380 Responses to Open Thread Non-Petroleum, April 29, 2017

  1. Doug Leighton says:


    SL: And then there’s the president, who claimed climate change is a Chinese hoax. What about changing his mind?

    JT: Donald Trump clearly has lightly held views about climate, which means they can be easily moved. He has no ideology whatsoever, so the last person in the room who talks to him is the guy who wins the policy debate.


    • Fred Magyar says:

      From the link:

      THE HARDEST PART of reversing the warming of the planet may be convincing climate change skeptics of the need to do so.

      Since we know, that making someone understand something when his or her salary, depends on his or her, not, understanding it is exceedingly difficult, perhaps we should consider paying them to understand it? We are already fast entering a world where we may have to pay people not to work. Adding a little extra to make them understand things like climate change shouldn’t be that much of a stretch. It may be a tad more humane than lining them up against a wall and summarily executing them for crimes of stupidity against humanity and we could add it to the tax bill of the 0.01% who currently hold over 50% of all global wealth and assests… /sarc

    • Political Economist says:

      Well, some Chinese claim “climate change” is a western conspiracy to derail the Chinese industrialization

    • Bergen Johnson says:

      “Donald Trump clearly has lightly held views about climate, which means they can be easily moved.”

      I disagree with JT. Trump takes on whatever his deplorables think and sticks to it. He even met with Gore and DiCaprio and it made no difference whatsoever. If his followers thought liberals were on Mars he’d stand by that too.

      • Boomer II says:

        He may continue to tell his supporters that climate change is a hoax, but oil companies are pressing him to stay in the Paris Accord.

        The military is also basing future security scenarios on climate change, and also trying to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

        So my guess is that Trump will say whatever he thinks will keep is supporters happy, but deals will be done behind the scenes and they won’t be told about them.

        It’s like him continuing to say he’ll bring back coal, but he won’t. And him saying he will open up more areas to gas and oil drilling when low prices will discourage companies from going into areas that are expensive to drill.

        Most of his supporters don’t appear to do much research, so they will likely believe whatever he tells them, even if companies are doing something entirely different.

  2. Preston says:

    Tesla recently applied for a patent for a new automatic supercharger system. It connects to the bottom of the car automatically and provides both power and cooling to enable faster charging rates.

    ‘Charging station providing thermal conditioning of electric vehicle during charging session’

    They don’t say how fast, but in Europe a consortium has announced a 350KW system and when asked about it, Elon tweeted 350KW was childsplay. The current Tesla superchargers are 120KW per pair of stations and support about 1 hour charging. It might be possible to do up to 750KW – supporting 6 minute charging.

    Standard Li-ion 18650’s used in the Tesla model S and X are rated at 1C charge and discharge rates. “1C” means one times the cell capacity, so a 3AHr rated cell can be charged or discharged at 3A max. It takes about 1 hour to fully charge these cells (actually a little over an hour since the charge rate tappers off towards the end of the charge cycle). There are Li-Ion cells rated at 10C discharge and 10C charging is possible technically. These 10C cells are used in e-cigs and hover boards – yes they have safety issues. But, with proper thermal control it might just work.

    Some of the cars in Europe already charge in 30 minutes and the new 350KW stations should get that down to 15-20 minutes, which seems good enough to me, but Tesla just keeps surprising so maybe it’s possible – 6 minute charging!!!

    We don’t have all the specs on the new 2170 batteries being produced by Tesla,but if the are 10C rated then not only will they charge fast, but the new roadster they are building will be able to use all that power. That’s going to be crazy fast.

    • OFM says:

      The physics and engineering involved are basically way over my head, but I know enough to understand that charging and discharging LI batteries generates a lot of heat, and that the batteries of course must be kept from overheating. So maybe they CAN be designed to be charged in a matter of five or ten minutes, if they can be kept from overheating.

      If this works, SOMEBODY is going to have to build some whopping big assed service drops at charging stations, and unless these stations are real close to a high capacity main transmission line, they’re going to cost both arms and both legs, if they’re capable of charging more than maybe half a dozen cars simultaneously.

      But if such fast charging turns out to be feasible, I suppose the charging stations will be built, although the chicken and egg question still applies. Maybe Tesla will be able to afford the upfront investment, but I don’t see anybody else here in the USA being willing to step up and make such a big investment.

      • notanoilman says:

        A supermarket might use 285kW, malls much more. It is easily doable.


        • OFM says:

          Supermarkets and malls have dozens, hundreds, even thousands of customers all at the same instant in time.

          Making a couple of thousand kilowatts available at a convenience store is going to be a lot harder than it looks at first glance. A LOT of new transmission lines will have to go up , lots more transformers will be needed, more capacity will be needed all the way back to the centrally located generating plant, etc, if electric cars and very fast charging become the new normal.

          • Nick G says:

            A LOT of new transmission lines…lots more transformers…more capacity …if electric cars and very fast charging become the new normal.

            Which is why it’s unlikely that very fast charging will become the new normal.

            It makes no sense: 90% of driving is within 30 miles of home, and cars are driven an average of only 30 miles per day. Most charging should take place at lower rates, at home or at work.

            Tesla Superchargers are explicitly not intended to be the dominant form of charging: they’re for long distance travel, for a mid-day recharge.

            • Preston says:

              Nick, Yes that’s true with today’s Tesla where almost all owners have large houses with garages. But moving forward they also want to be viable for people without garages. Currently, the superchargers are mostly along the freeways, but these new ones will be in urban areas specifically to support people without garages.

              If there are 10 cars needing charging, it’s the same power doing 10 for an hour, or one at a time for 6 minutes. One at a time takes less space.

              • Nick G says:

                The vast majority of Supercharger stations were so far built along highways and popular routes, and while there were sometimes one or two stations within metro areas, Tesla is now clearly focusing on adding stations directly in cities. A good example is New York City. Tesla never installed a Supercharger in Manhattan, one of the richest and most densely populated city on earth. Instead, it installed hundreds of lower-powered Destination chargers since the city is more of a destination, where you stop for longer periods of time. Now they plan on adding three Supercharger stations in Manhattan and several more in other boroughs.

                So, there are hundreds of Destination chargers in Manhattan, and they’re planning to add three Supercharger stations…

                Again: the average driver might need supercharging for a long distance trip 3 or 4 times per year (2 trips per year, with 1 or two mid-day charges for each trip). The rest of the time they only need about 7 kWhs per day. That’s easy to do at 1,500 watts (equal to a hair dryer, on a 120v, 15 amp circuit) for 5 hours.

                The average car is idle 23 hours per day, and only needs 5 hours of very low power charging, at home, at work, or in an outside parking spot. More than 50% of cars are housed in single family garages (many urban dwellers don’t own cars, especially the lowest income quintile), and 90% are housed off-street. Of course, go to Canada and Sweden, and you’ll see on-street power: it’s for the engine block heaters!

            • Preston says:

              Also, Tesla is moving forward with their ride sharing program. If you own a Tesla you will be able to send your car out at night (on it’s own in autonomous mode) to work for you. Now, you can’t use Lift or Uber and Tesla will take half of the money.

              With ride sharing in urban areas, the cars need a way to recharge automatically and that’s what these new stations provide. The quicker the re-charge, the more money that can be made.

              • HVACman says:

                The concept for urban ride sharing that I believe GM and others are exploring would use wireless-charging-equipment. Autonomous EV’s, between dispatches, would find EV-specific parking lots with wireless re-charging facilities in every slot. They would just opportunity-charge at “normal” charge rates” – like 7 kW, which the new SAE wireless standard has already been tested to.. That wold be about 25 mph of charging speed. If an EV drives 150 miles/day (a lot of driving in an urban setting), it would only require about 6 hours of “off” time at a charge-park to stay perpetually-charged without human intervention or fast-charging. A single parking lot with 50 7-kw chargers could keep probably 100 autonomous EV’s on the streets driving 15,000 vehicle- miles each day with just a single 400 KW electrical service. This is very do-able and cost-effective with current charging technology. The autonomous part is what still needs some work.

                • Preston says:

                  The Tesla system uses an x-y platform to automatically align to a physical connector. This is more efficient than wireless charging. With 6 minute charging, you only need 1 stall to support that fleet of 100 cars doing 150 miles per day. That’s charging 10 cars per hour for 10 hours. It might even support 200 cars. Each car is only out of service for 6 minutes per day. You will need a smart algorithm to schedule the charging for each car, but that’s just the right algorithm.

                  Having space for 50 stalls is very expensive in the city, plus having the cars out of service that long is not an efficient use of capital. But Tesla also will have lower power versions of the automatic charger without the cooling system. It should be competitive with the wireless systems. Oh, and I almost forgot but 50 stalls doing 7KW is 350KW total so the Tesla charger is only twice that.

          • Preston says:

            Well, at least 1 Megawatt isn’t 1.21 Gigawatts, but we are having a similar reaction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjCRUvX2D0E

            I agree it doesn’t seem easy, but I wonder how much power a laundromat requires? Somehow Tesla keeps pulling it off…

            Also, Tesla charges just a couple of cents extra per KWHr over retail, in California it’s 20 cents per KWHr and 10 cents in Nevada so the cost per recharge is pretty low.

            • HVACman says:

              Commercial laundromats mostly use LPG or NG for their hot water and drying. Their electrical loads are relatively modest.

      • Preston says:

        The patent is basically about dealing with the heat, it should be doable. Tesla superchargers often have several of the 120KW stations at each location now, so doing one or two of these super fast ones isn’t any harder. Yes, I thought that would of been a lot harder – but that’s the thing about Tesla, they keep beating expectations.

        We expected Tesla would build an electric car, but who expected them to also be the fastest production cars? Who expected them to be self-driving? Who expected a nationwide network of superchargers? They are just amazing.

        BTW, A lower power version of this charger without added cooling is likely to be available for the home so the car can charge itself automatically.

        There are other networks used by the Leaf and other cars. I’d expect the 350KW network to be built -certainly in Europe for BMW and Volkswagen- and likely in the US also. The E-golf already does 30 minute charging and with the 350KW network, it will likely drop to 15 minutes. Volkswagon is going all in with electric and will have a bunch of cool cars in a couple of years.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          We expected Tesla would build an electric car, but who expected them to also be the fastest production cars?

          Fun to watch a stock Tesla on the drag strip. It’s a nice antidote to all the noise and smoke…

          Tesla P100D Takes Over Multiple Drag Racing

          Also some news and the latest video from Jack Rickard at EVTV

          • OFM says:

            Hi Fred,

            It’s ALL ABOUT the noise and the smoke. Fans go to this sort of spectacle for the same reasons they go to rock concerts, professional or near professional sporting events such as college football, etc. It’s all about the spectacle, the noise , showmanship, the contest between high ranking individuals to determine who the alpha will be, etc. The fans identify with both the drivers and the manufacturers, just as much as any sports fans identify with players and the home town team.

            I get off on Tesla’s being so fast myself, but I appreciate the bigger picture involving changing technology.

            Taking out the noise and smoke, etc, would be like dressing the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders in nun’ s habits and having them perform folk dances at half time.

            I guess you are just TOO CIVILIZED to appreciate drag racing, but at least you do drink beer, so you’re not HOPELESSLY civilized , lol.

            • HVACman says:

              Hey OFM,

              Remember “Big Daddy” Don Garlits? The king of the top-fuel dragsters in the 60’s ? The guy who revolutionized long-rail dragster design by putting the engine BEHIND him (and right over the drive wheels) so if the clutch blew, he wouldn’t lose another foot?

              Despite his advanced chronological age, he still is leading-edge when it comes to the drags. Guess he’s decided that electric is drag-racing’s future. It would be smart to not bet against him:


            • Fred Magyar says:

              I guess you are just TOO CIVILIZED to appreciate drag racing, but at least you do drink beer, so you’re not HOPELESSLY civilized , lol.

              Yeah, but I’m a pretty good chameleon and know how to blend in just about anywhere. I’m actually probably bit more of a gear head than most here might imagine and can not only talk the talk but can wield a wrench when necessary. I have a few very good friends who are topnotch mechanics and I have their respect because I’m pretty good at trouble shooting and electronics diagnostics. After all, a computer network is just a computer network even if it is built into an automobile and I have some pretty good diagnostics software. But when it comes right down to it I still enjoy the schadenfreude of a silent smokeless Tesla taking down a smoking roaring Hellcat on the drag strip 🙂

              Don’t know if you’ve checked out the links I’ve posted to Jack Rickard’s EVTV and what he has been doing with solar, building chargers and doing salvage work on wrecked Tesla’s and making it all work again.


      • alimbiquated says:

        Why not just put ice on the battery?

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Love him or hate him, Elon Musk at least has a vision of the future and his vision does not include fossil fuels.


      Elon Musk discusses his new project digging tunnels under LA, the latest from Tesla and SpaceX and his motivation for building a future on Mars in conversation with TED’s Head Curator, Chris Anderson.

      At about the 20 min mark: He talks a bit about his new all electric Semi Rig. he says that in a tug of war competition, it should be able with a full load, to still drag the most powerful diesel rig up a mountain, has better range and will be capable of driving cross country without any human control at the wheel…

      • alimbiquated says:

        Digging tunnels is all very well, and I think Elon has been watching the Chinese, who are going crazy on that front. But without sensible land use policies and sensible transportation in the tunnel it is just a waste of money.

  3. Hightrekker says:

    Democracy is crying out for opioids, and getting more addicted by the day.

  4. Rational Analyst says:

    The real reasons the coal mining industry has declined in the United States:



    Coal is not ‘coming back’…

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Rational analyst,

      Thanks. The Vox piece was very good, I only have read the summary of the longer paper.

      I agree coal is not coming back.

      From the paper summary:

      – Increased competition from cheap natural gas is responsible for 49 percent of the decline in domestic U.S. coal consumption. Lower-than-expected demand is responsible for 26 percent, and the growth in renewable energy is responsible for 18 percent. Environmental regulations have played a role in the switch from coal to natural gas and renewables in U.S. electricity supply by accelerating coal plant retirements, but were a significantly smaller factor than recent natural gas and renewable energy cost reductions.

      These 3 factors (cheap natural gas, renewables, and lower electricity demand) account for 93% of the fall in coal demand relative to expectations.
      The new regulations on coal only account for about 5% of the decline in coal demand.

      Also lower demand for metallurgical coal (produced in Appalachia) from China has also played a role in reduced coal demand from 2011 to 2015 as international coal prices fell.

    • Charles Van Vleet says:

      There’s no need for the liberal snark in that article. Just report your facts and let us decide what we think about them. Not doing that is why the MSM is going dead. What about the whole US coal industry, it’s more than just Appalachia. There’s Illinois, North Dakota,Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, all mining loads of coal as well…

      • Fred Magyar says:

        What about the whole US coal industry,

        OK! Well, what about it? It’s dead and nothing you or anyone else, can do, or say will resuscitate it!

        What about all the blacksmiths that used to forge horseshoes? Maybe we should bring back their jobs too, eh?

        US Clean Energy Jobs Surpass Fossil Fuel Jobs By 5 To 1

        Why do you hate Americans who are making a living in clean energy? You want to take away their livelihoods because the world has changed and coal is no longer economically viable? Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to train coal miners to work in the new clean energy economy. Maybe you own a coal mine or have vested interests in one.


        April 3rd, 2017
        Donald Trump’s Climate Fantasies

        Legend holds that King Canute brought his flatterers to the sea to show them that even a king could not command the ocean waves, that the laws of nature are more powerful than the decrees of men. So pity Donald Trump, who really believes that his executive orders can hold back the tides.

        Trump is surrounded by cronies rather than flatterers, and they and their foolish, ignorant king believe that by denying climate change they can restore the wealth and glory of coal, oil, and gas. They are wrong. Greed will not reverse human-caused climate change, and Trump’s executive orders will not stop the global process of phasing out coal, oil, and gas in favor of wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, geothermal, and other low-carbon energy sources.

        Read the full article at Project Syndicate.

        • Survivalist says:

          I’m not especially well informed on this matter but I’d assume coal mining is a lot of manual labour jobs and that ‘clean renewable energy™’ is likely producing jobs for the post secondary crowd. Just my WAG. And if so, then the transition is likely a source of friction between niches of society; on the one hand, those best suited or who have a preference for working the end of a shovel or some heavy equipment; and on the other, the folks with some trade school electronics or materials fabrication. Naturally, for many superficial thinkers in USA this becomes an issue between liberals and conservative values, and sensitivities towards snarkiness soon follow. Maybe snowflake needs a safe-space?

        • Matt Staben says:

          I think Trump’s doing the right thing by rolling back the untenable regulations Obama enacted with impunity and lack of regard for the consequences to the affected local economies; as if by decimating families’ livelihoods he could save the world. Trump is correct to deny climate change as being caused by West Virginians.

          I believe Climate Change is occurring, but I don’t believe there’s a damned thing we can do about it. The Ice Age is over.

          • George Kaplan says:

            Yes – I think that’s the way most deniers will be going in the future. They’ve gone through “it’s cooling”, “it’s not happening”, “it will reverse”, “we don’t know because every scientist on the planet is a liar”, “it’s good for the planet”, “it’s benign”, “it won’t be too bad”. Now it will be blaming others because they didn’t do enough to convince them, and then saying it’s too late so let’s just not think about it.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            I believe Climate Change is occurring, but I don’t believe there’s a damned thing we can do about it. The Ice Age is over.

            You are right! Fuck it! Let’s go watch pro sports…

            Here’s Trump’s first cousin doing draft picks. Maybe we can give him a cabinet post…


            NFL Network’s Charles Davis is overcome with laughter after talking about how the Indianapolis Colts have “Rocky”, an orangutan, announcing their draft picks.

          • Boomer II says:

            The big money is now telling Trump that it is in their best interest to take action to reduce carbon.

            Whatever corporate money (other than the Kochs) that has funded anti-climate information will disappear soon. The future is lower carbon because there are more economic opportunities for that than to keep insisting that it it’s okay to do nothing about it.

            The shift in thinking was always always going to happen, and its time has come.

            Why Big Oil wants Trump to stay in Paris climate agreement – Apr. 18, 2017

          • wharf rat says:

            “I don’t believe there’s a damned thing we can do about it”
            You can watch India electrify its motor pool.

            India aiming for all-electric car fleet by 2030, petrol and diesel to be tanked

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Matt Staben,



            where the researchers find (an excerpt):

            – Increased competition from cheap natural gas is responsible for 49 percent of the decline in domestic U.S. coal consumption. Lower-than-expected demand is responsible for 26 percent, and the growth in renewable energy is responsible for 18 percent. Environmental regulations have played a role in the switch from coal to natural gas and renewables in U.S. electricity supply by accelerating coal plant retirements, but were a significantly smaller factor than recent natural gas and renewable energy cost reductions.

            – Changes in the global coal market have played a far greater role in the collapse of the U.S. coal industry than is generally understood. A slow-down in Chinese coal demand, especially for metallurgical coal, depressed coal prices around the world and reduced the market for U.S. exports. More than half of the decline in U.S. coal company revenue between 2011 and 2015 was due to international factors.

            – Implementing all the actions in President Trump’s executive order to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations could stem the recent decline in U.S. coal consumption, but only if natural gas prices increase going forward. If natural gas prices remain at or near current levels or renewable costs fall more quickly than expected, U.S. coal consumption will continue its decline despite Trump’s aggressive rollback of Obama-era regulations.

          • alimbiquated says:

            >Obama enacted with impunity

            He was the elected president, and was well within his rights. Your only objection seems to be a personal grudge you have against Obama.

            Your complaints about West Virginia are nonsense. Cheap gas and falling demand are what is killing the coal industry.

            Your remarks on climate are completely unqualified as well. You don’t know what you are talking about, but you don’t care. You tell lies because lying feels good to you.

            • Boomer II says:

              And he’s on the losing side when it comes to economics. Enough companies (including fossil fuel companies) are accepting the value of lower carbon emissions that there will be very little financial support (and therefore political support) to revert back to the old days.

              It’s a position that is falling out of favor even among those who used to fight the idea. Trump supporters might still be told the government is going back to the old days, but the deals they won’t be told about will favor low carbon projects and companies.

        • OFM says:

          “So pity Donald Trump, who really believes that his executive orders can hold back the tides.”

          Something tells me that it’s a great cosmic level joke that DT also is used to indicate delerium tremens, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/166032-overview .

          It’s hard for me to decide when the things he says and does are the result of his simply being terminally stupid, or the result of cynical political posturing, or a combination of the two .

          I suspect he is smart enough that he doesn’t have any of HIS money tied up in the coal industry, or industries dependent on the coal industry, and that he is simply shooting off his mouth, and taking indecent liberties with environmental regulations, mostly for political purposes.

          Having said this much, I am not questioning the obvious fact that loosening or eliminating environmental regulations ALSO puts more money in the pockets of people who have a lot of money, such as my friend and most excellent helper HB, lol.

          The general problem is that while allowing community or industry A upstream to dump waste in the river, community B downstream, and C and D ………. have to spend more to clean up the water than A saved by avoiding doing things right in the first place.

          HB, for anybody who might have failed to notice, a few days back told us all how he is hoping to pay only a VERY MODEST capital gains tax on some stock shares he is thinking about selling. Maybe Trump, with the help of the D Lite faction of the D Party, will manage to fix the tax laws so people like my neighbors pay even larger shares of their modest incomes earned by working as factory hands, tradesmen, teachers , cops, nurses, farmers, etc, so folks like HB can pay EVEN LESS.

          I am not so big a hypocrite as to deny that I will sooner or later need a significant amount of cash money, above and beyond my very very modest cash income, and will have to sell some property, so as to generate the cash. I will also benefit from the low capital gains tax rate at that time.

          But for now, I’m not selling, because I like having control of my immediate environment, and living on a farm is about as good as it gets in that respect. I do have a neighbor within a quarter of a mile either way on the public road, but they are quiet people who live much as I do, lol.

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            Hello IRS OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster

            Short-term capital gains are taxed at the same top-tier rate as your regular income. On the other hand, long-term capital gains on most items are taxed at either 0% (for 10% and 15% tax brackets), 15% (for 25% through 35% tax brackets), or 20% (for the 39.6% tax bracket) in 2016

            The above tax laws pertain to all Americans. Even “working as factory hands, tradesmen, teachers , cops, nurses, farmers, etc”. Your just posting more Fake News and showing your ignorance.

            When are we going to see the Trumpster tax filings ? And why is he hiding them from the public ? How does eliminating the inheritance tax help your poorly educated friends that voted for Trump ? Oh, that’s right. They didn’t realize the con and neither did you.

            Your friends should have voted for HRC. She wanted to lower taxes on the poor, rise taxes on the rich and not dismantle the EPA.

            You wasted your vote

            • OFM says:

              What the law says, my friend, and what it MEANS, in terms of the tax code and day to day life, are two entirely different things, and you are just as stupid as ever, arguing that I am posting fake news.

              They have or used to have a saying over in England, to the effect that the law forbids the rich as well as the poor from sleeping under the bridges.

              The entirely pertinent fact that you so conveniently leave out is that the working people of this country generally don’t HAVE ANY MONEY in stocks or other investments to be sold AT ALL, other than maybe a very modest amount in a retirement fund, if they are so lucky , that is provided by their employer, and as a rule, such assets cannot be cashed in without quitting the job.

              You seldom ever fail to make yourself out to be an ever greater fool, in that you think your simple minded comebacks make your case for you.

              Eliminating the inheritance tax, or modifying it, will make a great deal of difference to a lot of people, who are not currently considered well to do, such as the children of farmers who might inherit a farm near a fast growing city, but I didn’t bring up the capital gains tax to either promote or demote Trump’s plan.

              I brought it up to point out to anybody who reads my comments that there really are people who pretend to be real Democrats who are actually Republican Lites.

              People like you.

              You talk the talk, but you are dumb enough to reveal that you don’t walk the walk.

              My basic argument is that if this country is to survive in a fashion that the regulars here would like, we have to get rid of the Republican Lite variety of Democrat , the kind of Democrats who are all too tightly tied to REPUBLICAN values and Republican policies.

              You claim you have a lot of money. You say you intend to pay the least possible dime in taxes, knowing that secretaries and clerks,truck drivers and cops, are paying a lot higher percentage of their much lesser incomes.

              So – WHO is the REAL Trumpster?

              Thanks again for helping me make my case.

              Half measures aren’t going to save us, politically, or environmentally, or economically. HRC might as well have been running on the R ticket, as far as the economy and the working class people of this country are concerned.

              The D elite, the ones with money that control the D party machinery, have run it into the dirt to the point that the R’s control the vast majority of all government offices in this country today. You are simply to DENSE to appreciate WHY this is so, or what can be done about it to reverse this sorry situation.

              But at least a few others who hang out here are doing some thinking about the things I have been saying.

              In order for the D party to start winning elections again, it’s going to have to pay some REAL attention to the needs, wants, desires, fears, and hopes of the REAL core of the party, the working classes of this country, which incidentally include the vast majority of the minorities of various sorts, racial, religious, ethnic, sexual orientation, etc.

              OTHERWISE……… The R party will continue to grow even more powerful than it is today, for quite some time to come.

              • OFM says:

                Here’s a link that lays out what I have been trying to get across.


                It’s short enough to just copy it all, nobody will mind that I am helping spread the word, lol.

                “More than any other Democrat currently holding elected office, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi embodies how out of touch Democratic Party leadership is with voters. Under Pelosi, Democrats lost more than 60 seats in the House of Representatives from 2008 to 2016, and her tenure represents just how corrupt the Party has become.

                Following Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential election loss, Bernie Sanders‘ supporters scoffed at Pelosi’s re-election as House Minority Leader. Democrats had abandoned all hope of party reform, and Pelosi made it clear that the Party wouldn’t do much to reverse the drastic losses suffered throughout the Obama Administration. At a private, three day conference with billionaire donors, Pelosi doubled-down on developing Party strategy—without any input from voters.

                In a December 2016 interview, Pelosi confirmed she would preserve the status quo, claiming “I don’t think people want a new direction.” At at a CNN Town Hall in February 2017, she again revealed her disdain for progressives, telling a millennial Sanders supporter who asked if the Democratic Party would embrace Sanders’ populist message: “Well, I thank you for your question, but I have to say we’re capitalists—that’s just the way it is.” Pelosi then embarked on a tone-deaf rant, arguing that the solution was to make billionaires and millionaires more empathetic. “We have to change the thinking of people,” she said. “The free market is a place that can do good things.”
                Pelosi’s attitude has incited Sanders supporters to recruit progressive candidates to challenge establishment Democrats in their primary elections. Nancy Pelosi’s challenger, employment attorney Stephen Jaffe, recently launched his campaign.

                “Two words: Bernie Sanders,” Jaffe said in an interview with the Observer when asked why he was running for Congress. “My goal is to try to pull the Democratic Party away from the establishment, corporations, big money, big oil, big pharma, and return it to the people.”

                Now Pelosi might not think the people of this country want a new direction, but ………. the evidence is overwhelming that they DO.

                I’m sure HB will change his D Lite rich guy’s stripes, because Pelosi says he should, and develop great empathy for working people, and donate all his money to a good cause, or at least be willing to pay taxes on it at the same rate as a secretary pays on her wages, lol.

                Goddamn it, the D’s who don’t get it are at LEAST as stupid as the hard core Christians who think God is a nice guy who could have saved their child from a horrible fatal disease, but for some DIVINE reason, decided the right thing was to force that child to suffer and die.

                HEY HB, how many more seats will the D party have to lose in Congress, how many more governors offices, etc, before YOU get it???????

                • HuntingtonBeach says:

                  “before YOU get it???????”

                  It works for me, your the one complaining poor me

                  • OFM says:

                    Now listen up folks, I have never engaged so long with a fool, as I have with HB, who is a true believing Clintonista.

                    “HEY HB, how many more seats will the D party have to lose in Congress, how many more governors offices, etc, before YOU get it???????

                    ““before YOU get it???????”

                    It works for me, your the one complaining poor me.”

                    He’s satisfied with Democratic Lite politics, this works for him, and he gets to pretend he’s holier than me, while paying the least dime income tax via corporate gains rather than working for wages or salary, the way the real core of the Democratic Party works.

                    And then of course it’s always somebody elses fault, generally stupid ( his words, paraphrased ) people who don’t like his culture and his politics and vote to suit themselves, for reasons that may be good or bad, but nevertheless, reasons important to them.

                    I ‘ve been running a long term experiment here in this debate, doing my best to provoke comments either pro or con.

                    My conclusions so far are only HB is dumb enough to flat out support HRC, as if she were a saint, instead of an old line machine politician lacking in integrity and judgement.

                    Technically literate people understand that Cattle Gate was a scam, a straight up fucking scam. People with respect for the SPIRIT of the law understand that the jury rigged secret email system was NOT put in place for convenience.

                    Of course very few people who actually voted for Clinton will ever admit she’s a fraud, lol, no matter how clear the evidence. Even people as intelligent as the regulars here prefer not to admit embarrassing mistakes.

                    Trump’s a pro, Clinton’s a wanna be , when it comes to both scams and politics, although she nearly managed to parlay her position as First Lady into winning the presidency.

                    She was dumb and arrogant enough to put in the email system, she was dumb and arrogant enough to ignore the real core of the D party, preferring to run on banksters money and identity politics and as a globalist when EVERYBODY was aware that the working classes and the middle class of this country were in a world of hurt, etc.

                    MY long term goal is to return control of the Democratic Party to the real core of the party, the working people and the middle class people of this country. That couldn’t happen with the Clinton machine in control.

                    Now here’s a link that I am ready to debate on first principles with anybody who cares to take it up.


                    Read it carefully, twice, before concluding Comey fucked up.

                  • HuntingtonBeach says:

                    The Trumpster says –

              • HuntingtonBeach says:

                “OTHERWISE……… The R party will continue to grow even more powerful than it is today, for quite some time to come.”

                That’s probably right, the plutocracy put in place by the Republicans since 1980 is now pretty much locked in short of civil war. Nobody is going to win that battle. You believe in heaven and are going to get hell. But you got your guns and god, plus an abortion never ending fight. Just no plumbing. You’ve been conned. Their hurting you and helping me. Unbelievable !!!!!

                How could I be a Trumpster. I voted for Hillary. You can’t say that. Which means your a Trumpster. Come on, either your with us or against ? Which is it Thumpster ?

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Is that true that OFM is KGB?

                • Trumpster says:

                  “That’s probably right, the plutocracy put in place by the Republicans since 1980 is now pretty much locked in short of civil war. Nobody is going to win that battle”.

                  Well, nobody is going to win it with the R Lite Democrats in control of the D party, they might as well just go ahead and start formally caucusing with the Republicans, and let the D’s with sense enough to understand reality ( How many seats did the D’s lose during Obama’s time, under his and Pelosi’s leadership????????) take over the D party instead of fighting to the death for CONTROL of the Democratic Party.

                  The Sanders camp, which contains most of the younger, best educated, and most dedicated Democrats, and nearly all the D leaning middle of the road voters who don’t identify with either party, will gain control sooner or later. The question is when, not if.

                  With people like you continuing to support the Clinton and business as usual faction, meaning the way the D party has been run for the last decade or two in charge, the R’s WILL continue to win elections, from dog catcher to president, excepting maybe California and a few well to do D leaning districts here and there, and in the NorthEast.

                  Bottom line, either one camp within the D party, or the other camp, has to go, and if the Clinton faction continues to control the party, well, the Trumpsters will be very very happy, and on behalf of all Trumpsters, I thank ya kindly for being so stupid and obstinate, and continuing to follow the strategies that have handed us control of the House, the Senate, the White House, the Supreme Court, all the machinery of the federal government excepting sitting federal judges, who are necessarily going to retire in considerable numbers over the next two or three or four years, due to old age, etc, control of most state governorships, state and city and loca legislatures……….

                  With friends like you, REAL Democrats don’t NEED any enemies.

                  Nobody likes having their nose rubbed in their mistakes, so I don’t expect to hear many comments, if any at all, in support of what I am saying, considering the audience here is technically sophisticated, and liberal, and for sure just voted D without ever giving ANY SERIOUS THOUGHT as to WHY the D party has been bleeding out for the last couple of decades.

                  So I am confident the message is getting thru. Nobody is going to thank me for being the messenger, but I’m not here to win a popularity contest, and it’s rather unlikely I will ever even meet anybody from this forum in person.

                  Nobody ever thanks the person who brings them bad news, after pointing out the mistakes they made, long term, which BROUGHT ON the bad news.

                  I have as tactfully as possible counseled a number of drunks, smokers, and drug addicts to give up their bad habits. Doing so has NEVER made me a new friend, because people virtually always resent anybody who points out their shortcomings free of charge. Occasionally such people listen to the same advice I gave them, FREE, when they are charged a substantial sum for it, coming from a doctor, lol.

                  But in that case, they were already halfway there, having recognized they had a real problem, otherwise they wouldn’t have been in the doctor’s office in the first place.

                  Even the ones who succeeded in changing their habits for the better still resent my pointing out that they were fucking up.

                  The same applies here of course.

                  But most of the audience here is smart enough to understand that the D message coming from the Clinton Obama business as usual R Lite Democrat Party does not resonate with the voters of this country, taken as a whole.

                  Sure Clinton won the popular vote, running against the worst candidate the R’s have EVER run, but as they say in court, it’s the PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE that counts in such matters, and the R’s have been mopping the floor with the D’s on a consistent basis for a LONG time now.

                  It takes a goddamned FOOL to believe the R’s are going to change, they’re winning, and they have no DESIRE to change, no REASON to change, as they see things.

                  If the D’s want to get back to winning, THEY will have to change.

                  Trumpster thanks all terminally stupid Democrats who still believe in the Clinton message for your support. With “enemies” like you, we don’t even need any friends to win elections one right after another, lol.

                  We Trumpsters can count on you Clinton / Pelosi/ Obama R Lite type D’s going along with us eighty or ninety percent of the time, when it really matters, as for instance when thirteen of you joined with us in killing the last bill up by the Sanders coalition that would have enabled the Medicare program to negotiate the price of drugs purchased, the way it’s done in EVERY OTHER well developed western country.

                  Trumpster is wondering if HB has stock in big pharma as well as the oil biz, lol.

                  • HuntingtonBeach says:

                    Stupid Trumpster says:

                    “It takes a goddamned FOOL to believe the R’s are going to change, they’re winning,”

                    If your winning, why are you and your friends so poor and out of a job ? Maybe that’s what Trump meant when he said “your going to get tried of winning”.

      • notanoilman says:

        It is interesting Googling that name.


    • GoneFishing says:

      During the long period of employment loss in the coal mining industry output was on the rise. Here again we have employees being displaced by technology, methods and machinery. When coal production peaked the industry had about the lowest number of employees in decades.

      • Survivalist says:

        If you want to create lots of jobs just pass a law that says all coal must be mined with hand tools.

    • Boomer II says:

      Trump declares end to 'war on coal,' but utilities aren't listening | Reuters: “Reuters surveyed 32 utilities with operations in the 26 states that sued former President Barack Obama’s administration to block its Clean Power Plan, the main target of Trump’s executive order. The bulk of them have no plans to alter their multi-billion dollar, years-long shift away from coal, suggesting demand for the fuel will keep falling despite Trump’s efforts.

      The utilities gave many reasons, mainly economic: Natural gas – coal’s top competitor – is cheap and abundant; solar and wind power costs are falling; state environmental laws remain in place; and Trump’s regulatory rollback may not survive legal challenges.

      Meanwhile, big investors aligned with the global push to fight climate change – such as the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund – have been pressuring U.S. utilities in which they own stakes to cut coal use.”

      • Fred Magyar says:

        For those who are NOT too lazy or stupid to read between the lines.

        EIA’s assumptions short-change clean energy, and are frequently wrong

        Someone apparently never got the memo:

        Past performance is no guarantee of future results

        The EIA consistently — and egregiously — underestimated the amount of clean energy that would be installed. For example, solar PV installations were modeled as ending in 2016, as if no solar PV would be installed for the next 12 years, despite solar PV’s explosive growth. EIA’s solar forecasts have sometimes been wrong by 20,000%.

  5. Survivalist says:

    19 of the first 87 days spent playing golf- A+


    I’d give Trump an F for English. The sign language gorilla knows more words than Trump (and Trump supporters)

    If only Trump could remember the name of the country he ordered to be bombed as well as he remembers the chocolate cake he was eating when he gave the ordered.

  6. Survivalist says:

    Saudi Arabia says foils bombing attempt on Aramco fuel distribution terminal


  7. Bob Frisky says:

    From The Academic Minute (public radio program):

    Science shows the more the left pushes a climate change narrative, people actually get concerned less about the climate. In other words, the effect is the opposite of what the left wants. Very interesting.


    The last decade has seen a growing divide in public opinion about climate change along partisan lines, despite a clear scientific consensus about the human causes.

    One common hypothesis about this polarization is that it comes from systematic efforts to spread doubt about the reality of climate change through conservative media. To test this idea, we analyzed the factors that influence national-level public concern about climate change, focusing on the effects of partisan media, the release of major scientific reports, and incidents of extreme weather.

    Our results support the idea of an “echo chamber effect,” which describes the tendency of partisan media to match its coverage of a topic to the pre-existing views of its primary audience, further strengthening the audience’s views. We found that Republican concern decreased when climate change was covered on conservative media outlets, while liberal news coverage increased Democratic concern.

    We also found some support for the “boomerang effect”, which refers to the tendency of people to further intensify their political beliefs when exposed to opposing views. In our study, we found that when liberal media covered climate change, Republicans appeared to reject the message so much that their national-level concern over climate change decreased.

    Releases of major scientific reports only influenced concern among Democrats, and extreme weather did not increase national-level concern for members of either party. Interestingly, non-partisan media was shown to increase climate change concern in Republicans.

    Our results help to illustrate the substantial effects that partisan media have on public climate change concern, while showing the surprising role that “moderate” media could play in increasing public concern for this pressing issue.

    • Survivalist says:

      Life’s tough. It’s tougher when you’re stupid.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Meanwhile the war on Nature continues as the USA fractures.

      • Hightrekker says:

        “In order for us to maintain our way of living, we must, in a broad sense, tell lies to each other, and especially to ourselves. It is not necessary that the lies be particularly believable. The lies act as barriers to truth. These barriers to truth are necessary because without them many deplorable acts would become impossibilities. Truth must be at all costs avoided. When we do allow self-evident truths to percolate past our defenses and into our consciousness, they are treated like so many hand grenades rolling across the dance floor of an improbably macabre dance party. We try to stay out of harm’s way, afraid that they will go off, shatter our delusions, and leave us exposed to what we have done to ourselves and to the world, expose us as the hollow people we have become. And so we avoid these truths, these self-evident truths, and continue the dance of world destruction.”

        Derrick Jensen

        • GoneFishing says:

          The least important animal in the world is having the greatest effect upon it. At least for now.
          But I doubt if people will give up their delusional self-importance and start acting in a group way that benefits the whole natural system.
          Imagine a creature capable of healing the natural world, correcting all the horrors done to it, yet ignores it’s capability and tells itself stories that do just the opposite. We don’t need drugs to mind trip. Breathing is enough.

    • Lloyd says:

      From Wikipedia:

      False memory syndrome is a condition in which a person’s identity and interpersonal relationships center on a memory of a traumatic experience that is objectively false but that the person strongly believes. Note that the syndrome is not characterized by false memories as such. We all have inaccurate memories. Rather, the syndrome is diagnosed when the memory is so deeply ingrained that it orients the individual’s entire personality and lifestyle—disrupting other adaptive behavior. Emphasis added.

      What if we view the entire US media/education establishment as being designed to implant a specific world view at a specific time (ages 18 to 24), and making those views resistant to change? What if we view this worldview as a False Memory? The entire US Conservative construct looks different when viewed through this lens.

      The Climate Change Accepters here (made up a new term!) tend to have University-level educations in Science and statistics, or have spent hundreds of hours coming up to speed on the topic. We read dense Scientific papers for fun. We have watched science change, accept that science will continue to change, and acknowledge that we cannot know everything.

      Moving the public to accept climate change would require getting them to accept uncertainty, and to accept that they have to change their views based on new information. It’s not the facts that are against you: it’s the resistance to change. Some examples: Scalia’s concentration on what the founders intended, the level of religious belief when compared to other developed countries, and the primacy of Fox News. They point to a body politic that is against change in every possible way.

      You don’t need better information: you need a population that looks at facts in a different way.


      • Boomer II says:

        While a significant part of the population is resistant to change, and certain businesses want to maintain the status quo, there are always businesses that assess what is happening around them and how to take advantage of that.

        A change in energy was always going to happen. We needed to reach a tipping point where those who have reason to adapt to change outnumber those who don’t want to adapt.

        Politics is heavily influenced by money. When the energy status quo began to look less profitable than future energy options, smart companies were going to put their money elsewhere.

        Natural gas has become more attractive than coal, so the shift is happening. Oil companies want to maximize their natural gas assets so they, too, see value in embracing rather than fighting carbon restrictions.

        Auto companies are hedging their bets. They still want to make big vehicles, but they are closely watching the EV market and want to take advantage of it when it makes sense for them.

        The administration claims it wants to create jobs, and those aren’t coming from coal, and probably not a lot more from gas and oil. If the right people get Trump’s ear, renewables will be promoted by the current administration because they do offer jobs.

        Trump may say what he thinks his supporters want to hear, but lobbyists are still going to tell Congress what their clients want. And increasingly their clients want to adapt to a lower carbon future.

  8. islandboy says:

    Last Tuesday the EIA released the latest edition of their Electric Power Monthly with data for February 2017. Below are the graphs for percentage contribution by source and below it the absolute numbers by source, the absolute version showing the seasonal variations in total output and which sources ramp up and down most with demand. In relation to other post in this thread about the decline of coal, do not show the decline as vividly as the last post I did on the EPM with the annual data for 2016. The graph attached to that post clearly shows the displacement of coal by NG with about a 5% growth contribution from non-hydro renewables (wind and solar). between 2000 and 2016.

    Another thing that is not clear yet is the potential for solar to make a significant contribution to the mid-summer peaks. That should be evident from the graphs attached to my next post.

  9. islandboy says:

    Below are the graphs showing the growth in solar output over the past three years and below it the solar output relative to the total over the same period. The scale for solar output is different so as to amplify it’s contribution but, it would actually have to be about twenty times greater to eliminate the need for other sources to ramp up during the middle of summer.

    Twenty times more might sound like a lot now but, it it will take less than five doublings to get there and if solar were to continue growing exponentially for the next ten years, it would be a done deal. That would mean that by 2027 most of the mid summer peak demand would be met by solar. The question is, when will the growth of solar, PV in particular, slow down significantly? This January solar started the year with a contribution of just over one percent for the month.

    • Has anyone done the maths, run the calcs, on what the impact of a big shift into Electric Vechicles would be, in terms of a) natural gas consumption and b) total renewables’ percentage of the total electricity use?

      I have the suspicion that a big shift into EVs will require an order of magnitude more than estimates that simply take today’s electricity usage then project it out and reckon the growth of solar against that projection. In other words, there’s this Godzilla energy consumer looming on our horizon. Have we reckoned with its appetite?

      • islandboy says:

        That question was asked a little over a year ago here:


        My stab at it is here:


        My conclusion was, “So, according to the above calculations, if all VMT by light vehicles in the US in 2014, had been using EVs with the power consumption of a Tesla Model S it would have required the production of 17% more electricity. This assumes that there is no reduction in electricity use to refine the needed motor fuels from crude oil.”

        I ignored charging and electrical losses but, the vehicle I used for the calculations is not known for stellar efficiency in terms of Wh per unit of distance traveled. So there is an additional 20% or so that would be required but, there is an amount that would not be required because of the reduction in refining activity. There is also huge potential in the US at least for more efficient use of electricity. Energy efficient lighting uses less than 20% of the energy required by incandescent bulbs and in many cases, provides higher “quality” light. Back in the day, over at TOD, Paul Eldridge using the screen name “HereinHalifax”, used to post some amazing accounts of lighting retrofits he was doing. eg. http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8658#comment-853172

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Islandboy,

      If the pattern continues, summer solar peak should be about 7500 GWh this summer or about 2% of the summer peak. If output of PV solar grows at 10% per year, then in 2035 it will provide 40,000 GWh or 10% of 2016 peak output. Growth at 15% gets to 80,000 GWhr in 2034 (20% of 2016 peak) and growth at 20% per year results in 200,000 GWhr in 2035 (50% of the 2016 peak).

      I doubt the 20% growth rate is realistic and even 15% may be a big stretch, 10% is doable in my view (conservative).

  10. islandboy says:

    Finally the capacity additions for January and February with YTD as well are shown below. We have been reading of significant capacity additions (>70 MW) in the form of utility scale batteries, particularly in California so, I’m not sure why they are not showing up in the EIA data. So far for 2017, all the action has been in NG, wind, solar and batteries.

  11. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    From here.

    Fred might be able to wipe his ass on a nuclear submarine, too, maybe on some smooth, narrow portion that juts out a little. No point in using the whole hull, unless you’re he I guess, and trying to impress.

    A nuclear submarine may also be used to smash into some scuba-divers that might be trying to plant some newfangled CRISPR coral that can supposedly, in someone’s fucked fantasy, better handle anthropogenic-induced changes in the water (which is ass-backwards-adapting the organism to the technologies and/or their effects, by the way, rather than the other way around)…

    Nuclear subs, among other technologies, have embedded (fundamentally-coercive/undemocratic/dubious/etc.) values/intents/motives/hierarchies/etc. that are quite different from their possibly infinite arrays of potential uses, and those ‘initial conditions’ and, say, ‘intentional/value frameworks’, influence and/or set the stage for their uses (which cascade through the system, creating, influencing and/or compounding other ‘problematic potentialities’ and issues, etc.).

    See also here and here

    By the way, here’s a example of an initial condition (along the lines of the butterfly effect) that may influence the quality (lack thereof) of POB’s current and/or future commentary:

    “Technology is neither good or evil.” ~ Fred Magyar

    “…maybe some of that evil genetic engineering with things like CRISPR and gene-drives from the world of the so-called/crony-capitalist-plutarchy-derived science and technology, could be used to bring these beautiful creatures back from the brink…” ~ Fred Magyar

    Thanks, Fred…
    Yes, with CRISPR, for example, we may be able to ‘adapt nature to the technology’ in neither a good nor evil way. Who needs an n? Edited.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Who needs an n? Edited.

      Sorry, CRISPR only edits strings of ATCG… maybe try MS Word.

      Whether you like it or not humans have been adapting and modifying nature to their needs for the last 100,000 years or so. And you, like just about everyone else alive today, owes their very existence to advances in science, technology, medicine, especially bioscience, and advances in agriculture.

      So please unplug your computer and go plant some corn that hasn’t been genetically modified.

      Unless you are a hunter gatherer living in some pristine wilderness there isn’t a single plant or animal that you consume today that has not been selected for or by humans over hundreds if not thousands of years or at this point genetically modified in some way. CRISPR just speeds up that process and is more precise tool to accomplish that selection process.

      Thanks to CRISPR we can cure genetic diseases or make organs from pigs safe for transplant into human recipients. I guess you would prefer to tell the parents of a child who will die of some genetic disorder that they should let nature run its course even though we have technology that can cure her.

      Or tell the daughter of a man who will die if he doesn’t get a liver transplant that she should let him go even though a safe pig liver is available to save his life.

      I guess at the end of the day you could argue that using technology that can save people who live in an industrial consumer society just increases the population is bad for the planet and is therefore unethical… Then again, I strongly suspect you have never had to rush your two year old to the emergency room at 4:00 AM. Good or evil can suddenly seem very subjective!

      • GoneFishing says:

        “And you, like just about everyone else alive today, owes their very existence to advances in science, technology, medicine, especially bioscience, and advances in agriculture. ”

        Problem is that the use of all that wonderful knowledge and technology has put us out on a limb. One that, at this point in time, we appear to be cutting off on the wrong side.

        Not saying humans won’t find a way through, just that at this point in time it does not look likely to progress without major damage. Of course the same thing would happen if one of the large supervolcanos blew off or a moderate size asteroid struck earth, just not so much time to contemplate and argue the problem or suffer through it.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Doudna and Charpentier should get the Nobel next year.
        The third is up for debate.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Put it this way, Fred:

        What are you doing on a collapse blog? Seriously!

        I mean, if you feel so hunky-dory about how ‘technology’ is derived and implemented, etc., then practically everything should be equally hunky-dory with the human footprint, the soil, the ocean, the climate, the water, the air, the animals, the human communities, etc., yes?

        • Fred Magyar says:

          I mean, if you feel so hunky-dory about how ‘technology’ is derived and implemented, etc.,

          Obviously you have never understood a single comment of mine.

          I happen to agree 100% with Gone Fishing when he says:

          Problem is that the use of all that wonderful knowledge and technology has put us out on a limb. One that, at this point in time, we appear to be cutting off on the wrong side.

          That doesn’t change the fact that technology exists and that it can be disruptive to the status quo, both to those in and out of power.

          BTW, for the record, I’m not a doomer, I’m a realist, there’s a difference.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            In that quote, Gonefishing uses the term ‘use’, but that’s not precisely what I’ve been talking about, right?

            But I can see how serious concerns for how technology is derived– the other side of ‘use’– can seem a bit of a ‘conceptual inconvenience’ to those who might advocate for it as-is-derived– like you, apparently.

            Granted, we can ethically use technology ‘lying around’, ‘after the fact’, as I’ve suggested for palettes and the internet, but you seem to be advocating for/getting behind it as-is-derived currently, thus, with less concerns for their dubious values that come embedded (which you don’t or didn’t seem to understand), or for their disruptive and deleterious effects, both on people and planet, not just, as you put it, ‘the status quo and those in and out of power’.

            “…Now is the time to [embrace] …the rapid disruptive change happening all around us…” ~ Fred Magyar

            “Good Luck to All! And may that Star Spangled Banner yet wave upon the early morning light of a new world. A world connecting people to people with all the benefits of technology and helping us better understand and help each other.” ~ Fred Magyar

            “BTW, for the record, I’m not a doomer, I’m a realist, there’s a difference.” ~ Fred Magyar

            A realist, ay? Realistic about what?
            While I might care little about what you think about yourself, how you want to propagandize yourself, however, may have some bearing and give one pause…

            “…bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant…” ~ Goodreads intro of book, ‘On Bullshit’, by Harry G. Frankfurt

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            “My ideas and world view are a constantly changing stream of consciousness… My thoughts are turbulently fluid with multiple chaotic swirls and eddies…” ~ Fred Magyar


            BTW, I have a hypothesis for from where you got the below similar graphic which you’ve used relatively-often hereon, and which you may have even, ironically perhaps, modified in a particular way, yes? (‘polished’ it?), and it’s simple…

            Someone gave it to you:

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Grow up little boy!

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                And you just helped embellish my point.

                “As I feared, a rebuttal with name calling and absolutely no substance!” ~ TechGuy

                “It isn’t about one coral head it is about the entire ecosystem in which it existed.” ~ Fred Magyar

                The entire ecosystem, ay, Fred?
                …So, kind of like, as you write for me, ‘the world as it is’?

                But oh my oh dear, hold the phones, stop the presses, folks, Fred’s a realist. Bookmark it. Mark it on your calendars, ‘Fred, The Realist Day’. Make that your mantra to live by…

                My Little Fortress

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  I don’t waste my time whining about reality. You do! So now go hide under your mommy’s skirt or go play with your toys in the sandbox.

                  Too bad life in the world of the so-called/crony-capitalist-plutarchy-derived science and technology, just ain’t fair, is it?

                  Do drop us a line after you’ve lived and worked under a few other systems or managed to organize your own. Until then, turn off your electricity, unplug your computer and stop being a hypocrite and a whiny little crybaby.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    So are you a realist today, or was that just yesterday or a few days before that? Maybe you’re an anarchist tomorrow and for a few days afterward, and then a crony-capitalist the following week?
                    Maybe stick your finger in the air to see which way the wind blows and then go with that? Such as if your ethical compass was knocked out by a hurricane?

                    “I don’t waste my time whining about reality.” ~ Fred Magyar

                    Says the self-described realist? You mean like this? :

                    “No asshole, you missed my point completely, which was that a three hundred year old organism, which I knew personally, just got wiped out unnecessarily! Actually the reefs in my back yard are, or should I say WERE, between three and seven thousand years old…

                    Florida’s coral reefs came into existence 5,000 to 7,000 years ago when sea levels rose following the last Ice Age. Reef growth is relatively slow; an individual colony may grow one-half inch to 7 inches a year, depending on the species. All coral reefs are in a constant state of flux. While expanding with new polyps (the living tissue) on the outer surface, they are simultaneously being ground into sand by storms and animals. During long periods of favorable conditions, the reefs may reach awe-inspiring heights and diversity.

                    Fuck you and everybody who thinks like you!
                    If the site owners want to ban me and my comment should they find it offensive, go right ahead I really don’t give a shit anymore !” ~ Fred Magyar

                    It’s a classic.

                    Fuck the corals, Fred. Fuck ‘everybody who thinks like them’, (and of course whines about them), and fuck the oceans in general, the climate, the plants and soils, and the animals, right?

                    They’re not worth your apparent special relationship to the crony-capitalist plutarchy, or your particular version of reality, at least at this particular point in time, yes?

                    Maybe next year.

                    Or when they ‘change the guard’.

      • Paulo says:

        Good comment, Fred. My wife is a type 1 diabetic survivor for damn near 50 years. She is almost 58, and in mostly very good health. Thank you humalog, etc. She has been a great contributor to our Society, and the World would be poorer for her not having survived.


        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Your example is purely anecdotal, Paulo, and doesn’t mention the general decline and possible collapse of an unsustainable form of civilization that, while apparently successfully treating your wife, is also predicated in part on coercion and draw-downs of various sorts, leading to related declines and potential collapses of the terrestrial ecosystem.

          If, say, you want to offer Fred some moral support in light of our recent back-and-forth, because you’re age-contemporaries, because I once told you to stick it, and/or whatever, that’s one thing, but it’s important to maintain sight of the bigger picture in the process.

          While your wife, along with her possible med refills, may have been the better– or worse— for this society that you spell, curiously, with a capital S, there may be countless others to your one wife that have suffered and died under or because of it, to mention nothing of the questionable ethics behind a lot of animal research, or cash-cow medical treatment over outright cures for the sake of profitability.

          BTW, found any Fukushima radiation in your fish over there yet?

          “Time to refill the meds, Tribe. It is getting beyond the pale.” ~ Paulo

          “Stick it, Paulo.” ~ Caelan MacIntyre

          “Using evidence from epidemiology, anthropology, and archaeology, Cohen provides fascinating evidence about the actual effects of civilization on health, suggesting that some aspects of civilization create as many health problems as they prevent or cure.” ~ book description for ‘Health and The Rise of Civilization’, by Mark Nathan Cohen

  12. Survivalist says:
  13. Bob Frisky says:

    If the left wants to convince everyone about the risks of climate change, they have to get through to the Trump crowd. Can you sell the science to them?


    • Bob Frisky says:


      • Hightrekker says:

        Maybe we could use these Land Whales as a energy source?
        Who said whaling is dead!

    • Bob Frisky says:


      • Survivalist says:

        FAS support group? WWE tailgate party?
        I’d file that under ‘life’s tough enough.’
        Maybe a famine wouldn’t be all bad?

    • GoneFishing says:

      Are those two Siamese twins? Blended at the hip?

    • Bob Frisky says:

      Is anyone making “renewable energy” hats?

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Yep! That’s old hat, chum. They even have fans for added cooling of high functioning brains. Try that with a lump of coal.

    • Boomer II says:

      I think type 2 diabetes will hit this demographic pretty hard.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        That plus massive heart attacks and stroke. Too bad they won’t have affordable health care…

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          No one can afford that much care. It’s no wonder their insurance premiums are so high and insurance companies are pulling out.

          And that’s not even considering the mental health care costs.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Mental Health costs:
            $40,000 plus for a big jacked up pick up truck
            $$15,000 plus in guns and pistols and hunting gear
            $ 20,000 plus in fishing boats and fishing gear
            $ $20,000 plus in big screen TVs, cable, sports channels and movie channels
            $5000 plus in BBQ equipment costs

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Can you sell the science to them?

      Nah! I wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings by exposing them to reality…

    • Fred Magyar says:

      If 97% of Orangutans have IQs higher that conservatives, does that mean ALL conservatives are complete idiots?! Apparently NOT!


      A conservative group that wants to see the US government address climate change is trying to reach the president through his favorite medium: TV. The Partnership for Responsible Growth will air a series of five climate change ads in Washington, DC over the next five weeks, targeted at the networks and shows President Donald Trump is known to watch: Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The group announced its troll today.

      The ads don’t have a target audience of just one, of course. Besides reaching Trump, the ads are meant to help counterbalance the networks’ tendencies to treat climate change as a two-sided issue, giving equal airtime to those who deny its existence. Instead, the ads could help show something like reality

      Not planning on holding my breath but any change amongst conservatives towards actually accepting reality as it is and wanting to conserve the planet while at least trying to finds ways of keeping it somewhat livable would be welcome…

      Partnership for Responsible Growth | Dentists | #PriceCarbon

      Partnership for Responsible Growth | Gone Fishin’ | #PriceCarbon

      • GoneFishing says:

        You know what the next step is? Once the conservative groups have fully entrenched global warming as a political property, then things like wind, rain, sunlight and all bio-environmental systems will become political properties versus physical ones.

        Apparently certain groups think that their thoughts and opinions are the real actors in the world. Let’s call it Con-physics and Con-science, which works in Con-world and Con-universes.
        Just remember that Con-science derives from the moral right. Good luck on denting that mindset.

  14. GoneFishing says:

    Renewable energy hats? Sure, they have solar cells on top and a port to charge a cell phone.

  15. Hickory says:

    What is the countries PV17 ER in TeraJoules [photovoltaic 17% efficiency energy reserve]?

  16. OFM says:

    Food for thought here.


    The NYT is consider one of the world’s best papers, by most people at least, excepting hard core right wingers of course, who hold a low opinion of it as being dominated by stupid liberal editors and writers.

    It seems to me from reading it that it’s pretty much aligned with the faction of the Democratic Party I refer to as Republican Lites.

    This linked article IS an opinion piece, and the NYT generally seems to get it right in respect to the climate, judging from reading it occasionally, given the ten articles per month limit for non subscribers.

    But a hell of a lot of scientists and well informed laymen seem to think the NYT has sold them out, or is in the process of doing so, in respect to the climate. If this turns out to be the case, it brings this old saying to mind.

    With friends like this, who NEEDS enemies??

  17. George Kaplan says:

    Historic and future increase in the global land area affected by monthly heat extremes


    I found this article (a letter but somewhat peer reviewed I think), which gives a good idea of how fast the frequency of extreme events can change with increasing average temperatures. It’s from before this blog started so I don’t think it would have been posted here. The chart below shows the proportion of land impacted by extreme heat (measured as standard deviations from summer variability from 1951 to 2010). 5-Sigma events kill pretty well all crops and I don’t think the land will necessarily recover the next year. I haven’t found exact figures for the others and it varies with location (e.g. the variability in the tropics is much less then at higher latitudes in absolute temperature terms), but I think 3-sigma events are around 30 to 40% crop failure. Somewhere around 1.7K global increase (top scale) the 3-sigma events take off, and at about 2.5K the 5-sigma ones do. Small rises above these numbers have disproportional impacts on extreme events. Above about 3K global (4 to 4.5 on land), the 5-sigma events hit 50% of the area each year. Even if the exact numbers have big error bars the rate of increase in the middle sections are going to be relatively correct and are striking.

    • George Kaplan says:

      Picture didn’t post – another go here:

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi George,

      The file needs to be less than 50 kb to post.

      Figure 4. Percentage of global land area during boreal summers with monthly temperatures beyond a specified threshold level in terms of standard deviation (sigma) versus the mean summer land surface temperature (primary horizontal axis) and the global annual mean temperature (upper horizontal axis) for GISS surface temperature data (black symbols), CMIP5 data (colored symbols) and equation (1) (solid lines).

      Chart below.

      Link to better image below


      • George Kaplan says:

        Thanks – my file was 33 kB, I think it was related to the wifi connection I had.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Sorry George,

          I figured you knew that, but the information can be useful for others.

  18. HuntingtonBeach says:

    Cummins Westport announces MY 2018 natural gas engine line-up; near zero NOx

    Our 2018 product line demonstrates an important milestone in product development for Cummins Westport, creating a move to zero emissions strategy for our customers and industry. We are particularly pleased that the ISX12N will join the L9N in offering our on-highway customers the benefits of performance and reliability at an ultra-low emissions level described by California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District as equivalent to an electric vehicle. This move to zero emissions strategy means our customers can choose the most affordable path to zero-equivalent emissions with no commercial constraints on supply or technology readiness.

    —Rob Neitzke, President of Cummins Westport


    • Fred Magyar says:

      This move to zero emissions strategy means our customers can choose the most affordable path to zero-equivalent emissions with no commercial constraints on supply or technology readiness.

      Sorry but spinning (Sean Spicer Pun intended) an ICE engine burning fossil fuels and touting it as having zero-equivalent emissions sounds a heck of a lot like alternative facts to me. I’m not suggesting it isn’t a very clean burning engine and much better than the cleanest diesel but it is NOT a zero-emissions vehicle. Calling it zero-equivalent emissions doesn’t make it so!

      • JN2 says:

        This is a natural gas engine.

        >> renewable natural gas (RNG) … can reach subzero GHG carbon intensity levels. <<

        LNG however is definitely non-zero CO2, but presumably better than diesel…

  19. OFM says:

    A friend in the auto parts biz told me his store is running beautifully, but sales are still twenty percent less than they should be, and that his local competitors are having the same problem. He says it’s all about internet sales direct to the customer, and not only the one or two parts at a time retail customer, but also a lot of commercial customers as well, ordering things online that are needed on short notice, or that will be used up in short order, assuming storage space is available. Commercial customers do use a lot of consumables such as cleaning supplies, etc, and some parts as well are used quite often. Buying on line is enough cheaper to enable the customer to maintain his own much expanded in house stock of many small items, such as light bulbs, fuses, and so on.

    The reason I mention this is that the internet is going to kill retail meme came and went and is long gone, while the internet is still gaining traction in a lot of different kinds of industries, we just don’t hear much about it these days. It’s definitely killing retail businesses, but slowly, like cigarettes, rather than quickly, like armed robbers.

    Right now, we hear about drones revolutionizing deliveries on a daily basis. What I’m wondering, is this.

    Once the technology is far enough along to really be practical, how long will it be before companies like UPS or FedEx start using them routinely?

    It’s not just being able to buy a reliable and capable drone, it’s also all about training drivers who will deploy them from a parked truck ( assuming they don’t go more than a mile or two due round trip to lack of range ) and getting customers to accept the idea that a giant buzzing toy is going to drop off their medicine, or their package from the home office.

    Two years? Five? Maybe even longer?

    Small businesses didn’t take to computers nearly as fast as industry optimists thought they would, but nevertheless just about every small business has one or more these days , and probably half of all small businesses such as garages and restaurants had computers for routine office work twenty years ago.

    I don’t see very small scale pv taking off here in the USA anytime soon , if ever, because most people just won’t bother with it to save a couple of bucks a month, other than people who are into tech toys.

    Household sized pv systems, by which I mean ones that can produce say a couple of thousand watts are a different question, because the money involved is enough to get the attention of the man or woman who pays the electricity bill, and will eventually be as common as a second car or expensive lawn mower, but even so, it will probably won’t happen as fast as solar electricity fans think it will.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Old Farmer Mac,

      A lot of the PV will be utility scale, installing PV on (or near) a home will take off when the process is more streamlined (permits and a standard method of installation) so that installation costs fall and as natural gas depletes so that electricity cost rises at the retail level. Remember that a lot of the cost of electricity is transmission and distribution (about half of the residential cost where I live) and with battery backup that cost is eliminated. When the cost falls below the cost from the utility, the utilities may find they lose customers. That level of cost is probably 20 or 25 years away at the residential level and it may take another 25 years before a high percentage of customers are providing most of their own power, they will still need backup during winter unless they have a system that is oversized (which is a waste of money due to the excess produced in the summer).

      In short, I agree.

      Higher fossil fuel prices and falling prices for non-fossil fuel energy sources will be the key to a transition. The bigger the differential between fossil fuel energy ($/GJ) prices and non-fossil fuel energy prices in useful energy provided (remember natural gas and coal produce a lot of wasted heat and for wind, solar, and hydro these losses are far lower) the faster the transition will occur.

      Good energy policy (the opposite of what is happening in the US today) will also speed up the process.

      • Nick G says:

        I agree.

        A small quibble: they will still need backup during winter unless they have a system that is oversized (which is a waste of money due to the excess produced in the summer).

        That applies if you’re a purist about your power supply. A generator (either NG or diesel) is a cheap solution for providing a small percentage of kWhs in winter.

        The same logic applies to grid balancing in winter. For a pure solution: it’s likely to be cheap to produce synthetic fuels for winter use: H2, hydrocarbons (methanol, methane, etc), ammonia, etc, etc.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Nick G,

          The point was simply that backup would be needed from some source. A completely home sourced electricity would require energy inputs from elsewhere during the winter or wasted energy during summer especially at high latitudes.

          • Nick G says:

            Sure, I agree. But…

            Home PV is very interesting. It’s obviously more expensive than Commercial/Industrial or Utility installations, and yet it’s remarkably popular, with strong growth rates. People like being self sufficient, and that has a strong value beyond simple ROI analysis. Also, individual home owners have much less access to high $-ROI investments. Many companies won’t fund internal investments that return less than, say, 10%, and yet home owners would be ecstatic at getting 5%, reliably and in the long-term (their money market gives them maybe 10 basis points…). Think about your personal investments – how many are safe, long term and offer above 5% returns?

            One other thought: there’s a big difference between the US and much of the rest of the world. If you are middle class and live in Karachi, you have a diesel generator. That’s pretty expensive, but it’s a necessity. PV would be very, very cost effective for reducing diesel consumption, and a battery like the Tesla Powerwall would also be very cost effective for reducing night time diesel consumption.

        • OFM says:

          Generators capable of supplying a MEANINGFUL contribution to grid loads aren’t cheap at all, no siree.

          The capital cost of such generators, installed,enough of them to actually matter in terms of keeping an otherwise all renewable grid up and reliable during periods of uncooperative weather, would be enough to make even a congressman think twice, unless of course the generator manufacturing plant happens to be located in HIS district, lol.

          Providing fuel to run them a few days a year, for the purpose of avoiding building out wind and solar power and transmission lines to maybe as much as three hundred percent of average needs wouldn’t be a problem at all.

          It would be far better, in terms of NECESSARY compromises, to keep as many natural gas plants as necessary on standby, and in places where there aren’t enough natural gas plants, then in that case……….. We should keep enough of the newest and cleanest of the coal plants on standby to make up any renewable production deficits.

          The amount of pollution associated with running such existing coal plants a few days once in a while, compared to the cost of any alternatives, would be trivial.

          It would be far better to spend the billions that would otherwise necessarily HAVE to be spent on even more wind and solar farms, long distance transmission lines, giant batteries, diesel generators, etc, on projects that reduce consumption and peak demand.

          Such projects could include vehicle to grid backup capacity, subsidies to speed up the adoption of battery storage , tougher energy performance standards for appliances, support for the smart grid and smart appliances, tougher building codes to reduce demand for heating and air conditioning, contracts arranging the temporary shut down of industries that can easily shut down for a few hours or days without too much in the way of problems restarting, etc.

          A lot of smaller industries can shut down temporarily without much in the way of technical problems, so long as they are reimbursed for the expenses associated with doing so.

          • Nick G says:

            I agree. See my comment above.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Old Farmer Mac,

            My response above was to this part of your initial comment:

            Household sized pv systems, by which I mean ones that can produce say a couple of thousand watts are a different question, because the money involved is enough to get the attention of the man or woman who pays the electricity bill, and will eventually be as common as a second car or expensive lawn mower, but even so, it will probably won’t happen as fast as solar electricity fans think it will.

            The cheapest way to do this is to use the grid as backup and size your system so that the average annual output of the pv system matches your electricity usage. That assumes one lives in a place where net metering rules apply.

            I agree initially natural gas, hydro, and nuclear backup would make sense, but from a climate change perspective we want to move to zero carbon emissions as quickly as is feasible, so it would be better to minimize natural gas use as much as possible and shut down all coal fired power plants (3 times the carbon emissions from coal fired compared to a modern natural gas fired power plant per kWhr produced).

            Note that we already have 2.5 times the capacity of the average load of out electricity generation, no system operates with less than that, moving to 3x average load with widely dispersed interconnected (this already exists it does not have to be HVDC) wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear power with demand reduction using peak power pricing, better efficiency in appliances, lighting and equipment and batteries, vehicle to grid, fuel cells and synthetic fuel (hydrogen, ammonia, or synthetic gas) supplied power plants is a way to eventually eliminate the natural gas bridge (hopefully by 2060 at the latest).

  20. Political Economist says:

    During the first quarter of this year, China installed 22 GW of new electric power generating capacity, including 2 GW of hydro, 11 GW of conventional thermal, 1 GW of nuclear, 3.5 GW of wind, 4 GW of solar PV.

    • Nick G says:

      So, only about half is Fossil Fuel.

      That’s progress.

      • Political Economist says:

        Another way to read it: half of the NEW INSTALLATION is still fossil fuels

        If we look at the INSTALLED CAPACITY, then there is little progress:

        As of the end of March 2017, China had 1610 GW of installed (utility scale) electric power generating capacity, including 290 GW of hydro, 1060 GW of conventional thermal (more than 90% is coal-fired; the rest is gas-fired or biomass; there was 940 GW of coal-fired capacity as of the end of 2016), 35 GW of nuclear, 150 GW of wind, and 81 GW of solar PV

        • Nick G says:

          Well, the next question is what were the retirements??

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Political Economist,

          From what I have read the utilization of the coal fired power capacity in China has been decreasing for the past few years. The more important figures would be the change in the proportion of total electricity produced by coal in China.

          From that perspective there may have been progress, the Great Wall was not built in a day. 🙂

    • George Kaplan says:

      To be clear in my own head: when they give capacity it’s nameplate, not an average annual production (i.e. allowing for availability)? So the hydro, nuclear and thermal might be 90 to 95%, but the PV and wind could only be 25 to 30%, so there’d be 10 GW thermal and 5 others?

      • Nick G says:

        hydro, nuclear and thermal might be 90 to 95%

        They’re much lower, at least in the US, and I’d expect something similar for China.

        The US overall capacity factor is only about 40% (450GW average output divided by 1150 capacity). That includes nuclear – US nuclear is much higher than the rest of the world, at close to 90% for about 100GW, which means that the rest of US generation is about 35%.

        I’d guess coal is above average at near 60%, hydro is lower than that, and NG is much lower.

        Meanwhile, new wind in the US is around 35% – equaling the average non-nuclear grid capacity factor, and offshore wind does better.

        More info here: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia860M/

        • George Kaplan says:

          In UK nuclear and in the past coal were base load, so are kept running all the time if available. Gas is a swing producer so would only be bought on if required. But the difference is availability versus usage. The gas generators would have high reliability – i.e. could be bought on as required, especially in winter. Renewables can’t do that, in fact it’s almost that they are worst when most required in January and February. So capacity factor for thermal might be low over the year, but availability would always be up around 90% or more.

          • Nick G says:

            Hhhmmm….kind’ve. Not really.

            First, many nuclear and coal fleets aren’t very reliable/available. Even before coal generation started declining in the US, the capacity factor was 73% – that was for a “baseload” resource.

            2nd, production is always a fraction of the built resource. Why is that important? Because if availability is lower than you need, you can build more capacity, and drive the total output to the level that’s needed. That’s what the grid does now, and that’s why the grid’s average capacity factor is only 40%. At the moment that’s rarely done with nuclear, hydro, solar and wind because they have very low marginal costs, and have a low market share. So, their output is always maximized. But, just like NG, you don’t HAVE to turn on these forms of generation – you can turn them down (aka curtailment), and turn them up when needed. That’s what makes nuclear dispatchable: you can turn it down, and then turn it up again when you need it.

            The obvious challenge with that is the variability (aka intermittency) of wind & solar. But…variability isn’t the same thing as unpredictability (yes, Virginia, the sun comes up every day, and wind is a little stronger on average in winter – in fact, wind and solar are negatively correlated, both on a daily and seasonal basis). These power sources can be forecast, and their variability can be dealt with. Heck, that’s what utilities have been doing for 130 years – consumption is obviously variable, but generation has always been somewhat variable/unreliable as well. In fact, the unreliability of thermal generation is worse in some ways due to it’s “integer” problem: if you have to build large plants to achieve economies of scale (due in part to the physics of thermal generation), then the loss of a single plant is disastrous, and nuclear and coal plants tend to fail suddenly. Wind and solar, on the other hand, fail in very small units, and the natural variance is pretty predictiable.

            Hmm. Actually, I’m not quite sure what your point was – we seem to have diverged from the discussion about capacity factors. What was the question, again?

            • George Kaplan says:

              I simply asked if they stated nameplate capacity. You seem to have answered a different question of your own making.

          • Nick G says:

            So, to summarize: capacity factors and intermittency and dispatchability of individual forms of generation are relatively unimportant. They are “intermediate system inputs”, not final system outputs. In other words, customers don’t see them, and don’t care.

            What matters is overall cost and overall grid reliability when handling load, peak and otherwise. And wind, solar and hydro enable low cost and high grid reliability.

        • OFM says:

          Nick is as usual doing everything he possibly can to make coal and nukes look as bad as possible, and wind and solar to look as good as possible. Slick salesmanship sells cars, but who trusts a car salesman?

          The reason a coal fired plant may have an actual capacity factor of say forty five percent is mostly due to the fact that the electricity it COULD BE GENERATING the rest of the time, the other fifty five percent of the time, is NOT NEEDED, so the coal plant is dialed back or even temporarily shut down. Some potential generation of course IS lost due to planned maintenance shutdowns and shutdowns due to issues with the equipment, or labor problems with unionized employees of the utility, or even once in a long while, in the past, due to labor issues with trains and miners being involved, and coal not being delivered.

          I’m all for renewables, but I try to tell it LIKE IT IS.

          The vast majority of the time, when a coal plant is needed, it’s available, and can be brought up from standby in a very few hours , unless it’s a dead cold start. That takes longer.

          There is no way to bring a wind farm on line unless the wind is blowing at that particular wind farm, and there’s no way to bring a solar farm on line at night, and won’t be, for quite some time, decades at least, until real utility scale storage is built, and so far, every thing built in terms of battery storage in the entire world is not even a drop in the bucket, compared to what will be NEEDED to get away from gas and coal.

          We may eventually manage to build enough wind and solar capacity to run the nation’s grid mostly or almost entirely on renewable electricity, assuming we can build equally humongous storage capacity. This might or might not be possible, personally I believe it is, but that it’s going to take at least two or three decades and a lot of luck with battery or other storage tech scaling up.

          If we do manage to go almost all or entirely renewable , THEN the average capacity of wind and solar farms will look piss poor compared to the average of today’s conventional generation.

          Not many wind farms will ever exceed forty percent, due to the variability of the wind, solar farms using existing technology will never reach that high, except maybe in a few extremely favorable locations, with super sophisticated tracking, etc, because of clouds and nights.

          Now suppose we build enough wind and solar infrastructure to run the country during a period when the weather nationwide is largely cloudy, and the wind is uncooperative. Most of that infrastructure can never hit fifty percent due to night time and lack of wind.

          If there’s ENOUGH of it to handle times when the wind and sun don’t cooperate, most of it will be sitting idle a large part of the time IT COULD BE PRODUCING when the wind and sun cooperate.

          Overselling even the best of things tends to backfire, when the person who is sold finds out he has been oversold, and overselling provides the anti renewable faction with all sorts of arguments that are not easily refuted.

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            Today in Washington

            GRAHAM: OK. When it comes to Russia, is it fair to say that the government of Russia actively provides safe haven to cyber criminals?

            COMEY: Yes.

            GRAHAM: Is it fair to say that the Russian government still involved in American politics?

            COMEY: Yes.

            GRAHAM: Is it fair to say we need to stop them from doing this?

            COMEY: Yes, fair to say.

            GRAHAM: Do you agree with me the only way they’re going to stop this for them to pay a price for interfering in our political process?

            COMEY: I think that’s a fair statement.

            GRAHAM: Yes, OK. So what we’re doing today that is not working. They’re still doing it. They’re doing it all the world, aren’t they?

            COMEY: Yes.

            GRAHAM: So what kind of threat do you believe Russia presents to our Democratic process, given what you know about Russia’s behavior of late?

            COMEY: Well, certainly in my view, the greatest threat of any nation on earth, given their intention and their capability.

            OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster says-

            “Nick is as usual doing everything he possibly can to make coal and nukes look as bad as possible”

            Oldfamermac(OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster) spent 6 months prior to the election “doing everything he possibly could to make” HRC “look as bad as possible”. And didn’t even get paid for trolling this site by Russia.

            “Overselling even the best of things tends to backfire”

          • Nick G says:


            Why are you getting personal? I don’t say stuff like that about you.

            Can I make a suggestion? Don’t write so fast. And, after you write, put it down for an hour or two, and let it settle. Then edit it, and make it better.

            doing everything he possibly can to make coal and nukes look as bad as possible, and wind and solar to look as good as possible.

            Nah. There’s a lot more bad stuff I could say about coal – this stuff is just the relevant facts.

            Coal is dirty and expensive. Why are you defending it??

            The reason a coal fired plant may have an actual capacity factor of say forty five percent

            I didn’t say that. What I said is that coal isn’t as reliable as suggested – 90-95%. In fact, it’s probably around 60% after the decline in coal consumption. Which is what I said.

            And, coal is unreliable! Of course, part of the reason for a utilization factor of 73% at it’s it’s historical peak was load following, but in fact, coal has a lot of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Maybe it’s because US coal plants are generally pretty old. On the other hand, I know the US nuclear fleet is better run and has much higher capacity factors than other countrys’, so I suspect that coal plants elsewhere aren’t any better.

            so far, every thing built in terms of battery storage in the entire world is not even a drop in the bucket, compared to what will be NEEDED

            Kind’ve. You’ve not said anything quantitative, but battery storage won’t be used to cover winter shortfalls. It makes no sense – it’s what you would call a straw man.

            If we do manage to go almost all or entirely renewable , THEN the average capacity of wind and solar farms will look piss poor

            Maybe, though overbuilding will be only one of many elements of grid management. But, as I said, that’s not important. It’s exaggerated by anti-renewable folks.

            Overselling even the best of things tends to backfire

            Again, I undersold it.

            overselling provides the anti renewable faction with all sorts of arguments that are not easily refuted.

            No. The anti-renewable folks you’re talking about, the ones who look for minor errors in arguments, are propagandists. Propagandists don’t have good arguments, and they don’t need them, because they’re preaching to the choir. They just need to make them sound good, but, they’ll make up the facts as they go along.

            I saw a good interview with Jerry Taylor about that – I’ll try to find it.

            • OFM says:

              “No. The anti-renewable folks you’re talking about, the ones who look for minor errors in arguments, are propagandists. Propagandists don’t have good arguments, and they don’t need them, because they’re preaching to the choir. They just need to make them sound good, but, they’ll make up the facts as they go along.”

              NO. NO. NO.

              Propagandists are preaching to their choir, true as true can get, but they are also reaching out to the vast majority of all the people in this country and the world, so far as that goes, who are NOT SERIOUSLY interested in environmental issues, compared to their interests in their own day to day life , their jobs, their investments, etc.

              One thing that most people like you miss is that the typical man or woman on the street is NOT MUCH INTERESTED in such issues, and seldom thinks about them, although that is changing fast.

              Joe and Suzy Sixpack are obviously people you seldom if ever actually speak to, Nick. I spend a great deal of time with such people. They are worried and scared by what’s happening, and very easily convinced that they will have to pay more instead of less for electricity with more renewables, or that blackouts will be more likely, etc.

              You can call them the choir if you please, but they aren’t anybody’s choir, they are simply the people, and they are mostly interested in their own day to day lives.

              Your sniffy attitude shows, referring to them as the anti elements choir. You’ve already judged them as being second class idiots, and this is obvious the man or woman on the street who reads anything your sort writes or hears anything you have to say, and it turns them OFF.

              You’re VERY good at sticking to the message, a pro in my estimation, but you always act talk like salesman going for the sale, rather than a good friend with expertise advising a potential buyer of the REAL SCORE when considering that new car, or that political decision, etc.

              • HuntingtonBeach says:

                TOP DEFINITION – Joe Sixpack

                Average American moron, IQ 60, drinking beer, watching baseball and CNN, and believe everything his President says.

                This is so simple, even a Joe Sixpack can understand.


                Trumpster says – “I spend a great deal of time with such people. They are worried and scared”

                Now ask yourself, do you really want Joe and Suzy influencing the world on climate change because their “worried and scared” about their electric bill ? My guess is, that what they are really concerned about is the price of cold beer.

              • Nick G says:

                Propagandists are preaching to their choir, true as true can get, but they are also reaching out to the vast majority of all the people in this country and the world

                Yes, that’s true. Though, they get disproportionately reported by news sources that wish to support such propaganda. Mostly they get support from Fox, not the NYT (mostly, with the exception of their latest opinion guy…).

                Your sniffy attitude shows, referring to them as the anti elements choir.

                No, you’re reading that into it. Choir may not be the perfect word, but the point is that propagandists aren’t interested in the truth, and they NOT reacting to flaws in explanations by scientists or others: they have a mission to protect fossil fuels.

                I realize that you care a lot about promoting respect for the people you’re talking about. But, I don’t believe I’ve been disrespectful of them. And, of course, disrespect in your arguments won’t promote respect from others…

                you always act talk like salesman going for the sale

                Hmmmm. Well, there may be some benefit to trying to address possible objections, so as to cover all bases. But…1) that takes a lot of time; 2) this isn’t a general audience blog; and 3) I generally start out addressing fairly narrow questions that need clarification. I don’t try to address everything – no one can, especially not in this format.

                • OFM says:

                  Hi Nick,
                  I apologize for composing my comments about your comments in terms that can be justiafibly construed as personal.

                  You’re right, I ought to let comments sit a while , before posting them, but this is something I do on the fly, as I take a break, and I forget it’s not a face to face conversation with waving hands, etc, immediate feedback, etc, sometimes.

                  What always bothers me is one sided arguments, no matter how true they may be, if they are presented as if they were advertisements, or debate summaries, rather than objective and dispassionate summaries of both sides of the argument.

                  It’s true that I care a great deal about people being treated respectfully, regardless of their station in life, because when I see a really poor person, or one who is better off but still as dumb as a fence post, I try to remember that ” but for the Grace of God, there goes I” or something along that line.

                  But I don’t expect anybody to ever give up making fun of other people, mild or mean as snakes, the us versus them divide seems to be hard wired between our ears.

                  MY REAL POINT in making so many comments about the way people who are better off, economically and intellectually, talk about such people is that,hey Joe and Suzy Sixpack are either voters or potential voters.

                  You can take it to the bank that the right wing media expends ink and electrons in copious quantities to make sure Joe and Suzy hear a substantial assortment of the condescending and contemptous remarks aimed at them, day after day, a great deal of ink and electrons on a daily basis. It turns them OFF.

                  I have personally tried to get a number of culturally conservative people I know who are technically literate, and environmentally aware of the big picture, to read this blog.

                  None of them have ever done so more than a few times, because they are thoroughly offended by the anti religious, anti conservative commentary that is to be found here on a daily basis.

                  As a practical matter, whether they are right or wrong about abortion, or God and Jesus, or immigration, etc, isn’t the REAL question we need to consider, when it comes to what’s happening in this country, and the world.

                  We need to win them over to voting as either Democrats, even Democrat Lite Democrats, which is a VERY TOUGH sell, but it can happen, once in a while, OR at least help move them toward the middle, where they are less likely to vote a straight Koch brothers type ticket.

                  Even the worst educated and most radically hard core right wingers I have ever met are quite agreeable when it comes to the need for clean water laws, if you pose the argument FOR clean water laws in terms of THEIR OWN BEST INTERESTS, rather than lecturing them about their ignorance and supposedly low life values.

                  Insult a girl, and you have a near zero or zero chance of getting her to go out with you later. It shouldn’t be too hard for even an intellectual to grasp such a simple fact, but the greater a person’s intellectual qualifications, the more likely he seems to be to forget this example applies straight across the board, politically.

                  • OFM says:

                    Back again , Nick
                    It’s GOOD that you are making coal look as bad as possible, I’m with you on that.

                    What’s not good, as I see it , is that you don’t generally acknowledge that we are necessarily going to be using some coal for quite a while yet, etc. This makes it easy for anti renewable types to make YOUR arguments look like propaganda.

                    A doctor that recommends a patient undertake a long term treatment for a disease should be careful to point out the side effects as well as the benefits of the treatment. Otherwise , when the side effects hit him unexpectedly, he’s apt to be mad at the doc and abandon the treatment plan.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Well, thanks.

                    I agree about respect. The funny thing is, that right wing propagandists are trying to create conflict. They’re fear and hate mongering, in order to promote their favored policies. When progressives adopt the same kind of disrespectful and angry tone, they only help the propagandists.

                    One quibble: I’m not thinking of the “giving ammunition” idea – I don’t think propagandists can be deprived of ammunition, because they’ll just make it up if they can’t find it. I’m thinking of the direct kind of problem caused by an atmosphere of disrespect, such as you describe with conservatives getting turned off when reading this blog.

                  • Nick G says:

                    don’t generally acknowledge that we are necessarily going to be using some coal for quite a while yet, etc.

                    This is a basic problem: we often get confused on this blog between long-term theoretical questions about whether a 100% renewable grid is viable; and what could and should be done in the next 50 years or so.

                    I absolutely agree that NG and coal plants are useful for daily and seasonal backup in the medium term. I also think we should build low-pollution generation (wind, solar, hydro, etc., etc) as quickly as possible, and phase out coal first. I don’t usually think to say this – I suppose I’ve thought everyone understood that this kind of approach is necessary, but I suppose there are a few people out there advocating for a sudden shutdown of all FF – I’m not one of them, and I don’t think such people are in the mainstream.

                    I don’t think coal and NG are likely to be needed 100+ years from now, though maybe they’ll be used for non-polluting uses, like petrochemical feedstocks.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Old Farmer Mac,

            As long as the grid is interconnected and the wind and solar are widely dispersed then capacity just needs to be overbuilt by a factor of 3 (not very different to the current overcapacity of the electric generation system at about 2.5 times average load). For such a system the backup needed is about 10% of average load and could be provided by pumped hydro, batteries, vehicle to grid, biofuels, or synthetic fuels produced using the excess electricity provided by the grid during peak wind or peak solar periods when there will be overproduction and the electricity is essentially zero cost (it would be wasted otherwise).

            It is a fact that there is unused electricity capacity, and yes the power is “available”, but who cares if there is no demand, “available” power doesn’t put any money in the utilities pocket. The game is to make money not electric power.

            • notanoilman says:

              I was thinking about hydro + solar/wind (s/w). Given an excess of s/w, hydro could be run down during excess times, eg mid day. With no background hydro, no use of water, the reservoir water would be saved for use during night. Hydro would buffer s/w without a need to pump.


            • OFM says:

              Hi Dennis,
              As usual, you make great sense, getting to the root of the problem.

              There’s a tipping point we will be passing sometime within the next ten to twenty years, for a rough guess.

              For now, we subsidize wind and solar power, so as to encourage the fast growth of renewable energy supplies.

              The owners of the conventional generation industry are of course seriously SERIOUSLY pissed that their money tree is threatened with the renewable energy blight, and determined to hold on if they can.

              And for now, they have been put in the position of EFFECTIVELY subsidizing the renewable industries, not in actual accounting terms, but in real terms, by seeing the value of their investment crash and burn in a lot of cases, especially in Germany.

              The tipping point I’m referring to is this. There’s a day coming when the debate will switch from the necessity of subsidizing the expansion of wind and solar infrastructure, long distance transmission lines, etc, to the necessity of subsidizing the owners of the existing conventional generating plants.

              They aren’t going to be able to keep them open and running as they lose more and more revenue to ever growing wind and solar industries. Their only savings, when they aren’t selling juice, is the savings on fuel. Their other costs remain about the same, and without subsidies, they WILL shut down.

              Allowing that to happen would be a political mistake of the worst possible sort, due to the backlash that would result when the otherwise inevitable black out happens.

              The subsidies can be arranged in different forms, for instance very high rates when they are running, or lowered taxes paid on their revenues, or whatever, but we MUST have these conventional plants running and or ready to run for at least another two or three decades, maybe longer.

              • Nick G says:

                There’s a day coming when the debate will switch from the necessity of subsidizing the expansion of wind and solar infrastructure, long distance transmission lines, etc, to the necessity of subsidizing the owners of the existing conventional generating plants.

                We’re there, right now. For just one example, Google “Exelon nuclear subsidies”.

                Actually, the US already has a good mechanism in the form of capacity payments, which pay generators simply to maintain generation capacity regardless of actual kWh output.

                • Boomer II says:

                  But aren’t most companies involved in energy generation and production diverse enough that they look at the best mix of products to sell?

                  Natural gas is now more attractive than coal because it is cheaper and less polluting.

                  Many utilities are already adding solar and wind to their mixes because of state laws, consumer preferences, and no fuel costs.

                  Sales of electricity generation get a boost from EVs so for those utilities wanting to expand consumption in off hours, EV charging can work.

                  Some utilities already lease solar panels to customers.

                  Distributed generation will open up possibilities to companies that sell equipment and also provide networks to manage those energy sources.

                  Economics and consumer preference have always shown the way beyond fossil fuels. It’s just been a question of how soon societies were going to make a transition to less fossil fuel consumption.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    An article from about a month ago.

                    Nanogrids, Microgrids, and Big Data: The Future of the Power Grid – IEEE Spectrum: “At the top of the list is the availability of low-cost natural gas and solar power. Generators based on these resources can be built much closer to customers. So we are now in the early stages of an expansion of distributed generation, which is already lessening the need for costly long-distance transmission. That, in turn, is making those new sources cost competitive with giant legacy power plants.

                    Distributed generation has long been technically possible. What’s new now is that we are nearing a tipping point, beyond which, for many applications, distributed generation will be the least costly way to provide electricity.”

                • scrub puller says:

                  Yair . . .

                  This may be of interest in the Qld context . . . . .


                  To put this further into context . . . that 65,000 kilometers of SWER serves about 1.5 million people spread out over (say)1.8 million square kilometers.


              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Old Farmer Mac,

                Some natural gas plants will be maintained for backup, probably 20% of average load will be plenty with a wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear system (widely dispersed and interconnected) that is built to a capacity of about 3 times average load. This would be for the US L48, Alaska, Hawaii, etc may need to develop other types of systems.

                • Nick G says:

                  I guess Mac’s question is: how quickly could we reasonably get rid of essentially all coal, say, in the US?

                  My WAG would be about 10 years if we made it a very high national priority – what do you think?

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Nick G,

                    I think 10 years sounds reasonable, but only if reasonable people were in charge of the EPA, the current administration is likely to delay the transition.

  21. Hightrekker says:



    • Fred Magyar says:

      Yeah, I’ve been discussing geoengineering with Russell over at realclimate.org
      He has a few ideas that I have some issues with, moderation over at realclimate is slow and I’m awaiting his response when he finally sees my reply to his ideas.

      BTW, for the record, ‘VVatts up with that’ is NOT the same as ‘Watts up with that’…
      one is a climate denial site and the other is, according to Russell, it’s author, a parody of Watts up with that.

      Russell Seitz | Deep Climate
      3) Russell Seitz has started a very entertaining blog entitled VVattsUpWithThat (yes, that’s a double V!). A recent post discusses the conviction of Heartland …

      • Russell Seitz says:

        As its banner announces, VVattsuowiththat is even handedly devoted to the excesses of climate zealots and deniers alike:


        Fred is somewhat off the mark about my research agenda- most of my recent publications focus on physics based water conservation and cooling by water surface albedo modulation using hydrosols-

        Brief slideshow, video and and unpaywalled link to ‘Bright Water’ paper in .Climatic Change at :


        • Fred Magyar says:

          Fred is somewhat off the mark about my research agenda- most of my recent publications focus on physics based water conservation and cooling by water surface albedo modulation using hydrosols-

          I did reply to your comment over at realclimate.org. I wasn’t disputing the physics of hydrosols. My point was that there is more that needs to be considered when proposing any geoengineering project than whether or not it is a technically feasible idea and even if indeed the intended result which in the case of hydrosols is to reduce surface water temperature, is actually achieved.
          Again I wasn’t disputing that it might be possible to do exactly that.

          I raised a few points in my reply I’ll repeat one here as an example:

          Have any studies been done to assess the impacts of the reduced light penetration due to a hydrosol on the symbiotic algae that live in coral tissues?
          Is it possible that by creating a light reflecting hydrosol layer over a coral reef, it might not only cool the water but adversely effect the organisms through some unforeseen mechanism that might interfere with normal photosynthesis of the symbiotic algae?

          Perhaps such studies have been done and it has already been shown that this is not something we should worry about because the effect is negligible?

          The main point of my comment being that there are many unknown unknowns that might create undesirable side effects when deploying a geoengineering project and wherever possible I would prefer to proceed with extreme caution before doing so. Which is why my very first comment on that thread was a suggestion that scientists with advanced degrees in ecosystems biology and good grasp of chaos math be a part of any geoengineering project that intends to deploy something like a multi kilometer long hydrosol over a living coral reef.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            I only now read Russell’s reply at realclimate:

            Many of the issues Fred Magyar refers to are addressed in the paper’s 2,000 word discussion section which I urge him to read with greater care.

            I will do so, thanks.
            However my greater point with regards any geoengineering project should still stand. The precautionary principle needs to be applied in spades.

  22. George Kaplan says:

    Looks like Larson C crack might reach the sea this year, and another crack has formed which could end up giving an equally big ice berg in a couple of years if it keeps going in it’s current path.


    • GoneFishing says:

      With the southern ocean taking up much of the heat, both from maximum insolation and GHG warming, it only makes sense that changes in the ice are occurring in Antarctica. I do not think we are anywhere near maximum loss rate now, just seeing the transistion period.

      • George Kaplan says:

        How did Larsen B collapse? I know most of it simply disintegrated over a few weeks, but did it start with a couple of big chunks breaking off?

        • Survivalist says:

          There’s a good little video on YouTube that shows a few time lapse pics and it appears to me that it shattered rather quickly into a lot of similar sized pieces.

          • notanoilman says:

            Probably helped by lots of melt pools eating into fissures. Larsen C seems to have the same issue.


  23. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    “Technology is neither good or evil.” ~ Fred Magyar

    “Only that’s not exactly true, despite your impressive lowbrow comment and mindless mantra, which I’ve come to expect.

    And as [you] seem to like to prance around in the flag of so-called technology and science, it’s wryly amusing as well.” ~ Caelan MacIntyre

    The Philosophy of the Technology of the Gun

    “Taking on the instrumentalist conception of technology, Don Ihde, a leading philosopher of technology, claims that ‘the human-gun relation transforms the situation from any similar situation of a human without a gun.’ By focusing on what it is like for a flesh-and-blood human to actually be in possession of a gun, Ihde describes ‘lived experience’ in a manner that reveals the NRA position to be but a partial grasp of a more complex situation. By equating firearm responsibility exclusively with human choice, the NRA claim abstracts away relevant considerations about how gun possession can affect one’s sense of self and agency. In order to appreciate this point, it helps to consider the fundamental materiality of guns.

    In principle, guns, like every technology, can be used in different ways to accomplish different goals. Guns can be tossed around like Frisbees. They can be used to dig through dirt like shovels, or mounted on top of a fireplace mantel, as aesthetic objects. They can even be integrated into cooking practices; gangster pancakes might make a tasty Sunday morning treat. But while all of these options remain physical possibilities, they are not likely to occur, at least not in a widespread manner with regularity. Such options are not practically viable because gun design itself embodies behavior-shaping values; its material composition indicates the preferred ends to which it ‘should’ be used. Put in Ihde’s parlance, while a gun’s structure is ‘multistable’ with respect to its possible uses across a myriad of contexts, a partially determined trajectory nevertheless constrains which possibilities are easy to pursue and which of the intermediate and difficult options are worth investing time and labor into.” ~ Evan Selinger

    Values in Technology and Disclosive Computer Ethics

    “This chapter focused on the embedded values approach, which holds that computer systems and software are capable of harboring embedded or ‘built-in’ values, and on two derivative approaches, disclosive computer ethics and value-sensitive design. It has been argued that, in spite of powerful arguments for the neutrality of technology, a good case can be made that technological artifacts, including computer systems, can be value-laden. “

    See also:

    ‘Ethics and Emerging Technologies’,
    edited by Ronald Sandler

    ‘Nanotechnology & Society: Current and Emerging Ethical Issues’
    edited by Fritz Allhoff, Patrick Lin

    ‘Ethical Impact of Technological Advancements and Applications in Society’
    edited by Luppicini, Rocci

    ‘Evaluating New Technologies: Methodological Problems for the Ethical Assessment of Technology Developments’
    edited by Paul Sollie, Marcus Düwell

    • Fred Magyar says:

      LOL! So why are you still using this technology to post your thoughts on this site?!
      It seems to me you are being both hypocritical and unethical. You’d be better off and more honest if you used a gun to shovel dirt. Hey maybe you can package seeds in a bullet and shoot them into the ground when doing permaculture… Good luck!

      • Boomer II says:

        I’ve always wondered why he is so opposed to technology but is here using it to post his thoughts. Why not go off and create the community he wants and not bother to post here? Doing by example seems more productive than posting to a site that is about gas and oil.

        • Boomer II says:

          The issue with most utopian societies is not that they are bad ideas but they are hard to maintain for any length of time. So the important part isn’t writing about them but actually creating a workable, sustaining model.

          So no matter how much is written about how society “should” be, that doesn’t prove it’s a working concept. You’ve got to gather a group of people together and motivate them enough to have them stay together.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          He seems to think this is a ‘Collapse Blog’! While he is perfectly content to use computer technology and electricity to complain about the system that provides him with that very technology. It seems that his main cognitive dissonance is being unable to distinguish between someone saying something like “A banking system that benefits the wealthy exists” And that the person who makes such a statement is not necessarily either personally benefiting from that system nor endorsing it outright as something intrinsically good or even evil for that matter.

          He especially seems to get his panties all bunched up when I mention things like CRISPR… I find it endlessly amusing to push his buttons on that and things like bioengineering and other disruptive technologies.

          I mean these things certainly exist, and as members of society we can choose to know about them and how they are affecting us and be part of the discussion about them or we can choose to be deliberately ignorant of these realities and stick our heads in the sand and complain bitterly about the strawman demons he loves putting out there which he calls the world of the so-called/crony-capitalist-plutarchy-derived science and technology,

          If he didn’t have such a closed mind I’d suggest he read Lambros Malaforis’ book: ‘How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement’


          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            “…bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant…” ~ Goodreads intro of book, ‘On Bullshit’, by Harry G. Frankfurt

            ” ‘On Bullshit’… defines the concept and analyzes the applications of bullshit in the contexts of communication. Frankfurt determines that bullshit is speech intended to persuade (a.k.a. rhetoric), without regard for truth. The liar cares about the truth and attempts to hide it; the bullshitter doesn’t care if what they say is true or false, but rather only cares whether or not their listener is persuaded.” ~ Wikipedia

            Speaking of previously-spun threads, and ostensible disingenuousness, see also here.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            “He seems to think this is a ‘Collapse Blog’!” ~ Fred Magyar

            So does Ron:

            “Bullshit! This is a collapse blog as well as an energy blog.” ~ Ron Patterson

            Ron’s ‘Bullshit!‘ was a nice touch, dovetailing well with the spirit of this thread, ay, Fred?

            Right Said Fred

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Yes, Caelan, I’m aware of Ron’s statement and what he thinks. However despite the fact that different aspects of societal collapse are indeed discussed here does not make this an exclusively collapse focused blog. Topics discussed here are pretty wide ranging and can go from quantum cromodynamics and cosmology to the genetic engineering of strains of bamboo, anthropology, theory of evolution, history of science, economics, politics to clean energy tech, peak oil, climate change, you name it. If you are here exclusively for collapse then I think you are missing the best this blog has to offer!

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                “Topics discussed here are pretty wide ranging and can go from…” ~ Fred Magyar

                You bet, including of course, from yours truly, critiques of the subjects of your commentary on crony-capitalist plutarchy glam-tech in the face of diminishing energy returns, increasing social decay, disparities and destabilization and ecological damage.

                “Battery cells are now in production at Tesla’s GigafactoryTop EV Battery Producers…” ~ Fred Magyar

                “You forgot Big Data, General AI… Genomics, CRISPER, Gene Drives etc…” ~ Fred Magyar

                “I am quite proud of the fact that I have had the opportunity to work [with] some… scientists, engineers, technologists, and leaders at many corporations around the world.” ~ Fred Magyar

                “As a long time proponent of… anarchism myself, I understand very well why such a POV is highly threatening to any entity that concentrates power, such as nation states and corporations…“ ~ FMagyar

                …So, Fred, would you like to answer the implied question of whether you are an anarchist or not or, like so many ‘leaders’, are you content to just bury the issue in bullshit and hope it goes away?

            • OFM says:

              Hi Caelan,

              You throw around so many big words that they are bound to impress people who aren’t able to deconstruct them into plain old hillbilly English.

              Most of them translate precisely into “Bullshit”. The rest need to be surrounded by a forest of qualifers such as if, maybe, might, etc which you seldom mention.

              Fred Maygar IS a realist. He and I are not necessarily on the same page politically, a good deal of the time, but he has a SUPERB grasp of political, economic, and environmental reality.

              I used to be a rather hard core Doomer myself, because my own technical training and reading of history convinced me humanity would destroy the environment along with itself.

              But over the last decade or so, I’ve grown so impressed with progress in various technologies, and the unexpectedly fast decline in birth rates, etc, that I now believe there is a good possibility that a substantial portion of industrial civilization will survive, assuming some good political luck and continued progress in renewable energy, energy conservation, cultural adjustments, etc.

              I’m sure Fred will agree with me on this point, namely that collapse IS not only possible but a very real possibility, but otoh collapse at least on a world wide basis is NOT foreordained.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                “Fred Maygar IS a realist.” ~ OFM

                I don’t really care what you think of or bullshit about what he bullshits about himself, especially where or because it is irrelevant.

                “BTW… I’m a realist…” ~ Fred Magyar

                “…bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant…” ~ Goodreads intro of book, ‘On Bullshit’, by Harry G. Frankfurt

                “I enjoy making a fool of myself in public jousting with Caelan…” ~ Oldfarmermac

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          We’ve spun this thread before, Boomer II.

          It can be followed down to here, if you’re so inclined of course.

          I have often maintained, such as now again– often with support/references (see the issue of value/ethics here and in previous threads for examples)– both explicitly and implicitly, that I’m not opposed to technology per se.

          How you wish to respond to it is up to you and whomever else though.

          I understand, that comments made about people’s positions generally won’t necessarily be made with complete comprehension, or in good faith, or out of an interest in the truth, and so forth.

          I mean, there exist various forms of bullshit, denial and the like, including hereon. We see it, as a small example, with anthropogenic climate change/global warming, but it’s far from exclusive to that, right?

          Speaking of which, and threads we’ve spun before, remember your ‘crazy talk‘?

          As for Fred above, he’s clearly trolling/bullshitting (more or less admitting it by the push button comment), referring to me 11 times (!) in the third person while leveraging your own comment to do so. Piece of work that.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            What makes you think your bullshit is any better or more refined than anyone else’s?

            You are entitled to your opinion just like every one, the problem with your posts is that you always seem to think that you hold the moral high ground and you can preach your brand of salvation to the rest of us unwashed heathens.

            Excepting the science denier crowd most everyone else who posts information here is willing to discuss the merits. You on the other hand have a mind that is more closed than a religious fundamentalist.

            BTW, science is not ideological! It is a way of discovering the truth about the nature of the world. And yes, individual scientists are human beings and can be biased and even have political agendas. Which in no ways negates the enterprise of science itself. Technology is a slightly different beast, while it depends on science and engineering it is just an application of a narrow aspect of scientific knowledge, Think the GPS in your smartphone that depends on knowledge of Einstein’s theory of relativity. Now individual humans can use GPS navigation for both innocent and mundane or for nefarious purposes.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Alas, Fred, as much as some might like to fantasize, a human enterprise cannot be separated from the human. The enterprise of science is no different.
              Thus, there is little point in a human enterprise that somehow threatens the well being or survival of the human species and, by extension, the vitality of its ecosphere.

              So my concern for this, as you say, ‘moral high ground’, may actually be key to whether or not we continue, and comfortably, onward into the far future with our enterprises, like science and technology.

              Paradoxically, however, technology beyond a certain level of complexity may, by its very complexity, render a certain level of individual/local/’democratic’ control an impossibility (and therefore render it fundamentally unethical?).

              “And that’s in large part why we are in the predicaments we are in. Because humans are doing things ass-backwards and putting the cart before the horse and thinking that’s ok, cuz it’s a CRISPR horse.

              Incidentally, your mention of whether I know about CRISPR or not actually underscores the point that not all of us are or can be this or the other specialist, and (so) rely on them all the time in a highly-complex ass-backwards society; specialists that jerk around and sleep on the job, etc., and have all the failings of the typical human.” ~ Caelan MacIntyre

              “Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” ~ Aldous Huxley

  24. clueless says:

    Is Musk insane?? I glanced at the headlines of an article supposedly saying that Musk thought that self-driving cars would travel in tunnels and pop up at the destination. Twenty years ago, the Boston “Big Dig” cost $24 billion, years behind schedule, and needless to say more than 5 times the original cost estimates.

    I can see it now, they are tunneling between Cambridge, MA and Newton, MA. The have a $10 billion tunneling machine, with carbon dating sensors. After one foot of drilling, the sensors detect something. A small chard of pottery – say 5 oz. The project is immediately halted. Never mind that it is impossible for any archaeologist to dig anywhere where humans have lived and NOT find pottery. Nonetheless, the project is stopped. Every native American within 1000 miles files suit that it is sacred ground, given to them by God. It is a desecration to continue drilling. After 10 years and $5 billion of court costs, the Supreme Court rules that the drilling can continue. Unfortunately, 5 feet later, a stone arrowhead is discovered, and the process starts over.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Is Musk insane??

      No, more like; crazy like a garden variety mollusc!


      • clueless says:

        Even though the majority of people in LA and California are brain dead, you are not going to get them to pony up money to be catapulted around underground in a earthquake prone area. And Musk IS insane. He points out that mines go further down than buildings go up. What an asinine statement. So why have we chosen to build buildings up, rather than down? Probably because it would cost 100 times more and take 100 times longer to build down. Is Musk nuts? – No, he is insane.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          He may well be insane but his boring company is real!


        • wharf rat says:

          “you are not going to get them to pony up money to be catapulted around underground in a earthquake prone area”

          We got them to do that in the Sixties. I know somebody who was under SF Bay when the World Series Quake hit.

          The Transbay Tube is an underwater rail tunnel which carries Bay Area Rapid Transit’s four transbay lines under San Francisco Bay between the cities of San Francisco and Oakland in California. The tube is 3.6 miles (5.8 km) long; including the approaches from the nearest stations (one of which is underground), it totals 6 miles (10 km) in length. It has a maximum depth of 135 feet (41 m) below sea level.

          BART trains reach their highest speeds in the Tube, almost 80 miles per hour (130 km/h), more than double the average 36 miles per hour (58 km/h) speed in the remainder of the system.[5]

          The largest quake to date was the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. During the 1989 earthquake, a train passing through the Tube was ordered to stop, although the operator reported no apparent motion.[63] After inspection, the tube was found to be safe, and was reopened just six hours later, with regular service resuming system-wide twelve hours after the quake.[63][64] Many area highways were damaged by the event, and with the Bay Bridge closed for a month due to a section of the upper deck falling onto the lower deck on a truss section of the east span, the Transbay Tube was the only passable direct way between San Francisco and Oakland.[44]


          • Preston says:

            Also, in 1989 some of those highways weren’t just damaged but completely collapsed, and many people were killed.

            • wharf rat says:

              BART’s going green…

              Several mornings a week, I leave my home in sunny Oakland, board a Bay Area Rapid Transit train and shoot underwater to work at Greentech Media’s San Francisco bureau. In time, that commute to write about clean energy will be powered by clean energy as well.

              The BART board of directors just passed an electrical portfolio policy that requires half of the organization’s power to come from renewables by 2025, and 100 percent by 2045. That has broader implications for the region, because the electric train system consumes roughly 400,000 megawatt-hours annually — equivalent to a small city like Alameda. And, due to a unique legislative carve-out, BART will procure this power itself.


    • Bergen Johnson says:

      Tunneling would be a lot easier if there weren’t a multitude of different strata to bore through, and some are much more difficult than others. When they run into chalk it can collapse and cause cave ins, and sometimes they run into water or clay and so on. Musk talks about increasing boring speeds 10 times – Huh? Suddenly there’s going to be that much of an improvement in the speed of boring tunnels?! Also, ventilating tunnels and emergency teams when problems occur is another huge expense. I’d say if he’s going to go to all the trouble of boring transport tubes then only allow EV’s. That at least gets away from carbon monoxide poisoning and would help sales of EV’s. That being said I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt so far, but boring tunnels under cities is a fools errand and a fool and his (investors) money are soon parted. Might be much better off making a flying EV.

      • Paulo says:

        Does anyone like going into a tunnel? I know I don’t. I also wouldn’t ride in a pilotless plane or a driverless car. I don’t eat gas station food, either.

        Some days I just want to stop the rotation and step off.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:


        • Survivalist says:

          I’d be impressed if humanity could figure out a driverless freight train without it being a balls-up. Driverless cars is just some techno-cornucopian circle jerk. Americans seem to suffer from the delusion that by somehow improving the car it’s gonna make the future ok. I guess when the only power you have is the power of a consumer then it’s not hard to conclude that all your problems are solved by just buying different stuff. Shiiiiit, maybe just send some driverless EVs to Syria and Yemen and they’ll all start holding hands and singing Pete Seeger songs.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          I also wouldn’t ride in a pilotless plane or a driverless car.

          Yet you already do, at least if you have ever flown on a commercial plane.


          So what exactly is the autopilot?

          It is what the name suggests—the autopilot flies the airplane without the human pilots controlling “hands on.”

          “Basically it is a computer that is running very, very fast,” said Paul Robinson, president and CEO of AeroTech Research. “It can almost fly the plane completely between takeoff and landing.”

          The autopilot system relies on a series of sensors around the aircraft that pick up information like speed, altitude and turbulence. That data are ingested into the computer, which then makes the necessary changes. Basically, it can do almost everything a pilot can do. Key phrase: almost everything.

    • OFM says:

      Tunneling sure as hell IS super super expensive, especially in a place like Boston, where semi literate unionized laborers make one percenter money on a job like the Big Dig, and every decision is made on political grounds, rather than business grounds, but tunneling WILL get to be cheaper, and may well turn out to be practical, at least in super densely populated large cities.

      But what puzzles me is that people in such cities don’t COLLECTIVELY adjust their life styles to the reality of getting around. The last time I was working a regular job, I was in the habit of stopping for coffee at a fast food place, and got to talking to the cashier, who it turned out had been there for years, and planned on RETIRING on that job, for one super simple reason. It was within easy walking distance of her house, freeing her of the need to own a car, or take ( in that small town non existent) public transportation. She could also manage grocery shopping on foot, and seldom needed to call a cab for any reason. She could have managed doctor, dentist, and other appointments easily using a bicycle during nice weather, if she had been willing to ride one on the streets.

      It’s an EXCESS of government, partly, that is to blame for our transportation mess. We ASKED FOR IT, not realizing there are ALWAYS strings attached, and now we are strangling on idiotic zoning regulation.

      The most vibrant, “in” neighborhood in Richmond Virginia is the Fan District, which once was the home of the sniffy moneyed class, which went to hell when the automobile took over, and turned into a dump. But by some lucky accident, it HAD to be an accident, the city allowed the bones of the old mansions to be renovated into apartments, and stores and restaurants to be mixed in anyplace anybody wanted to open one, and now ………. Well suffice it to say I have lived in various urban environments for short periods, and in the FAN for quite a while. It’s the most desirable URBAN place to live I ever unpacked my bags for more than a week or two. Walk anywhere you needed, shop with a bicycle, doctor, dentist, lawyer, accountant, hair dresser, university all easily within reach. Buses when you needed one.

      Transportation problems in cities in my view is more a political and cultural problem than a technical problem.

      But untangling the political knots may well prove to be impossible. TOO MANY people are too stupid, and too many people are benefiting, at least in the short term, from the status quo.

      The people in the Fan District who own the property there now are doing all they can to make sure the District isn’t allowed to grow outward into surrounding neighborhoods, which they fear would result in diluting rents and property values IN the Fan.

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        “where semi literate unionized laborers make one percenter money on a job”

        Trumpster, so now what’s your problem ? First you complain about low wages, now your complaining about what ? Making to much money. Or, are you trying to point out the importance of organized union labor ?

        • Trumpster says:

          I’m the proud owner of a little book proving I was once upon a time an Operating Engineer, a union that mostly represented guys in the mining and highway construction trades in my part of the country. I spent some time as a union organizer myself, getting that union voted in on the construction of I 77 thru Fancy Gap, where I worked for a couple of years as a heavy equipment operator myself. For my troubles, I was given the job of driving a giant Catepillar truck with bad brakes so that I was at serious risk of wrecking it, and maybe killing myself and anybody else nearby, driving it off a damned steep and slick hill, lol. I got cussed on a daily basis for tearing up the haul road, because the truck had brakes in only one back wheel ( Cat trucks in those days only had pretend brakes in the front wheels, utterly useless ) meaning that wheel slid quite a bit, tearing up the road, whereas the trucks with both wheels having good brakes didn’t lock up a wheel. Before that, I got my picture in the paper down around Richmond, described sometimes as commie activist involved in organizing a real union for the teachers, being employed at that time as a teacher.

          My dear old Daddy was a member of the Teamsters for right at fifty years, and the key member of the local union negotiating committee for the last twenty of that fifty. I have forgotten more about union labor, and what’s good about it, and what’s not, than you have ever DREAMED of knowing, lap doggie.

          Now HERE is the one key fact that’s bad about union labor. The people IN powerful unions don’t REALLY give a flying fuck about anybody but themselves, and their comparative advantage over other workers. If it costs taxpayers who make half or a third what they make on a job like the Big Dig a few bucks here, a few bucks there, until it adds up to a real problem, they could care less.

          I’ve been on both sides. I could have stayed in a union, and make quite a lot of money, more than I have ever made farming, or teaching, etc, by a mile, but I preferred to have complete control of my own life to the extent possible.

          But I made low six figure money on an annual basis working on union construction jobs or plant maintenance shut downs at nukes in the early eighties.

          Unions are like most things, good for some people, not so good for others.

          Overall, historically, unions did this country a truly monumental service in establishing the right of working people to be treated fairly, and I don’t have any thing AGAINST unions, I’m for them for the most part.

          But I will continue to tell it like it is, and one REALLY important reason big infrastructure jobs sometimes cost both arms and both legs is that union guys do all they can to milk the contractor dry, with the contractor of course not really giving a shit, because contractors just pass along all their costs.
          The only time a union really costs a contractor anything is when the job is already bid and won, and the union wins representation AFTER the contract is signed based on the previous non union assumptions.

          With big time manufacturing, it’s different. Excessively high wages and benefits, especially pension benefits, were two of the the primary reasons GM went bankrupt, and why the auto industry moved south on the grand scale.

          In smaller scale manufacturing, it’s very hard to impossible for unions to ever gain much power, because it’s too easy for a non union competitor to take a unionized companies customers. This is why unions were never able to really gain much power in the textile industries. The plants were too small, and owned by too many different people, and the customers were ready to switch suppliers, most of the time, at the drop of a hat.

          It didn’t cost much to open a factory to make blue jeans or socks. Four or five million bucks, find yourself an empty building, and you could be in business in a matter of months. It’s different in automobiles. You need four or five billion, to get started, and years and years to get established.

          And incidentally, while I don’t have much cash income, I’m not at all hard up.I prefer to live simply, and don’t NEED much cash. My net worth is going up on a very satisfactory basis, given that Mother Nature doesn’t make new land on a time scale that matters to humanity. Most of the newcomers around here eager to pay a ridiculous price for a hill top with a view are D Lite types fleeing from getting what they wanted up north, where they made a lot of money, but spent it all trying to keep up with the cost of living.

          They LIKE rural southern ways,when it comes to peace and quiet, etc, for the most part, although they are generally snobbish and stuck up, and eager to create the same problems here that resulted in their wanting to move south in the first place.

          I suppose one of these days I will accommodate one or two of them , and sell a couple of hilltop building sites, which will bring in enough cash to allow me to live quite well for another decade or two, if I live that long, considering the welfare state covers my health care, etc.

          I find it hard to come up with any morally justifiable argument that explains why one guy who is a qualified carpenter is working on a job making forty bucks an hour, and the next guy, just as good at the trade, is not even allowed to apply on the same job site. . ……….

          If you have a hard time getting your head around this observation, pretend the guy who doesn’t have the union card in his wallet is black or brown, instead of white. Then maybe you will get it.

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            “The people IN powerful unions don’t REALLY give a flying fuck about anybody but themselves”

            Do you have anything to back up their any different than anyone else ? or is that just a Trumpster wild ass guess.

      • Nick G says:

        now we are strangling on idiotic zoning regulation.

        What about Houston and LA? I’d say a lack of zoning and urban planning has worked out pretty badly for transportation…

    • Boomer II says:

      I’ve been reading some articles in response to Musk’s tunnel idea.

      It appears there is support for designing better tunneling machines, but transportation experts feel that anything that promotes more use of cars is misguided. More cars mean more gridlock and more need for parking spaces.

      Better public transportation solutions, so that there are fewer cars on the road, seems to be the preferred use of transportation money.

      My guess is that by the time there is actually money for this project, people will be looking for solutions that don’t involve finding ways to let people drive their cars underground to avoid traffic.

      • Boomer II says:

        Here’s how I view Musk. He sells rich people’s fantasies.

        And that is a reasonable business move because rich people have money and if appealing to their fantasies funds product development that will eventually filter down to the masses, he has transformed society.

        There isn’t a lot of political will among most of the rich to put their money into improving the lives of the poor (that happens when people become very, very rich, like Gates and Buffet). But sell something cool to the rich, then those first adopters pay for the investment and the product development.

        Cellphones and home computers didn’t start as mass market products.

        Musk is getting products developed and out into the marketplace. The knock-offs sold at a lower price point will follow. This happens in many industries. Products start out as expensive boutique items and then end up in Target and Walmart.

        • Puffalar (Your Five-Alarm Puff) says:

          “He sells rich people’s fantasies.” ~ Boomer II

          I wrote something in the petroleum thread, where your comment might dovetail nicely in terms of the idea of the so-called rich having much of the ‘economic fat’ left on the currently dieting puffy so-called economy.

          So how do you tap it? Tesla! Gigafactory products! Solar panels!

          If the economy is a fat/puffy person– which it is, but the party’s over– and they are running out of food (oil), they are probably at the point now of increasingly drawing on their fat reserves– funds, interest rate dives, quantitative easing, assorted financial instruments, fracking subsidies, business closures (save energy), market cannibalization, etc., but also luxury-subsidies-for-the-rich toys so as to then tap the rich…

          Ok, so let’s see… Tax the mid and lower levels before they get too gutted, transfer some of those taxes to the funding of luxury stuff like solar panels, battery-system factories like Gigafactory, and EV’s, etc., and then get the rich to buy them.
          Promo the stuff as some kind of transition to a viable society…

          Profit! ‘u^

          • Boomer II says:

            Yeah, the rich are one of the few groups left with enough capital lying around to fund projects sustainable or not. As the masses have less and government spends less, then the rich become the source to subsidize science, technology, etc. Some of it will be wasted (perhaps a lot), but there won’t be nearly the political outcry if the rich lose a little money than if government does.

            Musk can create his own version of Bell Labs.

            I would much rather have Musk pushing the envelope than no one doing it.

            • Boomer II says:

              Another thing I will say in defense of Musk. He isn’t using his money and investors’ money to suppress or take away from the poor. And he isn’t using it to preserve the status quo — a status quo that leaves fewer people in well-off positions. Nor do his companies rack up pollution violations.

              In my mind, the way he uses this money is relatively benign and in fact supports some goals I would like to see accomplished.

              I think Musk has a big ego, and I think he depends on a fair degree of hype to sell his ideas, but he has moved EVs forward and he has gotten people thinking about and talking about solar and batteries. His space activities and tunnels aren’t my concern, but if he wants to do them, so be it. It’s not my money.

              • Nick G says:

                Space exploration is incredibly inspiring. That alone makes it worth it (not to mention the enormous practical value of space activities – what’s GPS worth?).

                I suspect that if you had a nickel for every time you’re heard “if we can go to the moon, we can do X”, you’d be rich.

                • Boomer II says:

                  Space produced lots of government-funded research. The same can be said for research done by the Defense Department.

                  The question might be whether research done in the name of space and military operations is better than research done for others reasons.

                  I am fine with space and even defense research, but it might be a stretch to say we need them to drive research for society-wide benefits.

                  • Nick G says:

                    We don’t need to make different forms of research compete with each other – almost any research is a better use of money than ordinary consumer consumption.

                    I think we might except some military R&D…

                  • Boomer II says:

                    Yes, research is a better use of money than many alternatives. And I have no issue with money (public and private) being spent on it.

                    Nor do I have an issue with any of Musk’s projects. Some are just of more interest to me than others. I don’t need justifications as to why he is funding space projects or tunnels. I just think the EVs, solar, and batteries are especially relevant as we look for fossil fuel alternatives.

                  • Nick G says:

                    The thing that worries me is that Musk might burn out his people trying to do too much. I read that’s a real problem – he drives himself and his employees very, very hard.

                    I’d like to see him succeed. I hope he’s being wise in his planning.

                    Of course, if he was a low-risk, “prudent” kind of guy, he wouldn’t have done ANY of this stuff…

  25. texas tea says:

    interesting business model
    Tesla Burns Through $620 Million, Loses $13,000 Per Car Made Ahead Of Model 3 Launch

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Yeah but Tesla stock is still worth more than GM and Ford’s. Mainly because Tesla, despite rumors to the contrary, is not an automobile manufacturing company. They are a technology platform company and their main product is lithium ion based battery storage systems. They are planning another 4 Gigafactories.

      You probably won’t take my word or for it or even Musk’s own words in the link I provided to clueless but you might want to listen to Trump supporter and climate change denier, Jack Rickard, talk about Tesla’s business model in his latest EVTV installment.


      • Boomer II says:

        I wouldn’t buy Tesla stock (I’m not a speculator) but I applaud him for pushing the EV and solar models forward.

        For technology to advance, people need to take risks. And if there are investors willing to fund these ventures, so much the better.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          I wouldn’t buy Tesla stock (I’m not a speculator) but I applaud him for pushing the EV and solar models forward.

          To be clear I don’t own any stock in Tesla, GM or Ford either. My point was that a company that was barely a startup just a few years ago has a valuation that has surpassed both GM and Ford. Even if they should fail spectacularly they have already changed the course of history. All the major automobile manufacturers have all electrics in production. EVs are simply better than ICEs.


          2017 Is Here: Here Are the Top 10 Electric Car Companies

          We update this list regularly because the market is changing so quickly. The new models we’ve driven have caused us to rethink the Top 10.

          Picking the Top 10 electric car makers now involves making some choices as the number of vehicles available increases. Plug-ins are trending in key markets around the country, although much of the action remains focused in California and other West Coast states. By the end of 2016 the total number of plug-in vehicles (that’s pure battery electrics and plug-in hybrids) sold this year topped 150,000. It’s a year of exponential growth with the expectation this 2017 will be another just like it. We think we’ll see many more miles driven on electrons this year.

        • Boomer II says:

          What’s interesting about Musk is that he is taking on projects usually only done by governments.

          If he can get private investors to fund these massive projects, and especially if he can make the projects succeed, it presents us an alternative to public funding. When much of Wall Street is focused on quarterly results, it is good to have someone who is looking way beyond the next few months.

          • Boomer II says:

            And I support public works. But someone like Musk can move faster than government, so sometimes it is better to bypass government and have private investors put up the money.

            If Musk can accomplish what politicians can’t, then I want him to do so. The tunnel thing certainly wouldn’t be my priority, but then again, it isn’t my money, so he can give it a try.

      • Bill Franti says:

        Lately, it seems like anytime there are these massive wildfires, major storms, or peculiar weather events, the leftwing-biased mainstream media insists on cooking up some way to tie it into supposedly unstoppable climate change. I’m seeing this all the time now on NBC Nightly News. At one point, probably at least two decades ago or more, the program seemed fairly balanced in coverage of politics and such, but now it leans more leftward each day. The same can pretty much be said for all these other news outlets and taxpayer-funded government agencies, including NSIDC.

        • Survivalist says:

          What would you suggest is creating conditions more favorable for wildfire if it is not drier and warmer fuels? Perhaps read up on wildfire behavior and the factors that contribute to it. As well, I fail to see what increased fire behavior weather has to do with left wing politics. Do you feel that the laws of physics have moral and political dispositions?

          Perhaps you’re a little overly focused on binary opposition based politics and media and you could benefit personally by taking a science class and learning about the reality of the world you live in.


          PS maybe stop watching NBC news if you don’t like it. I did, a long time ago. It’s usually crap anyway.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          By the time enough people realize and/or accept what’s wrong with global-industrial crony-capitalist plutarchy culture, and stop explicitly and implicitly defending and supporting it, and decide to do somethings about it, is when it may be too late. It may already be too late.

          Reach For The Dead

        • George Kaplan says:

          The news has to attract viewers, wildfires are good viewing and there are now more options to get the really good pictures with flames leaping high behind the intrepid reporter. What they should be showing is the issues leading to the wildfires increase, and that is not so interesting, or requires the viewer to actually think.

          There is a great video of the spread of the pine bark beetle infestation in BC if you can find it (I think it might be NASA). The pine beetle has moved north and to higher altitudes as BC has warmed. The was a cold winter in the mid 80s which killed most of them off, but they came back stronger as temperatures increased. Now whole swathes of forest are dead or dying and more prone to fire.

  26. Preston says:

    The april data hasn’t been released yet, but looks likely we will be back in all time highs again soon.

    • George Kaplan says:

      Colombia ENSO ensemble might come out today, I’ll guess it’s going to higher probabilities for El Nino through the next few months, which will support the higher temperature trajectory.

  27. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment
    book review

    “Techno-Fix cannot be easily dismissed as a radical rant by idealistic Luddites espousing a return to the Middle Ages for everyone else while they continue to enjoy the comforts and privilege offered by Western culture. The Heusemanns strike at the heart of the scientific enterprise and lay bare the inherent flaws in the scientific method to demonstrate how our culture’s almost three century devotion to science, and its perceived infallibility, have cost us dearly. Secondly, the authors shine a light on the sacrosanct cultural belief of the value neutrality of science and expose the naïveté of blindly accepting the scientific enterprise, and its resulting technological development, as following the immutable natural law ‘what can be done, will be and must be done.’…

    The wide eyed optimism with which we view science is undeterred even when the resultant technology has potentially unintended and devastating consequences.

    The authors write, ‘Every year, the chemical industry produces over 100 million tons of synthetic organic chemicals, representing over 65,000 different compounds in regular commercial use.’. Few of these chemicals are tested for possible side effects. The limits of the scientific method mean the complex interactions among these thousands of compounds are beyond the ability of current science to comprehend. Yet, when problems occur we are perfectly willing to look for another technological solution, or what the authors call a counter-technology. Our faith remains unshaken. It is firmly placed in science finding a way forward. This almost religious belief in technology is at the center of the sustainable development and eco-efficiency trend

    Part 2 delves deeply into the sources of our culture’s unwavering technological optimism and the powerful corporate and political interests that are aligned to ensure we continue to uncritically associate new technology, and the investment and resources it requires, with not only personal happiness and fulfilment, but with the continued survival of our society. Science and technology, rather than being value neutral, are inextricably entwined with the language of the global marketplace. The unquestioned connection between continued technological development, regardless of its purpose or consequences, and the survival of our economies and continued well being, is repeated across all sectors of society, particularly in the all pervasive popular media, so that the connection is part of our individual and collective consciousness.

    Techno-Fix solidifies how and why the consumer-consciousness is central to technological development. Traditional sources of happiness (community, socialization,meaningful engagement with friends and family) that cannot be commoditized are pushed out and replaced by pursuits that isolate us from others and from nature with devastating consequences on our psychological well being and on our interest in preserving the life support systems of our planet…”

  28. George Kaplan says:

    The PIOMAS April Arctic Sea Ice numbers are out – 20.64 thousand cubic kilometers at end of month. A new low, running about a month ahead of last year. Peak was in the third week of April – there was a long plateau. Rate of volume increase didn’t really pick up in the first half of month, which some expected as the volume was so low. The running trailing annual average is still falling, but at 1.2% per month rather than 1.5% seen in December. But it is still at all time low and now falling below the quadratic trend extrapolation from December.

    The ice around southern Greenland and NE Canada, including Hudson Bay is due for very warm air temperatures over the next week and a more, and the Pacific side might be seeing warmer sea water and the northern Canadian rivers have started to unblock to release warmer fresh water into the ocean (not sure about Siberian rivers). Things happening fast, maybe some darkening of the snow ice from Siberia wildfires possible as well.

  29. Longtimber says:

    Meanwhile from the heart of Coal Country

    Note: The Price premium for Centralized Gen vs distributed Gen continues to increase.
    Here in NW Fla we have another 7% Increase. As per 10K, The monopoly Southern Co is Insolvent – that’s even before the Toshiba / Westinghouse Bankruptcy

  30. Trumpster says:

    The reply slots are running short up thread.

    Here’s some more of the sort of stuff that makes it PERFECTLY obvious to anybody who is not a dyed in the wool D partisan AND Clintonista that all the smoke , the stink of dead fish that has trailed after Clinton ever since she got into politics, is the result of not just a Great Right Wing Conspiracy, but some real fire, and indicative of the fact that playing by the rules has never interested Clinton at all.


    Hey folks, the people behind this lawsuit are the future leaders of the Democratic Party, the younger, the more idealistic, the better educated, the cream of the country.

    Not very many of them live in their mom’s basement, lol.

  31. Preston says:

    Tesla owners have been collecting real data on battery performance. Looks pretty good out to 150,000 miles (240,000kM) still more than 90% remaining capacity.


  32. clueless says:

    I have 8 children, 35 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren (probably will number more than the grandchildren at some point). So, obviously, no one is more concerned about the future sustainability of Mother Earth than I am. In that regard, 10 years ago I acquired a transcontinental jet. I can get to 2 or 3 sustainability conferences, worldwide, every month. Nothing is more important than reducing carbon dioxide. Every day I pray that Musk invents a battery to power an airplane to eliminate my need for a jet. In the meantime, I will do everything that I can to outlaw ICE auto’s. If people cannot afford substitutes, they should just ride an electric bike. Sorry, I have to cut this short – the chauffeur is ready to take me to another protest – by helicopter.

    • Boomer II says:

      Or this is an alternative.

      Income inequality gets so extreme that most people won’t be able to afford a private vehicle no matter how it is powered. That will cut down on emissions.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.

        — Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

    • piptee doop tay badoo pap says:


      Here’s a shivver me timbers question inspired by Boomer II’s comment: Has complexity ever increased or remained the same in the face of civilization/energy decline?

      Because the answer to that question might mean the answer to the viability of electric vehicles and things like that that still require complexity.

      • George Kaplan says:

        By work of Diamond, Costanza and especially Tainter things have to get simpler once collapse begins, but it depends a bit on how you choose to define complexity. The most successful handling of a collapse was probably the Eastern Roman Empire which survived initially by a high level of localisation and destruction of hierarchical orders. If situations had been different and the hegemony had been able to maintain centralised power for longer (as in the Rome) things might not have worked out so well.

        Costanza doesn’t get as much publicity as the other two but writes interesting stuff. Here is a collection of articles he edited and contributed to:

        “Sustainability or Collapse”


        • Nick G says:

          I don’t think Tainter is realistic about energy.

          Tainter’s book ‘Drilling Down’ largely focuses on the declining marginal returns on complexity. He’s really talking about what happens when the energy you rely on becomes increasingly difficult to obtain and use. That’s an important topic – it says to me that we should transition away from oil and fossil fuels ASAP.

          His introduction states that oil is essential to civilization. A search of the index finds no mention of hydro, solar or renewable energy! This is highly unrealistic, to put it very politely.

          Text from a pre-publication draft: “Solar and wind power, at a scale great enough to be meaningful, would consume large amounts of land . . . Renewable energy that gives the same power per person as we enjoy today would not be free of environmental damage. . . Indeed, in the large land areas that it would require, renewable energy could cause more environmental damage than that caused by our use of fossil fuels. ” http://ourfiniteworld.com/2011/09/27/drilling-down-tainter-and-patzek-tell-the-energy-complexity-story/

          This is so unrealistic as to be slightly bizarre, unless you assume it’s solely about biofuels. That maybe made sense 50 years ago…

          In 2007 he’s fairly positive about wind and nuclear: http://www.usu.edu/ust/pdf/2007/august/itn08200779.pdf

        • Survivalist says:

          In this presentation Tainter makes interesting comments about shifting from high energy gain to low energy gain resources. It seems to me that transitioning from 100:1 to 10:1 is problematic. If the shift from high to low gain is also accompanied by a transition from a fossil fuel fuel source to a non fossil fuel source it seems to me that is adding complexity. For example, going from 100:1 oil to 10:1 oil is likely to be problematic. Going from 100:1 oil to 10:1 solar is likely to be even more so. I’m afraid I just don’t buy into the techno-cornucopian circle jerk. As Tainter points out it’s likely we’ll create more ecological ruin as we transition from high gain to low gain. Once we’re on a 10:1 system we’re gonna have to extract a lot more 1’s from our environment if we wish to consume enough 10’s to make a 100.


          • Nick G says:

            First, an EROEI of 10:1 is more than enough. Going from 100:1 to 10:1 is going from a 1% loss to a 10% loss. Or, from a 99% net gain to a 90% net gain. That’s not a big deal.

            2nd, oil hasn’t been 100:1 since maybe 1900. Maybe 1930 at the latest.

            3rd, wind and solar are much higher than 10:1 (that figure is decades out of date). For instance:

            Thirteen years ago, at Solar 2000, Knapp and Jester presented: “
            An Empirical Perspective on the Energy Payback Time for Photovoltaic Modules” at the Madison, WI conference in June of that year. They found that mono*crystalline PV panels returned the energy required to make them within 2-4 years, depending upon where emplaced. Using a 40 year life…an EROEI of about 10:1.

            There have been many process improvements in the solar industry since then. Using these values…in Indiana…an EROEI of about 32.


            • Survivalist says:

              My mistake. I didn’t notice the world was so honkie dory. I guess the increasing rate of state failure, famine and collapse is all just some fake news. I’ll grab my box of tissues and lube and join the circle ASAP. Can I borrow your laminated pic of Musk?

              • Nick G says:

                Why so offensive??

                I never said wind and solar would feed the hungry, stop dictators or cure cancer.

                Wind and solar fix the problems that they can fix: energy scarcity, and CO2 emissions.

                The rest is up to something else…

                • twocats says:

                  Not offensive. But it was funny. Part of the problem of “we can make it by with solar panels” is to ignore that plentiful energy IS what is/was keeping state failure, famine, and collapse from accelerating.

                  one tiny example, who cares about famine in ethiopia if it’s “free” to ship 10 million bushels of corn half way across the world. Well, its not free any more, so lo and behold, international aid starts to whither. Could be a coincidence.

                  one more example. in california in 2005 many people were buying houses they could barely afford in places very far from their place of work, several hundred miles a day. “good, nice normal people.” well, then their monthly car gas bill went from $100 to $300, as did their house heating bill. and suddenly they were overextended. now just expand that to a globe dependent on “just in time” manufacturing and supply chains, including for critical infrastructure like hospitals.

                  • Nick G says:

                    We agree – oil is getting more expensive. In fact, fossil fuels in general are expensive, dirty, risky and unreliable. They help start recessions, oil wars, climate change, etc.

                    Wind, solar, hydro, etc are cheaper, cleaner, more reliable and safer. That’s the point.

      • GoneFishing says:

        When one is at the limits of land use and food production, anything going wrong is deadly.

        • Fred Magyar says:


          However there are a few ironic and rather amusing things to be seen in these end of times…


          There is a great photograph of solar panels being installed on the roof of the coal museum in Kansas!

          At the end of the day the truth or reality is, that we are using about 1.7 earth’s worth of resources to run our global civilization, so sooner or later something’s gotta give. My hunch is that there will be both economic contraction and dieoffs all over the world in the not too distant future. And if climate change puts agriculture into a tailspin then all bets are off.

          • Nick G says:

            we are using about 1.7 earth’s worth of resources

            That relies on a definition of one important resource that I would disagree with: of “waste” handling capacity.

            Every model of carrying capacity that I’ve seen says the primary cause of the overshoot is GHG emissions. Eliminate them, and you’re back below carrying capacity.

            Well, GHGs aren’t waste, they’re pollution. Unlike a biological organism that must emit CO2, human civilization doesn’t have to emit GHGs. So, GHGs aren’t waste, they’re pollution. In fact, now that the emitters are on notice that it’s pollution, I’d call it vandalism.

            If someone walks on your wood floors with hob nailed boots, you don’t give up and say that the hob nailed boot absorption capacity of your home has been exceeded, you say “get the hell off my floor with those boots!”.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              That relies on a definition of one important resource that I would disagree with: of “waste” handling capacity.

              I based that number on the work done by the folks at the ecological footprint network.


              How the Footprint Works

              Ecological Footprint accounting measures the demand on and supply of nature.

              On the demand side, the Ecological Footprint measures the ecological assets that a given population requires to produce the natural resources it consumes (including plant-based food and fiber products, livestock and fish products, timber and other forest products, space for urban infrastructure) and to absorb its waste, especially carbon emissions.

              The Ecological Footprint tracks the use of six categories of productive surface areas: cropland, grazing land, fishing grounds, built-up land, forest area, and carbon demand on land.

              On the supply side, a city, state or nation’s biocapacity represents the productivity of its ecological assets (including cropland, grazing land, forest land, fishing grounds, and built-up land). These areas, especially if left unharvested, can also absorb much of the waste we generate, especially our carbon emissions.

              They explain the science and methodology by which they arrive at their numbers on the site. If you disagree with their methodology you’ll have to take it up with them.

              • Nick G says:

                If you disagree with their methodology you’ll have to take it up with them.

                Seems to me that people around here try to think for themselves, rather than relying on simple authority.

                If you want, you can think of this as not fundamentally disagreeing with their methodology, but re-interpreting the implications for action. The word “waste” suggests something that cannot be changed, while “pollution” or “vandalism” suggests, indeed calls out for action.

                I think the people who developed the EF index might agree.

                the Ecological Footprint measures the ecological assets that a given population requires…to absorb its waste, especially carbon emissions.

                Actually, I’d say that quote supports my comment. What do you think?

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  I wasn’t even really disagreeing with you. I just gave you the link to the ecological footprint network to use as a starting point for the information on which my comment was based.

                  They are the ones who are saying that we using about 1.6 earth’s worth of resources. For the record, if we are talking about ecosystems one organism’s waste stream can indeed be a resource for some other organism. that is how an ecosystem in equilibrium works.

                  However when an organism exceeds it’s resource base and there is no other resource for it to access, then the carrying capacity for that organism is exceeded and that is called overshoot and it usually leads to die off.

                  • Nick G says:

                    I just gave you the link to the ecological footprint network to use as a starting point for the information…

                    Sure. I’m familiar with it.

                    They are the ones who are saying that we using about 1.6 earth’s worth of resources.

                    Right. And, that’s misleading, as roughly .8 of that 1.6 is FF and GHG related. Our current civilization isn’t a biological organism that uses FF and emits CO2 as an essential biological function. Instead, it’s polluting it’s environment in a way that is entirely unnecessary. It does indeed have other resources that it can access.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Ocean fish catch has peaked and is on descent, was up four times from 1950 levels in mid 90’s but has fallen despite increased effort.
                    Aquifers are falling, glacial water sources are dwindling.
                    Soil is depleting, arable farmland is decreasing worldwide.
                    Some key food crops are falling in yield.

                    Yet population is increasing and demand for food and water is still rising.

                  • Hightrekker says:

                    “As we continue to dissipate what is left of these resources, all activity, even presumably productive activity, becomes parasitical in nature. Once again, this is a point that industry misses. Industry believes itself to be productive, but as long as it is using increasing debt to continue extraction without replacing reserves, then it is in fact parasitic.

                    If you focus only on consumption, you miss the point that production is parasitic itself if reserves are not replaced.”

                  • twocats says:

                    gonefishing on fish catch. dumb dumb, just go poop in the ocean, recycle that waste and the circle of life will begin again. boom, back below carrying capacity.

        • George Kaplan says:

          “When one is at the limits of land use and food production, anything going wrong is deadly.”

          I think that is the best and most succinct summary of our situation I’ve read. Even without fossil fuel depletion and accelerating climate change we’d be heading for problems (a bit slower) because of soil loss, fresh water limits and (possibly) exhaustion of phosphorus supplies. None of those have alternatives. At the moment issues can, to some extent, be covered up as we still have plenty of excess energy as oil and gas. That is going away and ever increasing step change decrements, in number and size, to available agricultural land are coming through flooding, drought and heat waves. I think the idea we will stop warming at 2K is pie in the sky and always has been, and now every year will bring new findings showing increased likelihood and consequence for all levels of temperature increase.

          Assuming we survive in numbers it’s likely to be a desperate place for most people: little or no wildlife, monoculture diets, increasing conflict over food and reproduction rights, increasing forced movement and insecurity from extreme weather events (with no more international aid), and likely more loss of freedom, and subtle control and zombification from what ever comes after smart phones, drones and current ‘personalised’ advertising.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Don’t worry, the AI robot goon squads will keep us in check. We won’t be able to cause much trouble. The machines already have our money.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Privacy and Security
      A Conversation with Gen. Michael V. Hayden

      In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with General Michael V. Hayden about the reality of spying, the difference between the NSA and the CIA, the ethics of secrecy, Edward Snowden, the Russian Hacking of the 2016 US Presidential election, and other topics.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Thanks for the post Survivalist,

      We have been in a cold war with Russia since WWII. Heading down this rat hole. We are now at stage 4 FoxNews cancer which is both arms of the Republican party. Every policy Trump tries to enact is a gift to Russia and a weaker America. Don’t be surprised if someday we find out Russia was behind 911. We have met the enemy and he is us(hate, ignorance and selfishness).

      • Survivalist says:

        You’re welcome. I hope you liked. I really liked it a lot. It’s unfortunate that Trump’s base is all worried about people of color, Mexicans, LGTB’s, Muslims, liberals, climate conspiracy and other such nonsense while Russian Int steals a march.

    • DJW says:

      Well, no doubt there’s heaps of money to be made saying current temperatures are the warmest of all time and something must be done right this very moment about them. However, if the scientists are indeed sincere about their work output, they will surely realise the stretch of Earth’s history truly ranking among the planet’s warmest occurred approximately 55 million yrs. ago. This is a period now known as the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum, PETM.

      • Nick G says:

        no doubt there’s heaps of money to be made saying current temperatures are the warmest of all time

        No, low-CO2 technology is much lower cost, overall. The big profits are in oil & gas.

      • Survivalist says:

        The PETM, great! What could possibly go wrong? Personally I can’t wait for the famine. If the agenda of the gene is to select for intelligence I suspect we’ll hear a lot less from the mouth breathers over at WUWT.

        PS I fairly sure the money to be made is in denying climate science. That is so obvious a fact I would have thought anybody with two brain cells to rub together would understand it.

        • GoneFishing says:

          The agenda of the gene is to replicate. So far it has done well, letting the intellectuals and sociopaths set up a protective world where they think they are in control while the masses replicate at higher rate. If the “elite” and intellectuals were ever to break that pattern, they would soon be eliminated.

      • Boomer II says:

        If Earth goes back to PETM temperatures, there will definitely be life on Earth that thrives.

        But humans, maybe not so much.

        Lots of disruptions as the world heats up.

        But if you are just looking at the very big picture and view humans as a species that has a beginning and an end on Earth, then global warming is just part of a cycle that kills off some species and gives birth to others.

  33. Survivalist says:

    Interesting setup coming up over Greenland



    • OFM says:


      There’s no doubt there are plenty of buried bodies, human and otherwise, harboring various bacteria and viruses that are KNOWN to be infectious, even after a hundred years or more in permafrost, as indicated in the article.

      It’s probably impossible to even estimate what the odds are of some disease breaking out as the result of melting permafrost that doesn’t even have a NAME yet, but the odds are definitely not zero.

      • GoneFishing says:

        OFM, this is not the first time the ice has melted. Animals have a vibrant degree of variation and the ability to survive and become immune to many diseases.
        What we should be worried about is plant diseases. We depend on monocultures of plants for food. Crop diseases will do a lot of harm and fast, especially since we provide the transport vectors.

      • Preston says:

        If you have Amazon Prime, check out Fortitude. In the series someone finds mammoth remains with some nasty surprises. It’s fiction of course, but the town has a rule that you can’t die there because if you are buried whatever killed you might stay around for a very long time.

  34. OFM says:

    There’s lots of goodies at this site, for those interested in the physical world.
    I just ran across it by accident, and haven’t explored it yet, but for instance it gives dawn dusk sunrise sunset times for any place, shows snow cover by month world wide, etc.
    Most of the data seems to be from outfits such as NASA, the USGS ,etc. Solid.


  35. Fred Magyar says:

    Totally off topic from the gloom and doom of our times and a reminder that there is still some intelligent life left in countries other than Trumpistan… Brought to you by the tiny country that parodied Trump’s inauguration speech and the whole America First, BS!

    Great video!!
    Rembrandt’s Heroes Are Back!

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Technology is all bad, unethical and all that other BS…

      Nah, ‘Scratch’ that! Disclaimer: I do have a son who is getting a degree in computer science so I have a rather large soft spot for all kids who are learning to code.


      I hope that many kids who discover coding through Scratch — particularly those from groups who have traditionally not felt welcome in computer science — find fantastic careers in the field. But just as important is that a much bigger number of Scratchers will internalize its core values of collaboration, openness, and the importance of being not only a consumer, but also a maker. And someone who thinks like a hacker, in the best way.
      The world needs a lot more Scratchers. Fortunately, that’s going to happen.

    • George Kaplan says:

      Here’s another great story: in Batman (who knew?), Turkey they’ve found pieces of a board game that looks like chess and is 3000 years old – doubling the estimated age of the game. Still being analysed, more news expected.

  36. GoneFishing says:

    As energy is added into the earth system the chaos and variability of the weather systems increases.

    Scientists estimate a 50 percent increase in the flow variation from year to year, meaning that the basin could be flooded one year and experience a drought the next, along with a 10 to 15 percent increase in the annual flow of the river.

    In fact, this is already happening, said Elfatih Eltahir, co-author of the study and professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The 2015 El Niño pushed the Nile basin into a state of drought. A year later, a La Niña caused above-average flooding.


  37. HuntingtonBeach says:

    Good morning OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster,

    Last night Bill Maher speaks for me with a message to you.

    Bill Maher Shreds ‘Liberal Purists’ Who Said Hillary Clinton Was ‘Lesser Of Two Evils’

    “Go f**k yourselves with a locally grown organic cucumber.”


    • OFM says:

      I use chemicals, personally when I grow cucumbers or just about anything else. Organics are ok, if you are situated to market them. I’m not.

      Your candidate was the worst one, in terms of electability, that the D party ran in my lifetime, due to her baggage train, arrogance, and general stupidity, when it came to campaigning. Old time machine politician, that’s HRC.



      I doubt very many people who voted for Trump read this site, lol.

      The REAL reasons she lost include arrogance, baggage, lack of the common touch, elitist attitudes, stupidity involving talking DOWN to the core voters who are the heart of the D party, and ABOVE ALL, the fact that she’s no more and no less than a REPUBLICAN LITE politician, who was so inept and clueless as a campaigner that she didn’t even put in an appearance where she REALLY NEEDED to be, I suppose because she was too fucking busy making speeches at around a quarter of a million per half hour, which incidentally were made to banksters who have kept them secret for her.

      The Clinton faction has to go, if the D party is to return to it’s winning ways. You are obviously mathematically illiterate, based on the observation that you appear to be unable to understand what has happened politically over the last decade plus with the D party basically pretending to be a low calories version of the R party.

      How many seats did the D’s lose in the House, the Senate, how many governors offices, how many city, state, county legislature seats, etc ?

      It’s very true that the D party HAS been infinitely better than the R party on certain issues, such as personal rights, the environment, etc, but a party residing in the outhouse can’t do much for the country.

      If the D’s are to have any hope of returning to power before the baby boomers are mostly dead, and replaced by younger folks, that hope is critically dependent on the party getting it’s head out of it’s Republican Lite ass, and paying attention to the working class and middle class people of this country, instead of selling out to the banksters, etc.

      The working classes are more numerous than the investing class, you see.

      A lot MORE NUMEROUS, and while they are not in my estimation very fond of Trump as a rule, knowing he’s a scumbag, they are MORE than pissed enough at the D party to give it the middle finger and vote for a Trump, just to emphasize the message that they are NOT FOND OF HRC type Democrats.

      I will continue to do what I can to destroy the Clinton faction, the BAU oriented bought and paid for faction, which pays almost no attention to the real core of the party, the core that is ESSENTIAL to a return to power, and all I can to put the Sanders types in control.

      Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win a war.

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        OFM, your hate runs deep

        In human context, self-destructive behavior is a widely used phrase that conceptualizes certain kinds of destructive acts as belonging to the self. It also has the property that it characterizes certain kinds of self-inflicted acts as destructive. The term comes from objective psychology, wherein all apparent self-inflicted harm or abuse toward oneself is treated as a collection of actions, and therefore as a pattern of behavior.

        Acts of “self-destruction” may be merely metaphorical (“social suicide”) or literal (suicide). Generally speaking, self-destructive actions may be deliberate, born of impulse, or developed as a habit. The term however tends to be applied toward self-destruction that either is fatal, or is potentially habit-forming or addictive and thus potentially fatal.

        Self-destructive behavior may be used as a coping mechanism when one is overwhelmed. For example, faced with a pressing scholastic assessment, someone may choose to sabotage their work rather than cope with the stress. This would make submission of (or passing) the assessment impossible, but remove the worry associated with it.

        Self-destructive behavior may also manifest itself in an active attempt to drive away other people. For example, they may fear that they will “mess up” a relationship. Rather than deal with this fear, socially self-destructive individuals engage in annoying or alienating behavior, so that others will reject them first.
        More obvious forms of self-destruction are eating disorders, alcohol abuse, drug addictions, sex addiction, self-injury, and suicide attempts.

        An important aspect of self-destructive behavior is the inability to handle the stress stemming from an individual’s lack of self-confidence – for example in a relationship, whether the other person is truly faithful (“how can they love someone like me?”); at work or school, whether the realization of assignments and deadlines is possible (“there is no way I can complete all my work on time”). Self-destructive people usually lack healthier coping mechanisms, like asserting personal boundaries. As a result, they tend to feel that showing they are incompetent is the only way to untangle themselves from demands.

        Successful individuals may self-destructively sabotage their own achievements; this may stem from a feeling of anxiety, unworthiness, or from an impulsive desire to repeat the “climb to the top.”

        Self-destructive behavior is often considered to be synonymous with self-harm, but this is not accurate. Self-harm is an extreme form of self-destructive behavior, but it may appear in many other guises.




        This is an unconscious form of self-destructive behavior because it results in self-fulfilling prophecies. Examples include thoughts such as: “I’m going to fail, I just know it”, “I’ll never get out alive”, “This will completely destroy me”, etc.


        This is a passive symptom, but still self-destructive in nature. When we know something is bad for us, but fail to take any action or steps to remedy the issue, we are essentially setting ourselves up for, and guaranteeing, failure.

        8. SELF-PITY.

        This is an unconsciously manifested form of self-destructive behavior. Self-pity is destructive because it encourages us to remain inactive (i.e. wallowing in our misfortunes), rather than encouraging a proactive approach towards life.

        10. SOCIAL SUICIDE.

        Not always committed consciously, social suicide is the act of deliberately alienating yourself from your peers. This could be through a variety of irritating, repelling or antisocial behaviors.


        Pushing away advice, refusing to go to rehab, avoiding the psychologist … not wanting to be helped cries “I don’t care about my well-being!” and screams “self-sabotage!”


        Some people are in love with their misery because that is all they have known for a large portion of their lives. Unnecessary self-sacrifice is a good way of making one feel “noble” and “altruistic” while masking the actual act of self-sabotage: giving up on hopes, dreams and passions that make one truly happy.


        This is a complex one, and involves a large variety of destructive behaviors such as jealousy, possessiveness, emotional manipulation, neediness, violence and so forth. When we don’t feel worthy of love, we unconsciously manifest this in our relationships through the way we choose to behave.


  38. George Kaplan says:

    This is a great article (an extract from a book). The author is Clive Hamilton, who I had not previously heard of, but should have by the look of the books he’s written, and which I’ll now seek out.


    “Our best scientists tell us insistently that a calamity is unfolding, that the life-support systems of the Earth are being damaged in ways that threaten our survival. Yet in the face of these facts we carry on as usual.”

    “Many intellectuals in the social sciences and humanities do not concede that Earth scientists have anything to say that could impinge on their understanding of the world, because the “world” consists only of humans engaging with humans, with nature no more than a passive backdrop to draw on as we please.”

    • George Harmon says:

      Maybe those intellectuals in the social sciences and humanities understand that the only purpose of climate science these days is to craft fables using ever increasing amounts of our tax money!

      • Survivalist says:

        Touché lol your talents are wasted. You should work for CIA as a director of complicated analysis or something.

        Speaking of tax dollars, Trump just pissed away 20 million in 100 days playing golf. I wonder if master of analysis George Harmon has that on his radar?


        May 5

        That’s 2 days in a row greater than 410

        • George Kaplan says:

          It looks like all conditions are being set up for Arctic Ice to get clobbered. The ice is thin and dispersed (and may have gone through a tipping point of being too thin to hold up against wave action and currents), a lot has been moved south where it sees warmer temperatures more sunlight, there’s anomalously high increase in CO2 and CH4 to keep the heat in, the jet stream looks to be setting up a static pattern that keeps the heat over the Arctic and moves stormy. cool weather south (I think it was like this in 2010 when some of the highest rates of ice melt occurred), and the PDO is changing to a cool phase that tends to be related to increased Arctic amplification (bit tenuous that one I think though). Lucky we have some scientists who try to understand these things given how complicated, high impact and rapidly changing they are; must take a lot of training and experience I’d guess, and therefore takes a bit of money.

        • Survivalist says:

          May 6
          Three days in a row greater than 410

          • Max Gervis says:

            Your fancy numbers keep heading down you know…

            May 4 –> 410.52
            May 5 –> 410.14
            May 6 –> 410.01

            Better get Mr. Gore on the phone for an explanation, for this is another big “inconvenient truth” as keeps happening unexpectedly.

            • wharf rat says:

              “Better get Mr. Gore on the phone for an explanation,”
              Mr Gore is busy; Rat will answer that.
              Springtime… trees wake up, and start removing carbon from the air. Values are supposed to be dropping right now.

              Why Does Atmospheric CO2 Peak in May? |

              Tim Lueker, research scientist in the Scripps CO2 Research Group, only needs one sentence to explain why atmospheric CO2 peaks in May.
              “Springtime comes in May in Siberia,” he says.

              • Survivalist says:

                It’ll be interesting to see how wildfire season in Siberia might impact this CO2 balance.

            • Survivalist says:

              Lol my fancy numbers- are you in grade 8 or just stunted?

              Nothing is heading down. A nice analogy (that means ‘a way to think about it’) might be: jumping up and down on an ascending (that means going up) escalator.


            • Fred Magyar says:

              Oh geez! Another moron who doesn’t understand how the earth’s FaNcY carbon cycle actually works. Did any of you dumb trolls ever finish high school?! Or did you just all fail basic maths, physics, chemistry and biology?!

              • notanoilman says:

                The trolls are thick on this one. Must be truth in it for them to come out so hard.


                • Boomer II says:

                  As more companies come out in support of lower carbon emissions, I think the paid trolls will start disappearing because there will be fewer organizations to pay them.

                  I don’t really care if individual citizens believe in climate change or not as long as our economic system starts to respond.

                  And yes, I know the Trump administration is going to give lip-service to being against regulations, but when the money shifts, they will have to go along, in private if not in public.

              • OFM says:

                Hi Fred,

                You ARE a heap big smart fella, no mistake, no sarcasm no joke.

                But you are making fun of this guy as if he were the rule, instead of the exception to the rule.

                Don’t feel all alone, just about every body I have ever met who is technically and culturally literate makes the mistake of assuming MOST people are technically and culturally literate.
                Remember the the proverbial bearded pipe smoking earth shoes and corduroy wearing English professor at an elite New England private women’s college. He couldn’t understand how Mc Govern lost, since every body he knew voted for Mc Govern.?????

                You can take this to the bank, I am professionally
                qualified in the pedagogy field, with substantial hands on experience.

                The VAST majority of people in this country are technically illiterate, including even the vast majority of liberals/Democrats who support clean air laws, renewable energy, etc. The large majority of them have only a superficial understanding of the science, but fortunately it’s an ACCURATE superficial understanding, lol.

                If it were the R’s in favor of wind and solar energy, and the D’s opposed , for political reasons, most of the liberals I know would be opposed to renewable energy, probably close to ninety percent of them. Ten or fifteen percent are technically literate, with a deep enough understanding of the sciences to see thru partisan arguments.

                That ten or fifteen percent can run as high as eighty or ninety plus percent if you only hangout with other well educated people.

                Methinks you hang out almost entirely with people who are technically and culturally literate.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  You,d be dead wrong to think I only hang out with intellectual elites. I’m a world traveler and hang out with all sorts of people. Even illiterate illegal Mecican immigrants. I have mo problem communicating with people from all walks of life. I have just made a deliberate decision not to cut people who I identify as troll any slack. Do a few honest skeptics slip through my sieve? I’d wager a bottle of really good moonshine, that they are very few!

      • George Kaplan says:

        Yep – and then decide to keep all that understanding to themselves, rather than writing a paper about it, as they are paid to do – makes sense … no wait, it’s idiotic nonsense, that’s what I meant.

    • GoneFishing says:

      People are very strange creatures. Two people can grow up in the same area yet end up not really being able to interact in a positive manner because they have different belief and value sets. With that kind of separation at the local level how can one expect any real unification as a species?

      Plus we have set up large societal structures that demand certain actions from individuals in order to obtain food, shelter, clothing, etc. The food, materials and property are all locked away by societal and government forces from the very creatures born here. So they are not free to just follow the “facts” but must “carry on as usual” in order to survive.
      BAU is fairly autonomous and we are along for the ride. BAU is also self-correcting, we are getting a big dose of that now.

      And to the intellectuals in the social sciences and humanity: Good luck with that nature is a backdrop thing, Nature is set deep within every human, so in the larger view they really are studying nature.

      • Doug Leighton says:


        “…Perhaps the intellectual surrender is so complete because the forces we hoped would make the world a more civilized place – personal freedoms, democracy, material advance, technological power – are in truth paving the way to its destruction. The powers we most trusted have betrayed us; that which we believed would save us now threatens to devour us…”


        • Hightrekker says:

          “The Liberal Dream is dying because the planet was never infinite and our potential never limitless–not because some bad-guy ignoramuses somehow got the upper hand. A social order could never be maintained for long by the promise of more every year, while the tide can only rise so high before it washes all good fortune away. The most direct and facile, yet brutal and likely, antithesis of Liberal Growthism is personified by Trump, Putin, or Le Pen today, Hitler, Mussolini and Franco in years past,[xvii] and can only lead to war and repression.[xviii] Such rulers are what arise at the onset of Liberalism’s decline. But they offer no real solution, only a quick reordering of hope and expectation into anger and hate—an ordering nonetheless. Intoxicated by the thrill of an arms race, Power Realists ignore the fact that the oppression and forceful repression of at least half the world’s population is unsustainable, and that the immiseration it spreads will eventually inflict us all. Liberals know this and are aghast at the rise of these values. But they, in turn, are all too ready to ignore the fact that Liberal hope requires unsustainable growth and insulate themselves from the realization that our global climate crisis was not caused by nationalism or the greed of someone else. It was caused by this same growth, which continues to demand levels of goods and services that are bringing our ecological systems to the point of collapse.”

        • GoneFishing says:

          Humans are the grand self-delusionists. From believing they are supremely powerful to believing in gods that are supremely powerful but never show up.
          In the face of so much encompassed fiction, one can only say that the dream time ended long ago and we are in the middle of the nightmare time.
          Just look at our works and deeds on this planet. Ugly ruination is what people are most proud of. Covering a beautiful ecosystem with concrete, tar and buildings is called progress.
          They do not even know the meaning of progress.

          How blessed we are to live during the inflection point.

      • OFM says:

        “And to the intellectuals in the social sciences and humanity: Good luck with that nature is a backdrop thing, Nature is set deep within every human, so in the larger view they really are studying nature.”

        This remark is worthy of being carved in stone above every academic door.
        One reason I will always think of myself as a conservative is that the people in the social sciences and humanities are more or less IDIOTS in that they do not understand that we are NOT abstractions, intellectually, able to do whatever we please, after reasoning about the facts, or what we perceive as the facts.

        It’s a Darwinian world, we are Darwinian creatures created by the evolutionary process, and we are doing precisely fucking EXACTLY what any biologist who doesn’t have his head up his ass so far he has forgotten the fundamentals of his field EXPECTS us to do. WE are pursuing our personal advantage at the individual, family, community, etc level up thru the nation state level, in competition for resources, living room, and reproductive success.

        Mother Nature doesn’t give a flying fuck at a rolling donut whether we all live , or we all die, and take all the so called higher life forms with us in the process. She’s got microbes in reserve thousands of feet under the ground, and can restock, and time means nothing whatsoever to HER, lol. If the sun doesn’t get too hot, in a billion years or so, she will remodel those microbes into something that would look familiar to an average person.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      To me this quote defines the dilemma in a nutshell! Most so called social scientists do not understand how science works and are simply put, scientifically and mathematically illiterate.

      It is true that grasping the scale of what is happening requires not only breaking the bubble but also making the cognitive leap to “Earth system thinking” – that is, conceiving of the Earth as a single, complex, dynamic system. It is one thing to accept that human influence has spread across the landscape, the oceans and the atmosphere, but quite another to make the jump to understanding that human activities are disrupting the functioning of the Earth as a complex, dynamic, ever-evolving totality comprised of myriad interlocking processes.

      Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has recently been in the news speaking publicly on this very topic:


      Neil deGrasse Tyson tells Fareed why treating climate change as merely a theory betrays a lack of scientific understanding and is a “recipe for disaster.”Source: CNN

      Unfortunately 60 million profoundly ignorant Americans have managed to put into power one of the most dangerous group of people to have run this country since it’s founding. we now have an administration that is composed basically of rabidly anti science fundamentalist Christian creationists. They are for all practical purposes, the equivalent of the Taliban!

      • JoeF says:

        Don’t say all of the Trump voters are profoundly ignorant. That misses the whole point. I personally don’t much care for the man, myself finding alot of his behavior crude and offending, but my decisions whenever I enter that voting booth are informed by my deep Catholic faith. Abortion is a truly barbaric terrible action which I feel has absolutely no place in our society. As our Holy Mother Church teaches the first thing we must look for out of our political candidates is complete diligence to the sanctity of life issues as those are totally not negotiable at any time. Thus for me and millions of others, including most of the people I know in my midwest town here, Trump was the only reasonable choice for us. Him and especially Mike Pence constantly said what needs to be said regarding protection of the unborn, protection of fragile glorious beauty that is the human child. Hillary was no option for any us. From what I saw in her TV speeches she kept praising Planned Parenthood to justify continuing the practice of abortion.

        • JoeF says:

          To the moderator, sorry if my message posts through twice. I wanted to respond to the post by “Fred Magyar” from 7:49 am but I accidentally clicked on the wrong reply button. I tried deleting and cutting and pasting my message to the right spot but I don’t know if the delete command went through completely. Sorry again.

        • Survivalist says:

          Trump voters may or may not be profoundly ignorant but they certainly are profoundly naive.
          Abortion is not illegal in USA and Trump is unlikely to change that, so your affinity for the man on Catholic principles seems, well naive. Do you actually believe Trump is going to ban abortions? Do you believe everything you hear? (Scrap that last question- I just remembered you’re Catholic).
          Oh, and BTW- Trump is not Catholic. I would have thought that to be painfully obvious.




          • JoeF says:

            You don’t need to tell me Trump is not Catholic. I bet every Catholic voter knew that for a long time before they decided to vote for the man. Just like when we voted for Romney in 2012 we knew he wasn’t Catholic either. And no I don’t really believe President Trump is going to end the killing of innocent human life through the practice of abortion once and for all. No president, no politician is probably going to do that. Thinking that is another thing else missing the whole point. Abortion in the U.S. will come to an end through the judicial system. That’s the real reason why us Catholics are voting only for prolife politicians, because the politicians are the ones with the power to appoint the judges needed to stand up for prolife principles. Just about all the prolife people I know from Mass or yearly March For Life understand this. That’s why voting for Trump was a difficult decision for many of us, because there’s so much to dislike about the man’s words and actions. Unfortunately there wasn’t any option from the other side because of all the donations, all the praise the Hillary campaign got from PP. The election options were just poor all around, but that’s a possibility some times and why we have the Catholic Voting Guide to make the most reasonable choice in line with Catholic principles out of the options we are presented.

            • Survivalist says:

              On what basis did the Catholic voting guide determine Trump was the best choice? Surely one must do more than pay lip service to anti abortionism to get the green light, although frankly that does seem to be all it takes. What a simplistic analysis. I suggest you’ve been played, again. Is it really that simple to sucker the catholic voters? Perhaps Catholics should learn the distinction between a politician appealing to their morals and a politician acting in their interests. Anyone who voted for Trump is at best a naive sucker, and at worst just down in the dirt dumb.



            • Nick G says:


              Sadly, you’re being lied to. Republican politicians are telling you that they care about Life, and telling you to vote for them based on abortion, but…

              Republican politicians are enacting policies that are deeply sinful, according to Catholic principles. They’re stealing from the poor, leaving mothers and children homeless and without health insurance. They’re planning wars that will kill millions of people. They’re pursuing tax and health policies that will leave working people sicker and poorer. They’re pursuing environmental polices that could kill many millions.

              They’re targeting Planned Parenthood because they know it will get you to vote for them, which will allow them to pursue policies that will harm everything you care about.

              • Boomer II says:

                I respect those people who are pro-life across the board: no abortion, no capital punishment, no wars (where innocent children do die).

                If one cherry picks which laws regarding life one wants to support, then I feel it’s a matter of political preference rather than morality.

        • alimbiquated says:

          Haha, there is nothing deep or profound about worshiping a magic sky giant. It’s about as challenging as being a fan of Superman comics. Heck, J.R.R. Tolkien is more profound that all the New Testament books put together.

          You’re just a bigot hiding behind the pope’s skirts. And even he doesn’t like Trump.

          Religion might have scared medieval peasants, but the world has moved on. Want something deep and profound? Try this:


          What does it mean to say that

          1+2+3+4+… = -1/12 ?

          And (not covered in the video) how does this relate to the idea that the universe has 26 dimensions?

          • Fred Magyar says:

            LOL! The square root of negative 1 is an irrational number…
            Religious beliefs, on the other hand are neither rational nor real


        • Fred Magyar says:

          Abortion is a truly barbaric terrible action which I feel has absolutely no place in our society.

          I feel the same way about your all powerful, supposedly loving, omniscient fictional sky daddy, ruler and lord of the universe.

          Published on Nov 12, 2015
          Tim Minchin performing Thank You God at the Royal Albert Hall with the Heritage Orchestra

          And here’s the full lyrics

          Now take your religious beliefs and go preach them somewhere else!

        • wharf rat says:

          “Abortion is a truly barbaric terrible action which I feel has absolutely no place in our society.”

          You are trampling on my 1st Amendment rights….

          Jewish law not only permits, but in some circumstances requires abortion. Where the mother’s life is in jeopardy because of the unborn child, abortion is mandatory.

          An unborn child has the status of “potential human life” until the majority of the body has emerged from the mother. Potential human life is valuable, and may not be terminated casually, but it does not have as much value as a life in existence. The Talmud makes no bones about this: it says quite bluntly that if the fetus threatens the life of the mother, you cut it up within her body and remove it limb by limb if necessary, because its life is not as valuable as hers. But once the greater part of the body has emerged, you cannot take its life to save the mother’s, because you cannot choose between one human life and another.


          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Hey Ratty, you already have rights that don’t depend on some stupid rag that some long dead gang drew up. In fact, it’s those very so-called ‘laws’ that are causing social decay.

  39. Doug Leighton says:


    “…So, the general takeaway here that is as temperatures continue rising in the US (and elsewhere) emissions levels will be increasing at a rapid clip, so long as most people and businesses can afford air conditioner use, that is…”


    • Fred Magyar says:


      Yeah, but does it absolutely have to be that way?

      Maybe some combination of shading, white roofs, rooftop solar and something like this company’s ice energy product line might help a bit.

      Not to mention the EPA doing it’s job and cracking down on all those polluting emissions.

    • islandboy says:

      It doesn’t have to be that way in the future or even from now on depending on how you look at it. In one of my posts, reporting on the EIA’s Electric Power Monthly further up I did a little analysis that suggests that in about ten years solar PV could be handling most of the mid summer peak demand in the US.

      Looking at the graphic below, it might seem impossible but, if one looks at the graphics that I posted with my comment further up, it seems a little more plausible. Here’s why. From the graph showing the last three years of electricity production from solar, production more than doubled between mid summer 2014 and mid summer 2016. If growth in electricity production were to continue at that rate, solar would be producing at least 32 times as much as it did last year by 2026. Twenty times as much by 2024 is not out of the question if growth in the rate of solar installations accelerates. The difference between the low demand periods of spring and autumn and the mid summer peak is a little over 100 GWh and the amount of electricity generated by solar in September 2016 was 5.405 GWh if estimates of behind the meter production are included. Multiply that 5.4 GWh by 20 and you’re right at a 108 GWh.

      What would help is if appliance manufacturers were to bring to market, air conditioning systems that can make ice when sunlight is abundant, in order to continue to providing cooling in the absence of sunlight without using expensive batteries. A California company Ice Energy has a product that can do this. A lot more of them will be needed if emissions from air conditioner use are to be curbed in a big way

    • GoneFishing says:

      Sounds like what the study actually found was that if one burns more fossil fuels then more pollutants enter the atmosphere. I doubt if air conditioners themselves actually give off much pollution.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Three-quarters of all homes in the US have air conditioners. Air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at an annual cost of about $29 billion to homeowners. As a result, roughly 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air each year.


        • GoneFishing says:

          117 million metric tons? Compared to 2000 million metric tons from US electric production total, most of which comes from coal. Eliminate the coal, use renewables and problem solved. Why is everyone so afraid of getting to the root of the problem? Guess it’s easier to force users to spend lots of money to reduce their use than to actually solve the problem.

          It’s not the electricity use, it’s the way the electricity is produced that is causing the pollution. We have choices now.
          Well, we did have choices until the EPA got taken over by the dark and sinister forces.

          • Hightrekker says:

            In the meantime many human RNA are sitting in their home cells along with their children who have recently graduated from the nucleolus. Jobs are scarce or pay so little so as not to motivate the humans. Fuel storage in the form of fatty acids are converted to glucose just as there are draw downs of the strategic petroleum reserve. This is certainly not enough to keep the economy alive. More debt is provided, but his has very little impact on metabolism as glucose levels are still too remain depressed. Messages are sent to the brain – eat, eat, eat, but what there is to eat provides inadequate energy to support the overly complex metabolism. The brain knows that if it doesn’t find another high-grade source of energy and resources, the outcome is certain, falling below the minimum concentration of glucose in the blood resulting in the metabolism screeching to a halt and death occurring soon thereafter.

            There is only one thing to do, predatorily search the globe for new sources of highly concentrated hydrocarbons and eat them. Revisit old sites to lick the last of the hydrocarbons from the ground, eat bark and grass (shale and tar sands), fight others for the last few meals of high-grade hydrocarbons remaining. Then what? Plan an escape to Mars?

            • Nick G says:

              Nope. Use wind, solar, hydro, etc.

              Fossil hydrocarbons are a puny resource, unreliable and dirty. They’re not a huge inheritance of concentrated power, they’re a small thing, which was easier than wind and solar at one point in history, but no longer.

              Solar is much larger, much more widely distributed, more reliable, cheaper and much, much cleaner.

  40. Survivalist says:


    “What stands out here is that Donald Trump himself has long insisted that he has no financial ties to Russia of any kind.”


    “So when I got in the cart with Eric,” Dodson says, “as we were setting off, I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks — because of the recession, the Great Recession — have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.’ And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’ Now that was three years ago, so it was pretty interesting.”


  41. Doug Leighton says:


    “…The role that science has played in the agency in the past, this step is a significant step in a different direction,” he said today. “Anecdotally, based on what we know about the administrator, I think it will be science that will appear to be friendlier to industry, the fossil fuel industry, the chemical industry, and I think it will be science that marginalizes climate change science…”


    • Fred Magyar says:

      That’s what happens when you have fundamentalist Christians running amok…
      This is what EPA stands for now.

      • Survivalist says:

        Undeveloping, regressing, contracting, collapsing.


        Par for the course.

        “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” ~ William Arthur Ward

        Perhaps Nick G will soon comment to remind us that if people just did things differently then things would be different. But, according to what I like to call ‘reality’, as things are and as things are likely to be it doesn’t look promising.

        • Nick G says:

          if people just did things differently then things would be different.

          What are you doing about it??

          That’s my point. There are things that can be done. Should we sit back and say everything is hopeless, or are we going to do something?

          The fossil fuel industry would desperately love for all of us to give up and say nothing can be done, and we should just leave them alone to make a profit…

      • Hightrekker says:

        Those Cabbages For Christ are always a jolly bunch, even when killing and scraping the Earth!

  42. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Once upon a time, there was a species that was able, in large part, via symbolism, to disconnect over much longer periods of time, its communication from itself and, along with its capacity for making tools– another form of self-disconnect– it created complex forms– ‘breakaway globs’ that it then interacted with and that it called ‘technology’– social (i.e., government) and material (i.e., drone weaponry)– that eroded, in various ways, the connections this species had to reality, to nature, to itself…

    “Happy Birthday, Caelan…”

  43. Doug Leighton says:


    “What appears to be a recent change to a positive phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation is likely to accelerate global warming, breaking through the agreed Paris target of 1.5°C by as early as 2026.”

    “Although the Earth has continued to warm during the temporary slowdown since around 2000, the reduced rate of warming in that period may have lulled us into a false sense of security. The positive phase of the IPO will likely correct this slowdown. If so, we can expect an acceleration in global warming in the coming decades.”


  44. Hightrekker says:

    Religious News Today:

    Jakarta governor Ahok sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy

    Blues and moos: Indian state launches cow ambulance service

  45. Hightrekker says:

    GAO: Biggest Fiscal Threat to U.S. Is Interest on Treasury Debt – Not Social Welfare Programs


    • Nick G says:

      US debt is rising, but not for fundamental reasons. It’s rising because the .01% prefer to be given Treasury bills rather than a tax bill…

      • HVACman says:

        I suspect the ratio is more like – by income – the top 100.00% of US residents prefer to be given Treasury bills than tax bills.

      • Hightrekker says:

        But that is the reality.
        Why tax someone when they can lend you the money for a profit?

        • Nick G says:

          Yes, it’s the reality. But, it’s helpful to know that debt is increasing not because of falling energy availability, or declining marginal value of R&D, or other things one might call “fundamentals”. Instead, it’s just politics: oligarchs stealing from the rest of us.

  46. Doug Leighton says:


    “Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to protect the landmark Paris agreement, which aims to curb climate change and fossil fuel emissions. He made the promise in a phone call with the incoming French President Emmanuel Macron, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement. US President Donald Trump is still deciding whether to withdraw from it as he promised during his campaign. Climate experts worry such a move would throw the agreement into chaos.”


  47. OFM says:


    The Atlantic sees it the way I have been telling it all along , in broad terms. I just use the term culture war. This particular bit of research in my estimation probably down plays the economic worries of working class voters to some extent, but the real battle front in American politics is culture.

    And if the D’s want to win, well intelligent people like the ones here who have SO MUCH FUN making fun of socially conservative working class people, religious people, etc, are going to have to give up that fun, because there are a damned sight more of THAT kind in this country than there are of the kind that hang out here.

    It’s one thing to think what you please it’s another thing altogether to advertise it in such a way that people you NEED to win elections hear it, repeatedly, and give you the straight finger by way of voting for the opposition.

    Now I’m just a redneck country boy, dumb enough to work for the Russians without even getting paid, lol, and nevertheless I don’t have any trouble understanding this simple observation.

    It’s just a question of adding up the numbers, and thinking a little about whether your words are winning friends, or making enemies.

  48. Longtimber says:

    “Emergency Alert” Declared At Nuclear Facility In Washington; Evacuation Ordered, No-Fly Zone In Place

    Looks as if Affordable PV will Bury this Gadget

    Southern (SO +0.4%) CEO Thomas Fanning says the company will need $3.7B and cooperation from Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSBF) to complete the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia that was being built by the bankrupt Westinghouse unit, and even then he is not certain it can finish the half-built reactors.


    • Boomer II says:

      If the nuclear industry can’t prevent tunnels from collapsing, it probably isn’t ready to expand into more power plants.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Nuclear possibly had potential– but humans design and maintain the plants.

        • Boomer II says:

          I was opposed to more nuclear power plants in the 1970s. But I became more open-minded in recent years because nuclear is a carbon-less source of energy.

          But accidents like this reinforce fears that nuclear power is risky, even if unnecessarily so. I mean, a tunnel?

        • Nick G says:

          Nuclear power has a couple of basic problems. First, it’s been deliberately associated with weapons from the beginning. That’s not just a PR problem – it’s a real problem.

          2nd, the physics of heat transfer pushes designs to be big, and that creates large, slow, risky projects. And, large unit sizes increase the risk of operational failure and financial risk.

          Wind and solar, on the other hand, can be built in very small incremental units, with short project times. That increases turnover and manufacturing experience, driving down costs and reducing both construction and operational risks.

          • Boomer II says:

            Yes, economics have stifled the industry, even if accidents haven’t.

  49. OFM says:


    Maybe. Maybe not.

    I’m not about to argue that it CAN’T happen, but my guess is that it will take substantially longer than this report suggests.

    Look at the flip side. If oil demand crashes, and there’s a huge surplus of conventional cars, then the price of both oil and used cars will crash, as the report points out.

    What it doesn’t point out , according to this summary, is that people will have an enormous incentive to continue owning and driving a conventional car, if the price of both oil and used cars goes low enough.

    I wonder if the guys who wrote it took time to think thru the implications of tens of millions of people with good enough credit to get a new car loan abandoning their car, and their credit being ruined, and the banks holding the loan pursuing them in court, etc.

    • Boomer II says:

      The key statement to me:

      “The primary driver of this unfathomably huge change in American life is economics: The cost savings of using transport-as-a-service (TaaS) providers will be so great that consumers will abandon individually owned vehicles.”

      I think it is entirely possible that this will be the key motivating factor. There’s not the car culture that there used to be. Cars are more about getting from place to place. If you can have something on-demand that is also cheaper, people will let go of their own vehicles. There are a lot of expenses and hassles with owning a car that people would give up if they didn’t fear not being able to get where they need to go when they need to go.

      No more maintenance and the time that involves. No more insurance. No more annual fees. No more hassles and costs looking for parking. No more need to find a designated driver. No more need to have a parent available to drive kids around.

    • GoneFishing says:

      First we must have autonomous vehicles that actually work in a wide range of terrain, road type and weather conditions. Then we must have the legislation in place to allow use of autonomous vehicles in fully independent running. That could be many years away.
      Secondly, I think that we have a wide distribution of needs and personality types. A large portion of the population will not want to give up personal cars. Maybe it will be a hit with some city dwellers.

      More important is the shift to EV’s and highly efficient vehicles. That could happen faster than most people think. The current push toward more fossil fuels in the US could reverse very quickly.
      I see no real change in society itself from using EV’s other than not defecating in the nest as much.
      The whole cuckoo clockwork societal system will still be very similar, just a little cleaner and quieter.
      If the shift to EV’s actually follows through and doesn’t stall.

      • Boomer II says:

        Getting people to give up car ownership doesn’t necessarily mean providing autonomous vehicles. Services like Uber are already cheaper for some people than owning a car.

Comments are closed.