Open Thread Non-Petroleum March 14, 2017

Please post all non petroleum related comments below.

In this post I am going to post a few “Reassuring Lies”. It is my opinion that these are reassuring lies and they do not necessarily represent the opinions of Dennis Coyne. Although I am sure he does agree with #1.

1. Global warming and climate change do not exist. But if it they do exist they are natural phenomena, not caused by human activity.

I will have no comment here as this straw is thrashed daily on this blog.

2. Renewable energy will easily replace fossil energy with little or no pain.

No comment here either as I have expressed my opinion on this subject many times.

3. There will be little need for energy storage because the wind blows somewhere all the time.

Hilarious!

4. Battery technology will advance to the point where even long haul trucks can be battery powered.

Actually only a few people believe this one. So I guess there is some hope.

5. By far the biggest reassuring lie of all deals with the overshoot of the human population and the problems it has caused for the last century or more. The lie is that it is not a real problem, or at least not a problem that we cannot solve.

We are now at over four and one half times the earth’s terrestrial biomass carrying capacity. And we continue to wipe out our wildlife.

Three very important things can be derived from the above graph. One, we are wiping out. The Earth has lost half its wildlife in the last 40 years.

Of course terrestrial wildlife is not the only thing we are wiping out. Ocean fisheries are disappearing fast and most are already gone. Coral reefs are in the process of dying off. Deserts are expanding. Rain forest and dry forest are being cut down and hauled off. Water tables are dropping fast, especially in the world’s most overpopulated places like India and China. And air pollution, especially in China kills thousands every day.

There is no solution to the population overshoot problem because we are already way past the long term carrying capacity of the earth. Simply slowing the population growth and then slowly reversing it in one or two hundred years will solve nothing. Almost all the earth’s wildlife is already gone and what little is left is disappearing at an alarming rate. And all the disastrous things I posted in the paragraph above are speeding up, not slowing down.

Notice that I did not mention “The Hydrogen Economy” because that stupid lie is so absurd hardly anyone believes it anymore. But it did have its hour upon the stage until it got laughed off by an unruly audience.

Thanks to Paul Chefurka for the terrestrial biomass chart.

 

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384 Responses to Open Thread Non-Petroleum March 14, 2017

  1. Boomer II says:

    What would happen if we eliminated most of the domesticated animals?

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Well, if you eliminate my dog, I’ll eliminate you.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        .

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          To be clear,

          Ron seems to think I agree with the “Reassuring Lie” below.

          1. Global warming and climate change do not exist. But if it they do exist they are natural phenomena, not caused by human activity.

          I do not agree with statement number 1 above (in italics).

          • No, no, no. That’s not what I meant at all. I think that you agree with me on that one, that is, it is a reassuring lie.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Ron,

              The way you worded it was not clear, at least to me.

              Perhaps rather than,

              Although I am sure he does agree with #1.

              Maybe

              Although I am sure he does agree with me that #1 is a reassuring lie.

              which is correct, would be better?

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Hell’s bells Fred,

          Blueticks are generally credited with being the dumbest of the various breeds of hounds, and hounds in general are not noted for being intelligent, compared to some of the working breeds.

          My last blue tick was generally credited with being the dumbest dog in the memory of any old farmer in the neighborhood, but HE was smarter than some students that customarily make the honor roll in some public schools.

          It’ damned near impossible to get the average person on the street, and especially the average person who hangs out in a forum such as this one, to understand just how bad the situation is in some of our schools.

          The more good intentions are piled on by mandate and regulation, the worse the results have gotten to be , and I don’t personally see any real hope of change for the better, unless there is some real competition allowed into the market.

          Charter schools operated by the same people who have ( and they are not necessarily at fault ! ) been in charge for the last few decades aren’t the solution.

          A fresh start is called for, and that start includes throwing out a major portion of the rule book.

          Equal opportunity is and ought to be the law, but no law can guarantee equal results, and it’s way past time we faced up to some hard brutal truths.

          A large portion of the kids we force to attend school are already lost, no ifs, ands or fucking buts about it.

          Some communities and some parents are such that the kids come to school about as ready to learn as wild animals.

          I am NOT saying these kids don’t deserve an education, or that they don’t need whatever it is that they DO take away from school with them, even if it’s no more than a decent meal, and there are millions of them that NEED the breakfast and lunch they get at school, and I want them to have it.

          But here’s a hard fact.

          Kids that have about as much desire to be at school, and about as much appreciation of their NEED to to pay attention and work at their lessons, are about as likely to actually pay attention and work as the average man or woman on the street who voted for Trump is to suddenly take climate science and other environmental issues seriously. Such people don’t understand that socialized medicine will halve their health care costs, while getting them as good or even better results. They don’t WANT to understand.

          And if their parents are no better equipped intellectually to deal with reality, or if as is all too often the case, the kids have such a rotten home life that most farmers take better care of their livestock than their parents ( absent, or stoned, or drunk, or working eighteen hours in the case of the good ones, leaving them no time to help their kids learn how to behave, etc ) well………….

          Only a fucking PC idiot could possibly believe a public school can make solid citizens out of such kids. Once in a while, a really really good teacher manages to get thru to a few of these kids, but such teachers are one out of a hundred, and they eventually mostly get burned out and just go with the flow.

          Now here’s another aspect of our current educational reality. Schools and teachers can’t get rid of kids, except in the case of a few REALLY bad kids, who can be successfully off loaded to the criminal justice system, and jailed, or at least permanently expelled due to being a proven serious risk to the teachers and other students.

          But the kids can get rid of the teachers. This is not at all hard to understand, once you understand that the kids WHO DO NOT WANT TO BE AT SCHOOL are dealt with, by the school administration, from the school board and the superintendent down to the guidance counseler, by way of putting them into classes and classrooms separate from the classes and class rooms where the pupils from better homes and backgrounds are to be found.

          Nearly every public school is run this way, it’s sop, but it’s not much talked about. You can go thru the building, if you know what’s what, and have an excuse to be wandering around, and within a day, you can identify the classes and classrooms where the kids are whose parents are the doctors, lawyers, business owners, teachers, and other solid members of the community. Among the kids in these classes and classrooms will be a very decent scattering of kids from working class homes, these working class kids being the ones who are lucky enough to have parents who have taught them how to behave themselves, and to appreciate the NECESSITY and value of paying attention and working. I was such a kid myself. I wasn’t dressed as well, and I didn’t have a nice car to drive to school, but I was lucky two ways, one I had decent parents, and the other I lucked out in being born with a good CPU between my ears.

          In my little county high school, with a graduating class of only about one hundred and eighty, there were TWO academic tracks, two general tracks, and even two so called vocational tracks.

          There simply weren’t enough kids to really properly fill up the classrooms allocated to the elite community members kids, because the elite community wasn’t all that big to begin with, and just because a kid comes from nice home doesn’t mean he has any BRAINS.

          So old Mrs Bolt, who I remember well, and love well yet, although she passed on decades ago, taught junior and senior English, and got all the best kids, with one section each year being reserved for the kids who REALLY wanted to learn, and really had the capacity to do so. I was lucky enough to be in that one section, and virtually all of us were accepted at respectable and even elite schools back when there were still real admission standards at public colleges and universities.

          She taught five classes a day, and there weren’t ANY kids in ANY of them presented ANY problems at all, in terms of behavior. Two sections were college bound, or at least capable of getting into college. The other three were less talented, but still well behaved and willing to work. She could and DID assign homework, and you DID fail if you didn’t do it, and if by some accident you got into one of her classes and did NOT perform, you were very shortly transferred out and into the general education track, or into the vocational track.

          At the opposite end of the scale, there were classrooms where in it was understood that so long as the teacher could maintain some semblance of order, with or without NECESSARILY doing any actual teaching, well……… the LAW said these kids WOULD go to school, but the law cannot force kids to behave and work and learn.

          Many a teacher has tackled such a classroom, and tried to set some standards, as for example failing kids who simply will NOT WORK, and the kids generally could care less about failing, knowing that THEY are in charge, in the last analysis. All they have to do is not do anything, take their F, which is either a joke or maybe a minor badge of honor, and when the teacher fails twenty percent of them, next year the administration has a problem with where to put them, since another group is coming along all the time you see, and the teacher gets a serious little heart to heart talk in code with the principal, and he passes every body the following year. If he doesn’t, the principal gets rid of the teacher, because he CANNOT get rid of the students, until they are legally old enough to drop out.

          AND THEN, as if the situation is not BAD ENOUGH, without DELIBERATELY making it worse, we have administrators and politicians and do gooders with good intentions of all sorts who just believe in graduation the way some people believe in JESUS or Trump or HRC, and by Sky Daddy, they INSIST that just about EVERY kid WILL graduate. Whether he can balance a check book, or read a newspaper is irrelevant.

          Such people see the possession of a diploma as a right and a necessity, and it IS possible to more or less mandate that every kid who manages to stay out of jail long enough will get a diploma.

          And of course the result of THAT policy is that a high school diploma these days is worth about as much for toilet paper as it is as a gateway to a decent job. You have to have one to get past the HR people at a lot of places, but they don’t use it for anything other than a mandated screening tool, knowing from experience that half of their potential new hires won’t be able to do basic arithmetic, or read written instructions, diploma or no.

          I have bent the rules more than a little, more or less into pretzels a half a dozen times or so, to help a person who is capable and willing to work, and who has PROVEN he would be a SUPERB employee, get a GED so he could get hired on.

          Supervisors often know of such high quality potential employees, and would love to hire them, if only they can get that GED, and since it’s only a piece of paper, I help them get it. FREE.

          But I don’t donate much to organized charities. When I do good deeds, I do them directly, with near zero losses to office overhead, advertising, administrators salaries, fundraising, audits, etc.

          Last week I cut and hauled a load of firewood to an elderly widow in the neighborhood. One hundred percent of the effort went to getting the actual desired result. Will do the same again this week, different old lady.

          Sometimes I get a nice piece of homemade cake for my trouble, lol.

          There are so many things wrong, at so many different levels, from the very top right on down to the lowest rungs of society, that sometimes I think there is no hope, that a very hard crash is inevitable.

        • notanoilman says:

          Nah

          http://www.footrotflats.com/

          RIP Murray

          NAOM

      • Boomer II says:

        But you don’t feel that way about the cows and pigs people eat, right?

        Convert everyone to a vegetarian and get rid of most of the animals raised for food and the blue column in the chart could shrink to next to nothing.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Boomer II,

          I am pretty sure Doug might not feel so strongly about sheep, cows, pigs, and goats as he does about his dog.

          Many people love to eat meat, (I am not one of them) so they may not take kindly to the notion of becoming vegetarian.

          The main solution is to reduce the number of humans, which seems to me is possible, whether the long term carrying capacity is the level of 10,000 BCE (or less), is not well agreed. Estimates vary widely.

    • alimbiquated says:

      It may happen fairly soon. A lot of them are for meat, and lab grown meat will soon be cheaper. My guess is that it will have a smaller footprint as well, but that’s hard to prove.

      Also my daughter is vegan, and I’ve noticed that a lot of the meat substitutes she eats are competitive to processed meat, which is what most people eat anyway. 60% of the beef market is ground beef. Drown that in ketchup and it’s hard to tell from ground soya gunk.

      But the main reason I think meat eating will decline is that people don’t really like the kind of meat I enjoyed as a child — fatty meat on the bone. Mostly they like skinless boneless tasteless steaks and chicken breasts, which don’t appeal to me at all. Wait another generation and they’ll find meat as appealing as blood sausage.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Surprisingly enough, a hell of a lot more of us would starve than just the handful of people who are highly dependent on their domestic animals for most or all of their food supply. Not many herding societies are left.

      But for some period of time, the actual total food supply might actually be a lot less than it is WITH the animals. It’s altogether true that cows and hogs eat a lot more calories than we get back when we eat them, but a lot of what they eat is not suitable for human consumption, or else good mostly only for calories, being low on the right nutrients.

      It would take a while to adjust and a lot of people in various places would be left without any means of paying for food imported from other areas.

      A transition away from meat is theoretically easy, but it would have to be implemented gradually, and many huge tracts of land currently used for grazing cattle would henceforth be nearly worthless for food production for a long time. Eventually some new techniques for farming it would be developed, but it’s almost impossible to imagine such land ever producing satisfactory crops. Yields would be forever scanty and a long time coming.

      • Nick G says:

        a lot of what they eat is not suitable for human consumption, or else good mostly only for calories, being low on the right nutrients.

        Any guess as what percentage of their food this is?

        • Joseph Clarkson says:

          For purely pasture raised meat animals it’s 100%. That’s what I eat. Since I can’t eat grass and the pasture land in my county is mostly unusable for crops, I call that a good deal.

        • Bob Nickson says:

          It’s important to note that grazing animals, when properly managed, increase the productivity of the meadow, not decrease it, as Michael Pollan wrote about in his book The Omnivores Dilemma in the section describing the practices of Joel Salatin at Polyface farms.

          It can also sequester carbon:
          https://craftsmanship.net/the-carbon-gatherer/

  2. Doug Leighton says:

    It’s time to say goodbye to anything edible (elephants, dolphins, tigers, cats, dogs…………).

    A WORLD WITH 11 BILLION PEOPLE? NEW POPULATION PROJECTIONS SHATTER EARLIER ESTIMATES

    “In a paper published Thursday in Science, demographers from several universities and the UN Population Division conclude that instead of leveling off in the second half of the 21st century, as the UN predicted less than a decade ago, the world’s population will continue to grow beyond 2100…. The UN team estimates there’s no more than a 5 percent chance of that rosier scenario coming to pass. A decade or so ago, the UN’s demographers had a more optimistic view…. The message back then, says Hania Zlotnik, who was chief of the UN Population Division at the time, was that “the population problem is essentially over, because fertility is coming down automatically. We know now that was wrong.”

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140918-population-global-united-nations-2100-boom-africa/

    https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_on_global_population_growth

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Doug,

      In that piece it also says:

      “These are not predictions,” says Wilmoth. “These are projections of what will happen if current trends continue. There is still an opportunity to intervene.”

      and

      According to other demographers, the UN has missed the mark by just about that amount. In a paper in press at Global Environmental Change and in a forthcoming book, Wolfgang Lutz and his colleagues at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria, use a very different method—one that involves canvassing a large group of experts—to argue that population is likely to peak at 9.4 billion in 2075 and fall to just under 9 billion by 2100.

      So the question is, will current trends continue?

      For the World as a whole, the total fertility ratio fell from 5 to 2.5 from 1965 to 2005.

      I suppose it is possible that no progress will be made in sub-Saharan Africa on education and access to modern birth control methods. That is the underlying assumption for the 11 billion World population scenario, one of “no intervention.”

      • JJHMAN says:

        If I remember correctly a 2.5% growth rate has a 28 year doubling rate approx. that’s pretty hopeless.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Global population growth rate is 1.1% per annum. That gives a 65 year doubling rate. Not that it much matters when 7 billion people are too many for the ecosystem, especially when another billion or two will try to achieve first world status and two or three billion more will move up the economic scale out of poverty.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gone fishing,

            The growth rate of global human population has been decreasing, from 1950 to 1995 the growth rate was about 2 %/year, assuming your estimate is correct (1.1%/year currently) it has fallen in half. Better policy (especially in Africa) might get the growth rate to zero and then negative (as in Japan and some European nations today).

            Pollution control and efficient use of resources is also important and more equal distribution of wealth will also help mitigate the higher consumption that comes with higher incomes. All of these policies will be important (consider changes in pollution levels in the US from 1970 to 2016).

            Not to imply that everything is good, there is much work to be done, good policy can help reduce damage to the biosphere by humans.

  3. Doug Leighton says:

    GREENHOUSE GASES: FIRST IT WAS COWS, NOW IT’S LARVAE

    “A certain species of larva uses methane to propel itself, and it is even possible that this mechanism is accelerating the release of gases into the atmosphere and magnifying global warming, scientists have discovered. The research demonstrates the negative role played by the larvae not just in global warming but also in disturbing the sedimentary layers at the bottom of lakes.”

    Sorry Ron, couldn’t resist it. 🙂

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170314081612.htm

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I’m coming out of the closet. I’m now openly a ‘GAS SKEPTIC’!

      Predictable and unpredictable behaviour
      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/03/predictable-and-unpredictable-behaviour/#more-20247

      Filed under: Climate Science — rasmus @ 13 March 2017
      Terms such as “gas skeptics” and “climate skeptics” aren’t really very descriptive, but they refer to sentiments that have something in common: unpredictable behaviour.

      Statistics is remarkably predictable
      The individual gas molecules are highly unpredictable, but the bulk properties of the gases are nevertheless very predictable thanks to physics. More specifically the laws of thermodynamics and the ideal gas law.

      The bulk aspects of the gases are a result of the statistical properties of a vast number of particles. Statistics is surprisingly predictable even if the individual cases are not.

      Just look at Las Vegas and the insurance industry which make a living on the fact that probabilities (statistics) are predictable. Even economists pin their hope on statistics, and the medical sciences would never be where they are now without the predictive power of statistics.

      A “gas skeptic” would say that you cannot predict the state of the gas because the molecules are unpredictable. This is analogous to saying that climatic states cannot be predicted because the weather is unpredictable (a “climate skeptic”).

      • GoneFishing says:

        One thing that should be made quite clear. Our ability to predict large complex future events has in general very little to do with the outcome.

        We were warned about the limits of growth on the planet over 40 years ago, yet real steps to curb resource use and damage to the environment have been quite small and generally ineffective.

        • Nick G says:

          We were warned about the limits of growth on the planet over 40 years ago

          Are you thinking of the Club of Rome LTG report?

          That wasn’t a prediction (even if a few of the authors are talking these days like it was). It was an analysis of the dynamics of LTG, under various assumptions which generated various scenarios. It *assumed* limits to growth, it didn’t predict them.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Either you are claiming the Limits to Growth was totally unrealistic and is only good as place holder in a file folder , or you think there are not limits to growth. Which is it?

            • Nick G says:

              Neither – it’s not that simple.

              The LTG report was an analysis of feedback lags and their impact on “overshoot”. Their conclusion was that if a system has a limit to growth, and if there are significant delays in the system’s response to the problems created by the approaching limit, the results could be disastrous.

              That, in a nutshell, is the problem that the scientific community sees with climate change: there are very large lags between the time the GHS are put in the environment, the time that humans observe serious problems, and the time that humans can reduce GHGs. In fact, there are significant risks that there are positive feedbacks which will completely prevent human mitigation (that dynamic was not included in the LTG model).

              The LTG model was very, very simple. The only renewable resource it includes is agriculture, it doesn’t include renewable energy (wind, solar, etc), the growth rates and resource numbers were unrealistic, and the forms of pollution it included had very different behaviors from climate change. It’s very unlikely that any of the scenarios they published will be at all predictive – the charts only look that way at this point because up to this point they’re no different from BAU forecasts. That”s not really a criticism – it’s not realistic to expect such a model to have such prescience. In the years since the publication (1972) some of the authors of the report have forgotten that, and said a lot of things that eventually may embarrass them.

              Nevertheless, their model does appear to be very helpful in thinking about climate change.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Ok, so you believe it was coincidental and that simple models cannot be predictive.
                I understand it is quite difficult to see the process as it occurs and not get sidetracked by possibilities. A system may appear fixable while it is breaking down, yet when fixes are greatly outnumbered by breakdowns there is no need for predication.
                At this point most of the disaster has been to other species. However, that is just a large step toward disaster for our species.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            It *assumed* limits to growth, it didn’t predict them.

            You are only partially right. They didn’t make any predictions but they also did not just “assume” limits to growth. They input universally accepted limits to growth into a computer model, which they then ran to create possible scenarios. Limits to growth are real and range from physical to biological and arguing against them is like arguing against the laws of gravity.

            Predicting the future is something best left to Yogi Berra.

            However we can put a hypothetical human being’s size and weight into a computer model creating scenarios which drops him from various heights ranging from 1 to 100 ft and plot the results on a graph… then we could test the hypothesis by actually dropping a real human from those heights and comparing reality to the model.

            From the horse’s mouth…

            https://www.clubofrome.org/report/the-limits-to-growth/

            The message of this book still holds today: The earth’s interlocking resources – the global system of nature in which we all live – probably cannot support present rates of economic and population growth much beyond the year 2100, if that long, even with advanced technology. In the summer of 1970, an international team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology began a study of the implications of continued worldwide growth. They examined the five basic factors that determine and, in their interactions, ultimately limit growth on this planet-population increase, agricultural production, nonrenewable resource depletion, industrial output, and pollution generation. The MIT team fed data on these five factors into a global computer model and then tested the behavior of the model under several sets of assumptions to determine alternative patterns for mankind’s future. The Limits to Growth is the nontechnical report of their findings. The book contains a message of hope, as well: Man can create a society in which he can live indefinitely on earth if he imposes limits on himself and his production of material goods to achieve a state of global equilibrium with population and production in carefully selected balance.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Fine, be picky. Scientists are useless and don’t predict anything. However, they warned us of possible (probable?) outcomes.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Actually it was a prediction.
                If you keep spending more money from a bank account than is being deposited to that account, the outcome is predictable. The exact date or degree may not be, but the outcome is inevitable.
                So if we keep withdrawing from the earth ecology faster than it can replenish, obvious outcome.
                Chose a generation that will come up drastically short. This one, the next?

            • Nick G says:

              They didn’t make any predictions but they also did not just “assume” limits to growth. They input universally accepted limits to growth

              See my comment above. One problem with their model: they didn’t anticipate the S-curve that resource consumption and population growth generally follows. The fact is that “infinite exponential growth” is *not* universally assumed – it’s really something that can be thought of as a “straw man”.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Limits to liquid fuels are already here.
                Population is still growing.
                Resource depletion is accelerating.
                The oceans are dying.
                Species diversity is decreasing.

                We don’t need infinite growth to screw the system. That is why the curves change to negative slope.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Let the man himself speak.
                  “In the context of the Herrenhausen Symposium “40 Years Limits to Growth” by the Volkswagen Foundation (November 28 — 29, 2012), Dennis Meadows was interviewed by Christiane Grefe (DIE ZEIT) during the final session of the conference “WISSENSWERTE” in Bremen on November 27, 2012.”

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYNlhjOZ7DU#t=2347.0965314

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Yep, and five years later we have the return of the rise of ultra nationalism throughout Europe and our own version in the US under Trump. This doesn’t bode well for finding solutions to global problems.

                    TED Talk

                    Yuval Noah Harari: Nationalism vs. globalism: the new political divide
                    TED Dialogues · 1h 0m · Filmed Feb 2017

                    http://www.ted.com/talks/yuval_noah_harari_nationalism_vs_globalism_the_new_political_divide/transcript?language=en

                    @5:04
                    YNH: Yeah, the old 20th-century political model of left versus right is now largely irrelevant, and the real divide today is between global and national, global or local. And you see it again all over the world that this is now the main struggle. We probably need completely new political models and completely new ways of thinking about politics. In essence, what you can say is that we now have global ecology, we have a global economy but we have national politics, and this doesn’t work together. This makes the political system ineffective, because it has no control over the forces that shape our life. And you have basically two solutions to this imbalance: either de-globalize the economy and turn it back into a national economy, or globalize the political system.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    The whole Trump thing and ultra-nationalism is due to a simple lack of comprehension. We are already in a state of de-growth, the pie is getting smaller and in order to cope we need to accept that less energy and material is available to each of us.
                    However, people are really upset about this reduction and reversal in their lifestyles. Health costs going up, pay not rising they way they think it should or not rising at all, cars getting more expensive, governments taking more of their hard earned pay, etc. They are angry and upset because traditional growth has ended and they think they are being cheated.
                    They do not comprehend that no one can change that right now. That anyone who says they can put that chicken in every pot or increase coal mining is selling them a fake bill of goods.
                    Once people understand that they need to hunker down, reduce their lifestyle and be happy with less, this whole insane phenomenon will vanish and we can move forward with what must be done.
                    Until then, expect anger, resentment, and a lot of useless (harmful) action.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    GF, says:

                    The whole Trump thing and ultra-nationalism is due to a simple lack of comprehension. We are already in a state of de-growth, the pie is getting smaller and in order to cope we need to accept that less energy and material is available to each of us.

                    I agree 100% with that statement!

                    However it gives me little comfort with respect to the vast majority of people’s outright denial or complete ignorance of reality.

                    Case in point, we have had many discussions here about how global warming and ocean acidification is killing coral reef ecosystems. Aside from the usual drive by trolls and their moronic comments we keep hearing how resilient coral reefs are how they can recover from heat stress. While that may be a true statement it doesn’t come close to telling the real story which is that for practical purposes they really can’t and probably won’t! The reality is that coral reefs around the world are dying at unprecedented rates due to global warming. And they are but one of many canaries in the coal mine of threatened global ecosystems.

                    https://phys.org/news/2017-03-great-barrier-reef-recover.html

                    Reducing pollution and curbing overfishing won’t prevent the severe bleaching that is killing coral at catastrophic rates, according to a study of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In the end, researchers say, the only way to save the world’s coral from heat-induced bleaching is with a war on global warming.

                    Scientists are quick to note that local protection of reefs can help damaged coral recover from the stress of rising ocean temperatures. But the new research shows that such efforts are ultimately futile when it comes to stopping bleaching in the first place.
                    “We don’t have any tools to climate-proof corals,” said Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia and lead author of the study being published on Thursday in the journal Nature. “That’s a bit sobering. We can’t stop bleaching locally. We actually have to do something about climate change.”

                    This is an example of a global problem that can’t be solved by nationalism. It requires global cooperation.

                  • George Kaplan says:

                    Fred – I agree. One look at the posts from the, often infrequent but not nearly often enough, anterior cingulate cortex challenged posters on this thread would suggest a sudden dawning of comprehension over the population is unlikely.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Fred,
                    Yes, the ocean is dying and due to a large component of the population making up their own facts the devastation will only get worse.
                    I don’t know the full range of depths that corals can exist, but I think that many need fairly shallow water. Since global warming will eventually increase water depths by 30 meters or more, the shallow corals will be more deeply submerged and die off or at least be less productive. So long term we will lose corals anyway. Not consoling but inevitable.
                    In the meantime, do you think corals will move northward into cooler waters?

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    GF, there are deep water coral ecosystems that are somewhat protected from the effects of global warming for now.

                    The problem is mostly with tropical shallow reefs. Though many of those could probably survive even a 100 ft of sea level rise. I have personally been on tropical reefs at depths well below that mark.

                    Even along the southern US coast there are already signs of some corals appearing north of their previously known range probably due to changes in temperature.

                    At the end of the day, barring some true miracle, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for most shallow water tropical reefs surviving the double whammy of global warming and ocean acidification…

                    And we all know about the onslaught of other stressors such as pollution, physical damage caused by boats, cruise ships, trawling nets, port expansions, over fishing, dynamiting of reefs, herbicides, pesticides, agricultural runoff, not to mention sunscreen from beach goers etc…

                    But none of those by itself is as big a threat as increases in water temperature.

  4. Duncan Idaho says:

    Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New ‘Intelligent Falling’ Theory

    http://www.theonion.com/article/evangelical-scientists-refute-gravity-with-new-int-1778

    • alimbiquated says:

      Blessed are those who believe this.

      • islandboy says:

        I hope you guys realize that this is “The Onion”, a website presenting satire as “news stories”. Look at some of their other headlines like: “Mitch McConnell Sees Infinite Healthcare Plans After Dropping Acid To Inspire Ideas For Obamacare Replacement” and “City Planner Gets Halfway Through Designing City Before Realizing He’s Just Doing Philadelphia Again”!

        Problem is that with flat earthers like our visitor the other day, you never know if this shit is serious or not. It’s like the guy read about the flat earth thing on The Onion and actually fell for it!

  5. Political Economist says:

    Hi Ron, very interesting post. Do you have some idea how the “global carrying capacity” for vertebrate biomass is estimated?

    • Well I have never read anything on how it is estimated but I think it should be rather obvious. For several million years now the world has always been at 100% of carrying capacity of life. Of course it would wax and wane with periods of glaciation and global warming. That is, the total amount of biomass would wax and wane as the earth was capable of supporting less during glaciation and more during very warm periods. But nevertheless it always remained at 100%.

      It was not until about a century and one half ago that the human and domestic biomass began to explode.

      Notice “carrying capacity” line on the chart. Maximum long term carrying capacity, for vertebrate biomass, was exactly at 100% in 10,000 BC. And it had been at 100% for millions of years as the earth would automatically regulate it. That is, the amount of biomass would always expand to meet what the earth would support. It only exploded to over 400% of the advent of the human population explosion.

      This is of course a short term phenomenon. The earth will continue to regulate what it can support long term. But because we are degrading the earth, the earth will not support what it could just a few thousand years ago.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Ron,

        Interesting. It would seem that utilizing technology changes carrying capacity for humans. One metastudy of 69 other peer reviewed studies on carrying capacity came up with about 7 billion, but with wide margins of error from 0.5 billion to 98 billion.

        If the planet is always at 100% of carrying capacity, that doesn’t really tell us much about where the overshoot point is. So your simple analysis doesn’t really tell us much about carrying capacity. I would think 1 to 2 billion would be a good guess for the long term and the sooner human population peaks and declines (as total fertility ratios fall to under 1.75 and possibly as low as 1.5) the smaller the damage to the biosphere will be, more people living in cities that are designed better will also help to give space to other terrestrial vertebrates.

        Chapter 5 of Limits to Growth is what we should strive for, with the addition of a peak and decline of population by some families aiming for two children and other families choosing one child or no children so that World population declines taking pressure off resources, reducing the need for food and capital, and reducing pollution.

        • Interesting. It would seem that utilizing technology changes carrying capacity for humans.

          Let us make no mistake Dennis, I was not talking about the carrying capacity for humans, I was talking about the carrying capacity for life.

          If the planet is always at 100% of carrying capacity, that doesn’t really tell us much about where the overshoot point is.

          Goddammit Dennis, give me a fucking break, that tells us exactly where it really is. It is exactly where it was for the last several million years or so. Not one million pounds of biomass less and not one million pounds of biomass more.

          The earth has a carrying capacity of life, not of humans or apes or monkeys or pigs or whatever, but of life. If humans take over all of the carrying capacity then all the other life must disappear. But a strange thing has happened, we have taken over way, way more than our fair share of life, we have taken over more than four times the share of all life that the world is capable of supporting… long term that is.

          World population declines taking pressure off resources, reducing the need for food and capital, and reducing pollution.

          Are you shitting me? Are you fucking shitting me.? World population decline? There is no world population decline. The world population is still increasing at a rate of more than one percent per year. Check out the world population growth rate at this site:

          GEOHIVE

          They estimate at the year 2100 the earth’s population is at 10,853,848,570 and still increasing. How in God’s name can you talk about world population decline when it is nowhere in site?

          Hey, it is over, it is fucking over. Humans have infected the world and destroyed it. They have already destroyed it. There is no way we can bring back the dead. The species have already gone extinct, the rain forest have already been cut down, the coral reefs are already dead, the ocean fisheries have already disappeared, the topsoil has already washed away or been blown away, the water tables have already dropped beyond refilling for thousands of years. The damage has already been done.

          The Lazarus effect says the dead can be revised. But that is a myth. The dead cannot be revived. The extinct species cannot be resurrected. The water tables will not be replenished for hundreds of years, the rain forest will not be restored until the logging has been stopped for hundreds of years. And I could go on and on but, dear God, I hope you get the idea. The damage has already been done and it cannot be fixed.

          Okay, okay, okay, I hope Dennis has given us the perfect example of a reassuring Lie and that I have given you the perfect example of an inconvenient truth,

          Has the earth been in overshoot for about one hundred years or more? Have about 99% of wild animals disappeared and have been replaced by humans and their domestic animals?

          Or, does that matter. Are humans all that matters. And will our expansion to over 4 times the historic carrying capacity of the earth really have any pernicious effects on the long term carrying capacity of the earth?

          Really?

          Really Dennis? Are you capable of common reasoning?

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Ron,

            Really, lack of reason? LOL.

            You said yourself that the carrying capacity is not fixed (It waxes and wanes.)

            Human population will decline in the future, on that point we agree.

            Yes many species have become extinct, topsoil has washed away, fisheries have been destroyed, and coral reefs are dying.

            We cannot change the past, we can only try to change the future.

            Many demographers expect that human population will peak and decline, when this will occur is not well agreed and there are many different hypotheses about how best to bring about such a peak sooner rather than later. Many nations have already brought total fertility levels to below replacement level, we need better progress in Africa on reducing total fertility ratios. Better education, access to birth control, and women’s rights are keys to accomplishing this. Better government and economic development would help.

            We agree that too many humans are a problem and perhaps less of them might result in fewer problems. We also agree that the arrow of time points from past to future, though I do not dwell on the obvious.

            • You said yourself that the carrying capacity is not fixed (It waxes and wanes.)

              It waxes and wanes because of massive glaciation or global warming, and for no other reason. Of course the climate of the earth affects the carrying capacity of the earth, but nothing else does. Okay, if you think something else does then please inform me of that… whatever it is.

              Many demographers expect that human population will peak and decline,…

              Dennis. demographers are not ecologist. Demographers count heads, or population numbers. Ecologist tell us about the health of the ecosystem. Surely you must realize that there is little connection between the two.

              Dennis, here in the deep south, we talk about locking the barn door after the horse has already escaped. What I am telling you Dennis, is the horse has already escaped. It has not only escaped but it has disappeared over the horizon.

              You cannot bring back to life what is already dead.

              In other words, your point that the population will soon peak then decline, is telling me what you intend to do about securing the barn after all the horses have already escaped and disappeared over the horizon. (In other words, there is no hope of ever catching that horse.)

              Dennis, please, dear God please, if you intend to argue with me then address my argument, and stop ignoring it.

              I am saying, and have been saying for years, that the earth is already in deep overshoot. That the damage has already been done.

              If you have no intention of addressing that argument then just say so. And stop posting that mealy mouth shit about the coming population decline. That has absolutely nothing to do with my argument.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Ron,

                I agree with the argument that much damage has been done. And I do not dwell on things that we have no hope of changing.

                I also agree the Earth is in overshoot, but different ecologists have different estimates of how far we are into overshoot.

                This will change. A more important question is what do we do now, how can we learn from past mistakes. Your claim is that nothing can (or will) be done.

                Note also that you said that humans were the problem, I agree. That makes demography relevant in my opinion.

                You assert that human behavior is exactly the same as every other animal, I disagree.

                There are basic similarities, we eat, we reproduce, etc.

                We can also make conscious decisions to change the direction of society.

                You deny this is possible. I disagree.

                • We can also make conscious decisions to change the direction of society.

                  You deny this is possible. I disagree.

                  No, I do not deny the possibility that people can change the direction of society. They have often done this in the past. Mao, Stalin, Hitler and many others have change their society dramatically. But not one of them ever changed human nature.

                  We always look out for our own best interest. The interest of your family come next, the interest of your neighbor comes next, the interest of your nation comes next, or somewhere close to next.

                  The interest of other animals is way, way down on the list. That is just human nature

                  And we are extremely myopic. We look out for today, tomorrow comes next and the day after that next and so on. Next year is in the picture also, somewhere ahead of the net decade. What happens to the next decade is way, way down on the list. It is just human nature.

                  But you are extremely optimistic. You think somehow society will figure out a way out of this damn mess. Sure you do, it is just human nature.

              • Joseph Clarkson says:

                There is only one way that it might be possible for humans to affect carrying capacity for life on earth. One of the big impacts on biological activity is the amount of water available. If humans irrigate land with water that would otherwise be surplus to the ecosystem in which it is found, it just might be possible to increase the earth’s biomass. I have seen no study of the potential for this kind of action, but I doubt that the impact would be very significant.

                Ron is right. Life is a zero sum proposition. We have used fossil fuels to shift huge amounts of land plant biomass to our needs and thereby increase our population and the population of our animals, but the total land and plant biomass on the surface of the earth is little changed.

                Our long term human carrying capacity depends on how much of that biomass shifting we can do with only photosynthetic energy to work with. For the Americas, I would guess it would be similar to the pre-Columbian population. Estimates vary, but it was probably no more than 100 million. China’s population averaged about 50 million for 2,000 years. My guess would be around 400-500 million for the world as a whole, but only given a benign Holocene climate and people who are experts at living with only photosynthetic energy (plus a little wind and water power).

                I think we will greatly undershoot our carrying capacity in the die-off, perhaps ending up with a world population under 100 million, before gradually increasing back to a more typical population over a period of several thousand years.

                That’s the optimistic scenario, which doesn’t include man-made pandemics or nuclear war. Either of those could lead to much lower populations, possibly including human extinction.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Joseph,

                  With better soil practices and a recycling of human and domesticated animal waste back to the soil along with a massive expansion of solar power and wind power and better recycling of mined resources,
                  doesn’t it seem that carrying capacity could be increased beyond the level of the last interglacial?

                  Combine that with an eventual fall in the World Total Fertility Ratio(TFR) to less than 1.75 and population declines naturally, most of the World (about half of the World’s population) is already below replacement fertility levels with a number of nations with a TFR of less than 1.5. Most other nations (with the exception of many nations in sub-Saharan Africa) are on their way to TFR of less than 2.1 (replacement level).

                  Also note that concerns about higher life expectancy are warranted, but the rise in life expectancy can be balanced by lower fertility levels.

                  See

                  https://blog.iiasa.ac.at/2014/09/23/9-billion-or-11-billion-the-research-behind-new-population-projections/

                  and

                  https://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol28/39/28-39.pdf

                  From the paper linked above (p.1147):

                  The United Nations Population Division published projections for all countries until 2300 based on alternative fertility assumptions (UNPD 2004). However, the range of possible future fertility levels was extremely narrow, with the lowest level considered assuming a long term TFR of 1.85 and the highest scenario assuming 2.35. For the medium scenario exact replacement fertility is assumed which, by definition, results in long term constancy of population size in every country. Given that the long term ‘floor’ figure of 1.85 is significantly higher than the fertility Europe has experienced over the past 30 years and the recent ultra-low fertility experiences of East Asia, we sought to widen the scope of the very long-term projections by presenting an alternative set of convergence futures which range from the extremes of a longer term stalled fertility decline in Sub-Saharan Africa to the scenario of the whole world moving toward some of the lowest national TFRs currently found in the world.

                  Caption for figure 1 on page 1153-1154 of Basten et al 2013 below (2nd link above):

                  Global population size from 2000 to 2300 resulting from alternative global fertility levels as indicated (TFR to be reached by 2030-2050 and then kept constant) combined with a maximum life expectancy of (a) 90, (b) 100 and (c) 120 years

                  Figure 1 (c) shown below with life expectancy (e0) assumed to level off at 120 years.

                  • Nick G says:

                    The idea that the earth’s carrying capacity can’t be increased sounds suspiciously like creationism: “God designed the perfect ecosystem, and Man can’t possibly improve on it”.

                    In fact, we know that evolution is a random and enormously inefficient process.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Efficient process? We eradicate life from large areas of the planet to produce our food. There is far more biomass in a forest or even a meadow than exists on that farmed land.
                    Sure our plants produce a higher weight of seed and fruit than “natural” plants per plant. The cost is the eradication of just about every other living thing in the area and covering it with toxic chemicals and artificial fertilizers (external poisoned areas denuded of life). All so one species can exist. So who or what is more efficient?

                  • Nick G says:

                    Sure our plants produce a higher weight of seed and fruit than “natural” plants per plant.

                    Well, that’s one example of what I’m talking about. Evolution is random, and there’s no reason to think it creates a “perfect” or “optimal” plant, or that it maximizes biomass. We don’t really know what drives evolution (“4th law of thermodyamics” is one proposal), but we’re pretty sure it’s not “intelligent design”.

                    Invasive species are pretty clear examples of suboptimization: a new species comes in and wipes out the native species, and we see that the native species are far from “perfected”.

                    That’s not even into the question of optimizing plants for human consumption.

                    Don’t get me wrong: I see clear dangers from monocultures and loss of wild habitat, and I see great tragedy in the elimination of wild species. But, this argument that “carrying capacity” can be defined based on conditions that existed before human expansion seems…unrealistic.

          • alimbiquated says:

            I think those high estimates come from overestimating the minimum birth rate. Some big population centers are going to start losing people by mid century, especially Europe and East Asia.

            The real threat is not high birth rates, it’s low death rates. Low death rates are the main driver of human population growth now. It someone figure out how to keep humans alive for a few hundred years, we will all starve to death.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Alimbiquated,

              What average maximum life expectancy in 2215 seems reasonable to you? Currently the large nation with the highest life expectancy is Japan at about 84 years at birth (WHO 2015 estimate), my expectation is that over the next 200 years we might see the World average rise to as high as 100. In 2015 the WHO estimates the World average life expectancy was 71.4 years.

              • George Kaplan says:

                The UK, which I think came in the top five of a recent poll for places to live, now likely has a falling life expectancy. It has been seen in Scotland. The final figures aren’t in for Wales and England, but the same is expected. On average woman live their final 19 years and men 16 years as ‘frail’ and needing some kind of help. Mostly extending life has extended that period rather than the ‘healthy’ period before 60 to 65. Our health service is going bankrupt and most expensive drugs and surgery are now rationed, even if not explicitly. Our care services are being gradually destroyed, starting with those for seniors. Our pension system will likely start to fail whenever the next major recession is or before 2020 at the latest. The largest portion of working people are those with no pension savings. There is no possible way our average life expectancy will reach 100, ever.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  You are absolutely correct in pointing out that extending lifespan without extending health is a huge error in the system.
                  Actual extension of lifespan and health will need a much greater knowledge of our biochemistry and how DNA interacts with it.
                  Until some major breakthroughs occur, we will keep using the patch and Band-Aid system until the breakthrough or the system breaks.

                  • George Kaplan says:

                    I thought what I was pointing out principally was that what really matters, even to maintain current life expectancy, is money, and the UK, one of the richest despite all out problems, is running out of it (and by implication, all others will follow).

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Money, like the universe, continuously expands. Resources and useful energy does not.

                  • George Kaplan says:

                    Assume I use money as a metonym for wealth or resources, as most people do.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi George,

                  I tend to agree, I think 90 or less is a likely maximum average life expectancy at the World level and probably will not be reached until 2200 (if ever).

              • alimbiquated says:

                It depends on whether someone finds a way to significantly increase longevity. Currently life expectancy is edging up world wide thanks to economic improvement and piecemeal scientific improvements.

                But what if someone comes up with a cheap way to slow aging for people over the age of 40?

                For example in our mid 40s my brothers and I suddenly started needing reading glasses, and experienced receding hairlines and greying, as well as stripy growth patterns on our fingernails. A range of other symptoms of aging also appeared, but these were noticeable. It was like clockwork, affecting all of us at the same age.

                Is there a single cause for this? Can it be pushed back 10-20 years? The incentive to find an answer is huge. If the answer is yes, there could be a sudden jump in life expectancy worldwide. Nobody knows if it will happen, but some people think it will.

                • Nick G says:

                  And it would be a great thing: disability would fall along with all of the tragic human and economic costs that go with disability, illness and death.

                  Retirement age would have to go up, but that’s a tiny, tiny sacrifice for years of better health. With more older people to feed, maybe people would have to eat a little less meat. That’s an incredibly small price to pay for having your parents, spouse, siblings, and not least YOURSELF live much longer.

                  Would the world be better off with more, healthier (happier) older people around? Of course. Geez!

          • alimbiquated says:

            Human degradation of the environment is not a new phenomenon.

            https://phys.org/news/2017-03-humans-sahara.html

  6. HuntingtonBeach says:

    Well Ron, it’s just in my nature to argue and I think you got #5 all wrong.

    The biggest reassuring lie of all time is that the baby Jesus is the son of god and if we behave and believe. We will be rewarded with eternal happiness. Most people have never even heard of overshoot.

    Amen

    • Okay, okay, let me just say that #5 is the biggest non religious reassuring lie ever told. Of course as far as lies go, there is just no competing with religion.

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        Agree, but I think The Donald is going to try to top it

      • alimbiquated says:

        “Biggest” is a dumb word for two separate reasons.

        First, it assumes there is a clear meaning of size (or “bigness”, just to be on the safe side) when applied to lies. That definition is not clear to me, and isn’t generally agreed on.

        Second, the superlative simply orders the bigness of the lies, throwing away most information about the relative bigness glean from the putative initial data collection exercise.

        • Oh give me a fucking break. Largest! Is that a better word? You knew goddamn well what I meant so why the nitpicking?

          • alimbiquated says:

            Lol sorry, never mind, it’s just a pet peeve of mine from the eighties because Republicans were always going on about things being the “greatest”.

  7. George Kaplan says:

    With Kashagan phase 2 (170 kbpd) now definitely not coming on line in 2017, and Hebron (135 kbpd), Fort Hills (160 kbpd) and a couple of Brazilian FPSOs (150 each) not due until the end of this year it looks possible that new oil supply could take a tumble around August to October. It depends a lot on what OPEC ME countries do (especially Iraq, Iran, SA and UAE) and possibly how decline rates evolve in the big losers: Mexico, China, GoM, Columbia, India, Norway and of course shale, but we may be discussing fast storage drops rather than whether OPEC cuts will be extended. Any major new geopolitical disruption is going to show up the shortage of spare world capacity very quickly I think, and that will shortly be followed by insight into how much the cuts and exploration failures of the last three years have damaged the industry’s overall capacity for discovery and development.

  8. alimbiquated says:

    If you really want to lose some sleep, do some research into the Permian-Triassic extinction event, which happened 250m years ago.

    Basically a huge volcanic outbreak warmed up the the oceans so much they died. Then everything else did too.

    There is a real threat of a runaway warming event as the tundra melts.

    • I don’t really expect anything as serious as the Great Permian Extinction anyway soon. The Siberian Traps volcanism spewed out 720,000 cubic miles, (3 million cubic kilometers), of lava over a period of 900,000 years. This is not to be compared with tundra melts.

      But what if we had just one year of the Siberian Traps volcanism, just one of those 900,000 years?

      Just one year’s worth of volcanism from the Siberian Traps, or about 57 cubic miles (240 cubic km) of lava, could generate 1.46 billion tons of sulfur dioxide and devastate the Northern Hemisphere, Black’s study found.

      Earth’s Greatest Killer Finally Caught

      57 cubic miles of lava and 1.46 billion tons of sulfur dioxide, now that would be devastating. But the tundra melts, as bad as they might be, would not come close to even one year of the 900,000 years of the Siberian Traps volcanism.

      Hey, I just like to keep things in perspective. 😉

  9. Survivalist says:

    Uptick still definitely possible, but we may have passed our annual Arctic sea ice max -> March 6 maximum extent would be a new record low as per JAXA (ADS-NIPR) sea ice extent

    https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/vishop.ver1/data/graph/plot_extent_n_v2.csv

    https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/www.moyhu.org/blog/polview.html

    • Survivalist says:

      Looks like the new record low annual maximum is holding. March 6 at 13878287.

      • George Kaplan says:

        Yes, looks like it. Jaxa numbers dropper over 100,000 square kilometres yesterday. Temperatures anomalies are predicted to remain 4 to 5 degrees celsius high for the next two weeks with a couple of big storms possible, both of which would be set up to push ice out the Fram strait. The Sea of Okhotsk, Kara Sea, Hudson Bay and Baffin Bay down to Newfoundland are all due some days above freezing over the next few days. NSIDC (which I think uses a five day running average) and DMI seem to agree with Jaxa.

        February looks likely to be second warmest on record despite it following the decline of a strong El Nino, and this is being explained because of the polar amplification (at both poles now that warmer air is starting to impact the Antarctic ice). I’ve seen a couple of items that indicated that, of the big climate changes that might occur, loss of Arctic ice is the most likely but least consequential (others include permanent monsoon shift, tropical and boreal forest die back, ENSO amplification, Atlantic THC collapse). If the impact of the Arctic Ice is the least damaging (and we are seeing only the beginnings of it still) then lets hope the probabilities of the others are pretty much zero.

        • Survivalist says:

          Hi George, and down just under another 100G today to 13607502 for the 17th. Down about 210G over last 48 hours.
          Looks like March 6 2017 IS the new maximum extent record low.

          https://youtu.be/CLsFauH5jsE

        • George Kaplan says:

          Unforeseen consequences of Arctic ice melting:

          MELTING ARCTIC ICE LIKELY WORSENS WINTER HAZE IN CHINA

          ‘The study published in the U.S. journal Science Advances suggests that melting Arctic sea ice and increasing Eurasian snow, both caused by global climate change, have shifted China’s winter monsoon, helping create stagnant atmospheric conditions that trap pollution over the country’s major population and industrial centers.

          ‘”Mostly, that’s because of a very rapid change in the high polar regions where sea ice is decreasing and snowfall is increasing. This perturbation keeps cold air from getting into the eastern parts of China where it would flush out the air pollution.”’

          http://www.ecns.cn/2017/03-16/249489.shtml

          http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/3/e1602751.full

          I also recently read some items from Nunavut concerning changes bought about there by climate change. Clear skies are becoming a rarity, mostly they have a grey haze, which can present dangers when travelling across flat snowscapes, a well as retaining warmth and possibly accelerating permafrost melt over the year.

  10. islandboy says:

    My thoughts.

    1. I find this lie and those who perpetuate it exasperating. If as I believe, global warming is going to make life very uncomfortable or unpleasant or challenging or impossible for sizable chunks of our civilization, what are the deniers going to say? Oops? Sorry? We who do not believe the lie will find little comfort in telling the deniers. “This is what we’ve been trying to warn you about all along! You were warned!”

    2. I certainly do not believe renewable energy will easily replace fossil energy with little or no pain. I wish it were so in some respects but at the very least, the saying “make hay when the sun shines” is going to regain much of it’s literal meaning but, it’s not just hay making that will have to wait on sunshine. Fossil energy allows us to to whatever the hell we want to do, whenever the hell we want to do it but I don’t see restricting activities to the times when the energy resources are available as that big a deal. Of course that’s just me.

    3. See number 2 for the result of not having lots of energy storage, including seasonal as opposed to diurnal. While wind and solar are fairly predictable over the course of a few hours and even up to a few days, going cold turkey on fossil energy will require that activities that depend on energy are planned around availability. In the absence of adequate storage, how we handle “emergencies” is going to be very interesting.

    4. The energy density of liquid hydrocarbons is pretty amazing when you think about it. I have a hard time imagining that a battery technology will advance to the point where a battery that weighs 50 kg (110 lbs.) and occupies 60 L (~ 2 cu. ft.) of space. will be able to allow a light vehicle to have a range in excess of 2400 km (259 miles). On the other hand the 238 mile Chevy Bolt’s battery volume is 285 L and the mass is 435, so it “only” needs to be 8-9 times less heavy and about 5 times smaller! 😉 Even though The Inventor of the Lithium-Ion Battery Invents an Even Better One that , promises ” triple the energy storage of standard batteries, along with a much higher longevity” and “charging could happen in minutes instead of hours”. Sounds too good to be true. I’ll believe that when I see it.

    5. I find the taboo that seems to surround any discussion of population control deeply frustrating. It is as if the freedom to have as many children as humanly possible is some fundamental inalienable human right. In my neck of the woods, the suggestion that people should avoid having children unless they have the basic financial resources to cover the costs of raising a child is treated as “discrimination against the poor” by some quarters. No thought is given by these idiots to the idea that unplanned pregnancies perpetuate the cycle of poverty. The idea that after conception the fetus is “sacred and precious” needs to be balanced with how de-humanizing, brutal, callous and sometimes barbaric the situation is, that the precious little fetus/infant will have to endure once it leaves the protection of the womb to begin life in a ghetto. In an overpopulated country, life is not precious. It is cheap and if the food supply does not keep pace with population growth we will all see just how “precious” a life other than our own is. /rant off

    • islandboy says:

      Obviously no one has read my post since the gremlins got into my keyboard and nobody has pointed out that “a range in excess of 2400 km (259 miles)” does not make any sense. To get a range of 2400 km (1,500 miles) would require a 360 L (12 cu. ft.) tank that weighs 300 kg (660 lbs.) in a light vehicle. Secondly 2400 km is not the same as 259 miles. I was in a hurry to post and go catch somewhere before closing time and didn’t notice that 400 km (250 miles) is not what emerged on the screen!

      • alimbiquated says:

        Well I think there will be pain, but it will mostly be felt by the producers of fossil fuels.

        American transport is based on the idea of using a 4,000 pound vehicle to move a 200 pound person around, which is stupid. All the gloomy calculations about post-oil energy supply tend to ignore that.

      • GoneFishing says:

        I read your post and have disagreements with each point which for some reason did not post. The typo was obvious and not worth pursuing. I will try again later.

        • GoneFishing says:

          1) Deniers are never culpable, they will find a way to blame others.
          2) The idea is not to replace fossil fuel but to eliminate it’s use.
          3) Battery, pumped hydro, heat and ice storage backed up by stored hydrogen will be sufficient to level out PV and wind power.
          4) Due to elimination of the engine weight and much higher efficiency of electric motors, batteries only have to become twice as energy dense as current batteries to be fully competitive with ICE’s (actually superior in many ways). also consider all the energy and resources that will not be needed to continuously find, drill, pump, process, transport, refine, transport again and maintain the fossil fuel infrastructure behind gasoline and diesel fuel.
          5) There is a huge disparity between the energy usage of the rich and poor. Reduction of resource usage should be the primary focus.

          • JJHMAN says:

            An apparent assumption in a lot of these discussions is that, somehow, life in the 21st century technological madhouse is better than life was, say, in 1960. I think that after the invention of vaccines life in the advanced societies has gotten more bewildering and unequal but I doubt that any significant number of people are much happier than the folks then.

            People in developing societies, however, that have travelled from a medievial life style to 21st century would disagree.

    • Gerry says:

      Conversion to renewables will be a hard piece of work for the scientists, engineers and workers who will be doing the real work.

      For the rest of us; we’ll have to get used to doing a few things differently.

      Like not traveling by plane but by train:
      London – Paris traffic down 50% since launch of Eurostar services in 1994
      http://www.anna.aero/2009/07/31/100-years-of-cross-channel-air-travel/

      And in civilized countries, trains already run on electricity. For which renewables provide us lots of sources.

      Next step is converting the remaining steel smelter from coal to electricity and finding another source for carbon. Anyone finding a cheap, low-energy process to “mine” the air for carbon will be an instant billionaire. I envision tough negotiations with pesky physics…

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Gerry,

        In Europe, not much freight is moved by rail, mostly by trucks and some by water. At some point all rail will be electrified, even in uncivilized nations. 🙂

        • Gerry says:

          I’m painfully aware of that, but thanks for mentioning this again.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gerry,

            I forget who knows what, sorry to repeat what you already know, often what I think I know is incorrect so good to get confirmation.

            Oil prices will rise and provide an incentive to move more freight by electrified rail all over the World (even in uncivilized places 😉 ).

      • JJHMAN says:

        “Mining” the air for carbon is not a technological problem. It is a thermodynamic problem. It takes more energy than could ever allow it to be economical.

      • GoneFishing says:

        “Anyone finding a cheap, low-energy process to “mine” the air for carbon will be an instant billionaire”
        I see I will soon be an instant billionaire. I have discovered trees and shrubs. Cheap and low energy.

      • Nick G says:

        CO2 is much more concentrated in seawater, making it a much cheaper place to “mine” environmental carbon.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Islandboy,

      Barney Frank (former US Congressman from Massachusetts) once quipped that for many Republicans one’s rights begin at conception and end at birth. 🙂

  11. Oldfarmermac says:

    This one offers the opportunity for some real rantin’ and ravin’ and some serious thought as well.

    Thank you Ron!

    Allow me to begin by saying that I do absolutely believe there is a very real possibility that Ron is right, that an overall ecological and economic collapse is inevitable, and that associated with it there will be a major die off of humanity, perhaps as high ninety five to ninety nine plus percent, although I think the odds of a few naked apes pulling thru the crisis are at least fair to good.

    My own wild ass guess as to the likelihood of such a catastrophic collapse is that the risk could be as low as twenty five percent or as high as eighty or ninety percent over the course of the next century, but probably in less time than that.

    If we assume that things continue more or less as they are at present, that the “business as usual” way of life continues until it CAN’T continue, and we either don’t collectively go SERIOUSLY PROACTIVE to prevent the otherwise baked in crash, or we GET LUCKY, and avoid the crash due to unexpected happenings, well then, the crash WILL come to pass.

    Luck is going to have a hell of a lot to do with what happens, maybe more to do with what happens than any other given factor.

    Over the last few years I have gone from being a definite doomer believer, in near complete agreement with Ron, to growing cautiously optimistic that SOME of us , possibly including some entire countries and regions, MIGHT avoid an outright collapse of industrial civilization.

    I have changed my mind to this extent for some easily understood basic reasons. First off, birth rates have dropped like a rock in many parts of the world, and while they might NOT fall the same way in some places, such as most of Africa for instance, well, Africa is not the world, and if Africans mostly die off due to the Four Horsemen running wild and free, they will do so MOSTLY IN AFRICA.

    Consider my own family for instance. If all you folks pardon me including you Ron, who get your jollies ridiculing religion would use your heads for something other than hatracks, you would study the BENEFITS of religion, and the REASONS religions are virtually universal among humanity, and WHY they evolved, etc, from a rational, open minded point of view. Pissing and moaning about religion and blaming all the world’s problems on religion is utterly fucking stupid and childish and further more about as goddamned counter productive a thing as you can do, IF you want to DO SOMETHING to help prevent collapse.

    Case history, and I’m waiting for somebody to explain why this history will not be the future rule, rather than the future exception.

    While I am a world class Darwinist, and a HARD CORE Darwinist , although not one of the political camp that includes the Trumpster and KKK types, my family historically speaking is basically one encompassing fundamental and evangelical Christianity of the Baptist sort. My generation had less than TWO kids. The grand children so far appear to be very likely to average less than one point five per woman. The great grand children are too young to say of course. MY parents generation averaged about five or six, with some having more. Ditto the great grandparents as far back as I know the family history.

    Italy is the home of the fucking Pope himself, and Italian women have so few kids that the Italians may eventually INVITE in a few million immigrants to support their welfare state once there are so few youngsters and so many oldsters that otherwise the oldsters will starve or die from a lack of getting their diapers changed. ( A certain amount of sarcasm is INTENDED all thru this comment. )

    In Brazil, the birth rate dropped like a rock surprising the living hell out of just about every body, over a rather short time frame.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/01/15/145133220/brazils-falling-birth-rate-a-new-way-of-thinking

    Unless I am badly mistaken, the USA would be well on the way to our own population peaking and gradually declining if we were to more or less close our borders.

    Now I know it’s utter HERESY to even MENTION such a possibility in a liberal forum such as this one without being called everything from a racist to a nazi to a fucking REPUBLICAN, but on the other hand, well……. WE ARE talking about the end of life as we know it, maybe, and maybe even the end of our lives, and when the shit is in the fan, well it’s LIFE BOAT time.

    PC politics and liberal dogma may prevent any discussion of lifeboat strategies until it’s too late to implement such strategies successfully, or the actual result may be political backlash and the election of politicians who are too stupid and or ignorant to care, politicians who don’t have sense enough to realize that their own children and grandchildren will never live any where except on this planet, IF they live. Can we all spell T R U M P?

    One VERY serious reason I am afraid Ron might be right is that REPUBLICANS as a class are too ignorant and stupid to know any better than to believe business as usual CAN continue indefinitely, and liberals as a group are prevented from even seriously discussing life boat strategies, due to their political dogma.

    The VAST majority of right winger types in a country such as the USA have rather small families, and I haven’t heard a preacher in a fundamentalist church say anything against birth control within the last thirty or forty years. And DAMNED FEW of them ever go NEAR the evolution can of worms, except to just repeat the Creation story. They NEVER as a rule say anything from the pulpit, with RARE exceptions, about biologists having their heads up their asses, because they virtually all go to big hospitals where they have to face up to the fact that the DOCTORS who do their organ transplants, etc, MAJORED in biology or premed, which is mostly biology, and because the typical congregation member is doing as much as he or she can to see that the kids get a COLLEGE EDUCATION. The preachers THEMSELVES are proud of the fact their kids are doctors, lawyers engineers, computer programmers. If this sounds like BULLSHIT to anybody reading it, all I have to say is that you don’t know SHIT FROM APPLE BUTTER about the REALITY of religion in a country such as the USA today. You have been hoodwinked into believing the small handful of real nut cases such as the Duggars family are representative of the whole. Sure there are a very SMALL number of snake handlers, etc.

    I will leave a discussion of other religions in other countries for a later rant. All I will say for the moment is that if they over populate the hell out of themselves, it is utterly naive to believe that the rest of the world will bail their over populated asses out. It’s a damned sight more likely that the ones ( and may Sky Daddy show them some mercy , lol) who embark on desperate forced migrations will be met at national borders with barbed wire and machine guns, once the shit is in the fan.

    Now my own professional background is agriculture, meaning I spent most of my academic time in biology classes or classes devoted specifically to certain aspects of biology, in the same sense that the classes a physician takes about disease control are based on biological principles. And while I never went for an advanced degree, over the years I have taken dozens of courses at junior or senior and graduate school level, as it suited me, plus I have read TONS of books written by well respected biologists and scientists working in various fields related to biology.

    So – I suppose I am as well qualified as the next fellow, and a damned sight better qualified than most, to have opinions as to how things might play out.

    OK- There might be a general, overall planetary collapse. This possibility cannot be ruled out. What the odds are of things getting this bad are very hard to impossible to estimate, due to random events and due to the impossibility of predicting what people and countries will actually do.

    Mother Nature has a way of throwing monkey wrenches into gears, and grenades too. Her arsenal runs all the way up to the equivalent of atom bombs, and SHE is non sentient, without mercy, without values, without goals, totally uncaring as to what happens, or what does not.

    We don’t even know WHY life exists, and about all we really know about any purpose it might have is that the purpose of life is to reproduce and perpetuate itself. Why that should be is a total mystery.

    She might bomb us with something that makes the Black Plague look like a sniffle, something totally uncontrollable. The cards COULD fall so badly, from OUR point of view as oxygen breathers, that the oceans and atmosphere flip to an anaerobic state, which would literally wipe out just about all the life forms, including us naked apes, which we think of as “higher” forms of life.

    My opinion is that a total collapse of the environment such that all the larger animals, etc, will be wiped totally out is highly unlikely. Think about the way climate and weather vary with time and location, and how a major storm in the Pacific might and probably will have little or no discernible effect on the weather on the far side of North America in the Atlantic. Think about how the animals that live in Australia are descended mostly from different ancestors ( not truly remote ancestors but more recent ones ) than most of the animals in the Americas, etc. There has been very little inter mingling of genes between these places for a very long time, excepting recently due to human travel and commerce. It would be rather unlikely that a plague that wipes out kangaroos would even reach the Americas and wipe out opossums, assuming opossums would be susceptible. Most species of animals are unable to travel across the natural barriers that have kept them in the same geographical ranges for tens of thousands of years. Even here in the USA, the blight that wiped out the chestnut in the east has never reached trees that were taken into the western part of the country before the blight hit, despite all the travel back and forth.

    So – If you have thought about these things, then think about people in various countries, which are political abstractions, and then also about people in geographically distinct areas, which are natural realities.

    If India for instance suffers a major famine, more or less nationwide, due to a failure of the monsoon rains, and the famine is complicated, which it will be, by disease and violence, well, the hundreds of millions of people in India will simply mostly die IN INDIA. It is possible of course, depending on circumstances, that the rest of the world will be WILLING and ABLE to provide enough food to tide the Indian nation over until the rains return, but if things are getting tough all over the world, it seems unlikely to me that the rest of the world will be WILLING to make the necessary sacrifices to save India, and the rest of us might not be ABLE to save India.

    If a really and truly highly contagious invariably fatal disease emerges in Africa, it could reach the rest of the world and wipe out most of us, the exceptions being a few places that manage to seal themselves off and prevent any incoming human traffic bearing the infection.

    But it’s probably more likely, if the reality of such a disease comes to be understood by the political leadership and the people of countries such as the USA that an iron clad quarantine would be implemented, regardless of the cost of doing so, because no matter the cost, it would be many times cheaper than the consequences of NOT implementing it.

    What I’m getting at is something obvious to just about any farmer. A lack of feed and water could wipe out all the cows in Texas, while causing farmers a few hundred miles north of the Texas border hardly any trouble at all, and causing farmers as far away as Virginia ZERO trouble. When the shit hits the fan, and the shit is ALMOST dead certain to hit the fan in a great many places in my opinion before we turn the corner on overshoot, it will hit piecemeal, in different places, and at different times.

    It is likely, in my opinion, but by no means certain, that we will not bring about collapse of the very worst sort because we will kill ourselves off piecemeal before we can do ENOUGH damage to bring about the worst possible consequences. We are simply spread out too much, over too big a planet, for everything to go to hell all at the same time, and when things go to hell in a given locality, , after that, there won’t be much more damage to the rest of the planet coming from THAT locality.

    It’s quite possible ,however, and highly likely in my opinion that the consequences of such local or regional collapse events will include hot wars, and such wars have a way of getting out of hand, and could morph into World War III.

    Pretty soon, maybe within the next decade or two, it will probably be possible for just a few capable biologists to create new disease organisms within relatively short time frames, and with relatively little in the way of money and other material resources.

    Sky Daddy alone lol knows how the end game might play out.

    But depending on how the political cards fall, there is a possibility that some people in some places will pull thru more or less whole, in terms of their own lives and the lives of their children. North America for instance is geographically isolated except from the south, and still as rich in natural resources as any other place in the world, with a relatively low population density, etc, not to mention being highly industrialized already, which means that IF we Yankees and Canadians were to put our minds to it, and REALLY work at proactive measures, we would stand at least a fair to good chance of pulling thru the bottleneck without losing many people to disease, famine, violence, etc.

    Countries in Asia within the reach of Chinese troops may be doomed to become colonies, and not well treated ones, once the shit is in the fan. Countries near Russia, etc, might suffer the same fate. When the shit is in the fan, people and countries have always worried about survival first, and morality second. We Yankees may go a viking, we aren’t any different, but when it comes to some other country invading US , well we DO have a military establishment that is several times larger and more powerful than the next three or four in the world combined, and we have those two oceans on either side of us, and an old friend happy to shelter under our military umbrella to the north, so we don’t have TOO MUCH to worry about in terms of our physical security. We CAN survive and even thrive with damned little in the way of material resources imported from the rest of the world, and we are BIG ENOUGH to support ANY essential industry. We don’t HAVE to import anything in particular, the way a small country has to import stuff, for lack of being big enough to support a domestic industry to produce it. A country with ten million people just isn’t big enough to do everything for itself and still be a fully modern country, but one as big as the USA, and as rich, can do it, if NECESSARY. We would be MORE prosperous , no doubt, with continued extensive trade, but we would be OK with very little, once we adjust to such a new reality.

    And we may HAVE to adjust to such a reality, because otherwise, we might not survive as a country.

    Nobody with good sense will get caught in Egypt, if he can possibly escape. There are many places that are already way the hell too far gone in terms of population versus resources for the local people to have any better than a very slim chance of even living thru the bottleneck. Ron might not be right about the whole world going to hell in a hand basket , but large portions of the world are already there, or will soon be there, barring miracles.

    And while literal miracles are not in the deck, and thus will not be dealt out, near miracles, events that can be justifiably described as miraculous , could come to pass.

    It is possible that solar and wind power will get to be so cheap that we can quit worrying about fossil fuel depletion, and maybe we can even quit worrying about the worst case climate scenarios because maybe the fossil fuels really will be left in the ground.

    It is possible that even in countries that are more or less organized around religions whereby the priests control most important aspects of day to day life and large families are the current norm the powers that be, the priests, will realize that their own long term survival depends on putting a stop to the growth of the population.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_planning_in_Iran

    http://bust.com/feminism/15416-births-of-a-nation.html

    http://www.latimes.com/world/population/la-fg-population-iran-20120729-html-htmlstory.html

    Now this has been one hell of a long rant, off the cuff, and so poorly organized as to be unreadable maybe , but I trust I have made at least ONE point.

    That point is that we simply CAN’T be sure what will come to pass.

    If we put our minds and wills to it, things might turn out a lot better than Ron thinks they will.

    My personal opinion is that we should all be down on our knees, figuratively speaking , praying to which ever Rock or Waterfall or Mountain or Snake or Sky Daddy or Sky Mommy pleases us best for a series of what I term Pearl Harbor Wake Up Events. They need to come fast enough and hurt enough that the people of the world, or at least our own respective countries, come to understand that it is literally do or die time, and that if we get busy doing, we might not DIE, collectively speaking.

    LEVIATHAN, the nation state, once awakened and aroused to anything that it perceives as an immediate threat to its own existence can accomplish simply astounding things, such as building warships and tanks and planes by the thousands.

    UNCLE SAM , if he ever puts his mind to it, and goes on a wartime economic footing, and stays on it, could almost for sure in my opinion do what has to be done to ensure the survival of nearly all of the people of this country, assuming a fair measure of luck in terms of our not being hit too hard in a hot WWIII, or by an uncontrollable plague, or an asteroid, lol.

    Some people will say that is is IMPOSSIBLE to get the people of the world, or of this country, to realize that we are up against it for ALL the marbles, and no mistake, but I say that they are wrong. One Katrina and one Sandy aren’t nearly enough, but one every year, combined with a few occasional interruptions of blue water shipping of oil, combined with a really big time drought or two, etc, combined with a few big time terrorist incidents, a few super forest fires, etc etc will eventually get the job done. The question is whether we get such wake up calls that hurt enough often enough to wake us up before it’s too late to go proactive on the grand scale.

    Now I’m going to bed, and before I get up in the morning to check any responses, I’m going to don my leather welding gear, which is almost as good as a fireman’s turn out gear, and enjoy the heat.

    😉

    • alimbiquated says:

      Speaking of inconvenient truths, Americans, who live in one of the most oil dependent societies in the world, tend to assume that when the oil runs out people who don’t use much oil will starve to death. My guess is that people who use lots of oil are in more danger.

  12. alimbiquated says:

    Vertebrates are the whole ecosystem, of course.

    Spiders eat more annually than weight of all human adults

    http://newatlas.com/worlds-spiders-insects-tons/48403/

  13. Point of clarification about carrying capacity.

    All animals produce far more offspring than can possibly survive. Putting it another way, all animals live and reproduce to the very limit of their existence. Of course that includes insects. They are all part of the animal kingdom.

    Life exploded into an almost empty world during the Cambrian period. Of course that was a watery world only as soil was something not yet found on the rocky terra firma. But soon life crawled upon land and since that time every habitable niche of land has been occupied by some type of plant and animal life.

    Every plant and animal competes for territory and resources. It is literally a struggle for survival. The fittest survive and the less fit die out because there is no niche for them to occupy. That should tell you everything about carrying capacity of plant and animal life on earth. Since the Cambrian Explosion it has always been at 100%. That is the earth was always carrying 100% of the life it could possibly support.

    Competition for every available niche has always kept populations in balance. If one type of plant became to abundant then some type of parasite or disease would evolve to thin its numbers out. In the Amazon Jungle, for instance, no one type of plant or tree dominates any landscape. They are spaced so any type of parasite or disease kills a plant off it does not easily spread to another plant of the same type because of the spacing between them.

    In the animal kingdom if one animal becomes to abundant then the predators multiply due to the abundance of prey animals. Then the prey animals are die back causing the predators to die back as well. There was an invisible limit to the numbers of all plants and animals. But they always lived to the very limit of their existence. Therefore the earth always carried 100% of the plant and animal life it could possibly support.

    Then there evolved the super predator. An omnivore predator that could survive in almost any condition. Any niche that could support any life could support this super predator. And this predator had no competition other than other members of its own species.

    So now this super predator is taking over the world. It is taking territory and resources from all other species of animals as well as plants. And as it takes over more and more territory the former plant and animal occupants of that territory must die off.

    Make no mistake, this super predator will continue to take territory and resources from all other species. It will take and take until they are all gone. Then I have no idea what will happen.

    I cannot write an end to this story because I have no idea how it will end. But I am fairly sure it will not have a happy ending.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Ron,

      The behavior of humans is affected by their understanding, this is well known in social science and in game theory. Human population from 1950 to 1990 grew at 1.9% per year and slowed to 1.23% per year from 1991 to 2015. The superpredator will control its numbers or will destroy itself and the rest of the biome if it does not. Having 5 or 6 children was rational when child mortality was high and life expectancy was low and it was difficult to do otherwise before the advent of birth control.

      Economic development will help reduce birth rates.

      See

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_and_fertility

      • GoneFishing says:

        You do realize that lower percentages on larger numbers does not necessarily mean a decrease in actual numbers? Two percent of 3 billion is equal to 1 percent of 6 billion.

        If birth rates are actually reduced so we only gain 40 million people a year instead of 80 million people, how will that affect the outcome? We are in overshoot already. Adding 4 or 5 New York City populations instead of 8 each year doesn’t seem like a solution.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Gone fishing,

          No I didn’t realize that. /sarc off

          I will assume you do realize that the rate of growth is not fixed.

          How much is the increase when the growth rate is -1%? 🙂

          There is no reason to assume World population growth rates cannot become negative, in East Asia this is expected to happen in the UN’s medium variant of World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision by 2028 and population falls by 29% over the next 72 years (from 1.652 billion to 1.177 billion).

          Some demographers (Wolfgang Lutz) estimate World population will peak around 2070 at about 9 billion. If the World follows the East Asian trajectory over the next 72 years (to 2142), then we might reach 6.4 billion by that time and assuming no increase in decline rate, 4.6 billion by 2214. I expect decline rate will accelerate to the East Asian low variant (55% decline from 2020 to 2100) by 2142 so that by 2222 CE we might see population fall to 2.5 billion.

          Better policy might move the World in this direction and if humans are the problem, then fewer would be better. Other problems such as less fossil fuels and global warming would be reduced by a rapid transition to wind, solar and hydro and rapid expansion of EVs and AVs and expansion of electrified rail and light rail. Pollution policy would aggressively tax polluters, as well as institute cradle to grave responsibility for products by producers which would encourage more durable products that could be more easily repaired and recycled at end of life. Proper progressive income tax policy (similar to US policy before 1965, but with tax brackets tied to rate of inflation to eliminate bracket creep) and estate tax policy would help to reduce income inequality.

          Many problems have solutions, we need to implement those we have and work on better solutions through research.

          • GoneFishing says:

            I wasn’t being sarcastic, just bringing up the point that percentages skew the view of real numbers. The percentage can fall while the population rises and the increase in population can be the same yoy.

            “There is no reason to assume World population growth rates cannot become negative”
            Certainly the global population can fall, if food and water sources as well as industrial production fails or significantly falters. Disease is another, but that is generally short term.

            Just as there is no reason for them to stay negative, oscillating against available resources. Historically, even after devastating population reductions, population rises quickly again if the area is still viable.

            To sustain a continuous decrease in population would imply permanent lack of food and other resources and/or regions becoming unviable for human life and food production. Since about half of global food is dependent upon industrial processes, I would assume a breakdown in industry.

            Other alternatives could be a massive EMP event. If an EMP event occurred over the contiguous USA tomorrow, I would expect that at least half the population would be dead within months to a year, possibly many more. However once power was restored, population would rise again.

            To push population down and keep it there would imply a global failure of civilization. Fast lack of fuel availability would do it for a while, but new technologies would rise and other energy sources would be implemented. It might take a couple hundred years but population would rise to old levels if nothing else got in the way. Also, it does not take high tech to increase population, only food, water and shelter along with enough land area.

            To permanently decrease and hold down the population would mean a global collapse of ecosystems and food sources. That could happen, but I don’t see it happening in a homogenous way. Areas or regions might collapse while others are still viable.

            Of course there is always the possibility of nuclear war and/or nuclear power facilities failing. That would create huge dead zones across much of the planet. The human species could just disappear.

        • Lloyd says:

          Adding 4 or 5 New York City populations instead of 8 each year doesn’t seem like a solution.
          What he said.

          The problem with Dennis’ contention that economic development will help is twofold:
          A. Who’s going to help on a timely basis? Certainly not the US. If anything, the developed world’s elites (and by this I mean conservative billionaires) are working towards less benefit for the poor by increasing wage inequality.
          B. Demographic Momentum. In order to get a useful drop in the population, you have to either cut the Crude Birth Rate or increase the Crude Death Rate (and my money is on a rising Crude Death Rate being the actual instrument of population control.) You have to get the Fertility rate below replacement. The World CBR is at 18.6 per thousand, still technically “high” (below 18 is low, and that half a percent matters here.) The Total Fertility Rate is about 2.45; both it and the CBR have been moving together since about 1960. My guess is that it will take at least 10 years to get below replacement fertility (about 2.3 births per woman) and will be followed by a minimum ten year plateau in population growth (Germany had a ten year plateau after their demographic transition.) The population has been rising for 200 years: the most likely outcome in this scenario (if we depend on Birth control only and not an increase in the Crude Death Rate) is that the world gets below replacement, plateaus for 10 or 20 years, and starts a 200 or 300 year shallow decline to 1800 levels (or below because of the Earth’s reduced carrying capacity.)

          I don’t think this is going to happen.

          I think we will get into resource shortages in the next 50 years, and that the population will still be increasing when this happens. I think the time to get the fertility rate below replacement will be on the order of 30 years, followed by a 20 year plateau at a minimum: essentially a 50 year period of continued population increase.

          And when we hit those resource shortages (my guess is sometime between 2025 and 2050), the Crude Death Rate will be the final arbiter.

          -Lloyd
          References: Wikipedia has some stuff on Demographic Transition, and the World Factbook is helpful on issues like CBT, CDR, and the fertility rate. Also some old reading on demographics.

          Edit: Didn’t see Dennis’ post above when I wrote this (WordPress refresh issues), so I haven’t responded directly to his points; he obviously has given it some thought. We do seriously disagree on when the proverbial shit will hit the fan, however.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Lloyd,

            Thanks.

            I do not know what will happen to death rates in the future, but they have been falling, I think because we have been seeing a continual rise in life expectancy, perhaps this will reverse, a lot depends on the policies societies choose going forward.

            My central scenario assumes fossil fuel output peaks between 2025 and 2030 and fossil fuel prices will rise due to scarcity, there will be some substitution by EVs, rail, light rail, wind, solar, hydro and nuclear, but it will not happen quickly enough to avoid severe economic disruption Worldwide.

            The result will be a severe economic depression from 2030 to 2037, possibly not leading to World War 3. Instead fear of a nuclear holocaust prevents WW3 and only smaller local conventional wars result (much as has happened for the past 62 years). Nation states might respond to this crisis in more intelligent ways than during the GFC (when fiscal austerity was the economic response of many nations). A re-reading of Keynes’ General Theory should be required of all politicians so that the response will be government support (either through direct spending or tax policy) of a rapid transition to non-fossil fuel energy, along with better access to modern birth control Worldwide and better access to education for all people of the World.

            Of course I may very well be wrong, but once awoken, Leviathan can accomplish both great and terrible things, reality will usually be some mix of the two.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Should have been past 72 years (2017-1945=72 not 62).

            • GoneFishing says:

              What bothers me is that the world is in an accelerating arms race again. This did not bode well for the late 1800’s arms race that resulted in half a century of large wars and the second half rife with small wars and being on the edge of nuclear destruction.
              With the ability of just the US submarine force being able to knock out all of Russia’s nuclear weapons, the tension is getting higher. Once the hypersonic cruise missile is enabled, tensions may reach a breaking point.
              Given the likelihood of fossil energy shortages in the near future just pushes wars closer to the forefront.
              The next step is outright space wars or at least military posturing in space. Anyone for stealth satellites and orbital interceptors (all automated of course)?

          • Nick G says:

            According to the CIA, the current world TFR is 2.42, and per Wikipedia the current replacement rate is 2.33: 3.7% lower. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html

            Per the Wikipedia CBR article, the CBR dropped by 5.1% in the last 4 years: 19.6 to 18.6.

            That would suggest that there’s a decent chance that world TFR will reach the replacement rate in roughly 3 years. Unless, of course, death rates continue to fall, reducing the replacement rate…

        • There is no reason to assume World population growth rates cannot become negative,

          Of course there is no reason that Word population growth rates cannot become negative. It is a lead pipe cinch that they will become negative, likely within the next half century. When most of the topsoil is gone and the water tables are so low that the water will become unreachable, then population growth rates will become negative, very negative.

    • Political Economist says:

      Hi Ron, thanks for sharing your thought.

      I found some posts on this subject which made arguments like this: before the human beings, the total biomass that can be supported on earth depends on the average flow of solar energy received and the sustainable biomass of large animals was in turn a small fraction of the total terrestrial biomass (I guess if the animal fraction is too large and they would eat too much, the available plant biomass would decline and the animals population would decline accordingly)

      If that reasoning is correct, there should be some ways to measure/estimate the pre-historical biomass (just like how they estimate the pre-historical temperature/sea level these days). Say, if we can establish that over the past one million years, the biomass of large animals was always about 200 million tons during interglacial periods. That would provide empirical evidence regarding where “100% carrying capacity” had been before the Anthropocene.

      • Political Economist, yes large animals are small fraction of the total biomass. Plant mass is many times larger and so is insect life. But as you say they all depend on solar energy. Which means they all depend on plant life. Understand we are talking about terrestrial biomass here.

        So we know that plant life was always at 100% of plant life carrying capacity. If there is a crevasse in the rock it will fill with dust and some plant life will find it. So if plant life was always at 100% of carrying capacity, then animals, large and small, were always at 100% of carrying capacity also.

        Now here is the secret of how humankind was able to expand that carrying capacity and increase the land vertebrate carrying capacity by over 400% . They managed to replace the plant life that other large animals lived off of with a different kind of plant life that they and their domestic animals could live on. And they managed to increase the food produced from that new plant life many fold. That is they managed to increase the total mass of animal food produced per acre of plant life.

        However there was a huge cost to the environment brought about by this conversion. One obvious cost was only humans and their domestic animals could live off this new food. I am speaking of large animals of course, not boll weevils or corn borers or other insects. Therefore as man expanded his territory all other animals that formerly occupied that territory had to disappear.

        And another cost was the degradation of topsoil. “Soil is being swept and washed away 10 to 40 times faster than it is being replenished”

        The United States is losing soil 10 times faster — and China and India are losing soil 30 to 40 times faster — than the natural replenishment rate.

        As a result of erosion over the past 40 years, 30 percent of the world’s arable land has become unproductive.

        About 60 percent of soil that is washed away ends up in rivers, streams and lakes, increasing the risks of flooding and intensifying water contamination from fertilizers and pesticides runoff.

        “During the past 40 years nearly one-third of the world’s cropland (1.5 billion hectares) has been abandoned because of soil erosion and degradation.”
        Source: David Pimentel and Mario Giampietro, Food, Land, Population and the U.S. Economy, Nov. 1994

        And of course another cost is to the water tables, especially in the world’s most populated areas like India and China. In some places in India the water table is dropping by meters per year. Whole towns now have to have drinking water trucked in. And China is almost as bad.

        Anyway I hope I have made my point. The world was always at 100% of animal carrying capacity because plant life was always at 100% of carrying capacity. And humans have been able to temporarily increase plant food and therefore they have temporarily increased carrying capacity.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Political economist,

        A pretty good summary in paper linked below:

        http://www.pnas.org/content/105/Supplement_1/11543.full

        The paper concludes:

        Recognizing the tradeoff between human biomass, non-human megafauna biomass, and non-human biomass in general highlights the need for extraordinary efforts to conserve the world’s remaining biodiversity (16). Business as usual will not stave off severe biodiversity losses. The energetic constraints that underlie the biomass tradeoff mean that, as human biomass grows, the only way other species can persist is through conscious stepped-up efforts to save them, by such actions as setting aside reserves, enforced protection of existing reserves, and efficient and sustainable food-production practices. It is particularly urgent to act upon the knowledge that the high level of megafauna biomass today, which means humans, can be sustained only by developing alternative energy resources to replace the dwindling supply of fossil fuels.

        Figure 5 from the paper below

        Caption for fig 5:

        Semilog plot of the sum of human and non-human wild megafauna (dots) and the sum of human, wild, and domestic megafauna (triangles connected by line). Yellow bar indicates the timing of the YD-Holocene climatic event that led into the current interglacial. See Methods for parameters used.

    • Hickory says:

      I must be reading the same things as you Ron.
      I see the big issue just as you do.
      And I have zero expectation that humanity will manage themselves or the situation in any kind of unified or wise manner.
      Any day, the whole deal is a fragile deck. Squandered a nice deal.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Hi Ron,

      I think you and I are mostly on the same page, in believing that there will be a hard crash. The thing is that we just can’t be sure how bad the crash will be , can we?

      But it’s prudent to bet that it will be VERY bad, barring extraordinarily good luck on the technology and political fronts, and on some key variables that simply cannot be reliably predicted, such as what will happen to the birth rate, as things get harder or easier, in various countries.

      There are wild cards in the deck, some winners, some killers, and nobody knows how many, or how often they will turn up as the cards are dealt again and again over the years.

      Personally I really do believe that if we put our minds and will to it, we can build out enough wind and solar infrastructure to run all the heavy industry we MUST run in order to continue to live quite well. We don’t actually have to have a couple of hundred million large gas guzzling automobiles and pick up trucks. We COULD get by without any REAL hardship with less than half that many, and they could mostly be half as big and three or four times as economical to operate as the ones we have now. The steel we could salvage out of the ones we scrap would be more than ample to meet the needs of the wind industry, etc.

      We spend enough on booze and cigarettes and cosmetics to pay for enough solar farms to run the country easily on sunny days.

      When we HAVE to do things, we can do them, if we have the necessary leadership, and the necessary political consensus.

      Will we do them?

      If we are lucky, we will get our act together, and do them, before it’s way too late. Put off doing them long enough, and they won’t get done, because the resources necessary will have either been consumed on other projects, or all available resources will be spent fighting fires, short term, with nothing left for long term action. Both actually, not much left, and all that is left consumed in dealing with short term problems.

      Unfortunately the socalled conservatives who are in charge in DC and most state governments these days aren’t too bright when it comes to understanding that climate change, fossil fuel and other mineral depletion, and environmental degradation are problems that will royally fuck up the lives of their own kids and grandchildren.

      If they were REAL conservatives, and scientifically literate, according to the traditional definition, they would understand that their own enlightened best interests would put them squarely and firmly into the environmental camp.

      They understand that we need a strong military in order to defend the country for instance, and that we need at least some basic water and sewage management laws to keep people from getting sick and dying by the millions from pissing and shitting in public, and then drinking dirty water, etc.

      But they are simply too goddamned ignorant to understand that they are on the preachers broad smooth path to hell, as the preachers put it, and that we need to get onto the harder path, the narrow rocky one, involved in living right, environmentally, because that path leads to a nice bright future.

  14. Fred Magyar says:

    Great essay by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    https://medium.com/incerto/the-facts-are-true-the-news-is-fake-5bf98104cea2#.c4s4m4xqf

    The Facts are True, the News is Fake
    How to Disagree with Yourself
    In the summer of 2009, I partook of a an hour long discussion with David Cameron, who was in the running for, and later became, the U.K. Prime Minister. The discussion was about how to make society robust, even immune to Black Swans, what structure was needed for both decentralization and accountability, and how the system should be built, that sort of thing. It was an interesting fifty-nine minutes around the topics of the Incerto and I felt great communicating all the points in bulk for the first time. The room in the elegant Royal Society for the Arts was full of journalists. I subsequently went to a Chinese restaurant in (London’s) Soho to celebrate with a few people when I received a phone call by a horrified friend. All London newspapers were calling me a “climate denier”.

    • Tony Cowley says:

      Now that’s a laugh. These models sure don’t seem to be good for much predicting, but the scientists keep going along for the ride anyway. Like how they predicted on Monday well over a foot of snow for NYC, look how good that turned out. If climatologists are unable to make correct predictions for the next 24 hours, then what good are their predictions about expected weather years and decades into the future???

      • GoneFishing says:

        Sounds like a bad connection. Please slap the top of your head and see if your brain connects.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          I’ve been doing a lot of electronics diagnostics and troubleshooting recently…
          Sometimes you just need to install a new brain cuz the old one is toast!

        • Survivalist says:

          Another drive by from a one hit wonder.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Guess you probably never even took statistics 101.

        Predictable and unpredictable behaviour
        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/03/predictable-and-unpredictable-behaviour/#more-20247

        • GoneFishing says:

          It’s not that, anyone actually listening to the reports knew that where the freeze line fell determined the amount of snowfall. West and north of the city got up to 20 inches, some places up to 42 inches. The potential for variability was included in the reports.

          Back to warmer temps this weekend.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Tony,

        I presume you are real, and that you know a little bit , as much as most people , about common health problems such as heart attacks, lung cancer, smoking, etc.

        Do you believe them when doctors tell you that smoking vastly increases the risk of your getting lung cancer, or having a heart attack, or that if you drink a case of beer or a pint of hard liquor day after day it will eventually kill you?

        Do you understand that if you spend a little more money, day after day, year after year, than you make, you will eventually go broke?

        You probably do understand these things, and there’s a good possibility you have even tried to tell some friends or family members that if they don’t lay off the booze, or ditch the credit cards, that they will eventually pay a very high price for not laying off.

        But you don’t expect your doctor to tell you WHEN you will have a heart attack, and you don’t try to tell your drinking buddy exactly when he will finish off his liver, or your friend precisely how long it will be before he has to file bankruptcy do you ??

        I presume you are smart enough to understand the point.

        If you buy ENOUGH lottery tickets, often enough, you WILL eventually win the lottery, although you can safely bet it will cost a LOT more to buy them than you will win.

        Add enough insulation to your house, and eventually you will be not only able to turn off the heat even on the coldest days, you will have to open a window or two to keep it from getting uncomfortably hot, just from the heat thrown off by your lights, tv, your own body, your hot water heater, cooking equipment, and so forth.

        When we burn fossil fuels, we are adding insulation to the earths blanket, the atmosphere, it’s as simple as that.

        We have EVERY reason to believe that it will keep on getting warmer, on average, so long as we keep dumping more pollution in the form of CO2 into the atmosphere.

        Can you get your head around it?

    • Survivalist says:

      This is an interesting link if you want to plot some graphs based on temps.

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

  15. GoneFishing says:

    Population Consumption Overshoot
    Dr. Ben Zuckerman

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEUgdPop3us

  16. HuntingtonBeach says:

    UPS Invests More Than $90 Million In Natural Gas Vehicles And Infrastructure

    UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced plans to build an additional six compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations and add 390 new CNG tractors and terminal trucks and 50 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles to its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. UPS further cements its leadership in the alternative fuel market while continuing to reduce its environmental footprint with this more than $90 million investment in natural gas.

    “With more than 4,400 natural gas vehicles and a network of fueling stations, UPS has had great results using natural gas as an alternative fuel in our fleet,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability. “We know the importance of investing in natural gas globally for our fleet and the alternative fuel market. In 2016, we used more than 61 million gallons of natural gas in our ground fleet, which included 4.6 million gallons of renewable natural gas. This helped us to avoid the use of conventional gas and diesel, and decreased CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons.”

    The six new CNG stations will be built in Ontario, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Salina, Kan.; Louisville, Ky.; Greensboro, N.C; and Vancouver, B.C. Renewable natural gas (RNG) will be used at the station in Ontario to fuel UPS vehicles in the area with renewable compressed natural gas (RCNG).

    In 2016, UPS invested $100 million in CNG fueling stations and vehicles. UPS currently operates 31 CNG fueling stations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia and runs CNG vehicles in 38 states in the U.S. in addition to vehicles in Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand.

    https://pressroom.ups.com/pressroom/ContentDetailsViewer.page?ConceptType=PressReleases&id=1489579573572-162

    • GoneFishing says:

      Yep, UPS is leaping at those government funds and subsidies to keep that carbon pollution going. they can achieve 6 to 11 percent lower CO2 emissions than gasoline (one might think a more efficient engine and vehicle could do that). Those 3000 vehicles with lower fuel costs and government subsidies sure make economic sense for UPS. Got to give them credit though they are trying hybrids, biofuels, EV’s, natural and landfill gas and LNG. Four billion dollars a year in fuel costs is highly motivating. That’s 108,000 vehicles total with about 10 percent on alternatives of some sort, but I don’t think that includes their jets.

      • GoneFishing says:

        I do wonder if all the energy in compression to 260 atmospheres is a hidden factor in carbon production.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          I didn’t find it in the ten seconds I put into looking, but I have articles someplace I saved for research that go into the energy expense involved in compressing natural gas to these high pressures for use as engine fuel.

          It’s substantial, but if we manage to get most of our electricity later on from wind and solar power, it won’t matter so much.

          For now, there’s no way to recapture and salvage that energy which is thrown off as heat during the compression process. The tanks chill out and can even frost up, depending on how fast they are discharged, and it might be possible to recapture the energy invested in compression in REFRIGERATED trucks by putting the tanks inside the insulated cargo space, but there aren’t that many reefers on the road.

          There’s quite a bit of effort being put into perfecting hydrogen and methane storage technologies that might pay off big time. The chemistry and physics involved are mostly over my head, but it involves the gas molecules being absorbed on or into large sponge like molecules, and it works like a charm in the lab, where costs don’t matter.

          If this tech can be commercialized even at fairly high cost, running trucks and maybe even cars on natural gas will be very practical. A lot of gas will fit into a fairly small tank.

          For now, we’re sort of stuck, damned if we don’t in the short term, and damned in the long term if we do, when it comes to fossil fuels.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Seems to me to be self-defeating to use solar/wind electric to compress natural gas so that the vehicle can produce 10 percent less CO2. That would be allocating electric resources to assist a harmful and inefficient method of propulsion. If we can’t use electric trains for long distance freight and can’t produce long distance EV trucks (battery switching is one option) we can use the Pony Express method of running, handing off trailer to next rig, charge and run back to base (possibly with another load going in that direction). EV’s are so much more efficient than ICE’s that it would be a total waste to continue with them.
            As far as local delivery trucks, there is every reason to go to EV systems. Since they often run at slow speeds, have lots of stop and go, the efficiencies of an EV are even higher in those circumstances. Often local delivery trucks do not even travel very far.
            How many miles per day does a FedEx or UPS driver drive on average?
            That answer varies from hub to hub, route to route. In my hub, there are several routes that average maybe 5 miles a day total, whereas the route I run averages 75-80 miles a day. Some rural routes may run a couple hundred miles in a day.
            https://www.quora.com/How-many-miles-per-day-does-a-FedEx-or-UPS-driver-drive-on-average

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Hi GF,

              In terms of principles, I generally agree with what you have to say. But as the oil guys point out, they are in business to make money, not to provide energy, etc.

              If it’s PROFITABLE to use wind and solar power to compress gas to run trucks, that’s most likely what we will do.

              It does look like the battery industry is just about at or at least very near to the tipping point where it can supply batteries good enough to use them in commercial trucks, at least in such trucks as run mostly short trips making a lot of stops.

              It might be a long time before we have batteries good enough for long distance trucking. Maybe we never will.

              But we do have trains, lol.

              Both trains and trucks can get their power from wires strung along side the track or over the road. It might come to that someday, maybe there will be wires and towers to support them along major highways. Then the battery in an electric truck would only have to be good enough to go down a few side streets to load and unload.

              • GoneFishing says:

                I hear ya Old Farmer. Still there are lots of ways to skin a cat and we may find out we don’t need so many cats.
                What’s wrong with battery switching or the Pony Express method? It all works and battery switching could be fully automated if the trucks are all the same or of only a few varieties. Changeover could give the driver a break.

                BTW UPS already has electric delivery trucks with a 75 mile range on routes.

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  I’ve driven trucks, and a pony express system could be made to work, but it would be clumsy as hell. Ditto swapping out batteries, they are big and heavy and the connections have to be nice and clean and tight, etc.

                  Truckers call switching out hook and drop, you just back the tractor under the trailer, and it latches on, and you crank up the landing gear and plug up the air lines and lights, and away you go.

                  It is possible to drop a trailer and hook to another one parked close by in less than five minutes, although you are supposed to spend at least another five on paperwork, and five more checking the tires, lights, brakes, etc.

                  The labor costs, switching yards , and batteries would kill ya , for now. Later on…….. with longer range batteries, either swapping batteries or tractors could work.

                  Loading and unloading cargo, transferring it from one truck to another will never work imo. Tractors and trailers will rule this game, if we play it.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    I love when people say things will not work and things will never work.
                    My great grandfather patented a way to move ice easily in ice houses.
                    I think that several things are going to happen in the near future (dangerous ground but why not). Less material is going to need to be shipped long distances. Materials are going to change dramatically. Systems management and methods of cargo management is going to improve dramatically. Automation will take over many tasks. Energy and material conservation will become paramount and ingrained (most people won’t even notice after a while).
                    Will this affect global trade? Certainly, there will be less. Will this affect global and local manufacturing. Oh yes.
                    Will making products with longer lifetimes and modular repair be required. Yes.

                    Right now we have a world half filled with cheap short term goods. That will fade away.

                  • Nick G says:

                    The labor costs, switching yards , and batteries would kill ya

                    I believe both Better Place and Tesla designed fast, automated battery swapping. Better Place ran out of money before they achieved their needed infrastructure buildout, and Tesla buyers aren’t really interested in battery swapping.

                    Liquid fuel, and trains, may always be more competitive than long-haul electric trucking. But battery swapping would work, if needed.

  17. Hickory says:

    Humans do not voluntarily step back from overshoot.
    Maybe a few choose to refrain from reproduction, not too many.
    The vast majority can’t control their urge to live , to eat, to fuck (pardon).

    If you were told and taught the science and reality regarding the state of the global ecology,
    would you be willing to hear the hard truth, radically change your thinking, your choices, and your way of life?
    Did you? Did your religious cohorts? Did your generation? Did your country?

    Most people who have changed themselves, just tinker around the edges. Bargain with their mind for incremental changes.
    When I first read Limits to Growth in 9th grade science in 1975, there was closer to 4 billion people, and now 7.4B.
    And yet here I sit, still plugged into the global machine, watching. Typical, I suppose.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Stop worrying about the rest of the world and take action yourself. Then try and get neighbors and friends to change their lifestyles.

      If you have not already done so, you could probably use about 1/4 the energy and resources you have used and still lead a decent life, maybe even a healthier and better one.

  18. Doug Leighton says:

    No more Cornucopian Crap please Dennis,

    SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION IS HERE: HUMANITY’S EXISTENCE THREATENED

    “The new study, published in the journal Science Advances, shows that even with extremely conservative estimates, species are disappearing up to about 100 times faster than the normal rate between mass extinctions, known as the background rate. If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover, and our species itself would likely disappear early on, said lead author Gerardo Ceballos of the Universidad Autónoma de México.”

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150619152142.htm

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Meanwhile: Poaching drives 80 percent decline in elephants in key African preserve last year: et cetera. Where exactly are we “making it all better” ?

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170220134718.htm

      • GoneFishing says:

        NEWS FLASH: MILLIONS OF SPECIES ARE STILL ALIVE TODAY, NOT ALL IS LOST

        NEWS FLASH: MILLIONS OF PEOPLE HELPING PRESERVE NATURAL AREAS AND SPECIES

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Gone Fishing,

          I guess you are cornucopian as well. 🙂

          I guess for some there is no middle ground, if it is not black it is white.

          There is no gray.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            .

          • GoneFishing says:

            Now you are getting carried away to the extreme, Dennis.
            No, I just realize that there is still some beauty in the world and that some people are trying to stem the tide and keep nature alive.
            Having watched local regions near me get overrun by development since I was young is buffered by the fact that some areas were preserved and still stand to this day despite pressures otherwise. The whole world is not wrecked yet, but not for lack of trying.
            From environmentalists to some farmers and ranchers and even some politicians, there are people that do try to preserve areas and even reverse damaged areas. We just need more of them.
            Sadly the cities keep growing and their money as well as numbers put out a huge drain on the surrounding world.
            But if you can’t appreciate nature it is a sad and dim world for you.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Gone fishing,

              I was suggesting that I agree with you and the implication was that between the two extremes of doomer (black) and cornucopian (white) there is a middle ground (the gray area).

              My apologies if you do not want to be considered in the gray area, that is where I see myself.

              Just because someone is looking for solutions to problems, does not make them a cornucopian in my view.

              I acknowledge there are many problems, dwelling on past poor decisions by society serves very little purpose except to learn from past mistakes and attempt to make fewer of them in the future.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Doug,

        I’m thinking as it would be practical and convenient to separate question into two parts for discussion purposes.

        What will be the effects on the overall biosphere?

        And what will be the effects on humanity?

        Personally I don’t think it is possible to answer the second question in any better than very general terms.

        We might lose a dozen species of birds without even noticing any effect, and the loss of the thirteenth could mean the bugs that species used to eat and thereby keep under control wipe out a given crop in a given locality, etc.

        The loss of many thousands of species, maybe even millions, if we count smaller life forms, is baked in. If the losses continue beyond some given tipping point, conventional agriculture as we practice it today will be severely disrupted, and it may well prove to be impossible to produce some crops in some areas where they do well today.

        This could end very very badly for naked apes.

        Otoh, nature is more flexible and adaptable than we give her credit for, most of the time, and if the last elephant disappears, well, the forests and savanna where they previously lived will be very different places within a few years, with a whole range of species disappearing or becoming scarce, and another whole range of species taking up the ecological spaces vacated.

        Some will be species that have been around locally for a LONG time, maybe millions of years. Some will be newcomers that arrive on the wind and float down streams, or via the digestive systems of migrating animals and birds which can travel quite a distance while foraging even without migrating. Some will walk or crawl into the new territory. Animals such as coyotes can expand their ranges up to thirty or forty miles in just one year. Rabbit populations probably won’t expand more than a mile or two in any given year.

        In a century or two, a new local ecological balance will be fairly well established, most likely, but it may take far longer for the new ecology to stabilize, maybe even thousands of years. The fewer the species, the greater the probability of instability, and it will take a LONG time for new species to evolve, not less than some thousands of years except in rare cases.

        Naked apes probably have about as good a chance at adapting to the new ecology as any other larger animal species, and a far better shot than most.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          “We might lose a dozen species of birds without even noticing any effect…”

          Sorry Mac but I find the loss of bird species too depressing to discuss. One example: where I grew up (as a kid) you could count on seeing a meadowlark on every fence post but now you have to talk to “birders” to discover where one has been sited recently. It’s not much different with bluebirds and several other species. All started with DDT but they never came back, not at all.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Eastern Meadowlark populations fell 89% from 1966 to 2015. They eat mostly crickets and grasshoppers, which seem to be susceptible to spraying. When the bugs go, the birds and frogs go too. Used to have a lot of crickets and grasshoppers but the county keeps spraying for mosquitos so birds are down, bugs are gone (except flies and gnats), snakes and frogs are rare near me. The sparrow hawk (kestrel) went too.
            Just 14 miles away across the state line it’s all different. Lots of bugs, birds, snakes and frogs. They don’t spray much over there. Plenty of sparrow hawks too.
            It’s the constant development combined with toxic spraying that is killing off or depleting much of the life near “civilized” areas.
            I did see one meadowlark north of me in an abandoned field area. Do have a few bluebirds in the region but rare.
            I find letting the thistles and certain weeds grow to maturity gives the birds a natural source of food. My neighbors must think I have a terrible looking yard, but it is planned that way.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Doug,

            I agree.

            Generally I compose comments off the cuff, and sometimes I should add more caveats and qualifiers, or weasel words, depending on the context.

            What I meant was that we might lose a dozen species without the general public noticing, and without any noticeable short term economic impact.

            We used to have a lot of bob white here, as well as meadowlarks, and both are rare now. I miss them too, along with at least five or six others that I never even learned to identify. I just know that I haven’t seen them around in recent years.

            In the long term, the loss of any dozen species, or even one or two species of birds, is a great loss, because every species lost simplifies the overall ecosystem, and the simpler the system gets, the more subject it becomes to wild perturbations, to Black Swan type events.

            But ” Black Swan” is a poor choice as descriptive language, except for laymen, because professional biologists understand that while the specific and particular impacts of the loss can be impossible to predict accurately, it’s safe to say that every species lost increases the risk of eventual environmental damage on the grand scale.

            It is my belief that we are not losing very many birds in the USA these days to pesticides, in the direct sense. The real problem is habitat loss.

            When there are few suitable places to nest and feed, birds are necessarily few, and modern farms are just not bird friendly at all.

            But otoh, modern cities or suburbs aren’t exactly avian paradise except for some invasive species such as starlings.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Not news and definitely sucks the joy out of nature.
      See image below.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      “For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it.” – Patrick Henry
      (just some advice to out wing pawn denier friends)

  19. Oldfarmermac says:

    I haven’t bothered looking to see how bad it will be for orchardists all up and down the east coast , but the last couple of days have pretty much wiped out local growers for the year.

    No problem for me , personally, I am retired. The old orchard is gradually being converted to pasture and hay, which is better suited to the amount of time and work I am able and want to do these days, and while cows pay a pittance compared to fruit trees, the risks involved are small. You can hold cows over if the price crashes, etc, and frost does no harm in a hay field or pasture. The amount of chemicals I need will be slashed by ninety percent or more as well.

    But don’t any of you other guys take all that anti beef propaganda too seriously, lol. I’m going to have to sell cows, I can’t eat more than about a quarter of one myself in a year, lol.

    It’s not that temperatures around eighteen to twenty F are unusual in middle to late March here, that’s normal late winner early spring weather for us.

    The abnormally warm weather we had in February is the culprit.

    Averages don’t tell you much about the impact of overall climate warming on agriculture, unless you are knowledgeable enough to understand that the peaks and valleys are the aspects that make or break you as food producer.

    This abnormally warm winter weather is happening more frequently as the years pass.

  20. GoneFishing says:

    You know, during this time when so much seems to be out of our control it has become even more important to enjoy the beauty of the day and all the living things around us. There is still a lot of natural beauty in the world and we can also spend time helping each other and saving at least a small place in the world.
    Saving Place Saving Face
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL5qEixCaFY

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Good point Fish. My property consists of 90% “wild land” (mixed forest) thoroughly enjoyed by my dog and self. I’m especially proud of my 20 odd swallow’s nests and a few bat houses, guys that do their best beat back biting bugs and help me to enjoy the outdoors. Occasional trips to Norway are my biggest sin these days.

      “The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives” — Albert Einstein.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Have not heard the Screech Owl lately. Maybe found a mate or moved on. Mergansers back on the lake. Strange scene, lots of white snow surrounding a completely open lake.

        I may have mentioned this before, but the BBC Earth Flight series is a wonder to watch.

  21. Hickory says:

    On the bright front (everything is going to transition smoothly and all that sugary stuff)-
    the innovations in electric bikes is very cool.
    Here is a european company and their cargo bike in action-
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqCIvoKL0vc

    And another one-
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kcaq7vTYymQ

    Now if we could get prez trump to fund bikeways instead of bombs….

    • notanoilman says:

      I DON’T want to know the cost of those. At the moment, I am looking for a solution that can shift up to 50Kg of cargo with short (about 100 or 200 m) but steep and rugged up slopes. Plenty of flat for pure pedal power but a boost is needed for the hills. Might weld something up myself but not sure of the best configuration. Maybe modify one of these

      http://www.manufacturastrejo.com/

      NAOM

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        I have a neighbor who can barely sign his name but has the knack for mechanical stuff who has rigged up an electric bike from a pile of junk, excepting the batteries.

        Basically speaking, he has used an 18 volt drill motor, one of the best quality ones, and wired four of the batteries that plug into the drill in parallel to power the motor. This project involved drilling a lot of holes, and hammering a few pieces of metal into the shape needed to mount the motor, but nothing in the way of real skills or expensive tools.

        The genius part is that you can get the drills almost free, because people buy new ones when the batteries go bad. So he robbed the plug interface from four old drills to make it easy and quick to change out the batteries. They all fit into a plastic box mounted on the rear fender, and last I heard, he has gone to six batteries.

        The bike has a coaster brake, and he mounted a large sprocket directly to the existing rear sprocket, which was a little tricky, but it’s on there, and there’s a chain from a sprocket on the drill motor down to the one on the hub.

        It works like a charm, and the batteries come with pretty decent warranties. He’s not saying anything at the store when and if he exchanges a battery, which is maybe cheating a little, lol, since the manufacturer sells them to run power tools. They will look brand new even after a year in that little padded box, lol.

        This bike gets him to work and the grocery store , and it climbs steep hills, but it won’t go very fast. I’m thinking that about ten mph is tops, unless coasting downhill. I have seen him at least ten miles from home on it, so it has at least a twenty mile range, including some serious hills.

        The problem is that such batteries are rather expensive, around a hundred bucks apiece, but on the other hand……. he has no driver’s license, and no registration, insurance, or license is required here for an electric bicycle. He can replace the batteries for a lot less than it would cost him to pay the mandated insurance on a car, considering he has had some accidents, which is why he has no license to begin with.

        • notanoilman says:

          The Trejo has a coaster brake and that is one of my main puzzles. If I replace the back wheel with an electric hub wheel I have no brake – eeep! Also the hand bar is a problem for installing controls, gear shifts and brake handles but could succumb more easily to a cut and weld approach.

          NAOM

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Hickory,

      My only claim is that transition is a possibility, I doubt it will be smooth or easy, I think it much more likely it will be difficult and uneven and expect there to be a Great Depression (2030-2037) with Worldwide unemployment levels of 25 to 30% at the peak.

      That may sound like everything is going to transition smoothly and all that sugary stuffsweet, but not to me. Must be that cornucopian perspective I have. 🙂

      • Hickory says:

        Yes I understand what you are saying Dennis. My comments were directed a pretty much all of us (including me).
        We all go about our days in a ‘business as usual’ mode, while millions fall under the big steamroller wheels every day, and literally billions of us stand on the edge of a fragile ledge.
        In this country we have made tens of thousands of decisions that favor maximum growth, rather than favoring a sustainable economy. And now it would only take a week to see most store shelves empty across the country. More and more of the world follows our lead, towards instability, and excess debt. The debt we have accumulated is not spent on the kind of measures that help to survive catastrophes, or energy shortfalls.
        I do not see humanity suddenly becoming ‘good managers’ of the situation. The writing has been on the wall since the early 70’s anyway, and we are still generally just standing there scratching our heads.
        Long term outlook (such as Dennis’s long term modeling tries to address), and long term planning is far too rare of a commodity. We can’t even do a 5 yr plan in this country.
        And now the executive branch of government is being run a mental midget.
        Sorry OFM, there is absolutely no excuse for all your neighbors (and their national cohorts) who voted for him. They screwed up bad, real real bad.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Hickory,

          It will take a major economic downturn for the politicians to see what needs to be done. When the failure to transition from fossil fuel to non-fossil fuel energy results in 25% unemployment rates (or higher) Worldwide, that might be the wake up call needed for social change, similar in magnitude to the changes that occurred in the US from 1933 to 1944. Hopefully WW3 can be avoided due to fear of a nuclear holocaust (the same reason nuclear war has been avoided from 1949 to 2017), though there are no guarantees.

          The fast energy transition foreseen by Tony Seba is not very likely in my opinion. Though we might muddle through until 2030 before energy scarcity leads to a Depression.

          Note that I expect the future scarcity of fossil fuels may be a wake up call to all who believe there are no limits to growth.

          • GoneFishing says:

            I have to agree with Dennis, Tony Shebas fast takeover of electrics is looking farfetched right now. It was stretch anyway. However, now and the next decade is a great time to work out the problems associated with electric cars, PV and Wind. By the time people get really interested it will be fairly mature and probably cheaper to build out.
            The big problem with delay is it puts us deeper in the midst of all the other predicaments at the same time as we would want to transistion.
            People will have to take the mental attitude of just walking away from the old ways and old infrastructure, otherwise trying to maintain it and use it will take so much energy, effort and time that the transistion will not really happen. Just let it go, look forward.
            That time is on us now but most people do not realize it or do not think it is possible to walk away.

            • islandboy says:

              Tony Seba might be getting some company:

              CNET Cites Various Studies Claiming Electric Cars Are The “Next Big Thing” – Video

              CNET looks at various studies related to electric cars and deduces that we are finally at a point that EVs can and will become mass market. The report says:

              “The day may be coming when only the wealthy and the foolish avoid EVs.”

              MIT combined data from varied areas, real world MPG, real-time GPS tracking, temperature data, and battery range to deduce that most current trips are compatible with today’s electric cars.

              Brian Cooley, CNET reporter, explains that electric cars aren’t a novelty anymore. He cites several long(er) range EVs that are now hitting the market, including the Chevrolet Bolt, Jaguar i-PACE, Hyundai IONIQ electric, and of course – the upcoming Tesla Model 3.

  22. islandboy says:

    1366 Technologies Supplies Direct Wafer Products for First Commercial Solar Array

    The installation underscores the broad appeal of the Company’s Direct Wafer technology downstream, where customers are seeking advanced, high-quality systems with lower technology costs. 1366’s highly efficient manufacturing process enables faster energy payback for the modules and uses safe, earth-abundant raw materials appropriate for addressing the world’s energy needs at a terawatt scale. IPC received delivery of the modules on March 3 and the new array is expected to be commissioned before the end of Q2 2017.

    1366 Technologies’ Direct Wafer Technology
    1366 Technologies’ Direct Wafer process forms multicrystalline wafers directly from molten silicon instead of today’s multi-step, energy- and capital-intensive process. The result is a uniformly better wafer, created at one-half the cost. The technology also has the enormous benefit of being a “drop-in” replacement for the majority of the photovoltaics market, making it seamless for cell and panel manufacturers to readily adopt the technology without adding a single new piece of equipment.

    While I have not been able to find any news on the progress of a production “fab” for this technology, they obviously have a facility that can turn out enough wafers (120,000) to do this 500 kW solar installation. These numbers sound about right at 4 modules per kW = 2000 modules and 60 cells per module = 120,000. One wonders what these modules cost per Watt?

  23. GoneFishing says:
  24. notanoilman says:

    I tend to agree with Misha’s post from some time back “We are fucked”.

    Local fishermen are reporting a shortage of fish, very bad news around here, but doubly bad when taking into account that replacing locally caught fish will mean lots of carbon use in shipping them here.

    On the good side, Jalisco are specifying that all new cars are to be EV or hybrid, maybe a step in the right direction. OTOH the “new technology” LPG fueled buses are heading for the anniversary of when they were supposed to be introduced with no sign at all.

    NAOM

  25. wharf rat says:

    Did California Figure Out How to Fix Global Warming?
    How the Golden State went green.

    …Today, California can claim first place in just about every renewable-energy category: It is home to the nation’s largest wind farm and the world’s largest solar thermal plant. It has the largest operating photovoltaic solar installation on Earth and more rooftop solar than any other state. (It helps to have a lot of roofs.) This new industry has been an economic boon as well. Solar companies now employ an estimated 64,000 people in the state, surpassing the number of people working for all the major utilities. California has attracted more venture capital investment for clean-energy technologies than the European Union and China combined. Even the state’s manufacturing base is experiencing a boost; one of California’s largest factories is Tesla Motors’ sprawling electric-vehicle assembly plant in the Bay Area.

    All of these advances have undercut a fundamental tenet of economics: that more growth equals more emissions. Between 2003 and 2013 (the most recent data), the Golden State decreased its greenhouse gas emissions by 5.5 percent while increasing its gross domestic product by 17 percent — and it did so under the thumb of the nation’s most stringent energy regulations.
    http://billmoyers.com/story/did-california-figure-out-how-to-fix-global-warming/%5Dbillmoyers.com

    • GoneFishing says:

      I just heard that another year has passed with level global CO2 output from fossil fuel burning, Still the CO2 level is rising at between 2 and 3 ppm per year. A ppm is about 7.5 gigaton of CO2. Since about 50 percent goes into land and ocean, that would mean that over 30 gigaton is being added per year to the atmosphere. Since the total CO2 emissions form fossil fuels is 35 gigaton and half of that stays in the air (17.5 gt), then fossil fuels need to cut back almost to zero to stop the current rise.
      This might not work if other sources of CO2 and methane are allowed to continue, since the continuing temperature rise slows the absorption by the ocean and melting permafrost also adds CO2 and methane to the atmosphere. Deforestation and agriculture also have a footprint.
      Just to stabilize CO2 we will have to do more than just reduce fossil fuel burning to zero.

      Consider that by the time we could implement that condition, the CO2 will have doubled and other GHGs will still be present. That implies a plus 3C condition which implies loss of ice and snow at the poles, further increasing the heating, which further reduces or reverses CO2 ocean absorption. Not a pretty picture, but one which with we must live.

      Start planting trees now, the cheapest long term CO2 absorber and there are large side benefits to forests. If each of us plants 1 tree per year that would be over 400 billion trees in the next 50 years.
      Also start local preservation of existing forest areas.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Good luck with that. My neighbor just logged his 80 acres down to bare ground. Main reason, warmer winters have allowed a beetle infestation to kill most trees creating a HUGE fire hazard. Species involved: mainly Douglas fir but including spruce, birch, alder (the pine all died a few years ago and are now on the ground rotting). Logging trucks around here are running 24 hours/day. I think there are three reasons: 1) getting rid of diseased forest while there is still some value to the wood; 2) getting timber off the hillsides before it becomes a giant firestorm; 3) in anticipation on your dear president imposing limber import duties that will kill lumber prices. Perhaps a combination of all three.

        The “pine beetle” has evolved to attack other (almost all) species with millions of acres of spruce currently being killed off across Western Canada. On my property this bug is even going after alder and cottonwood, something I would have thought impossible just one year ago. THE BEETLE IS ABLE TO FLOURISH HERE NOW BECAUSE OF MILD WINTERS. So, I guess it’s a choice between logging, letting it rot or letting it burn.

        • GoneFishing says:

          My region is still good for hardwoods, eastern white pine, cedars, and spruces. The hemlocks are mostly history, killed off by the hemlock wooly adelgid. Not all trees are under attack. Probably best to have mixed forest to reduce spread of a disease.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            If the climate keeps warming up, then it will be more or less NECESSARY to log off huge tracts, running probably into the millions of acres, middle to worst case, or as Doug L. points out, let the trees either rot or burn.

            Well, the odds are that they WILL BURN, unless they are logged, because it takes many years for large trees to rot, and some dry years, some lightning fires, some runaway campfires, some arson, some carelessly tossed cigarettes, some accidental fires arising from construction and farm work, etc etc etc, are all statistically INEVITABLE, and there’s not really much that can be done to stop a fire in a dead dry forest, except to hope Sky Daddy or the Rainbow Snake or some other entity sends some very timely rain, in large quantity.

            It’s a foregone conclusion, assuming the climate continues to warm up, and we DON’T log these insect killed trees, that we will be fighting SUPER SIZED forest fires on a regular basis pretty much from here on out. When it’s dry and windy, putting out a forest fire in a dead forest, once it’s well started, is incredibly hard to impossible.

            It’s hard to say how long it will take for the forest ecology to adapt to the new warmer climate, because foresters don’t have much experience to go on in estimating the time lag. Furthermore, if it keeps on getting warmer, any species which flourishes in the newly vacant niche will themselves possible be displaced by a second generation of species suited to the EVEN WARMER climate, etc.

            It might take centuries for the forest ecology to reach a new dynamic balance.

            There are things that can be done to control or at least slow the spread of tree pests such as bark beetles, but doing them costs an arm and a leg, and involves the risk of even more environmental damage. Spraying on the grand scale is probably going to be politically impossible, and breeding and releasing genetically modified pests to attack the pests that are in runaway mode might or might not work, and might be politically impossible as well.

            Now about import quotas in general:

            One man’s meat is often another man’s poison, and I and a great many of my neighbors have standing timber that we have been counting on as part of our old age life support system, and it wouldn’t hurt my feeling at all to see the price of it jump up sharply, lol.

            Farmer types DO NOT collect much AT ALL in the way of pensions, and most of us never make enough in cash to collect more than a mid range social security benefit. Some of us do make a lot of money of course, but the percentage of high earning farmers is very small, compared to the total number of us.

            When timber is worth a lot of money, well, of course landowners are tempted to sell it, especially if they are in need of money.

            But the FLIP SIDE of that coin is that when somebody in my shoes can expect to sell some timber for a good price sometime down the road, then he is far more likely to LEAVE the land in standing timber, rather than clear it for crops, or pasture, or subdivide it and sell it, which is what is happening right and left in my part of the country.

            Residential lots are mostly cleared, and it’s a rare thing that any agricultural crop of any sort, including timber, is ever again harvested from residential sized lots.

            But in some respects, all these lots are good for the local wildlife, because roads, lawns, and right of ways for power lines create huge amounts of edge habitat, wherein many kinds of birds and several local species of animals such as rabbits and deer thrive.

            And while development does greatly increase the RISK of forest fires, the roads into developed forested lands generally make it way the hell easier to put out fires. Every road is a potential firebreak, and a route for men and equipment to get to the fire fast, while it’s still small.

        • GoneFishing says:

          The pine bark beetle. How something the size and appearance of a mouse turd is destroying forests due to warming. A case of destroyed natural equilibrium.

          The great mountain pine beetle outbreak | Diana Six |
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSIEzq0fofk

      • notanoilman says:

        As long as their the right trees that do not increase global warming.

        NAOM

    • sunnnv says:

      need to toss the extra stuff at the end of the link… should be just:

      http://billmoyers.com/story/did-california-figure-out-how-to-fix-global-warming/

  26. Fred Magyar says:

    Just watched Dan Bell’s TED talked and was intrigued enough to check out his work.
    Fits perfectly with Ron’s post here.

    DEAD MALL SERIES : The Final Hours of Oak Hollow Mall : High Point, NC
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viaj_ewX2Cc&index=1&list=PLNz4Un92pGNxQ9vNgmnCx7dwchPJGJ3IQ

    Enjoy!

  27. Nick G says:

    Trucking. Oh my…

    Long-haul BEV trucking is perfectly viable. We just don’t have strong social consensus that it’s a good idea. If we incorporated all of the external costs of oil, and overcame the resistance of the FF industry, then the industry would start investing in it, or start being replaced by rail…..

    First, the best E-ROI and $-ROI strategy is aggressive increases in efficiency: aerodynamics, rolling resistance, drivetrain friction, platooning, etc. That can get you up to 12MPG. At 60MPH, that’s 5 gallons per hour. At 40 kWh per gallon, and 40% efficiency, that’s about 80kWh per hour. So, you’d need about 400kWh per 5 hour trip segment, combined with fast battery-swapping at a limited number of fleet or public locations.

    400kWh would weigh less than 3 tons, using Tesla battery packs. That’s not much for a vehicle with a 40 ton vehicle weight. When you consider that many payloads are volume-constrained rather than weight limited, it doesn’t look bad at all.

    This would cost about very roughly the same as diesel, at around $3/gallon. It would be enormously cost effective at the real cost of around $8/gallon. Again, both efficiency and electrification aren’t getting investment because the industry isn’t yet getting clear signals that it’s needed, and large investments are somewhat risky. If fuel stays at $3, then batteries are unlikely to be competitive, due to the risk factor of the capex. Dense cargoes would suffer a competitive penalty with the loss of roughly 12% of payload – it would be interesting to see how that would shift the balancing point where EVs would compete.

    If range was a problem, you could certainly do plug-in hybrid, which would still reduce fuel consumption by 90%. In the long-run the liquid fuel could be replaced by synthetic fuel, which will cost less than $10/gallon.
    —————-

    I think trains are the future of land freight. OTOH…

    There’s a difference between “optimal” and “viable”. You could certainly put an affordable 6 ton battery in a 40 ton truck. It would reduce capacity by 15%, but it would give you a good 750 mile range. You’d have to swap batteries at “gas” stations, but for a fleet application like this, that wouldn’t be a big deal.

    Similarly, there’s little doubt that we could produce synthetic fuels from renewable electricity for less than $10/gallon. That’s probably not competitive with electric trains, but it would work if desired for reasons of route and scheduling flexibility.

    Inter-modal shipping does work well. Much food is delivered in refrigerated shipping containers that can go by ship, rail or truck.

    The majority of freight in the US is delivered by rail, and much of that goes directly to the interior of big cities. Many of the spurs that went directly to factories and warehouses have been torn out, of course, and replaced by trucks. That’s a choice: you could rebuild the spurs, or you could use electric trucks for the last mile.
    ————-
    “XPO Logistics Inc., an arranger of shipments for customers such as Costco Wholesale Corp., figures that about a third of the long-haul freight that it now sends by truck is a candidate to switch to train, chief strategy officer Scott Malat said. If that rule of thumb were applied across the industry, there could be more than $100 billion of business up for grabs by railroads, he said.”

    http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20151011-bnsf-builds-rail-superhighway-to-grab-truck-freight.ece
    ————-
    aerodynamics::

    Here are several. I think the second one is the one I had in mind, unfortunately the chart doesn’t seem to load properly:

    https://www.teslamotors.com/blog/model-s-efficiency-and-range

    https://www.teslamotors.com/blog/roadster-efficiency-and-range

    https://www.teslamotors.com/blog/miles-progress

    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/09/aerodynamic-trailer-design-doubles-fuel-economy/

    • notanoilman says:

      Trucks could be candidates for other battery types than the standard Tesla battery, think sulphur based. Battery tech has a way to go before it maxes out. An electric power train with a tuned efficiency motor/turbine generator and battery storage would boost efficiency while a solar roof would make a good contribution during long flat runs in southern states if not in the more open northern ones. Trucks would be good candidates for battery swaps too, fork lift truck availability at depots would help. Lots of possibilities, changes will come, it will need someone to take a first step.

      NAOM

    • Ulenspiegel says:

      For highways overhead power cables would be cheap, each truck could be equipped with a pantograph. No need for battery swapping.

      • Nick G says:

        Yes.

        This would require a significant infrastructure investment (which in the US would increase property taxes for railroads). In my opinion this would be somewhat more expensive than swapped batteries, but it certainly would be doable.

  28. Nathanael says:

    I think you *might* have misinterpreted a few things.

    I have asserted that renewable energy will replace fossil fuel energy quite quickly and thus, in some sense, easily.

    I don’t think I said it would be painless. Painless for *me* perhaps, because I’m well set up for it, and perhaps painless for anyone else who is sufficiently prepared and wealthy. But lots and lots of people will suffer terribly. There will be winners and losers. Lots and lots of losers. Losers!

    Batteries don’t need to be good enough for long haul trucks, because long haul is supposed to be carried on railroads anyway. They’re good enough for everything else right now.

    As for the population overshoot: we know how to stabilize and drop the birth rate peacefully. It looks like this seems to work *even if* there are large famines, though there’s a nasty rebound effect with wars. Biodiversity collapse will still be a mess and humanity will still be in big trouble, but it is possible for humanity to survive if we make an effort. And the most important thing is to end the anti-birth-control religions.

    • notanoilman says:

      Population overshoot WILL be reduced. We just need to decide how quickly and how humanly. But it will come.

      NAOM

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      ” And the most important thing is to end the anti-birth-control religions.”

      Good luck with that!

      It absolutely blows me away that some of the smartest people in this forum, who generally have a decent grasp of the physical sciences and human nature, have a blind spot comparable in mass if not size to a black hole.

      Religions exist for utterly and absolutely fundamental reasons that almost for dead sure are embedded into our brains and cultures from the very earliest days of our existence as modern humans, maybe even farther.

      I suggest that those who are so dead sure religion is the problem take a few hours, and some mind expanding drugs of the sort known to lower inhibitions, and read up on the reasons why people practice religions, and the benefits they derive from doing so.

      Now as to whether religions can be done away with, I don’t see much in the way of evidence that wishing will make it so, or that any policy will make it so, at least not within a time frame of less than an absolute minimum of two generations.

      Religions tend to fade away, in terms of the number of serious practitioners, over time, in a given society, if that society is growing wealthier and better educated, and the government thereof maintains strong social support programs and policies which serve some or most of the needs of the people who formerly depended on their church ( in all the various incarnations thereof ) for this support.

      So if you want to do away with a religion, you are talking about doing away with poverty, ignorance, disease, loneliness, lack of direction, lack of that centered, happy feeling that comes from knowing you are a member in good standing in your own ” us” in this old us versus them world.

      And I have pointed out many times that the rates among the people that practice the various religions prevalent in this country have fallen the same way and to about the same extent as among people who do not practice any religion.

      • Nick G says:

        that centered, happy feeling that comes from knowing you are a member in good standing in your own ” us”

        Interesting thought. I think religions would say that this feeling comes something more personal, something to do with God. The non-religious interpretation of this might be that this feeling comes from good mental health.

        Is the feeling that comes from membership the most important thing, or is it an inferior substitute for something internal?

  29. Nick G says:

    The losers will mostly be oil producers: Companies, employees, oil exporting countries.

    Most developing countries will be at least as well off with wind, solar and EV’s: wind and solar are much more equitably distributed around the world than oil. Egypt will be far better off with solar power, than with their modest oil production

    How the heck is oil painless??? We’ve had multiple oil wars, with hundreds of thousands of deaths, and trillions in expense.

    How is oil cheap?? We’ve had how many recessions caused by oil?? How many trillions in losses due to those recessions?

    How are fossil fuels cheap?? How many millions of people are killed every year by coal pollution?

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      IEA finds CO2 emissions flat for third straight year even as global economy grew in 2016

      Global emissions from the energy sector stood at 32.1 gigatonnes last year, the same as the previous two years, while the global economy grew 3.1%, according to estimates from the IEA. Carbon dioxide emissions declined in the United States and China, the world’s two-largest energy users and emitters, and were stable in Europe, offsetting increases in most of the rest of the world.

      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2017/03/20170318-iea.html

      • GoneFishing says:

        Atmospheric CO2 concentration still rising.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          No shit Sherlock, the point maybe on top of your head but not between your ears. It’s that economies and quality of life are not directly correlated to burning fossil fuel and increasing CO2. Which the fossil fuel industry would like you to believe. You have to get to first base before you can score or take baby steps before you can walk.

          Your never going to win the CO2 battle until you expose the fossil fuel industry for what they are. A planet killer for humans.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Spin on it HB. You live in a simple minded world.
            Since when is quality of life improving?

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              Still winter but sunny and in the mid 70’s here at the beach today. Didn’t realize fishing is such a complicated activity. You must be the master baiter.

              • GoneFishing says:

                I so love helping the mentally impoverished. They generate selective and broad blind spots to build a comfortable view of the world.
                I will give you a simple example and if you have the motivation you may pursue the trail. But beware, you may discover reality is far different than your image of it.

                Let’s go back to 1980 in the USA. In a developed area the local supermarket was paying $10 to $12 per hour for cash register workers. Now let’s move forward to that very same area in 2017. The local supermarket is paying $8.40 to $12.00 per hour for cash register workers.

                I know it is a leap, but try to look up the cost of living differential that occurred in those intervening years (hint: the area is a high cost area in the US).
                Good luck with your assignment.

                Your reward? Well, my dog keeps her treats and you get enlightenment on how much better things are now in the good old USA.
                Good luck in actually seeing the world.

                • HuntingtonBeach says:

                  There is no need for me to study at your school of MasterBaiter economics. I was a member of Retail Clerks local 324 from April 1973 to February 1981. During which time I studied Business Administration with a double concentration in Economics and Finance at CSFU. At that time, those union wages bought me two brand new trucks, my first home before I graduated and paid for all of my college expenses. A far cry from most of the lazy ass kids of today.

                  MasterBaiter, what your numbers show is what happens to labor without the support of an organized union. The day I walked out the door in 1981, I was making $9.21 an hour. Today’s union wages under Local 324 is $20.70. Nothing says poverty like Republican right to work states demonizing unions.

                  “Since when is quality of life improving?”

                  Maybe if you stopped MasterBaiting for a minute. You would realize the air is cleaner, you walk around with a computer communication device in your pocket, there is an instant encyclopedia called Google and machines that now do most physical labor.

                  During my 30 years of working for a different companies. In all of them, there was always a place for a hard working employee to advance themselves. There is plenty of opportunity if one applies themselves and is a hard worker. Are you still driving that old Saturn ? My XT5 is a modern marvel. Life is what you make of it.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            A man who brags about making a killing on his investments, including investments in oil…….. posing as an environmentalist.

            Methinks there must be a rat in this particular wood pile.

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              No one talks about themselves more on this blog than you OldMadDonald aka KGB. I guess because in your mind, you see yourself as a loser. You view it’s as acceptable. If your head wasn’t so far up your rectum. You would be asking how to be successful.

              Once a loser, always a loser

              By the way, I got $100 that says your book never gets published in the next year.

  30. Oldfarmermac says:

    Hard core big D Democrats just might benefit ENORMOUSLY, in terms of getting out of the dog house, and back into power, by reading this and similar articles and OPENING THEIR MINDS to the facts contained therein.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/17/everyone-loves-bernie-sanders-except-democratic-party

    Of course some hard core D’s would rather deny the facts, and continue to lose elections, rather than admit you have been wrong about a few things.

    People in positions of power and influence generally do everything they possibly can to retain their status and power , even if it means destroying the organization(s) that they control, so that in the end, they lose their power anyway.

    The D party has been losing power and influence at a fairly steady rate for the last decade or two, while the R party has gained virtually every office from dog catcher to prez that the D’s have lost, from the smallest rural village to Washington DC.

    MAYBE it’s time for hard core D’s to think about the possibility they have been making some really serious mistakes. JUST MAYBE.

    Of course children and true believers will continue to blame their problems on others, rather than accepting responsibility for their mistakes.

    Adults who are capable of a certain minimal level of critical thinking understand that while they cannot control the opposition, they have control over their own actions and decisions.

    Peeing and moaning about the stupidity and ignorance of people who voted for Trump won’t help. Facing up to reality is the ONLY hope for the D party.

    Folks as smart as hard core D’s THINK they are ought to be smart enough to figure out how to get such stupid ignorant people to vote for THEIR candidate. After all, they never pass up an opportunity to tell us how dumb Trump is, and HE was smart enough to get those stupid ignorant people to vote for him.

    Are you ready to admit that TRUMP is smarter than your party leadership ????

    Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for the D party to have new leadership. The old leaders have sure as hell run the party into the ground.

    Maybe it’s time to think about the fact that while it’s ok to talk about how stupid and ignorant religious people are in closed forums, it would be better to talk about them respectfully, because AFTER ALL, THEY DO VOTE, and while their numbers will likely be diminishing as the boomer generation dies off, there are TENS OF MILLIONS of them.

    WITH THEM, and WITH INDEPENDENTS, you can win.

    Without them, and without independents, your chances of regaining power are slim to non existent.

    Now I will be sorely disappointed if my little buddy HB doesn’t chip in and call me a Trumpster and a commie , and help me prove my point about accepting responsibility versus blaming others when things go wrong.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Donations flood into Meals on Wheels after White House threatens to pull funding

      For the elderly, living at home alone can be difficult to say the least. Just getting the meals they need can be a struggle, and for many, Meals on Wheels has been the answer.

      So when Trump’s budget proposal released Thursday threatened to slash all federal funding for the program, a whole lot of Americans were outraged. And they acted on that outrage.

      http://mashable.com/2017/03/17/mass-donations-to-meals-on-wheels/#tKNbTU2HxOqJ

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      After viewing their new head of the DNC, it is obvious they haven’t a clue.
      I think they would rather lose than give up the Wall Street money flow.
      Pigs at the trough.
      (Plus, a ll those CEO’s are former classmates)

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        Birds of a feather flock together. Duncan, you write with the same ignorance as OldMacDonald aka KGB. The United States needs a financial system for financing capital investment which has developed the richest economy in history. It’s the Democrats who want to rain in abuse with regulations like Dodd Frank and the consumer protection agency. The Republicans want to repeal safeguards.

        It’s the Republicans who want to take away healthcare coverage for 24 million people. So that the rich 1% can get a tax cut.

        Turn off the fake FoxNews

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Keep on proving my point for me, HB.

          I have never had such a good helper before.

          You are entirely incapable of understanding that the REASON the D’s are in the dog house and not only OUT of the White House, but also out of control of the large majority of public offices including state houses, city mayor’s offices, local offices, and both houses of Congress is that the D party has morphed into a Republican Lite party over the last two or three decades.

          The R’s have been mopping the floor with the D’s and this will not change so long as the people running the D party are the remnants of the HRC machine.

          If ever I have run across an example of an utterly and totally hopeless true believer, you win the dunce hat.

          The people who are in control of the D party machinery right now are a damned sight more interested in maintaining their own privileged positions and power and status than they are in the future of the D party and or the country itself.

          They WOULD rather see the R’s in control than give up their personal positions at the big money trough.

          They are PIGS, no pigs are babies, they are HOGS swilling it in just like the Republicans.

          And since the country is generally smart enough to know a real Republican from a fake Republican, it will continue to vote for real ones, if not given a choice between a REAL DEMOCRAT and a fake Democrat aka a Republican Lite.

          I will be doing all I can to help the party return to it’s real roots over the next few years, up to the limits of my time and purse.

          Just twenty five bucks donated to a REAL Democrat, regardless of label, is worth as much as a thousand donated to a big money machine.

          Trump is a fucking disaster. If HRC had really had the best interests of the country at heart, she would have stepped aside for Sanders, who outpolled her by a mile versus Trump.

          Do you know who swept West Virginia Clinton versus Sanders ?

          Do you know who the most popular politician in America is these days, among younger people and independents ?

          https://www.propublica.org/article/preet-bharara-fired-investigating-tom-price-hhs-stock-trading

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            Step aside?
            The DNC sabotaged Sanders.
            Assange actually won the election through exposing the truth.
            That is why the Dims have such a hard on for him.

            Trump is a disaster, and I thought the Dim’s would wake up.
            No such luck.

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              Sanders is a registered Independent. HRC has been an established Democrat party leader for 25 years with near total support and relations from other Democrat leaders. Only a fool would think the Democrats would let Sanders cross party lines with his socialist crap for an election and take over the party.

              Sanders lost to HRC by over 3 million votes.

              That “Make America Great Again” cap of yours is covering up the “L” on your forehead. Your getting what you deserve.

              • Survivalist says:

                And what did the Dems give the voters? The choice between a warmongering corporate Democrat and a warmongering corporate Republican. Democracy indeed. It might as well be a one party state. I didn’t vote for either of those psychopaths.

                • HuntingtonBeach says:

                  If you couldn’t see of the difference between the two. You also deserve what your going to get.

                  • Survivalist says:

                    Perhaps you could explain to me the different outcomes that America gets when it changes from a Republican White House to a Democrat White House. Please be specific and spare me your shills for the Democratic Party. From Bush Sr to B Clinton to Bush Jr to Obama to Trump. Please illustrate for me how there is even a crack of light between what these parties do to America and the world. Please explain to me the tangible differences for America in selecting a warmongering corporate Democrat over a warmongering corporate Republican. Other than superficial veneer there are none. Trump is just a more honest representation of what America is. Clinton was a better polish. Better rhetoric. Just a couple of Wall Street shills. If you think all the vets in American history who died for American democracy sacrificed their lives so you could have a choice between Hillary and Trump then I suggest those boys are rolling in their graves.

                    https://www.clintonfoundation.org/contributors?category=%2410%2C000%2C001+to+%2425%2C000%2C000
                    And I suppose you believe that KSA donated between 10 and 25 million because they share the Clinton Foundation goal of “working toward a world where more girls and women can achieve full participation in all aspects of life.” Gimme a break. All you got to complain about is your crook didn’t win and somebody else’s crook did. What a political sewer pipe America has become. I wrote in Charlie Sheen. He’s a better human being than any of the scum and morons that were on the ballot.

                    And with regards to ‘You also deserve what your going to get’, my life doesn’t change one bit. I can perceive not one tangible difference in my life since Trump took over. I still do the same, I still make the same, I still pay the same. USA could elect a baboon and I’d hardly notice a difference in my life or a change in my future. It’s meaningless. USA is still selling weapons and starting wars and shitting in its own nest. What else is new?

                  • HuntingtonBeach says:

                    Oh Babycakes, if only there was a world of no confrontation.

                    First let me suggest to you, sit in front of the TV for a day and switch back and forth between FoxNews and MSNBC or CNN.

                    Then stop and think about the fact that “W” attacked a country on false pretenses of WMD and Obama disarmed Iran with diplomacy plus the help of HRC. Enough said.

                    Charlie Sheen, a lot of good that did. Just a waste of time. You must be full of it.

                    Trump for myself, still retired and up 200K in my retirement investments since November 8th. Great weather at the beach today. But it’s not about me. It’s about the working stiff like yourself.

                  • Survivalist says:

                    I don’t own a TV. And if I did you wouldn’t catch me wasting my life with that crap you recommended. If that’s the best you got then I suggest you’re just some shill for the Democrat Party. No better than a shill for the Republicans. Just a different kind of stupid.

                    Obama disarmed Iran lmfao you are living in a god damned fantasy world.

                    Too bad you can’t articulate a valid argument for the political opinions you hold so dear, and never shut up about. Pathetic. I could care less about your savings. And what makes you think I’m a working stiff? (Yeah cuz the D’s are really looking out for the working stiffs. Gimme a break!) 200k. Have fun. I got 490. But I fail to see the relevance of that to this discussion. Perhaps you could tell me why you do. Does it make you feel superior to flaunt your money? Is that why you think your political views are correct, because you have 200K? You sound like a real piece of work. Maybe turn off the tv and see if you can figure out what’s really going on in the world. Try some books.

                  • HuntingtonBeach says:

                    “I can perceive not one tangible difference in my life since Trump took over. I still do the same, I still make the same, I still pay the same.”

                    “I got 490”

                    Your a bigger bullshiter than OldMacDonald aka KGB. By the way, you can enjoy reading all about me in his “book” that will never be published, but maybe he will email you a copy. He says I get a chapter all to myself. I’m sooo honored

                    Lucky Me

                  • Survivalist says:

                    Spoken like a true Democrat.
                    And you wonder why the D’s can’t even win against a piece of human garbage like Trump.
                    You’re a great representation of the political sewer pipe that America has become.

                    https://youtu.be/Q3dvbM6Pias

                    For what it’s worth I own a small company in the health services sector. If you could focus on backing up your political views when challenged instead of just trying to act all high and mighty with your 200K you might seem like less of a political illiterate. I own a piece of land worth more than 200K. Plus my 490 liquid. But I didn’t feel it was necessary to bring that up when expressing my political opinions. It’s kinda strange that you did. Perhaps it’s the only thing you got that makes you feel any good. If so I feel sorry for you. I could lose everything tomorrow and I’d still be happier than you.

                  • HuntingtonBeach says:

                    Well I’m sorry, really sorry of you. I didn’t realize anyone could still buy land today for $200,000. What do you have on it, a mobile home ?

                    One minute Trump didn’t make a change in your life. The next minute Trump increased your net worth 490. Now your telling me “For what it’s worth I own a small company in the health services sector”. Sound like your running a JuicePlus marketing con out of your trailer. Next you will be telling me you watch Two and a Half Men on your 75″ big screen.

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYYVTl1HCNk

                    Everyday is a vacation, enjoy. I do.

              • Duncan Idaho says:

                Are you calling me a liberal?
                That is a low blow.
                Reformist politics is a waste of time at this point.

                • HuntingtonBeach says:

                  You should be so lucky and the “L” isn’t for that either

                  “Trump is a disaster, and I thought”

                  Don’t tell me, immigration won’t let you back across the Mexican border too.

  31. HuntingtonBeach says:

    As President Donald Trump aims to slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and dismisses concerns about global warming, American worries about climate change are at a record high, according to a new poll.

    A Gallup survey found that 68 percent of those polled believe humans are causing climate change, and 62 percent are convinced we’re already experiencing its negative effects.

    Almost half of Americans — 45 percent — say they worry a “great deal” about climate change. An additional 21 percent say they worry a “fair amount” about the problem, according to the poll, which was conducted March 1-5.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/global-warming-record-fear_us_58cb0ffce4b00705db4dcead?section=us_green

    • George Harmon says:

      Remember surveys can be skewed to get whatever results you desire just by wording questions and such in certain ways. Gallup might have done the survey but who would pay to have an anti climate change survey done in the first place? That’s the only important question here. I’m willing to believe it could be Soros aided by some public university endowments.

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        What’s important here is that burning fossil fuels is killing plant earth. The only home humans have to live on.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          “What’s important here is that burning fossil fuels is killing plant earth. The only home humans have to live on.”

          Sez a guy who has bragged in this forum about making a killing in the oil biz at the expense of stupid conservatives and Republicans, since apparently smart liberals don’t drive cars or fly or have refrigerators, or electric lights, or internet.

          A true specimen of a Republican Lite D , in my estimation, one who like a preacher will tell any sort of tale, hoping the audience will believe it , if it is repeated often enough.

          Sometimes such tales are true. Even the worst of hypocrites find it convenient to tell the truth sometimes. Sometimes the tales are intended simply to maintain the power and status of the leadership of any given organization.

          HB talks about me, and would probably talk about anybody else who points out WHY the D’s are losing and losing and losing yet again, while the R’s are have been constantly gaining, the way preachers used to talk about scientists.

          That there old Darwin sure as hell was a demon sent by the Devil himself in order to harvest souls for Hell, you see, and OFM is a Trumpster, out to trick D’s into voting for the R party, NO QUESTION.

          HB HIMSELF has said so , many times , so it MUST be true.

          And while D voters are generally better educated and better informed than R voters, there are still millions of them who will continue to fall for such blatant propaganda, which serves the sole purpose of helping the remnants of the HRC machine retain control of the D party.

          The PROBLEM is that the HRC machine, what’s left of it, and most of it is still intact, although bloodied, will continue on the same Republican Lite path that has put the REAL Republicans in charge of the vast majority of government offices in this country from local dog catcher to president.

          The the election for party chairman was DAMNED close, considering how long and how deeply dug in the machine operatives were.

          Bernie Sanders is now the most popular politician in the USA by a country mile, especially among young people and independents, who are the keys to a reborn D party actually regaining some power going forward.

          Maybe his wife or girlfriend was one of the women at the DNC dressed in Prada when a speaker asked for a show of hands of delegates who actually work with their hands, and the party of the people responded with a thunderous silence.

          • Survivalist says:

            lol yeah HB seems to be taking the Clinton loss pretty hard. Seems like he drank the Kool-aide pretty deep and was lining up for more.
            The HRC machine might get Pelosi next time and she could do a good job against Trump in 2020, assuming he’s not in jail. Maybe that’ll lift HBs mood and he can shut up about his 200K and how right it makes his political opinions.
            My hunch is Sanders won’t run again.

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              He (or she) doesn’t seem to grasp what is going on with the Dim’s.
              A BAU pawn.

              • Survivalist says:

                To be clear, I’m not suggesting Pelosi is gonna change anything tangible. Im just suggesting she might win against Trump.
                Pelosi is just as out to lunch as the rest of the demented bunch, but she might make a good Brand, and American voters are clearly a very gullible lot who are influenced by the superficial characteristics of politicians.
                Who else do you think the D’s might pull out for the 2020?

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            There’s no reply slot left upthread to point it out that HB accuses the R’s of waging war under false pretenses against Iran, etc, and then gives Obama and HRC credit for solving the the Iranian problem, lol, but somehow he FORGOT that HRC voted FOR that war.

            HRC equals Republican Lite, HB. Therefore since he is a sworn HRC foot soldier, HB equals Republican Lite foot soldier.

            The old commie governments used to put a political officer in every military unit of any size. HB is one of that sort, a guy out to make sure the party establishment message is the ONLY message that is heard. He works very hard at it, never failing to attack anybody who questions his beloved Empress in ( permanent? ) Exile.
            My book will eventually be published, assuming I live another year or two, without major health problems.

            I don’t have a whole lot of cash, since I believe in owning hard assets, and don’t NEED a lot of cash, but I will pay a vanity press to run off a couple of hundred copies if necessary, so I can give one all my old friends and acquaintances, or any cyber buddy who wants one.

            One beautiful thing about the net is that you can publish more or less for free, so long as your primary object is to be heard, rather than to make some money. I don’t need to make money on it.

            I live better without a lot of money than any of my old classmates or former coworkers who are stuck in cities, or wall to wall houses in the ‘burbs, chained to their careers.

            Most of my days are spent doing things that such folks only get to do two weeks , or maybe four weeks if they are senior people, out of the fifty two, just a few minutes walk from the nearest boundary of one of the most popular national parks in the country.

            A couple of them come every year in their motor homes, and stay on my place in a spot I set aside for the purpose. No charge. They can go trout fishing, hiking, mushrooming, trail riding, berrying, bird watching, deer and bear hunting if they want, horseback riding, or just kick back and enjoy some peace and quiet , not another soul within a quarter of a mile in any direction, except by my permission. There won’t be more than half a dozen people within a full mile, and they will be minding their own business.

            But I gotta admit I haven’t ever made a killing in the oil biz, lol.

            • Survivalist says:

              HB ain’t made a killing either if all he’s got is 200k lol

              • HuntingtonBeach says:

                I said up(increase) 200K since Nov 8

                Pay attention small business owner. We were talking about changes during Trump.

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              “somehow he FORGOT that HRC voted FOR that war.”

              Wrong, HRC voted to give “W” the authority and backing in good faith to demilitarize Iraq’s WMD. That turned out to be a big mistake because Bush lied. Pull out the inspectors early so they couldn’t confirm no WMD. The Bush Administration started a war on false pretense.

              Pay attention OldMacDonald and turn off the FoxNews

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wyCBF5CsCA

              “Blix accused U.S. President George W. Bush and U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair of acting not in bad faith, but with a severe lack of “critical thinking.”

              http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/03/18_blix.shtml

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Split some more hairs, like the apparatchik with the HRC machine who said Sanders isn’t even a Democrat a few days back, lol, when asked why the party establishment refuses to embrace him.

                Clinton voted for the fucking war,when she voted, because without that so called authorization, there would have been no war. Whether Bush lied about WMD or not falls into the same category as her saying she set up her secret email system for convenience, rather than to hide her dealings with shady characters.

                You will spend a LOT of time before you find any comments with my handle attached to them supporting Bush, lol.

                I’m still waiting for any person who is mathematically literate to explain away her scamming a hundred g via Cattle Gate back when she was just a fledgling AMATEUR.

                Of course she never really got to the big leagues as a scammer. I guess it would be fair to say she moved up from Triple A scam ball and got to play with the big girls and boys on the political field, but she only did about average, as a money grubber. Lots of celebrities have done as well or better.

                Trump’s a big league scammer sure enough.

                As far as my friends go, the only friends I have in the oil biz are cyber friends, and they don’t go around pretending to be environmentalists.

                Most of the people I know and associate with are middle of the road to liberal, excepting in my local community. I do live in the backwoods, by choice, as a retiree, and for various other reasons, none having much to do with politics.

                Even here in the backwoods, a full third of the people I mingle with socially are hard core big D Democrats, but they constitute only about a quarter to a fifth of the immediate local community.

                The older local folks tend to be rather suspicious of folks they think are out to prevent them from harvesting timber, or subdividing their property, or taking away their right to own a gun.

                The ones who are actual friends are all hard working, thrifty living people who pay their bills and don’t have much use for people who sponge off the welfare state, and we have quite a few of that last sort around.

                It’s true that welfare bums are not nearly as big a problem as the Koch brothers and Trumpsters make them out to be, but when you work your ass off for thirty years or longer to own a nice house and a farm, and then wind up bankrupt because you got sick, well, you tend to get THOROUGHLY pissed when the happy go lucky neighbor who owns next to nothing but drove ten new cars over the years gets HIS comparable treatment WRITTEN OFF.

                This sort of thing tends to stick in the craw.

                I am not defending these folks beliefs or thinking, but rather simply pointing out what they think and believe. They believe the D’s are supporting the bums at their expense. They believe the D’s want to stop them from making a living on their own property, collect their firearms, etc.

                They have left this part of the country, and gone to places where you are supposed to be able to make big money because of the unions, and when they got there, they found out the unions are closed shops that DON’T actually give a flying fuck about any body other than their current members, and no you stupid hillbilly, we don’t care if you are the most skillful operator on the planet, if we do happen to have an opening, it’s reserved for the son of a current member, etc.

                I say this as an outsider who actually managed to get into a couple of big unions, by way of being a rolling stone in exactly the right place at exactly the right time when the unwritten rule about accepting new members was temporarily suspended.

                Beyond that my dear old Daddy was a member of the Teamsters on his part time forty job in town and for the last twenty years he was on the plant negotiating committee, so I DO know what I am talking about.

                Most people tend to forget that while a person may well understand that in the long run major changes might well be to his own personal advantage, but that in the short to medium term, such changes are very much to his DISADVANTAGE.

                It’s not hard for even a semiliterate hillbilly to understand that coal MUST eventually run short, but telling him that just because it will be in short supply a couple of generations down the road does nothing to convince him that he should lose his job in the industry NOW, and so far as he is concerned, it’s fuck the environmentalists, who live in other places and have other ways of making a living. HE has to eat NOW, and his KIDS have to eat NOW, and he knows damned well that if the mines shut down, he is NOT going to be retrained for a job in some new high tech industry which is located in California ANYWAY.

                He doesn’t see these environmentalists campaigning to stop people from drinking beer and smoking cigarettes, and even though he is a semiliterate hillbilly, he is still smart enough to know that beer and cigarettes are more apt to kill you than mining coal , or breathing the air pollution associated with burning coal, etc.

                Now cognitive dissonance is a pretty common thing, right across the intellectual spectrum. Three or four of the very smartest people in this forum post lots of nasty remarks about religion, even though they certainly know enough biology, including evolutionary biology, to know better.

                And hypocrisy is a near universal trait as well. There are plenty of people who have a powerful vested interest in certain aspects of the politics of both parties.

                Trial lawyers for instance are always eager to make sure the legal system continues to serve as a never ending buffet enabling them to make megabucks out of things that should be settled out of court, and the last I checked, they donated nearly all their political money to the D’s who help them do so.

                This is not to say that doctors and hospitals should get away with malpractice, but rather that maybe we should have no fault automobile insurance for instance, without the lawyers poisoning the concept and deliberately making it unworkable.

                Note that I personally support this country moving to a health care system modeled more or less on the ones that prevail in other industrialized western countries.

                You yourself can see everything wrong with R politics, but you are utterly incapable either of seeing the faults of the D party, the mistakes it has made which have resulted in the R party ruling the roost, or else you are just a cynical preacher type mouth piece working to discredit anybody out to help the D party get back into power by way of throwing out the remnants of the Clinton machine and getting back to the real roots of the Party of the People.

                The D’s will remain in the wilderness so long as they have idiots like you defending a candidate who was inept enough to actually fucking lose to TRUMP.

                I’m thinking you are best described not as stupid, although you ARE incontestably stupid, but rather that you are best described as a HRC troll, out to protect what is left of her political machine, no matter what.

                When it comes to politics, I try to UNDERSTAND, and impart understanding, rather than play partisan games.

                It’s relatively easy to determine if a reputed fact actually IS a fact when it comes to the physical sciences and the physical world.

                When it comes to politics, UNDERSTANDING comes when you understand that while what people actually believe may or may not be factually accurate, their beliefs determine their politics, and their politics determine their votes.

                I ran across as much cognitive dissonance when I was living the bohemian life in the city in an upscale university district and hanging around the U as a perpetual grad student as I run into today in the backwoods.

                Bottom line, Republican Lite policies are not going to put the D party back into power. This is not provable in the same way a physical law can be proven by experiment, but the odds are well into the high nineties in my opinion as a political observer that it is a true fact.

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            OldMacDonald, it was you who taught me to keep calling your friends stupid Republicans. So that they would vote against their own self interest and I could get larger tax cuts.

            • Survivalist says:

              A vote for Dims or Republicans is in both cases a vote against an American citizens best interest. There is no option within the American political framework to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. None. Obama was no different than Bush. That is obvious. We could have given Bush two more terms instead of Obama having them and there would be not one difference to the condition or the fate of the country. Anyone who thinks the Dims are the answer to America’s problem is just as deluded as those who think the Republicans are the answer to America’s problems.

              To paraphrase Thomas Jeffersons- If God is truly just I tremble for the fate of my country.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Why the hell would Soros pay for an anti climate change survey?! That would be really dumb! I’m sure he can find better things to do with his money.

        As for Trump, his supporters, and anyone one still pushing fossil fuels, they are on the wrong side of history and will be on the losing side of the evolving technological revolution, and its benefits to the global economy!

        Disclaimer: assuming of course that we make it through the next couple of decades without making most corners of the planet uninhabitable for humans. There are no guarantees that we will make it, but it is 100% for sure, that we won’t, if we continue burning fossil fuels!

        The Smokestacks Come Tumbling Down
        Why momentum is building towards a snap forward in climate action.
        Essay by Alex Steffen

        https://thenearlynow.com/the-smokestacks-come-tumbling-down-c03ba1294522#.qwoubik0t

        Donald Trump is the best thing to happen to climate action in years.
        That might sound crazy. These days, with the Trump gang on a smashing spree through America’s science and environmental laws, it’s easy to feel pessimistic. It’s easy to think that with progress being rolled back that took decades to put in place, we’ve lost the climate fight.
        But I think that’s wrong. I think Trump and his carbon cronies are not displaying strength, they’re showing enormous weakness — and not only have they not won, they’re actually doing us a unintended favor. They’re making it easier to win not the small increments of progress of the last three decades, but large-scale disruptive progress. They’re assisting in the birth of the low-carbon future.

        In this piece, I want to explain why that’s true…

  32. Joe Turner says:

    Does anyone have any recommendations for electric bicycles?

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        I look at the pretty pictures of the nice electric bikes, and then I look at the prices, and think about how awesomely expensive they actually are, and how cheap they ought to be.

        For the price of four or five electric bicycles, you can buy a brand new automobile, with at least eight to ten times as much actual materials used to build it, and infinitely more intricate machine tool work, lots of glass, FOUR nice comfy seats, etc etc.

        This situation will change of course, but I’m wondering if I will live long enough to see it, personally.

        You can go to just about any town in the country with more than four or five traffic lights and buy brand new computers, chainsaws, off road vehicles, large appliances, etc, and get most of these things loaded into your car or truck on the spot, and get them serviced or buy parts for them at the store that sold them to you.

        How long will it be before there is an electric bike dealership in Mayberry, the mythical small American town?

        Five years? Ten?

        All opinions are welcome.

        Five to ten years ago it was rare to see a mini motor cycle, the kind known as SCOOTERS, on local roads. They’re common place now.

        They’re faster than electric bikes, cleaner to ride, since they have floor boards and front fascia to keep water from the street off the rider, generally they cost no more and apparently less for a good brand name ( fill in the blank with Honda, Yamaha, etc ) and the good ones last a hell of a long time. I have a neighbor with a fifty cc Honda with over thirty thousand miles on it, and it runs like new. It pollutes, true enough, but it gets around a hundred mpg,running it mostly flat out, and I am pretty sure if you were to ride it without exceeding twenty five mph, it would get closer to a hundred and fifty that a hundred.

        I’m thinking a good solid, long lasting, easily repairable electric bicycle ought not cost much more than a thousand bucks, within the next five to ten years, once the industry scales up.

        • alimbiquated says:

          Annual sales in China have been in the tens of millions for years.

          • notanoilman says:

            Any pointers for these Chinese electric bikes? I am looking at options and the USA ones seem WAYYY too expensive.

            NAOM

            • Bob Nickson says:

              You can buy directly from the Chinese factories on alibaba.com.

              Just search for electric bikes. You can usually order a sample quantity of 1 if they have bulk order requirements.

    • Hickory says:

      Joe, Here is a direct seller to customers that has gotten good reviews for their bikes- good value for the dollar. https://www.radpowerbikes.com/
      Here is view of their mountain bike model- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3go9Jb5TEmk
      I’m going to the 2017 electric bike expo for the SF bay area next Saturday. Dozens of manufacturers will be there- should be very interesting.

    • Bob Nickson says:

      M2S bikes make some (apparently, haven’t seen on in person) decent, somewhat reasonably priced bikes. I’m likely going to buy a Kush.

      In the high dollar dimension, check out Stromer, or the Specialized Turbo.

  33. Doug Leighton says:

    NO PUBLICATION BIAS FOUND IN CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH

    “Rarely do we encounter a scientific fact that stirs public controversy and distrust in science as much as climate change. However, the theory is built on honest reporting of facts, suggests a new study.”

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170315094448.htm

    • Fred Magyar says:

      C’mon, Doug, this study is highly suspect. Johan Hollander, is a researcher at Lund University’s Faculty of Science in Sweden.
      The Swedes have been promoting the hoax of anthropogenic climate change caused by burning fossil fuels and emitting CO2 into the atmosphre since Svante Arrhenius, in 1896.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        L.O.L . Well Fred, Lund is inferior to Uppsala Uni (founded in 1477) but still…. No, just kidding. But I graduated from Uppsala in ‘68 (Christ, that’s 50 years ago) and my wife taught Engineering students there for years: one must remain faithful to one’s Alma Mater old chap. Actually, if memory serves, Lund dates back to 1425, I think, and has always been an excellent school. In fact, Sweden has always been strong on geophysics (and atmosphere science), which is why I went there: wonderful northern lights (and blondes) as well. BTW, Svante Arrhenius was at Uppsala. 🙂

  34. Oldfarmermac says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vindeby_Offshore_Wind_Farm

    This is the first offshore wind farm ever built, and it’s now worn out and being decommissioned at twenty five years.

    Of course any kind of machinery is subject to wearing out, and first generation machinery is normally expected to wear out faster than second and third generation designs.

    This news brings two questions to mind.

    One, is there any real reason for any old wind or solar farm to ever become a brownfield site?

    There might be a few wind and solar farms that are located at poorly chosen sites so that it is more economical to build a new larger farm than it is to refurbish and old one, but I can’t see any real reason any given wind or solar farm site should ever be abandoned other than that it’s just too small, or the wind resource is not good enough to make installing new turbines, etc, worth the expense.

    I bring this up because the anti renewable crowd frequently criticizes wind and solar power on the grounds that decommissioning will be a big problem. My personal belief is that this argument is pretty close to one hundred percent bullshit, but I like to keep my factual ducks in the neatest possible row.

    It’s obvious that at least SOME of the work done to build an offshore wind farm is potentially valuable on a perpetual or at least near permanent basis, such as any buildings used to house switching equipment , docks, rip rap placed to help anchor turbines, etc.

    And rebuilding any sort of industrial installation is generally easier than starting from scratch, politically. Such installations are ALREADY in the backyard, lol, already permitted, already providing some local employment and property tax revenue, etc.

    Consider removing the piers used to anchor turbines offshore for instance. Even IF a wind farm site is abandoned as a working production site, it might be a great idea to leave the under water infrastructure in place, as this sort of thing is well known to create great fish habitat.

    Witness the fact that old ships are have often been sunk near shore for this very purpose, lol.

    Any comments and links touching on this question will be greatly appreciated.

    • Ulenspiegel says:

      “There might be a few wind and solar farms that are located at poorly chosen sites so that it is more economical to build a new larger farm than it is to refurbish and old one, but I can’t see any real reason any given wind or solar farm site should ever be abandoned other than that it’s just too small, or the wind resource is not good enough to make installing new turbines, etc, worth the expense. ”

      In Germany the situation is quite clear. Land is valuable, you have absolute no interest to waste too much. Therefore, wind projects usually include statutory reserves for recyling the old turbine. However, until now most old turbines (after ~ 16 years) were sold, mainly to Poland, because replacing them with larger makes sense and money.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Here’s some interesting news from Germany!

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-17/german-coal-mine-to-be-reborn-as-giant-pumped-hydropower-battery

        How to Make Electricity in a Disused Coal Mine
        by Brian Parkin
        March 17, 2017, 12:00 AM EDT

        Active coal mine Prosper-Haniel in NRW state to close in 2018
        State needs large-scale storage to balance renewable sources
        A coal-mine that powered German industry for almost half a century will get a new lease on life when it’s turned into a giant battery that stores excess solar and wind energy.

        The state of North-Rhine Westphalia is set to turn its Prosper-Haniel hard coal mine into a 200 megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric reservoir, which acts like a battery and will have enough capacity to power more than 400,000 homes, said state governor Hannelore Kraft. The town of Bottrop, where people worked the 600 meter (1,969 foot) deep mine since 1974, will keep playing a role in providing uninterrupted power for the country, she said.

        Hey Trump, can you do that?!

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Precisely.

        If the site is a good one, it SHOULD make good sense to upgrade to better equipment when the old equipment is worn out.

        There might be some instances where the land has gotten to be so valuable it would be better to just relocate the wind or solar farm to a place where land is cheaper.

        Most wind farms here in the USA are located on land that can still be farmed, or else on land that is not worth very much to begin with due to it’s remote location or rough topography, etc.

        I don’t see much in the renewable energy news about the value of land in Germany , but I do know that good farm land is very expensive indeed.

  35. Ezrydermike says:

    I thought the academics were pushing a false narrative to get all those gov grants?

    The fossil fuel industry’s invisible colonization of academia

    Corporate capture of academic research by the fossil fuel industry is an elephant in the room and a threat to tackling climate change.

    Benjamin Franta and Geoffrey Supran
    @GeoffreySupran
    Monday 13 March 2017 06.00 EDT

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/mar/13/the-fossil-fuel-industrys-invisible-colonization-of-academia

  36. Ezrydermike says:

    Happened to catch the Copenhagen episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, covering restaurant, NOMA, and one chef, Rene Redzepi, while reading this post for the first time. While, I generally agree with what Ron is saying wrt this post, I wonder about whether humanity can change with respect to food consumption and production in time to make a difference.

    http://www.cnn.com/video/shows/anthony-bourdain-parts-unknown/season-2/copenhagen/index.html

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I wonder about whether humanity can change with respect to food consumption and production in time to make a difference.

      I don’t wonder at all! Why you may ask? Because of things like this! 😉

      http://insektkbh.dk

      The Product

      “We are Insekt KBH – a company that makes juice with insects”

      FEMTEN Fårekyllinger (or FIFTEEN Crickets) is a delicious apple-ginger shot enriched with crickets. Every bottle contains the equivalent of, well, fifteen crickets!

      Our juice is made with purely natural ingredients: apple, ginger, lemon and crickets. Nothing else. With FEMTEN Fårekyllinger you get a unique umami-flavored beverage, adding a new dimension to the culinary experience.

      Crickets (and insects in general) are rich in nutrition, particularly vitamin B12. This is what you need for the conversion of fat and amino acids in the body, which comprise the building blocks of protein.

      A single bottle of FEMTEN Fårekyllinger will cover 50% of your daily need for B12. Enjoy!

      Skål!

      Yep, in my moments of irrationality I occasionally slip into this cornucopian, utopian dream about the future where I see my son and his girlfriend using a smartphone app to rent a pair of solar charged bicycles from a kiosk on the beach.
      http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/quik-byke-solar-powered-e-bike-rental-shop-shipping-container.html
      After riding for a while they stop at a solar powered vending machine http://www.solarvending.com/pages/product.htm and again using their smartphones, they purchase two ice cold bottles of refreshing and nutritious FEMTEN!

      Note: All crickets and fruits grown and raised locally.

      Who knows, if they ever have children themselves, or even if they don’t… They might one day take a group of local school children on a field trip in a self driving electric bus,https://www.proterra.com/ to the Fossil Fuel Holocaust Museum. Where those children will learn about the horrors of the Trumpocene, after which they will all hug each other and solemnly vow to never repeat the mistakes of their ancestors …

      • Doug Leighton says:

        “Several types of cricket songs are in the repertoire of some species. The calling song attracts females and repels other males, and is fairly loud. The courting song is used when a female cricket is near and encourages her to mate with the caller. A triumphal song is produced for a brief period after a successful mating, and may reinforce the mating bond to encourage the female to lay some eggs rather than find another male.”

        Fred, you haven’t appended any pictures of a family of crickets enjoying a weekend picnic: kids playing Frisbee or swimming while Mum and Dad enjoy a beer. Shame.

    • Survivalist says:

      I’m not convinced about the 10*C global temp rise by 2026. Maybe northern hemisphere, depending when we go ice free each summer, by close to 10*C by 2026 but not global.

      Does anybody have any good links or ideas on warming of the Arctic Ocean/permafrost once we have a couple months of ice free per year?

      I found this statement interesting:
      “With a feedback loop of more open water = more heat = more ice melt = more open water, an ice free September would be followed by August, July and then June……. The extra heat that would be taken in by an ice-free Arctic from June onwards is quite possibly greater than that captured by all man-made carbon emissions. Stop and think about that statement. “Abrupt” really doesn’t do it justice.”
      http://www.humanitystest.com/exiting-the-anthropocene/

      • GoneFishing says:

        I agree that 10C by the 2020’s is an upper boundary, but I think the point is that the possibility exists for multiple feedbacks to cause unexpected and non-linear changes in global climate.
        It is fairly obvious that albedo feedback is happening in the Arctic. The big change to watch for is the reversal of the Arctic vortex. When that happens, warm southern waters will be driven directly into the Arctic Ocean at a much greater rate.
        In the Arctic we have albedo change, methane/carbon dioxide production, ocean current changes and atmospheric circulation changes to drive warming. All of them are linked and thus multiple positive feedbacks can cause accelerated warming in the region.
        The Greenland Ice Sheet is the major stability factor in the region, but ice mass loss and altitude loss is occurring presently.

        • Survivalist says:

          The statement from my post above that I find most concerning is:
          “The extra heat that would be taken in by an ice-free Arctic from June onwards is quite possibly greater than that captured by all man-made carbon emissions.”

          It seems to me that this is going to have profound impacts on the jet stream, weather and agriculture.

          Does anybody care to comment on that statement and share any studies that support it.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Hey the new guys at the EPA must have forgotten to take this page down, either that or there are still a few realists left who don’t buy the BS. Time will tell, I guess…

            https://www.epa.gov/climate-impacts/climate-impacts-southeast#Sea and coast

            Impacts on Ecosystems and Agriculture

            Warmer air and water temperatures, hurricanes, increased storm surges, and sea level rise are expected to alter the Southeast’s local ecosystems and agricultural productivity.
            Warmer temperatures could increase the number and intensity of wildfires, as well as outbreaks of damaging forest pests, including the hemlock woolly adelgid.[1] Declining freshwater availability, saltwater intrusion, land loss, drought, and increasing temperatures are expected to stress agricultural crops and decrease yields.[1] Some croplands may be lost entirely to inundation this century while production of crops that need chilling periods, such as many fruits, may need to shift northward with warming temperatures. High temperatures also cause heat stress for dairy cows and livestock and reduce production yields, potentially leading to relocation of these industries, or shifts to more heat-tolerant breeds.
            Sea level rise will increase the salinity of estuaries, coastal wetlands, tidal rivers, and swamps. Rapid sea level rise could also eliminate some barrier islands that currently protect inland habitats, while reduction of wetlands increases the potential for loss of important fishery habitat. Ocean warming could affect seafood harvest in the Southeast by changing the species in the region, altering migration patterns and timing of fish presence, or affecting fish growth rates.[1]
            To learn more about climate change impacts on ecosystems, visit the Ecosystems Impacts page.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Typical tree hugging liberal commie blurb. Even the Swedes think warming is good for you, especially right after falling through the ice.

            • Hickory says:

              The USA (as an example) could make an abrupt and harsh policy change that would be painful in the short run, but likely prevent very large numbers of deaths due to storm flooding and many hundreds of billions in property damage over the next 50 years. And the money saved could be diverted to constructive uses.

              This change regards urban development, land use zoning, and insurance (government and private) law in flood zones. No more insurance of buildings in flood zones. No more issuing permits for building, remodeling. No more repair of public infrastructure (excepting transport that traverses the flood zones), No more bailout of flooded zones, just help with evacuation and relocation.
              These zones should be returned to exclusive rural use- seasonal farming, wetlands, forests, parks. The savings in lives and money will be even bigger if global warming escalates.

              The kinds of places I am talking about certainly include places like large parts of the Miami and New Orleans metro zone for example. And large stretches along the Mississippi. Lower Manhattan is at big risk. Innumerable smaller river plains across the country.
              The flood risks from river overflow and coastal inundation is very well mapped out. The writing is on the wall, in large clear letters. Do we pretend to be smart, or stupid?

              Adjusting to this reality will take time, but we need to stop with the bailouts. The readjustment will be a massive expensive job, (with huge numbers of jobs created). Better to spend the money constructively, than just repairing things over and over in between flooding events.

              • Nick G says:

                That’s very sensible.

                A decent compromise would be to market price flood insurance, and have no more bailouts of those without insurance.

                Neither seems likely…

          • GoneFishing says:

            I have commented on that in the past here about that very subject with published studies and magnitudes of warming. It generated the a flurry of trolling and argument. I assume a few people read it but most of the message is lost in the verbal hash and denial so not worth discussing any further here.
            Querying Google Scholar will give you a huge number of papers to peruse on the subject.
            The albedo change is only one factor in the Arctic transistion. Still. locally, it amounts to over 50 watts/m2 heating. That should change things up north.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              The albedo change is only one factor in the Arctic transistion. Still. locally, it amounts to over 50 watts/m2 heating. That should change things up north.

              Do people really not understand how multiple systems are all linked together?! The north is connected to the… Ok, wait a minute, maybe these guys can help illustrate how things can be interconnected.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVoPG9HtYF8
              Delta Rhythm Boys – Dry Bones

              • GoneFishing says:

                In a nutshell, it appears as even many very educated people, including many scientists do not understand multivariate dependent systems. I notice a tendency to assign importance to issues, such as anthropogenic effects and ignore or downplay natural variables. That is well and good for political purposes but ignores system-wide interactions.
                I also notice a tendency to limit both ranges of physical occurrence and time periods. If a scientist dares to determine that radical fast changes are possible in the climate system, they are essentially ignored by the politically mainstream science community.
                Concerning time windows, why is 2100 or 2050 so important? If the dependent systems interact rapidly, 2050 may become completely unimportant for the changes will have occurred well before that and be proceeding from there. Similarly if interdependent system variables conjoin to peak near 2150 instead of before 2100, what is the difference to the planet’s ecosystem as a whole? Is some human derived miracle going to save the day whereby we learn weather control and suddenly become kind, thoughtful caretakers of the planet that take the long view just because we can partly ignore things for another century?

                I have yet to see valid scientific evidence that other environmental variables will interact to negate the many positive variables . Just as fractal math was used to model the development of rogue waves, where interacting wave patterns build a much amplified wave formation, so too can interacting environmental variable occasionally form highly amplified effects. These rogue occurrences are most likely to happen during periods of energy change.
                The odds of rogue environmental changes are increasing at this time. In fact if one actually looks at what is happening right now, we are now in a rogue environment and the pattern is building.
                The problem is time, but only from a human perspective. If we lose large swaths of northern forest in the next two decades from bug infestations
                along with loss of Arctic ice and snow plus have a doubling of methane/CO2 production from permafrost melt; the weather and ecosystem changes will be dramatic. But since it took two decades to occur, people will generally not get the picture since they are attuned to months and maybe a few years at best.

                And remember, it always just looks like the weather.

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  “In a nutshell, it appears as even many very educated people, including many scientists do not understand multivariate dependent systems.”

                  Totally agree. My undergraduate degree was in Engineering Physics where you spent most of your time learning about multivariate and non-linear systems (never ever forgetting feedback). During the fifty odd intervening years this lack of appreciation of these crucial concepts (in all disciplines) has never failed to amaze ; that and failure to appreciate time outside “immediacy”. Sometimes I think Geology 101 should be part of every degree program. These days, Instant Gratification seems to be the religion of choice.

                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    And, speaking of non-linear here’s a good example. Great pictures accompany article. “The Arctic is leaking methane 200 times faster than usual: Massive release of gas is creating giant holes and ‘trembling tundras’.”

                    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3703458/The-Arctic-leaking-methane-200-times-faster-usual-Bizarre-gas-bubbles-create-trembling-tundras-speeding-global-warming.html

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Sometimes I think Geology 101 should be part of every degree program.

                    I’d be happy with a strong focus on scientific literacy with a good math, physics and chemistry background. Then I think a lot more people might be willing to explore more of such topics in other fields like geology, oceanography, atmospheric science, astronomy, biology, etc…

                    We live in such an incredibly fascinating universe and it seems the vast majority of humans still lives in almost complete ignorance of all the wonders around them, What a damn shame!

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    I agree Fred, the more I learn the more interesting and wonderful the ecosystem and nature become. I think the portrayal of life as a mechanistic system has stunted the following of science and has improperly portrayed the wonders of nature. Just because we can study and describe certain functions of the natural world does not reduce the world to parts of a machine, which I think the public thinks is the view of scientists.
                    They do not really understand how little we really know and have control over. Even our descriptions are horrifyingly inadequate when it comes to biological creatures and plants.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    GF, says:

                    I think the portrayal of life as a mechanistic system has stunted the following of science and has improperly portrayed the wonders of nature. Just because we can study and describe certain functions of the natural world does not reduce the world to parts of a machine, which I think the public thinks is the view of scientists.

                    I think Richard Feynman nailed it!

                    The Universe in a Glass of Wine

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3_n7TDL7lc

                    Cheers! 😉

        • Steven Haner says:

          GoneFishing, please do explain that you understand anything you are talking about. You are suggesting the polar vortex (what I assume you meant when you wrote “Arctic vortex”) is going to become anticyclonic?

          • GoneFishing says:

            First of all there is not one polar vortex, there are two polar vortices. I specified the Arctic vortex not the Antarctic or both.
            As the Arctic warms the Beaufort Gyre reverses due to a low pressure region forming over it replacing the high pressure region . This reversal draws warm Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean between Svalbard and Greenland quickly leading to an ice free ocean.

            It’s an abrupt warming event. Look it up, it’s published information.

            • Steven Haner says:

              I don’t think you understand what a polar vortex is, but if your information comes out of the Gore-Soros Ministry of Knowledge for Leftists, I can sympathize. In any case, the Beaufort Gyre is an ocean current and the related impacts to pressure refer to measurements made the surface. The polar vortex is an upper-air phenomenon, cyclonic in the Northern Hemisphere. Further, if low pressure begins to dominate at the surface in the Arctic, that implies a negative Arctic Oscillation with a southerly-displaced polar vortex, which generally translates to colder-than-normal surface temperatures in the mid-latitudes.

  37. Doug Leighton says:

    Why I spend a few months there each year (besides the deep family connections)

    HAPPINESS REPORT: NORWAY IS THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH

    Meanwhile we have the ‘America’s crisis’ whereby: “The United States [and Canada] can and should raise happiness by addressing America’s multi-faceted social crisis – rising inequality, corruption, isolation, and distrust – rather than focusing exclusively or even mainly on economic growth,” the authors said.

    NB: square brackets including ‘Canada’ are mine.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-39325206

    • GoneFishing says:

      At least four decades ago I predicted America and Russia would become similar. The meeting point is yet to be determined, but one thing is for sure if things keep going in this direction, Americans will be leaving just as Russians left.
      Any rich country that is in population decline is in a very sad and corrupt mental state.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Meanwhile we have the ‘America’s crisis’ whereby: “The United States [and Canada] can and should raise happiness by addressing America’s multi-faceted social crisis – rising inequality, corruption, isolation, and distrust – rather than focusing exclusively or even mainly on economic growth,” the authors said.

      Nah! Just add zebras, it worked in Bolivia, a much more progressive and sane country than the USA,,,

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQkP3tzmf1Y
      Last Week Tonight With John Oliver – S04E06 (March 19th, 2017)

  38. Doug Leighton says:

    JAPAN GATHERING FORCES TO MINE ‘BURNING ICE’ ENERGY

    “About 50 Japanese companies are joining forces to support the commercialization of methane hydrate, a fuel anticipated in Japan as a next-generation energy source. By spearheading commercialization, Japan hopes to lead in exploiting the new energy, which could replace nuclear power or liquefied natural gas. Japan relies heavily on fossil fuel imports from the Middle East, and its energy self-sufficiency is the lowest among major countries. Against that backdrop, there are high hopes for methane hydrate to become a domestic energy source. Some estimates indicate that there are methane hydrate reservoirs with 100 years’ worth of domestic LNG consumption within Japan’s exclusive economic offshore zone.”

    http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Japan-gathering-forces-to-mine-burning-ice-energy?utm_source=paid.outbrain.com&utm_campaign=High%20Competition%20US%2CCAN&utm_medium=referral

  39. Doug Leighton says:

    WARNING OF SHORTAGE OF ESSENTIAL MINERALS FOR LAPTOPS, CELL PHONES, WIRING

    “The researchers reviewed data and demand forecasts on the sustainability of global mineral supplies in coming decades. The study showed that mining exploration is not keeping up with future demand for minerals and recycling in and of itself would not be able to meet the demand either. At the same time, transitioning to a low carbon society will require vast amounts of metals and minerals to manufacture clean technologies and the researchers say society is not equipped to meet the additional needs for these raw materials…
    “For instance, the last major deposit for copper was discovered in Mongolia 15 years ago and only began producing in fall 2016, creating huge supply challenges… Then there is the common consumer misconception that we can just use something else. For many mineral uses, there are no alternatives. There are few commercially viable replacement minerals for many applications of copper wiring, for example…
    “The same may be true for technology metals that could become essential in green technologies — like neodymium, terbium or iridium. These minerals are only needed in small quantities, but they are indispensable to making the technology work, meaning that while the scale seems small, the value is immense…People have been so concerned about climate change that it’s created a real movement around it. We don’t see this around resource use and recovery, even though it is much closer to us on a daily basis.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170320110042.htm

    • GoneFishing says:

      That is why we are melting Greenland and Antarctica, for the mining prospects. 🙂
      Kvanefjeld (or Kuannersuit), in Greenland, is the site of a mineral deposit, which is claimed to be the world’s second-largest deposit of rare earth oxides, and the sixth-largest deposit of uranium.[1] There are also substantial sodium fluoride deposits, and Kvanefjeld is thought to be one of the largest multi-element deposits of its kind in the world.[2]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kvanefjeld

      COPPER (not the law)
      56 new copper discoveries have been made during the three decades 1975–2005.[2] World discoveries of new copper deposits are said to have peaked in 1996.[10] However, according to the US Geological Survey, remaining world copper reserves have more than doubled since then, from 310 million metric tons in 1996[11] to 690 million metric tons in 2013.[12]

      The U.S. Geological Survey reported a current total reserve base of copper in potentially recoverable ores of 1.6 billion tonnes as of 2005, of which 950 million tonnes was considered economically recoverable.[25] A 2013 global assessment identified “455 known deposits (with well-defined identified resources) that contain about 1.8 billion metric tons of copper”, and predicted “a mean of 812 undiscovered deposits within the uppermost kilometer of the earth’s surface” containing another 3.1 billion metric tons of copper “which represents about 180 times 2012 global copper production from all types of copper deposits
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_copper

      I am not advocating a mining and extraction civilization. I personally think we need to move toward a fully biological and organic civilization.

      In the meantime, SpaceX will be mining Mars and asteroids. The ocean is full of minerals. Who knows what can be found in the Moons of Jupiter. Just as long as I don’t have to work there. 🙂

      One nice thing, silicon PV doesn’t use rare elements.

      RARE EARTHS
      In 2015, excess supply caused prices for rare-earth compounds and metals to decline significantly, and China continued to dominate the global supply of rare earths. According to China’s Rare Earth Industry Association, consumption of rare-earth oxides in China was forecast to increase from 98,000 tons in 2015 to 149,000 tons in 2020. In 2015, China’s consumption was led by magnets (35%), abrasives (18%), and catalysts (15%). Illegal production was cited as a major factor in declining prices.

      https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/rare_earths/mcs-2016-raree.pdf

      • Doug Leighton says:

        I think the main point is that resource governance is lacking or poorly implemented and the resources themselves tend to be in-homogeneously distributed. However, as you say, melting ice off Greenland and Antarctica will help a bit with that.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          However, as you say, melting ice off Greenland and Antarctica will help a bit with that.

          Yeah, It might. Though it might also be a moot point whether it does or not, eh?

          It might also be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and helps set off a methane hydrate feedback loop causing another mass extinction event like that of the Permian Triassic.

          About 95% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial fauna and flora went extinct back then and it probably took about ten million years or so for evolution to to bring back a wide diversity of life again.

          Such an event, would be a pretty good test of human ingenuity, to say the least. 😉

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Not to mention: if the Greenland Ice Sheet melted, scientists estimate sea level would rise about 20 feet and if the Antarctic Ice Sheet melted, sea level would rise by about 200 feet. At this point I expect there’ll be various associated problems. 🙂

            • GoneFishing says:

              Yes, I was trying to be humorously sarcastic. The thought of continuing our extractive business as usual long enough to see most of Greenland ice free is ludicrous at best and obvious humor on my part. Dark humor but humor none the less.

              Obviously we will have to continue our extractive business as usual lifestyle on someone else’s planet. 🙂

              Don’t worry about sea level rise, there is plenty of land above 80 meters and it will get rid of a lot of those dirty abominations on the land we call cities. Sorry about the nice little villages, salt marshes and other decent areas that will go under.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Let’s see, 80 meter rise puts the tidal flow within 20 miles of me. Darn, I won’t live to see it. Still, I get seagulls on the lake, this winter there were several. Wonder if the squid will make it up this far.
                I used to live near the tidal flow, could enjoy both upland and ocean/bay nature within a few miles. Great bird migration route too.

  40. wharf rat says:

    Teens Suing U.S. Over Climate Change Ask for Exxon’s ‘Wayne Tracker’ Emails

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lawyers for a group of teenagers suing the U.S. government in a climate change case have asked the government and the oil industry’s leading trade group to turn over emails sent and received by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson using an alias address while he was running Exxon Mobil.
    https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2017-03-20/teens-suing-us-over-climate-change-ask-for-exxons-wayne-tracker-emails%5Dusnews.com

  41. Oldfarmermac says:

    Somebody may have beat me to this, but it pleases me no end to post it a second time anyway, in that case.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/comey-russia-probe-trump-fbi-236275

    It’s unfortunate that the R’s have strong enough control of Congress that they might be able to brazen out this and the many other scandals that are already known and the many more to come, most likely.

    But with a little luck, we might just get rid of Trump in a lot less than four years.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      HuntingtonBeach says:
      03/20/2017 AT 4:52 PM
      Hey OldMacDonald aka KGB, you better start up the paper shredder. Good luck deleting all your Russian hate for HRC all over the internet. You might also want to pack your bags for Siberia.

      FBI Director Confirms Agency Is Investigating Ties Between Trump And Russia

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/james-comey-confirm-investigation-trump-russia-fbi_us_58cfe036e4b0ec9d29dd728c?

      Run OldMacDonald aka KGB run, it was Republicans like you who posted the Russian hate day and night

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        You’re still a little lap doggie and incapable of understanding you supported the worst possible D candidate , the ONLY one with a twenty mile baggage train, near zero charisma, one so utterly fucking STUPID and overbearing she failed to EVEN SHOW UP in the states that put Trump in the White House, etc etc.

        It took a cretin, in terms of politics, to lose to Trump, but she managed it. She was even inept enough to insult the very core of the party, the working class people of this country, by taking the banksters money PUBLICLY, and then refusing to release the transcripts of the speeches , etc.

        She was so UTTERLY ARROGANT that she took millions in what cannot be described as anything other than bribes, from governments and shady businessmen doing business with the state department, as contributions to her family slush fund.

        She was arrogant and stupid enough to run a secret email system that put the national security of the country at risk, while idiots like YOU first said NO EVIDENCE of hacking, and then turn around when it became OBVIOUS she and her wholly owned subsidiary the D party appartus got the shit hacked out if it.

        And then instead of acknowledging that she was a fucking idiot for having this email system, and that if she had not had it, well then, nobody would have voted against her and or FOR Trump as a consequence.

        You are like a two bit street bum who blames his problems with the law when he gets caught breaking it on the people who ratted him out, rather than accepting responsibility for his own actions.

        In spite of it all, I thought she would win, most of the time, perhaps because I fell into the habit of spending most of my time reading and researching in places associated mostly with the better qualities of the D party, such as sound environmental science and regulation, and not enough to realize the true depth of the rage of the people who voted Trump into the WH.

        Now I will NEVER back off one hair from anything I have said, regarding HRC’s shortcomings, and the shortcomings of the D party as a whole, in recent times, because I have been right, consistently, and mostly in or very near the bullseye, in everything I have said.

        You can either face up to the fact that she lost, and the D party lost, or not, as you choose. You can blame the loss on me , and on others, just like a little spoiled kid, it’s still a more or less ( trending less ) free country.

        But people who are capable of real thinking will think about what I have been saying, if they happen to read my comments, and while they may not agree with all or most of them, they WILL most likely take one key point to heart, that point being that if you want to WIN elections, then you START with a candidate who is NOT dragging that twenty mile baggage train, and who is not despised and detested by the TRUE core of your party.

        You don’t run a REPUBLICAN LITE establishment candidate, at a time the country is SCREAMING for change, from one end of the political spectrum to the other, unless you want to run an UNNECESSARY risk of losing.

        And you sit back and think REALLY HARD about why it is that the R’s have been gaining in power right along.

        Now here’s a hint about THAT last little problem. Calling the people who vote R stupid, racist, zenophobic, superstitious , etc, is one of the best possible strategies imaginable, if you WANT TO LOSE.

        Remember. If the stolen emails had not been chock full of information about the low life tricks the Clinton machine used, nobody would have voted against Clinton because of those emails.

        I speak after the same manner as a visiting out of town coach critiquing the game film of a high school game played by two cross town rival teams, in this matter, pointing out what YOUR team did wrong.

        The primary mistake your team made was running HRC. The R party was salivating like Pavlov’s dogs at the very prospect, for years, of running against her, and STILL beat her, even after Trump managed to hijack the R party nomination. Let’s not forget that the R party establishment cordially hated Trump’s guts, and did all it could to sabotage him as a candidate, and even after he got the nomination, quite a few senior R party members had some VERY nasty things to say about him.

        Of course the R party establishment is now licking his hand, the way a badly whipped dog is apt to lick the hand that beats it , when it realizes that’s it’s safest option.

        Now I consistently post comments that are supportive of most of the really key general positions that the D party stands for, especially in respect to the environment, which is THE ONE issue that outweighs all other issues combined, long term.

        I hardly ever have anything to say in favor of most of the basic positions of the R party, although I occasionally agree with the R’s on a particular point.

        So although I support the D’s, in general, I do not IDENTIFY with the D party, as a commenter, pundit, or hopefully, author to be.

        Once you position yourself as a member of any particular party, it becomes virtually impossible to really tell it like it is, or to even UNDERSTAND why things ARE the way they are.

        You are inhibited from seeing and telling the truth by your own partisan loyalties.

        And while it might seem like pretty slow going, in a forum such as this one, which is obviously mostly peopled by fairly hard core big D Democrats, the message I am helping deliver is gradually gaining a wider and wider audience, and greater and greater acceptance.

        Here’s a link to a long article written by a woman with unquestionable environmental and liberal political credentials, published in one of the most highly respeced magazines EVER, the New Yorker.

        It’s a long read, but I strongly urge any and every open minded person to read it, because it lays out the case for what the D party needs to do to get back into the game.

        Incidentally, it is mostly focused on one particular D senator, the current minority leader.

        He has a hell of a lot going for him, other than that he is too tight with the banksters.

        http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/can-chuck-schumer-check-donald-trump?mbid=nl_170320_Daily&CNDID=48654290&spMailingID=10657822&spUserID=MTc4OTMyODYzNjk0S0&spJobID=1121606118&spReportId=MTEyMTYwNjExOAS2

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Oh OldMacDonald you sure have a lot of hate built upside. Maybe the MasterBaiter could give you a hand in how to release it. Or better yet, maybe you should put it all in your book so no one has to read it.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Did you have to take courses to be the village idiot or is it a natural ability?

            • Survivalist says:

              I’ve met kids in Jr High with a better grip on reality. HB lost my interest when he/she said ‘Obama disarmed Iran’. That’s laughable. Dudes living in an alternate universe. Maybe you’ve heard the expression ‘rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic’? Well how about ‘fighting over two possible and very similar arrangements of the deck chairs on the Titanic’? It’s meaningless.

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              There is no need for me to study at your backwoods “village” school of MasterBaiter economics. I was a member of Retail Clerks local 324 from April 1973 to February 1981. During which time I studied Business Administration with a double concentration in Economics and Finance at CSFU. At that time, those union wages bought me two brand new trucks, my first home before I graduated and paid for all of my college expenses. A far cry from most of the lazy ass kids of today.

              MasterBaiter, what your numbers show is what happens to labor without the support of an organized union. The day I walked out the door in 1981, I was making $9.21 an hour. Today’s union wages under Local 324 is $20.70. Nothing says poverty like Republican right to work states demonizing unions.

              “Since when is quality of life improving?”

              Maybe if you stopped MasterBaiting for a minute. You would realize the air is cleaner, you walk around with a computer communication device in your pocket, there is an instant encyclopedia called Google and machines that now do most physical labor.

              During my 30 years of working for different companies. In all of them, there was always a place for a hard working employee to advance themselves. There is plenty of opportunity if one applies themselves and is a hard worker. Are you still driving that old Saturn ? Maybe that’s why your at a loss at today’s advancements. My XT5 is a modern marvel. Life is what you make of it. Doesn’t sound like it’s working out for you.

              Now go feed your dog, sounds like he’s your best friend

              • GoneFishing says:

                You have a weak and fragile ego. Apparently your “success” has not given you any real self-confidence. I see you bolster yourself by buying expensive toys. Just an empty shell with stuff.

                • HuntingtonBeach says:

                  “He who dies with the most toys wins”

                  “The difference between a man and a boy is the price of his toys”

                  MasterBaiter, your little personal attacks are no harm, no foul and water off a ducks back. Clearly about the last thing I lack is self-confidence. Which you will learn.

                  What I don’t respect is your whiny doomer poor me. Complaining about your quality of life here. Toughing out generalities and when confronted with facts. Folding your tent.

                  At this time in your life, either sleep in the bed you made or do something about it. You live in the richest country in history with countless opportunities.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    I think the villagers left the nuthatch gate open. Oh well, it’s only villagers, what can one expect? Nonsense and snake oil.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Back atcha HB,

            You are obviously perfectly willing to say anything at all to distract the attention of any readers from what I SAY to what YOU SAY about me.

            That technique works on foot soldiers without brains enough to think for themselves. Preachers use it all the time to keep their congregations in line.

            But it’s the MESSAGE that counts, and it IS getting thru.

            http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/can-chuck-schumer-check-donald-trump?mbid=nl_170320_Daily&CNDID=48654290&spMailingID=10657822&spUserID=MTc4OTMyODYzNjk0S0&spJobID=1121606118&spReportId=MTEyMTYwNjExOAS2

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          “near zero charisma”

          Just an example of your screwed up priorities

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            “near zero charisma”

            “Just an example of your screwed up priorities”

            I guess I must be a complete idiot, according to your way of thinking, since I believe , along with just about every social scientist or practitioner alive that charisma has a lot to do with a candidate’s chances of winning an election.

            A stupid coach puts in the kid he PERSONALLY wants to play, for personal reasons, such as nepotism, or to curry favor with the kid’s parents, or maybe because he is more or less forced to put in the wrong kid, due to pressure from upstairs.

            But a competent coach always plays the best players he has, and puts the one who is best qualified in any given spot.

            You don’t play the guys who bat 200 if you can help it, or the ones who can’t run, or catch a hot ground ball, or throw hard and accurately.

            And if you are a political operative, if you are competent, you work to nominate the candidate who obviously has the best chance of winning.

            Sanders outpolled Clinton by a mile in head to head comparisions with Trump. You bet your money on a lame horse, and you lost.

            Trump isn’t even a horse, in the usual sense. He’s an ASS, a stupid, contrary idiotic mule, but HE BEAT CLINTON.

            Now you can go to your grave blaming her loss on other people, but adults understand that you can control your own party, but not the opposition party.

            If you want to win, you need to run candidates with charisma. I suppose if you think about it for a few days, really think hard about it, you might get your head around it. 😉

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              “along with just about every social scientist or practitioner alive that charisma has a lot to do with a candidate’s chances of winning an election”

              Your shallow and superficial

              Comey called it “Russian hate for Clinton” yesterday. The Russians played OldMacDonald aka KGB and his hate like a string on a violin.

      • Hickory says:

        Huntington and OF Mac- I just shake my head when I see you guys just pissing all over each other. You have stained each other yellow, and stinky! Its actually funny to watch you guys just stand there and take turns pushing the juvenile button on each other. Maybe consider pushing the reset button, drop the partisan ugliness, and display all the wisdom you both are trying so hard to hide in your discourse with each other?
        Or, just keep throwing the feces.
        Splattered bystander.

        • Ezrydermike says:

          +1

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Fair enough Hickory, but OldMacDonald pissed on all of us before the election with his fake trashing news. I finally put on my rain coat and stopped reading nearly all of his comments. I simply now just scan it for the first dumb thing he says, which doesn’t take long. Then just throw it back at him. He needs to understand what it feels like to be trashed day after day. Sometimes pay back is a bitch. But he seems to be a slow learner. He just keeps putting his finger in the light socket when it’s turned on.

          Just enjoy it for what it is, it’s a blog and no one is going to get hurt. I always try to use a little humor to make the medicine go down. Or you can put on a rain coat and not read it.

          He is just as dangerous as Javier. He just does it undercover of being a good old boy.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hey guys, all of you.

            I know a few things, and one of the things I know is that repetition is one of the very best techniques available when it comes to getting people to acknowledge any given fact, or to change their attitude, or their way of thinking about any given issue or topic.

            This is why retailers, bankers ,breweries, bakeries, automobile manufacturers, and political parties, ad infinitum, spend every dime they can put their paws on ADVERTISING, year in and year out.

            I don’t give a shit, at all, about what anybody here in this forum thinks about me , personally. It’s rather likely that I will never actually meet any of you, unless by accident at a political rally or an environmental conference or an event of that nature.

            I will continue to hammer away repeating certain facts, until either Ron P or Dennis C advises me to take it elsewhere, in which case I will do so.

            So far, I said just about every nasty thing I can think of to say about HRC , and nobody AT ALL has posted anything to REFUTE what I have said.

            HB is altogether in the right about Trump, but Trump is not president because I have been pointing out Clinton’s faults. The entire readership of this blog, in terms of individuals who consistently read it and vote probably does not come up to the number of voters in just one precinct in a large city.

            Do ANY of you believe, speaking as rational adults, that it’s the OPPOSITION’S FAULT that Trump won? I mean, the general goal of the opposition is to WIN, in both athletics and politics. Blaming the opposition for winning is a pathetic cop out.

            Do any of you believe that you can CONTROL the opposition?

            If you don’t believe you can control the opposition, then how do you propose to WIN, without changing your own team and your own strategy and game plan?

            I don’t give a fuck if I’m the equivalent of the messenger that gets shot for bringing bad news, as the result of my pointing out WHY Clinton was a rotten candidate, and emphasizing that the D party needs to CHANGE IT’S WAYS from Republican Lite back to real D party ways.

            It’s a truism in all sorts of self help programs that the first REAL step in change for the better is to UNDERSTAND AND ACKNOWLEDGE that you have been making mistakes, that that you have made bad decisions, and that if you want things to get BETTER, well, you have to ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY for your mistakes, and change your ways.

            The bartender is not responsible for your drunkenness , if you are an alcoholic.

            The Russians stole D emails, very likely, maybe for dead sure, true.

            But IF the emails had not documented Clinton machine dirty tricks, the theft of them would actually have HELPED Clinton win.

            Is there anybody in this forum who is stupid enough to believe that there aren’t people in the D camp who would gladly steal and publish the R party’s dirty email laundry ??

            It’s damned unlikely that I convinced anybody who hangs out in this forum, at least among the ones who post comments, to vote for Trump. Virtually everybody here, excepting maybe half a dozen individuals, is a hard core liberal.

            If anybody wants to rate me personally, as either liberal or conservative, by evaluating my actual comments, well, I’m one hundred percent on record as being in favor of strong environmental legislation and regulations, the adoption of a health care system similar to the ones that prevail in other industrialized western countries, tough regulation of the banking and financial industry, doing everything possible to advance the adoption of renewable energy and get away from using fossil fuels, etc.

            I have generally supported this country having a robust safety net for those of us who are less fortunate than others as well.

            But I am NOT going to go around pretending all is well with any particular institution, in this case the Democratic Party, when it is perfectly fucking obvious even to a cretin ( a cretin willing to open his eyes to the FACTS) that the D Party has fucked up royally in recent times, with the natural consequence being that the R party has gained control of the government.

            Change requires facing up to the facts. Pretending it’s the fault of the opposition that Trump won is about as STUPID as HB remarking that I have a poor sense of priorities because I pointed out that Clinton was and remains miserably short on charisma.

            Well, if you want to WIN, you put your best pitcher on the mound. Politics is not athletics, but charisma is as important in politics as the ability to hit the ball is in baseball.

            It takes a partisan lap doggie UNABLE to think to believe otherwise.

            If you want a government that takes the environment SERIOUSLY, then by Sky Daddy, you had best be thinking HARD about all the things I have been saying, because the R party will continue to mop the floor with the D party until the D’s change their ways.

            I’m not talking from a R mouth piece point of view. I’m talking from the point of view of a visiting coach explaining to a losing team WHY it is losing, and what it can do to start WINNING again.

            Hey guys, if you really work at getting your head around it, you will come to understand that you cannot control the R party. You can’t dictate the candidates it will run, or the platform it runs on, or the policies it will pursue when it’s in a position to do so.

            The ONLY REAL HOPE the D party has of getting back into power is to give up the Republican Lite game plan, and PLAY D PARTY BALL like it means it.

            So far nobody has said anything to prove me wrong. Calling me a Trumpster or a KGB flunky isn’t going to convince anybody other than a simple minded true believing foot soldier that I’m the enemy.

            Think of me as the management consultant from Hell, if you wish. If you happen to be one of the people tightly associated to the Clinton faction within the D party, well then, I AM the management consultant from Hell, because I am making the case you must be demoted from your position of power and influence in order to make room for new leadership that understands what the D ‘s MUST do to win.

            • GoneFishing says:

              The latest version of villager is just a personal attacker, no real substance or intellect. At least Javier made some attempt at knowledge and worked at it. This guy is just a nasty low life form that can only exist on the internet. A real loser. Not worth spending any time on this one.

        • notanoilman says:

          Yeah, they need to take it elsewhere (outside, in the street?) or get me a new mouse, the scroll wheel is getting cranky with scrolling past them.

          NAOM

  42. Hightrekker says:

    George Bush 1 and some interesting info:

    As CIA Director, George Bush waffled on promise to not destroy records of Agency’s illegal activities

    Memo in CREST shows Agency considered employing semantics to get around ban on destroying damaging material
    https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/mar/20/cia-waffled-promise-destroy-records/?utm_content=buffer1fac0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  43. Hightrekker says:

    The first climate model turns 50, and it predicted global warming almost perfectly

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2017/03/the-first-climate-model-turns-50-and.html

  44. GoneFishing says:

    Since it’s probably near the end of this thread, this seems appropriate.

    Point of no return.
    http://www.ecowatch.com/noaa-carbon-dioxide-levels-2321635970.html

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      IRENA, IEA study concludes meeting 2˚C scenario possible with net positive economics

      Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by 70% by 2050 and completely phased-out by 2060 with a net positive economic outlook, according to new findings released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2017/03/201.html

  45. GoneFishing says:

    Observational constraints on mixed-phase clouds imply higher climate sensitivity

    A more sensitive climate system

    How much global average temperature eventually will rise depends on the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS), which relates atmospheric CO2 concentration to atmospheric temperature. For decades, ECS has been estimated to be between 2.0° and 4.6°C, with much of that uncertainty owing to the difficulty of establishing the effects of clouds on Earth’s energy budget. Tan et al. used satellite observations to constrain the radiative impact of mixed phase clouds. They conclude that ECS could be between 5.0° and 5.3°C—higher than suggested by most global climate models.

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/352/6282/224

    https://calipsocloudsat.sciencesconf.org/conference/calipsocloudsat/pages/Trude_STORELVMO.pdf

    https://climatemodeling.science.energy.gov/research-highlights/observational-constraints-mixed-phase-clouds-imply-higher-climate-sensitivity

    http://people.earth.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Storelvmo/224_full.pdf

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Hey Buddy, maybe your taking this Climate Change thing a little to serious lately. I know sometimes it can weigh heavy on some.

      Here is an excuse to go buy yourself some fun

      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/11/20151110-xt5.html

    • George Kaplan says:

      Current rate of rise for CO2e is around 4 ppm per year, so don’t we hit 560 in around 20 years? With CO2 atmospheric concentration appearing to accelerate even though fossil fuels emissions are level it may be less than that. I think anything above 5 degrees increase is the end for most life supporting areas. The summary for Mark Lynas’s book (Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, which I’d recommend) gives:

      “The planet as we know it becomes unrecognisable: no ice sheets remain; no rain forests left; rising sea levels have caused mass inundations far inland totally altering the geography of the planet; humans will herd into shrinking habitable areas; drought; floods; inland temperatures 10° or more higher than now.expansion of deserts – Sahara, Western Sahel, Ethiopia, Kalahari, Patagonia, Australia and Gobi; new deserts in Sind, Indo-china, Korea, Japan and the west Pacific and Pacific Isles, Southern Europe, East Africa and Madagascar and parts of Chile.
      Russia and Canada will benefit from longer growing seasons but will not be able to
      compensate for agricultural production losses elsewhere. There is a risk of the release of methane hydrates from the ocean floor due to changes in deep ocean temperatures. This will further add to the release of green house gases and take climate change well beyond the tipping point of no return. The release of methane hydrates will cause sub-marine landslides and this in turn will cause tsunamis throughout the planet. Habitable areas will shrink towards the poles. There would be a total collapse of civilisation requiring new forms of governance, quite probably not of a democratic nature. There would inevitably be a massive reduction in the supportable population. Quite possibly billions will die.”

      It might take some time for all that to happen, but it would appear to be inevitable if the papers cited are correct, because the Co2 release isn’t going to be reduced enough given current trends and leadership.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      OldMacDonald, this is not “new” News today, except for maybe you. It’s just now official. You must have dial-up.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        It’s dated only about six hours earlier than I posted it, and I like Politico. Sure some papers might have beaten them to it by a few hours. So what?

        You are most certainly short of any real ammo when you can’t think of anything better to say than that this is old news.

        The hearings, the REAL news, were held yesterday, just hours before the link went up. Previously, there was a lot of talk, but not much of real substance. Yesterday, the principal characters went on the record, and Comey, who you have pictured as a Trump lackey in the past , proved that he is nobody’s lap doggie.

        If the email scandal had involved a Republican politician, you wouldn’t have had anything but high praise for his actions in dealing with it.

        If Clinton’s team had played fair, there wouldn’t have been any voter backlash resulting from hacked emails. She would have GAINED votes, if her team had been playing by the rules.

        You can pee and moan all you like. If the Clintonistas had played fair, there wouldn’t have been any thing TO publish regarding the emails. Whether they were caught by an American paper such as the Washington Post or the NYT , or ratted out by the Russians , is important, but secondary.

        Sometimes I will be posting stuff from years ago, especially if you remind me. I’m thinking about posting some stuff about how a number of Clinton’s personal business associates from her early days spent a good bit of time rotting in jail.

        It’s been a very long day for me. Enough for now.

        Sometime tomorrow, I will go thru the New Yorker link about Schumer, and point out a number of things he is saying that are consistent with what I have said all along.

        The things I have been saying all along ARE getting thru to more and more D’s who are gradually coming around to understanding that the Sanders camp has a winning message.

        Calling me a Trumpster or a commie is not helping your personal cause, the cause of the Clinton camp, at all.

        The more you defend her, the more you do to create an opening for me to point out WHY the D party must reinvent itself, in order to get back to winning elections.
        With friends like you, the D party doesn’t need any enemies. You’re the sort of useful idiot that puts the ear to ear grin on R party operatives, because there is NOTHING the R party likes or wants more than it wants D’s running Republican Lite candidates with record low approval ratings, lots of baggage, no charisma, etc etc.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          OldMacDonald aka KGB excuse for everything is Clinton

          Don’t call me a commie, Clinton make me do it. I had to vote to help Trump.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      “That is a self-reinforcing cycle with greenhouse gasses released as permafrost thaws, which causes warming,” he said. “This results in more permafrost thaw and causes more warming and on and on. That is something we worry a lot about. Once this cycle gets going it is hard to stop.”

      I think another canary has died on us. One wonders how widespread this phenomenon is (or will become).

      • Doug Leighton says:

        ‘EXTREME AND UNUSUAL’ CLIMATE TRENDS CONTINUE AFTER RECORD 2016

        “That’s according to a detailed global analysis from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It says that 2016 was not only the warmest year on record, but it saw atmospheric CO2 rise to a new high, while Arctic sea ice recorded a new winter low. The “extreme and unusual” conditions have continued in 2017, it says.”

        “Even without a strong El Niño in 2017, we are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system. We are now in truly uncharted territory,” said David Carlson, World Climate Research Programme Director at the WMO.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39329304

      • GoneFishing says:

        Timing and magnitude is difficult to predict, especially when it is already happening.

        The one thing we do know is that there is such a plethora of positive feedbacks that permafrost melting will proceed. Also that it will accelerate. The boundary potential is to double CO2 again and then there is the methane component on top of that. So for a period of a few hundred years we could experience 6X CO2 effects unless the methane clathrates go further into action then no holds barred.
        But that is the worst case scenario. More likely we will only see 15 to 20C increase in the arctic and 5 to 7C overall.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          “More likely we will only see 15 to 20C increase in the arctic and 5 to 7C overall.”

          You’re so cheerful in the morning Fish.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Doug, those are the middle ground estimates from what is going on in total. I wish we would get some actual negative feedbacks that are going to increase in amplitude with time, but even the cloud models are leaning toward further increases in temperature beyond what was estimated by the governmental convenient change panels.
            I try to be cheerful, am now mostly into acceptance headed for joy. It’s a beautiful world, enjoy it.
            Didn’t the human race bottleneck once before? Stuff happens.
            It’s impossible to stop 10,000 years of civilization in it’s tracks. Something big has to happen to change it.

            • GoneFishing says:

              And so the Climate Change Monster roamed free across the world.

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              About 70,000 years ago we just about went extinct.
              The genetic evidence points out as little as 2000 individuals.

            • Steven Haner says:

              Here again, by bringing up “cloud models,” you are showing a lack of knowledge about atmospheric processes beyond whatever is mentioned in articles and commentary pieces regurgitated by the left-wing mainstream media. Have you ever taken any courses in atmospheric science?

              • GoneFishing says:

                The villagers are upset and don’t present anything useful or relevant, which would be a first time anyway.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Hey Doug, I know you have close ties with Norway, a supposedly happy and cheerful country. Are you aware of this?! Maybe on your next trip there you can at least raise awareness with your family and friends.

            Whales are awe-inspiring, beautiful beings. We now know they communicate with each other in song, and experience human-like emotions. But in Norway, every year these amazing creatures are hunted down and killed, then hacked apart to become animal feed and ingredients in beauty products. It’s unbearable.

            Norway has managed to slip under the radar as the #1 whale slaughtering country. But if we now rally unprecedented global outrage, we can push Europe to close its ports to Norway’s whalers. We did it with Iceland — let’s do it again! Sign the petition below…

            https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/norway_save_the_whales_loc/?bAvSifb&signup=1&cl=12178880926&v=90461

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Yeah Norwegians hunt the minke whale and I’ve seen slabs of it while walking among the stalls of fresh salmon, oysters, etc. at the Bergen fish market. Remember though, for a country with just over five million residents, northern Norway is only home to about 500,000 people, is where it is eaten. The rest of the country, as well as visitors unfamiliar with the idea of eating whale, just aren’t as interested. Most Norwegians, including ALL my friends and relatives, see it as a relic of earlier times so I’ve no one to rant and rail at. I expect most of the whale meat ends up in China and Japan where they would happily eat the last animal, fish and bird on the Planet.

              I’ve seen newspaper articles with complaints that there is no market for the quota allowed to be caught. And, as much as I despise the idea of people killing whales and (dolphins) there are, to my mind, bigger problems facing the world, including wholesale slaughter of African wildlife.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                And, as much as I despise the idea of people killing whales and (dolphins) there are, to my mind, bigger problems facing the world, including wholesale slaughter of African wildlife.

                I wasn’t suggesting you rant at anyone. Personally I don’t differentiate between the consequences of Norwegians killing sentient whales and Africans from many different countries killing sentient elephants and other animals.

                While I might personally even eat a water buffalo or an antelope steak, I do consider killing elephants and whales a different level of harm. I realize it may just be a personal bias.

                Anyways, just consider my comment more of a universal plea for sanity.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          MasterBaiter, the worst thing to happen to climate change in the last 16 years is the Republican election of Trump and handing the fossil fuel industry over to the White House. There is now a full court press to roll back all the progress of the last 8 years to try to turn the climate change ship around.

          Where were you during the election ? Fantasying about a 15 or 20C increase 100 or 200 years from now. When right under your nose OldMacDonald aka KGB and others like him spread fake news to fast track your fantasy.

          “Good luck in actually seeing the world”

          • GoneFishing says:

            As usual VIA, you are clueless about the world and how it works. Trump does not have to do anything.
            Do you have to think about breathing?

  46. George Kaplan says:

    Mid March ENSO ensemble predictions from Columbia now give mid year chance for El Nino at 70%. La Nina chances below 10% for the year and declining with each prediction update.

  47. Oldfarmermac says:

    Here are some excerpts from the New Yorker article about Schumer, who is after all the Senate Minority Leader, which makes it sort of hard to make the case HE is a Trumpster, lol.

    After Schumer was reëlected in 2004, with more than seventy per cent of the vote—a record margin at the time—he wrote a book in which he tried to impart the lessons of his campaigns to Democrats nationwide. In “Positively American,” he offered policy proposals that included a tax deduction for college tuition, a crackdown on the use of questionable corporate tax shelters, and better enforcement of laws against hiring illegal immigrants. Schumer devoted a lot of space to the Baileys, who, he wrote, felt that they were being ignored by a government too focussed on “the very poor or the very rich.” The Baileys, he maintained, could just as easily have been called the Ramirezes or the Kims or the Salims, but it was clear that the proposals in “Positively American” were aimed at middle-class white voters. These are the same voters, of course, who elected Trump, so even though Schumer was shocked by Clinton’s defeat, in a certain sense he saw it coming.

    “The good news is, when Newt Gingrich read my book, he said on TV, if Democrats followed Schumer’s advice they’d be the dominant party for a generation,” Schumer told me. “The bad news is, no one did read it. I still have plenty of free copies, if you want one.”

    From the nineteen-thirties through the nineteen-seventies, according to Schumer, pro-government forces, which is to say Democrats, were victorious. This was largely due to F.D.R. and the New Deal, which “demonstrated that government could indeed improve the standard of living for average Americans.” With the election of Ronald Reagan, in 1980, anti-government forces, which is to say Republicans, gained ascendance. By Schumer’s account, G.O.P. dominance lasted until around the year 2000, at which point stagnating middle-class incomes prompted many Americans, once again, to switch sides. In 2008, Obama was elected President, and Democrats won majorities in both houses of Congress.

    “Unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity,” Schumer told the press club. “We put all our focus on the wrong problem—health-care reform.” Health care was a huge problem for the millions of Americans who lacked insurance, but this was a minority compared with the hundreds of millions of people insured either by the government, through Medicaid and Medicare, or by their employers. Among that minority, only a fraction would turn out to vote. Democrats would have been much better off, Schumer argued, had they focussed first on issues affecting a broader swath of the American electorate—the swath that includes families like the Baileys.

    “Had we started more broadly, the middle class would have been more receptive to the idea that President Obama wanted to help them,” Schumer said. “They would have held a more pro-government view. Then Democrats would have been in a better position to tackle our nation’s health-care crisis.” What the Democrats needed to do, heading into a Presidential race, was come up with an agenda to “win back those core white working-class voters who turn out most.” The speech prompted outrage from the Obama Administration; one former speechwriter for the President said that it represented “the worst instincts of the Democratic Party in action.”

    ““When you lose to a candidate who is so unpopular—yes, you could say if Comey wasn’t there we would have won,” he went on, referring to James Comey, the F.B.I. director. “But we should have won anyway, with Comey and with the hacking. And we did not have a sharp, strong, populist enough economic message. If you ask average voters, ‘What did we stand for?,’ they say we weren’t Trump. It wasn’t good enough.”

    “Schumer told me that he and his staff were working to craft such an economic message in preparation for 2018. “It’s going to be based on two things—putting more money in the average person’s pocket and reducing the expenses they pay out of their pocket,” he said. “I was going to call it the paycheck agenda, but my staff reminded me that people under forty-five don’t know what a paycheck is.”

    ““Chuck expanded his leadership team and I’m part of it, and I’m thankful for that, because on a lot of things I don’t agree with the national Democratic Party,” Manchin told me. He said he was particularly pleased that Schumer had decided to hold a recent caucus retreat in his home state of West Virginia.

    “We brought in a panel of six or seven lifelong Democrats that had all voted Republican,” Manchin related. “What they said is, ‘We grew up with the Democrats always being for the working people, and now we believe’—this is what they said—‘that the Democratic Party is the party that’s preventing men and women from working.’ ”

    About the author:

    Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999. She won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.”

  48. George Kaplan says:

    Don’t know if this has been posted before – it is a joint IEA / IRENA study:

    PERSPECTIVES FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION: INVESTMENT NEEDS FOR A LOW-CARBON ENERGY SYSTEM

    http://www.irena.org/menu/index.aspx?mnu=Subcat&PriMenuID=36&CatID=141&SubcatID=3828

    “Investment is the lifeblood of the global energy system. Individual decisions about how to direct capital to various energy projects – related to the collection, conversion, transport and consumption of energy resources – combine to shape global patterns of energy use and related emissions for decades to come. Government energy and climate policies seek to influence the scale and nature of investments across the economy, and long-term climate goals depend on their success. Understanding the energy investment landscape today and how it can evolve to meet decarbonisation goals are central elements of the energy transition. Around two-thirds of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stem from energy production and use, which puts the energy sector at the core of efforts to combat climate change.”

    It is a pretty dense document and I’m slowly getting through it. As you’d expect it’s upbeat on renewables. The fact that IEA is involved might suggest they can see the end for oil and, less so, gas.

    This was the Telegraph’s take:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/03/20/iea-warns-13-trillion-oil-gas-could-left-stranded/

  49. Oldfarmermac says:

    Here in Redneck Land, where we enjoy watching guys drive awesomely loud fast cars in circles and drinking beer, and giving the finger to folks who look down on us, there are some truisms that even the little kids understand, in respect to the game plans their favorite drivers and teams. One of those truisms is that IN ORDER TO WIN, you first have to finish.

    In politics, your team first has to win in order to make policy.

    This forum is basically and mostly dedicated to TWO closely related topics, one being fossil fuel supplies and the eventual consequences of fossil fuel depletion. The other topic in general terms consists of a discussion of consequences of burning those same fuels, with this discussion centering mostly on climate, but with plenty of electrons spent on other environmental and economic issues.

    Such discussions properly and inevitably involve politics, because whatever we do, whatever decisions we make, collectively,are determined more by politics than anything else.

    I may be a tad on the optimistic side ( sarcasm light ON) in believing just about every body here can and does understand and agree with what I have said SO FAR in this particular comment.

    I trust that everybody is capable of making the leap from this point to the next and the next after that.

    EVERYBODY here, with the possible exception of a couple of people who don’t post very often, Texas Tea would be a possible example, agrees that as a general rule, the R party is by comparison to the D party a fucking disaster, in respect to environmental policy.

    It follows that other than the luck of the draw on the technology and economic front, NOTHING ELSE can possibly be as important to our future as a true understanding of how and why elections are won or lost in the USA in particular, due to the size and dominance of this country.

    Technological progress will not slow down significantly simply because the R party has control of the government, because research and development will continue world wide, even here in the USA, although less will be done here with the R’s in control.

    It’s altogether possible that breakthroughs in the cost of renewables, etc, will save our fat asses from economic collapse, but it’s also possible, and more likely in my opinion, that if we don’t keep the pedal to the metal on the renewables and conservation fronts, we will pass a point of no return after which economic and ecological collapse are inevitable. More than a few people who are a hell of a lot smarter than I am believe we have already passed this tipping point, but they might be wrong about that, and even if they are right, it’s still possible to do things to soften up the coming hard landing. Crashing in one piece is one thing, crashing and burning is something else.

    If you ( rhetorical ) believe that what can be done, and what WILL be done, will be determined mostly by politics, and that the D party is the party of proactive, responsible environmental politics, well then, NOTHING can be more important than understanding what the D party must do to regain it’s lost power,
    and DOING IT.

    If you ( rhetorical ) want the D’s back in power, it behooves you to think LONG AND HARD about WHY the R’s are in power, and the D’s are in the doghouse.

    Nothing can be more important, in terms of what this forum is all about, than the pissing match HB and I have been enjoying for the last year or longer.

    I maintain that limousine liberals have led the D’s out of power and into the wilderness, and that HB is by his own admission, bragging about how much money he makes on his investments, some of them in OIL , no less, a fucking limousine liberal.

    Read the excerpts, better read the New Yorker article, and read in particular what NEWT GINGRICH said about the D’s owning the nation for a generation, if they were to follow Schumers reccomendations involving party priorities. Schumer, who is the FUCKING SENATE MINORITY LEADER, which makes him on of the three or four most powerful Democrats in the country, says in essence that the D’s lost to Trump because of limousine liberalism, and that they would have WON, if they had focused on the very real problems, worries, and fears of the working class that elected Trump.

    That’s one of the three or four most powerful Democrats in the country talking, not just Worm Tongue OFM the commie KGB spy / Trumpster, lol.

    I do not claim credit for this message, I didn’t figure it out for myself. I’m just doing what I can to PASS IT ON.

    Bill Clinton, the one person I credit as being the smartest, most perceptive, and capable politician of his generation, among us Yankees, has said about the same thing, and if any of you have a memory reaching back a couple of decades, you will remember HE won on the slogan “It’s the economy, Stupid”.

    Do I hate HRC? Life is not so simple as all that. I’m not that simple. I greatly admire her in some respects, feel sorry for her in others, and hold her in great contempt in still other respects.In trying to get across the message of CHANGE in D party direction, I find it expedient to focus on the reasons I hold her in contempt.

    James Carville, who is one of the smartest, meanest, and most effective of all the D Party’s pit bulls, when it comes to gutting R’s and telling it like it is, when telling it like it is suits the occasion, has said pretty much the same thing, saying in essence that ALL of us live in the economy, meaning Blacks and other minorities, religious people, etc, and that therefore the D party message should focus FIRST and FOREMOST on the economy and the working classes.

    I’m waiting for HB or anybody else to offer any serious refutation of these remarks.

    • GoneFishing says:

      I find it quite interesting that a so called market and capitalistic society is ignoring the fact that the new technologies of energy, robotics and communication would make people vast amounts of money if pursued vigorously. Instead of sinking money into depleting resources with limiting returns and potential high losses, to invest in new sustainable systems on a grand scale would satisfy the growth freaks, the money freaks and raise many back up into the middle class by creating long term job opportunities. The side effects might do some good in the world versus massive harm.
      One would think that bankers and investors would jump at the chance to invest in long term strategies rather than short term risky ventures into a descending system. Has the mentality of the Americans become so short term that they cannot see the advantages as well as the need (need makes money)?

    • GoneFishing says:

      Old Farmer said “More than a few people who are a hell of a lot smarter than I am believe we have already passed this tipping point, but they might be wrong about that, and even if they are right, it’s still possible to do things to soften up the coming hard landing. Crashing in one piece is one thing, crashing and burning is something else. ”

      Well said. My more than a decade of study and research into the subject combined with both my physics and chemistry background tells me that we are crossing tipping points. I also am a strong advocate fighting against such changes as we are able and never giving in or giving up.
      That being said, we must closely watch both the atmosphere and the ocean. Changes in cloudiness is critical since the atmosphere controls about 70 percent of earth radiation. The other whale in the room is CO2 stored in the ocean. Ocean release of CO2 is one of the large factors in ending glaciations and is presaged by changes in ocean currents.
      Humans are extremely adaptable but still just biological creatures dependent upon the ecosystem and states of climate. Other species of plant and animal are more directly vulnerable to change and thus massive efforts at protection and mitigation should be aimed at helping them. The side effects of knowledge gained and the enhancement in human cooperation will be to help preserve us.
      If we put our selfishness aside and learn to work together for the sake of the rest of life on this planet there may just be some hope for us to be something other than just the most dangerous and greedy predator/omnivore ever to be unleashed on this planet.
      We have upset the balance of nature and now we need to find a new balance within ourselves. Toss the old ways, embrace the new.

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