281 Responses to Open Thread Non-Petroleum, July 9, 2017

  1. islandboy says:

    In a comment to the previous open thread I posted a link to PV Magazine’s take on the Tesla-South Australia 100MW battery story as well as a link to a couple of articles about the penetration of solar in Australia’s residential market (23.2 per cent) and the background to the ongoing boom in the electricity storage market in Australia. I also linked to the NEM Watch Widget page and attached a screenshot of the widget as at “Sun 09 Jul at 6:25 (NEM Time)”. While visiting the page for an idea of what the situation is towards the middle of the day in Australia I decided to have a look at the “parent” page at reneweconomy.com.au/ where I saw the following article:

    How the far Right have hijacked Australia’s energy policy

    While skimming through the article the following paragraph caught my interest:

    Coal and gas plants do not equate to reliability: Harwin was appointed just a week before the heatwave in NSW, and describes the “white knuckle ride” as authorities tried to keep the lights on as coal and gas-fired power plants tripped across the state. In NSW, the grid lost more than 2GW of capacity as coal plants succumbed to the heat and gas generators failed. Renewables, and in particular solar, performed as expected and kept the lights on. “Clean energy performed as forecast. Thermal generation did not,” Harwin said.

    I never heard the crisis explained like that before! That is a rather interesting perspective and mirrors a situation in France in recent years where nukes had to be shutdown or operated at less than rated power during a heatwave. Does anybody see a possibility of something like this happening in the US, that is, large centralized thermal plants having to curtail output because of heat, causing problems with grid management?

    Below is a screenshot of the current status of the NEM Widget showing South Australia, where Tesla’s 100MW battery is to be built getting more than one sixth of their power from wind and solar.

    • islandboy says:

      Below is a screen shot of some basic information about Melbourne, Australia showing how far north of Australia the sun is at this time of year. The table at the top of the graphic also shows that the solar resource for Melbourne for the month of July is 1.81 kWh/m2/day, as opposed to the Australian summer time resource of more than 6 kWh/m2/day in the months of January and December. Based on that data, when summer rolls around in Australia, their PV plants should produce roughly three times what they are currently producing. I will be watching the situation during the next Australian summer with keen interest.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Does anybody see a possibility of something like this happening in the US, that is, large centralized thermal plants having to curtail output because of heat, causing problems with grid management?

      We know for a fact that the fossil fuel interests in the US are generally supported by right leaning political lobbies. They tend to tar and feather renewables as unreliable and uneconomic. Obviously they consider the expanding development of renewables as a direct threat to their monopolistic income streams. So that is no big surprise. I have read a few studies that clearly show nuclear power generation being adversely affected by heat waves, droughts and flooding.

      Though I have not read any studies about it I would have to assume that coal and gas generation especially in the south and south west would have to be susceptible to excessive heat just like what apparently happens in Australia and solar would be much less so. I also believe that high heat negatively affects transformer sub stations and transmission lines thereby affecting grid reliability. So it would not surprise me in the least if climate change would be found to have adverse consequences for thermal generation or hydro.

      Found this:

      Climate Change Threatens Electric Grid Reliability in the Southwest

      The linked article seems to support most of my assumptions.

      • OFM says:

        I once upon a time lived very near to and worked occasionally at the North Anna nukes, and so happen to know more about nukes than most laymen, due to talking often while there with the engineers who run the place.

        There are basically two reasons having to do with the cooling water that a nuke might have to shut down. One is that the supply of water is inadequate for any reason, such as drought.

        The other is that the water temperature is bumping up against the environmental upper limit set by regulatory authorities. I can’t remember precisely what this upper limit is, but when the so called cooling lagoon, which is a very large lake in and of itself gets unusually warm due to unusually hot summer weather, the WARM ( called hot but not actually more than lukewarm ) cooling water coming out of the plant can add enough extra heat to the cooling lagoon lake to harm or kill the fish and other aquatic life living in it.

        SO- The rule is that the nukes have to be throttled down to whatever extent is necessary to protect the fish in the lake, and ultimately in the river on which the lake is built. This has happened at least a couple of times as best I can remember and may have happened numerous times. I don’ live there anymore and don’t keep up with the local news there.

        In a real emergency, for instance war, the nukes could continue to run at full output at the expense of the lake fishery, and maybe the fish downstream of the lake.

        The local people call the cooling lagoon the “hot side” of the two separate bodies of water that are Lake Anna, separated only by a causeway, and ALL the property on the hot side is private, with NO public access.

        One of the most prized possessions of any fisherman in the entire area is a permission slip from a landowner granting access to the hot side, because the fish there are BIGGER and more plentiful as well. Bass don’t grow as big in Virginia as they do way down south, except in cooling lagoons, lol.

        The VERY BEST place to catch one to hang on the wall in the entire state is right at the place the water exits from the plant , at the plant end of the canal that carries the water into the lagoon. The only people who get to fish there are employees with pull with management, and of course the necessary security clearances, id badges, etc.

        The water has mangled minnows in it that got thru the screens on the intake on the cold side, and it’s like a hog trough for any bass that happens to swim up the canal.

        • JJHMAN says:

          As always anecdotal evidence doesn’t make the general case. Higher temperatures often damage local ecosystems and higher inlet temperatures can reduce the thermal capacity of a heat engine.

    • wehappyfew says:

      Already happened here in Texas, winter 2011 … except it was cold weather that shutdown a quarter of coal and gas power plants. There were rolling blackouts. Ironically, the rolling blackouts cut power to the natural gas compressors, reducing pipeline pressure, causing more gas plants to shutdown.



      Cold Snap

      ERCOT reported that severe weather led to the loss of 50 generation units amounting to 7,000 MW of capacity on Wednesday morning. From news accounts it looks like a few large coal plants failed after water pipes burst. Some natural gas generators found insufficient fuel supplies due to heavy demand for natural gas. Other natural gas generators found their access to fuel curtailed by state rules that give priorities to other customer classes when supplies run short.

      In some cases there were interdependences between the power system and other infrastructure systems that magnified the costs of the rolling consumer outages. For example, some of the controlled outages idled natural gas pipeline compressor stations, reducing pipeline pressure and hampering the ability of natural gas generation plants to get fuel they needed.

      • notanoilman says:

        “In some cases there were interdependences between the power system and other infrastructure systems that magnified the costs of the rolling consumer outages. For example, some of the controlled outages idled natural gas pipeline compressor stations, reducing pipeline pressure and hampering the ability of natural gas generation plants to get fuel they needed.”

        There’s nothing like planning and that is nothing like planning.


        PS Reminds me of Fuckashima

    • Nathanael says:

      Yep, the US has actually faced small-scale versions of similar problems (thermal plants failing due to heat, thermal plants becoming unreliable and destabilizing the grid) in the Southwest. I don’t have the citations on me.

      Southwestern utilities are getting rid of big thermal plants fast.

  2. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    There were and maybe still are homes with a cistern in the attic… I wonder how hot one might get the water under a sunroof or even in the relative heat of a insulated attic. This is an idea for the cabin, with a dual purpose as a bath if the water can be refilled relatively-quickly.


    From under the previous article:

    “Your methodology looks off. Little forty five degree braces do not a stable structure make.

    It beats me why you would try to reinvent the wheel. Its all very basic stuff and it’s all been done before . . . pallets are built for a purpose.” ~ scrub puller

    Hey scrub,

    Fair enough, thanks for the input, and since it’s your/POB’s design too, could you elaborate?

    I’m relatively familiar with a certain kind of post-and-beam timberframe (not the tudors), and, aside from other engineering details, they all seem to have ‘little 45° braces’. (I am familiar with the braces and other joints but nevertheless continue to research them.)

    I realize that pallets are purpose-built but they are composed predominantly of wood, and there is a term, at least in architecture, called ‘adaptive reuse’. We were also speaking some months ago about shipping container dwellings, yes?
    Also, the cabin is quite small, at roughly 8 by 13 feet, and, frankly, by the CAD drawing, it almost looks over-engineered.
    At any rate, I’ll throw another image with the dimensions and the joint-details when I get the chance.

    So, ok, in the mean time, what would you suggest we do, short of scrapping pallets altogether, unless you have an alternative?

    • Fred Magyar says:

      There were and maybe still are homes with a cistern in the attic… I wonder how hot one might get the water under a sunroof or even in the relative heat of a insulated attic. This is an idea for the cabin, with a dual purpose as a bath if the water can be refilled relatively-quickly.

      Aside from the fact that a cistern like the ones in your pictures are way too heavy to be supported by your palettes on stilts structure given that a cubic foot of water weighs about 62.4 lbs. and your wooden cistern adds an enormous amount of weight on top of that…

      As for heating water with passive solar you need a collector and if you are in a colder climate where water freezes in winter you need to take that into account so you probably want a collector with evacuated vacuum tubes with a heat exchanger like the one in this video. This is tried and true off the shelf technology that has been around for a pretty long time. As Scrub said, “why would you want to reinvent the wheel?!”


      Or you could consult a local professional in your area such as Nova Scotia Power SOLAR HOT WATER

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Hi Fred,

        Scrub hasn’t responded yet, so let’s not jump the gun.
        Part of the point of the exercise is to in part limit the expenses, the complexities, the layers of technology and the external, distant, BAU and professional dependencies– stuff like that. One could call a lot of that stuff, reinventing and needlessly complexifying the wheel, along with the diminishing returns that can often, if not usually, happen in the process. Wooden barrel-making happens to be a local business feature of the town, incidentally.

        The cisterns depicted if recalled are in houses. While I’m as yet unsure about their actual sizes, presumably a near-bathtub-size, give or take, seems feasible, especially since many houses can have bathtubs in them and on all floors, and the cabin is expected to be built as strong as a typical house, if not stronger.
        Which do you think is heavier full of water and a person, incidentally; a cast iron bathtub or a wooden bathtub? I’ve owned a queen-sized pine-framed (~ 2″ by 8″ on all four sides, if memory serves) waterbed before, so add that to the items, along with a typical-sized fridge, in my question and add another qualification as well; per square inch.

        “The technology dates to at least the 19th century, and for a long time New York City required that all buildings higher than six stories be equipped with a rooftop water tower. Two companies in New York build water towers, both of which are family businesses in operation since the 19th century.

        The original water tower builders were barrel makers who expanded their craft to meet a modern need as buildings in the city grew taller in height. Even today, no sealant is used to hold the water in. The wooden walls of the water tower are held together with steel cables or straps, but water leaks through the gaps when first filled. As the water saturates the wood, it swells, the gaps close and become impermeable.” ~ Wikipedia

        That writ, how hot do you think the water in a wooden cistern could get in an insulated warm attic space (like a normal room) passively-heated under a sunroof? How hot would you need it to get and for how long and for how often?

        Attached is an image of two wooden water towers.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Wood Water Towers in NYC

          “I was recently surprised to see numerous wood water towers in NYC. The use of them has been abandoned here on Iowa farms, but they are still very much ‘alive & kicking’ in NYC!”

          • Nathanael says:

            If you really want to learn to do it yourself, we live in a marvelous era of technology, where you can teach yourself engineering using freely available online resources.

            I would still advise consulting a pro — if you’re in a big city or a college town, you can probably find a university professor who will help you for free if you show signs of being a serious and dedicated student (they love that, it’s so uncommon).

        • Fred Magyar says:

          I have nothing against water tanks or towers that are properly built. I’m familiar with the ones in NYC having lived in the Big Apple for many years. I helped build government sponsored low income cinder block housing in Brazil with low cost passive solar collectors and water heating and tank storage systems. My own house in Brazil has such a system. I’m also very familiar with evacuated tube solar collectors for heating water in Germany as my sister has such a system at her home near Heidelberg. Regardless of what Scrub has to say, I still recommend you consult a pro in your area before trying to reinvent the wheel.

          • Ghung says:

            Agreeing with Fred. Nothing wrong with current technology as long as it works and lasts. Why use a wooden tank when one can use plastic? I doubt one could build a suitable wooden tank cheaper than I could buy a lighter and (probably) more durable plastic tank for less. Also, wood is a cozy home for some nasties like Legionella unless the system is periodically kept above 140-150 degrees (F); tough to do with an open passive system.

            After several years struggling with home-built flat plate collectors I installed a 60 tube evacuated tube array. Wow! Very efficient, to the point I’m thinking about putting in some kind of heat dump system for summer. For now I simply cover part of the array (or take a loooong shower) if tank temps get above around 160 (the plastic tank manufacturer recommended 165 as a limit). Our 1600 liter tank generally stays in the 120-140 range with normal DHW use. Household cold water flows through a copper coil suspended in the top third of the tank. Solar heated glycol solution from the solar heater circulates through a coil of pipe in the bottom (closed-loop glycol prevents freezing and extends pump life). A solar-powered pump and cheap Chinese controller completes the system. The water in the tank is separate from the domestic water and has an anti-corrosive/anti-bacterial added. In winter this water circulates through the hydronic floor system.

            If you want to heat water in the attic and aren’t particular about time-of-day or constant temperature, just run a few hundred meters of PEX pipe around in the attic. Be sure to install a relief valve.

            I bought my evacuated tube collectors from this guy in Alabama:


            We are very pleased, and it came with extra tubes in case of breakage. Considering the design, these things should last decades if properly installed.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Hi Ghung,

              Thanks for your input, but there are a lot of things we can knock and then take the illusory easy way out, until it comes home to roost and is no longer easy. We are getting different diseases with BAU, and we may have hit peak life-span in some areas as well. The system whose products are being advocated is non-viable. Plastic something-or-other might be possible, but it depends on its contexts. I’m tempted to avoid it, though. Palettes are a concession in part because they are local, cheap, plentiful, easy to work with, appropriate for the scale, and relatively biodegradable.

              Work with me and maybe challenge yourself in the process, such as where you’re not throwing money that you can pretend you don’t have at solutions that may not solve things for everyone. I’ve already mentioned how I want to approach this but also how it makes better sense to, if only as a learning project. BAU is not going to teach as much, such as with regard to personal, local, community empowerment.

              I happen to love long showers, so it will be on the agenda, but they may not be typical, and could consist of merely tipping a barrel.

              • Nathanael says:

                The primary issue with pallets (no e) is rot. Good new pallets are fine but due to the way they are used they often accumulate a nasty amount of non-obvious rot of various sorts, which will destroy your structure.

                This is why “shipping container repurposing” (shipping containers are metal and you can tell whether you have a rust problem) is a thing and “pallet repurposing” (wood) is not. By the time they stop being used as pallets, most pallets are only good for burning as firewood, and even that requires some care.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Fred, you spent almost all of your comment dolling yourself up.

            Wheels were invented a long time ago and we’ve lost a lot of knowledge and wisdom along the way. We’ve lost our way, despite all our new wheels.

            Many of us may not realize how precarious our existence may very well currently be and that’s the tack I’m taking here.
            You can continue on your own BAU-fellatio and shnoz-up-the-BAU-rear tack if you wish and seeing as you’re all dolled up. Your call. But you won’t be doing it in or with my house. Otherwise, if you can try to check it at the door, you’re welcome in. The intoxicants will be home-brewed.

            As an extension of my point with Ghung, there will be no electric car in the entrance and the entrance will not be paved.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Caelan, knock yourself out, bro!

              Not everything that is a product of BAU it is automatically evil!
              There are some really good people out there, some of them even know how to incorporate plastic into their paradigms.

              George Carlin: The Universe Wanted Plastic

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                “Not everything that is a product of BAU it is automatically evil!” ~ Fred Magyar

                Holy shit I hope not, otherwise we’d be in even worse shape than we’re already in.
                I’m familiar with Carlin and even that particular routine and might have even mentioned it previously hereon with a suggestion that plastic, in the context of the routine of course, be replaced with nuclear waste, also a product of BAU.

    • scrub puller says:

      Yair . . .

      Gotcha Caelan MacIntyre.

      I am no engineer but have found (and seen) over the years that longer top to bottom diagonal braces are more effective (and more cost effective) than multiple shorter knee braces.

      On a structure such as shown I would diagonally brace it top to bottom on alternate sides. I have seen such construction survive a cyclone where knee braces have failed . . . your braces as shown will obviously add to the integrity/stiffness of the structure under normal conditions.


      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Points taken, Scrub, and will be seriously considered for the design, thanks.
        You may see them posted to POB in an upcoming image.

      • Nathanael says:

        Old-fashioned bridges often used the long diagonal braces because they’re quite effective. You can actually find online sites explaining various parts of structural engineering… you should use them.

  3. Hightrekker says:

    On a perverse level, it kinda makes sense?

    Under Trumpcare, surviving a gunshot wounds gives you a “pre-existing condition”


  4. Hightrekker says:

    Russia a one trick pony with oil?
    The really devastating news for ‘our Western partners’ (as Putin likes to refer to them) must be – which we are the first to report – the extraordinary decrease in the share of oil & gas revenue in Russia’s GDP.”

    • “In the years of sanctions, Russia has grown to become an agricultural superpower with the world’s largest wheat exports. Already in the time of the Czars Russia was a big grain exporter, but that was often accompanied with domestic famine. Stalin financed Russia’s industrialization to a large extent by grain exports, but hereby also creating domestic shortages and famine. It is then the first time in Russia’s history when it is under Putin a major grain exporter while ensuring domestic abundance. Russia has made an overall remarkable turnaround in food production and is now virtually self-sufficient.”

    “Russia has the lowest level of imports (as a share of the GDP) of all major countries… Russia’s very low levels of imports in the global comparison obviously signifies that Russia produces domestically a much higher share of all that it consumes (and invests), this in turn means that the economy is superbly diversified contrary to the claims of the failed experts and policymakers. In fact, it is the most self-sufficient and diversified economy in the world.


    • Boomer II says:

      I followed the links from that chart to the article it was in, which then linked to the article below. Russia may be doing better than NATO and the US want to believe, but this article certainly reads like pure Putin propaganda.

      What Does Not Kill You Will Make You Stronger – The Russian Economy 2014 – 2016, the Years of Sanctions Warfare

      • OFM says:

        I have no use for the Putin regime, but I do respect it, in terms of it’s having demonstrated that Putin and his homies are highly competent. It’s their agenda that bothers me .

        Now I am quite well aware of the many benefits of globalization, one in particular being that strong international business ties make for friends instead of enemies.

        On the other hand, while there is no doubt that globalization can be and probably IS good for most people in countries practicing it, leading to greater economic prosperity ON AVERAGE, at least up to a POINT, it’s also demonstrably a race to the bottom, and the people who lose their asses in the race are the ones who are employed in basic industries in the more highly developed countries, as those industries leave for low wage low regulatory new homes.

        And while some people will never acknowledge it, those people are citizens, and as important as anybody else, and deserve government that looks after them as well as it looks after anybody else instead of fucking them over dry ” no special lube” as old HB would put in for me if he notices this comment.

        And that sort of economic policy has one hell of a lot to do with TRUMP being president today. This is NOT to say HRC is responsible for globalization, or that the D’s are responsible for it, because the fact is that the R’s are mostly responsible, in terms of the USA. It’s just that HRC was so inexplicably stupid as to run on it as a policy, at a time when the working classes believe with ample justification that BOTH parties are taking them for granted. Trump promised change, and we got Trump.

        Now it’s true that shirts and pants and furniture are cheaper these days, but I am quite convinced that Yankees would be far better off not having ripped the guts out of the economy in places that used to manufacture such things, setting these communities back to Great Depression era economic conditions.

        People who were making enough to budget very carefully and send their kids off to university, like so many I knew and still know, can’t do that when they have to start off again flipping burgers, or cutting grass.

        We wouldn’t have HALF the problems we do with drugs, etc, in such communities if the factories were still HERE instead of over THERE now.

        And while a little country is obviously incapable of surviving and thriving economically in the modern world without globalization, it has not been demonstrated that a country such as the USA REALLY needs globalization. We certainly need a few products that sell in small enough quantities that the industries that manufacture them MUST operate globally in order to be big enough to be viable, and we certainly must import some particular minerals, etc.

        But do we REALLY NEED to import dirt cheap furniture, or clothing?

        It’s all fine and dandy to get on a high academic horse and talk about productivity, and AVERAGE incomes, etc, but IN THE END, look at what the Chinese are building these days, as in the link I posted a day or two back, and what we are doing.

        Pretty soon they are going to OWN OUR FUCKING ASSES, because they are going to have the shit that really matters, while we have FIRE, finance, insurance, real estate, etc.

        If we have to go to war, we are going to have to ask them for enough steel, hat in hand , to build some ships and weapons, and to send us some machinists and welders in order to build some ships and tanks, the way things are going, before too much longer. This is only PARTLY sarcasm.

        The Russians are only half as numerous as we are, and while their living standard is lower than ours by a mile, they are PROVING they are big enough to survive and thrive. Without globalization depriving Russian workers off their jobs in a race to the bottom, Russia will likely continue to have all the essential industries doing fine within Russian borders, and Russia will not have to put her working classes on welfare , the way the R’s with the help of the D’s , are putting them on welfare here in the USA.

        The working classes didn’t vote for Trump because he is a Republican, sort of. They voted for him because he WAS NOT CLINTON, and because he WAS NOT a “Real” Republican, having actually HIJACKED the R party, and because he PROMISED CHANGE, in their favor. The fact that he is an old he coon of a fraud was more or less irrelevant, in the voters minds. They hoped for change in their favor, which is the platform Obama won on, and that other presidents have usually won on, including Bill Clinton, he of ” It’s the economy, Stupid” wisdom.

        Academics seem to have their heads up their asses so far they will never know what daylight is, half or more of the time, with this being ESPECIALLY true in the case of economists, who don’t seem to be able to grasp the simple idea that while a man who has his feet in freezing water and his hands in a fire, he’s COMFORTABLE on average, lol, but he’s in a hell of fix, in actuality.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          And while a little country is obviously incapable of surviving and thriving economically in the modern world without globalization, it has not been demonstrated that a country such as the USA REALLY needs globalization.

          I could give many examples why I disagree with that statement but I’ll just suggest one. It is not a matter of if but when, that the globe will be faced with a lethal pandemic and you had sure better have a well established global system based on mutual trust between nations to deal with it. Nation States won’t cut it in the 21st century as a bulwark against such problems. And I won’t even mention all the possible consequences of climate change.

          • GoneFishing says:

            People forget that our steel industry had to go global because of peak iron ore in the US. That happened in the 1960’s. Many raw materials are imported to the US. Zinc used to be mined in about 30 states. Now most of it is mined in one place, Red Dog Mine.in Alaska. Red Dog looks to have a maximum life expectancy of about two more decades. US imports a lot of zinc in mostly pig form but as ore and of course as finished product.
            The list could go on, but basically the US is on a descending resource track with many areas already petered out. So how can it not be part of the global community when basic primary resources are already overwhelmed. We spent our wad supplying the world and now we need the world to continue.
            Sure we can switch a number of the materials we use and work on switching more, but push comes to shove the US does not have the resources to function.
            Electric power and transport could be made mostly independent. But why bother when a good chunk of our economy depends on import/export. A world economy works better, keeps the world more peaceful (except for oil). This was seen by our leaders way back in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
            All mine ore bodies peter out if you mine them consistently. All non-renewable resources get harder to produce and eventually peter out. Fact of life. Within a hundred mile radius of me are many old closed mines. Graphite, coal, zinc, silver, and iron, all closed. Sure there are some resources left, but not worth going after. There are still some active coal mines, all surface, but the output is a small fraction of the historical output of last century. They too will close eventually, just taking a longer time because of low demand.

            You can’t run a civilization on throw away non-renewable commodities. There is not even a thousand year window, more like a 100 to 200 year window at most and much of that is used up already. The end of the resources arrive, then what? Go global, then what?

            The world is doubling demand on items at a fast rate due to increasing economics in large developing countries. More people on the bus, in the car, wanting and having refrigerators, TV, central heat, air conditioning, etc.
            I was just reading about the Summer of Hell in one newspaper concerning work and repairs on the Penn Station Hub commencing.
            “Monday begins what New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called “the summer of hell” at North America’s busiest rail hub, as Amtrak, its owner, embarks on emergency repairs. More than 1,300 trains run by Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road travel on the station’s 21 tracks each day. That volume will be sharply curtailed for the repairs.
            The effect during rush hour will be like jamming gum into a bottleneck, forcing commuters to find alternate ways into and out of Manhattan and further crowding highways and subways. Some will opt for a boat. ”

            So instead of appreciating that fact that the systems are available, people think they are a god given right and are moaning like stuck pigs about the situation. Without the maintenance and improvement the system will come to a virtual halt eventually. Little do they know that much of the rail and other parts are imported.

            • Nathanael says:

              We really needed to start recycling most metals a long time ago. In the 1970s. It’s been ridiculous the degree to which we haven’t. I expect landfills to be mined within my lifetime.

          • OFM says:

            Hi Fred,

            You of all people are smart enough to understand that I am trying to get across the idea that there are practical limits to globalization that should not be exceeded, rather than condemning globalization on a blanket basis. I DID say trade makes friends, did I not?

            And being friends obviously makes it possible, and much easier, for the various countries to reach agreements on environmental and public health issues, etc, and as you say, such issues are critically important, and as time passes, they will get to be ever more critical.

            It is said that moderation in all things is a virtue, even including moderation itself.

            Now as I see things, the leftish liberal wing of our political system is just as fucking guilty, or stupid, in some respects as the right wing, including the display of utterly simple minded tribal loyalties. SOME conservatives, maybe most of them, flat ass refuse to consider the facts in respect to any number of given particular issues, for instance the need to regulate the burning of coal.

            SOME liberals, as a matter of fact most of the ones I know personally, flat ass refuse to consider that unbridled globalization is potentially at least just as bad as unbridled capitalism, which they justifiably equate with Satan himself.

            I ain’t naming no names, but I am WONDERING what your opinion might be when it comes to the globalization question and the results of the last election, lol.

            Now you have VERY clearly posted your opinion that everybody that voted for Trump , and by extension everybody who votes R, is a cretin, or an ignoramus, or plutocrat, or some other sort of undesirable character, but I KNOW you are smarter than that, and merely blowing hot air aka hyperbole. You know that some people voted the way they did because they were scared, or out of work , or because such issues as abortion are matters of bedrock principle to them, and they believe that abortion is murder. And so far as that goes, whether it is, or is not, is a matter of opinion, despite what anybody says. Any definition of what a human is must be arbitrary, and there’s no escaping that.

            So- Except for the Sanders camp, the liberal establishment has been just about as stupid as the R camp in defending and promoting globalization, without doing much in the way of critical thinking about where those practical limits might lie.

            ONE of the consequences of this failure to think on the part of the D business as usual camp aka the HRC machine is that TRUMP is now president, lol.

            I don’t expect you to actually admit I’m right, but I don’t think you are dumb enough to post a comment saying I’m wrong on this point, as old HB would likely do, if he were around today. I guess he’s on vacation or something.I hope he’s ok. I enjoy needling him, and my skin is thick enough to take it in return.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Now you have VERY clearly posted your opinion that everybody that voted for Trump , and by extension everybody who votes R, is a cretin, or an ignoramus, or plutocrat, or some other sort of undesirable character, but I KNOW you are smarter than that, and merely blowing hot air aka hyperbole. You know that some people voted the way they did because they were scared, or out of work , or because such issues as abortion are matters of bedrock principle to them, and they believe that abortion is murder. And so far as that goes, whether it is, or is not, is a matter of opinion, despite what anybody says. Any definition of what a human is must be arbitrary, and there’s no escaping that.

              Right! And I have also made it clear on numerous occasions, that I can just as easily enjoy the company of an illiterate worker in the boondocks, share drinks with him or her, and even go to church with them and sing hymns.

              I won’t bother to discuss biochemistry, ecology or the nuances of diplomatic or international trade relations with such an individual. World Cup Soccer, yes!

              I’m also quite capable of holding multiple contradictory views simultaneously and make no apologies for doing so.

              As for the current US administration I don’t blame the people who helped put them there and who were legitimately scared or out of work or because such issues as abortion are matters of bedrock principle to them, and they believe that abortion is murder, whether or not I hold any such views myself.

              I reserve my deepest contempt for the privileged elites both on the right and the left who abuse power for their personal gain and knowingly manipulate the ignorant, poor and underprivileged!

              Having said all that, I genuinely believe that head in the sand nationalism, is not a productive path forward at this particular juncture in human history. In fact I think it is a very dangerous and easily exploited road towards the false promise of a supposedly better future! ‘Make America Great Again’ is IMHO, a neo-fascist authoritarian slogan, pure and simple!

              I posted this link before and I will stick to my guns that what we are experiencing now is the the beginning of a very slippery slope towards tyranny! While history does not repeat, it rhymes!


              The Road to Tyranny
              A Conversation with Timothy Snyder

              • Nathanael says:

                “You know that some people voted the way they did because they were scared, or out of work , or because such issues as abortion are matters of bedrock principle to them,”

                This does mean those people were being stupid.

                Probably they’re perfectly nice people, as far as that goes.

                But they’re being stupid. No getting around it.

                There’s nothing wrong with being stupid if you *listen to smart people*. There’s actually quite a lot of evidence that John F Kennedy was quite stupid, but he surrounded himself with very smart advisors, including his brother Bobby.

                There is a problem when people are too stupid or brainwashed to tell who’s smart. To some extent, it’s the responsibilty of smart people to debunk and discredit the phonies who pretend to be smart while spouting nonsense. If people are fooled by a sharp, slick con man, well, it’s the responsibility of those smart enough to detect the con to stop it.

                But there’s a different problem when we’re dealing with leaders who don’t even *pretend* to know what they’re talking about but get followed, cult-like, by stupid people anyway. Even stupid people should know better.

                • Hickory says:

                  Hi Nathaneal, I agree with most of your statements regarding voters.
                  I have come to see the only solution to voter stupidity being a test to check for intelligence and level of awareness of basic facts and history to qualify for voting eligibility.
                  Probably about 1/3rd of voters (from both parties) shouldn’t be voting.
                  While we are at it, to be eligible for congress or higher office, the candidate should also have to pass a test.

                  Here is an example. In a suburb of Seattle republican congressman Reichert was running for re-election in 2010 (after the banking crises). His opponent said she was in favor reviewing or perhaps repealing the Glass-Steagal act during a debate. He said he wasn’t familiar with it!!! That should have disqualified him from office, but he was re-elected by the brilliant voters nonetheless.
                  Mediocrity is the very best we can expect.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster,

          Why would anybody with the smallest amount of common sense believe anything political you write ? You were a conned free lance conspirator

          “Email To Donald Trump Jr. Reportedly Spoke Of Russian Plot To Aid Trump Campaign

          The email claimed the Kremlin was the source of information that could hurt Hillary Clinton, The New York Times says.

          Donald Trump Jr. was told in an email that a meeting to obtain information damaging to presidential rival Hillary Clinton was connected to intelligence gathered by the Russian government to help elect his father, according to a report published in The New York Times on Monday.

          The Times, citing multiple people with knowledge of the missive, said the email was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist who helped set up the meeting during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump’s eldest son and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. The note reportedly said the information presented during the meeting would come from the Russian government.

          Mark Corallo, the spokesman for President Trump’s personal lawyer, told The Guardian the president was “not aware of and did not attend the meeting” between his son and Veselnitskaya.”


          • OFM says:

            I just posted a comment saying I hoped you were ok, HB, and for the record, you have been on the money about Russians and the election, lol.

            So far as that goes, I have never denied it, but I generally don’t take sides early in terms of scandals, preferring to wait for some real details to emerge.

            Now suppose you admit I have never supported Trump?

            I have probably posted three times as many anti Trump comments over the last few weeks as you have.

            One or two comments upthread, I ranted a while about tribal loyalties, and D’s and liberals being just as prone to ignoring the truth , etc, when tribal loyalties are involved as R’s and conservatives.

            I’m STILL waiting far ANYBODY in this forum who has demonstrated by his comment history that he is mathematically literate to deny that the evidence of Cattle Gate as reported in major papers such as the NYT and the Washington Post etc, proves that HRC engaged in a scam involving stealing a hundred grand when she was the first lady of the state of Arkansas.

            It ain’t going to happen going by the results of my experiment trying to get it to happen for a whole year now.

            One or two people have said they wouldn’t vote for her based on her record of supporting wars, etc, that’s IT.

            I don’t really expect anybody else here in this forum to say that they agree that the globalization issue cost HRC the election, but it had as much or more to do with it than Russian meddling. The people in the last three big Rust Belt states who put Trump in the WH are PISSED AS HELL about globalization, and would tar and feather anybody who advocates it, if they could.

            And your empress to be was so fucking STUPID and ARROGANT that she believed they LOVED her, and would vote for her, even as she was hanging out with the banksters and dissing them mightily by failing to even show up once in a while to make a token speech or two.

            But those people did NOT fail to notice that she found AMPLE time to make speeches at a quarter of a million a pop to banksters. SECRET speeches.

            I’m sure a few people are hearing what I am saying, and have been saying, all along, and will give my words due consideration in making their future political decisions.

            I’m like a preacher, in some ways, one of them being that preachers believe that they are not wasting their time if they make just ONE convert in their entire career.

            I have reason to believe that I have played an important role in converting a number of BAU Democrats into Sanders Democrats, and a few middle of the roaders into D’s of one sort or another, and that I have furthermore planted the seeds of subversion in the fertile soil between the ears of a number of so called Republicans or conservatives.

            ( Some people would say that soil is fertile because it is mostly bullshit, lol. Shit aka manure is EXCELLENT fertilizer, lol. )

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster says –

              “HB, and for the record, you have been on the money about Russians and the election”

              “Now suppose you admit I have never supported Trump?”


              Trumpster, your actions day after day leading up to the election of spewing your HRC Russian Republican hate talking points was support for Trump. You and everyone else here knows it. You may think acting like a stupid idiot posting a few anti-Trump now exonerates you. It doesn’t change the fact your actions came straight out of the Russian KGB play book. Your just a conned ignorant right wing hillbilly redneck bullshitter.

              Just accept it and man up.

              After over 30 years in the public eye and enemy one number of the Republican party. There has never been any proof or conviction of HRC and illegal commodities future trading. Get over it and do a little homework on Jane Sanders. Who is now lawyering up.

              Bernie Sanders and his wife reportedly lawyer up amid FBI probe: Politico Magazine


            • JJHMAN says:

              I consider myself reasonably left of center on most issues and I thought HRC was an embarrassment as a Democratic candidate at the time. Certainly her actual “on the job” performance was exemplary but her personal behavior, well she must have learned about ethics from Bill.

              I will hold my opinion about Bernie’s wife. The uproar was started by some serious Repubs so it may be just noise. On a practical note I think Bernie is too far left for 2020 America but I like a lot of what he says.

            • alimbiquated says:

              >Now suppose you admit I have never supported Trump?

              Matthew 26:33-35

    • alimbiquated says:

      Russia just doesn’t do much trade, so its imports and exports are low.

  5. OFM says:

    The bracing demonstrated does make for a structure that is theoretically rigid, because it creates triangles, and is one hundred percent rigid as a practical matter in the real world, and more than strong enough except maybe in respect to hurricanes or earthquakes, in which case you need even more structural strength and the ability to flex a little is priceless.

    It’s a technique thats been used countless millions of times, and usually serves quite well until the building burns or rots down.

    I can’t say what’s best in quake and blow situations.

  6. OFM says:


    “Tobacco giant Philip Morris has been ordered to pay the Australian government millions of dollars after unsuccessfully suing the nation over its world-first plain-packaging laws. ”

    We are gradually making some headway in terms of public health and the advertising of dangerous goods and cigarettes imo are at least as dangerous as any illegal drug, and many times MORE dangerous than a number of recreational drugs that are black market only goods.

    Now being the token white male Christian conservative has it’s advantages, because I do understand and take the argument seriously that adults should be able to do pretty much to suit themselves, so long as they are not harming anybody else. Once we allow the guv’mint to tell us what’s good for us, and to force us to give up our bad habits, there’s really no end to what self righteous bureaucrats might decide is in our best interests. They have to JUSTIFY their jobs ya know.

    Now I have an argument that makes a lot of casual personal enemies for me, but it works like a charm. When I hear the freedom to smoke and drink and freedom of business and freedom of the press argument for advertising, I ask WHY such things as cigarettes are advertised, and get the look back that tells me my target thinks I’m totally stupid, and don’t even realize the purpose of advertising is to sell the goods.

    With that once stated,out loud, lol, I say yeah, the purpose of advertising is to TRAIN your kids to smoke, and to TRAIN your kids to drink sugar water , and TRAIN your kids to eat junk food, and it WORKS. You go to great lenghths to instruct your kids in the right way to behave , have good work habits, make a big effort to keep them away from the wrong kind of kids and adults, and yet here you stand arguing that it’s OK for tobacco companies and alcohol companies and sugar water companies and junk food restaurants to TRAIN your kids to consume their junk , severely injuring their health and shortening their lives, and running up doctor and dental bills for YOU to pay.

    And I usually only do this when there’s an audience, because the quiet people that don’t say much do some thinking about what was said, and often conclude that we ought to have plain packaging laws and very little advertising of sugar water, tobacco, alcohol, junk food, or NONE, at least none that kids will see.

    Hit’em where they live.

    • alimbiquated says:

      An unintended consequence of exposing two generations of American children to nonstop TV ads is that Americans seem to think that facts don’t matter any more. The important thing is to win the argument, that makes you a good person. It’s an obvious conclusion to reach if your parents park you in front of a TV with ad breaks every 10 minutes in your formative years. Every single ad you ever watch was a lie. Great role model for the kiddies.

  7. Glenn E. Stehle says:

    A most insightful article in the left-wing Mexican press yesterday. Translation mine….

    Underneath the Magnifying Glass
    G20 in Hamburg: The G3 (US, Russia and China) put an end to the “neoliberal global order”


    The first week of July 2017 seems to have meant a metahistorical turning point that is heading for a new tripolar order between the two great nuclear superpowers (EU and Russia) and the greatest geoeconomic superpower (China)….

    It sounds paradoxical that Trump was isolated by the 19 members of the G20 on the issue of climate change and free trade, while at the same time Putin eclipsed Western sanctions from the US and Europe….

    The first week of July exhibited a G2 of Russia and China pulling Trump, in the absence of mutual bellicosity, towards a G3….

    After the troubled German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that “Europe must take its destiny with its own hands”, the transatlantic globalists panicked over the trumpian protectionist policy of “America First”, which, in the opinion of the fanatic global neoliberal Wolfgang Schäuble, means the destruction of the “global neoliberal order (sic) that would give great influence to China and Russia.”

    In my interview with Sputnik and Radio Uruguay I argued that “a G3 can end the neoliberal world order,” with Merkel being the great loser — this being the third global defeat for Germany, the maximum geo-economic power of the European Union, in 100 years.

    Not counting her sterile, holy alliance with Obama, Merkel made several mistakes that her lucid ancestors — Adenauer, Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schröder, both of the Conservative party and the Social Democratic Party — would not have committed. In seeking to position herself as the leader of the “global neoliberal order” on both sides of the North Atlantic, she collided with the two nuclear superpowers on the planet: with Trump in geoeconomic matters and with Putin in geopolitics.

    Geopolitics, which Merkel despises so much, annihilated her and her “global neoliberal order.”

    Worse: regardless of whether one supports the Paris climate agreement or not, Merkel made it a casus belli against Trump….

    Trump distanced himself from Germany while drawing nearer to Russia.

    The geostrategically orphaned Germany and Japan, losers of world wars and rebuilt by the United States, lack nuclear teeth and confuse supremely important geostrategy with vulgar mercantile neoliberalism, not to mention “climate change”….

    Merkel suffered two outrageous put-downs from Trump: in Warsaw, before arriving in Germany, the controversial business president attacked the Nazi occupation in the iconic Krasinski square, while, with total disregard for protocol, at the G20 summit allowed his daughter, a frivolous socialite with no diplomatic skills, to stand in for him.

    A photo on the front page of Deutsche Welle shows how crudely Merkel covers her face with her hands in the face of the impetuosity of Trump.

    According to Bloomberg, Merkel plays a very risky electoral game in the face of the election of September 24, attempting to distract Germans from their domestic woes by beating up on the US.

    In my view, the economic format of the G20, now transmuted into an environmentalist agenda, was buried in Hamburg and will be gradually replaced by the EU / Russia / China G3.

    While waiting for the outcome of the second meeting of Xi with the business president Trump, we must not underestimate the ability of the US Deep State to derail the G3.

    • alimbiquated says:

      That’s pretty bonkers. As a long term resident of Germany, I can say he has no clue about what Germans or Merkel are thinking. And his not-so-subtle attempts to compare her to Hitler are beneath contempt.

      Another ting everyone seems to forget is that Russia doesn’t really matter economically. The only interesting thing about the country is it efforts to sabotage its neighbors. Otherwise it’s a tiddler, about the size of Spain.

      • Glenn E Stehle says:


        Russia is a nuclear power that has a stranglehold on Europe’s natural gas supply. But you claim it “doesn’t really matter economically,” and is a “tiddler, about the size of Spain”?

        Phew! Who knows what planet you live on, but it sure to hell isn’t planet earth.

        • alimbiquated says:

          Gas is less than one tenth of one percent of the German economy. The Russians control nothing.

          • Glenn E Stehle says:


            1) Germany has one of the most ambitious wind and solar programs on the planet. Do you believe that might have something to do with weaning Germany off of Russian gas?

            2) The Merkel administration has lobbyied hard for Nord Stream 2. Why do you believe that is?

            The Senate wants tough new sanctions against Russia, but key U.S. allies are furious. Here’s why.

            The bill would target companies that support “Russian export pipelines.” … Yet Europeans think that this is basically their own business, not Washington’s.

            Germany’s Angela Merkel slams planned US sanctions on Russia

            Merkel’s concern at the US plans, which were not coordinated with EU allies, chimes in with that of German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, who in a joint statement on Thursday also hit out at the proposed sanctions.

            Gabriel and Kern’s comments centered on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to pump Russian natural gas via the Baltic Sea to Germany, which involves Russia’s Gazprom along with European energy firms including Germany’s Wintershall and Austria’s ÖMV.

            “Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America!” wrote Kern and Gabriel, who was previously the German economy minister….

            Threatening European firms also active in the US with sanctions if they participated in Nord Stream 2 injected “a completely new, and very negative dimension into European-American relations,” the statement said.

            3) Germany is a member of NATO, which has strived for years to effect regime change in Syria so a terrestrial natural gas pipeline could be constructed across Syria. This would allow a supply of natural gas to flow from the south into Europe which is not controlled by Russia and its allies. Why do you believe NATO was willing to invest so heavily in regime change in Syria?

            • Ulenspiegel says:

              1) Nordstream 2 allows the shut down of piplines via Ukraine and Poland, this reduces the leverage these two countries have. Good for Russia and Germany. This does not incresae transmission volume significantly.

              2) Of course, the energiewende is aimed at the strategic German issue of importing 70% of the German primary energy demand.

              3) Nobody in Germany wants additional NG pipelines in southern Europe, you would only replace Russia with Turkey. No gain.

              4) To link Syria with German NG is stupid, considering the official German position to Syria and Assad. And again, Russsia is more reliable than Syria could be.

              5) Overall there will not be an increase of NG imports to Germany, “only” a temporary shift from Norway to Russia. NG demand will decrease. Where would somebody, who actually knows the development in Germany, find an increasing demand?

              • Glenn E Stehle says:

                ••••Ulenspiegel said:

                1) Nordstream 2 allows the shut down of piplines via Ukraine and Poland, this reduces the leverage these two countries have. Good for Russia and Germany. This does not incresae transmission volume significantly.

                But does this do anything to reduce Germany’s reliance on Russian natural gas? Remember what alimbiquated’s claim was. It was that “The Russians control nothing.” The issue we are debating is not what Ukraine or Poland control, but what Russia controls.

                ••••Ulenspiegel said:

                3) Nobody in Germany wants additional NG pipelines in southern Europe, you would only replace Russia with Turkey. No gain.

                No gain? Increasing your options from one supplier of natural gas to two is “no gain”?

                ••••Ulenspiegel said:

                4) To link Syria with German NG is stupid, considering the official German position to Syria and Assad.

                And what is Merkel’s position in Syria, other than to implicitly support regime change?

                Merkel, German government say US missile strikes in Syria ‘understandable’

                Speaking at an event for refugee helpers in Berlin, Angela Merkel once again condemned the “chemical weapons massacre of innocent people in Syria” and implied that the US missile strikes in response were justified…..

                Can history tell us what might come next after the US intervention in Syria?

                The relevant history here…is the history of earlier US efforts to achieve regime change in this region. And I introduce that term because Secretary of State [Rex] Tillerson has said that it is now US policy that President [Bashar al-Assad] departs. So that would seem to suggest that we are back in the regime change business in Syria.

                ••••Ulenspiegel said:

                5) Overall there will not be an increase of NG imports to Germany… NG demand will decrease. Where would somebody, who actually knows the development in Germany, find an increasing demand?

                Natural gas consumption in Germany increased last year.

                Germany Is Addicted to Russian Gas

                “Nord Stream 2 isn’t only about meeting additional demand, it’s also about adjusting gas supplies towards the most cost-efficient routes,” Gergely Molnar, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie in London, said by phone….

                Gas may provide a fifth of Germany’s power in five years, almost double current levels, according to HSBC Holdings Ltd….

                “In the long term, Europe needs new volumes of imported gas from reliable suppliers, and the Nord Stream project will become that lifebuoy,” Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Medvedev said in Berlin on June 15….

                Nord Stream 2 would “definitely be an additional option” to increase imports, according to Stefan Rolle, head of gas and oil markets and crisis prevention at the German Economy Ministry….

                “We need gas supplies when coal isn’t used anymore,” said Klaus-Peter Trapp, a 57 year-old cabinet maker from Greifswald. “This can have consequences if Russia and Germany don’t get along well anymore.”

                • Ves says:

                  Glenn, Eulen
                  Both of you guys are not reading properly what is going on. Your arguments are based on some articles that give you some little information and lots of spin. It is almost like trying to figure out what shale revolution technology miracle is about by reading on internet.

                  Germany has no influence on where it gets gas. Germany can get gas ONLY from the source and not from the Hub. Turkey is a hub, but not a source. This is so basic.

                  There is a gas in eastern Med (Egypt, Israel, Cyprus) but only Israel & Cyprus have significant excess and can export to European market. So, the race is who will reach the hub (Turkey) first: Russians or Israel/US (Noble – Us firm is developing gas in East Med).

                  Russian’s Turkish stream is developing at breakneck speed and they will cross the line first and is expected to be operational by 2019.
                  Germany is irrelevant in all this. It has no influence on source of the gas, on the hub location, on anything. And Turkish stream (second stage) is not even meant to be supplied for Germany but South Europe. For Germany, it is only Nord Stream I and eventually II and that is all. If Germany refuse to Nord Stream II under US threat of sanctions then they will just have to pay the price if supplies across Ukraine become unreliable.

                  Iran & Qatar as source of gas for EU is long shot. It is against interests of both US & Russia. Through that lens you must look at current spat between SA and Qatar. Qatar will have difficult time getting aligned with Iran in joint Gas exports. It does not suite neither US, Russia or SA.

                  • Ulenspiegel says:


                    maybe you should check the hsitory of the pipelines a little bit better. Ownership of russian companies, investment of Russian companies in NG infrastructure located in western Europe. Then you get a more balanced picture.

                    Of course pipeline chain suppliers to consumers, this has implications for both sides and are well understood.

                    Russia needs the money from NG and oil, therfore, her ability to play powergames with larger customers is limited. You understand that the Russian deliveries started during cold war?

                    Nordstream 2 reduces the posssibility of Ukrainian or Polish games, not more.

                    Of course Germany will import Russian NG for some years in higher volume. And?

                    For Russia the next 30 years are interesting as demand will decrease in central Europe. The clock is ticking for Russia.

                    Substitution of Russian NG is in principle possible. But it is expoensive and takes some time. Not useful considering the energy transition.

                  • Ves says:


                    Honestly, I don’t understand what are you saying. Is this reply to my post? What are you writing has absolutely nothing related to what I wrote. I don’t know what to write now.

                    What I am saying is that Germany does not control the source of gas supplies. It is very simple if you look on the map that gas is on other side of the world from Germany. Do we agree on that? Source is far away. So in that case it would be nice to deliver box o chocolates and flowers once in a while to the gas suppliers. And vice versa, it would be nice if gas suppliers would give some small gifts as sign of appreciation for their customers. How difficult is to understand that concept of kindness? I will repeat: How difficult is to understand concept of kindness?
                    And what is happening is that Germany trade sanctions and Russia counter sanctions to each other. Are you mad or something?

                    And Germany has to explain to the Americans that is better use of resources if they would close their military bases in Germany and use these available resources for transition back at home. That is what friend would do. No? Yes? What kind of friend would let friend piss the remaining oil resource (and that what shale oil is)? Total madness.

        • Nathanael says:

          Russia is significant geopolitically and militarily. It is insignificant economically.

          This is a highly unstable situation. When it’s happened before in history, the result has been a *big mess*.

    • Ulenspiegel says:

      Oh Glenn, why don’t you stay with something you understand?

      Do you really believe the nonsense you post?

      • Glenn E Stehle says:


        Well I guess you can’t attack the message, since you failed to do so. So I guess the next best thiing is to attack the messenger.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          That can be how it goes, even on forums where some of its members like to drape themselves in their science and logic lingerie, even though it’s pretty clear they care little about it, except where it serves their own purposes of course.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Glenn,

      I think you may mean US/Russia/China, I realize that the US is Estados Unidos en Espanol, pero en ingles dicimos United States. 🙂

      So now you take the opinions of the left wing press seriously? You are full of contradictions.

      So who is this person that we should pay any attention to his/her opinion.

      There are some pretty strange opinions on both the far left and far right, I pay little attention to either.

      • Glenn E Stehle says:


        That’s right. The United States is Estados Unidos — EU for short — in Spanish. The European Union is Union Europea — UE for short. So it gets very confusing.

        I made the switch from UE to US in translating the title, but when I got down to the bottom of the article I missed it.

        So thanks for catching my mistake.

        • Glenn E Stehle says:

          Well there I go again.

          Should have read: “I made the switch from EU to US in translating the title, but when I got down to the bottom of the article I missed it.

    • Ves says:

      “A most insightful article in the left-wing Mexican press yesterday.”

      Glenn, what the right-wing Mexican press say? 🙂

      • Glenn E Stehle says:


        If you want to know what the right-wing Mexican press has to say, just read the NY Times.

        The NY Times’ biggest stockholder, after all, is the Mexico’s wealthiest oligarch, Carlos Slim.

        • Ves says:

          Not interested to read. I just sensed (based on what you wrote) that the “labels” in Mexico are switched. What is “left” in West is “right” in Mexico, and vice versa. It is all one coin with just opposite sides. Every time something is divided it is not total and it is naturally in conflict.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Flat, shadowy projections on the cave wall by the marionette-masters behind the prisoners… Trump, Republican, Putin, Twitter, bread and circuses, electric vehicles, solar panels, business-as-usual… the yeasts’ walls of the petridish…

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Glenn, some of us here can read Spanish too… LOL! You left out so much of the really juicy little tidbits like:

      “Lo relevante del primer encuentro exitoso del zar Vlady Putin y el presidente empresario Trump fue…”

      Czar Vlady Putin?! Seriously?! ROFLMAO! De puta madre, chico!

      Oh, I also looked up Sr. Alfredo Jalife-Rahme’s CV, I wasn’t too impressed.

      • Glenn E Stehle says:

        Fred Magyar,

        I figured that article would set you off.

        But of course everything sets you off.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Just laughing at your B.S. Glenn. BTW, Have you ever lived and worked in Mexico? Do you even have a clue as to who Alfredo Jalife-Rahme is and how he fits into the big picture? Why should any of us care about his opinion? I thought it was morning in America and we were building a solar powered wall to keep the likes of Alfredo out…paid for by the Mexican government, what a hoot. LOL!
          Did you vote for Czar Vlady Putin too?

          • Glenn E Stehle says:


            Like I said, I figured that article would set you off.

            And sure enough, it did.

  8. GoneFishing says:

    I noticed that some LED light bulbs have moved down to an advertised 10,000 hour lifetime. That compares to a previous 25,000 to 50,000 hour lifetime. I guess the manufacturers have decided it’s not profitable to sell someone a bulb or device that will last up to half a lifetime. So much for the market.

    • OFM says:

      IF ENOUGH people would get together and insist on buying only top quality products, by way of joining some sort of consumers organization dedicated to making it happen, there would be manufacturers out there making products designed to last just about forever.

      As a matter of fact, there are plenty of more or less forever products on the market today, such as cast iron and stainless steel cookware, and ceramic cookware such as that made by Corning.

      I have lots of hand tools that are relatively new and will last generations. GOOD furniture lasts indefinitely.

      Personally I wonder if busy body legal monkey biz has more to do with the stated life expectancy of LED lights being cut in half than any actual decline in quality. How would you like to defend a class action lawsuit based on some shyster saying your bulbs sold ten years ago are going bad? Or even twenty years ago ?

      The earliest ones I own started failing around five k hours roughly, by estimate. These were used as night lights, and some were simply never turned off at all. But I have at least one that has been left on more or less constantly that has lasted about four or five years. Turning it off seems to be more trouble than it was worth, considering it only pulls about five or six watts.I suspect most timers use almost as much juice, lol, maybe more.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Outright failure is unacceptable, failure is supposed to be a diminishment of light output over time. Outright failure means a poorly made chip or poor electronics. Assuming one is operating within the environmental limits of the lamp.

    • notanoilman says:

      Just checked the Tishman catalogue, from the shop I get my LEDs from. LEDs lives 15k, 30k, 40k while fluorescent 8k. The shop has a 1 year guarantee for its products. I’ve had spots running over a year no problem but 4 out of 3 Wallymart ones failed in weeks.


      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi NAOM,

        Wow 4 out of every 3, that is poor performance. 🙂

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          It’s high-end abstract debt-based financial instrumentation.

          I’m using AutoCAD 2018 by the way.

          Hi from the future.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            I’m using AutoCAD 2018 by the way.

            Hi from the future.


            Isn’t AutoCAD a big part of…why we’re in the jam we’re in:
            People, mindfucked by, and on the altar of, science and technology– jammed through the crony-capitalist plutarchy funnel– are royally-screwing up the planet, such as from the lab, with political and industry backers, funding and ceaseless propaganda rollouts, and coerced/milked/duped populations with little to no control over the unfolding disasters and disasters waiting to happen.

            Seriously Dude, think about those words of yours, juxtaposed with your almost gleeful self praise at your own use of AutoCAD.

            BTW, there is nothing wrong with using technology, computers and software to more easily accomplish some goal! But before you criticize the mote in your brother’s eye remove the plank from your own…

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              I am using a ‘Robin-Hooded’ version of ACAD 2018 (would rather use FLOSS, but it happens to be an old skill), and therefore it is a little further from BAU (i.e., no money exchanged) and at the same time a little closer toward appropriate/ethical technology– while using, to boot, corporate software tech in my ongoing efforts at transcending BAU and empowering people, community, and nature. Permaculture is like that, BTW.

              Some of the readership likely already understands much of this but realizes that it can take some added effort with the Freds of the world, (who would seem to want to imprison, like them, others within the BAU mindfuck).

              • Fred Magyar says:

                Riiiight!! And the Koch brothers donate money to support the arts, that makes them much better humans?!

                You are so full of shit it is unbelievable! Just because you didn’t exchange money personally for your copy of AutoCad doesn’t mean it isn’t a product of BAU!

                Not that there is anything wrong with using AutoCad its your incessant holier than thou preaching that is my beef with you! So when other people pay money for it its bad when you get it for free its good? How do you supposed it came into existence to begin with? Magic pixie dust?

                The point is you keep telling us how bad we all are because we are part of the system, well you’re much worse because besides reaping the benefits of the system you are a hypocrite and claim to be above everyone else!

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Just Desserts?

                  So by your logic, it’s not ok for anyone to use anything of BAU, that permeates their entire world and has it hostage, if they are against it?

                  What if an orca could drown you in your own liquid industrial waste or a surviving relative of some roadkill run you over with a Nissan Leaf?

                  Hasn’t Fukushima, militarism, war, displaced people, threatened species, and assorted environmental despoilment, etc., taught you anything about so-called government or so-called technology that you’re peddling and its rampant and destructive invasiveness?

                  Where are you in Plato’s Cave, Fred, and where is your moral compass?

                  • Survivalist says:

                    She was kinda outta my league; but, I summoned the courage and gave my number to this cute young Amish lady. She never called. Probably stuck up.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Where are you in Plato’s Cave, Fred, and where is your moral compass?

                    Dang! I’m light years away from that… gave up my moral compass eons ago!

                    Jeepers, man! 2400 year old philosophy?! Interesting as a historical footnote but I’m more into Dan Dennett, consciousness and cognitive neuroscience these days.

                    As for caves, I believe that’s your purview, not mine, sonny!

                    I have AC and refrigeration, LED lights and lot’s of great music and make no bones about enjoying those benefits of BAU, while sipping some fine spirits and munching on crackers and imported cheese. Your own cave dwelling may vary.

                    Though I was at one time highly trained in zero viz underwater compass navigation I Have long since upgraded my moral compass to a hedonistic immoral relativistic GPS, …sooo much more satisfying to get around with, baby!…

                    And I really enjoy dueling fiddles with poor old Satan who means even less to me than Daddy O, JC and the Holy Spook!

                    Charlie Daniels Band – “Devil Went Down to Georgia” | Live at the Grand Ole Opry | Opry

                    Thank you BAU for allowing me to listen to ole Charlie Daniels Band!

                  • Bob Nickson says:

                    @ Survivalist,
                    Maybe your beard put her off.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Enjoy your cardboard-cutout notions of technology and cardboard-cutouts for technology while they last.

        • notanoilman says:

          🙂 Bought 2, 1 failed and was replaced by Wally. The second failed but I couldn’t get an exchange. So that was 3 lamps for 2 in use. The 2 failed and I built 1 good one out of the 2, power supply had failed in 1 and a LED in the other. That failed. So 4 failures from 3 bulbs to provide 2 lamps but I ended up with 1 which failed to leave me with 0 🙁


          • GoneFishing says:

            Sadly, at the beginning of many techno production streams there is always one or more companies that just fails to make a good product, usually tries to undercut other companies by lowering prices but fails.
            FEIT made some horribly dangerous CFL’s that smoked or caught fire when they first started producing them. I had one that burned leaving scorch marks on the ceiling.

            Your tale should be made into a song. Album Titled “Techno Woes” and son title “The LED 6000K’s”.

  9. clueless says:

    This is an open thread. So do not send out a hit man.

    WTF is with the health care “pre-existing conditions?” Can you buy home insurance [at regular rates] AFTER your house burns down, or is destroyed by a tornado, etc., and require that it cover the pre-existing condition? Do you really want NOBODY to buy car insurance until you have an accident, and then, after the accident, require it to cover the pre-exitsting condition?

    From personal experience, I know that REFORMS are absolutely necessary. I retired at age 58, and from age zero [thru my parents], until I retired, I had continual coverage. But, when I retired [in 1999], my company’s policy would continue my coverage for over $5,000 per month [up from about $800 company’s payment + my payment.] That was not right!

    But, why is the argument now, that you NEVER have to “purchase” medical insurance until you have a HUGE problem – without paying any penalty? That is NOT insurance!

    How about let’s go to a single payer system, like Medicare? So, with Medicare, you now pay into the plan for 40 or more years in order to cover your retirement years. So, let’s give a two year old child Medicare. So, basically, the child has paid nothing. So, who will pay for its major medical problem? I guess YOU and ME and EVERYBODY.

    If the government is going to cover all medical expenses, then add $3 per gallon [or energy equivalent] for every gallon of gas, plus put on a 10% value added tax [both of which Europe has done] and maybe you can cover most of the cost [as in 6 months wait for an MRI]. And the government decides what care your child recieves [re: current baby in England].

    • islandboy says:

      Hows this for a fair solution? Obesity is a costly pre-existing condition so, tax fattening foods (sugar), smoking and drinking contribute to some pre-existing conditions so, tax cigarettes and alcohol, pollution causes some pre-existing conditions so tax the polluters. I could probably go on.

      What exists in the US currently is a system where one can make money from things that contribute to ill health and then make more money from medical care for unhealthy people. There are possibly people who make money from both sides so there is no incentive to discourage unhealthy habits and life styles. IMO a system that generates huge profits of the backs of sick people is pure evil.

      I’d rather wait six months for an MRI than face the prospects of living a life of poverty because of the cost of getting one done whenever I want. Where else in the world do health care costs drive normally financially independent people into bankruptcy?

    • Preston says:

      “WTF is with the health care “pre-existing conditions?”

      Before the ACA just about anyone over 45 looking to buy insurance had a pre-existing condition.

      If your cholesterol is over 200
      If you are too heavy (the top 20%), or too thin( the bottom 20%)
      If you blood pressure is higher or lower than normal
      If you take any (proscription or not) drugs.
      And of course any kind of childhood allergy or cancer, etc.

      It was just too risky for insurance companies to sign up anyone over 45 especially since no one else would take them. If the insurance company allowed it, they would be flooded with older customers and the risk pool would be way too high. Yes, you could get “high risk pool” insurance, it was only $20,000 per month.

      At 58, yes that $5000/month is a bargain but now with the ACA you should be able to get a reasonably priced plan. See https://www.healthcare.gov/

      Of course, if Trump’s don’t care plan passes at 58 it will be about $2500 per month and no subsidy (a small taxcredit you likely can’t use being retired) but it won’t kick in for a few years so you might make it to 65 with just a few years without health insurance.

      If you don’t have insurance even something simple, like a broken leg, is crazy expensive. You don’t get the “discounts” the insurance companies negotiate and you pay full list prices for everything (you know, the $500 per aspirin full price).

      • GoneFishing says:

        If you want a populace that is loyal and effective, make sure they have food, water, shelter and healthcare. Otherwise they stand outside society and become discontents, some become revolutionists or criminals. All depends on what type of society is wanted and how much fear is desired.

        • GoneFishing says:

          “We don’t know if he is a good sheriff or a bad sheriff. ” From Fortitude when discussing the fact that there was little crime because everyone had what they needed and could support themselves. So no one knew if the sheriff was bad or good since there was no basis for determination, yet.

    • OFM says:

      Hi Clueless,

      Sometimes you are on the money, sometimes you really are clueless, and I apologize up front for saying so.

      Your argument rings as true as a silver bell, and it pissed me off no end when I had to pay hospital bills, etc, out of pocket at different times at twice the rate other people could get the same services, or get them free, by way of charity, with the charity cases being paid for by padding MY bill of course.

      But and this is a but as big as BUTS come, the health care industry in the USA is the worst one in the modern western world when it comes to getting fair value for money spent. This is BECAUSE the people who are supposedly regulating the health care system for the GOOD OF THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE of the country, rather than the OWNERS of the industry, are one and the same as the owners, for all practical purposes.

      The system we have is ripping us a new asshole on a day to day basis, cost wise, and with globalization running wild over the last couple of decades, etc, we have an ever larger percentage of people who simply cannot find jobs that pay enough to include good insurance, or enough money to purchase it separately.

      The people in Western Europe and Canada get far better results, on average, for HALF the money, BECAUSE they have better regulated health care systems.

      Now as far as extending health care at government expense to people to people who are unable to purchase it or get it thru their jobs is concerned, you are dead right, it’s a SERIOUS IMPOSITION on the rest of us who are paying our own way, a sort of back door increase in our tax burden.

      In the end though, it’s the right thing to do. The MORAL and ethical arguments are obvious enough, we are all members of the HUMAN tribe, and should look after each other.

      And the PRACTICAL arguments are more than ample justification for going to a single payer or other similar system that covers everybody.

      For example, consider the cases of six people in my immediate neighborhood I know personally, who are receiving life long disability benefits. Two of them are well deserved, because they ARE incapable of working. One is a nephew, crippled beyond hope in an auto accident. Another is only semiliterate, and has such a bad case of arthritis that he can hardly stand up, never mind actually work, due to the pain.

      At least three of the other four would be ok, and able and willing to work, if they had gotten basic preventive health care in the past. This could have been as simple as a doctor looking them dead in the eye and saying it’s either the fucking CAMELS, or YOU, it’s your fucking choice. They didn’t get it, because they didn’t have money enough to go to a doctor who was willing to take the time to lay it on the line. All the doctors I have ever known, excepting two, are money grubbing bastards, although they are generally competent, and even salve their consciences once in a while by donating a few hours to charity work. They still make megabucks though, lol.

      A doctor on salary working for the government actually has an incentive to do the right thing, in terms of money and time and your long term interests as a human being.

      I was paying thirty bucks a month a while back for a pill at a BIG CHAIN drugstore that constantly advertises how great it is in terms of low prices for everything, including prescriptions. I found out I can get it at Walmart for six bucks. Hell of a markup there, for somebody?

      The same drug sells for even less in Canada.

      I know people who are NOT on disability that are barely able to hold down a very low paid job as a retail cashier, etc, and who do so, because they have chronic injuries that they cannot afford to have treated.

      Ten thousand to twenty thousand dollars would enable one of these people to return to his former job as a truck mechanic, where he made enough to PAY taxes. Now he CONSUMES taxes, in the form of food stamps, free lunches at school for his kids, salaries at the social services office, etc.

      I know a man who knocked the living shit out of one of his kids, who actually sort of deserved it, but he would never have done it, except he was just about MAD with pain from an abscessed tooth, and not a dentist within a hundred miles would take him on an emergency basis, even though he could have paid, because I would have loaned him the necessary cash. I called my MD, who is one of only two really DECENT doctors I have ever known, and he took him in without an appointment, when I learned of the situation, and gave him pain meds and antibiotics adequate to hold him until he could find a dentist who would treat his problem.

      At a deeper level, people with money ought to realize that when the people WITHOUT money grow numerous enough, and get to be hungry enough, or in pain enough, the result can be the modern day equivalent of the French Revolution.

      The English peoples voted out the old establishment, and voted in a socialist establishment at the end of WWII. The same thing is probably going to happen here, but I can’t say WHEN.

      Those with money would be wise to look after their own interests by doing the right thing, rather than waiting to have it DONE TO THEM.

      Incidentally I am a tax eater instead of tax payer, being on SS and Medicare.

      It wasn’t fair to me , or my parents, when the government put my grand parents on SS even though they only paid in a VERY short time before hitting sixty five, and took out many times what they paid in. But establishing SS was the right thing to do.

      Personally I would be far better off if I had invested the tax monies I have paid that were spent on social programs, in terms of my bottom line.

      But I would be far WORSE off, in terms of the big picture. I don’t have to worry half as much about somebody stealing my crops out of the field, or a cow out of the pasture, given that they can get food stamps, and I don’t have to feel guilty about knowing their kids didn’t have any breakfast, since we now have free breakfast at our local public schools.

      I’m less likely to be robbed, and that’s a real risk for a farmer who sometimes finds it expedient to deal in four figure cash, as in selling ten thousand dollars worth of apples to a new unknown customer who just might write a bad check and disappear with his eighteen wheeler loaded to the top to the back doors, lol.

      Taken all around, I will sleep better at night, if I live so long, when we eventually get a western euro style health care system.

      Sanders gets my twenty five bucks, and my time on the net, and on the phone, when elections are close.

      I wonder how many actual murders are committed annually in the USA because somebody is TOTALLY stressed out by a medical problem.

      MY dentist will not take me without an appointment, although I have ALWAYS paid cash on the spot, or by good check, once he said he preferred not to have cash on the premises, and he charges me as much as half to double for the same fucking procedures he gets paid by fucking insurance companies for insured patients. This OUGHT to be against the law.

      He’s the BEST of the bad solutions available to me for dental care, lol, and I will say THIS for him. He charges only half as much as some other local dentists.

      This needs to CHANGE.

    • Nathanael says:

      Well, I’ve been advocating for a single-payer system since the 1990s. It is what almost the entire rest of the world does, and it is just like Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare in the US.

      Though the UK goes further — they have a National Health Service where the goverment directly hires the doctors, which is like the VA System in the US.

      All studies, whether of objective “health outcomes”, of people’s satisfaction with the system, and of costs, say that the UK’s NHS system is the best, but single-payer is almost as good.

      The US non-system is a disaster. Everything is overpriced due to price-gouging by hospitals and corporate doctor’s office conglomerates, we pay armies of paper-pushers at both the insurance companies *and* the medical providers, and we still end up with people dying of easily preventable diseases. It’s an unmitigated disaster.

      Let’s just try doing what EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD is doing successfully, OK? Even Mexico and Thailand have working single-payer systems now. Only the US lags. We’re behind *Mexico*. Can we please make America great again by catching up with the rest of the world?

  10. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    1.5 Million Volunteers Plant 66 Million Trees in 12 Hours, Breaking Guinness World Record

    “According to a press release for the occasion, the aim of the mass-planting event was to raise awareness for the nation’s ‘make India green again’ plan. At the Paris climate conference, India pledged to increase forest cover to 95 million hectares (235 million acres) by year 2030…”

    • Fred Magyar says:


      The man who planted a forest in India
      Published on Jun 3, 2015
      Khaleej Times meets Jadav Payeng, who single-handedly turned a barren sandbar into a big thick forest in Assam, India. His green mission could ultimately save the world’s largest river island.
      He knows it may not be enough to save the island from the onslaught of erosion, but he hopes his sweat and love for trees will conjure up some magic.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Local keepers of the land are vastly important to preserving marshes, swamps, river banks and other natural areas. Sometimes governments help by making that land tax free, but getting local landowners and local people to care for their world is probably one of the better ways. They become heavily invested in that area and will fight to keep it protected.

  11. islandboy says:

    India’s solar goal makes it global frontrunner in climate change fight, says World Bank

    In a news report issued during the G20 summit in Hamburg, the World Bank said that India’s sweeping commitment to solar power is gradually displacing coal as an energy source in the country, adding that innovative solutions to energy efficiency, financing and deployment of solar were also helping to bring greater energy security to India’s 1.2 billion population.

    By making a conscious choice to fuel its economic growth with significantly more clean energy, the World Bank added, India is contributing enormously to global efforts to limit CO2 emissions.

    Earlier this year India made the decision to scrap plans for 14 GW of additional coal-fired power plants – chiefly because solar power in the country is now a viable, in-demand and low-cost alternative.

    “In India and beyond, solar power is starting to displace coal as an energy source,” the World Bank said. The cost of PV in India is already one quarter of what it was in 2009, with prices poised to fall another 66% by 2040, the report added.

    • OFM says:

      More fully developed countries have already built their industrial, commercial, and cultural infrastructures on the foundation of 24 hour around the clock around the calendar electricity, and it’s going to be FAR harder for such countries to adapt to the new reality of scarce and expensive, not to mention dirty, fossil fueled electricity, than it will for a country such as India.

      The country’s economy will grow far faster than expected by most observers using intermittent but dirt cheap solar electricity plus expensive storage. The people will simply be ACCUSTOMED to doing things when the sun is shining, from running the power tools needed to build a house to doing the laundry.

      There are ways of organizing most kinds of work to take advantage of dirt cheap electricity when it’s available, working around the times when it’s not.

      The entire argument about in the home DOMESTIC use of solar electricity being impractical because the sun sets is bullshit, depending on the context.

      I would have to special order a full sized custom made refrigerator that is super insulated , that runs on low voltage DC, and that has a large ice reservoir incorporated, to get one , here in the USA, and it would cost a small fortune.

      Now in INDIA, where there will be tens of millions of people wanting to buy such a refrigerator soon, it will be possible to buy one that’s a plain jane otherwise, but that runs on low voltage DC direct from solar panels, and that has a tiny little battery to run an internal fan, and the large built in ice reservoir, and it won’t cost much more than the simplest conventional refrigerator about the same size. That little battery, fan, ice reservoir and insulation won’t cost very much at the factory.

      Such a refrigerator will keep perishable foods fresh for a week easily.

      And even during the monsoon rains that fall in some parts of India, a homeowner with lots of panels will have juice enough to run his refrigerator, computer, a couple of lights, using just a small battery for the lights at night, etc. He will figure out ways to get big jobs requiring electricity done during the dry season, lol.

      My long gone Momma humorously defined convenience food as a DEAD chicken, and she was glad to get them once we could readily afford them. I can remember when we had chicken by way of a twenty two short, and can dress a chicken even yet in five minutes flat by skinning it out. After that we raised them fifty at a pop and took a morning to put all fifty into a freezer. Then we gave that up for supermarket chicken, lol.

      As David Allen (?) put it humorously we progressed from what we could eat to how we could eat to where we would have lunch, lol.

  12. GoneFishing says:

    Worldwide impact of aerosol’s time scale on the predicted long-term concentrating solar power potential

    In particular, in the absence of clouds, aerosol is the key atmospheric constituent that controls most of the attenuation of solar radiation throughout the atmosphere, and thus the resulting surface irradiance. Aerosol loads may reach levels yielding up to ≈70% DNI extinction, or even higher under extreme circumstances, over highly-turbid regions21. Consequently, the uncertainty in solar resource assessments over low-cloudiness areas is essentially determined by the uncertainty in the description of the aerosol optical properties.

    Full open article: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep30546

  13. GoneFishing says:

    For those who would like a little light reading here is:

    Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone


    There are only 285 pages so it’s book length. Apparently black carbon and low level ozone are of great concern for global warming. Pay particular attention to the ozone precursors.

  14. OFM says:


    Most of us here are well aware of this sad state of affairs, but it never hurts to remind those who are less well informed.

    “The strong focus on species extinctions, a critical aspect of the contemporary pulse of biological extinction, leads to a common misimpression that Earth’s biota is not immediately threatened, just slowly entering an episode of major biodiversity loss. This view overlooks the current trends of population declines and extinctions. Using a sample of 27,600 terrestrial vertebrate species, and a more detailed analysis of 177 mammal species, we show the extremely high degree of population decay in vertebrates, even in common “species of low concern.” Dwindling population sizes and range shrinkages amount to a massive anthropogenic erosion of biodiversity and of the ecosystem services essential to civilization. This “biological annihilation” underlines the seriousness for humanity of Earth’s ongoing sixth mass extinction event. “

  15. Cats@Home says:

    Who got some good Amazon Prime deals today? This guy must be one of the last people without Amazon Prime!


    Why I’m never signing up for Amazon Prime
    by Vlad Savov Jul 11, 2017, 7:30am EDT

    It’s Prime Day 2017, which is Amazon’s now-annual midsummer deals bonanza designed to entice the few of us that are left without a Prime subscription to sign up. Thousands of prices get slashed, as if being admonished for their insolent cost, and replaced with marginally more affordable ones. Delivery is free, unlimited, and same day in a lot of places. It’s open buffet season on consumer goods, and Amazon has that Prime ticket dangling in front of our ravenous faces. Only I’m not taking the bait, not today and probably not ever.

  16. OFM says:


    This is getting better and better, the odds of Trump having to resign or be impeached after the mid term elections are improving noticeably from one week to the next, lol.

    Cat five hurricane puts a smile on my face, no it puts a giant can’t quit grin on. Old HB has been proven right, not that I ever DOUBTED that Trump would do damned near anything. He’s even more arrogant than HRC, and a lot smarter, in respect to dirty dealing and dirty political hardball, at least.

    But then I always said he would be worse than Clinton, the same way NPR always gave a conservative about five to ten seconds to lay out the conservative side of an issue, after giving a defacto D spokes person five minutes to half an hour, lol.

    Now I have concluded, reluctantly, that most really smart liberals, especially the sort that are also TECHNICALLY smart and hang out here, would rather make fun of people they look down on, than to have their VOTES next election cycle.

    SO- SOMETIMES, I think I am totally wasting my time, but here’s another point that JUST MAYBE one or two people who seldom comment, or simply lurk here, will understand.

    I don’t listen to the radio much, preferring to read, because I read several times faster than anybody talks, other than an auctioneer. But I keep my car radio set on the local NPR station, and never change it, except when they put on organ music in the evenings, when I switch to a folk and blue grass station.

    I have heard ONE HUNDRED PERCENT biased coverage of the health care debate, in terms of favoring the D party, for months now, other than that token five to ten seconds some conservative may occasionally be given to rebut half an hour of D slanted coverage.

    Now as a matter of fact, I DO support a decent single payer health care system modeled after those in Western European countries, although I have often described the ACA as a political disaster, short term, that would burn the D party a new anus, and I was RIGHT ABOUT THAT, with Trump and the R’s mopping the floor AGAIN with the D’s . This was the worst managed government program , when it was rolled out I can ever remember, and one that was supported with lies on the scale of the Trump camp, for instance you can keep your current policy, etc, when it was deliberately designed to force high earning NON union NON government people to pay for it, being in actual fact no more than a tax targeted at them. And it pissed them off worse than just about anything else I can ever remember, even to the extent of at least two blue as the come young women I know voting for TRUMP when they found out they were paying an extra hundred a week for insurance they were FORCED TO BUY, because they lost their previous coverage.

    Now the POINT of this rant, specifically is to TRY to help true blue liberals with their heart in the right place but with their HEADS UP THEIR ASS UNDERSTAND why so many people simply HATE NPR, and a large swath of the bau press, which is after all , other than Fox and talk radio, mostly supporting the D’s in terms of the health care issue, etc.

    Some of them simply refer to NPR as National Propaganda Radio.

    Now I fully understand that NPR generally does get the factual ducks in a nice straight row, and that the R’s have THEIR heads up their asses in respect to the environment, etc. I am not disputing whether we need health care reform, or even whether the ACA is better ( or worse) than what we had previous to it.

    In human and humanitarian terms, it’s better. In political terms, it is a fucking disaster, because it helped put Trump and even MORE Republicans in office, just as I predicted it would.

    My POINT is that somebody on the opposite side of the political fence has PLENTY of reason to believe that NPR actually is heavily biased in favor of the Democrats. Anybody that listens to NPR who is not smart enough to understand that virtually everybody on the air there is a Democrat , tried and true, is too stupid to be allowed out of the house alone.

    It’s a culture war folks, and like or lump it, the other side has the right to vote.

    Continue to make fun of them, and you will continue to drive them away from this forum, and any other forum where they read or hear comments similar to the ones that are made on a regular basis here.

    It’s always easy to preach to the choir, and it’s always fun to point out that you are a member in good standing of the IN or US group by making fun of the OUT or THEM group, but it doesn’t win any converts to your side.

    If you want to win elections, you need converts. The Trump administration is doing all it can to make new D’s out of middle of the roaders, and even out of some hard core Republicans, but it’s a GOOD idea to help out anyway you can when it comes to winning voters over to the D camp, and to the SANDERS camp in particular.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      No matter how much lipstick you put on your pig, you will always be OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster to me.

      • OFM says:

        Hi HB,

        Thank you, I ‘m grateful, because you are helping me here. I NEED you to play my opposite role, because you do it so WELL, sticking your foot in your mouth at just the right moment so often, as for instance bragging about making a killing in oil and paying a pittance in taxes while also representing yourself as environmentally concerned and concerned about the welfare of the COUNTRY, rather than just the investor class, etc.

        It’s not half as much fun making fun of the HRC/ BAU D party establishment without your help.

        But you’re letting me down, and not posting much at ALL about Trump, meaning I have to post twice as much about Trump , to make up for you getting lazy.

        And about making fun of me by implying I smoke pot- which I don’t these days, but I used to, and I may again, if the notion strikes me.

        I owe you an apology for a recent remark about your being opposed to legalization. I should have asked directly first. Sorry about that, I shouldn’t have jumped to an unwarranted conclusion.

        Common ground is where things get done, politically.

        And for what it’s worth, I am hoping that the Trump administration cracks down hard on pot. The trouble it will cause people who use it will be minor, in relation to the damage it will do the Republican establishment in upcoming elections.

        Sometimes you have to sacrifice some of your own to win a battle, or a war. Trump is hopefully going to shoot the toes off of a number of Republicans and piss off a generation of young people by cracking down on pot. I can’t think of a better way for him to help the R party back to minority status.

        I don’t know a young person who has ever left his or her mother’s side who is not in favor of legalization, excepting a couple of young R party mouthpieces by way of the internet.

  17. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    What the Luddites Really Fought Against

    “…the Luddites themselves ‘were totally fine with machines’, says Kevin Binfield, editor of the 2004 collection Writings of the Luddites. They confined their attacks to manufacturers who used machines in what they called ‘a fraudulent and deceitful manner’ to get around standard labor practices. ‘They just wanted machines that made high-quality goods’, says Binfield, ‘and they wanted these machines to be run by workers who had gone through an apprenticeship and got paid decent wages. Those were their only concerns.’…

    The original Luddites lived in an era of ‘reassuringly clear-cut targets—machines one could still destroy with a sledgehammer…’… By contrast, our technology is… as liquid as the chemical contaminants our infants suck down with their mothers’ milk and as ubiquitous as the genetically modified crops in our gas tanks and on our dinner plates. Technology is everywhere, knows all our thoughts and, in the words of the technology utopian Kevin Kelly, is even ‘a divine phenomenon that is a reflection of God’. Who are we to resist?

    The original Luddites would answer that we are human. Getting past the myth and seeing their protest more clearly is a reminder that it’s possible to live well with technology— but only if we continually question the ways it shapes our lives… But it needs to be about big things, too, like standing up against technologies that put money or convenience above other human values. If we don’t want to become, as Carlyle warned, ‘mechanical in head and in heart’, it may help, every now and then, to ask which of our modern machines General and Eliza Ludd would choose to break. And which they would use to break them.”

    Some Comments

    “The Luddites were at issue with the division of the economic pie and that is what ultimately drove them to organize against concentrated capital (the established ruling classes). If the term Luddite could be redefined as a person willing to challenge entrenched political and financial power, then I too would be willing to accept the label ‘neo-Luddite’ in today’s world.”

    “Agreed. Their objection was to the destruction of community and local control of the means of production, a la Marx, which would make workers just another cog in a much larger machine. Anyone looking at modern society could see they were absolutely correct in their concerns. They were later reframed as antitechnologists to keep the focus off of the capitalist system that spawned them.”

    “That is not necessarily good. Nor is the ‘Luddite nature’ inherently negative. Plenty of technological advances bite back with unforeseen consequences. Technology is currently allowing mankind to unbalance itself in many dangerous ways… an excellent metaphor is fire (one of our oldest and most valuable technologies). Used carefully, it can be a huge asset. Used without wisdom, well, it can consume everything. It is currently causing global warming for example…”

    Is This The First Sign Of A Technology Dump And A Neo-Luddite Era?

    “At a time when companies are replacing low-skilled workers with robots and kiosk machines, it’s not promising for their business models for customers to turn their backs on technology. Which is exactly why I’m predicting it’s going to happen.

    We are no longer living in an era where people are adopting technological advancements; rather it’s being imposed on us. When pushed too far towards the direction of technology the equal and opposite reaction would be to turn a generation into neo-luddites.”

  18. Survivalist says:

    Jared Kushner Tried and Failed to Get a Half-Billion-Dollar Bailout From Qatar



    • Survivalist says:
    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      He wouldn’t need the money in jail

    • twocats says:

      between jared, donny jr and the rest this ship is going down in flames. by all measures this is a catastrophe.

      In other words, it may be a kleptocracy but the DJT thing has created (additional) fractures between the ruling parties that have weakened the normal rules of engagement.

      even third world dictators (once overthrown) are usually allowed to flee into exile with their millions of dollars. DJT and crew might not be so lucky.

      I liken DJT as a political/institutional crises equivalent to the 2008 financial crises. broad civilization-wide institutions are breaking down, partly due to peak oil, and although the trains are still mostly running on time there are fractures visible with a black-light and the naked eye.

      between climate and politics — peak oil and economics are boring. soon these cycles will pass and the next step-down/air gap will surface. when I was in concrete pumping – you could sometimes hear/tell when an air-gap entered into a piping system, but whether it would blow out an elbow or burst out the tip-hose, hard to say. there were ways to mitigate the negatives, but it was always a delicate situation.

  19. Boomer II says:

    This is turning out to be a really hot summer in many places. I wonder if that is going to persuade some folks who were skeptical of climate change to be less so now.

  20. George Kaplan says:

    For anybody interested in following the decline of the Arctic sea ice, there are two mass balance buoys currently operating, which measure ice thickness directly. One, 2017A, is out to the west between the Beaufort strait and the north pole, and likely to melt out pretty soon. The other, 2017B, is to the east in thicker ice that is slowly being pushed out the Fram strait. It is just seeing accelerating melt.


    CRREL is in Dartmouth and part of the US Army Corps of Engineer’s research division.

    First is 2017A (red is top, blue is bottom, iI don’t know for sure what 0 represents, probably nominal sea level, but if so why is the top level below it, but the thickness is the important number)

    • Leo Halstead says:

      Well that just proves it once and for all, the sky is falling and we’re doomed! I guess the only thing remaining is to submit to the centralised one world government command and control structure the left have been trying to set up for several decades.

      • George Kaplan says:

        Classic slippery slope logical fallacy, we haven’t had one on here as clear as that before, also a hint of appeal to emotion and a bit of passive aggressive ad hominem, all adding up to a pile of complete crap.

      • Survivalist says:

        I’m not doomed. I’ll be just fine. My stock might even go up. You, however, are totally screwed.

        The Left seems no less interested in industrial civilization than the Right. I doubt an alternate political and economic arrangement will provide solutions to ecological predicaments. Marxism’s preference for not exploiting The Workers™ does not hold such values of respect for the environment and it’s resources.

        I suspect a lot of people don’t posses the cognitive ability to deal with ecological overshoot and it’s implications. People tend to view ecological crisis as economic and political in origin (case study contemporary Egypt), and then conflict over the proposed solutions in accordance with their values and interests. It’s worth noting right-wingers in America seem to have values that conflict with their interests. Lefties too but often not to such an obvious degree.

        Famine will fix things up a bit. The agenda of the gene is intelligence. We’re about to see those weeded out who lack the cognitive ability to assess threats over broader spans of time and space/place, an ability not previously selected for to a large degree in human natural selection.

        “The ability to understand a question from all sides meant one was totally unfit for action. Fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of the real man” ~ Thucydides (on the Athenian mood during the Peloponnesian war- the eve of the decline of Athens’ power, and the fall of Athenian democracy )

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        Take your meds Leo

      • Hightrekker says:

        You forgot– they want to raise our taxes also!
        And destroy capitalism!

    • GoneFishing says:

      Good article, says it like it is.

      the fact that the country is dominated by a group of technocrats who believe any problem can be solved and an opposing culture that doesn’t even see warming as a problem worth addressing; the way that climate denialism has made scientists even more cautious in offering speculative warnings; the simple speed of change and, also, its slowness, such that we are only seeing effects now of warming from decades past; our uncertainty about uncertainty, which the climate writer Naomi Oreskes in particular has suggested stops us from preparing as though anything worse than a median outcome were even possible;

      Pollyannaish plant physiologists will point out that the cereal-crop math applies only to those regions already at peak growing temperature, and they are right — theoretically, a warmer climate will make it easier to grow corn in Greenland. But as the pathbreaking work by Rosamond Naylor and David Battisti has shown, the tropics are already too hot to efficiently grow grain, and those places where grain is produced today are already at optimal growing temperature — which means even a small warming will push them down the slope of declining productivity. And you can’t easily move croplands north a few hundred miles, because yields in places like remote Canada and Russia are limited by the quality of soil there; it takes many centuries for the planet to produce optimally fertile dirt.

      One thing that many people miss is the light problem. Even if the soil further north was decent, the season is still short in the north and the vagaries of temperature more pronounced. It will also take a long time for the equilibrium to occur, meaning that weather will be highly variable for hundreds if not thousands of years. That kills or reduces crops.

      • Nathanael says:

        We know how to prevent this catastrophe.

        (1) Stop burning fossil fuels. Replace all of that with solar, wind, batteries, electric cars. Renewables are cheaper than fossils now anyway.

        (2) Extract carbon from the air. Plant trees, make algae blooms, make carbon-negative concrete, etc. etc.

        It’s simple to the point of being trivial. For some reason society just isn’t DOING it.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Reason and science are under attack. Religion, dogma, and greed run the show now.

          • GoneFishing says:

            The World is Burning and No One Cares: The Desk

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Science and reason are only as good as what they choose to look at and see, and through what lenses and instruments, etc., and, say, under what forms of sociopoliticultural influences, and so on.

            Reason and science aren’t these separate entities floating outside of humanity of course, but, rather, manifestations and projections of it.

            If science and reason, via humans, are not necessarily looking, say, at some of their own limitations, ironies and paradoxes, then they could even be more dangerous than religion, or whatever have you, in large part because of the ‘weight’ that is placed on them.

        • Lloyd says:

          Hi Nathanael.
          I usually find stuff I agree with in your comments…not this time.

          (1) Stop burning fossil fuels. Replace all of that with solar, wind, batteries, electric cars. Renewables are cheaper than fossils now anyway.

          What about all those people in the third world who won’t have access to those cars and renewable infrastructure, not to mention the 200 years of existing infrastructure in the west? Are we going to throw them under the (no longer existing) bus?

          The answer is yes. It’s what we do now, and what we have always done. Look at the Senate Health Care bill: they want to take away health care from 20 million people in the west. The haves will always take from the have-nots, and this level of greed does not lend itself to self-sacrifice for the greater good. The mega-haves decide what society is and does…you and I have very limited input.

          It’s all about scarcity and distribution. Energy depletion is measured in shorter lifespans: people will kill each other to live longer. We in the west just have somewhat subtler ways of stealing life from others. I think Doug Leighton wrote about electronics recycling in China last week… though my 18 year old could use a job, I am glad he’s not salvaging copper from phones over an open fire.

          Until we can give those Chinese scrappers some hope, emissions will not go down. As Watcher says, why reduce consumption so that some Chinese guy can use it?

          And there can be no hope with the population levels we have. None.

          Hmmmm… wandered off topic a bit here, to a bit of a dark place.


          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            A lot of this stuff also depends on a particular and controlled money-system and on somehow making money in that system– buying into it– and on a particular so-called economic system and so on buying into the BAU status-quo, the game of musical chairs, which, over time, leads to pyramids, rackets, elites and particular ‘class structuralization’, Pareto 20-80, social decay, environmental decay and so on. In short, it doesn’t work.

            While I don’t necessarily agree with some of the things that the late Michael Ruppert said, what I’m inclined to agree with, and what he often said, is, “If you don’t’ change how money works, you change nothing.”.

            Products and services that are part of this particular ‘global industrial crony-capitalist plutarchy’ don’t just magically appear out of nowhere for you when you want them. For one thing, you actually need their money, or a status-quo-tightly-controlled alternative currency (which may not be as alternative as all that), to purchase them.

            Kid: “Dad? Why are there rich people?”
            Dad: “What do you mean by rich? You mean like in spirit?”
            Kid: “No-o-o-o-o… Like they have lots of big houses and cars and money!”
            Dad: “Ohhh, you mean those kinds. Well, you see, sweetie, our society allows some people to make more money than other people, working no harder than anyone else. Society then allows those with more money to acquire more land and resources than others. Over time, this creates the dynamic for most, if not all, problems we have in society today, like landlessness, homelessness, poverty, crime, social unrest, war, collapse and ecocide.”
            Kid: “Why does society allow that?!”
            Dad: “Society’s structure is fundamentally corrupt. It uses force/violence and/or threats thereof to uphold undemocratic/unethical laws that say that one person with more money can have more land than another with less money.”
            Kid: “Why can’t we stop that!?”
            Dad: “This setup is upheld by people with guns and weapons, or access to them, like police, security guards and military– people, among many others, who often don’t understand this basic & very simple immoral core of our society.”
            Kid: ” 🙁 ”
            Dad: “Ya; 🙁 “

      • OFM says:

        Gone Fishing is dead on in his seven twelve seven nineteen a.m. comment.

        The only thing wrong with it is that he has actually understated his case.

  21. GoneFishing says:

    And just as a reminder.
    A new paper published in the Journal of Climate reveals that the lower part of the Earth’s atmosphere has warmed much faster since 1979 than scientists relying on satellite data had previously thought.


  22. GoneFishing says:

    Too hot to fly?


    Just think if it had been humid also.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Daytime summer landing in Phoenix is always an “E” ticket ride

  23. OFM says:

    I’m getting to the point that I like The Onion better and better.


    This Onion TRUMP fact check link is not only hilarious, it’s actually accurate, in highly satirical fashion.

    You will probably have to enter Trump fact check in the Onion’s search box to find this video.

  24. OFM says:


    Big Tobacco is just as dirty a business as big heroin, when you get down to bedrock, and may actually kill more people.

    This sort of thing is why we can’t allow unfettered free market advocates and unfettered free speech advocates and unlimited political money advocates to run the country or the world.

    Generally speaking, I have had great success knocking the wind out of people who talk unfettered free markets, unfettered political donations, etc, by pointing out that unless they are REAL idiots, they are taking measures to prevent their children from being trained to smoke, etc.

    And public health issues extend far beyond drugs, legal or not.

    I seem to remember reading some place that one of the most famous of pop musicians, Madonna, went to great pains to insulate her own kid from the very shit that made her super rich, polluting ( in the opinion of many people, including me of course ) the minds of kids with values that DO NOT serve them well, in all too many cases.

    The people who defend the sort of culture she advocates are on good moral ground when the issue is one such as equal rights for gays and lesbians etc, but I can’t think of any women I know, liberal or conservative who actually want their teen daughters engaging in sex with random males, etc, condoms and pills or no. The more liberal they are , or the more conservative, it seems to me, the more likely they are to object, in the first case for fear of physical or emotional harm coming to their kid, in the second place, having an unwanted rug rat in the house, maybe putting the potential grand parents in the potentially VERY uncomfortable position of choosing an abortion over a grand child.

    Such people are apt to believe that abortion is murder, or very close to murder.

    So far as I can see, that’s a matter of opinion, rather than objective fact, since any definition of what’s a living human has to be somewhat arbitrary. I have a sister who specializes in the care of preemies, and she has saved some that were barely six months along, and expects to save them even sooner, sometimes, depending on how much money she gets for new equipment and staff.

  25. Mick Aitken says:

    Have any thoughts on these methods, Survivalist?

    As Civil Unrest Brews, Wealthy Go Underground in Luxury Bunker Community: “Safest Places on Earth”


  26. OFM says:

    “Can you imagine fully charging your cell phone in just a few seconds? Researchers in Drexel University’s College of Engineering can, and they took a big step toward making it a reality with their recent work unveiling of a new battery electrode design in the journal Nature Energy.”

    It may be that eventually we can charge electric automobile batteries as rates limited more by the capacity of the charger than by the design of the battery itself.

    But if it happens , we most likely won’t be able to actually purchase such a super fast charging automobile battery any sooner than ten to twenty years. But this might be soon enough to offset the worst bad economic effects of peak oil.

  27. Fred Magyar says:

    Meanwhile in the world of DNA data storage… Dunno about anyone else but I find this pretty cool!

    CRISPR–Cas encoding of a digital movie into the genomes of a population of living bacteria

    DNA is an excellent medium for archiving data. Recent efforts have illustrated the potential for information storage in DNA using synthesized oligonucleotides assembled in vitro1–6. A relatively unexplored avenue of information storage in DNA is the ability to write information into the genome of a living cell by the addition of nucleotides over time. Using the Cas1–Cas2 integrase, the CRISPR–Cas microbial immune system stores the nucleotide content of invading viruses to confer adaptive immunity7. When harnessed, this system has the potential to write arbitrary information into the genome8. Here we use the CRISPR–Cas system to encode the pixel values of black and white images and a short movie into the genomes of a population of living bacteria. In doing so, we push the technical limits of this information storage system and optimize strategies to minimize those limitations. We also uncover underlying principles of the CRISPR–Cas adaptation system, including sequence determinants of spacer acquisition that are relevant for understanding both the basic biology of bacterial adaptation and its technological applications. This work demonstrates that this system can capture and stably store practical amounts of real data within the genomes of populations of living cells.

    Put some popcorn in the microwave, open a bottle of your favorite brew and sit back and enjoy 😉

  28. OFM says:


    “Recent disclosures by Donald Trump Jr. indicate that Trump’s campaign was eager to receive assistance from Russia,” said Sherman in a statement. “It now seems likely that the President had something to hide when he tried to curtail the investigation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the wider Russian probe. I believe his conversations with, and subsequent firing of, FBI Director James Comey constitute Obstruction of Justice.”

    It’s just about impossible for any disinterested observer to conclude otherwise.

    Trump will wind up on the trash just about for dead sure if the D’s gain control of the House in the upcoming midterms, and they have at least a fair shot at doing so imo. Even if they don’t, it’s looking as if some R’s in competitive districts will find it necessary to abandon Trump in order to save their own seats.


    “Trump, Vice President Pence and the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner, have all hired personal lawyers. Several former aides and allies, including Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Boris Epshteyn and Michael Caputo, have also done so, as has Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen.

    Donald Trump Jr. became the latest member of Trump’s inner circle to seek legal help by retaining New York criminal defense attorney Alan Futerfas.”

  29. Doug Leighton says:

    I’m currently a wildfire evacuee so this is rather close to home (as it were):


    In California, massive wildfires have forced nearly 5,000 people to evacuate. In British Columbia, 14,000 have fled as more than 1,000 firefighters battle numerous large blazes. And along coastal Alaska and Canada’s Northwest Territory, large wildfires are burning near the shores of an, until recently frozen, Arctic Ocean.


  30. islandboy says:

    BNEF: Electric vehicles will compose more than 50% of new car sales by 2040

    Dive Insight:

    Two recent reports predict a strong surge in electric vehicle sales, with falling battery prices a major driver.

    “Falling battery prices will bring price-competitive electric vehicles to all major light-duty vehicle segments before 2030, ushering in a period of strong growth for electric powertrain vehicles,” BNEF said in its new analysis.

    While EV sales to 2025 will remain relatively low, the firm anticipates an inflection point in adoption between 2025 and 2030, “as EVs become economical on an unsubsidized total cost of ownership basis across mass-market vehicle classes.”

    Meh! Tony Seba sees things happening about five years earlier than BNEF, by way of there being BEVs with a range of at least two hundred miles at the $22,000 price point available by 2022. Before anybody jumps all over me for supporting BAU, let me refer you to the following article:

    Electric vehicles will kill global oil industry by 2030, says Stanford economist Tony Seba

    The replacement model argued for a traditionally gradual rise up the diffusion S-curve, perhaps reaching 70 to 80 per cent marketshare in 50 years.

    But a business model disruption – like transportation as a service – that dramatically enhances the value of EVs to consumers is another animal altogether.

    In Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030: The Disruption of Transportation and the Collapse of the ICE Vehicle and Oil Industries”, Seba not only explains why the new business model disruption will triumph, and how its success will be so complete that by 2030 “95 per cent of US passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand Autonomous Electric Vehicles (A-EVs) owned by companies providing Transport as a Service (TaaS).”

    “We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history,” the RethinkX think tank founder says in a press release. “But there is nothing magical about it. This is driven by the economics.”

    Economics that include:

    A-EVs engaged in TaaS will make up 60 per cent of U.S vehicle stock.
    As fewer cars travel more miles, the number of passenger vehicles on American roads will drop from 247 million in 2020 to 44 million in 2030.
    Using TaaS will be four to 10 times cheaper per mile than buying a new car, and two to four times cheaper than operating an existing paid-off vehicle, by 2021.
    The cost of TaaS will be driven down by several factors, including utilization rates that are 10 times higher; electric vehicle lifetimes exceeding 500,000 miles; and far lower maintenance, energy, finance and insurance costs.
    The average American household will save $5,600 per year by giving up its gas-powered car and traveling by autonomous, electric TaaS vehicles.

    Imagine the impact of these changes on related industries, as Seba did in his study.

    What Seba is predicting is a virtual bloodbath in the Transportation and Energy industries! The image below shows a comparison of the BNEF projections with the projections from Seba’s report. Notice how Seba has ICE powered automobile sales falling to zero by 2024, by which time he expects EV sales to have reached about a third of the level of 2017 auto sales, with virtually all new vehicles being shared. This means that the auto industry will not have make more than 18 million EVs a year in 2024 but, less than a third of that amount.

    In his most recent Clean Disruption presentation from about a month ago in Boulder, Colorado, where he addressed the Colorado Renewable Energy Society, Seba goes through a fair amount of material that is new to even those of us who have viewed his presentations from a year ago. In his recent presentations he has actually upped the ante, projecting the demise of ICE powered car sales by 2025 instead of 2030.

    • notanoilman says:

      There are at least 2 factors that will boost the fall of IfCE vehicles.

      1) The less there are, the less demand for fuel so end user fuel providers will stop selling fossil fuel as it becomes uneconomical. Less fuel availability (and more expensive) less will want it and the cycle continues.

      2) Once production falls below certain levels, production lines become uneconomical and shut down, a plant that turns out 140,000 cars a year won’t run well at 1,400.

      I expect that change will gradually speed up then flip rapidly.


    • OFM says:

      I have a great deal of respect for Tony Seba as a visionary, but somehow in my case it defies belief to think that electrics can dominate by 2030, barring more than just advancing battery and autonomous driving technology.

      It’s one thing to ramp up the sales of cell phones geometrically, it’s another thing altogether to ramp up the production of the batteries needed to build these cars to such an extent in such a short time frame. Mines will have to be opened, battery factories will have to be built, and above all, PEOPLE will have to change deeply ingrained habits.

      The faster electric and self driving cars take off, the cheaper it will be to buy and own a nice conventional car, and when you get right down to it, there’s really no reason an ICE car can’t be made to drive itself.

      Maybe the self driving for hire auto industry will be ICE powered before it’s electrically powered. It hasn’t occurred to me to put this thought on the net until this minute, and I’m sure it’s been discussed before in other forums, but I think this is the first time it’s been mentioned HERE.

      It’s still possible to build an ice car, everything else equal, for at least ten thousand dollars less than a pure electric with two hundred plus miles of range.

      But I do believe that electrics will dominate within the easily foreseeable future, due to peak oil if for no other reason, lol.

      Actually there’s no reason an ICE car can’t be built to last five hundred thousand miles. They aren’t, today, because they aren’t used enough to justify the extra expense. By the time they get up around two hundred thousand in most cases, they’re getting rusty and shabby and sort of short on the new features people want such as ( from history) wipers, electric starters, heaters, roofs, air conditioning, brakes, better brakes, anti lock brakes, automatic transmissions, air bags, anti theft, automatic transmissions, entertainment systems, etc.

      The real key to durability is standardization and serviceability, which are sadly lacking, compared to the potential, in new cars these days. I can remove and replace the engine in a big commercial truck easier and faster by a mile than I can in an ordinary car these days, although doing so does require larger tools and more space. An extra dime, or an extra dollar, is all it takes to double or triple the life expectancy of numerous parts that are prone to fail in ten to twenty years.

      It’s not worth it to put an extra ten grand in a car TODAY to make it last twenty five years, rather than fifteen, when that extra ten grand can be spent on other productive and or pleasurable or essential goods and services.

      I don’t yet have a personal pv system because I can earn a FAR FAR better return on the necessary investment by putting the money into permanent improvements to the house and farm, such as replacing double glazed old windows with triple glazed new, or replacing the back up oil heat with a new heat pump, which will happen soon, or building a new lake for recreation, fish for the table, property value appreciation, etc.

      The new heat pump will be the primary heat, and the wood stove will become the back up, as I am getting noticeably more feeble every year.

      • islandboy says:

        If you read the report “Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030: The Disruption of Transportation and the Collapse of the ICE Vehicle and Oil Industries”, linked to in my comment it goes into things in some depth. The link takes you to a form asking for you name, email and company. I just entered my name, my secondary email and “none” for company and it let me have the pdf.

        The video from Colorado is about an hour long and again covers some of the “hows”

        I am not saying that his projections are likely but he is laying out an alternative path forward compared to the usual suspects, of which BNEF is one of the more optimistic in terms of EV penetration. Make no mistake about it, he is outlining a cataclysmic disruption for the transportation and energy industries. If he is even remotely close to being in the ballpark this could get very ugly for the status quo.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Make no mistake about it, he is outlining a cataclysmic disruption for the transportation and energy industries. If he is even remotely close to being in the ballpark this could get very ugly for the status quo.

          I think the writing is clearly on the wall in big bold red letters and both the automobile and fossil fuel industries are beginning to feel the pressure.
          Case in point:

          Virtually all automakers (except for Tesla) are asking China to slow down electric car mandate

          The auto industry is once again attempting to slow down the rollout of electric vehicles.

          Virtually all automakers, except for Tesla of course, have sent a letter to the Chinese government in an attempt to have them drastically weaken their zero-emission vehicle mandate.

          What snowflakes! The sooner these anti free market crybaby automobile corporations go belly up the better for the new crop of EV entrepreneurs!
          Same goes for the entire fossil fuel industry. The old BAU guard is dying, good riddance to those who don’t want necessary change!

          • GoneFishing says:

            I can see it now, just as EV’s get solid into market share electric VTOL vehicles take off. Who needs roads?

            • Fred Magyar says:

              LOL! self driving autonomous EV hovercraft, no more road tolls. There goes the raison d’etre for the DOT.

              BTW sooner rather than later the idea behind Nation States will be disrupted as well, who needs centralized governments?


              Trump Won’t Kill America, Bitcoin Will
              Nation-States as We Know Them Will Cease to Exist not Because of a Who, but a What — And it’s Already Here

              I’m looking into Solarcoin myself…
              Maybe I will become a virtual citizen of the yet to be founded, Solarlandia, which ironically will be completely cloud based! 😉

              • Boomer II says:

                Interesting article. I’m not a bitcoin fan for the reason given in the article. It has no value other than what people are willing to pay for it. I have the same issue with gold and art as an investment.

                But I agree with the idea that the nation state will decline. But I think it will happen because the very wealthy and those who go to the Davis conference each year have no real loyalty to a particular country.

                On the other hand, it appears that humans are hard-wired to be tribal. So the average person is still likely to see the world as “us versus them” in some fashion.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  I’m not a bitcoin fan for the reason given in the article. It has no value other than what people are willing to pay for it. I have the same issue with gold and art as an investment.

                  Yes, but there is more to the story. Not to mention that there are over 700 crypto currencies other than bitcoin, based on blockchain technology currently in use globally.

                  What Makes Bitcoins Valuable?

                  Like U.S. dollars, bitcoins have value because people think they have value. Unlike the U.S. dollar, however, the supply of bitcoins is fixed. Or, more properly stated, the total number of bitcoins that will ever exist is fixed. There will never be more than 21 million bitcoins in circulation (currently, there are roughly 16.5 million). The last bitcoin is expected to enter circulation around 2140.

                  Bitcoins aren’t minted by a bank or central reserve, they’re mined. The mining of a bitcoin is dictated by a preset, verifiable and immutable algorithm. This means that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like it are not subject to the whims or control of a single, central entity. Because there is no governing body, Bitcoin eliminates the ever-present temptation to run the printing press non-stop, creating currency to “kick the can” on problems. That’s a game changer relative to existing fiat currencies, all of which are subject to the same risk of reckless printing and inflation.

                  Gold, as a tangible asset, can’t be freely printed, which makes it a great store of wealth. However, gold isn’t easily tradable. You can’t transfer gold to a store in India with one click of your mouse. But, you can do that with bitcoins.

                  Despite its recent volatility, the worldwide recognition of Bitcoin as a legitimate store of wealth, its easily tradable nature and the fact that its fixed supply checks off multiple serious risks of fiat currencies, are all traits that have combined to make Bitcoin the world’s first global currency.

      • GoneFishing says:

        You are right OFM, the batteries might be a problem. Once the production reaches 50 million or more new EV’s a year, the EV will have taken over the market. However, old batteries will have to be replaced on a steady rate eventually rising toward 100 million a year or more. So battery production/recycling will have reached massive proportions during a period where battery technology and chemistry is changing quickly, just to confuse the issue.
        If the market is taken over by 2030 or so, the ICE will fade out by the early 2040’s.
        I think it is possible to change that quickly, given enough incentive. The major part of the incentive will be peak oil. The other part will be global warming.
        But even if the takeover does not happen until the 2050’s, ICE’s can be built that get much higher mpg than now and will mostly be hybrids.
        When drivers have to plan a trip around how far to gas station or if there are gas stations in an area, then the takeover will be complete.
        Meanwhile there will be another 2 billion people wanting vehicles in the world by 2050. Not an easy situation, but certainly an economic driver.

        Lithium Production:

    • twocats says:

      These charts and grafs of ev sales, individual ownership, are essentially bullshit. The same thing happened in Peak oil, demand didn’t keep going up, there was the great recession which kicked demand into the future a couple years and altered buying habits for some.

      There will be early adopters but absent a mandate on CAFÉ standards or Fleet standard (e.g. china), then it’s not going to be remotely like phones or computers. I used a flip phone for years after the first Droid came out, but it got so hard to type out even a single sentence and I couldn’t browse any sites because I didn’t have enough RAM. Same with computers as different Windows versions came out you just couldn’t do an increasing amount of things. ICE to EV doesn’t appear to bring any of those benefits to the table. It’s not even cheaper and barely more powerful. The model T had 20 horsepower, versus a horse, which has 1 horsepower in case you aren’t keeping track.

      The transportation as a service is the only silver lining in this narrative, and I do have YOUNG friends in cities that use TAAS. But as soon as you… get a decent job, start a family, want to save money, move to the edge of city/suburb, they’ve switched to individual ownership, like clockwork.
      These up-up-up and away graphs are complete bullshit. It’s going to be wavy-gravy all the way.


      these sales don’t look that great to me.

    • George Harmon says:

      Now that there are new sheriffs in town, we will see more federal government agencies discover things about climate change that would have been impossible just 5 years ago.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Hey Georgie! I see you’re still cashing those checks from the Koch brother’s eh?
        Sheriffs come and go…

        • George Kaplan says:

          Everything GH says it pretty much the opposite of reality, and I think this comment will be no different – or it may be superficially correct, but in the exact contrary way to what he thinks.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      The main problem humanity faces today, aside from overpopulation, is CO2 emissions caused by the continued burning of fossil fuels. Which you and your buddies over at Oil and Gas want to pretend is not a problem… Methane from wetlands and especially agriculture are also aggravating factors but just a distraction from the fact that we needed to stop burning fossil fuels and emitting CO2, yesterday!

      • GoneFishing says:

        Fred, the Middle East is strongly pursuing it’s own demise as continued global warming will render that region uninhabitable for all practical purposes.
        Do you think that reasonable long term planning is even on the table?
        Just do a search on extreme heatwaves Persian Gulf. Also on monsoon shifts climate change. Too depressing after a while.
        It’s not just sea level rise that will cause death and mass migration.

  31. scrub puller says:

    Yair . . .

    I’m curious about the North Korean rocket technology.

    Video shown here on Australian news channels shows a rocket lifting off with a huge amount of energy stirring up reddish dust (or smoke) yet the rocket engines are emitting but a relatively modest clean yellow flame.

    Do others see this and, if so, what is going on here?

    To my eyes it is a quite different technology to their other launches which are characterized by the standard flip and fire with smoky trail.


  32. Hightrekker says:

    100 Fossil Fuel Producers Responsible For 71% Of Emissions Since 1988


    ( I guess when you think about it, it is not surprising)

  33. robert wilson says:

    There was some discussion about cruise ships on the Gulf of Mexico thread. I suspect that air and especially auto traffic are far more important. Of course many cruise ship passengers connect by car and plane. https://flightaware.com/live/

  34. Survivalist says:

    The Inability To Accept That Growth And Sustainability Are Not Reconcilable- Roger Boyd

    • George Kaplan says:

      That’s a pretty good and honest article, but he says:

      The probability that climate sensitivity is at least at the high end of the range used by the UN IPCC, and possibly higher than that range,.

      and then uses numbers, which are still pretty shocking, that are based on the older and lower climate sensitivity expectations. I’m waiting for the new assessments of what can be done assuming the latest sensitivity numbers and, as he has included, no chance of artificially removing CO2 once it’s in the atmosphere plus an early Arctic ice disappearance. I think 2 degrees will be seen as pie in the sky, 3 degrees almost impossible, 4 degrees the best we can hope for – and that will be this century, but still rising into next.

  35. Survivalist says:

    Down in the dirt dumb.
    Trump contended that any wall would have to be transparent.
    I wonder what his IQ is?

    • Hightrekker says:

      He is a real estate developer.
      Smart enough for the con–
      Too stupid to realize the results.
      (actually, the perfect employee)

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I wonder what his IQ is?

      He is an imbecile, who is completely ignorant of reality and has no curiosity about the world at large!


      Trump’s Wall Could Cause Serious Environmental Damage
      The effects of building a massive concrete wall range from increased emissions to blocked wildlife migration routes

      Architects have called the border wall a “pharaonic project” and a misplaced infrastructure priority. Environmentalists say it will continue to cut off the flow of water and wildlife in a changing climate but is little more than political grandstanding that won’t keep out people.
      And climate activists say that President Trump’s border wall with Mexico and other efforts to keep people out represent a backward effort to stem a tide of migration that would be better addressed at its source: in places where climate impacts are already happening.

      • notanoilman says:

        Yeah, abandon car plants, in Mexico, that would have provided jobs so the people who no longer have jobs want to go to the USA. Makes sense – not.


  36. Survivalist says:

    This is really happening: Donald Trump appears to have an imaginary friend named Jim.

  37. OFM says:

    The Washington Post and Google are running this headline:
    “Forecast of weak economic growth raises big questions about Trump’s populist agenda”

    The definition of populist, according to a very well known and respected dictionary:

    Definition of populist. 1 : a member of a political party claiming to represent the common people; especially, often capitalized .

    This definition most certainly indicates there is very little that is populist about the Trump administration’s agenda, possibly excepting his positions on immigration and outsourcing industry. On those two issues, he has considerable support. On the rest, he is making a fool of the common man, because all his tax cuts, changes in regulations, etc, are targeted so as to benefit the elite rather than the working people.

    Times change however, and Britannica has this to say about populism.

    “Populism, political program or movement that champions the common person, usually by favourable contrast with an elite. Populism usually combines elements of the left and the right, opposing large business and financial interests but also frequently being hostile to established socialist and labour parties.

    The term populism can designate either democratic or authoritarian movements. Populism is typically critical of political representation and anything that mediates the relation between the people and their leader or government. In its most democratic form, populism seeks to defend the interest and maximize the power of ordinary citizens, through reform rather than revolution. In the United States the term was applied to the program of the Populist Movement, which gave rise to the Populist, or People’s, Party in 1892. Many of the party’s demands were later adopted as laws or constitutional amendments (e.g., a progressive tax system). The populist demand for direct democracy through popular initiatives and referenda also become a reality in a number of U.S. states.

    In its contemporary understanding, however, populism is most often associated with an authoritarian form of politics. Populist politics, following this definition, revolves around a charismatic leader who appeals to and claims to embody the will of the people in order to consolidate his own power. In this personalized form of politics, political parties lose their importance, and elections serve to confirm the leader’s authority rather than to reflect the different allegiances of the people. In the second half of the 20th century, populism came to be identified with the political style and program of Latin American leaders such as Juan Perón, Getúlio Vargas, and Hugo Chávez. Populist is often used pejoratively to criticize a politician for pandering to a people’s fear and enthusiasm. Depending on one’s view of populism, a populist economic program can therefore signify either a platform that promotes the interest of common citizens and the country as a whole or a platform that seeks to redistribute wealth to gain popularity, without regard to the consequences for the country such as inflation or debt.”

    There’s more of course.

    Populism is getting to be a word as dangerous as the words liberal, conservative , and fascist, in a very real way. All of them are nowadays used to tar and feather the political opposition, with little or no regard to or respect for the truth or what the opposition actually stands for.

    Some one or another of my favorite classic twentieth century writers once said that fascism is now a word that simply means something bad, no more and no less , and that just about anybody and just about every body was being called a fascist by somebody, at the time he said it.

    I can’t say for sure this next quote is accurate but it speaks eloquently to the corruption of our language, and supports Caelan Mac Intyre’s interpretation of our political reality.

    “Benito Mussolini created the word ‘fascism.’ He defined it as ‘the merging of the state and the corporation.’ He also said a more accurate word would be ‘corporatism.’ This was the definition in Webster’s up until 1987 when a corporation bought Webster’s and changed it to exclude any mention of corporations. Adam McKay
    Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/fascism.html

    I believe it is PERFECT as it WAS, as the primary definition of the word, and that that definition is dead on in describing the Trump administration.

    • Hightrekker says:

      “Benito Mussolini created the word ‘fascism.’ He defined it as ‘the merging of the state and the corporation.’

      Actually the State, the Corporation, and the Church—

      Kinda reminds you of Junior and The Thugs?

      At least Mussolini executed his son in law.

      • Lloyd says:

        At least Mussolini executed his son in law.

        Trump’s term isn’t over yet…give the man time.


  38. OFM says:

    Noam Chomsky had this to say about fascism.“The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen. Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response.”

    -Noam Chomsky is DEAD ON in this case. We can only hope that Trump will crash and burn as the result of the public seeing him for what he is.

    Here’s Orwell:

    ““In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

    This is one I try to keep in mind ALL the time.

    It’s why I point out the actual RECORD of any politician when I talk about politics.

    Now as a matter of actual fact, I have called Chomsky an idiot on more than one occasion, but he IS a truly brilliant man, highly accomplished as a scientist and a writer, etc, but that has not stopped him from saying some stupid things, such as when he said men never get over being indoctrinated into Christianity. Now it takes a fucking academic to say something THAT sweeping and stupid. The French have a relevant bit of folk wisdom that goes to the effect that only fools and academics hold to certain idiotic beliefs.

    I was going to come back to this at the time it was mentioned here, but it was at the same time Ron P’s wife passed, and I didn’t out of respect for his personal troubles.

    ANY OLD FARMER, such as yours truly, who went to church as a kid and grew up to hang out in bars and got around and about in the world a little knows men and women who were indoctrinated as kids who on a regular basis violate virtually every last behavioral rule laid down by the Christian church at one time or another , and all the more important ones on a REGULAR basis.

    Of course we could quibble endlessly about precisely what Chomsky meant. If he’s allowed some latitude , then so should I be allowed some when I said he was utterly wrong on some points.

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

    – Sinclair Lewis was a man who understood some shit.

    “Are you a communist?”
    “No I am an anti-fascist”
    “For a long time?”
    “Since I have understood fascism.”

    – Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls
    “I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.”

    The brightest and best educated younger people are the ones who are generally best able to discern the truth in respect to the BIG PICTURE. This explains why so very many of them are in the Sanders camp. Most of them, so far as I can see.

    Older people get so comfortable with the status quo they can’t see what’s WRONG with it, in respect to their own party.

    • Hightrekker says:

      “saying some stupid things, such as when he said men never get over being indoctrinated into Christianity”

      He has got beyond, as Dennett says, “the belief in the belief in religion”, that the “left” still is ideologically crippled by.
      Totally agree with Chomsky, if a corn pone Hitler like figure arises in the US, we can really kiss our ass goodby.

      • GoneFishing says:

        When you look at a person, what do you see? Do you see the most dangerous and probably insane animal on the earth that will put it’s own survival above all else or do you see a harmless beneficent creature that will do wonderful and helpful things in the world. Devil or Angel? Or Devil disguised as Angel? Or just dangerous animal?

        Maybe we need to look at ourselves and others and realize what we are actually dealing with, not some Disney characterization.

    • GoneFishing says:

      I think we need to drop the party crap and hold all elected officials to their job description. If a candidate only represents one third of the people at best, who is representing the rest?

      • Hightrekker says:

        If you are counting on reformist politics as any type of solution, you are not observing reality.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Hint: Do not confuse seeing the problem with implementing the solution.

          Jumping to conclusions is not even good exercise.

          • Hightrekker says:

            People get attached to solutions—
            Might be more comfortable to acknowledge the groundlessness of a predicament.
            But reformist “solutions” are for those not paying attention.
            Look around, how are things?

    • Hickory says:

      I’ve been thinking about this as well. We in the USA are experiencing a setup for a Hitler-like takeover. Trump is just the shot across the bow, proving that desperate and ill-informed voters will empower a fool, a dictator, a master salesman, or a puppet if the promises and bluster are shiny enough.
      The number of such voters may mushroom over the next decade or two, as the effects of globalization and automation, social media indoctrination. and information overload (distraction from good education) continues to erode the calm and well-informed voting public.
      Currently we see many aspects of government refusing to cooperate with the Trump regime, but next time this may not be the case. And ‘Big Brother’ could be your worst nightmare.

  39. OFM says:

    When it comes to people not being willing to admit they have been wrong……. It seems to me even the best and brightest of us are apt to refuse to admit it.

    I used to be an avid follower of Tom Murphy, he of the Do The Math Blog.

    So far as I can see, he has utterly failed to publish anything recently indicating he was wrong about how well wind and solar power would work out, etc.

    Maybe he is running a new blog on different topics, or maybe he retired or died.

    I’m hoping I will be wrong myself about how fast electric cars will take over. I will be glad to admit I was too pessimistic about the rate of adoption if electrics come to dominate the market within a decade, and I’m still around to be ABLE to admit it.

    I can see home scale pv systems growing in number like rabbits , but solar pv is a much smaller investment, and doesn’t require much in the way of the new owner of a system changing his habits, or getting over being afraid he is making a bad investment that might leave him sitting on the side of the road at three a m in the wrong neighborhood.

  40. Survivalist says:

    Daily CO2

    July 13, 2017: 406.62 ppm

    July 13, 2016: 404.44 ppm

    June CO2

    June 2017: 408.84 ppm

    June 2016: 406.81 ppm

    • GoneFishing says:

      “Wildfires in Nevada caused CO2 to reach levels as high as 742 ppm on July 12, 2017.”


      • OFM says:

        I’m putting this comment where it is so it won’t be a reply to Cats at home talking about tv shows. This will make it easier for Dennis to delete his tv show lists if he wants to do so, and likewise nobody else replies to that comment.


        Pharmaceutical companies that sell opioids have been lobbying to keep medical marijuana illegal. Not coincidentally, legal medical marijuana cuts into their sales.

        W. David and Ashley Bradford, a father-daughter pair of public policy researchers at the University of Georgia, conducted two studies on the frequency of prescriptions for various drugs between states with or without legalized medical marijuana. They looked at drugs for anxiety, depression, glaucoma, nausea, psychosis, seizures, sleep disorders, spasticity and pain.

        “What we found was that when states turned on medical marijuana laws, the prescribing for pain medications fell enormously, by about 1,800 daily doses per doctor per year. That’s very significant statistically,” W. David Bradford told Yahoo News.

        “Pharmaceutical companies that sell opioids have been lobbying to keep medical marijuana illegal. Not coincidentally, legal medical marijuana cuts into their sales.

        W. David and Ashley Bradford, a father-daughter pair of public policy researchers at the University of Georgia, conducted two studies on the frequency of prescriptions for various drugs between states with or without legalized medical marijuana. They looked at drugs for anxiety, depression, glaucoma, nausea, psychosis, seizures, sleep disorders, spasticity and pain.

        “What we found was that when states turned on medical marijuana laws, the prescribing for pain medications fell enormously, by about 1,800 daily doses per doctor per year. That’s very significant statistically,” W. David Bradford told Yahoo News.”

        The swamp sure as hell needs draining, but Trump and his homies are the LAST people on earth who are might actually be interested in draining it.

        This awesome beuraucratic inertia and stupidity are classic examples of the reasons so many thinking conservatives have so much contempt for government when it comes to the regulatory status quo.

        I have never yet met even the first redneck hillbilly who isn’t smart enough to understand that one of the or maybe the PRIMARY reason pot is against the law is that the alcohol and pharma industries WANT IT TO STAY AGAINST THE LAW.

        MAYBE term limits for the administrators of regulatory offices are a good idea, lol.

        Nobody who works in a government office is very interested in contradicting his bosses, because that’s about the surest possible way to make sure there will be no future promotions, lol. Such people are usually fired, sometimes later than sooner, but fired nevertheless, on some trumped up grounds.

        Incidentally old HB has posted remarks indicating he thinks I’m an idiot for advocating legalization. He’s not saying much, so maybe I can provoke him into a response. 😉

        • GoneFishing says:
        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster,

          “Incidentally old HB has posted remarks indicating he thinks I’m an idiot for advocating legalization”

          No, I think your an idiot because of your politics. Sucking your Russian Fox News Hannity propaganda up your nose and spewing it all over this Website like a troll.

          And by the way, your memory must be about as functional as a stopped up toilet after an overtime professional basketball game. I’m an advocate of legalization of marijuana. It is not as dangerous or harmful as alcohol and is used on a racial basis to hurt young Americans with criminal records and jail time.

          • OFM says:

            SORRRY, SOO SORRRY, about that, HB

            Sometimes, not nearly so often as you, I also stick my foot in my mouth. Now that I think back on it, you only actually referred to me, or implied that I am an idiot, for making a comment in favor of legalization.

            Remembering that, I jumped to an unwarranted conclusion, without thinking it thru.

            But I proved once again that you are reading my comments, lol.

            Now DO YOUR PART, and post some shit on the Trump administration.

            I shouldn’t have to do it all without any help from YOU, of all people.

        • wharf rat says:

          Tell ol’ HB that Rat is a Med Mary non-profit corp, proving that, yes, Romney was right when he said, “corporations are rats, my friends”. I was incorporated last year. I have tenant farmers, who provide everything except the land, the water, my signature on countess forms (no meetings with Russians), and my fingerprints.

          Had to show a deputy sheriff a barn full of weed last year. That was weird; we both laughed about it. He started his career on the marijuana eradication unit, and now he’s certifying grows. I started off when I first moved up here 30 years ago, with one plant I brought up from the Bay Area. It was like 2 feet tall, and hidden in bushes. That was enuf to make me dream about a model airplane helicopter taking pictures of it, about 20 years before drones hit the scene. Really; I kid you not. No more plants, until, after Medical Marijuana was legalized, somebody asked, “Lord Rat of Rainbow Hills, can I be your humble serf and grow here?” Later I found out that serf means I provide for them, so… tenant farmers on Lord Rat’s land.

          We’re creating a new bureaucracy, which is taking in lots of money, which is not a bad thing. All counties are different. Our program is run by the the Ag Dept. Some run it thru Planning and Building. Don’t know what the state has planned, but there are different licenses to grow, transport, process, distribute, and operate a lab. Med Mary is organic, cuz it has to be tested for purity.
          Things are still changing. Right now, I think only Med Mary gets permitted, but we passed recreational (AKA inspirational) last year, so there are more changes ahead. Our county is pretty restrictive. I think the limits are 99 plants outdoors, and 10K feet of canopy in greenhouse. The county north of us will permit up to 5 acres, so there is an incentive for some to head north.

          Lots of hoops to jump thru. “Build a fence which is…, put concrete below the gate to keep out critters, get a permit from the state to use the pond…”, all the labor laws, provide a porta-potty, and, if you are above a certain size, get a handicap bathroom, etc.

          I don’t know what the effects will be on my county. About half the county economy was from illegal weed. Folks expect land prices to fall. Rat expects a severe labor shortage. He also expects weed to push California’s GDP ahead of Great Britain’s. There is a clone nursery in town, in the former home of a logging supply company. They are in the process of building something just outside town; maybe greenhouses. I think they are expanding, not moving.

          Hard to tell exactly what marijuana means to Mendocino Co. This was from ’13…
          “In “Too High to Fail,” I studied the progress of one California county, Mendocino, whose deciders legalized and permitted the regional cannabis farmers, out of economic necessity. The sheriff signed on, as did the local government. Why? $6 billion. That’s a conservative estimate of the plant’s value to local farmers (on paper) in one of California’s poorest counties.”


          Good jobs; there are 2 people living there full time in a camper getting $15/hr plus room and board. 3 others who are salaried get $6K/month; taxes, SS, workman’s comp, etc. Haven’t asked the operators what they’ll get. Rat only wants enuf weed to last him until next year’s harvest. He knows that marijuana will get him thru times of no money better than money will get him thru times of no weed.

          Free Wheelin’ Rat

    • Bob Frisky says:

      I’m replying to OFM’s comment in this series. I thought this map of where the opioid prescriptions are in the U.S. was quite fascinating. Very interesting how some regions are quite clearly defined, like Appalachia, the Black Belt, the Ozarks, the fictional U.S. state of Jefferson, and so on.

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        Better known as Trumpster Territory

        • Bob Frisky says:

          Wrt the Black Belt, that region shows up due to the lower number of opioid prescriptions compared to the surrounding areas. There’s a similar low number of prescriptions notable in the Washington D.C. area and Virginia Piedmont to the south as well as the Driftless Area of the Midwest.

      • Fred Magyar says:


        The number one cause of death in 17 U.S. states is prescription drug abuse, … pain; in 2008, this amounted to at least $65.3 billion, or 14 percent of all Medicare … Americans, constituting only 4.6% of the world’s population, have been consuming 80% of the global opioid supply, and 99% of the global hydrocodone supply,


        Americans consume vast majority of the world’s opioids
        Dina Gusovsky | @DinaGusovsky
        Wednesday, 27 Apr 2016 | 9:13 AM ET

        Americans consume approximately 99 percent of one specific opioid, called hydrocodone, a powerful painkiller. The Drug Enforcement Agency reclassified hydrocodone from a schedule III to a schedule II drug in 2014 because of its potentially high risk for misuse and abuse.

        BTW, the great right wing radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh was addicted to hydrocodone and was arrested for drug fraud.

        • GoneFishing says:

          “Numbed out and dumbed down, TV looking good all around. Don’t matter what I watch cause I don’t care. Just need some noise in the air.”

          Darn, all I have is aspirin. I always seem to be out on the end of the bell curve.

          The bennies bring us up and the alcohol brings us down. We all just end up in a hole in the ground. Some gets there fast, some gets there slow but most of us go down below. But before that we just stagger or run crazy around.


  41. Cats@Home says:

    FYI, here are the 2017 Emmy nominations. I’ve been looking for some new shows to add to my DVR when the new fall seasons roll around. What do you think, what’s worth checking out?


    Comedy Series
    “Atlanta” (FX)
    “Black-ish” (ABC)
    “Master of None” (Netflix)
    “Modern Family” (ABC)
    “Silicon Valley” (HBO)
    “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)
    “Veep” (HBO)

    Drama Series
    “Better Call Saul” (AMC)
    “The Crown” (Netflix)
    “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
    “House of Cards” (Netflix)
    “Stranger Things” (Netflix)
    “This Is Us” (NBC)
    “Westworld” (HBO)

    Drama Actress
    Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder”)
    Claire Foy (“The Crown”)
    Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
    Keri Russell (“The Americans”)
    Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”)
    Robin Wright (“House of Cards”)

    Drama Actor
    Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”)
    Anthony Hopkins (“Westworld”)
    Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
    Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)
    Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”)
    Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”)
    Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”)

    Comedy Actor
    Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”)
    Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”)
    Zach Galifianakis (“Baskets”)
    Donald Glover (“Atlanta”)
    William H. Macy (“Shameless”)
    Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”)

    Comedy Actress:
    Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”)
    Tracee Ellis-Ross (“black-ish”)
    Jane Fonda (“Grace and Frankie”)
    Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”)
    Allison Janney (“Mom”)
    Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)

    Limited Series
    “Big Little Lies” (HBO)
    “Fargo” (FX)
    “Feud: Bette and Joan” (FX)
    “The Night Of” (HBO)
    “Genius” (National Geographic)

    Limited Series Actor
    Riz Ahmed (“The Night Of”)
    Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock: The Lying Detective”)
    Robert De Niro (“The Wizard of Lies”)
    Ewan McGregor (“Fargo”)
    Geoffrey Rush (“Genius”)
    John Turturro (“The Night Of”)

    Limited Series Actress
    Carrie Coon (“Fargo”)
    Felicity Huffman (“American Crime”)
    Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”)
    Jessica Lange (“Feud”)
    Susan Sarandon (“Feud”)
    Reese Witherspoon (“Big Little Lies”)

    Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
    John Lithgow (“The Crown”)
    Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”)
    Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”)
    Michael Kelly (“House of Cards”)
    David Harbour (“Stranger Things”)
    Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”)
    Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”)

    Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
    Ann Dowd (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
    Samira Wiley (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
    Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is the New Black”)
    Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”)
    Chrissy Metz (“This Is Us”)
    Thandie Newton (“Westworld”)

    Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
    Alec Baldwin (“Saturday Night Live”)
    Louie Anderson (“Baskets”)
    Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”)
    Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)
    Tony Hale (“Veep”)
    Matt Walsh (“Veep”)

    Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
    Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”)
    Vanessa Bayer (“Saturday Night Live”)
    Leslie Jones (“Saturday Night Live”)
    Anna Chlumsky (“Veep”)
    Judith Light (“Transparent”)
    Kathryn Hahn (“Transparent”)

    Variety Talk Series
    “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” (TBS)
    “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” (ABC)
    “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO)
    “Late Late Show With James Corden” (CBS)
    “Real Time With Bill Maher” (HBO)

    Reality Competition
    “The Amazing Race” (CBS)
    “American Ninja Warrior” (NBC)
    “Project Runway” (Lifetime)
    “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (vh1)
    “Top Chef” (Bravo)
    “The Voice” (NBC)

    Television Movie:
    “Black Mirror: San Junipero”
    “Dolly Parton’s Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle Of Love”
    “The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks”
    “Sherlock: The Lying Detective (Masterpiece)”
    “The Wizard Of Lies”

    Variety Sketch Series
    “Billy On The Street” (truTV)
    “Documentary Now!” (IFC)
    “Drunk History” (Comedy Central)
    “Portlandia” (IFC)
    “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
    “Tracey Ullman’s Show” (HBO)

    Structured Reality Program
    “Antiques Roadshow”
    “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”
    “Fixer Upper”
    “Lip Sync Battle”
    “Shark Tank”
    “Who Do You Think You Are”

    Unstructured Reality Program
    “Born This Way”
    “Deadliest Catch”
    “Gaycation With Ellen Page”
    “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked”
    “United Shades Of America: With W. Kamau Bell”

    Host for a Reality/Reality-Competition Program
    Alec Baldwin (“Match Game”)
    W. Kamau Bell (“United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell)
    RuPaul Charles (“RuPaul’s Drag Race)
    Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn (“Project Runway)
    Gordon Ramsay (“MasterChef Junior)
    Martha Stewart & Snoop Dogg (“Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party”)

    • HuntingtonBeach says:


      Game of Thrones
      The Wire
      Boardwalk Empire
      Six Feet Under

    • Survivalist says:

      “what’s worth checking out?” – cats@home

      Nothing. I’d recommend donating your tv to a second hand thrift shop and getting a library card.

      • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

        You can’t comprehend that others may have interests and hobbies different from your own? From all your condescending remarks, you must believe a life not spent “studying” climate change every waking moment is a completely wasted life.

        • OFM says:

          I have yet to meet anybody who spends his free time avidly watching the ninety nine percent of the trash on tv who is worth the time of day as an intellectual companion.

          If we don’t reply to comments that are totally unrelated to the topics we usually talk about, Dennis can easily delete them, if he so pleases.

          Having said this much, I do understand that there is SOME programming on television worth watching. Maybe one percent of it , lol.

          • Survivalist says:

            Why anyone would think this is a good place to get feedback on what TV shows are ‘worth watching’ is beyond me. There are plenty of websites dedicated to reviewing TV programs. PeakOilBarrel is clearly not one of them.

        • Survivalist says:

          I comprehend it just fine. Many people are morons. A good test for determining to what degree a person is a moron is to look at how much time they spend watching TV and assessing their reading comprehension level. I’m guess you, Texan, comprehend a grade 8 reading level, and spend much of your free time eating Cheetos and watching Duck Dynasty re-runs. I, on the other hand, cycle 300 km’s a week, shoot 3-gun competition, and read extensively (FYI- I do comprehend quite well that this sort of pastime is not everyone’s cup of tea). I don’t study climate change. It’s just a topic I follow the reports on, although clearly you “can’t comprehend that others may have interests” in that. What’s your hobby Dave, tiddlywinks?

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Nothing. I’d recommend donating your tv to a second hand thrift shop and getting a library card.

        Yep, I haven’t owned a TV or subscribed to a TV service for over a decade… I’ve spent the money saved on good wine, cheese, crackers and Kindle books… The Average monthly Cable TV bill these days is $103.00.

        The Average Cable TV Bill Has Hit a New All-Time Record

        • GoneFishing says:

          That is over $100,000 in savings for a lifetime, not counting annual raises in the cost. Now if you had invested that money it could be a lot more.

          Somebody calculated it for smartphones (minimal) which cost about the same per month.

          Since the money spent presents a missed opportunity to have been invested, we’ll then figure out the lifetime cost of a smartphone plan at different investment return levels using the AARP investment calculator. Here are the shocking results:
          4%: $1,322,648
          6%: $2,409,402
          8%: $4,844,418
          10%: $10,560,088

          So watch what you pay for, it could be millions lost over a lifetime.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            So watch what you pay for, it could be millions lost over a lifetime.

            True, but what ransoms would kings and emperors past. have paid for even a tenth of the capabilities of my smartphone?

            • GoneFishing says:

              Oh yes, the boiling oil and catapult apps would be very handy in a world without electric power or an industrial base.

          • OFM says:

            I use a dirt cheap smart phone, and it does what I need it to do. I do the rest on my computer. It costs me forty bucks a month for unlimited text and talk , voice mail, plus enough data to check the weather forecast, look up phone numbers, read some news occasionally, etc. I pay anywhere from twenty to forty bucks for a new phone every couple of years.

            MY phone is a tool, an investment.It’s a rare month the savings realized in otherwise unnecessary driving, etc, don’t exceed the cost of having it.

            Just about every kid I know has a more expensive phone, and most of them have more expensive accounts. Their phones are luxuries.

            I used to have an intelligent redneck conservative friend who was fond of saying he didn’t want to hear anybody bitching about the price of gasoline at four bucks a gallon while buying sugar water at twelve bucks or more per gallon.

            It IS an iron clad fact that one of the primary reasons poor people stay poor is that they are prone to waste their money on useless or frivolous
            junk, or unnecessarily expensive cars, etc.

            A new car depreciates by half in five years, whereas over the course of my working life, there has never been a time when houses haven’t appreciated on average over that same time frame, at least in any of the places I have ever lived or spent time.

            And LOTS of people are dumb enough to fall for the sales pitch about the stock market going up faster than houses. It’s true, at the superficial level, but you can’t ordinarily buy a lot of stocks for five or ten percent or twenty percent down, at a low interest rate, and capture the appreciation of the hundred percent of the purchase price, the way you do with a house. This is not to say a house is always a bargain, or that everybody should buy one. I’m just pointing out an obvious fact or two.

            A locked in house payment in effect actually SHRINKS year after year, in real terms as rents go up.

            Inflation (as it is popularly defined) IS NOT GOING AWAY, although it takes an extended vacation once in a while, lol. No government with the power to inflate it’s money will allow a long term deflation to happen, and most governments practice policies that CREATE a small but steady inflation.

            Some people will argue that the government cannot stop deflation. I disagree. Given the cost of stopping it, compared to allowing it to happen, stopping it is a bargain, even if doing so requires throwing out the old rule book.

            Does anybody here think the feds, meaning the legislative and executive branches , with the almost dead sure backing of the judicial branch, would allow fifty or a hundred million people paying on mortgages to wind up deep in the red due to a major deflation? FIfty million people to be put in the position that they walk away from their car payment?

            The very IDEA is absurd. At the worst, the government would print and distribute enough money to homeowners that they could still make their payments, and their car payments, and thus put a bottom under the price of houses. SOMETHING would be done, no matter the cost, because otherwise……… the government would fall, and one thing politicians are REALLY good at is staying in power.

            The banksters might not like it, but they would soon figure out a way to continue making money out of it, as usual, and they’re smart enough to understand that if the entire economy goes to hell due to a deflation, whatever government takes the place of the one that gets thrown out will NOT be the friend of the bankster community.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Hi Fred,

          My parents never owned a TV, we never owned a TV, nor do our kids own TVs. We all thought (and still think) books, musical instruments and chemistry sets were (and are) better ways to waste time: not knocking home computers though. Still recall playing with early computers like Radio Shack’s TRS-80 whose memory was measured in kilobytes and not many of them at that.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Hey Doug,
            I can relate, everyone in my family was a keen reader as well.
            BTW, My first computer was a Commodore VIC-20 with a cassette tape drive. I added a whopping 16 Kb memory expansion card, learned BASIC and created my first computer graphics on it.
            later I worked on the TRS-80s with 5 Mb Winchester hard drives which were considered unlimited storage back then.

          • notanoilman says:

            When I lived i the UK I didn’t have a TV for many years. They sent me a notice “pay your license or go to court” absolutely no options to say why I didn’t have a license. Would have had to go to court and say to the judge “Why do I need a license if I don’t have a TV?”. 🙁


            • Fred Magyar says:

              Damn, I would have gone to court and raised bloody hell!

            • OFM says:

              People here in the USA , some of them, LOL , tend to feel the same way about being told to pay for Ocare aka the ACA.

              If the bill had been sent to the treasury, rather than to them personally and directly, in practical terms, there’s an EXCELLENT chance HRC would be president today, and that there would be half a dozen to a dozen less R’s in the House, and two to four less R’s in the Senate.

              The right wing wouldn’t have been HALF as motivated to vote against Clinton if it hadn’t been for this incredibly stupid miscalculation.

              Stupidity and arrogance are costly.

              Now having said this, I realize that maybe the way the bill was written made it easier to pass it.

              Maybe. I haven’t seen any arguments to this effect that hold water .

        • Johnny92 says:

          Cable TV is dying a slow death due to these costs and scam business practices. Pretty much the only group still thinking cable is a good deal are the baby boomers since they are old and don’t know any better. Just about everyone I know uses Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sling, Playstation Vue, Hulu, or free over the air antennas as TV nowdays. Only problem is the cable monopolies still control most peoples internet, so they are coming up with bogus data caps to try and keep their own TV services alive. Comcast and Cox both cap at 1 terebyte per month which will be tough for a family of 4-5 to stay under since most everyone under 35 goes through alot of data gaming and streaming TV.

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            “the baby boomers since they are old and don’t know any better”


            • Fred Magyar says:

              X 10!

              I’ll bet there are more than a couple of OLD foggies, on this site alone, who could run circles around little Johnny… And I mean that both physically and intellectually! TV? Let’s see him paddle 24 miles non stop in a kayak…

              Just about everyone I know uses Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sling, Playstation Vue, Hulu, or free over the air antennas as TV nowdays.

              Those people aren’t worth a bucket of warm spit! Fortunately,
              thanks to my son’s friends,just about everyone that I know, especially in Johnny’s age group, are math and science majors and doing really interesting work, not wasting time playing video games or watching movies!

          • scrub puller says:

            Yair . . .

            “Comcast and Cox both cap at 1 terebyte per month which will be tough for a family of 4-5 to stay under since most everyone under 35 goes through alot of data gaming and streaming TV.”

            Poor bastards, I really feel for them.

            Time for a reality check . . . does anyone ever do anything constructive?


  42. Survivalist says:

    June 2017 was the 3rd warmest on record globally in preliminary JMA analysis (2016/2015 tied for first).


    Five Warmest Years (Anomalies)
    1st. 2016,2015(+0.41°C), 3rd. 2017(+0.36°C), 4th. 2014(+0.33°C), 5th. 2010,1998(+0.26°C)

    • Pierre Lechelle says:

      I will rather wait, for the release of unskewed temperatures informations.

      • Survivalist says:

        I know Syrian refugees with better English than you. Are you from northern Quebec or something?

  43. OFM says:

    The Trumps continue to lawyer up.

    If Mueller does his job, there’s an excellent possibility now, at the minimum, that there will be enough dirty laundry uncovered on a continual basis for the next year and a half or so that some Republican congress critters WILL lose their seats BECAUSE they stick with Trump, and that some others will realize that they must abandon him in order to avoid losing.


    • Hickory says:

      Some say President Pence is like a policy combination of Jerry Falwell and Dick Cheney.
      Careful what you wish for.

      • OFM says:

        I would take my chances on Pence, although he’s just another scumbag. He ‘s a much smaller scumbag in my estimation, and if Trump is forced out, and Pence gets in, then the D’s will be riding high, and the press will crazy happy with forcing Trump out, and Pence won’t be in much of a position to pull dirty tricks, because the momentum will all be in favor of the D’s and a lot of R’s will go down with Trump-IF we get rid of Trump.

        And it’s looking more likely that he may HAVE to resign, or suffer impeachment, by the day, lol.


      • Boomer II says:

        While I understand the negatives with Pence, I am so offended that someone like Trump can be the President that I think I want him out just to preserve some credibility to the office.

      • twocats says:


        the event being discussed would be so unpredictably disruptive, to think that anyone would have any idea how it would play out is fooling themselves.

        if this goes down “full collusion w/ foreign entity” impeachment/resignation, then that means Pence is just as illegitimate as Trump, along with Gorsuch (sic?). I mean, a lot of shit could unravel.

        so I think “game theory” and hypotheticals are less important than the truth and preserving whatever semblance of respect for the law and institutions would be way more important than “how does this play out”.

  44. Doug Leighton says:

    Hats off for a truly stunning intellect:


    “The 40-year-old Iranian, a professor at Stanford University, had breast cancer which had spread to her bones. Nicknamed the “Nobel Prize for Mathematics”, the Fields Medal is only awarded every four years to between two and four mathematicians under 40. It was given to Prof Mirzakhani in 2014 for her work on complex geometry and dynamical systems.”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Yeah, heard about in on the radio while driving to do some errands this morning.
      The Good They Die Young!
      May she R.I.P.

      Maryam Mirzakhani, Dynamics Moduli Spaces of Curves I

      Published on Dec 27, 2014
      Lecture of Maryam Mirzakhani of Saturday, November 22, 2014 at
      The conference Current Developments in Mathematics 2014. The title of the talk was “Dynamics on Moduli Spaces of Curves I”.

      If you can watch something like Maryam Mirzakhani’s lecture would anyone still choose some of idiotic crap available on cable TV?

  45. OFM says:

    All good things seem to be pretty damned expensive when they first hit the market if new technology is used.

    It looks like a REALLY good electric bike costs up around ten grand.


    But if such bikes were mass produced, like cars, I’m thinking one as hood as the Stromer st1 will sell for as little as a thousand bucks, two thousand at the most.

    I would certainly buy a new one for two grand, but I want to know it’s made to last for many years and many tens of thousands of miles, and that parts and batteries are going to be available in the aftermarket.

    Lots of people have been burnt buying expensive machines from companies that have gone out of business.

    • Hickory says:

      I electrified my bike for about 800$. Motor and battery direct from a Chinese manufacturer. All around excellent.
      No need to spend so much. A prebuilt one in the 2-3000$ range is extremely robust.
      Many choices.

      • OFM says:

        I’m not yet convinced the two grand bikes are going to last like cars, but maybe they will.

        Park ten of them side by side, you see well under a thousand pounds of metal and plastic, with hardly anything at all that’s expensive high tech except the battery itself, lol.

        Even a dinky economy car has three thousand pounds of material, and a hell of a lot of it is high tech, and the car has thousands of individual parts, compared to maybe a hundred, depending on how you count them, on a bike.

        Electric bikes are still drastically overpriced, in terms of mass produced and mass marketed products, at two grand, in my estimation, although I would buy one at that price if it reads HONDA or SUZUKI or YAHAMA , etc, on it. These companies have dealers and parts and mechanics in just about any town with more than six traffic lights , and I KNOW their products last. I could save the price of it in gasoline and wear and tear on my car and truck, over a few years time.

        Millions of people could easily manage with one less car if they were to buy a reliable electric bike, and millions more that live in places with year round biking weather could get by without a car at all.

        I’m thinking a really good one will eventually sell for five hundred bucks in current day yankee dollars , and that I can buy it from a servicing dealer, the way I buy chainsaws and other power tools.

      • notanoilman says:

        Can you recommend the supplier? I am planning to do this later in the year.


  46. Survivalist says:

    Mother Nature will clear up this little blemish called human population over shoot the same way she’s always clears up all her other little blemishes- famine. Wait for it.

    Warmer Arctic harms crops in US, Canada: study

  47. George Kaplan says:

    One of the predicted consequences of climate change is the desertification of southern Europe from increased frequency, duration and strength of drought (i.e. the Sahara moves north). There is a pretty bad drought coupled with heat wave through Spain, Italy and Greece at the moment – maybe just weather, we’ll have to wait for the statistical analysis to see – but an indication of what to expect (this will be mild by comparison to coming 5 sigma events if the forecasts are correct).

    This is a pretty good site for drought monitoring in Europe, quite a lot of options to play around with in visualising the data.


    • George Kaplan says:

      For desert encroachment the soil moisture content and soil moisture anomaly is given (below is anomaly – dark red is the highest level they have). I think there’s a way of running the images as history, but I haven’t fully figured it out yet.

      • OFM says:

        I think it’s likely that given their current demographic trends, the countries of Western Europe will be ok, in terms of being able to feed themselves, unless the climate goes entirely bonkers and it really does turn Sahara dry.

        There are ways to farm that require very little water, compared to the traditional methods, but they are expensive, in relative terms, and switching to them will mean people will necessarily spend a hell of a lot more of their income on food.

        I will go so far as to venture an opinion that the more prosperous Western European countries will be able to feed themselves using recycled water on super water efficient farms, and generate enough renewable energy to make recycling the water work, even getting more via desalinization of sea water.

        Water is very easily stored in vast quantities in reservoirs, and desalinization is a superb way to use any surplus wind and solar power. I’ve been looking for info on how much it costs, in total, including capital costs, to run a desal plant intermittently, compared to continuously, but I haven’t had any success. Any links will be GREATLY appreciated.

        Maybe I’m too much of a Darwinist and a pessimist, but my opinion for now is that the greatest danger for Western Europeans is that millions of desperate people will be trying to get into Western Europe at ANY cost, over the next few decades, due to economic collapse and war in their homelands.

        Sky Daddy Himself can’t necessarily predict the economic and political consequences of climate change. Maybe desperate migrants will be stopped with walls and machine guns.

        Maybe Western European countries will elect their own versions of Trump. Maybe less dramatic solutions can be found. Maybe the climate models will be proven wrong, in that Western Europe, and nearby countries will continue to get enough rain to get by ok.

        I DON’T see the people of Western Europe welcoming millions and millions of new folks who don’t speak the local languages, observe the local customs,possess locally useful skills or professions, or have any real intention of integrating themselves into the local economy and culture.

        The locals are going to have their hands full taking care of their OWN less well off fellow citizens as their populations age, and one time gift of nature depleting resources grow ever scarcer, and ever more expensive.

        Climate changing will have a hell of a lot to do with what happens. Changing climate ALREADY has a hell of a lot to do with it.

        I may be the ONLY person who posts here who is willing to look certain unpleasant truths in the eye, and talk about them, due to my trying to OBSERVE the political scene rather than advocating for one party or the other, as a writer.

        I support sensible policies rather than parties. It’s an accident that the party that supports the most sensible environmental policies at this time happens to be named the DEMOCRATIC PARTY, lol.

        The environment trumps all other issues combined. If we don’t solve the overshoot problem, all the problems involving personal rights, economic inequality, etc, will be academic only.

        Anybody who truly understands the abc’s of the biological sciences MUST necessarily agree on this point.

        I know quite a few people who are committed environmentalists, people who understand quite well what overshoot is, and the consequences thereof, etc.

        It’s almost impossible to find a serious environmentalist who is willing to publicly discuss the fact that if we were to close the borders of the USA, except maybe to a rather small ( relative to current numbers ) of new citizens, we would BE THERE NOW in terms of our birth rate being low enough for our population to stabilize. The liberals won’t discuss it because it’s contrary to their ” in group” culture, and the more intelligent conservatives won’t discuss it PUBLICLY because it opens them up to charges of racism, xenophobia, etc, from the left. They have troubles enough due to opposition from within their own political and cultural camp when the issue is the environment.

        I’m not here to win a popularity contest though, and it’s my INTENT to provoke comments pro OR CON, because the more criticism I get NOW, the better the quality of my work will be LATER. I’m not going to dodge any controversial issue.

        Are we headed to a time when any given country will have to think of itself as a ship at sea, with no firm hope of making port before running out of food and water for the people already on board?

        How many more , in this circumstance, will the people on board be willing to rescue from those in already in lifeboats or actually in the water?

        I’m not going to win any popularity contests as the result of pointing out that a mere relative handful of unintegrated immigrants can ( thru no fault of their own in ninety nine percent plus individual cases ) can be enough to create problems that result in a severe political backlash that can in turn result in the election of a government that liberals love to describe as backward, reactionary, xenophobic, evil, ………… fill in the blank with any words you please.

        It’s best that we think long and hard about our wishes, because we may get them, and there are ALWAYS strings attached.

        Sometimes the strings are defacto hangman’s nooses.

        Big pharma and big medicine have gotten what they wanted, at enormous expense to the rest of us, over the last few decades, by way of example. But I for one am very hopeful that the days of health care bau are numbered, and that within the next ten to twenty years, we Yankees will have a health care system quite similar to the ones in France, the UK, Canada, Germany………

        Any jackass country farm mechanic understands that the life of a machine is determined by routine maintenance……. regular oil changes , regular grease jobs, new oil and air filters………. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE .

        We human machines need ROUTINE preventative health care. A dollar spent on prevention saves a hundred on treatment. The only way we will ever get it is by way of the government footing the bill for every body, the way it foots the bill NOW for ninety nine percent of all the every government employees in the country.

        My prosperous redneck conservative friends are fond of saying that if you think health care is expensive NOW, just wait till it’s FREE, lol.

        And in the short term, they are right about that, because they tend to be people blindsided by the ACA, losing the coverage they had, and being forced to replace it with O care policies that cost a LOT more, so as to subsidize those less well off.

        But in the end, they will be proven wrong.Their own health care costs will fall by half on average , once we have single payer here in the USA, and they will actually get just as good or better care.

        The only people who can really afford true state of the art Yankee care are either fully insured, or rich. I don’t personally know more than half a dozen of truly rich people, and I don’t know any of them well enough to socialize with them.

        Will there be committees deciding who lives, and who dies, when we get single payer.


        The dirty lie told by omission by people who talk about such committees in order to stall health care reform is that THEY ALREADY EXIST.

        When I was in nursing school, I had a class in professional ethics, and the professor said she had been in THIS POSITION, personally.

        There is a committee of some sort in virtually every hospital that has to make the budget decisions in respect to indigent care, and in writing off unpaid bills, etc.

        She was the nurse on such a committee for a long time. This is the problem she assigned us , as future potential nurse representatives on such a committee.

        Management has ten million bucks available for the following twelve months to pay for indigent patients care. The cutest little girl you have ever seen needs half a million in treatments in order to live …. for a while.

        That same half a million is enough to save the life of FOUR OTHER kids who only need a hundred grand worth of treatment to live……… but who will be turned away if the money is gone.

        How do you vote ?

        It’s easy, in relative terms, to just not spend the money on some old guy who is going to die soon anyway, of old age and chronic disease. Most of the time, he and his family, if any, don’t even realize he is not getting AGGRESSIVE treatment.

        Even so, hospitals spend ungodly sums keeping old people who are GOING TO DIE ANYWAY WITHIN A COUPLE OF MONTHS alive a few more days or another month.

        Health care rationing is an ESTABLISHED FACT, and the live or die committees are an established fact, although they operate in the shadows as a deliberate policy matter.

        There is probably no such thing as an upper limit to the amount of money that can be spent on the health care of an individual, or a country. There’s a limit in the short term, in respect to an individual near death, which is set by the treatments possible at the hospital where he is a patient, but long term……….. there’s no upper limit that I can see, other than the limit imposed by costs going so high payment is impossible.

        Trump’s, Koch’s , and Clinton’s can pay any amount. They can go any place, anytime,and fly in any specialist willing to treat them.

        The rest of us…..

  48. OFM says:


    Warner lays it on the line, he doesn’t believe the story. Nor does anybody else, in my estimation, other than maybe a few true believing R types who would believe just about anything, so long as it suits their agenda.

    Naked apes of all sorts believe what they want to.


    “This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks,” Krauthammer wrote. “This is an email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. himself.”


    Americans give President Donald Trump the lowest six-month approval rating of any president in polls dating back 70 years, punctuated by questions about his competence on the world stage, his effectiveness, the GOP health care plan and Russia’s role in the 2016 election.

  49. OFM says:

    What’s wrong with the ACA,aka Obamacare?

    Two things, basically.

    This article tells you all about one of the two.


    The bottom line is that big medicine is first and foremost about the money, rather than the patient.

    It’s long read, but it’s well worth the time needed to read it if you WANT to KNOW what is actually what, and what’s not, in the health care industry.

    The other thing is the one I have pointed out repeatedly here. The ACA was drafted in such a way that the vast majority of the people who have to pay for it are the sort that tend to vote R, upwardly mobile folks who do not work for government,who are not members of labor unions, who are more likely to work for smaller companies or be self employed, etc.

    The CORPORATIONS they work for, if they work for corporations, are making out like bandits as the result of getting rid of their employee health care costs in the many cases where they did away with their company sponsored group insurance policies. The health care industry itself is making out like a bandit, taking in a lot more revenue, and providing less charity care.

    And those super pissed off R leaning types voted for Trump because they are forced to pay close to five figures sometimes in extra insurance costs, while their smug and condescending liberal sister or brother in law who works for government, or some large non profit, or is a member of a large union, etc,or who chooses to work for peanuts at some pleasurable job, continues to get the same group coverage they had before, at NO ADDITIONAL COST, or else gets an ACA policy for peanuts.

    (I’m not knocking having a low paid but super easy job. I have had jobs of that sort myself, temporarily, including one where I worked twelve hour shifts, with nobody around except one coworker, and could spend up to ten hours per shift reading for pleasure or profit, or even napping.)

    Be careful what you wish for, because you may get it.

    In this case, the backlash associated with the ACA alone was probably enough to make the difference for the R’s in the closely contested House and Senate elections they won , and it sure as hell helped Trump win the WH as well.

    I know of only one man, personally, who wound up having to pay the potentially huge ACA premium out of pocket who isn’t thoroughly pissed about it. This guy bought a top shelf plan for close to ten grand ,to replace the company policy he lost, but he’s ok with it, because his WIFE TO BE is still in college, and makes peanuts working an unskilled job, and SHE gets HER ACA insurance for peanuts.

  50. OFM says:

    This link contains quotes from electricity grid operators that directly say that renewables are not a threat to grid reliability.


    “Numerous technical studies for most regions of the nation indicate that significantly higher levels of renewable energy can be integrated without any compromise of system reliability,” the draft says.

    “Officials at four grid operators, serving about 133 million customers, agreed renewables do not harm energy security or reliability.

    “I don’t see them as threatening, no,” said Woody Rickerson, vice president of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). “We can perform reliably with renewable generation; there are just things you have to do with renewables that you don’t have to do with (conventional) power generation.”

    ERCOT, which serves Texas and a small part of Nevada, said the region got about 15 percent of its power from wind generation in 2016, and the region’s solar power will grow quickly.

    Grid operators said that as renewables become more common they depend more on weather forecasting. Storm fronts and cloud covers sometimes require grid operators to ensure that conventional power is readily available as solar and wind power generation waxes and wanes.

    Stu Bresler, senior vice president for operations at PJM Interconnection, which coordinates the movement of power in all or parts of 13 states from New Jersey to Tennessee, said renewables have not harmed reliability in his region.”

    Steven Greenlee, senior spokesman at the California Independent System Operator (CALISO), said on one day in May, wind and solar served 67 percent of CALISO’s demand.

    “We don’t see the security at risk,” he said.

    These are the sort of quotes that are handy in dealing with fossil fuel advocates.

  51. OFM says:


    Demand for gas might well peak along with demand for oil, if the renewable electricity industry grows as fast as some people expect.

    There are quotes in this link worth having handy.

    • OFM says:

      This was forwarded to me by an old acquaintance via email.

      It’s both humorous and educational.

      “The Green Thing”

      This isn’t political, it’s just plain cute – and so very true!!! Only people older than 60 know how little garbage was disposed of when we were growing up.

      Being Green

      Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

      The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”
      The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

      She was right — our generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in its day.

      Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
      But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.

      Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property,(the books provided for our use by the school) were not defaced by our scribblings.
      Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

      But too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then. We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
      But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.

      Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.

      Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
      But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

      We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
      But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

      Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the “green thing.” We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

      But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back then?

      Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person…

      We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off…especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much.


      Making fun of older people, especially socially conservative and religiously observant older people, tends to incline them to vote for Trump type politicians in order to show the middle finger to those of us who look down on them.

      Unfortunately some of us think the fun to be had this way is more important than winning elections.

      I could get a couple of dozen older people I know, all of them VOTERS, to read this blog on a regular basis, if it weren’t for some of the regulars poking fun at their values, and sometimes their ignorance, which in most cases is NOT their fault.

      Every last one of this two dozen, although none of them have a college degree, is perfectly capable of understanding such concepts as the depletion of fossil fuels, climate change, the need for single payer health care, clean water laws, clean air laws, the dangers of overpopulation, etc, but only if they spend a little time THINKING ABOUT THESE THINGS will they consider switching their vote from R to D.

      We don’t select our parents, or the social, intellectual, and economic class into which we are born.

      Blaming the son or daughter of a poor person, a factory worker or sawmill worker or coal miner for his or her lack of a good education indicates an extreme deficiency of understanding of the day to day realities of the impoverished and working class world.

      A fair number of this class of kids manage thru luck and pluck to make it up and out of the lower classes.

      Most of them,maybe three quarters or more, collectively speaking, have a near zero real world chance at a good education. They don’t have mentors, they don’t have family or friends who are suitable role models, they don’t have highly competent and highly motivated teachers, they aren’t generally WANTED in the so called and VERY REAL “A” or academic track in the public schools they attend. A few get into A classrooms, though, mostly because they happen to come from homes where they are at least taught good personal and work habits, and because they score high on intelligence or other standardized tests, AND because there is generally room for the handful of working class kids who score high AND act like young ladies and gentlemen.

      In my high school, there were about twenty of us in each of the A track classes, in total, out of a graduating class of about one hundred and eighty. We all took A level English, math every year, a science class every year, as well as the usual history classes and so forth.

      Four of us were real working class kids, the rest were from the local upper crust. If the upper crust had been smaller, a full quarter or even more of us might have been working class kids.

      In just about every public high school in America, and the larger elementary grade schools as well, there are at least TWO defacto schools within the walls, and usually three. The A track is basically reserved for the children of the local elite, the teachers, cops,lawyers, doctors, business owners, any other people with high professional status or money. The kids behave, the teachers are competent, homework is assigned and turned in, and learning HAPPENS.

      Any kid who makes trouble consistently is shunted out, into a private school, or another public school, because the local people who matter, the people who control the community, know very well their own kids will be shortchanged if they are in mismanaged classrooms. They do not hesitate to kick out one of their own if necessary, to protect the rest.

      Then there’s a general education track, where things are so so, in most respects. The classes are larger, the teachers aren’t as good, standards are MUCH lower, not much homework gets done, nor much studying.

      After THAT, there’s the vocational track, which is almost invariably where the trouble makers, intellectually challenged, and otherwise unwanted kids wind up. Homework is a joke, study outside the class room is a joke. A few kids learn a hell of a lot, if they are lucky enough to have a teacher who gives a crap. Most teachers don’t, not really, not after a few years, excepting the ones in the A track classrooms of course, lol. Work is a pleasure for them. The rest go thru the motions, and apply themselves to a greater or lesser extent as they feel like it.

      I take the trouble to make this comment in hopes that those who were luckier, in terms of being born to the RIGHT sort of parents, will gain a little insight into the lives of the majority of people who DIDN’T win in the parental lottery.

      • notanoilman says:

        Nice rant. My washing dries in the air – errr – except when I forget to take it in before the storm, well, there’s always tomorrow. Start a movement for glass bottles with a price doubling deposit to ensure recycling. At least we have many pepineros who collect plastic bottles for recycling but we have no glass recycling bins that were common in the UK 🙁 . As for supermarket plastic bags, if we didn’t have them I would have to buy plastic bags to put my rubbish out and as for reusable bags WHO THE F*** MADE THEM OUT OF BIO-DEGRADABLE PLASTIC!!!!!!!!! I have bits everywhere after taking one out to use!!!


  52. OFM says:


    Even Donald Trump might agree that a major reason he won the 2016 election is because voters couldn’t abide Hillary Clinton’s legacy of scandal, deception and stonewalling,” the paper said. “Yet on the story of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, Mr. Trump and his family are repeating the mistakes that doomed Mrs. Clinton.”

    Although Trump is regularly pilloried by more liberal editorial boards, the Journal’s caustic attack against the Republican commander in chief is striking. The paper is under the umbrella of News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate, which that operates the Trump-friendly Fox News.

  53. OFM says:

    Plenty of useful background information in this article , which is mostly about the birth of the renewable electricity industry in Kentucky.

    Some of us are prone to think the people in coal country would rather just curl and die, or die screaming, rather than give up coal.

    But they’re mistaken. 😉 At least some of them are already moving on to the next energy industry, which may include mining coal in order to retrieve the rare earth elements in the coal, for use in the electronics industries.
    Most people don’t realize it, but there’s a real possibility coal has enough of the most desirable rare earths in it to make extracting them feasible.


  54. OFM says:


    My personal physician is very careful about wasting his patient’s money, and prescribes well over eighty percent generic drugs, saying that the ones still under patent are not much better, if any better at all, than most of the ones that are now off patent, with of course a few notable exceptions.

    Some of our members are constantly wondering why the public is so easily mislead, or actually FOOLED, by industry and political propaganda of various sorts.

    Well, if they were to stop and consider what this doc has to say about his fellow physicians……. they are just about as easily manipulated as Joe Sixpack.HUMANS aren’t prone to doing any more thinking than necessary.

    Just buy them some lunch, give them a few free samples, and talk to them all the time about your new drugs, and you’re home free, you have them habituated to prescribing the ones you pitched to them for the next fifteen or twenty years.

  55. OFM says:

    Solar thermal electricity costs are apparently coming down fast, and there are people who are willing to bet large sums of money on it being a practical and economical source of nighttime supply.


    “ACWA Power International CEO Paddy Padmanathan confirmed his company is the low bidder on a $1 billion project that will feed electricity to the grid for the Dubai Water & Electricity Authority between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. More such plants are likely to follow because Chinese companies will start driving down the cost of equipment, he said.”

    “The technology to date has slipped behind PV on cost but is quickly becoming more competitive, the executive said.”

    While solar thermal plants are becoming cheaper, PV costs are falling too, raising questions whether the Dubai project really will be as attractive as ACWA expects, said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.”

    “There are 319 GW of PV panels installed worldwide, compared to about 5 GW of solar thermal, according to BNEF data. The mass deployment has driven down costs of solar panel equipment by about 70 percent since 2010, with the latest record set in Abu Dhabi at 2.45 cents per kWh. In comparison, solar thermal was around 15 to 18 cents per kWh until recently.”

    “ACWA, which is based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, bid 9.45 cents per kWh, almost cutting in half the cost of CSP”

    This company already has some solar thermal plants in operation, they’re not new to the game.

    I can see solar thermal working really well, if the salts used for thermal storage aren’t too expensive and they aren’t too corrosive. Running pipes thru a large reservoir of salts won’t be all that expensive.

    Ya pipe the heat in during the day, using some sort of oil that can stand the heat, and back out again at night when you need steam to run the generators.

    Unless corrosion is a serious problem, such a system ought to be at least as reliable as batteries, and it may be prove to be a LOT cheaper than batteries, depending on the cost of the chemicals needed.

    If it scales down , there are TONS of possible places this tech can be used, because waste heat is plentiful in tons of places.You could run a small ICE powered generator using natural gas as the fuel, and capture the heat of the exhaust in such a salt reservoir to use it for hot water and space heating.

    Could this be cheaper than using water in a tank to store salvaged heat? I don’t have a clue, but it might be cheaper, eventually.

  56. OFM says:


    No ad campaign needed, all the first year’s production is sold in advance. Maybe all the first TWO years production, lol.

    • OFM says:


      The loss of the Volt won’t be a tragedy, if it’s replaced by another extended range hybrid, or two or three others, and incorporating the tech into another chassis/ body shell is simply a matter of paying for doing it.

      Most of the comments I see about falling auto sales are focused on changing lifestyles and people driving less.

      I can’t prove it, because I’m not into researching and crunching numbers, but my firm opinion is that most of the recent trend toward lower sales is due to two other factors, rather than lifestyle.

      One is that new cars are now prohibitively expensive.

      The other,which is SELDOM mentioned, is that cars built since the nineties are so much more durable that even a late nineties car that has been well maintained is as reliable, and apt to last as long, as a brand new car built in the eighties or earlier. I see cars every day with over two hundred thousand miles on the odometer, and some with over three hundred thousand, that look almost new inside and out, and the large majority of the owners of these cars are ready to drive them cross country without a second thought.

      So people who are forced by circumstances, or just interested in making better use of their money, are able to buy affordable used cars that are better than the new ones they would have bought twenty years or longer ago.

  57. OFM says:

    I have maintained right along that the R politicians holding office in swing states are going to have to abandon Trump in order to protect their own seats in a significant number of cases.

    Considering how badly the Trump administration is doing in approval / disapproval polling in the swing states, it’s looking ever more likely that a number of R congress critters in these states will lose their seats.


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