Open Thread Non-Petroleum, June 14, 2017

Comments not directly related to oil and natural gas in this thread please.

This eye-popping chart on inequality is a slap in the face of America’s middle class

Why does the US economy still feel iffy to most Americans despite an eight-year economic expansion and historically low unemployment?

Look no further than this eye-popping chart of income growth between 1980 and 2014 courtesy of Berkeley’s elite-squad of inequality research, including Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman.

Featured in a recent blog from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, the graphic highlights just how stratospheric income growth has been for the very wealthiest Americans — and how stagnant, in contrast, wages have been for the rest.

That’s not a typo on the right. Incomes for the top 0.001% richest Americans surged 636% during the 34-year period. Wow.

There’s more. “The average pretax income of the bottom 50% of US adults has stagnated since 1980, while the share of income of US adults in the bottom half of the distribution collapsed from 20% in 1980 to 12% in 2014,” writes Howard Gold, founder and editor of GoldenEgg Investing, in the Chicago Booth blog.

“In a mirror-image move, the top 1% commanded 12% of income in 1980 but 20% in 2014. The top 1% of US adults now earns on average 81 times more than the bottom 50% of adults; in 1981, they earned 27 times what the lower half earned.”

Here’s a link to the full paper for the academically inclined.  Read »

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

440 Responses to Open Thread Non-Petroleum, June 14, 2017

  1. GoneFishing says:

    The government is seen as the enemy or at least as a parasite because it taxes the relatively poor wage earners. Even though they too enjoy many of the benefits (roads, lighting, sewage, water, protection services, emergency services, medical, education, etc.) that are provided by those taxes. The tax system does need tuning to make the corporations and big business pay more of their share, however the people down in the bottom half see their paychecks diminished and want lower taxes.

    The more people are pushed out of mainstream society and unable to participate in the culture socially and economically, the more polarized the nation will become on political issues. Probably this is one of the main causes of our present political situation.

    Very few are looking at the big picture, they look at the small pieces that directly affect them. In the bigger picture what is needed is a move away from most everything that makes money for the rich. The poor and diminished middle class need to find ways to not feed money back into a system that has been designed to suck their wallets dry.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Gone fishing,

      Better to not tax corporations at all and just tax personal income, eliminate tax breaks for dividends and capital gains, close all loopholes in the tax code that allow the wealthy to avoid taxes and then use a progressive tax code to make income more equitable. High taxes on inherited wealth (say an inheritance over 1 million per person and adjust for inflation over time) with maybe a 40% inheritance tax on wealth received that is over 1 million per person. Donations to non-profits upon death would be tax free.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Hi Dennis,
        Sounds like that would shift huge amounts of money into the business sector and away from the private sector giving corporations even more control and power in the world.
        Wouldn’t that just accelerate business as usual to the maximum, increasing the destruction in the world and the ability of business to tap the wealth of the earth and the individual even faster?

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Gone fishing,

          Business are owned by people, if we are concerned with an unequal distribution of income it is much simpler to tax people especially with a simplified tax code.

          The profits of a business are paid to shareholders or retained to reinvest in the business, the double taxation of corporate profits that are returned to wealthy shareholders as dividends or long term capital gains are the excuse given for a huge tax break to the wealthy in the form of reduced rates on dividends and long term capital gains.

          If we are worried about unequal income distribution (I am), then the compromise I suggested is the best way to accomplish a reduction of that inequality.

          Not all corporations are bad, the increased taxes collected through a simplified tax code that is highly progressive (similar to the pre-1968 US tax brackets for regular income with updated tax brackets that move each year based on the rate of inflation), may enable the government to reduce deficits so there is a buffer when a depression hits.

          All income in this plan would be taxed based only on the total income there would be no distinction between interest, dividends, capital gains, or wages.
          All of these categories would be taxed in the same way.

          Possibly the tax brackets could be left as they are, but just eliminate the tax breaks on dividends and long term capital gains and deductions for state and local taxes and interest.

          • GoneFishing says:

            I understand your plan. However, leaving corporations off the hook would bloat them with value since it would be better to leave the money in the company than remove it. Also, the US would become the world’s manufacturing and business playground as foreign investors rush to build business here and become corporate citizens swinging large political and social power.
            To not tax corporations might seem a way to increase business, but that in itself has extreme downsides. Population will quickly rise also as well as pollution.

            • JJHMAN says:

              Businesses benefit from taxes paid by themselves and others. the large trucks that deliver goods to market are the most damaging to roads, yet here in California, business managed to get all licensing expenses zeroed out for trailers.

              Police, fire, schools, all benefit business. Even the army. Somehow the business community needs to pay it’s fair share.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                JJHMAN,

                Businesses are owned by people, those people pay income tax on the money they earn on their investment.

                With progressive taxation, the wealthy who own businesses will pay more than their fair share. You may be too young to know this but in 1968 the top tax rate was about 70%, with no loopholes in the tax code that is a pretty “fair share”, the wealthy will complain that it is unfair.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Fuck your taxes, Dennis, and your state. They’re violence and hatred with a crown, behind a mask.

                  “From isolated projects/struggles to a movement with a narrative for the future of society. Many activists have realised the need to network and make alliances and need for political representation to combat the way that the toxic economy uses the state to advance its own purposes and agenda. To combat this the green movement must be more than a collection of isolated struggles and projects but needs to come together as a movement with its own ideological narrative for the future of society. This has included challenging the desirability and critiquing the prospects for the growth economy. Many groups therefore share an overarching vision of the need for a Great Transition – and for ‘Degrowth’.” ~ Brian Davey

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Caelan,

                    Might not sell well in Africa and Asia.

                    I agree less growth in OECD nations, or even degrowth (constant GDP per capita with declining population) would be a good idea.

                    A tough sell even in the OECD, many will suggest, you first.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Hi Dennis,

                    Are you referring to degrowth?
                    Well, that might be part of it, but the more important part would seem to be what was placed in bold and why Liz was placed on the bottom of the pic. Growth in equability and ethics is what we need, no sales required per se.

                    BTW, your mention of ‘OECD‘ may suggest a particular facet of a prism through which to peer and, as such, potentially announces part of the kind framework of perspectives one may have, and the forms and limits of potential responses, such as to particular problems caused by that kind of framework.

                    (Apparently, much, if not all, of Africa, for example, was sliced and diced through colonization. Plenty of sites and sources that talk about that.)

                    See also, Schema.

                    See also my recent comment pertaining to cobalt mining.

                  • alimbiquated says:

                    Growth is not the problem in the age of dematerialization, which Buckminister Fuller called ephemeralization.

                    The idea is that value is increasingly detached from anything physical.

              • Nick G says:

                JJHMAN is talking about fuel taxes and other excise type taxes which are related to operations and the costs of supporting business and paying for their external costs, while Dennis is talking about income taxes on net profits. That’s an important difference.

                • Nathanael says:

                  Correct, Nick.

                  It is crucial to have high income taxes on net profits of businesses (this is AFTER deducting R&D, etc.) because otherwise superrich individuals will simply stuff all their money in their company and convert all their passive investment earnings into “business profits”. It’s been done before.

      • JN2 says:

        Dennis, inheritance tax (IHT) here in the UK is already 40%. On amounts over £650k ($850k) of the estate, not per person. However there are many tax dodges (eg trusts) which avoid this tax. Sadly, IMHO. But most people disagree; IHT remains very unpopular here.

        Maybe time for a wealth tax too? (5 people own 50% of the world’s wealth?)

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi JN2,

          I am not a tax policy expert, but if the threshholds were raised in the UK to something similar (650k pounds per person receiving the inheritance, only those older than 18 would count as people). I assume the loopholes would be closed, find good tax attorneys and they could write laws that would eliminate all loopholes, no trusts etc.

          With proper estate taxes the wealth inequality would be reduced over time. The 40% rate seems fair to me. It is what the top income tax rate would be if current tax brackets were not changed and all income was taxed the same (no special treatment for capital gains and dividends and no special tax deductions except charitable contributions to non-profit entities.

          • notanoilman says:

            The big IHT problem, in the UK, is that with speculators moving into the basic housing market house price can easily reach the threshold. If parents die while children are still living at home, a common issue with speculative pricing preventing young people buying homes, they may have to move out and sell up to pay the IHT. Even modest terraced housing the 2 up 2 down, can be hit. IHT just is not in touch with reality it is no longer for the rich with large estates.

            NAOM

            • JN2 says:

              NAOM: “basic housing market house price can easily reach the threshold; Even modest terraced housing the 2 up 2 down, can be hit.”

              Really? Show me a 2 up 2 down at greater than the IHT threshold of £650k ($845k)!

              [average UK house price £216k ($281k), London much higher at £471k ($612k)]

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Not an oilman,

              Then raise the threshold. Or take out a mortgage on the property to pay the tax.

            • notanoilman says:

              JN2

              http://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices-in-London.html
              but remember it is not just the average that matters, some areas can have excessive peaks.

              Dennis

              A threshold related to poll tax may be an alternative since it would allow for price differences in different areas. An alternative would be to relate it to the average price of a particular type of house in the area though that may have to vary from area to area. Mortgages are not always that easy to obtain but why should someone have to pay tax on inheriting their parents house if it was an average house. I don’t know if it is still available but it used to be possible to take out insurance against various death duties.

              NAOM

              Useful
              https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax/overview
              http://www.ssblaw.co.uk/blog/2012/08/21/the-origins-of-inheritance-tax-and-why-we-pay-it/

              • Dennis coyne says:

                Hi Not an oilman

                A house is an asset and should be treated like any other asset. Better to keep the tax code simple.

          • Nathanael says:

            Evidence is that the 40% top estate tax rate is too low.
            The old top estate tax rate in the US was around 78%. To be clear about this:
            (1) it applied to fewer than 50 people, and they still got to pass on huge fortunes tax free before the top rate kicked in
            (2) they still got the charitable deduction (bequests to charity are tax-free), so it was an incentive for the ultrarich to endow charitable foundations instead of giving it all to their kids

            The top income tax rate in the US was 92%. This also applied to, like, 5 people total, people who were collecting way too much money and not giving anything away to charity.

            These very high tax rates in the 1950s were specifically designed to prevent a small number of obscenely wealthy people from either hoarding money or using all their money to *buy power* by buying Congressmen etc. The available deductions, for charity, R&D, etc. meant that if they used the money for socially useful purposes they ended up not paying the taxes.

    • TechGuy says:

      Gone Fishing Wrote:
      ” Even though they too enjoy many of the benefits (roads, lighting, sewage, water, protection services, emergency services, medical, education, etc.) that are provided by those taxes.”

      Gov’ts are big corporations, with a monopoly on the “services” that are provided, and you usually do not have a choice in the matter. Funny how people hate big corporations but love big gov’t.

      The Bigger the gov’t gets the less quality of the services they provided. Today more than 75% of gov’t budgets is used to buy votes (entitlements), defence to fight wars that no one wants. 500 years ago, Spain had the biggest gov’t in the world.

      Gov’ts that have the tightest budgets almost always offer the best bang for their buck. The bigger the budget the worse the services provided. This is clearly visible when you consider that Gov’t spending is at its peak, yet we have failing schools, and crumbling infrastructure. More gov’t funding isn’t going to fix problems.

      At some point higher taxation disincentivizes people to work, especially when workers see their labor providing high salaries and benefits to gov’t workers and those who simple drop out. When the majority of the working class drop out, the nation collapses into something like Venezuela.

      The primary reason why the top 0.001% of the population now controls more than half of the worlds wealth is because of gov’t. Go’vt rewards the top elite but providing them no-bid contracts, unlimited liquidity at zero interest rates to buy up assets. Gov’t is in the business of letting the elite, privatize the profits but socialize their losses in the form of bailouts. Its been 9 years since the 2008 crisis, yet none of the architects of the crisis have gone to jail. Why is that? Did Gov’t fail in there duties, by not bothering to even consider prosecuting thier elite friends?

      “Very few are looking at the big picture, they look at the small pieces that directly affect them. In the bigger picture what is needed is a move away from most everything that makes money for the rich. ”

      Yup, that would be to abandoned big gov’t and return power the people. The entire 0.01% of the population was made rich and powerful by the gov’t.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Never said we needed more taxes, said “just need tuning to make the corporations and big business pay more of their share”.
        Are you one of those privatize infrastructure and state control guys? What a circus of chaos that would bring.
        If you think something is bad, why make it worse?

  2. Hightrekker says:

    Repug reality moment:
    UPDATE: House Natural Resources Committee says the hearing on @RepJeffDuncan’s bill to deregulate gun silencers has been canceled

    • alimbiquated says:

      But ma freedom!

      Some people hope that Republicanism will collapse under the weight of its own stupidity, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  3. Doug Leighton says:

    THE NEXT ENERGY REVOLUTION: THE PROMISE AND PERIL OF HIGH-TECH INNOVATION

    “Already, huge benefits from the technology revolution in energy are reaching consumers. The 92 million barrels of crude oil that the world economy consumes every day cost about $2 trillion less annually than that amount did a decade ago. In the United States, the energy revolution has helped sustain economic growth: from 2008 to 2014, lower prices saved the average household over $700 a year. The era in which energy policy focused on the security of raw resource supplies—access to barrels of crude oil, tons of coal, and volumes of natural gas—is over. Today, the task for policymakers is to manage the implications of a new world of cheap, plentiful energy.”

    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/planetpolicy/2017/06/13/the-next-energy-revolution-the-promise-and-peril-of-high-tech-innovation/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=fp

    • Boomer II says:

      The title doesn’t say it is about energy and power generation, but it is, so it is relevant reading here.

      Thanks for posting.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Fairly true as far as it goes. What they are not saying is that the increase in technology is required to continue production in many areas and that crude oil production is not rising worldwide. How long we can keep increasing technology and efficiency in fossil fuel production is not known, but it will have limits just as the resource does.
      Will increasing population with increasing lifestyle combined with global warming cause an even higher demand on energy production? Or will increasing technology keep up and plateau the energy demand?

      I am doing my best to keep prices low by using as little energy as possible. Win, win on that one. 🙂

      • Boomer II says:

        We have already seen that fossil fuel technology improvements need money to work. They may help to reclaim a bit more fossil fuel but is only profitable at higher prices.

  4. notanoilman says:

    They are setting themselves up for a fall. The elite rely on consumers to buy goods. By trying not to let them have any money they are denying the consumers the resources to buy those goods. Not good.

    NAOM

    • GoneFishing says:

      It will work until it doesn’t. With a rising population and a number of them rising from abject poverty to just being poor, new methods will be devised to tap the huge poor majority for more money. Also methods will be devised to tap the elite, they will feed on each other. As one big money falls, another will rise from the ashes. The Gilded Age lasted over 50 years. The new Gilded Age might last a couple of decades.

    • Boomer II says:

      That’s what I was thinking, too, until recently. But then I realized that most of today’s wealthy aren’t really making money by selling goods and services. It’s more about financial dealings and investments and speculative assets like real estate and art.

      Their wealth is mostly on paper and could collapse if we no longer recognized it. But for the time being their wealth isn’t particularly dependent on selling to the lower and middle classes.

      And that’s a big problem for much of the world’s population. They aren’t really necessary to the wealthy as workers or a market. So they have little economic leverage.

      • Nathanael says:

        Both notanoilman and Boomer II are correct. The source of *real wealth* for the wealthy comes from selling goods (particularly goods) and sometimes services to consumers. The trading of financial investments is fragile and can collapse — like the disappearance of bank “value” in 2008.

        Unfortunately for the wealthy, the current idiotic right-wing policies are:
        (1) crushing consumer spending: if you have no wealth you can’t buy anything
        (2) making the financial investments unstable: people who have no wealth default on their debts
        (3) reducing the market for art: fewer wealthy people == fewer people who care

        That really just leaves land, which never stops being popular. If we continue on this trajectory, the wealthy will go the way of most aristocratic classes throughout history and put all their wealth into land ownership. Land ownership, of course, is a government-enforced conceit. If this situation makes the 99% angry enough, they will rebel and demand land reform, as they have in many countries over the centuries.

        This level of inequality is bad for the upper class — socially. An upper class depends on broad prosperity for *social stability* — a small upper class with an angry, bankrupt proletariat around them is in constant danger.

  5. Doug Leighton says:

    More of Doug’s typically off topic trivia:

    ‘MULTI-DIMENSIONAL UNIVERSE’ IN BRAIN NETWORKS

    “We found a world that we had never imagined,” says neuroscientist Henry Markram, director of Blue Brain Project and professor at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, “there are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions….Markram suggests this may explain why it has been so hard to understand the brain. “The mathematics usually applied to study networks cannot detect the high-dimensional structures and spaces that we now see clearly.”

    “The big question these researchers are asking now is whether the intricacy of tasks we can perform depends on the complexity of the multi-dimensional “sandcastles” the brain can build. Neuroscience has also been struggling to find where the brain stores its memories. “They may be ‘hiding’ in high-dimensional cavities,” Markram speculates.”

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170612094100.htm

    • GoneFishing says:

      Next big discovery will be that much of our brain power occurs inside the individual cells not just at the cellular unit level.

      • Preston says:

        AI is advancing rapidly, rumors are the iphone 8 will include an accelerated neural net processor. Current technology is to use graphics processors to simulate a neural net, instead of drawing 3D triangles each pixel being drawn is a simulated neuron. GPUs can do a lot of parallel calculations very quickly and so chips from nvidia are used for self driving and other AI applications.

        Quantum computers are very new, but they can solve certain problems very efficiently. They can evaluate multiple solutions in parallel and it’s looking like simulating a neural net may be something they are really great at.

        I wouldn’t at all be surprised if natural neural nets had some quantum computer like features.

        • Petro says:

          Preston,

          if one were to be exact and technically accurate, there is no such thing as AI.

          You wrote:
          “I wouldn’t at all be surprised if natural neural nets had some quantum computer like features.”

          …something for you to consider (if you want to know and learn how things really do work, that is):
          “…if natural neural nets DID NOT have some quantum computer like features…”, you and/or I, and/or anybody else would NOT know about quantum computers… or other things to come (of which we know not about, yet… but natural neural nets DO indeed have in them).

          Again, contrary to what you heard and learned for the last…. oohh, let’s say 30-40 years, there is no such thing as AI.

          Be well,

          Petro

    • JN2 says:

      Hence the 11 dimensions posited by String theory?

  6. Doug Leighton says:

    MAINLAND MIAMI NEIGHBORHOOD COULD MOVE BECAUSE OF RISING SEA LEVELS

    South Florida government officials say a possible redesign of the Shorecrest neighborhood could mean returning some land currently covered by homes to nature, rather than building sea walls or other infrastructure.

    https://weather.com/science/environment/news/shorecrest-miami-possible-move-sea-level-rise

    Meanwhile, in other news:

    President Trump phoned Tangier Island Mayor James “Ooker” Eskridge Monday after viewing a CNN report about the Virginia island’s struggle with rising sea levels. “He said not to worry about sea-level rise,” Eskridge said. “He said, ‘Your island has been there for hundreds of years, and I believe your island will be there for hundreds more.'”

    • GoneFishing says:

      Walk, do not run, to the nearest higher ground. Then tell the residents living there you are moving in with them. 🙂 Should go over well.

      DT is a man of many beliefs. He is trying right now to make a deal with the ocean so it will not rise and cover our shores, only the shores in other countries. To do this he is planning to sacrifice poor sick adults and children to the “gods” by devising a new “health” plan. Sadly he is beleaguered on all sides by non-believers. Luckily for all those rich landowners who own shore properties, he will be steadfast in his efforts. Unluckily for them Satan is merely here for the entertainment and really doesn’t care. Meanwhile God seems to be quite happy with just letting things run their course since he has great faith in Mother Nature (and Santa Claus) to keep lots of creepy crawly things alive.

      And yes that island will be there for a very long time, just under the water. It will rise again upon the commencement of next glaciation.

      sarcy

      • OFM says:

        Hi GF,

        I’m sure Trump means well in intending to sacrifice poor sick adults and children to the Gods, in order to make things right again for the rich folks, but unfortunately he’s too stupid to understand that the God’s are NOT INTERESTED in poor sick people and children.

        If he is to have any hope of success, he will have to sacrifice beautiful young virgin women and maybe some handsome young men, depending on the tastes of the particular God he has in mind.

        Just about all priests since the beginning of time have understood the necessity of using beautiful young women as gifts to the Gods.

        ( No doubt there are at least a few nitwits who will read this comment literally. Against stupidity, even the Gods contends in vain, so they said as far back as three or four thousand years ago.)

        • GoneFishing says:
            • GoneFishing says:

              Thank you God for a stable sun, a planet at just the right distance, a series of elements, energies and properties that allow rocks, gas and water to combine into plants and animals. Thanks for mostly keeping it that way through a very long period of time though it got a bit touchy once in a while. Not complaining though, mammals got their ascendency through that last mess you allowed. So I am a bit invested in rare disasters.
              And really, the most thanks we can give you is for leaving us alone here to do as we wish and will. Just sitting back and letting it all play out however it turns out is just brilliant. It’s the ultimate IQ test for humans, though I wish the animals and plants didn’t have to suffer so. Luckily they don’t moan and complain like people do.

              Although the devil in me would just like you to make an occasional showing in the sky. You know, the big face and voice thing. Or even better yet, leave a few very mysterious monoliths around in different places for us to find. Just as a joke you know, a bit of a laugh.
              Ok, I know your busy elsewhere so I will make this short. Thanks again and keep up the good work. Things are quite nice here really.

        • alimbiquated says:

          I think that was Schiller, in the 19th century actually.

      • notanoilman says:

        Don’t worry, he will put a Twitter block on the sea and then it won’t be able to do anything.

        NAOM

    • Fred Magyar says:

      The good news is, Trump’s Mar a Lago is also highly vulnerable. I recommend he and his idiot fundamentalist christian vice president read up on old king Canute…

      https://faculty.history.wisc.edu/sommerville/123/Canute%20Waves.htm

      “Canute began by being a Bad King on the advice of his Courtiers who informed him (owing to a misunderstanding of the Rule Britannia) that the King of England was entitled to sit on the sea without getting wet. But finding that they were wrong he gave up this policy and decided to take his own advice in future – thus originating the memorable proverb, “Paddle your own Canute” …”

  7. GoneFishing says:

    Way back in 2015 NASA got really serious about studying the other half of the carbon/climate equation. The half of CO2 that is absorbed by natural means and does not stay in the atmosphere.

    “The land and the ocean are really doing us a big favor,” said Lesley Ott, an atmospheric scientist in the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Otherwise you would have carbon building up in the atmosphere twice as fast as it does now.”

    Also causing concern is the potential for the ocean’s rate of carbon absorption to change as ocean temperatures rise and phytoplankton communities show signs of change. NASA’s North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES) launched ship and airborne studies last week to the North Atlantic Ocean, where satellites have documented surprising phytoplankton behavior in recent years.

    https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/as-earth-warms-nasa-targets-other-half-of-carbon-climate-equation

  8. Preston says:

    Some states, like California, have a requirement that car manufacturers sell a certain number of electric vehicles. The way it works is each manufacturer gets credits for each EV sold and they face a fine of $5000 per missing credit if they don’t sell enough EVs. The number of credits they need depends on how many fossil cars they sell. They can also buy credits from other car manufactures if they don’t want to sell EVs.

    Tesla gets a lot of revenue from selling credits, they are worth about $3000-$4000 each and each model S sold gets 4 credits. A Nissan Leaf gets 3 credits, a plug-in Prius gets 2. But, hydrogen fuel cell cars get a whopping 6 credits. To get the 6 credits the car needs 300 miles of range and recharge to 95% in 15 minutes or less.

    The Tesla model 3 is expected to start shipments next month. Elon says the early ones will ship with only the larger 75KWhr battery (the 35K base model will have a smaller battery). They haven’t quoted the range but it might just make the 300 mile range needed to earn more credits. The 15 minute charge time is also possible. If they pull that off, the 6 credits could be worth $20,000 per car….

    • OFM says:

      Hi Preston,

      I just wish I had put a few bucks in Tesla stock way back. Did you?

      The credits were put there to encourage the electric car industry to grow faster.

      It may not have occurred to you, but every electric car on the road means gasoline for your CONVENTIONAL CAR will be just a teeny tiny tad CHEAAAAAAPER , saving you some money every time you fill up.

      HOW ABOUT THEM LITTLE GREEN APPLES?

      A few million new electric cars on the road will suppress the demand for gasoline enough to save you some money on EVERY gallon!!!!

      How much is anybody’s guess, but I will guess from a penny on up, maybe as much as a nickel or more, per gallon, within the next few years.

      If ya got any money in a muffler shop, or a radiator shop, or a brake shop, it’s time to be thinking about getting it out , and into another line.

      Eventually maybe as much as a couple of bucks a gallon or more!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Electric cars don’t need mufflers or radiators, excepting hybrids, and they can easily go over a hundred thousand miles on one set of brake pads.

      And while you most likely a hardcore Republican type, or a bot, or troll of some sort, and thus probably not well enough informed to know about the subsidies being terminated at a given level of sales, there IS a limit set on how many cars Tesla can sell and still get the credit.

      I believe Tesla is more than halfway to building enough cars that the federal tax credit on a new Tesla will be history.

      https://cleantechnica.com/2017/01/20/predicting-us-federal-ev-tax-credit-will-expire-tesla-buyers/

      This limit applies to every manufacturer.

      With the R’s in control, it’s extremely unlikely that the tax credit will be extended, rather than terminated as scheduled.

      My redneck friends, of whom I have many, are all happy about at least ONE aspect of the electric car biz. Most of the terrorists in this old world seem to be from countries that sell us oil. They hate us because we have troops in their countries, or threaten to have troops there, and they hate us because we are richer than they are, and because we live differently.

      And my redneck friends cordially return the hate, and while they are pissed about the electric car subsidies, they are happy to see their perceived enemies deprived of MONEY.

      Betcha never gave a thought to any of these things, and betcha you cannot post a reply that makes sense, PROVING you are a bot, or a troll, or maybe just ignorant.

      If ignorance is your problem, welcome to the real world.Ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of, and can be fixed.

      I’m as ignorant as they come, in some respects, and hang out here partly because this is a great place to learn about environmental issues, energy issues, new technology, etc.

      • Preston says:

        OFM says “And while you most likely a hardcore Republican type, or a bot, or troll of some sort…”

        You have got to be kidding, R’s don’t care about EV’s. Maybe you should check your meds…..

        There are a couple of different EV incentives. There are the mandates on the manufactures I was talking about and there are tax credits buyers of the cars get both at the Federal and state level. You are correct, the tax credits going to buyers will expire – after a certain number of cars are sold a timer starts ramping down the credit over the next year. The Tesla model 3 has soo many reservations that if you were to order one today you might not get much federal credit.

        BUT, the mandates on car manufacturers are ramping up, they need more and more credits to not pay a fine each year. The mandates are set by California so Trump’s administration might not be able to stop it. The GOP has tried and lost in court before and California has kept it’s own environmental requirements for cars – other states can use California standards or the Federal ones.

        “Under California’s zero-emission vehicle mandate, a certain percentage of an automaker’s sales must be ZEVs. Automakers have been able to use partial credit from sales of hybrids and low-emissions conventional vehicles toward their ZEV quotas. But the regulations are slated to tighten in 2018 in a way that limits the impact of those partial credits and requires more sales of actual ZEVs.”

        http://www.autonews.com/article/20160627/OEM11/306279987/zev-mandates-get-harder-to-ignore

        No, I don’t own the stock, just a fan.

        Yes, EV’s have already slowed or even stopped the growth of demand. Especially all that growth they were expecting in China, but low cost EVs are really taking off.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Preston,

          It will be interesting to see how the Model 3 does. I think it will be a hit and many other car companies will quickly come out with competition.

          I would love to see the Japanese car companies make more of an effort here.

          It is not clear to me that fuel cells are a better choice than EVs and the Japanese companies seem to have chosen to focus on that.

          A Prius EV seems like a no brainer.

        • OFM says:

          Hi Preston,

          Please accept my apology. I confused you with somebody trolling the electric car industry from the Republican point of view.

          It’s obvious from reading your OTHER comments, not just your six fourteen one twenty pm, that I screwed up. THAT comment is can be interpreted, standing alone, as coming from a typical R type opposed to subsidizing the electric car industry, using more neutral language than usual. The more adept trolls are learning how to get their point across this way, by posing as neutral observers of facts.

          When I read a comment anywhere that details the amount of money paid out in subsidies to Tesla, or any other electric car manufacturer, without some indication of WHY these subsidies exist, I usually assume the author is out to make electric cars and electric car manufacturers look like freeloaders but I also usually double check other comments from the same person.

          I made an ass of myself this time, by not paying attention and forgetting to read your other comments before dashing off my reply.

          It wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last, assuming I last a while longer myself, lol.

          • Preston says:

            No problem OFM, your comments about me were more on track awhile back when I told you I’m an engineer. I’m a hardware engineer in Silicon Valley and a Bernie supporter. I always laugh at your HRC comments – so sad to see so much corruption in our politics.

            My point of that post is to show another motivation for Tesla to get that 15 minute charge feature working. To recap all the evidence:

            1. When Elon was asked about the new EU 350KW supercharger standard, he tweeted “What’s that for, a child’s toy?”
            2. Tesla filed and recently updated a patent for a supercharger that automatically plugs into the bottom of the car and provides both power and cooling.
            3. When Elon was asked about wireless charging he said they have a better solution coming. The patent mentioned that the connector on the bottom of the car could support a range of charge rates. They could have a slower version for use at home that automatically connects when you park.
            4. Self driving cars need to be able to recharge automatically.
            5. A building permit was issued for the Tesla Fremont location for a automatic charging station.
            6. People living in urban areas often park in lots or on the street, they need something like this. Space is limited in cities and faster charging means less space is needed.
            7. And finally, cars that can recharge to 95% in 15 minutes get 2 more ZEV credits worth $5000 to $8000 per car sold in the 10 states with the California rules.

            I’d bet they will have a connector on the bottom of the model 3 but they may limit the maximum charge rate at first until they have tested it a lot. Also, no need to enable it until some of charging stations are built.

        • Nathanael says:

          Regarding government mandates, China is putting in an even stronger “ZEV credit” mandate than California. Tesla won’t benefit because foreign manufacturers don’t get Chinese ZEV credits (eyeroll) unlike in the California system. But it’s going to really force mass production of electric cars.

          I have a suspicion that the incumbents will attempt to not build electric cars in California, *again*, and will simply buy credits from Tesla, which will be generating enough California ZEV credits to meet the entire total requirement for all automakers. I think the major automakers are required to build at least a few cars themselves… and that’s probably all they’ll do for the next few years. Stupid of them, but there you go.

          The Chinese companies aren’t waiting around — they’re expanding their electric car production as fast as they can.

      • Nathanael says:

        So here’s a point which is very important.

        As electric cars are sold, it reduces demand for gasoline, which reduces the price of gasoline. Which increases the amount of gasoline sold again.

        One might reasonably wonder: will this price drop in gasoline decrease the demand for electric cars?

        Thankfully, the answer is NO. There are two reasons:

        (1) Electric cars are qualitatively more pleasant to drive. People will pay a premium for that.

        (2) A Tesla Model S operating off US-average 12 cent/kwh electricity costs about 4.2 cents per mile to operate. (Less if you mostly drive in the city.) Teslas are probably the least efficient electric car available, because they’re huge; every other electric cars is more efficient.

        If you got a 25 mpg car (the US average), gasoline would have to cost $1.05/gallon to have the same fuel cost — which is roughly equivalent to $4.90/bbl oil. Which seems to be below the production cost of all new wells and most existing wells (though the Saudis have some cheaper existing wells).

        If you got a 55 mpg car (the absolute highest-efficiency non-plug-in Prius and it’s not possible to be more efficient), gasoline would have to cost $2.31 or less, which is equivalent to $53 oil — this is a hard cap on the price of oil, and people will switch to electrics above this oil price.

        But who would buy a non-plug-in hybrid when they could get a plug-in hybrid or electric car for about the same price? The most efficient *non-hybrid* gasoline autos — econoboxes — are 40 mpg. For these econoboxes to be fuel-price-competitive with a Tesla, gasoline would have to cost $1.68 or less, which is equivalent to $29 oil.

        So low gasoline prices (unless the price drops back below $1/gal) will not make a dent in electric car sales. The transition to electric cars has been delayed solely by the upfront purchase price of electric cars. As they come down to purchase price parity, they will sell as fast as they can be manufactured.

        P.S. Electricity prices are going down, not up. There are places in the US where electricity is more expensive than 12 cents / kwh, but solar + battery installations in *Hawaii* are now coming in around 14 cents / kwh fully loaded at utility scale, so such high electricity prices will not be sustainable for long. 12 cents / kwh is probably an overestimate in the 5-year timeframe.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Preston,

      The zero emission vehicle (ZEV) credits are sold by Tesla at about 50% of their nominal value because there is an excess.

      See

      http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-trump-decision-on-electric-car-incentives-wont-hurt-tesla-2016-11

      • Preston says:

        Hi Dennis,

        Elon may be stretching it a bit to make his point but even at 50% that’s 2500 per credit so $15000 per car if they can pull off the 15 minute charging. The supply/demand of the credits may change as the requirements ramp up next year. Of course, it’s only for cars sold in the 10 states that have adopted the California rules. And, it’s why those 10 states get cars first.

        Tesla likes over performing and surprising the critics with truly game changing features. The model S doesn’t need to go 0-60 in under 2.5 seconds, autopilot wasn’t a necessity, it didn’t need 300 miles of range, and against all the naysayers splaining why EVs have to be crappy – but they pulled it off. The very first model 3’s may not have the 15 minute charging but they do have a patent on a next generation super charger that should be able to do it eventually.

        Also, If it’s 15 minutes to 95% it may only be 6 minutes to 80% and even less time if the batteries aren’t completely empty.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Preston,

          My understanding is those high charge rates are not good for a long battery life.

          So the people who want their Tesla to last a while will use fast chargers sparingly.

          As an engineer, I know you know this, others might not.

          • Hickory says:

            To prolong the life of lithium ion batteries-
            after initially charging to 100% (training) for several cycles, then limit charge to 80% capacity.
            Charge very slowly.
            This is the simplified version, but the take home message is clear for optimal battery life. Like BBQ- best is low and slow.
            Preserve the capacity of this expensive item.
            I have an electric bike, and the charger has a 80% charge level selector option to allow you to specify an optimum battery life.
            As an example- one experiment showed battery cycle life at 480 with 100% charges, 920 with 90% charges, and 1530 with 80% charges (approximate- read off a graph).
            Of course, at 80% charge you will have a lesser range.

          • Preston says:

            Hi Dennis,

            Yes, it’s going to be worse for cycle life. The risk of overcharging is also high and would dramatically reduce life and be a potential safety issue, so I hope they are very careful and do a lot of testing. I’m not sure I would stay in the car during the process.

            I think the warantee options on the model S and X are over 500,000 miles or currently back to “unlimited” – really long, so it might be okay if it drops a little. Actual users of the model S report about 5% drop in range after 100,000 miles but the trend flattens out a bit – doing over 500,000 miles looks likely – but no real customer has driven that many miles yet.

            If you have 30 minutes here is a nice video of a scientist who works for Tesla explaining how they can combine a few different improvements to allow them to increase the charge voltage and also dramatically increase the cycle life. Things like an al coating, etc. The bottom line was a test cell “NMC PES211” that was at 90% after 1200 cycles even at a higher operating voltage.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WpQh4kZ_MU

            I don’t know if the new 2170 cells used in the model 3 have any of these improvements, but I think they did bump the voltage up to increase the energy density. Even if they are just a little better they might make up for any added loss due to quick charging.

            Also, the cells I’ve seen rated at 10C charge rates still have a 500 cycle cycle life rating – and that’s doing 10C charge/discharge cycles. 500 cycles * 300 miles/cycle is a 150,000 mile life. (10C is 10 times the capacity of the cell and charges to 80% in 6 minutes). Doing that does require active thermal management. I have’t actually tested 10C charging and have my doubts about the actual performance – but Telsa might be able to do it.

  9. OFM says:

    It’s official, wind and solar provided ten percent of our electricity during the month of March.

    Now it’s hard to impossible to say precisely how much coal and gas this saved, because the exact mix of sources is hard to pin down, with minor variations from month to month in the amounts provided by hydro and nuclear and so forth.

    But it’s obvious that we used pretty close to TEN PERCENT LESS coal and gas as generating fuel than we would have otherwise to generate electricity.

    Now I have a question, and here’s the background to the question.

    Utilities necessarily have to keep some so called hot spinning reserve ready around the clock around the calender, except maybe in a few spots where ENOUGH hydro can be ramped up within a minute or so in order to compensate for a major power plant going down.

    At one time, the people opposed to wind and solar actually argued that having wind and solar power on the grid actually INCREASED the amounts of gas and coal needed, due to the contribution from wind and solar power being LESS than the fuel needed to maintain the EXTRA hot spinning reserve needed in case it got cloudy, or the wind died down suddenly, etc.

    This might have actually been true in the case of just a couple of smallish more or less primitive ( by today’s standards) wind or solar farm being on line, in the earliest days. It’s obviously a bullshit argument NOW, and has been for a long time.

    But it IS so far as I have been able to determine still necessary for utilities to maintain a LITTLE MORE hot spinning reserve than previously.

    So – If any body knows, how much NET do we save on the combined quantity of coal and gas we need due to getting ten percent from wind and solar.

    If NO extra hot spinning reserve is necessary, we save the entire ten percent.

    I’m guessing we are saving well in excess of nine percent, maybe even pretty close to the full ten percent, but I would love to have a hard number, even if it’s just an estimate, so long as it’s from a reputable source…

    It’s obvious that as weather forecasts improve, and interconnections between various geographical regions improve, the need for hot spinning reserve due to renewables will continue to fall, until it eventually gets to be trivial.The question is when.

    My intention is to have a GOOD answer to every anti renewable argument I run across, and to put all these answers in my book to be.

    • Preston says:

      Hydro and other renewables were 10% so total renewable is over 20% and rising quickly. We already met our Paris accord targets for 2025, so good thing that’s been killed…

      A big part of the answer is that demand in most places increases and peaks in the middle of the day at about the same time solar output peaks. Some of this is AC use, but general industry also tends to peak in the day and much less power is needed at night.

      Also, cloudy days tend to be windy days so a mix of wind and solar tend to balance.

      Some large utility scale solar based on thermal store extra heat to run the plant at night – it’s also easy to add a natural gas back-up to solar thermal plants.

      • Preston says:

        One other important point. In California, we once had unreliable power with rolling blackouts common due to Enron’s games. Lets face it, privately or Wallstreet controlled fossil power has been proven to be unreliable. Thankfully, we now have much more reliable sources like solar and wind. But, during the worst of it, we came up with much better solutions than rolling blackouts.

        If you own a large office building or industry you can get a discount if you install a smart thermostat or other controls the power company can control. So when power is in short supply, the power company has the option of adjusting your A/C or heat to save power. Short term demand for power can be controlled while spinning up some backup supply.

        Currently it’s only available for large power users but there are plans to enable individual homes. Also, they have talked about tapping into all the plugged in EVs in an emergency – maybe, but they could easily slow down or turn off charging. It would be an option to reduce your electricity rates.

    • Nathanael says:

      “Utilities necessarily have to keep some so called hot spinning reserve ready around the clock around the calender, except maybe in a few spots where ENOUGH hydro can be ramped up within a minute or so in order to compensate for a major power plant going down. ”

      A few spots like:
      — Niagara Falls (upstate NY and Ontario)
      — the whole of Quebec
      — the area served by the Hoover Dam
      — the area served by the dams in the Pacific Northwest

      Turns out we’ve got controllable hydro in a really large portion of the country.

      So consider the areas without hydro. “Spinning reserve” is a misnomer, so let’s simply discuss the question of “reserve power” — what happens when a major power plant goes down.

      Now, in terms of “reserve power”, coal is *hopeless* — it doesn’t start or stop quickly, it takes hours. Coal is only good for “baseload”, which makes it a bad thing. (Baseload is a *problem* for the electrical grid.) Thankfully coal is already going away.

      Natural gas can start and stop in a matter of minutes. So it’s been the go-to generator for reserve power for a while. Natural gas power plants which are designed for fast start (“peakers”) can start in a couple of minutes.

      The only problem with this sort of natural-gas-based “cold reserve” is precisely that it takes minutes to start and stop — up to 3 minutes. (So really not that long.)

      THIS is where batteries come in. Batteries can react in NANOSECONDS. And you don’t really need that much battery to supply the grid for three minutes. Suppose you need a gigawatt of capacity, a huge amount (the largest natgas plant in the world is only 5.5 gigawatts; the largest natgas plant in the US is only 1.5 gigawatts.) And suppose you have a worst-case three-minute startup. That’s 50 MWh of batteries.

      This is small. Tesla is taking orders for 100 MWh battery installs right now.

      So there is ZERO “hot spinning reserve” needed.

      In fact, the economics are such that batteries may replace gas peaker plants entirely. They’re cheaper. The next fastest fossil fuel plant is the “fast start combined cycle natural gas” plant, which takes 10 – 20 minutes to start; it seems to be economically advantageous to put in enough batteries to keep the system going until those start up, and drop the peakers entirely.

      The conclusion: we will use batteries for short-term (< 1 hour) outages of power plants. There is no "hot spinning reserve" needed — we do not need to actually burn any fossil fuels "just in case". We will still have *cold* reserve natural gas power plants which can get started within an hour (while the batteries cover that first hour) — but these will burn nothing until after some other power plant actually *has* an outage.

      —-
      A followup point: because coal and nuclear can’t ramp up and down properly (they are problematic, non-dispatchable “baseload”), when solar and wind production goes way up, often the nuclear and coal plants keep running and throw away the power they generate — because they can’t turn off quickly and if they turn off they can’t turn on quickly either.

      THIS is the actual wastage or loss. This problem is solved by getting rid of the coal and nuclear plants (coal first, please).

  10. Hightrekker says:

    Climate Study Cancelled because of Climate Change:

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170613150651.htm

    • Bill Franti says:

      Most likely the scientific community realized they couldn’t afford another massive PR disaster like when their cruise ship–er, research vessel–got trapped in all that ice they were surprised to find in Antarctica a few years ago.

      • Hightrekker says:

        They are out from under the bridge!

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Hey Billy goat, from Doug’s link up thread, can you solve this little teaser, you have two minutes to give us a written proof and a value for angle X… If you can’t do it then you have no business talking about anything related to math, physics or climate science so why don’t you just bug on outta here!
        .

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Ok, this must be a trick question. It’s been almost 50 years but I distinctively remember back in my algebra and geometry classes in high school, everybody asking why do we need to learn this ? It’s been a long time, but now I have the answer. It was for this quiz.

          Now the problem is the old ecm processor between my ears needs to go find the data on the old micro film. So here we go.

          If the bottom and top lines are parallel, the angles on one side equal the angles on the other side.

          50

          Now it’s time for checking out all the short skirts sitting behind me(oh, I guess I found a little extra data on the film).

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Yep, 50 degrees, is the correct answer. There are more than one way to skin this cat, my scribble sheet attached. Not all of my steps are explicitly stated because I didn’t really have enough space on that graphic but I’m pretty sure most people can follow the flow.
            Cheers!
            .

            • notanoilman says:

              3rd, virtual, parallel line through the intersection of the 2 angled lines
              each angled line meets virtual parallel at the same angle it left the real lines
              add the 2 together = 50 degrees

              NAOM

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              How about…

              Keep xº angle static and rotate the top C angle ray around C angle fulcrum clockwise until it’s parallel and 15º disappears…

              What’s left? 50º, because A angle increased by 15º.
              Then, just worry about the straightforward 180º math-proofing.

              Or do a similar thing with the A angle, only use the lower ray and rotate it counterclockwise.

              • HuntingtonBeach says:

                Adult school starts in the Fall

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                While xº is an unchangeable angle, its ‘assembly’ can be realigned, which is what I did.

                You should be able to select the image below for a larger image and then even zoom in from there.

                Class dismissed. ‘u^

        • Nathanael says:

          The “easy” way to do it is to think of it as course correction.

          You turn 15 degrees to the left, X degrees to the right, 35 degrees to the left. You are now going in the same direction as you were to start with. What is X?

          (Works on a Euclidean plane… not in a ship going around the spherical earth!)

  11. GoneFishing says:

    Why is US representative democracy failing? Well, that question is past, long gone. The question now is how do we fix the failure. Here is one man’s ideas on the subject. Brace yourself.
    TEDX talk by Larry Lessig
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJy8vTu66tE

    • Doug Leighton says:

      “The US is no longer ranked in the “full democracy” category with Australia, Canada, Germany, and the UK. And it is ranked well below social democracies such as Norway (#1 on the 2016 Democracy Index), Iceland (#2), and Sweden (#3).”

      https://www.thenation.com/article/the-economist-just-downgraded-the-us-from-a-full-democracy-to-a-flawed-democracy/

      • GoneFishing says:

        Doug, the USA was never a full democracy. It is a representative republic at best and apparently the reality is far from even that.

    • Nathanael says:

      First, we have a crappy election system and a crappy governmental structure. Center for Election Sciences will educate you on some better systems.

      When we helped newly decolonizing countries to establish their systems in the 1950s and 1960s, we told them to use a parliamentary system with proportional represenation. This is also what we had Germany and Japan do after WWII. We should do the same ourselves. (No gerrymandering allowed!)

      Some particularly huge structural design problems:
      (1) Presidential systems almost always devolve into dictatorship (ours is the only one in history which has lasted more than 50 years… and we had the Civil War, and FDR had to threaten dictatorship, and so on — parliamentary systems do not have this problem)
      (2) Bicameral systems are badly subject to gridlock
      (3) The Senate is wildly malapportioned and can’t be called democratic at all — why is the vote of someone in Wyoming worth over 50 times as much as the vote of someone in California?
      (4) The House is gerrymandered very severely, and so are most state legislatures — gerrymandering is banned in most countries
      (5) Single-winner first-past-the-post elections prevent third parties from arising even when everyone wants them to — this is due to the mathematical fact called Duverger’s Law. This is what proportional representation, or approval voting, or other election system fix.
      (6) Lifetime court appointments are an invitation to corrupt appointments (New York State uses 14 year appointments to the top court, which is way better)

      Second, you can’t have democracy when a few billionaires can afford to bribe the entire Congress out of pocket change. We need high taxes on billionaires so they don’t have enough money to DO that.

  12. Hightrekker says:

    “Stonewall Jeff” having some issues today:
    Lobbyist for Russian interests says he attended dinners hosted by Sessions
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/15/lobbyist-russian-interests-jeff-sessions-testimony

    (I see the Russia obsession as a return of McCarthyism– but perjury is not nice, and they can charge you for it)

  13. clueless says:

    I hope that everyone on this site “knows” that most of the increase in income from the top .001% from 1980 to 2014 comes from several handfulls of democrat, progressive, liberals – Bezos, Buffett, Jobs/wife, Zuckerberg, Gates, the 2 founders of Google, Gate’s 2 co-founders, the woman CFO who left Google to run Yahoo, the Clinton’s, Larry Ellison, Musk, the Netflix guy, Al Gore, Michael Moore, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, etc., etc. All, except perhaps Buffett, in 1980 had nothing, and now each has hundreds of millions to tens of billions.

    For the most part, since 1980, high tech, movie stars, politicians, athletes totally wiped out 20th century industrialists. Wall Street bankers and hedge fund people did well also (Bloomberg, e.g.) – but they are well over 90% Jewish and committed to the democratic party, progressive ideas, and liberals. I guess that is why they are so involved with fixing Chicago and Baltimore, rather than obsessing about access to restrooms.

    • piptee doop tay badoo pap says:

      Who cares about income? Income is just used as an excuse to divide up the terrestrial pie into increasingly inequal fractions, via the neofeudal legal notion of property.

      It is land and labor-flipping run amok.

      Your social structure is self-defeating, people. Wake up wake up wake up, you are sleepwalking…

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Does Sean Hannity have a USB port connection in the back of your head or is that you on top with OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster ?

      • OFM says:

        OldMcDonald Trumpster posts more comments about the sins of Trump and his homies than HB, by a mile. He hasn’t counted, but maybe more than any other two or three forum members combined.

        Tell us, my little HRC lap doggie, why it is that the R’s are winning so many elections at so many levels nationwide, to the point that the D’s are in the dog house, and the R’s are in charge.

        Could it be when Sanders said a few days back that the D’s LOST to the “probably” the most unpopular candidate in modern history?

        Ya don’t reckon maybe there might be a slight hint of sarcasm, a left hand compliment, buried in that truthful remark?

        Great Right Wing Conspiracy, real or imagined, your princess came into the race dragging a baggage train that reaches all the way back to Arkansas, and you have yet to produce one account written by a mathematically literate person who concludes that Cattle Gate was anything other than a criminal scam, pure and simple, which she got away with, other than the damage to her reputation.

        Now in math, you don’t have to discover MULTIPLE proofs to prove your case. I could take an hour or so, and outline at least six different ways to prove what the X angle is in the quiz Fred posted.

        ONE way is entirely sufficient.

        OFM the KGB TRUMPSTER points out the truth, as he finds it, or believes he has found it, regardless of whose ox is gored.

        If HRC had really had the best interests of the country in mind, she would have stepped aside for Sanders, who has a solid gold reputation for honesty and ethical integrity as politicians go.

        She was too arrogant and stupid to run a campaign that STOOD FOR SOMETHING, at a time when the country was utterly sick and tired, from one end of the spectrum to the other, politically, with the status quo.

        Trump’s an old he coon of a thief and fraud artist who makes her look like a high school jv player by comparison, in terms of getting away with questionable behavior, but I WILL give him credit where credit is due, and he UNDERSTOOD the mood of the country, and ran on the basis of CHANGE.

        His campaign was fraudulent from beginning to end, as is his administration so far, and as it will continue to be until it ends, hopefully early, but he, as ONE OF THE TWO MOST UNPOPULAR CANDIDATES ( major party) in modern times beat the OTHER most unpopular candidate.

        The tribal urge to stick together, no matter what, is one of the very strongest in human behavior, and in politics.

        The FACT that so VERY many people who are core members, politically, culturally, educationally, etc, came out in rebellion and took Sanders as their champion tells any UNBIASED observer all he needs to know, without any shadow of a doubt.

        Clinton was a ROTTEN candidate, in terms of her elect-ability, given her awesome negatives. She didn’t INSPIRE ANYBODY, she didn’t light a fire in anybody’s soul, she ……… ah well, she’s history now, and I ‘m more than ready to forget her, and focus on Trump’s countless sins, and work on getting real Democrats elected.

        But when you call me Trumpster, I will respond, in like fashion, pointing out WHY Trump is president. He’s president by DEFAULT, because so many people in the three big Rust Belt states that usually go D gave HRC the straight finger, recognizing her for what she is, a BANKSTER DEMOCRAT, a REPUBLICAN LITE DEMOCRAT.

        And of course she was so arrogant she believed they would vote for her, the way some slave owners believed their slaves loved them, at least in the imaginations of defenders of slavery in the American South, lol.

        And the truth of the matter is that some slaves did love their owners, just as some dupes still love HRC.

        Just like all the many poor people who love Trump, although he has nothing but contempt for them.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Get over it OFM, the whole system is corrupt from the ground up. It needs a huge makeover. The two party system does not work, well at least for democracy. A real democracy needs to be established. I know that people in power are afraid to put the nation in the hands of the people, but that should be a big indicator.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z8T6ouMMOo

          • Doug Leighton says:

            When I registered in Grade 1 the teacher sent me to the Office because I left part of a questionnaire blank: are you a Protestant or a Catholic? It was mandatory that you put a check mark against one or the other. So, having never been in a church or to Sunday school, I asked my parents what I should do. They laughed and said: well you’re definitely not a Catholic so I ticked the Protestant box. That experience reminds me of the American two party “system”.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Yep, the truth and most of our ability to determine future action is not even on the list with the two party system.
              Personally I am a pain on questionnaires like that, I sometimes would add in other answers. Now that most of them are totalitarian internet and computer driven, that is no longer possible.
              “Du vill answer der questions mit der answeren provided.”
              or “Resistance is futile.”

          • Nathanael says:

            If you want to get rid of the two-party system, you must first understand Duverger’s Law. Look it up.

            Change the election system to something which is NOT subject to Duverger’s Law, and you can get rid of the two-party system.

            For example, approval voting would do the trick. Proportional representation (like Single Transferrable Vote) would do the trick. True two-round runoffs (like France has) don’t quite do the trick but they do help a lot, perhaps enough.

            But warning: Instant Runoff Voting does NOT help — they have it in Australia’s House of Commons, and they still have a very entrenched two-party system. (The mathematics shows that this is the expected result.) So make sure a mathematician who knows game theory checks out your proposed system to see whether it actually does get rid of the two party system or not.

    • George Harmon says:

      Soros is part of that progressive money gang also. When you can personally finance millions of “protestors” to act in support of whatever leftist whims you care about, you got too much money.

      http://www.kevbakershow.com/trump-paid-protesters-media/

      • Hightrekker says:

        I’m in the street on a regular basis, and have not encountered Soros payment from my comrades (I’ve been clubbed and gassed on three continents, so have a wide primary knowledge of the front lines).
        It is a wingnut tale, but simpletons like simple stories.

      • Nick G says:

        This is an old, old myth. I remember wealthy acquaintances arguing that the Chicago 1968 demonstrations were populated by Soviet agitators…with absolutely zero evidence.

        • Hightrekker says:

          I think our wingnut friends cannot imagine someone with that commitment and moral compass, it just doesn’t exist in their social circles.
          They need to marginalize them, or they feel threatened.

      • Survivalist says:

        Antoine who thinks Soros is a leftist is politically illiterate.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          You got that right 😉

        • Hightrekker says:

          Yep—-
          BAU

        • Survivalist says:

          I meant ‘anyone’ not Antoine. Fat thumbed my keyboard.

          On another note- On the issues of the tragic and terrible events at the baseball field in Virginia, I feel bad for the police officers who were injured. I am glad that there were no fatalities in the police. As the GOP goes however, while it is sad that GOP guys were hurt, I can’t help wondering what the GOP was thinking when it relaxed gun control laws and repealed Obamacare. To the GOP people this should be treated as a teachable moment regarding future trends. When you’ve take away a sick person’s healthcare you are more/less sentencing them to a painful death. Now if you make it easy for them to get guns – they will simply get a gun and shoot you. What do they have to lose? – they are going to die anyway – you made certain of that. The GOP needs to use the recent experience to re-evaluate the net effect of its stance on Obamacare repeal and relaxed gun control. You can’t have both and still remain alive. The vast numbers of terminally ill poor will hunt down GOP persons, their families and friends and shoot them. It’s easy to see. Toxic political discourse, rampant mental illness, a gun crazy culture, poor delivery of healthcare services; what could possibly go wrong?

          • Hightrekker says:

            Scalise’s policies that he rammed through as whip probably resulted in the deaths of thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands ) of lives.

    • Nathanael says:

      This is not actually true. If you dig into it, the “old” fossil fuel money among the 0.01% (the Kochs, Scaife, Olins, Adelson, etc.) had pretty big increases in income too. Thankfully this is coming to an end…

  14. Cats@Home says:

    Does anyone know anything about the rail industry? Coal traffic has gone up pretty good in 2017 so far. Is coal power making a big comeback now? Found data at,

    https://www.aar.org/data-center/rail-traffic-data

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat!

      Toxoplasma gondii must have done a number on your mind! Maybe people with weak immune systems shouldn’t be allowed to keep cats in their homes…

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282766128_Infection_and_characterization_of_Toxoplasma_gondii_in_human_induced_neurons_from_patients_with_brain_disorders_and_healthy_controls

      • Hightrekker says:

        If it works on rats, it must work on compromised humans.
        Kinda like a lancet fluke, or for that matter, religion.

    • OFM says:

      If you look at the chart, and look at the last three years, you will see that coal shipments vary over the course of the year in about the same fashion, down at certain times,up at others. The early part of the year is when the seasonal upswing occurs, mostly.

      Just looking at the year to date indicates either cherry picking, or not knowing about the annual up and down cycle in coal shipments. The overall coal shipment trend, year to year, is either flat or trending toward down.

      I was surprised to see that the shipment of coal varies so much over the course of a year myself. Coal customers must be stockpiling a hell of a lot of it for one reason or another on a seasonal basis, which costs money. But maybe it saves money for the customer, because they get a cheaper rate by hiring it hauled at the time of year when most of it IS hauled.

      • GoneFishing says:

        OFM and Fred, I think you slipped on this one. 2017 is showing a significant increase over 2016. The rise started in 2016 and is continuing.
        For once the EIA prediction might be right, an increase in coal production through 2018. Unless of course the railroads are just shuttling the coal between coal piles, those 10 to 15 thousand carloads a week YOY are new production. 🙂
        US coal consumption is down slightly and expected to rise, but production and exports are up.
        Coal exports for the first quarter of 2017 were 58% higher than in the same quarter last year, with steam coal exports increasing by 6 million short tons (MMst). Coal producers that have completed bankruptcy reorganizations and companies that purchased bankrupt assets have increased both exports and production in 2017. EIA expects growth in coal exports to slow in the coming months, with exports for all of 2017 forecast at 72 MMst, 11 MMst (19%) above the 2016 level. The increase in coal exports contributes to an expected 8% increase in coal production in 2017.

        https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/coal.cfm

        As far as stockpiling, from what I have seen power plants keep a large stockpile with regular coal shipments to maintain the stock. A typical coal train might be 60 to 100 cars long. The increase over 2016 represents over 100 trains a week yoy. That is not peanuts.
        I noticed 2014 shipments were fairly flat, but with bankruptcies came volatility.

        Coal stocks were increasing from 2014 to 2016 then fell some. Still above 150 million tons as of March. The average number of days of stockpile burn at power plants have risen from about 55 mid 2014 to near 100 days currently.

        https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/update/fossil_fuel_stocks.php#tabs_stocks2-1

        • Hightrekker says:

          Will Adani’s coal mine in Australia kill 500,000 people in India?

          http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2017/06/will-adanis-coal-mine-in-australia-kill.html

          • GoneFishing says:

            500 million tons per year burned in India? US burns nearly a billion tons per year, China about 3 billion or more. European coal consumption is over 700 million tons annually. Seems to be a worldwide problem.

            Of course cars kill and maim too. 1.25 million deaths from cars in 2013.

            Society seems to accept death in exchange for technical “advancement”. Yet the population still keeps growing quickly despite all this ignoring of dangers. We are a very determined and capable species.

            Fatal Accidents as a Global Health Crisis
            The largest category of fatal accidents is transport injuries. In 1990, according to Global Burden figures, these were the 10th-leading global killer. By 2013, they were fifth, ahead of malaria, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cirrhosis or any kind of cancer.

            https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/upshot/fatal-accidents-as-a-global-health-crisis.html?_r=0

        • Fred Magyar says:

          To be clear I’m not doubting the railroad data.

          However I don’t think this follows:

          Is coal power making a big comeback now?

          • GoneFishing says:

            It was a question not a statement. Apparently much of the added production is being exported, so the answer might be “not here”.
            Global coal production fell 6.2% in 2016 but as we all know the drop was mostly due to natural gas production taking over from thermal coal and to the multiple bankruptcies of coal companies in that period.
            I don’t have up to date global coal production figures so I have no way to know if production is rising globally, just know it is rising in the US.

            I think that Asia, in particular China, was predominantly responsible for the growth of coal production worldwide. With China reducing production and consumption, world growth of coal production will be slow, mostly dependent upon Russia and former Soviet states as well as possibly India. World use of coal will probably flatline by 202o descend after that, unless an emergency situation occurs.

            The big unknown in the equation is Africa. Much of the population has no grid connection now and with growing population and rising economics the energy mix to be used there in the future is volatile and unknown. However, if African countries rise economically, the world energy demand equation will shift significantly.

            • clueless says:

              I listened to a few company conference calls. In 2015/2016 when NG fell to $2 and below, it beat coal for power burn, both on price and environmental. Now NG is around $3 and, winter NG is $3.50. The coal people say that at these prices, coal wins power burn hands down on price. Exports are also helping coal.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Replacing fairly new NG plants with cheaper coal is not going to happen. The levelized costs of new coal fired plants are too high.

                • Hightrekker says:

                  Thy will be there 30 years.
                  Committed infrastructure , and energy source.

              • Boomer II says:

                Does the price of coal include shipping? I read that even if the coal itself is free, the cost of transportation makes it less competitive than gas in some places.

              • Nathanael says:

                The coal people are correct that
                (1) if you have baseload power demand, and
                (2) if you have an existing paid-off coal plant, and
                (3) if you are fairly close to the western coal mines which still have cheap coal production,
                then it is cheaper to keep burning coal than to build a new NG plant.

                It is *sometimes* cheaper than running an existing NG plant, but it’s roughly at parity.

                This is a pretty restricted set of scenarios.

                The coal mines in Appalachia are pretty much played out, and the result is that coal is totally uncompetitive on the Eastern Seaboard, period, end of story — the transportation costs kill it. You have to be west of the Appalachian Mountains and getting your coal either from Illinois or further west in Wyoming for coal to be competitive. It’s also unprofitable to haul the coal over the Sierras or Rockies, which is why coal plants are quickly disappearing on the Western seaboard too.

                New coal power plants are unprofitable everywhere including right next door to the mines — they can’t cover their construction costs. Nobody sane will build one. So it’s really just a question of “old coal” now.

                The real killer here is that the fully-loaded (levelized) costs of wind are now about the same as the variable costs of natural gas — and still dropping. Solar will follow shortly.

    • Nathanael says:

      Coal is dead, dead, dead, dead, dead.

      There are 7 major railroads in the US and Canada. One of them has essentially no coal traffic. The rest are hurting.

  15. OFM says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/15/us/politics/pence-hires-criminal-defense-lawyer.html?_r=0

    Depending on one’s perspective, lawyers are either guardian angels, or buzzards feasting on the carcass of society, or maybe more accurately expressed, parasites.

    In any case, Trump and his homies are busy lawyering up.

    The Trump administration is dead sure to go down as the most corrupt administration of modern times.

    • Hightrekker says:

      JHK’s take on this:
      “Personally, I still believe they’ll run him over with the 25th Amendment, which allows for simple removal of a batshit incompetent executive without the pain-in-the-ass rigmarole of due process. You just get a consensus of the highest officials in the land to agree that guy has to go, and they get him gone, and, in this case, you get yourself Mike Pence, a tranny-like Church-Lady with a hard-on for the Koch Brothers. That’ll get the country great fast, I’m sure.”

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        I enjoy JHK’s style, and he’s worth reading for insight, but his record as a forecaster is nothing to brag about, unless you are willing to cut him a few decades of slack, lol.

        My own personal opinion is that the odds are now fair to good that Trump will be impeached, considering that the D’s are more than ready to do so, and that they have a fair to good chance to retake the House in 2018, considering Trump and company’s sterling record of fucking up and pissing off one constituency after another.

        He’s digging his own grave, and making excellent progress, lol.

        As things stand, and if they continue along about the same as recently, there are at least half a dozen or more Republican members in competitive districts who are probably going to have to break ranks with the R party, and come out for impeaching Trump, or risk losing their own seats.

        • Hightrekker says:

          JHK has a questionable track record.

        • Hightrekker says:

          If you’re on the left, what we have in the USA is a new kind of Maoism. Mostly seen on campus, and it’s an anti-free speech despotic movement that used to be about identity politics – that’s how it started – and the ideology of victimisation, but it has really turned into something else now completely different. What it’s really about now is just the pleasure of coercing other people. I think the analogue to that is exactly what happened in the cultural revolution in China in the mid 1960s, which started out supposedly as an attempt to correct the thought of people who were not conforming, but ended up really just being a matter of young people enjoying pushing other people around. And that’s what’s happened in the USA on the left.

          On the right you have Trumpism which is just a celebration of incompetence and buffoonery, all based on the idea that we’re going to make America like it used to be in 1962, and that’s not going to happen. What’s most amazing about the whole situation is that the places where people ought to do their thinking, places like the universities, and the thinking classes in general, are absolutely AWOL, as they say in the military. Absent without leave. They are not on the scene. They are not raising their voices. They are not making sense. We are living in a moment of unprecedented incoherence.

  16. Survivalist says:

    2015, 2016, 2017.
    Three warmest January-May periods in the 137-year NASA GISS temperature analysis record.
    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/T_moreFigs/

  17. Hickory says:

    Interesting geopolitics and energy supply. Germany very concerned about securing Nat Gas from Russia.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-sanctions-germany-idUSKBN197156

    • Nathanael says:

      German politicians are too obsessed with natgas. They need to engage in a coherent program to replace home heating — Germany are the inventors of the “Passivhaus” standard, after all. But in Germany, only the Greens are actually pushing for true energy security.

    • Jeffrey Bromberg says:

      These dying forests are going to provide simply incredible economic opportunities in the decades and centuries to come. Check out the map below, which beautifully illustrates the vast upcoming frontiers of agriculture, development and civilization. Much of this land is heavily forested right now, therefore too inaccessible to current entrepreneurs and innovators.

      http://i.imgur.com/gg8mUll.jpg

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Jeffrey, are you vying for the dumbest comment of the month or joking?

        • Survivalist says:

          Do you ever get the feeling that someone’s lampooning the climate change deniers and contrarians by coming on here and making really really stupid comments? I do sometimes. Nobody can be as stupid as some of the comments on here would seem to indicate.

        • Jeffrey Bromberg says:

          My comment is perfectly sound. My passion is showing people how climate change is going to provide a net positive result to humanity through the creation of enormous new agricultural and developmental possibilities.

          • Lloyd says:

            My comment is perfectly sound.
            No, it’s not. An unreferenced fantasy map does not constitute an argument around here… it constitutes bullshit.

            • Jeffrey Bromberg says:

              The map’s reference is the journal New Scientist. This is from several years back, therefore the article is currently behind a paywall.

              Although here is another reference, referencing the map.

              http://www.paragkhanna.com/home/2016/3/9/the-world-4-degrees-warmer

              The entire population of the Arctic region today is less than 4 million. Could it be 400 million within the coming 20 years? This fascinating map from The British journal New Scientist outlines which geographies will produce the most food if temperatures rise 4 degrees Celsius and the biggest gainers are countries in the Arctic. In Connectography, I explain what a more populous Arctic would look like, and how it would impact the two largest countries in the world: Russia and Canada. (Image via NewScientist (c) 2009 Reed Business Information – UK.)

              • Survivalist says:

                New Scientist is crap. That’s what’s called a speculative article. It’s not science.

                In September 2006, New Scientist was criticised by science fiction writer Greg Egan, who wrote that “a sensationalist bent and a lack of basic knowledge by its writers” was making the magazine’s coverage sufficiently unreliable “to constitute a real threat to the public understanding of science”. In particular, Egan found himself “gobsmacked by the level of scientific illiteracy” in the magazine’s coverage of Roger Shawyer’s “electromagnetic drive”, where New Scientist allowed the publication of “meaningless double-talk” designed to bypass a fatal objection to Shawyer’s proposed space drive, namely that it violates the law of conservation of momentum. Egan urged others to write to New Scientist and pressure the magazine to raise its standards, instead of “squandering the opportunity that the magazine’s circulation and prestige provides”.

                The editor of New Scientist, then Jeremy Webb, replied defending the article, saying that it is “an ideas magazine—that means writing about hypotheses as well as theories”.

                In January 2009, New Scientist ran a cover with the title “Darwin was wrong”. The actual story stated that specific details of Darwin’s evolution theory had been shown incorrectly, mainly the shape of phylogenetic trees of interrelated species, which should be represented as a web instead of a tree. Some evolutionary biologists who actively oppose the intelligent design movement thought the cover was both sensationalist and damaging to the scientific community. Jerry Coyne, author of the book Why Evolution Is True, called for a boycott of the magazine, which was supported by evolutionary biologists Richard Dawkins and P.Z. Myers.

                Long story short- it’s not a science journal. It’s painfully obvious to anyone who spends a few moments looking into the matter. Somehow you missed it though, despite quite a keen interest in the ‘journal’, and I use that word loosely.

                Your talents are wasted here JB. You should be Director of Complicated Operations for the National Security Agency or something.

                https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/new-scientist-defends-bad-science/

                I suppose it’s possible that for stupid people New Scientist seems smart.

                https://www.newscientist.com/article/2129081-most-mammals-big-or-small-take-about-12-seconds-to-defecate/

                https://www.newscientist.com/article/2096191-bears-turn-into-couch-potatoes-thanks-to-fast-food-binges/

                Pathetic JB. Pathetic.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            The world at four degrees Celsius warmer would be an entirely different planet. Ice sheets will have vanished from both poles; rain forests will have burnt up and turned to desert; rising seas will be scouring deep into continental interiors. Populations will attempt to shift from dry areas to the newly thawed regions of the far north but summers may be too hot for crops to be grown away from the coasts and there is no guarantee that northern governments will admit billions of refugees.

            • GoneFishing says:

              The bread basket areas will have drastically reduced production ability. The northern regions do not have enough viable soil and further north is permafrost that can be very deep, tractors will sink. The growing season will only be marginally longer as weather variability will wreck some seasons. Growing food above 60 north is tough.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            I sincerely hope your comment is just ‘Poe’!
            Because if it isn’t, calling you a fucking imbecile, would be a grave insult to fucking imbeciles everywhere…

            I think it might have been Doug who posted this talk here on POB on a previous occasion.

            Climate Change and Global Food Security

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06ZkcOqT76M

            Published on Feb 3, 2016
            David Battisti, Tamaki Endowed Chair, Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Washington

            By the end of the century, the season averaged growing temperature will very likely exceed the highest temperature ever recorded throughout the tropics and subtropics. By 2050, the increase in temperature alone is projected to cause a 20% reduction in the yield of all of the major grains (maize, wheat, rice and soybeans). The breadbasket countries in the midlatitudes will experience marked increases in year-to-year volatility in crop production. Increasing stresses on the major crops due to climate change, coupled with the increasing demand for food due to increasing population and development, present significant challenges to achieving global food security. This seminar explores the likely impact of climate change and volatility on food production and availability in the foreseeable future.

            • GoneFishing says:

              One of the major points of losing forests is that the increased CO2 goes into the atmosphere and is not absorbed by vegetation, causing heating which in turn destroys more forest. A feedback situation leading to new badlands, violent storms, and extreme changes in vegetation. The ocean gets warmer, causing less ability to absorb CO2.

  18. Boomer II says:

    I haven’t been optimistic about growth in global economy, and I think that will lessen consumption.

    Something to ponder.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-the-tight-labor-market-isnt-generating-better-pay-1497441272?mod=e2fb

  19. Oldfarmermac says:

    There’s been a considerable amount of discussion recently about the disappearance of the jobs that most working class people depend on.

    It’s happening, and I doubt there’s a WHOLE LOT that can be done to stop it,BUT on the other hand, it’s unquestionably wise, in my opinion at least, to slow this process down to the extent we can, as a practical matter, because it has basically proven to be impossible to retrain older poorly educated workers, or even younger workers for that matter , on the grand scale, and then provide more sophisticated employment for them.

    Even if you succeed in setting up a school for REDNECKS WHO CODE in coal country, and actually manage to train a few hundred people – and most of them will have left school not knowing very much , many years ago- who the hell is going to go there and set up businesses that will hire them?

    I have worked with people of all ages from fourteen to seventy as an educator, and as an unpaid volunteer with younger kids as well.

    A good half of the kids that graduate from high school these days can’t do the work that was routinely expected in my backwoods school in the EIGHTH GRADE back in the dark ages. Back then, they let you drop out, and if you didn’t show up, they didn’t put a hell of a lot of effort into dragging your parents into court. NOW…… well, the inmates are in all too many cases in charge of the asylum.

    It would be a LOT better if supermarket cashiers and machine operators, especially older ones, can finish out their working lives doing something that pays well enough for them to live respectably, rather than on welfare of one sort or another. Burger flipping doesn’t pay for shit, and anyway, burger flipping is on the way out too.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/16/people-are-worried-amazon-will-replace-whole-foods-workers-with-robots/?utm_term=.24262c69c5ac

    I live in intimate contact with the rougher elements of society, and know numerous people who are not able to do much more than the most basic arithmetic, and barely puzzle their way thru the front page of a local paper. They just aren’t going to master all the stuff they failed to learn in school years and years ago, and then go on from there, and master a profession that depends on technical education- not more than maybe ten percent of them, anyway. They have too many problems already, too many issues, and the help offered is generally too short term, and inadequate to allow them to live and study the necessary hours, so they continue to work, under the table as often as not, and the load is TOO BIG, and lasts TOO LONG, and the expected thing happens- they fail or drop out, due to family issues and a lack of money, even if they are motivated to study.

    • Nick G says:

      There’s plenty of work that needs to be done, that could be done by people without a lot of education.

      Construction, childcare, elder care….it’s a long list. Just look at all the things the WPA did – all that stuff is still needed.

      The problem is that as a society we’re not choosing to pay for this stuff, either in terms of jobs or pay. Perhaps it’s fair to say that the wealthy don’t want to pay for this stuff, and they have the power of money and the media. Perhaps it’s a failure of vision on the part of all of us.

      But…the work is there.

      • Boomer II says:

        Yes, eldercare, childcare, and care of the disabled are jobs that need to be done and aren’t easily automated. Yet we don’t want to pay much for them.

        I think the solution to increased automation in the workplace is to find a way to decouple working and income. If we don’t need people’s labor, then let’s consider economic systems not dependent on labor.

        Another option might be to reduce everyone’s workweek, but keep the pay the same. That way everyone benefits from increased productivity.

        • Nick G says:

          The problem is not automation, if there’s still more than enough work to go around. The problem is that we don’t want to pay much for them. We can change that.

          If we’re talking about public policy proposals, let’s start with that: living wages for meaningful work.

          • Nathanael says:

            If we’re talking about public policy proposals, I’d start out with a National Health Service. Like the UK has.

            This would enable a lot of people to work who really can’t at the moment, either because they’re too sick to do so and can’t get health care, or because they’re on disability which pays for their health care and would lose their health care if they started working.

            Freed from paying for health care for workers, businesses would be willing to hire more workers. (Right now it isn’t the wages which deter them — it’s the *benefits*. This is why businesses make workers work overtime — paying higher wages for it! — instead of hiring more workers — the super expensive health care benefits.)

      • OFM says:

        Hi Nick,

        Yes, there is plenty of potential work to be done, the problem is more will and organization and people falling thru the cracks in any programs I have encountered, they are more crack than substance as a rule.

        Each and every older person who finishes out a working career in his present occupation is a human and economic problem avoided, and I believe the best course is to delay losing the industries in which they work at least to the extent of preventing them from being outsourced.

        Retraining people is not at all easy, except when you cherry pick the relatively small portion of potential trainees with suitable and adequate academic skills, ambition, stable personal lives, transportation to classrooms , and INCOME ENOUGH during the training program, which must be LONG ENOUGH, etc etc.

        Then there’s the problem of work in their new field, once retrained, because as often as not, it doesn’t exist anywhere near where that person lives, and people with roots, and no money, are VERY reluctant to take the drastic decision to move to places they have no friends, no family, no resources at all such as an acquaintance’s sofa to sleep on in a bad pinch.

        Half the vocational training done in this country at this time in public schools is a total waste of time and money, for instance teaching hair dressing. It can pay well, if the hairdresser is a skillful and capable SALESMAN of services, but the large majority of them make peanuts, and either never go into the work, or soon give it up to do something that pays a little better, and is a little more dependable, such as clerking in a store.

        At the school I once worked at in central Virginia, the horticulture teacher was a VERY capable, very attractive ( which never hurts in my estimation) and dedicated worker who quit because she knew she was wasting her time teaching hort to kids who could not find non existent jobs in the field. Such job as were available as at big box stores paid the same as other new hires were paid with no specialized training at all. She was unable to find a job herself, that paid as well as teaching, which doesn’t pay all that well in this area, without moving away.

        This sort of thing is more the RULE than the exception in public vocational schools.

        The auto mechanics teacher got the WORST boys in the entire system, in terms of their qualifications and attitudes, and mechanics actually NEED strong math skills, strong communication skills, etc, because the actual job is all about ANALYSIS, CRITICAL THINKING, etc- which you learn in math more than any other class, if it’s a WELL TAUGHT math class. It’s about programming, and reading dense and utterly incomprehensible wiring diagrams, unless you are strong in written communication, etc. Most service manuals seem to have been written by German engineers, the data is there, but it’s not clearly presented in everyday prose.

        He still turned out some good mechanics, maybe one in four of his students, which given the challenges of his situation, earned my respect and admiration.

        • GoneFishing says:

          We either create a new class of creative entrepreneurial people or automation will just put a huge swath of people out of work. Sure there will be the servants to the machines, fixing them when they break. But machines will eventually become mostly self-repairing or be repaired by other machines, so what then?
          We only need a small percentage of people to design machines, which will shrink as computer aided design advances.

          As the military-industrial complex advances and takes over, will people mostly just be an afterthought? Maybe we will only need one or two million people to run the system and the other 9 plus billion will be excess. To what purposes will they be put?

          Natural populations rise to their food supply then die back if it diminishes or their population rises too high. Human populations have so many potential boundaries that can be reached beyond food supply that very careful and consistent planning will be necessary to prevent globally what has been happening in smaller pockets of society already.

          • Boomer II says:

            That’s where I think we are headed. We don’t need all that many people to keep the current system running. In the past, under feudalism, for example, people were still needed for their labor.

            But now we have machines to do many jobs, and much of the world’s wealth has been generated in financial transactions, so people aren’t needed as a market for goods and services.

            An excess of people is a problem not fully discussed. Sure, overpopulation has been discussed for a long time, but usually in terms of natural resources. Not so much in terms of jobs.

            • GoneFishing says:

              So how do we stop the rise of the machine?

              • Doug Leighton says:

                We don’t:

                Worldwide Spending on Robotics Will Reach $188 Billion in 2020 Fueled by New Use Cases and Expanding Market Acceptance, According to IDC .

                https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS42213817

              • Boomer II says:

                As long as labor is treated as an expense by companies, eliminating them will be appealing.

                We might have more luck with companies if they are run as cooperatives where everyone benefits. People don’t have to be employed as long as they still get income from the company.

          • Nick G says:

            GF,

            Ask yourself: is there work needed in the world? Do things need to be done?

            How about childcare, education, eldercare, healthcare? How about environmental cleanup? How about building renewable energy infrastructure, or just repairing the infrastructure we already have? How about medical R&D?

            Just because we haven’t figured out how to pay for that stuff, doesn’t mean there isn’t all sorts of work to be done. Figuring out how to pay people is just social organization.

            When everyone in the world has all the stuff they need: housing, food, energy, etc, and all the services they need: healthcare, education, clean environment with thriving wildlife and a stable climate, when we all live entirely comfortable, healthy and safe lives, then and only then would it make sense for a whole bunch of people to be unemployed.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Sorry Nick, in this world work is done for profit. People are becoming a liability and expense in many areas. Oh, there will be people employed to do things but what do we do with the other half?
              Right now the median household income in the US is around $52,000 a year. The average household is 2.6 people. That is barely enough to get by in many areas, after taxes. How about all the people below the median, that half? They are not benefiting from society, they are being used up by society. Their pain and suffering is providing services that they cannot afford themselves.
              Soon many of those will be out of jobs. Then what?

              • Nick G says:

                You’re talking about what happens now. Mac is talking about what *should* be done. And, I’m replying to him on that topic…

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Which explains why you put GF at the start of the comment? OK.

                  • Nick G says:

                    A fair point. But, a discussion about what should be done is big enough, without adding to it the question of the difficulty of making change at all.

                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    “A discussion about what should be done is big enough, without adding to it the question of the difficulty of making change at all.”

                    That’s true if you’re reading bedtime Fairy Tales to five year old kids. Adults might be concerned by the practical challenges involved.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    If you don’t comprehend the magnitude and depth of the problem, how can any solutions be relevant or effective.

                    Ever pick up a box and have the bottom drop out. Well, the bottom of the economic ladder is dropping out and they need the help a lot more than the middle or top. Current policy and intended policy is just the opposite.

                  • Nick G says:

                    The only serious barrier to better public policy is…politics.

                    And I suppose I’m finding discussion about politics boring. Some of what’s involved seems fairly straightforward: get involved. Write letters. donate money to politicians you support. Educate colleagues.

        • Nick G says:

          I agree. In my observation, *good* managers reduce excess staff through attrition and transfer to expanding departments. Bad managers layoff people.

          But…

          I believe the best course is to delay losing the industries in which they work at least to the extent of preventing them from being outsourced.

          I don’t think you realize that this is an ENORMOUS public policy proposal. When dishonest politicians and media blame job losses primarily on outsourcing…they’re lying to us. They don’t mean it, and they don’t really care about it. Here’s why:

          1) Most loss of industries are caused by rising labor productivity (aka “automation”). The elimination of outsourcing would not make much difference.

          2) It’s all just scapegoating. Those politicians have NO intention of doing anything about outsourcing, or automation for that matter. They mostly want to create fear and anger towards foreign scapegoats.

          3) Their industrial supporters would not allow that kind of policy. It would be a big change, and require aggressive industrial planning and regulation. Even if politicians wanted to do it, it would be a very big fight.

          So…things like minimum wage improvements, improvements to vocational education, tax cuts for the working poor, and WPA-type programs would be much, much easier to implement.

    • Nick G says:

      Mac. You’re making policy suggestions – in particular, that as a society we slow down the pace of labor productivity improvement. That would have an enormous cost, due to a slowdown in the rise in overall living standards.

      Let’s make different suggestions, that get to the heart of the problem, and actually make things better. For instance, that we really give people the help they need to get more education, rather than pretending to do so and leaving them with failure and massive student loans.

      Or, we could give tax cuts to the working poor, rather than to the wealthy…

      • Hightrekker says:

        The problem with the American milieu is not that it’s all the same. The trouble is that it’s all the same lousy quality. It’s all the same bad design and bad idea.

        I like to think of it this way, what people identify as the immersive ugliness of their surroundings. When you’re sitting in a car for example, on an 8 laner in the USA, one of those commercial boulevards where the street is lined with muffler shops and Taco stands and big box stores and parking lots and other furnishings and accessories of suburbia, people regard that as ugliness. But there’s more to it, because this immersive ugliness actually represents entropy.

        It’s entropy made visible, and entropy in the physical universe is really the force behind things running down or dying or moving towards death and stasis. That’s really the quality that’s being reflected in the environments that we create in America. And it’s no surprise that it’s punishing to the human psyche.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        “That would have an enormous cost, due to a slowdown in the rise in overall living standards.” ~ Nick G

        How does a ‘rise in overall living standards’ work on a planet that those very living standards are degrading, (if through, at the very least, threats on those very living standards)? Maybe we need to revise our definitions of living standards (as part of a better education)?

        “For instance, that we really give people the help they need to get more education…” ~ Nick G

        Well you just wrote about the ‘heart of the problem’ and making things ‘better’, so is it ‘more’ education or better education, and to what definitions of ‘better’– or even ‘education’– and to what ends, such as for whom? The ones who can afford it?

        Heart Of The Party

        • Fred Magyar says:

          http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/15/how-a-street-in-brooklyn-is-changing-the-energy-grid-215268

          Electric Grid
          Using the same technology that makes Bitcoin possible, neighbors are buying and selling renewable energy to each other.
          By DEBRA BRUNO June 15, 2017

          New York state allows electricity consumers to use their own solar panels to supply their electricity, but any power produced that the customer doesn’t use feeds back into the larger grid, with consumers being paid for those kilowatt hours. The microgrid system that LO3 had devised would essentially cut out the middleman, using a phone app and smart meters to enable neighbors to strike deals for how much electricity they want to buy from one another and at what price. The technology that makes this possible, Santiago explained to Guerra, is blockchain, the same secure information exchange that makes bitcoin trading possible.

          Jim Yong Kim:
          Doesn’t everyone deserve a chance at a good life?
          TED2017 · 22:12 · Filmed Apr 2017

          https://www.ted.com/talks/jim_yong_kim_doesn_t_everyone_deserve_a_chance_at_a_good_life#t-1154094

          So Caelan, are you planning on spending a few years in Bangladesh helping soon to be displaced textile workers or maybe rural India finding ways to provide arsenic free drinking water to poor farmers and their families? Somehow I still don’t get the feeling that you really understand how the world actually works.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Not sure how the micro-grid works without using the power company distribution wires.

            As far as “a good life..” goes, very moving. However, the view is still very human centric. It needs to not only include the poor but all the species on the planet. Without that view, even if humans figure out how to survive, the results will be a devastated, lonely and mostly lifeless planet as humans keep spiraling upward and the rest of the ecosystem is destroyed. Without a wider view beyond one species we will sacrifice the greatest treasures of all.

            Sure we might be able to someday generate our own food by voice command to a machine, as in Star Trek. But living in a sophisticated techno-can flying through space or on a badland planet surrounded by machinery, is not my view of a life worth living. Certainly not one where we could hold our heads high.

            It’s not all about us. Any future solution has to include the greater we, all the life on the planet, or it will be a moral and physical failure.

            Now I turn the podium over to the strip miners of Earth. Let’s hear your view and how you justify destroying the only known place in the universe where abundant life exists. Tell us how you are so important that you can not only sacrifice the poor, but sacrifice multitudes of species to keep your view of civilization running. Tell us your true view of the future, where you are heading right now.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Now I turn the podium over to the strip miners of Earth. Let’s hear your view and how you justify destroying the only known place in the universe where abundant life exists.

              The answer to that question is simple, one should never attribute to sheer malice that which one can attribute to extreme stupidity.
              I mean that in the broadest sense, from science deniers, to religious fundamentalists of all stripes including everyone from ISIS, Christians, Orthodox Jews, etc…

              Case in point, the Imbecile in Chief and the all the people who helped put him there!

              http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/16/donald-trump-is-proving-too-stupid-to-be-president/

              Donald Trump Is Proving Too Stupid to Be President
              “You know, I’m, like, a smart person.” Uh huh.

              • GoneFishing says:

                But people like the Koch brothers and the people that they hire in their multitude of organizations to promote their sinister visions of the world are intelligent and purposely changing/controlling the society.
                Since the “stupid” ones are often aligning with the powerful smart and malevolent ones, the total force of malice is very large.

                Is anyone actually going up against DT? Aren’t they being fired and recusing themselves?

                By the time any real action is taken, if ever, the damages will be done. As I have said before, the real changes are being made elsewhere. Don’t be distracted by the dog and pony show.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Your comments often waft in as the Dunning-Kruger effect, with this one being no exception, but I’ve limited time or inclination to bother with them these days, in part because I don’t really have to since, if any of the readership is so motivated to get a better idea, they can do an online search of you and me on Peak Oil B., especially during the past year and a half or so. Should be pretty self-explanatory.

            Edited for brevity. ^u^

      • OFM says:

        I am NOT talking about slowing down the rate of improvement in labor efficiency, I am talking about the CONSEQUENCES of putting the people in question on FUCKING WELFARE.

        Just about any and every professional economist I have EVER had any contact with is blind as a bat when it comes to the BIG PICTURE.

        People who get the abc’s of a professional field, as taught in a few courses to undergraduates, generally fail to see the BIG PICTURE.

        Here’s THE question, Nick.

        Do you see the connection between these jobs disappearing, MOSTLY to being outsourced, so far, and TRUMP being elected president of the USA?

        This is the BIG PICTURE. THE CONSEQUENCES.

        If ya don’t get it, it’s because you are trapped in an intellectual box and can’t see outside it.

        For sure these jobs are going to disappear, and at an increasing rate most likely.

        Do you get it? THESE PEOPLE CANNOT BE RETRAINED BY THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS AND THE MILLIONS, FOR A LOT OF REASONS, and even if they WERE TO BE retrained, there is no work for them, as a general rule, where they live, in any thing like the number of positions needed.

        Certainly a lot of them can be put to work on some sort of public works project. I’m far that. I’m for lowering their tax rate, which is so seldom discussed as a possibility it’s fair to say it’s simply OVERLOOKED, in terms of the big picture, since people who make very little depend on the standard deductions available, which should be at least doubled, and because they pay sales taxes on food, etc, which are extremely regressive.

        We ARE on the same page, when it comes to things that will WORK, to HELP with the problem.

        Allowing these people to be thrown out of work has ALREADY contributed mightily to the political backlash that put Trump in office, and the R’s in power in this country, and allowing this trend to continue without doing whatever is practical to SLOW IT DOWN is a horrible mistake, as a matter of political policy.

        I AM advocating not outsourcing more such jobs.

        I DO realize that at best we can only hope to minimize the EFFECTS of the disappearance of these jobs, they are going to disappear anyway, over time.

        But we can, if we are smart enough, collectively, do some things that will allow some millions or tens of millions of people, especially middle aged and older people with relatively little in the way of education, continue to work at something other than MAKE WORK.

        How anybody as obviously intelligent as you are can fail to see the BIGGER picture escapes me.

        Having them working at jobs (via political policy decision ) that would otherwise disappear sooner is in essence a subsidy, one intended to PRESERVE old jobs for a while yet. This is basically the flip side of the subsidy coin encouraging new industries.

        We can’t stop these jobs from disappearing, and younger people, say a thirty year old, have thirty or forty years of potential employment ahead of them IF they succeed in learning new skills, etc. People who are fifty or older……….. well, they just aren’t prime candidates, as a group, for retraining.

        I often think of the French proverb that goes to the effect “Only a fool or an academic could possibly believe …… ( fill in the blank). When I run into people, and I run into them OFTEN, who argue one simple point( labor productivity, the way you are at this time) I generally conclude they are academics, or the victims of academic training at an introductory level. YOU are obviously NOT a fool, you’re obviously intelligent, and generally well informed.

        Let’s not get carried away, collectively, talking about retraining cashiers as carpenters. The large majority of cashiers are utterly incapable of doing a carpenter’s job physically, and will NEVER be in good enough condition to do a carpenter’s job. Then there’s the FACT that carpenters aren’t paid all that well to begin with, and the PRIMARY FUCKING REASON FOR THIS is that there are ALREADY TOO MANY PEOPLE WITH BASIC CARPENTRY SKILLS.

        One primary reason I gave up welding professionally, which I used to do at times, in order to make some fast money, is that wages in the field stagnated, it got to be that there were too many welders, and not enough openings. I participated in destroying my own backup ace in the hole , by training a couple of hundred kids in the a b c basics of welding, and with maybe a dozen or so of them actually becoming full time welders after leaving high school.

        I still weld, sometimes, using my own equipment, but I gave it up as one of my sources of earned income over twenty years ago. Automation has played the bigger role, probably in the loss of welding jobs, but a hell of a lot of them were outsourced.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          “Automation has played the bigger role, probably in the loss of welding jobs”

          Indeed, for example, while manual pipe/tube welding often requires frequent stops and starts for torch re-positioning, robots can realign without pausing. Hard-to-reach angles and orbital welds are also less taxing for industrial robots AND robots are able to perform top quality welds with higher deposition levels and consistency (even at awkward angles) AND with robotic pipe and tube welding the thermal impact is reduced, minimizing distortion and the need for later corrections AND robotic pipe and tube welding is more reliable. So, with fully automated or even hybrid robot and manual pipe welding, there are far fewer mistakes and defects. AND, on a pipeline in northern Alberta, robots don’t care about mosquitoes/black flies nor do they do alcohol and drugs. 🙂

        • OFM says:

          Incidentally I am not arguing that Trump and the R’s are doing or have done a better job helping create and save jobs in this country.

          What I AM saying in this respect is that Trump was a smart enough politician to understand the importance, the gravity, of the issue, and HRC was too busy hanging out with banksters to be bothered. I might as well go on to say she was TOO STUPID to understand the mood of the country, too elitist, too stuffy, too condescending, too interesting in preening her moral feathers. Lots of people really care about the things she was and is right about, but a LOT MORE people, including most of the ones who approve of MOST of her social policy positions, etc, were and are a LOT MORE worried about their economic status today and tomorrow.

          THE master politician of more recent times, the only one with a common touch comparable to old Ronnie Raygun’s, told the D party the answer. “It’s the economy, stupid” when it comes time to campaign and the people are not too happy about the economy. BILL understood. His ( most ) significant other was too proud, or too dumb, to listen to his advice, according to what I have read.

          Trump IS a bankster, not a banker as such , but a money bag who manipulates people and businesses to his own ends.

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster, your blinded by your hate

            And by the way, you still need to get your CapLock button fixed

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            Trumpster, you do realize in your Republican loved capitalistic system. It’s the bankers who finance the projects. That produce the jobs you cry for. Who better should a future leader of the free world talk too, if one wants to stimulate the economy ?

            You have made your own bed. Now it’s time for you to quit bitching like a girl and take your medicine quietly.

        • Nick G says:

          Do you see the connection between these jobs disappearing, MOSTLY to being outsourced, so far, and TRUMP being elected president of the USA?

          I think this is the basic question. And, the answer is….no.

          Trump is lying about outsourcing being the primary cause of rural poverty and underemployment and unemployment. He’s lying about it being the primary cause of stagnating wages for working people.

          Rural areas have been poorer than cities for centuries, and it’s only gotten worse in the last 150 years. Farming was the primary occupation in the US 150 years ago, now less than 2% of Americans work on the farm. Yet, the US is still a net food exporter.

          Jobs that don’t require education are low paid, and disappearing. That’s been happening for 50 years in the US to manufacturing. US manufacturing output is 2.5x *larger* now than it was in 1979: cars, planes, oil refining, computer chips, food processing, etc. And US manufacturing *employment* is less than 50% of what it was in 1979. That’s not outsourcing, it’s “automation”.

          Wages have been stagnating for 50 years. That’s because of politics: unions have been busted, minimum wage laws have stagnated, and taxes for working people have gone up.

          Fox News, and it’s imitators in Sinclair publishing and host of other right wing papers and radio stations have been pushing toxic anger and fear for decades: according to them, the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and it’s all the fault of government, immigrants, and other countries.

          It’s a lie: crime is down, jobs are growing, and the economy is growing. To the extent to which we can blame government, it’s right wing policies that are to blame.

          • Nathanael says:

            As long as I can remember and as long as I have researched, right-wing politicians have campaigned by stoking up anger against the direct results of *right wing policies which the right-wing politicians themselves implemented*. I have no idea why so many people fall for this scam, but it must be a very effective scam given how many right-wingers have won office doing exactly this. Including Ronald Reagan.

  20. Hightrekker says:

    Wingpawn Global Cooling News:
    All-Time Extreme Heat Expected in Southwest U.S.

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/all-time-extreme-heat-expected-southwest-us

    Liberal Lies!

    • George Kaplan says:

      Here’s another pretty good sit.

      http://www.climatesignals.org/headlines/events/southwest-us-heat-wave-june-2017

      In a stable climate, the ratio of days that are record hot to days that are record cold is approximately even. However, in our warming climate, record highs have begun to outpace record lows, with the imbalance growing for the past three decades.[7] 80 percent of recent record-hot days globally have been formally attributed to climate change.

      (Scientists lies!? …)

      • George Kaplan says:

        … or not.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Here is a more detailed paper on the subject of temperature shift from Hansen et al.
        Abstract. Global surface temperature in 2015 was +0.87°C (~1.6°F) warmer than the 1951-1980 base period in the GISTEMP analysis, making 2015 the warmest year in the period of instrumental data. The 2015 temperature was boosted by a strong El Niño, nearly of the same strength as the 1998 “El Niño of the century”. The updated global temperature record makes it clear that there was no global warming “hiatus”. Global temperature in 2015 was +1.13 (~2.03°F) relative to the 1880-1920 mean. Accounting for interannual variability, it is fair to say that global warming has now reached ~1°C, almost ~2°F.

        http://csas.ei.columbia.edu/2016/01/19/global-temperature-in-2015/

        Notice that unlike the Climate Signals temperature distribution that the width of the distribution has doubled since 1951-1980. If that is not enough to make eyes open wide then nothing can do it. The atmospheric energy range doubling in a half century is a chaos indicator. Imagine when it triples or quadruples.

  21. longtimber says:

    This is NOT NET metering. A 2nd Regulated​ utility production meter required. Resistance ist Futile.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nevada-boosts-solar-power-reversing-course/?source=techstories.org#

  22. GoneFishing says:

    I heard a report that NIKE, the sneaker manufacturer, is losing market share to other manufacturers. They are cutting workforce and changing their marketing and manufacturing structure. They intend to manufacture new products more quickly and will become “local” while maintaining a global presence. This will focus on a dozen major cities around the world.
    Producing shoes customized to the individual customers feet will allow repeat buying online and at stores once the database is set up. This could eventually become fully automated with custom shoes being created on demand.

    Sounds like a highly customer focused system that will provide “hand crafted” products on a large scale through computerized automation.

  23. Hightrekker says:

    Trump’s no-experience, fake-degree wedding planner will be in charge of billions in NYC housing spending
    https://boingboing.net/2017/06/16/jd-na-jk.html

    And who said late stage capitalism would not be fun?
    (I stand corrected)

    • GoneFishing says:

      I am certain that the DT supporters will support our new HUD District II head just as strongly as DT as she puts in place the new agenda. You know, the bullies that kick people when they are down and hide behind a cover of religion and “good deeds”.

      • Hightrekker says:

        “How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined.”

        ― Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

  24. GoneFishing says:

    I would like to put to rest, or start a discussion on a simple yet vexing point.

    Our abilities and intelligence are a product of nature and therefor anything we produce is a product of nature. Any assertion that what we do is unnatural comes merely from definition and not from reality.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      You kill, it’s part of your world as a bullfighter, it’s a natural part of your world, and then you leave that world and it becomes unnatural. — Bette Ford

    • Fred Magyar says:

      About 3.5 billion years ago when early life forms such as Cyanobacteria started changing the chemistry of the atmosphere by producing O2 through the natural process of photosynthesis they weren’t aware of the consequences. I happen to agree, that by definition, everything humans do is also a part of a natural process. The difference is, that for better or for worse humans have become self aware and at least some of us are partially aware of the fact that what we do has consequences for ourselves and our environment. We have the capacity to assess those consequences and make decisions as to whether or not we should collectively pursue certain courses of action.

      Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.
      Destroying rainforests for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.
      Sometimes a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it is wrong.

      E. O. Wilson

      https://news.mongabay.com/2017/01/e-o-wilson-on-half-earth-donald-trump-and-hope/

      E.O. WILSON ON HALF-EARTH, DONALD TRUMP, AND HOPE
      17 January 2017 / Jeremy Hance
      One of the greatest biologists since Charles Darwin discusses his plan to save the biodiversity of Earth, and include everyone in the effort

      • GoneFishing says:

        Clegg: It used to be a tradition round here if you were hungry you could knock on any door and without a moment’s hesitation they’d slam it, straight in your face.
        Compo: Well, what’s that got to do with owt?
        Clegg: Huh, just shows they had character. Now we’re into an age of compassion. The world’s full of folk hating folk for hating folk.

        So now folks hate folks for wrecking the earth. Of course they use all the goods and food that were made in the process of wrecking the earth, but that does not seem to matter much. Must be a case of human nature.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Must be a case of human nature.

          Naturally! It sure as heck ain’t a case of human nurture… 😉

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Dead-Bird Plastic
          A tale of affluent effluent and the new feel-good token kool aid greenwash for the poor

          “Kid: ‘Hey mister… Can you stop polluting my environment, please?’

          Frederick Madyear: ‘Get off our couch, then! You’re using our technology to ask us that, fool! But, since you’re on it, sit tight and we will go over and save you from us with our new-and-improved couch technology with built-in massagers, warmers and electrical outlets! We will even throw in a solar panel at no extra charge except to recharge your cellphones with! Awesome! It will make us look and feel good and we can market our couches, etc., there and as poor-kid-savers too, and of course we can help ourselves to whatever resources you have left as payback! Win-win!’

          Kid: ‘What about our dying sea birds?’

          Frederick Madyear: ‘We are working with Dr.™ Janine Benyus and ExtremeTeamGreenDreamMachine™– thought-led by none other than Tony Seba!– on edible biomimicry plastic with CRISPRy-shrimp flavor-crystals!
          Maybe when you grow up, you too will have a Nissan Leaf EV, a bamboo bike and electric bike trailer to haul your plastic kayak around, rub shoulders with corporate leadership, and pay your fair share of taxes like me, you little asshole! In the mean time, keep dreaming and learn how the world really works! Love ya!’

          Kid: ‘Uh, I think I’m already starting to get a good idea of that, Mr. Madyear…’ “

          You know there is something dreadfully wrong with our species when it treats our kids, communities and planet that way.

  25. Survivalist says:

    Nice overview of the recent wintertime arctic “warmth” by Dr. Richard James.

    http://ak-wx.blogspot.ca/2017/06/arctic-winter-warmth.html?m=1

    Here’s the home page link

    http://ak-wx.blogspot.ca/?m=1

    • GoneFishing says:

      “Finally, the area-average reanalysis temperatures from the high Arctic, 80-90°N, show a 7-month average temperature anomaly of approximately 4-6°C above normal”

      I think some groups of climate scientists better look into this further and quickly. Anomalies like this in a floating ice field could be harbingers of things to come.

    • Pierre Lechelle says:

      Hello, hard to tell if this is fake informations or, real informations. No humans in Arctic, means scientists do not require accuracy.

      • George Kaplan says:

        Hard to tell for you maybe, but most people who make the effort can find out quickly that it is real. We have satellites, ships and buoys all looking at aspects of the ice and climate there. Scientists always require accuracy, do you really think quantum theory, general relativity, the structure of DNA got vetted by “humans” who happened to be hanging around in the general area?

        https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov

      • GoneFishing says:

        Hey Pierre, you went to school and this is the result?

      • Survivalist says:

        “No humans in Arctic, means scientists do not require accuracy.”

        4 million people live in the Arctic. I found that little piece of information on the internet in about 6 seconds. It was filed under ‘Duh!’

        https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/arctic-meteorology/arctic-people.html

        Seriously, someone’s got to be lampooning the science skeptics by posting such comments because nobody can actually be that stupid. Who on earth would actually believe that the Arctic is devoid of human habitation?

        • Fred Magyar says:

          …because nobody can actually be that stupid

          Oh yeah? Wanna bet?

          • Survivalist says:

            Perhaps he also doubts scientific knowledge about the sun and the other planets on the basis that no humans live there. Or the bottom of the ocean, or inside a volcano. To doubt a scientific claim because the claim is thought to be made about an uninhabited area. I can’t believe someone is really that stupid. It beggars belief. Hey Pierre do you doubt that my trucks tire pressure is 38 PSI because nobody lives in there? Holy fuck! LOL

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Woolly mammoths may live in the northern extremes, but no one’s ever seen one alive. We have only experienced them as fossils found more south when the climate was much colder than it is today and they thrived more south.

              But with anthropogenic climate change and global warming, it is getting warmer, so woolly mammoths have been relegated to the far north. Even so, it’s pure scientific speculation, as none have ever been seen alive, so maybe climate change has devastated the woolly mammoth in the arctic too.

              We need to send people up there to find out, but not with trucks, until we can confirm their tire pressures. So obviously someone will have to climb in there. This is what my ancestors used to specialize in, incidentally, which is why I have the last name I do.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                As you can see, there may be low pressure in at least one the tires of this specially-adapted experimental scientific expedition vehicle, although it’s uncertain. But there’s less snow there anyway, due to anthropogenic climate change and global warming, so less air is needed.

                Scientists have been considering changing the name of polar bears to sub-polar bears, by the way, along with a change in what constitutes the polar latitudes, since everything’s melting and so there’s less of a polar ‘feel’ about many places.

                It is possible that, with human-caused global warming and climate change, there may not be any poles left, and we’ll be left with just one big tropical equator. Exciting but scary at the same time.

                They’re just about to have a conference about stuff like that, assuming they can get there.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Caelan, the poles are where the big axle that the earth spins on sticks out. First is was climate deniers now it’s pole deniers. Yikes!!!

                  🙂

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Anthropogenic climate change and global warming will melt the poles and render the planet one giant tropical equatorial region. All longitudes and latitudes will melt together as the extra heat turns the interior into a glorified lava lamp– or an extra-bright ‘n’ fluid one– with global-scale globs of molten heat flowing to and fro. Maps will have to be constantly rewritten as east becomes south and then north and so on… Earth will begin to wobble and almost bump into the moon as the tides and ocean currents go all wonky and volcanism and earthquakes increase and the plates tectonic all over the place…

                    Just ask Pierre.

                    By the way, what’s the straw for? Abiotic oil? Shouldn’t it only go to the center? Or are those actually two straws, one for each hemisphere? Or maybe it’s the manifestation of a freed Artificial Intelligence project to investigate the creation of a combo electrified-subway-transit-corridor-and-space-elevator-in-one that leverages the 0-gravity in Earth’s center along with its rotation to generate electricity? Maybe a fusion reactor can fit in the center.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Skewered and roasted? Planetary Shish Kabob.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Wait a minute, I just got an email from Pierre’s office…
                    They said they sent a copy to you too, which would seem to make sense, since, in it, it agrees with what you say about Earth being ‘roasted’, but that, publicly, they are going to continue to deny it. Is that what you have too?

                    Feel free to let us know what else your copy of their email says.

                    Did anyone else receive a copy?
                    This is big news.

  26. Survivalist says:

    Lower atmospheric temps will reach record levels for this time of year across broad swath of American SW

    http://weatherwest.com/archives/5755

    • Jason T. says:

      Obviously, the only possible explanation for this is global warming. But, whenever there is a major cold spell, you are extremely quiet.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Hint: Survivalist is not the weather man.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        If the planet is being anthropogenically messed about, why would the climate somehow be immune?

        Hint: Maybe because the truth that it may not be immune is somehow inconvenient.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Another one comes out from under the bridge—-

      • scrub puller says:

        Yair . . .

        Dunno Jason T.

        I haven’t been checking this time but in the recent past these anomalies have been caused by cold air masses being displaced from where they would normally be . . . in other words it was warmer further north.

      • Survivalist says:

        Perhaps you could consider the significance of regional cold spells within the context of increasing average global temperatures, Arctic amplification and the resulting change jet stream behavior.

        https://youtu.be/_nzwJg4Ebzo

        https://youtu.be/XHaLXUz87kc

        Stay in school kids!

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/15/seven-percent-of-americans-think-chocolate-milk-comes-from-brown-cows-and-thats-not-even-the-scary-part/?utm_term=.a5f9a3d20b3d

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Major cold spell?! Surely you jest!

        https://thinkprogress.org/millennials-will-never-experience-this-84a0ec694ea7

        Millennials have never lived through a colder than average month — and never will
        Scorching May continues decades-long streak of above-average months, and global warming is only accelerating.

        Nice graph at the link. Too bad we can’t rub Jason’s nose in it and say bad doggie, bad doggie, you shouldn’t shit all over the nice clean carpet! Maybe we can take Jason back to the shelter and give him up for adoption … Maybe Wutsupwiththat will take him in.

        • Tom J. says:

          Note that, in order to make the claim stated in the title of that article, one must compare current temperatures to those of an 1880-1899 or 1951-1980 baseline. What this shows is that climate scientists certainly know how to spin a good tale just like the best of them. Considering the planet has existed for billions of years, there’s absolutely no reason to think comparing current temperatures to a mere 20-30 year period in the past conveys any significance whatsoever. That is, unless you (or more specifically your entire profession) required justification in order to implement your favored political agendas on the entire world.

          • George Kaplan says:

            I’d suggest: 1) Read and comment on a whole article, not just the headline. 2) Find the definition of average and millennial. 3) Try to construct arguments that actually have some facts and logic flow in them rather than just a random collection of your unverified prejudices. 4) Try to understand why you are so afraid of reality and what it implies for the future that you have to construct a ridiculous narrative involving a grand global conspiracy that would be impossible on almost any level. 5) Fuck off somewhere else.

          • Boomer II says:

            You may not realize just how many countries, states, cities, companies, scientists, and citizens are planning for a future where the goal is to reduce carbon use.

            Whatever political agenda you fear might happen is happening. Your news sources may not be telling you that, but changes are being planned for environmental, economic, and/or strategic reasons.

            You can try to argue against rising temperature data, but global decisions are being made based on the more widely held belief that climate change and resource depletion are real.

            You just don’t have enough info to challenge these trends.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            That is, unless you (or more specifically your entire profession) required justification in order to implement your favored political agendas on the entire world.

            You talking about the fossil fuel industry?

            • GoneFishing says:

              Fred, we can build all the solar panels, wind turbines and EV’s we need. However, unless we take responsibility for our own species this is what we will deal with. Far worse than a marriage gone bad.

    • Hightrekker says:

      The Closing Of The Open Atmospheric Society

      “In 2014 Watts decided to lengthen the shadow of his treehouse by founding The Open Atmospheric Society, a climate contrarian organization with all the academic bells and whistles of the decidely un-contrarian American Meterological Society & AGU. Trouble is that these rely on acumen for their gravitas, and boards top heavy with academic department heads and scientific medalists for their street cred and media clout.

      Sou relates that years of trying failed to produce anybody with such credentials willing to join the OAS board, collected a grand total of $330 from prospective dues paying members, and produced no journal She reports its website fell silent as a Norwegian Blue two years ago.”

      The nutters fail again.

      (Norwegian Blue link below)
      https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3QUsUCb0gPs/WUXz_DyqXsI/AAAAAAAARf0/pdDXlQI-W14wyC-fqY-wg3O1kdyjZRuMACLcBGAs/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2017-06-17%2Bat%2B11.27.50%2BPM.png

      • George Kaplan says:

        WUWT has a list of links to “lukewarmist” sites. I’d say at least half have had no activity since 2015, some since 2012. A couple that are still going seem to be more general libertarian political blogs. Curry and Spencer still going, although I thought Curry said she was going to stop after getting her new job and Spencer seems to have gone over to saying it’s too late so let’s do nothing (trust in god maybe, I think he tends that way).

  27. Hightrekker says:

    “Question: What do the most “successful” countries in the world—i.e., the “happiest,” fairest, most enlightened, most optimistic, and most generous—have in common? Answer: The majority of them have quasi-socialist governments/economies, and highly unionized labor forces.

    Actually, there’s a third commonality as well. Unlike the U.S., they are unburdened by a bloated and debilitating military budget—an advantage that permits them to treat medical care as a “right” rather than a “privilege,” and to offer free college tuition to those who wish to attend, working off the premise that an educated electorate is an “investment,” not a “luxury.”

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2017/06/oddly-labor-unions-seem-to-be-the-only-answer/#more-69036

    • Doug Leighton says:

      AFTER LIVING IN NORWAY, AMERICA FEELS BACKWARD. HERE’S WHY.

      “I was dumbfounded. Norway, Denmark, and Sweden practice variations of a system that works much better than ours, yet even the Democratic presidential candidates, who say they love or want to learn from those countries, don’t seem to know how they actually work.”

      http://billmoyers.com/story/after-living-in-norway-america-feels-backward/

      • Hightrekker says:

        Time was when even the worst legislation came with some kind of justification, when you could count on the hacks at Heritage to explain why eating children will encourage entrepreneurship, or something. …
        Now they overtly just do it.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        AFTER LIVING IN BRAZIL, AMERICA FEELS LIKE IT IS GOING BACKWARDS. HERE’S THE NUMBER ONE REASON WHY!

        Healthcare in Brazil is a constitutional right. … Public healthcare is provided to all Brazilian permanent residents and foreigners in Brazilian territory through the National Healthcare System, known as the Unified Health System (Portuguese: Sistema Único de Saúde, SUS)

        Imagine that: ALL Brazilian residents and foreigners, even illegal aliens, get FREE healthcare in Brazil should they need it, no questions asked!! The Brazilian constitution considers it a basic HUMAN right!

        Which BTW, doesn’t mean that if you have money you can’t hire a private physician or go to a private clinic.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Totally agree Fred. I remember walking down a street in Hanoi, with my interpreter and a badly infected hand. She insisted on dragging me off to a doctor who fixed the problem in short order and I asked who I paid for the service. Both she and the doctor couldn’t figure out what I was talking about. Pay, for health care, they both asked in total disbelief.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Yeah, Doug,
            “The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.”
            The late, Great George Carlin!

            • Hightrekker says:

              We have failed, he argues, to see clearly the poisoned seed at the core of modernity, which is the way that capitalistic, individualistic society has turbocharged the tension between our desire for wholeness and the incapacity of the world to fulfill it.

            • GoneFishing says:

              George did his best to educate us.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      “Actually, there’s a third commonality as well.”

      I agree almost entirely, with the caveat that if these countries had not been and are not NOW sheltering under the Yankee military umbrella, which we Yankees do indeed pay for, thru the nose, as they say, those countries would have necessarily have spent and be spending a LOT more, maybe several times more, on their military establishments.

      If I were a citizen of Japan, and were looking at Uncle Sam going isolationist, for real, I would be on the streets advocating my country building a nuclear deterrent and conventional forces adequate to deal with a rising China. Ditto Germany, considering the Russian Bear, etc.

      People who wish to call me a redneck war war mongering racist , etc, are free to do so. I simply point out that they apparently have read damned little history, and have in my estimation a damned poor understanding of the nature of mankind. I have read my history, and a pretty decent selection of the works of evolutionary psychologists, economists, physical scientists, etc.

      It IS a Darwinian world out there, whether this truth is recognized in certain intellectual circles, or otherwise.

      And believe it or not, we CAN afford a Western European style health care system, as well as our military establishment. This should be PERFECTLY obvious to anybody who actually looks at the facts and figures, rather than just automatically assuming anything the right wing of the American political system does is wrong, or evil, or whatever.

      For the same amount of money we are spending now, on health care, we could have a Western Euro type system, and it would be a truly great thing for this country, if we were to find the will to make the change. We would as a people be healthier and happier and more prosperous.

      And we WILL make the change, but not for quite some time yet, maybe as long as another two decades, but I have hopes it will happen somewhat sooner.

      It all depends more on what happens in INTERNAL Democratic Party politics than anything else. Ocare is a desperately flawed Republican Lite reform, that does do something for a lot of people, but virtually NOTHING to reform the overall system we have. All it does is tax some higher earners (who tend to disproportionately be R voters, in my estimation) in order to subsidize poor people.

      It doesn’t actually fix any of the other TERRIBLE things wrong with our health care system, and as I said it would, often, it turned out to be a political disaster in the following election cycle for the D’s, since it tended to INFURIATE the R party’s foot soldiers, so many of whom lost their established coverage, and were and are being forced to pay thru the nose for something they didn’t want, and to top it off, they are told by nose in the air D’s that the premium is NOT a tax, although they are forced by law to pay it, even if they don’t want it.

      • Nathanael says:

        Pffft. Nonsense regarding the military; the Scandanavian countries do not benefit from US military in any significant way.

        Sweden has a ridiculously powerful, over-the-top military designed to fight off any invasion of any sort including from Russia. They don’t need the US, except potentially arguably to deter a nuclear attack. They don’t particularly want the US. They’ve been very, very effective at fighting off invasions over the centuries.

        Norway became independent without even having a war and has a serious tradition of non-violent resistance which is highly effective.

        Finland has actually been controlled by Russia in the past. They are on constant high alert for signs of Russian invasion and have crack troops ready to fight guerrilla warfare in case of invasion. The US has never seriously backed Finland and Finland knows damn well if there was an invasion the US would be absent and unsupportive.

        What all the Scandanavian countries do have, militarily, is subtler:
        (1) They are unattractive invasion targets. They are horrible terrain to fight on, they are cold, and (except for Norway’s offshore oil, which is a risk) they have no natural resources to steal.
        (2) They are not interested in invading anyone else.

        This combination is golden. Countries with similar combinations — Mongolia, arguably Costa Rica — can protect themselves very effectively for a long time.

  28. Hightrekker says:

    Corporate “repair prevention” schemes steal the right to fix our own belongings

    https://hightowerlowdown.org/article/right-to-repair/

  29. OFM says:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bernie-sanders-sounds-alarm-on-gop-health-care-bill/

    “”Throwing 23 million people off of health insurance is beyond belief. Now, in the Senate what you have is you have I believe it is 10 Republicans working behind closed doors to address 1/6th of the American economy,” Sanders said.

    “The average Republican doesn’t even know what’s in that legislation,” he said. “My understanding is that it will be brought forth just immediately before we have to vote on it. This is completely unacceptable.”

    Transcript: Sen. Bernie Sanders on “Face the Nation”

    Sanders called the current bill the “worst piece of legislation” against working class people that he can remember in his political life in the Congress, and that the reason Republicans don’t want to bring debate out into the public is because it was a “disastrous bill.”

    I will point out that while everybody here who is a Clinton fan has no doubt FORGETTEN about it, HRC did every thing possible to craft a health care bill in extreme secrecy, when she didn’t even have an official position as a legislator, holding elective office.

    I am rolling on the floor at the thought, that the foremost and most popular Democrat in the USA, even though he refers to himself as a socialist, is pointing out, indirectly, that HRC acts more like a Republican than a Democrat, when she can get away with it.

    Also……….

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/18/15826760/president-trumps-aids-hiv-advisory-council-resigned-ahca

    Basically they said he doesn’t give a shit. I guess he thinks he’s safe, personally, lol. But any of his children or grandchildren are at some risk, unless they insist on having all their lovers run thru a hospital for a battery of tests before sex, and even then….. there’s still a minor risk.

    I guess I sound like an old prude, and back when I was young, I took a few chances with girls I didn’t know very well, and they might have taken chances with guys who were patronizing prostitutes………….

    In this day and time, any man who jumps in bed with a woman who is willing on the basis of a few hours or a week or two’s acquaintance is betting his long term health on a few minutes pleasure.

    Ditto the women who take a chance on a man under the same circumstances.

    Of course kids under the influence of hormone storms aren’t going to listen to old fogeys or even doctors, as a rule. The best to be hoped for is that the girls will insist the guys use condoms.

    And from Salon…….

    Politics News, Innovation News, News

    Will The U.S. Stay On Track With Climate Change Goals?

    Energy Secretary Rick Perry is cooking up a case to stifle further federal support of renewable wind and solar energy. He’s ordered a dubiously sourced staff study that is aimed to paint renewables as an unreliable source for the nation’s electric grid.

    The study, due June 23, seeks to determine whether federal tax and subsidy policies favoring renewable energy have burdened “baseload” coal-fired generation, putting power grid reliability at risk. It is being spearheaded by Energy Department political appointee Travis Fisher, who’s associated with a Washington policy group that opposes almost any government aid for renewable energy.

    Fisher wrote a 2015 report for the Institute for Energy Research that called clean energy policies “the single greatest emerging threat” to the nation’s electric power grid, and a greater threat to electric reliability than cyber attacks, terrorism or extreme weather.

    The Institute for Energy Research and its advocacy arm, the American Energy Alliance, has been the “influential force in shaping Donald Trump’s plans to dismantle Obama administration climate initiatives,’’ according to Bloomberg News.

    There’s more of course this is just the first few lines.

    • Hightrekker says:

      “I think it’s being written, uh, by someone somewhere but I’m not aware of who or where,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, deadpanned to NBC News. “If you get a copy of it, will you send me a copy?”

    • GoneFishing says:

      When the American citizenry finds it backbone again, watch out. Now they resemble a flat worm. But then again, they wander around with phones attached at all times taking orders from headquarters.

      Those 400 coal jobs created in May sure have the economy spinning upward.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        “Now they resemble a flat worm.” ~ GoneFishing

        LOL

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Flatworm Travels to Space With One Head, Comes Back With Two …
        blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2017/06/13/flatworm-grows-head-space/

    • Hickory says:

      There are two essential decisions to be made on health care.
      How much of the GDP will go to universal catastrophic coverage?
      Just what does this catastrophic coverage cover, or in other words- who will be empowered to make the extremely hard decisions on rationing care?

      If we don’t get those decisions made, digested, and under our belt, then the process is going nowhere. Atleast nowhere useful.

  30. Fred Magyar says:

    If anyone should want proof positive that not all conservatives, Trump supporters and climate change deniers are complete morons, I enter Jack Rickard of EVTV as supporting evidence!
    He gives a great explanation of the basics of photovoltaics at the beginning of his latest video. Then goes on to talk about Tesla Model S battery controllers.
    http://media3.ev-tv.me/news061617-iPhone.mp4

    • GoneFishing says:

      The Tesla S is an excellent Republican vehicle.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Perhaps, but Ole Jack is engaged in what most republicans would consider somewhat subversive activities by slavaging Tesla battery packs from wrecks, hacking their controllers to build cheaper powerwalls than Elon’s own off the shelf price and teaching others how to do the same so they can build their own EVs and go completely off grid more cheaply. And he has done most of the R&D on his own dime. So he manages to be on the wrong side of the Utility companies, Elon Musk and the Koch brothers, all at the same time… 😉

  31. GoneFishing says:

    The more the planet is studied, the more feedbacks become obvious. Will the whole picture come into focus after it is way too late?

    A new Yale-led study in the journal Nature finds that warming will drive the loss of at least 55 trillion kilograms of carbon from the soil by mid-century, or about 17% more than the projected emissions due to human-related activities during that period. That would be roughly the equivalent of adding to the planet another industrialized country the size of the United States.

    Critically, the researchers found that carbon losses will be greatest in the world’s colder places, at high latitudes, locations that had largely been missing from previous research. In those regions, massive stocks of carbon have built up over thousands of years and slow microbial activity has kept them relatively secure.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161130134341.htm

    • notanoilman says:

      The big question:-
      Are we fscked or are we REALLY fscked?

      NAOM

      • GoneFishing says:

        One can work for change and hope for the best.

        • notanoilman says:

          Every time I see a new solar installation, PV or HW, I feel hope. Every time a politician opens their mouth I feel despair.

          NAOM

          • GoneFishing says:

            There is a lot of government backing of renewable energy and electric vehicles. A number of state governments have programs aiding those areas. It’s not all one way or we wouldn’t have a growing renewable program and EV’s would still be in amateur hands.
            There is a lot of resistance too, so the end result is not a given yet.

  32. M.A.D says:

    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone has looked at the information supplied by Guy Macpherson regarding abrupt climate change and Near Term Human extinction?

    Peak Oil has worried me for a while, but I’ve felt that humanity can endure in one form or the other. But with abrupt climate change, the massive methane leaks in thawing permafrost, unattended nuclear reactors (when society collapses), among other things, seems to me to be the more pressing matter, and that humanity will face its end withing approximately a decade.

    Your thoughts?

    • Guy Macpherson is just a little over the top for my taste. The global warming situation is very serious but it is just not going to cause human extinction. Regardless of how serious it gets some humans will survive.

      Yes, I worry about unattended nuclear reactors and a total global economic collapse could lead to that. But it is not a given that the reactors will be abandoned even in a global economic collapse. Some likely will but not all. And we could survive such a catastrophe anyway. It would be quite devastating but survivable. It would not poison the entire planet.

      I do worry about world economic collapse. There are many things coming together that could cause that. And global warming is just one of them and not the most serious of them. But even if we do have a total world economic meltdown, a few humans will survive.

    • Survivalist says:

      “humanity will face its end withing approximately a decade”

      No a chance. Humans will not go extinct for quite some time. Humans can survive very high temps. And very low ones. High temps will not kill us all. Perhaps high temps will disrupt agricultural production and there will be a famine/population bottleneck, but a famine will not cause extinction.

      I think nuclear reactors are too valuable to be abandoned and left to melt down. If there is a bad collapse there will be people latching onto and huddling around valuable resources such as hydro dams, nuc reactors, etc.

    • Preston says:

      There have been many discussions here about Guy’s time line. There are spikes of CO2 happening now around the Arctic ocean that look very ominous and temperature rise seems to be accelerating rapidly. We may not be all extinct by 2026, but it’s looking more and more likely some bad times are ahead. Even official (IPCC) and others have things getting really bad by 2050 with some kind of negative emissions (geo-engineering) required to prevent disaster.

      • GoneFishing says:

        I do agree with his long list of feedbacks. Timeline isn’t that important, the long term effects are important.
        When the biological base collapses, so will the human base. Whether this leads to extinction or not can only be a guess or a subject of a novel. Most of us will not be around to witness it.

    • Jared Quinlan says:

      My personal opinion, in roughly 10-20 years many sensible people are going to be asking themselves what all the fuss from so-called experts was all about. There could, indeed, be a giant pendulum shift about to happen, causing the planet to go cold. On the other hand, within 100-200 years, warm temperatures on our planet could get pretty terrible, although none of us will likely be alive by then.

      There’s a reason why science is thought of more as a practice instead of the absolute truth. There are so many things unknown, and unknowable, about our universe. Plus, scientists, obviously, are people too. Just like all people everywhere, they have biases, faults, temptations, etc. Ultimately, I think it just boils down to people only believing what they want to believe while nature goes on as it always does.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Hi Jared,
        I am afraid that nature stopped going along as it always does when the present version of man came along. Pay attention, buildings and factories, roads, cars, trains, jets, rockets, electric power, millions of synthetic chemical are not the norm of nature. Nuclear weapons are not the norm of nature.
        Nature buried all those dead plants that formed the fossil fuels. Normally nature does not unearth such things anywhere near the pace tht we have brought them to the surface and does not burn them purposely.
        Things are very different now.
        Still, no evidence at all of a giant pendulum anywhere.

        • Jared Quinlan says:

          I think the difference between you and most people is that you have a deep concern about things completely outside of your control.

          • Hickory says:

            Jared- “I think the difference between you and most people is that you have a deep concern about things completely outside of your control.”
            Probably true, however when you become aware of a potentially dangerous situation, do you just turn a blind eye or do you seek some remedy?
            The answer to that question tells a lot about what kind of person you are. And what kind of world your children deserve to live in.

      • Lloyd says:

        “My personal opinion” (and to be clear, that is a quote from Jared’s post…)
        is worth precisely jack shit around here.

        If we cared about the unreferenced opinions of unlettered assholes, why, we’d be watching Fox News.

  33. Doug Leighton says:

    I divide my time between Norway and Canada so I’m especially (you might say, acutely) familiar with these dilemmas.

    BOTH CLIMATE LEADER AND OIL GIANT? A NORWEGIAN PARADOX

    “It’s one of the problems built into the Paris climate accord that President Donald Trump promises to leave, Erickson argued: Countries are measured by how much they reduce their own emissions, within their own borders, not by the impact they have on the planet as a whole…”

    AND

    “We, as a country, we are petroholics,” said Thomas Nilsen, who runs a news site called The Independent Barents Observer. “We do understand that climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels. At the same time, we depend so much on the income from the oil. Just like alcoholics, we do want to stop, but we don’t know how.”

    https://www.adn.com/nation-world/2017/06/17/both-climate-leader-and-oil-giant-a-norwegian-paradox/

    • GoneFishing says:

      “At the same time, we depend so much on the income from the oil. Just like alcoholics, we do want to stop, but we don’t know how.”
      Yep, all of those societal perks are oil fed. Seems like we have run ourselves into a box canyon and nature is closing off the other end.
      Meanwhile, the Kochs of the world are seeing their dreams come true, a trapped humanity. Trapped by our own inventiveness and intelligence.
      Folks, will we pass the IQ test or watch “Rome” burn while we fiddle along?

      • Fred Magyar says:

        You need to start by understanding the present and especially the technologies that are already shaping our immediate future. Only then can you begin to model possible future scenarios and make decisions as which of those scenarios we wish to allow to come to fruition.

        Pretending issues like overpopulation, climate change, food and water security are not real, is simply not an option. Just as sticking one’s head in the sand and refusing to learn about the implications of things like the alternative energy revolution, AI, robotics, GMOs, genomics, synthetic biology and the obvious fact that our current economic and political systems have become inadequate to the task of dealing with our problems.

        I am quite convinced that the necessary leadership and vision are not currently to be found in the US and will by necessity have to arise in places like Asia, South America, Africa and Europe.

        https://www.ted.com/talks/anab_jain_why_we_need_to_imagine_different_futures#t-866375

        Why we need to imagine different futures

        Anab Jain brings the future to life, creating experiences where people can touch, see and feel the potential of the world we’re creating. Do we want a world where intelligent machines patrol our streets, for instance, or where our genetic heritage determines our health care? Jain’s projects show why it’s important to fight for the world we want. Catch a glimpse of possible futures in this eye-opening talk.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          “I am quite convinced that the necessary leadership and vision are not currently to be found in the US and will by necessity have to arise in places like Asia, South America, Africa and Europe.”

          Fred, I’m not convinced the necessary leadership and vision exist anywhere. My highly intelligent Norway niece, a petroleum engineer who drives an EV, is convinced they’ll pump the last barrel of economic oil that is found in Norway – regardless of the consequences. It will all be exported of course. I hope I’m wrong, starting with Canada’s tar sands but every day lost is another nail in The Coffin.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Doug, it does seem to be the way your Norwegian niece thinks, at least for now. But I do keep telling myself that things can turn around fairly quickly and there is still a chance we won’t burn that last barrel of available oil or that last ton of coal. Maybe, just maybe we will start to have some empathy for our grandchildren and the world of life.
            When I do go buy something, I ask myself is this something I support and want to continue. Things like insulation and efficient light bulbs fit that category. Most things do not fit, so I avoid
            But you are right, each day/month/year we prolong might be the day that crosses the line. We may have already since there is a long delay in the system. I have noticed more scientists starting to call for geo-engineering of some sort when just a few years ago it was almost verboten to consider. I wonder when the anxiety will turn to panic, then action.
            The task ahead seems daunting, too large. But then I realize that just about everything will be rebuilt anyway over the next century if civilization continues, so opportunity to do it better is there.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Fred, have you gone mental? I am not only a scientist but have spent many years studying climate change along with it’s many implications. Where do you get off telling me I don’t understand the alternative energy revolution? I was designing solar heat systems back in the 1980’s.
          Hope you come back to earth soon. Usually you are a bright spot here.

          As far as the necessary leadership, we have it here. Certainly we have all the bright people we need too. What needs to be done is break the stranglehold of the billionaires on the political system.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Meanwhile,

            “Flanked by politicians and hard-hat-wearing union members, Zinke signed a secretarial order at the end of his speech aimed at boosting production in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and at updating estimates of the amount of oil beneath the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”

            https://www.adn.com/politics/2017/05/31/new-interior-secretary-pledges-fewer-roadblocks-for-alaska-oil-development/

            • GoneFishing says:

              Ahh, the republican brass ring, ANWR. They would get pats on the back from their owners for giving that prize away. But the repercussions would be phenomenal.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Fred, have you gone mental? I am not only a scientist but have spent many years studying climate change along with it’s many implications. Where do you get off telling me I don’t understand the alternative energy revolution? I was designing solar heat systems back in the 1980’s.
            Hope you come back to earth soon. Usually you are a bright spot here.

            LOL! Methinks you have misunderstood my comment! I did not in any way, even for a moment intend to suggest that YOU personally, as an individual, do not understand science or the alternative energy revolution! Quite the contrary, as I have only the highest respect for YOU!

            In English grammar and in particular in casual English, generic you, impersonal you, or indefinite you is the pronoun you in its use in referring to an unspecified person, as opposed to its use as the second person pronoun.

            I should probably have started my comment in the following way, to avoid any possible confusion or misunderstanding:

            You need One needs to start by understanding the present and especially the technologies that are already shaping our immediate future.

            Cheers!

            EDIT:
            As far as the necessary leadership, we have it here. Certainly we have all the bright people we need too. What needs to be done is break the stranglehold of the billionaires on the political system

            I personally know many many really decent and highly intelligent people throughout this country. I was referring to the current crop of political leaders. And yes, Fuck them and Fuck the Fucking super rich!

  34. Survivalist says:

    May of 2017 Hits Second Hottest on Record

    https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

    Warm for an El Nino

  35. OFM says:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/06/19/senate-leaders-plan-to-rush-a-health-care-bill-to-a-vote-and-theres-nothing-democrats-can-do-about-it/?utm_term=.e6026660eaad

    The idea is to keep us the people in the dark until after the bill is law, if they can.

    Then we will be allowed to read it, and find out what is IN IT.

    I sincerely doubt if any HRC fans will remember the more or less identical trick she and the D’s tried to pull when she didn’t even have an elected seat, she was just riding Bill’s coattails. They looked down their noses at the everyday people of this country, and told us we could read it and find out what was in it AFTER it was passed.

    This is not to say R types don’t have selective memories as well, lol.

    She’s so much like the Republican’s, in some respects, that the working people of this country simply didn’t trust her to look after their best interests. Some of them were dumb enough to trust Trump, but among the better informed ones of my acquaintance, they voted NOT CLINTON, meaning FOR Trump.

    Trump at least paid lip service to their concerns. She failed to do so in a meaningful and sincere manner.

    Trump didn’t beat her, she beat herself, by running on a BAU/ Republican Lite / identity politics platform.

    Pretty soon Trump isn’t going to be able to get any body with a reputation for integrity to accept a responsible position in his administration. His lawyers are hiring lawyers, lol.

    He’s even contradicting HIS OWN lawyer.

    If he gets away with his shit, I guess we will have gotten the government we deserve, for failing to pay attention over the years as we allowed the standards of public life to gradually be defined down.

    Old HB will see the big picture as no more than Clinton versus Trump but it’s actually out of control, poorly managed government against all of us, excepting those of us with agendas that align with the with the R’s, who are winning the battle for control by a mile.

    I hope HB is ok, just on vacation or something. I miss being called Trumpster. I need him to fight with, he keeps me motivated, lol.

    The real problem is that the R’s are winning at ALL LEVELS, and have been for a long time now.

    In other news, gerrmandering on the basis of political partisanship, rather than a racial basis, may be considered by the Supreme Court soon.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/06/19/democrats-just-got-some-very-good-news-from-the-supreme-court-on-gerrymandering/?utm_term=.c3fd0f0d66df

    This in the opinion of the WP author may well result in some changes that favor the Democrats, since the R’s have been the ones in a position to do the gerrymandering in most cases in recent times.

    I think he is right.

  36. Survivalist says:

    Roger Boyd- The Impacts Of An Ice Free Arctic: A Climate Paradigm Shift?

    http://www.humanitystest.com/the-impacts-of-an-ice-free-arctic-a-climate-paradigm-shift/

    • GoneFishing says:

      An ice free summer Arctic Ocean will effect weather patterns far from the Arctic. We already see how a changed jet stream has increased variability in weather at lower latitudes. Having the Arctic ice free much of the summer will increase that disturbance several times over. Weather variability is the big danger to the temperate latitudes while shifting monsoon times is a big danger for Asia and Africa.
      Warmer waters around Greenland and warmer air will increase the melt rate of the ice cap.

      We have no real idea what a warmer Arctic Ocean will do to the AMOC. Guess we will find out soon.

  37. GoneFishing says:

    Kenya quickly moving toward electrification, plans to have country fully connected by 2020. 60 percent of power is from renewable resources so far.
    https://qz.com/882938/kenya-is-rolling-out-its-national-electricity-program-in-half-the-time-it-took-america/

    In Kenya we are talking about millions of people getting electricity. There are still 600 million people without power in Africa. That is a lot of power, let’s hope much of it is from renewable energy as it rolls out across the continent.

  38. GoneFishing says:

    Power Sector in Developing Asia: Current Status and Policy Issues

    World electricity demand is rising rapidly driven mainly by growth in Asia. It is projected to increase
    over 70% between 2010 and 2035 with over half expected to come from the People’s Republic of
    China (PRC) (38%) and India (13%), while Asia overall is expected to account for 64% (IEA 2012).
    With electricity demand in the PRC expected to grow 140% from 3,668 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2010
    to 8,810 TWh in 2035 and in India by 255% from 693 TWh in 2010 to 2,463 TWh in 2035, Asia’s
    portion of world electricity demand is projected to grow from 29% in 2010 to 43% in 2035 (IEA 2012).
    In 2010, the PRC and India accounted for 20% and 4% of the world total, respectively; this is projected
    to grow to 28% and 8%, respectively (IEA 2012). Asia’s importance in the power sector is therefore
    evident, especially the contributions of the PRC and India.
    The growth in electricity demand is potentially destructive as greenhouse gas emissions from
    the sector are a direct cause of climate change. According to a scenario by the International Energy
    Agency (IEA), assuming current policies on climate change are maintained, global primary energy
    demand is projected to rise by one-third up to 2035, which results in a 50% probability of limiting the
    long-term average global temperature increase to 3.6 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels
    (IEA 2012). From 2000 to 2010, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from Asia increased by 76%, most of
    which came from developing Asia, which showed a near twofold increase from 5,923 million tons of
    CO2 to 11,666 million tons (ADB 2013). Emissions from electricity generation are projected to increase
    annually by 2% from 2010 to 2020, an increase of 21% overall in Asia (ADB 2013). With electricity and
    heat generation accounting for 41% of energy-related CO2 emissions, reviewing short- and long-term
    policies for Asian power sectors is critical at this juncture (IEA 2012).

    https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/42879/ewp-405.pdf

  39. Hightrekker says:

    Needles CA is expected to top off around 127° tomorrow. The low temp of 90° should feel great!

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      For the rest of us, that’s 52.78° C and 32.22° C, respectively. Those decimal places should make all the difference!

      Preview

  40. Hightrekker says:

    California to hit “Solar Wall”:
    (From Stanford University)
    https://energy.stanford.edu/from-directors/path-deep-decarbonization-avoiding-solar-wall

    • Nathanael says:

      Their peaker cost numbers are too low and their battery cost numbers are too high. What will happen is plainly and simply the installation of batteries.

  41. Survivalist says:

    Check out the one year tab and the five year tab.
    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html
    Notice the 8 months increasing CO2 and 4 months decreasing CO2 per annual cycle.
    I suspect that with NH sinks becoming sources we’ll start to see the 4 months down start to flatten out. Eventually will be 8 up/1 across/3 down, then 9 up/3 down, then 9 up/1 across/2 down, then 10 up/2 down. This measure will indicate the NH CO2 tipping point.

  42. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Scientists Sharply Rebut Influential Renewable Energy Plan
    Nearly two dozen researchers critique a proposal for wind, solar, and water power gaining traction in policy circles.

    “The authors of Monday’s rebuttal were quick to stress that cutting emissions as quickly as possible is a crucial goal. The concern is that paths for getting there will be wrong if they’re based on incorrect assumptions or miscalculations. Among other things, it can skew the public debate by suggesting it’s merely a question of marshaling political will, rather than achieving difficult technological breakthroughs and substantial cost reductions.

    That could lead to spending public resources on the wrong technologies, underestimating the research and development still required, or abandoning sources that might ultimately be necessary to reach the stated goals.”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Scientists Sharply Rebut Influential Renewable Energy Plan
      Nearly two dozen researchers critique a proposal for wind, solar, and water power gaining traction in policy circles.

      What a load of crap!

      So did you read the author’s rebuttal or are you actually just another blind unconscious supporter of the fossil fuel industry and every time you see some bullshit article supporting your unfounded anti renewables, antiscience and anti technology luddite viewpoint you wave it about shouting see, see, renewables are bad, they don’t work because some Koch brother funded think tank pseudo scientists came up with another denial story!

      The authors of the earlier paper published an accompanying response that disputed the piece point by point. In an interview with MIT Technology Review, lead author Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, said the rebuttal doesn’t accurately portray their research. He says the authors were motivated by allegiance to energy technologies that the 2015 paper excluded.

      “They’re either nuclear advocates or carbon sequestration advocates or fossil-fuels advocates,” Jacobson says. “They don’t like the fact that we’re getting a lot of attention, so they’re trying to diminish our work.”

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Here’s a nappy, Fred. You seem to have a little foam in the corner there and on your chin.

        The plot thickens. It’s already thick.

        We don’t need thickening agents, but will probably get many dropped in anyway along the way.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          So did you read the rebuttal or not?

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Hi Fred,

            I think you’re mooing up the wrong guy. Go chew your cud with one of the anti-AGW drive-by’s.

  43. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Retail Apocalypse Engulfs US Economy

    “The retail apocalypse grows: Not even halfway through 2017, closures of retail stores have doubled last year’s closures as of this time and already exceed the last peak in closures during the crash of 2008. The bottom line is simple here. Commercial real-estate investment trusts (REITs), malls, mortgage-backed securities (remember those), and their bankers are in a lot of trouble. The anchor stores are closing up the worst, which will pull others down in the wake by reducing traffic to malls. ‘Thousands of new doors opened and rents soared. This created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst.’ According to Credit Suisse, 20-25% of US shopping malls will shut down within the next five years. While this is due to a paradigm shift in how people do their shopping, not just an overall reduction in retail sales, it will send shudders and close shutters throughout real-estate-based retail economy, having a huge impact on construction, land sales, banking, jobs, etc..

    That was less than two months ago, and now many are calling it a retail apocalypse. If you think we’re exaggerating with colossal words, read on…”

    Get Over It
    “Suppress those negative thoughts…”

    • OFM says:

      I for one believe that we are at very high risk of a major recession, possibly a long term depression, as the consequence of various past sins including allowing the banking industry to socialize any losses, while retaining any profits.

      The incentive for reckless behavior is so powerful it’s impossible for a banker to resist it, and they learned like the kids of indulgent parents that when they fuck up, nothing meaningful will happen to them. Taking away the TV or computer or phone isn’t really serious, in terms of punishment. The banking industry’s take away when bailed out was that fines would be paid, sometimes- fines that would be small, in relation to the ill gained profits they were allowed to keep, and that nobody important to the owners or top management would even see the inside of a courtroom, never mind a jail.

      The Republicans are mostly responsible for setting the stage where this sorry situation could come to pass. The Obama administration was almost entirely responsible for allowing the banksters to get away with high crimes without punishment. BAU Republican Lite Democrats are so similar to Republicans in so many ways that they might as well switch parties.

      But the BAU D camp DOES do a better job on environmental issues, by a large margin, and and a better job on personal rights issues by a country mile.

    • GoneFishing says:

      I wouldn’t call 10 percent cutbacks an apocalypse. Besides Amazon expanding into everything and now going brick and mortar, Walmart is moving strongly into the internet. A lot of stores are meeting or exceeding expectations.
      Radio Shack was a poor leftover of an earlier era when electronics was homemade and the big mail order (later internet) outfits had not taken over yet.
      The only reason I can see a store system like Sears being in trouble is poor management.
      People love to shop, they fill the malls around here.
      Consumer spending has risen every quarter since 2014 with a new record high the first quarter of 2017. It is 875 billion dollars higher now than in 2014.
      What we are seeing now could just be a combination of over expansion and a shift in where and on what people spend their money. The people are still pouring out the money, no cut backs there.
      I notice local independent drug stores closing due to competition from big chain drug stores planting themselves essentially right next door or across the street. Whether these large stores can maintain is questionable considering the size of the competition they are displacing.

      • notanoilman says:

        Tried to order spare parts from Sears, couldn’t even get a reply to an email.

        NAOM

      • Fred Magyar says:

        The only reason I can see a store system like Sears being in trouble is poor management.
        People love to shop, they fill the malls around here.

        Yes, there are still vibrant malls where people go to shop but Sears is dying for many reasons and since many malls in the 80s and 90’s were anchored by large chain stores such as Sears, Kmart, Bloomingdales, Macy’s to name a few, as these stores die out, so do the malls they anchored.

        I recommend watching some of Dan Bell’s Dead Mall Series Youtube videos.
        https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNz4Un92pGNxQ9vNgmnCx7dwchPJGJ3IQ

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        I wonder how much relative money is being pumped into the so-called economy, and the effects of that and interest rates and assorted financial, etc., whatnots, and how that all sort of smushes into ‘what seems’, including the lies, damned lies and statistics.

        Full Moon
        “Inside my dreams
        They build business machines
        Nothing here is ever what it seems…”

  44. OFM says:

    https://www.wired.com/story/synthetic-genomics-genetically-engineered-algae-might-fuel-the-future/

    Fred Maygar will be the guy to expand on this article.

    If I were young again, I would probably spend my working years as an agricultural researcher out in the fields and forests. The potential is mind blowing.

    Let’s just hope and pray to our favorite snake or mountain or pretty lady that we master these potential new technologies before we either wreck the biosphere burning fossil fuels, or we RUN TOO SHORT of fossil fuels. Either way , the result could be the end of life as more fortunate people know it today- easy, pleasant, safe, and long.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      The issues aren’t on the biological side. We have gotten to the point where sequencing and editing 10,000 base pair genomes of algae is quite cheap and almost trivial. Craig Venter and Exxon worked on this for a long time during the last decade. I’m pretty sure that there will be niche applications of liquid biofuels derived from algae in the near future. The real problems are the laws of ecosystem thermodynamics once you take your GMO algae and try to grow them in large scale farms outside the controlled environment of the lab, then harvesting the algae and processing it for the oils.

      I don’t have the links handy but back in the Oil Drum days Robert Rapier wrote some good papers about this aspect. It seems no matter how you slice or dice it the EROEI of biofuels just isn’t all that great. My bets are still on electricity as the major source of energy in the future.

      I just can’t see how burning fuels to produce heat energy can possibly be more efficient. Anyways, to the folks who believe they can make ‘America Great Again’ by bringing back coal, steel production and heavy industrial manufacturing jobs, all of this green biofuel stuff is mostly science fiction.

      Lets make America Smart Again! Make it mandatory for anyone aspiring to hold public office to pass at least college level math, physics, chemistry and biology exams in order to be allowed to even run for office.

      Cheers!

      • Hickory says:

        I Agree with that analysis Fred.

      • Nathanael says:

        We might be able to use bioengineered algae for active carbon sequestration, though. Build giant blooms of them in the ocean (maybe digesting the plastic trash in the ocean), suck the carbon out of the air, die and fall to the bottom. Sounds helpful to me.

        For that we don’t need the processing step. The HARD part is making them survive outside the lab long enough to do their job.

  45. OFM says:

    I haven’t seen any other particular article that does such a good job of explaining the nature of the Trump phenomenon, and the significance of it, in terms of the future of the country.

    It’s scary as hell, to put it bluntly.

    The author’s dead on, Trump supporters are following him as their cult leader, with everything he says accepted as gospel, and everything anybody else says dismissed as the work of demons and devils out to tear down the Great Man.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/why-trump-doesnt-need-fox-news-anymore

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I’ve posted this before but since I know you are an avid student of history, you might appreciate Sam Harris’ podcast:
      https://www.samharris.org/podcast/item/the-road-to-tyranny
      The Road to Tyranny
      A Conversation with Timothy Snyder

      While history does not repeat, the lessons of history are even scarier than the article. We ignore those lessons at our extreme peril!

      • JN2 says:

        Thanks Fred. Scary indeed. Especially the quote from the German-Jewish newspaper editorial in 1933…

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Exactly!!

          • Hightrekker says:

            Harris is a breath of fresh air in a time of political correctness, and the Left fighting for censorship.
            In the 60’s at Berkeley we fought for Free Speech.
            Orwell would be blushing!

            • wharf rat says:

              “In the 60’s at Berkeley we fought for Free Speech.”
              Would you want your daughter to marry a regent?
              Rat ’66

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      KGB Trumpster says : “Trump supporters are following him as their cult leader, with everything he says accepted as gospel”

      • Hightrekker says:

        HRC personal worth is 45 million+, 50 times Sanders.
        How does a public servant acquire 45 million dollars?
        Inquiring minds want to know—-

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Bill Clinton has been paid $104.9 million for 542 speeches around the world between January 2001, when he left the White House, and January 2013, when Hillary stepped down as secretary of state, according to a Washington Post review of the family’s federal financial disclosures.

          Although slightly more than half of his appearances were in the United States, the majority of his speaking income, $56.3 million, came from foreign speeches, many of them in China, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom, the Post review found.

          The financial industry has been Clinton’s most frequent sponsor. The Post review showed that Wall Street banks and other financial services firms have hired Clinton for at least 102 appearances and paid him a total of $19.6 million.

          Hightrekker, there’s a reason you post here for free

          • Hightrekker says:

            The Post review showed that Wall Street banks and other financial services firms have hired Clinton for at least 102 appearances and paid him a total of $19.6 million.
            Well, that proves my point- we now know, and the Pay to Play with the Clinton Foundation, the stream was going to continue, until something happened.
            I’m viewing this on HTML because of a coder in Switzerland invented it while working at CERN, a international government collaboration, after the US Government gave him the platform

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              The Clinton Foundation, then just a few years old, announced it was partnering with the Indian National AIDS Control Organization to help train 150,000 doctors and healthcare professionals to support modernized HIV/AIDS treatment. These who were implementing HIV/AIDS programs, did not believe that the Clinton Foundation could achieve such a lofty objective. When the initiative was launched, people living with HIV were so stigmatized that their civil rights were violated. The idea that Bill Clinton could persuade the Indian government to mobilize 150,000 healthcare professionals in this climate seemed highly unlikely.

              The foundation and the Indian National AIDS Control Organization reached and then surpassed their goal — and then the foundation went on to establish a successful pediatric HIV/AIDS initiative.

              The Clinton Foundation and their person net worth are to separate things. The couple have donated more in one year to charity than you have made in your life time.

              • Hightrekker says:

                New York City: Haitians Protest Hillary Clinton Commencement Address

                https://www.democracynow.org/2017/6/9/headlines/new_york_city_haitians_protest_hillary_clinton_commencement_address

                And in New York City, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a commencement address Thursday to graduates of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. Outside Clinton’s speech, members of the Haitian human rights group Komokoda held a protest, saying the Clinton Foundation stole money intended for Haiti’s reconstruction after the 2010 earthquake. The protesters also blasted Clinton’s record of public service. This is protester Dahoud Andre.

                Dahoud Andre: “Hillary Clinton, the Clinton family, the harm that they have done to our people in Haiti, in Africa, in Libya, in Honduras, right here in the United States, the 1996 crime bill, criminalizing, incarcerating—mass incarceration of our youth, that she called superpredators. We said, whatever Donald Trump can do, whatever harm he can do, it cannot be worse than what the Clintons have already done to our people.”

                Weapons, Pipelines & Wall St: Did Clinton Foundation Donations Impact Clinton State Dept. Decisions?

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia0TUv97dhI

              • HuntingtonBeach says:

                A US Government Accountability Office report discovered no hint of wrongdoing, but concluded the IHRC’s decisions were “not necessarily aligned with Haitian priorities”.
                Mr Clinton’s own office at the UN found 9% of the foreign aid cash went to the Haitian government and 0.6% to local organisations.
                The bulk of it went to UN agencies, international aid groups, private contractors and donor countries’ own civilian and military agencies.
                For example, the Pentagon billed the State Department hundreds of millions of dollars for sending US troops to hand out bottled water and keep order on the streets of Haiti’s ravaged capital, Port-au-Prince.

                A spokeswoman for the charity told the BBC: “Every penny of the more than $30m raised was deployed on the ground, with no overhead taken by the Clinton Foundation.”

                http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37826098

                • Hightrekker says:

                  “not necessarily aligned with Haitian priorities”
                  Of course, they were kept for the “Pay To Play” model of the Clinton Foundation.

                  We will not get into Honduras, as that may classify as war crimes.
                  (Thanks HRC, we love having the highest murder rate on Earth)

                • HuntingtonBeach says:

                  “Every penny of the more than $30m raised was deployed on the ground, with no overhead taken by the Clinton Foundation.”

                  • Hightrekker says:

                    “Less than a penny of every dollar goes directly to a Haitian organization.”

                    A growing reliance on U.S. and other international contractors helps explain why the payoff of foreign aid in Haiti often seems so low. For instance, it cost more than $33,000 to build a new housing unit in one post-earthquake program, a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office said last year. That’s five times more than one nonprofit, called Mission of Hope, spends per house, using local contractors.

                    “International companies had to fly in, rent hotels and cars, and spend USAID allowances for food and cost-of-living expenses,” Johnston wrote in the Boston Review last year. So-called danger pay and hardship pay inflated salaries by more than 50 percent.

                    http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/01/12/376138864/5-years-after-haiti-s-earthquake-why-aren-t-things-better

    • Nathanael says:

      Yes, Trump is a cult leader and his followers are a cult. So is Cruz and his followers are a more dangerous cult.

      Thankfully, both are getting *less and less popular*. This is the good news.

      Reagan was ALSO a cult leader whose followers accepted every piece of incoherent gibberish from his mouth as gospel, and he had 2/3 of the country voting for him. I think that was much more dangerous.

  46. Doug Leighton says:

    Dose of realism fir the PV optimists:

    RIO TINTO SPURNS GLENCORE OFFER FOR AUSTRALIAN COAL MINES IN FAVOUR OF CHINESE BID

    “A bidding war broke out over the coal mines earlier this month when Glencore revealed it had tabled a $2.55bn (£2bn) offer for the assets, $100m more than the initial bid by Yancoal, which was announced in January…Rio is backing out of coal mining to focus on iron ore and steel while China is looking to shore up its energy supply. Although the country is trying to cut back pollution from coal-fired plants, the commodity is expected to remain in long-term demand across Asia for the next two decades – prompting Glencore’s interest in gatecrashing the deal.”

    https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/rio-tinto-spurns-glencore-offer-123409265.html

    • Doug Leighton says:

      AND,

      “Saudi Arabia has regained its top position ahead of the U.S. and Russia as the holder of the world’s biggest recoverable oil resources, as reduced tax rates for state giant Saudi Aramco have added 73 billion barrels of recoverable oil, Norway-based consultancy Rystad Energy said on Tuesday in its annual review of global recoverable oil resources…Saudi Arabia’s recoverable oil resources are now estimated at 276 billion barrels, Rystad said, adding that the Kingdom’s “revised fiscal regime should incentivize more aggressive exploration and development drilling in the country.”

      http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Saudis-Overtake-US-In-Recoverable-Oil-Resources.html

      • GoneFishing says:

        With years of cheap energy, why do the prices of most products keep going up?

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Inflation? Printing money? Government debt? Cosmic rays?

          • GoneFishing says:

            Oops. During the “Great Recession” we forgot to lower prices much if at all. In fact some went up. Certainly the real estate market did not fall far enough and real estate taxes kept going up.

        • Nick G says:

          Because the price of most goods and services have little to do with their oil & gas inputs. Electricity is the most important energy input to manufacturing (though even that isn’t a big component), and it’s price has been very stable.

      • Nathanael says:

        Reserve accounting manipulation. Saudis still angling for that Aramco IPO, I think.

    • Nathanael says:

      The interesting news there is that Rio Tinto is getting out of coal. Sharp.

      Yancoal is not run by sane people.

  47. Hightrekker says:

    Gee, you think?

    How To Stop Drug Prices From Rising? New Study Points To Single-Payer Health Care System

    http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/how-stop-drug-prices-rising-new-study-points-single-payer-health-care-system

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Better known as 1993 HillaryCare

    • OFM says:

      Most modern countries have laws that force drug companies to negotiate prices, especially on such drugs as are used in large quantities.

      A sky high price on a new drug that is sold only in very modest volumes is one thing. It costs a lot to bring a new drug to market, and a lot of drugs fail somewhere in the testing process, either because they don’t work, ,or because they turn out to be too dangerous, or have too many undesirable effects.

      Paying fifty or a hundred or more times the actual cost of a drug sold in large volumes for many years is something else altogether.

      We pay thru the nose here in the USA because big pharma ,the R Party and the Republican Lite faction of the D Party are all in bed together. We the people are the ones who are actually getting screwed.

      I posted a link a while back that told how many Democrats joined with the R’s to defeat a bill that would allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices.

      I AM a conservative in that I DO believe in free markets and free market principles, whereas quite a few leftish leaning folks DON’T.

      But that doesn’t mean I believe in cartels, and monopolies, and sweetheart deals hatched between various companies, and the government in general, and between companies and the government agencies that are SUPPOSED to regulate the businesses to ensure the public interest is satisfactorily met.

      When the free market does NOT work, it’s time for the sort of drastic action that DOES work.

      Single Payer health insurance has been proven to work, and work well, and for as little as half what we are paying here in the USA today.

      The drug industry in particular is one that has been subjecting us to rough involuntary sex for as long as I can remember, and even before that.

      This is probably a different link, but it has the relevant information.

      https://www.reddit.com/r/SandersForPresident/comments/5nicm2/these_democrats_just_voted_against_bernies/

      These Democrats just voted against Bernie’s amendment to reduce prescription drug prices. They are traitors to the 99% and need to be primaried: Bennett, Booker, Cantwell, Carper, Casey, Coons, Donnelly, Heinrich, Heitkamp, Menendez, Murray, Tester, Warner. self.SandersForPresident

      submitted 5 months ago by gideonvwainwrightOhio – Bernie Squad – Cadet

      The Democrats could have passed Bernie’s amendment but chose not to. 12 Republicans, including Ted Cruz and Rand Paul voted with Bernie. We had the votes.

      Here is the list of Democrats who voted “Nay” (Feinstein didn’t vote she just had surgery):

      Bennet (D-CO) – 2022 https://ballotpedia.org/Michael_Bennet

      Booker (D-NJ) – 2020 https://ballotpedia.org/Cory_Booker

      Cantwell (D-WA) – 2018 https://ballotpedia.org/Maria_Cantwell

      Carper (D-DE) – 2018 https://ballotpedia.org/Thomas_R._Carper

      Casey (D-PA) – 2018 https://ballotpedia.org/Bob_Casey,_Jr.

      Coons (D-DE) – 2020 https://ballotpedia.org/Chris_Coons

      Donnelly (D-IN) – 2018 https://ballotpedia.org/Joe_Donnelly

      Heinrich (D-NM) – 2018 https://ballotpedia.org/Martin_Heinrich

      Heitkamp (D-ND) – 2018 https://ballotpedia.org/Heidi_Heitkamp

      Menendez (D-NJ) – 2018 https://ballotpedia.org/Robert_Menendez

      Murray (D-WA) – 2022 https://ballotpedia.org/Patty_Murray

      Tester (D-MT) – 2018 https://ballotpedia.org/Jon_Tester

      Warner (D-VA) – 2020 https://ballotpedia.org/Mark_Warner

      So 8 in 2018 – Cantwell, Carper, Casey, Donnelly, Heinrich, Heitkamp, Menendez, Tester.

      3 in 2020 – Booker, Coons and Warner, and

      2 in 2022 – Bennett and Murray.

      And especially, let that weasel Cory Booker know, that we remember this treachery when he makes his inevitable 2020 run.

      http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=115&session=1&vote=00020

      Bernie’s amendment lost because of these Democrats.

      xxxx

      • Nathanael says:

        Most of these are the expected traitors, but Cantwell and Murray are a disappointment — someone must have gotten to (bribed) the Washington delegation.

    • George Kaplan says:

      I give it 18 months and the present king will be dead or abdicated with dementia.

      • OFM says:

        I’m ready to bet even money that Trump doesn’t last his entire term.

        If the Dems take the House next time around, it’s a cinch he will be impeached.

        Even with the R’s in control, I think he is at high risk of being forced out of office due to his never ending string of scandals catching up with him.

        He managed to get elected with a baggage train even worse than Clinton’s, but the difference is that AS A POLITICIAN, he was new on the national scene, and the general public knew next to nothing about his actual record of bankruptcies, questionable business deals, etc.

        Clinton didn’t have that luxury or lucky break, because she was constantly in the public eye, being a politician, and people were paying attention. People pay more attention over the years to politicians, than they do to celebrities, when there’s a possibility they may eventually be voting for them- or against them.

        Over the next year or so, the public is going to have ample opportunity to learn all about Trump’s long term record.

        • Boomer II says:

          I tend not to watch videos anyway (I’d rather skim a story than watch), but you might indicate what these videos are about. I’m not sure how many people here will click on them just to click on them.

          But of course if you are posting simply to increase links to the videos, then you’ve accomplished that.

          • Survivalist says:

            Do what you feel like. I couldn’t care less.

            • Boomer II says:

              Whatever. I doubt many people here have bothered to click on those links because there is no indication what they are about. I don’t think most people bother to click on what appears to be random, unidentified videos. I was just making a suggestion. But hey, you use your best judgement.

              • Survivalist says:

                Hint- It’s got to do with KSA, you know- the topic of the last couple comments. It’s not exactly hard to figure out. Or maybe it is, for you.

  48. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    High Cost of Cobalt Pushes Up Prices of Lithium Batteries for IT Devices by More Than 15% Between First and Second Quarter

    “Compared against the average of the January to March period, prices of lithium batteries for IT devices have already risen by more than 15%… The price trend of IT batteries started to turn in the fourth quarter of 2016, when the global cobalt market saw rising prices and China placed greater restriction on the domestic mining of cobalt ores. In the February and March of this year, the cobalt market saw another huge price jump. As a result, the price trend of IT batteries changed from a gradual climb to a sharp upswing.”

    Cobalt Prices To Rocket As Tesla And Apple Scramble For Supplies

    “Cobalt is critical to the electric vehicle (EV) revolution, and it makes up some 35 percent of the lithium-ion battery mix—but we can’t source enough of it now, and the future supply is uncertain at best.

    A huge uptick in EV production and a dozen battery gigafactories coming on line will more than strain cobalt supplies. But the bottlenecks are already worrisome; especially since some 60 percent of the world’s supply is unethical, and mined by children under inhuman conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).”

    See also what I posted hereon about u-shaped cost curves, lithium and ethics.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Damn, I’m sure that means the Gigafactory will close down all operations within the next month! EVs, laptops, smartphones, Powerwalls are a really bad idea and we should all go back to using morse code via telegraph lines. Coal powered energy generation and mining coal is a much better option for child labor the world over, especially here in the USA.

      On the other hand even a superficial perusal of the materials science literature on lithium ion battery chemistry will make it clear to even the uninformed layman that Lithium ion Cobalt chemistry is actually considered rather obsolete. There are plenty of alternatives in the pipeline. Google isn’t all that hard to use… Though understanding technical papers on battery chemistry may be a tad beyond the abilities of some.

      But even if there weren’t any alternatives, it might be illuminating to take a look at what the price increase of Cobalt means to the overall price of Lithium ion batteries given that there has been a 80% decrease in the price of these batteries over the last 6 years alone. So in terms of the big picture it really isn’t all that significant.

      Personally I’m far more concerned about the ethics and consequences of continuing to burn fossil fuels and emitting CO2 into the atmosphere and what that will do to the future of children living in Africa and elsewhere.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Lithium is an abundant element and not much cobalt is used in the battery (maybe 20 to 30 pounds). With over 4 million tons of known reserves and other areas being explored, that is a lot of cars. Of course it is doubtful that batteries will stay with the current technology.

      New cobalt discovery.
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-03-06/high-grade-cobalt-discovery-hailed-as-significant-milestone/8323928

      • OFM says:

        Back in the younger days of the oil industry, OLD MAN ROCKEFELLER had a way of going into a community, and selling his oil products so cheaply that he ran all the little local guys out of the oil business, and then he raised his prices. He called it “sweating” them.

        It takes a goddamned fool to believe the Chinese are playing nice, or will play nice, or ever HAVE played nice, in terms of international trade. Generally speaking, nobody plays any nicer than absolutely necessary in terms of global trade.

        Now it COULD BE that China has been making very good profits right along, exporting rare earths and maybe other minerals that are in relatively short supply. I think they have been making money, personally.

        But they are also, so far as I can see, perfectly willing to withhold production from the market, when they have a strangle hold on the supply of any given mineral, because when the price goes UP a lot faster than the sold volume goes down, profits shoot into the stratosphere and on out into orbit even.

        ( Farmers know all about this, some of my family members, who were at the time hardworking hillbillies just getting by raising apples, made enough in ONE YEAR to build very nice brick houses, free and clear, and buy a couple of new cars and trucks to boot, without even having any hired help, except at harvest. What happened is that they lucked out and had big crops when the crop regionally and nationally was short. )

        The people who are interested in mining rare earths and other minerals that are very valuable are mostly SCARED to invest the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars into opening new mines.

        They’re afraid the Chinese will flood the market and drive them into the poor house, or all the way to bankruptcy court.

        The world’s a Darwinian place. The Saudi’s and the Russians have been doing their damned best to bleed each other dry, in terms of an oil price war, when between the two of them, they could cut production modestly and get twice the money for LESS oil sold.

        Some other observers tend to focus more on the idea that the Saudi’s are trying to bankrupt the tight oil and maybe the tar sands oil industries here in the USA and Canada. Maybe so. I won’t argue otherwise, no siree.

        I strongly suspect that until we Westeners put some political guarantees in place to reassure business men that they WILL be able to sell whatever they mine at a profit, rather than being dumped on, we will REMAIN dependent on the Chinese for rare earths, and other minerals in short supply, if they have control of large deposits of these minerals.

        We don’t HAVE a coherent long term game plan here in the USA. It’s everybody for himself and maybe his buddies, and so far, that’s worked ok, mostly, in terms of our having whatever we want available to anybody with money to pay.

        The Chinese have a master plan, and the goal of it is economic growth and dominance, and they put the interests of any given industry or business man second to the interests of the country.

        • Nick G says:

          No question, it’s risky to be heavily dependent on crucial imports.

          And…US foreign policy recognizes this risk: that’s why we did Gulf War I and II, why we support Saudi Arabia (despite the enormous cost of radicalizing generations of young people who have no political power under their kleptocracy, and the destruction of our reputation for the moral high ground), why we prevented democracy in Iran in 1954, etc., etc., etc.

          Our “risk management” strategy has been ineffective and very, very expensive. Far cheaper to kick the oil habit…

  49. Energy News says:

    Algae based biofuel – Bloomberg – June 19th
    It’s the holy grail for biofuel developers hoping to coax energy out of algae: Keep the organism fat enough to produce oil but spry enough to grow quickly.
    most algae growing in this environment would produce about 10 to 15 percent oil. The Exxon and Synthetic Genomics collaboration yielded a strain with more than 40 percent.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-19/genome-decoder-s-fatty-algae-is-biofuel-breakthrough-for-exxon

    Sonam Wangchuk is an engineer who has come up with an innovative way to provide fresh water to villages in Ladakh, one of the high-altitude deserts in the world located in the Himalayas.
    Wangchuk sources water from streams and uses it to create artificial glaciers, which store fresh water until it’s needed in springtime.
    video http://mashable.com/2017/06/14/artificial-glaciers-fresh-water-desert-himalayas/#nnbuAsfQ9Pqg

    • Fred Magyar says:

      It’s the holy grail for biofuel developers hoping to coax energy out of algae: Keep the organism fat enough to produce oil but spry enough to grow quickly.

      Aside from the minor quibble that these algae produce lipids and not oil, I still love synthetic biology and have followed Craig Venter for a number of years including this joint research project with Exxon.

      Quote from the article:

      Even with this newest discovery, commercialization of this kind of modified algae is decades away.

      And always will be just a minor niche application due to low EROEI.

      Burning fuel for heat is just plain inefficient!

      • OFM says:

        Hi Fred,

        EREOI is theoretically important anytime,and it’s extremely important as a practical matter, anytime the energy inputs into a process involve fossil fuels.

        BUT…………… And this is a huge but……… If an algae farm runs mostly or almost entirely on solar energy, the input energy won’t matter much, other than the monetary cost of it.

        And nobody knows better than you how fast the price of solar electricity is falling!!!!!!!

        I’m game and willing to stick my neck out and speculate on some aspects of a potential algae industry.

        First off, in order to work anytime soon, the process will have to be operated on a fairly large scale. As the technology advances, smaller and smaller installations will become practical of course.

        Large algae farms will likely work best when located in very sunny climates near fairly large cities, where land not far out of town is cheap…….. the American southwest is that sort of place.

        Sewage, partially treated, is likely going to be a major input, because it’s not only CHEAP AS SHIT ( har har har !) , you get PAID to take it off the hands of the city government, and it’s chock full of nutrients for the algae to chow down on.

        A well designed algae farm may actually generate a fair amount of reasonably clean water, maybe not clean enough to drink, but certainly clean enough to use it for irrigation, or to pipe it back to town for further treatment to potable water standards.

        I don’t know yet what the byproducts might be, but I think it’s rather likely that algae, after being processed to separate the lipids, will serve satisfactorily as a supplemental feed for pets and livestock, mixed in with ordinary feeds.

        If not, then the leftovers can likely be used as fertilizer.

        Separating contaminants from the feed water stream, such as heavy metals, could be a real problem, in some localities.

        And there’s a possible chicken and egg problem. Nobody is apt to want to build a really expensive first generation algae farm unless selling the product is a sure thing…….. and while there is already some demand for any lipids or fats suitable as animal feeds, etc, …… It might take a while for the market to absorb any new large scale production.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Tks GF!

      This is interesting from a BMS standpoint as well. In case anyone is wondering that’s Battery Management Software. 🙂

      “We’re dealing with thousands of essential sites, so we can’t afford any mistakes,” comments Cedric De Jonghe, Manager of Actility’s Energy Business Unit. “We have to take all of Orange’s constraints into account in real time, including the fact that some sites may not be available to us. What’s particularly interesting about this project is that instead of starting a diesel generator, we are switching to batteries, a ‘green curtailment,’ which of course is much better in times of climate change and a new awareness of the impact of pollution.”

      Could someone please send Trump, Scott Pruitt, Myron Ebell, Rick Perry and the 63 million Trump supporters a link.

      BTW, is it just me or is Myron Ebell one of the most evil human beings on the planet?!
      He looks like Austin Power’s Dr. Evil with glasses.
      .

  50. OFM says:

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/canadian-peaches-and-california-coffee-how-farmers-are-being-forced-innovate-face-climate-change-180963720/

    I have been watching the industry for years and years and during all that time, the growing season has been gradually getting a little longer, on average, with first date for planting and last date for harvesting now on average as much as two weeks farther apart here and there in the country.

    I am dead serious about planting some pecans, being at the extreme northern end of the range for this tree, which does well as a TREE here, but only produces ripe nuts every five years or to ten years on average. Another week or two of warm fall weather, and I can have my own pecans maybe two years out of three. Will I live long enough to harvest a few? Maybe, lol.

    Peaches in Canada? The idea is a mind blower for a hands on fruit farmer in my part of the world.

    Nobody in the immediate neighborhood except my maternal grandfather had his own figs forty or fifty years ago. He had figs in a superbly sheltered spot, planted against a brick wall on the south side of his house, which got the sun all day, and another building blocked the prevailing winter wind out of the west and north. No doubt the fact that the wall lost some heat from the interior in cold weather helped the figs get thru the winter.

    Figs are getting to be very popular here these days. The nearest big box store orders trees four or five dozen at a time, and generally sells out between deliveries.

    The times, and the climate, they are a ‘ changing!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. Hightrekker says:

    Wing Pawn Global Cooling News Update:

    Heatwaves to soar above the hot air of climate politics

    http://www.nature.com/news/heatwaves-to-soar-above-the-hot-air-of-climate-politics-1.22164?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20170622&spMailingID=54331883&spUserID=MjA1Nzc0NjIwOAS2&spJobID=1183642589&spReportId=MTE4MzY0MjU4OQS2

    More Liberal Lies!
    It was cold in the beer cooler at the Monster Truck Rally!

  52. Boomer II says:

    Richard Branson: Business leaders are baffled by Trump on climate change: “Whether it’s GE, or whether it’s the big oil companies… I haven’t come across one business person who doesn’t want to get out there and do everything they can to try to compensate for the Trump administration’s very strange stance, Branson said on a Wednesday call with reporters.”

  53. Hightrekker says:

    Saying that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say.

  54. OFM says:

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57028#.WUuvzmiQwlw

    Most of us have no doubt heard the old saying “No good deed goes unpunished”.

    I was hanging with a “hot young blossom” ( courtesy of Twain) along about graduation time, back in the dark ages, and we were giving some serious thought to becoming technological missionaries, and going someplace to teach the local people how to increase their food production.

    But one profane old professor who generally leveled with me, in face to face private conversations, asked me WHY? and then pointed out that essentially what I would be doing would be to replace one starving person with two, by showing them how to double their output.

    Whatever we can do to lower birth rates, we need to be doing it.

    I’m interested in hearing of any innovative approaches that might convince individual women, or couples, to delay having children, or have only one.

    If ways can be found to convince INDIVIDUAL women in very poor countries to avoid having more than one child, and help such women get on their feet economically, SOME of their peers will take notice, and copy cat .

    Any thoughts on specific ” out of the box ” ways to lower birth rates will be greatly appreciated.

    Hell, it would suit me just fine to load up some B52’s with birth control pills, and bomb entire urban areas with them, the way bombers were once upon a time used to distribute propaganda leaflets.

    The men might not like it, and some of the women some places would gladly stone other women for taking the pills, but my guess is that there would soon develop a ready black market for them, without continued deliveries, and that every single packet would be hunted up and hidden for later sale, lol.

    The trick might be to get electronic communications such as really cheap tv’s and or hand held phones and computers into the hands of such people, and provide plenty of free programming via satellite that would show them how much nicer life is with only one or two kids, or NO kids.

    The widespread affordability and adoption of television seems to have been THE key factor in birth rates dropping like a stone in Brazil, due to the women in particular watching soap operas, etc, depicting women with small families- prosperous women, with more clothes for themselves AND their one child, more shoes, more free time, etc etc.

    Any links to notable local success stories involving lowering birth rates will be greatly appreciated.

    • Nathanael says:

      Well, bluntly, I keep sending my charitable funding the #1 most popular sex education site in the entire world — Scarleteen. It’s got a huge number of girls and boys from India (obviously, middle class and above) logging on and discovering that they don’t HAVE to have lots of children… (India more than other countries because they speak English and the website is English language). It originally got its start by getting porn sites to link their “I’m under 18” links to it.

      Is that innovative enough?

      Women want to have fewer kids, almost universally. The problem is that they don’t know *how*. They have to actually have access to birth control, and know how to use it, and have enough economic power to be able to say “no” to an overbearing husband.

      Changing attitudes among the middle class DO spread by word of mouth to the lower classes — at least in India they do.

      There is a worldwide campaign going on to prevent women from having access to birth control, mostly run by Saudi Arabia, the Roman Catholic Church, right-wing Hindu groups, right-wing Jewish groups, right-wing Protestant groups. Gotta fight them. Insanely, China didn’t provide widespread sex education until a couple of years ago and it’s still hard to find condoms (wonder why the one-child policy didn’t work? well, duh…)

  55. Hightrekker says:

    What about this analysis?

    The 2018 House map still favors Republicans, and the party is defending far fewer Senate seats than Democrats. Aggressively gerrymandered districts provide another layer of defense, as does voter suppression, and the avalanche of spending from outside groups. Americans might be hurt and outraged by the effects of the AHCA, but those barriers blunt the electoral impact.

    The grounds for political combat seem to have changed as well. If recent special elections are any indication—where GOP candidates refused to comment on signature GOP policies—extreme polarization means Republicans can mobilize supporters without being forced to talk about or account for their actual actions. Identity, for many voters, matters more than their pocketbooks. Republicans simply need to signal their disdain—even hatred—for their opponents, political or otherwise. Why worry about the consequences of your policies when you can preclude defeat by changing the ground rules of elections, spending vast sums, and stoking cultural resentment?

    It seems, then, that we have an answer for Republicans insist on moving forward with the American Health Care Act. Because they can. And who is going to stop them?

    “They don’t fear the voters because they have managed to create an alternate universe for them in which everything bad that happens to them is the fault of hippies, feminazis, immigrants and people of color and everything good that happens is because of them. When liberals scream they laugh with delight because it means we are seeing justice at their hands.

    And they’ve successfully created an electoral system than keeps them in the majority through undemocratic means. It’s a sweet scam. No wonder they are so confident. They have staged a silent coup and we just have to live with it.”

    • GoneFishing says:

      At least source your posting of other people’s work.

    • Nathanael says:

      First Past the Post with gerrymandered districts has a very interesting result. Republicans have a huge number of districts gerrymandered to be 55% Republican.

      A 4% swing and the Republicans all keep their seats. A 6% swing and the *entire party gets wiped out nationwide*.

      Not a good system design, but it’s worth understanding how it works.

  56. OFM says:

    This story raises the Trump Comedy to a new level, right on up there with such classics as The Three Stooges and I Love Lucy.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40363390

    Solar panels are a good idea, TRUMP’S IDEA ( he’s not only prez, he’s plagiarizer in chief as well ) if they are put on a wall between Mexico and the USA, because, according to the chief plagiarizer, they will generate enough electricity to help pay for the wall, meaning obviously enough that they are producing enough to be PROFITABLE.

    The average R will not even notice the discrepancy between the R party’s usual position on renewable energy, viewing it as a losing proposition, and Trump now claiming putting panels on a wall generates net income, lol.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      It’s a good thing he doesn’t know how to Email

    • Hightrekker says:

      “Wondering this morning: can you brainwash yourself? Because we have not seen the kind of homicidal groupthink behind the Senate health care bill since Jonestown. Former health insurance executive turned health care crusader, Wendell Potter, told Joy Reid his insurance company colleagues “would never be this cruel.”
      “There is something that has really happened to this party of my father and my grandfather,” Potter says. “It’s as if they’re under some kind of evil force that would lead them to take away access to health care for millions of people…” It’s gold. It’s money, and the power, not the freedom, that comes with it. ”

      • OFM says:

        I don’t know this Wendell Potter from Adam, but he is totally full of shit up to his nose when he says his colleagues in the industry would never be so cruel.

        We can let him slide on the basis of reverse hyperbole, but I have NEVER ever heard of a health insurance company giving up one thin dime unless contractually obligated to do so.

        There may be instances of this happening in order to reap some good press, etc, but not among any of my acquaintances.

        Here’s a run down on the bill from Slate, which is based on a long article in the Washington Post, which may be pay walled for some of us. I generally hit the ten article limit on free myself.

        http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/06/23/eye_popping_washington_post_report_explains_why_obama_s_retaliation_against.html

        • notanoilman says:

          When looking for WaPo stories, I’ve found that if you google the WaPo’s story line then click on the google link you get in.

          NAOM

          • OFM says:

            Works for me up to ten articles a month.

            But if you are a little sneaky, you can use two or three different browsers, and clear the history and cookies out once a week or so, and disconnect your router, if at home, for a while, maybe an hour, sometimes two or three hours, and you will be assigned a new IP address when you plug back in again.

            So between switching browsers and keeping the IP fresh and clearing cookies often, you can read more than you can find time for.

            What I usually do myself is just click on the full coverage button on Google and read the same news in some other paper when I see a headline of this sort. This works for everything except news scoops that are exclusive to just one paper. Any given paper seldom comes up with ten news scoops in one month.

            Right now for instance there’s a lead in Google News about Asian carp maybe getting into the Great Lakes, which is covered by dozens of papers plus NPR, etc.

            Here’s a free link if you are running short of free reads at the WP, etc.

            http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/silver-carp-found-nine-miles-from-lake-michigan-triggers-more-looking/

  57. OFM says:

    https://www.wired.com/story/russian-hackers-attack-ukraine/

    “A decade later, the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution finally overthrew the country’s Kremlin-­backed president, Viktor Yanukovych (a leader whose longtime political adviser, Paul Manafort, would go on to run the US presidential campaign of Donald Trump). Russian troops promptly annexed the Crimean Peninsula in the south and invaded the Russian-­speaking eastern region known as Donbass. Ukraine has since then been locked in an undeclared war with Russia, one that has displaced nearly 2 million internal refugees and killed close to 10,000 Ukrainians.”

    I strongly urge everybody to read this entire article, and THINK about the implications, not just of Russians in particular messing with HRC in particular, but the bigger picture, the BIG picture.

    Personally speaking, I have no idea how many people are needed, or just how good they have to be, to pull off such an attack, but it seems obvious that just about any country could be targeted by hackers, insiders or outsiders, the results could be the same.

    If the power were to go off in a major city for twenty four hours…….. riots and looting would be just the beginning.

    • OFM says:

      This link has the most actual information, as opposed to just blabbering, in the fewest words of any article I have so far run across about the Russian campaign to elect Trump.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/evidence-russia-meddled-in-us-election-2017-6

      I can’t help being amused at all the people who are more upset about the D party getting hacked than they are about the dirty laundry exposed by the hacking. I understand, but it’s still amusing.

      It’s like a cheating spouse getting caught in the act, and then getting huffy and puffy because somebody friend or foe, in this case foe, tipped off the injured party.

      The fake news is altogether a different issue, and unfortunately, the R camp is all too good at it, without even NEEDING any help from the Russians, or anybody else.

      Apparently the Russians hacked the R party as well, but chose not to release any stolen R party documents. This single observation logically proves collusion between the Russians and the Trump camp. It is worth noting that the Russians might be holding some dirty laundry over the heads of some Republicans in order to make sure they cooperate with the Russians, or at least don’t do much to punish them for their sins.

      It’s possible the hacked emails and fake news were the straws that broke the HRC camps back, since the election was fairly close in some key states.

      But it’s my opinion, and likely to remain my opinion, that she lost specifically because she made some serious tactical and strategic errors, such as running on identity politics, globalism, NOT being Trump, and failure to remember the people who are the REAL base of the Democratic party, who were worried sick about their financial situation present and future, leaving that issue wide open for Trump to exploit it.

      IF she had shown up in the three states that put Trump over the top, and campaigned there like she really meant it, instead of hanging out with banksters, she would be president today.

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        Still trying to save face OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster ?

        You will always be a political fool to me

        Facing FBI Bank Fraud Investigation, Bernie And Jane Sanders Hire Lawyers

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-jane-sanders-fbi-investigation_us_594fc816e4b0da2c731c2d1d?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

        • OFM says:

          Hi Lap Doggie,

          I don’t know the details yet, but so far I don’t see any evidence that either Sanders or his wife profited from this loan being made, and I don’t know how or where the money was spent, etc.

          Sanders wife may or may not be technically guilty, if so, we will know before too long. So far, all I am sure of is that the college went broke, and the loan in question appears to have been made on the basis of pledges of support that didn’t pan out.

          If you have links providing more details, please post them, and thanks in advance.

          If Sanders wife, or Sanders himself, made some money, or stole some money, during the process, there is not yet any evidence to that effect available to the public. If such evidence comes to light, I will be one of the first to post it here.

          On the other hand, we have absolutely incontrovertible evidence that HRC is a scam artist, dating back to her earliest days of insider dealing when she out performed every body else in the industry, doing so well the odds have been variously computed at some millions to one to billions to one against her being so lucky, with enough details available that anybody who is literate in terms of basic math cannot conclude otherwise than that with the help of her broker, she stole the money, and got away with it, not least because her husband was governor at the time.

          I wouldn’t argue with you, except you are so much fun to argue with, and you keep bringing up anything that makes her look less like a fool and a crook, trying to make ME look bad.

          I’m not here to win a popularity contest, lol. I have posted half a dozen comments in this one thread about the shortcomings of the Trump administration, etc.

          HRC’s net worth has ballooned into the tens of millions, with her in position to control her family slush fund which has around a quarter of a billion if I remember correctly.

          I doubt she actually EARNED a whole lot of that money by the sweat of her brow. It appears that most of it came her way via people eager to help her get rich in hopes of buying access present or future, as far as I can see.

          Sanders and his wife are demonstrably one of the least well off couples in the Senate club, lol, with a net in line with some of my neighbors who have never done any thing except raise cows and apples, lol.

          They bought their upscale lake house with money obtained mostly by selling another property his wife inherited, as far as I know.

          Other than that lake house, they appear to live about like your average small town doctor or lawyer, rather than like tycoons.

          They sure as hell don’t hang out with banksters making twenty minute secret speeches at a quarter of a million at a pop now, DO THEY????????

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster says:

            “I doubt she actually EARNED”
            “I don’t know the details yet”
            “if I remember correctly”
            “we have absolutely incontrovertible evidence/well the odds have been variously computed at some millions to one to billions to one against her being so lucky”
            “make ME look bad”

            ***********

            Trump “believes that Russia probably was involved, potentially some other countries as well.”

            “Either way, he claimed Trump was just “joking” in July 2016 when he urged Russia to hack the email of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.”

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sean-spicer-donald-trump-russia_us_59514c9fe4b0da2c731d835e?xvv&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

            ************

            TrumpsterCare for your poor Republican friends-

            “22 Million More Uninsured Under Senate GOP Health Care Bill, CBO Reports”

            “Twenty-two million fewer people would have health coverage over the next 10 years under legislation that Senate Republicans aim to bring to the floor for a vote this week, according to the Congressional Budget Office”

            • Hightrekker says:

              -the USA has entered Hell, or at least a condition that looks a lot like it. This is not just a matter of a few persons or a party being possessed by demons. We’ve entered a realm that is populated by nothing but demons — of our own design, by the way.

              Our politics have become so thoroughly demonic, that the sort of exorcism America needs now can only come from outside politics. It’s coming, too. It’s on its way. It will turn our economic situation upside down and inside out. It’s a Technicolor swan, and you can see it coming from a thousand miles out. Wait for it. Wait for it.

            • TRUMPSTER says:

              Old HB knows a few things, one being that if you repeat a lie often enough, people who aren’t paying attention will eventually come to believe it, so he will call me a Trumpster forever, and I will reply in as usual forever, pointing out what I know or believe to be facts.

              He cannot point to even one comment I have ever made, here, or anywhere else, that can be honestly interpreted as supporting Trump.

              Now here’s a link and a quote that supports my interpretation of what the facts are.

              http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/339577-dems-face-identity-crisis

              “Democrats are grappling with how to keep their progressive base happy while winning over white working-class voters who left the party in the 2016 elections.

              Defections by blue-collar voters cost Democrat Hillary Clinton the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all of which went to President Trump. It was the first time since 1988 that a GOP presidential candidate had won Michigan or Pennsylvania, and the first time since 1984 in Wisconsin.

              The fallout has created an identity crisis for a Democratic Party seeking to find its way forward in the post-Obama era.”

              There’s more of course.

              One of the basic arguments I have been making all along is that HRC for all intents and purposes FUCKING FORGOT about the real core of the Democratic Party , the working people, and fucked up so badly in doing so that she managed thru arrogance and stupidity and her sense of ENTITLEMENT to lose three states that have been historically so blue so long only OLD people who pay close attention to politics can even REMEMBER the last time they voted R in a presidential election.

              Nineteen eighty four- that was eight election cycles back, and eighty eight was seven. The younger voters who are the FUTURE of the D party weren’t even BORN back then.

              Her Royal Clinton is a bigger Trumpster than I am, lol.

              She lost because she was hanging out with banksters and people like HB who brag about making killings and paying pittances in taxes while lecturing other people on their morality, I ‘m rolling on the floor laughing.

              Adults look to their own mistakes when it comes to explaining unhappy results rather than blaming other people for their losses.

              Hopefully the D Party will run a candidate for prez next time around without such a L O N G baggage train, one with FAVORABLE polling numbers in respect to the voting public.

              HRC fer sky daddy’s sake managed to lose to the worst candidate in the history of the country, one that was hated and reviled by the very party establishment of the party he represented in the election.

          • Hightrekker says:

            When I think of the Democratic Party these days, the image instantly comes to mind of little Linda Blair playing the demon-possessed child in the classic horror movie, The Exorcist (1973), most particularly the scene in which she spews a stream of pea soup-like projectile vomit into the face of kindly old Max von Sydow, as Father Merrin, the priest come to rescue her.

            The pea soup represents the sort of ideology that the Democratic Party has spewed out in recent years — a toxic mush of racial identity politics, contempt for men, infantile entitlement tantrums, corporate whoring, and a demonic quest for war with the Russian Federation. Father Merrin, the priest, stands for incorruptible American men, who have been, at last, killed off by this barrage of diabolical idiocy.

    • Nathanael says:

      In the Northeast, we’re used to 24 hour power outages. It wouldn’t be nearly as bad as you think.

      Also, there’s a reason solar and batteries are popular even where they’re uncompetitive on power prices.

      It appears that looting and rioting is more likely in HOT places, FWIW. A lot of well-done studies to this effect, weird though it may sound.

  58. OFM says:

    The public believes Comey at two to one, compared to Trump.

    And only fifty percent of Republicans say they believe Trump. The actual percentage is unquestionably substantially less than fifty percent, because many people of all political, ethnic, and or cultural persuasions are prone to telling fibs when it comes to maintaining and protecting their cultural identity. I know numerous old farmers who are dead sure nobody has ever been swallowed by a whale and spit up still alive, but they SAY they do, when it comes to maintaining their member in good standing status in their culture and religious community.

    I’m fortunate to be a member in good standing of a very exclusive but informal little country club consisting of about a dozen old guys that get together often to drink and talk coon dogs, crops, old cars, and politics. These are all stereotypical deep red country guys. Some of them supported Trump up until recently. About he kindest thing anybody has to say about him now is that he’s crazy, although some of them do still say they support some of his positions, such as limiting or halting immigration or lowering taxes.

  59. OFM says:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/mcdonald-apos-stock-hits-record-222204924.html

    McDonald’s is getting rid of cashiers.

    This is not going to destroy the lives of the thousands of kids who might have otherwise landed their first jobs there, because they ARE kids, and nearly all of the ones who actually want a job will find one, and the ones who have good attitudes will almost all advance to some extent in their jobs.

    But at some point……… which has been the subject of some discussion here…….. We are going to have to reorganize our society in rather drastic fashion, when it comes to work and income.

    Stopping this process is out of the question.

    But delaying it long enough for some or most of the older people who have little hope of ever succeeding in new careers is possible, at least some of the time.

    In my opinion, it’s cheaper to keep old line industries in the USA as long as they are NECESSARY to the economy, in that they produce NECESSARY goods or services, than it is to pay the price of having all those older workers on welfare- and voting for Trump type politicians.

    Having an industry such as furniture gradually shrink due to automation is one thing. Throwing the people who work in it out on the street wholesale is something else.

    • David F says:

      or…
      I may just go into a McDs and ignore the “machines” and insist on having my order taken by a person…
      and walk out if I don’t get personal service…
      but not before telling the manager what I was doing…
      and if enough customers refuse to order by machine…
      who wins?

      • Boomer II says:

        Who is going to McDonald’s and demanding personal service? Really. Why are you going to an inexpensive fast food outlet in the first place if you want personal service?

        • David F says:

          I don’t eat there. I ate at a local deli on Saturday and the person taking my order was very nice. I easily could have customized my turkey wrap if I wanted.

          But McDs… IF they lose a lot of business because a significant percentage of their customer base refuses to order by machine, who wins?
          I bet on Burger King.
          Time will tell.

          • Boomer II says:

            My point was that they won’t lose business because their customers aren’t there for personalized service. In fact, if automation provides faster service and makes that fast food even more affordable, McDonald’s customers will likely applaud the change.

            Self-check-out is pretty popular in stores because the wait in line is usually shorter.

            • GoneFishing says:

              I stopped going to a local store chain when they put in the automated service kiosks at the deli counter.

              • David F says:

                I probably use the self checkout lane at Home Depot more than the cashier lane.
                But in the past decade, I’ve seen grocery stores add self checkout lanes and a few years later remove them.
                Why?
                I’m pretty sure it’s because those lanes were always staffed with a nearby person who was ready to “help” when, not if, customers had a problem.
                In those cases, the old school cashier system won.
                McDs throwing money at automation doesn’t guarantee success.
                I predict failure, though predictions are difficult, especially about the future (thanks Yogi).

            • Lloyd says:

              Self-check-out is pretty popular in stores because the wait in line is usually shorter.
              I built a prototype system comparable to McDonald’s self-ordering system in Grad School about 4 years ago: they are known as Digital Self-ordering Systems in the trade (automated checkout is a related but different area).

              The systems that have been implemented thus far are all deeply flawed. My system was built around Tim Hortons’ business model, but I think the metrics are close for any Fast Food chain: Tims works on the basis that you will spend, on average, 15 seconds placing your order with a human cashier. Tims had a self-ordering system, with many of the same flaws as the McDonald’s system, in some locations between 2009 and 2015. There is a YouTube video showing someone ordering a tea and a cookie on one. It takes nearly two minutes -probably the reason they don’t have them anymore.

              My system was much faster (quicker, in fact, than a human cashier for a typical 2 item, $3.00 order), and easier to learn to use…and ahead of it’s time. There are good reasons for self checkout beyond the potential cost savings- customer service reasons like fewer errors and the ability to serve in different languages. But companies were, I believe, afraid of the underlying premise: one to one replacement of cashiers with machines. They did not want to face up to the practical issue that if this thing was successful, they would be putting a third of their workforce out of their jobs. At the same time, they didn’t want to be left behind technologically.

              The McDonald’s roll-out will force the issue: bad as it is, it has set the bar on a global scale.

              I know that one-to-one cashier replacement is possible with touchscreen, and I suspect that voice-actuated systems will be even faster: voice recognition is only getting better. Competition will make it happen.

              All we’ll lose is a massive amount of employment.

              • David F says:

                “The McDonald’s roll-out will force the issue: bad as it is, it has set the bar on a global scale.”
                bad as it is, will its failure be seen on a global scale?
                Though, I can see a setup where there are lines for touchscreens and an old school cashier line.
                But here’s this thought: I’m somewhat a germophobe. There’s no way I’m touching a screen that may not have been cleaned for hours or even days or weeks or ever.
                And over the decades, it’s my dining out experience that almost all errors are made by the food preparers.
                Anyway, kiosks will probably replace some cashiers but not all of them.

                • Lloyd says:

                  bad as it is, will its failure be seen on a global scale?

                  McDonalds probably is looking at a different metric: whether they can use the machines to handle off-peak swings in customer load. This would mean that they would not have to have as many part-timers work short, variable shifts if they knew the load could be handled by the machines (the location I’ve seen has three kiosks, as well as 2 or 3 cashiers). If this is their basis, and they are playing a long game, this system may fulfill their requirements.

                  While I believe that the reason that the systems are slow is incompetence on the part of the designers, it may coincidentally suit
                  McDonalds’ political requirements- getting the ol’ robot foot in the door.

                  -Lloyd

                  • David F says:

                    I can see that if a van full of customers walk in at a slower hour of the day, the kiosks, sitting unused but not being paid hourly, could pick up the slack for the low staffing at those off peak times.
                    On the other hand, if the kiosks crash at some point during the day, a cashier or two might be helpful.

                • notanoilman says:

                  How many things do you touch, each day, that haven’t
                  ” been cleaned for hours or even days or weeks or ever.”?

                  NAOM

                  • David F says:

                    Lots of stuff in my non-sterile house.
                    But in a public building, as close to zero as I judge to be practical.
                    Ever think why a handle is called a HANDle?
                    But most persons of course will have no problem with touching a “touchscreen” that some guy used five minutes ago after he sneezed and coughed.
                    Touchscreens!
                    The future is here!

                    David Germophobe F.

            • Nathanael says:

              Self-checkout is pretty unpopular in the stores around here. Dunno about where YOU live.

              The stores have a tendency to either (a) remove self-checkout, or (b) notice large and increasing theft losses.

  60. GoneFishing says:

    Will we soon have a new military organization, the “Space Corps”?

    “Legislation has been drafted by the House Armed Services Committee to form the “Space Corps” — a new branch of the US military that would come under the command of the Air Force, and deal with threats to American national security occurring outside of Earth’s atmosphere”
    https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/23/15860048/us-space-corps-legislation-proposed

    Watch out aliens.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      .

      • GoneFishing says:

        No sir there is no yellow light, only green or red . We can always change the bulb sir.

      • OFM says:

        Good morning Fred,

        I get the intergalactic pest control joke in broad terms, but the “truly nolen” escapes me. What does it mean or imply?

    • Nathanael says:

      Well, given that money spent on the military is almost entirely totally wasted, this would make it a lot clearer what a boondoggle it was.

  61. OFM says:

    https://theconversation.com/energy-wonks-have-a-meltdown-over-the-us-going-100-percent-renewable-why-79834

    Personally I think the likelihood of going one hundred percent renewable within the next thirty years or so is pretty damned close to zero, as a practical matter. It’s a great idea, though, and worth pursuing if for no other reason than to help those of us following the debate to arrive at a better understanding of the opportunities and limitations involved.

    Looking at this as a PRACTICAL matter, here are the most important reasons I think we will still be using quite a lot of fossil fuel even in countries such as the USA for at least fifty years or maybe longer.

    In no particular order:

    Predicting the rate of advance in any given technology is a crap game. Some things we are hoping for may never come to pass,and other things hoped for may arrive a lot later than desired, and it can take decades to go from proof of feasibility to demo plant to wide scale build out of a new technology.

    The people who own existing fossil fuel based or dependent industries aren’t exactly ninety eight pound weaklings when it comes to political clout. They are going to have plenty to say, and plenty of people to support them, including people like me sometimes. I’m not very anxious to spend a lot of money to upgrade my house in order to quit using the last fifty to seventy five gallons of oil I use annually for backup heat. Eventually I will , but for now I am delaying the installation of a heat pump as long as I can, so that it will outlast me later on, and because every year the new models work better than the last year model.

    A hell of a lot of people, and a hell of a lot of businesses can’t afford to upgrade due to lack of ready cash and lack of credit. I can easily afford a heat pump, but the annual savings in energy costs aren’t at all impressive in my case, and I would earn a very poor return on the investment, compared to what I hope to actually earn on the same amount invested in improvements to my farm.

    Money has a lot of time value. You can pay five or ten bucks extra along with the first payment on a new thirty year mortgage and wipe out the last thousand dollar payment three hundred fifty nine months down the road.

    But the biggest reason of all I think it’s maybe reaching a little too far and too high trying to go one hundred percent renewable in a generation is that the law of diminishing returns always applies.

    Doing away with the last five or ten percent of fossil fuel use may well cost as much as doing away with the first forty or fifty percent.

    It seems to me that we will NEVER have resources physical, financial, and human enough to do all the things we ought to do, or would like to do.

    Suppose it costs one trillion bucks to get from eighty five percent renewable energy to one hundred percent. It seems very likely indeed to me that spending that trillion on other worthwhile projects is apt to earn us as a society a LOT bigger bang for each one of that trillion dollars. Some of it could be spent on medical research, some on expanding the size of wilderness and other protected natural areas, some of it on improving the efficiency and cleanliness of the machinery that uses that last fifteen percent of fossil fuels, etc etc etc.

    Suppose we were to spend the entire trillion on free birth control pills, IUD’s, condoms, vascetomies, etc, free for anybody that wants them?

    That would probably be a FAR better use of the trillion, in terms of protecting the biosphere, and improving the lives of naked apes all over the planet.

    Rebuttals are desired. I don’t learn anything from people that agree with me. Book in progress.

    Obviously enough, at some point in time, many years down the road, we will have to get by with very little in the way of fossil fuels due to depletion. I ‘m not thinking or talking that far ahead within the context of this comment.

    • Preston says:

      100% is doable with current technology. We were over 20% renewable for electricity last month and it’s growing a lot faster than predicted. Other countries are even further along, even the UK had a whole day without coal in April (the first time in a couple of hundred years).

      You are right, getting the last 5 or 10% may be hard. Things like heavy industry (like forging steel) sure seems hard, but we already produce a huge amount of bio-fuels and if cars go electric then there could be plenty of fuels for what’s left of US industry to use.

    • GoneFishing says:

      OFM, said “Personally I think the likelihood of going one hundred percent renewable within the next thirty years or so is pretty damned close to zero, as a practical matter. It’s a great idea, though, and worth pursuing if for no other reason than to help those of us following the debate to arrive at a better understanding of the opportunities and limitations involved. ”

      How fast we progress toward renewable energy is not just price determined but will be determined by how long fossil fuels are accessible. All mines and fields peter out, so the time line is determined by the realities of resource availability, geology and technology. Another big factor is how long the public will put up with the problems that fossil fuel production and use are generating.
      But the biggest factor will be the fields and mines themselves. Do you really think the US will have large fossil fuel production in thirty years or do you think the fields and mines will have dwindled and given a real shock to the government and public?
      So what are the alternatives to be turned to besides wind, solar, hydro, nuclear. Nuclear has a lot of problems, costs and long timelines. Wind and solar can be implemented quickly.
      Maybe demand for oil will be down by then as hybrids and EV’s take over, but lowering the price of oil will not encourage drilling nor will it change the actual reserves available.

      So I see a future period where solar and wind energy are developed as fast as possible.
      No need for 100 percent since the amount of solar and wind will produce much more than 100 percent at times. Some will be absorbed by storage capability and intermittent uses will be turned on. At times there will be so much energy available special projects will be energized at extremely low prices (maybe for free), so we can do what we want. That is just the nature of wind and solar.
      We will just learn how to multi-task and jump on the energy when available, probably through the use of automation and a floating employment system.

      • OFM says:

        Good points, GF

        I do think the USA will have enough coal, oil and gas thirty years down the road to easily supply ten to twenty percent of our total energy needs, and I do think that the public will tolerate the production and use of fossil fuels at low rates, once the major problems associated with producing them and burning them are solved.

        The pollution problem, except for CO2, will mostly be solved by clean burn and scrubbing technology, which are at least equally likely to advance in terms of cost and effectiveness, compared to storage technologies, imo. And with CO2 emissions down to ten or fifteen percent of current levels, or not much higher, the forced climate change argument will lose most of it’s force.

        The mining and drilling issues will likely also shrink in proportion to the quantities mined and drilled, or even more so, again due to improvements in the technology.

        And bottom line, while I’m a technological optimist, I am not going on record as saying I am CONFIDENT that we absolutely WILL have cheap enough and big enough batteries, or other storage tech, to go one hundred percent renewable, within a generation’s time.

        On the other hand, it could be that the public embraces renewable energy with a religious like fervor, and insists on going places with it that are not economically or ecologically justified, in terms of the best use of the resources necessary to go totally renewable.

        As I said above, I for one think it would be a hell of a lot better for the country, and the world, as far as that goes, to get to eighty or ninety percent renewable energy, and not worry so much about the last ten or twenty percent, because of the ever increasing incremental cost of doing away with that last small fraction of fossil fuel use- thus enabling us to put the resources saved into other worthwhile projects – for instance expanding our park system to better allow threatened species to survive.

        And so far as technological progress is concerned, I am willing to believe that if the Gods are on our side, in a manner of speaking, we WILL have technology good enough that going entirely renewable is not only possible but practical.

        It’s just that I have been wrong often enough on big picture issues over the years to know better than to predict the future in specific terms, especially in terms of time frames. Of course barring a techno miracle in geriatric medicine, I will not be around in 2050 to know either way.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Just remember, we can produce liquid and gas fuels using electric power. No need to dig more holes in the ground. We can produce practically any chemical we want. When excess power is available, then we can produce fuels or run other processes that have storable products.
          I also think that as we rebuild our society and infrastructure, there will be much less need for external power to operate. It just makes sense.
          No it does not make sense from a greedy capitalist or business point of view, but it makes a lot so sense from the user and the society’s point of view. As pollution and power needs diminish, so do costs and demands on the environment.
          Who knows, maybe someone will invent a sealant for roads that prevents freeze thaw problems, extending road life for another decade or more. Maybe we will learn how to increase crop yield by 5 or 10 percent while reducing the amount of water for irrigation. Maybe cars will be built that last a half million mile with little maintenance.
          Lots of little changes and a few big changes will drop the energy and materials demand. Now is the chance to make everything more efficient, more durable, less materials, more recyclable. The upcoming engineers and scientists can create a whole new world that just plain is better, cleaner and uses less.

          Now we just have to straighten out the politics and business. A harder nut to crack.

    • wharf rat says:

      “Personally I think the likelihood of going one hundred percent renewable within the next thirty years or so is pretty damned close to zero,”
      It certainly is if we don’t try. I don’t even know if California can be at 100% green electricity by 2050, but we’re gonna find out, cuz we’re going for it; that’s what great countries do.

      “It seems to me that we will NEVER have resources physical, financial, and human enough to do all the things we ought to do, or would like to do.”
      We have that now; we just don’t have the political willpower to do it. Is it possible today to pass a law saying no new ICEs after 2025, or even 2040? It’ll be a while before something like that happens.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        “I literally can’t stand being on the American highway. To me it is almost like being in a prison of madness. I can stand the background; but I can’t stand the highways in Canada or here. Driving like crazy people. Where are they going? And why are so many of them going in that direction? They are all fleeing something. I would like to inquire what is in those trucks that are tearing down the road. Is it something of no use at all? Or something which is present where it is going? And often I have seen trucks, apparently carrying identical cargo, going in opposite directions, carting it here and there. The drivers tell me that they are carrying widgets.

        Now all of this, including the energy problem, is what we have to tackle at once. It can be done. It is possible. It is possible to make restitution. We might as well be trying to do something about it as not. We will never get anywhere if we don’t do anything. The great temptation, and one in which the academic takes total refuge, is to gather more evidence. I mean, do we need any more evidence? Or is it time to cease taking evidence and to start remedial action on the evidence already in? In 1950, it was time to stop taking evidence and start remedial action. But the temptation is always to gather more evidence. Too many people waste their lives gathering evidence. Moreover, as we get more evidence, we see that things are worse than they had appeared to be.” ~ Bill Mollison

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        “but we’re gonna find out, cuz we’re going for it; that’s what great countries do”

        Thank you,

        *****

        “Is it possible today to pass a law saying no new ICEs after 2025, or even 2040?”

        I think 2030 should be the date. The sooner the better. If that’s a little premature. We’ll survive.

  62. David F says:

    I’m not necessarily disagreeing with most of what you wrote.
    But what about heating? I see much written about renewable energy perhaps replacing all fossil fuels for the purpose of generating electricity. And that also might cover transportation with EVs overtaking ICEVs. But how many millions of US houses are heated by natural gas and do so with a vast infrastructure already in place? As long as those pipelines are intact, I would guess (yes, just a guess at what the future holds) that natural gas will be heating homes for many many decades.

    • notanoilman says:

      When people realise they can heat their homes for less with electricity, heat pumps, solar then they will switch. We used to have electric storage heaters charged by cheap night time electricity, cat heaven.

      NAOM

    • GoneFishing says:

      It will take a lot of time to upgrade insulation, add solar (PV, thermal, passive) to buildings. By the time this is done the Marcellus and other gas fields will be petering out anyway. So, in a way I agree.
      The US technically has about 90 years of natural gas left at current usage. However, technically recoverable is different than actual recoverable which is price dependent. As demand falls, so will price which will limit drilling anyway. Those pipelines will just be mostly shut by 2050.
      It will be cheaper to heat with solar and electric using heat pumps than natural gas in a short time, if not now. It’s worked in New England, so can be made to work in most places.

      How much gas is out there? Depends on who you listen to and when they say it.
      http://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/natural-gas/news/2012/05/how-much-natural-gas-can-the-marcellus-shale-produce

      All mines and fields have limits and costs. Why not depend upon direct known reliable sources instead of depending upon constant ventures into probabilistic energy.

      Of course we could always do what nature does.

  63. OFM says:

    http://e360.yale.edu/features/feeling-the-heat-warming-oceans-drive-fish-into-cooler-waters

    “The Cape Cod Canal is a serpentine artificial waterway that winds eight miles from Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay. On warm summer evenings, anglers jostle along its banks casting for striped bass. That’s what 29-year-old Justin Sprague was doing the evening of August 6, 2013, when he caught a fish from the future.

    At first, Sprague thought the enormous fish that engulfed his Storm blue herring lure was a shark. But as he battled the behemoth in the gloaming — the fish leaping repeatedly, crashing down in sheets of spray — he realized he’d hooked something far weirder. When the fisherman finally dragged his adversary onto the beach, a small crowd gathered to admire the creature’s metallic body, flared dorsal fin, and rapier-like bill. Sprague had caught a sailfish.

    It doesn’t take an ichthyologist to know that sailfish don’t belong in the Cape Cod Canal. Istiophorus albicans favors the tropics and subtropics; it so rarely visits New England that Massachusetts didn’t even have a state record. But strange catches — including cobia and torpedo rays — have become more commonplace. Over the last decade, the Gulf of Maine, the basin that stretches from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia, has warmed faster than nearly every other tract of ocean on earth, as climate change joined forces with a natural oceanographic pattern called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation to increase sea surface temperatures by 3.6 F from 2004 to 2013. The results have been ecological transformation, upheaval in marine fisheries management, and an alarming window onto the warm future of global oceans.”

    There’s a lot more.

    Last night was the first night of the entire month of June that I wanted a blanket- when I was a kid, there weren’t many nights I DIDN’T want a blanket, living in the exact same spot, all summer long, so long as the weather was clear.

    It’s not just the fish that are moving to cooler waters. The bugs from down south are moving north on farms as the average temperature creeps up.

    • Hightrekker says:

      I mentioned before working for British Antarctic Survey in the early 90’s with the ozone discovery greats. Despite that bring the coolest job I ever did (literally & figuratively) a wonderful thing about it was the collaboration between sciences. As you can imagine we had a lot of glaciologists! I remember an indepth discussion with a post doc (now a professor I think) who was studying Larsen at the time. Larsen A had just broken off I think in 1995, and his comment was (we were both in our early 20’s @ the time) that although Larsen A had gone it was unlikely we would live to see Larsen B break off and it would be our grand children who would see Larsen C go. Now less than 30 years later Larsen C is going. That is terrifying.

  64. TRUMPSTER says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/27/trump-lawyer-jay-sekulow-donations

    Trump’s lawyers made millions begging poor people, a lot of them out of work, to donate to a supposed Christian charity that distributed the money to insiders at the firm, and family members, and so on.

  65. GoneFishing says:

    Arctic Ice Volume Anomaly is running lower. For the last 11 years it has been mostly below the PIOMAS average descent line. Time to think about a non-linear fit.

    http://psc.apl.uw.edu/research/projects/arctic-sea-ice-volume-anomaly/

Comments are closed.