137 Responses to Open Thread Non Petroleum, Jan 12, 2018

  1. Longtimber
    Ignored
    says:

    https://www.iso-ne.com/isoexpress/
    LMP map now Green after being Yellow and Orange for weeks,
    but for how long?? Mind-blowing burn rate of NG and Oil
    Arguing on Seeking Alpha on NG draw down magnitude. And it’s Gone!!!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGwZVGKG30s

  2. Preston
    Ignored
    says:

    Methane in Alaska is spiking a lot, last year was crazy. This hourly plot shows spikes ramping up and down during the day perhaps as the wind changes direction. Whatever the cause, it gets filtered out a lot in the daily averages. Looking back, there are sometimes a few big spikes, but nothing like last year….

    • George Kaplan
      Ignored
      says:

      Research last year indicated over half the quantified land permafrost would melt at 3K warming and pretty much all at 6K (more than had been previously thought). If all of the trapped carbon there eventually becomes CO2 and half of it distributes to the atmosphere (as from fossil fuel burning currently) then there would be a 400 ppm CO2 increase for 6K – almost twice what we have now, without any other fossil fuel sources. Given current thoughts on higher climate sensitivities this would be enough to give 6K with even a fairly rapid industrial decarbonisation, especially as a significant proportion of the releases would start out as methane. It may take hundreds or thousands of years but it may be unstoppable, and really in a geologic instant. Other feedbacks will just make the impact faster, more certain and more extreme. Previous glaciations saw similar temperature swings associated with just 90 ppm (or 50%) change in CO2 from permafrost melt.

      (The biggest unknown is how much of, and how fast, the permafrost carbon gets converted to CO2. A 2015 paper indicated 50 to 75% was lost 12 years after thawing in one laboratory based experiment, but it depends a lot on the temperature and type of soil. Anaerobic decay in wet conditions, which produces methane as well as CO2 is much slower. The microbial action can warm the soil and lead to accelerated decay, whereas in the lab. the temperature was held constant. Some of the loss may be ameliorated by living plant growth, but the current evidence is that that only captures a fraction, which may be countered by increasing tundra forest loss as it warms. A full study would take many decades – i.e. maybe no faster than the real world is changing.)

      • Fred Magyar
        Ignored
        says:

        Given the potential rapid rate of transition to a 6K world from our current one, it is highly unlikely that most ecosystems, let alone individual species, would be able to adapt. To be clear there will still be lot’s of living organisms on the planet. Just not the kinds of ecosystems that have allowed humans to build civilizations and flourish for the past 10,000 years. Dr. Albert Bartlett was known for saying: “that the greatest shortcoming of the human race was its inability to understand the exponential function”. I think that an even greater shortcoming is its inability to understand ecosystem functioning and ecosystems services.

        • Dennis Coyne
          Ignored
          says:

          Hi Fred,

          If we assume as many climate scientists do that carbon dioxide is the most important long lived greenhouse gas (because it remains in the atmosphere for an average half life of about 30,000 years as it circulates through the carbon cycle of the Earth System), we have about 2K of warming for about 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere (mid Pliocene conditions). This implies and Earth System sensitivity of about 3.8 K for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 (556 ppm).

          So a 6K world (6 K above pre-industrial Holocene average temperature) implies atmospheric CO2 of 840 ppm. That in turn implies about 2700 Pg of carbon emissions ( carbon in CO2) from all sources. There are about 1000+/-150 Pg (95% confidence interval) of C in permafrost regions(Hugelius et al, 2014) from 0 to 3 meters. About 800 Pg is perennially frozen.

          If we assume all of the permafrost melts and there are 2300 Pg C of total emissions from fossil fuels and land use change, then potentially we might see 6K of warming above the pre-industrial Holocene average temperature, assuming 50% of permafrost carbon ends up in the atmosphere.

          How fast this permafrost melt would occur is not known.

          https://www.biogeosciences.net/11/6573/2014/bg-11-6573-2014.pdf

          Limited fossil fuel availability (where even optimistic estimates such as my high fossil fuel scenarios result in total anthropogenic carbon emissions from CO2 at about 1500 Pg C) makes a 6K scenario rather unlikely, if the 2014 estimate for carbon in permafrost is correct.

          A scenario where all of the permafrost melts and 1000 Pg C is emitted as CO2 from all fossil fuel and land use change, suggests about 2.5 to 3.5 K of warming (and about 1400 Pg of C emissions which is slightly less than RCP4.5), it is not clear that all of the permafrost will melt under such a scenario.

          The wide swings in temperature during glacial interglacial periods are largely a function of ice-albedo feedback due to large ice sheets during glacial maximums. Those conditions no longer apply as the current Northern Hemisphere ice sheets are about one tenth the size of the most recent glacial maximum around 22 ka BP.

          It is certainly the case that keeping anthropogenic carbon emissions as low as is possible is the lowest risk strategy as there is much that is still unknown about the dynamics of the Earth system.

          • Caelan MacIntyre
            Ignored
            says:

            Hi Dennis,
            Just popped in the middle of the convo here, and at a cafe, but an off-the-cuff thought occurred that, presumably, the models, or at least your/others’ ideas about this also account for less forests, more/faster desertification and general ecosystem degradation affecting the carbon cycle (assuming as such) now since the last interglacials?

            In any case, what are some thoughts on this?

            • Dennis Coyne
              Ignored
              says:

              Hi Caelan,

              The mid-Pliocene was about 3.2 My BP and atmospheric CO2 had decreased from earlier warmer conditions. It is not all that clear what the landscape looked like for the Globe, though modelling gives a bit of a guess along with estimates of sea level and ice sheet size. The latest models do attempt to hindcast past vegetation and landscape based on precipitation and temperature, though they do this imperfectly (for modern times when we have better data and likely at all periods past, present, and future).

              The lack of knowledge is a two edged sword which can be used to argue both that things will be better (or less bad) in the future and that they will be worse. My view is simply that there is a lot of uncertainty, so it is best to tread lightly.

        • Doug Leighton
          Ignored
          says:

          Fred —

          CLIMATE CHANGE IS HAPPENING FASTER THAN EXPECTED, AND IT’S MORE EXTREME

          The most ominous of its chapters addressed the risks of surprises like “tipping points” or “compound extremes”—sucker punches, combination punches, and even knockout punches. “The more the climate changes, the greater the potential for these,” it said.

          “Uncertainty is not our friend here,” said Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann. “We are seeing increases in extreme weather events that go well beyond what has been predicted or projected in the past. We’re learning that there are factors we were not previously aware of that may be magnifying the impacts of human-caused climate change.” Among those are “subtle mechanisms involving the behavior of the jet stream that may be involved in explaining the dramatic increase we’ve seen in floods, droughts, heat waves and wildfires,” he said.

          “Increasingly, the science suggests that many of the impacts are occurring earlier and with greater amplitude than was predicted,” Mann said, after considering new research since the milestone of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment, which served as the scientific basis for the Paris Agreement.

          “We have literally, in the space of a year, doubled our assessment of the potential sea level rise we could see by the end of this century. That is simply remarkable. And it is sobering,” he said.

          https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26122017/climate-change-science-2017-year-review-evidence-impact-faster-more-extreme

          • Fred Magyar
            Ignored
            says:

            Doug and Dennis,

            http://news.mit.edu/2017/mathematics-predicts-sixth-mass-extinction-0920

            Mathematics predicts a sixth mass extinction
            By 2100, oceans may hold enough carbon to launch mass extermination of species in future millennia.

            Now Daniel Rothman, professor of geophysics in the MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and co-director of MIT’s Lorenz Center, has analyzed significant changes in the carbon cycle over the last 540 million years, including the five mass extinction events. He has identified “thresholds of catastrophe” in the carbon cycle that, if exceeded, would lead to an unstable environment, and ultimately, mass extinction.

            In a paper published today in Science Advances, he proposes that mass extinction occurs if one of two thresholds are crossed: For changes in the carbon cycle that occur over long timescales, extinctions will follow if those changes occur at rates faster than global ecosystems can adapt. For carbon perturbations that take place over shorter timescales, the pace of carbon-cycle changes will not matter; instead, the size or magnitude of the change will determine the likelihood of an extinction event.

            Taking this reasoning forward in time, Rothman predicts that, given the recent rise in carbon dioxide emissions over a relatively short timescale, a sixth extinction will depend on whether a critical amount of carbon is added to the oceans. That amount, he calculates, is about 310 gigatons, which he estimates to be roughly equivalent to the amount of carbon that human activities will have added to the world’s oceans by the year 2100.

            And a quick chemistry refresher of the basics of marine carbon cycle chemistry.
            https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/Assets/Nemo/documents/lessons/Lesson_3/Lesson_3-Teacher's_Guide.pdf

            First, CO2 reacts with water to form carbonic acid (H2CO3-):
            (1) CO2 + H2O -> H2CO3

            Carbonic acid can then dissociate into bicarbonate (H+ CO3-):
            (2) H2CO3 -> H+ + HCO3-

            Bicarbonate can then dissociate into carbonate ions (CO3 –)
            (3) HCO3 -> H+ + CO3 —

            (1) CO2 + H2O -> H2CO3-

            (2) H2CO3 -> H+ + HCO3-

            (3) HCO3 -> H+ + CO3 —

            When first viewing these equations it may appear that both hydrogen ions and carbonate ions increase in solutions as a result of CO2 dissolving in seawater. This is not the case! This would be true if the reactions above only occurred in a single direction but chemical equations can actually go in either direction. A more correct representation of this would be:

            (4) CO2 + H2O H2CO3-

            (5) H2CO3- H+ + HCO3-

            (6) HCO3 H+ + CO3 —

            It is ultimately the rates of occurrence and net direction of the above reactions that determine seawater pH and carbonate availability. First when CO2 dissolves in seawater the primary reactions that occur are (1) and (2) going in the direction as listed.

            Equation (2) shows that formation of carbonic acid results in an increase in the
            hydrogen ion concentration (and thus a decrease in pH). This leaves equation (3) as a key player in determining carbonate availability in seawater. Chemical reactions inseawater can send any of the above equations in either direction as the system tries to maintain equilibrium. As more CO2 dissolves and H+ ions increase in solution, equation (3) will shift in the opposite direction (to the left) to produce bicarbonate. Thus in the system’s attempt to reduce the hydrogen ion concentration, it binds hydrogen and carbonate ions together thereby reducing carbonate availability to marine organisms.

            Bold mine.
            Now go back and read what Daniel Rothman has to say again.
            Specifically this:

            In a paper published today in Science Advances, he proposes that mass extinction occurs if one of two thresholds are crossed: For changes in the carbon cycle that occur over long timescales, extinctions will follow if those changes occur at rates faster than global ecosystems can adapt. For carbon perturbations that take place over shorter timescales, the pace of carbon-cycle changes will not matter; instead, the size or magnitude of the change will determine the likelihood of an extinction event.

            Here’s a link to the actual paper:
            http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/9/e1700906
            Thresholds of catastrophe in the Earth system

            Cheers!

            • Doug Leighton
              Ignored
              says:

              Fred — engrossing stuff. Isn’t it interesting how even High School level chemistry provides some insight into such important science? BTW, you’ve probably see the following:

              OCEANS SUFFOCATING AS HUGE DEAD ZONES QUADRUPLE SINCE 1950, SCIENTISTS WARN

              “Ocean dead zones with zero oxygen have quadrupled in size since 1950, scientists have warned, while the number of very low oxygen sites near coasts have multiplied tenfold. Most sea creatures cannot survive in these zones and current trends would lead to mass extinction in the long run, risking dire consequences for the hundreds of millions of people who depend on the sea.”
              Diaz said the speed of ocean suffocation already seen was breathtaking: “No other variable of such ecological importance to coastal ecosystems has changed so drastically in such a short period of time from human activities as dissolved oxygen.” He said the need for urgent action is best summarized by the motto of the American Lung Association: “If you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”

              https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/04/oceans-suffocating-dead-zones-oxygen-starved

              • Fred Magyar
                Ignored
                says:

                BTW, you’ve probably see the following:

                Unfortunately, yes.

                Re: High School level chemistry

                Apparently most people slept through it.

                • OFM
                  Ignored
                  says:

                  Hi Fred,

                  I have no claims to fame, other than being a world class jackass of all trades, lol.

                  But I do have professional qualifications in two areas, one of them being education, with a few years hands on in the classroom in public schools.

                  So… You’re in the ball park, but that’s about all.

                  Most of us DID NOT sleep thru high school chemistry.

                  Most of us did not TAKE a high school level chemistry class. Earth Science in the eighth grade is more the norm.

                  But you’re right, at least half of the kids who did during the last two years of high school, when a real chemistry class is possible, slept thru it. ( You need some basic math skills to take a real chemistry class, and get them in the earlier grades. )

                  Most people technically literate people are unaware that half or more of the people who have degrees from well known universities are technically illiterate, in reference to the hard sciences.

                  Any body who doesn’t believe me can go to the web sites of a random selection of universities, and select programs at random, and see what is mandatory in the line of hard sciences.

                  With the exception of colleges and university departments other than engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, agriculture, medicine, etc……….. you can get your degree with next to nothing in the way of a hard science course in at least half of them. One so called survey course is usually all that’s required and sometimes you can substitute something for that.

                  These survey courses are generally taught at the entertainment level. The grad student teaching them lectures, the students read a book that consists mostly of pretty pictures. No labs, no math, no depth at all. Story book science.

                  You memorize the key points the instructor makes, repeat them at exam time, get your A, and forget all about it within two weeks.

                  An honors grad in English or business administration is apt to know no more physics, chemistry, or biology than he knew the day he graduated from high school.

                  Less, half the time, because he will have forgotten most of what he learned in high school. 🙁

                  • Fred Magyar
                    Ignored
                    says:

                    OFM,
                    Most of us did not TAKE a high school level chemistry class. Earth Science in the eighth grade is more the norm.

                    How so? While my own recollections of my high school curriculum may be somewhat fuzzy, I was quite involved with my son’s high school education. Granted he did take mostly AP science and math courses.

                    However, according to the National High School Curriculum website the following science and math courses are a requirement for graduation.

                    http://www.nationalhighschool.com/curriculum/

                    9th Grade
                    Algebra 1
                    Physical Science

                    10th Grade
                    Geometry
                    Biology

                    11th Grade
                    Algebra II/Trigonometry
                    Chemistry

                    12th Grade
                    Choice Math
                    Choice Science

                    So how is it possible to graduate from high school and not take Chemistry?

              • Hickory
                Ignored
                says:

                Interesting article about the link between industrial ag in the USA and dead zones in the surrounding waters-
                https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/01/meat-industry-dead-zone-gulf-of-mexico-environment-pollution

            • Fred Magyar
              Ignored
              says:

              BTW, just for you Dennis!

              From the paper:

              …where, as a guide, a total uncertainty of ±50% is assumed. The modern oceans contain about 38,000 Pg C; the critical dimensional mass is therefore about 310 ± 155 Pg C.

              From 1850 to the present, human activities have resulted in the addition of about 155 ± 25 Pg C to the oceans (34). Projections for further carbon uptake depend strongly on the trajectory of fossil fuel emissions and land use, among other factors (34, 35). Figure 4 compares the critical mass to the present accumulation and four projections to 2100 obtained from coupled climate–carbon cycle models (34). The strictest emission scenario results in oceanic carbon uptake whose mean falls just below the critical mass; at the other extreme, the mean model uptake is about 74% greater than critical. Although the uncertainty of each prediction in Fig. 4 is considerable, all scenarios for cumulative uptake at the century’s end either exceed or are commensurate with the threshold for catastrophic change.

              Which means that the RCP 4.5 emissions scenario is already well within the catastrophic range for ocean acidification as an underlying cause of a mass extinction tipping point event. Let’s not forget that a few hundred year time span is lightning fast when we are considering geologic and evolutionary time scales.
              ecosystems need hundreds of thousands if not millions of years to adapt to changes.
              .

              • notanoilman
                Ignored
                says:

                Are these total ocean depth or would the surface layers be affected more? In other words, if it only requires the top few hundred meters of ocean to cause this would that threshold be lowered? The shallower the layer affected, the lower the threshold.

                NAOM

                • Fred Magyar
                  Ignored
                  says:

                  Are these total ocean depth or would the surface layers be affected more?

                  The surface layers are definitely the first to be affected but over time the acidification also penetrates into the deeper layers.

                  http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-acidification

                  Ocean acidification is sometimes called “climate change’s equally evil twin,” and for good reason: it’s a significant and harmful consequence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that we don’t see or feel because its effects are happening underwater. At least one-quarter of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released by burning coal, oil and gas doesn’t stay in the air, but instead dissolves into the ocean. Since the beginning of the industrial era, the ocean has absorbed some 525 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, presently around 22 million tons per day.

                  …Scientists formerly didn’t worry about this process because they always assumed that rivers carried enough dissolved chemicals from rocks to the ocean to keep the ocean’s pH stable. (Scientists call this stabilizing effect “buffering.”) But so much carbon dioxide is dissolving into the ocean so quickly that this natural buffering hasn’t been able to keep up, resulting in relatively rapidly dropping pH in surface waters. As those surface layers gradually mix into deep water, the entire ocean is affected

                  Such a relatively quick change in ocean chemistry doesn’t give marine life, which evolved over millions of years in an ocean with a generally stable pH, much time to adapt. In fact, the shells of some animals are already dissolving in the more acidic seawater, and that’s just one way that acidification may affect ocean life. Overall, it's expected to have dramatic and mostly negative impacts on ocean ecosystems—although some species (especially those that live in estuaries) are finding ways to adapt to the changing conditions.

            • Dennis Coyne
              Ignored
              says:

              Hi Fred,

              From 1850 to 2004 about 60% of carbon emissions have been sequestered by land and ocean and about 40% has ended up in the atmosphere, 27% was sequestered by the ocean and 33% by land.

              If we can manage to keep total carbon emissions at less than 1000 Pg and if 27% of those emissions are sequestered by the ocean, then we have 270 Pg sequestered by the ocean.

              Over time this amount increases as carbon is gradually removed from the atmosphere. Potentially more could be removed by land with agricultural and reforestation efforts. Carbon might also be removed from the atmosphere by other means such as “green” cement that absorbs CO2 in its production and use. Or by artificial production of carbonate compounds to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

              We can do better than 1000 Pg C emissions with proper policy, possibly 850 Pg C.

              The lower the better.

              • Fred Magyar
                Ignored
                says:

                If we can manage to keep total carbon emissions at less than 1000 Pg and if 27% of those emissions are sequestered by the ocean, then we have 270 Pg sequestered by the ocean.

                Forgive me for not sharing your optimistic outlook!

                270 Pg is already way too close to the catastrophic threshold for comfort in my book. When I’m scuba diving I don’t breathe my tank completely dry before surfacing, I like to keep a 30% margin reserve for unplanned circumstances.

                So far, ocean pH has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 since the industrial revolution, and is expected by fall another 0.3 to 0.4 pH units by the end of the century. A drop in pH of 0.1 might not seem like a lot, but the pH scale, like the Richter scale for measuring earthquakes, is logarithmic. For example, pH 4 is ten times more acidic than pH 5 and 100 times (10 times 10) more acidic than pH 6. If we continue to add carbon dioxide at current rates, seawater pH may drop another 120 percent by the end of this century, to 7.8 or 7.7, creating an ocean more acidic than any seen for the past 20 million years or more.

                As someone who has kept salt water aquariums I can tell you that if the pH hits 7.7 you lose all your invertebrates and you end up with a dead tank!

                • Doug Leighton
                  Ignored
                  says:

                  Fred — At least Dennis is consistent (fitting “facts” to the outcome he’d like to see). Maybe when the walls come tumbling down he’ll remove his rose glasses long enough to see past some of the dust but I doubt it. 🙂

                  • Fred Magyar
                    Ignored
                    says:

                    Yeah! Sometimes I wish I had his optimism. Unfortunately I don’t.
                    Cheers!

                  • Dennis Coyne
                    Ignored
                    says:

                    Hi Doug,

                    Just putting numbers to what can be accomplished. The future is unknown, there are no facts about the future, only scenarios about what might happen.

                    If we see a fast energy transition carbon emissions can be limited to 850 Pg C.

                    Note that there is very wide uncertainty in the limits for a “safe” level of ocean uptake of carbon (150-450 Pg C). Also there is the potential to increase carbon uptake by afforestation, better farming practices, “green” cement that absorbs carbon dioxide, CCS of any biofuel wastes, and even production of carbonate compounds to bind carbon dioxide.

                    Nothing is given, the future is unwritten.

                  • Dennis Coyne
                    Ignored
                    says:

                    Hi Fred,

                    You go back and forth between optimism and pessimism, in your optimistic moments you are more optimistic than me and in your pessimistic moments more so than Doug.

                    I am just giving us a goal to shoot for, seems better than wandering aimlessly saying woe is the Earth. 🙂

                  • Fred Magyar
                    Ignored
                    says:

                    Dennis,

                    You go back and forth between optimism and pessimism, in your optimistic moments you are more optimistic than me and in your pessimistic moments more so than Doug.

                    LOL! Guilty as charged, it’s called being a manic depressive… 😉

                • Dennis Coyne
                  Ignored
                  says:

                  Hi Fred,

                  We won’t continue to add carbon at the current rate because resources are limited, about 31% (from a carbon emissions perspective) of the level assumed in RCP8.5 for my “high fossil fuel” resource scenario, which in the past Doug has claimed required “rose colored glasses”. That assumes no reduction of fossil fuel use as prices increase by a factor of 2 to 4 as resources become constrained, which is not at all realistic.

                  Alternatives to fossil fuel will fall in price while fossil fuel increases in price. Fossil fuels may become the new buggy whip by 2050 to 2060.

                  Emissions might be kept as low as 800 Pg C if the rate of uptake of EVs, wind and solar matches the rate that smartphones were adopted.

                  If the rate of adoption is slower (like PCs), the scenario is about 900 Pg of total carbon emissions.

                  Just as an example, when I first saw a smart phone, I thought is was a ridiculous extravagance and a waste of money. That was about 12 years ago.

                  There is now about 0.01% of the human population that agrees with my initial assessment of the technology.

                  My guess is that in 30 years, children will say “fossil fuel, what’s that?” or “what the hell were they thinking?”

      • Doug Leighton
        Ignored
        says:

        George,

        ADD NITROUS OXIDE TO THE LIST OF PERMAFROST MELT CONCERNS

        “Less studied is what happens to the 67 billion tons of nitrogen stored in the currently frozen soil. New research shows that a permafrost meltdown could cause that nitrogen to be released as nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that’s nearly 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. That would crank up the planetary heat even further, and with it, the risks posed by sea level rise, increasingly extreme weather, and other climate change impacts.”

        “In the near future it is likely that permafrost thaw will cause a gradual deepening of the active layer (i.e. the seasonally thawed layer of the soil), without abrupt changes in moisture conditions,” Voigt said. “Thawing under these drier conditions would promote nitrous oxide release.”

        http://www.climatecentral.org/news/nitrous-oxide-permafrost-melt-21491

        • Fred Magyar
          Ignored
          says:

          Yeah, but the good news is we will all be laughing really hard…

          • Caelan MacIntyre
            Ignored
            says:

            Now I don’t drink much at all, especially given the cost of alcohol in liquor stores (and the fact that a shipload of the profit is going to the governpimps), but 3 nights ago, I got sloshed on my own booze for the first time. I was pretty giddy, and didn’t expect much of anything to hit– it was like, ‘Is there any alcohol in here or what?’– until it did… There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about getting sloshed (while sloshing a companion) on one’s own booze, and very tasty and somewhat closer to tax-free at that.

            So now that that’s out of the way, it’s distillation time. Unsure how easy that is, and hopefully nothing blows up that shouldn’t be doing so… That way, we can run all the town’s ICE’s on Cae’s Ethanol. ^u^

            …Cuz, collapse.

            Bias Noise

            • OFM
              Ignored
              says:

              Distillation is easy. Lots of poor people have been running off their own on the kitchen stove.

              A ten foot piece of copper tubing, a pressure cooker, and a gallon jug of ice water are all you need to run off a pint or so of pretty potent stuff, once you’ve made your hooch. Some older people around here call it “still beer” and just strain it off and drink it when the fermentation is finished.

              Getting caught’s the hard part.

              Distallation is a felony all over the USA to the best of my knowledge, but I may be behind the times on this.

              In most parts of this country, you can make all the wine you can use personally, so long as you don’t sell any, without any problems. Getting caught selling home made wine without jumping thru all the legal hoops will land you in jail, depending on how much.

              But if you don’t ADVERTISE your hobby, and you don’t sell any, and you don’t have any reason to expect the law to show up at your house for some other reason, the odds of getting caught are negligible.

              Giving a pint to a friend who gets caught in possession of it can land your friend in jail in most states, and result in revoked drivers license, etc.

              This sort of thing pursued at the hobby level is generally ignored by the police in most jurisdictions, at least to the extent they don’t go looking for it …. unless it comes to their attention you’re selling.

              • Caelan MacIntyre
                Ignored
                says:

                Thanks, Glen… I’m in the other open-air prison, Canada, and/but wouldn’t be ‘selling’ anyway. If you don’t tell us about some elites’ notions of social-control (‘laws’), then we won’t know about them, because we are not babysitting ourselves looking them up before we do anything to hamstring ourselves, right? That kind of thing anyway. ‘Just do it.’

                Maybe gifting or barter far down the road who knows. For now, it’s just a curiosity. When you sell in this context, then you’re wading back into BAU, which of course I’ve been slowly but surely taking steps to try to extricate myself from.

                Before doing my research, is there an alternative to a pressure cooker, like just a pot or something? Why a pressure cooker? To seal it to limit evaporation? I am thinking of paying a visit to our local university’s chemistry equipment store, as I recall some sweet distillation apparati during my time in the edu-slammer.

                My Steps
                from the album, My Steps Lead Backwards

                👣

                • OFM
                  Ignored
                  says:

                  Hi Caelan,

                  You can buy or fabricate equipment to distill your hard cider, or whatever you ferment, but the POSSESSION of purpose built distillery apparatus is a serious crime in the USA, unless you are obviously engaged in some line of work OTHER than making moonshine. The law here considers the possession of a still as evidence of criminal intent to manufacture untaxed alcohol.

                  A pressure cooker works just fine, and is also useful for efficiently and quickly cooking your beans and tough cuts of meat and so forth. You can’t be charged with possession of a still unless they catch you using your pressure cooker for that purpose.

                  You can’t use an ordinary cooking pot as a still. The top must be tightly enclosed, so that you can capture all the steam, and feed it into the worm, which is submerged in cold water or even better, ice.

                  Alcohol boils out first, and so the steam is mostly alcohol vapor when you first apply heat. It condenses in the cold worm, and drips out the end. It can be a hundred proof or higher when you first start getting some steam. After it boils a few minutes, the alcohol is mostly boiled out, and you get all water steam, which simply dilutes your product. So you sample it as you go.

                  It’s easy as pie, and you will get good results in the first couple of tries. Do not use any sort of container as a still that doesn’t have a proper safety release. All pressure cookers have a built in safety plug that will blow out in case the pressure builds up past a safe level. You just attach the worm to the vent where the pressure regulator jiggler weight goes. An inch or two of food grade clear plastic tubing and a little wire twisted around both ends works fine.

                  Pressure cookers are potentially very dangerous tools. Be sure you understand the safety rules that come with them.

                  I’m sure there are plenty of videos on the net giving all the detailed advice you need.

                  Getting good results in terms of drinkability depends on developing a certain amount of expertise. For example, heating the still too quickly with the burner turned too high may result some fruit or grain residue burning on the bottom resulting in a burnt taste similar to burnt beans or potatoes. Yecch.

                  If the hard core doomers are right and we live to see the shit hitting the fan hard and fast, those of us who are able will want to run of a few quarts of medicinal alcohol for our own use, lol.

                  • Eulenspiegel
                    Ignored
                    says:

                    Oh, and don’t use the first drops coming out.

                    Inform yourself about methyl alcohol and avoiding it. It’s only good for cleaning brushes, or drinking it and getting blind.

                    And put away the late destillate – it’s called fusel oil not without reason.
                    This isn’t that toxic -it will only taste bad and makes a hurting head the next morning.

                    Or just make a good homemade craft beer or whine.

                    For medicinial alcohol you’ll have to double destill or more. Otherwise, you’ll stop at 40-60%.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre
                    Ignored
                    says:

                    Thanks for the tips, guys, and makes sense. I have heard of the ‘methanol-first’ thing and it’s good to hear it echoed.

                    I’ve never cared much for pressure cookers and wonder what they used in the old days before them, but in any case, this might be what finally gets me to get one.

    • Doug Leighton
      Ignored
      says:

      Preston,

      WATCH BUBBLING ALASKA LAKES CATCH ON FIRE

      Seeping methane is driving a global warming feedback loop. Some Arctic lakes are starting to look like witches’ cauldrons.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxARROUvFAo

      • TheKrell
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m not sure what really can be done about methane, other than perhaps working out a way to insert an afterburner of some sort to our domesticated animals along with some of the wildlife. We may need to change human diets some also.

        • Caelan MacIntyre
          Ignored
          says:

          How about plant lots of native vegetation and ‘green the deserts’? Like, re-mobilize all those folks running around in circles in cities with body-tights and at fitness, weight-lifting/body-building and yoga clubs, etc.. They want a good workout? Ok, let’s offer them a good workout. ‘Geoengineer’ the planet, a la nature.

    • Survivalist
      Ignored
      says:

      Thanks for posting that Preston

    • CameronB
      Ignored
      says:

      Note Barrow was in 2016 renamed Utqiaġvik, since Barrow is a racist name from the past. They need to change the weather instruments from there.

      • notanoilman
        Ignored
        says:

        Please direct your complaint to NOAA

      • Fred Magyar
        Ignored
        says:

        Does the fact that Barrow is a racist name from the past, change the realities of climate change in Utqiaġvik in the present?! Would you be OK with weather instruments at 71.2906° N, 156.7886° W, instead?! Somehow your name, CameronB, doesn’t sound very Inupiaq. Do you even speak any Inuit-Yupik-Unangan dialects? Didn’t think so. My guess is you are probably more fluent in Russian… So I’m kinda tempted to write you off as just another concern troll!

  3. Survivalist
    Ignored
    says:

    The take-home message is clear: global warming continues, 2017 reinforces that conclusion strongly.

    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/2017-hottest-year-with-no-el-nino/

  4. Cats@Home
    Ignored
    says:

    Now this article is about the anti-vaxers but you can apply the research to many other special interest groups in and out of science. Then the funny thing is this article’s comment section is stuffed full with the same people the article criticizes.

    The anti-vaccine movement shows why Facebook is broken
    By Robert Gebelhoff January 9

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/01/09/the-anti-vaccine-movement-shows-why-facebook-is-broken/?utm_term=.2b04ea5cc8f7

    Naomi Smith, a sociologist at the Federation University Australia, spent a year observing Facebook users who share, like and comment on thoroughly debunked conspiracy theories on the safety of vaccines. In a recent study analyzing hundreds of thousands of anti-vaxxer comments, she and colleague Tim Graham illustrated just how dangerous this digital world has become.

    Facebook didn’t create the anti-vaccine movement. But according to Smith and Graham’s research, anti-vaxxers on Facebook exist in what sociologists call a “small world” network. Such users cluster themselves into cliques, the members of which share connections with one another. This simplifies the movement of ideas immensely. In the real world, anti-vaccine networks are sparse, and finding similarly minded people takes a lot of effort. But Facebook can connect any two anti-vaxxers in just one or two steps.

    The result is a highly self-reinforcing network that moves information quickly and efficiently. If one page somehow shuts down or loses its influence, others in the network quickly pick up the slack.

    • Survivalist
      Ignored
      says:

      Life’s tough. It’s tougher when you’re stupid.
      It also tougher if you’re a kid and your parents are stupid.

      • Fred Magyar
        Ignored
        says:

        Also known as Natural Selection…

        • Caelan MacIntyre
          Ignored
          says:

          Self-Domestication Versus Anti-Fragility

          The paradox of ‘natural selection’ may be that a species can create the conditions for its own ‘natural selection’ (‘self-domestication’) that then wipes it out when ‘nature catches up’ and those domesticated conditions change and become more wild again– perhaps especially beginning with those that depend much more on those self-domesticated conditions.

          How anti-fragile are we?

          Tinfoil
          by Sleep Gardens

    • Eric Thurston
      Ignored
      says:

      It bothers me a bit that the vaccine issue has been cast in such black and white terms when there is plenty of grey. For example, I think it is important to draw a distinction between safety and effectiveness. The vaccines that have been around for a long time, such as rubella, smallpox, whooping cough, polio, etc. have stood the test of time and have proven to be effective and safe. There are a whole host of newer vaccines such as influenza, shingles, and pneumonia which haven’t proven to be very effective. The Cochrane Collaboration tracks effectiveness of some of these:
      http://www.cochrane.org/CD001269/ARI_vaccines-to-prevent-influenza-in-healthy-adults

      and I couldn’t fault anyone for refusing a flu vaccine that is likely to be 10% effective.

      I will certainly grant you that the anti-vaxxers tend to be rather paranoid and conspiracy oriented, but there again, I’m less than thrilled by the current medical system in the US. I have done pretty well ignoring doctors’ advice and doing my own research, especially in areas such as nutrition.

      I guess the bottom line is to educate yourself and don’t accept the conventional wisdom un-critically

    • Nancy Gebauer
      Ignored
      says:

      I am really getting tired of reading “vaccines do not cause autism” over and over again like in that article because in 2002, a study done by the CDC showed the combined MMR vaccine is actually correlated with autism. There are thousands of parents who watched their children regress after the recommended combined MMR who can provide evidence! What’s even worst about the entire situation is how post-research, the CDC data from 2002 was tampered in order to get the numbers the pharmaceutical industry needed.

      This is now publicly available knowledge for everyone who cares knows about it to see, yet still we wait for Congress to subpoena Dr. William Thompson so he can put down in true testimony what really happened to the data. Now it’s been been almost 16 years since that study was done!
      According to the stats, new cases of autism in children are showing up literally every few minutes. That’s how many lives ruined and how many children who will need intensive care the rest of their lives?

      This travesty all could’ve been avoided for so many if only the real data had been released to the public all those years ago, if only the absurdly wealthy pharmaceutical industry and corrupt politicians could be put to task and asked why the combined MMR vaccine should still be given everyday, as it still is! “Vaxxed” is a good documentary if you are interested in more details about this subject, though be forewarned if your a parent, it will probably wake up the thoroughly pissed off mom or dad inside of you that you might not know existed.

      • Ron Patterson
        Ignored
        says:

        I am really getting tired of reading “vaccines do not cause autism” over and over again like in that article because in 2002, a study done by the CDC showed the combined MMR vaccine is actually correlated with autism. There are thousands of parents who watched their children regress after the recommended combined MMR who can provide evidence!

        Bullshit, pure right-wing bullshit. You say the study was done but the evidence was tampered with on orders from the pharmaceutical industry. Pure right-wing Fox News bullshit. Why is it that right-wing ideologists always think that evidence that goes against their ideology is always a liberal conspiracy of some kind? Are they really that stupid? Well, yes, they probably are.

        Also, there is a bit of irony here. The pharmaceutical industry is right-wing just like you Nancy. How the hell can a right-wing industry be engaged in a left-wing conspiracy?

  5. Fred Magyar
    Ignored
    says:

    In other news, Renewables continue to win over fossil fuels.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2018/01/13/renewable-energy-cost-effective-fossil-fuels-2020/#54e0a84a4ff2

    Renewable energy will be consistently cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020, claims new report

    The figures are contained in IRENA’s Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017 report, which was released on January 13, the first day of the 8th IRENA Assembly in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE. The report predicts that solar costs will fall even further in the next few years, with a further halving of typical costs by 2020. That means onshore wind and solar PV projects could be consistently delivering electricity for as little as $0.03 per kWh within two years.

    • Dennis Coyne
      Ignored
      says:

      Thanks Fred,

      Perhaps we can keep total fossil fuel CO2 emissions (1750-2500) to under 700 Pg of carbon. Only a fast energy transition makes it possible, or an economic crash.

  6. Doug Leighton
    Ignored
    says:

    CUBA’S 100-YEAR PLAN FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

    “On its deadly run through the Caribbean last September, Hurricane Irma lashed northern Cuba, inundating coastal settlements and scouring away vegetation. Irma lent new urgency to a Cuban national plan, called Tarea Vida, or Project Life, that bans construction of new homes in threatened coastal areas, mandates relocating people from communities doomed by rising sea levels, calls for an overhaul of the country’s agricultural system to shift crop production away from saltwater-contaminated areas, and spells out the need to shore up coastal defenses, including by restoring degraded habitat. Project Life stands out for taking a long view: It intends to prepare Cuba for climatological impacts over the next century. Much of the initial funding could come from a $100 million proposal that Cuba plans to submit soon to the Global Climate Fund.”

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6372/144

    • George Kaplan
      Ignored
      says:

      Cuba is an example of how climate change could be combatted successfully – they switched to a low carbon economy with lower meat consumption and revitalised a lot of their soils such that they became significant CO2 sinks – but it was forced on them.

  7. Caelan MacIntyre
    Ignored
    says:

    Bedazzled by Energy Efficiency

    That other pillar of climate change policy – the decarbonisation of the energy supply by encouraging the use of renewable energy power plants – suffers from similar defects. Because the increase in total energy demand outpaces the growth in renewable energy, solar and wind power plants are in fact not decarbonising the energy supply. They are not replacing fossil fuel power plants, but are helping to accommodate the ever growing demand for energy

    If we go back even further in time, for example to the early twentieth century, people didn’t fly at all and there’s no sense in comparing fuel use per passenger per kilometre. Similar observations can be made for many other technologies or services that have become ‘more energy efficient’. If they are viewed in a larger historical context, the concept of energy efficiency completely disintegrates because the services are not at all equivalent…”

    • OFM
      Ignored
      says:

      Hi Caelan,

      It’s often the case that people just don’t WANT to accept certain new ideas and facts, regardless of how good the evidence in support of them may be.

      At one time we depended on human muscle power, and then we graduated to animal power, and along then we moved up to wind and water power, then to steam, fueled at first by wood, then by coal.

      And after that, we learned all about oil and gas and even atoms.

      From the day the first little girl tried riding on the back of the family dog, giving her mom the idea that maybe she could tie something on the dog’s back instead of toting it herself……….. there’s zero doubt somebody was always telling everybody else how this newfangled idea was no good.

      Certainly wind and solar power are ADDING to the total amount of energy we use, and the total is still growing…… SO WHAT?

      The wind and solar power industries are growing as fast as any capital intensive industry in history, to the best of my knowledge.

      Within a few more years……….. not more than a couple of decades, probably sooner………. Wind and solar power will be big enough that even people like you will have to admit the obvious.

      And within a generation or so…….. gas and oil will have peaked.

      • Caelan MacIntyre
        Ignored
        says:

        Many ‘new ideas’ that are now old have contributed to trashing the planet, Glen.
        Kindly do not conflate new ideas for necessarily good ideas.
        Also kindly do not conflate ‘new ideas that are growing/peddled/propagandized and funded by stolen money’ for good ideas.

      • Ralph
        Ignored
        says:

        Briefly, overnight last night , and on a Sunday, wind was the single largest source of power in the UK, exceeding coal, NG and nuclear.

    • Fred Magyar
      Ignored
      says:

      Right! There should be laws against energy efficiency! We should mandate a return to incandescent light bulbs, produce all our electricity with coal powered generation plants, eliminate all energy efficient appliances and reduce fuel efficiency in ICE vehicles! Let’s tax solar PV and wind to the point where they become economically inviable while subsidizing all fossil fuels. Only if we do this will we be able to create a better world!

      To be clear, just in case someone missed the sarcasm, to argue against energy efficiency in isolation from the overall context of necessary social and economic paradigm change is just as much a sign of profound ignorance as it is to propose energy efficiency as a panacea for solving all the world’s problems. It is the epitome of a strawman argument!

      Just as much as arguing that permaculture practices will feed 9 billion people, it can’t and it won’t. That doesn’t mean that permaculture is bad in principle or that it shouldn’t be practiced where and when appropriate. Reality is nuanced, there are no one size fits all solutions.

      • Caelan MacIntyre
        Ignored
        says:

        The gist of the article– assuming you’ve read it– appears that energy efficiency is not ‘nuanced’ enough and that it is ‘nuanced’ problematically– read, ‘weird’ (as per the article)– both of which can threaten a path that subverts and undermines presumed intent, such as WRT energy efficiency and scale and reduction of energy usage over time and, as you write, ‘necessary social and economic paradigm change’– whatever that means and for whom.

        So it does not appear as an argument against energy efficiency per se but, rather, against, say, ‘pseudo-energy efficiency’, to say nothing about material/mineral/etc. efficiency.

        IOW, maybe get rid of most of both our internal combustion and electric vehicles and stuff like electric tumble driers and assorted technosolutions-as-surrogates-for-social-change then we can talk real energy efficiency and social change… and permaculture. ^u^

  8. OFM
    Ignored
    says:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-42657234
    A good current over view article about Australian climate troubles.

    • Fred Magyar
      Ignored
      says:

      Correction. Those are not just Australia’s troubles. They are the whole planet’s…

  9. Hightrekker
    Ignored
    says:

    Former President of Maryland-Based Transportation Company Indicted on 11 Counts Related to Foreign Bribery, Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme

    Executive Allegedly Paid Bribes to a Russian Official So His Company Could Win Highly Sensitive Nuclear Fuel Transportation Contracts

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-president-maryland-based-transportation-company-indicted-11-counts-related-foreign

    Watch out Hillary!

    • HuntingtonBeach
      Ignored
      says:

      Safety Alert ! You shouldn’t be swimming in the deep end

      • Hightrekker
        Ignored
        says:

        Lets hope—
        But this is starting to unwind, as expected.
        I’m for just forgetting the whole thing, as it is no longer a issue .

  10. Boomer II
    Ignored
    says:

    This from yesterday’s WSJ.

    Chinese passenger-car sales grew at their slowest pace in at least 15 years, rising just 1.4% over 2016 levels, signaling an end to the boom in the world’s largest car market.

    … Sales of electric vehicles rocketed over the previous year, reflecting the Chinese government’s push for EV adoption to develop its domestic industry and curb air pollution.

    Sales of electric passenger cars rose 72% to 578,000—four times as many as the 144,000 sold in the U.S. last year. EV sales constituted just 2.7% of China’s total auto sales, so they didn’t make much of a dent overall.

  11. Fred Magyar
    Ignored
    says:

    Rather extraordinary comment to say the least!

    Trump’s ‘shithole countries’ remark is racist, says UN
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=81&v=nT7PWcPPV-Q

  12. Caelan MacIntyre
    Ignored
    says:

    Major Blow: Top German Economist Shows ‘Energiewende’ Can Never Work!

    “Coal, oil, and gas for electricity make up only a puny 12.8% of German total energy demand…

    The public, media, and policymakers, however, refuse to acknowledge that the German man-on-the-moon energy project is big trouble. At his blog site, Holger Douglas commented on Sinn’s presentation and the failure of the Energiewende:

    ‘In the ensuing discussion one of the gravest consequences of the Energiewende emerged: the credibility of science. At almost every single research institute experts have been making every effort to dodge the fundamental laws of physics and nature in order to justify the Energiewende after the fact.’

    Sinn also notes he believes the cost of the Energiewende will end up far exceeding the earlier government estimate of 1 trillion euros. Moreover, he says that Germany is also transforming its idyllic landscape into a large industrial park.”

    Dr A. Cannara says:
    January 7, 2018 at 2:38 am

    “This has been known to any sentient scientist/engineer since the first German anti-nuclear program began…

    Only political ignorance and crass subsidy has moved solar/wind into use where it was never appropriate.

    In engineering, there’s a term for ‘renewables’ — ‘inappropriate technology’.

    Energiewende and its supporters have set back climate/ocean protection efforts via cultlike ignorance. A disgrace. Our descendants will rightly spit on our graves.”

    Ouch.

    • Fred Magyar
      Ignored
      says:

      You apparently have the critical thinking skills of a lump of coal, (no disrespect intended towards any lumps of coal). Maybe you should actually spend some time in Germany and see how things are evolving on the ground there.

      As for listening to economists such as the good Prof. Hans-Werner Sinn, the man is an adept of the school of Ordoliberalism. He seems to have an extremely poor grasp and biased view of the science and technology behind renewables such as wind and solar, let alone energy storage, microgrids and how new battery technology especially EVs as potential grid storage that are quickly ramping up. He is still promoting outdated myths.

      You can read some of the links below this short video.
      http://www.fullychargedshow.co.uk/ev-sales-german-batteries/
      EV Sales & German Batteries

      https://cleantechnica.com/2017/05/08/germany-breaks-solar-record-gets-85-electricity-renewables/
      Germany Breaks A Solar Record — Gets 85% Of Electricity From Renewables

      • Caelan MacIntyre
        Ignored
        says:

        “You can read some of the links below this short video.
        http://www.fullychargedshow.co.uk/ev-sales-german-batteries/
        EV Sales & German Batteries” ~ Fred Magyar

        From the link/site:

        “Fully Charged is a youtube channel produced and hosted by Robert Llewellyn…”

        From Wikipedia:

        Robert Llewellyn… is a British actor, comedian and writer…”

        Same guy? Awesome qualifications.

        “Germany has been getting up to 85 percent of its electricity from renewable sources on certain sunny, windy days this year…

        …the overall share of wind, hydro and solar power in the country’s electricity mix climbed to a record 35 percent in the first half. ” ~ Reuters

        “…the bulk of electricity consume came from a mix of solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power…” ~ Treehugger

        I have previously posted a graph of Germany’s energy mix and it’s important to pay attention to the times of years/days/seasons, forms and proportions, etc., of the energy mixes, though I realize that not everyone is going to and are going to present the statistics misleadingly, right Fred?

        • Ulenspiegel
          Ignored
          says:
          • Caelan MacIntyre
            Ignored
            says:

            Peak Oil pseudorenewables Boutique

            That’s rhetorical, yes?
            I’ve mentioned and illustrated a few ‘issues’ WRT pseudorenewable energy over time on this site. Just do a search, if you really want to know.

        • Fred Magyar
          Ignored
          says:

          It’s not my job to educate you on topics of which you are deliberately ignorant and are unwilling to make any effort whatsoever to attempt to understand. I myself claim no specific expertise on the German political and economic system but since two of my siblings have lived there for well over three decades and have both raised families there, I have at least had the opportunity to visit on occasion.

          Whatever you may believe, I can assure you, that “Energiewende” is working just fine.

          https://energytransition.org/
          German power sector: coal and nuclear down, renewables up in 2017

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjYlrFewchY

          Energy Transitions – Perspectives on Germany and the United States
          Center for Strategic & International Studies
          Streamed live on Sep 22, 2016

          The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is pleased to host Secretary Rainer Baake, German State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs & Energy for an update on the progress of Energiewende and to discuss the future of Germany’s electric power sector and utilities. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

    • Ulenspiegel
      Ignored
      says:

      Sinn is an idiot when it comes to technology, he is making a fool of himself. That you are citing him is no surprise – brothers in soul. 🙂

      Sinn still sells the opinion that nuclear rectors are our only hope. 🙂

      • Caelan MacIntyre
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, Liebchen, some kinds of ‘pseudotechnology’ like solar PV and wind farms do fall under ‘BAU pseudoeconomics’, so maybe he’s onto something…

        But I’m unfamiliar with and unsure about Sinn and what exactly he thought and now thinks about nuclear reactors, although by your logic, Peak Oil Barrel could have been dumped down the crapper a long time ago, as we nevertheless missed some good articles and comments in and after the process.
        I mean, Fred Magyar, for example, and not too long ago, expressed, hereon, his pride in being something to the effect of contradictory– and chasing leaders to boot. So, maybe Fred could have been one of those to both follow and lead POB down the crapper. ^u^

        I seem to recall a few people like maybe George Monbiot, James Hansen and Euan Mearns being pro-nuke as well. If so, unsure, too, if they’ve since changed or modified their opinions.

        Frankly, of course, I still think much BAU pseudotechnology belongs down the crapper– preferrably before it takes us and the planet down with it. It’s probably too late for that, though, and what with the BAU pseudorenewable and electric-boxes-on-wheels POBoutique cheerleadership.

  13. islandboy
    Ignored
    says:

    Valeo Unveils Crazy Cheap Electric Car – Just $9,000

    Valeo unveiled at CES an EV prototype running on a low-voltage (48V) system that is promised to be 20% more economical than existing high-voltage solutions.

    The prototype was developed in partnership with Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, as China is the largest market for these low-speed vehicles.

    Valeo’s prototype is a 2-seater with 100 km (62 miles) range and a 100 km/h (62 mph) top speed.

    Pricing for this cars is expected to be around $9,000 (€7,500), which makes it an excellent city runabout.

    • OFM
      Ignored
      says:

      I know a dozen people personally, today, probably twice that many, who would be very happy to buy such a car second hand and a little ratted out for say three or four thousand dollars to drive it to work less than fifty miles round trip per day. They would buy it based on the total cost of driving it, and electricity is cheap, even when gasoline is only a little over two bucks. And just about all of them would buy a panel or two the first time they have the money to help cut back on purchased electricity.

      I wonder how long it will be before such cars are available at such prices on the used car market… or any electric cars at such prices, so far as that goes.
      Poor people, people like a lot of my friends and neighbors, are forced by necessity to drive cheap cars to work day in and day out, year after year.

      Suggesting that they move to town is a total waste of time. They can live in the country and commute a lot cheaper in an econobox car, so long as gasoline is less than maybe six bucks a gallon. Rents and house prices in town are a lot higher. Plus out in the country they have lots of opportunities to make or save a few dollars, ranging from gardening to getting firewood to working on the family car in the back yard. Plus of course you usually get plenty of outdoor space when you own or rent in the countryside.

      • Preston
        Ignored
        says:

        I think the best option today is to find an old Nissan Leaf with a badly degraded battery. Then for $4000 you can replace the battery with a new one and it’s almost like getting a new car. Remember, EVs require very little maintenance. Still, a little bit more than your budget, but pretty good for $7000 or so….

        If your electricity cost is about 10cents per kwhr then that’s like paying 50 cents per gallon or so with a typical gas car.

  14. POBox
    Ignored
    says:

    Mass DPU just approved levying new a demand charge for Eversource residential customers who have solar. Eversource provide electric service to a little less than half of the towns in Massachusetts. They don’t have any existing smart metering for residences, so customers can’t really track usage. The solar industry is furious.

    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/01/eversource_criticized_for_new.html

    SOLAR INDUSTRY RILED BY DPU APPROVAL OF NEW INFRASTRUCTURE FEE
    By Andy Metzger
    STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

    STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JAN. 12, 2018…..Eversource utility customers who install solar panels a year from now will be on the hook for new fees under a new Department of Public Utilities order that is generating controversy within the renewable energy industry…

    excerpt:

    “This order is a huge step backwards for a state that was one of the early national leaders in grid modernization and solar policy. It will discourage customer adoption of clean energy across the Commonwealth, further slowing clean energy job growth and investment and threatening to undermine the Baker-Polito Administration’s goal to achieve another 1,600 megawatts (MW) of solar,” said Northeast Clean Energy Council Executive Vice President Janet Gail Besser, a former National Grid executive and DPU chairwoman. “Mandating a demand charge for residential customers at this scale is unprecedented. These changes are particularly concerning because Eversource lacks the ‘smart’ metering needed to inform customers about their peak demand and energy usage.”

    • POBox
      Ignored
      says:

      Sorry for the almost duplicate post (below) — I forgot how to log in and this one went through moderation. Then I remembered to log in. Hi everyone! I’ve been lurking for years, keeping busy and putting our son through college. One of these days I’ll have free time to get more active.

      — Still making it in Massachusetts, if just barely.

  15. OFM
    Ignored
    says:

    Hi Preston,

    The problem with driving a cheap old Leaf is that there isn’t any such animal as a practical matter.

    I’m sure that if you were to scour the entire USA, you could find a few thousand of them in the three thousand dollar price class that haven’t been wrecked or eaten alive by road salt. That would be enough to satisfy the annual demand for cheap old cars in one small city one year.

    Poor people are going to have to wait until cheap new electric cars ripen into even cheaper OLD electric cars. It will be ten or fifteen years before the average independent used car dealer has more than one pure electric car on his lot at a poor man’s price.

    • Preston
      Ignored
      says:

      There are 35 used Leafs in my area listed on autotrader, a couple of them under $6000. Not, $3000 but still, pretty tempting. The cars only have about 50K miles. The Leaf batteries start to lose range so people sell them once they don’t make it all the way to work and back. Except for the batteries, the rest of the car is likely fine – that’s not so many miles. But yes, there are only a couple here, not a huge supply.

  16. POBox
    Ignored
    says:

    New Eversource residential solar customers in Mass become first in the nation to be charged a “demand charge” due to new Mass DPU ruling. Another reason to go off-grid:

    Massachusetts on Friday became the first state in the nation to approve a “demand charge” for residential solar customers with a much-anticipated decision from the Department of Public Utilities.

    The DPU ruling affects utility customers under Eversource Energy. The charges for new, net-metered residential solar projects will go into effect Dec. 31, 2018. Under the system, new net-metering customers will pay a charge tied to their top usage hour within a monthly billing period, regardless of when that peak hour occurs.

    Consumer and clean energy advocates lashed out at the ruling, while Eversource said it creates greater equity and lets them recoup costs imposed by residential solar customers.

    Eversource had argued that $8 million per year in “displaced distribution revenues” should be collected from the solar customers. The DPU agreed, saying the charge will more fairly distribute the costs of maintaining the local power grid.

    “The demand charge portion of the (monthly minimum reliability charge) will eliminate, to the extent possible, the unfair cross subsidization by non-net-metered customers that currently exists” with rates based upon kilowatt-hour charges and no kilowatt demand, said Eversource spokeswoman Priscilla Ress.

    Ress said peak demand “is what we have to size our equipment to meet, regardless of how long that peak is present.”

    She said net-metered customers will now “pay their fair share of the cost of the significant maintenance and upgrade work we do on the local grid every day,” and that “currently, their neighbors are paying more than their share of those costs.”

    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/01/eversource_criticized_for_new.html

    • Fred Magyar
      Ignored
      says:

      She said net-metered customers will now “pay their fair share of the cost of the significant maintenance and upgrade work we do on the local grid every day,” and that “currently, their neighbors are paying more than their share of those costs.”

      That’s dumb! Solar PV owners actually help reduce costs for the utility in many ways! Including eliminating the need for building expensive new power generating plants.

      In any case there is no need to go fully off grid. Just add battery storage or power your home from your EVs battery when needed and tell the utility to go fuck themselves!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OHstY_kKUY
      Redflow ZCell batteries | Fully Charged

      • notanoilman
        Ignored
        says:

        From their web site, they seem to have stopped domestic sales and are concentrating on business use. It seems households are more concerned at a high install cost while businesses look at TCO so it makes more sense, in their eyes. I saw this in Home Depot, the other day, with a lady who was more concerned with the cost of an instant heat boiler than that it would save her the cost, in gas, over her barrel boiler in the first year.

        NAOM

    • notanoilman
      Ignored
      says:

      If a user has a grid connection then there should be a cost for that, maybe separate grid charge and usage charge, but that should be applied, equally, to all users though maybe rated according to feed ie a 40amp 1 phase feed would pay less than 100 A 3 phase. MY water bill breaks down into service and usage, I see no reason electricity should not be the same. However, punishing, money grabbing rates should be stopped. Payment could be taken in kind such as net power fed into the grid. Excess solar means less grid is needed especially at peak times, if demand from local businesses rises by 20% in the day while net grid solar excess rises 20% then there is no extra demand to be met.

      NAOM

      • OFM
        Ignored
        says:

        My local utility charges a fixed monthly connection fee, and you get a few kilowatt hours included. It’s about eighteen bucks a month IIRC.

        Beyond this amount, you are charged by the kilowatt hour used at a flat hourly rate.

        It’s my impression that most electric utilities in the USA have similarly structured rate systems for residential customers.

        Am I wrong about this?

        • Preston
          Ignored
          says:

          No, the fixed monthly fee varies by area but utilities want them to discourage home solar. Also important is what the utilities pay for electricity produced by home solar. Utilities would like to pay less for the power, but it is way better if they pay the same as they charge. That way, the grid acts like a battery and the excess power produced during the day can be used at night for no cost.

        • POBox
          Ignored
          says:

          I thought an Arizonan power company did something similar, but this is apparently the first time a state DPU has approved charging residential net metering customers a surcharge based on peak usage at *any* time. So if you mainly charge your EV from the grid at night, when grid power is cheapest, you still pay extra. And there is a fixed monthly fee on top of the variable part!

          It seems to me the key is net-metering. If you have an isolated PV system and don’t connect it to the grid, this deal changes nothing. So if anything, they are trying to recoup costs for upgrading gear to handle power fed back into the grid by customers. Which suggests, to me, that net-metering is starting to hurt their bottom line.

        • Longtimber
          Ignored
          says:

          Should have several rate schedules to choose from.
          voluntary TOU ( Time of Use ) rate schedule offering is now mandatory in the US. Are you served by an IOU or a Coop?

  17. OFM
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s rare indeed that I argue the BAU corporate side in discussing anything to do with the people versus big business, but facts are stubborn things, and ignoring them just about always results in long term pain.

    Fact one is that the time frame is seldom mentioned in such arguments as this one about residential demand charges, but utilities DO have to have adequate capacity to meet peak demand, and for now and for some time to come, solar power in Mass. isn’t at all likely to contribute significantly to peak demand, which is virtually certain to come during nasty weather. WINTER weather up that way.

    I agree that people who have or plan on installing their own solar power systems are helping modernize the grid, and that EVENTUALLY, once a LOT of residential and large solar and wind farms are tied in, they will reduce peak demand on the grid and thus reduce the need for the local utility to add new peak load generating capacity, which will be needed only a few days a year .

    But things have to be paid for NOW, not years down the road, and even though the amount of money that a typical residential customer WITHOUT a solar system pays to indirectly subsidize those who have their own solar is very likely trivial, no more than a few dollars a year, it’s still their money, and the management of the utility is SUPPOSED to treat all customers equitably.

    So…… this is a bad decision, in terms of the good of the people, LOOKING AHEAD, but it’s according to the ordinary rules in terms of day to day management.

    For those who don’t get it, because they don’t WANT to, I invite them to look ten or twenty years down the road, when enough people own enough solar power systems of their own that revenues crash at some utilities. This will happen a hell of a lot sooner in say Texas than it will in Mass. of course, lol.

    When it does, when more people have solar than not, and a lot of them also have substantial battery storage , or have implemented a lot of very effective time shifting tricks so they don’t need much grid juice at night, etc, well……. in order for the local utility to remain solvent………….

    It’s a given that the majority of people with solar power systems of their own will have to subsidize the utility, one way or another, or it will go bankrupt. This observation is based on the likelihood of there being times when both wind and solar power are producing very little, and there will be times this is true. The lights MUST stay on.

    I’m thinking the best solution will probably be to maintain the TRANSMISSION system itself under rules more or less like the ones that have prevailed during the regulated monopoly era, which is coming to an end, and running and managing the actual centralized GENERATING industry on a competitive basis, either subsidizing it or allowing the owners of it to charge enough to stay in business.

    I can’t see a time coming when we won’t HAVE to have a functional grid…. not within the next couple of generations anyway. Putting batteries and solar panels and so forth at every place electricity is necessary just isn’t going to be economically feasible. Centralized generation will likely ALWAYS be the best, cheapest, and most reliable way to supply everybody with electricity all the time.

    Of course a hell of a lot of that “centralized” generation will be in the form of wind farms and solar farms spread out all over the map, and a lot of it will be in the form of NETWORKS of wind and solar farms tied together over long distances with new transmission lines.

    It’s going to be at least twenty to thirty years before we will have enough renewable energy infrastructure in place to even think about PERMANENTLY shutting down most of today’s conventional ff generating capacity. It will have to be maintained in working order, and ready to go on very short notice. Basically what this means is that the only savings realized by the owners will be in the form of reduced purchases of fuel, whereas they will be leaking revenue like a sifter bottom, one or two percent at first, then five or ten, then twenty , twenty five thirty forty fifty percent or more, and this is going to happen within the next decade or so in some places.

    One way or another, they will HAVE to take in enough money to keep the fires burning. Super high demand charges? A steady subsidy per kilowatt hour delivered ? I don’t have know , but one way or another, we WILL pay to keep the bau ff generating industry’s doors open.

    Between now and then, the owners of that capacity are going to be hoeing some very tough rows, rows taken over by brambles higher than the corn, lol. I don’t feel sorry for them, no siree, NOT AT ALL.

    But we’re going to have to pay enough for the juice they provide to keep them in business, lol.

    The first volley by the industry just hit home. The war is just getting started. The conventional generating industry is fighting for it’s very LIFE, although this might not be obvious to the typical person used to thinking in terms of today and next week and next year at the longest.

    The people are going to win in the long term. The people’s problem for now, and for some time to come, is that not enough of them are yet in the solar power camp, which allows the bau regulatory authorities to come down on the side of big business sometimes, lots of times. Just about ALL the time in some places.

  18. notanoilman
    Ignored
    says:

    One for Fred and the non-squeamish

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-42639877

    Enjoy

    NAOM

    • HuntingtonBeach
      Ignored
      says:

      El Pollo Loco has great low cost fast food. You might want to give it a try.

      http://www.elpolloloco.com/our-food/

      • notanoilman
        Ignored
        says:

        Not into eating in chains. Taco postes is more my line, maybe some occasional spit roast chicken. Mostly cook fresh.

        NAOM

        • HuntingtonBeach
          Ignored
          says:

          So let me try to understand NAOM. If a small restaurant is successful that serves quality healthy food, you prefer to eat there. But, if that same restaurant decides to open 500 new locations, each having their own grill to cook fresh and offer their service to a larger population. Your not into it.

          Do you have a custom small company manufactured toilet fetish too ? Not using a public toilets if it’s a Kohler or American Standard. I get the sense your not living life to the fullest.

    • Fred Magyar
      Ignored
      says:

      YUM! 😉

    • Caelan MacIntyre
      Ignored
      says:

      I can imagine they taste fine, maybe because crab and lobster do.
      I used to sometimes get an asian-style snack that included some small whole dried fish. The image might be of the actual snack or similar.

  19. George Kaplan
    Ignored
    says:

    https://www.carbonbrief.org

    For any interested Carbon Brief is running a series of articles through this week on climate modelling, starting with a brief history.

      • Paul Pukite (@WHUT)
        Ignored
        says:

        That’s an interesting paper on the inside workings of climate science. Note the Navier-Stokes equations and the Fortran code. Can be simplified 🙂

        • Doug Leighton
          Ignored
          says:

          Have used Fortran since before the development of text editors when programs were entered on 80-column punch cards and when dropping a stack of cards could really ruin your whole day and never knew that Fortran code could be simplified — other than by using someone else’s sub-routines. 🙂

    • Steven Haner
      Ignored
      says:

      The fundamental flaw with modern predictive climate models is the critical assumption of a postulated feedback mechanism whereby ever more warming going into the climate system results in said system barrelling out of control (so that humanity is all doomed). The reality is, the planet has major negative feedback mechanisms which can maintain habitability for billions of years. Recall how even a significant unpredictable event such as an asteroid and wiping out the dinosaurs failed to push the planet past a point of no return.

      The reality is, positive feedbacks are in the models because as an assumption they are required if one wishes to predict complete doomsday. Take any survey of scientists overall though and you’ll get agreement that there’s warming climate, but many will say humans can only add partially to the warming, while positive feedback would more specifically be supported only by those with certain agendas.

      • Doug Leighton
        Ignored
        says:

        “Recall how even a significant unpredictable event such as an asteroid and wiping out the dinosaurs failed to push the planet past a point of no return.”

        Well it was a point-of-no-return for the dinosaurs.

      • George Kaplan
        Ignored
        says:

        What the fuck are you talking about?

        • Steven Haner
          Ignored
          says:

          The positive feedbacks of climate models aren’t realistic, but could be used to mislead others astray.

          • Doug Leighton
            Ignored
            says:

            “…mislead others astray.” Oh dear, we wouldn’t want that would we? Are you a kindergarten teacher Steven?

          • George Kaplan
            Ignored
            says:

            Any feed backs in the models are there because they are a consequence of the physics and chemistry of the system as they are currently understood. Please explain what feedbacks in what code you are talking about and how you know so much about them. Otherwise stop making up false accusations and piss off.

  20. George Kaplan
    Ignored
    says:

    Australia offers cash for Great Barrier Reef rescue ideas

    Australia is calling on the world’s top scientific minds to help save the Great Barrier Reef, offering hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund research into protecting the world’s largest living structure.

    The UNESCO World Heritage-listed reef is reeling from significant coral bleaching due to warming sea temperatures linked to climate change.

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-01-australia-cash-great-barrier-reef.html#jCp

    • Fred Magyar
      Ignored
      says:

      Australia is calling on the world’s top scientific minds to help save the Great Barrier Reef, offering hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund research into protecting the world’s largest living structure.

      First, hundreds of thousands of dollars, is a pathetic joke compared to the magnitude of the problem.
      If Australia and the world are serious then it needs to be billions of dollars. That money needs to come out of the pockets of the fossil fuel industry and the consumers of fossil fuel.

      Second, there is no way to save the Great Barrier Reef if the underlying problems related to CO2 emissions are not addressed on a global scale. Humanity also needs to address the current growth based linear consumptive economic model on which industrial civilization is based.We need completely new economic and social systems.

      Third, population and ecological overshoot and the industrial agricultural model prevalent around the world have to be addressed as well.

      I could continue with a long list of things that need to be drastically changed if there is any hope whatsoever of saving the Great Barrier Reef or any other major ecosystem on this planet.

      Frankly I am no longer very optimistic that we have time to make the necessary changes. But that in and of itself is no reason not to keep trying.
      Good luck to all!

      • Doug Leighton
        Ignored
        says:

        Meanwhile,

        Adani’s mega Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin may ultimately depend on whether it can get financing and whether Australia agrees to give it a $1 billion taxpayer funded loan to build a rail line.

        BTW, if the mine goes ahead and that leads to the development of other mines in the basin, their potential combined maximum output would result in more than 705m tonnes of CO2 being emitted each year.

  21. George Kaplan
    Ignored
    says:
    • Fred Magyar
      Ignored
      says:

      Maybe the US government could throw a few hundred thousand dollars at the problem just like Australia with their plan to save the Great Barrier Reef. It’s another big joke, as is the current US administration. Of all the US administrations, and I have lived through a few, there is none that I have found more despicable than this one.

      • George Kaplan
        Ignored
        says:

        There are only 36 countries with GDPs higher than that amount of losses.

        I think the limits to growth / climate issues will really manifest themselves when areas can’t recover from one disaster before the next one hits – not just because the frequency and consequence of climate issues will increase exponentially with linear temperature rise, but also because the resources needed to recover will be declining through EROI issues, supply declines and increasing wealth disparity.

      • nonomykitty
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m guessing you don’t have any assets invested on Wall Street? Because I’ll say this, whatever I think about Trump personally tends to be forgot in light of the way my 401K has performed since he got in. The market has been anything but despicable.

    • R.Rutledge
      Ignored
      says:

      According to the map, we didn’t get a big billion $ weather event in the Great Lakes, Michigan areas, last year.

      Regards,
      -Ralph
      Cass Tech ’64

  22. Peter
    Ignored
    says:

    China The World Leader In Renewable Propaganda

    As with all dictatorships propaganda is a vital tools in keeping people at home and abroad happy.

    The best way of fooling people is to tell them what they want to hear. Such as we are going to lead the world in renewable energy. Repeat this lots of times until it has sunk in.

    Then go and do this.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/chinese-firms-to-build-700-coal-plants

    China in 2016 installed more coal power plants than the rest of the world put together.

    https://endcoal.org/global-coal-plant-tracker/summary-statistics/

    https://endcoal.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/PDFs-for-GCPT-July-2017-Countries-MW.pdf

    the continued rate of coal power stations being built by the Chinese government is staggering.

    Fancy a nice fascist group of murdering thugs like the Chinese communist party lying. Who would believe it.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1799086/former-prisoners-reveal-horrific-torture-taking-place-in-chinese-prisons/

    • notanoilman
      Ignored
      says:

      The fossil fuel troll is back.

      • Peter
        Ignored
        says:

        Notaman

        So according to you the environmental group that monitors the building of coal power stations are lying are they?

        You are like a child, accepting only the truth you can deal with. Which is not much.

  23. Caelan MacIntyre
    Ignored
    says:

    Energiewende Ist Gescheitert
    (translated: Energy Revolution Has Failed)

    Translated:

    The expansion of renewable energies failed to set limits in advance for nature, species, people, forests and landscapes. Thus, it could with the help of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the privileges under the Building Code, specially created new legal bases and the elimination of a critical discourse to the known excesses come. The political-industrial complex is not concerned with nature and climate protection, but with the skimming off of billions in subsidies and an ideological reinterpretation of natural and ‘climate protection’.

    No industry relies on such an amount of so-called expert reports to certify their alleged safety. The objectives of the national biodiversity strategy are counteracted by the rampant expansion of renewables, in particular wind energy and biomass, and can no longer be achieved. Maintaining and improving biodiversity, however, are the key challenges of the 21st century. More important factors in species extinction than climate change are over-exploitation of resources, habitat and forest degradation, land sealing, industrial agriculture, pesticide use, illegal hunting. The energy transition starts in the wrong places and has failed. “

    P-Machinery

    “Another hope feeds another dream
    Another truth installed by the machine
    A secret wish the marrying of lies
    Today comes true what common sense denies…”

    • Fred Magyar
      Ignored
      says:

      The objectives of the national biodiversity strategy are counteracted by the rampant expansion of renewables, in particular wind energy and biomass, and can no longer be achieved. Maintaining and improving biodiversity, however, are the key challenges of the 21st century.

      First, you have to have been living under a rock to not have at least heard that we humans are probably a major cause of climate change through our emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel burning. Climate Change and ocean acidification are two major driving factors in what is probably the sixth mass extinction. I have posted this link recently:

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171019100927.htm
      More than 75 percent decrease in total flying insect biomass over 27 years across Germany
      Changes in weather, land use, habitat do not explain overall decline.

      One thing is 100% for sure the expansion of renewables, in particular wind energy and biomass
      Are not a major contributing factor in what is hurting flying insect biomass! If anything, continued use of fossil fuels, petrochemicals, herbicides, pesticides and CO2 induced climate change certainly are. While renewables may not save the insects, or the world for that matter, continuing to use fossil fuels most certainly will destroy it. So what pray is your plan if we know we can’t continue to burn carbon? I wait with bated breath for some king of cogent response!

      • Caelan MacIntyre
        Ignored
        says:

        Don’t burn it. Power down. Plant lots of native flora, etc.. I’ve already written about this. It’s so simple that even a child can understand it. And like one of the previous article links I posted, get rid of your clothes drier and your car, for that matter, upon which that spider(?) rested that you took a picture of while you and others lamented the loss of what? The insect/arthropod population? If I caught that correctly, the irony seemed lost on some of you. The spider was probably on the car wondering how to kill it both for lack of any other food and for a feeling of beneath contempt for it smashing into its food sources.

        It seems that, yet again, society is doing its typical ass-backwards thing with pseudorenewables.

        “Gee, there are no more insects… Where were we? …Oh ya, how about them cheap new EV’s…”

        Let’s not pretend that pseudorenewables are going to eat into our global carbon consumption and generally save us and the world like some kind of silver bullet. Buildout may do, and probably is doing, the opposite, and the results may not be worth the costs. While they may inevitably correlate to a lowering of our carbon consumption, indicators seem to indicate that they won’t be causing it, so if so, I’d caution against fetishizing it too much as the savior it likely isn’t, and focusing more on nature– the thing that gave you life and maintains you.

        Return the favor.
        You can’t go wrong there.

        • Dennis Coyne
          Ignored
          says:

          Hi Caelan,

          Easy to say, difficult to accomplish with a population of close to 8 billion.

          I agree on the clothes dryers. Otherwise your “pseudoplan” is unlikely to be very practical in the short term. 🙂

          The pseudoplan would likely reduce population quite a bit though as the death rate might increase to the level of the dark ages.

          • Caelan MacIntyre
            Ignored
            says:

            So you don’t reserve your apparently-typical rose-coloured glasses for my comments then? 😉

        • Fred Magyar
          Ignored
          says:

          Don’t burn it. Power down. Plant lots of native flora, etc.. I’ve already written about this. It’s so simple that even a child can understand it

          Surely you jest, Caelan! You obviously do not have a grasp of the level of complexity of the myriad interacting systems that we all depend on for our survival on a daily basis! There is nothing simple about any of them taken individually. Let alone how all the different systems interact with each other.

          Complexity is generally used to characterize something with many parts where those parts interact with each other in multiple ways, culminating in a higher order of emergence greater than the sum of its parts. Just as there is no absolute definition of “intelligence”, there is no absolute definition of “complexity”; the only consensus among researchers is that there is no agreement about the specific definition of complexity. However, “a characterization of what is complex is possible”.[2] The study of these complex linkages at various scales is the main goal of complex systems theory.
          Source Wikipedia

          Gather round, my little ones and I will tell you a fairy tale about how simple the world is…

  24. Doug Leighton
    Ignored
    says:

    ATTENTION PLEASE — A number to pass along to friends, spouses, children and grandchildren and it’s 2.16 (solar masses), a new limit for the maximum mass of neutron stars. Add one more neutron, just one, and poof, she’s gone forever. 🙂

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180116093650.htm

    • Caelan MacIntyre
      Ignored
      says:

      So the extra neutron turns it into a black hole?

      Edit:

      “However, there are indications that a neutron star with a maximum mass would collapse to a black hole if even just a single neutron were added.” ~ Doug’s cited article

      Apparently, though, black holes ‘leak information’, so could a black hole leak a neutron’s worth and therefore pop back into existence? ‘u^

      Oh ya, I just remembered this article that I read recently. (One of its images is below).

    • notanoilman
      Ignored
      says:

      Thanks, it surprises me how small the number is. I would have expected several times that, live and learn.

      NAOM

  25. Cats@Home
    Ignored
    says:

    Facebook is a ‘living, breathing crime scene,’ says one former tech insider
    by Go Ling Kent, Chiara Sottile, Emma Goss and Alyssa Newcomb

    https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/facebook-living-breathing-crime-scene-says-one-former-manager-n837991

    With more than 2 billion users, Facebook’s reach now rivals that of Christianity and exceeds that of Islam. However, the network’s laser focus on profits and user growth has come at the expense of its users, according to one former Facebook manager who is now speaking out against the social platform.

    “One of the things that I saw consistently as part of my job was the company just continuously prioritized user growth and making money over protecting users,” the ex-manager, Sandy Parakilas, who worked at Facebook for 16 months, starting in 2011, told NBC News. During his tenure at Facebook, Parakilas led third-party advertising, privacy and policy compliance on Facebook’s app platform.

    As Facebook transitioned from a Harvard dorm-room project into one of the world’s most valuable companies, its power grew in ways that founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg never could have anticipated.

    Over the past 14 months, Zuckerberg has gone from saying it was “crazy” to think Facebook could influence an election to vowing that 2018 is the year he will “fix” Facebook.

    While there are still lessons to be learned from how the Russians used the social platform to sow discord ahead of America’s 2016 presidential election, critics say Facebook — and Zuckerberg — aren’t acting quickly enough to prevent meddling in the upcoming midterm elections.

    • HuntingtonBeach
      Ignored
      says:

      We have seen the enemy and the enemy is us

      I grew up watching Might Mouse and Felix the Cat. Today our youth watch Despicable Me. Our teens play video games killing images of authority and violent get away car chases from police. Media entertainment is loaded with aggressive and violent behavior. We defund education and release the mental ill in favor of a tax cut for the wealthy.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Facebook and don’t have an account. But Facebook is simply a product of us and our quest for greed. The Russians have simply weaponized our hate against ourselves. As a patient, we are terminally ill. Our leaders denial of climate change is just part of our deadly life style. It’s late in the fourth quarter of the game and it’s a blow out. The silence on the subject is deafening from those who should be setting off the alarm. When the time comes, we are all going down. Take a look in the mirror.

  26. Boomer II
    Ignored
    says:

    Colorado is now being offered renewable energy-powered electricity at the lowest rates in the country.

    https://www.denverpost.com/2018/01/16/xcel-energy-low-bids-for-colorado-electricity/

  27. OFM
    Ignored
    says:

    Hi Fred,
    We ran out of reply slots upthread.

    It’s been a long time since I was in a classroom, but nothing much has changed, on average. The organization you mention is not empowered to set and ENFORCE to standards in public schools, although school districts may pay lip service to the standards it ( and other similar organizations ) sets.

    High school standards are dictated mostly by state boards of education in general terms, and more specifically by local school boards in each local system. The local people can up the ante, but supposedly must comply with state standards.

    Federal judges get involved too. They’ve managed to put a stop to blatant racial segregation, with mixed results. In my old stomping grounds, Richmond Va, the middle classes, including most of the minority middle classes, simply packed up and left for the suburban counties where the schools are not burdened with serving the children of dope addicts, pimps, prostitutes, people in prison, illiterate single mothers on welfare, I could go on all day.

    I spent a decade or so, back in my younger days, hanging around the VCU university district, in the Fan, which was a smallish southern flavored sort of small town liberal university community with elements of places like Greenwich Village. ( just about fully gentrified now, but DAMNED few kids living there because parents who give a shit don’t want their in the city schools ) One after another, all my acquaintances whose kids reached school age packed up and left for Henrico County, Chesterfield County, Hanover County, or farther away. This included my black friends and acquaintances as well…… people I knew as the result of meeting them thru university functions.

    This is not to say there aren’t some damned good teachers and some damned good kids still in the city. But not many. This has everything to do with economics and culture and virtually nothing to do with genetics. The people in better economic circumstances, and better cultural circumstances, the ones who teach their kids to behave and to do their homework , people who take parenthood SERIOUSLY, have simply packed up and left town. The result has been a vicious downward spiral in the quality of the city schools. It’s nobody’s fault in particular, everybody’s fault in general.

    Actual RESULTS in our public schools, nationwide, are comparable to the results obtained in various other undertakings, such as air and water pollution control, control of illegal drugs, welfare fraud, tax fraud, fake advertising of things that fix your car- magic automatic transmission elixirs, urban sprawl, etc.

    If your kid went to a large school in any community that also serves the underclass or the working class, so that ALL the kids in the immediate area were assigned to that school ( basically meaning you didn’t or don’t live in a Beverly Hills type community once racial segregation was outlawed ) then a shit load of his classmates graduated without being able to read a daily paper, or having READ a daily paper, except maybe sports articles and the comics in a discarded paper.

    It’s like the cops. You live in one neighborhood, and they’re everywhere, somebody drives thru with a taillight out, they get their number run, if it’s not a local address, if it’s from a shitty neighborhood a mile or two away, they get pulled over……… not always getting a summons but that’s likely. The message is clear. We DON’T WANT YOU HERE. GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM. Back in their own neighborhood, the cops don’t get around to investigating a burglary for two or three days, and the investigation consists of writing it up, and promptly forgetting about it.

    (You get stopped for a light out in a lower class neighborhood if the cop feels like fucking with you a little for some other reason, or if he hasn’t yet written enough tickets because he’s been asleep someplace or spent his shift flirting with the pretty girls at cash registers. If he’s doing his real job, he’s busy dealing with more important stuff, too busy to bother with a light out. Cops ARE expected to write a certain number of tickets, regardless of what they may SAY about this in public. The number varies according to local circumstances. The local powers that be EXPECT a certain amount of revenue from traffic court, and have ways of making sure it is collected. )

    Even when science classes are taught ( and in just about all districts they ARE TAUGHT, at least theoretically) they are defacto segregated into classrooms where the children of the local elite get their instruction, and the classrooms reserved for the lower elements of society. In smaller schools, the same teacher may teach very sophisticated ( for high school) math first period, and consumer math second period, same room. Third period, she may have students she merely keeps from wandering the halls and that’s ok with the principal and with the school board, and the parents of those kids too, who don’t know shit from apple butter themselves.

    Now sometimes working class and underclass kids get into such elite classrooms, if they are reasonably well behaved, and are exceptionally bright– I don’t mean genius level, but let’s say top ten percent. This is because there’s room enough for them, and because most principals and teachers to want to do a good job, and keep an eye out for such kids.

    That’s what happened in my case. My high school graduating class was only about 18o kids, and in order to have some top flight classes set aside for the kids of the local elite, while still not busting the budget, it was necessary to let invite a few of us peasant kids in. Eight or ten students weren’t quite enough, so they found it necessary to add in four or five like me.

    So…… I took advanced math, physics, chemistry, biology, and English in company with the BRIGHT kids of the local lawyers, doctors, business owners and the kids of TEACHERS, lol. Just being a lawyer’s kid wasn’t good enough, you had to be smart enough to keep up. Some lawyer’s kids weren’t in these particular classrooms at these particular hours, lol. Most of the TEACHER’s kids weren’t in these particular classrooms at these particular hours.

    I didn’t even realize I was in such elite company, until I tried to get a date with one of the girls. She put me in my place pretty damned quick, let me tell you, about what sort of kids SHE and her friends associated with, socially. She would rather have DIED than be seen at a ball game with ME, although when she was perfectly willing to flirt a little with me in order to get me to show her how to work out an extra credit geometry proof. She could barely keep up, but that probably had more to do with not wanting to REALLY work at it than a lack of brain power. I WANTED to do the extra hard problems, ENJOYED doing them. I shortly learned to take pride in showing up people like her, walking up to the chalkboard and doing such problems as if the solutions should be obvious to second graders…….. although I may have spent the entire forty five minute bus ride to and from school figuring them out, lol.

    You were in the right place, you were a good parent, you taught your kid well in respect to his behavior and work habits, etc. You lucked out in that he attracted the attention and won the respect of the teachers who taught the unadvertised but elite group of students who headed to good universities. Or did things work out this way because you went to the open houses and took advantage of any available parent teacher conferences, which helped make sure YOUR kid didn’t slip thru the cracks ? I wouldn’t be surprised if the floor was MOSTLY cracks, rather than actual floor, lol.

    I taught some of both. I had a couple of kids once in a while who got into UVA, because they were bright farm kids , and wanted to take ag. Most of the kids that came my way were barely able to read. Some of them could NOT read……. but they got a diploma anyway. I never had more than two or three any given year that knew even the most elementary facts about acids, bases, pH, exponential notation, etc. Assigning homework was out of the question. You never TELL a student or soldier to do something unless you have the means and authority to enforce your request/ orders. They know you can’t fail them all, that you can’t ever fail more than one or two at the most. Failure is more apt to be a badge of honor than a problem for kids in vocational classrooms.

    You can take anything I say about education in public schools in the USA to the bank, just as I can take what you have to say to the bank when you talk about environmental issues.

    But don’t forget that I am painting very fast with a very broad brush in commenting here. There are exceptions to these generalizations.

    • Fred Magyar
      Ignored
      says:

      You were in the right place, you were a good parent, you taught your kid well in respect to his behavior and work habits, etc. You lucked out in that he attracted the attention and won the respect of the teachers who taught the unadvertised but elite group of students who headed to good universities. Or did things work out this way because you went to the open houses and took advantage of any available parent teacher conferences, which helped make sure YOUR kid didn’t slip thru the cracks ? I wouldn’t be surprised if the floor was MOSTLY cracks, rather than actual floor, lol.

      My kid was diagnosed with Aspergers at a very early age. He did have special support at school. Though he mainstreamed most of his regular classes at a local public high school, he was and is very gifted in math so he was selected to take advanced placement math classes even when he was in junior high. So a lot of credit is due to his teachers and the local public school system. For that I am deeply grateful!

      • OFM
        Ignored
        says:

        Back atcha Fred,

        I’m very happy that your kid didn’t slip thru the cracks, and that you were obviously living in a school district where some funding and some competent professional people were on staff.

        I assure you this is NOT the usual case, not the usual rule. Maybe one kid out of four with special needs really gets the attention he should have. The rest are either overlooked altogether, or get some cursory help, not enough to really matter.

        For what it’s worth, I have never been diagnosed as having any particular ” problem” , but then I was never checked for any problem back when I was a kid. But remembering my own life, and having had more somewhat more than merely cursory training in the field of mental health, given that I was a professionally licensed teacher and went to nursing school a decade back when circumstances allowed me to do so, without sacrificing anything, I know that had there’s a very real possibility of the kid I was then being diagnosed with Aspergers today.

        As it happens, I was also a gifted kid.Academics came very easily to me, without effort most of the time. When I did encounter a tough problem, it was a challenge and a pleasure to solve it.

        Socially I was less than stellar, to put it mildly. I could relate very well to certain sort of adults, and some of the boys, but I never did really NATURALLY fit in any society, not then, not now.

        I learned to get along very well in any society, but it required a conscious effort on my part to do so for quite some time.

        Even today, I hold a lot of middle and upper class values in contempt, seeing them as self serving, hypocritical, cynical, and condescending, where as the people who hold them see them as equitable, honorable, non discriminatory, and respectful. Ditto a lot of lower class values, which I see as ignorant, sometimes simply stupid, gross or repulsive, or backward in one or another fashion.

        Over time, I have come to interpret all social classes, all cultures, all political alliances, etc, in the same fashion as an alien biologist observing this planet from an invisible little flying saucer in orbit with superpowerful instruments enabling him her it to observe US the way we observe the rest of the biosphere.

        A real biologist laughs at the idea that foxes are evil because they eat baby rabbits, or that people are immoral because they eat cows and wear fox skins, although he may observe that we would be better off, collectively, if we were to refrain from eating cows and wearing fox skins.

        I have no problem allowing myself to feel contempt for people who are fooling themselves, or who are smug and cynical hypocrites, or just too dumb and stupid to do better and stay out of jail or the morgue, lol.

        But when I’m thinking about getting along socially , which I try to do all the time when in the company of other people, I just look at it all like that biologist in his observation orbit. So I can put on appropriate clothing, and mix easily and surely with the faculty at the nearest university, or I can dress like a laborer, and mix just as easily with redneck bikers in a redneck bar. All that’s really necessary is that I just remember to not say something appropriate only at the other end of the cultural spectrum, and to to use the idiom’s proper to each society.

        I’ve been back in the hills so long now that when I get into polite society, I always think a few seconds before I say anything, so I will use at least acceptable grammar and vocabulary, lol.

        It helps that I’m rugged looking with some scars, but not so much or so many that it makes me look out of place in polite society.

        I suppose this definitely means I’m an outlier on the cultural bell curve, lol.

        In my opinion, and that of some very enlightened professionals I have met, it’s better not to think of conditions such as Asperger’s as deficiencies, but rather as the result of random combinations of genes that result in less than optimal functioning in some respects, but far greater than typical functioning in other respects, not in all cases, but in many cases.

        Maybe I have a classic case myself. Maybe otherwise, I would have fitted in much better with the kids in my own social and economic class, and married one of the local girls, and got a job in a factory second shift and farmed every morning.

        But if that had been the case, maybe I wouldn’t have made the scores on standardized tests that enabled me to be the first kid in my extended family to get into a good university, and without having to worry a whit about the expense. I just filled out the paperwork, and it came back accepted, no charges. All I ever had to buy was textbooks.

        People are born gay, or black or red, or yellow, or white, this is reality. Some of us are born with lesser capabilities in some respects, but these shortages are often offset with hidden strengths in other areas.

        Maybe a brown rabbit is defective in terms of snow country, but a white rabbit is defective in places it doesn’t snow, from the point of view of the fitness of that individual rabbit.

        But not in terms of the big picture. Variations are good, they mean the species as a whole is better equipped to survive.

        One brilliant mathematician with Asperberger’s is worth more to our species than all the guys combined who play professional ball and have the social graces that lead women to dream about being their girlfriends.

        Maybe your kid will do original work that contributes a great deal to the future of not only people but the rest of the biosphere as well. I can’t say that I remember hearing about any pro athletes ever doing any thing worthwhile in terms of the big picture.

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