Open Thread Non-Petroleum: December 6, 2017

You can continue with relevant comments at “Carrying Capacity, Overshoot and Species Extinction” but all other comments not related to oil or natural gas on this thread please.

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245 Responses to Open Thread Non-Petroleum: December 6, 2017

  1. Egalitarianism as Idealism in Human Culture and the Ghost of Frans Boas

    There is the idealism and there is reality, and the desire to make the former equal the latter have engaged idealistic historians for centuries. And in this century, many of those writing history have been anthropologists.

    The leading Egalitarian of the early part of the last century was also the father of modern anthropology, Frans Boas (1858-1942). Steven Pinker on Boas:

    “Idealism allowed Boas to lay a new intellectual foundation for egalitarianism. The differences among human races and ethnic groups, he proposed, come not from their physical constitution but from their culture, a system of ideas and values spread by language and other forms of social behavior. People differ because their cultures differ.”
    “But Boas had created a monster. His students came to dominate American social science, and each generation outdid the previous one in its sweeping pronouncements. Boas’s students insisted not just that DIFFERENCES among ethnic groups must be explained in terms of culture but that EVERY ASPECT of human existence must be explained in terms of culture. For example, Boas had favored social explanations unless they were disproven, but his student Albert Kroeber favored them regardless of the evidence. ‘Heredity,’ he wrote, ‘cannot be allowed to have acted any part in ;history.’ Instead, the chain of events shaping a people ‘involves the absolute conditioning of historical events by other historical events.’ Kroeber did not just deny that social behavior could be explained by innate properties of minds. He denied that it could be explained by ANY properties of minds.”
    The Blank Slate, page 22-23

    The students of Boas, Alfred Kroeber, Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, Zora Neale Hurston and, via Kroeber, Claude Levi-Strauss, held sway over social sciences in America for over half a century. All of them were very prolific writers and all their works reflected the egalitarianism of their mentor. Hurston wrote both fiction and anthropological history. But even her fiction reflected the philosophy of Boas.

    Many of Kroeber’s books dealt with the American Plains Indians, especially the Arapaho. His books are undoubtedly the source of the egalitarian myths of the Plains Indians.

    Margaret Mead’s opus, “Coming of age in Samoa”, was accepted by almost all academia as complete fact and the book was hailed as one of the greatest works of the twentieth century. From “Her work was mostly unquestioned during her lifetime, but in 1983 anthropologist Derek Freeman released a critical review of her work, showing that her assertion that adolescence in Samoa is easier because of free sexuality (upon which she based her nurture-over-nature theories) is in conflict with the facts of Samoan life and even with her own field notes. He suffered insult and approbation from nearly every member of the scientific establishment, to whom Mead was a hero and a saint, but he has rejoined the fray, perhaps to finish it, with The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead.”

    And finish it he did. The bombshell “The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead: A Historical Analysis of Her Samoan Research” was dropped in 1998. Margaret Mead was simply duped by the female Samoan teenagers, the source of most of her data.

    But much earlier the works of Mead, Kroeber and the other students of Boas came under suspicion. Not that anyone had any proof that they were wrong, but what they wrote about primitive cultures just did not jive with what was known about biology, about the nature of humans and other gregarious primates. In 1996 Robert Ardery published “The Territorial Imperative: A Personal Inquiry into the Animal Origins of Property and Nations”. A year later Desmond Morris published his opus “The Naked Ape : A Zoologist’s Study of the Human Animal”. Both books showed that human tribal culture seemed to mirror primate tribal culture. Humans have an innate propensity to defend their territory from all interlopers. It is human nature to wish to climb as high as possible up the social ladder and to be king of the hill if at all possible. Humans always have a pecking order in their gregarious tribes. And they always have a king of the hill.

    Modern day sociobiologists, Edward O. Wilson, John Maynard Smith, Richard Dawkins and many others have done the research that has proved Ardery’s and Morris’ theories to be correct. We are all just naked apes doing our best to defend our territory and trying to improve our status in our tribe as well as in the world.

    Yet the egalitarianism of Boas and his disciples still have a great following, especially in the field of anthropology. Some still believe the silly notion that many indian tribes were completely egalitarian, making all important decisions by census, and that the great chiefs such as Sitting Bull had little or no power except on the battlefield. That is, in camp Sitting Bull was just another indian, one-indian one-vote.

    And of course the historical works of Kroeber, and perhaps other disciples of Boas, PROVE this to be the case. But Kroeber is yet to have his Derek Freeman, the debunker who would show that he saw only what he wished to see and wrote history as he saw it through his rose colored glasses. And perhaps he will never come. The controversy is just not that big anymore. No one, except a few anthropologists and their followers, believe such silly theories anymore.

    And in truth, it just isn’t that important. Who cares if Frans Boas and his disciples got everything wrong? Who cares if Sitting Bull had no greater power than his youngest Brave in camp? With total chaos and anarchy about to befall the world, who really gives a damn?

    Ron Patterson

    • Forbin says:

      ” With total chaos and anarchy about to befall the world, who really gives a damn? ”

      perhaps we should , because of the nature of Humans , as revised , will tell us what likely future most of humanity will be experiencing .

      Namely as in your post

      defend territory and seeking to improve our status in our “tribe”

      Given past history of humanity , it will not be nice .


      • OFM says:

        I give a damn, because when we work with good science, and good data, we get good or at least BETTER results.

        I’ve been ranting and railing against the cast in concrete tendency of virtually the entire social sciences community to put man on some sort of pedestal outside nature since I first encountered their foolishness as an undergraduate back in the dark ages. I took the professors who tried to tell me that humans have no instincts, and that animals have no intelligence, as utter fools.

        This does not reflect any great credit on me, given that the classical novelists, playwrights, poets, historians, and ABOVE ALL , BIOLOGISTS, taken as a group, also took them for fools.

        Virtually all the ag guys and girls took them for fools too, if by chance they encountered them, as I did, since I wanted that teachers license.

        Ron has mentioned Pinker’s The Blank Slate as finishing them off, and it’s often so mentioned. I’m telling anybody who reads this that if he hasn’t read The Blank Slate, he is, in terms of really understanding human nature, as lost as a baby in the woods, unless he happens to have reached the same basic conclusions as Pinker on his own via the study of biology and literature, or simply OBSERVING people.

        I mean some of these idiots were utterly convinced, without ANY proof, that if you raised a boy exclusively in feminine company, he would be a girl, at least between his ears, and he wouldn’t be able to figure out for himself what a woody is FOR, or maybe even be incapable of experiencing a woody, in the event a girl happened to be willing to play naughty games with him.

        E O Wilson eventually set the stage for packing them off to the place such idiots belong, namely, history books, but there are some of them around yet in positions of considerable influence.

        The publication of Wilson’s Sociobiology is often ( generally ) considered the point at which things started to change, after the fashion of Churchill’s famous remarks about the Second Battle of El Amein.

        “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
        Read more at:

        Telling them they were fools didn’t get me very far, lol. It earned me the honor on a couple of occasions of being the ONLY student to earn a gentleman’s c in courses where C’s were unheard of ( essentially bullshit courses required to maintain one’s professional license as a teacher in Va schools ) . The professors posted grades in these classes year after year with never a c, d, or f to be seen, lol. ALL the students in ed courses are thereby proven to be smarter than the average, just like Lake Woebegone, lol, where all the girls are strong and all the boys are good looking.

        I proved myself intellectually deficient and unworthy of a masters in education by earning these c’s, lol, although I never WANTED a masters in education. I did hang around grad school for ten years or so though, because I wanted to be part of the academic community, taking a course or two per semester, as a so called “special grad student” according to my student id card. I was thus enabled to meet and get to know lots of people in various fields, a few of whom I still know forty or more years later.

        People in academia don’t CONTROL society, but they do have ENORMOUS influence in determining the direction in which society evolves. When they have their heads up their asses, as the SO CALLED social scientists did for so long, accepting what they WANTED to believe as real, rather than proving it to be real, they set us back a hell of a long way.

        There are still countless judges, nurses, doctors, teachers, lawyers, legislators, cops, prosecuting attorneys, and other people in positions of great influence who are still laboring under the influence of the bullshit they were taught by these idiots. I paid well over a hundred bucks not more than seven or eight years ago for a nursing text that assures students the only instinctual behavior exhibited by human being is the startle reflex, so help me Sky Daddy.

        If collapse doesn’t destroy civilization sooner, we will probably eventually free ourselves of the various intellectual curses camouflaged as science that cause us so much grief .

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      The Giving-A-Damn Adaptation

      From Forbin’s comment, too, maybe ‘giving a damn’ is an adaptive strategy. What would Darwinian have said about that?

      Not all ‘tribes’, so to speak, are going to give a damn, but maybe the ones that do, and in certain ways, will survive. And because they may be in the radical minority, they may not necessarily show up on the radars of any future Pinkers, say 65 million years from now.

      Someone hereon once posted a link to an intriguing video of some microbiological organisms in a ‘petri medium’ ostensibly going through multiple ‘gates’ of ‘poison’. At each gate, only a very limited number got through, but it was enough…

      BTW, equability and equality are not the same and not all coercion is the same either.

      Nature doesn’t appear so simple, but, fundamentally, maybe it is…

      You only have to squish it into a black hole perhaps, where the only things left that might survive are ideas.
      And you know what has been said: Ideas are bulletproof. ;D

    • Bill says:

      Samoan culture was agrarian so extrapolations about pre-agricultural hunter-gatherer social dynamics (human nature as evolved) based on Samoan culture are unwarranted. Therefore whether Margaret Mead was accurate or not does not matter in terms of trying to elucidate evolved human nature.

      The same goes for most if not all “indian” cultures by the time european immigrants observed them. Cultures with agriculture or domesticated animals other than dogs would not have the same economics as pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers, therefore would most likely not have the same cultural dyamics.

      • Bill, you simply do not understand the subject being disputed here between Boas, et al, and Piner et al. It has nothing to do with economics, it is nature versus nurture. That is “human nature”. That’s why Piner titled his book on the subject: The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature It was all about the myth of the peaceful noble savage. And that most definitely involved the Samoans as well as all American Indian Tribes.

        • Bill says:

          Ron, I would say you don’t understand where I’m coming from and my knowledge base, and you have developed an idea about human nature that you are unwilling to look at with fresh eyes.

          • Bill, no, I don’t understand where you are coming from but I think it’s left field. But I do understand your knowledge base. That became clear when you assumed this debate had something to do with economics. It does not.

            I have read many, many books on the subject of nature versus nurture, anthropology and human nature. Far too many to list. And you have no fucking idea as to my knowledge base.

            Fresh eyes? Good grief!

            • Bill says:

              Fresh eyes, good grief back!

            • Bill says:

              Humanity evolved and lived in relatively stable equilibrium with their environment for 100,000 years as hunter-gatherers before developing agriculture or domesticating any animals other than dogs, so yes, hunter-gather societies are the only appropriate groups to consider when evaluating the origin and development of human nature. Human societies with horses, or “primitive” agrarian societies are dramatically different than hunter-gatherer societies, and all only came into existence after fully genetically modern humans were here. If you call this “out in left field” then you need to re-assess your objectivity on the matter.

              • Shane says:

                I would disagree strongly. Humans haven’t been at equilibrium with the ecosystem since before they were recognisably human. The combination of hunting tools and fire allowed us to drive megafauna to extinction and alter ecosystems long before agriculture became necessary. The ecosystem disruption caused by this megafauna extinction is greatly underappreciated. Humans are like the trilobites that were first to evolve slicing jaws and hard exoskeletons, allowing them to feast on all the other soft bodied creatures that came before them.

                • Bill says:

                  I did say “relative equilibrium” and the “relative” part is in relation to human cultures after the development of agriculture. Hunter-gatherers in Africa remained in relatively stable relationship with their environment for 100,000 years with (relatively) little megafauna extinction (or any extinction of other size animals or plants, to my knowledge) relative to the geological “background extinction rate”.

                  In any case, the main point of my argument is that hunter-gatherer societies are the proper cultures to examine when discussing human nature because that is the most likely type of culture that developed in genetically modern humans (versus agriculturists or pastoralists).

                  The key questions I’m interested in are the level of egalitarianism between the sexes and between individuals regardless of sex within those societies, because that tells us what is the “natural” level of power and status stratification for humans, i.e. how would we in an ideal world all feel most in accord with our true selves.

                  I think it cannot be overstated how dramatically different human culture changed with the development of agriculture. We have survived it because we are by nature mentally flexible, but that does not mean we are thriving (emotionally, spiritually, morally) in grossly in-egalitarian societies. We are only thriving in the sense that as animals we are getting enough food consistently enough to breed and expand our population. In every other sense as human beings I would argue we are withering compared to our status as human beings in pre-agricultural hunter-gatherer societies.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      And in truth, it just isn’t that important. Who cares if Frans Boas and his disciples got everything wrong? Who cares if Sitting Bull had no greater power than his youngest Brave in camp? With total chaos and anarchy about to befall the world, who really gives a damn?

      Good points.

      In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with David Benatar about his philosophy of “anti-natalism.” They discuss the asymmetry between the good and bad things in life, the ethics of existential risk, the moral landscape, the limits and paradoxes of introspection, the “experience machine” thought experiment, population ethics, and other topics.

      • islandboy says:

        Hey Fred, could you drop me an email to my first name and last name as one word at google mail? There’s something I’d like you to have a look at.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Hey islandboy I sent you an email. If you don’t get it for some reason, my email is fred dot magyar at g mail dot com just drop me a line and I will respond.

  2. Doug Leighton says:

    Good summary:


    “The third graph shows sea level. It has been rising for more than a century. Sea level rise is a favorite measurement for scientists because it integrates the heat added to the Earth’s climate. The heat ends up in the ocean waters and causes the waters to become less dense. The lower density of water causes much of the sea level rise in the graph.

    The center two images in the lower rows respectively show the amount of heat in the ocean and changes to Arctic ice. We see that ocean heat content is increasing and the amount of ice is decreasing. The lower right image represents the mass of the world’s glaciers. The decrease in glacier mass as glaciers warm, melt, and flow to the oceans is shockingly fast.”

  3. GoneFishing says:

    World population growth rate as seen by USCB. Still growing in 2050 as we head toward 10 billion.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Yup, current average population increase is estimated at 83 million people per year. Mexico City, world’s most populous city contains 23.9 million people so 3.47 Mexico Citys per year.

      • Johnny92 says:

        In the time it took me to read your two sentences 18 people were added to the world’s population. 😆

    • Ralph says:

      A constant growth rate would imply an acceleration of actual population, as 1% of 8B in 2020 is a faster growth rate than 1.8% of 4B in 1958.

  4. GoneFishing says:

    World population increase per year up to 2050. Still adding 5 NYC equivalents per year in 2050.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      New Yorks are richer than Mexico Cities so better to add more of them. How about Tokyos, richer still? Abu Dhabis? 🙂

      • GoneFishing says:

        Anything you want Doug. Money doesn’t go with the additions, it all for free apparently.

    • notanoilman says:

      How the fsck do they get it to suddenly start falling after 2 decades of slow rise? Crazy.


  5. Doug Leighton says:


    “The climate models that project greater amounts of warming this century are the ones that best align with observations of the current climate, according to a article. Their findings suggest that the models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on average, may be underestimating future warming.”

    “Our results suggest that it doesn’t make sense to dismiss the most-severe global warming projections based on the fact that climate models are imperfect in their simulation of the current climate,” Brown said. “On the contrary, if anything, we are showing that model shortcomings can be used to dismiss the least-severe projections.”

  6. OFM says:

    Bit coin seems to be an awesomely greedy energy hog.

    There are articles up at Ars Technica and Grit that imply the energy consumption of bit coin mining and transactions are already a heavy burden, and likely to get exponentially worse.

    Given that I ‘m the forum’s biggest compute klutz, I’m hoping some of the other regulars here will throw some light on this question.

    • justanta says:

      When you make a bitcoin transaction, you broadcast the transaction to the network. Bitcoin “nodes”(computers running pieces of the network) take your transaction, ensure that the transaction is legal(follows the rules of the network) and rebroadcast it until a bitcoin “miner” picks it up.

      “Mining” is the act of solving an arbitrarily hard computer puzzle in order to win the right to add transactions in the next “block”. A block is a group of transactions that have been verified. Now, a bad actor might wish to add an invalid transaction to a block, and for example add money to their own account. However, “miners” are rewarded for their effort with some new bitcoins, and with fees attached to each transaction. Due to this reward, miners compete to solve the puzzle first. If a bad transaction is added to one block, there is a very high probability that the next block will be solved by a different miner, invalidating the bad transaction. In this way the network, over a short period of time, discards bad transactions and only keeps good ones.

      The thing is, that “puzzle” is a difficult cryptographic problem, that gets more difficult the more computing power is devoted to solving it. The network is currently performing over 12,000 petahashes per second (a hash being a single attempt, or guess, at the answer to the puzzle). This consumes an enormous amount of power. The network currently consumes about the same amount of energy as the country of Serbia.

      And this energy consumption does indeed grow, but it does not actually make the network more useful. When more miners enter the market, the bitcoin core algorithm reacts by increasing the difficulty to ensure that a block is only added to the “blockchain” once every 10 minutes on average.

      In other words, power use goes up as a function of more power use.

      Here is a nice summary of the current state of the network’s power consumption:

  7. GoneFishing says:

    Anyone interested in the population explosion and specifically the decline should enjoy this article. However it plays out, most species experience decline. Humans just have a lot of baggage and support systems that complicate the matter.

  8. Cats@Home says:

    Now this is getting lots of buzz on social media. Those new LED lights are junk in snowstorms, probably there will be lawsuits in the future when somebody is killed because they couldn’t see if they had a red light or green light.

    LED Traffic Lights Getting Bogged Down By Snow
    By Liz Collin December 5, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Beyond the slick roads, there is another risk when it snows. Technology is causing trouble at some intersections this winter.

    As transportation crews replace incandescent light bulbs to the more energy-efficient LED lights, they have found they do not handle snow as well as before.

    It is the same bright idea some of us celebrate inside our homes — but that upside might be buried at busy intersections in the winter months.

    “The LED lights to not emit enough heat to melt off snow and ice that may accumulate on them,” said Kent Barnard, a communications specialist at the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

    It is the heavy, wet snow that seems to cause the most trouble at traffic lights. MnDOT says it is still looking at possible fixes, like heated covers, but they have not found anything that has worked well just yet.

    Well leave it to government to yet again screw something up. Any idiot could understand the concept of light bulb’s – related heat creation and keeping stop lights clear. We’ve had what – 80 years of experience on that subject. Along comes the LED industry (I like LED don’t get me wrong) and they see a huge government contract. Fred or Betty millennial signs off on the purchase order and we’ve got a problem with lights snowing over. Common sense people, we’re losing every last cent of common sense…

    • OFM says:

      Super simple, at least for a NEW light. Add a temperature and or moisture sensor, and a heater. No moving parts, and off the shelf. Adding these two or three components to a new traffic light won’t cost nearly as much as paying for electricity to run the old style lights, and the new light won’t need a quarter as much maintenance as the old ones. Sending out crews to repair lights cost an arm and a leg.

      Retrofitting any led traffic lights already installed will cost an arm and a leg. Best just take them down and sell them to some city way down south, where it doesn’t snow, lol.

      • notanoilman says:

        Design of the light itself. The current design is based on the need for a lens to project the light from an incandescent bulb. Change the shape, angle, shade etc to work with LED and shed more snow. Anti-icing heaters have been around for decades, should be easy to work into the design. At least we don’t get those issues down here and LEDs are VERY much more visible in strong sunlight.


  9. Survivalist says:

    November 2017 extended the spell of exceptional global warmth that has now lasted since mid-2015. It was:

    -0.45°C warmer than the average November from 1981-2010;
    -the third warmest November on record;
    -0.16°C cooler than the warmest November, which occurred in 2016.

    • Tony Cowley says:

      You guys need to sex up these reports more. There all just getting too repetitive for most people to care anymore about your cause.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        So don’t come here to read them! Bye!

        • OFM says:

          Hey Fred,

          This one’s for YOU!

          “In his tiny kitchen, chef Thitiwat Tantragarn throws a handful of raw bamboo caterpillars into a hot skillet and sautés them with olive oil, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Seconds later, the cream-colored larvae are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Tantragarn adds white wine, then spoons the bugs, brown beady eyes and all, over grilled scallops and Jerusalem artichokes before sending the plate out to the dining room.”

          This is an upscale place, and the whole menu is based on various bugs as the primary ingredients.

          My friend Phillip from Jamaica showed me how to eat small live crayfish just before he went home for the winter. He can toss them back up to about two and a half inches long as easily as I can swallow a nice briny raw oyster.

          So far I haven’t worked my nerve up enough to try cray fish alive. They seldom get very large here,with a six incher being exceptional, and they tasted sort of muddy to me when I boiled a few, lobster style, that I got out of the stream on my farm just to see what they are like on the table.

          It’s a cold water stream that supports small trout so I don’t think the muddy taste had anything to do with the water quality.

          I suppose folks farther south know more about cooking them properly.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            I’d definitely eat there!

            As for live crayfish, meh! I mean, they’re probably ok to eat but… and it’s a REALLY BIG BUT.

            Here’s how you prepare crawfish Louisiana style!

            Fill a very large pot about 1/3 full with water. Add the garlic, bay leaves, dry and liquid crab boil seasonings, salt, pepper, oranges, lemons, artichokes, and potatoes. …
            Stir in the corn, onions, mushrooms, and green beans; cook 15 minutes more. Stir in the sausage; cook 5 minutes more. …
            Drain well.

            Don’t forget the hot sauce and serve with lot’s of ice cold beer!

            You can eat them live if you want to 😉


        • Ralph says:

          I think you missed irony

      • Hickory says:

        Hey Tony- it is not a cause. It is an examination of the conditions in which we find ourselves.
        If its not sexy enough for you, why don’t you just go back to Fox news (if that the weird kind of shit that turns you on).

  10. Fred Magyar says:

    Don’t put your fish on Prozac!
    Science suggests fish become homicidal from flushed antidepressants

    Environmental concentrations of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine impact specific behaviors involved in reproduction, feeding and predator avoidance in the fish Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow).

    Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) have been found in surface waters worldwide, but little is understood of their effects on the wildlife that inhabit these waters. Fluoxetine (Prozac; Eli Lilly), a highly prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is a commonly found PPCP in surface water. The purpose of this project was to determine if environmentally relevant concentrations of fluoxetine impact behavior that is important for population survival in native fish species, including reproduction, feeding and predator avoidance. Chronic 4-week exposures were conducted with doses ranging from 100 ng/L to 100 μg/L to cover a range of environmentally relevant concentrations up to higher concentrations comparable to other published studies with the same drug that have documented various physiological impacts. Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow), a species native to North America, was used as it conducts a range of specific mating behaviors and therefore serves as an excellent model of specific impacts on brain function. Fluoxetine concentrations as low as 1 μg/L, a concentration that has been found in many freshwater environments, were found to significantly impact mating behavior, specifically nest building and defending in male fish. Males were also found to display aggression, isolation, and repetitive behaviors at higher concentrations.

    Selective Uptake and Bioaccumulation of Antidepressants in Fish from Effluent-Impacted Niagara River

    The continuous release of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) into freshwater systems impacts the health of aquatic organisms. This study evaluates the concentrations and bioaccumulation of PPCPs and the selective uptake of antidepressants in fish from the Niagara River, which connects two of the North American Great lakes (Erie and Ontario). The Niagara River receives PPCPs from different wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) situated along the river and Lake Erie. Of the 22 targeted PPCPs, 11 were found at part-per-billion levels in WWTP effluents and at part-per-trillion levels in river water samples. The major pollutants observed were the antidepressants (citalopram, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, and bupropion, and their metabolites norfluoxetine and norsertraline) and the antihistamine diphenhydramine. These PPCPs accumulate in various fish organs, with norsertraline exhibiting the highest bioaccumulation factor (up to about 3000) in the liver of rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus), which is an invasive species to the Great Lakes. The antidepressants were selectively taken up by various fish species at different trophic levels, and were further metabolized once inside the organism. The highest bioaccumulation was found in the brain, followed by liver, muscle, and gonads, and can be attributed to direct exposure to WWTP effluent.

  11. OFM says:

    We’re so jaded hardly anybody even mentions this sort of news in casual conversation.

    But when a place as rich as California can’t control wild fires, it’s time to be thinking hard about where we choose to live and how we are changing the environment. But just because it’s time to be doing it won’t make it happen.

    • alimbiquated says:

      As long as the oligarchy is safe, it doesn’t matter.

      On Moraga Drive, a gated community of about 36 homes, one fire truck guarded every three houses, [Don] Batiste [an LAFD engineer] said. Neighbors said public figures and celebrities such as Jerry West and Magic Johnson have or still lived on the street.

      On a more serious note, forest fires are only one thing America doesn’t have under control. Drug abuse, traffic deaths, gun violence power outages are literally out of control. Some of these are declining, but it usually isn’t because of any conscious activity on society’s part. It’s down to demographics. Meanwhile buildings, whether commercial, residential or industrial all over the country are being abandoned and torn down at an amazing rate. Mayors brag about how many house they have torn down while begging for more money for road widening.

      The shared cause is focus on quantity instead of quality. Instead of making the area they control more valuable, cities grow by annexation. This increases maintenance costs without increasing revenues. Nearly all the increased road capacity in the past 30 years has been a waste of money and an unfunded long term liability. Police are overstretched, underfunded and amateurish. Fire departments are run to buy big shiny fire engines for the mayor’s friends. The grid is all above ground, even where storms frequently damage it. Public safety and health is hostage wacky ideology, or simply mired in the 1950s.

  12. George Kaplan says:

    This shows the Arctic Ice volume for the different regions averaged over a year to remove seasonal effects with data from PIOMAS through November. The peripheral seas seem to be in fairly continuous if gentle decline, with the Central Arctic Basin (CAB) bouncing around a bit. There’s recent evidence that PIOMAS (and Cryosat against which it is sometimes calibrated) overestimates thin ice thickness, so the actual volumes recently may have falen a bit faster than shown as the thick multi year ice dissappeared.

    By my calculations it is losing about 500 km3 per year. If the average melting stopped that heat would be enough to heat the Arctic Ocean down to 50m about 0.06K per year, or the whole atmosphere about 0.03K per year (I’m prepared for someone to tell me I have these numbers completely wrong).

    • GoneFishing says:

      It’s not about heat of fusion or yearly mass averages.
      It’s about open water during higher insolation periods. The difference between water and ice in spring or summer is about 2 kwh/m2/day. The total Arctic albedo heating effect has the potential to more than double the CO2 heating globally as well as accelerate sea level rise. Also the Arctic air is relatively dry, so warming it causes larger amounts of water vapor to be present.
      Basically, the radiator of the planet is failing.
      This will not only warm the planet but have significant effects upon global weather systems.

      I have come up with -400 km3 of ice per year.
      As far as the global heating of 3K/century due to ice melt energy, one must also add in the loss of glacial and ice cap mass.

  13. OFM says:

    The cutting edge leaders of the Democratic Party are laying it on the line, calling for the resignation of any of their own who are guilty, or credibly accused, of abusing women and girls.

    I believe personally that while this is a somewhat risky move in the very short term, they won’t suffer any loss of power as a result, because SO FAR at least, the D’s who are being pushed out are in districts that are reliably blue, and so very unlikely to elect a Republican to the vacated office.

    It looks as if it’s going to be a home run move in the longer term, and the long term may manifest itself as soon as the upcoming mid term elections, according to my own reading of the tea leaves and tossing of the bones. I’m predicting a new historical high percentage of women coming out to vote in the midterms, and most of them are going to be hotter than hell, and I am NOT referring to their LOOKS.

    The only LOOKS that are going to matter, politically, as far as these mostly young or younger women are concerned , are going to be the ones mentioned as “If looks were bullets, you’d have more holes in you than a sifter bottom”.

    The R’s are in a tougher spot, in terms of making the decision to chase out their office holders guilty of the same offenses or similar offenses, because they are desperately seeking to hold onto the Alabama senate seat in play, and if Moore loses, they are at extremely high risk of losing control of the Senate. So the Republican Party has made the decision to accept the self inflicted long term injuries resulting of supporting Moore, and he may win as the result of the R Party backing him.

    Supporting Moore now is going to cost the R’s dearly in coming years, as the older generations die off, and younger generations assume control.

    Younger people don’t get their news and form their opinions of politicians and decide what’s right and wrong on the basis of what they read in their city paper and see on network television anymore.

    HRC lost the younger generation of idealistic and morally motivated voters even before she started her official campaign. Trump had the advantage of her in that the VOTING public really didn’t know anything about him except that he was SUPPOSEDLY a super duper businessman and that he was telling the people that voted for him what they wanted to hear.

    It’s hard for people such as the ones who hang out in this forum to REALLY accept the fact that hardly anybody gives a damn about peak oil, or really knows anything about the environmental crisis, etc, compared to the number of people who don’t know shit from apple butter about such things, and couldn’t care less. This applies to politics as well as oil and environment and so forth.

    If Trump had ever held elective office, there’s no way he would have been able to win the R nomination, because his mouth would have prevented him from it, just as that same mouth is leading him, and this country as well, farther and farther into desperately deep and dangerous political waters.

    • Preston says:

      I kind of hate to see Frankin falling on his sword, if every man who tried to kiss a girl has to be fired then there may not be many men left working. His crimes just don’t seem to me to be severe enough to cost him his job. He barely won that seat originally, it might not stay in dems hands and this feels a bit politically motivated to try to shame the Rs. But Rs have no shame, dems will politely sit back and approve right wing judges, for the sake of decorum, but do nothing when the Rs block their moderate choices. The filibuster is fine when its used to block dems, but Rs have no problem changing the rules as soon as they are in power. etc, etc. It almost seems like the dems are chosen to be loosers….

      But, what set this off really is the reaction to Trump bragging about assaulting women and how he’s allowed to get away with it. Women are feed up with harassment and are tired of the men deciding what is allowed. So Frankin and Conyers are gone, while the groper in chief stays in office and a child molester goes to the senate…

      • OFM says:

        Moore the child molester wouldn’t have a snow ball’s chance in hell if the election were to be postponed and a new primary election held to determine the R party nominee. Virtually any republican in the state who could reasonably hope to run for dog catcher could beat him in a primary NOW.

        But he IS nevertheless the R nominee, and a lot of people are going to vote for him for the same reason that a lot of people once voted for Lyndon Johnson. Some rather famous person, I forget who, said about Johnson that we (meaning insiders ) know he’s a sonofabitch, but he’s OUR sonofabitch.

        A hell of a lot of voters in Alabama feel the same way about Moore. They may detest him personally, but they have even less use for his opponent, who is a strong advocate of abortion for instance……… which millions of people believe is basically the same thing as murder.

        Whether those people are right or wrong is not relevant, in terms of understanding their vote. They’ll be voting on the basis of what they BELIEVE. If they believe abortion is murder, well, they’re making the right decision in voting for a child molester versus a murderer, as they see things.

        Moore may lose. I’m inclined to think he WILL lose at the moment. I put down five a while ago that says Jones wins, in order to collect four. I’m happy with that bet, but I made it on the basis of reading about the latest polls. I’m not from Alabama, and not well informed about Alabama politics.

  14. George Kaplan says:

    In Just 4 Hours, Google’s AI Mastered All The Chess Knowledge in History
    “This algorithm could run cities, continents, universes.”
    In a new paper, Google researchers detail how their latest AI evolution, AlphaZero, developed “superhuman performance” in chess, taking just four hours to learn the rules before obliterating the world champion chess program, Stockfish.

    I’m not sure if I find this comforting or terrifying.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      George — Seems as though AI has become something like a Cold War race now so good, bad or indifferent “progress” will be, or is, exponential. Looking at some of the incredibly Life-Like Japanese robots it has already exceeded my wildest dreams (expectations).

      • GoneFishing says:

        Relative to nuclear weapons, bio-weapons and such, AI doesn’t look very scary yet. However, due to various reasons, it may just reduce fertility rates. 🙂

    • Fred Magyar says:

      “This algorithm could run cities, continents, universes.”

      From the link:
      “What we’re seeing here is a model free from human bias and presuppositions. It can learn whatever it determines is optimal, which may indeed be more nuanced that our own conceptions of the same.”

      LOL! So what if it figures out that humans are somehow detrimental to an optimal functioning of cities, continents and universes?!

      I think I’m still with Sebastian Thrun, we are still the masters of creativity. We can allow AI to free us up from the drudge work and do what we do best!

      Sebastian Thrun and Chris Anderson at TED2017
      The new generation of computers is programming itself

      Educator and entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun wants us to use AI to free humanity of repetitive work and unleash our creativity. In an inspiring, informative conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson, Thrun discusses the progress of deep learning, why we shouldn’t fear runaway AI and how society will be better off if dull, tedious work is done with the help of machines. “Only one percent of interesting things have been invented yet,” Thrun says. “I believe all of us are insanely creative … [AI] will empower us to turn creativity into action.”

      To be clear, chess playing algorithms are a special case of narrow AI. We are still a very very long way from seeing something like an emerging consciousness in a general AI. Until that day, I’m happy to have as much AI as possible doing our mundane tasks, thank you very much!

      • GoneFishing says:

        There are millions of great things for autonomous robots and robotic sensors to do. They could plant trees, monitor animal populations, keep track of dozens of chemical signatures all across the globe, detect and report polluters, provide instant medical evaluations or even micro surgery, track and evaluate resource use, and much more.

        I don’t like Ray Kurzweil’s Godlike human ideas where we are essentially linked directly into the information system. But little bots can be a big help and they can go places we can’t or shouldn’t.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Yep, Ray Kurzweil believes he can be immortal… I think he is going to die just like the rest of us. Anyways, why would anyone one to live for hundreds of years even if they could?! Singularity my ass!

          • GoneFishing says:

            ” Anyways, why would anyone one to live for hundreds of years even if they could?! Singularity my ass!”


            • Fred Magyar says:


              I believe Rob Mielcarski recently posted a link to Varki’s Mind Over Reality Transition theory.

              His theory is: ‘Denial’!

              Though I guess one could argue that ‘Denial’ is just a reaction to ‘fear’…

              Kinda sad!

              • GoneFishing says:

                Humans basically kill anything and anyone that is competitive with them or which strikes fear. That is why I can walk around now and never see a bear. Used to be fairly common in my area just a few years ago, since I live near what was the highest concentration in the state. The complaints of a few city folk that moved to the country (not realizing it was not sterilized) opened the door to hunting them and now they are gone.
                But not to worry, the state may extend the bear season because the “harvest” is so low.

                There will be no more bear hunts, says the governor elect. I think it is too late.

                I also noticed that of the almost 4,000 bears killed by hunters in Pennsylvania most of the them were just into their second year. Almost no old bears and few over 4 years. There are supposedly 18,000 black bears in Pa.
                A while ago the state started allowing any size bear to be killed. That is when I started seeing bears that looked like cubs be brought to the game commission station for tagging.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  That is when I started seeing bears that looked like cubs be brought to the game commission station for tagging.

                • nonomykitty says:

                  Bears are certainly no joke! They have the capacity to murder your entire family without hesitation. If you hike or camp deep in remote woods, you should always take the threat seriously by having a good firearm nearby at all times. A few years back, a friend of mine was out camping and had to down a black bear no more than three feet in front of him at night. For extra safety in such situations, I would attach a high power LED flashlight to the shotgun…you will shoot where the light is pointed. Double 00 buck a must as well!

                  Closer to home, in my area there have been several black bear over 500 lbs killed in the last two years plus another at record weight within the last decade. A smaller one wandered through the neighbor’s yard this past summer, destroying the bird feeders he’d recently installed. I just worry if any hefty adult black bear decides they’ve got to get to scratchin’ an itch early in the morning while I’m asleep, my deck and/or garden fence would be pulverized.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    I’m rooting for the bears! It’s people invading the bears’ space and not the other way around. Too many people, not enough bears!

                    If you put yourself in a position where you need to shoot a bear it’s your fault, not the bear’s!


                    Question: I’m gonna be fishing in the backcountry next month, and the recent Yellowstone bear attack got me thinking. I’d rather not carry a gun, but does bear spray actually work?

                    Answer: Yes, bear spray works, but bear-attack authority Dr. Stephen Herrero says, “Don’t bet your life on it.” Which means don’t think all you need to do is strap on a canister of Bear Mace and you’re good to go. Before you start thinking of what to do if you have an uncomfortable bear encounter, learn the best ways to avoid the situation in the first place. Study the best ways to carry and store food, how to recognize recent bear activity, how to make enough noise to warn bears of your presence, and how to best avoid those areas where you might surprise a bear. There’s plenty of info out there to help you hike, camp, and fish safely in bear country.

                    Note: There’s a reason they call it ‘Bear Country’ and not People Country…

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Yes, bear meets fearful homicidal maniac.
                    Black bears in North America have killed 61 humans since 1900, that is about one every two years. The term used by scientists concerning fatal black bear attacks is “exceedingly rare”, which means hardly ever happens.

                    Humans kill black bears at a horrendous rate, for sport and from being stupidly fearful.

                  • nonomykitty says:

                    One of those attacks happened near me on a hiking trail I was real familiar with. Gun sales surged around here after that. Another thing, how many bear attacks do you think there are that happen, but aren’t fatal so therefore tallies aren’t kept like they are with fatal attacks?

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    I tracked bears for years. Never was any of them aggressive toward me.
                    In fact my mother had one walk up near her one time, she just went back in the house. No aggression.
                    I would say you have a lot of fear of nature and are amplifying the problem in your head. Just about everything kills and hurts us worse than black bears, though we deserve to be treated much worse for what we do to them.
                    Yes, they are much more powerful, much faster and more capable than humans. So?
                    What you describe about a lot of gun sales is just unjustified fear.
                    In reality you need to be much more afraid of the medical industry than wild animals.
                    If you are afraid of bears, carry bear repellant. They have very sensitive noses, better than dogs. No need to pee your pants and start shooting when you see a bear.
                    They had been wandering my yard for years, occasionally got bird feeders when I forgot to bring them in at night. Whoopee, big deal.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    One of those attacks happened near me on a hiking trail I was real familiar with.

                    Maybe people like you shouldn’t venture into the woods at all! Just stay in the food court at your local shopping mall, eating greasy burgers with fries and a large soda… you won’t have to worry about the bears and they won’t have to worry about you. Win, win!

                  • Survivalist says:

                    Remote wilderness hazard assessment- you’re more likely to have a heart attack than be attacked by a bear, so take an AED instead of a shotgun. You’re more likely to need it.
                    I’ve done more than my share of remote wilderness work and I’ve never had any bear problems. Of the bear problems I have heard of (from coworkers at the time) it was human behavior that influenced the bear to be inquisitive/aggressive i.e. burying old food tins in shallow pits etc.

              • OFM says:

                I wouldn’t mind living forever if I could always be young and tough with a woody, lol. Well, maybe not FOREVER, ’cause even hot young blossoms ( Twain) might eventually cease to be interesting.

                But a couple of hundred years sounds sort of nice, lol.

                I know mostly old people these days, and the ones who are reasonably sound of mind and not suffering from pain or hardship, especially loneliness, are mostly happy and want to stick around, even the wiser ones who know very well they have only a little time left.

                Getting old concentrates the mind wonderfully. I try hard to appreciate every single day, every cup of coffee, every smile from a little girl these days, every good joke I hear, the coming of spring, watching the soft new green climbing the mountain side, the pet hens with their new families in tow.

                A tree ripened peach at the peak of perfection is a treat beyond the reach of even an emperor if he lives more than a few hours shipping distance from the actual peach tree.

                There’s still plenty to be grateful for, and plenty to hope for.

                Most of us in richer countries have a pretty decent shot at living four score and seven, happy and healthy, if we are smart enough to live right.

                And with modern communications and automated house keeping, cooking, etc, there’s not any real reason for most of us to even be lonely.

                The price of an internet connection and a cell phone is trivial, compared to the total cost of living these days.

                I have some ideas along these lines that I intend to toss out here for comment a little later.

  15. George Kaplan says:

    The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) averaged 175.8 points in November 2017, down fractionally (0.5 percent) from October but still almost 4 points (2.3 percent) above the corresponding period last year. A sharp rise in sugar and vegetable oil quotations was largely offset by a fall in dairy values while international prices of cereals and meat products remained relatively muted.

    The FAO food price index looks like it is becoming a bit disconnected from the oil price at the moment, which is probably a good thing.

  16. George Kaplan says:

    Methane and Alaska peaks just just after the new year. The last two years seem to be showing definite acceleration in concentration, which might indicate permafrost melt in some wet environment and/or release of methane from under the permafrost.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Definitely looking non-linear.

      • notanoilman says:

        Most of the charts I am seeing here seem to be trending that way. The trouble with exponential charts is that they look like a straight line when you look at a small part of them. It worries me as so many projections only project a straight line.


      • Fred Magyar says:

        Looks multi-linear to me 😉
        I can even spot multiple downward trend lines. Where’s that straight edge and red marker when you need it, eh?

        • GoneFishing says:

          It’s off the graph to the right and will be adjusted upward as necessary in future years. 🙂

    • CameronB says:

      The town of Barrow was renamed Utqiaġvik last year. Barrow is a racist colonist name from the past, please don’t use it anymore.

      • notanoilman says:

        Please send your complaint to NOAA, whose graphic it was, and apologise to George who did not use the old name.


  17. OFM says:

    Collapse in action?

    Sometimes I get really frustrated trying to explain that while welfare programs are necessary, at the same time, they can create more problems than they solve.

    I don’t know just how to express myself in a few words when it comes to such a complicated subject, but I occasionally read about places like NYC spending enough on just a room for a homeless couple for them to rent a house, pay for the electricity and water, and have money enough left over for groceries in other parts of the country.

    It’s not hard at all for me to accept the argument that if you want plenty of people on welfare of any sort, then all you need do is make plenty of welfare available, and some people will preferentially stick around to collect it, rather than moving elsewhere, where cheap housing and work are available.

    More than a couple of people I know would be glad to put a roof over the head of any able bodied person willing to work for very modest wage…… which is all the wage we locals here can AFFORD to pay, considering we are actually doing this same exact work ourselves, personally, in order to stay in business. Nickel and dime farmers don’t make much money farming…. not even as much on average as we can earn in the remaining industrial and textile plants, considering such employers offer insurance, holidays, and vacation pay, plus you KNOW you will get paid every couple of weeks. So….. most of us just quit farming, and went to work in town years ago. The few that are left can’t pay good wages, but any wage plus a place to live is better than none.

    Unfortunately, the well intentioned people who actually administer our social welfare programs, housing law, employment law, and so forth have put enough hoops in place that we have seldom bothered even THINKING about having any live on help for the last couple of decades or longer.

    Complying with all the regulations in place NOW means it’s almost impossible for any small farmer in my area to provide housing for an employee while making the doing of it work out for his bottom line, so former tenant houses are sitting empty.If we fix one up, and rent it, we usually avoid renting it to anybody who works for us, due to the legal complications involving time keeping, rates of pay, computation of taxes, and so forth. It’s way more practical to just hire somebody on a part time seasonal basis, if you can find somebody. Otherwise, you just figure out a way to mechanize the work, or avoid it altogether. I mechanized almost every job I did as kid on the farm to a substantial extent, except picking, before I shut down our orchards.

    I don’t pretend to have answers any better than anybody else’s , but our criminal justice systems and our welfare systems are indisputably in need of a thorough overhaul. They may be creating as many problems.long term, as they solve in the short term. ;-(

    • Mac, I understand. Believe me, I do understand. There is always a constant conflict between the heart and the head. I do not have an answer. I know Garrett Hardin was correct when he said: “We get what we reward for.” We give people more welfare and we get more welfare recipients. But the alternative is, “let them starve.” Hell, we cannot do that either. Soooo, as I said, I do not have an answer. It is another predicament that must be dealt with. It is not a problem that we can solve.

      I think of Malthus. Malthus understood. And he has been cursed and lambasted for stating what he understood. Below is a paragraph that appeared in the second edition of his “Essay on Population”. He got such criticism for that paragraph that he retracted it and it never appeared again in further revisions of his famous essay. Anyway, here it is along with the link where Garett Hardin explains it all. The words below are those of Malthus, not Hardin:

      The Feast of Malthus

      A man who is born into a world already possessed, if he cannot get subsistence from his parents on whom he has a just demand, and if the society do not want his labour, has no claim of right to the smallest portion of food, and, in fact, has no business to be where he is. At nature’s mighty feast there is no vacant cover for him. She tells him to be gone, and will quickly execute her own orders, if he does not work upon the compassion of some of her guests. If these guests get up and make room for him, other intruders immediately appear demanding the same favour. The report of a provision for all that come, fills the hall with numerous claimants. The order and harmony of the feast is disturbed, the plenty that before reigned is changed into scarcity; and the happiness of the guests is destroyed by the spectacle of misery and dependence in every part of the hall, and by the clamorous importunity of those, who are justly enraged at not finding the provision which they had been taught to expect. The guests learn too late their error, in counter-acting those strict orders to all intruders, issued by the great mistress of the feast, who, wishing that all guests should have plenty, and knowing she could not provide for unlimited numbers, humanely refused to admit fresh comers when her table was already full.

      • OFM says:

        Hi Ron,

        It’s perfectly obvious that once you put a welfare system or safety net, if you prefer to call it that, in place on the grand scale that it’s thereafter a permanent part of the political, cultural and economic landscape, at least until such time as BUSINESS AS USUAL collapses and a new society organized on different lines comes into being.

        I’ m not old enough myself to remember when there was no safety net in the form of social security but my grand parents knew those times well. The county had a poor farm, and the local churches managed to prevent outright starvation and homelessness but beyond that….. some local people were about as poor as typical third world slum dwellers.

        My maternal grand parents took in a man who was physically healthy but born without much in the way of brains, and he lived in the house with them, ate at the table with them, went to church with them, and in general shared their lives in every way. He never owned anything, beyond the clothes on his back, and his pocket knife, but he virtually always had more money that my mother and her siblings, because they seldom got paid even a dollar for whatever work they did on the farm, whereas he did get at least a couple of dollars most weeks before he got too old to work… at a time when a laborer here was typically paid a dollar a day.

        I knew him well,in his old age, and he was infinitely better off than he would have been living under the rules and laws in effect today.

        If I were to take in such a person, in exchange for their working for their support, I would probably wind up in jail for my trouble.

        BUT and this is a BIG BUT…… society was basically stable, because nobody really expected more or better, except if they were able to get it by working for it or inheriting it. People were quick to pack up and move five miles, or fifty or a hundred, in order to obtain work and housing.

        If parent’s kept their kid at home from school to work, nobody really cared, this was the norm as much as the exception. When people got sick, they died, even if they were quite prosperous. If their house burnt, they moved in with relatives, or moved into the barn, if there was a barn.

        Now everybody has come to expect free school lunches, MedicAid, a free run thru the E R at the local hospital, food stamps, and welfare of one sort or another, including countless jobs paid with tax money that are really more or less make work jobs. That’s our ” NORMAL ” now, that’s our BAU today.

        And we’re as tightly bount to it as conjoined twins. To do away with today’s welfare system , and criminal justice system, as they exist today would be impossible. The result would approach or even BE civil war.

        It’s Kafkaesque, but it’s reality. We spend three or four times as much putting people in jail for dealing some pot as they were able to earn dealing it…….. and if we were willing and able to give most nickel and dime criminals half as much in welfare as we spend on jailing them, they would be TOTALLY happy to lead dead straight lives… so as not to endanger that welfare check.

        Now consider that I have neighbors who by a combination of welfare benefits and disability payments and hustling just a little live just about as well as other neighbors who go to town and bust ass day after day for wages not much above the minimum, well…… those other neighbors are NOT blind to the fact that the ones who are on welfare are free to do pretty much as they please, all day, just about every day……. including doing all the many things that make it possible to live well on very little money, such as cooking from scratch, repairing their own car, gardening, cutting firewood, patching old clothes instead of buying new, hunting and fishing, etc, etc.

        The ones that work resent the hell out of the ones that don’t, and are quite apt to vote R instead of D as a result, because THEY have to work to live as well or only a little better…. and of course they have a VERY POWERFUL incentive to quit the regular job and the grind associated with it and go on welfare themselves.

        I know at least three or four women with kids in the immediate area well enough to be on friendly terms with them when I see them at the local country store or in town shopping……. women who are on welfare and collecting all they can, which is not a hell of a lot, but it’s still enough to keep a roof over their head and food in the house. All of them have boy friends who of course are more or less de facto husbands in every respect, except the one that actually COUNTS…… they don’t contribute anything to the support of these women and kids OFFICIALLY.

        Now I am NOT saying I would do differently in these same people’s shoes. I make no secret of the fact that back in my younger days I collected unemployment, legally, by following the rules to the letter, on more than a few occasions……. when I could have found work by driving just a few miles farther, or accepting a somewhat lesser wage.Some of neighbors who ARE making some money farming, the ones who got big enough to make it work, are perfectly happy to cash subsidy checks running well into five figures every year, even though they are literally millionaires.

        It’s a Darwinian world, and as I see things, only an idiot could possibly expect most people to pass up any opportunities for easy income that’s more or less legal and more or less as sure as the sun coming up.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Nothing says stupidity like a conservative who votes for tax cuts for the rich and a pedophile. Particularly when 75 % of conservatives are only a paycheck away from being homeless themselves. Just like how OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster’s hate for HRC looking for what he believes is the perfect Sanders.

          Conservatives ignorance, faith based nonsense and hate is their own undoing. It’s the reason the south is the butt hole of America and it’s poorest section.

          Enjoy your crow. You don’t deserve better.

          • OFM says:

            Thank you HB,

            You make my case for me every time you post a comment. I’m sure I’ve run into SOMEBODY as stupid as you are, somewhere along the line, but I can’t remember WHEN, lol.

            You don’t know shit from apple butter about faith, but when it comes to ignorance, especially in terms of winning votes for the D party, you’re a world class example.

            If you had a daughter, and I called her a whore, you would be about as likely to invite me into your home as the average person in the south is to vote D after reading your totally uncalled for insults.

            Thanks for providing me with another opportunity to remind the other regulars here that when they go out of their way to make fun of people, they drive them away from this forum…….. which is a WONDERFUL educational resource.

            I have introduced a number of people to this site, and at least five or six or so of them are reading it occasionally, so as to gain some insight into what the future may hold.

            Unfortunately at least that many more took one or two looks and never clicked on it again……. specifically because of idiots like you spewing the very hate you accuse me of promoting, lol.

            Well now, it may be a real SHOCK to you, my little lap doggie, but the LEADING contender right now for the D party nomination may well be a woman who has some pretty harsh things to say about your princess wanna be empress HRC……. now that she’s basically HISTORY, lol.

            I told it like it is, right along. More and more prominent Democrats are telling it like it is NOW , because they can afford to, NOW.

            Point out to me a single instance, you little partisan worm, where you ever bothered to acknowledge that HRC PROTECTED her husband who is a serial molester of women, lol.

            You’re so stupid you think you’re smart.

            Thanks for all the help.

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              “Nothing says stupidity like a conservative who votes for tax cuts for the rich and a pedophile”.

              I’ve enjoy your friends lining my pockets with stock market “tax cut cash”. This year has been the most record breaking easy money I have ever made. Tell your faith based friends, their idiots and thanks for the gift of Trumpster stock market “tax cut cash”


              Faith- strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof

              Apple butter- is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce produced by long, slow cooking of apples with cider or water to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelizes, turning the apple butter a deep brown. The concentration of sugar gives apple butter a much longer shelf life as a preserve than apple sauce.

              I have “faith” your “apple butter” looks and taste like shit. Spread them apples on your toast. Because I’m not eat your crap.

              Merry Christmas my redneck loser Trumpster friend. I hear it’s OK to say that now.

  18. Fred Magyar says:

    A 100 bottles of beer on the wall, a 100 bottles of beer. Take one down and pass it around and have a Tesla semi bring you some more…

    Anheuser-Busch wants to deliver beer with Tesla’s electric semi-trucks
    It reserved 40 of the vehicles in one of the biggest orders yet.

    Anheuser-Busch claims the main reason is economy with fuel. I have a hunch they are also thinking driverless trucks in the not too distant future.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Big deal. Amazon delivers the beer and hard stuff right to the door. No need to even step inside a liquor store. Saves a billion trips by millions of people. 🙂

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Ok, maybe thousands of little drones delivering individual six packs. I’m sure that would work! 😊

      • alimbiquated says:

        I can walk to the beer store, I don’t need Amazon. It’s a solution in search of a problem.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          T’was all tongue in cheek my friend. The original point was that Amazon was buying 40 Tesla Semis. I’m guessing they plan to use them for shipping from Anheuser-Busch to Amazon’s distribution centers and not for delivering beer to grocery stores or direct to customers.

          • Lloyd says:

            Elon will be on this soon enough: tiny Boring Company machines tunneling from house to house to build…a nation-wide draft beer pipeline.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Sounds like a project from the Red Green show.

              • Lloyd says:

                Yeah… but Red didn’t have billions of dollars. Elon can make this happen.


                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Little Peoples’ Spirits™

                  Larger-than-life Elon’s maybe naturally tipsy…

                  In my neck of town (and maybe even certain spots in Nova Scotia in general) we seem to have had so many microbreweries (and their bar-/pub-/resto-supports) spring up that if you were stumbling around drunk after-hours, you might accidentally run into one.

                  I write this of course while my own home-based ultramicrobrewery’s cider ferments in the cupboard.

                  Nary a soul may be too sober in this town as the fan hits the shit, or whatever.

  19. Doug Leighton says:

    As Rome (California) burns: hear no evil see no evil speak no evil,


    • Doug Leighton says:


      “We are now living in a time that’s the warmest in the history of modern civilization, according to the latest Climate Science Special Report, part of the National Climate Assessment. Global annual average surface temperatures have risen nearly 1.8F (1C) since 1901. Sixteen of the warmest years on record have taken place during the past 17 years… In the past 30 years, the length of the fire season has grown by 2.5 months and severity is expected to increase as the climate continues to warm.”

      • GoneFishing says:

        I never spent much time in California, but many of the parts of the West I have spent time are very arid and in some cases almost lifeless already. It won’t take much to push much of the West into badlands and complete desert.
        The flora and fauna have adapted to use short rainfall periods to propagate and survive. The desert can bloom amazingly when it does finally rain, but not very often. Humans want constant annual productivity which creates a schism between reality and demands.

        No, not the blueberries too!

        • GoneFishing says:

          Things have not gotten better since this 2014 article on a joint report by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization.

          According to the UCS/RMCO report, if current climate trends hold:
          Bark beetle infestations will spread.
          Large, intense, and more frequent fires will destroy more acres, even if temperatures only rise a little.
          Less snow will cover the ground in spring.
          The now will melt sooner, running down streams before the trees can suck it up.
          Widespread, characteristic conifer species such as lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, ponderosa pine, and Douglas fir, as well as iconic species including whitebark pine, aspen, and piñon pine are likely to go extinct.

          Insect Infestations

          If a scenic summer view in the Rockies turns dull reddish-brown or gray, chances are mountain pine beetles are to blame. These insects burrow under tree bark to breed. After a couple of years, the tree’s needles fall off, and the tree is dead within a decade. Between 1999 and 2003, hot, dry weather dealt a severe blow to Rocky Mountain trees, stressing them out and leaving them vulnerable to mountain pine beetles and other insects. A bark beetle population explosion between 2000 and 2012 took out almost enough trees to cover the state of Colorado.

          As areas become treeless they dry faster.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            The now will melt sooner,

            Does that mean the future is toast?! 😉

            • GoneFishing says:

              It means that current predictions about the future (which will be now then) are well short of the top floor. 🙂

              Did you ever play the game crabble?

            • GoneFishing says:

              I would say that applying a slightly non-linear function to current Arctic Ocean ice area coverage, there will likely be a fully open Arctic Ocean from July to November by the mid 2030’s.
              That should increase now melt. 🙂

    • GoneFishing says:

      Yep, the steady capture of agencies to promote a different agenda proceeds. Not all climate change references were removed, but one can assume there is no plan of action other than to increase climate change at this point.

    • George Harmon says:

      There’s no justification in using the Environmental Protection Agency as an instrument to push liberal agendas. Yet that’s what had been going on under the previous administration. The EPA had no oversight, no higher up authority to wrangle them up and tell them when they were pushing too far. That meant over 20 million good paying jobs all disappeared because over regulation closed plant after plant in this country as the jobs were sent overseas mainly to China. Then there was Congress’s inability to question EPA actions, under the previous administration the higher ups should have been forced under penalty of perjury into the Capitol to explain how coming up with 10000+ pages of job killing regulations could possibly benefit the American economy. None of these things happened, so now with the clean up crew in office the EPA is paying the price for previous misdeeds.

  20. Fred Magyar says:


    ‘Trump News’, praising Trump?! Seriously? You call that a scientific study?! Are you fucking kidding?!

    While you are at it, why don’t you get yourself one of those wonderful low wage, no benefits manufacturing jobs and see how you like it!

    Competitive Enterprise Institute? Now there’s a highly respected scientific organization if ever there was one.

    You are a joke, bro! Get lost!

  21. HuntingtonBeach says:

    “This is what climate change looks like,” said the National Geographic article on the bear, which was captured on film by photographer Paul Nicklen last summer as Nicklen traveled with the conservation group Sea Legacy. The bear was spotted checking out trash cans left by Inuit fishermen and pulling out a tidbit or two.

    • Steven Haner says:

      That picture was blowing up my Facebook Feed today. General consensus there was, it shows the difference in how liberals and conservatives think.

      Liberals mostly use their emotions and feelings to view the world. They look at the picture, feel sad, maybe start crying, then want to throw money at the situation to “fix” it, and demand politicians do the same.

      Conservatives use thought and reason in viewing the world. They look at the picture, and understand animals suffer ignoble deaths all the time, like through disease, starvation, injury, or being killed by other animals. In this case, the picture shows nothing out of the ordinary. It’s preposterous to tie it to climate change since we will never know the particular conditions which led the bear to starve. Disease, infection, cancer, arthritis, old age, or any other number of similar conditions could have caused the bear’s demise rather than some vague force such as climate change.

      • Preston says:

        “Conservatives use thought and reason in viewing the world”

        Thanks, that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day…

        Conservatives use superstition and faith in authority while liberals use science and reason, you fool…

      • Gerry says:

        “A photographer filmed the “soul-crushing” scene to try to break through climate change apathy.”

        You need such emotional crap for people who fall for emotional crap. In my experience those people most often are conservative and leaning to the political right.

        Man-made climate change has been a widely accepted scientific fact for at least twenty years.
        “Widely accepted” among scientists working in the relevant fields.
        The idiots in the media still think they have to report “both sides of the story” when one side has nothing to offer but lies and distraction.

        And the idiots in the population still don’t want to accept man-made climate change because this would mean that they are partly responsible and would need to take action. And of course, both of this can’t be true, as they are always innocent…

        • aaaa returns says:

          “emotional crap”
          A polar bear starving to death is as tragic as any other death, man or beast, you insensitive edgelord

  22. GoneFishing says:

    So what does a population crash look like? We have many examples, most induced by our activities, and there are far more that are barely publicized.
    White-tailed deer, lost about 95% of it’s original population by 1900, but made a recovery back to early population numbers by 2000. Now they are in descent again. They are considered a managed resource and bring money into states through hunting, which means government money, land and resources are used to maintain healthy populations. Even so, populations are difficult to maintain despite the claims of complainers.
    The eastern Canada Goose, an iconic bird with tremendous resilience. This bird was reduced to the point where biologists were using the term scarce in the 1960’s. Over-hunting, habitat loss and purposeful kill management of populations were the major factors. Now the population has recovered due to hunting restrictions, but instead of being mostly a migratory bird they are now very much resident birds.
    Since humans seem unable to share space with these birds, the hunting seasons are now almost all year round again. Killing management practices are widespread again. The ability of the Canada Goose to live into almost any region, urban to rural to wild, has been it’s saving grace. We shall see if the population plummets again though.
    There are a large amount of examples of species being pushed to the brink of extinction during modern times. Many are under heavy pressure now.
    I do wonder what fast and persistent reductions of populations does to a specie’s genetics.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I do wonder what fast and persistent reductions of populations does to a specie’s genetics.

      There is plenty of research on this subject. In general things tend to go downhill pretty fast. Google genetics of endangered species such as the Cheetahs.

      Or something like this:

      Extremely Low Genetic Diversity Indicating the Endangered Status of Ranodon sibiricus (Amphibia: Caudata) and Implications for Phylogeography


      The Siberian salamander (Ranodon sibiricus), distributed in geographically isolated areas of Central Asia, is an ideal alpine species for studies of conservation and phylogeography. However, there are few data regarding the genetic diversity in R. sibiricus populations.

      Methodology/Principal Findings

      We used two genetic markers (mtDNA and microsatellites) to survey all six populations of R. sibiricus in China. Both of the markers revealed extreme genetic uniformity among these populations. There were only three haplotypes in the mtDNA, and the overall nucleotide diversity in the mtDNA was 0.00064, ranging from 0.00000 to 0.00091 for the six populations. Although we recovered 70 sequences containing microsatellite repeats, there were only two loci that displayed polymorphism. We used the approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) method to study the demographic history of the populations. This analysis suggested that the extant populations diverged from the ancestral population approximately 120 years ago and that the historical population size was much larger than the present population size; i.e., R. sibiricus has experienced dramatic population declines.


      Our findings suggest that the genetic diversity in the R. sibiricus populations is the lowest among all investigated amphibians. We conclude that the isolation of R. sibiricus populations occurred recently and was a result of recent human activity and/or climatic changes. The Pleistocene glaciation oscillations may have facilitated intraspecies genetic homogeneity rather than enhanced divergence. A low genomic evolutionary rate and elevated inbreeding frequency may have also contributed to the low genetic variation observed in this species. Our findings indicate the urgency of implementing a protection plan for this endangered species.

  23. GoneFishing says:

    The gopher tortoise is a keystone species supporting 350 commensal species, some of which are also listed species.
    Listed as threatened and vulnerable, these slow growing, slow maturing tortoises are under threat from agriculture, pesticides/herbicides, development, roads, predation and illegal harvesting.
    The prognosis is poor for gopher tortoise and is having ripple effects far beyond itself.

    While a few humans are concerned about a possible human population decline, the wild world is far into decline and much of it is fading away.

  24. Doug Leighton says:


    “US coal production totaled an estimated 15.6 million st in the week ended Dec. 2, up 11.6% from the prior week and up 8.8% from the year-ago week, US Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday.”

    • GoneFishing says:

      Sadly, we (globally) may not leave coal until it is just too depleted and too expensive to obtain. Even when we do stop coal burning, the effects of the burn will last for a very long time.
      With 1139331 million tonnes of proven recoverable world reserves, being now burned at a rate of almost 8,000 million tonnes per year we are looking at over 150 years of burn and enough carbon to double atmospheric CO2 levels from today’s level. Actually more as the carbon sinks fail and natural carbon sources increase with temperature. Of course more coal discoveries can be made in the future.

      We are locked into a lot of coal burning with just today’s coal plants.

      Oh yes, there is also oil and natural gas and you can forget about the Clean Power Plan.

      Wonder what the world might be like with 1000 ppm CO2 and a lot of methane now that the sun is brighter than in the deep past.

      Getting my first snowfall here with temp to cross just above freezing, so global warming has a ways to go before snow cover is gone completely from my region. Give it time, but not a lot.

      • Doug Leighton says:


        “Oh yes, there is also oil and natural gas and you can forget about the Clean Power Plan.” Total world oil production continues to climb as well: in 2016 we averaged 80,622,000 barrels per day.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Total world oil production continues to climb as well: in 2016 we averaged 80,622,000 barrels per day.

          But, but, doesn’t Dennis keep telling us we really don’t have enough in the ground to get us into the climate danger zones, even if we extract and burn every last available drop?! 😉

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Yup, the safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 350 ppm so as long as we stay below that we’re okay Fred.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Fred,

            Nope. I say that RCP4.5 reflects the likely resource availability.

            Whether that results in catastrophic climate change depends on actual climate sensitivity, which is unknown.

            If the “charney sensitivity” is about 2.5 C for a doubling of CO2, we might be ok. If it is 3.5 C, we probably will not if total carbon emissions after 1750 are about 1500 Pg C (roughly the RCP4.5 total).

            I favor policy that will limit emissions to 1000 Pg of carbon or less after 1750, good policy may make this reality, limited carbon resources and the high prices that result may force us to enact such policies to provide adequate energy at reasonable prices.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        The coal is not proven reserves, they are resources. There is not the same level of accountability for coal as there is for oil.

        Or to put it differently, coal “proved reserves” are more like OPEC “proved reserves”.

        They are not very well defined.


        • GoneFishing says:

          The number I used came straight from BP. They say proved reserves, so do others.
          “World proved coal reserves are currently sufficient to meet 153 years of global production, roughly three times the R/P ratio for oil and gas”

          “Notes: Total proved reserves of coal – Generally taken to be those quantities that geological and engineering information indicates with reasonable certainty can be recovered in the future from
          known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions. ”

          The EIA says: “As of December 31, 2014, estimates of total world proved recoverable reserves of coal were about 1,237 billion short tons, (or 1.2 trillion short tons).”

          Now if you want to talk total resources the EIA says that just the US has 3.9 trillion short tons.

          Maybe no progress will be made in coal mining and the recoverable amount is it, but I would not bet on that, it would go hard against history.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Correct: A reserve is a proven if it is probable 90%, or more, of the resource (oil, coal, gold, copper, gas, whatever) is recoverable while being economically profitable. If an engineer declares a reserve proven his/her professional existence depends on this being true.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Doug, I really don’t want to be correct about any of this. It would be much better if reality matched Dennis’s low scenarios and figures. However, I would rather have a solid idea of what is really there and what can really happen, for my own use and when I speak to others about the subject.
              At this point, I don’t even like looking past 10 years ahead. With all the current trends and all the likely possibilities, 15 to 20 years ahead is really looking like a black tunnel as far as our predicting what will happen in this world.
              Things have changed so much within my own lifetime, I think that the young will face some of the most interesting and challenging times in the future. I hope they stick to their tasks, try to make a better world and do it with love and compassion for all creatures, instead of just reason and profit.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                Things have changed so much within my own lifetime, I think that the young will face some of the most interesting and challenging times in the future. I hope they stick to their tasks, try to make a better world and do it with love and compassion for all creatures, instead of just reason and profit.

                I have some hope that there are enough smart young people who really do care and will be up to the tasks at hand. Like these, who I want to call kids, but are really young adults… It’s their world now, no longer ours!


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

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Doug,

              What you are saying is true for oil, not so much for coal.


              Perhaps in the US “proved reserves” is the correct term, but the World Coal “reserve” estimates are often reported by government agencies and are far from transparent.

              The coal reserves are not well known due to inconsistent reporting, different nations us different depths, seam size etc when assessing coal reserves leading to widely different estimates.

              Much less work has been done on coal reserves than oil and natural gas reserves.

              Rutledge’s work suggests that coal reserve estimates have been decreasing over time, perhaps that trend will reverse and reserve estimates will increase as coal output peaks (when the easy to access coal has depleted) and the price of coal increases on international markets.

              We have been mining coal for a long time, it is doubtful in my opinion that there will be technological breakthroughs that will change the cost of mining coal significantly.

              • GoneFishing says:

                “We have been mining coal for a long time, it is doubtful in my opinion that there will be technological breakthroughs that will change the cost of mining coal significantly.”

                Now that sounds like an ole timer speaking throughout history.
                The push now is toward highly monitored and autonomous mining, in fact autonomous mining machinery is in place now.

                “Agriculture, trucking and other industries have all invested in the use of autonomous vehicles, and now mining has set its sights on the technology, with Caterpillar (CAT) and Komatsu leading the charge.

                In Australia, Rio Tinto (RIO), BHP Billiton (BHP), and Fortescue Metals Group have all incorporated self-driving vehicles in their operations, using unmanned trucks to haul ore.

                “Our autonomous truck fleet has safely moved 240 million tons and now comprises 54 Caterpillar 793F trucks, representing approximately three quarters of the productive material movement for the Solomon Hub,” Nev Power, CEO of Fortescue, told

                And it has seen much success, not only in assuring safety, but also in efficiency. At Fortescue’s Solomon Hub operations, the mine utilizing self-driving trucks resulted in a “20% productivity improvement compared to the regular fleet,” said Power.

                Underground high tech sensor systems and autonomous are starting to move into place.

                Nope, nothing ever changes.
                Well some things do, as the US goes back to the good ole days enjoyed until lately.

                Protect us from our protectors.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Gone fishing,

                  Perhaps technology will develop so that fossil fuel resources never peak, I am skeptical. 🙂

                  It is a question of whether the cost to produce fossil fuel energy will be less than non-fossil fuel energy sources. Technology is likely to reduce the costs of all energy sources, but those that have been intensively mined for over 100 years have seen most of the important innovations applied already. Energy Resources that are less mature are more likely to see major technological breakthroughs in my opinion.

                  My medium coal scenario assumes about 690 Gt of coal reserves are economically recoverable. About 360 Gt had been produced by the end of 2016, so the total URR is about 1050 Gt.

                  BP has US coal reserves at 251 Gt and the EIA at 254 Gt. The following is from the EIA:

                  Notes: Recoverable coal reserves at producing mines represent the quantity of coal that can be recovered (i.e. mined) from existing coal reserves at reporting mines. EIA’s estimated recoverable reserves include the coal in the demonstrated reserve base considered recoverable after excluding coal estimated to be unavailable due to land use restrictions, and after applying assumed mining recovery rates. This estimate does not include any specific economic feasibility criteria. The effective date for the demonstrated reserve base, as customarily worded, is ‘Remaining as of January 1, 2017.’ These data are contemporaneous with the Recoverable Reserves at Producing Mines, customarily presented as of the end of the reporting year’s mining, that is in this case, December 31, 2016. The demonstrated reserve base includes publicly available data on coal mapped to measured and indicated degrees of accuracy and found at depths and in coalbed thicknesses considered technologically minable at the time of determinations; see Glossary for criteria. All reserve expressions exclude silt, culm, refuse bank, slurry dam, and dredge operations. Reserves at Producing Mines exclude mines producing less than 25,000 short tons, which are not required to provide reserves data.

                  Bold added by me.

                  Also from BP:

                  The data series for total proved coal reserves does not necessarily meet the definitions, guidelines and practices used for determining proved reserves at company level, for instance as published by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, nor does it necessarily represent BP’s view of proved reserves by country.

                  My medium coal scenario is based in part on the work of Steve Mohr. The URR is similar to his case 2 for coal.


                • GoneFishing says:

                  Just to keep the record straight, from the BP report I listed above (where I got the reserve number I used) that states
                  Notes: Total proved reserves of coal – Generally taken to be those quantities that geological and engineering information indicates with reasonable certainty can be recovered in the future from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions

                  Bold mine.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    And then it goes on to say that the “proved reserves” do not necessarily meet the definitions, guidelines and practices used for determining proved reserves at company level, for instance as published by the US Securities and Exchange Commission…

                    The sentence I quoted directly follows what you quoted which suggests for a proper understanding one should read the entire thing:
                    Notes: Total proved reserves of coal – Generally taken to be those quantities that geological and engineering information indicates with reasonable certainty can be recovered in the future from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions. The data series for total proved coal reserves does not necessarily meet the definitions, guidelines and practices used for determining proved reserves at company level, for instance as published by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, nor does it necessarily represent BP’s view of proved reserves by country.

                    That way nothing is taken out of context.

                    My interpretation is that no engineer’s reputations are on the line for these “proved reserve” estimates.

                    In fact in the US only 17 Gt of 254 Gt (these are short tons so about 231 metric tonnes) of the “estimated recoverable reserves” (6.7%) are in producing mines.

                    The 254 Gt of estimated recoverable reserves are more like what the oil industry calls “technically recoverable resources” (TRR).

                    In the past Doug has suggested (and I agree) that TRR is very different from “proved reserves”.

                    At least for US “reserves” economics is not part of the equation, my guess is that this is true of many nations “proved reserves of coal”.

                    That is why I called them resources rather than reserves.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    I give up.

              • OFM says:

                Hi Dennis,

                I’m with you in believing that there’s not much likelihood of the cost of mining coal going down, even though I do believe strongly in automation and other new technologies.

                Consider that unless the driver of a giant mining truck, or dozer or loader, etc, is collecting good union wages and bennies, it costs more to put fuel in the truck than it does to pay him to drive it…. not to mention that such a truck depreciates as much or more every year as it costs to hire the driver for that year.

                Automation is not going to lower the cost of coal very much, because the labor cost of mining it is already only a minor fraction of the delivered cost of coal, in most cases, because most coal has to be shipped a long way these days.

                Furthermore, whatever cost reductions are brought about by using newer technologies are going to be partially or even wholly offset due to the remaining deposits being lesser quality, smaller, and harder to extract.

                Depletion is no joke, even if some really high quality easily mineable new fields remain to be exploited. The easy high quality coal is apparently mostly gone already.

                Depletion rules.

                The real question is not how much it costs to actually mine coal. The real question is how much it costs to mine it AND deliver it to the end user.

                Western coal costs about five times as much in Atlanta Georgia as it costs at the mine.

                I’m no expert by any means, but I have read that there are still some ENORMOUS untapped coal fields, but mostly only in places that are a LONG way from markets and only in places that are almost entirely lacking in the infrastructure necessary to support mining operations, ranging from roads to housing.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Gone fishing,

              Also there is this EIA page with coal reserves for the World (1124 metric tonnes at the end of 2014)


              The notes from that page have:

              Coal / Reserves
              Data are as of December 31. Data for the United States are from the Energy Information Administration.
              Data for other countries are from the World Energy Council. World Energy Council definition of “Proved Recoverable Reserves”: Proved Recoverable Reserves are the tonnage within the Proved Amount in Place that can be recovered (extracted from the earth in raw form) under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology.
              Data for the United States represent both measured and indicated tonnage, as of January 1, of the most recent full year. The U.S. term “measured” approximates the term “proved” used by the World Energy Council. The U.S. “measured and indicated” data have been combined prior to depletion adjustments and cannot be recaptured as “measured alone.”
              The estimates in this table are dependent on the judgment of each reporting country to interpret local economic conditions and its own mineral assessment criteria in terms of specified standards of the World Energy Council. Consequently, the data may not all meet the same standards of reliability and some data, including the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA)’s, may not represent reserves of coal that are known to be recoverable under current economic conditions and regulations. Some data, including the EIA’s, represent estimated recovery rates for highly reliable estimates of coal quantities in the ground that have physical characteristics like those of coals currently being profitably mined.
              U.S. coal rank approximations are based partly on Btu and may not match precisely borderline geologic ranks. Further, data in this table may represent different base years. Data for the U.S. represent recoverable coal estimates as of January 1 of the most recent full year. Data for other countries are as of the most recent period for which they are available. The Energy Information Administration does not certify the international reserves data but reproduces the information as a matter of convenience for the reader.

              Bold added by me. (link to notes page is below)


              These “proved reserves” would not meet the standards of the SEC and are more like technically recoverable resources than reserves.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Beyond coal: Coalbed methane production
            Methane (natural gas), while perhaps
            most closely related in our minds with
            petroleum, also occurs in association with
            coal, the Nation’s most abundant fossil
            fuel resource. Conservative estimates
            (Rice, 1997) suggest that in the conterminous
            United States more than 700 trillion
            cubic feet (TCF) of coal-bed methane
            exists in place, with perhaps 100 TCF
            economically recoverable with existing
            technology—the equivalent of about a 5-
            year supply at present rates of use. Coalbed
            methane now accounts for about 7.5
            percent of total natural gas production in
            the United States.


            Increasing exploration and extraction on a global scale is expected to drive CBM production over the next six years. The cost of producing one cubic meter of CBM by the means of vertical drilling is estimated to be approximately USD 0.11 globally.

            • OFM says:

              Does anybody know what the actual delivered price of a cubic meter of natural gas is, on average, including all taxes and fees and so forth, to a retail customer…… meaning a home owner, small business owner, or local government ? (anybody other than an industrial customer)

  25. Mick Aitken says:

    We had the longest lasing snowfall yesterday, I had ever seen in my lifetime here in South Mississippi. Snow fell from 3 AM to the evening, just about 5 PM. Temperatures were above freezing most of the time, but still there was over 4 inches on the ground. Then temps were way below freezing last night, about 25. So the beautiful stuff was still on the ground when I woke this morning.

    • GoneFishing says:

      That is unusual.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Yep but certainly not unheard of during winter! Of course it might be the first signs of the next ice age. Temps might be down in the 40s tonight in South Florida. It will be nice to be able to leave some windows open for a change.

        Snowmen in Alabama? Sledding in Mississippi?
        From Texas to Georgia, snow blankets the south.

        The storm dropped a rare coating of snow as far south as Brownsville, Texas — near the border of Mexico — up through southern Louisiana and parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the southern Appalachians.

        “This is an unusual event — to see snow falling this early in the season all the way from Texas and the Gulf Coast region to Georgia,” said Laura Pagano, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Atlanta/Peachtree City office. “It has happened before, but not often.”

    • notanoilman says:

      Snowing above freezing, below zero overnight. Nice recipe for road ice and slippy conditions. Take care if you are not used to it. Experienced snow traveling through Dallas/Ft Worth, not fun when dressed for the tropics 🙁


    • Walt Seh says:

      Good Evening Mr. Aitken,

      I have often seen mention at this point in history that global warming behaves as a supremely strange mistress indeed. We can see right here, with your post, why this is the case. At present, your location all the way down in southern Mississippi has MORE snow than Chicago, Minneapolis, or even most populated places here in Canada, have received for the ENTIRE season. Certainly this is a strange turn of events for a world beset by ever more menacing news of melting icebergs, rising seas, and wildfire-fueled fury.

      Perusing forums involving the foremost astrometeorologists, there is a great deal of anticipation, excitement if you will, over the emerging climate pattern of this previous year, heightened by the peculiar snowstorm you experienced in the southern United States. For YEARS these researchers at the convergence of astrology and meteorology have predicted a turn to a sharply colder global climate beginning somewhere around the 2017-2018 period. This is all on account of a DRASTIC lowering of sunspots along with the topological interactions of the other planets with our own planet Earth.

      We may now have taken the plunge into this long-awaited phase, but we will know for sure only through hindsight. Nonetheless, ground-level reports of unusually wintry conditions such as yours are supremely useful in determining exactly what is going on as we proceed steadfast into a world unknown.

      Be well,

      • Fred Magyar says:

        For YEARS these researchers at the convergence of astrology and meteorology have predicted a turn to a sharply colder global climate beginning somewhere around the 2017-2018 period.

      • GoneFishing says:

        He forgot to mention it would hit 50F that afternoon and all the snow would be gone.
        Now the convergence of astronomy and climate is well known at this point. Those big planets perturb orbits.
        Astrology and climate? What month was the Earth born? 😉

      • Synapsid says:

        The Rich, Beautiful Prose award is hereby recommended for Walt Seh.

        The Adherence to Reality Cluster is withheld.

  26. Fred Magyar says:

    With apologies to Randall Munroe; Science, it works, bitches!

    This is pretty cool, no pun intended…

    Signatures of exciton condensation in a transition metal dichalcogenide

    Probing an excitonic condensate
    Excitons—bound states of electrons and holes in solids—are expected to form a Bose condensate at sufficiently low temperatures. Excitonic condensation has been studied in systems such as quantum Hall bilayers where physical separation between electrons and holes enables a longer lifetime for their bound states. Kogar et al. observed excitons condensing in the three-dimensional semimetal 1T-TiSe2. In such systems, distinguishing exciton condensation from other types of order is tricky. To do so, the authors used momentum-resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy, a technique developed to probe electronic collective excitations. The energy needed to excite an electronic mode became negligible at a finite momentum, signifying the formation of a condensate.

    Science, this issue p. 1314
    Bose condensation has shaped our understanding of macroscopic quantum phenomena, having been realized in superconductors, atomic gases, and liquid helium. Excitons are bosons that have been predicted to condense into either a superfluid or an insulating electronic crystal. Using the recently developed technique of momentum‐resolved electron energy‐loss spectroscopy (M-EELS), we studied electronic collective modes in the transition metal dichalcogenide semimetal 1T‐TiSe2. Near the phase-transition temperature (190 kelvin), the energy of the electronic mode fell to zero at nonzero momentum, indicating dynamical slowing of plasma fluctuations and crystallization of the valence electrons into an exciton condensate. Our study provides compelling evidence for exciton condensation in a three-dimensional solid and establishes M-EELS as a versatile technique sensitive to valence band excitations in quantum materials.

    Here’s a link to PDF since the above is behind a paywall

    • GoneFishing says:

      Neat, holes following wayward electrons around then getting together with them. Wonder what people will do with this, guess no one really knows their properties yet.
      High temperature super-conduction?

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Yeah, I was just looking at the spectra at different temperatures.
        Fig. S1. Momentum dependence of the M-EELS spectra in the phonon region, taken on the momentum interval (0,0) → (1, 1). (A-C), Individual spectra for 300 K, 100 K, and
        17 K, showing the dispersion of a TA phonon in TiSe2.

        I think they mentioned that one of the most promising candidate excitonic materials is the transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) semimetal, 1T‐TiSe2, whose vanishing indirect band gap is optimal for realizing an exciton condensate (2,3,4,17).

        At TC = 190 K, TiSe2 exhibits a resistive anomaly and forms a 2a  2a  2c
        superlattice whose wave vector connects the Se 4p valence band at the  point to the Ti 3d conduction band at the L point, leading many authors to identify the material as residing in an excitonic state(17,21,22). However, TiSe2 also exhibits a sizeable lattice distortion (17,23), leading others to argue that it is a phonon‐driven Peierls‐like phase.

        So at this point they might be looking at relatively high temperature super conductivity with potential for high resistivity and insulation properties? It’s a bit above my pay grade to say the least. Just glad there are people out there who are passionate about this kind of stuff. Sure beats the ignorant morons who show up around here now and then and lecture us on how they know more about science than the actual career scientists. Go figure!

        • GoneFishing says:

          Sounds like a temperature sensitive switch.

        • GoneFishing says:

          My work with superconductors gave me a great appreciation for their ability to suddenly go resistive (insulative) if the temperature rose.

    • notanoilman says:

      Off topic for this fred – er – I mean thread. A link for you


      • Fred Magyar says:

        TKS! That really cheered me up! Amazing that he somehow managed to keep the puffer from blowing up. Great job and he did it barehanded to boot!

        • notanoilman says:

          Saw an eel that had nabbed a puffer, both lost. Those spines are sharp! Glad you liked it, not diving these days but always tried to leave the place better than when I arrived.


  27. GoneFishing says:
    • Fred Magyar says:

      Cheerio, ice! Adios paradise!

      • GoneFishing says:

        I wonder if I should move uphill to Paradise. That would be the equivalent of moving about 350 miles north, but with brighter winters. Right now that area is high enough it has native paper birch trees. They will probably be the first to go.

  28. Fred Magyar says:

    It’s a turd, it’s a clog, NO! It’s super pipebot!

    Pipebot can help fix decaying water pipe crisis in the US and the World

    The United States faces a looming crisis over its deteriorating water infrastructure, and fixing it will be a monumental and expensive task. In Los Angeles alone, about two thirds of the city’s 7,000 miles of water pipes are more than 60 years old — and nearing the end of their useful lives.

    Water main breaks can cause flooding, leading to serious structural damage and soil erosion. Even small leaks can exacerbate water shortages and allow potentially harmful contaminants into our drinking water. But locating a leak within a vast network of underground pipes is almost impossible.

    Now, researchers at USC’s Information Sciences Institute are developing an autonomous robot that could quickly and inexpensively detect damage in water pipes — even those buried meters below the ground.

    • GoneFishing says:

      That’s the problem with cities, they fall apart and constantly have to be rebuilt. This little bot will help find the holes in rotting sections so they can replace segments. Should be lots of work for it if the whole system is near end of life, the maintenance version of whack-a-mole.

      Rotten Eggs
      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently began collecting information for its second Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey, as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. During the first survey, the single largest category of infrastructure need was for the installation and rehabilitation of transmission and distribution systems. The survey found that municipalities expected to spend some $77.2 billion over the next 20 years to satisfy that need.

      In a similar survey conducted on the wastewater side of the industry, the Clean Water Needs Survey found that over the next 20 years cities need to spend $10 billion on upgrading existing wastewater collection systems, nearly $22 billion for new sewer construction and $45 billion for controlling combined sewer overflows. Another $7 billion is needed to control municipal stormwater.

      Small communities have a large need in proportion to their size, according to the survey. New collector sewers account for only 6 percent of the total Clean Water Needs for larger communities, but represent 29 percent for small communities. This reflects, in part, the continuing effort to extend wastewater collection and treatment to the smaller communities.

      According to EPAs surveys, corrosion is one of the major culprits in pipe failure, causing some materials to fail in as little as 10 years. An EPA survey of 89 cities showed that 32 of them had reported sewer collapses, most from hydrogen sulfide corrosion.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        An EPA survey of 89 cities showed that 32 of them had reported sewer collapses, most from hydrogen sulfide corrosion.

        That’s some nasty shit! 😉

        Maybe Scott Pruitt will start removing references to hydrogen sulfide corrosion affecting sewers from the EPA website. If it isn’t mentioned then the problem doesn’t exist…

        • GoneFishing says:

          Does he even know that hydrogen sulfide exists?

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Well, I’m sure he has, at the very least smelled his own farts at one time or another, even if he doesn’t quite grasp the chemistry…

            • GoneFishing says:

              My dog can smell that too but she (being intelligent) does not execute environmental policy for the US.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Interesting potential applications for nanotechnology.

        Water Sustainability through Nanotechnology:
        Nanoscale Solutions for a Global-Scale Challenge
        Collaborating Agencies:1 DOC/NIST, DOE, EPA, NASA, NSF, USDA/NIFA
        March 22, 2016

        Granted this was a collaboration in the pre Trump/Pruitt administrations.

        There are many promising avenues for increasing the efficiency of water delivery and use—from consumers implementing water-saving behaviors at home, to manufacturers repairing leaks and modifying inefficient processes—so a holistic approach is needed. However, nanotechnology is uniquely poised to enable significant gains in water efficiency and to reduce energy needs associated with transporting and using water. For example, self-healing nanoscale coatings could be used to repair leaky pipes, and new nanomaterials could enable low-water-withdrawal cooling technologies for thermoelectric power generation.

        I could imagine a nano structured high tensile strength material similar to nachre made of chitosan polymer and CaCo3 being deposited on the inside of vulnerable water pipes as a kind of preventive maintenance.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Interesting, will probably be added to some of the many types of pipes used today.
          “Aging infrastructure is a prime concern in the water and wastewater world. And with good reason. According to a 2007 EPA survey, the nationwide infrastructure need is estimated at $334.8 billion from January 2007 through December 2027. The largest portion of that figure – $200.8 billion – represents needs in water transmission and distribution projects.

          Municipalities indeed face a gigantic task: Many pipes are nearing the end of their life spans, and the time to choose a replacement has arrived. In a long-term project like pipe replacement, where life span can exceed 100 years, proper material choice is critical. Here, we examine the most common types of municipal pipe material along with a general guide of the strengths, weaknesses and uses for each”

  29. GoneFishing says:

    Our future in a world without ice caps.
    “Just add more carbon dioxide…”

  30. GoneFishing says:

    In this piece about the demographics of Germany, a key problem that is seen is keeping up the labor force numbers in the future. With automation probably taking over about half the future jobs, I think the concern should be what to do with the labor force when it is unemployed or needs to be re-educated.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      In this piece about the demographics of Germany, a key problem that is seen is keeping up the labor force numbers in the future

      The real problem is that unless we make deep funfamental changes to the current economic, political and social paradigms, labor will become quite literally a completely useless class and due to advances in robotics and AI that includes the highly educated white collar workers such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc…

      I think, Yuval Noah Harari in his two most recent books, comes as close as anyone to putting their finger directly on the pulse of what is going on right now all over the world. He addresses how and why we have gotten to this point. It has a lot to do with the stories that we collectively accept and hold true and touches on how humans cooperate. It also explains a lot of the resurgence of Ultra Nationalism, neo-luddites, xenophobia and religious fundamentalism the world over. It is a truly fascinating story!

      First the story of our past:
      Yuval Harari – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

      And the present and the possible future of humanity:
      Yuval Noah Harari: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

      Total time to watch both videos about 2 hrs. 15 mins.

      • OFM says:

        Economists are as prone as anybody else to examine one part of the elephant and make fools of themselves by presuming that part is the whole.

        I seldom see anything acknowledging that while falling populations will indeed have a major impact on the future economy in terms of POTENTIAL shortages of workers, there will be a far far less need for workers as well….. because coming generations are going to inherit a world that is already explored, invented, and for the most part, ALREADY BUILT for them.

        The first old crackerbox little house I ever bought in the city sold for only fifty five hundred bucks NEW in the fifties. It’s still there, and given that it’s NOT in a flood plain, and built on a decent masonry foundation, and that it has been upgraded with vinyl siding, new windows, a metal roof and so forth, it will likely still be there a century or even two centuries from now, if future owners take good care of it.

        The street in front of it has been surveyed, and built, and it likewise will be there more or less forever, or so long as people want to live there, and maintenance will cost each new generation of people an EXTREMELY MINOR fraction of the cost of a NEW street.

        The people who are focused on the economic and political problems associated with automation destroying the jobs of working class people, and then maybe professional people as well, people who are wondering HOW society as a whole will provide for all these jobless workers, have their eyes open.

        The ones who yammer about a lack of workers have their heads so far up their ass they will never see daylight.

        It OUGHT TO BE perfectly obvious that the large majority of workers in any given industry aren’t NEEDED in that industry once it’s automated.

        We won’t NEED truck drivers once trucks are automated, nor scullery maids to scrub floors, once household robots are a mature technology, or very many carpenters to build houses if new houses truly do come out of the nozzle of a squirt gun that extrudes them in layers. Carpenters will still be needed to install windows and doors……. at least until robots are good enough to do that too……

        The problem we need to be worrying about is this:

        How in hell are we going to provide, collectively , as a society, for all the people who will not have work and thus be able to support themselves?

        That problem is already with us, and those who fail to see that it played a SUBSTANTIAL role in the election of Trump are as politically naive and or ignorant as those who so scientifically naive or ignorant that they fail to see that forced climate change is already happening and already causing us MAJOR problems.

        I don’t pretend to have the answer, or even partial answers, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t got MY spotlight trained on the deepest and darkest shadows involving automation on the grand scale. Just because it’s not a bright enough light to see the answers, if answers are possible, doesn’t mean I’ve failed pointed in the right direction, lol.

        Welfare as we know it today simply won’t work on such a scale. Our current criminal law system won’t work. Both these systems are only semifunctional even today, and create as many problems as they solve.

        We surely do have a tiger by the tail, in both cases, and collectively speaking, we don’t have the foggiest idea how to turn these tigers into pussy cats so we can turn them loose. We’re damned if we do anything other than what we ARE doing , short term, and damned if we continue on our current path, long term.

        There are plenty of partial solutions available, of course, and anybody with a clue understands that these partial solutions should be implemented, but political gridlock prevents us from implementing them. The grid lock results from ignorance on the part of voters and the owners of existing businesses looking after themselves.

        We’re going to need a whole new vision, a whole new paradigm, or else society is going to degenerate into some sort of authoritarian mad house out of an antiutopian novel, such as The Hunger Games, or Brave New World or 1984 or We or Athem ( lesser known but excellent by Ann Rand ).

        A real paradise right here on earth is actually possible, and may be within our grasp, depending on how the cards fall, on whether the technological ambulance in which we are all riding makes it to the emergency room promised land BEFORE it runs out of gasoline, in a manner of speaking.

        Economic and ecological collapse may knock out the bridges between the ambulance and the technology hospital whither we are hopefully bound.

        Time is short, but it’s not so short that we should give up, or pronounce the race won or lost.

        We live in times that are interesting indeed. If I were young again, I would choose to spend my life as an agricultural researcher, helping us learn how to eat without seriously disrupting what remains of the biosphere.

  31. GoneFishing says:

    Probably one of the most important lectures on our future and where we may be headed.

    Full length talk that covers the facts of climate change, the urgency with which it needs to be addressed and actions we can take to stop it. Delivered by Dr Aaron Thierry at the University of Sheffield, hosted by the Carbon Neutral University Network.

    • Tony Cowley says:

      I’m just a wee bit skeptical here. After all, the greater the urgency, the easier the fundraising ability.

      • George Kaplan says:

        I’m a wee bit skeptical that some shoddy little moneygrubbing brat probably thinks everyone is the same as they are.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Let me guess, you are one of those people who is not the slightest bit skeptical about the current GOP tax plan being a massive transfer of wealth to the rich, eh?

        Or the rather strange coincidence of Rex Tillerson former CEO of Exxon Mobile, a corporation that has lied to public about what it’s own scientists knew about climate change, now being the Secretary of State of the US.

        How about Scott Pruit, someone who defended fossil fuel interests and made a lucrative career of suing the EPA now being the head of that organization and working overtime to end regulation of corporations that harm the environment.

        Any chance you would you care to disclose where your own funding comes from? Is it from some right wing fossil fuel lobbying think tank like the Heartland Institute or do you get your checks direct from one of Putin’s troll factories.

        I’m a wee bit skeptical about your motivation!

  32. GoneFishing says:

    The US military has just purchased an AI assisted stealth long range anti-ship missile. The arms race continues.

  33. George Kaplan says:


    Lot’s of links to recent research. One paper indicates most of the maize crop will be lost at continental land temperatures increase by 4 degrees C. He didn’t include impacts from reduction in phosphorus or fossil fuels).

    • Julian Radoni says:

      Thanks for posting. Currently I’m printing out as many doomsday articles as I can find to put in a time capsule to be opened in 25 years (December 31, 2042). I figure I am either going to laugh or cry at what my future self comes across.

      • Julian, did you read the article? You should reply to what George Monbiot had to say, not make snide remarks suggesting you don’t believe a damn word of it.

      • GoneFishing says:

        After over 50 years of warnings, people are barely listening and certainly not performing much action. In fact a large influential segment is fighting hard against meaningful actions. Suicidal societies are bound to fail.

    • OFM says:

      Hi George,

      I don’t even need to read it, and can’t, at the moment, due to computer issues. A “new” used one is on the way, but won’t get here for a couple of weeks when an old friend brings it along when he comes to visit. No need to buy a new one !

      This is down my professional alley.

      Four degrees C is disaster territory, pure and simple, hell on earth level, when it comes to the bread baskets of the world, assuming the average temperature rises that much on average in the bread basket areas.

      I’m not well informed about any specific predictions for specific areas, but it’s my understanding that if and when the global temperature rises that much, it will be because the polar areas have risen even MORE, with temperate areas rising less.

      If you have relatively new links to specific predictions for specific areas , please post them, and thanks in advance. Ditto anybody else.

      Somewhat warmer weather is ok, and even good for farmers, on average, if such a season happens, locally, in some given area…… IF there aren’t any especially hot and dry peaks involved during that season.

      But what is to be expected, and what WILL happen, is that as the average temperature rises, hot spells are going to get to be more frequent, and hotter, and last longer, with even less rain than usual.

      It’s already about as hot as we would like, as farmers, or even hotter, in lots of places. You don’t hear much about corn in the deep south because it’s already hotter down that way than is optimal for corn production,etc.

      I’m personally located about as far south as I can be, and still be a successful apple grower, unless I were to locate at a considerably higher elevation.

      It’s great to have plenty of sun and above average temperatures early in the season when corn’s growing like crazy, with plenty of water in the soil, and the days getting longer…… but let June arrive, or July, and with the days being longer, and soil water levels depleting, and ninety plus F ( sorry I’m an old fart and just can’t bring myself to THINK in metric except in lab work ) spells being more common, yields drop like a rock.

      High nineties and no rain for a couple of weeks, and you’re in real trouble.

      Any real farmer will tell you this sort of thing is every day common knowledge. We don’t need research to know it, history has taught it to us. You don’t need to be a physician or statistician to understand that alcohol addiction leads to a shorter life, or that drunk driving results in lots of fatal accidents.

      I’m not knocking the research, far from it. Such research is very useful indeed, because it enables us to better estimate just how bad things may come to be, and how fast.

      It could even come to pass that some politicians and other people in positions of power and influence will actually pay some attention to such research BEFORE it’s too late to take at least some proactive measures enabling us to maintain adequate food production.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Enter this phrase into the Google Scholar search engine: Deleterious effects of global warming on global agriculture
        Or try some other similar combination of terms…
        You’ll get over 33,000 hits on my example. I don’t think it is necessary for any of us to read all 33,000 papers to conclude that there might be a bit of a problem in a 4°C world.

        Here’s just one link:

        Climate Trends and Global Crop Production Since 1980

        Efforts to anticipate how climate change will affect future food availability can benefit from understanding the impacts of changes to date. We found that in the cropping regions and growing seasons of most countries, with the important exception of the United States, temperature trends from 1980 to 2008 exceeded one standard deviation of historic year-to-year variability. Models that link yields of the four largest commodity crops to weather indicate that global maize and wheat production declined by 3.8 and 5.5%, respectively, relative to a counterfactual without climate trends. For soybeans and rice, winners and losers largely balanced out. Climate trends were large enough in some countries to offset a significant portion of the increases in average yields that arose from technology, carbon dioxide fertilization, and other factors.

        After reading all 33,000 of those papers you could start on a search for plant physiology and how increased CO2 and temperature affects plant growth and and nutritional content of plants.

        You could even use a free online, artificial intelligence, scientific research assistant to further dig down into the available research.

        Maybe you could do a search on papers addressing general ecological impacts.

        Then you could even get into the nitty gritty of the physics and chemistry of atmospheric, oceanic and geochemical processes such as those studied by all the greedy money grubbing climate scientists who are all about destroying capitalism and our economy by fleecing the public out of their hard earned tax dollars.

        How much free time do you have?! 😉

      • OFM says:

        This closet derelict siezes up, so I have to keep comments shorter than usual. Monbiot is a very sharp guy.

        Somewhere up thread , Dennis asked my opinion, as to whether nine or ten billion people can eat long enough for the population to start declining.

        My answer was yes…. in principle… assuming everything goes right politically and ecomomically, and we are collectively willing to make the necessary sacrifices. I listed a bunch by way of examples, such as giving up eating more than very small amounts of meat.

        Extrapolating trends to the point of disaster isn’t necessarily good fortune telling practice, any more than extrapolating good news to the point of believing in paradise on earth.

        There’s a lot, and I do mean a LOT of land that COULD be put to the plow, and probably WILL be, once things get to be short term critical. There’s still plenty of material resources that can be diverted to providing irrigation water for instance, even to the extent of diverting entire rivers as much as a thousand miles or farther.

        And while we are losing soil at a rate sufficient to keep anybody who knows and gives a shit about the future awake at night, we aren’t necessarily losing a lot of soil in a lot of places. I can farm the hell out of my dead flat bottom land while actually building soil, although only a millimeter or two a year. My orchards were all on hillsides, and although I was a conventional grower using conventional manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, I maintained an extremely vigorous grass sod never less than six inches to a foot tall except when I mowed it off just prior to harvest. Even during periods of extended heavy rain, such water as ran off was almost clear, with only minute traces of soil, as demonstrated by putting some in containers to see what settled out. Lots of small fragments of organic material not yet decomposed, hardly a visible trace of mature soil.

        It’s not very likely that agriculture in any given area will go entirely to hell in any given year. There will most likely be plenty of warning, in the form of serious shortfalls in yields, and such shortfalls WILL get the attention of the powers that be, the nation states, the Leviathans of the world.

        Leviathans build spaceships, they build armies and navies and air forces, they build countless thousands of miles of highways, and they have the power to force people to do as Leviathan wishes, right on up to a Koch brother, although Koch types seldom ever have to actually put on uniforms and get shot at and hit.

        Leviathan can and will in some cases force such changes as are necessary to prevent a fast collapse in food production.

        But bottom line, I personally believe that people ARE going to starve and or die of violence, disease, and exposure due to collapsing food production……… by the millions and tens of millions, and hundreds of millions and quite possibly even by a billion or two or three.

        But once the Four Horsmen wipe out a third or two thirds of the people in any given large geographic area, the remainder will still almost for sure still have enough in the way of agricultural resources to support themselves after some fashion.

        And if the people in such areas are lucky enough to have functional central governments, policies to prevent or at least dramatically slow the further loss of agricultural resources will be implemented, and enforced, at gunpoint, if that’s what it takes.

        In places lacking a functional central government, things will likely go all the way to hell in a hand basket, until the population declines to the point that the remaining people are more or less farming sustainably, in relation to human time spans, meaning from generation to generation.

        Personally I believe it’s entirely likely that someday people will be piled in windrows in front of fences at national borders in some places, mowed down by gunfire.

        This is not going to end well, no siree!

        But I don’t really see any reason to believe the ENTIRE world will necessarily suffer economic and ecological collapse.

        It seems a lot more likely to me that collapse will be a self limiting process, in that it will take out major portions of humanity, maybe even most of us.

        But the rest of us, however many are left, will probably collectively get our shit together to prevent the same fate befalling us.

        I often mention what I refer to as Pearl Harbor Wake Up Events, things that will get the attention of people in the same way that a muggers brick upside the head gets a persons attention.

        A million, or even five million, starving this year or next in Africa isn’t enough to focus our attention.

        But let ten million starve in some country that’s partially industrialized, with ten million more trying to flee and enter more prosperous countries……. now THAT will likely be enough to get our collective attention.

        • Somewhere up thread , Dennis asked my opinion, as to whether nine or ten billion people can eat long enough for the population to start declining.

          My answer was yes….

          And my answer is no, not even close. And all those who bothered to take ten minutes out of their lives to read the Monbiot article know the reason why I believe that. As Monbiot explained, all the ocean fisheries will be gone by then. Most of the topsoil will be gone. The water tables will be so low they will be useless for irrigation. All the wild megafauna will be completely gone. Even most birds will be gone.

          Goddammit people, wake up and smell the coffee.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Ron,

            I think farming practices can be changed, as can fishing practices. The future is unknown and is difficult to predict. As resources become scarce, prices change and this changes the efficiency with which scarce resources are used.

            Water can be used much more efficiently, human waste can be recycled and made into fertilizer, water can be recycled and used for irrigation where needed.

            Eventually people may see the need to have fewer children and reduce population, or this is at least a possibility.

            You seem to be certain how things will play out. When I look to the future I see a range of possibilities and a lot of uncertainty.

            You call this pollyannish, I call it realistic.

            • Dennis, you seem to think that just because things can change, they will change. There are just a few problems with that outlook. First, there are many people in many nations. Places, where things are the worst for farmers, and change, is most desperately needed, nothing is happening. The idea that people will change their behavior, and start to fix thins when things get bad is really preposterous.
              Farming is worse in India. So what are they doing? They are dying.

              India’s shocking farmer suicide epidemic

              In the last 20 years, nearly 300,000 farmers have ended their lives by ingesting pesticides or by hanging themselves. Maharashtra state – with 60,000 farmer suicides – tops the list.

              The suicide rate among Indian farmers was 47 percent higher than the national average, according to a 2011 census. Forty-one farmers commit suicide every day, leaving behind scores of orphans and widows.

              So when things get worse, I mean really bad, people will do exactly what they are doing in India, they will continue to pump the water tables even lower. They will continue to overwork the soil until there is no topsoil left. Their farms will fail, and they will die.

              Dennis, human nature does not change just because people get hungry and desperate.

              Human nature is not fixed.

              Well hell, now I realize why you have things so wrong. Yes it is! Human nature is fixed! It is in your genes and you cannot change your genetic makeup. Hell Dennis, I thought you knew that.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Ron,

                I think because human behavior has always adjusted to circumstances in the past that it will continue to do so in the future.

                There has always been human suffering and I imagine there always will be.

                Human nature, what is that?

                Not all agree on what this entails.


                I would argue that if human behavior is considered a component of human nature, that this changes over time and place, it is not fixed.

                Human society also influences behavior and society changes in response to challenges.

                Hungry and desperate people can lead to political and social change.

                Sometimes the changes can arise because people are fearful they will become hungry and desperate, though usually people only act after a crisis.

                India is growing fast (7% per year), though economic growth is clearly not the solution to all problems, often higher income leads to lower total fertility ratios and eventually slower population growth.


                • Fred Magyar says:

                  India is growing fast (7% per year)

                  Yikes! that would mean a doubling of the economy in the next decade if that rate were to continue.

                  As Dr. Albert Bartlett was wont to say:
                  “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” “We must realize that growth is but an adolescent phase of life which stops when physical maturity is reached.”

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Fred,

                    I do not expect that growth rate to continue, it will slow as the nation gets to a higher per capita income level as that occurs the population growth rate will also slow down and eventually reverse. An S curve is the typical shape of these things, although potentially the economy will contract as population falls in the future.

      • Mac, I did read the article, every damn word of it. Global warming was only a small part of the article. It was all about the destruction of our food producing environment.

        The trouble begins where everything begins: with soil. The UN’s famous projection that, at current rates of soil loss, the world has 60 years of harvests left, appears to be supported by a new set of figures. Partly as a result of soil degradation, yields are already declining on 20% of the world’s croplands.

        Now consider water loss. In places such as the North China Plain, the central United States, California and north-western India – among the world’s critical growing regions – levels of the groundwater used to irrigate crops are already reaching crisis point. Water in the Upper Ganges aquifer, for example, is being withdrawn at 50 times its recharge rate. But, to keep pace with food demand, farmers in south Asia expect to use between 80 and 200% more water by the year 2050. Where will it come from?
        While these multiple disasters unfold on land, the seas are being sieved of everything but plastic. Despite a massive increase in effort (bigger boats, bigger engines, more gear), the worldwide fish catch is declining by roughly 1% a year, as populations collapse. The global land grab is mirrored by a global sea grab: small fishers are displaced by big corporations, exporting fish to those who need it less but pay more. About 3 billion people depend to a large extent on fish and shellfish protein. Where will it come from?
        When I say this keeps me up at night, I mean it. I am plagued by visions of starving people seeking to escape from grey wastes, being beaten back by armed police. I see the last rich ecosystems snuffed out, the last of the global megafauna – lions, elephants, whales and tuna – vanishing. And when I wake, I cannot assure myself that it was just a nightmare.

        The article is saying the same thing I have been preaching for years.
        People, please, read the goddamn article then comment.

        • OFM says:

          Hi Ron,

          I’ve managed to get this antique computer to display that link now, and have read it, but even before that I posted my seven thirty six am. If you’ve read THAT, you know that I have said that while I believe it’s technically possible to feed nine or ten billion people, for at least a while, I don’t believe it will actually happen.

          My belief that it’s technically possible, ASSUMING the necessary changes and sacrifices are implemented, is based on my own professional background.

          You’re a very intelligent man, but your professional background is not at all like mine, and I wonder if you are actually taking into account all the things that CAN BE done, once the crisis is truly upon us.

          Consider my old adopted stomping grounds in the area of Richmond Virginia for instance. The entire area within about twenty five miles of city hall, excepting wetlands and parks, etc, is now mostly subdivided into smallish tracts, with not very many working farms left. HOWEVER, within that radius, there are many thousands of large residential lots that are of ample size to produce enough food for the people that live on them, and some for others too. I used to own three such lots myself, each one ten acres. I never cut more than enough trees to put in a house, a garage, a largish lawn, driveway and ample garden spot, about an acre.

          The remaining twenty seven acres were once farmed, and can be farmed again. In an EMERGENCY, and an emergency IS headed our way, the amount of land under the plow in the state of Virginia can be doubled at least.

          Of course doubling the amount of land that we farm would play hell with the environment, but when the choice is between starvation and preserving the environment, long term, I believe both of us agree that any land suitable for farming of just about any sort WILL BE put into cultivation again….. even including the National Forests, the state parks, and even the National Parks.

          It’s extremely risky to attempt to provide one’s entire food supply from a small tract of land, due to the vagaries of the weather and the many other reasons crops may fail, but it’s possible to produce enough food on as little as a quarter to half an acre of land using intensive farming techniques to support oneself, although this sort of agricultural subsistence is apt to result in nutritionally deficient diet.

          Once people HAVE to change their ways in formerly unthinkable fashion, they will, before they starve.

          As the military guys are so fond of saying, it’s just about unheard of for a plan of battle to survive contact with the enemy.

          Tens of millions, hundreds of millions, maybe even billions, of people are going to die hard over the coming half century or so, there’s zero doubt of this in my mind.

          But the land that formerly supported them will still be there, further degraded of course, but so long as it doesn’t cease to rain, and temperatures remain within the normal ranges where agriculture is currently practiced, the productivity of such land does not decline to zero.

          I foresee a very hard crash, and in major portions of the world, it’s going to be a “crash and BURN” crash.

          But a substantial portion of us are going to walk away from the crash, barring the worst sort of bad luck, and fliers say, any landing you can walk away from is a good one.

          Now I’m not arguing that it’s impossible for the world wide ecology to crash to the point that mammals can’t survive. It could happen.

          But I don’t see any reason to believe it’s LIKELY to happen. This sort of thing is self limiting to a substantial extent.

          If the people who live in NYC are faced with actual starvation level food rationing, millions of them will head out to any place they can hopefully eat better, by growing some or all of their own food if necessary.

          You can live quite well on some apples and other fruits, dried for the off season, beans, potatoes and a little milk and a few eggs and a chicken leg once in a while. And if you don’t have any choice but to get out there and get dirty and provide these things for yourself, you will do it.

          I won’t be here when the shit hits the fan, unless it hits pretty soon, but if I were, I could teach fifty people how to support themselves on fifty acres, using next to nothing in the way of industrially supplied inputs, in temperate zones with forty inches of rain. Some years they would have a surplus to sell, others they would need to buy some food.

          There was a trench on a property I used to own in Caroline County that went out of sight in both directions, as far as I could walk , a quarter of a mile, without encountering no trespassing signs. It was six feet or deeper, and it was ten feet wide, with a substantial parapet of soil thrown up on one side.

          It was dug entirely by hand by Confederate troops over the space of a few days.

          Once we HAVE to do things, we will.

          • Once we HAVE to do things, we will.

            Dear God Mac, that is exactly what we are doing now. We have to overfish the ocean to feed the population. We have to overfarm the land in order to feed our ever growing population. We have to take over the habitat of all wild animals because we need the land for growing our own food, fuck them, let them die…. Right?

            We have to do what we are doing right now because our population is already in deep, deep overshoot right now. It’s already too late to save the world. We will keep doing the same things right now, the things that are destroying the world, we will keep doing these things because we HAVE to.

            We will do what we HAVE to do. We always have and we always will.

            • OFM says:


              We will do what we have to do, and once things are really desperate, we will do the NEW things we have to do in order to survive.

              One of those things may be that cops with guns in hand come to your house and explain to you that you will be housing a couple of Yankee refugees, since it will be easier to feed them in Florida or Alabama than it will in New York City.

              You may be peeing in a milk jug, and pouring it on your potatoes, very carefully.


              We will do what we have to do, and we will change what we do, once it’s absolutely necessary to change, or perish. Well, the ones of us who DON’T perish will change. Dead people don’t have any problems, lol.

              We’re having this conversation because you obviously believe there is no hope or near zero hope that a substantial portion of the natural world will survive human overshoot.

              I haven’t said that total collapse, economic and ecological is impossible.

              What I am saying is that it seems more probable than not, in my personal estimation, that a substantial portion of the world wide ecology will out last the damage we’re doing to it, and will continue to do to it, because ENOUGH of us will perish before we can totally destroy it, thereby relieving most of the pressure on it.

              Now I’m not quite as old as you are, but I’m just as stubborn, and no more likely to change my mind at this point about this subject than you are, lol.

              You may be right.

              I’m not saying you are wrong.

              I just think the odds are in favor of outcomes similar to the ones I have outlined here, based on my own studies.

              • we will do the NEW things we have to do in order to survive…. We will do what we have to do, and we will change what we do, once it’s absolutely necessary to change, or perish.

                I really have no idea what you are talking about. Human nature will not change. We will behave as we have always behaved. We will do what we have to do to survive. But we will act as individuals. There will be winners and losers, mostly losers. The natural world will be the biggest loser. It is only a matter of time before humans start to be among the big losers also.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Ron,

                  Humans sometimes cooperate when faced with a crisis (World War 2 for example), that is also a part of human nature, a part that you seem to ignore.

                  You assume that people only act as individuals, or seem to focus on that.

                  People sometimes act selfishly and sometimes act selflessly to do what is best for the group.

                  Human nature is complex, perhaps more complex than you are admitting to.

                  In 1965 the average woman had 5 children (World wide) over their lifetime, in 2015 the average woman had about 2.5 children, something had changed the behavior of those women. People adjust to circumstances and behavior changes to some degree with changing social norms.

                  Human nature is not fixed.

                  What humans HAVE to do is to recognize that their actions are fouling the nest, then they may change their behavior in order to survive.

                  Humans may be more clever than you realize, though recent elections in the US seem to indicate otherwise. 🙂

                  • Lloyd says:

                    What humans HAVE to do is to recognize that their actions are fouling the nest, then they may change their behavior in order to survive.

                    They don’t have to, and what’s more, they won’t.

                    The timelines are too short for people to work together in any cohesive way on climate change. You have to change before you can see absolute convincing evidence for the statistically illiterate (which is 99% of the population). I am with Ron on this: we are not going to see people change before it’s too late. Or after, for that matter.


                  • OFM says:

                    Jones just won in Alabama.

                    I personally don’t think of human nature as being changeable. I see it as Ron does, being more or less fixed by evolution.

                    However, our behaviors are simply far more flexible than Ron thinks they are.

                    I’m not arguing that individuals are going to change their ways.

                    What I am arguing is that we have evolved to the point we have this new innovation, which is as useful, and as dangerous as well, as an opposed thumb, lol.

                    We call it LEVIATHAN, the nation state, and it DOES have a hive like collective intelligence, as amply demonstrated by the fact that Leviathans go to great lengths to protect themselves from each other.

                    Leviathans are often slow to recognize and react to NEW threats, but they are well aware that these new threats exist.

                    It’s not possible for the hive brain to easily control it’s countless members. It has to wait, when desperate measures are called for, until the individual members of the hive to come to understand that the threat it is real, and that means individuals have to literally see bad things happening in an IMMEDIATE SENSE in real time to real neighbors, and to themselves.

                    Now it may truly already be too late to preserve the bulk of the natural world, and continue living life as we know it today, in richer countries.

                    I haven’t argued that the hard core doomers are wrong. I used to be a hard core doomer myself.

                    But I have spent thousands of hours studying this matter over the last few years, and I have concluded that while collapse is inevitable, it will very likely arrive in piecemeal form, hitting separate geographical areas at different times.

                    One consequence of piecemeal collapse is that it will go a long long way towards relieving the pressure on the environment.

                    If ninety percent of the people in a given area perish, the ones that remain will have ample resources left to them, short term at least, to ensure their survival after some fashion.

                    And the bigger and stronger Leviathans are going to do what they have always done, namely, look after themselves first and foremost above everything else.

                    This in the case of a country such as the USA will involve closing the borders to every body except a trickle of highly qualified people such as engineers and physicians, and maybe a few rich people. It will involve subsidizing domestic industry critical to national security, to the point of outlawing the import of anything considered essential so it can be produced domestically. It will involve rationing on a level unimaginable to fat people used to having any thing they want from potato chips to vacations requiring thousands of miles of travel.

                    It will involve people being DRAFTED, military fashion, into various trades and professions, and forced to work in them, at gun point if necessary, “for the duration”, for however long it takes.

                    Now will all this be ENOUGH?

                    Nobody can be sure, but I believe it will be enough that it’s likely that some people in some places will continue to live reasonably safe and comfortable lives with food in stores, cops on the streets, working water and sewer systems, a functional electrical grid, etc.

                    I may be wrong, and I’m willing to say so.

                    Some of us are not willing to admit we may be wrong, lol.

                    Even a badly crippled nation state, one pushed to the very brink of extinction, can put up an amazing fight, for a very long time, when it’s own survival is at stake.

                    Let’s suppose for instance that a hot war prevents the export of oil from Sand Country for just a few months.

                    The short term consequences would include a very painful economic recession, but the mid term REACTION would be that people would switch to electric cars as fast as they can be built.

                    Countries relying on imported coal and gas, once deliveries are interrupted for a few weeks or months, will suddenly find themselves head over heels in love with the renewable energy industries.

                    Here in the USA, hard core Republicans will endorse tough new energy efficiency standards, and suddenly discover, according to their speech writers, that they have always been in favor of renewable energy, and that it’s damned lies D party propaganda to even suggest otherwise, lol.

                    We humans are a little smarter, ccollectively, than rats in a corn crib. The rats eat, all of them, until suddenly none of them have anything left to eat.

                    Humans acting together in societies are smart enough to hoard some corn, and have weapons handy, and rough men ready to use them, in order to protect their hoarded corn.

                    Some societies are probably going to succeed in hoarding and rationing such resources as are available to them and succeed in pulling thru the coming economic and ecological crisis…….. If they are lucky enough that the bulk of the natural planetary ecology holds up well enough that survival is technically possible.

                    We Yankees aren’t going to starve if the fisheries of the world collapse, and don’t recover for a hundred years, or even a thousand years, so long as the world ocean continues to generate oxygen and absorb CO2, even if the global temperature does rise five degrees or more.

                    We can eat beans and bread and live on not much more than a quarter of our current total agricultural output, and if the shit hits the fan REALLY hard, we can revert to subsistence farming at the micro level, with people digging up their backyards to plant onions and potatoes, or whatever will grow according to how hot it gets.

                    The price of just one aircraft carrier, fully equipped and supplied with men trained to run it probably exceeds what we will spend tis year on building out renewable energy infrastructure here in the USA.

                    There’s no doubt at all in my mind that my Scots Irish German hillbilly neighbors who vote R will be buying solar panels and super energy efficient appliances ten years from today without a second thought.

                    They bitched and ranted about the GUV MENT running wild and telling them what kind of light bulbs to buy for a while, but as of today, I know of only ONE hillbilly who has a couple of closet full of the old energy hog bulbs. He packed them away like some people packed away guns and ammo, lol.

                    EVERYBODY else I know has now switched to led lights, or is in the process of switching, as their stock of older bulbs wears out. I have maybe a dozen or so old incadescent bulbs still in use myself in some seldom visited dark corners but I seldom run them more than an hour or so a month. As each one fails, I replace it with a new LED.

                    We spend enough on cosmetics over a decade’s time to upgrade our houses to use half as much energy.

                    The price of one new car is enough to pay for a turn key solar system capable of supplying most of the electricity needed to run a modern home for at least twenty to thirty YEARS…….. and the TURNKEY price of such solar systems will fall by fifty percent within ten years.

                    The boy / men that fought WWII didn’t organize and equip themselves and go to war the way young men get together to play ball or throw a party.

                    Leviathan put them in uniform, and equipped them, and trained them, and sent them off to war, and kept them at it untill they either won or lost, as it happened, ” for the duration”.

                    Anybody who thinks Leviathan won’t eventually wake up and react violently to the coming economic and ecological crisis has a less than adequate appreciation of the nature of human nature and history.

                    The nation state is something new, it didn’t exist previous to recorded history, which goes back only a few thousand years, rather than the forty or fifty thousand that have passed since we so called “modern” naked apes came to be.

                    The nation state is just as surely an artifact of evolution as the use of tools and weapons.

                  • George Kaplan says:

                    In 1965 the average woman had 5 children (World wide) over their lifetime, in 2015 the average woman had about 2.5 children, something had changed the behavior of those women.

                    Death rates started dropping significantly after WWII with modern medicine more available, so they didn’t need as many children to be sure that some survived. It takes a couple of generations for the effects to work through – hence a big worldwide population boom.

                  • George Kaplan says:

                    OFM – do you think that if some of the electorate that often don’t vote, but would more typically vote democrat, start seeing more results like this, they more start to turn out more regularly?

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Lloyd,

                    I am talking about the multiple problems that need to be solved, a crisis often leads to change. Fossil fuel depletion and rising prices for fossil fuels is likely to lead to many of the changes necessary to address climate change. The same is true for many other resource shortages, people will find solutions and change behavior in response to changes in prices.

                    No it will not go smoothly. There is likely to be another Great Depression in response to the crisis that may occur as peak fossil fuel becomes widely recognized (between 2030 and 2040).

                    As long as policy makers don’t forget what Keynes taught us in 1936 and we don’t decide reducing government deficits is the appropriate response to an economic downturn, the economy will recover.

                    Underutilized labor and capital can be put to work with proper government incentives to address the energy shortage.

                    Rail, HVDC, grid, public transportation, improving building energy efficiency, rapid expansion of EVs, wind, solar, hydro, and possibly nuclear power. Better farming practices might also make sense, but I am not well versed in agriculture, I will leave that to others as to what improvements might be made there. Water conservation would also make sense, though higher prices for water may solve that issue.

    • George Kaplan says:

      ‘Worrying alarm call’ for world’s birds on brink of extinction

      Many bird species declining because of lack of food, especially where fisheries have collapsed (there goes plan B when our food runs out).

      • GoneFishing says:

        I dropped my subscription to Audubon Magazine decades ago because is was filled with depressing news about the loss of bird life. The story is worse now as insects die off. One of the iconic birds, the albatross, would fly long distances to it’s feeding areas only to find no fish since the fishing fleets had taken them. They die of starvation.

        The mix of bird types in my area (low mountain area on the edge of the continental zone and not too far from one of the historic major flyways of the continent) has changed dramatically in just the past few years. Many of the species I used to see nest here are gone, with some lowland bird species moving into the area.

        Did get to see my first Hawk Owl. Not supposed to be this far south according to the range maps but the birds rarely read the bird books. Snowy Owls make a rare visit here also, but the common Great Horned Owl is gone from the area. Used to see and hear them quite often.
        The bugs go, much of the other life goes too.

  34. Fred Magyar says:

    American Climate Scientists moving to France. I guess the trolls won’t be able to complain about US tax payer funding anymore…

    Eighteen climate scientists, 13 of them based in the United States, were on Monday named the first beneficiaries of the research grants linked to French President Macron’s “Make Our Planet Great Again” project, which will see them relocate to France.

    “The selected projects are of very high standards and deal with issues that are particularly important,” the jury said in a statement, noting its members had received a total of 1,822 applications, of which 1,123 came from the US. A second round of laureates will be announced “during the course of the spring of 2018”, it said.

    • Hightrekker says:

      It was simply a matter of time——–

    • GoneFishing says:

      Vive la France!

    • Songster says:

      The planet could completely catch on fire and the climate troll deniers would still deny. That’s what they do. Very depressing.

    • Charles Van Vleet says:

      I already broke that news a few months back. Again talk on the radio was about how this is very good for both countries, as average IQ’s of both will improve. America either love it or leave it.

      • Stanley Walls says:

        Dear Bro. Charley,

        Would you be kind enough to explain to this simple-minded old man, how the average IQ of two countries can both be improved by moving any number of individuals from one country to the other? I think maybe you need to find another radio station to listen to.


        • Stanley Walls says:

          So, Charley, I guess you’re saying the climate scientists are at the low end of the scale in the US, but will be at the high end in France? Yep, you need a new station.

          • George Kaplan says:

            I think he needs a new blog as well.

          • TheKrell says:

            That’s some Rush Limbaugh shtick I think. He’s been saying climate scientists are the dumbest scientists overall, yet still smarter than the French.

    • OFM says:


      Mueller Ain’t Going Away.

      Jones won today in Alabama.

      These are dangerous times, but there’s hope.

      • Stanley Walls says:


        I was awake around 3AM, so got up and turned the TV on to check the election results. Saw a clip of Bro. Roy telling his supporters to keep praying, they would have to wait for the process to work through, before knowing the final results. Then he said, “God is always in control!”. Looks to me like dog is telling Bro. Roy to shut up and take his sorry ass back to the house! LOL

        Probably the funniest part of the whole thing is the numbers. According to the last numbers I saw, Jones won by about 20k votes. There were over 22K write-in votes. Senator Richard Shelby, R-AL, a few days ago told reporters that he would write-in his vote for someone he thought deserving of the contested seat. He said we can do better than Roy Moore. That clip was played repeatedly on TV over the last few days. I think lots of those 22K write-ins were probably in response to Shelby’s announcement, following his lead, possibly giving the election to Jones. How ’bout that shit?

        OK, ’nuff politics for me for now. I just don’t care for bullshit. Just the facts please.


  35. GoneFishing says:

    US coal reserves and resources

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Gone fishing,

      At the page above see Table 15 where it has the note below

      “Notes: Recoverable coal reserves at producing mines represent the quantity of coal that can be recovered (i.e. mined) from existing coal reserves at reporting mines. EIA’s estimated recoverable reserves include the coal in the demonstrated reserve base considered recoverable after excluding coal estimated to be unavailable due to land use restrictions, and after applying assumed mining recovery rates. This estimate does not include any specific economic feasibility criteria. The effective date for the demonstrated reserve base, as customarily worded, is ‘Remaining as of January 1, 2017.’ These data are contemporaneous with the Recoverable Reserves at Producing Mines, customarily presented as of the end of the reporting year’s mining, that is in this case, December 31, 2016. The demonstrated reserve base includes publicly available data on coal mapped to measured and indicated degrees of accuracy and found at depths and in coalbed thicknesses considered technologically minable at the time of determinations; see Glossary for criteria. All reserve expressions exclude silt, culm, refuse bank, slurry dam, and dredge operations. Reserves at Producing Mines exclude mines producing less than 25,000 short tons, which are not required to provide reserves data.”

      Italics added by me, typically “reserves” include economic considerations, when they do not, for the oil industry at least, they are called resources rather than reserves.

      This is the estimated recoverable reserves, regardless of cost. It seems we don’t really have an estimate of proved coal reserves in the US, by the usual definition (which includes economic considerations).

    • Fred Magyar says:

      LOL! Total Resources (identified and undiscoverd).

      I’m going out to buy a new car with my total cash resources, which include the undiscoverd cash I have in my bank account. If I just add it to the identified cash! I should then have more than enough! All I have to do is convince the bank to let me spend that undiscovered cash that I’m absolutely sure I have, I know it’s in there somewhere… 😉

      • notanoilman says:

        Isn’t that what is called a loan? 🙂


        • Fred Magyar says:

          Yeah, loans are fictitious money created out of thin air by bankers and financiers.
          That might work in some economic theories but nature doesn’t do loans 😉

      • GoneFishing says:

        The World Energy Council comes up with 893 GT proved recoverable coal reserves for 2011.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Oh yeah, really funny Fred. The Identified resources in just the US are enough to cook the planet.

        • GoneFishing says:

          With world energy demand expected to be up to 46% higher by 2060 ( a stretch, I know) this report determines energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability for various countries.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Yes, yes, I know! Still, not quite as funny as someone, with a supposedly straight face, including something that hasn’t been discovered yet, in the ‘Total Resources’ column. Unless we are talking about Donald Rumsfeld’s stand up routine, now THAT was funny!

          • GoneFishing says:

            Maybe the USGS can help you understand the methodology to assess undiscovered resources.



              • Fred Magyar says:

                I’m sure the USGS has what THEY consider perfectly legitimate means of assessing undiscovered resources.

                However for once, I wasn’t really interested in the science or explanation behind it. Rather I was poking a bit if fun, (hope I’m allowed that), at what seems rather an oxymoronic juxtaposition of terminology.

                I also find these somewhat amusing:

                Noticeable absence
                Sweet agony
                Least favorite
                Appear invisible
                Small crowd
                Original copy
                Random order

                To cite a few 😉

                • GoneFishing says:

                  I know, guess I wasn’t in the mood due to the perseverance of limited minds not grasping the potential and real problems we actually face.
                  Wet blanket time. 🙁

                  There is a lot more fossil fuel than most people think and new tech robotic systems with AI may be used to access them in the future.

                  Who knows, maybe by 2030-2035 we will have enough knowledge, computer speed and tech to start controlling the weather on this planet without screwing it up and heal some of the scars we have produced. I give it a 10 percent chance but of course we don’t know.
                  But if we push the weather system to initiate super-rotation with cloud diminishment, it’s game over in a short time. No one knows much about that and we don’t know where our sledge-hammer hit to the climate system will lead. Not even the Chinese had a term for this situation, “interesting times” does not cover it. The best I can come up with involves bedlam or pandemonium. Mobocracy induced pandemonium?

                  Here Paul Beckwith discusses the US Climate report in relation to tipping points and equatorial surprises such as a potential super-rotation forming.


                  Of course there is also the future potential of a true Eco-War, where enough of the population realizes the dangers and starts to actively fight the entrenched systems and ideologies. Where that would lead is anyone’s guess. It looks like we are in the proto form of that right now. That would definitely add to the internal chaos of nation states, religions and business.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gonefishing,

                    I concern myself with the fossil fuel resources that are likely to be extracted.

                    When wind and solar are considerably cheaper than coal and natural gas, the resources will remain in the ground.

                    Coal “reserves” have been decreasing over time. It is likely that the 890 Gt estimate by the WEC is too high.

                    Note that my “high” coal scenario is 1300 Gt of coal for URR, suggesting reserves in 2015 of about 950 Gt.

                    The total carbon emissions from fossil fuels for the “high scenarios” for oil, coal, and natural gas is 1160 Pg from 1800 to 2100 with no assumed attempt to reduce fossil fuel use. For RCP4.5 over the 1800 to 2100 period fossil fuel carbon emissions are 1100 Pg.

                    Note that many consider my medium fossil fuel scenarios to be absurdly optimistic and I would assume the “high” scenarios would be bordering on (or surpassing) cornucopian.

                    RCP8.5 assumes about 4800 Pg of carbon emissions roughly 4 times higher than any realistic estimate.

                    I guess my “limited mind”, does not see the potentially limitless production of fossil fuels in the future. 🙂

                    I recognize there are problems with continued fossil fuel emissions and a great deal of uncertainty about how large the problems may be that arise.

                    That is why I advocate for a reduction of carbon emissions as rapidly as possible as well as potentially removing CO2 from the atmosphere “artificially” in the future.

                    The sooner we reduce emissions the less CO2 removal will be necessary.

                    My view is pretty consistent with mainstream climate science.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Dennis, your whole premise is based on a guess that we will stop using fossil fuels quickly and that the current reserves of fossil fuels will not be used, more will not be discovered and there will be no progress in extraction of FF.
                    I take that as a lower boundary of the system.
                    My view is that renewables and EV’s will probably only cover about 50% of world energy demand by 2050 at best. I take this view because we live in a world of fast expanding population and even faster rising of individual economics across the globe. I doubt very much if we can produce enough PV, wind turbines, efficiency changes to cover even our current demand within 33 years.
                    To replace all future vehicles with EV by 2050 would mean starting to produce 100 million electric vehicles a year right now for every year forward.
                    Are we going to build several million wind towers in the next 33 years? Is solar PV going to increase by more than 100 times in 33 years? Will energy storage and smart grids keep pace with all this or even be economical enough to compete?

                    It’s all possible, I just find it unlikely before the end of the century. We also have to replace all those furnaces for heating, many industrial processes and equipment, and at the same time keep up with a world that will likely have double the energy demand. At the same time infrastructure needs to be rebuilt and housing for many millions of new people each year has to be built. All that takes more materials and energy.

                    But then maybe our AI computers will tell us how to accomplish all this quickly. One never knows. 🙂

          • OFM says:

            Hi Fred,
            Are you referring to the “known knowns, the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns” Rumsfield made so famous?

            He was and I guess he still is a clown but that’s about as concise and useful a new combination of words as I have run across in years, in terms of intellectual shorthand.

            I take it that depending on the definition of reserves, coal reserves are a known unknown, lol.

            I’m with you in that I’m one of the people who believes that the renewable energy industries really do have the potential to save our sorry naked ape asses at least in respect to the DEPLETION of fossil fuels.

            Other than for reasons having to do with preserving the environment as best we can, we don’t NEED to switch to renewable energy in a big hurry.

            There’s obviously enough oil and gas to run civilization for a long time yet, and every wind farm and every solar farm and every personally owned pv system postpones the day that fossil fuels will be in critical short supply.

            So…. as far as DEPLETION is concerned, I’m not much worried about our fossil fuel endowment anymore. Five or ten years ago I was convinced that we would be looking at a Seneca cliff situation in terms of oil, but now….

            We CAN successfully adapt to a steadily declining supply of oil, so long as the decline is gradual, and it does appear that it WILL be gradual, at least as far as depletion of oil in the ground is concerned.

            All the bullshit about electrical energy storage being a super problem is just that, bullshit.

            It may be somewhat inefficient and costly do do it, but there’s no reason whatsoever, technically, that we can’t ramp fossil fuel based and nuclear based electricity generation AS NECESSARY to compensate for the vagaries of the wind and sun.

            We ramped even the primitive coal fired generating plants that were the foundation of the early grid on a daily basis, lol.

            And storage IS available, already, and to a very substantial degree, as a practical matter, because we can build our homes and factories to run on stored heat energy and to run on wind and solar power to the extent wind and solar power become available.

            Putting a few truckloads of gravel or sand in an insulated pit under a new house, and burying some wire and duct work in it won’t be cheap in absolute terms, but in relation to the total price of building a new house……. doing this won’t add more than maybe a couple of percent to the price of the entire job.

            Once this is accomplished, the owner of such a new house won’t need any electricity, beyond what’s needed to run a fan to heat or cool his house for days at a time…….. with his thermal storage heated and or cooled with his somewhat oversized heat pump that runs almost entirely on wind and solar power of course.

            Old farmers have been making our hay when the sun shines since shortly after we domesticated cows, lol.

            One of my local cousins is almost finished building a greenhouse that will run almost entirely on his own solar panels, whenever the sun is out, plus wood he will be harvesting within a hundred yards of the new greenhouse.

            I excavated the necessary pit and set the ten thousand liter tank in place for him which he will be using to raise tilapia for market right alongside his hydroponic veggies and herbs.

            Considering what it costs to run a commercial fishing boat, and the depletion of wild fish, and the cost of shipping them hundreds and thousands of miles, his tilapia may turn out to be pretty cheap, long term.

  36. Fred Magyar says:

    And in other news, little bits of reality are finally starting to come home to roost!

    Exxon gives up major climate change fight

    Score one for ordinary shareholders and people worried about climate change.

    After years of resisting, ExxonMobil has agreed to reveal the risks it faces from climate change and the global crackdown on carbon emissions.

    Exxon said on Monday it has “reconsidered” the proposal following talks with major shareholders and supporters of the idea. Exxon said in an SEC filing that “in the near future” it will “further enhance” its disclosures on climate change.
    Those enhancements, Exxon said, will include how the company is positioning for a lower-carbon future, how its business could be hurt by shifting energy demands and the “implications of two degree Celsius scenarios.” The 2015 Paris climate accord requires countries to limit global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
    Limiting global warming could have massive implications for Exxon. For instance, Exxon’s energy assets could lose value if the world’s oil appetite shrinks because of emerging technologies like electric cars and regulations stemming from the Paris agreement.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Sounds like the investors are more worried about their money than about the effects of climate change. If they were concerned about climate change they would not invest in fossil fuels.
      They just want a clearer picture about how climate policy might affect their money.
      Or am I just being cynical?

      • notanoilman says:

        But if they invested in a rising industry such as clean energy they can get in at the start of something big instead of something that HAS to decline as resources run out. I just don’t get why they don’t swivel over.


        • Fred Magyar says:

          As Tony Seba says, historically, the insiders are the least likely to see, let alone initiate paradigm change.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Yeah, GF, that is a 100% correct assessment! If that’s what it takes to start people changing their minds and initiating some actions then I’m all for it. Whatever works.

  37. OFM says:

    It’s obvious enough why people who are really old are not as healthy, on average, as younger people. We aren’t built out of cast iron, lol.

    “The main themes that emerged from our study, and appear to be the unique features associated with better mental health of this rural population, were positivity, work ethic, stubbornness and a strong bond with family, religion and land.”

    I hate to come across as a smart assed know it all, when I’m WRONG, but I coulda told’em THIS TIME without their having to go to all the bother.

    In this case, I’m right, and I’ve been right right along, in pointing out that religions are universal across human societies because they confer survival value. They’re the glue that holds societies together, or part of that glue. Those that STICK TOGETHER , well, they ARE together, and so they just naturally WORK TOGETHER, enhancing their success.

    Now this is NOT to say that religions are necessary or even NECESSARILY useful to their adherents in a modern society, because in modern societies there are NEW forms of glue to hold people together, and modern government provides many or and sometimes all of the services formerly provided by religious workers, such as charity care for the sick, etc.

    Jones won in Alabama last night.

    The people who habitually make fun of religious people, and Christians in particular, didn’t do anything to help him win. They’re too busy patting each other on the back to take time enough to think it thru, but they actually suppressed the vote FOR Jones among Christians. Piss a man or woman off, and he or she is apt to present you the middle finger even at considerable cost to himself. There’s zero doubt that SOME Christians, disguisted and angered as the result of being insulted, either voted for Moore, or stayed home, when their conscience was telling them they should vote for Jones.

    I watched a man look a judge in the eye once, and say to him that considering what he was convicted of, unjustly in his own eyes, he was PROUD to be a convicted criminal. He knew he would draw some sort of sentence for contempt. The judge added another hundred bucks to his fine and told him that another word would earn him a night in jail.

    Even the gentlest nun is not very eager to help those who call her nasty names, and describe her as ignorant, superstitious, bigoted, and so forth. She will still work with them and for them, but not because she LIKES them. Whatever she does for people who make fun of her is done out of her sense of duty.

    ENOUGH of the hard core Christians in Alabama voted for Jones for him to win. It’s seldom mentioned, and virtually none of the nose in the air crowd ever MENTIONS it, but all thru the South, older black people are generally as religious, or even MORE religious, than older white breads.

    Of course the people who make fun of religious people in forums such as this one are generally careful to include the code words indicating they mean WHITE people, and especially white men, if they don’t just say so outright.

    If you bother to actually go out and MINGLE, face to face, outside public forums such as academic and government associated events, with typical southern Blacks, you will find that they will tell you in no uncertain terms about times in their lives when the support of their church saved them, or friends and relatives and co workers, from varius disasters ….. their churches provided and continue to provide help in the event of fire, funeral, auto accident, runaway men leaving women alone with children to support, illness, trouble with the law…… just like the church on the hill across from my farm has historically provided the same help to MY family in times of need.

    I don’t believe in the super natural dogma, but I do my part, by contributing to the community fund, and getting out a couple of hours on a regular basis to help out unfortunate members of my community. This church as an institution opposes the use of alcohol and tobacco. Those moral prohibitions alone are probably good on average, for those who observe them, for another four or five extra years, lol, compared to those who do not, everything else held equal.

    I have personally interceded between two men fixing to put each other in the hospital or maybe in the cemetery, and calmed them down, by pointing out that their PARENTS are buried within a hundred feet of each other, and that they would disown them for fighting over a trivial matter if they were still alive.

    A physical hell exists only between the ears of those who believe in it. Figure this out if you can, it’s ZEN.

    This belief has and continues to contribute enormously to civilized behavior on the part of those who hold to it. This is not to say there aren’t other organized ethical and moral codes that prevent rape, murder, theft, etc. I’m simply pointing out that the Christian moral code helps keep such undesirable (depending on one’s pov of course ! ) behaviors in check.

    Love of the land, a strong work ethic, community support, family , decent diet, and good habits, etc, all the things now well understood to contribute to long life, are all in my favor. My personal genetic endowment is in my favor. I have a very good shot, barring bad luck, at breaking the century mark myself.

    So…… go ahead, and continue to display your ignorance, and your own personal prejudices, and your own disregard for the actual TRUTH, when it suits you to do so…. thereby putting you in basically the same camp, morally and intellectually, as the people you are making fun of, accusing them of exactly the same failings, with only the names, dates, and details changed.

    Sometimes I wonder if some of the regulars here have ever had ANY specific instruction, from their parents, or at school, or on the job, in the fine art of winning friends and influencing people.

    How about it HB, your princess enabled and supported her hubby who was without any doubt a serial molester of women, and the people of the state of New York elected HER. The people of Alabama rejected Moore, lol.

    Are you going to make fun of the people of New York? You constantly poke fun at the people of the south, lol.

    I’m still waiting, HB, for you to post a comment that even tangentially involves recognizing that your goddess was just another politician, and not worthy of high office, given her personal ethics.

    HB, you think anybody outside a few of the biggest and most cosmopolitian cities in this country will ever want HRC to come out and help them campaign for office? You think maybe with the Clinton machine now mostly consigned to the dust bin of history, except that her machine lives on in control of most of the levers of power in the present day D party, will nominate a candidate without HRC’s career long baggage train NEXT time?

    Maybe that candidate will be one of the women in the Senate today. Maybe I’m wrong, but there’s no doubth in my mind that just about any LIKEABLE and reasonably well known Democrat without a train load of smelly laundry could have mopped the floor with Trump, derived of his opportunity to scream crooked Hillary and lock her up.

    Do you understand that MAGA really means MUELLER AIN’T GOING AWAY?

    The older generations of my own extended family would have served just as well, in the case of this research, and I know enough of them still living to have told these researchers all they found out by going all the way to Italy, no doubt on the taxpayer’s dime, living high on the hog on that there grant money ( HB, this is SARCASM) mixed with a little reject grade humor , sunbathing by the shore and skiing in the high country while sneaking in a few hours easy work once in a while to assuage their guilty conscience’s.

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