102 Responses to Open Thread Non-Petroleum- Aug 22, 2016

  1. Oldfarmermac says:

    HVAC man left this comment at the tail end of the last open topic thread, right behind a rant of my own about how low our political standards have sunk.

    It’s just too good to leave it there where it will be overlooked so I am copying it here.

    It hurts too bad to cry so the only thing left to do is laugh and hope the country survives whoever inhabits the WH for the next couple of terms.


    Pat Paulsen – where ever you are, your country needs you.

    From Wikipedia –
    “All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian.”
    “I don’t want to say too much about illegal immigration. I’m afraid my views will be reported on the Cinco O’Clock News.”
    On the Miranda warning: “Why should we tell kidnappers, murderers, and embezzlers their rights? If they don’t know their rights, they shouldn’t be in the business.”
    “A good many people feel that our present draft laws are unjust. These people are called soldiers.”
    “Sex doesn’t have to be taught. It’s something most of us are born with.”
    When originally “denying” he was running, borrowing from General William Sherman in 1884: “I will not run if nominated, and if elected I will not serve.”
    Presidential campaign slogan: “I’ve upped my standards. Now, up yours.”
    Presidential campaign slogan: “If elected, I will win.”
    Campaign supporters’ rallying cry: “We can’t stand Pat!”
    “We have nothing to fear but fear itself…and of course the boogieman.”
    “I am neither left wing nor right wing. I am middle-of-the-bird.”
    “If either the right wing or the left wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles.”
    “Marijuana should be licensed and kept out of the hands of teenagers. It’s too good for them.”

    Today’s news does not surprise me, I was expecting the email stuff. The number surprises me though. 15k is a lot.

    I expect some pretty sorry revelations about Trump to come to light too, pretty soon, especially about the so called Trump university, but I am not confident enough about what they will be to predict the what and the when.

    The odds don’t look as good for Clinton, to me, now, as they did as recently as yesterday, but I still think she is the better bet to win.

    I am hoping there will be some good comments on what each candidate will actually DO, if elected, when it comes to energy and conservation measures.

    Clinton and the D party are unquestionably better on the overall environmental question, and for me that is the overriding issue that ( excuse me ) trumps all others combined.

    Overshoot ain’t a joke.

    We need pedal to the metal policies on renewable energy, conservation, lowering birth rates, etc. We are far more apt to get them from the D’s than from the R’s.

    Now I know my own kind came here in large part as convicts, indentured servants, meaning the next thing to slavery, and that we stole this continent from the people who had possession of it when we Euro’s first got here, but otoh, they stole it from each other, earlier, on a regular basis. It’s a Darwinian world.

    It would suit ME just fine to see immigration sharply curbed. Our population is still growing like a weed. It would peak a LOT sooner with fewer immigrants.

    I for one do not believe economic prosperity depends on continual growth, although it certainly is easy to make a case for that argument, given our current financial set up and economic climate.

    Common sense tells me that two parents who have two kids who have one point four kids leads to a situation whereby lots of new houses, roads, schools, shopping centers, ball parks, air ports, etc etc, are not actually NEEDED for everybody to have PLENTY of these things a few decades down the road.

    If there aren’t enough JOBS to go around, methinks we can reorganize society so we all work less and play more. 😉

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      “All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian.”

      “It would suit ME just fine to see immigration sharply curbed. Our population is still growing like a weed. It would peak a LOT sooner with fewer immigrants.”

      Mac, your post above comes across to me like- I got mine, tough shit if you didn’t get yours.

      What makes you so special ? Because you were born within your ancestors land grab ? Your Republican is showing.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        It’s a Darwinian world old buddy.

        I have had many liberal democratic and even socialist friends over the last half century since I first left the farm for the big city and the university.A few of them still maintain contact, but mostly they are far away and we have gone our separate ways since I moved back to the hills where life is infinitely better, so long as you have a living, and where my odds of living well and maybe even just living are better in the event the shit hits the fan before I hit the recycling bin myself.

        I used to be a long haired capital D democrat, with a pot pipe and an ACLU card in my pocket, a dues paying member of the NEA, etc, etc. I helped organize twice over the course of the last forty years, once as a teacher, and once as a heavy equipment operator. We lost as teachers, we won as tradesmen.

        I have yet to meet more than three or four hard core liberals who actually want any immigrants , other than servants, in their neighborhood. Exceptions are made for academics and professionals of course.

        Every last one of them believes fully and totally in his or her own family and personal property. One of the most vocal of them all was a next door neighbor, when I owned a couple of acres next to his hundred acres, and inadvertently planted a couple of ornamental trees a couple of feet across an unmarked property line. He told me in no uncertain terms that he didn’t want them there, move them immediately.

        Almost all my liberal acquaintances these days who have money and live in very nice places, with no trespassing signs all around, and plenty of cops. A few have retired to the boonies. NONE of them are hard up, and none of them will strike a tap at a snake to help out anybody else if it actually means giving up a day and getting their hands dirty, unless they can get their picture in the paper by doing so.They have yard boys, but they don’t have them in to eat in the kitchen with them. They do write the occasional tax deductible check, I will give them that.

        I have my hired help into the house and we all eat at the same table, or used to, before retirement. I am welcome at their weddings and funerals, and still go rabbit hunting and fishing with them. Sometimes I eat with them at their house.

        There is not to my sure knowledge a single sizeable piece of land, with the possible exception of a few very small islands, or maybe a few spots of the very far northern regions inhabited by Inuit,etc, that has not changed hands forcibly or by newcomers simply overwhelming any current occupants any where on the globe.

        Someday another flag will fly over my own little farm, and over Washington DC. That city will be renamed within the next five hundred years, most likely.

        I might actually wind up selling my place , someday, owner financed, to a Mexican couple who live nearby , and farm rented land. They’re the salt of the earth people, and I wouldn’t mind marrying their daughter if I were a young man again.They would farm it and keep it sound and lovely and love it , rather than subdivide it into vacation home lots, which is why I am leaning their way. I don’t know anybody else who would do that for sure.

        BUT I have better sense than to want to see the population of this country continuing to grow even one day longer than necessary.

        Barring our kind going extinct, there is not an acre of land on this planet that will not eventually change hands again by force or by newcomers simply overwhelming current occupants by their sheer numbers.

        Take your moral preening elsewhere. I ‘m a realist. If I came into your yard homeless and set up a tent, you would call the cops in a minute flat, I ‘m ready to bet twenty to one on it. If you actually live in Huntington Beach, the odds are pretty high you have got yours, but you apparently don’t realize that there is simply not ENOUGH to go around to the whole world anymore, and the population is STILL growing fast.

        I am most assuredly NOT a republican of the big R sort,as evidenced by my unwavering support of tough environmental legislation, a single payer health care system for the USA, etc. I campaigned for Bernie on this very site, as well as others. I have consistently said that HRC is morally unqualified to be president, but also that Trump is worse.

        Sympathy and compassion are one thing, and good sense is something else altogether.

        YOU may not appreciate it, but we are in a situation somewhat analogous to people in a lifeboat, looking at a damned long paddle in stormy weather, with very little food and water in the boat. Putting MORE people in the boat is too put each and every person ALREADY in the boat at substantially higher risk of dying before making port or being rescued at sea.

        I am cautiously hopeful that a very few countries, such as the USA and Canada, if we are lucky,with just about every thing going right, and only a few cards falling wrong, will be able to manage a successful transition to a low energy, low population, sustainable economy.

        But I have read at least thirty or books over the last ten years, all written by highly respected scientists, HARD SCIENCE, LIFE SCIENCE sorts, nearly all of them at or very near the peak of the professional heap, holders of chairs or at least tenure at some of the worlds most elite universities. None of them believe we are headed anywhere except to hell in a hand basket, due to resource depletion, environmental degradation , and over population.

        Over shoot ain’t no xxxxing joke.

        And yes, I have more than enough university credits in the life sciences, history, economics, physics, chemistry, etc, to have a professional opinion of my own.

        Reality dictates doing a little critical thinking, in the event one is capable of it.

        SOMETIMES the Republicans are right,perhaps for the wrong reasons, but I have seldom ever met a capital D democrat willing to admit it. Likewise I have seldom ever met a capital R republican who will admit the D’s are right about anything.

        The hypocrisy involving immigration is enough to take my breath away. OF COURSE republicans don’t want more immigrants who are almost sure to vote D.

        But I hear the D’s gloating about it privately when I am wearing my liberal camouflage, which I can and do wear quite comfortably when it suits me in certain circles. In private, they make no bones about the more the better when it comes to registering new immigrants. They GLOAT about it. In public they deny their partisan interests, and act shocked that any body could even believe they HAVE any partisan interests.

        I grew up in the backwoods, where very few of my family and neighbors ever had much of a shot at the good life. I got lucky in the genetic lottery, school was easy, got out via scholarship, been there and seen that, got the t shirt.

        I made six figures on an annual basis back in the EIGHTIES after giving up teaching for the nukes down the road. I am assuredly not rich now, but I am not apt to miss any meals, lol.

        But I have at least a dozen or so working class relatives and LOTS of acquaintances who are desperate for work, and every new face in the neighborhood means one less job for them, unfortunately.

        And I am not much in the mood today to hear any clap trap about retraining middle aged men and women for new jobs. The schools we have these days are hardly even able to train kids to read and write, never mind middle aged people who learned hardly anything at all thirty or forty years ago. It works for maybe one individual out of ten, at best.

        You look after YOUR partisan interests, and I will look after my own.

        I wouldn’t be in such a foul mood today except I just mashed a fingernail pretty bad. Ranting helps, and so does cussing, but I try not to cuss OFTEN in this forum.

        I hope there will be responses to this rant. They will be cataloged, if they are good ones, pro or con, and used as source material in my book to be , if I ever finish it.

        I fully intend to present the best expressed arguments I run across for both sides of every issue I touch on. Credit will be given, and permission sought as necessary.

        • scrub puller says:

          Yair . . . .

          Quite apart from the obvious heartfelt eloquence of your 1:21 PM post I am amazed at the speed in which you got it composed, edited and up.

          From one writer to another, that’s a very good effort, well done old friend. (grins)


        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Clearly with all that so called education of yours. You never learned how to efficiently communicate without ranting and rambling on and on and on and on about yourself.

          If you want to hide behind your “Darwinian World” phase go ahead, your the one who has to live with himself. Your actions are those of a selfish privilege coward. Your just afraid that in a level Darwinian playing field. That you will be beaten or have to work harder.

          “and every new face in the neighborhood means one less job for them, unfortunately.”

          That’s closed minded selfish thinking. Every new face in the community is another consumer who could buy an apple from the local farmer. In a free and open fair market one should and needs to compete. One should not be a coward and hide behind born privilege of ancestors.

          “If I came into your yard homeless and set up a tent”

          I never in my comment advocated any trespassing on you private property. Your blurring the lines here.

          “the odds are pretty high you have got yours”

          I was very fortunate to be born with U.S. white privilege. I find it in myself never to restricted others from any advantage I may have started out with that they didn’t.

          Mac, your just a self centered coward

          • scrub puller says:

            Yair . . .

            I was going to comment but I won’t. (big grin)


          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Them’s fighting words just about anyplace old buddy.

            I am not blurring the lines,, but rather demonstrating that you are simply a hypocritical partisan, which is perfectly obvious from the fact you referred to me as showing my “Republican side”.

            You have only emotional arguments to make, and emotions don’t get you very far, when the subject is the state of the overall environment, overshoot, etc.

            Let’s hear ANY ARGUMENT logically refutes anything I have said.

            From any body.

            I go wherever the facts lead me, and I try VERY hard to make sure I have my facts in a row. You resort to the tired old personal attack because you haven’t the remotest clue when it comes to making a rational argument against anything I have said.

            I suppose you either believe HRC is an honest woman, and that she really did set up her secret private email system for purposes of convenience, rather than to hide her utterly obvious influence peddling, or else you are an idiot.

            Now you are a coward if you won’t tell us which.

            I bet you believe the email thing is all a part of that” vast right wing conspiracy” to get your highness the empress in waiting, DON’T you? Or is it that you CANNOT deal with the question at all, without showing your partisan colors?

            You will find that I can sling partisan mud with the best of them, if you want to play THAT game.

            If you dodge the question, we will all know who the coward, or the idiot is, won’t we?

            Nuance counts, and nuance requires more than a few words to get it across.

            Incidentally, my dear old Daddy was on the plant negotiating committee for the last twenty of the fifty years he worked as a Teamster on his SECOND job from three till eleven pm. He farmed all the remaining daylight hours.

            There are win win, win lose, lose lose propositions , and entirely neutral propositions, when it comes to politics and economics.

            I am firmly aligned with the REAL interests of the working people of this country.

            You are preening holier than thou partisan.

            And incidentally, I am on record as supporting most of the D party agenda, and only a little of the R party agenda, and have said often that as bad as Clinton is, Trump is worse.

            A partisan I ain’t.

            I can go where the truth takes me, because I am not a partisan.

            You will never be able to discuss any serious issue without either making a fool of yourself, or resorting to sound bites and talking points, and AVOIDING any actual discussion.

            Any more typo’s than usual are due to the bandage on my long finger.

            Now having enjoyed my old REPUBLICAN SCROOGE FUCK THE WORLD I GOT MINE rant, I am going to go choke down my breakfast, which is left over oatmeal, seasoned only with a pinch of salt, since I am too cheap to buy any butter or sugar. But I will have a wind dropped peach with it, since that can’t be sold. LOL.

            In the meantime, I bet you have NEVER had your sixty year old yard boy in for lunch with your family. Hard core liberals love poor people, so long as they can love them in the abstract and at a distance, in my experience, which is rather extensive, given that I am getting sort of OLD.

            All the regulars here have long had a standing invitation to drop by anytime their business or pleasure brings them thru southwest Virginia. My life style will verify everything I have said.

            Maybe I will get good enough at this sort of mudslinging that I can go to work for the Koch brothers, lol.

            I am known as a pinko commie tree hugging whale loving panty wearing Dim Rat , or worse, in redneck REPUBLICAN forums, but I use different handles and a different ip address there. A few places I post under my own name.

        • Synapsid says:


          Is Huntington Beach up-market these days? We called it Tin Can Beach when I was growing up in LA in the 50s. You couldn’t walk on it barefoot for all the rusty beer cans in the sand.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            A peek at the real estate ads indicates about all half million and up houses. That ‘s upscale to a poor country boy who fell off the turnip wagon.

            I doubt there is any beach left in any accessible part of California that hasn’t gone upscale. If there is any privately owned beach front without a road, it probably belongs to somebody with a personal helicopter.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          A appropriate song for this discussion:
          Phil Ochs — Love me, I’m a liberal

          Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon – Love me,I’m a liberal


        • Nick G says:

          I have read at least thirty or books over the last ten years,…None of them believe we are headed anywhere except to hell in a hand basket

          It’s worth saying that there are many, many more people who are equally authoritative that disagree with them. I don’t really think that gives us much guidance about whether life will get better, or be zero sum.

          More importantly, none of us have a right to moral indignation, and moral judgement. As long as there are people anywhere in the world who are suffering, we are all equally culpable for not helping them.

          As we live and learn, we should simply try to help each other do better. If we show compassion for each other’s efforts in that direction, we set a practical example of what to do and how to do it.

      • Longtimber says:

        “All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian.” ?Full Circle?

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      “On April 25, 1846, the first shots of the Mexican-American War were fired during a skirmish near the Rio Grande. In the two-year conflict that followed, U.S. forces invaded Mexico and forced it to cede huge tracts of land in the West. President James K. Polk and his supporters considered the war a fulfillment of the United States’ “Manifest Destiny” to expand across North America, but while it was a military success, it was also hugely controversial and led to decades of animosity south of the border.”

      “Before invading Mexico, the U.S. tried to buy some of its territory. In late-1845, President James K. Polk sent diplomat John Slidell on a secret mission to Mexico. Slidell was tasked with settling a longstanding disagreement about the border between the two countries, but he was also authorized to offer the Mexicans up to $25 million for their territories in New Mexico and California. When the Mexicans refused to consider the offer, Polk upped the ante by ordering 4,000 troops under Zachary Taylor to occupy the land between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande”

      “Abraham Lincoln was one of the war’s harshest critics. The invasion of Mexico was one of the first U.S. conflicts to spawn a widespread anti-war movement. Political opponents labeled “Mr. Polk’s War” a shameless land grab”


    • Nick G says:

      Our population is still growing like a weed. It would peak a LOT sooner with fewer immigrants.

      That would be worth checking into. I’ve read several times that net immigration from Mexico has halted in the last several years.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Nick, likewise here.

        I have a couple of dozen more or less casual friends among the local Mexican immigrant community, which is numerous. They don’t know of anybody, locally, who has moved back except a few older folks, who got sick for home, and can live a lot cheaper there than they can here. Getting established here is harder than it used to be, but we are still getting some newcomers, mostly ones that are moving a SECOND or third time after getting here, in search of work and affordable housing.

        Wages are low here, but housing is also cheap, and there are numerous opportunities to run small sideline businesses, such as market gardening aka very small scale farming, handy man, landscaper, etc.

        The last time I worked ( part time as a maintenance tech) in a local factory, about twenty percent of the people were Mexicans.

        Population is growing fast locally, which is actually very good for ME, personally, since I will probably eventually be selling out, due to advancing age.

        But I sure do hate to see these lovely mountains and valleys filled up with ugly subdivisions and malls, and I hate getting run off the road by rich “damnyankees” driving Escalades and Hummers.

        I had such a woman threaten to call the law on me a couple of years ago because I almost ran over her brats – brats riding unlicensed uninsured off road vehicles on the wrong side of the road, in the wrong direction, in a blind curve. I guess she expected to get on my knees and tug my forelock and beg to be allowed to go before being horsewhipped, simply because her old man is a real estate developer, and because my old farm truck looks pretty decrepit, but it is kept in perfect condition except cosmetically.

        I found it highly entertaining to explain to her that the road that passes my house is a PUBLIC road, owned by the Commonwealth, and that IF the law got involved, they would confiscate and auction her kids toys, and give her a STACK of rather expensive tickets, although paying them would not inconvenience her.

        But dealing with the social services people might, and if she mouthed off to the local sheriff the way she did me, he would have found an excuse to inconvenience her to the tune of calling somebody to come get her after being fingerprinted and appearing before a magistrate. The magistrates have a way of getting real busy, sometimes, when it suits them, and keeping people sitting in confinement for a few hours so as to allow them time to think a little.

        He has conducted a few accident investigations involving kids in the road on four wheelers, at least one of which involved a dead kid, and likes to send a message when he can.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      “If there aren’t enough JOBS to go around, methinks we can reorganize society so we all work less and play more. 😉”

      “It took President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 for all workers to see limits on working hours — initially 44 hours a week, then phased to 42 and eventually 40 by 1940. “When the FLSA was passed in 1938, Saturday working hours were still common,” DeVault said. “Saturday noon was the most frequent ‘payday’ time.””


    • me says:

      >It would suit ME just fine to see immigration sharply curbed.

      North America is empty compared to Asia. Hundreds of millions (literally) of better off Chinese would consider moving to America. And the Chinese population is the slow growing part of the continent.

      It is also worth noting that typical US land use policies look ludicrous from the point of view of foreigners. American cities are basically empty.

      I suspect there will be a wave of immigration to the US from Asia in the coming century, both it won’t be huddled masses, it will be people with money.

  2. Fred Magyar says:

    This one is for Doug. Click the cartoon once it opens!

    • Doug Leighton says:


      People are always bring me their “space rocks” to confirm meteoric origin then they get pissed off, with me, when when I identify them a something far less exotic. I’ve even managed to irritate a University of Calgary meteorite expert because I tell them if they don’t believe me they should contact him.

    • GoneFishing says:

      The Arctic will keep melting no matter what we do in the next few years. At least the renewable effort is continuing and may stay strong for a while.

      Renewables to lead world power market growth to 2020
      “The report sees the share of renewable energy in global power generation rising to over 26% by 2020 from 22% in 2013 – a remarkable shift in a very limited period of time. By 2020, the amount of global electricity generation coming from renewable energy will be higher than today’s combined electricity demand of China, India and Brazil.

      The report says the geography of deployment will increasingly shift to emerging economies and developing countries, which will make up two-thirds of the renewable electricity expansion to 2020. China alone will account for nearly 40% of total renewable power capacity growth and requires almost one-third of new investment to 2020.”
      The report sees the share of renewable energy in global power generation rising to over 26% by 2020 from 22% in 2013 – a remarkable shift in a very limited period of time. By 2020, the amount of global electricity generation coming from renewable energy will be higher than today’s combined electricity demand of China, India and Brazil.

      The report says the geography of deployment will increasingly shift to emerging economies and developing countries, which will make up two-thirds of the renewable electricity expansion to 2020. China alone will account for nearly 40% of total renewable power capacity growth and requires almost one-third of new investment to 2020.

  3. George Kaplan says:

    The latest ice volume readings from DMI show the damage the ongoing cyclones in the Arctic are doing to the ice – it should be plateauing or increasing in volume at this time but has taken a big dip which could continue over the next few days as there are two or three cyclones still to come. I think DMI numbers year to year are not considered as reliable as PIOMAS, but they are daily, whereas PIOMAS only gets updated monthly. However from day to day the general trends should be OK.

  4. R Walter says:

    Self-driving vehicles will do wonders for ordering pizza from the internet and the delivery wouldn’t have a driver to deliver the pizza. Pizza delivering drones will be a huge bidness! har!

    • JN2 says:

      Could be the death of the “MILF seduces pizza delivery boy” porn genre…

  5. Duncan Idaho says:

    Daily CO2

    August 21, 2016: 402.15 ppm

    August 21, 2015: 399.23 ppm

    (I wonder if the sock puppet will paste the standard reply one more time?)

    • GoneFishing says:

      The ocean is absorbing much of the CO2. As it warms up CO2 is released back to the atmosphere. As it warms up the amount of water vapor increases. As it warms up CO2 and methane are released from melting permafrost and bodies of water. Seems like a trend, the self-reinforcing kind.
      The earth is starting to feel quite bubbly about now, let’s hope there are only a few methane belches.

      I think we need to let the forests grow.

      • farmboy says:

        “I think we need to let the forests grow” I think we need to turn a lot of corn and soy fields into grasslands and savannahs that sequester more carbon and faster then trees by themselves.
        For Grasslands to thrive they require stimulation by herbivores and they might as well be predominantly of the domestic kinds which can also supply quality protein and energy for those of us that don’t want to make way for others.


        • Duncan Idaho says:

          Get those ecosystem killing annual grains out of there, and put back 30 million bison feeding on perennial native grasses, sequestering huge amounts of Co2.

          • farmboy says:

            Dunkin Idaho How very smart of you to suggest a solution that is impossible to implement within any reasonable timeframe or within a reasonable budget. If you would volunteer to eat only things that grow wild and on less land then the average humans allotment on this planet “IOW Starve to death” then I would have some respect for what you have to say. Until that happens your answer remains despicable for all its hypocrisy.

            And where do you suppose to get all these bison. Maybe implant bos tourus with bison embroys would speed up the process?? either way you can’t do away with domestic herbivores for many many years. And who will pay all the landowners for the use of their land? And where do you suppose will arise all the volunteers to do with way less nutritious meat and fat??

            Instead we need to be supporting those ranchers that work with nature to support way more life per acre then the monoculture annual crop farmers, or the overgrazing ranchers or even the national parks under what is considered best management practices.

            Next time you might consider thinking a bit before placing that foot into your mouth.

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              Relax—-I grow a significant part of my food, have a orchard, and board horses, llamas, and donkeys, and have chickens.
              I know how things work.
              I’m just not that optimistic we can reform out food supply.

              • farmboy says:

                Duncan Idaho ” I’m just not that optimistic we can reform out food supply”. Yes we can, well some of us, that is. But I would rather die trying then to give up. If anyone survives peak oil it will be those that focus on Biology and not the alternative energy folks. And I am convinced that the Soil Carbon Cowboy type , are in the best position possible.
                I was raised on a small dairy farm with some additional crop acres. Our cows were pastured and supplemented with grains. But since then what I have learned about grass and graziers is nothing short of revolutionary. I often think back and imagine what we could have accomplished on our farm in South America, with the knowledge I now have and use on my much smaller sheep operation in Southwest Michigan.

                I maintain 350+ organic fed, free range egg layers but if my sales vanish or feed becomes economicaly unavailable due to economic collapse or what have you, I will be forced to eliminate almost all of them right then and there. Whereas my sheep are vastly more resiliant. Even in our winters which commonly have 3 ft snow for weeks with no hay.

                • Duncan Idaho says:

                  Carbon sequestration through perennial grasses is the way (with grazers– as you know).
                  I’ve been letting the chickens free range during the day. I lose a few to predators, but that is a trade off.
                  A lion got two goats a while back.
                  Anyway, keep up the good work.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Grasshoppers and locusts are grazers too and they are more efficient at converting grass to protein… 🙂

                    BTW, while I agree with farmboy that a deep knowledge and respect for biology and biodiversity is absolutely paramount for those that intend to survive. I’m not a exactly a technophobe or a luddite when it comes to energy harvesting for my own benefit and I like electricity and the tools it can power .

                  • Hightrekker says:

                    Without a rudimentary understanding of Evolutionary Biology and Thermodynamics, thinking critically in this day and age would be very challenging.

  6. Fred Magyar says:

    Interesting food for thought! By Ugo Bardi.


    Five Billion Years of Energy Supply: the “Stereosphere” and the Upcoming Photovoltaic Revolution

    It seems to be popular nowadays to maintain that photovoltaic energy is just an “extension” of fossil energy and that it will fade away soon after we run out of fossils fuels. But photovoltaics is much more than just a spinoff of fossil energy, it is a major metabolic revolution in the ecosystem, potentially able to create a “stereosphere” analogous to the “biosphere” that could last as long as the remaining lifetime of the earth’s ecosystem and possibly much more.

    Link to his paper discussing these ideas in greater depth.


    What Future for the Anthropocene? A Biophysical Interpretation

    The Anthropocene is a proposed time subdivision of the earth’s history correlated with the strong perturbation of the ecosystem created by human activity. Much debate is ongoing about what date should be considered as the start of the Anthropocene, but much less on how it will evolve in the future and what are its ultimate limits. It is argued here that the phenomena currently defining the Anthropocene will rapidly decline and disappear in times of the order of one century as a result of the irreversible dispersal of the thermodynamic potentials associated with fossil carbon. However, it is possible that, in the future, the human economic system may catalyze the dissipation of solar energy in forms other than photosynthesis, e.g., using solid-state photovoltaic devices. In this case, a strong human influence on the ecosystem may persist for much longer times, but in forms very different than the present ones.

    • R Walter says:

      Photovoltaics will energize robots to deliver pizza from an automated pizza bakery, all the ingredients provided by automated farms producing everything from tomatoes to mozarella cheese. A sun-powered barn full of cows walking in and out of DeLaval volunteer milking systems. Photovoltaics will be a pizza utopia. The only human hands that touch the pizza will be those hands holding the pizza.

      The whole world will be Italian! The Dagocene! har!

      This anthropocene word carries too much scientific mumbo jumbo baggage, Cro Magnon won’t get it. Why wasn’t it the Cro Magnocene?

      Can’t we just stay in the Holocene?

      • GoneFishing says:

        Future pizza will grow itself minded and produced by genetically sculpted bacteria and bugs. Same with all our food. In fact much of it will be bugs and bacteria, even though it won’t look like that. You won’t need it delivered, it will grow right on the walls of your house. We are just scratching the surface of genetic manipulation. Even your clothes will be made by and from bacteria, bugs and weeds.
        Makes you sick, doesn’t it. Itchy too.
        You’ll get over it soon enough.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Can’t we just stay in the Holocene?

        in reference to the epoch that began 10,000 years ago and continues today, 1897, from French holocène (1867), from Greek holo-, comb. form of holos “whole” (see safe (adj.)) + -cene.

        It is the WHOLE SCENE and nothing but the WHOLE SCENE! If you ain’t down with the ANTHROPO, you just ain’t with it bro! HAR!

    • Nick G says:

      The total cumulative stored energy in oil is probably about 3 weeks of solar insolation. The total annual release of energy by human burning of fossil fuels is maybe…an hour of sunshine.

      The sun dumps 100,000 terawatts of continuous very high quality energy onto the earth. Human burning of fossil fuels only releases about 10-20 terawatts. There’s no comparison.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      I have been following Bardi for a long time. He gets it, and I got it in part from him, among many others. I am not trying to imply that he shares any of my political opinions, but rather giving him credit as one of the people who have contributed to my own technical education.

      “It is argued here that the phenomena currently defining the Anthropocene will rapidly decline and disappear in times of the order of one century as a result of the irreversible dispersal of the thermodynamic potentials associated with fossil carbon. However, it is POSSIBLE that, in the future, the human economic system MAY catalyze the dissipation of solar energy in forms other than photosynthesis, e.g., using solid-state photovoltaic devices.”

      Words are his, the two caps are mine.

      May and possible are not adequate foundations when it comes to assuring the long term future of you and your own. Additional measures are called far, and will be implemented, by those with brains enough to understand the concept of overshoot and consequent collapse.

      I am HOPEFUL that the renewable energy revolution Bardi speaks of will actually come to pass, but I have a lead ball feeling in my belly that it won’t happen soon enough to keep very large parts of the world from suffering a very hard crash due to resource depletion, meaning resources of all kinds, not just oil.

      Maybe a few countries that are still well endowed with resources, and not burdened with very high populations in relations to those resources, will succeed in making the transition, without suffering a HORRIBLE crash.

      Don’t get caught in Egypt, or Saudi Arabia, either, once the oil starts running short.

      It’s a REALLY unfortunate that the overall environmental issue has morphed into one that is largely associated pro and con with the opposite sides of the ongoing culture war.

      I have had the privilege of speaking privately, face to face, with a couple of well known environmentalists, and some more with excellent credentials but not much in the way of name recognition.

      In private, they wince when the topic of our growing domestic population is mentioned, but they are adamant that they will NEVER say anything about immigration, due to fear of political repercussions, both at the personal and the movement level.

      But I am more interested in exploring reality, physical and political, than I am in avoiding stating what I see as various self evident and obvious truths.

      Fifty thousand years ago, we lived in small family bands, or maybe somewhat larger local aggregations. Eventually we invented various sorts of social organization that allowed us to live in larger and larger groups, until today, our existence is nested, immediate family, extended family, local community, local society, ….. nation state.

      Now this is for Scrub Puller.

      If it hadn’t been for the American military muscle that so displeases HB, and gets his undies in a huffy bunch, you would be eating rice with chopsticks, if you are as eighty or so, assuming you actually lived thru the early days of a Japanese occupation.

      And you had best hope if you have any grand kids that Yankee muscle is still around, and that we Yankees are still tight with you Aussies, a few decades down the road. China will soon be challenging us for world domination, and the odds are pretty good that the Chinese will have their way in their hemisphere, unless ecological and resource collapse takes them down sooner.

      It IS a Darwinian world, and all the moralizing and preening ever done, and all that will ever be done, will not change it.

      I do recognize that my country has done many bad things, on the grand scale, and will do many more, but as some democrat once said about LBJ, he may be a son of a bitch but he is OUR son of a bitch. It’s my country, and I want it to survive and thrive.

  7. scrub puller says:

    Yair . . . .

    There is a lot of trash talk in our local media about “changing times and alliances”.

    With the way things are developing in the south China Sea I believe it inevitable there is going to be some argy bargy between the US and China and I know absolutely where our alliances should be.


  8. Oldfarmermac says:


    I spend a lot of time studying health issues, since I don’t want to depart this world for another one that only MIGHT exist, lol. My studies have extended to the point that I ALMOST own the right to sit for the RN professional exam, but given my family situation, I will never finish the course.

    There is little doubt that cancer and heart disease are both diseases of old age, in part, because SOMETHING inevitably kills us, and cancer and heart disease take a LOT of old people.

    BUT there is even LESS question that both cancer and heart disease are environmental and life style diseases.

    Fortunately we know what we OUGHT to do to live long healthy lives.

    Avoid highly refined foods which are inevitably full of unhealthy ingredients such as excessive amounts of sugar, salt, various chemicals, unhealthy fats, etc, and short of some necessary nutrients. Eat less meat, and more fruits and veggies.

    Get some exercise, regularly. At least a half hour every other day.

    Stay away from industrial chemicals and places they are used extensively, as best you can.

    A very little wine or beer is ok, if you can handle it without getting hooked on it.

    Tobacco kills, it’s as simple as that. If you never start using it, you will never have to talk to an oncologist or heart specialist about quitting so as to MAYBE live a little longer.

    Some of my relatives and neighbors grow tobacco, but I don’t cut them any slack when it comes to telling it like it is about cancer, emphysema, and heart attacks.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Particulate matter, especially that below 2.5u, is very dangerous and deadly. Yet we do not take it very seriously, it is another non-visible threat.
      Mutagens are endemic throughout industrial civilization and rural areas that use industrial chemicals and products. Do we really watch these? Do we analyze the chain of compounds produced when our products are left in the environment and degrade?
      The other question is level of toxicity, do we even understand the dose required to injure and mutate?

      If you want to go in depth into the subject, read some of Professor Joe Cummins work.
      “Another important factor that is almost never considered in environmental risk assessment is that biological activities are predominantly nonlinear: weak forces or extremely low concentrations of a chemical may have disproportionately large effects at times, and conversely, strong forces or high concentrations of the chemical may have no effects at all. ”
      Sadly and ironically, cancer took Prof. Cummins this past year, another environmental protector and scientist gone.

      So as we harm and mutate ourselves as well as uncontrolled endocrine disruptions, it is not just the animals and plants that are being wrecked. Cancer wrecks families too.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      WOW! We are heading towards spending 60% of the US GDP on end of life care…

      • GoneFishing says:

        Fred, much as I don’t like linear extrapolations, I have to agree with everything in that video. The medical industry is a huge money industry. In my experience, doctors are not forthright in prognosis or in the efficacy of procedures and drugs. They also miss obvious problems and make mistakes. All this costs huge amount of money for oftentimes negative results.
        I would like to see more money spent on research into the effects of chemicals and their byproducts upon the population and less on unnecessary treatments.

        • farmboy says:

          The insurance system that we have in place is the main reason that we spend such vast amounts of money on end of life or heroic procedures. Even if they want to save society some money, doctors have their hands tied. The only thing they can do is try to persuade the patient or family members to forego these procedures. Some folks listen but others don’t. I guarantee you that if the family would have to pick up even half the tab, end of life/heroic expenses would almost vanish.

          As long as we keep this healthcare insurance system in place that combines the worst of socialism with the worst of capitalism these crazy expenses will only get worse. And I’m not only refering to Obama care, It was all screwed up before he amazingly screwed it up a bit more.

          Doing away with this insurance is not pretty either, I have personally witnessed people die because of not being able to afford procedures or medications but that sure beats seeing folks in these United States not being able to afford healthy food for their kids. Why don’t we have food insurance so that everyone can afford the food of their dieticians choice, instead of these morally degrading and weird food stamps that takes folks hours every month just to figure out ?

          • GoneFishing says:

            Even with insurance, large numbers of people are being driven into bankruptcy.
            Has a food security bill ever come up in front of Congress? I don’t think it would stand a chance.
            The food stamp program (called different things in different states) has been wrecked.. Healthy eating is not the point. Anyway, many states do not give food aid for very long at all. Three months of food benefits is not enough.

    • Bogwood says:

      A tobacco related thread. My Geiger counter got a high reading on Florida fossil shark teeth. Why? They come from Peace river area downstream from Florida radioactive phosphate fertilizer deposits. These deposits were a WWII source of Uranium. Yes the hardware store phosphate fertilizer was well above background radiation. You inhale the alpha radiation through the cigarette making it more dangerous. There is a literature on this but missing from my high school health classes.
      Similar thread with methanol, formic acid, formaldehyde and alcohol/ethanol. You have to be careful distilling to separate out the methanol, very poisonous, but recognize it is in the “beer” or “wine” you are distilling and drink without a worry. It becomes formaldehyde in your body.
      Not alarmist on either,we evolved with radiation and your body makes methanol but just another example of “it’s more complicated than you think”.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Florida definitely appears to be in a world of it’s own when it comes to environmental concerns. It’s a good ole boy state.

        “It’s probably the worst site EPA could clean up from a public health standpoint, when you consider the number of potential cancers and the size of the affected population,” one source familiar with the Florida case told GSN. The source was not authorized to discuss the issue and asked not to be named in this article.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          I posted this comment pertaining to health and the environment yesterday by mistake in the petroleum thread.

          So I am copying it here.

          Funeral services tomorrow.

          Oldfarmermac says:
          08/26/2016 at 8:39 am

          We just got another one of those phone calls, within the hour, that we all learn to dread as we get older. Daddy’s baby brother, the youngest in his family, and not a lot older than I am, since I am the oldest of my generation, died last night of cancer.

          Now the reason I mention this here, since he was never a participant in this forum, is that he spent a large part of his life in the fields using the same dangerous pesticides I used so recklessly as a youngster, along with my Dad and HIS Dad my grandfather and just about every body else in the farm biz around here. He also spent a good many years working in and around petroleum products as a mechanic.

          We have had a scary number of early deaths in my family in my generation, and too many in the last one, and in each and every case of these early deaths, the individual had a lot of contact with environmental toxins. None of us without this exposure have died young. My only brother died in a house fire, but he had a really bad hacking cough, “gonna die” serious lung troubles, as the result of smoking and working in a stone quarry where the state and feds didn’t enact serious dust control measures until he was a middle aged man. My next to baby sister worked with dyes and other chemicals in a textile mill, for a couple of decades, before she got her kids raised and was just graduated from college as a middleaged adult when she was diagnosed with a rare cancer strongly associated with industrial chemicals, and died a couple of years later of it.

          One of my aunt’s husbands worked in the same place my Dad worked, and got a brain cancer, which lead him to committ suicide. I have a living uncle who is nerve dead from the knees down, which his neurologist thinks is the result of long term pesticide poisoning, since he can’t come up with any other reason. This guy sprayed the orchards too.

          I could go on for a while, listing a dozen or more known relatives gone under the same circumstances.

          My POINT is that with the exception of those of us who have been exposed to these environmental toxins, we are all either still alive and healthy, or have died in our mid eighties or older of natural causes, excepting a couple who have died as the result of accidents.

          Now I know about random statistical clusters, and realize these early deaths COULD be random bad luck.

          But I also have AMPLE reason to believe they are bad luck associated with tobacco, pesticides, and industrial chemicals.

          I tell it like it is, or at least like I believe it is, regardless of party or personal or business interest. I get pissed when anybody refers to me as a big R republican, lol, because I support curbing immigration so as to help out my local community members live better and to help reduce population growth. When I take a position,such as this one, I don’t pretend to be holding the high moral ground, or wrap myself in the flag.

          I call myself a conservative, but I am a follower of the Humpty Dumpty School of Linguistics, and so free to define the term to suit myself, lol. I also get testy when somebody occasionally refers to me as a big D Democrat, although that has not happened more than once in this particular forum.

          The R party has got it mostly wrong compared to the D party when it comes to environmental issues, but this is not to say the D’s get environmental regs and policies right all the time.

          • notanoilman says:

            Don’t you understand? Industry will regulate itself, there’s no need for a nanny EPA.


  9. Hightrekker says:

    Daily CO2

    August 23, 2016: 402.14 ppm

    August 23, 2015: 399.23 ppm

    • Lydia says:

      My first post got eaten by the software somewhere, so let me try again. How do you go about deciding whether you are going to use “Duncan Idaho”, “Hightrekker”, or “Hightrekker23” to post your climate change material?

  10. aws. says:

    Renewables sweep Chile’s electricity market and set historic low prices

    PV Magazine By: María Sarado, 17. August 2016

    The median price for 12.4 terawatt-hours awarded is around US$47.59/MWh. Wind triumphed and solar took a minimal part of the total, but set new records at $29/MWh.

    “With pride we are able to say that we reached a historic price”. Chilean Energy Minister Máximo Pacheco could not contain his joy in presenting the results of the supply auction convened by the National Energy Commission (CNE).

    See also…

    Solar Sold in Chile at Lowest Ever, Half Price of Coal

    Vanessa Dezem, Bloomberg, Aug 19, 2016

    HT Chris Nelder’s Energy Transition Show

    • aws. says:

      From the Bloomberg article…

      Renewable-energy developers won more than half the contracts. The lowest price for wind power awarded in the auction was $38.10 a megawatt-hour, power from natural gas-fired plants sold for $47, coal came in at $57, hydroelectricity at $60 and geothermal at $66.

      • JN2 says:

        Thanks for the links, aws. For comparison, UK’s proposed nuclear plant is $130 + annual inflation escalator! [£98.5 in 2015 prices x $1.32]

  11. R Walter says:


    There are 2.9 billion humans on earth who are overweight or obese. There are about 763,000,000 humans who are undernourished.

    Ain’t nobody in the overweight and obese categories going to starve to death.

    Of all the undernourished, they need and will find something to eat before it is too late.

    You can save the life of a newborn infant too weak to nurse and probably too weak to cry. You will need an eye dropper and the infant’s mother’s milk. The mother can express milk, a known quantity, 35 ml, fill the eye dropper with mother’s milk, drop by drop feed through one nostril, the newborn will breathe in one drop of mother’s milk at a time. Remember, the infant is too weak to nurse with its mouth, so the eye dropper technique must be performed to save the infant’s life. Once enough mother’s milk has been fed to the starving infant through the infant’s nostril, the newborn will then have enough strength to nurse on its own. Keep the newborn warm at all times, never leave the infant until recovery is certain.

    Plenty of supply, much greater than the demand, although, the demand must be met or the survivability is zero.

    It will be three days of critical care, after five days, you’ll be out of the woods. The newborn should be able to nurse on his or her own by then.

    Hospital and doctor care may be needed, but the expense of one eye dropper is all that is necessary.

    All of the health insurance in the world won’t do a bit of good, the knowledge is what counts.

    Life is very fragile. Lots of work to make it happen.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Ain’t nobody in the overweight and obese categories going to starve to death.

      Actually there is often a correlation between obesity and being malnourished.


      The Obesity Paradox: Overfed But Undernourished

      There was a time when corpulence was a sign of wealth and luxury. But in modern day Western countries, quite the opposite is true. In fact, a recent study found that fully one third of homeless people living in Boston are obese. “This study suggests that obesity may be the new malnutrition of the homeless in the United States,” wrote the researchers, led by Harvard Medical School student Katherine Koh, whose study is forthcoming in the Journal of Urban Health.

  12. Doug Leighton says:

    More alarmist prattle,


    A James Cook University scientist says a new map of the ecological footprint of humankind shows 97 per cent of the most species-rich places on Earth have been seriously altered.

    “Humans are the most voracious consumers planet Earth has ever seen. With our land-use, hunting and other exploitative activities, we are now directly impacting three-quarters of the Earth’s land surface…”


  13. Duncan Idaho says:

    Very close to a ice free North Pole:

    We shall see what the near future brings.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      We shall see what the near future brings.

      Don’t worry DI, The next Ice Age is coming, any day now!

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        FM, you need to make a doctor appointment. You seem to have a case of the Javier’s.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          I’m in denial about my symptoms… all I have to do is turn my charts upside down and my health looks just fine 🙂

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            Whatever, but consider yourself warned Javier’s turns in to Trump disease if it goes untreated. You know what that means. Tiny hands and body parts. Plus you don’t know if your hardening or softening.

  14. islandboy says:

    The latest update to the EIA’s Electric Power Monthly was released yesterday. As usual I have produced the graph “US monthly generation as a percentage of total by source”. In absolute terms more was generated in June 2016 than June 2015 and the total went from 317.739 TWh in May 2016 to 369225 TWh in June, an increase of roughly 51.5 TWh. Coal and gas made up the lion’s share of the increase with increases of 34.5 TWh and 23 TWh respectively. Nuclear was up very slightly in absolute terms and all renewables were down except for solar thermal (CSP) and “”Wood and Wood-Derived Fuels”.

  15. islandboy says:

    As usual the graph of “Solar PV and Thermal Monthly Energy Output” is below.

  16. GoneFishing says:

    Larsen C is cracking free. A is gone, B is gone, now guess whose turn it is.

    “Their new paper describes how the layer of solid ice could be speeding up the flow of ice to the ocean, potentially leading Larsen C towards a similar fate to its now-collapsed sister ice shelves, Larsen A and B.”

    “The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming places on Earth. Temperatures have risen by 2.5C in the past 50 years. Warmer air is causing the surface of the ice to melt, forming pools of water known as “meltponds”.

    Meltponds tend to form in a line “like a string of sausages” and are thought to have contributed to the collapse of ice shelves in the past, including Larsen B. Hubbard tells Carbon Brief:

    “We started the work on Larsen C Ice Shelf for the simple reason that satellite images and a small number of aircraft flyovers indicated that melt ponds were forming on their surface regularly.” ”


  17. GoneFishing says:

    The electric car take-over, a non-linear event transforming society.

    “This year, BNEF was the first mainstream energy research firm to publish a comprehensive forecast showing electric vehicles penetrating deep into the car market. The central scenario of our Global EV Sales Outlook to 2040, published in February, was that 35 percent of new sales would be electric by 2040, and perhaps as high as 47 percent under certain conditions (higher oil prices, more widespread use of car-sharing). If anything, since publishing that forecast, we are tending to think EV penetration will be faster, not slower, despite persistently low oil prices. In the first half of this year, worldwide EV sales were 285,000, up 57 percent on 2015.”


    • Oldfarmermac says:

      That old Elon Musk is as crazy as a fox, even an Ivy League trained fox.

      The latest updates of the Tesla S apparently make it the fastest new ” readily available if you want one” car in the entire world in the zero to sixty drag race.

      Of course such “LUDICROUS ” hot rod performance is totally unnecessary in a car intended for use anyplace BUT a race track, but ya gotta admit he knows how to keep the fires lit and burning hot when it comes to selling the dream and the ACTUALITY of electric cars.

      The marketing buzz, the bragging rights, are going to be worth many times the cost of the upgrade that makes that buzz possible.

      If Tesla can sell enough super cars, the company will have money enough to start building and selling the relatively cheap Model THREE.

      MAYBE electrified personal transportation will scale up fast enough to keep peak oil from wrecking the global economy.

      • GoneFishing says:

        “MAYBE electrified personal transportation will scale up fast enough to keep peak oil from wrecking the global economy.”

        The problem is that the variables are somewhat dependent upon each other and are all subject to positive and negative disruptions.
        As electric vehicles displace oil use oil price will be pushed downward, thus reducing incentive to explore and develop the more expensive fields. That in turn pushes the price of oil upward which then forces more sales and development of EV’s.
        EV’s will soon have a major change in battery and motor technology that will make them lighter, cheaper and use less rare materials. The 200 mile range will be a thing of the past, those cars will be near worthless at that point, just used for local runabout or have their batteries replaced with new tech.
        ICE’s will attempt to compete with the price point and performance of the new EV’s, be more economical and meet new pollution standards. This will force ICE’s into a narrow corner of development.
        Unless oil production can be performed at much lower cost, some large new finds and ICE’s can be made to double their efficiency; the ICE will almost disappear and oil production will fall faster than the natural rate of descent determined by geological constraints.
        If ICE’s can be made with double the motor efficiency, they will slow the growth of EV’s.
        If exports from certain countries cease or are seriously reduced, the EV will become the vehicle of choice as the price of oil gets higher and it’s availability reduced.

        Here is Bloomberg’s view of EV growth. Looks like the 2030’s will be the new electric age.

  18. Duncan Idaho says:

    North Pole now slush:

    Just about any boat can pass over it.


  19. Longtimber says:

    Just got a “thin” ebike for a Helper. He’s wild about it. Lifechanger. Recommended.
    Panasonic “Tesla” Battery

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      This is great news, hopefully this company will do well and be able to sell a lot of these affordable electric bikes.

      There is a guy near me who is a great back yard artificer, but also a full blown alcoholic, who has built an ebike using DeWalt power tool batteries and a drill motor. It works fine, and the cops are ok with him riding it on the public roads.

      He started with a plain old single speed man’s bike with a coaster brake, and put on a large sprocket in place of the small one on the hub. The largish eighteen volt drill motor has a small sprocket, and it uses an ordinary bike chain. Top speed appears to be about ten to twelve mph, without any sort of speed limiter. It will take him up a moderate hill at five or six mph.

      The coaster brake hub allows him to go down hill as fast as he dares, but I don’t know if the bike will climb a really steep hill. It might not.

      He salvaged six old drills, which can be had for next to nothing, since most folks buy new ones when the batteries that come with them go bad. The six new batteries set him back some though. The drill motors supplied the needed parts to get them easily wired in parallel in a small tool box which sits on top of the carrier rack on the back.

      I don’t know how far it will go, but I have seen him at least five or six miles from home on it, and while it still has pedals, they are only for foot rests. He added caliper type brakes both front and rear. It gets him to the grocery store ok, etc. When I first saw him on it, I thought the pedals were still functional, but they aren’t.

      The big box store that sells the batteries has no idea he is using them on a bike, and they have pretty good warranties, lol.

      I will be keeping an eye out for him, and find out how long the batteries last the way he is using them. I am guessing that he rides it less than an hour a day, and that the batteries will last at least two or three years, maybe longer.

      Another local guy is riding a Honda Metropolitan fifty cc scooter that now has thirty thousand miles on it, and the only work it has ever needed consisted of tires, a new battery, and brakes. It gets over a hundred mpg. These scooters can occasionally be bought in excellent condition with less than five thousand miles on them for under a thousand bucks. His still runs just like new. Some people say they are good for fifty thousand miles or more, but I can’t verify that.

      • Longtimber says:

        Ebike: Hub Motor – 1:1 direct drive with electronic Commutation. 300-1000w/h Battery
        Drill Motor bike – 80:1 (?) reduction with Brush commutation. 60-90 w/h Battery.
        Would you get more than a week on the Drill Motor? You have to replace brushes every few hours. IIRC I think I saw a BLDC ( BrushLess DC) drill on the market or perhaps I was Dreaming. With that drive ratio it should climb boulders.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          I am sure the drill motor he is using is an old 18 volt Dewalt. Some of them are pretty heavy duty, and last for several years in intermittent use on construction jobs, running maybe an hour total in a day, boring holes, driving screws, etc.

          The owner has mounted the drill on a block of wood carved to fit it snugly, which in turn is bolted to the bike frame. The drill is held in the recess in the wooden block using tie wire. The sprocket is on a shaft about three inches long, one end of the shaft in the drill chuck, and the other mounted in a bearing mounted on a small metal boss welded to the frame. This takes most of the sidewise torque off the bearings in the business end of the drill.

          I don’t know how long the drill will last, but they are dirt cheap at flea markets and easy to work on. It almost for dead sure has brushes, as you speculate, since it is an old one.

          The key to his bike working is that he is willing to live with a top speed of ten or twelve mph so it is geared low enough to climb a hill even using the drill motor, which probably has no more than about a tenth of a horse power, maybe a little more.

          The six new batteries cost him almost five hundred bucks, they are the nicad type. I think they are about two amp hours each. He has no expense for tags, insurance, gasoline etc, and he may even have his electricity included as part of his rent.

          The large sprocket on the hub is huge, about twelve inches in diameter. I ‘m pretty sure the drill motor has an internal gear reduction as well.

          I could build a similar rig in a day or two using a trolling motor and a conventional deep cycle marine battery , mounting the heavy battery very low in the frame, which would require cutting out and welding in a box for it, about where the pedals go. Used brush less trolling motors can be had pretty cheap.

          This would require starting with a really heavy strong old bike, since the total load on it would be around three hundred pounds with a two hundred pound man riding it.

          The beauty of such a rig is that it is infinitely repairable for peanuts so long as old bikes and drill motors etc can be had at the flea market.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      Very Kool!

      Serious consideration.

      I’m moving from a rural environment to a small city in Oregon.

  20. islandboy says:

    Hey OFM, You might be able to afford a used EV sooner than you previously thought!

    Resale Values For Electric Cars Continue To Drop – Not For Teslas Though

    Most of today’s plug-in electric cars are still struggling with low residual values.

    Car And Driver notes that a five year old EV is damn cheap, despite low mileages and and cars that are working just fine.

    The reason according to C&D is the cellphone-like market. Every year we see cheaper pricing, for better products – in the case of EVs, lessening MSRPs with greater ranges (recently examples of which being the BMW i3, Nissan LEAF, Ford Focus EV).

    Another reason given is persistently low fuel prices…but we don’t subscribe to that notion at all, given the rising sales trends in the US against a backdrop of lower gas pricing at the pumps. That was a talking point in the US from 2015, that has been well-debunked in 2016.

    Lower residual values have hit the most popular all-electric model hard – Nissan LEAF, which according to the Black Book, retains just 18% of MSRP after three years and 11% after five years.

    “A three-year-old Leaf—a $30,000 to $40,000 car new—returned from lease gets sold at wholesale auction at $6000 to $7000 or, on average, just 18 percent of its original price. For gasoline vehicles, a three-year residual is typically in the 45- to 65-percent range. “To be under 20 percent is fairly telling,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s senior vice-president of operations. “A lot of it has to do with demand.””

    Because quick value drop, three years old Nissan LEAF SV is sold for the same price as Nissan Versa SV (initially $16,500 cheaper).

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Hi IB,

      I could make room in the household budget for a used Leaf, but that would mean delaying some other projects such as putting in another small lake on the farm, which will provide recreation and fish for somebody’s table after I am gone, maybe for centuries. And if it fills up with windblown leaves and silt from the stream that feeds it, it will be a superb little miniature wetland, or a super garden spot.

      A guy with my background can drive an old conventional car a hell of a long time for peanuts. I paid only eighteen hundred for my ESCORT, well used, probably ten years ago, and expect it to last quite a while yet.Gasoline for it is currently costing me only four hundred a year or so since I don’t drive much these days.

  21. Duncan Idaho says:

    What No New Particles Means for Physics
    Physicists are confronting their “nightmare scenario.” What does the absence of new particles suggest about how nature works?


  22. Duncan Idaho says:

    What No New Particles Means for Physics
    Physicists are confronting their “nightmare scenario.” What does the absence of new particles suggest about how nature works?

  23. Oldfarmermac says:

    Some good info on the situation in Venezuela in this article.


  24. Toolpush says:

    For those that are interested in Electric trucks.



    These are apparently currently on the market and available with a big incentive. This seems a much more likely use of electric trucks than the 2000hp hybrid that is still sitting inside someone CAD/CAM program we talked about a while ago.

    A short distance low speed, stop start vehicle, seems like a good use of battery power as long as the economics work out.

  25. Oldfarmermac says:

    I don’t have a lot of trouble imagining solar farms eventually getting to be cheap enough to build that they are built by the square kilometer in places where the weather is clear almost every day.

    It would then be possible to run almost any kind of industrial installation on solar and wind power almost every day for at least five or six hours- which will probably be long enough to make the production of materials such as recycled steel practical, once we get used to building things to last again, rather than throwing them away.

    I have never seen the metal shell of an electric range or washing machine fail except due to rust, and then only VERY rarely. Almost everything can economically be built to be easily repairable almost indefinitely,four or five decades at least.


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