, and the battery, there is no reason an electric cannot be built to last just about forever. I am very hopeful that battery designs will be highly standardized, so that swapping them out will be easy and fast.

      There is no reason at all that an electric motor and final drive gearset can’t last half a million to a million miles without any repairs at all.

      So the day of the throw away automobile may truly be coming to an end.

      In the meantime, pv will continue to sprout like mushrooms in a warm spring rain on roofs and in backyards all over the place.

      Hopefully the combination of a personal pv system and electric car will come to be seen as a status symbol, something lefty greenies and anally tighty righties both believe in, the former for environmental reasons, and the latter because it takes a bite out of the power of big biz and government .

      Giving up country living and suburbia is just not in the cards. NO WAY, that way lies riots, civil war even, and collapse. We can built electric cars and light rail and do lots of other things to save suburbia for two or three cents on the dollar of what it would cost to try to move everybody into densely packed cities.

      • islandboy says:

        Hi OFM, I just did a very quick and dirty thought experiment. I started with a basic set of assumptions based on a few quick searches, US annual EV (all plug-ins, including PHEV) sales of 120,000 in year zero (last year), US annual light vehicle sales of 17 million and a US light vehicle fleet of 260 million. I did a spreadsheet starting with EV sales of 120,00, growing by 75% a year to get to 18 million plug in sales annually in 9 years.

        The cumulative plug-in sales up to that point, assuming no wrecks or retirements, would be just under 43 million or about 16.5% of 260 million. At that level of sales, EVs would replace 6.5% of the fleet per year so, it would be another five years or so, around 2030, before plug-ins would amount to 50% of the US light vehicle fleet.

  39. Oldfarmermac says:

    Sanders mops the floor with Clinton in the Badger State, fifty six to forty three, the thirteen point margin being about three times what the polls predicted. This says a lot about what D voters say in the privacy of the voting booth about HRC. They feel compelled to defend her in public, but they are ready to vote for somebody else, especially if that somebody looks like a winner.

    Sanders got about seventy percent of independent voters, and in this country, independents generally determine who wins the presidential race.

    • R Walter says:

      It was Wisconsin, it doesn’t count.

      Wisconsin… smell the dairy air. har

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        There’s not much BULLSHIT to be found on a dairy farm, RW.

        No doubt you are well aware that dairy cows seldom enjoy a natural sex life in these modern times. AI technicians have mostly displaced the bulls.

        And the really good bulls seldom get any of the real thing themselves.

        Their owners, the sellers of premium semen, used to use a mostly wooden cow modeled somewhat along the lines of the blow up dolls some desperate men use as sex toys, albeit ones strong enough to support a bull, equipped with a nice springy, warm, slippery you know what.It even has a little bit of VOLTAGE fed thru to enhance the experience. The bulls find this quite as satisfactory as a real cow, since the technicians put the real cow smell on it using the secretions of a real cow.

        Bulls are not noted for their brains, but they sure do have a powerful libido.

        At least this is the way it was done some years ago. They may have come up with a faster cheaper way to milk a bull these days.

        There’s an old joke that goes this way. An old bull and a young one are looking down a a herd of cows, and the younger one says, ” Let’s run down there and do it with some of those cows!”

        The old bull sez, “Nah, let’s walk down there and do it with all of them.”

        Some farmers still use a real bull.Generally you try to get your calves bunched together as closely as possible, so as to simplify managing your herd.

        What you do, is put the bull on extra feed, and fatten him up some, unless he is already fat, because when you turn him in with about forty or fifty willing cows for a month and a half , you expect him to lose anywhere from three hundred to five hundred pounds.

        It’s hard to find time to eat and rest when you can go like a bull for weeks at a time.

        A redneck medical joke:

        A giant operating room, two teams of surgeons, a man with a hopeful look on his face on one table , a wild looking bull strapped to the other table.

        One surgeon is saying to another, “If this works, we’re rich beyond our wildest dreams!”

        Suppose Sanders beats the polls by just five percent in New York……….It will then for sure be a whole new ball game.

        • robert wilson says:

          Circa 1948 I had the opportunity to watch a bull in a field near Amarillo, Texas. I was digging a water filter on the other side of a fence. If memory serves the bull ran from cow to cow and lasted most of the day.

  40. aws. says:

    Lots of graphs.

    Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels

    Record clean energy investment outpaces gas and coal 2 to 1.

    Tom Randall, Bloomberg, April 6, 2016 — 5:00 AM EDT

    One reason is that renewable energy is becoming ever cheaper to produce. Recent solar and wind auctions in Mexico and Morocco ended with winning bids from companies that promised to produce electricity at the cheapest rate, from any source, anywhere in the world, said Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board for Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

    • Heinrich Leopold says:


      To be fair, solar and wind are heavily subsidized and oil and gas are heavily taxed worldwide. Just coal is subsidized as well.

      There is a change of tax law in Germany – one of the first countries to go into wind and solar ten years ago. It remains to be seen over the next years how solar and wind are working in a free market. Germany will be the showcase again. As far as I know, many investments have been already curtailed in this sector.

  41. aws. says:

    Ontario and Quebec working to save money and the planet, ministers say

    By Mike De Souza, National Observer in News, Energy | April 5th 2016

    For its new strategy, Arcand said that reducing energy consumption would allow Quebec to export more electricity to its Canadian and U.S. neighbours, replacing higher-polluting energy sources such as natural gas and oil in those jurisdictions.

    “In an ideal world, of course, Quebec would like to export more of our electricity. It would help our balance sheet and at the same time (it would help) if people can save more, because we have not been the best at saving energy over the last few years,” Arcand said.

    “I think that we are capable of exporting to Ontario, to some of the northeastern American states. There’s potential for us to grow in that direction and the good thing, also, is that hydro and wind can work together.”

    Arcand also told the conference that the hydro and wind energy supply in Quebec is reliable.

    “When the wind doesn’t blow, hydro flows,” he said.

    Quebec has also set a goal of electrifying its transportation network – to move away from gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles – aiming to put 100,000 electric vehicles on its roads within the next four years, a significant jump from an estimated 10,000 electric vehicles that are now used in Quebec. As part of that goal, Arcand noted that the province pledged to adopt a “zero emissions law” that would force auto manufacturers to sell a minimum number of electric vehicles every year.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Local initiatives anywhere are damned important, I am not disputing that at all.

      But the real red meat, when it comes to displacing emissions in a hurry by going to renewables, is to be found in places like Saudi Arabia, where the sun is seldom obscured by clouds at approximately the same hours their electrical demand is highest, due to the air conditioning load,

      No doubt most of the oil producing countries with superb solar resources suffer from partial government paralysis , just like every country.

      And beyond that, given that the costs of solar equipment is still falling pretty fast, if a GOOD management team is in place, the decision would be made to delay a major solar build out, because waiting will save money.

      But pretty soon, the falling prices will pretty much bottom out, as the cost of the panels themselves becomes a lesser fraction of the total cost of a solar farm. Every technology eventually matures and costs after that decline very slowly, if at all, with the low hanging fruit already picked.

      But oil will necessarily go up, unless the world economy moves into assisted living/ nursing home mode for good.

      And when it does, it will be PROFITABLE for the Saudis, and at least a couple of other oil exporters, to build out solar on a grand scale, so as to have more oil to export.

      This build out could conceivably save a million barrels or more of oil on a day to day basis. Sky Daddy alone knows how much coal pv can save in countries that burn coal in preference to oil due to the cheap price of coal, but it will be a hell of a lot.

      This one country will eventually cut a bigger chunk out of co2 emissions by going solar than a dozen other countries making smaller incremental emission cuts.

      PV once installed has a service life of twenty years, and then a complete refurb of a solar farm will probably cost no more than a third of the cost of a new installation, given that hardly anything will need wholesale replacement other than the panels themselves.

      As Alan from Big Easy used to point out at the old TOD site, railroad tunnels, and rail road routes laid out and built over a century ago are still as useful as ever.

      Ditto highways and streets, although maintaining them costs a fortune compared to maintaining a rail road.Nevertheless maintenance costs just peanuts compared to new construction.

      We will be giving up some stuff, but not our roads, and not our cars, at least not anytime soon.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Old Farmer said
        “PV once installed has a service life of twenty years, and then a complete refurb of a solar farm will probably cost no more than a third of the cost of a new installation, given that hardly anything will need wholesale replacement other than the panels themselves.”

        Most PV is guaranteed for 25 years (to be above the 80 percent of original output). Here are the actual degradation numbers loss of output per year in percent loss

        Amorphous silicon (a-Si) 0.87
        Cadmium telluride (CdTe) 0.4
        Copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) 0.96
        Monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si) 0.36
        Polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) 0.64

        So for example, poly-Si, loses 0.64 percent output per year. It will reach 80 percent in 35 years and 50% output in 110 years.
        Don’t those oil guys wish they had that kind of decline rate?

        Over the first 50 years a single poly-Si PV panel in my area will produce over 20,000 kw-hr. With a price per panel of about $250, it’s a no-brainer as that is over $3000 at current power prices. Further south and in desert areas they will get better performance.
        I am seeing panels selling retail in the US at less than a dollar per watt.

        Two factors to take into account. As fossil fuel burning eases, PV output should increase due to reduced solar dimming. Annual or monthly variations in sunlight (except in desert or very dry areas) will be larger than any noticeable degradation of the panels for the first 20 to 30 years.

        Here is a real time site with historical records of a residential sized PV array of 16 panels. Note that the owner says the lower row is somewhat shaded in winter.

        59% return in three years. At 50 degrees north latitude in a damp region.

        Considering panels are up to 300 watts today and around 20 percent efficiency for about $250, it’s a go even if things don’t get much improved.

        Unlike other means of power production, besides the lack of pollution, the maintenance is low and the energy is free. Mostly some cleaning and switching out inverters.

        Almost a decade ago, a house was built in northern Massachusetts that provided all it’s own power, heat and cooling from the roof PV panels. It was a standard looking cape cod house, about 2200 square feet. The money saved on installing a small heat pump versus a fossil burner was enough to double insulate the house. So it was pretty much a wash on extra cost except for the panels.
        Imagine if all new houses were built that way. The higher efficiency of panels today could be used to power an EV.

  42. hightrekker23 says:

    –see Monsanto as the embodiment of everything that’s wrong with corporate America. Its name is synonymous with unbridled greed, indifference to the environment, bipartisan cronyism and a demonstrated willingness to steamroll the little guy.

    To wit, Monsanto wields a three-decade-old Supreme Court patent ruling like a scythe as it cuts down farmers who dare to save seeds for the next planting season. It has also beaten back challenges from organic farmers who fell victim to “genetic drift” when Monsanto’s patented crops cross-pollinated with their non-GMO neighbors and therefore rendered them unsellable.
    Monsanto keeps pushing genetically modified food through the approval process in spite of widespread public revulsion.

    Monsanto acts like a corporate Borg, methodically amalgamating conventional farmers while also quietly eliminating their organic competition through the sheer ubiquity of its patented pollen. With 90 percent of soybean, corn and cotton acreage in the United States now planted with genetically modified (GM) seeds — and with other common food crops quickly following suit — noncompliant farmers are quite literally surrounded.

  43. Oldfarmermac says:

    I was going to “lay off ” HRC here, serious as a heart attack I was about that, but she is getting ants in her pants to the point that young folks are having a hard time not laughing at her in public now.

    From ABC news

    ” Hillary Clinton questioned Bernie Sanders’ loyalty to the Democratic Party in an interview on the Politico podcast “Off Message,” saying she’s not even sure her Democratic presidential opponent is a Democrat.

    “He’s a relatively new Democrat,” Clinton said. “I’m not even sure he is one. He’s running as one. So I don’t know quite how to characterize him. I’ll leave that to him.”

    ” Clinton has increasingly been using this line of attack in the past few days. In an interview on “Morning Joe” this morning, Clinton said she was unsure if Sanders should be running against her, because “he himself doesn’t consider himself to be a Democrat.”

    “He’s raised a lot of important issues that the Democratic Party agrees with, income inequality first and foremost,” Clinton acknowledged, but argued whether Sanders has “done his homework.”

    “He’s been talking for more than a year about doing things he, obviously, hadn’t really studied or understood, and that does raise a lot of questions,” Clinton said.

    And in an interview that aired on “Good Morning America” on Monday, Clinton told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that there would be “no indication” that Sanders would help elect more Democrats to the 115th Congress.

    Clinton also stressed during a campaign event in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on Saturday that she believes “it’s kind of important if we’re selecting somebody to be the Democratic nominee of the Democratic Party.”

    I think maybe she is feeling the BURN.

    And when a republican says something like that last , about it selecting a nominee being kind of important, the air waves would explode with snarky comments about Bushisms and the return of Dan the Quail.

    I might have to turn on the tv and see, lol, if the msm are fair handed about this sort of thing.

    Remarks of this sort are dead sure to piss off any younger D inclined voter.

    The youngsters may not swing the election THIS time, but the future of the D party is in the hands of the young folks who are Sanders believers.

    I question whether the R party even HAS a future. Just about all the young folks I know, excepting the high school dropouts, are inclined to believe in such foolishness ( according to the R party establishment ) as global warming, universal health care, legalization of pot, liberalization of other drug laws, Adam and Steve on an equal footing with Adam and Eve, etc.

    Quite a few young R types I know DO attend fundamentalist churches, but they just sort of ignore the teachings of their church when it comes to the Biblical scheme of creation, and they all to the last one believe in dinosaurs, and deep time.

    I have yet to meet any body who actually believes the world is only six thousand years old, even though I live in one of the deepest and darkest part of the southern mountain backwoods.

    The world has moved on.

  44. ezrydermike says:

    interesting analysis wrt per capita energy usage

    100 kwh / person / day seems like a very small amount.

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