215 Responses to Open Thread Non-Petroleum, April 12, 2017

  1. Verwimp says:

    This article:
    talks about a new theory, a breakthrough alternative to growth economics. Despite the ‘novelty’ of the theory, I have a weird feeling. Despite we have already broken planetary limits, a lot of people still live in the ‘inner circle’ i.e. beneath poverty lines et cetera.

    Anyone any second thoughts on these matters?

  2. Trumpster says:

    Question for Fred Maygar
    Going back to the last open topic, you said the physics involving increased heat gain as the air clears up are obvious enough. I agree.

    But what I’m wondering about, as far as the empiric values are concerned, is whether there is a clear consensus that the increased heat gain during daylight hours will MORE than offset the increased loss of heat during the night hours.

    Cleaner air means more outgoing infrared of course.

    And so far as I know ( so far) there is no consensus on whether there will be more or less or about the same amount of cloud cover, but I don’t see any real reason to think there will be any substantial amount of change in average cloud cover.

    But less particulates might mean less clouds in some areas of the world, and more heat energy coming in will increase evaporation, so obviously SOMEWHERE it will be cloudier than usual more of the time, etc.

    This unpredictability is what makes the study of non linear systems so fascinating- and in the case of climate and agriculture, so scary as well.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Cleaner air means more outgoing infrared of course.

      No it doesn’t! It means more energy comes in that is then trapped by green house gases such as CO2 and methane. Think cleaning off the outside grime from panes of glass in a traditional green house.

      • Trumpster says:

        Hi Fred,
        I should have posed my question in more specific terms.

        There is unquestionably a LOT of additional warming already baked in, even if we quit burning fossil fuels today.

        The rate at which the earth radiates heat DOES matter, and it matters EQUALLY as much as the amount of heat coming in, over the LONG TERM, because it’s the weight on the other end of the balance beam that keeps it level.

        I have no opinion, yet, as to whether cleaning up the aerosol particles in the air will speed up or SLOW down the RATE of increase of the temperature. There may be an emerging consensus in respect to this issue, there may not, that’s what I’m trying to find out.

        Even a relatively minor change in the rate of warming might turn out to be extremely important in human terms, and in terms of biological stability as well. The faster it warms up, the more chaotic change is to be expected.

        I’m thinking about planting a hundred or so pecans of the sort that does well in down around Georgia, or even farther south, as a gift to whoever lives on my place a few decades or a century down the road. The trees themselves do ok here NOW, but we seldom get any nuts, maybe only one year out of eight or ten, because the growing season is a few weeks short on average, meaning they don’t usually have time to ripen.

        If they never produce, they will make good firewood, and maybe even good lumber, lol.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Glen, I have a proposition.

          (By the way, what’s with the moniker change?)

        • GoneFishing says:

          When saying “clears up” that covers a variety of pollutants. Take the SOx’s for example. When those are reduced or eliminated the clouds will not be so reflective and more short wave radiation will enter the lower troposphere.
          As far as radiation at night goes, the atmosphere is opaque to longwave radiation right now due to GHG’s . A photon of longwave originating from the surface is very shortly absorbed in the atmosphere. Since there is no guarantee that the GHG’s won’t keep increasing from natural sources and there is more shortwave radiation to be absorbed by dark surfaces such as the ocean, the planet could easily continue heating.

          • Troy Slavski says:

            The Red Sox are the only good Sox. How’re they lookin this year? ⚾🙏💪🏆🚬

    • notanoilman says:

      Require all roofs to be painted white.


      • Fred Magyar says:

        That was a proposal put forth by Steven Chu. The idea was that if your roof is white your house stays cooler and you reduce the need for energy required for cooling your home. Since most electricity is produced by using fossil fuels that would mean fewer CO2 emissions. Which is a certainly a good thing.

        However it doesn’t actually help all that much with the green house effect. Think putting light seat covers over the dark leather seats in your car. While that may keep your seat surface cooler to the touch, if your car is out in the sun with the windows closed it won’t keep the overall temperature inside the car any cooler.

        The Easy Fix That Isn’t: White Roofs May Increase Global Warming

        Unfortunately, what seems obvious is not always true, and a new study available online and soon coming out in the Journal of Climate reveals some potentially bad news for white roofs. When Stanford University engineer Mark Jacobson, and his grad student John Hoeve modeled the total climate response to white roofs and other urban surfaces, they found the lightening may actually cause more global warming.

        Here’s why: the sunlight that bounces off white roofs doesn’t all fly out into space. A lot of it is absorbed by particles of soot and other dark-colored pollutants that float around in the atmosphere (those same particles are already responsible for a good portion of global warming). The particles heat up, just like your house would have, and the net result is a warmer atmosphere. You house might be cooler, but it would be at the expense of heating the planet.

        In short, says Jacobson in a press release: “There does not seem to be a benefit from investing in white roofs. The most important thing is to reduce emissions of the pollutants that contribute to global warming.” So much for trying to take the easy way out.

        On the other hand, says Jacobson, there is another way to use your roof in the fight against climate change: cover it with solar panels. The panels intercept sunlight before it hits the roof, so your house doesn’t heat up so much. They don’t bounce the light back into the atmosphere where it can heat up soot particles. And they generate at least some electricity without emitting greenhouse gases. It’s not quite as cheap as painting your roof. But unlike that feel-good solution, it’s actually likely to be effective.

        • Nick G says:

          I’d read the comments, starting with”This result seems to go counter to what I understand as a major climate problem – that the decrease of (white) snow and ice due to higher temperatures in polar regions leads to greater absorption of solar radiation on the ground, and thus higher temperatures overall. Does the paper address this?”

        • GoneFishing says:

          With that kind of logic albedo is turned on it’s head. Snow and ice would not slow heating of the planet other than by their heat of fusion. Of course that is not true and on a clear day a good portion of the light is reflected back out into space.
          Yes a reflective surface causes a diffuse light which travels through more atmosphere on it’s journey to TOA, But think logically about this, if a photon of light is being intercepted by particles on it’s outward journey, a proportionate amount of light would be intercepted on it’s inward journey. If that was enough to stop outward radiation, inward radiation would be stopped first and our skies would be fairly dark even at noon. In reality most of the interception of light is due to clouds and fogs, not dark particulates (except maybe Beijing and similar places).
          On a clear dry day direct line of sight aboutr 90 percent of the light passes through the atmosphere. In that case, due to diffusion one might expect about 70 percent of the reflected light to reach space.
          So those hot clear days really work for the roof. Not so well if there are clouds, haze, etc. Of course then less light is hitting the roof.

          Also the building stays cooler which means less air conditioning and less CO2 release from power usage. Plus less mining, less transport of coal and natural gas, less infrastructure energy use.

        • notanoilman says:

          Ugh, I can’t agree with that. White roof/snow, what is the difference? By that argument we should cover all the snow with solar panels. While solar panels don’t bounce heat back to heat up soot they heat up themselves. A white roof will allow some of the radiation to be reflected back into space, yes it won’t all get there but a lot more of it will than if absorbed by a terracotta roof or solar panel besides, there will be less soot in the air anyway! 😉


  3. islandboy says:

    Before I get into the meat of my post, I want to take this opportunity to express my deepest condolences to Ron on the loss of his wife last week.

    I have expressed optimism for the prospects of “kerfless” wafer production for solar PV cells. I just think that on a fundamental level, it seems to be a sound idea to use less energy and fewer steps to produce cells using as little as 30% of the silicon raw material used by conventional methods involving sawing wafers from silicon ingots. Apparently it’s not simple at all to move from concept to mass production. I want to ensure that I am not seen as a shill for 1366 Technologies, having mentioned them by name in several posts so, let me point out that searching for information on the decline in costs of solar PV, I stumbled upon a comment that led me to several other players in the “kerfless wafer” space. Here are a few articles about some of the other players:

    September 20, 2016
    Rayton Solar tries to revolutionize wafer production

    Instead of creating ingots and then cutting them with a saw, which Yakub says creates significant losses in panel production and in-field capability, Rayton injects protons at a specific depth within the silicon atoms, applies heat and exfoliates thin slices off the ingot measuring 3 microns thick, compared to a typical wafer that measures 200 microns.

    “By cutting out the waste of traditional cell production, we will be able to compete with the cheapest Chinese panels,” Yakub says. “We’re not frightened by the current panel market. We welcome it because we believe lower prices expand the market – and we’ll be ready to win.”

    Yakub says Rayton Solar is currently designing its wafer production and expects to have products for consumers in slightly more than 12 months from now.

    Imec and Crystal Solar Demonstrate 22.5 Percent nPERT Si Solar Cells on Kerfless Epitaxial Wafers

    LEUVEN, Belgium and SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — World-leading nanoelectronics research center imec and Crystal Solar, a pioneer in direct wafer growing technologies for the next generation of solar photovoltaic products, today announced that they have achieved a 22.5 percent cell efficiency (certified by FhG ISE CalLab) with nPERT silicon (Si) solar cells manufactured on 6-inch mono-crystalline epitaxially grown kerfless wafers. Marking an industry first, imec and Crystal Solar have demonstrated the highest efficiency to-date for homojunction solar cells on epitaxially grown silicon wafers, paving the way toward industrialization of this promising technology.

    Crystal Solar’s breakthrough manufacturing technology called Direct Gas to WaferTM enables direct conversion of feedstock gas to mono crystalline silicon wafers by high throughput epitaxial growth. By skipping the polysilicon, ingoting and the wire-sawing steps altogether, this approach not only results in lowest cost/watt for the wafers but also significantly reduces the capital required to set up a manufacturing plant. Furthermore, this process enables the growth of high quality p-n junctions in-situ which reduces cell making steps while increasing the efficiency.

    InnoEnergy invests €2 million in NexWafe’s solar breakthrough

    EpiWafers can save up to 50 per cent in the costs of manufacturing PV wafers. By cutting out several energy intensive and costly development stages as well as saving on material, the technology enables NexWafe to go straight from raw material to wafer form.

    The project – Epicomm – will support NexWafe in developing its German-based pilot line of solar wafers, characterising cells and modules built out of those wafers, and planning for mass-scale production.

    “NexWafe’s disruptive solution has huge potential to impact the cost reduction of energy from solar power. It’s an extremely promising investment.“, says Mikel Lasa, InnoEnergy Iberia CEO. “Besides the strong business case, this project is also key to strengthen the EU renewable energy leadership, one of the pillars of the Energy Union. This is also an excellent example of how R&D moves towards the market. We definitely want to see more of these in our coming investment rounds.”

    Beamreach Bankrupt Despite $250 Million Spent on Solar Hardware Development

    After spending more than $250 million, Solexel (rechristened as Beamreach last year) has joined its brethren on the list of failed solar startups. This follows a late-in-corporate-life shift to low-weight modules and away from its original thin-silicon aspirations.

    In 2008, no solar entrepreneur or investor envisioned photovoltaic module costs of 30 cents per watt — which is where we are today. A startup founded in 2008, like Solexel, based its business plan on module costs of about $4 per watt and falling.

    The firm received $3 million in DOE funding in 2008 for a project with this description: “Solexel plans on commercializing a disruptive, 3-D, high-efficiency mono-crystalline silicon cell technology, while dramatically reducing manufacturing cost per watt. Solexel plans to deliver a 17%-19% efficient, 156 x 156 mm2, single-crystal cell that consumes substantially lower silicon per watt than conventionally sliced wafers. Solexel aspires to be a GW scale PV producer within five years.”

    That last thing didn’t happen.

    Here’s how the technology gets entwined with politics

    Solar Company Goes Bust After Getting Millions In Taxpayer Cash

    Solar and wind power get 326 and 69 times more in subsidies than coal, oil, and natural gas, according to 2013 Department of Energy data collected by Forbes. Green energy in the U.S. received $13 billion in subsidies during 2013, compared to $3.4 billion in subsidies for conventional sources of energy and $1.7 billion in subsidies for nuclear, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.

    The “facts” put forward in the quoted article got me suspicious so, I did some fact checking. Other sources (The IEA) state:

    The IEA’s latest estimates indicate that fossil-fuel consumption subsidies worldwide amounted to $493 billion in 2014, $39 billion down on the previous year, in part due to the drop in international energy prices, with subsidies to oil products representing over half of the total. Those subsidies were over four-times the value of subsidies to renewable energy.

    It would appear that right wing or right leaning sources such as The Daily Caller, Forbes, Fox News and the like, are more than happy to point out and exaggerate subsidies for renewable energy, while ignoring the subsidies received by the FF industries. I assume then that these sources would be highly critical of this action taken by the DOE before last years US elections.

    Crystal Solar Receives $3 Million Energy Department Grant to Develop High Efficiency Solar Cells Using Epitaxially Grown Kerfless Wafers

    SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Crystal Solar, a pioneer in the direct growth of mono-crystalline Silicon epitaxial wafers for solar today announced that it has been awarded a $3 million cooperative agreement by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to develop high efficiency epitaxial solar cells and demonstrate commercial level yield at its pilot production facility in Santa Clara, California.

    Crystal Solar’s breakthrough manufacturing technology called Direct Gas to Wafer™ enables direct conversion of Trichlorosilane (TCS) gas to mono crystalline silicon wafers by high throughput epitaxial growth. By skipping the polysilicon, ingoting and the wire-sawing steps altogether, this approach not only results in lowest cost/watt for the wafers but also significantly reduces the capital required to set up a manufacturing plant. Furthermore, this process enables the growth of high quality p-n junctions in-situ which reduces cell making steps while increasing the efficiency.

    “Crystal Solar’s epitaxial process has already demonstrated world record efficiencies for mono crystalline passivated emitter and rear contact cells (PERC), representing for the first time a kerfless wafer technology exceeding the performance of the incumbent,” said T.S. Ravi, chief executive officer of Crystal Solar. “We appreciate this recognition and grant from the Energy Department and we expect that this will greatly help accelerate the transition to market for such wafers.”

    Finally this story illustrates the conundrum the Trump administration finds itself in.

    Tech jobs or spending cuts: A Trump White House dilemma

    A Massachusetts startup named 1366 Technologies has beaten one technological barrier after another in its nine-year quest for a manufacturing breakthrough for U.S.-made silicon wafers, the platform for solar power cells.

    But now it has a hurdle its engineers and scientists can’t answer in the laboratory.

    That is to persuade the Trump administration’s Department of Energy to come through with a $150 million loan guarantee promised by the Obama administration that is the key to construction of the company’s first full-scale manufacturing plant in rural upstate New York.

    The company’s future is a test case in how the new administration will draw the line between budget cutting and seeding high-tech manufacturing jobs.

    Will 1366 Technologies end up like Beamreach Solar?

    Beamreach Solar’s pilot line up for sale after bankruptcy

    Bankrupt US solar module start-up Beamreach Solar’s pilot production line in Milpitas, California is being offered for sale by Silicon Valley Disposition Inc. (SVD).

    The 72,000 square foot facility is equipped with a turnkey line, said to have cost over US$22 million in the 2014/15 period.

    According to a previous Greentech Media report, Beamreach Solar accumulated around US$250 million in costs over the lifetime of the company, which was formerly known as Solexel for the majority of its life.

    Does anybody else think that all this innovation has not escaped the Asian countries. The Korean Firm Hanwah has invested in 1366 Technologies so, that is proof positive it has not. Maybe there are other Asian investors just waiting to swoop down and pick up the carcasses of any other “kerfless wafer” companies so that they can reduce their costs even more. Who knows?

    Last year (2016), China installed 34,540 MW of solar PV, almost half of the more than 70,000 MW installed worldwide in 2016. all of which was made in China in addition, according to a source in thias article “80% of global wafer capacity is in China”, so I think It’s pretty safe to say that they exported a significant share of the amount that was installed in the rest of the world. The Chinese government encouraged and facilitated the domination of the worldwide PV module market by Chinese manufacturers. They probably spent far more than the US government has and it seems that, rather than fight fire with fire, the Republican administration is determined to capitulate and surrender the clean energy markets to other countries. The end of Empire?

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      There was a story not too long ago on one site or another about how relatively-isolated areas overseas are playing host to ‘boltholing’; the concept of people who are fleeing ‘something’, like impending doom…
      And when you think about it, many, such as the 1% and some of those in government can simply ‘disband’ or ‘close up shop’ if or when things get too iffy, and head on down to their retreats to escape, say, the pitchforks of the peasantry.
      And is that kind of what happens and has happened to some of them historically and even relatively recently? I mean, apparently, for example, at least according to our Fernando, did someone from Venezuela, maybe from its courts, end up in Spain? Well, that might not fall under a precise definition of boltholing, but it’s similar.
      Maybe some of us with less coin and/or opportunity, but enough of it, if things get on top of us sooner rather than later, can high-tail it with our solar panels and electric cars to Jamaica! ^u’

      …Move over, Islandboy! ^u’

    • Trumpster says:

      Good morning Islandboy,

      I always read everything you post with great interest, and much to my own benefit, by way of expanding my own understanding of the renewable energy industries and the politics of renewable energy.

      Now here’s a thought, a fact in fact, lol, that most people who reside intellectually outside the scientifically literate community seldom understand.

      ALL research eventually, no matter how much it costs, or how little short to medium term return it generates, is a bargain, over the long term, society wide.

      When Edison was working on the invention of a practical electric light, he had his guys run thousands of experiments, up around ten thousand if I remember correctly, before he came up with the first practical electric bulb.

      When asked about so many failures, and the expense and bother, etc, he said no problem, he had eliminated x thousand possible solutions as unworkable or impractical, etc.

      The federal and state governments have spent countless billions of dollars over the years on agricultural research, a fact which is almost entirely unknown or at least unappreciated by the general public. Most of this research failed to turn up any significant new facts or result in the adoption of any new technology, but taken overall, it has been one of the most significant factors in our being able today to produce food enough for the giant cities and thousands of universities world wide to EXIST. These cities and universities in turn are the hubs where nearly all the new technology we use now was invented and commercialized, and where the vast majority of new technologies WILL BE invented and commercialized.

      Now my good cyber buddy Caelan, who I often disagree with, will probably chime in at this point, and remind us that it’s technology that has gotten us into the fix we are in today, which is altogether true, lol.

      But our only hope of getting out of the fix we’re in, short of collapse, is that new technologies will save us.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Try local resilient anarchic community beekeeping, natural building, gardening and clothesmaking, etc..
        Take technologies like those and teach them to others while you’re doing them. Help them to help themselves escape the centralized wage-slave factories from which monied, tax-pimped pseudotechnology is derived.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Try local resilient anarchic community beekeeping,

          LOL! Is that where the worker bees revolt and depose the queen bee and all go live in their individual little hexagonal homes and fly off to any flower their little hearts desire?

          Help them to help themselves escape the centralized wage-slave factories from which monied, tax-pimped pseudotechnology is derived.

          Aside from the fact that centralized means of production such as factories are already using technology such as AI and robotics, thereby making human wages earners obsolete, most humans humans currently live and work in mega cities with no access to land and would not be able to survive by gardening and bee keeping… monied, tax-pimped pseudotechnologies notwithstanding.

          So I’m really curious, do you seriously believe that your idyllic vision of anarchic hippie communes where residents raise bees, weave their own clothes and raise their food in community vegetable gardens is even remotely a viable solution for 7.5 billion plus humans?

          If so, I would love to hear how exactly you propose getting to your utopian vision without eliminating about 7 billion humans? Unless you are proposing that nature should just be allowed to run its course with famine and plague.

          My take is, that you really haven’t put a lot of thought into any of that.

          • Read the thread down through to woodsy_gardener’s comment.

            Some highlights:

            ” ‘Technology will save us.’
            ‘The American Way of Life is not negotiable.’
            Take off your blinders Mac. The time is coming when a person will be grateful to receive a blemished apple.” ~ woodsy_gardener

            Rodale’s 30-year organic versus conventional Farming Systems Trial

            United Nations Calls for an End to Industrialized Farming

            The benefits of alternative farming methods

            ‘Permaculture can help farmers produce more food using fewer resources through agroecology – a farming approach that mimics natural ecosystems…’ ” ~ Caelan MacIntyre

            See also the subject of Verwimp’s comment above. (Maybe on the right track, if with some concerns.)

            “If so, I would love to hear how exactly you propose getting to your utopian vision without eliminating about 7 billion humans?” ~ Fred Magyar

            I don’t have to, so your question does not apply.

            I just wish to do my best with my own contributions. And that’s what I’m in the process of doing with Permaea and related efforts.

            It’s probably a little like how not everyone is going to have a solar panel on their rooftops, an EV in their driveway, or benefit from robotics or AI, to put it charitably. Beekeeping, etc., on the other hand, are much more personally, locally, community and planet-empowering, and broadly accessible, achievable and beneficial, to put it mildly.

            If robotics and AI, etc. disappeared tomorrow, it wouldn’t be at all catastrophic compared with the bees doing so.

            The so-called hippies that you so mindlessly disparage have it right.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Uh-huh. Well, my suspicion is that I’ve put a lot more thought into it than you, who seems to have put more of that into masturbatory AI/robot/etc. fantasies and/or dicking around (to them) on POB.

              Caelan, sigh! As usual you seem to think that just because I report a specific reality I’m automatically a proponent of it! Whatever you may or may not think of me, AI and robots are already making the vast majority of humans obsolete today. You can stick your head in the sand and pretend otherwise but it doesn’t change what is happening.

              In any case here is an example of a person who has thought about this quite deeply.

              Yuval Noah Harari on the Rise of Homo Deus

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Anarchy, Fred…

                What Verwimp and those of their article quoted above may or may not realize is that they’re ‘edging toward green anarchy/permaculture’– maybe even you by your comment here, which seems vaguely backpeddley.

                Once we figure that part out, and thought-shove a boot up the asses of all the self-described ‘thought leaders’, then we can begin to move truly forward again and, for example, into true technology, as opposed to the putrid shit that passes for it.

                In retrospect, some books seem tailor-made for the thought-leader industrial complex

                “Like ‘Sapiens’, it is lively, provocative and sure to be another hit among the pooh-bahs…

                Almost every blithe pronouncement Harari makes… has been the exclusive subject of far more nuanced books… whose arguments have in turn been disputed by other intellectuals…”

                Pooh-bahs, ay?
                …Well, maybe a little ‘prehistoric backpeddles’, in another sense at least, ain’t so bad. Whattaya say? Dabba doo?

                There. I think I am done with my edits. ‘u^

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        But our only hope of getting out of the fix we’re in, short of collapse, is that new technologies will save us.

        Trumpy– I never took you to be a Techno Narcissist!

    • Fred Magyar says:

      In a nutshell, the future of fossil fuels has it’s days numbered!


      Stunning drops in solar and wind costs turn global power market upside down
      The world built more renewables for far less money last year, report UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

      “After the dramatic cost reductions of the past few years,” explained BNEF chair Michael Liebreich, “unsubsidised wind and solar can provide the lowest cost new electrical power in an increasing number of countries, even in the developing world — sometimes by a factor of two.”
      “It’s a whole new world,” Liebreich said. “Instead of having to subsidise renewables, now authorities may have to subsidise natural gas plants to help them provide grid reliability.”

  4. Trumpster says:

    Trumpster sez ever thang will be jus fine s’long as the Dimmercrats keep on wantin’ to to run on big donor money and satisfied to win just a few races here ‘n there, in real well to do blue neighborhoods, and satisfied to forget all about the working classes who used to be the core of the party. We Trumpsters are glad to have’em, round bout election time, and gittin ’em’s easier fallin’ off a log, cause all we got to do is SAY we’re in favor of the working man, since the Dimmerkrats has taken to running on a ‘Publican Lite platform.

    It shore is a GOOD thing most all the true blue Dimmerkrats left hardly ever read anything that contradicts the Dimmerkrat ‘stablishment’s biznes as usual organization, cause if they got to readin’ stuff like this here artikul in that there socialist rag Gaurdian, it might cause us some problems.

    But not to worry, hardly any of the Dimmerkrat voters that’s still true believn’ Dimmerkrats has any ‘tentions o’ doing any real thinkin’ ’bout why us Trumpsters has control of the fedrul guv’ mint, and most of the local ‘n state offices too.

    Still yit, we need to know ’bout this sort of stuff, so we can do whatever needs doing to make sure this sort of politics don’t ketch on.


    Ya gotta know yer enemy, if ya gonna beat ’em, ‘n I’m telling ya true, our real enemy is them Berniekrats. The rest of ’em is close enuf to being on our side we kin git along with ’em, no problem atall.

    • Trumpster says:

      We gonna hafta do sumpin ta git rida them damned non profit papers, since we can’t just buy’em and fire the editors and reporters who push all this ‘vironmental bullshit.

      They keep on running shit like this, we gonna have some problems.


      • Nick G says:

        Have you subscribed to the Guardian yet?

        Gotta support good journalism…

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          You got to be kidding Nick. The Trumpster is a free rider. Doesn’t think he needs to pay for medical services either. You know, he believes in the Free Market.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Nick, I read the Gaurdian regularly, but I’m sorry to say that I am not a paid subscriber. I live well, but my circumstances are modest, and I donate what I can, in cash,but there are so many good causes……..

            On the other hand, I have been spending about forty to fifty percent of my time for the last decade plus doing unpaid work, mostly looking after my very elderly father, who otherwise would have been in a nursing home mostly at government expense for that decade, plus I donate a day or two a month to local good causes, such as tutoring, helping fix up an impoverished old woman’s house, etc.

            Time I have, cash not very much.

            The more HB has to say, the better he makes my case for me.

            I have posted dozens of comments here in support of the USA adopting a health care system modeled on the ones prevalent in Western European countries.

            I have posted comments saying I do believe in free markets, in such cases as a free market actually exist.

            I maintain that there isn’t much in the way of a free market in the health care industries in the USA. The people who own or work in the various parts of the health care industry have captured the regulatory agencies intended to protect the public from THEM, and now the agencies mostly exist to protect the industry from the public.

            Big pharma for instance with the support of the R party, with the HELP OF ENOUGH R LITE D’s, has successfully prevented the federal government from negotiating the price of drugs purchased for Medicare for instance.

            Every other advanced western country that I am aware of negotiates the price of drugs. This is why so many people who live near the Canadian border like to get their prescriptions filled in Canada, etc.

            Between the xxxx all copied and pasted.

            As it now stands, Medicare and Medicaid are prohibited by law from negotiating with drug companies for better prices, mainly because of expensive lobbying by the powerful pharmaceutical industry, which enjoys the highest profit margins in the world. This costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year. While it would make the most sense to simply lift this ban, that’s not happening anytime soon, so Sanders and Klobuchar thought up a clever way around it: Allowing drug buyers in the United States to import the exact same drugs from Canada, which has stronger price protections.

            When arguing for this amendment on the Senate floor, Sanders invoked the words of Donald Trump, who attacked Big Pharma in his press conference Wednesday, striking a blow to their stock prices:

            “The power and wealth of the pharmaceutical industry and their 1,300 lobbyists and unlimited sums of money have bought the United States congress. Today, Mr. Trump, a guy I don’t quote very often, he said that pharma gets away with murder, that’s what Trump said, and he’s right.”

            In an interview with The Huffington Post, Sanders noted that he’d actually said it first: “Sometimes he copies my statements. I don’t know if he got that one from me.” (He totally did.)

            Perhaps due to Trump’s own statements, a number of Republicans broke rank and voted for the amendment including Ted Cruz (TX), John McCain (AZ) and Rand Paul (KY), giving it a decent chance of passing. Unfortunately, 13 Democrats also broke rank and voted against it, including Cory Booker (NJ) and Robert Menendez (NJ), both of whom made a point of theatrically opposing Trump appointments Jeff Sessions and Rex Tillerson, respectively, in their confirmation hearings. The full vote tally can be found here.

            On a potentially related note, these 13 Democrats all receive tons of money from the pharmaceutical industry.


            I try to tell it like it is, as best I know how.

            HB’s an HRC true believer.

            Given that he’s told us he’s loaded, I’m willing to hazard a guess that maybe one reason is that he owns some stock in that most awesomely profitable industry, big pharma.

            We don’t need R Lite Democrats, we need real Democrats.

            HB ‘s never going to get over HRC losing. He’s never going to understand that it’s foolish for a major party to run a candidate that half the country detests even before the campaign season gets started.
            He will never admit that if Clinton and her homies hadn’t been cheating, the hacked emails wouldn’t have mattered at all, they would have either helped her, or never been released.

            He will never admit how foolish it is to have defended Clinton’s home brewed secret email system, remembering that her lawyers managed to sterilize it before turning it over to the investigators, saying that it wasn’t hacked , and there was no danger of it being hacked……… then turning around and blaming her loss for her defacto personally owned and operated party establishment getting hacked…….. well, people who aren’t under her spell tend to take such foolishness seriously.

            Hard core liberals have been laughing at me for most of my life for recognizing the old USSR for what it WAS, as opposed to the socialist paradise they wished it to be, and NOW I’m attacked as a KGB operative …… because it’s now handy to be anti Russian.

            We hear all about PRINCIPLES all the time. Clinton fans are entitled to their own principles, as are all people. Folks like HB want everybody to believe that Clinton lost because she was the victim of the socalled Great Right Wing Conspiracy……….. Forgetting, deliberately?????……. that she has flip flopped on matters of principle according to whatever seemed to best suit her political ambitions at the moment.

            People with long memories don’t forget such flip flopping. Working people who have seen their industries off shored remember when Democrats supported workers, rather than campaigning on globalization.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              So you’d rather post a ream hereon while touting industrial pseudotechnology than respond to my previous proposition then?

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              OldMacDonald aka KGB says:

              “We don’t need R Lite Democrats, we need real Democrats”

              Who the F is “we” ? You got a couple of mice in your pocket ? Your not even a Democrat. Your a proclaimed Independent. Who are you to say what Dem’s do ?

              “helping fix up an impoverished old woman’s house, etc”

              Does that “etc” include checking her plumbing too ? Because that doesn’t qualify as charity work.

  5. Survivalist says:
  6. Survivalist says:

    Tipping Points: What Wall Street and Nature Have in Common
    By Clara Moskowitz | September 2, 2009

    Warning signs

    One of the common warning signs of an impending tipping point is when a system takes longer to recover to equilibrium after it is disturbed. Most systems exist in temporarily stable states of equilibrium. If the system is perturbed by some force and pushed in a new direction, it usually moves back toward equilibrium quickly. But if the system is approaching a tipping point, it tends to take longer to recover its balance.

    Another universal warning sign is when fluctuations in the system slow down. For example, in a climate approaching a tipping point, the weather tends to look more similar day to day leading up to the big change. In a brain before an epileptic seizure, neighboring patches of neurons look more like each other than they would in a regular brain. Prior to major economic change, stock markets in different areas start to act similarly to each other.


    • George Kaplan says:

      Maybe I’m just feeling a bit down, but it’s starting to seem to me there may not be a stable intermediate warming point (e.g. at around 1.5 to 2 degrees C) that can be maintained. All the recent observations and studies indicate things are worse and happening faster than expected: e.g. the ice crystal impact on clouds indicating that overall earth sensitivity could be 5 degrees, the studies on high altitude clouds indicating they will give significant positive feedback as their coverage changes, the study indicating higher CO2 loss from soil, the study this week that permafrost melt is at least 20% faster than expected, the unexpected switch to low Antarctic sea ice, record low NH snow cover, totally anomalous weather in the Arctic, no QBO switch, something definitely different with ENSO, new mechanisms being found that allow rapid destabilisation of Glaciers and ice shelves. Maybe, no matter what, if we don’t just stop, but actually reverse warming now (which looks unlikely) we eventually get to 4, 5 or more.

      By Columbia ENSO numbers El Nino probability has declined a bit to 50% for summer. I think one of the big tripping points identified (bigger in consequence than Arctic sea ice loss in summer) is if ENSO switched to a permanent and enhanced El Nino phase.

      In the Arctic the ice looks like it might get clobbered over the next couple of weeks: high temperatures, possibly clearing skies and favourable currents and winds on the Pacific side and Kare Sea will start to clear out some of the thin coastal ice, Hudson Bay might start to melt early and the ice, some of it multiyear, that has been pushed south either side of Greenland is going to be seeing increasingly warm ocean waters, and there’s less coming down to replenish it now as the freezing season is finished, and little thick ice was sustained anyway.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        “All the recent observations and studies indicate things are worse and happening faster than expected.”

        Ah yes, therein lies the rub. Few more for you: Drought in the Amazon triggered the release of more carbon than the US in 2010 (Science, Feb. 2011); Peat in the world’s boreal forests is decomposing at an astonishing rate (Nature , Nov. 2011); Russian forest and bog fires are growing (NASA, Aug. 2012), a phenomenon consequently apparent throughout the northern hemisphere (Nature , July 2013); and of course, Global warming will defrost much more permafrost than we thought, a new study finds. Every 1°C of additional warming would thaw one-quarter of the earth’s frozen tundra — releasing staggering amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gases .

        • Doug Leighton says:


          “This study gives a broad accounting of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, where it comes from and where it goes. We take into account not just emissions from fossil fuels, but also agriculture, land use, food production, bioenergy, and carbon uptake by natural ecosystems.”

          They compare four different scenarios for future energy development, with a range of mixtures of renewable and fossil energy. In their “high-renewable” scenario where wind, solar, and bioenergy increase by around 5% a year, net emissions could peak by 2022.

          Walsh notes that the high-renewable energy scenario is ambitious, but not impossible — global production of renewable energy grew 2.6% between 2013 and 2014, according to the IEA. In contrast, the study finds that continued reliance on fossil fuels (growth rates of renewables between 2% and 3% per year), would cause carbon emissions to peak only at the end of the century, causing an estimated 3.5°C global temperature rise by 2100.


          • Max Gervis says:

            Taxpayer supported scientists have been explaining for decades how the “next 10 years” are “critical” and all that. It’s just a worn out song & dance at this point, useful for nothing else but to gin up some continued job security within the public sector.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              As compared to the much more useful GBU-43B known as the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) or the Mother of All Bombs, is a 20,000-pound monster. It took $314 million to develop and has a unit cost of $16 million…

              Go troll some other site, Max!

              • GoneFishing says:

                What about the Tallboy 22,000 pound bomb of WWII?

                “When the success [of the Tallboy bomb] was proved, Wallis designed a yet more powerful weapon… This 22,000 lb. bomb did not reach us before the spring of 1945, when we used it with great effect against viaducts or railways leading to the Ruhr and also against several U-boat shelters. If it had been necessary, it would have been used against underground factories, and preparations for attacking some of these were well advanced when the war ended. ”
                — Sir Arthur Travers Harris (1947).[6]

              • Hightrekker says:

                Which Leonard Cohen song does the MOAB bomb remind you of?

            • alimbiquated says:

              I am stunned at how Americans have swallowed the propaganda so uncritically.

              • Max Gervis says:

                You mean all the propaganda coming from the scientists?

                • Duncan Idaho says:

                  Science is Satan!

                • Nick G says:

                  Do you believe in creationism?

                • Survivalist says:

                  Anyone who believes in a global scientific climate change conspiracy should be forced to go to one faculty meeting and one granting agency meeting.

                  Preliminary JMA analysis also indicates March 2017 as the 2nd warmest on record globally (from 1891)


                  • Troy Slavski says:

                    If they actually want us to take them seriously why would they call it a JMA analysis??? 💰🃏🆘🤓

                  • Fred Magyar says:


                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    Fred, Not suggesting Troy’s not an idiot but that’s too polite for an effective insult in Japanese. Best omit the anata wa and end with yo. 🙂

                  • George Kaplan says:

                    Troy – how’s the weather over there in Moscow today, a bit chilly I think. Hope you’re getting a decent cut for coming up with this crap cause you’re not actually very good at it.

                  • Hightrekker says:

                    Never trust a Russian named Troy.

                    Probably was make fun of by his comrades, and the only gig he could get was a Internet Troll.

                • alimbiquated says:

                  No the “MOAB” propaganda from the Pentagon. Who are “the scientists”? Some James Bond villain or something?

  7. OFM says:

    Hi George, Survivalist,

    Here’s a link that will make it harder for you to get to sleep.


    This is copied by SA from Nature with permission, the newest issue that has been out only a few days.

    I intended to sign this one as OFM.

  8. Oldfarmermac says:

    In case my original comment is lost in cyberspace.

    This link will keep people who know enough to care awake at night.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster(lost in cyberspace),

      You love to talk bullshit politics. But when it came down to doing something meaning full in the election. You couldn’t see the difference between Trump the Republican climate denier and Democrat HRC Obama CO2 fighter.

      Now could you remind me again. What was so important in those emails ? Because I already forgot. Now is uncle Joe back working in the Trumpster coal mine yet ? or was that just one more con job you fell for ? And while I’m asking, is the Easter Bunny going to bring you a basket tomorrow morning too ?

      I’m going to sleep just fine tonight, but you surely shouldn’t.

      • Survivalist says:

        CO2 fighter? Doing something meaningful in an election? Looks like you’re the one who fell for the con job. Dims vs Repubs- Coke vs Pepsi. USA might as well be a one party state. There is no option within the US political framework for voting against the interests of Goldman Sachs.


        • Oldfarmermac says:

          HB is and forever will be a true believer in the BAU /Clinton Republican Lite Democratic Party status quo, which appears to match his personal situation quite well, since he says he has a lot of money. He gets to rake it in in the stock market, and preen his moral superiority as well.

          HRC is or was a rank amateur, compared to an old coon like Trump, but she was still morally deficient, and obviously lacking in judgement, etc, etc.

          As a pundit wannabe, I will continue to tell it like I see it, and as an individual, I will continue to support the Sanders wing of the D party, which will, if successful in taking control of the party, return it to it’s winning ways.

          We don’t need a Republican Lite Democratic Party. We need a REAL Democratic Party, one that stands with and for the working classes of this country, which incidentally include the vast majority of all gays, lesbians, racial and ethnic minorities, religious minorities, etc.

          I DON’T have much money, but I know a number of people who do, including some relatives, since playing by the old rule book ( live modestly, work hard, get married, stay out of jail, etc ) worked for them.

          None of them will have to tighten their belts in any significant way if the Sanders camp takes control. Oh, maybe they will have to drive the Mercedes three years instead of two, or ski in Colorado, instead of France, otherwise they will never know the difference, economically.

          With the Clinton big donor big money bau R Lite faction in control of the D party, it is as apt as not to continue to lose power and influence for some time to come.

          Guys like HB are unable or unwilling to get their heads around the FACT that the current day Republican Lite D party has been losing ground steadily for a long time, to the point that the REAL R’s control the federal government at all levels, and most state and local governments as well.

          The Boomer generation is already dying off at a pretty good clip, meaning that the old line cultural / social / political coalition based on church, BBB, what’s good for GM is good for America, etc, coalition is dying off , and at an ever increasing rate.

          And as the younger boomers hit retirement age, they are quite prone to suddenly seeing the VALUE of socialism, lol, as they start collecting government bennies instead of paying for them.

          The younger generations are far more liberal culturally and politically than their parents.

          So the demographics are all in favor of the D’s, but the R’s have a few more years yet before the demographic trends really start working for the D’s.

          For the D party to return to power anytime soon, it’s going to have to get back to it’s real core, the working classes of this country.

          For every guy like HB, there must be four or five like most of my neighbors, most of my relatives, and most of the country, just getting by, if that, worried and scared. They don’t have much if anything in the stock market.

          They didn’t see much to recommend her in Clinton’s reputation or in her campaigning or in the party platform. They didn’t WANT Trump, for the most part, but they DID want to show the R Lite D party the middle finger, the message being that they would just as soon have real R’s as imitation R’s in power.

          I’m just one little guy blogging a little, just like HB says he’s just one little guy making out like a bandit in the oil biz, while representing himself as an environmentalist, lol.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          “CO2 fighter?” Equals Paris agreement supporter

          “Doing something meaningful in an election?”

          Survivalist, America is a bus full of over 325 million people. Your not going to get exactly what you want. You just need to get on board the train going closest to your destination. On November 8, there were only two flights left leaving the airport. OldMacDonald couldn’t decide and choose to hang out with the boarding attendant.

          • Survivalist says:

            Oh yeah the too little too late, voluntary, non-binding agreement supporter. Yeah what a game changer for humanity that was. Somebody get that man another Peace Prize.

            Trump and HRC, and America, are heading for the same destination. One bus is just a little more polished and less rowdy than the other. If you think that either a D or an R in the WH has an impact on the fate of the nation I’d call you naive. A corporate Democrat warmongering Goldman Sachs sock puppet vs a corporate Republican warmongering Goldman Sachs sock puppet. A one party system with two wings- the right wing and the really right wing.

            Donations down. I wonder if it’s the lack of influence to peddle. Or maybe the Saudis just now decided they’re no longer interested in “aims to advance the full participation of girls and women around the world.” Ukrainian oligarchs seem to have lost interest too.


            Of all those who the D’s could have put forth Hillary was likely the worst option.


            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              It doesn’t need to be binding. What are you going to do ? Fine them or slap the back of their hand. Their all in because in the long run, it’s in every bodies best interest for everyone to comply. 90% of the worlds engineering and manufacturing comes from US, Japan, Germany and China. The rest of the world will be forced to follow. Don’t be the insecure negative authoritarian.

              I just have to out right disagree with you about viewing the parties the same as warmongers. No one made a bigger mess than “W”. Republicans always want to spend more on the military and less on social issues than Democrats. Reagan use to get a woody from military spending.

              Money is part of politics. You don’t go to a gun fight with a knife. I’m all for getting the money out. But I’m not naive.

        • Hightrekker says:

          The earth will be a place of eternal conflict and strife as long as conduits compete aggressively for thin margins of profit pursuing the Maximum Power Principle.

          • alimbiquated says:

            That ‘s the kind of bullshit Americans like to hypnotize themselves with so it feels good to be screwed by the rich. Faulkner talks about this attitude a lot in his books. Americans want to be screwed, and spend all their time looking for reasons to justify it.

            • Hightrekker says:

              Americans have no choice in the outcome— unless they are ready to get into the street.
              Capitalism is all about making capital more efficient— and that excludes what anybody is thinking.

      • Trumpster says:

        “Now could you remind me again. What was so important in those emails ? Because I already forgot. Now is uncle Joe back working in the Trumpster coal mine yet ? or was that just one more con job you fell for ? And while I’m asking, is the Easter Bunny going to bring you a basket tomorrow morning too ? ”

        What was important about the emails, the ones from the DNC, is that they documented in very clear fashion that the D Party was ( and remains, more or less) controlled by the HRC faction, and doing every thing possible to make sure the primaries were rigged in her favor.

        Open minded people, and of course right wingers, correctly concluded that this is excellent evidence she is not trustworthy.

        And as far as the thirty thousand or so emails that disappeared from the homebrewed secret system she so arrogantly set up, so as to hide her connections with the large number of shady and corrupt characters she dealt with, collecting millions in donations,well, open minded and right winger types naturally saw the vacuuming of the email server as being SUSPICIOUS AS HELL.

        The very FACT that it existed in the estimation of (probably) the majority of people in this country demonstrated she is lacking ethically and judgementally.

        The fact that it existed could not possibly have been a secret, in so far as the Obama administration was concerned, and the fact that she got away with destroying half the contents of the server led millions of people to believe Obama and his Justice Dept colluded to help her. etc etc.

        Such facts tend to reinforce the determination of right wingers to vote, and middle of the road people to either stay home or vote R, when it’s the D’s caught out.

        All my surviving uncles are in their late eighties or nineties now.

        One of my nephews lost his job repeatedly as the coal industry collapsed, but you conveniently forget that I explained to him that the coal business in nearby West Virginia was in the pits, pun intended, for a variety of reasons, the least of which is the so called War on Coal.

        Since you are obviously either forgetful, or willfully ignorant of the REST of the comment(s) mentioning this man , I will refresh your memory for you, as to what I told him, and what I posted when I mentioned him.

        The easy, cheap, high quality coal is mostly gone in nearby areas, due to depletion. What’s left is deep, or else requires mountain top removal, for the most part, and moving mountain tops isn’t exactly cheap, compared to the strip mining of near surface coal, which is what sustained the industry for a long time.

        Western coal is so cheap that even after paying the cost of shipping it east, it’s still cheaper than local coal.

        And cheap natural gas has wiped out a huge chunk of the market for thermal coal, on top of that.

        He was not well informed about these things, being poorly educated, which is mostly his own fault. He could have gone to college if he had wanted to do so, and likely will be going in two more years, when his two kids are old enough to be self supporting. He had no trouble understanding that market forces wiped out his career as a machinist building mining machinery. He’s never set foot in a mine or on a mine site.

        Since after taking the best job he could find on short notice some time back, he has been promoted twice on that job, and is now substantially better paid, with benefits, and more substantial raises to be expected. As I have often remarked, a lack of education and ignorance do not necessarily equal stupidity. If his current boss holds on for another year or so before retiring, he will be first in his new job to get his boss’s position, head of maintenance, if he can get up to speed fast enough on computerized control systems.

        In the meantime, I posted a link down thread quoting Richard Muller, concerning fracking, gas, and coal.

        I suggest you get somebody to read it to you. Maybe your listening skills are better than your reading skills.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster says:

          “What was important about the emails, the ones from the DNC, is that they documented in very clear fashion that the D Party was ( and remains, more or less) controlled by the HRC faction, and doing every thing possible to make sure the primaries were rigged in her favor”

          We all know the KGB didn’t release Republican internal correspondence to Wikileaks. You’ve been played. Trump won’t even release the current visitors list to the White House. Where is your out rage ? I’ve seen none. That’s because your a Republican Troll.


          wharf rat says:
          09/28/2016 AT 10:22 AM
          I’ve thought about 3rd Party, but future historians will talk about this race as a fight between tolerance and bigotry. They aren’t gonna look at Clinton, Johnson, + Stein vs Make America White Again. It’s just Clinton and Trump, and being an Other myself, I damn well want my vote seen.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Trump White House Says It Won’t Be Transparent At All Because Obama Wasn’t Transparent Enough


  9. Rational Analyst says:

    Elon Musk and Tesla working on an electric semi-trailer tractor?


    Like the article sez, maybe for short-haul duties from big ports to inland distribution centers not too far away?

    Musk, the new renaissance man…at least someone is pushing the noodle a bit to do something other than straight-up BAU.



    Is nuclear fission-based electrical generation going the way of the dinosaur..unable to compete with coal, gas, solar, and wind?


    • alimbiquated says:

      The German Post Office seems to be getting serious about marketing electric vehicles as well.


    • Oldfarmermac says:

      I’m personally of the opinion that fusion power is still a pipe dream, and that nobody reading this blog today, unless some kid happens across it while writing an essay for his eighth grade science class, will live to see a functioning fusion power plant feeding the grid.

      So if nuclear has a future, it’s a fission future, and there are a lot of fission plants under construction in China, and a few elsewhere.

      Reliable, safe, and economically feasible fission power plants aren’t necessarily a pipe dream. We don’t know, because the political situation is such that nobody has ever made a REAL EFFORT to design and build the necessary experimental models to find out. There are too many roadblocks in the way now, there have been too many in the past, and there may continue to be too many in the future, although a few brave souls, working on shoestring budgets, have gotten so far as coming up with designs that might work, safely, reliably, and affordably.

      Something tells me it’s unlikely they will manage to get the necessary permits and funding to build demonstrator plants, at least not here in the USA. The Chinese or some other Asian folk may be willing to ante up.

      Now as far as a battery powered heavy duty truck is concerned, building a prototype, and actually marketing a production model are two different things. I’m a Tesla fan, but I also recognize that Musk is a genius level marketing man, one of the best at maintaining the hype and stock momentum. Tesla may show a prototype this year, but my guess is it won’t be for sale any time soon.

      But having said this much, it occurs to me that there are a LOT of trucks used in cities to haul relatively light but bulky goods from warehouses to stores, and such trucks sit still getting loaded or unloaded as many hours as they are driven. A lot of them don’t go more than a hundred miles over the course of a working day.

      So- Here’s a thought that hasn’t occurred to me until just this minute, but you can bet everybody thinking about building electric trucks thought of it a long time ago.

      Batteries are heavy, but they don’t take up much space, physically, in relation to the cargo capacity of a truck. There’s PLENTY of room for a bank of batteries in the trailer, just putting them on or under the floor. Four or five tons of batteries six inches tall with two inches of floor over them would still leave all the previous headroom, minus eight inches, which would be more than ample for most city delivery trucks.

      Tesla may actually be able to market a city delivery eighteen wheeler pretty soon, depending on the in house cost of the batteries.

      Trucking regs federal and state are extremely hard and sharply defined, in terms of total weight, weight per axle, maximum dimensions of trucks, and so forth.

      It’s almost impossible to load a tractor trailer to the legal limits delivering pallets of assorted light weight bulky goods from a local warehouse to stores. So the weight of the batteries won’t really matter in a truck used for that purpose.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        One thing about the trucking industry that will make it MUCH easier for Tesla to break in is that commercial trucks are highly standardized, compared to automobiles, making them very easy to customize. Dimensions are pretty much the same from one make to the next, and EXACTLY the same in every critical case, meaning you can easily bolt in a different make engine, a second make of transmission, and a third make of axles and differentials, etc, in just about any heavy truck chassis.

        So when Tesla’s ready, Tesla will be able to buy just about every thing from existing suppliers existing product lines, excepting the electric drive line itself.
        This will be a hell of a lot easier and cheaper than starting from scratch, as when bringing out the S or the 3.

      • notanoilman says:

        Goods handling depots have plenty of fork lift capacity for fast battery swap outs and often have plenty of roof area for PV. Could be a good combo.


        • OldFarmerMac says:

          Hi NAOM,
          Good thought, battery swapping could work at terminals when it wouldn’t work anyplace else. An additional thought is that terminals are usually located where fairly high capacity transmission lines are close by, meaning supplying juice to charge a substantial number of very large batteries won’t be as big a problem as it would be most places.

          • notanoilman says:

            “n additional thought is that terminals are usually located where fairly high capacity transmission lines are close by, meaning supplying juice to charge a substantial number of very large batteries ”

            and supply excess solar power to the grid.


      • Gerry says:

        Regarding nuclear plants in China:

        Wind power production outpaced nuclear power production in 2013

        Apparently the Chinese can’t keep up with building power lines to connect wind farms

        • Doug Leighton says:


          • Mainland China has 36 nuclear power reactors in operation, 21 under construction, and more about to start construction.
          • Additional reactors are planned, including some of the world’s most advanced, to give a doubling of nuclear capacity to at least 58 GWe by 2020-21, then up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050


          • Synapsid says:


            Do you know anything about China’s methods for dealing with depleted fuel rods and other radioactive waste from power plants?

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Good question. Since China’s nuclear industry is relatively new they have the luxury of time. Currently the country is aiming for a “closed” nuclear cycle, recycling reactor fuel instead of using it just once and disposing of it in order to enhance use of uranium resources and to cut production of nuclear waste. For example, they recently started site preparation for a new reprocessing facility, using their own technology, and China is currently considering a separate, much larger $22 billion reprocessing plant in partnership with the French state-run nuclear company Areva. It’s questionable if they will continue with this as their nuclear industry grows — owing to the huge costs involved.

              China will be watching Japan’s experience with reprocessing carefully. Its plant, built with Areva, has been more than 20 years in the making and has been plagued by delays and cost overruns.

    • notanoilman says:

      I spotted a Sabritas Hino hybrid today. Change is happening, bit by bit.


  10. Survivalist says:

    “If CO2 continues to rise further into the twenty-third century, then the associated large increase in radiative forcing, and how the Earth system would respond, would likely be without geological precedent in the last half a billion years.”


    Buckle your chinstrap.

  11. OldFarmerMac says:

    I try to tell it like it is, as best I can.
    Sometimes this means looking like the bad guy, so be it, I’m not running for Mr.Congeniality.
    Pesticides mean we eat, short term, and if we don’t eat short term, the long term is an academic issue.

    Here’s what Richard Muller has to say about fracking. He’s a VERY capable guy, with the sort of credentials that mean you can take him seriously.

    “Every serious environmentalist should favor fracking. The fundamental reason is that shale gas is the quickest and least expensive replacement for coal, and the bad things that have been publicized about fracking are mostly exaggeration and misinformation.

    My daughter Elizabeth and I have written a paper describing this in detail, titled (appropriately) Why Every Serious Environmentalist Should Favor Fracking.pdf.

    I also attach a copy of an OpEd that I wrote, coauthored by Mitch Daniels (then Governor of Indiana) with much the same idea. It is titled, “The Fracker’s Guide to a Greener World.”

    I copied this from Quora.

    • Hickory says:

      I was just thinking almost the exact same thing OFM.
      Nat Gas derived from fracking has enabled the country to wean itself from coal without an economic catastrophe (except to the coal industry and related businesses), with a minor contribution from wind and solar thus far.
      And, damage to local groundwater supplies has been overall minor as far as we know. I would like to see more unbiased data collection and analysis on this point, however.
      I expect the downtrending of coal to continue, or escalate, over the next two decades.

      I would like a Nat Gas/hybrid SUV, thank you.
      btw- I see no link to the references you cited

      • OFM says:

        Hi Hickory,


        The overall environmentalist cause is seriously damaged because so very many people who support clean water laws, clean air laws, pure food laws, etc, tend to get on a high horse, and condemn everybody who disagrees with them as stupid, ignorant, selfish, uncaring, etc, etc.

        I generally try to argue environmental and political issues from a more reasoned, middle of the road perspective, with one glaring exception, that one exception being here in THIS forum.

        Since most of the regulars here are technically and intellectually LITERATE, I am comfortable DIRECTLY pointing out what I see as shortcomings in their thinking.

        People like the regulars here are generally capable of stepping outside their own intellectual shoes, and walking a mile in the shoes of both their intellectual and political opposition, and in the shoes of disinterested third parties who may have things to say ………highly relevant things.

        So here I can talk ( sometimes) like a disinterested coach, in terms of pointing out various reasons why HRC lost to Trump. She had shortcomings that Trump was able to capitalize on which were enough to cost her the election. It wouldn’t have worked to call Elizabeth Warren crooked Elizabeth. Speaking as that hypothetical disinterested coach, it didn’t even matter if she WAS crooked, she was vulnerable to the accusation. People with adequate horsepower between the ears can accept and understand the implications of this sort of observation,but people without brains, or blinded by partisanship, cannot.

        I have occasionally completely reversed my own thinking on certain points as the result of participating here, or at the old TOD site, or similar sites. It’s a two way street.

        If you want to explain the collapse of the coal industry to a coal miner, who is most likely LESS than politically well informed, it’s best to just forget the politics, and talk about something else altogether, such as how many people are working at new jobs in the gas and oil industry, and how cheap natural gas is these days, anyplace you can get it by pipeline, and how the electric company can buy and burn gas cheaper than it can buy and burn coal, and how you can buy electricity to run a heat pump cheaper than you can buy oil to run a furnace. Lead into such conversations with OLDER examples of economic change, such as the guys who used to repair tv’s and radio’s etc, having to find new work because new televisions are so cheap these days you just buy a new one,horses being replaced with tractors, horse breeders out of work, tobacco farmers out of work due to fewer people smoking, etc etc.

        Out of work coal people ARE perfectly capable of understanding these things, but they are not prone to giving them any thought, without careful and somewhat subtle encouragement, because the D’s talk down to and about them, and the R’s encourage them to blame their problems on the D’s, who are already perceived as enemies, because of the D’s being stupid enough to habitually talk trash UNNECESSARILY.

        It’s possible and practical to lead such people gradually to the leftish wing, politically, a little at a time, with the result being that here and there one starts voting D or as an open minded independent, and some others being less motivated to vote R, and maybe staying home on election day.

        • Hickory says:

          OFM- I like to consider myself an independent (but really am a Democrat at my core). But I am seriously anti-partisan, and don’t pause to frown on the failings of partisan positions. I do see the hardcore Democrat position on fracking to be kneejerk, and naive. On the otherhand, I’m not saying I want it happening in my watershed- and I suppose that makes me a hypocrite or worse.

          • OFM says:

            Backatcha Hickory,

            ” I do see the hardcore Democrat position on fracking to be kneejerk, and naive. On the otherhand, I’m not saying I want it happening in my watershed- and I suppose that makes me a hypocrite or worse.”

            You NAILED it. Not many people are willing to just straight up admit what they really think, when it means risking censure from the rest of his “IN” or “US ” group versus the “THEM” outsiders.

            I salute you for this display of intellectual honesty.

            I don’t mind admitting I feel the same way about lots of issues. It’s easy for me to love immigrants at a distance, the way virtually all of my well to do liberal acquaintances find it easy to love poor people at a distance, but they do NOT want any poor people living in THEIR neighborhood.

            It’s not so easy for me to love immigrants when they are willing and EAGER to take the jobs some of my neighbors and relatives depend on to eat, at lower wages, with fewer benefits.

            The folks who chastise me as being parochial in this respect, for standing up FOR MY COMMUNITY, aren’t threatened, and can AFFORD to see it differently.

            I’ve been in both camps, I see both sides, having worked as a professional, and as a member of a powerful union, with no worries about losing my job to an immigrant. But I have friends and relatives who are in DIRECT competition with immigrants for scarce jobs, and it takes only a few EXCESS applicants for an employer to be able to say,” I’m only paying X per hour, rather than X plus two or X plus five bucks, because that’s all I NEED to pay. ”

            The world is FULL of hypocrites. I’m guilty as hell, in a lot of ways, lol. I can’t think of anybody I know really well who isn’t a hypocrite in several respects.

            I’m torn between watching the value of my farm creeping towards the sky, because my little corner of the world is turning into a DESTINATION, and seeing the woods full of houses, more cars on the roads, more stores, more of everything that people move here to ESCAPE.

            I don’t want to sell out and move, I have roots here. What I want is for the goddamnrichyankees to move somewhere else, but I want them to continue to support the good things government does for me , such as paying for my Medicare, lol.

            • Hickory says:

              OFM- just remember that we are all immigrants, and that the biggest genocide in the history was committed by our collective fore-runners to take this land. You live in Cherokee territory, if I got it right, and the ghosts of those ancestors don’t see much of a difference between you and those ‘yankees’.
              Most new immigrants don’t have the sense of entitlement that seems pervasive in longer term residents of this country. They tend to work and study harder. Legal immigration is not the problem, rather our ability to attract strong applicants is one of our greatest assets and we shouldn’t squander that attribute by being ‘a..holes’, like our so-called president and his voting cohort.
              Illegal immigration is a whole different discussion. We shouldn’t be confusing the two issues.

    • alimbiquated says:

      This post is just more evidence that America is stuck in in its 1950s fantasy world and not at all prepared for the 21st century.

      Saying America needs more oil and gas is like saying America needs more highways and shopping malls. You don’t solve problems by doubling down on bad policy, whatever your dim witted president may think he thinks this week.

      How did Dylan put it?

      Your old world is rapidly fading.
      Get out of the new one,
      If you can’t lend a hand
      For the times they are a changing.

    • Nick G says:

      One argument I’ve seen is that expanded NG drilling causes more methane leaks and emissions, which offset the lower CO2.

      What’s the evidence on methane leaks?

  12. Doug Leighton says:


    “Seep mounds are carbonate deposits, often hosting unique fauna, which form at sites of methane leakage into the seafloor. Over 130 were found covering over 10,000 square kilometers of the Cretaceous sea floor. They occurred over a very short time interval immediately following onset of Cretaceous global warming, suggesting that the warming destabilized gas hydrates and released a large blurb of methane. Given that methane has 20 times the impact of CO2 as a greenhouse gas, such a release could have accelerated global warming at that time. This discovery supports concerns of potential destabilization of modern methane hydrates.”


  13. Doug Leighton says:


    “Earth’s energy imbalance (EEI) drives the ongoing global warming and can best be assessed across the historical record (that is, since 1960) from ocean heat content (OHC) changes. An accurate assessment of OHC is a challenge, mainly because of insufficient and irregular data coverage. We provide updated OHC estimates with the goal of minimizing associated sampling error. We performed a subsample test, in which subsets of data during the data-rich Argo era are colocated with locations of earlier ocean observations, to quantify this error. Our results provide a new OHC estimate with an unbiased mean sampling error and with variability on decadal and multidecadal time scales (signal) that can be reliably distinguished from sampling error (noise) with signal-to-noise ratios higher than 3. The inferred integrated EEI is greater than that reported in previous assessments and is consistent with a reconstruction of the radiative imbalance at the top of atmosphere starting in 1985. We found that changes in OHC are relatively small before about 1980; since then, OHC has increased fairly steadily and, since 1990, has increasingly involved deeper layers of the ocean. In addition, OHC changes in six major oceans are reliable on decadal time scales. All ocean basins examined have experienced significant warming since 1998, with the greatest warming in the southern oceans, the tropical/subtropical Pacific Ocean, and the tropical/subtropical Atlantic Ocean. This new look at OHC and EEI changes over time provides greater confidence than previously possible, and the data sets produced are a valuable resource for further study.”

    NB: More than 90% of EEI is stored in the ocean.


  14. George Kaplan says:

    This is a new site to me:


    It shows Arctic ice extent and coarse thickness/age, so could be interesting this summer. It is from Leningrad University, I couldn’t find what satellite they use to get the data – possibly them all. Is their a Russian equivalent to Cryosat or the NASA and Japanese ones?

  15. Survivalist says:

    Record “warmth” from November to March in the Arctic using 19-observing stations. Both February and March 2017 in the Arctic were more than 4°C warmer than the 1981-2010 baseline average. That is a lot. Analysis of data by Dr. Richard James.

    See image here

    Image obtained from this page here (more images and data)

    • notanoilman says:

      Casting an uncalibrated eyeball over a number of recent charts I am beginning to see an exponential change rather than linear. The most recent months/years seem to be changing more and more rapidly.


    • George Kaplan says:

      Antarctica is becoming as interesting as the Arctic. It was a favourite for deniers around 2011 to 2015 because it showed a possible slight cooling trend and expanding sea ice. But that has reversed over the last couple of years, and the denier sites have stopped talking about it. There was a 2015 paper from Potsdam climate centre which suggested there is a natural, long term cycle which was on a cooling trend and masked overall warming (I’ve only seen the abstract and some comments, and I doubt I’d understand the statistical methods they use to tease out cycles imposed on longer trends anyway).

      To me it looks like it takes a bit of time, maybe decades, for the warm air and seas in the north to move south, at the same time the greenhouse gas concentrations lag those in the north by a few years, but both these are now catching up. In addition the increase sea ice, caused by changing wind patterns mostly, has had a negative feedback. The albedo effect has now switched to positive, bigger in magnitude than the previous negative impact. I couldn’t find when the natural cycle is supposed to switch back to positive, maybe it’s happened, but it looks like everything is getting aligned for a rapid acceleration like we’ve seen in the Arctic over the past few years. There was a clear jump in warming this year, but in retrospect might turn out to be relatively minor.

      On the other hand, I guess, if there is a significant collapse in the ice shelves then the cold freshwater released might act as a cooling cap on the warmer oceans.

  16. Hightrekker says:

    CIA Cafeteria Complaints II: Stale Bread Harder

    “It actually looked like melted chocolate, or something else I won’t bother mention.”


    Seems like a poor decision as to award the food contract (I wonder how they do on other contracts?)

  17. Peggy Hahn says:

    I know I don’t post that much, but on this special day I just wanted to drop in to wish all who visit Peak Oil Barrel a very blessed Easter Sunday!

    • Thanks for the thought Peggy. But surely you must realize that this whole Jesus story is total bullshit.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Mark Twain, on the Bible, The Word of God:

      “For the Christian thinks every word of it was dictated by God. It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies… But you notice that when the Lord God of Heaven and Earth, adored Father of Man, goes to war, there is no limit. He is totally without mercy — he, who is called the Fountain of Mercy. He slays, slays, slays! All the men, all the beasts, all the boys, all the babies; also all the women and all the girls, except those that have not been deflowered. He makes no distinction between innocent and guilty… What the insane Father required was blood and misery; he was indifferent as to who furnished it.”

      • clueless says:

        It is a good thing that Catholics [counted as Christians] are under no religious doctrine obligation to accept anything in the Old Testament as the word of God.

    • Peggy Hahn says:

      Hello Ron and Doug, maybe you would find the following link insightful? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/eidos/2017/04/truly-he-is-risen/

      • Hightrekker says:

        Bronze and Iron Age fiction are a horrible genera (Homer and Beowulf are the best, if you must go there)

      • Really Peggy? Why on earth would you think that piling more bullshit on top of bullshit will make that bullshit more insightful?

    • Hickory says:

      No thanks Peggy. I’m not into ‘make believe’ fantasy stuff.
      Being kind just for the sake of the common good is enough reason for me.
      Not interested in dividing up into ‘teams’ (which just tend to fight, and kill, each other).
      Time to grow up.

      • Hightrekker says:

        My psychopathic sky daddy is the real one– and if you don’t believe me, it is war.

        • Hickory says:

          Hightrekker- you just summed up the history of the last 2000 yrs in just one sentence. The big religions were completely discredited when they killed the very first ‘non-believer’ (or simple encouraged the angst), and that was many tens of millions of deaths ago.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Religion has always been about controlling the masses by creating an us vs. them mindset that distracts the faithful from what those in power are really doing to them.

            Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

            He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

            He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

            Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

            Emo Philips

      • Nick G says:

        I went to camp as a child. The camp counselors divided us into blues and greys (civil war colors!), and had us compete for the duration of our stay: swimming, archery, etc.

        It kept us busy, and out of their hair.

        Seems mighty reminiscent of Christians and Muslims; black and white; Republicans and Democrats; drinkers and opiate users; Americans and Russians; etc., etc.

        • GoneFishing says:

          But without an us and them, there would not be need for much government! :-()

        • Ves says:

          All religious civilizations are split civilizations. They divide in two, and one part of your being becomes enemy. All of them promise you divine of the future but at the same time burden you with sins of the past. Then you are already split, divided in two. Then your whole energy is dissipated fighting yourself. Nobody can reach far fighting through duality. It just creates neurosis because it creates inner conflict.

          Choice will not lead anywhere, only choiceless witnessing in present. If there is choice, only conflict arises. If someone picks “black” everyone else starts feeling they are against “white”. That is why whole world is in the state of schizophrenia – because of false choice, because of false divide.

          • Survivalist says:

            India has over 1700 parties.


            Perhaps it’s got something to do with having 330 million gods.


            I laugh when Americans tell me that they are politically well educated and have familiarized themselves with ‘both sides’ of politics, as if there were only two. God vs Satan, good vs bad, D’s vs R’s; O tempora! O mores!


            • GoneFishing says:

              American politics is a primary driver of climate change denial. Deep down it is not because they don’t believe the science but because saying they believe the science means taking actions that appear contrary to their business and personal lifestyle. It means changing why and how we do things an many do not want that.
              When it comes down to it, it’s not Dems versus Repubs. Basically it’s current civilization against the world.

              • Nick G says:

                it’s current civilization against the world.

                It’s the FF industry against the world.

                Electric cars can be made in factories that once made ICEs (Tesla is using an old GM/Toyota factory). They can be made by the same auto workers. They can be driven by the same drivers, on the same roads. The differences to most workers and consumers are relatively trivial.

                Most people would be better off with renewable power and electric cars, HVAC, etc.

                It’s really a small minority that will be badly disrupted by the transition away from FF.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Come on Nick, current civilization is not just cars. Planetary destruction is being forced on many fronts beside transport and fossil fuels.
                  Humans have essentially eradicated natural life from the equivalent of one large continent and severally reduced it across another large continent area plus a small continent. Then add in the destruction we do to ocean life. Mostly all in the name of food.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Well, wildlife habitat destruction is a different (and large) question.

                    I was responding to your comment about climate change. In particular, CO2 emissions are something that we can get rid of and most people wouldn’t really notice much change in their daily lives.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Sure cars do produce a percentage of GHG gas and there is a somewhat practical solution set that will reduce emissions. Only 99 percent to go and the power generation structure has to move away from fossil fuels too.
                    I was discussing the thought process that will hamper any shift away from rampant materialism, fossil fuel use and high end life styles.
                    The egocentric person and group is driving the devastation of the planet, not just fossil fuels and climate change.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    A move to wind, solar, hydro and nuclear power interconnected with an HVDC grid would take care of most of the rest of the fossil fuel use, along with an expansion of rail and light rail. Better education and widespread availability of modern birth control will eventually reduce human population which would be a major benefit to the rest of life on Earth.

                    Recycling, cradle to grave manufacturing of high quality products will help to reduce pollution.

                    No doubt there are many other problems I have not addressed, those probably have solutions as well or if not they might be developed through research.

                    Clearly there is not a solution to every problem, but sometimes there are potential solutions.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Fully agree with you Dennis. We have many of the potential solutions and mitigations in hand. I just wonder what are the probabilities of their being enacted in time as well as in concert. And will they be enacted globally?

    • Lloyd says:

      Point one: there are no bunnies in the Easter story, certainly none wearing t-shirts.

      Point two: we’re all heretics here.
      We remember the church’s attitude towards Copernicus and Galileo, and have all (with the exception of Javier, perhaps) encountered resistance to the ideas we expound here in our everyday lives.

      Your message is not one of inclusion and salvation to us. It is one of lies, persecution, and of subsuming our very identity into something else.

      We have made the choice: logic and reason over superstition.

      You have gone to the dark side.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        There’s no Easter Bunny? Damn!

        • Fred Magyar says:


          • Doug Leighton says:

            What did I do to upset the Easter bunny; apart from the time I set a leg-hold trap in my bedroom (when I was ten years old). Does he really hold a grudge — like God.

            • Synapsid says:


              “…apart from the time I set a leg-hold trap in my bedroom…”

              (shakes head; shambles away muttering)

            • Fred Magyar says:

              The Easter Bunny IS god! 😉


              Aztec mythology › Aztec Gods list

              Picture of the Aztec Drunken God CENTZON-TOTOCHTIN from our Aztec mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.
              Aztec Drunken God
              Also known as DRUNKEN-RABBITS
              The Four Hundred Drunken Rabbit Gods
              How many rabbits do you usually see after drinking seven pints of Tequila? These tipsy bunny deities were distilled and brewed by husband and wife alcoholic team MAYAHUEL and PATECATL. See the entry on PULQUE for more info…

              • GoneFishing says:

                Do drunken rabbits fall over when they hop or do they just hop into trees and lay there unconscious.
                Looks like a very grumpy rabbit to me.
                The rabbits in my neighborhood seem happy but are very stupid.

              • Duncan Idaho says:

                I think a Group of Drunken Rabbits is easier to worship than a Cosmic Jewish Zombie.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  I’ll drink to that! 😉

                • OFM says:

                  Considering the obvious fact that most of you guys who go around making fun of religion are at least moderately well acquainted with the a b c’s of biology, I find it amusing that you never stop to acknowledge WHY we naked apes practice religions, and divide our selves into competing us versus them groups.

                  It’s pretty fucking SKY DADDY DAMNED SIMPLE. Take a few minutes and ponder the fact that religions are GLUES that bond people together in a common cause, thereby enabling them to compete with OTHER people more successfully, everything else equal.

                  Of course there are OTHER glues, which may or may not work BETTER, and times have changed so that religions aren’t nearly so useful as they were in former times. As a matter of fact, times have changed so much that sometimes religions now hinder rather than help the people who follow them, holding them back from living better and happier lives. A lot of people believe this is the case in the USA in particular, among western countries.

                  MOTHER NATURE, who is non sentient, not even a living entity in the literal sense,existing only as a mental construct between our ears, is worshiped as a god under many different names, displays behavior entirely consistent with that of the Christian Sky Daddy, lol. Let’s not forget she doesn’t give a flying fuck at a rolling donut which of her millions of species live or die, she just keeps score as indifferently as an electronic computer by way of the fossil record.

                  The Christian God is as mean as he is, and as sweet and gentle as he is, because he is created, or modeled, on man himself. Men display all the characteristics , in spades, displayed by the God of the King James Bible.

                  They say the commissars of the old USSR took millions of people’s food in the morning, resulting in their literal starvation, and then cried at the opera in the evening. One of the meanest men I ever had the misfortune to run across had a soft spot for impoverished old women and would spend a day working on on their houses for them for no more than whatever food and drink they could offer. He may have done this because he felt guilty about abusing his own mother when he was younger.

                  A hell of a lot of people just LOVE to look down on western society, ranting and raving about the world being what it IS today, because DWEM, dead white European males, cast it in the mold of ancient Jewish law and culture to a truly substantial extent.

                  But I for one don’t mind at ALL admitting that I am VERY satisfied to be living in a the western world mostly shaped by these DWEM’s who were mostly at least culturally Christian , if not actually pious, compared to the Eastern and Asian worlds shaped by other religions or philosophies.

                  And yes, I know about the common roots. It’s all about Darwinian competition, species diverge, cultures diverge, religions diverge, some succeeding, some dying out.

                  Religion is in retreat, as a general rule, in western societies, because we have evolved other mechanisms to take it’s place. It’s ok NOW to believe in the state looking after us in times of trouble.

                  Well educated, prosperous people have mostly ditched their ACTUAL belief in religion, and substituted belief in the state, which is working just fine, all thru Western Europe, and works more or less here in the USA, BUT BUT BUT….

                  A lot of people here in the USA who are NOT actual believers use religion as camouflage, for reasons having to do with their political and economic agendas.

                  We all have to believe in SOMETHING. Nature will not allow a vacuum to exist between our ears. We had our alpha males and females, the kings and queens and presidents and prime ministers, who have been more or less literally worshiped, or at least respected , or feared, in times past.

                  God is THE super alpha to people who believe. He doesn’t have to exist, he does not even NEED to exist. Uncle Sam does not exist, but I know several people who have organized their life around Uncle Sam, professional soldiers. Sometimes soldiers have elevated generals to godlike status, but most of them never laid eyes on the general they more or less worshiped as their leader and savior, meaning by savior the man who would get them home again.

                  Who was it who said reality is stranger than we CAN imagine? Naked apes are weird, no doubt about it.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    When one confuses fiction with reality, that is mental illness.
                    Mass delusion is still delusion.

                    In a world created and ruled by God, it is merely a construct and could be unraveled at a moments notice. Poof.
                    Do you think the universe is a construct?

                    Nature produced us and all the other living things not the other way around. We are just one perturbation in billions, get over yourselves and stop fucking up the nest.

                  • Hightrekker says:

                    Religion seems to be a natural phenomena, and probably brought genetic fitness in the past, with even some health benefits (if we are to believe Dennett).
                    However, it a parasitic meme set currently, using humans as hosts for its own replication.

                  • HuntingtonBeach says:

                    “I find it amusing that you never stop to acknowledge WHY we naked apes practice religions”

                    Let me make this plain and simple for you – Ignorance

                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
                    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
                    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
                    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” ― Epicurus

      • George Kaplan says:

        Didn’t rabbits used to chew the cud in those times, according to the bible, or was that the insects with only four legs.

        • alimbiquated says:

          I think rabbits eat their own shit to aid digestion.They are too small to store cud internally, so they store it externally.

  18. HuntingtonBeach says:

    General Motors earned a 2017 EPA ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year — Sustained Excellence award for continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. GM’s commitment to reducing energy intensity saved $73 million in energy costs last year and avoided 388,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, equivalent to the electricity use of 57,000 US homes.

    In the US, GM reduced energy use at its manufacturing facilities by 10% on a per-vehicle basis in 2016 compared to the previous year. Additional achievements include:

    Established a new renewable energy commitment to meet the electricity needs of GM’s global operations with 100% renewable energy by 2050. Optimizing energy efficiency is the first step toward reaching this goal.

    Completed $20 million worth of energy-savings projects that are expected to produce a two-year return on investment.

    Implemented a new energy management system in GM’s non-manufacturing facilities, which saves $2 million annually.


  19. Hightrekker says:

    Mor Liberal Lies!
    Climate change causes glacial river in Yukon to change direction
    Glacier retreated so much that its meltwater switched course, in an event not documented in modern times


  20. Survivalist says:

    Last few days highlighting the mobile and quite fractured seaice in the Chukchi Sea.


  21. OFM says:

    I don’t maintain that the technology that has gotten us into so much hot water will get us out again, but it might slow down the rate of warming.

    I strongly suspect the Saudis have come to the conclusion that wind and solar power are good investments for them on a strictly dollars and cents basis, enabling them to sell oil they would otherwise burn to generate electricity for domestic use.


  22. clueless says:

    This is kind of interesting. Despite annual migration out of the country, according to worldometers.info, the population of Nigeria will double between now and 2050 to pass the US and become the third highest country in population, ahead of the US, behind only India and China. Their population density per square kilometer will be 10 times greater that the US. This looks like an accident waiting to happen.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      That will be great! We will have a lot more interesting emails to reply to…

      James Veitch:
      This is what happens when you reply to spam email

    • GoneFishing says:

      Is the country anywhere near capable of sustaining a large population?

      • Fred Magyar says:

        What could possibly go wrong?

        • GoneFishing says:

          I think it already went wrong.

        • OFM says:

          Things are going to end very badly indeed for the people of Indonesia, barring miracles. My guess is that the shit will be well and truly in the fan there within the next two or three decades.

          I don’t see other countries allowing in tens of millions of Indonesians who look different, practice different religions, speak a different language, observe different cultural customs, and have little or nothing in the way of skills or material goods needed in other countries, etc etc.

          It sounds incredibly mean hearted, I know, but it’s my belief that a time is coming when would be immigrants are met not with police who will turn them back, but with soldiers who are dug in behind barbed wire, who will be shooting to kill, in a great many places.

          Allowing in a relatively small number of immigrants is one thing, say less than one half percent of the local population. Allowing in larger numbers will not be politically viable, when locals are already tightening their belts due to deteriorating economic and environmental conditions, especially when the lower classes of the target country perceive potential immigrants as a direct threat to their own prosperity and security. Political backlash will mean hard liners will be elected, no question.

          It’s very easy for somebody on easy street, who will never suffer short term as the result of having lots of immigration into their country to look down on and make fun of working class people who pay the price when they lose their jobs, or see their community change for the worse, as the result of having lots of immigrants.

          Generally they can’t afford to move, they just have to live with the new reality. My second wife’s grandmother lived in such a community in NYC, until the rest of her family more or less forced her to move, against her wishes, because she was strongly attached to her home.

          There are cities in France with large ethnic communities where the cops don’t go, except by the carload, anymore. There are places like that now, on a small scale, near where I live. The worst of the locals, and the worst of the immigrant community have coalesced into neighborhoods, and everybody else who has been able to leave, has left.

          We all know that rich liberals are perfectly glad to support ocean wind energy, so long as the turbines don’t interfere with the view from their waterfront property, it’s not just Trumpsters who don’t want to see turbines from their golf coures, lol.

          People who live in really nice neighborhoods don’t have a thing to worry about concerning hard up immigrants, who are mostly very decent people, to be sure, because they will not be moving into such neighborhoods, where living expenses are sky high. People who work in professions requiring advanced training never lose their jobs to semi literate immigrants.

          People like many of my neighbors do, and HAVE.

          THIS IS REALITY, and it has a hell of a lot to do with why Trump is president today, and Clinton is not.

          You (rhetorical) can like it or lump it, but you either believe in democracy and elections, or you don’t, and you can’t sit on the fence when it comes to such issues. You must adjust your party platforms, and select your candidates, with this reality in mind.

          Otherwise………. you wind up with so called conservatives aka Republicans in charge of government from dog catcher to president.

          You ( rhetorical ) can deal with reality, or preen your moral superiority, the choice is yours, but when you don’t like the results at election time, remember…….. the choice was yours, depending on how you voted in primaries, who you donated too, etc.

          • GoneFishing says:

            OFM said “You (rhetorical) can like it or lump it, but you either believe in democracy and elections, or you don’t, and you can’t sit on the fence when it comes to such issues. You must adjust your party platforms, and select your candidates, with this reality in mind. ”

            I just would like you to consider three points. Number one, we do not live under a democracy but a representative republic. Two, there is no reason to accept the current voting system or representative system, they can both be highly improved. Three, with current communications and technology a truer form of democracy could be implemented and the people could actually be making the decisions instead of a select few.

            • Hickory says:

              Good points Gone F….
              When you go to get your eyes tested for glasses, they go through a series of steps to discern the correct lens for your eye. It might be a 10 step process to narrow things down.
              In our political system we generally just take the first step on a particular issue- the partisan soundbite step. ‘You for or against globalization?’..
              Well, most issues are more complicated than simple yes or no, and take some drilling down to hash things out. We surely have the technology to enable a robust discussion, but do we have the attention span?

              • GoneFishing says:

                ” but do we have the attention span?”

                Won’t find out if we don’t try. As with most things there is a learning curve so it will seem at first that things are not going well. Same thing with the forming of the US and the Constitution. It took a while to get things going and then the country split apart. Once that division was mended, the country as a whole has held together well.
                Now, will it weather the latest storm of retro-think in political circles? The current executive push seems to be toward generating the false paranoia of the McCarthy era.

            • OFM says:

              Hi GF,
              Generally I agree with your 11:18 comment, but when you get down to the nitty and the gritty, as opposed to academic discussions, our republican form of government IS basically a democratic form of government.

              There’s certainly tons of room for improvement, but I don’t expect to see any real changes in the way our government is organized within the foreeseeable future, barring black swan event such as outright short term collapse.

              For NOW big D Democrats can either get their heads out of their asses, and quit making fun of the people they MUST HAVE, in order to regain control of the government, and start working to find and work the common ground that will enable them to get the votes of ENOUGH of the people who are the butts of their condescension and jokes to start winning elections again.

              Otherwise……… Trumpsters, or at least the more usual sort of Republican politicians, will continue in power for quite some time, maybe as long as another ten to fifteen years, for a rough guess.

              After that, the real core of the old cultural/ economic/ religious R party will be either in cemeteries or nursing homes, and the D’s will return to power on the tide of the demographic transition.

              For every young person in my backwoods who worships Jesus, there are two who worship the Dixie Chicks, at least, lol.If you attend a church service locally, and this is deep and dark KJB Bible Belt territory, you will find that the preachers are AFRAID to say much if ANYTHING about male and female relationships which can be interpreted as putting women in a second class position, because if they do, within a matter of weeks, the younger women are all GONE, and with them go their husbands and kids, to some other church, where a woman is free to take the pulpit a guest preacher, if not the leader.

              Things ARE changing fast, demographically, although like the changes in the climate, you have to LOOK for the signs for now, they are not yet obvious unless you are paying attention.

              For instance, a certain nearby business patronized heavily by all the local farming community was founded and operated by a well known preacher back around 1950 or so, and then by his son, a pious man but not a preacher.

              It will soon be the property of his lesbian daughter, and her lover, and there’s not a soul in the entire community who doesn’t know all about it. The supposedly totally intolerant religious men who are really old just sort of shake their head, and the ones still young enough to appreciate a shapely female just laugh and say what a WASTE, the same thing younger hetero women say , in jest, when they see a really handsome man paired off with another man.

              I drop in frequently to talk politics with these two thirtyish women. They are university graduates, very bright and idealistic, but also realistic. In private, they are quite in agreement with my assessment of the last election.

              One of them summed it up thus, paraphrased.

              Any business as usual Democrat would likely have lost the last election, so long as the R’s ran an outlier promising real change, because the country right left and center was screaming for change. Obama won on the promise of change. Clinton made the mistake of running on business as usual.

              • Hightrekker says:

                In the U.S., the self-serving Democratic Party elites operate within the Corporatocracy structure, in which the state protects and funds private-sector cartels; the two intertwined and self-reinforcing elites manifest and enforce state policies.

          • alimbiquated says:

            >There are cities in France with large ethnic communities where the cops don’t go, except by the carload, anymore.

            Bullshit, which neighborhoods in which cities? France isn’t Neverland, it’s a real place.

            You need to stop reading Breitbart. It will rot your mind. Actually, I think it already has.

            Maybe you should explain to us how terrible it is that Hillary had two email accounts again.

        • alimbiquated says:

          Places like Nigeria get by on much less oil than rich countries. So if the oil runs out the big die-out will probably come in the richt countries.

  23. Doug Leighton says:


    The western U.S. has seen a 2-degrees-Celsius rise in annual average temperature and lengthening of the fire season by almost three months since the 1970s; both elements contribute to what the authors refer to as the “new era of western wildfires.” This pattern of bigger, hotter fires, along with the influx of homes into fire-prone areas — over 2 million since 1990 — has made wildfire vastly more costly and dangerous.

    “For a long time, we’ve thought that if we try harder and do better, we can get ahead of wildfire and reduce the risks,” said Schoennagel, who also is an adjunct faculty member in CU Boulder’s Geography Department. “We can no longer do that. This is bigger than us and we’re going to have to adapt to wildfire rather than the other way around.”


    • GoneFishing says:

      Acceptance is an important component of moving forward.
      I know when I have been out in red rock country, not much grew there. It made the Sonoran desert near Tucson look positively verdant. Maybe much of the west is converting to desert and rock country. Certainly would solve the fire problem.

  24. Doug Leighton says:


    “Recent observations suggest less long-term warming, or climate sensitivity, than the predicted by climate models. But the mismatch is resolved by factoring in that Earth is still in the early stages of adjusting to greenhouse gases. The planet’s temperature takes thousands of years to fully adjust to a shift in the makeup of its atmosphere — the warming Earth has experienced to date is just a taste of what is in store.

    “Early climate studies suggested that if the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubled from pre-Industrial levels (we’re now about 1.4 times) the planet would eventually warm by about 3 degrees C, with possible values as high as 5 or 6 degrees C.”


    • George Kaplan says:

      Doug – the studies on clouds and albedo, and others looking previous paleo-climate data, seem to be moving the sensitivity towards the 5 and 6 numbers. The studies on soil, permafrost and oceans seem to be indicating it might not be possible to stop the CO2 from doubling and more even if we followed the most drastic fossil fuel cuts that have been proposed. So where do we go from here. Beer sounds good, but is there enough?

      • Doug Leighton says:


        I totally agree and am consequently gravely concerned for my Grandchildren. Apart from warming, two billion plus added souls = disaster.

        • George Kaplan says:

          It might go earlier than that. Once rival hegemonies with a few psychopaths in the upper ranks come to the conclusion, rightly or not, that we’re fucked, so it doesn’t matter much what they do – then what?

          • Doug Leighton says:

            “It might go earlier than that.” You’re right of course: I debated about saying I’m gravely concerned for my Kids (versus Grandchildren) but opted for the latter out of deference to the Cornucopians (reluctantly).

            • GoneFishing says:

              Climate change is having strong effects right now, as we all know.
              The exact timing of when climate change and/or other predicaments cause epic disasters is unimportant. At the time it will involve real living people and real living creatures. The time when it happens will be the now of the future. The timing will probably be different and have different effects across the globe.
              Most significantly, the bread baskets of the world will be strained for a while before collapses of food occur. Humans are very adaptable and can make their plants adaptable , up to point. Those points will become thresholds.
              This is starting to happen now and disasters will continue until they start to link up then major thresholds will be crossed. Could be 5 to 10 years, could be several decades.
              Of course in the meantime we could pull the rabbit out of the hat. But I wouldn’t count on the magicians. They might not get there soon enough.

              • George Kaplan says:

                There’s a theory that the French revolution was precipitated by a couple of really bad thunderstorms that wrecked the wheat crop. It acted on one of the most stratified, and hence stressed, societies ever but shows how unpredictable things will be. The thing with catastrophe theory and tipping points is you can’t go back without a lot of further change, and they always seem to happen from good, but stressed, to bad. Even in most revolutions, whether successful or not, things, for the average woman and man, are worse immediately afterwards, and possibly for some time, than before.

        • alleycat_1959 says:

          If you are old enough, to have grandchildren, you will be 6 feet deep “in the ground” before climate change is any problem. You got to figure, every generation has to deal with big challenges before overcoming them. Maybe climate change will be the one challenge, for our grandchildren’s generation.

          • notanoilman says:

            It will be way too late by then. We should have started a generation ago.


      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi George,

        From the last glacial maximum (LGM) to the Holocene pre-industrial average the Earth System sensitivity was about 5.5 C for a doubling of CO2. If we are able to stabilize atmospheric CO2 at about 450 ppm, that would correspond to about a 3.75 C rise in temperature.
        One possible thing that is different is that ice sheets are much smaller today than at the LGM, about one tenth the size. If much of the extra 2.5 C of sensitivity (above the typical 3 C ECS) is due to albedo, then the ice sheets that are one tenth the size compared to the LGM in the Northern hemisphere, might reduce the earth system sensitivity to 0.25 C above the ECS to only 3.25 C. That would correspond to a 2.2 C rise in temperature for 450 ppm of CO2 above preindustrial Holocene average temperatures. Not good, but perhaps not catastrophic.

        Much depends on leaving a large part of fossil fuel resources in the ground.

        Hopefully as these resources deplete and become more expensive, alternatives will be chosen because they are cheaper, we are already moving in that direction with wind and solar in some places, there will be some places where wind and solar will not be practical (high latitudes) and nuclear may be the cheapest choice in those areas.

        In every case we will find ways to improve technology to make wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear power cheaper, possibly to the point where synthetic fuel is viable, using excess wind and solar power in high resource areas to produce it (no such process is economically viable today, but may become so in the future with higher fossil fuel prices and the need for energy storage mediums.)

        • George Kaplan says:

          Sounds great … except go here, https://robertscribbler.com/2017/04/14/no-el-nino-but-march-of-2017-was-the-second-hottest-ever-recorded/#comments, find a comment by ‘wili’ and he lists 28 peer reviewed, recent papers that pretty much say the opposite. Given recent observations that all seem to indicate accelerated warming, I think I tend increasingly towards their view.

        • Nick G says:

          I agree (relative to the 2nd half of your comment, which I’m more interested in). A couple of quibbles:

          there will be some places where wind and solar will not be practical (high latitudes

          You can always import electricity, just as very many countries import coal and gas now.

          As a useful context: wind and solar are more widely distributed than coal and gas. So, if you want something that minimizes imports around the globe: you want renewables. Now, nuclear would work…but it’s not essential in order to build a system that’s better than the status quo.

          we will find ways to …make wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear power cheaper, possibly to the point where synthetic fuel is viable… (no such process is economically viable today

          I think you’re looking to convey the idea of “competitive”, rather than “viable”. I think “competitive” would be clearer.

  25. Doug Leighton says:


    Putting aside species-ending events like an asteroid strike, nuclear winter or deadly pandemic, history tells us that it’s usually a plethora of factors that contribute to collapse. What are they, and which, if any, have already begun to surface? It should come as no surprise that humanity is currently on an unsustainable and uncertain path – but just how close are we to reaching the point of no return?

    According to findings that Motesharrei and his colleagues published in 2014, there are two factors that matter: ecological strain and economic stratification. The ecological category is the more widely understood and recognized path to potential doom, especially in terms of depletion of natural resources such as groundwater, soil, fisheries and forests – all of which could be worsened by climate change.

    That economic stratification may lead to collapse on its own, on the other hand, came as more of a surprise to Motesharrei and his colleagues. Under this scenario, elites push society toward instability and eventual collapse by hoarding huge quantities of wealth and resources, and leaving little or none for commoners who vastly outnumber them yet support them with labor. Eventually, the working population crashes because the portion of wealth allocated to them is not enough, followed by collapse of the elites due to the absence of labor. The inequalities we see today both within and between countries already point to such disparities. For example, the top 10% of global income earners are responsible for almost as much total greenhouse gas emissions as the bottom 90% combined. Similarly, about half the world’s population lives on less than $3 per day.

    For both scenarios, the models define a carrying capacity – a total population level that a given environment’s resources can sustain over the long term. If the carrying capacity is overshot by too much, collapse becomes inevitable. That fate is avoidable, however. “If we make rational choices to reduce factors such as inequality, explosive population growth, the rate at which we deplete natural resources and the rate of pollution – all perfectly doable things – then we can avoid collapse and stabilize onto a sustainable trajectory,” Motesharrei said. “But we cannot wait forever to make those decisions.”

    Unfortunately, some experts believe such tough decisions exceed our political and psychological capabilities. “The world will not rise to the occasion of solving the climate problem during this century, simply because it is more expensive in the short term to solve the problem than it is to just keep acting as usual,” says Jorgen Randers, a professor emeritus of climate strategy at the BI Norwegian Business School, and author of 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years. “The climate problem will get worse and worse and worse because we won’t be able to live up to what we’ve promised to do in the Paris Agreement and elsewhere.”


    • If the carrying capacity is overshot by too much, collapse becomes inevitable. That fate is avoidable, however. “If we make rational choices to reduce factors such as inequality, explosive population growth, the rate at which we deplete natural resources and the rate of pollution.

      No, no, no. Some individuals make rational choices but the vast majority of the population do not. Our fate is in the hands of the masses, not a few insightful individuals. If the last presidential election proved anything it proved that the masses are as dumb as dirt. They don’t give a damn about the environment and, they believe, no one can change the weather except God.

      All the bad things that are happening right now, due to the dramatic overshoot of the world’s population, will continue to happen until total collapse. Collapse of civilization as we know it is happening right now. And it will continue to happen until the ultimate collapse. No rational argument, or appeal to reason can stop it. Because the masses are not subject to rational argument or reason, only emotion and their welfare of the moment.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        I agree. If we as a species were going to make the choices required to prevent population overshoot, before it was too late, we would have already done so — before it became too late. We didn’t (and we won’t.) Not sure I got my grammar correct in that sentence but you get the idea. In any case, while we bullshit back and forth the planet’s population grows by another 80 million per year driving more and more nails in the (our) coffin.

        • Nick G says:

          Population has little to do with it.

          The first immigrants to N. America managed to extinguish mammoths and other large animals. The same happened in Australia.

          The US population was 10% of today when it extinguished bison, wolves, passenger pigeons, etc., etc., etc.

          There have been no wolves in Britain for a very long time, and the population was a lot smaller when they were wiped out.

          I agree that humanity is making a risky mistake by wiping out wildlife, but population has little to do with it. Maybe makes the process just a little faster, but that’s all.

          Why? Because until very recently most of humanity thought wildlife was…undesirable. A pesky problem. Better to eliminate it, and replace it with something curated, domesticated.

          Think of how people perceive one of the most common forms of urban wildlife: rats. They see them as a mortal enemy, to be wiped out.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Population has a lot to do with it.

            “We are currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day. It could be a scary future indeed, with as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century.”

            The latest UN projections indicate that world population will reach 10 billion in the year 2056 (six years earlier than previously estimated).


          • Population has everything to do with it.

            Half of World’s Wildlife Been Lost in Past 40 Years.

            This “Living Planet Index” declined by 52 percent between 1970 and 2010, “a much bigger decrease than has been reported previously,” according to the report.

            The 52 percent figure refers to a general trend of vertebrate species populations shrinking, on average, to about half the size that they were 40 years ago, according to WWF spokesperson Molly Edmonds.

            The report attributes the declines primarily to habitat loss and degradation, hunting and fishing, and climate change.

            Just because we wiped out a lot of species a century or two ago does not mean it was not, even then, caused by our population increase.
            We did it then and we are doing it now in even greater numbers because our numbers are even greater now, and getting larger.

            Britain killed off the wolves a long time ago because of an increase in Homo Sapiens. They have killed off a lot of other species since then because of the same reason.

            The human population killed off the bison of America, also the passenger pigeon. Earlier human population killed off the woolly mammoth and a lot of other species. Just because the spreading human population killed off a lot of species centuries ago does not mean that the spreading human population is not responsible for the massive extinction we are seeing today. Good God Nick, what kind of logic are you using?

            I mean goddammit man, a smaller population killed off a few species, then as the population grew they killed off more species, and now when the population is massive, the kill off is even more massive, with half the world’s population of wildlife killed off in the last 40 years.

            Dammit man, how can anyone possibly claim that the massive human population is not to blame?

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Time Has Got Nothing To Do With It

            “Make me a mannered, a mannered thing
            Carved of wood, a life force thing
            Give it an arm, that points to the earth
            And a hand, that points at me

            No matter where I stand
            No matter where I stand
            And knows all that we can’t see…”

    • Nick G says:

      The world will not rise to the occasion of solving the climate problem during this century, simply because it is more expensive in the short term to solve the problem than it is to just keep acting as usual

      I am godawful tired of this refrain. It’s just not true.

      What is it about professor emerituses (emeriti?) that makes them come out with this stuff? Retirement is just too boring? Got to stir things up? Or, are they just out of touch with the latest developments?

      A minority of a minority is the problem: Fossil Fuel investors, especially the Kochs. They put out this unending message that we need FF, that FF is less expensive, that getting rid of FF will cause catastrophe. Meanwhile, EVs are cheaper than ICEs (to own AND operate), and renewables are cheaper than coal (and maybe gas, if people like Mike are right about it being underpriced). It’s very similar to the car industry: raising fuel efficiency standards (CAFE) is extremely cost effective (for the consumer, anyway), with a very short payback period, but the car industry incessantly says that CAFE regs will be the death of them.

      The alternatives to FF are cheaper and better. Get over it, already…

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Says the idiot who thinks all problems will be solved with more EVs.

        • Nick G says:

          Ah, come on. Can’t you think of something smarter than insults??

          EVs solve the problem of oil consumption by passenger vehicles, and short range freight. Other things solve other problems: rail for long distance land freight; wind, solar and nuclear for coal; etc, etc.

          This professor, this useful idiot, claims that solving climate change is too expensive. Well, the Fossil Fuel part isn’t.


          • GoneFishing says:

            Nick is right, there is a huge amount of money to be made converting energy to PV, wind and storage. The smart money will go there.

        • Survivalist says:

          Here is an interesting discussion that pertains to Nick G’s techno-hopium growth fetish. I quite like Roger Boyd’s responses to Nick’s assertions.


          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            “With truly democratic government the pain of rapid carbon emission cuts can be shared fairly – i.e. those that benefit the most from the current carbon economy should take the greatest burden.” ~ Roger Boyd

            The implications in that statement are very loaded. LOL

            Eventually the human world will come around, whether willingly, or by the scruff of the neck and a whole lot of kicking and screaming via the hands of Mother Nature. Maybe her hands will become fists and pound the things into extinction and put them out of their miseries.

            Working with nature also means– believe it or not– working with people and true communities in equable fashion and leaving them alone to thrive, if helping them do so, if only where they request it (unless they are so far gone that they can’t?).

            Some people, however, try as we might for their understanding, still seem in this regard, to need more than an argument supported with quoted material– maybe some kind of drilled-in implant? But even then…

            As much as some people might pride themselves in their knowledge of science and math, there’s an area of math that a child could understand, its implications that nevertheless appear to elude them, namely, the math of initial conditions

            Throw oligarchy(/contrived/coerced privilege/status-plays, etc.) into the equation, run the simulation over time, scale and complexity, and see what happens. What happens? Quite possibly– unless you’re an ant or bee– a general sense of lack of belonging, social malaise and general social erosion, crime, poverty, landlessness, civil unrest, war, and ecocide, etc..

            Sound familiar?

          • Nick G says:


            I got discouraged with Boyd – he didn’t seem interested in new ideas. For instance, he simply dismissed the idea that the “solutions are too expensive” meme is a FF industry talking point. Which it clearly is. The FF industry would love nothing more than to have environmentalists believe that eliminating FF would be very, very painful for most people. They love it when people talk that up – it makes their job (delaying change) much easier.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Doug your comment makes it clear your comprehension problem is in the league of idiots.

          Nick refuted a specific comment by the author. Nowhere does Nick claim to solve all problems. What Nick points out is the BAU lie of the fossil fuel industry.

          I would much rather read a comment from someone who spells out one of the answers to the worlds problems. Then a do nothing complainer crying about their grand children.

          Nick has been pointing out the future of EV’s for years with more correct insight than anyone that posts here. The problem is the BAU fossil fuel can’t live without deniers, who live in their bubble.

          It’s time for you to look in the mirror.

      • George Kaplan says:

        “Population has little to do with it” is the most ridiculous statement I have ever read here – it beats all of the denier stuff hands down. If a minority of a minority is the problem and you increase the population by a factor of 100 but their ratio stays the same, then the problem is 100 times s bad. And that is what has happened. The fact that small populations of humans managed to destroy large amounts of wildlife just means the threshold was lower. If there were no humans the wildlife would have survived. And I agree with Doug on the endless EV posts – they are take more trouble to scroll over now than Javier used to be.

        • Nick G says:


          We’d all have more productive debates if…we made an effort to understand what the other person was trying to say, rather than just trying to find a way to make the other’s argument look bad.

          The point is, it’s a choice. Do we choose to preserve wildlife? If so, it can be done with 7B humans or 10B humans. If not, it can’t and won’t be done with 100M humans.

          If humans make a choice to destroy wildlife, if the number of humans were 1% as large, they could destroy wildlife just as effectively – it would just take a little longer.

          Population isn’t the problem, it’s our current approach to our ecosystem.

          Why do I make a point of this?

          Because population is a red herring. It’s both very, very slow to change, and it’s not the real problem. The real problem is cultural and economic resistance to change, which is a set of political and social problems.

          It’s time for us to tackle those problems, instead of putting our head in the sand and saying nothing can be done.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Nick, it is one thing to actually mean what one writes versus simply paying lip-service to it. In the same breath, it is one thing to acknowledge another’s side of an argument and yet another to actually accept it and as a result change one’s discourse.

            I notice you bumping into the word, ‘oligarchy’, but do you know that so-called government supports/feeds it by law? If so– and you acknowledge that (maybe you already have?)– then would you have to change your discourse to accommodate, such as maybe how that kind of thing might affect your ostensible cherished ideals about PV’s and EV’s?

            Incidentally, if read correctly, Doug seems to have just suggested you an idiot, and you in turn, someone else. If so, are you going to now ignore Doug’s comments, and even your own in a way, like you’ve been ignoring mine over the past year or two? This is not to suggest that I care per se, but a point or more are being made by it. One of them is that if you ignore someone who you may disagree with– on whatever grounds– what else might you ignore as part of your personal modus operandi?

            Whether a population is a problem to itself or not would seem to depend on many things, such as it’s environment’s carrying capacity.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              I will qualify the above with ‘avoid replying’ which is not to necessarily ignore a comment. ‘u^

          • OFM says:

            Hi Nick,

            You have displayed an utterly astounding lack of understanding of the abc’s of the basic sciences, and of human nature as well.

            In the past, I thought you were just a true believer in technology, after the fashion of true believers in Jesus, or communism, or other such isms.

            There’s an old saying that goes to the effect “Beware a man who has read only one book” .

            You appear to be classic example of that kind of man.

            It’s unquestionably true that you possess considerable insight into the role of technology, historically speaking, and that you understand the possibilities of future technologies. But it’s hard to conclude anything other than that you WORSHIP at the altar of technology.

            Now I call old HB stupid on a regular basis, but that’s not necessarily because I think he IS stupid, in respect to his political message.

            It’s possible that he is simply a hard core partisan who understands sticking to the partisan message. Preachers do the same thing, they just deny any possibility they are wrong, and deny any possibility their critics are right. This technique works on simple minded foot soldiers, and it’s as old as recorded history, at least. Questioning a person’s tribal loyalties is a tried and true technique for keeping them in line.

            Forcing them into the position of repeating and defending tribal dogma is an extension of this tried and true technique, even if they are personally convinced the dogma is flawed.

            I’m free to criticize my Baptist community here in this forum, because my local community is unaware of my online identity, and unaware of this forum. But it would cost me, in terms of my relations with my neighbors, if I were to start calling the locals superstitious, and got into a public argument with the preacher about the reality of evolution. It’s in my own best enlightened personal interest to avoid such confrontations, locally. I don’t say much, publicly, locally, that would allow the preachers to paint me as a heretic and atheist.

            But I throw a lot of monkey wrenches into their religious gears, by openly talking about deep time, geological time, the realities that stars are suns, the existence in the past of monsters such as T Rex, etc. They don’t know how to counter remarks of this sort,which eat away at the authority of the church slowly but steadily, like acid rain on a marble statue. They don’t know how to defend making women second to men anymore, except by trying to quote old dogma, which doesn’t work anymore.

            The women would rather BE outcasts these days than to accept second class status, so they just quit coming to church, or go to a different church, or start a new one of their own.

            The technique of calling such a partisan as HB stupid, repeatedly, over time, also works, in opening the mind (of any reader of my comments ) so that evidence contrary to ( HB’s in this case ) dogma is eventually given due consideration.

            I may never succeed in getting a hard core HRC fan to accept my estimation of her shortcomings, but that’s ok. I’m still scoring points for the best, as I see things, if I only get such a person to recognize the fact that in future elections, it would be better to run a candidate with better polling numbers, and with less baggage, since everything else equal, this is obviously more likely to result in actually WINNING ELECTIONS.

            So maybe old HB ISN’T actually stupid, and maybe I have never really believed he is, given the possibility he’s simply preaching that partisan message for and to the simple minded, doing whatever he can to keep any readers from considering what I have to say. He and I both understand that repetition of a message, true or false, works. This is why beer and car companies constantly advertise their products, which aren’t really any different from their competitors.

            Do you actually BELIEVE that the human race has the capacity to act rationally, on the grand scale?

            It is just barely within the realm of the possible that we COULD so act, collectively, but the possibility that we can and WILL do so approaches zero, as a practical matter.


            In the simplest terms I can come up with, there is this thing in nature called competition, and nature doesn’t give a flying fuck what survives, or does not. Nature is not sentient.

            Competition exists at many levels. It’s mostly inter species, in general terms. But when a species such as man comes to dominate any given territory, the competition morphs into INTRA species competition.

            Some men, most men, will always do whatever they believe is in their own best interest, at the expense of the whole of mankind. It’s virtually impossible for the vast majority of men to comprehend that their own actions might doom their grandchildren, because as a matter of fact, their own actions, AS INDIVIDUALS, will NOT doom their grandchildren.

            As my old buddy and drinking companion and personal attorney and hard core Democrat puts it, he raised two daughters who graduated from tony universities, young women who are classic liberal young big D women.

            They’re all on board with cleaning up the environment, so long as it doesn’t interfere with THEIR life in the doing of it.

            Their DADDY says let the power go off twice, because there’s a shortage of natural gas, or the local nukes go down for some reason, and they will be PERFECTLY ready to go back to burning coal.

            I guess he knows them, lol. I guess I understand human nature. I guess you don’t.

            Tell us how you would go about convincing rich Chinese they ought not eat endangered animals simply to display the fact they can afford to do so. Tell me how you will convince ALL the importers of plants and animals, or ALL the sellers of the same, who are either ignorant or uncaring of the consequences of their imports becoming pests, to go into another line of work.

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              Hey shit for brains, do you realize your statement below makes Nick’s point ? That’s it’s not quantity but the culture of human beings that’s the problem. The quantity only effects the speed at which it happens.

              “Tell us how you would go about convincing rich Chinese they ought not eat endangered animals simply to display the fact they can afford to do so. Tell me how you will convince ALL the importers of plants and animals, or ALL the sellers of the same, who are either ignorant or uncaring of the consequences of their imports becoming pests, to go into another line of work.”


              “given the possibility he’s simply preaching that partisan message for and to the simple minded”

              OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster, I learned it from you. But if I have to say so myself, I’m better at it then you. Looks like you have even given up your old screen name of 10 years. Next thing you know, you will be giving up your old email address and server. Things must not be going so well for you Baby Dog.

            • Nick G says:


              I’m disappointed in your reply. Why get personal? And why go off on what you would describe as a rant?


              Now, the frustrating thing is that your response doesn’t reply to my comment at all. I argued that population is a red herring, and that we need to look at resistance to change by FF interests.

              You replied that human nature is hard to change. But…how does changing fertility have *less* to do with changing human nature?? I’d say that changing fertility is a lot harder than changing the type of fuel one uses in one’s car! Or, convincing Chinese that Viagra really is more effective than rhino horn.

              And, you suggested that I put too much faith in technology, when in fact I was arguing the technology isn’t the problem, it’s politics.

              Now, you’ve brought up “changing human nature”. I wasn’t talking about that at all – changing politics isn’t the same as changing human nature, so in several ways that’s changing the subject, but I’ll respond to it anyway. I could give lots of examples of humanity “cleaning up it’s act” and getting smarter, but I think an old aphorism will do:

              “A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he lost his keys and they both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, and that he lost them in the park. The policeman asks why he is searching here, and the drunk replies, “this is where the light is”.

              So. Do we look at population (or geology, or technology, etc, etc), because they seem easier to change, or do we look at the real problems, even if they seem harder to tackle??

              • GoneFishing says:

                I have to agree with Nick on this one. Population is a lesser factor in the eradication of species. Increasing technology, energy availability and societal dependence on growth has accelerated our destructive capabilities far faster than mere population growth.
                Now just a few people can cut down a forest in a short time since they have access to powerful machinery. They can poison large areas with chemicals. One person can undo the conservation efforts of hundreds of people just using machinery and chemicals.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Hi George,

          Do you brush and floss your teeth ?

          “If a minority of a minority is the problem and you increase the population by a factor of 100 but their ratio stays the same, then the problem is 100 times s bad”

          I was born with a mouth full of gums and no teeth. It didn’t take long before teeth started showing up in my mouth. Before I knew it, I had a set of 20 of them. Sure enough my parents sent me to the dentist. Only to find out that the minority of the minority of them had a cavity. Well guess what. The dentist didn’t pull out all my teeth. He did a restoration proceed on my minority of the minority. Then sent me home with a toothbrush and told me to make sure that I also floss.

          Today I still have all 32. Something only about 5 percent of adults population can say. It’s all about management practices. I thank BaJesus the dentist didn’t diagnose my dental problem at the time as having to many teeth and started pulling them.

          When Nick writes a post. I don’t skip over it. I enjoy reading it to educate myself.

          Still smiling, hopefully you get the point and it’s doesn’t go to the top of your head.

          Education Rules

    • J,Pemberton says:

      To alter our main economic model from progression to sustainability is overdue by a long way and would do much to decrease the odds of western civilization completely collapsing. That is, constructing reservoirs instead of some more condos and strip malls, fully utilizing our rich oil and coal resources to build strategically located nuclear power plants and better, more cost effective/energy efficient building materials along with better planning and distribution of fully renewable resources like timber and foodstuffs, is a good thing. Furthermore, public education about current population growth is also way overdue. Creating an optimal number of people who can be properly educated and employed with a certain basic level of intensity and focus on each individual will lead to a society where each individual has the potential to live a completely free, comfortable, productive existence.

      But trying to force all this potential inorganically through the guise of “carbon emissions” and “carbon footprint taxes” is a nothing but a sick joke. It only takes three quarters or so of a functioning brain to see that these kinds of controls are overreaching economic ploys designed to increase the disparity between the world of those who have and the world of those who don’t. By definition, then, a fascist tactic leading down the slippery slope of wars over resources and personal freedoms.

      Throughout human history, leading by an example has always been the best way to lead. America did that better than any other country for more than a century up until about a decade ago. Now America has these big climate change crusaders like Al Gore and they absolutely don’t lead by an example. In fact, their hypocrisy seems to know no bounds! They have massive homes, constantly jet set around the world in private aircraft, and make heavy dirty deals on the putting greens of their country clubs. Well, these actions only serve to show the world your concern for yourself! Obviously that kind of agenda is a slap in the face to people who are actually concerned about the environment. If I had my way, these people would be tarred and feathered to be ran out of town on a rail or at the very least imprisoned for life!

      • Lloyd says:

        This is a dialogue pair: it pretends to be in response to Doug’s original comment, but is instead an irritating strawman argument.

        • Nick G says:

          Interestingly, it pretends to agree with sustainability concerns, but then goes on to trash strategies for achieving sustainability.

  26. Survivalist says:

    An interesting site for displaying data

    East Siberian Sea: Long time anomalies from 15°C to 25°C.
    7-day forecast: 0°C/2°C.


  27. GoneFishing says:

    Go ahead, ignore major feedbacks like albedo changes from loss of ice and snow cover. Makes things easier at the conference table while nature is just taking the reins and driving climate change on it’s own. The Paris climate agreement woefully underestimates what is needed to reduce global warming.

    Written almost a year ago.

  28. Hightrekker says:

    Electric cars face cost pressures as key metals soar

    Cobalt up more than twofold since last year


    • GoneFishing says:

      In EV’s cobalt is present at 0.1 gram per watt hour. That puts about 13 pounds of cobalt in a 60 kwh battery. Doubling the price of cobalt adds about $178 to the battery. Would an EV buyer even notice that amount?

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        They would if or when other materials add up.

        Any new developments since I mentioned U-shaped cost curves hereon, BTW?

    • Nick G says:

      It’s useful to look at commodity price trends over longer periods. The current price of cobalt is not that much higher than the long term average.

  29. Hightrekker says:

    March set a remarkable new record for global warming, NOAA reports
    First time any month was more than 1.8°F warmer than normal “in the absence of an El Niño episode.”

    Buckle up, campers!

  30. GoneFishing says:

    Greenland ice cap is often in the news with melt ponds and cracks forming. With much of the ice cap over a mile high, the lapse rate of -0.71 C per 100 meter helps to keep the top of the ice cap cold. Despite that, melting is occurring along the more southern and western portions of the ice cap. A rare warming event as happened in 2012 can cause melting across the whole ice cap surface.
    But the lapse rate operates in both directions. As melting causes a lowering of the ice cap, it will get 0.71 C warmer per 100 meter loss. Add to the that the effect of global warming this century will have the effect of moving the ice cap about seven degrees south. The altitude factor is a definite positive feedback which will accelerate melting with time.
    The negative feedback factor is that Greenland will rise as the ice departs. Since most of the ice was lost during the Eemian, I expect that land rise is not much of a factor. So we have a fast feedback system to reduce ice in the Greenland ice sheet.

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