304 Responses to Open Thread Non-Petroleum, January 25, 2018

  1. coffeeguyzz says:

    The next two days in Australia might push their electric grid to the max with 42C/107F called for in Adelaide, light winds tomorrow (Saturday, Down Under) and overcast – 80% humidity on Sunday which could impinge their widespread rooftop solar.

    Melbourne looks to be slightly cooler at 39C/102F on Sunday.

    If their aging coal fired units are expected to continue running flat out, it will be a recipe for disaster.

    • islandboy says:

      Here we are, more than three days after this was posted and what’s the news out of Australia?

      Victorian networks blow a fuse in heatwave – Coalition blows its mind on Twitter

      Conservatives love a summer blackout. And with two-thirds of peak blackout season already gone, they were not going to miss the opportunity presented by last night’s outages across Victoria to point the finger at renewable energy, the state Labor government’s support of renewables, and most of all last year’s closure of the privately owned Hazelwood coal-fired power plant.

      The only slight hitch in this ingenious plan is that none of the above had anything at all to do with it.

      On Sunday, the state reached record grid demand for a Sunday in the midst of the heatwave, but around 55,000 Victorians suffered without power at various times on Sunday evening – and many continue to do so on Monday – after faults across the state’s distribution networks.

      As explained by the Energy Networks Association, the assorted network companies, and the Australian Energy Market Operator, the blackouts were caused by faults in the *delivery* of the electricity – and not the *supply* or generation of it.

      That is, as absolutely everyone in the state turned their air conditioners up to 11 to cope with temperatures hovering around 40°C – and an overnight low of around 30°C – the state’s “poles and wires” (mostly substation fuses) systems were overwhelmed by demand that peaked at around 9,144MW: “the highest operational demand for a Sunday, ever,” says AEMO.

      Also in the same article was the following little tit-bit:

      According to AEMO estimates, native peak demand was ~9,440MW.. At the time, rooftop solar was contributing ~330MW.

      The chart below illustrates the impact solar PV had on the day in question. It seems pretty obvious to me that solar PV is already playing a significant role in the Australian electricity sector and is set to increase it’s role going forward. I would imagine that those folks in Victoria with a sizable investment in PV and batteries must have been pretty happy with their investment and would be an example for others to follow.

      On another note regarding the role of PV in Australia, the quote above shows PV contributing about 5% of the power at the time of peak demand. Let’s say that, PV capacity doubles three times over the next decade, that would be 8 times more power from PV, or 40% of peak demand. With the right market conditions, a lot of the power harnessed by PV would also be going into batteries to help with the evening peak requrements for generation. Food for thought.

      • Hickory says:

        Maybe the Australians will follow Trump and put a 30% tariff on Photovoltaics.

        • alimbiquated says:

          Since panel prices fell by about a quarter in 2017, a 30% tariff will put us back about a year. And the price is still falling.

  2. Survivalist says:

    Global Temperature in 2017
    18 January 2018
    James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Reto Ruedy, Gavin A. Schmidt, Ken Lo, Avi Persinb.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Thanks. The Arctic is on fire.

    • Jared Quinlan says:

      It’s funny how some scientists are able and willing to say the same things over and over again but in like 100 different ways.

      • Survivalist says:

        shortbus commando

        • Jared Quinlan says:

          The point is it’s like bro we get it, the planet is warming up, you literally told us this thousands of times by now, so either suggest an acceptable fix for it or STFU.

          • notanoilman says:

            Stop using fossil fuel.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            For the record, it is not the job of scientists to suggest fixes. That’s the job of politicians and policy makers… And no, you really don’t get the science, much less the implications.
            That takes a little more work than just making snide remarks.

            The main thing you and other morons fail to grasp is the implications of the rate of change on ecosystems.

            Scientists Find Equation to Demonstrate Impact of Human Activity on Climate Change
            Humans are changing the climate 170 times faster than natural forces, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal The Anthropocene Review.The research is the first mathematical equation to compare the impact of human activity on current climate to naturally occurring changes.
            Bold mine.

            Paper is behind paywall.

            The dominant external forces influencing the rate of change of the Earth System have been astronomical and geophysical during the planet’s 4.5-billion-year existence. In the last six decades, anthropogenic forcings have driven exceptionally rapid rates of change in the Earth System. This new regime can be represented by an ‘Anthropocene equation’, where other forcings tend to zero, and the rate of change under human influence can be estimated. Reducing the risk of leaving the glacial–interglacial limit cycle of the late Quaternary for an uncertain future will require, in the first instance, the rate of change of the Earth System to become approximately zero.

          • Survivalist says:

            Your point is stupid. I’m pretty sure you don’t get it. Did you click on the link and read it? The way I see it you have 3 choices- Go away, ignore my posted comments, or [x] me. Take your pic snowflake. Fuckin drama queen.

          • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

            I think for some on either side of the climate change debate, repeating the same thing over and over again is part of the allure of the science. There’s an obvious OCD-like component on display at times seemingly wherever climate change is brought up on the internet.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              There is no climate change debate. There is climate science and climate science denial. Big difference.

            • GoneFishing says:

              This is not an entertainment site, try the boob tube for that. Most things are boring and repetitive if one does not understand them.
              Uncertainty is part of science and drives discussion of the same subject again to try and shed further light upon it or add some new aspect. Some people cannot respond to new or different information and repeat the same information or arguments over and over again like a mantra. That slows the process of moving forward but can also unearth new information.
              There is no requirement to read or comment on anything here. It is all by choice and is provided free. Switch out if it bothers you.

            • notanoilman says:

              The only debate, in climate science, is “Are we fucked or are we really fucked?”.


              • Fred Magyar says:

                It’s actually more like when and how fast are we really fucked, we already know we’re fucked… 😉

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Personally, I think civilization needs a remake anyway. It’s way too top down and way too little bottom up.
                  Nature works from the bottom up which is probably why civilizations fail, they are upside down.

                  The Brutal Logic of Climate Change

                  It is unpleasant to talk like this. People don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to believe it. They bring to bear an enormous range of psychological and behavioral defense mechanisms to avoid it. It sounds “extreme” and our instinctive heuristics conflate “extreme” with “wrong.” People display the same kind of avoidance when they find out that they or a loved one are seriously ill. But no doctor would counsel withholding a diagnosis from a patient because it might upset them. If we’re in this much trouble, surely we must begin by telling the truth about it.


                  Article leads to the actual paper.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Article leads to the actual paper.

                    Aside from that paper being such an uplifting and optimistic early morning read, it might help to keep in perspective that the paper was published 29 November 2010.

                    Our knowledge has progressed considerably since then and our planetary outlook has gotten significantly worse!

                    Here’s an updated short version of the implications and an assessment of our over all predicament by Kevin Anderson.


                    Just under 30 mins.

                    Kevin Anderson & Hugh Hunt – Quit the loose talk on climate change and let’s get serious!

                    ROTFL! Good luck, with getting serious…

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Changes are happening, but nowhere near fast enough. Playing with tipping points is like kids dodging cars or trains. The inevitable result usually happens.

                    Local action is all we can take now. The bottom up approach will push the top down approach off the rails, eventually.

                    Or as the ship captain said “Batten down the hatches, prepare for collision!”

      • George Kaplan says:

        The comment says nothing directly about whether the earth got hotter – it provides a link, which if you are not interested in studying further you can ignore. I tend to read comments with links (Survivalist and Doug are particularly good for those on things that interest me), quotes and pictures, which can lead to better understanding, and skip over a lot of others, which are often repeated opinions; they may once have included some kind of backup argument but those tend to fade away with each restatement.

  3. OFM says:

    The best piece by a mile I have yet seen about block chain technology and bit coin:


    Now I know ten times as much about it as I did before, and I’m only twice as confused.

    Who was it that said solutions are the primary source of new problems ?

    The more you find out, the greater the necessity of accepting that you are fast falling behind…..


    • Hickory says:

      ofm- that link doesn’t work

    • Nick G says:

      Block chain assumes that encryption can be made unbreakable. There’s some suggestion that’s not likely true. For just one instance, quantum computing may easily overpower it.

  4. robert wilson says:

    Subscription required. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-guide-to-the-world-bitcoin-created1/. On 1/6/18 my granddaughter explained bitcoin from her college dorm. Robert Wilson Does anyone understand cryptocurrencies?

    Robin Not me. My economy is based on coffee beans.

    Alexandra – I think people set up their computers to mine for cryptocurrency by solving a cryptographic algorithm. It requires a lot of electricity since you basically run your computer non-stop, so people like to do it in places where they aren’t paying for electricity (e.g. dorm rooms). I’ve had a few friends who set their computers up to mine Ethereum.

  5. Bob Frisky says:

    GEFS has the MJO literally going off the chart in Phase 7 about 2 weeks from now. Keep an eye out on this one, as global cooling will go into an extreme mode for some part of the world.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Hey Bob, do you want to invest in my Miami snow removal business?! We could be rich beyond our wildest dreams, just as soon as that global cooling goes into its extreme mode…

  6. George Kaplan says:

    Is There A Ticking Time Bomb Under The Arctic?


    Scientists don’t know yet how much carbon will get released from thawing permafrost or how fast it will happen. Some of the carbon — maybe a big percentage of it — will get washed into the ocean by erosion. Some of the carbon will also get sucked back into the ground by new trees and plants popping up across the warming tundra.

    But once carbon begins to percolate up through the thawing soil, it could form a feedback loop “over which we would have zero control,” Miller says. The gas, coming from the ground, warms the Earth, which in turn causes more gas to be released and more warming to occur.

    Thawing permafrost is a big wild card of climate change.

    • GoneFishing says:

      The last time CO2 crossed 400 ppm the Arctic warmed by at least 8C and there were forests right up to the Arctic Ocean. I wouldn’t depend upon sequestration by plants in the Arctic land regions, they burn quite easily as the paleo records show and the many northern fires of the past decade.
      We can expect a large Arctic temperature rise which will melt permafrost and change the Arctic weather (increased lightning strikes). Whether this is enough to set off a methane bomb is unknown but at a minimum a portion of the trapped carbon will be released, increasing the temperature further and pushing all the feedbacks further.
      This potential makes climate change scenarios of no value. Might as will just put an arrow pointing upward with a ? next to it to simulate the graph of temperature versus time.



      • Doug Leighton says:

        I have hazy memories from paleontology courses describing amazing fossil localities in the High Arctic and thinking: How is it possible to have such a remarkable diversity of plants and animals in the ‘Barren Lands’? This was in the 1960s. Paleo was never my bag (but something we were required to study) so I just forgot the question and moved on — until recently. Now of course the answer is depressingly clear.

        • GoneFishing says:

          My moment of enlightenment decades ago was in the Badlands of south Dakota looking at a fossil turtle in the ground surrounded by an extremely waterless and desolate landscape. Finding ocean life fossils in the mountains not far from me was another. Climates and environments change dramatically on this planet. Usually it takes a long time.

          • George Kaplan says:

            Another scary reinforcing feedback is that the switch of the Arctic climate to a maritime type one means more humidity and more precipitation, which is likely to be, in fact already seems to be, trending towards more rain. Rain falling on normally snow covered and/or permafrost land is going to hugely accelerate any thawing with consequential faster albedo change and carbon release (and presumably favour CH4 over CO2).

            • GoneFishing says:

              The warmth being carried up to the Arctic in the winter is a harbinger of early spring melt.

              Compared to the 1970’s the spring and summer NH snow cover is down by 2 to 6 million km2 across all months this past decade.
              Sea ice has lost up to 6 million km2 actual cover since then during the summer into October and there are significant losses across all months of the year.
              With over 10 million km2 of land and ocean uncovered now in the brightest portion of the year, the Arctic is the hot spot on the planet for climate change.

              Been getting a good amount of rain here lately, 41N. Winter comes and goes now, often more like early spring. Haven’t had a reliable spring melt since the 1980’s.

  7. OFM says:

    Thanks in advance to anybody who posts links to South American, European, and Asian newspapers and news magazines that publish on line editions in English that aren’t totally pay walled. Any that allow a few free articles per month would be great.

    Thanks again. There aren’t as many as you might think, or else I’m using the wrong keywords to search for them.

      • George Kaplan says:

        Most commonwealth countries have (or had?) a XXXX times newspaper like Asia Times, Times of India, Kenya Times, etc. Maybe not free though.

    • Barry says:

      Google news (viewed in chrome) offers some opportunities.
      Although I have decreased my usage of it since they introduced the new format it still has some things going for it in doing research.
      Down the bottom of google news – ¨Other news editions¨
      You will see India (english) and Israel (english)
      However you can tailor the news to just get the sections you are interested in like say ¨climate change.
      Best if you sign in with a gmail account if you want to tailor the sections.
      That will give you all the news from that country which will give you the chance to see which news outlets are useful.
      Moreover you can try it in foreign languages as well
      (You will need a separate gmail account for each tailored news edition)
      Try Italian – setup a section for say ¨petrolio¨ – oil in italian (unambiguously the fossil stuff)
      Look at the headline – select if it looks promising – then right click and select translate to english-
      Google translate is now pretty good and quickly gives a useful article
      When you find a news source that looks useful (in any edition) you can further tailor these by
      including them in the ¨Sources¨ section (or excluding duds)

      • OFM says:

        Thanks everybody for the links and advice about how to mine the net for news.

  8. OFM says:

    Is anybody here who really follows the climate debate willing to venture a guess how long it might be for Virginia at the southern border with NC to have a South Carolina or Georgia climate, or something pretty close ?

    I’m thinking about putting in a small pecan grove for the wildlife and for who ever lives on my place a for the next hundred years plus.

    Right now, pecans ripen properly only about one year in ten here. We need another for weeks of fall and spring weather to count on a crop. But pecans are so valuable, and the land I will plant them on so steep, and thus otherwise of little worth, that a crop every third year on average would be ok.

    I don’t personally expect to live to see another four weeks average of frost free weather, but I’m willing to believe that it can and might happen within twenty to thirty years, conceivably even sooner.

    • notanoilman says:

      At the rate we are going you’ll be right with coconuts.


      • OFM says:

        They’re already selling palm trees at landscaping stores in South Carolina just south of the NC border. As the crow flies I can buy a potted palm intended to be left outside within a hundred and ten miles, maybe a little farther. But I don’t know exactly what kind they are. Not coconuts anyway. Too bad about that, I really like coconuts.

    • alimbiquated says:

      It’s already well documented in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map


      EDIT: The red/yellow change map shows horizontal stripes, but those are an artifact or the zone calibration. The North ends of the zones don’t change as soon as the South end, so the South ends all go pink leaving the North ends yellow. So VA looks mostly unchanged, but that is an illusion. VA looks like NC in the 90s, and Easter PA looks like VA in the 90s.

      • OFM says:

        Thanks Alimbiquated,

        I’m an ag guy, and know a lot about what HAS happened, climate wise, over the last fifty years in the Southeast, from being in the biz and reading the biz literature, and of course looking at historical USDA data.

        Assuming things climate wise continue to change in more or less linear fashion, heating up at about the same rate, pecans will bear every third year, maybe more often, within twenty to twenty five years.

        But maybe things will heat up even faster?

        I’ll be pushing up daises before then, but I might get to eat a few pecans of my own. 😉

  9. GoneFishing says:

    Workshop on the Benefits of Climate Policy:
    Improving Information for Policy Makers
    Abrupt Non-Linear Climate Change, Irreversibility and Surprise
    by Stephen H. Schneider

    What is a “surprise”?
    Strictly speaking, a surprise is an unanticipated outcome; by definition it is an unexpected event.
    Potential climate change, and more broadly, global environmental change, is replete with this kind of truly unexpected surprise because of the enormous complexities of the processes and interrelationships involved (such as coupled ocean, atmosphere and terrestrial systems) and our insufficient understanding of them.
    In IPCC (1996), “surprises” are defined as rapid, non-linear responses of the climatic system to anthropogenic forcing (e.g., greenhouse gas increases), such as the collapse of the “conveyor belt” circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean or rapid deglaciation of polar ice sheets.
    Unfortunately, most climate change assessments rarely consider low-probability, but high consequence extreme events. Instead, they primarily consider scenarios that supposedly “bracket the uncertainty” rather than explicitly integrate unlikely events from the “tails of the distribution.” Not even considered in the standard analytical works are structural changes in political or economic systems or regime shifts such as a change in public consciousness regarding environmental values.


  10. GoneFishing says:

    Temperature anomaly for today, midwinter NH.

  11. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Just a heads-up about this discussion, featuring an apparently excellent summary by Javier, at Energy Matters for those who might be interested and don’t feel like they would be beating a dead horse:

    The Geological Society of London’s Statement on Climate Change

    “What I am soliciting in primary comments is informed opinion driven mainly by what data tells us, backed up by references to data sources. Primary comments may also take the form of questions.

    What I am not going to permit is social commentary and chit chat. Comments will be strictly moderated.” ~ Euan Mearns

    “Roger Andrews says:
    January 15, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Javier: An excellent summary. Thank you”

    As an aside, I’ve known of this for a bit but thought to add it here since OFM mentioned blockchain/Bitcoin upthread. Glen, now you can read up on hashgraph. ‘u^

    • Fred Magyar says:

      It is indeed a dead horse! Seems that both Euan and Javier are still in deep denial of reality and apparently are engaging in delusional thinking. The paper disagrees with their opinions. They seem to think they have a deeper insight into climate science than actual working career climate scientists. I’ll stick with the consensus of the 97% actively working climate scientists who are the defacto experts in their fields.

      Generally speaking when I have a serious health problem I tend to seek out the most competent and well regarded specialists in that particular field. I don’t waste my time looking for the one or two outliers or some quack, who might tell me I have nothing to worry about. The fact that you are posting a link to their discussion just confirms my long time suspicion that you too are a either an ideological climate science denier or you simply do not understand any of the science. Either way, I find little value in your post. Though I suspect your intent is not so much to promote intelligent discourse but rather to troll!

      • George Kaplan says:

        It’s noticeable that the denier crap about it getting colder has now gone almost completely except for a bit of comic relief now and then. They have stopped denying it is warming and have now started to redefine their “lukewarmist” theory to exactly align with the mid IPCC predictions as all the findings now have eliminated any chance of the low end of the warming, saying “there, I was right all along” They are now mostly going for the “it’s not the CO2” argument, which is slowly getting demolished, and this year there is the rise of “let’s just stop talking about it” – which hopefully they will soon realise is quite easy for them to achieve all on their own. That amount of cognitive dissonance would drive me to drink – actually reading some of the fly by denier comments here and the pompous self regard in some of the pseudo-science lukewarmist blogs that has already happened to some deniers (or maybe opioids, they are cheaper bang per buck I think).

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:


          crusty old lobster says:
          January 27, 2018 at 5:24 pm

          I am an occasional visitor to this excellent site and had not realised this debate was going on…

          However as a concerned inhabitant of our planet, I would be fascinated if any contributor who is so inclined could answer a simple question: How likely is it that man-made CO2 production has caused and will continue to cause unnatural heating of the biosphere? Please answer on a sliding scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is not at all likely and 10 is very likely

          Euan Mearns says:
          January 27, 2018 at 10:19 pm


      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        I’m just the messenger and simply posted it here in part because Javier was found over there and he was here in a kind of climate soap opera. So I just thought to let anyone interested here know in case they wanted to go over there and lend their 2 cents for some sort of balance, if that is even possible at this stage.

        Also, WRT the leading paragraph of the article, it is not exactly Euan’s idea, nor solely limited to what he, Javier or Roger thinks, writes or reads…

        “A group of geologists have drawn my attention to the 2010/2013 Geological Society of London‘s statement on climate change and asked if I could arrange an on-line discussion about it. The lead author of the statements is Dr Colin Summerhayes who has participated as guest blogger and commenter on Energy Matters before. And so I asked if I could reproduce the statements on these pages and invite informed commentary. This modus operandi was approved by Dr Summerhayes’ co-authors and the committee of the Geological Society of London.”

        • George Kaplan says:

          The “Geological Society of London’s Statement on Climate Change” is well worth reading even though things have moved on a bit; the comments at Energy Matters maybe less so.

          Climate change: evidence from the geological record

          An addendum to the Statement on Climate Change: Evidence from the Geological Record

          This is one of their clearest statements of the issue:

          Studies of the Last Glacial Maximum (about 20,000 years ago) suggest that the climate sensitivity, based on rapidly acting factors like snow melt, ice melt and the behaviour of clouds and water vapour, lies in the range 1.5°C to 6.4°C. Recent research has given rise to the concept of ‘Earth System sensitivity’, which also takes account of slow acting factors like the decay of large ice sheets and the operation of the full carbon cycle, to estimate the full sensitivity of the Earth System to a doubling of CO2. It is estimated that this could be double the climate sensitivity.

          A lot of the discussion is about lags between temperatures, CO2 and CH4 in ice cores and how they may cause doubt on what causes the warming. This has all been well studied, and still is as there are known unknowns still to figure out. This is pretty good, though also pretty old now:

          The lag between temperature and CO2 (Gore’s got it right)


          There’s been some studies since that show bubbles can migrate in the snow before it is packed down so some lags are not as long as previously thought. The CO2 and CH4 come from the northern hemisphere, but the ice core isotopically inferred temperatures are more representative of the Antartic, which warmed more and slightly differently from the globe as a whole. The difference in lag between CO2 and CH4 with temperatures is mainly due to carbon dioxide interacting with oceans over a thousand years or so, whereas CH4 mainly just interacts with the atmosphere over a few decades.

    • Survivalist says:

      I’m sure Roger, Javier and Eaun are all very happy together.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Alas, if only it was just those 3, but I can understand why some hereon would be weary about the whole anthropogenic climate change issue.
        See also here.

    • Cats@Home says:

      Murky world of ‘science’ journals a new frontier for climate deniers
      @readfearn Tue 23 Jan 2018 19.38 EST


      There’s a new scientific journal you might not have heard of called the International Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences. It says it “supports scientist who sweats for the real innovation & discovery”.

      If that’s a little too sweaty for you, then how about another new journal, also called the International Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences?

      Or, if you’re a discerning (and sweaty) scientist looking for a publisher that “endeavours to provide a notable and discern forum to publish” then maybe the International Journal of Research in Earth and Environmental Sciences is the notable forum for you?

      No? Just one more. There’s also the International Journal of Environmental Sciences which “expecpt high quality research articles” that are free from plagiarism, but maybe not typos.

      Why we can’t trust academic journals to tell the scientific truth. These journals, and hundreds more like them, are mostly based in the Indian subcontinent or China and are part of a ballooning online industry offering to give academics a place to publish their work in return for a fee and minimal, if any, quality control.

      Some have been identified as “predatory” because of the way they target academics, often through spam emails, without properly disclosing fees or claiming to provide a peer review service that would give their research the scrutiny needed.

      Journals that are “open access” make their money by charging academics or institutions a fee for peer reviewing and checking submitted academic manuscripts, and then publishing them. There are many reputable publishers working this way.

      But this murky world has a predator of its own – climate science deniers looking to take advantage of the questionable quality controls in return for getting their work published in what the publishers claim are “peer-reviewed journals” but that, in reality, are not.

  12. GoneFishing says:

    Has our experiment with “democracy” failed. Is the US just another form of top-down authoritarian government where the people are not the instruments (government by the people) but are merely the pawns and servants of the system and the government?

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      I just came across this video, which I’ve yet to view, from a site I visit periodically, Submedia.

      While it may not be a direct response to your questions, it does have some relevance, and this ‘A Is For Anarchy’ video-short series is pretty good– enough to be featured on Permaea’s Twitter:

      What is Race?

      “A look at the historical development of race, both as an enduring system of codified power relations and a central pillar for the creation and maintenance of state power.”

  13. GoneFishing says:

    Slide show covering global aspects of atmospheric dimming

    Overview of Global Dimming and Brightening


  14. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Delusions of Grandeur in Building a Low-Carbon Future

    “Many of us know from practical experience that if gasoline costs too much — like when it was near $4 per gallon in 2008 — it may eat into our budget to such an extent that we can’t pay all our bills or can’t pursue hobbies. On a personal level, then, we see that increased gas prices cause decreased discretionary spending — a negative feedback. This idea can be extended to the entire economy’s budget and income.

    ….. the models currently answer a question that is barely useful: ‘If the economy grows this much, what types of energy investments can we make, and at what rate?’ The models should address the question we really need to answer: “If we make these energy investments at this rate, what happens to the economy?”

    There is a fundamental conflict between achieving low- or zero-carbon energy systems and growing an economy. Both the scale and rate of change during a low-carbon transition matter.”

    Thanks, Ugo…

    Of course this dovetails with my (ostensibly Fred Magyar-challenged) ‘paint-by-numbers/connect-the-dots’-styled comment’s linked quote made over here— specifically, this part:

    Asymmetrical Stupidity Syndrome (ASS): Got Some Yet?

    “Humans used to scratch at dirt, eat bugs and plants until fire and tools. Nowadays, everywhere you step is concrete, steel and glass. This construction material makes 50% of human emissions. New demand is why world energy demand will grow 100% in 50 years.

    The real problem is that emissions have to hit 0% in 50 years too.

    But not only do we need brand new human infrastructure, we need to convert 80% of our old infrastructure to electricity which will cause a pulse of emissions that will defeat its fitness for purpose.

    Fitness for purpose is the fancy hi brow way of saying self-defeating. It’s like when a bully says, quit hitting yourself again and again. The defeat of fitness for purpose is not a single event. It is a continuum, once it’s realized, it doesn’t end. It’s like the Simpsons of your mind realizing a truth you can’t change. There is no off there.

    In 50 years we need 0% fuel emissions, 100% more fuel, while changing 80% of our old fuel.

    In 50 years we need 50% more food on 50% less land and water.

    In 50 years coasts will flood and storm beyond reckoning, grasslands will dry up and blow away.

    In order to even try to do this we need lots and lots and lots of metals and minerals. Way more of both of them than you can understand. The lower density of renewable energy means the higher density of its infrastructure needs.

    In other words, we cannot distribute renewable energy in time to survive the punishment that’s coming…

    …here’s an overview of the battery metals markets in the following videos by metals and mineral investment experts. Basically what they’re saying is that copper, nickel, cobalt and lithium will face supply constraints by 2025 for 30 million electric vehicles. There’s 750 million cars on earth. We can’t even build 30 million cars with these metals, and people want one billion of them. And investors are lining up to give it to you. They know this will not save earth, and they don’t fucking care because they get rich selling you lies due to asymmetrical stupidity. They’re stupid, you’re not… maybe.

    The reason everything is top secret and classified is because in the current media climate we would lose our fucking minds if we knew what was going on. Naomi Klein is sponsored by the Rockefellers and Fords because she’s selling you a lie. Green energy and justice. Renewable energy is equitably unsustainable.

    The insurance industry uses safety and justice to force you to buy stuff. Rare earth minerals are now a by-product of heavy metal mining. Our hi-tech green energy world is too complex for the way we imagine living our life…

    It’s at this point someone chirps up that youth are moving back to the land, but that doesn’t matter because trendsetters can’t move the big green blob of jello that makes up the silent majority…”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      As I have said before, you don’t seem to understand how the world really works! Solar wind and some form of energy storage is the only way to ween a billion people off dirty expensive forms of fossil fuel based energy like kerosene! Dependence on fossil fuels and a centralized distribution system is a form of enslavement. Distributed solar energy is a form of democratizing access to energy. Whether you accept it or not the world is undergoing one of the greatest energy and social disruptions ever and which will lead to a very different world than the one you seem to think will prevail. Now whether or not this transition happens fast enough to allow some form of technological civilization to continue for billions of humans, remains to be seen. It may indeed end up being too little too late, but one thing is for certain, fossil fuels are going away and it is happening at an accelerating pace in many parts of the developing world. Either lead, follow or get out of the way!


      Amar Inamdar
      TEDGlobal 2017
      The thrilling potential for off-grid solar energy

      There’s an energy revolution happening in villages and towns across Africa — off-grid solar energy is becoming a viable alternative to traditional electricity systems. In a bold talk about a true leapfrog moment, Amar Inamdar introduces us to proud owners of off-grid solar kits — and explains how this technology has the opportunity to meet two extraordinary goals: energy access for all and a low-carbon future. “Every household a proud producer as well as consumer of energy,” Inamdar says. “That’s the democracy of energy.” (Followed by a brief Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson)

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Planet Earth Superfund

        Hi Fred,

        Just take the initial condition, or ‘seed’, of, or as, the crony capitalist plutarchy and run it over time and see where your pseudorenewable blue-pill mindfuck takes you, if that’s how you see the world working.

        Do you actually think the world is working? How? For what? Other species for when we create a new niche for them to occupy by our extinction?

        If our counterparts spoke with each other just before the ‘wonder and excitement’ of the green or industrial revolutions, my counterparts would likely have told you similar about them, before they left behind their wastelands that they have.

        There is little democratizing about the fruits of a crony capitalist plutarchy in the contexts of such, irrespective of how they are whitewashed and peddled by the likes of you and the corporate sycophants.

        Evolution is also ‘how the world works’ and if some of us cannot and will not evolve to save their asses, then their progeny won’t be breathing.

        Edited for Fred’s education:

        “Dependence on fossil fuels and a centralized distribution system is a form of enslavement.
        Similarly, so-called-distributed solar energy is still a form of enslaved access to energy and still centralized where it depends on a centralized crony-capitalist plutarchy system.” ~ Pseudo-Fred Magyar

        …And again from above:

        “…not only do we need brand new human infrastructure, we need to convert 80% of our old infrastructure to electricity which will cause a pulse of emissions that will defeat its fitness for purpose.”

        “It may indeed end up being too little too late…” ~ Fred Magyar

        But not before too many with good intentions, or otherwise, continue to thumb their noses to the ecosystem in their mindless and mindfucked pursuits of alternative energies for the wrong reasons and in the wrong contexts.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Edited for Fred’s education:
          LOL! Do I get a framed signed certificate to put on my wall?!

          Evolution is also ‘how the world works’ and if some of us cannot and will not evolve to save their asses, then their progeny won’t be breathing.

          You apparently have no idea how evolution works, I could enlighten you but you seem to be missing significant portions of a basic general education with major gaps specifically in math and science.

          What is Darwin’s Theory of Evolution?

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Your comment’s a pretty weak one, Fred, as usual.

            Dropping links tells us little that you know much about what you are dropping and/or that you can make important connections and syntheses from it and whatnot.

            You might fool/impress some people, but not everyone.

            Recall from some time ago that I suggested synthesis.

            So, no, you don’t get a framed certificate to put up on your wall. Not from me anyway, but maybe from your sycophants.

            Or maybe you can forge one.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              So, no, you don’t get a framed certificate to put up on your wall. Not from me anyway, but maybe from your sycophants.

              Aw! I’m profoundly disappointed, I was so looking forward to getting some kind of tangible proof that I was making some progress with the education that you have so generously been providing me and others on this site. Maybe you can provide some remedial assistance to those like myself who are somewhat slow learners and have difficulty understanding your teachings…

              But based on this comment:

              Evolution is also ‘how the world works’ and if some of us cannot and will not evolve to save their asses, then their progeny won’t be breathing.

              You don’t understand ‘The Theory of Evolution’. Hint, Evolution has no direction or goals and organisms could not somehow decide to ‘evolve’ even if their lives depended on it. BTW, ‘evolve’ within the context of the T.O.E, does not even mean what you seem to think it means.


              Misconceptions about natural selection

              Because natural selection can produce amazing adaptations, it’s tempting to think of it as an all-powerful force, urging organisms on, constantly pushing them in the direction of progress — but this is not what natural selection is like at all.

              First, natural selection is not all-powerful; it does not produce perfection. If your genes are “good enough,” you’ll get some offspring into the next generation — you don’t have to be perfect. This should be pretty clear just by looking at the populations around us: people may have genes for genetic diseases, plants may not have the genes to survive a drought, a predator may not be quite fast enough to catch her prey every time she is hungry. No population or organism is perfectly adapted.

              Second, it’s more accurate to think of natural selection as a process rather than as a guiding hand. Natural selection is the simple result of variation, differential reproduction, and heredity — it is mindless and mechanistic. It has no goals; it’s not striving to produce “progress” or a balanced ecosystem.
              Bold mine

              My sincerest apologies for just dropping another link and for not writing a full dissertation on the Theory of Evolution from scratch… but my sycophants should still be duly impressed!

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Social Evolution

                “…is a subdiscipline of evolutionary biology that is concerned with social behaviors that have fitness consequences for individuals other than the actor…

                Social evolution is also often regarded (especially, in the field of social anthropology) as evolution of social systems and structures.

                In 2010, Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson, a founder of modern sociobiology, proposed a new theory of social evolution. He argued that the traditional approach of focusing on eusociality had limitations, which he illustrated primarily with examples from the insect world.”

      • islandboy says:

        Speaking of Kerosene.

        Heart-wrenching – Cockburn Gardens mourns after three children die in blaze

        According to the relatives, the mother of the twin boys left them among four children at home under the supervision of her 18-year-old daughter, who is Crisharge’s mother, while she went to work at a fast-food outlet.

        It is alleged that the 18-year-old then decided to leave the children in the care of her 13-year-old sister to attend a party. The 13-year-old reportedly lit a candle in the room and left the four young ones sleeping while she went outside to talk to friends

        Which led the Prime Minister who is also the member of parliament for that constituency to chime in.

        Holness wants to fast-track programme to end kerosene lamp, candle use in homes

        Prime Minister Andrew Holness wants to end the use of kerosene lamps and candles in homes.

        He says he has asked the Ministry of Science Technology and Energy to fast-track a planned programme aimed at replacing open-flame light sources in homes with solar lights in vulnerable rural and inner-city communities.

        The Prime Minister’s revelation follows a deadly fire in his constituency last night which claimed the lives of three toddlers.

        There is a growing number of people around the world for whom a solar PV module, a lithium ion battery and a few LED lights would be huge improvement on what they have now. Increasingly that solution is also able to provide significant savings in fuel (or candle) purchases. The above stories highlight the health and particularly, safety benefits of not having open flames inside structures occupied by people.

        • OFM says:

          A small solar panel, a small battery, and a couple of smallish led lights are not only safer than kerosene and candles, the solar set up is also cheaper by a mile……. over a period of time.

          The problem is that really poor people can come up with a little bit of money for kerosene and candles from one day to the next. They can’t come up with enough money to buy the solar setup in most cases.

          The solution is some sort of micro lending operation that can be kept simple and efficient. If I were a young guy, I could organize and run such a project myself, it’s not all that complicated….. except for finding a donor to get it up and running.

          Once you have a fair sized existing customer base, the payments coming in are enough to cover bulk purchases of new systems for new customers. It’s a win win, the customer pays less per day for his system than he used to pay for kerosene and or candles, and need not try to economize, since sunshine is still free.

          There’s at least half a dozen or so such micro lending operations I have read about in operation in various countries. Most of them seem to be working very well.

  15. OFM says:

    This one is especially for my helper HB. I’m hoping for a foaming at the mouth comment reply from him. He asks for it every now by way of accusing me of supporting Trump.

    I never supported Trump. I supported a real Democrat, even though he refers to himself as a socialist. I have done as much as I can to convince any body who reads my many comments to support candidates with reasonably favorable polling numbers, especially when the numbers involve trust and respect, rather than candidates who are apt to lose because of their smelly baggage trains.


    All the hard core liberal bloggers and columnists and talking heads are having a blast bad mouthing the Christian community for giving Trump a mulligan for screwing a professional, while they cut HRC a comparable amount of slack for covering up for Bill, running a Bimbo squad for him for years.

    Well, the REAL Christian community, the ones who really take their religion seriously, believes in forgiveness, as a matter of principle and policy, but only in the event that the sinner owns up, and professes regret and sorrow and a determination to do better.

    The more or less polar opposite political camp often allows ITS sinners to go to rehab, which is now frequently referred to as the last refuge of a scoundrel these days, having displaced patriotism.

    The fraction of the Christian community that still defends Trump and Moore are playing political hard ball, pure and simple, which is precisely the same game both sides play, as a general rule, although the D’s are playing it dead straight for the moment in cases of sexual harassment and kicking out men right and left. Most of them are no doubt guilty, but I expect maybe a few big D good men have been and or will be victimized by women who hate their guts for one reason or another having little or nothing to do with sexual misconduct in the work place.

    The cynics in either case, at both ends of the political spectrum, have defended their own leadership as a general rule, and can be expected to continuing to do the same, again, as a general rule.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed executive order B-48-18, directing all State entities to work with the private sector and all appropriate levels of government to put at least 5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on California roads by 2030. Brown had mentioned the 5-million target in his State of the State address earlier this week. (Earlier post.) The state’s current target, set by Brown in 2012, is 1.5 million ZEVs by 2025.

      Brown is also proposing a new eight-year initiative to continue the state’s clean vehicle rebates and spur more infrastructure investments. This $2.5-billion initiative will help bring 200 hydrogen fueling stations and 250,000 zero-emission vehicle chargers, including 10,000 direct current fast chargers, to California by 2025.

      ZEV technologies include hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), which include both pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

      According to the Auto Alliance ZEV sales dashboard, as of the end of October 2017, California had 176,681 battery-electric and fuel-cell vehicles—i.e., fully zero tailpipe emissions vehicles—on its roads. When plug-in hybrids are added, that brings the total to 337,483 units.

      The order also directs State entities to continue to partner with regional and local governments to streamline zero-emission vehicle infrastructure installation processes wherever possible. As part of this effort, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development will publish a Plug-in Charging Station Development Guidebook and update the 2015 Hydrogen Station Permitting Guidebook.


  16. Survivalist says:

    One more for JQ

    Arctic weirding goes into overdrive, with shattered ice and temperature records


    • George Kaplan says:

      There is a great video here by Ice Shieldz showing the Lincoln Sea in January. Up to this year this area was solid, multiyear ice, often fast. It all got smashed up and melted this summer and now is thin first year ice which is continually being exported out the Nares Strait, which no longer has a winter ice dam.

      https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2141.700.html#lastPost. (top of page 15)

      • Survivalist says:

        Thanks George. I appreciate the link. I often lurk on both comment threads for your links. These comment threads here at POB are the best for interesting stories and data.

    • Jared Quinlan says:

      Well I think I will take your advice and click your little [x] as you instructed me to do. Bye Bye climate change!

  17. Doug Leighton says:

    Fred, interesting tidbit:



    • Fred Magyar says:

      Cool! Seems to be a case of safety in large numbers. Can you imagine 600 dolphins all shouting “SHARK!” at once? 😉

    • Hightrekker says:

      I’ve had bottlenose get bit agro on me—-
      Spinners never.
      600 would be menacing.
      (I did dolphin charters in Micronesia)

  18. George Kaplan says:

    I have a question concerning ice core bubbles: is the methane preserved exactly as it was in the atmosphere or can it decay as it does normally through reactions with the hydroxyl ion, albeit very slowly but also over a very long time?

    • GoneFishing says:

      The current concentration of methane is about 10,000 to 100,000 times the concentration of hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere. So there would not be enough hydroxyl ions to make a significant change in the concentration of methane.

    • I really don’t know what I am talking about here but I was always of the opinion that the methane in the atmosphere would eventually oxidize into CO2. That is you have methane in the presence of oxygen so if you have a source of heat you will have oxidation. The heat could be a lightning bolt or a fire of any kind.

      • OFM says:

        Hi Ron,

        The physics of combustion ( oxidation) when the fuel molecules in the air are extremely scarce is something I know only a little about.

        It’s well known however that if the fuel in vapor form is too dilute, you can’t ignite it except with extreme difficulty, and maybe not at all. This is why old cars have chokes on the carburetor, to enrich the mixture for cold starts, and new cars are programmed so the computer enriches the mixture automatically when the engine is cold. A leaner mixture will ignite easily once the engine heats up.

        Don’t take this one to the bank.

        But it’s my understanding that a methane molecule that is drawn into any sort of fire will usually burn up, but otherwise…. it’s going to be around for a while, because the concentration of methane is so low in the atmosphere that burning (oxidation) just doesn’t happen….. except when there is a pre existing fire that creates enough heat for a methane molecule to react with oxygen.

        Eventually some methane molecules are captured and consumed by various microscopic life forms. Some others degrade due to ultraviolet light from the sun…. but only very slowly. The remainder react with other molecules in the atmosphere… but only very slowly.

        Methane sticks around a long time.

        I ought to know more about this sort of thing, but I’m obsolete, lol.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi OFM,

          Methane half life is about 7 years see


          where it says:

          Methane is a relatively potent greenhouse gas with a high global warming potential of 72 (averaged over 20 years) or 25 (averaged over 100 years). Methane in the atmosphere is eventually oxidized, producing carbon dioxide and water. As a result, methane in the atmosphere has a half life of seven years.

          • GoneFishing says:

            The major pathway to oxidize atmospheric methane is through the hydroxyl radical not diatomic oxygen. Ozone and N2O are smaller players in the oxidation of atmospheric methane.
            The driving energy for the reaction is sunlight.
            The first intermediate is methyl radical plus water.
            The methyl radical then reacts with another hydroxyl to form formaldehyde and water. Formaldehyde then reacts with another hydroxyl radical to form carbon dioxide and water.

            Soil bacteria directly use oxygen and methane to produce CO2 and water.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Respecting George’s question concerning ice core bubbles: “…is the methane preserved exactly as it was in the atmosphere or can it decay as it does normally through reactions with the hydroxyl ion, albeit very slowly but also over a very long time?”

              Yes, methane remains stable for at least 800,000 years although there are contamination concerns in shallow snow and ice. In my opinion the more interesting story comes from the carbon isotope data.

              “Ice coring has been around since the 1950s. Ice cores have been drilled in ice sheets worldwide, but notably in Greenland and Antarctica. High rates of snow accumulation provide excellent time resolution, and bubbles in the ice core preserve actual samples of the world’s ancient atmosphere. ”


  19. Fred Magyar says:

    Interesting window into how climate change might affect ocean currents and precipitation!


    Pronounced centennial-scale Atlantic Ocean climate variability correlated with Western Hemisphere hydroclimate

    Surface-ocean circulation in the northern Atlantic Ocean influences Northern Hemisphere climate. Century-scale circulation variability in the Atlantic Ocean, however, is poorly constrained due to insufficiently-resolved paleoceanographic records. Here we present a replicated reconstruction of sea-surface temperature and salinity from a site sensitive to North Atlantic circulation in the Gulf of Mexico which reveals pronounced centennial-scale variability over the late Holocene. We find significant correlations on these timescales between salinity changes in the Atlantic, a diagnostic parameter of circulation, and widespread precipitation anomalies using three approaches: multiproxy synthesis, observational datasets, and a transient simulation. Our results demonstrate links between centennial changes in northern Atlantic surface-circulation and hydroclimate changes in the adjacent continents over the late Holocene. Notably, our findings reveal that weakened surface-circulation in the Atlantic Ocean was concomitant with well-documented rainfall anomalies in the Western Hemisphere during the Little Ice Age.

  20. GoneFishing says:

    What is the chance of civil war and what form will it take?
    America’s stability is increasingly an undercurrent in political discourse. Earlier this year, I began a conversation with Keith Mines about America’s turmoil. Mines has spent his career—in the U.S. Army Special Forces, the United Nations, and now the State Department—navigating civil wars in other countries, including Afghanistan, Colombia, El Salvador, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. He returned to Washington after sixteen years to find conditions that he had seen nurture conflict abroad now visible at home. It haunts him. In March, Mines was one of several national-security experts whom Foreign Policy asked to evaluate the risks of a second civil war—with percentages. Mines concluded that the United States faces a sixty-per-cent chance of civil war over the next ten to fifteen years. Other experts’ predictions ranged from five per cent to ninety-five per cent. The sobering consensus was thirty-five per cent. And that was five months before Charlottesville

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I guess my question would be, how do we inoculate our civil society against a take over by a tyrannical authoritarian government when our institutions have been co-opted by fascists and neo-Nazis?

      Timothy Snyder: On Tyranny pt1

      • George Kaplan says:

        There’s always satire, don’t forget as Peter Cook said “those wonderful Berlin cabarets … which did so much to stop the rise of Hitler and prevent the outbreak of the Second World War”

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Ja vol herr commandant!


          Cabaret Willkommen!

          Willkommen! And bienvenue! Welcome!
          Fremder, étranger, stranger
          Glücklich zu sehen
          Je suis enchanté
          Happy to see you
          Bleibe, reste, stay
          Willkommen! And bienvenue! Welcome!
          I’m cabaret, au cabaret, to cabaret!
          Meine damen und herren
          Mes dames et messieurs
          Ladies and gentlemen
          Guten abend! Bon soir! Good evening!
          Wie geht’s? Comment sa va?
          Do you feel good?
          Ich bin eur confrencier!
          Je suis votre compère
          I am your host!

          Don’t forget to stand up and be counted!
          Tomorrow belongs to me Cabaret

        • Synapsid says:

          George Kaplan,

          Ah, Peter Cook. Thank you, George.

          “If you ever want to hear a boring conversation, just pop down the mine. There it’ll be.”

      • GoneFishing says:

        I think the answer is buried in the methods of our furious leader and in the methods of the right wing. The story of “righting wrongs” and incitement to violence is leading people becoming very outward verbally about violence and killing. The model of being able to say anything one pleases will have a chilling effect on society and will cause fear. Once fear sets in dynamics of further separation into a bimodal society will force some action. Since the outward nefarious scheming by the conservative side is fully public and the outward antagonism toward people of color and foreigners is blatant, the pot will boil over on the conservatives.
        I get the feeling that the Republican party will cease to exist in the longer term and face some nasty problems in the short run. The upside is that the Democratic party will also change dramatically.
        With governors and city mayors aligning against the current administration, the setting for various forms of conflict is in place. With fear and distrust setting in at the civil level, the force of the moment is winding the spring of action.
        When and how it unleashes is unknown yet, but the first moves have been made.
        Let’s hope it doesn’t get like the Spanish Civil War.

        To correct it there needs to be a new strong story, one that the fearful and distrustful can latch onto to bring the votes strongly the other way. One that will even make some sense to the everyone. Quelling the mob attitude that is forming in this country is the first step. Removing the problems from office is the next.
        Otherwise, it’s going to get nasty. I doubt if the American public will go along with a full move back to the gilded age and a time of strong bigotry.

  21. OFM says:

    Riots are one thing. Civil war is another thing altogether.

    I know a ton of military people who are now almost all retired, people who have seen the world, and surprisingly enough to some people, who are mostly well educated.

    None of them think there is more than a remote chance of a civil war in the USA, and then only if all the cards fall wrong.

    But sometimes the cards DO fall wrong. Nobody with a brain will argue that point. With enough bad luck…..

    But the media LOVE to exaggerate the number of people who are radical enough to actually want to fight.

    Ask a typical hard core liberal who gets off on hating Christians, and he is apt to believe that every second or third man who attends church is ready and willing to firebomb abortion clinics.

    In actuality, not even one USA dwelling Christian in ten thousand is willing to firebomb anybody at all for any reason at all.

    We’re basically a law abiding nation, in spite of the number of murders and robberies and such that we experience.

    And we are apt to stay a law abiding nation………. so long as we don’t cut off the welfare programs that keep the unemployed and the unemployable from living on the streets and robbing for food and entertainment.

    Could that happen ?

    Yes…… if we have a long enough string of the sort of bad luck that resulted in Trump being elected president. It took a perfect storm of bad luck for that to happen……… but it did.

    For instance……

    HRC would have won had she had the good sense to just pay a visit or two to the last three rusty states that put Trump in the WH, instead of being so stupidly arrogant as to assume she could refer to working class people scared shitless for their jobs as to take them for granted, campaigning on globalization and banksterism, and referring to them as ” deplorables” .

    I ‘ve tried really hard to get people to understand that deliberately going out of your way to insult people is not exactly the best policy, if you want their votes, lol.

    There’s common ground to be found, if you look for it, and cultivate it.

    It’s pure bad luck that so many hard core liberals tend to believe that anybody who doesn’t agree with them on some particular issue is less than a human being, without the right to make up his or her own mind what’s what in terms of mores, culture and morality.

    This boneheaded attitude basically means they are guilty of the same exact sin they accuse the opposition of……… namely, intolerance.

    HEY, guys, these people you badmouth so readily DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE…… unless perhaps you think we should institute some sort of test other than citizenship qualifying and limiting that right, so they CAN’T vote, lol.

    You only need to win over about two or three more out of each hundred of them in most parts of the country where the people are concentrated to win a LOT more elections. A hell of a lot of elections are pretty close on a pretty regular basis.

    It’s more bad luck we are so polarized already. It’s even worse that the well educated people that obviously view themselves as the cultural, political and economic elite are too goddamned stupid to understand something so simple.

    The foot soldier opposition has an excuse……….. ignorance.

    You’re the guys who know better, you have said so yourself. You don’t have the excuse of ignorance.

    In other places, you may not get them to vote for a hard core liberal, but if you work at winning them over, you can influence them to the point they shift their support to relatively moderate Republican candidates, or even to relatively conservative D candidates.

    Even the most ignorant jackass these days knows what a code word is, lol, and naturally assumed it that was aimed at HIM.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      “We’re basically a law-abiding nation, in spite of the number of murders and robberies and such that we experience.”

      Really? Why then are more than 1 in 100 adults in the US in prison or jail? Why if all prisoners are counted does THE US HAVE AROUND 25% OF THE WORLD’S 9.8 MILLION PRISONERS? Why in 2008, were roughly one in every 31 adults (7.3 million) in the US either behind bars or being monitored? Why in recent decades has the US experienced a surge in its prison population — quadrupling since 1980? And, why does the US have more of their people in prison than any other country in the world?

      • Nick G says:

        Uhmmm….you know that’s because the US imprisons too many people, right? It’s not because people there are more lawless, it’s that the law is seriously too aggressive.

        Or, put it another way – the US makes too many things illegal, and makes the penalties way too high. Like during Prohibition.

        Somehow I thought everyone knew that.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          “Somehow I thought everyone knew that.”

          OK if EVERYONE knows that I suppose that’s the way you want it, being a democracy and all. I’m relatively well informed but until I looked it up I didn’t know America with around 5% of the world’s population has 25% of its prisoners. So much for ‘life, LIBERTY and pursuit of happiness’. 🙂

          • Nick G says:

            Yeah, it’s easy to think that the news on something has gotten out, when you’ve been dealing with it for a while.

            It’s a real tragedy. Poor people and people of color are victimized, in order to maintain a law & order industry.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        What Nick said. The problem is the US legal and prison system. A lot of people get sent to jail for misdemeanors, petty crimes, and things like traffic tickets because they are destitute and can’t afford to pay the fines or put up bond. The US system is rigged against the poor and underprivileged in a big way! Not to mention that the US prison system is mostly a for profit business.

      • George Kaplan says:

        Isn’t there now a pretty big drop in crime, and presumably therefore convictions, in states that have legalised marijuana – actually more noticeable in violent crime than minor drug offences in the border states – which is now getting another big boost with California law changes?

        Though I’ve also read that the virtual slave labour in the prison population is quite a big input to the US economy so some people may be looking to reverse any downward trend.

        • OFM says:

          Every body commenting on prison and crime has a piece of the truth. It’s possible in the opinion of some people to trace the root of this problem back to the fact that our political processes are dominated by lawyers, and by big corporations. I’m one of them. The route to public office in this country is thru the legal system, it’s the really only really viable ( and even then long shot ) profession that gets people the exposure needed, enables them to make the contacts needed, and enables them to get onto the lowest rungs of the political ladder of power, such as county supervisor or city councilman, from which the aspiring politician can then move up. The lawyers look after themselves first and foremost, as we all do. As politicians, they look after themselves first, their party second, and their profession third.

          Not THE LAW, but rather the POWER of the lawyers, I mean.

          We do have countless flaws major flaws, general ignorance being one of them, political cowardice on the part of our media in times past being another, another being the dependence of our media on advertising, etc.

          The idiot box had a hell of a lot to do with getting us into the situation we are in, when people had three choices( if they could get all three major networks) to listen to a VERY brief synopsis of the news, slanted to suit the owners of the networks of course. And all three networks were owned by the same class of people, lol.

          Now the idiot box is helping us escape from that same situation. Archie Bunker did more to enlighten and raise up the moral standards of the young people of this country, by a mile, than a hundred earnest liberal columnists telling us to think their way. Every young person I ever met loved to make fun of Archie, excepting again that dumbest ten percent.

          You can’t REALLY expect a newspaper dependent on car ads to say much in favor of mass transit, can you?

          You can’t expect politicians bought and paid for by big pharma money to vote for the legalization of pot, can you?

          You can’t expect a rising politician to risk his losing his next election by coming out in favor of pot legalization UNTIL he or she is SURE that ENOUGH people have concluded that the “reefer madness” and gateway drug bullshit is just that, bullshit.

          And while it’s truly awful and unfortunate that we have the racial problems we do have, it’s also true these racial problems are responsible for one hell of a big part of our crime and punishment problem. I have lived in some VERY rough neighborhoods, where I didn’t care to venture out at night much even though I was young and tough and often packed.

          Sky Daddy knows we have a TON of big problems, but it’s not yet to the point we must assume our society is doomed to collapse.

          Virginia for instance will be another ten years imo legalizing recreational pot, but one of my neighbors got caught growing, just a single plant, it’s true, last year, and got off with a fine and the loss of his driver’s license for six months. Ten years ago, he would have pulled a year or more for this offense, maybe ten.

          If we manage to get thru the next five or ten years, most of my generation will be either dead or in nursing homes, we’re leaving this old vale of tears at an ever increasing rate, and there are fewer of us left to leave each day.

          Our places are being taken by younger people who are more open minded, and who have access to countless sources of information unavailable even to somebody like me, for most of my life, even though I had access to libraries and time to read. There wasn’t much in the way of alternative news providers, up until recently. Now we have the net, and web sites like this one, and magazines such as the Rolling Stone, which runs some of the best stuff ever on our political news .

          I see white girls with black guys almost every day these days, if I go to town, and don’t stop anywhere but the supermarket and hardware. Twenty years ago, NEVER, in this community. Nobody bats an eye anymore.

          Even the dumbest kid has a smart phone, more likely than not these days, and I don’t even know a young person who believes in Trump, again with the exception of the dumbest ten percent or so.

          If it weren’t for the determination of the leftish liberal faction in our country to force change on the people as a whole thru the courts, at a rate faster than they are WILLING to change, we wouldn’t have the goddamned mess we do now.

          Whether it’s RIGHT to have free access to abortions, or lots of immigration, or to confiscate hand guns and tightly regulate long arms, etc, is a matter of opinion to some people, a matter of fact to others. I’m agnostic on these issues, I see both sides. I have helped three women arrange an abortion they couldn’t have managed without help, providing money , transportation, information, etc, but I fully understand that a lot of women I know believe abortion is murder, pure and simple.

          When my generation in Virginia is gone, most of the people in this state who hunt will be gone, and a HUGE fraction of the people who believe they have GOD GIVEN and CONTSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to own guns will be gone as well, and replaced by a younger generation that doesn’t hunt or shoot, for the most part. This same calculus is playing out all over the country.

          Even in a place like Colorado, the rural people are soon going to lose control of their government to the people who live in the cities, and those people are going to send more liberal people to congress, over time, except maybe if the mining industry manages to put enough money into the pockets of pro mining politicians.

          Trump is president because we ( the working and socially conservative classes of this country ) are scared, and pissed off, and tired of seeing our jobs shipped overseas, and tired of being taken for granted by the leadership of the Democratic Party. We ( not me, personally ) voted for Trump because he at least PAID LIP SERVICE to our fears and worries.

          The D’s weren’t smart enough to understand the mood of the country. Well, HRC and her yes boys and yes girls weren’t, anyway.

  22. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    How Much Energy Do We Need?

    “…basic needs can be met with different means, and the relative necessity of some energy services could and should be questioned. This approach can be labeled ‘sufficiency’. Energy services could be reduced… or replaced by less energy-intensive ones (using a bicycle instead of a car…)

    Substitution can also involve community services. In principle, public service delivery could bring economies of scale and thus reduce the energy involved in providing many household services: public transport, public bathing houses, community kitchens, laundrettes, libraries, internet cafés, public telephone boxes, and home delivery services are just some examples.

    Combining sufficiency with efficiency measures, German researchers calculated that the typical electricity use of a two-person household could be lowered by 75%, without reverting to drastic lifestyle changes such as washing clothes by hand or generating power with excercise machines. Although this only concerns a part of total energy demand, reducing electricity use in the household also leads to reductions in energy use for manufacturing and transportation.

    …a modern life is compatible with much lower energy demand, at least when we assume that a reduction of 75% in energy use would be enough to stay within the carrying capacity of the planet.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Energy services could be reduced… or replaced by less energy-intensive ones (using a bicycle instead of a car…)

      Gee! what an deep insight! I don’t think anyone has ever thought of that before.

      Sure and a lot of people could probably substitute organic cucumbers for their AI endowed, smartphone app controlled, Li ion battery powered silicone dildo vibrators with the little pink LED lights. All you have to do is convince them that the cucumbers are better for them AND the environment! Win win!

      I’m sure someone, somewhere is probably already using CRISPR to insert pink fluorescent jellyfish genes into organic cucumbers to make them more palatable… /sarc

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        “Energy services could be reduced… or replaced by less energy-intensive ones (using a bicycle instead of a car…)” ~ Kris De Decker, via Caelan MacIntyre

        “Gee! what an deep insight! I don’t think anyone has ever thought of that before.” ~ Fred Magyar

        So simple, even a child could understand it.

        So? What are you and other ‘adults’ doing with your cars, then? Ride-sharing? Or (still?) driving one-person-per-car?

  23. Fred Magyar says:

    HEY, guys, these people you badmouth so readily DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE…… unless perhaps you think we should institute some sort of test other than citizenship qualifying and limiting that right, so they CAN’T vote, lol.

    Actually as it stands they really don’t have any rights at all. Other than the corporations and the 1% who do have power, the American people don’t even understand that their rights are non existent in the context of a completely corrupt and fully bought out system.
    How many Americans do you think have even read the US constitution or understand how the three branches of government are supposed to function?

    As someone who has lived under a military dictatorship where citizens at least in theory had the right to vote, without that having any practical effect at all! It seems to me that what we are seeing happening in the USA today is the complete irrelevance of democratic elections. That is the consequence of a slow long term transition to an authoritarian regime and an erosion of democratic institutions. Been going on since before Reagan with a culmination in the Bush administration’s War Powers Act after 9/11

    Exhibit A is the fact the Trump actually lost the popular vote by a considerable amount. The electoral college did not support the will of the people! The two party system in the US has for all practical purposes become a farce. The districts are gerrymandered and the only way to become a viable candidate is to have huge amounts of money the Remocrats and the Depublicans are just opposite sides of the same worthless wooden nickel.

    Talk to me when the American people have woken up and run the current crop of corrupt politicians out of office and we have at a minimum, half a dozen or so truly viable political parties and the people are once again engaged in a political sense at the local level.

    Until then it really won’t matter who votes for whom because the choices are all bad!
    Right now I see a lot of Americans enamored with authoritarian, nationalistic, xenophobic and basically fascist views. No, the US in 2018 is not the Weimar Republic of the 1930’s but there are definitely some rather alarming parallels, especially amongst the segment of the population that are Trump supporters. Some of my own neighbors are such people. I don’t go out of my way to insult them or badmouth them but I do fear their ignorance of history. They haven’t stood with me on the banks of the Danube contemplating The Shoes monument in Budapest, Hungary, that was built in memory of the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II…

    • OFM says:

      01/27/2018 at 7:20 pm

      “Actually as it stands they really don’t have any rights at all.”

      Tell that to the people who put Roy Moore out to pasture in Alabama.

      ” Other than the corporations and the 1% who do have power, the American people don’t even understand that their rights are non existent in the context of a completely corrupt and fully bought out system.”

      It’s true our political system is seriously rotted out, but it’s not quite ready to collapse. The people in a few states have a pretty good grasp of their rights, as evidenced by the fact they have voted to legalize recreational pot for instance, even though the pharma and prison and law enforcement industries are opposed.

      “How many Americans do you think have even read the US constitution or understand how the three branches of government are supposed to function?”

      Maybe one fourth of us have a pretty decent understanding of these things. Not many more, if that many.

      Maybe if we were to bust up the teacher’s monopoly, we would have better schools.

      “Exhibit A is the fact the Trump actually lost the popular vote by a considerable amount. The electoral college did not support the will of the people! The two party system in the US has for all practical purposes become a farce. The districts are gerrymandered and the only way to become a viable candidate is to have huge amounts of money the Remocrats and the Depublicans are just opposite sides of the same worthless wooden nickel. ”

      It’s hard to argue otherwise, but it’s pretty well understood by students of American history that there wouldn’t BE any USA, at least nothing comparable to what exists today, if it weren’t for the electoral college. The smaller states wanted it, and they wanted and got their two senators per state.

      Without these concessions or gifts, some or maybe all of them would have refused to join the union. Historical accident. My personal belief is that the electoral college will be done away with within the next two decades, maybe sooner.

      “Talk to me when the American people have woken up and run the current crop of corrupt politicians out of office and we have at a minimum, half a dozen or so truly viable political parties and the people are once again engaged in a political sense at the local level. ”

      Hard to argue this point ! We had a couple of people here, namely old HB, who absolutely REFUSED to admit the D’s ran an old time corrupt machine politician last time for prez, the only difference being she was a SHE. I didn’t succeed in getting more than one or two people to acknowledge in a reply that she was/ is corrupt, not on Trump’s scale by any means, but still grossly unqualified based on her ethical record such as Cattle Gate, White Water ( I know, I followed it very closely, and I have been in the same line of work for decades, off and on, nickel and dime real estate ) accepting money from scumbags doing business with the state department, etc.

      Blame it on the people, not the political rules, although the rules are heavily biased in favor of incumbents and those with tons of connections.

      “Until then it really won’t matter who votes for whom because the choices are all bad!”

      None of the other Republican candidates were as bad as Trump, and the D’s had an excellent opportunity to nominate an honorable man, except that HRC was able to gain defacto OWNERSHIP of the D party apparatus, over the years.

      “Right now I see a lot of Americans enamored with authoritarian, nationalistic, xenophobic and basically fascist views.”

      So do I.

      ” No, the US in 2018 is not the Weimar Republic of the 1930’s but there are definitely some rather alarming parallels, especially amongst the segment of the population that are Trump supporters. Some of my own neighbors are such people. I don’t go out of my way to insult them or badmouth them but I do fear their ignorance of history.”

      So do I. But perhaps these people are not so numerous and politically powerful and motivated as you think they are. If the D’s are smart enough to get off of a few of their cultural toes, and just allow them to die of old age, the larger part of this problem will take care of itself over the next decade or so.

      “They haven’t stood with me on the banks of the Danube contemplating The Shoes monument in Budapest, Hungary, that was built in memory of the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest. ”

      My second wife, my Big Apple princess, was Jewish. She lost her known entire extended European family in the Holocaust, to the best of her family’s collective knowledge.

      Some of my fairly recent ancestors probably owned a slave or two, but no more, since none I know of had money enough. I know my own ancestors have been enslaved, and ruled as peasants, and driven forcibly from their homes, within the last few centuries.

      Now I shop at stores owned by the ancestors of slaves, and occasionally hire a black contractor, and eat at restaurants owned and operated by black folk, and when I hire a couple of black farm hands for a day, they eat in the house with me at the same table.

      The situation isn’t hopeless.
      Things will get better, if we play our cards right.

      One thing we REALLY REALLY need to do is pick our fights more carefully, and get over the idea that everything wrong can be fixed quickly.

      We all know the saying about the final straw that broke the camel’s back , right ? Well, there are at least three or four such straws that if the D’s have sense enough to leave them off the load,temporarily, that are heavy enough to throw elections EITHER WAY.

      You want to WIN? Tone down the rhetoric about free immigration.

      Tone down the rhetoric about globalization.

      Tone down the rhetoric about individual sexual rights.

      These issues are wedge issues that work better for the R’s than they do for the D’s, for now, and probably for some time yet to come. You can’t do much if anything for GLBT folk if you are OUT OF POWER. It’s sad, but maybe it would be better to be IN POWER, and thus have better control of environmental policy, energy policy, public health policy, etc.

      Maybe it would be better for the D’s to win by backing off a little on some issues, the ones that are the biggest hot button motivators for the R’s, and take a few years to let things calm down, and consolidate their gains, which really have been impressive, over the last two generations, and then make another big push once they have control of the pipeline again, the pipeline being the local and state governments. Local and state governments are the nurseries that propagate our federal politicians.

      I am not arguing that this WOULD be the best policy, but simply offering it as food for thought.

      I will go to my grave believing that the reason the R’s are in control now is basically that the D’s blew it by biting off more than they could comfortably chew, in terms of FORCING fast cultural change on the country, and that the R’s are in control because of the BACKLASH.

      Well, the R’s are mostly old, and the D’s are mostly young, and demography IS destiny, in this case at least, barring the country falling apart sooner.

      It might.

      But I live in the heart of darkness, so to speak, in a backwoods religious poorly educated pistol packing culture, and I know a fair number of people I won’t see again, because I will DIE of old age before they get out of jail.

      And I don’t know a goddamned soul who wants a civil war. I know a few who shoot their mouth off once in a while about such things, if they’re drunk. If one of them were to actually shoot somebody for any reason having to do with politics, the rest of the community would either string him up or turn him over to the law in a flash.

      We are NOT in any danger of civil war, or even rioting on the grand scale, so long as the lights stay on, the welfare checks arrive, and so forth. Now if the grid were to go down and stay down, or unemployment were to hit twenty percent and enough people were to get to be homeless and hungry………. THEN we would be at some substantial risk of a civil war.

  24. notanoilman says:

    I am having some issues with “Ignore”. I can ignore but cannot un-ignore. Tried flushing cache and cookies to no avail. Any suggestions?


    • Fred Magyar says:

      I’m able to both ignore and un-ignore without issues. So I suspect whatever the cause may be it is specific to your computer, OS or browser. Maybe Dennis or Ron can chime in.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Have you tried a different browser, which are you using?

      Are others having this problem? First I have heard of it, I can disable the feature (which I do not use), if it continues to be a problem.

      • Nick G says:

        That feature seems to be very helpful…

      • notanoilman says:

        Seems to be working today. I had planned on investigating addons but I shal just keep an eye on things for now. I have just done a big rebuild of my system and still have a few glitches to stop.

        Thanks, keep the feature, it is a big help.


  25. Bob Frisky says:

    The Super Bowl is going to be played with Ice Age cold outside the stadium. Later in the week, the purples and whites take over the East Coast as well. I wonder if the President will tweet about the cold again?

  26. George Kaplan says:



    Second year in three, though not as bad as 2016.

  27. Doug Leighton says:


    “In 2017, we saw reckless language in the nuclear realm heat up already dangerous situations and relearned that minimizing evidence-based assessments regarding climate and other global challenges does not lead to better public policies,” said Rachel Bronson, the Bulletin’s president and CEO in Chicago, Illinois. Last year the clock moved half a tick, from 3 minutes to 2.5 minutes before midnight; it has been in single digits since India and Pakistan staged back-to-back nuclear weapons tests in 1998.”


  28. Ralph says:

    UK life expectancy has stopped growing, and in small areas has started to decline.

    ‘Austerity’ politics, which is mostly removing social service provision from the old, disabled and the poor, is seen as the primary factor. On the plus side, this has already reduced the government’s long term liability for public pensions by £300B. Save money now and save more in the future!


    I have nearly finished radiotherapy treatment for my prostate cancer. Fortunately I attend a top academic research and teaching hospital, I even get gym classes paid by the NHS.

    Another link to the same article


    • GoneFishing says:

      The US is an even worse case, driving many people into the poorhouse and then removing their access to health services, food, shelter, heat, etc. Combine that with an insincerity concerning the drug problem and the US life expectancy for someone born in 2016 is 78.6 years, well below that of Britain.
      So much for being a powerful rich nation.

      • TheKrell says:

        For the US, you have to separate the numbers by race and Hispanic/Non-Hispanic to make a useful argument. Well, that goes for just about any data in the US.

  29. Fred Magyar says:

    Not long ago I made a comment about the recently deceased Dr. Hans Rosling and called him a blooming imbecile. I was correctly and justly lambasted for that comment by a few of the regulars. I did apologize and retract my accusation shortly thereafter. However in hindsight and upon revisiting a few of his talks I realize that I was even more wrong about him than I could imagine. Today after visiting realclimate I came across a presentation of his that forced me to completely reassess my original opinion. I must say that I couldn’t have been more wrong about him. Here is a link to a talk he gave at an IPCC event back in 2013. May he RIP!

    Hans Rosling – 200 years of global change

    • Doug Leighton says:

      “I realize that I was even more wrong about him than I could imagine.”

      LOL Good on ya mate! Yeah, Hans was one of the few who made a difference, a big difference. What I liked most about Hans is that he was as good a listener as he was a talker.

      • OFM says:

        It takes a real man to acknowledge a mistake of this sort, and correct it. Not one in a hundred will admit he has made such a mistake.

        Most of us will sooner or later run across something written or said about a particular person, something factually inaccurate but written or said by somebody we believe to be honest and reputable, and we consequently form an entirely incorrect opinion about that particular person.

        At one time I took Noam Chomsky for an idiot due to first reading some taken out of context remarks he made in a book or news article. Boy did I ever wind up with a red face that time when I was corrected by somebody who knew better!

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster, your Trump supporting actions prior to the election. Driven by your Russian Republican Fox News hate for HRC has sold out the environment to a climate change denier.

          Take a lesson from Anita


          “It takes a real man to acknowledge a mistake”

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          I might agree with your pro-Fred propaganda, Glen, if with the qualification that it needs to be consistent, naturally.
          Admitting a mistake in a particular context, say, for the purpose of serving an agenda, does not necessarily a real man, woman or trans, etc., make such as if they don’t do so in other particular contexts.

          But I also think it is helpful to nip it in the bud and try to be as rigorous before the fact so that errors are kept to a minimum, rather than, say, running with them and making them almost a badge of honor.

          Also, writing for some media for example, especially that have a wide viewership, and getting it wrong could still lead to permanent damage, such as if the subsequent published corrections/retractions are missed by some of the viewers of the initial errors and they are propagated into the mainstream consciousness.

          “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” ~ Malcolm X

          “…as a dear friend and mentor once told me ‘There’s a difference between humility and false humility.’…” ~ Steve Ludlum

    • GoneFishing says:

      In the time it has taken to get renewable energy to a few percent of global energy, the carbon emissions have risen by about 80 percent. That is with efficiency increases probably being the major reduction factor in carbon output.
      So how does that work when another 2 to 4 billion people will be increasing their lifestyles and energy use in the near future?

      • Nick G says:

        There are no guarantees, but the answer to your question is that exponential growth always looks slow to begin with, and then surprises later on.

        The corollary to that is that short term predictions are usually too optimistic, and long-term are usually too low.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Don’t get me wrong Nick, I too like the cornucopian predictions. There are just too many variables with coefficients headed in the wrong direction for me to take the blue pill.

        • Survivalist says:

          Depressing trends vs hopeful possibilities.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        So how does that work when another 2 to 4 billion people will be increasing their lifestyles and energy use in the near future?

        It obviously won’t work if those people all increase their living standards by using energy derived from the combustion of fossil fuels.

        The hope, (some might call it wishful thinking) is that the technology of wind, solar, hydro, battery storage, smart and micro grids will have become mature enough, cheap enough and their availability ubiquitous to the point that fossil fuels won’t even be considered an option.

        It will have to be accompanied by a paradigm change in energy efficient electrical appliances, lighting and a change to an economy where people don’t own cars, or appliances but are just provided the services.

        Along with that energy and economic transition there will have to be a parallel revolution in agriculture and food production of lab grown meat substitutes, products like vegetable based beyond burgers, insect products, algae based products derived from spirulina, etc, etc…

        Personally I will probably strategically exit stage left before we get much past the next billion or so additional passengers boarding our little spaceship. My best wishes to all the future riders. Hopefully the climate will remain hospitable enough and the oceans not too warm or acidic and there will still be a few wild places left. Good Luck!


        • GoneFishing says:

          Yes, I agree it’s far more than energy transistion, which is difficult enough as it is.
          It will also have to be a transistion of mindset to be in the service of all life on this planet. Nature will accept nothing less.

          I think that the modern western culture of poor taste, collection of way too many unused items and self-indulgence has to go away. I just hope that we don’t become fully controlled by the state and actually turn the system of government upside down, otherwise it will not be worth all the effort.
          Control from the bottom up is a scary thought to many, but cowardice in the face of so many deadly problems is inexcusable.
          It may seem presumptuous, but I think we are at the point in time where we decide if we are evolutionary failures or not. Everything we do now has future ramifications amplified in a way that probably never happened before except maybe when photosynthetic plants took over long ago.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            I agree with your points. Minor quibble, it wasn’t the photosynthetic plants, they came much later. The real bad asses were the photosynthetic cyanobacteria, they’re the ones we can blame for producing O2 and drastically changing the atmosphere some 3.8 billion years ago! I have to wonder if we are all that much smarter than they are…

            • GoneFishing says:

              Thanks for the correction.
              By definition we are much smarter than them. We are an intelligent and even more important, manipulative creatures. The physical ability to manipulate our world is key.
              Since we have an open-ended ability to reshape the world we need to develop a strong sense of responsibility for our actions and care for the living world. Otherwise we just run amok and do much as we please. As we can see now, the ramifications of that can be very nasty.

              • OFM says:

                We’re just doing what we are PROGRAMMED by evolution, to do, like the girl in the song, who has been promised stardom. She sings that all she has to do is to “act naturally”.

                Evolution does not add brakes where brakes are not needed. Evolution does not provide cows with fangs, or lions with grinding molars.

                Nature has a well proven solution to us. In the grand scheme of things, this planet will continue to orbit the sun as usual until the sun expands and vaporizes it, or at least heats it to a near red hot cinder.

                Mother is not a sentient creature, she is incapable of giving a shit.

                If intelligent visitors from other worlds ever come to visit after we are gone, they will likely catalog us as just one more species that evolved higher technologies and perished as a consequence. IF they get here before the evidence we leave is gone as well.

                Personally I think the odds are pretty high that some of us naked apes will survive the disaster staring us in the face, and that a substantial number of larger species and many smaller species will survive as well, although there are no guarantees.

                Will industrial civilization collapse before we muck up the planet to the point that only microbes can survive?


                It seems more likely to me that industrial civilization will crash before things get THAT bad, so that things therefore WON’T get that bad.

                Maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part.

                • HuntingtonBeach says:

                  “Reasoning, problem solving, and learning are crucial facets of human intelligence. People can reason about virtually any issue, and many problems may be solved. Simple and highly complex behavioral repertoires can be learned throughout the lifespan. Importantly, there are widespread individual differences in the ability to reason, solve problems, and learn which lead to human differences in the general ability to cope with challenging situations.”


                  “We’re just doing what we are PROGRAMMED”

                  Garbage in, garbage out best describe the low expectations of your religious conservative indoctrination. Thumpster your acceptance of low expectations is your foil and low standards.

                  • OFM says:

                    Hi HB,

                    Anybody can find a quote on the net these days.

                    I doubt very much if you have ever read Darwin, or E O Wilson, or Stephen Pinker, or Stephen J Gould, or any scientist who works in the field of evolution.

                    I ‘ve put in hundreds of hours in classrooms as a university student studying the work of such scientists, and thousands of pleasurable and enlightening evenings over the last sixty plus years reading their work.

                    You don’t know shit from apple butter when it comes to the life sciences.

                    Have you noticed that HRC kept on staffers who abused women, instead of firing them? About a week or so ago, she finally managed to say she was sorry she did so, once this TRUE story made the headlines of papers such as the Washington Post and the NYT, lol.

                    You’re too stupid to understand that she was DUMB ENOUGH to lose to Trump.

                    Did you ever notice that donations to her family slush fund fell by half after she lost the election? Ya suppose that might have just a tiny little bit of something to do with all those scumbags doing business with her expecting a pay off later, and cutting their losses as short as possible, when she lost?

                    Did you ever notice that she stood by her serial abuser of women husband thru thick and thin ?

                    Ya suppose she did that because she really believes in anybody but herself?

                    I haven’t watched tv for more than four or five hours in any given year since sometime back around the early eighties, when I gave away the last one I owned.

                    There’s one in the house now, which belongs to my ancient Dad, but I haven’t turned it on within the last four or five years.

                    But something tells me you spend a lot of time watching tv, lol.

                    Your intellectual speed is about right for the study of Mack truck sales brochures.
                    I’ll hand it to ya, at least a couple of times you have had something useful to say about trucks.

  30. Hightrekker says:

    Uber’s self-driving car tests aren’t going as well as planned
    (Human drivers have been taking over every mile.)


    But it is early.

  31. OFM says:

    Of interest to old sci fi fans and anybody who wonders about life on other worlds:


    • Hickory says:

      Interesting to ponder, but I believe this is the only place with life.
      The ramifications of having that belief is that this place is so incredibly special
      that we ought to cherish it with our best effort. Period.
      All else is irrelevant.

      If we came to the realization that our very existence was detrimental to the great arc of life on the planet, would we be willing to call it a day? I think we already know the answer, and only a very few have been willing to look that question in the eye, and do the noble thing.

  32. Doug Leighton says:

    A great role model for your Daughters:


    Prof Simmons, a quantum physics professor, led a team that in 2012 created the world’s first transistor made from only a single atom.

    The University of New South Wales scientist aims to build a quantum computer to “solve problems in minutes which would otherwise take thousands of years”, the committee said. “Such a discovery has the potential to revolutionize drug design, weather forecasting, self-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence and much more,” it said in a statement. She was also celebrated for being a role model to young scientists, particularly women. Prof Simmons is a graduate of Durham University and moved to Australia in 1999 before becoming a citizen eight years later.


  33. Doug Leighton says:

    Maybe civilization didn’t begin with the smart phone after all?


    “Rightfully, the creators of Europe’s earliest written script have been hailed as the continent’s first literate and advanced civilization. And their intellectual achievements were only surpassed by their uninhibited way of living, celebrating the joy of life even at funerals, playing with bulls instead of killing them and living in blissful harmony with nature.”


  34. Doug Leighton says:

    Yup, forget saving the planet, the big bucks are in WAR. And people call me a pessimist.


    “This is all about Australian jobs,” Mr. Turnbull told reporters on Monday, adding that “the goal is to get into the top 10”. The expansion includes setting up a A$3.8bn loan scheme to help Australian companies sell defense equipment overseas. The US is the world’s largest arms exporter, making up a third of all sales, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The next biggest exporters are Russia, China, France and Germany and the UK.


  35. Trump: Polar ice caps are ‘at a record level’

    President Trump, in a new interview again pushed back on claims of global warming, stating that polar ice caps have hit “a record level,” according to reports.

    “The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records. They’re at a record level,” Trump told British television host Piers Morgan in an interview set to air Sunday night on ITV News.

    Trump also reportedly appeared to lump global warming and climate change together.

    “I mean, look, it used to not be climate change. It used to be global warming. That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place,” Trump said.

    While the two are connected, they have separate meanings.

    Global warming refers to rising temperatures across the Earth’s surface due to the widespread use of fossil fuels, according to NASA.

    On the other hand, according to NASA, climate change refers to “a broad range of global phenomena created predominantly by burning fossil fuels.” Global warming is one factor considered when assessing a changing climate, as well as changes such as the rise in sea levels, ice mass loss and other indicators.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 2017 was one of the planet’s warmest years on record.

    A NASA report last year found that the sea ice extent on both poles had reached the lowest levels since the data began to be recorded in 1979.

    Trump has repeatedly voiced skepticism about climate change.

    Last month, Trump appeared to question global warming as a result of heavy snowfall.

    “In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!” Trump tweeted.

    Okay, there you have it, there is no such thing as global warming because our “Idiot Liar in Chief” says so.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Pathetic beyond belief — unless he (Trump) was being sarcastic.

      • Trump has likely never been sarcastic in his life. He probably does not know what the word means. Trump is actually that stupid. He really believes everything he hears on Fox news. He really thinks the earth is getting cooler. He really believes the ice caps are at record level highs.

        We elected a blooming idiot as our president. Will we survive until we can impeach that ignorant moron?

        • Hightrekker says:

          Perfect leader for late stage capitalism.
          At least he hasn’t killed 1,000,000 people yet outright, like Bush and Cheney.
          I guess we can give him time—

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          The New Human Rights Movement: Reinventing the Economy to End Oppression

          “The value system disorder of rewarding, in effect, generally the most ruthless and selfish in our society, both by financial means and then by public adoration and respect, is one of the most pervasive and insidious consequences of the incentive system inherent to the Capitalist model.”

          — — — — —

          “We also have the value system disorder in our valuing of global power…

          And when Tillerson or any of these politicians speak in this manner, we shouldn’t have a little polite discussion about it…

          No, we should look at it the same way as we look at someone who shows up butt-ass naked at like an elementary school piano recital…

          ‘Ah, Dude! What the fuck’s the matter with you?! What!? The kids are… How were you raised?!’ ” ~ Lee Camp, Russia Today show, ‘Redacted Tonight’

      • George Kaplan says:

        There was a report in the paper in the UK about the concerns his lawyers have that he could get charged with perjury if he goes before any official panel that requires him to take an oath. It isn’t that he lies, it’s that he lives in a parallel world where he genuinely believes that whatever he thinks must be the truth, almost by definition, and so far they have found no way to be able to shut him up.

        • wharf rat says:

          “There was a report in the paper in the UK about the concerns his lawyers have that he could get charged with perjury if he goes before any official panel that requires him to take an oath.”

          Lying to the FBI or Mueller is also perjury. If he doesn’t submit to a voluntary interview, he’ll be subpoenaed; he won’t be the first president to receive one. He’s pretty much stuck; he’ll have to talk to somebody. He could refuse the subpoena, which would be a Constitutional crisis. He could forget, but forgetting too much is grounds for obstruction. He could plead the 5th, which is very tacky.

          He’ll be asked, “Did you try to fire Mueller?” and “Did you try to fire Rosenstein?” Mueller’s already talked with people who were involved, so, if the stories we see are accurate, Y= obstruction, N =perjury plus obstruction.

          • George Kaplan says:

            I’d bet he was told that global ice is at a record low, which it has been over the past week, and he just heard the word record, and assumed it was a high, just because that’s the answer he wants. Is that lying of just being a narcissistic moron? And if he does something similar to the FBI is it perjury or just gross incompetence?

        • Lloyd says:

          It isn’t that he lies, it’s that he lives in a parallel world where he genuinely believes that whatever he thinks must be the truth
          If only this were the case. I read an article about depositions from one of his lawsuits where he admitted many of his statements were lies (“My Lawyers Got Trump to Admit 30 Lies Under Oath” https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-12/trump-s-history-of-lies-according-to-biographer-timothy-o-brien). My opinion is that he knows that he is lying but doesn’t care, because he knows that his base doesn’t care. As examples: the Evangelical leaders who have given him a “do-over” around the Stormy Daniels adultery/blackmail situation, and the number of Republicans who believe that facts that they know to be true but disagree with can be called Fake News.

          • Nick G says:

            Yes, he’s been consciously lying his whole life and getting away with it, bigly. He thinks he can do it forever.

            • Hightrekker says:

              It is a feature, not a liability, under current political conditions.

              • Nick G says:

                Actually, I think the primary problem is media control, though Koch et al money in politics is certainly close behind.

                The resurgence of yellow journalism (especially Fox and Rupert Murdoch’s operations) created and supported Trump’s presidential candidacy. Trump was a perfect partner for a media operation based on the big and repetitive lie. He could not have succeeded in a million years without it.

      • Jimmy Eckardt says:

        Trump is old enough to remember 1970’s scientists saying the planet was cooling and a new ice age could be on the way.

        • OFM says:

          Hi Jimmy,

          There are always a few corrupt scientists who will say anything for a few bucks, just as there are corrupt doctors, lawyers, engineers, and car salesmen, lol.

          And there are always some who are honest who will talk about such things in order to see their names in print, but if you ACTUALLY READ what these reputable ones ACTUALLY SAID, rather than what FOX AND FRIENDS TYPES SAY THEY SAID, you will find that they did not say there was any serious likelihood of an ice age coming anytime soon.

          They were talking about a new ice age coming sometime in the not very near future, maybe thousands of years from now, most likely that long. This new ice age would come because of the way the sun orbits the earth, with the orbit being oblong, and the tilt of the earth and the orbit interacting so that we have ice ages ,and ages without ice. Other factors also come into play, such as the amount of sulfur oxides and CO2 emitted by volcanos, and continental drift ( over very long periods ) etc.

          And back then, we didn’t realize how much we are changing the climate by adding carbon dioxide and methane and so forth to the atmosphere in ever increasing quantities.

          These greenhouse gases act as insulation, and cause the climate to HEAT UP, on average, world wide, a little more every year.

          People like Trump know just enough to be dangerous.

          I hope you know and understand what’s actually going on.

          If you don’t, this forum is a good place to get started. All the regulars will are willing to post links helping you learn the basics.

          • OFM says:

            Stuck my foot in my mouth in my four forty seven. I know that we usually say the Earth orbits the sun, which is basically the truth, but the actual reality is that both orbit the center of gravity of the two bodies, IIR my basic physics correctly from half a century plus ago, lol.

            That center of gravity , if I remember right, is actually within the sun itself.

            There’s a detectable wobble of the sun due to the orbit of each planet.. well the larger ones anyway, not so sure about the smaller ones way out there, such as Pluto, which will always be a planet to me, lol. That wobble may be too small to be detected with our current day instruments. Don’t know, I haven’t spent much time on astronomy in recent years.

        • Preston says:

          I’ pretty sure a few years ago the sea ice area in Antarctica was growing. Likely it was just spreading out as it melted, but it was a big talking point on Fox news and here it was once one of Javiers stupid talking points. Trump is a pretty typical misinformed Fox news viewer, its not like they ever corrected the record once that ice melted.

          • George Kaplan says:

            Solve Antarctica’s sea-ice puzzle


            “John Turner and Josefino Comiso call for a coordinated push to crack the baffling rise and fall of sea ice around Antarctica.”

            • notanoilman says:

              Possible hypothesis. This is sea ice extent not volume – 15%+. Lots of break up, increasing the coverage, followed by collapse as that ice melts.


              • George Kaplan says:

                There aren’t any volume estimates available for Antarctic Ice, but it’s mostly pretty thin. It’s generally formed from precipitation rather than freezing sea water and mostly disappears in summer. The reason for the growth phase has been given as changing wind patterns which spread the ice out combined with some increased precipitation as the air got a bit warmer and wetter and some increased fresh water run off, which floats on sea water and freezes easier, as melt rates increased. The reason for the big drop last year was given as a lot of storms, but it has been maintained this year. Things are changing so fast that the research can’t keep up. Maybe understanding these transients doesn’t matter mush as they won’t be repeated and it’s likely there will be ice free summers, and maybe a lot of ice bergs, dominating things in a few years.

                The Arctic has lost pretty much all it’s thick ice now and is closer to previous Antarctic conditions with mobile thin ice all year round, though constrained in a basin with only a few (though well used) outlet straits, rather than free to move away from land anywhere. I think any high melt year or a lot of summer storms could have a similar effect of a sudden drop which would not be fully recovered in the following winters as the freezing degree days are so much lower each winter now.

  36. George Kaplan says:

    The Global Carbon Project

    The Global Carbon Project (GCP) studies the integrated picture of the carbon cycle and other interacting biogeochemical cycles, including biophysical and human dimensions and their interactions and feedbacks.


    Every November the Carbon Project, which I think is based in UK at the University of East Anglia, issues the barbon balances for the previous year, shown below. The emissions number shows the recent flattening, which is likely to turn into growth again when 2017 numbers come out. There is some indication that the land sinks are declining over the last ten years. The ocean sink should keep on increasing, approximately in proportional to the LOG of, or linear wth, the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere (I’m not sure which – the chemical reactions and mass transport equation network is pretty complicated), as it has been though there is some indication that may be flattening as well. The ultimate rate limiting step for CO2 going into the ocean is transport to the deeper waters, which might have a time constant of thousands of years, so it is possible that the surface layers get saturated and the sink flux is held constant even as the concentration increases (though if that should ever happen I might not be around to see it).

    There’s some discussion on the carbon balance and CO2 concentration in relation to Exxon at RealClimate this month:

    The global CO2 rise: the facts, Exxon and the favorite denial tricks


  37. GoneFishing says:

    2018 40kWh Nissan Leaf Range Test
    Also testing the autopilot feature.

  38. OFM says:

    For anybody who is following the electric car scene very closely,

    Is a shortage of batteries the real reason you can’t find more than maybe one or two, if any, electrics on new car dealer’s lots?

    A lot of people seem to believe this is the holdup. All opinions are appreciated, and thanks in advance.

    It does seem very likely to me that Nissan and GM at least are capable of ramping up production quickly anytime they have a hot seller, but I don’t know how many dedicated components may be in each company’s electric car OTHER than the battery. Some other components may be in short supply as well, but gears, wheels, wiring, computers, glass, seats, damned near all the other parts are common to a conventional car, with the exception of the electric motor and battery.

    And electric motors are not all that complicated, even the ones that go in electric cars. Ramping up motor production ought to be a piece of cake.

    It occurs to me that Tesla may not be entirely forthcoming about assembly problems with the Model Three.

    Maybe Tesla would rather blame the slow ramp up on the car factory than on the battery factory, at least in part, even if a huge part of the problem is a shortage of batteries.

    And maybe Nissan built the first generation Leaf using that ugly duckling chassis and sheet metal because they had excess capacity for that model, and also because it was so ugly they KNEW it wouldn’t inspire many people to buy a new LEAF. Maybe they didn’t really WANT to sell a hell of a lot of them the first few years, knowing the second generation car would leapfrog the first generation by a mile. I’m sure they learned all a gazillion things from the real world testing of the first generation cars over the last few years that they have incorporated into the second generation car.

    Now maybe they will have to come out with a third generation battery and motor and controls very quickly, and hopefully ( from their pov) leapfrog the Bolt and Three, at least in terms of basic features, price, and range.

  39. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    The Truth Is Here

    “Stefan Rahmstorf says all human emissions must hit 0% by 2060 to stay under 2° C.

    The IEA says all human energy demand will go up 100% by 2060.

    Kevin Anderson says we have a 5% chance of staying below 2° C.

    James Hansen says that 2° C = Disaster.

    We have a 95% chance of *not* staying under 2° C, where 2° C = Disaster.

    Bill Rees says all the world’s electric grid only equals 20% of human energy demand.

    Vaclav Smil says converting to 100% renewable energy takes 70 years and trillions of bucks.

    If we got 100% renewable electric grid power by 2050, we would only solve 20% of our emissions.

    Solar and wind products only last 30 years and *all* the panels & turbines you see today will be gone in 30 years.

    They break down 2X faster than we need to build them.

    It costs more energy and is more toxic to recycle them than to build new ones.

    Cars only cause 10% of all human emissions.

    There are 750 million cars on earth.

    We do not have enough minerals to build 30 million cars by 2025.

    30 million cars is less than 1% of human emissions.

    Scientific American warns human agriculture will end in 50 years due to soil loss.

    With 2 billion more people, we have to grow more food between now and 2050 than we ever grew in all human history.

    To grow that much food, George Monbiot says we need 12 million new acres of soil every year for 30 years.

    But, we are losing 24 million acres of soil every year due to degradation and loss.

    We are actually losing soil 2X faster than we need more of it to feed everyone.

    To reduce emission below 0%, the IPCC says we need 1 billion acres of new land.

    For algae to produce 30% of electricity, we need to use land the size of Argentina.

    By 2030 60% of humanity will face water shortages each year.

    We will run out of soil and water long before we reach 100% renewable energy.

    We do not have enough easy access to hi tech minerals for 100% renewable energy.

    Renewable energy is *equitably unsustainable*, which means not everyone gets an electric car.

    Ugo Bardi says peak copper will happen by 2030.

    In 2010, we got 30 lbs of copper for every ton of rock.

    In 2016, we got 3.5 lbs of copper for every ton of rock.

    By 2025, we get 1.7 lbs of copper for every ton of rock.”

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      What’s the chance I could get a little cheese with your MacIntyre whine ?

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Were you the one who had posted a pic of and comment about me on POB that the owner, Ron Patterson, had to remove and then ban you? ChiefEngineer?

        If so and even though that’s a link and not anything from me except as a messenger, whine would seem pretty tame by comparison.

        In any case, it makes you wonder sometimes who or what lurks on the other ends of this site and the corners of the internet in general, doesn’t it…

        Such as the kinds of thought processes that go on between their ears when considering some kind of things.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Step two of irresponsibility and ignorance, play the victim and change the subject. The whine continues, no cheese.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Gish gallop much?!

      Not to minimize the problems facing humanity but there are so many out right lies, statements out of context, misconceptions, myths and half truths in that list that it would take at least a hundred pages of text to address them all!

      “Gish gallop” is a term for a technique used during debating that focuses on overwhelming one’s opponent with as many arguments as possible, without regard for accuracy or strength of the arguments.

      But I found a couple statements particularly amusing…

      There are 750 million cars on earth.

      Renewable energy is *equitably unsustainable*, which means not everyone gets an electric car.

      LOL! Given that there are 7.5 billion humans on the planet now, I guess not everyone gets an ICE car either…

      • OFM says:

        Hi Fred,

        I will add a couple more.

        “It costs more energy and is more toxic to recycle them than to build new ones.”
        This is complete and total bullshit.

        There’s only a minute amount of seriously toxic material in wind and solar equipment, no more than in any other sort of machinery used in the energy industry, and it does not matter even if recycling a solar panel is more expensive than building a new one, since the primary ingredient in a solar panel is plain old silicon. We have enough, as the bau community is fond of saying about other depleting resources, to last just about forever, lol.

        Furthermore, it’s a given that unless they are destroyed by fire or storm, solar panels will produce useful amounts of electricity for at least forty or fifty years, lol.

        I haven’t been able to find out just how long wind turbine towers are really expected to last, but I’m pretty damned sure most of them will be inspected and kept in use for a lot longer than thirty years. If some particular tower is degrading and at risk of failure, it won’t be any big deal to put a SMALLER turbine on it, and thereby extending the life of it by decades at least.

        When bridges collapse, people are apt to die. Wind farms are mostly isolated, with VERY few people in the immediate area right around the towers and turbines when they are running. If one does collapse once in a while, it’s not a big problem, the owner will just replace it.

        Concrete can be crushed for gravel as cheaply as native stone, with road portable machinery these days. Steel, copper, aluminum and just about all other metals are easily recycled, if available in quantities sufficient to make recycling possible. So towers and turbines are NOT going to be much of a problem at the end of their life cycle.

        “Scientific American warns human agriculture will end in 50 years due to soil loss.”

        Like everything else Caelan has posted, this is a cherry picked and out of context quote.

        Complete bullshit. Extrapolating soil loss as if nobody is aware of it, and nobody will be doing anything to prevent it, is just pure bullshit.

        So far as soil loss goes, it’s a huge problem, yes, but a large portion of all agricultural land is not subject to any significant soil loss at all, if reasonably managed.

        Where the hell is it going to be lost TO, if it doesn’t erode away due to wind or water ?

        My bottomland soil is getting a tiny bit DEEPER year after year, lol. I might lose some in a hundred year flood, if it’s just been plowed, but it’s damned near dead flat horizontal, and it does not erode.

        We will be in a hell of a fix for soil, no question, but WITHOUT soil? BULLSHIT.

        Soil degradation is a different matter altogether.

        “The IEA says all human energy demand will go up 100% by 2060.”

        The IEA is a useful organization, so long as you have brains enough to understand that it is the defacto property of the politicians that fund it and keep it in existence, and that these politicians are not at all eager to say much if anything to upset their masters the bankers and businessmen who fund THEM, lol.

        Maybe energy consumption will double by 2060. Maybe it won’t. If it does, one hell of a big chunk of it will be renewable energy. Most of it, probably, considering the inevitable depletion of oil, gas, and even coal.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          That link/author/related issues are far from the only ones I’ve provided hereon, so it’s hardly a cherrypick, except as your own.

          “There’s only a minute amount of seriously toxic material in wind and solar equipment, no more than in any other sort of machinery used in the energy industry…” ~ OFM

          The issue behind that doesn’t appear anywhere near as cut-and-dried as you make it appear, such as with regard to build-out, rare earths, work, equity, EROEI, cost-benefit, or considering our track record so far as a species.
          We’ve never done any of this before– including BAU even.
          Oh, and don’t forget our ethanol and fracking nonsenses.

          If you want to transcend your BAU-based-transition-cherrypick blather, try picking more discourse along the lines of nature and real community and self-empowerment. I mean, your moniker means ‘old farmer Mac’, yes?

          Earth to Humanity, Earth to Humanity…

          You cannot afford to gamble with me the way You are already doing.

          Thanks, Mom.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Gish gallop, or systems thinking?

        I can see how someone, who might have a hard time with the latter, would suggest the former without support, along with pulling an example (‘so not everyone gets an electric car’) they nevertheless agree with.

        How many EV’s is 30 million by the way? Can we get a viz? A little over the number of taxis worldwide?

        While Loki’s Revenge blog’s author’s comments might be ‘rough-hewn’, what the one in question appears to be attempting is, in part, making connections between relatively isolated pieces of information from various sources that may suggest a picture that the information in isolation may not necessarily suggest.

        It is one thing to read that we need to significantly reduce the use fossil fuels within a certain time-frame but yet another to read elsewhere that we need to maintain or even ‘increase’ (relatively-speaking) the use of fossil fuels within the same time frame. This is what is happening anyway apparently.

        IOW, some things just don’t add up and there may be informational contradictions or near-contradictions that LR’s author’s suggesting and that, if so, or in any case, we would do well to pay attention to, and to this kind of thing in general.

        Especially given that we are already in deep trouble as it is.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          “How many EV’s is 30 million by the way?”

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            “Can we get a viz?”

            “Extrapolate that to the 3.9 billion people who live in urban areas… gives an estimated 17.78 million Taxi drivers worldwide.” ~ Quora

  40. Cats@Home says:

    Coal firms plead to courts, Trump for West Coast export terminals
    Valerie Volcovici 7 Min Read


    Coal producers filed two recent lawsuits against governments in Washington state and California challenging local decisions to block port projects on environmental grounds. The industry is also lobbying the Trump administration to override the local bans.

    The fight reflects the sector’s desperation to boost exports as U.S. utilities continue their shift away from coal-fired power – despite Trump policies aimed at helping miners.

    The proposed port projects are crucial to industry growth, said Hal Quinn, president of the National Mining Association.

    “It’s worth fighting these battles,” he said.

    The coal industry has eyed the West Coast as a gateway to the global market for years, with plans for as many as seven terminals on the books a decade ago. But five of those projects were canceled amid volatile Asian demand and bitter opposition in left-leaning California, Washington, and Oregon.

    Coal producers are fighting for the remaining two proposed projects – in Oakland, California and Longview, Washington – and have filed two recent lawsuits, including one this month, amid rising coal demand in Japan, China and Korea.

    “There are 45 new coal plants planned or under construction in Japan alone,” said Rick Curtsinger, a spokesman for Colorado-based Cloud Peak, which mines in Montana and Wyoming.

    Earlier this month, the company announced a deal to export coal from a Montana mine to two new coal gasification power plants in Fukushima, Japan, site of the 2011 nuclear accident.

    But growth from such deals is constrained because the only West Coast coal export facility in North America – in British Columbia, Canada – is near full capacity.

  41. OFM says:

    It very seldom makes sense to buy a new car, unless you are in position where you simply MUST, for one reason or another. I have often heard the story repeated about the husband pointing out that the BOSS drives a Buick, with her replying that everybody KNOWS the boss is rich, where as they MUST drive a LEXUS so as not to be thought too poor to afford a nice car.

    ANY new car is a total fucking money pit. If you have it to burn, no problem. If you don’t, you’re an economic fool to buy new, unless you are one of the very few people who buy new and drive your new vehicle fifteen or twenty years and the last trip in it is to the wrecking yard.

    Even then, you are ninety nine percent likely to be FAR better off putting most of the money into real estate, the stock market, or some other investment that historically goes UP.

    I haven’t ever seen a Leaf for sale in my area for less than ten grand, no matter how ragged out, and even if I were to find one for less, it might need a new battery before too long.

    When the time comes I can buy an older electric car for roughly the same money I can buy a similar conventional car, or maybe up to fifty percent more, I will buy one.

    When I bought my very first house, I paid down about what a new Ford or Chevy would have cost me at that time. Lived in it the first three years, had positive cash flow after that, and towards the end, a LOT of positive cash flow. I eventually sold it for FIFTY times what I paid down. By the time that new Ford or Chevy was twenty years old, if I had bought it, it would have been worth less than my positive cash flow on the house for a month, two months at the outside.

    Compared to coming up with a new car payment every month, paying the occasional out of pocket payment on a house has always been a piece of cake, especially after the first three or four years.

    Being a Renaissance hillbilly, meaning I try to know everything important to living well in my own time, I MANAGE my money, instead of allowing others to manage it for me.

    Yep, I could put it in the stock market, but I don’t have knowledge enough to be confident I would pick mostly winners. Maybe I could average seven percent , long term in stocks.

    Leveraged real estate, going up at three percent, is a hell of a lot better deal, if you have to work for a living, and are willing to work at it. I’m a nickel and dimer, as are all my friends in the biz, but it’s safe to say we average earning at least a thousand bucks a day, long term, for every day we actually work on or at our properties.

    If anybody is interested, I will post the basic precautionary rules that have always kept me out of trouble.

    Now some smart aleck will no doubt point out that either he or somebody he knows has done as well on one or two stocks. Sure, I have met a couple of people that got into the right stocks very early on myself.

    The thing is , ALL my housing investments, with one single exception, have paid off like the one I mentioned. ALL of them.

    Almost every body I know who has bought a house within the last thirty or forty years has done as well, in terms of their own cash invested, as the people who got into the mere handful of stocks that have skyrocketed and STAYED up.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      “The stock market in the United States crashed on 24 October 1929. The impact in Germany was dire: millions were thrown out of work and several major banks collapsed. Hitler and the NSDAP prepared to take advantage of the emergency to gain support for their party. They promised to repudiate the Versailles Treaty, strengthen the economy and provide jobs.

      The Great Depression provided a political opportunity for Hitler. Germans were ambivalent about the parliamentary republic, which faced challenges from right- and left-wing extremists. The moderate political parties were increasingly unable to stem the tide of extremism, and the German referendum of 1929 helped to elevate Nazi ideology.

      Brüning’s austerity measures brought little economic improvement and were extremely unpopular.[137] Hitler exploited this by targeting his political messages specifically at people who had been affected by the inflation of the 1920s and the Depression, such as farmers, war veterans, and the middle class.”


      Anything of the above sound familiar today ?

    • Nick G says:


      Don’t forget the importance of operating costs. Somebody who drives 15k miles per year could easily save $1,000 per year in fuel and maintenance. That would justify a somewhat higher price…

  42. George Kaplan says:


    New research published today in Nature Geoscience has found that climate engineering that modifies the properties of the land surface in highly populated areas and agricultural areas over North American, Europe and Asia could reduce extreme temperatures there by up to 2-3°C.

    The modifications could include lightening buildings, roads and other infrastructure in high population areas and changing crops and engaging in no-till agricultural practices.

    Unlike many other climate-engineering methods proposed to tackle climate change, many of these regional modifications have already been tested and proven to work. Critically, this method has fewer risks compared with injecting aerosols into the atmosphere.

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-01-regional-cool-extremes-.html#jCp

    • GoneFishing says:

      They could do just as much or more by reducing black carbon particulates by not producing them or filtering them out before they reach the atmosphere.

      It’s a very complex problem and the solutions can often be more problematic than the problems, especially if controls and testing is not ongoing or mandated. Of course biodiesel and other biofuels have their own set of downsides even before they reach the engine.

      Studies that show an advantage for biofuels, however, do not simulate real driving conditions. The tests are generally performed in the controlled environments of laboratories, run on single engines with high quality fuel and in unrealistic conditions. Researchers from the Desert Research Institute, Nevada, USA performed an on-the-road study showing that it is not possible to predict levels of pollution solely from laboratory studies.
      The researchers monitored 200 school buses in the winter of 2004. They measured both gas and particulate matter emissions close to where the school bus depot was located. During the first phase of the experiment conducted in January, the buses ran on petroleum diesel. The emissions were measured again in March when the vehicles switched to a 20 per cent biodiesel blend.
      The real-world conditions yielded unexpected results. After the switch from petroleum to biodiesel, bus exhaust particulate emissions jumped by a factor of 1.8. Carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions from the vehicles were also higher.
      However, the authors point out that the buses were running on poor quality biofuel which did not comply with official US standards. They found high concentrations of free glycerine in the fuel, a sign of poor quality arising from improper production procedures.


  43. GoneFishing says:

    If you think you don’t have an effect on the future, then take a look at this article and graphic. Everything we do now is amplified into the future. How about by up to 6 times in the near future and this is just one feedback. So don’t think you have no control, slowing the rate of disasters (fire, weather) could mean the difference for physical and economic survival in the future.


    • Doug Leighton says:

      Climate change is driving up the number of forest fires ignited by lightning, and it’s pushing them farther north, to the edges of the Arctic tundra. Lightning-caused fires have risen 2 to 5 percent a year for the last four decades, according to a paper published yesterday in the journal Nature Climate Change. And as thunderstorms intensify and become more frequent, fires are increasingly occurring in the boreal forests, and even on the permafrost tundra. Warmer temperatures encourage more thunderstorms, which in turn bring more lightning and greater fire risk. The changes are part of a complex climate feedback loop that is only now becoming more clear to scientists, said Sander Veraverbeke of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the study’s lead author. A feedback loop is a series of interrelated phenomena that is worsened by climate change and continues to build upon itself with additional consequences. In the north, fires release more carbon dioxide and methane from the permafrost, he said.

      “We will keep having more lightning in these northern areas, so it will keep happening more and more,” Veraverbeke said. “The frequency of these fires in tundra regions will likely increase, and that has obviously implications for the release of more carbon because those are areas where the fires burns in permafrost soil, so it could release quite a bit, not just the year of the fire but decades after the fire.”


      • GoneFishing says:

        Nature’s feedbacks seem to be mostly in one direction, increase climate change and global warming. So very cooperative to our efforts. 🙁

  44. islandboy says:

    Plunging costs make solar, wind and battery storage cheaper than coal

    The plunging cost of storage, along with that of wind and solar power, appears to have crossed a new threshold after a tender conducted by a major US energy utility suggests “firm and dispatchable” renewables are now cheaper than existing coal plants.

    The stunning revelation came from Xcel Energy in Colorado, and quietly released over the Christmas/New Year break, although some outlets like Vox and Carbon Tracker were quick to pick up on the significance.

    Last year, XCel Energy put out a “request for proposals” (RFP) for how it could replace two coal-fired generators that it is considering shutting down – part of a plan that will take its share of renewables to more than 50 per cent.

    The results were described by Vox’s David Roberts as “mind-blowing”. And he’s not wrong.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:


      The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is a concentrated solar thermal plant in the Mojave Desert. It is located at the base of Clark Mountain in California, across the state line from Primm, Nevada. The plant has a gross capacity of 392 megawatts (MW).[6] It deploys 173,500 heliostats, each with two mirrors focusing solar energy on boilers located on three centralized solar power towers.[6] The first unit of the system was connected to the electrical grid in September 2013 for an initial synchronisation test.[7] The facility formally opened on February 13, 2014.[2] In 2014, it was the world’s largest solar thermal power station.[8][9]

      The facility, costing $2.2 billion was developed by BrightSource Energy and Bechtel.[10] The largest investor in the project was NRG Energy which contributed $300 million. Google contributed $168 million.[11] The United States government provided a $1.6 billion loan guarantee and the plant is built on public land.


      Topaz Solar Farm is a 550-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power station in San Luis Obispo County, California. Construction on the project began in November 2011 and ended in November 2014. It is one of the world’s largest solar farms. The $2.5 billion project includes 9 million CdTe photovoltaic modules based on thin-film technology, manufactured by U.S. company First Solar. The company also built, operates and maintains the project for MidAmerican Renewables, a Berkshire Hathaway company. Pacific Gas and Electric will buy the electricity under a 25-year power purchase agreement. According to First Solar, it created about 400 construction jobs.[2] Annual generation is expected to be 1,100 GWh, the capacity factor is 23%.


    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Mazda plans to make gasoline as clean as electricity

      Mazda powertrain chief Mitsuo Hitomi outlines a plan to keep internal combustion relevant in the coming years.

      We’ve hit a point where manufacturers of vehicles are widely adopting electric powertrains in an effort to meet strict emissions standards. They’ll tell you that electric power is squeaky clean and that internal combustion is as dead as the dinosaurs that power it. The truth about EVs is a little less glamorous, though, and Mazda wants to show the world that gasoline still has a lot of room to grow, according to a report by Automotive News.

      The first problem with electric cars is electricity. Much of America’s power still comes from coal, natural gas and nuclear, each of which presents serious concerns and challenges for the environment. Add in the fact that the sophisticated electronics and massive batteries that are required to make EVs competitive with IC cars in terms of range require vast quantities of rare minerals, often mined from areas with practically nonexistent environmental protections, and gasoline doesn’t look quite so evil.

      Mazda announced at a technical conference in Tokyo that….


      • GoneFishing says:

        Oh goody, so instead of 12 percent of the energy going to the wheels, we get maybe 20 percent so only 80 percent is wasted from oil production to wheels. Wow.
        What is that noise? Silence in the future? No Hummmmm. No problem.

        “EVs competitive with IC cars in terms of range require vast quantities of rare minerals,” should say EV’s competitive with cars need 150 pounds of lithium which is recyclable and is only a few percent of the weight of the vehicle.
        A car needs a vast drilling system, pipelines, refineries, coal, natural gas, electricity and diesel fuel to get it’s gasoline. Just the gasoline to run the car weighs ten times what the car does.
        An EV can run forever on just a few pounds of doped silicon exposed to sunlight and needs no giant extraction, transportation and processing to continuously operate just to make the car run an hour a day.

        PV to wheels is much better and no pollution at all. Why not that?

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Oh come on Fish, pay attention. Didn’t you hear last night Trump talking about clean beautiful coal ? Now stay on message.

          “is much better and no pollution at all”

          That really is not true today. As the link states, “vast quantities of rare minerals, often mined from areas with practically nonexistent environmental protections” and a large percentage of today’s electricity is produced by coal.

          “PV to wheels is much better”

          I agree with you, but we’re not going to get there in the near or short term. It’s probably safe to say living without fossil fuel produced electricity is more than 50 years off. We need to take every available opportunity we can to lower CO2 today. We need to be realistic about the transformation and it’s time line.

          • Nick G says:

            No question, higher efficiency for ICEs is only a good thing.

            But…we shouldn’t let car makers get away with lying about EVs. For one thing, EVs don’t use the average mix of generation, they use the cleanest part of the mix. EVs are connected computers on wheels, and it’s easy to have them charge at 2 in the morning when wind and nuclear are bigger parts of the mix, or 2 in the afternoon when solar peaks. EVs can be programmed to chase wind and solar by responding to price signals.

            The 2005 US energy act requires every utility in the US to provide time of day pricing. Every utility, so all of the US readers (including you, Mac) can get TOD pricing. You may have to look very hard, though – many utilities don’t really like such things, as it tends to lower their revenues…

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              Your point is well taken Nick. But, I would guess it’s a lot more the oil industry and not the auto manufactures. The cost of fossil fuel has twice threatened the survival of major American auto companies in 1980 and 2008. If I were a Auto manufacture CEO, eliminating the need for fossil fuel would be high on my priority list.

              “To blunt the electric threat, Aramco is trying to boost the efficiency of gasoline engines by redesigning them to operate like diesel units, which compress fuel to make it explode, Al-Khowaiter said. The company thinks it can improve efficiency from about 30 percent to more than 40 percent, and its technology centers in Detroit and Paris are working on the idea, he said.”


              • Nick G says:

                If I were a Auto manufacture CEO, eliminating the need for fossil fuel would be high on my priority list

                That makes perfect sense. But…most people aren’t that foresighted. And, they’re more worried about their personal careers than their company, and if they have developed expertise in ICEs then they don’t want their career derailed by a shift to something else. Anything else. Especially not something very new, like electric motors.

                Which means that even when car companies try to move into EVs they tend to do so badly, because the efforts of a new project or division are sabotaged by all the existing employees. So…marketing is terrible or nonexistent. Design tends to be bad. For instance, the Leaf looks like a catfish – seriously? Dealers don’t order them, salesmen don’t selll them.

                There’s a reason why Tesla is more successful than legacy car makers, and why Tesla doesn’t want dealers.

          • GoneFishing says:

            No, didn’t listen to Trump. Did hear Pelosi say something like “Truth and facts are not on the table when having discussions with the President.”
            You keep listening to him and the FF crowd.

            Funny, not long ago in a discussion about the transistion, I brought up the point that the car makers might start producing more efficient ICE cars to stay in that game longer. I doubt if it will work very well, maybe for an extra four or five years, no more than 10, if there is enough oil by that time. I expect there is a chance I will see the last of the FF ICE dinosaurs at car shows and living museums. But for the next few years they are useful and cheap up front.

            BTW, renewable energy is being installed far faster than EV’s could ever use. At current rates of installation full takeover is about 20 years away, but that is during a two decade period that will be fraught with the results from several current predicaments. So my crystal ball is getting put away, nobody can see what is really coming. We might not even be very interested in cars in 50 years or less.

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              Well clearly not listening was a wise choice. I could only tolerate about five minutes at a time and then I would have to flip the channel. Only to find the liar and chief on the next channel. I did notice the camera panning to Pelosi once with a look on her face worth a thousand words. Starting with the “truth and facts are not on the table”.

              It really has become embarrassing being an American. I’m working on the thought of thinking of myself as being a Californian. In general I think “us” Californian’s have the right approach.

              The Liar an Chief really did say “beautiful clean coal”.

              • wharf rat says:

                “I’m working on the thought of thinking of myself as being a Californian”

                Just do it… The Republic of Awesome. Washington is The Republic of North Awesomes, and our coast is The United Federation of Awesomeness.
                That doesn’t mean perfect; we’re all works in progress.

                • HuntingtonBeach says:

                  The Republic of North Awesome is beautiful country and the coastline is the crown jewel. Perfect doesn’t mean Trump off shore drilling platforms.

  45. islandboy says:

    First Electric Aircraft To Enter Serial Production Takes Flight, Buy Yours Now

    Slovenia-based Pipistrel has announced series production of the Alpha Electro electric aircraft. The first serially-built unit took its first flight earlier this month.

    The two-seater is designed for training of new pilots. The 21 kWh battery enables 60 minute lessons (plus a reserve). The electric motor is just 50 kW, but it seems powerful enough for max take off weight (MTOW) of 550 kg (1212 lb). Empty weight is 350 kg.

    In Australia, the first customer is Electro.Aero, who says that the Alpha Electro is not only quieter and smoother for learning, but will help lower the cost of becoming a pilot (up to 70% according to Pipistrel).

    This is the “First Electric Aircraft To Enter Serial Production” but, something tells me it won’t be the last! This aircraft could go between the two international airports on the island where I live in less than an hour and then charge for 45 minutes to make the return trip. The advances sought to make better batteries for electric cars, will also improve the prospects for aviation as well. What will the field of electric powered aviation look like in another ten years or so?

    • Hightrekker says:

      Very cool—
      Love to take a flight.
      The 150 is a two seater (with a much longer range), but very cool.

  46. GoneFishing says:

    The relative rate of climate change and it’s regional boundaries can be more important than the eventual temperature change to ecosystems, weather and fire risk. The study discussed below modeled when various regions would reach climate departure and it looks like the tropics, which have a narrower temperature range, will depart earlier than the high latitude regions even though the temperature change is less in the tropics. This study asked the question of when will climate change result in a climate that is completely different and beyond the recent past and present experience. This means life will be subjected to “out of range” climate earlier in the tropics than the northern regions.
    Personally, I think this demands more work and needs to take into account the particular ecosystem dependencies (such as ice or seasonal change) that exist in different regions. However, what is nice about this measure is that if we got serious we could install a lot more ground monitoring stations and actually track this change directly in detail. We could also get more field biologists (death watch crew) to monitor species rates in regions. This would greatly enhance the data and give satellite data more direct reference points for comparison. To do this would take money and be much more important than building a new border wall or lining the pockets of billionaires.


    So just when you might think the Arctic regions would have a new climate first, it looks as if the tropics will leave the normal boundaries of climate first. This is more about relative rates of change and crossing climate boundaries than about absolute temperature change. It firmly brings home the low value of an average global temperature or even of absolute change and places the science within a measure of normal regional boundary change, which is much more relevant for ecological systems (the ones we should care about).

    • Fred Magyar says:

      We could also get more field biologists (death watch crew) to monitor species rates in regions.

      You mean like Dr. Guy R. McPherson, scientist, professor emeritus of natural resources and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona?!

      Guy McPherson on Abrupt Climate Change

      As Homer says in The Iliad, “any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Nothing to do with Guy M.
        Field biologists are depressed enough watching the species in their regions of study fade away, they don’t need Guy to push them down the well of despair.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          My point is on;y that Guy was a field biologist.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Yeah, the bright ones are always ridiculed and ostracized when they wander off the beaten path and dare to contradict the mainstreamers with their palatable ideas who so quickly try to defend their territory.
            Nope, no sixth extinction or rapid climate change for the herd mentality. They all hide behind each other and stampede anything that looks dangerous. They do their best though they live in fear. 🙂

            • GoneFishing says:

              The scientists found that a third of the thousands of species losing populations are not currently considered endangered and that up to 50% of all individual animals have been lost in recent decades. Detailed data is available for land mammals, and almost half of these have lost 80% of their range in the last century. The scientists found billions of populations of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians have been lost all over the planet, leading them to say a sixth mass extinction has already progressed further than was thought.


              Good morning Earth inhabitants. Two minutes to midnight now. Maybe less, maybe more.

              But don’t concern yourselves, we haven’t crashed yet. Keep on, keeping on.

  47. GoneFishing says:

    Now that NASA’s X-57 has passed it’s battery testing (thermal runaway survival) it will be receiving it new high aspect wing in the spring, with the 12 +2 electric motor thin wing coming after that testing is complete.

    X-57 is expected to start flying in March 2018 in Modification II, or “Mod II,” with two fully electric inboard motors instead of the traditional combustion engines. After Mod II flights are complete in May 2018, the team will convert X-57 into its Mod III configuration, which features the replacement of the standard wing with a high-aspect ratio wing, and the relocation of the electric motors to the wingtips. The final configuration of X-57, Mod IV, will feature the addition of 12 smaller electric high-lift motors, to be used during takeoff and landing, in addition to the wingtip cruise motors.



  48. Hightrekker says:

    26,085.74 -353.74 (1.34%)

  49. GoneFishing says:

    System Failure
    It’s a good question, but it seems too narrow. “Is Western civilisation on the brink of collapse?”, the lead article in this week’s New Scientist asks. The answer is probably. But why just Western?


  50. GoneFishing says:

    Global sea ice concentration graph shown below. Notice the last couple of years have really dropped out.

  51. OFM says:

    About that transition to electric cars:


    While this may be a year or two or even three actually HAPPENING, it’s not a figment of our collective imagination anymore.

    Is any body willing to venture a guess as to how much Waymo will charge for a ride compared to ordinary cabs for the first year or two?

    Now here’s a thought, which might prove to be relevant.

    It’s still possible to build a conventional car for at least ten grand less than a comparable electric, and there’s no reason at all that the self driving tech won’t work with a conventional engine and transmission.

    And if there’s a market for a fleet of autonomous ICE CARS, well, there’s no reason to believe that such cars can’t easily be made to last up to half a million miles, or even longer. Standardization of components, and mechanics fully acquainted with a particular model, makes it possible to perform even major repairs very quickly and economically. It won’t be any problem to upgrade the conventional ICE engine and transmission to last that long, all that’s necessary is that the engineers beef up the parts known to fail frequently.

    Ninety five percent of the mechanical components in a newish car with two hundred or even three hundred thousand miles show no significant wear. It’s just a few parts that tend to fail on a regular basis as any given model car ages.

    Cars can be built like commercial trucks in that they can be DESIGNED to be fast and easy to repair.

    Example, to replace the in tank fuel pump on my old Volvo, you rolled up the floor mat in the trunk, removed a cover with six screws, and unplugged the wiring harness and disconnected the fuel lines and ran out a few more screws, an hour max.

    On my Escort, it took at least half a day, with a lift, because you had to remove the fuel tank. A little rust on the wrong bolts could turn it into an all day job.

    The point is that we don’t even need electrically driven cars to have autonomous cars.

    This means the autonomous car industry has the potential to ramp up without waiting for the battery industry to scale up.

    Right now nobody who really knows is saying definitively that the biggest single problem with electric car production is a lack of enough batteries, but there’s a lot of speculation about this in the automotive press. Any opinions are appreciated.

    • Nick G says:

      Have you seen any indication that EV vehicle supply limits are delaying autonomous vehicle deployment? I haven’t noticed any articles mention that. As far as I know, the only EV producer that may be held back by batteries is Tesla. All of the rest are held back not by supply but by demand – perhaps because they’re not really very committed to developing that demand with good and proper marketing…

      The ICE vehicle you’re thinking of already exists – it’s the old Ford Crown Victoria – very cheap to maintain. The taxi industry has decisively ditched it for the first phase of EVs: hybrids. Hybrids are much cheaper to operate for fleets of high mileage, short haul taxis, so taxi fleet operators love them – there’s no going back.

      • OFM says:

        Hi Nick,

        I wasn’t thinking about retrofitting old cars, lol, to be self driving.

        Any new conventional car, or hybrid, could be fitted with all the hardware and soft ware necessary to make it autonomous as easily as an electrically driven car.

        There wouldn’t be any reason to retrofit older cars. It’s obvious anybody who can afford a car with all the expensive state of the art stuff that will allow autonomous operation will want it on a NEW car, lol.

        And of course that new car would be one that’s easy on gas, or juice, and that allows for capturing any or most tax subsidies and so forth.

        My point is that ICE cars as they are built and maintained today are extremely expensive to repair compared to REAL trucks because of a pathetic lack of standardization and the fact that they are sold to be thrown away at 200 to 300 k miles, or only half that , by which time they’re old and shabby anyway, with dents and dings and seat covers and carpets going bad, etc, in ordinary use.

        A car DESIGNED for fleet operation simply does not EXIST, to my knowledge, although some have been built with a few of the more common parts beefed up to improve reliability in fleet operation.

        Ninety nine point nine percent of the parts of a cop Crown Vic, excepting any added to specifically use in handling prisoners or hauling extra gear in the trunk, etc, are identical to the parts used on an ordinary Crown Vic. It takes just as long to make any repair or service it as an ordinary Vic. It’s NOT a purpose built fleet car, it’s just MARKETED as one, or used to be. The handful of heavy duty parts are the same ones you get when you buy an ordinary car and ask for them, such as a bigger radiator, larger alternator, more powerful engine, etc.

        So far as I know, there isn’t a single model of car being built for sale in the USA or any western country that’s a truly dedicated purpose built fleet car.

        I suppose this is because people are such idiots that we have collectively fallen for the advertising profession’s brainwashing until we are brain dead when it comes to buying value in personal transportation, other than STATUS.

        STATUS obviously drives most people’s buying decisions to the extent they have money to indulge their desire to show off.

        But it’s not just advertising that brings it on. It’s programmed into us.

        A boy with a flashy new car, who is approximately equally attractive to girls, everything else equal, has a far better chance of getting into a given girls pants, which is the name of Mother Nature’s game, namely reproduction.

        A high performance or luxury car is no more and no less than a naked ape’s version of a peacock’s tail.

        I was overlooked, casually dismissed, by more than a few attractive women, back in my younger days when they saw me drive my old car up at a social gathering.

        But within a few hours , the ones with their eyes and ears open usually figured out from listening to the casual talk that I already owned my own house, instead of being an apartment dweller.

        And of course it IS hard to justify building a car to last 500 k miles when the typical owner only drives about ten to twelve k miles per year. A true fleet car would by definition be driven at least forty or fifty hours per week, and maybe as many as a hundred hours per week. An autonomous air port taxi could run almost around the clock in a big city, except for charging time.

        It would take a pretty long time to spend ten grand on gas and oil in an ice self driving car used only ten thousand miles a year. I believe there would be a substantial market for such a car to be used by ordinary people .

        I will buy an ICE autonomous care, if available, rather than give up my freedom to get around, if I get to the point I can’t drive, in order to save ten grand on the purchase price.

        OTOH, by that time, it might be cheaper to just buy a used pure electric autonomous car, or hire a car occasionally. But hiring a car more than once or twice a month can run into more money than owning one, depending on where you are.

        Why shouldn’t we have autonomous trucks that can go eight hundred miles non stop on diesel, given that affordable batteries with that sort of capacity don’t yet exist?

        Autonomous tractors and combines that can run around the clock for a week, when we need them, on the farm? I doubt many of us reading this forum will ever live to see such tractors and combines powered by electricity, because farmers have too many days and months when our equipment just sits in the shed, waiting for the next rush season.

        It’s one thing to pay for batteries that are used all day most days, for instance in a commercial truck.

        It’s an altogether different thing to pay for them when they will be used like hell sixty to ninety days per year, maybe even less, and left sitting unused up to three hundred days.

        Furthermore it, might be another ten or twenty years before such powerful batteries are even AVAILABLE and affordable.

        The additional grid capacity to charge them out in the boonies may NEVER be available, since that capacity would only be needed for that same sixty to ninety days.

        And if you can’t afford ONE such battery, it’s utter idiocy to talk about swapping them out, lol.

        Or autonomous diesel fire trucks that can get started to a fire ten minutes or twenty minutes quicker than those driven by my local volunteer fire fighters, who could go directly to the fire in their personal vehicles, getting there as much as half an hour quicker?

        The engines and transmissions in fire trucks usually last until the trucks are otherwise replaced because they are obsolete in terms of fire fighting and rescue features, and since they don’t run very many miles, fuel is a trivial expense.

        • Nick G says:

          I wasn’t talking about retrofits. I was simply saying that the Crown Vic worked just fine for taxi fleets. I don’t see any sign that any car maker is going to try to develop a car for fleets: that would be kind’ve going in the opposite direction of standardization.

          I think you’re over estimating the relative cost of maintenance for ICEs. ICEs have gotten dramatically more reliable in the last 30 years, and depreciation dominates car costs for the first 10 years at least. Depreciation is so high simply because, as you note, people discard their cars well before they’re worn out.

          Finally, I don’t see much sign that there’s a strong link between drive train (EV vs ICE) and autonomous features: all the major car companies are moving toward autonomous features: emergency braking, automatic parking, highway lane holding and speed control, etc. It looks like they’re all moving as fast as they can through the stages/levels of autonomous driving. And, they’re doing it for all their cars, ICE or EV, though the luxury models are getting them first.

          • OFM says:

            “I wasn’t talking about retrofits. I was simply saying that the Crown Vic worked just fine for taxi fleets. I don’t see any sign that any car maker is going to try to develop a car for fleets: that would be kind’ve going in the opposite direction of standardization. ”

            Compared to what is POSSIBLE, and practical , in terms of building a car for true fleet use, the Crown Vic was pretty damned close to a joke, in terms of design and ease of repair and maintenance.

            I can get at every component inside the dash of a typical road tractor in ten minutes. It takes half a day to get at the duct work for the heat and ac in a Crown Vic, the best you can hope for. A Crown Vic has a pretty good engine, as car engines go, with a lot of them hitting 300 k miles no problems….. but those engines are only about a third as well built in terms of durability as a typical REAL truck engine. A truck mechanic can remove the engine in a REAL truck while an equally competent auto mechanic is still removing parts just to make it POSSIBLE to get the engine out of a Crown Vic, never mind actually removing it.

            “I think you’re over estimating the relative cost of maintenance for ICEs. ICEs have gotten dramatically more reliable in the last 30 years, and depreciation dominates car costs for the first 10 years at least. ”

            Not exactly. I have been arguing in fact that it’s MUCH cheaper to maintain an older car than it is to eat the depreciation of a new one, right along.

            “Depreciation is so high simply because, as you note, people discard their cars well before they’re worn out.” That’s about half of it, actually imo.

            The other half is that cars are so infernally hard and expensive to work on, due being built in countless models that are constantly being changed for no good reason other than people buy what looks newer and different, that at some point well before a car is TRULY worn out, it’s cheaper to just get a new car, or a newer one.

            A Ford TRUCK dealer, a dealer that sells commercial trucks, needs to stock only a quarter as many parts to service brakes for all the Ford commercial trucks he can sell, compared to a Ford car dealer. Four or five different starter motors is all he needs to keep on hand to cover nearly all of his customers, without waiting for one to be delivered from a warehouse. The car dealer probably needs at least two dozen different starters to match that.

            “Finally, I don’t see much sign that there’s a strong link between drive train (EV vs ICE) and autonomous features: all the major car companies are moving toward autonomous features: emergency braking, automatic parking, highway lane holding and speed control, etc.”

            Fully agree. My point was and is that we can have autonomous cars and trucks with conventional drive trains for ten thousand bucks less than with electric drive trains, maybe a hundred thousand less, if talking about an over the road twenty ton payload with six hundred miles or more of range.

            So…….. maybe we will see a lot of autonomous vehicles with conventional ice ‘s under the hood a few years down the road.

            The less trucks and other such expensive machines are used, the harder it is to justify the expense of electrification.

            Ditto autonomy tech too, of course, but the savings in this case aren’t just in fuel and initial investment. Additional substantial savings are possible in terms of improved safety, higher utilization , and in reducing or eliminating driver pay, which also involves driver’s bennies, such as health insurance, etc.

            • scrub puller says:

              Yair . . .

              Okay, a few thoughts from a dinosaur.

              I do not necessarily agree todays cars are appreciably more reliable than those of the past . . . the roads are better, that’s a major difference.

              Put any modern car on the potholed, corrugated dirt roads I travelled in my youth and they fall apart . . . nineteen seventies Holdens or Falcons handled conditions in the outback that kills even the current crop of SUVs.

              On another note, engineers and designers have forgotten about standardization as a concept. As an extreme case to illustrate my point I once worked for an earthmoving/dredging outfit that only ran one engine.

              They had several hundred items of equipment, dump trucks dozers, loaders, cranes, dredges, compressors, dewatering pumps all powered by seventy one series General Motors diesels.

              From two cylinder to twenty four cylinder the engines were pretty much identical and they had blokes in the workshop who could rebuild a V12 over night . . . in two years I don’t think I saw an hour lost due to engine issues. Those engines were a known entity and there were men who knew them inside out and back to front.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Given that they don’t have vocal chords it’s a pretty impressive feat.

    • George Kaplan says:

      Maybe they should teach her to say “Piss off and let me out of here”, she’d probably get the hang of it pretty quickly.

      • notanoilman says:

        Some years ago I visited a sea aquarium built in the ocean, basically a fenced off piece of the sea. There were performing dolphins there and they were jumping way higher than the simple fence. They would have had no problem in jumping out. I also heard that some dolphins jump out of such enclosures, to romp around, then jump back in later – don’t know if that is true or not but it was what I heard.


  52. GoneFishing says:

    Some recent history in battery research.
    Ever wonder what tools and instruments have been used to advance battery technology? This is not a garage lab or even an advanced corporate laboratory. How about a giant synchrotron to produce x-rays so energetic that they can be used to study the atomic movements within a battery as it operates? Combine that with a supercomputer that does 10 quadrillion calculations per second and progress was made.

    The energy Manhattan project that will change everything

    • Hightrekker says:

      We shall see, it does look interesting.
      But we are still with lithium ion that got commercialized in the early 1990’s.
      As anyone paying attention knows, this is the bottleneck.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Sure, lithium was a no-brainer to choose. Most of the effort and research has gone into this fairly abundant element, but new technologies are being developed now and new alternatives. If we do come up to some limiting factor, where do you think the money and research will point? Or do you see us just coming to a wall and saying we can only build a billion EV’s, no more?

        If lithium continues to be important in battery manufacture, there is plenty of lithium on the planet. Mining has to catch up with demand at this point. The real bottleneck will be food. By the time we build enough EV’s and renewable energy to dent fossil fuel burn most of the planet will be in climate departure. We can find ways to get lithium, if we need it (new tech just replaced some with carbon in batteries and made them more energy dense) but how do we find food when it won’t grow very well in a new climate state? Also, forget the averages. When it comes to agriculture it’s the increased range of variability of weather that really wrecks the crops. EV’s and renewable energy could end up being our gravestones, they are inedible.
        So stop with the “there is not enough” or “I will believe it when I see it”? It’s been so wrong in the past and really does not apply to our potential future very much at all.
        Now if you said there would not be much future demand for EV’s, I might say “could be”. We may end up with a great energy and material abundance. I won’t elaborate on that, you can guess. 🙂
        With much of the world population set to be in climate departure by the 2030’s I wouldn’t be concerned about the amount of lithium we might need, mass migration, wars and massive food shortages are more likely the reality of the mid 21st century.

        “It’s scary to think about climate change because when we start damaging physical systems and the carrying capacity of physical systems to produce food, people will react to this in a terrible way. I’m telling you, I have seen it in my own country. It’s very negative the way in which people react to hunger. And that’s one of the things that’s most frightening to me with this large-scale analysis — the fact that I know we’re on our way to some very disturbing scenarios if we go down this pathway of damaging physical systems in the ways that we are today.


        For the rest, since you don’t believe in technical progress.

        Also, if anyone thinks life in 2050 and after will be anything like it is today, go get a brain reset or just watch more TV.

        • Hightrekker says:

          I’m just pointing out it has been a while.
          It is a problem I do have a mild interest in——
          And I haven’t had a tee vee for 50 years, and only briefly then with a working class girlfriend from LA.
          But, I been around a bit longer, I assume.

      • Nick G says:

        we are still with lithium ion that got commercialized in the early 1990’s.

        Not really. The li-ion batteries of today are very different – much cheaper, more efficient, higher energy density, etc.

        And, the theoretical cost and energy density of li-ion is much better than the practical levels we’ve achieved so far. It’s not the basic chemistry of lithium that’s the barrier, it’s the current levels of engineering and manufacturing practice. And that will continue to improve pretty fast.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      How about a giant synchrotron to produce x-rays so energetic that they can be used to study the atomic movements within a battery as it operates? Combine that with a supercomputer that does 10 quadrillion calculations per second and progress was made.

      Yep! You only forgot to mention a 100 plus person team of the best scientists and engineers working together on this problem, knowing that they might succeed or fail…

      Of course if they should fail we still have Trump’s energy revolution of clean coal to fall back on.

      • GoneFishing says:

        We are trying hard in certain areas and leaving wide open holes in other very important areas. But I guess without EV’s we can use a steam driven Trumpmobile.

        • Fred Magyar says:


          But speaking of Trump, his administration and ignorant supporters they are a monumental wrecking ball when it comes to science. But they are equally retrograde with regards their understanding of global trade. MAGA and America first kind of protectionism is about as idiotic as it gets. Case in point: Yesterday I was giving a friend of mine a hand dismantling a late model Cadillac that had been involved in an accident. This car was manufactured in Canada.

          I removed all the control modules located in the trunk of the car.
          Two were made in Mexico
          Two in China
          One in Hungary
          One in the USA
          I’m willing to bet big money that the components in those modules had international provenances beyond those countries as well.

          Augie PicadoatTED@UPS
          The real reason manufacturing jobs are disappearing

          • Pops in PA says:

            Well why can’t we make all those things in America? In my youth we used to manufacture everything in this country with a strong middle class. Then democrats sold us down the river with NAFTA.

            • That’s a crock of shit. Manufacturing left this country long before NAFTA was ever dreamed up. Globalization is what caused manufacturing to leave this country. Things can be built a lot cheaper in China, and Bangladesh, and India and….

              But Fred is right, manufacturing jobs are lost primarily to atomization. Automization and globalization, two things that just had to happen. They are both part of the evolution of civilization. You should learn to live with that fact.

              Globalization and automization were two things that were bound to happen. You cannot hold them back any more than you can hold the tide back. And now Trump and a few other Trumpites want to bring back protectionism.

              Typical Trumpites do not understand globalization or automization. They just had to happen. It is not good, it is not bad, it just is what it is.

              Anyway, NAFTA stands for North American Free Trade Agreement. 90% of the manufacturing jobs did not go to NAFTA countries, they went to Asian countries. Good God, are all Trumpites so stupid?

              Edit: The TED talk Fred points to says that 87% of lost manufacturing jobs were lost to automization, not globalization. I would not argue with that.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Pops, as far as manufacturing goes it wasn’t until three years ago that we lost the top spot in the world to China. Now we are number two in manufacturing and have a huge amount of other business too. It’s not that we lost manufacturing, it changed. More manufacturing, less jobs.
              Even though China has many more people than us and is a major manufacturing country it still is far behind in GDP. The US is not poor, but much of the money goes to the rich here. Now we have those billionaires running the country. Where do you think the money will go?

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Well why can’t we make all those things in America?

              You could! But you would be opening a Pandora’s box of unintended consequences, not the least of which would be to make a whole slew of products that we take for granted, completely unaffordable for the majority of the American population.

              If you watch the TED talk you will see Augie Picado use an image which I have expanded upon here by slightly spherizing it and adding more nodes. My point is that the global economy is no longer linear or bilateral it is interconnected in a very complex network. You can’t just unilaterally decide to exit the network without harming your own economy in ways you might not even be able to imagine.

              Here’s my enhancement of Augie’s network image.

              • Fred, you are making the same mistake that I often make, arguing with a person with the intellectual capacity of a kindergartener.

                I know, we all do it from time to time. But ain’t it fun? 😉

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  But ain’t it fun? 😉

                  It’s either that, or go outside and see the king tide due to the blood moon… 😉

            • Nick G says:

              Another way to think about this:

              You could ask: “Why don’t we make all these things in my local hometown of 50,000?”.

              Why the hell are we importing stuff from the next county over? Bunch of no good foreigners, taking our jobs…

            • GoneFishing says:

              Why America Stopped Making Its Own Clothes


              Yep, the textile industry disappeared.

            • OFM says:

              Pops the Republicans had as much or more to do with NAFTA as the Democrats.

            • Survivalist says:

              When Did Voters Suddenly Start Caring?


              “Now, my recollection may be a bit hazy here, but that’s not how I recall it. I can’t speak to his part of the country in Appalachia, only to the Rust Belt where I live. But what I recall of those years during the 1980’s when Reagan was president and it seemed like a major factory was shutting down and locking its gates every other week, there WERE plenty of Democratic politicians who warned where such policies would lead. They truly were friends of unions (common in Milwaukee where unions were still strong), and were willing and able to stop the flight of factory jobs overseas and stand up for unions. There were plenty of op-eds in the newspapers here (there were a lot more newspapers back then) warning of the dangers of deindustrialization and globalization, and expressing concerns over the numerous devastated communities and wrecked urban areas as fallout from these policies. Many politicians repeatedly warned in their campaign literature and speeches that the effects of gloablization and unrestrained free trade would be a race to the bottom leaving wrecked communities and downward mobility in their wake. They were skeptical of the supposedly wonderful “service economy” touted by professional economists, and how “retraining” would solve all the messy problems such policies produced.

              Do you know what happened to those politicians? They lost, that’s what happened.”

    • Cats@Home says:

      Now going forward battery technology energy projects will need funding from private sector venture capitalists to survive, the gov’t picking winners and losers with handouts is ending. We will have to wait to see what capitalism profit motive decides is best for the future.

      White House to ask for 72 percent cut in renewable energy programs
      By Brandon Carter – 01/31/18 04:17 PM EST


      Draft budget documents obtained by The Washington Post show the Trump administration will ask for $575.5 million in spending for the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The office’s current spending level is set at $2.04 billion for the fiscal year.

      The Post reports the draft budget documents also seek staffing cuts to the office, reducing the number of workers from 680 in the 2017 budget to 450 in 2019.

      The office conducts research, development, grants and more aimed at developing and deploying energy efficiency and renewable technology and has played a key role in dramatically reducing the costs of solar power.

      The draft documents obtained by the Post also contain sharp reductions in research spending, including an 82 percent cut to research on fuel efficient vehicles, an 82 percent cut on research into bioenergy technologies and a 78 percent cut for solar energy technology research.

      It would also slash funding for research into alternative energy sources like wind, hydro and geothermal power.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        No doubt this is part of the MASA (Make America Stupid Again) program, kind of like the Reagan devolution.

  53. Fred Magyar says:

    I’m sure the Chinese can’t believe how stupid Trump and his administration really are!


    Trump reportedly seeks massive budget cuts to clean energy research
    A draft budget proposal includes a 72 percent cut to certain Energy Department funds.

    The Trump administration has made it very clear that it is pro fossil fuels and has little interest in pushing programs the promote renewable energy. Now, the Washington Post reports that the president’s proposed 2019 budget slashes funds for Energy Department programs focused on energy efficiency. While the proposal is just a jumping off point, the fact that it seeks to cut such funding by 72 percent underscores where the administration’s interests lie and in which direction its policies will continue to go.

    The draft budget documents viewed by Washington Post staff showed that the president is looking to cut the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) budget to $575.5 million, down from the current $2.04 billion level. Included in the budget cuts are funds for programs researching fuel efficient vehicles, bioenergy technologies, solar energy technology and electric car technologies. Additionally, the draft budget proposal seeks to cut jobs, dropping staff levels from 680 down to 450. One EERE employee told the Washington Post, “It shows that we’ve made no inroads in terms of convincing the administration of our value, and if anything, our value based on these numbers has dropped.”

  54. Survivalist says:

    The met office has published their latest 5-year temperature forecast. It predicts 2018 to be slightly cooler than the last couple of years. But this is likely to be followed by warmer years, possibly record-breaking warmth again.


  55. Cats@Home says:

    State of the Union ratings: Down overall but up for Fox News
    Rick Porter January 31, 2018


    On the Big 4 broadcast networks and the three top cable news channels — Fox News, CNN and MSNBC — the State of the Union drew 40.54 million viewers. Spanish-language broadcasters Univision (2.04 million) and Telemundo (1.44 million), plus Fox Business (572,000) and PBS (1 million) bring the total up to 45.6 million.

    That’s about 4.5 percent short of the 47.74 million who tuned in for Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress in February 2017 (it wasn’t officially a State of the Union address).

    By comparison, Barack Obama’s first State of the Union brought in 48.01 million viewers in 2010, and George W. Bush’s first in 2002 drew 51.77 million. Trump’s address came in slightly behind Bill Clinton’s first State of the Union in 1994, which averaged 45.8 million viewers.

    Fox News easily had the biggest audience for the address with 11.71 million, up from 10.77 million for last year’s address. NBC (7.06 million) and CBS (6.99 million) were tops on broadcast. ABC drew 5.4 million people, FOX 3.6 million, CNN 3.11 million and MSNBC 2.67 million.

  56. Survivalist says:

    State of the climate: how the world warmed in 2017


  57. Bob Frisky says:

    This is an update to the MJO forecast from January 25. GEFS has backed down on the strength of the transition from Phase 6 to Phase 7, however, the forecast is still for nearly unprecedented strength over the 6 upcoming days.

    • George Kaplan says:

      With more energy in the atmosphere and oceans as things continue to warm up there will be new records set for all sorts of weather patterns and phenomena like this – e.g. today East Siberia is 25°C above average, and most of USA, North Africa and Central Europe are 10°C or more high, but Canada is in deep freeze.I find this sort of post more interesting than a weather forecast for Kansas City.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        This amazing video captures intelligent sentient whales and dolphins having a little cross species fun.

        Drone Captures Amazing Video of Dolphins playing with Whales on Whale Watching Trip

        Meanwhile humans continue to change the chemistry of the atmosphere and the oceans, setting new records for ocean acidification, which destroys the food webs on which those whales and dolphins depend for their survival.

      • GoneFishing says:

        And just think the climate departure time will be accelerated as we clean up the atmosphere. So instead of southern California reaching climate departure in say 2040 to 2045, could be 2035. Fun in the sun, and all those cities heat up even faster since they have the SOx concentrations. With most people living in cities, the air conditioning costs and energy will skyrocket in all those poorly insulated, solar collecting buildings.
        Anyone done estimates on that?
        In more southern areas those big high rises and office buildings become death traps with power outages in the summer.

  58. OFM says:

    This one’s to acknowledge that Fred has his head on straight, and that while I may not agree with him in detail, all the time, he has as good an understanding, or better, of our present day reality, as anybody I have ever had the privilege of talking to.

    Somewhere upthread, he said this country is not a democracy, and I said tell it to the people of Alabama who rid themselves of Roy Moore.

    We are at least nominally a democratic republic, and we the people do still have the power to force our elected representatives to do the right thing, once in a while anyway, and to some extent anyway.

    Nuance is everything, context is everything, the BIG PICTURE is everything.

    And Fred’s case, that this country is not ( at this time or maybe ever, I don’t know what he believes in detail about the past history of the USA ) a democracy is, in terms of our every day reality, is irrefutable, as a practical matter.

    The various elites have nearly all the power, defacto if not dejure, and are obviously capturing ever more of what little is left, from us the people, for themselves.

    It’s not like this is a new revelation to me, I’ve been cussing banksters and the artificial or alien immortal life forms known as corporations, life forms endowed with defacto artificial intelligence beyond that of ordinary men, but utterly without morals or scruples of any sort, for the last half century.

    Anybody with a good memory knows what I think of octopus like multinational corporations and banksters, lol.

    This article lays it out in spades, proving Fred’s case.


    I strongly urge each and every member of this forum to read it, and think hard about it, and forward the link to any and all of his friends, family, coworkers, every body he knows.

    We aren’t yet in much danger of immediate collapse, IMO, but if things continue on as they are now, we will be , and it won’t be much longer.

    ( The reason I say corporations are endowed with artificial intelligence beyond that of ordinary men is that they control the brains and services of COUNTLESS well organized men well trained in the fields of law, finance, advertising, psychology, etc. This is the source of their overwhelming intelligence, which is tasked to the job of ever increasing their power and wealth. )

  59. George Kaplan says:



    Negative emissions technologies (NETs) describe a variety of methods – many of which are yet to be developed – that aim to limit climate change by removing CO2 from the air.

    Some of these techniques are already included by scientists in modelled “pathways” showing how global warming can be limited to between 1.5C and 2C above pre-industrial levels, which is the goal of the Paris Agreement.

    However, the new report says there is no “silver bullet technology” that can be used to solve the problem of climate change, scientists said at a press briefing held in London.

    Instead, “the primary focus must be on mitigation, on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases,” they added.

    For BECCS: “We can also see many scenarios in which the land-use change involved in extending forestry would be counterproductive for decades or even centuries.”

    From primary reviewer: “The primary focus must be on mitigation, on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. That’s not going to be easy, but it’s undoubtedly going to be easier than doing NETs at a substantial scale.”

  60. George Kaplan says:

    [snip] – repeat of Survivalist post above which I missed.

  61. George Kaplan says:



    To keep within 1.5 or 2° of global warming, we need massive reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, aerosol emissions will be strongly reduced. We show how cleaning up aerosols, predominantly sulfate, may add an additional half a degree of global warming, with impacts that strengthen those from greenhouse gas warming. The northern hemisphere is found to be more sensitive to aerosol removal than greenhouse gas warming, because of where the aerosols are emitted today. This means that it does not only matter whether or not we reach international climate targets. It also matters how we get there.

  62. George Kaplan says:

    There’s a pretty good chance that the Arctic ice, especially what used to be the thicker area north of Greenland, is about to get smashed to pieces and the North Pole could see above freezing temperatures. There’s a cyclone down to 977 mBar forecast for early Sunday and the one below down to 959 due Monday through Wednesday. Waves under the icecould be over 25 foot with high winds driving it west and compacting what’s left.

  63. Doug Leighton says:

    Daily CO2
    January 29, 2018: 408.26 ppm
    January 29, 2017: 405.76 ppm

    • Doug Leighton says:



      “After calculating all the effects, the International Monetary Fund estimated that governments worldwide pay more than $5.3 trillion annually to support the burning of fossil fuels. The United States is the second-most prolific fossil fuel subsidizer, behind China, according to the 2017 study. “We’re a century and a half into coal and oil. These are not fledgling industries,” said Dan Bucks, former director of the Montana Department of Revenue and a consultant on tax and conservation issues. “We’re subsidizing fuels with enormous environmental costs especially climate change, and it can’t be justified when we know we can supply our energy needs by other means.”

      For example, Alaska has a system of tax credits designed to drive new development to the North Slope. It does this, in part, by offering credits for exploration and development of new fields and then offering cash payments for those credits.


  64. JN2 says:

    Self-driving trucks might lead to more trucking jobs? Now that is counter-intuitive…


  65. Doug Leighton says:


    “He found that environmentalism is not increasing, and there are signs it is actually in decline. For example, Konisky’s analysis of the survey responses from 1990 through 2015 indicates that Christians, compared to atheists, agnostics and individuals who do not affiliate with a religion, are less likely to prioritize environmental protection over economic growth, and they are more likely than others to believe global warming is exaggerated.”

    BTW: The United States has the largest Christian population in the world, with nearly 280 million Christians, although other countries have higher percentages of Christians among their populations.


    • Doug Leighton says:


      Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 6:17 PM – U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw federal protections from millions of acres of Utah wilderness will reopen much of the iconic terrain to gold, silver, copper, and uranium land claims under a Wild West-era mining law, according to federal officials.


    • Pat Clogger says:

      Re: Christian concerns

      The survey results do show it, more knowledge, specifically in what society considers the modern science pursuits, is equal to more environmental concern, but only when the brain is wired to be a liberal. Inside the conservative brain, statistically more common, higher science knowledge sometimes means even less environmental concern.

      • GoneFishing says:

        To a true business conservative, science and engineering are tools to make profit and the environment is something that supplies all the necessary resources and consumers.
        Pouring more facts into their heads does not make them caring people, unless it means getting sued or lowers profits.

        • TheKrell says:

          Your first sentence sounds like a perfect definition of common sense to me. I do tend to lean Libertarian though.

  66. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    The Real Lesson of the Energiewende is that the German Economy uses Too Much Energy

    “In conclusion. It looks very as much as if before ‘over developed’ countries like Germany can hope to develop an all-renewables power system, let alone an all-renewables based energy system including non-electric energy uses, it will have to dramatically reduce its power consumption. Even though studies based on energy sufficiency show that most people could probably live a comfortable enough life the changes in economic organisation and thinking would or will have to be massive for that to happen. I therefore doubt that this is going to happen as a result of well-meaning policy intiatives any time soon. The inertia will in all probability be too great.

    That said countries like Germany are not just under pressure to change their energy system because of climate change – Germany and other countries too must respond to the global trend to depletion of fossil energy sources and the rising cost of extracting them. While it is true that renewable energy together with energy storage would be expensive if attempted above a limited scale, it will be expensive in the future to extract fossil fuels too. As we reach the limits to growth we are probably looking at economic contraction anyway- and no doubt a good deal of political turmoil because politicians and the German (and world) public will be disorientated and not really understand that is happening.”

    Human over-consumption causes far more biodiversity loss than climate change

    “In short, it’s gonna be really bad when it hits — and we’ve already getting a taste of what’s to come. But even though climate change is going to have a very powerful impact on plants and wildlife world-wide, climate change has also become a sort of scape-goat, with a ‘growing tendency for media reports about threats to biodiversity to focus on climate change’, write the authors of a new study analyzing the impact each sector of our society has on life on Earth. According to their findings, the real culprits are staple human activities such as logging, hunting, or farming, which pose a far greater — and much more immediate — danger to Earth’s biodiversity.”

    • OFM says:

      Congratulations , Caelan

      For the first time in a long time you, to the best of my memory, you have posted something that is true, and relevant, although it’s no more than a repeat of things all the regulars here know.

      OF COURSE Germany uses too much energy, we all know that. And of course Germans, and everybody else as well will have to deal with declining fossil fuel supplies available to them only at ever higher prices, the only question being WHEN.

      Almost every regular here agrees that WHEN isn’t altogether that far off, with oil and gas prices likely to go up substantially within the next few years, and coal going up as well, if we keep using so much of it, within a generation or maybe two at the most.

      (Of course if we can replace coal fired electricity with renewable electricity, and recycle nearly all the metal we use, coal might stay cheap a long time, due to a lack of market for it. )


      When you read most articles such as the ones you linked, the authors and editors are usually saying between the lines that since all the time and effort put into going renewable hasn’t already resulted in cutting back on fossil fuel consumption by half or more, well, it’s just a fucking waste of time to be bothered, and let’s just stay with BAU. ( After all, we’re all dead in the long term anyway, right?)

      The people at Resilience aren’t much prone to this, they’re far more objective as a rule, and do point out that it’s either renewable or nothing, at some point in time within the foreseeable future.

      People that don’t like renewable energy for one reason or another have plenty of cherry picked ammo they can use to shoot it down, lol.

      It’s the job of those of us who understand the gravity of the situation, the nature of the crisis, to make sure the public knows the real score, which requires educating the public about the real facts.

      One perfectly obvious fact that renewable naysayers always overlook is that using even modest amounts of renewable energy has a powerful economic effect in reducing the total amount of money a country must spend on fossil fuels, because when you cut back on the use of coal, it results , everything else equal, in lower coal prices……. which help right across the entire economy, because coal is used in producing steel, cars, bridges, cans for food, tools………

      It delays the day when you simply MUST cut back on electricity because you can’t get any coal, due to war, or embargo, or DEPLETION, at an affordable price.

      Supporting the renewables industries NOW means Germans are at the forefront in building them up so as to be able to export renewable industry goods and services LATER, enabling Germans to pay for such materials and services as they MUST import, for instance fresh fruit in the winter, or aluminum.

      And even if the renewable industries never get to the point they can supply more than half of Germany’s total energy, well……… that means Germany will be a prosperous country for a hell of a lot longer than other countries that still get eighty or ninety or even one hundred percent of their energy from depleting and ever more expensive fossil fuel.

      There’s one hell of a lot of wisdom buried in books that the regulars here love to laugh at, rather than study.

      In the old KJB that belonged to Momma which she read often, someplace or another, paraphrased, it reads that sufficient unto the day are the needs thereof.

      My fellow farmers can’t provide food for their great grandchildren, that will be the job of those who come after us. But we provide today, and we will provide next year, and the year after that. There isn’t any such thing as a permanent solution to most problems, because every solution creates at least two new problems, like the Hydra of mythology. The more heads you cut off, the more you have to fight.

      Sailors never defeat the sea. The best they can do is fight the sea to a draw, one voyage at a time.

      Renewable energy is a solution that does and will continue to buy us time, thereby enabling us to better deal with depletion and climate problems. That’s enough in and of itself to justify the expense of the Energiewende.

      The transition to renewables is a do or die job. LITERALLY.

      Anybody who doesn’t acknowledge this bed rock fact up front is either ignorant, or lying for all intents and purposes, for one reason or another, as I judge such matters.

      Dodging the facts to make a partisan case is lying in my book.

  67. The Wet One says:

    Long time no speak. Hiya folks!

    So I came across this video this morning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1817&v=R-28etfOLUw

    Stephen Pinker spends an hour setting out various reasons to be optimistic about the future. He looks at all kinds of areas of the environment, human welfare, economics, etc. etc. etc., and shows that there is reason to hope for an actually good future and not catastrophe.

    In light of this, I have a question for the folks here.

    Why is this optimism misplaced?

    I know that there are many well informed sound thinkers here who are a relatively pessimistic bent about the future. That is why I ask the question here.

    Thank you very kindly for your replies.

    • POBox says:

      Pinker does show us reasons for optimism. So did Leo Buscaglia, Stephen Covey, and Maya Angelou. It is good to hear their words.

      I can’t speak for others here, but I see two glowing reasons for continued pessimism:

      1. None of these people is in a position of leadership.

      2. Basic human greed.

      What is your perspective?

Comments are closed.