297 Responses to Open Thread Non-Petroleum, May 15, 2017

  1. Dennis Coyne says:


    Researchers project that solar power will become cheaper than conventional, fossil fueled electric generating sources by 2020. (The researchers do not say that directly, but their numbers do.) But the news gets even worse for incumbent utilities. By 2030, solar-plus-storage could threaten the economic relevance of their distribution grids by making less necessary the connection with the local electric utility.

    In short, more efficient solar panels combined with lower cost battery storage will threaten the economic viability of the entire electric utility distribution grid by 2030. Stated another way, those supposedly low risk, high yielding distribution utilities like Con Ed, for example, may at some point in the not-too-distant future become high risk and no yield equities if this thesis plays out.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      In my view, it is becoming increasingly difficult to have any sympathy at all, for people who continue to cling to the past!

      The final paragraph from the linked article:

      Solar power researchers know what they have to do to reach the projections that they have set forth. We believe they are likely to attain or even exceed their goals. Conventional, fossil fuel based energy producers and the utilities would require monumental technological strides plus significant R&D efforts merely to remain competitive. As the bard said, sometimes you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the winds blow.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Any system that outputs science and technology without real democratic input is a system that is doomed to fail.
        IOW, it has failure baked in as a part of its modus operandi.
        IOW, all the numbers supporting the tech don’t really matter.

        All you have to do is ask yourself if a system doesn’t have the capacity to care about people, why would it have the capacity to care about anything else, such as animals and the planet?

        The answer would appear quite obvious.

        Also, previous civilizations that declined and/or collapsed in the past didn’t decline because of fossil fuel depletion. So there were other factors.
        Tainter and others may have suggested that it was, at least in part, complexity, itself, and that happens to dovetail very neatly with the ‘iron law of oligarchy’ and its main point about increasing lack of democratic control in an increasingly complex system.

        “As the bard said, sometimes you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the winds blow.” ~ Fred Magyar (quoting article)

        Oh sure…

        “Maybe stick your finger in the air to see which way the wind blows and then go with that? Such as if your ethical compass was knocked out by a hurricane?” ~ Caelan MacIntyre

        “Subterranean Homesick Blues

        ‘You don’t need a weather man
        To know which way the wind blows’ ~ Bob Dylan” ~
        Caelan MacIntyre

        So, Fred… what do you think is easier for our species; real democracy and equability, and local, individual and community control and that kind of thing, or sending a contingent to Mars?

        I might have guessed sending a contingent to Mars, but then, without the aforementioned, maybe that’s why we are still not on Mars.

        Technology is child’s play; real democracy, equability and that kind of thing, on the other hand, is the adult stuff that’s not often spoken about, such as on fora like these.
        This is why we sometimes hear of some people, oh, maybe like Dennis Meadows or Richard Heinberg for examples, suggesting that we have to mature as a species if we are to have any hope. Of course, I agree.

        Until that time, much talk will be ‘diapered’.

        “All political systems that I know of, and most kings, have moved their whole nation to desert. And the things that we saw as most proud– the cities and the canals and irrigation and so on– are the things that killed their cultures. And it continues, unabated. If people don’t seize power back, and make their own gardens, and sit in their own gardens of Eden, then we’re all doomed, and the whole world ends in dust.” ~ Bill Mollison

        • Hightrekker says:

          We will finally be free when the last King is strangled with the entrals of the last Priest.

          (I forgot who said that)

          • Fred Magyar says:

            That was Denis Diderot.

            And while we are on the subject of priests, holy men, Imams, Rabbis, shamans, witch doctors and other assorted charlatans… He also said this:

            It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley, but to believe or not believe in God is not important at all.

            Diderot apparently must have been a wise and merry old soul 😉

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Sounds like they were onto something.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      Hi Dennis, That looks quite disruptive, to use Fred’s pet term. Clinging to the past could, of course, be construed as clinging to the forms that have contributed to the declines and collapses of previous civilizations– technology as assorted bread-and-circuses and grandiosities– masks, denials and/or consolations for fundamental sociopolitical inadequacies and failings…

      Like a failing relationship where one half, as material consolation and a gestural olive branch for otherwise interpersonal and immaterial problems, often ignored, via the material, continues to buy the other some sort of material good in the absence of any other effort that addresses the root of the problem…

      “No, honey, while they might be nice, we don’t really need a bouquet of roses or some solar panels, etc…. I want to feel listened to, and like I’m understood and a true and valuable part of a relationship…”

      Real disruption will come in the form of real democracy/equability/etc., properly appended to technological disruption. Ironically, they will be disruptions that may not feel as such, such as where everyone has a firm hand in, and handle on, how they play out.

      The longer that side of reality is variably ignored, the further removed disruption will be to a Sunday picnic walk in the park.

      K.I.S.S.: The problem appears to be at the intersection of where the sociopsychological meets the maximum power principle; where the cerebral cortex confronts the rules of biology.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        That looks quite disruptive, to use Fred’s pet term. Clinging to the past could, of course, be construed as clinging to the forms that have contributed to the declines and collapses of previous civilizations– technology as assorted bread-and-circuses and grandiosities– masks, denials and/or consolations for fundamental sociopolitical inadequacies and failings…

        I would have imagined that if that were truly the case, then you, of all people would be the first one to cheer the disruption and possible end of the status quo brought about by new paradigms and the possibility of a consequent blank slate on which to install a completely new societal operating system. Though it seems to me that you lack the vision and knowledge to actually take advantage of such potential disruption and use it as a leverage point for change.

        All you seem capable of is whining about the very technology and civilization that allows you to post your pseudo intellectual ideology and philosophical drivel. You seem to know nothing of the real world out there. Talk to us when you have built something concrete, when you have built up your community and you can support at least a couple thousand humans, Maybe after you have raised a few of your own children from birth to productive adulthood.

        On the other hand, who knows, when we talk about disruption it could just be a reference to change, i.e. Ice melt and collapsing ice shelves in the Antarctic and the consequent disruption to the local marine ecosystem. A disruption that might be ameliorated by changes from a fossil fuel based industrial civilization to one using renewable energy, it might even be accompanied by social and political change at both the local and global level.

        Maybe one could be talking aboutdisruption of cellular metabolism caused by a viral infection that could kill your child if you don’t have access to science, technology medical care and a civil society that allows all that to flourish.

        In any case, I usually use the word disruption as it is defined in the Cambridge dictionary:

        to prevent something, esp. a system, process, or event, from continuing as usual or as expected:

        It’s not a very difficult concept to understand…

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Hi Fred,

          You might wish to re-read my comment to which you refer, as your reading comprehension that your ‘meandering tirade’ appears based on seems off, which can sometimes be the case. Best with that, should you attempt it.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Secondhand smoke is not a problem.

        If children don’t like to be in a smoky room, they’ll leave.

        (As for infants) … at some point, they crawl.

        — Charles Harper, chairman, RJR Tobacco Company

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          So-called technology doesn’t have a ‘realationship’ to us or the planet.

          Like ‘big tobacco’, technology, if it is to have any success, needs to ‘come clean’.

          Otherwise, it’s back to the ‘dark ages’ for us– thanks, ironically, to so-called technology’s biggest proponents/purveyors.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Tobacco exports should be expanded aggressively because Americans are smoking less. — Dan Quayle

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Another brilliant comment of Dan’s: “It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.” — Dan Quayle

            • Doug Leighton says:

              “It’s time for the human race to enter the solar system”. — Dan Quayle

              • Doug Leighton says:

                Maybe Trump’s not all that bad: “I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior, for whose Kingdom it stands, one Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe.” — Dan Quayle

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Maybe Trump’s not all that bad

                  ??!! Surely you jest, Mr. Leighton!

                  Danny or Donny?!
                  You say ‘potatoe’ and I say potato
                  You say ‘tomatoe’ and I say tomato
                  So let’s call the whole thing off!

                  Impeach Drumpf now, before he does something really stupid!

  2. Boomer II says:

    In areas where there are no existing power plants, putting in solar makes even more sense. And if China is willing to lend you the money to buy solar panels, so much the better.

    • Survivalist says:

      Preliminary JMA global temperature analysis highlights April 2017 as the 2nd warmest on record.


      • George Kaplan says:

        By the Columbia Enso ensemble plume the chance for El Nino has gone down about 10% and is now about equal to neutral. But global weather predictions out to the end of the month are all predicting above freezing temperatures and high pressure over pretty much all of the Arctic, which, if actually seen this early, is going to do real damage to the ice and set up lots of melt pools, for ‘melt momentum’ going forward. I’v been fascinated looking at Nasa Worldview at the Nares strait opening as the thick ice is gradually being nibbled away and flows south in chunks (looks a bit like sugar flowing out of one of those old diner dispensers when it’s nearly depleted). I think there is now a crack running west from there all the way along the archipelago – not sure how think the ice is on either side of it. (probably need to edit t get the link below to work)


        • Bradley Padilla says:

          Hello. I get your link to open but, what do I look to. I don’t understand the importance? It is although very interesting picture. There is much ice in the image there. Way more then I thought. I thought it would be all gone now, because of the news reporters saying it was all gone now.

          • Hightrekker says:

            We have a winner!

          • George Kaplan says:

            When people talk of an ice-free Arctic they are normally referring to the minimum extent at the end of the melting season in mid-September. It hasn’t happened yet but there is a clear and accelerating trend pointing there, and fairly soon. In 2007 there was a minimum extent well below the trend and one reason for that was that the Nares strait opened early and allowed export of a lot of ice, as is again happening this year.

            We are currently only a month into the melting but things happening now may have a big influence on the final extent and minimum volume. Ice can be lost from the Artic by melting from the air and/or water or by transport out to the south, where it meets warm waters and quickly disappears. There are different ages to ice. Multiyear ice is thicker and harder, and therefore withstands melting and transport better, but it has been disappearing at faster rate than ice combined. The images below show 2012 and this year. The black and red areas are areas thick multiyear ice. By definition multiyear ice takes years to form, in the current downward trend this doesn’t happen so once it is gone it is for good. 2012 had the lowest extent in September so far seen, and yet it started with much more thick ice than current.

            The thick ice that remains is against the northern shores of Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago. Some of it is termed fast ice, meaning it is fastened to the land. The opening at the Nares Strait is in the middle of this strip of thick ice, so the ice crumbling and disappearing there is thick blocks and is lessening the integrity of the thick strip. There is a crack along this ice. The US Navy site (https://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/arctic.html) from which the images below are taken, predicts that this crack will widen and the thick ice strip start to break up (note their predictions are not always correct, they depend a lot on local weather which doesn’t always follow forecasts). If the break up does happen then the transport of ice volume through the Nares Strait and Fram Strait (to the east of Greenland, and which normally takes most of the southern bound ice transport) will be easier, and so will overall in-situ melt, hence a new low extent in September is more likely.

            Once ice loss occurs in September the period it stays ice free will increase, obviously after that point there will effectively be no more multi year ice, it will all be thin, weak ice formed in the previous year’s freeze season, however long that remains.

            The effects of an ice-free Arctic are not fully known, but are being continually studied and the understanding improved as more observations are made and models improved; all indications are that they will be mostly bad. The heat that used to go into melting sea ice will be available to go other places – e.g. melting Greenland ice sheet, melting Canadian and Siberian permafrost and warming the air. The rate of overall warming is likely to see a step increase. Weather patterns will change and become much more variable, the whole globe will be affected not just the north: colder air that used to stay in the Arctic will occasionally be pushed south for long periods but, conversely, killer heat waves will increase in intensity and length. A number of other tipping points (i.e. sudden, large, non-linear, irreversible changes) will be accelerated, and each of these will have similar, maybe worse, impacts to accelerate the warming. Eventually sea level rise, crop failures, etc. will be obvious.

            A couple of other interesting sites to follow are below, things happening now have never been experienced on Earth, but we have the a surfeit of ways for everyone to see them like never before:

      • George Kaplan says:

        Nasa confirmed April as second hottest (ENSO index was only slightly positive but rising this year, compared with the high El Nino, at 1.6 and falling, for the 2016 record):

        April 2017 was the second warmest April in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

        Last month was 0.88 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean April temperature from 1951-1980. The two top April temperature anomalies have occurred during the past two years.

        April 2016 was the hottest on record, at 1.06 degrees Celsius warmer than the April mean temperature. April 2017’s temperature was 0.18 degrees Celsius cooler than April 2016. This past April was only slightly warmer than the third warmest April, which occurred in 2010 and was 0.87 degrees warmer than the mean.

    • GoneFishing says:

      For the last 800,000 years the average CO2 concentration has been about 235 ppm with a range from 180 to 290. Now atmospheric CO2 concentration is above 400 and rising fast. CO2 concentration is well out of range for an ice age period.

      • Max Gervis says:

        What I will say, if this level of CO2 is just so dangerous let’s all ban the baking of bread everywhere around the world. As any good chef knows CO2 is what makes dough rise. If we banned all bread worldwide that should do wonderful things to decrease this nasty CO2 in the atmosphere and then hopefully we all wouldn’t have to put up with the liberals whining anymore. To get this done I bet they could convince the U.N. to put a big fat tax on every loaf of bread. The money would go to the global climate control fund controlled by Gore/Soros.

        • Lloyd says:

          This is a Dialogue pair. It does not address the argument: the intention here is to introduce irrelevant conservative talking points.

          For more information on this type of Media Manipulation, see “I Was a Paid Internet Shill: How Shadowy Groups Manipulate Internet Opinion and Debate (“http://consciouslifenews.com/paid-internet-shill-shadowy-groups-manipulate-internet-opinion-debate/1147073/)

        • GoneFishing says:

          Excellent idea, lower starch input would reduce the waist lines around the world.
          You do realize that the major CO2 component of bread baking is the baking itself, not the yeast? Oh, I guess not.

        • Petro says:

          It’s about not being able to breathe and not being able to grow grains at scale (which made the bread you are talking about possible – and in the process, our civilization, as well, ) and not about taxes, you dumb friggin’ moron!
          Jew Soros and goym Gore (and their disgusting progeny and surrogates) are not going to be able to breathe, tooo!
          Little Soros-ians and little Gore-ians cannot live in underground bunkers forever and that idiot Musk’s space thingie is not ready yet to take them to
          friggin’ Mars – which by the way, has no air and would be good riddance.

          Jew Soros and goym Gore are morons – just like you!
          They are clever morons who stole your share of money in the process and thus have more of it – but they are morons, nonetheless!

          No, I am not a libtard who voted for Hitlery.
          No, I am not antifa idiots paid by jew Soros.
          Yes, unlike you I have a brain and can actually read scientific data without categorizing it as dems or reps, libs or cons… or whatever!

          The planet is dying and it has nothing to do with libtards and/or contards.
          It has to do with 7-8 billion parasites like me and you who think that this beautiful Planet was created for them by this giant, invisible retard in the sky called God.

          Be well,


          • Fred Magyar says:

            Who cares about bread anyway?! We need to focus on and protect the most important source of CO2 in the entire world… Saccharomyces cerevisiae . Don’t mess with that or you will risk a global revolution!
            Cheers! 😉

            • Petro says:

              Why did you not tell me earlier Fred?

              I am in deep trouble.
              I am killing a lot of the little suckers now…. along with a fine cuban stogie…
              (some of them might have been dead already a couple of decades ago when the red juice I’m drinking was made, but what do I know….).

              Be well and kill some too…. in a nice and enjoyable way, of course.


              • Fred Magyar says:

                Not to worry, by the time you imbibe your fermented beverage of choice, all the little buggers have already drowned in their own excrement and waste stream.
                I know St. Patrick’s day is past but here is a nice drinking song you might enjoy…
                A Biologist’s Ode to Saccharomyces cerevisiae

                • Petro says:

                  “…I know St. Patrick’s day is past but…”

                  I’m not sure, Fred!
                  It’s got to be St. Patrick’s somewhere…. or is it:
                  “…it’s 5 o’clock somewhere…”.
                  …the little buggers are confusing me with their heavenly “excrement”.
                  Thanks for the song.

                  Be well and enjoy some “excrement”… responsibly, of course.


                • GoneFishing says:

                  Where’s the cheese?

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Ah, mon ami, le fromage est mauvais!

                    Cheese requires lactating bovine ruminants which produce CH4 in large quantities!

                    If we then add the CO2 produced by yeast to make French baguettes, plus the Co2 from the fermentation of grapes to produce French wine we end up with a recipe for the destruction of all civilization and humanity is therefore truly doomed!

                    Are humans smarter than yeast?
                    Cheers! 😉

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    What, no cheese with the wine. My French ancestors spit and fart on you for even considering the demise of cheese and wine.
                    You think cows are new? You think that bovines did not exist through the ice ages?
                    You think maybe that the cows cause global warming, leading to the ice ages?
                    You think?
                    Civilization? Who needs it? Nothing but corroding junk piles. Wine and cheese have no need for civilization.

                    Maybe humans are not so smart, but the French we know what is good. You English trained colonists are so stupid you think the cows make the earth warm.
                    It’s the stupid humans mon ami.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    I Fart In Your General Direction!
                    Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries …


                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Exactly, except the part with the flying bovine ruminant is missing.

                  • Synapsid says:


                    French wines? One does not make port from French wines, my friend. You are not thinking on quite the requisite scale.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Hey Synapsid, when did I ever mention making Port from French wines?
                    Perhaps you are thinking of the World according to Asterix?

                  • Synapsid says:

                    Esteemed FredM,

                    I was pointing out that referring exclusively to French wines was to overlook those used for port.

                    The mind reels; every feeling must be offended!

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Non, non, mon ami! I was not offended at all.
                    And far be it from me to refuse a glass of fine port. However I must conclude, You are not familiar with the exploits and the magic potion imbibed by the indomitable Gauls as they resisted the Roman occupation… Granted back then Port-ugalia was yet to be and was still a part of a greater Hispania…


    • Survivalist says:

      May 15

      Daily CO2
      May 15, 2017: 411.27 ppm
      May 15, 2016: 406.97 ppm


      I’m interested to note when the CO2 concentration no longer does the dip after each annual peak. At some point Arctic amplification will lead to more NH CO2 being produced than is absorbed; that is to say, the jagged sawtooth pattern will smooth out as it climbs higher.


  3. GoneFishing says:

    Port cities are realizing they are at the frontier of global climate change. The combination of stronger storms, sea level rise and heavy rains is an ongoing and increasing threat to these cities. The NYC centric article shows that red flags are being raised despite the presidential non-belief in global warming.

    By 2050, NYC’s average temperature is expected to rise between 4.1 and 6.6°F, and annual precipitation is expected to increase between 4% and 13%. Dangerous waves are also now 20 times more likely to overwhelm the Manhattan seawall than they were 170 years ago, according to a recent study.


    • Fred Magyar says:

      I had a great chat with the captain of the water taxi on a ride I took down the Intra Coastal this past weekend. Only a stupid ignorant land lubber still argues against sea level rise. Because you can’t argue with the tides and it’s not worth wasting time on assholes and trolls like our drive by visitor up thread!

    • Bob Frisky says:

      I bet ten’s of millions of Americans would appreciate nothing more than for elitist coastal cities like NYC, San Fran, Boston to get swallowed up by the sea. The Rust Belt would definitely become an economic powerhouse again. Also I bet people on each of the two sides of politics would welcome the entire DC area going underwater.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        The Rust Belt would definitely become an economic powerhouse again.

        Nah, those places would revert even further back to the dark ages. First they would lose all the potential markets on the coasts. The people who live there are too ignorant to have a technological society and provide even the basics. They don’t even understand germ theory let alone how things like viruses and epidemics work.

        Look what happened recently in Minnesota with anti-science idiots who listened to the anti-vaxers. Imagine if something like that happened with small-pox or polio or an even more deadly and contagious virus and not Measles.


        The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that measles is highly contagious—up to 90 percent of unvaccinated individuals will contract the disease if exposed to the virus. The current outbreak in Minnesota has been traced back to 2008 when local news organizations reported Somali-American children accessed special needs services at a higher rate than other ethnicities. This spurred concerns about a possible link between the measles vaccine and an increased risk for autism spectrum disorders—a false theory that has been disproven by study after study—and led to a decline in vaccination rates in Somali-American children.

        Thank you, fundamentalist christian morons!

        • bunky says:

          Who is actually responsible for the measles outbreak, etc?

          The people who don’t get their kids vaccinated are mostly victims, rather than perpetrators. They don’t know any better. It’s not preachers and priests who are running the anti vaccination movement, although there will always be some priests and preachers who latch onto any thing that will put money in their pocket, or add to their following.

          Gizmodo says

          Minnesota’s measles outbreak is the largest outbreak so far this year, and a prime example of the very real consequences of the growing anti-vaccine movement. Prior to 2008, vaccination rates in Minnesota’s Somali immigrant community, the largest in the country, had been as high or higher than those in the white population. But in 2008, anti-vaccine activists began holding one-on-one with families, stoking fear among parents that vaccines were contributing to autism in their children.

          Among those meeting with members of the community was Andrew Wakefield, the discredited researcher who launched the anti-vaxxer movement. Two decades ago, he published a study suggesting that a popular vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella could cause autism. Though he lost his medical license and the study was widely debunked and retracted, he nonetheless built up a following.

          There are plenty of poorly educated and ignorant people in every social class, even including academia. Some professors ought to go to graduation ceremonies dressed like Alfred E Newman in a dunce cap.

          Every once in a while one of them manages to get to the very top of the heap, like the clown in the WH.

          Put a man or woman in a white coat who knows some big words in front of the average man on the street,face to face, and he is probably going to believe what he’s told about health care issues unless somebody else is handy to tell him otherwise.

          In the case of the anti vax victims there mostly isn’t anybody else handy, except maybe sometimes a nurse who has ten minutes or less to do everything she is supposed to do. Likewise the docs she works with aren’t likely to do more than tell a patient or parent to get the vaccination, without taking time to explain why.

          • GoneFishing says:

            The victims are also the perpetrators. Think how spreading a disease and giving it easy targets allows a much higher chance for mutations. Then one has something new to deal with because people are so willing to believe negative accusations and want someone to blame.

      • islandboy says:

        Hey Bob, you haven’t really thought this through thoroughly, have you? I didn’t think so!

    • Peggy Hahn says:

      “The combination of stronger storms, sea level rise and heavy rains is an ongoing and increasing threat to these cities.”

      I would refer you specifically to Luke 21:25 – “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” This is in reference to the definite signs of the end times. Clearly the concept can be used in implying more frequent violent activity in the oceans as caused by a warming world and sea rise. Current observed conditions are actually lining up quite well don’t you think?

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        What about those signs in the sun, moon and stars, though?

        • Survivalist says:

          I love Jesus. He’s my favorite Jew!

        • Peggy Hahn says:

          For that, I need to refer you toward Revelation 16:8-9 – “The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.” This is the proof we need of how He is able to scorch mankind by causing global warming through the power of the sun.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            “This is the proof we need of how He is able to scorch mankind by causing global warming through the power of the sun.”

            You’re joking, right?

            • Fred Magyar says:

              No worries, Doug! My Australian snake goddess will save us all from the scorching sun with some of her refreshing rain…

              The Great Creator Serpent
              In charge of Fertility, Growth and Refreshing Rain.

              Let the Christians be raptured, the sooner the better!
              Psst! She’s NOT joking.

            • Survivalist says:

              So Peggy has transitioned form being a global warming denier to ‘global warming is real and its the second coming of Christ’. What the fuck is wrong with these people?

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Doug, maybe you prefer Fred’s particular brand of ‘pseudoscientechnoreligiosity’, for example, injected, for the blasphemous like myself, with broken-record red herrings and straw men?

              • Fred Magyar says:

                Caelan, you are truly a total fucking ignoramus with your head so far up your ass you that you constantly keep twisting yourself into some pseudo intellectual pretzel to prove how bad technology and science are!

                You really don’t seem to know absolutely anything about the evolution of Homo sapiens, anthropology or ancient cultures, let alone understand that the main reason that Homo sapiens has come to dominate this planet is because we developed culture and technologies to survive.

                You may may not like that reality and you can debate till you are blue in the face whether or not modern civilization has come to the end of the line but humans are technologists!

                Oh and BTW, The Snake Goddess has been worshiped by the Australian Aborigines for over 8000 years. The Aborigines were and still are, a technological race of the highest order! They had to be or they wouldn’t have survived.


                ABORIGINAL PEOPLE FORMED one of the most technologically advanced societies in the world when they first arrived in Australia. The way they adapted to our country’s challenging conditions is a testament to Aussie inventiveness.

                It was once a widely-held belief in Australia that before contact, Aboriginal culture stood still. But forming the kinds of agricultural societies typical of English settlers just wasn’t the right strategy to endure Australia’s harsh conditions. Even with imported English technology, agriculture was a precarious business in Australia.

                “Diversification was the key to surviving in such a diverse landscape,” says Lyndon Ormond-Parker, a research fellow from the indigenous studies unit at the University of Melbourne. “Certainly, when it came to social complexity, Australia was just as diverse as Europe. This was a constantly changing, fifty-thousand-year-old civilisation with over 500 different cultures and languages.”

                This diversity can be seen in the wide range of technology Aboriginal people used. But like all good inventions, these were simple, elegant solutions, and made from materials close at hand. Many of these inventions reveal a deep understanding of science and medicine.

                There are ten superb examples of Aboriginal technology listed at the link: Including thermoplastic resins and my personal favorite, the Boomerang.

                …the boomerang was a purely Aboriginal invention. The angled shape with asymmetrical curves makes use of one of the most complicated principles of aerodynamics: asymmetrical lift.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Context, Fred…
                  Science and technology are not immune from it, despite your apparent pseudoscientechnoreligious ignorance.

                  “Self-domesticated Humans– fundamentally wild– ostensibly evolved within simple, small-scale, visceral, laterally hierarchic band and tribal hunting-and-gathering free-roaming contexts. As such, they seem in fundamental dissonance with the symbolic, layered, distancing, detached cage of systemic (‘dystemic’) complexity that they have welded like a prison around and between themselves and nature. Over time, they have managed to become increasingly and dangerously out of scale, out of synch, out of control, and out of touch with their world, their spirit, and their complex manifestations, like Fukushima’s ongoing nuclear disaster, via their capacity for complexity– amplified and exacerbated by their complex sociopolitical/hierarchical and usually-illegitimate contrivances that tap status, control and fear dynamics– king, knight, pawn; leader, police, employee… Where, once upon a time, this ‘superape’ capacity that allowed them to survive and thrive brilliantly on the plains of what is now called Africa has, paradoxically, boomeranged, and is now, by a slow death-of-a-thousand-cuts from a slow-build-of-a-thousand-dubious-decisions and unintended consequences over time, threatening their very survival. Is this the paradox of the human?” ~ Caelan MacIntyre

                  See also here and here.
                  (I was ‘Tribe Of Pangaea- First Member’ there of course)

                  “The cause of the extinction is an active, contentious and factionalised field of research where politics and ideology often takes precedence over scientific evidence, especially when it comes to the possible implications regarding aboriginals (who appear to be responsible for the extinctions). It is hypothesised that with the arrival of early Australian Aboriginals (around 48,000–60,000 years ago), hunting and the use of fire to manage their environment may have contributed to the extinction of the megafauna. Increased aridity during peak glaciation (about 18,000 years ago) may have also contributed, but most of the megafauna was already extinct by this time.” ~ Wikipedia

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    “Self-domesticated Humans– fundamentally wild– ostensibly evolved within simple, small-scale, visceral, laterally hierarchic band and tribal hunting-and-gathering free-roaming contexts. As such, they seem in fundamental dissonance with the symbolic, layered, distancing, detached cage of systemic (‘dystemic’) complexity that they have welded like a prison around and between themselves and nature.

                    Are you serious bro?! What a bunch of absolute nonsense. Just big words without meaning … Pure unadulterated pseudo intellectual BS!

                    It sounds like a paragraph right out of the Sokal Hoax!

                    The Sokal affair, also called the Sokal hoax,[1] was a publishing hoax perpetrated by Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University and University College London. In 1996, Sokal submitted an article to Social Text, an academic journal of postmodern cultural studies. The submission was an experiment to test the journal’s intellectual rigor and, specifically, to investigate whether “a leading North American journal of cultural studies – whose editorial collective includes such luminaries as Fredric Jameson and Andrew Ross – [would] publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors’ ideological preconceptions”.[2]
                    The article, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”,[3] was published in the Social Text spring/summer 1996 “Science Wars” issue. It proposed that quantum gravity is a social and linguistic construct. At that time, the journal did not practice academic peer review and it did not submit the article for outside expert review by a physicist.[4][5] On the day of its publication in May 1996, Sokal revealed in Lingua Franca that the article was a hoax.[2]

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Well certainly you may ignore/skirt the truth, Fred, such as with regard to ‘the other inconvenient side’ offered of your Australian Aboriginal example, which could be not only in keeping in a ‘micro’ way with the present global-scale issues humanity faces, but also with your ‘pseudoscientechnoreligious’ prerogative, as well as in contradiction to your asinine, adolescent-level sci-fi posturing…

                    Nothing like that kind of thing as erosive to any reassurances one might have had that you understand better what you’re talking about, ay?

                    So maybe Peggy Hahn, Javier, ‘Republicans’, or even the AGW-denying drive-by ‘crowd’ would seem to be in a little better company in various ways than we may realize.

                    “Bands have a loose organization. Their power structure is often egalitarian and has informal leadership… decisions are often made on a consensus basis, but there are no written laws and none of the specialised coercive roles (e.g., police) typically seen in more complex societies.” ~ Wikipedia

          • Bob Nickson says:

            Poe’s Law applies here.

            Satire or nuttery?
            Impossible to determine.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Wouldn’t know, I’m not really into the second coming thing… excepting orgasms of course!

        I worship THE RAINBOW-SNAKE it’s been around for about 4000 years longer than your J.C.


        Australian Fertility God/dess
        Also known as ALMUDJ, KALSERU
        The Great Creator Serpent
        In charge of Fertility, Growth and Refreshing Rain.

        The RAINBOW-SNAKE is a bit of a mish-mash, with a kangaroo’s head, a crocodile’s tail and a python’s body, all decorated with water lilies and waving tendrils.

        The Snake has many names and comes in male and female form. YINGARNA, the female, is the original Mother of Creation, and her son NGALYOD is the Great Transformer of Land. Family portraits go back 8,000 years, which makes the Rainbow Snake one of the oldest religious symbols. And it’s still going strong today.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Around here we have the Jersey Devil and the Wendigo. The Jersey Devil doesn’t seem to do much beyond scare people and fly or run away. Spirit of the Wendigo seems to have inhabited humans causing them to commit major environmental destruction and cannibalize the planet.

          But wait, Trump protestors are inhabited by demons.

          • JJHMAN says:

            My favorite bible quote is:

            Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
            Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
            God say, “No.” Abe say, “What ?”
            God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but
            The next time you see me comin’ you better run”
            Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done ?”
            God says. “Out on Highway 61”.

            or maybe that was a poet said that. Close enough.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Mine is “thou shall not kill”. Something we do all the time, every day.

  4. Jason says:

    You have to be pretty dense to look at historical charts showing rise in global temps and rise in co2 pretty much identical shape yet think co2 is not important. You may argue cause and effect but this current experiment of raising co2 levels is pretty much putting that debate to bed as temps are starting to rise right on cue. The only other argument you can have is that temps and co2 levels are dependent on a third independent factor, but again we are doing an experiment and only changing co2 variable yet temps are rising. People also argue that you can’t model weather. I compare that to you can’t predict the exact path of a leaf in a stream by modeling it but you know its going to move past a point downstream at some point in future.

  5. Survivalist says:


    How much would a supertanker reworked so that it’s completely filled up as a battery weight? Would it float? What would it cost? How much energy could it store? What would it cost to sail? How much energy would be lost in the recharging and discharging cycle; that is- how much energy would need to be generated at a production site in order to charge the battery, and how much energy would it provide to the destination location once offloaded? Is this a feasible idea or just more shoot from the lip hopium fiend BS? Any ideas?

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Maybe you could float batteries such as these on giant barges.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Another possible disruptive technology that could power ships and other systems. Producing hydrogen peroxide from sunlight and seawater.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Another possible disruptive technology that could power ships and other systems.

          Oh noes! Please refrain from posting text that contains the words ‘disruptive technology’ in it. I’m not sure my rapidly diminishing number, of still functional synapses, can handle another onslaught of the mind numbing gish gallop that it tends to elicit…

          Vielen Dank!

        • Bunky says:

          There’s also a possibility that if wind and solar power get to be cheap enough, any surplus that can’t be better used otherwise can be used to manufacture ammonia, which can also be used as an engine fuel the same as hydrogen peroxide.

          Technically it works, but as a practical matter, the ammonia is probably worth more, and likely to continue to be worth more, as an industrial feedstock than it will be as a fuel for internal combustion engines.

          Ship engines are a different animal, because the problems associated with refueling and storing the fuel on board would be very simple for a ship, compared to a car or truck. There’s lots of space on ships, and you only need to refuel once to go halfway around the world.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Forget engines, it’s fuel cell technology. H2O2 is a liquid giving it the high density of liquid fuels without the carbon component.

            Ammonia is highly toxic gas causing blindness, burns, death. Not something you want in confined spaces of a ship.

            • Ulenspiegel says:

              “Forget engines, it’s fuel cell technology. H2O2 is a liquid giving it the high density of liquid fuels without the carbon component. ”

              OK, but why not other fuel. In a fuel cycle the carbon is constant.

              “Ammonia is highly toxic gas causing blindness, burns, death. Not something you want in confined spaces of a ship.”

              OK, you do not like ammonia, but you propose H2O2. Really? H2O2 has at higher concentrations a nasty tendency to decompose into water and oxygen, i.e. it explodes, the reaction is catalysed by iron ions, which are quite common. 🙂

              • GoneFishing says:

                “OK, but why not other fuel. In a fuel cycle the carbon is constant.”
                In an ideal system the carbon might be constant, in reality not true. Where is your carbon source and how is it obtained? I assume you think the carbon will come from the atmosphere, meaning biological. What sources of energy and materials will do the planting, pesticide/herbicides manufacture and spraying, irrigation, harvesting, distribution and conversion to fuel as well as distribution?

                Even if the cycle was ideally closed, it would leave a large amount of CO2 in the atmosphere at a continuous basis. That CO2 portion would cause heating.

                Side step all that, go to electricity and if one must have fuels make them from water. Sea water is abundant, H2O2 could be made at ports and the distribution path would be short.
                As far as explosive decomposition, not at atmospheric pressure and normal temperatures. Metal catalysis can be avoided easily by using plastics for containment and piping.

                Ships run on CNG and LNG. They also carry large amounts of LNG or gasoline yet very few explode or burn. Seems like we have the ability to handle liquid fuels.

                Hydrogen peroxide provides a dual role in fuel cells, providing both the oxygen required as well as donating electrons.

              • Nick G says:

                why not other fuel. In a fuel cycle the carbon is constant.

                Could you expand on that comment? I would think that carbon-free fuels would have an advantage, especially for transportation solutions.

                • Ulenspiegel says:

                  You would generate the same amount of synfuel (methane) from CO2 than methan is burnt in fuelcells or ICEs. The impact would be small.

                  Sorces would either be air or biomass.

                  H2O2 is not a nice choice for J6P, neither is ammonia. In contrast, methane can be used in an existing infrastructure by J6P.

                  For large scale applications ammonia or other stuff is ok, it would be handled by experts.

              • bunky says:

                Dealing with either ammonia or H peroxide in a small mobile application, such as a car or truck, and building the necessary infrastructure to refuel cars in tens of thousands of places, etc, would be a hell of a tough job, costing more than we are likely to be able to pay.

                But ships are operated by well trained men, for the most part, and at the scale of ships, either fuel could work ok, at least in terms of being dangerous. Ships routinely haul stuff even more dangerous, and the fuel supply and engines can be isolated from the rest of the ship. And not very many refueling stations would be needed. There aren’t that many seaports, compared to service stations.

                If either is used as an engine fuel, it will probably be because it has lots of other uses and must be manufactured in huge quantities in any case, meaning the manufacturing infrastructure is either already there, or will be built anyway as needed. Hence the necessary investment is already in place in the case of ammonia.
                It’s used by the millions of tons annually.

                I don’t know how much H2 O2 is used but it’s probably only a very minor fraction of ammonia use.

                Somebody mentioned ship sized or barge sized flow batteries earlier. It’s possible a ship could be electrified using a super sized flow battery, meaning it could be recharged dockside, assuming the local grid could handle the load.

                This could work, because it could get started with smaller ships making shorter trips, meaning it wouldn’t put such a big load on the grid. There must be a lot of ships that routinely make the same trip from one port to another, so only two charging stations would work for a given ship .

                So – If ships quit using the dregs of the oil supply, what will be done with these dregs ? Could they be used to manufacture asphalt? That’s at least a possibility, and roads must be repaved periodically, even if no new ones are built.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  You do realize that all the infrastructure for fossil fuels has to be replaced periodically? Every structure, every road, every piece of equipment on earth has a lifespan.
                  So when you say that a new system would cost too much to implement (one that would replace an old system) you are saying we cannot even afford to continue the old system.
                  Since systems pay for themselves, I don’t see the point. Case in point, the shift from coal to diesel for railroad transport. It turned out to be much cheaper to spend the money on the transistion than continue with coal.

                  • Nick G says:

                    when you say that a new system would cost too much to implement (one that would replace an old system) you are saying we cannot even afford to continue the old system.

                    It’s not a lack of viability, it’s a lack of competitiveness. EVs (or plug-in hybrids, with synthetic liquid fuel) will be far cheaper.

        • Ulenspiegel says:

          Yes, hydrogen peroxide can be highly disruptive, at higher concentrations in the presence of iron ions. 🙂

          • GoneFishing says:

            Gasoline plus air.
            Diesel plus air.
            Propane plus air.
            Alcohol plus driver.
            Cell phone plus driver.
            All highly disruptive. 🙂

  6. Bunky says:

    There are some great cartoons free daily at the New Yorker. Most of them these days are about Trump and company.

    • Amanda Di Gironimo says:

      ==Funny cartoons==

      dilbert was also a good funny cartoon on sunday. right away i thought it was some thing the people here are going to enjoy.

      • JN2 says:


      • Nick G says:

        I think this is Scott Adams’ (the author of Dilbert) latest comment:

        “I don’t know much about science, and even less about climate science. So as a practical matter, I like to side with the majority of scientists until they change their collective minds. They might be wrong, but their guess is probably better than mine.”


        • Fred Magyar says:

          Yet for someone who says this:

          Anyway, to me it seems brutally wrong to call skeptics on climate science “anti-science” when all they want is for science to make its case in a way that doesn’t look exactly like a financial scam.* Is that asking a lot?

          Apparently he, like most people seems to be profoundly ignorant about what science is and how it works. Science just tells us that the universe doesn’t give a flying fuck about what people think or what they would like reality to be. If people don’t like reality as it is, then tough shit! Reality will never conform to what we want. We have to accept reality as it is. Sorry kids! NO SCOOPS OF ICE CREAM FOR YOU!

          Then he goes on to say:

          People ask me why I keep writing on this topic. My interest is the psychology around it, and the persuasion game on both sides. And it seems to me that climate scientists are the Hillary Clinton of scientists. They think facts and reason will persuade the public. Even though science knows that doesn’t generally work.

          * Or a Chinese hoax. They look similar.

          No climate scientists do not think that facts and reason will persuade the public!
          They know perfectly well that it won’t!

          The public just doesn’t understand the science and furthermore they DON’T LIKE THE CONCLUSIONS! Because it doesn’t agree with their deeply held beliefs and world views. This is a fault of the educational system and not the fault of climate science and climate scientists.
          We happen to have a population that is profoundly scientifically illiterate.
          C’est la vie!

          What the public wants is for someone to say: Hey folks we have unequivocal proof of anthropogenic climate change and here’s an easy solution to fix it, so you don’t have to worry or make any changes in your lives, so party on dudes!

          If one reads Scott Adams’ points in that comment they are pretty damn lame.
          In most of them he is not even wrong! he is fractally wrong.

          And before I forget Amanda Di Gironimo is just another stupid ignorant troll or bot!

          • Nick G says:

            What the public wants…an easy solution to fix it, so you don’t have to worry or make any changes in your lives, so party on dudes!

            Sure. And, the fact is that fossil fuel GHG emissions really aren’t that hard to eliminate. If people really want excessively big vehicles and houses, they can have them, just powered by clean, cheap electricity. The people who would be hurt are the relatively small minority who own or work in the FF industry.

            The problem is that people are being told that 1) dealing with climate change will wreck their lives, and 2) climate change isn’t real.

            If someone told you that, and you had no reason not to believe it (because all of the media you listen to is controlled by FF billionaires and their friends), why wouldn’t you???

            • Fred Magyar says:

              The problem is that people are being told that 1) dealing with climate change will wreck their lives, and 2) climate change isn’t real.

              Well, that’s in the US, land of the ignorant illiterate masses!
              In the mean time the Chinese are forging ahead with massive investments in wind and solar and incentivising a transition away from ICE to EV based transport. Apparently they don’t believe that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by (you know who)… and they are well on the way to dominating the technologies necessary to win the global markets.

              BTW, This link was posted over at RealClimate by commenter Thomas:

              China Know How to begin converting coal plants to walk away safe pebble bed nuclear starting in the 2020s

              China will replace coal burners with these high temperature nuclear units

              In some cases, these nuclear boiler installations will be part of entirely new power stations. The more intriguing aspect of the concept, however, is the fact that the high temperature atomic boilers produce steam conditions that are identical to the design conditions for a large series of modern, 600 MWe steam plants that currently use coal as the heat source.

              You think that maybe the people from a 5000 year old civilization actually have a long term plan?

              • Nick G says:

                that’s in the US, land of the ignorant illiterate masses!

                It’s also the case in other petro-states, like KSA, Russia, etc. On the other hand, Europe and China are big time oil importers, and they hate that (correctly).

                I know, I know…the US is an oil importer. But, it’s the home of a lot of multi-national oil majors and it’s culture is shaped by it’s history as an oil producer.

                And, it’s the home of the Kochs…

                • bunky says:

                  There’s something to be said for a society that draws most or at least a large portion of its leadership from the scientifically trained classes. China is the premier example, but France is right on up there in this respect.

                  My personal estimate is that while the Chinese are well aware of the climate issue, the real reason, the primary reason, that they are pushing renewable energy so vigorously is that they are face to face nose to nose belly to belly with the depletion monster, and fully aware that within their own working careers, it will probably be impossible to obtain sufficient quantities of fossil fuels to support their economy.

                  Then there’s the obvious fact that since fossil fuels do deplete, and will be mostly depleted within the next few decades, who ever is the leader in renewable energy will be positioned to profit enormously selling their technology and services.
                  The Chinese probably see themselves as the Saudia Arabia of the last two thirds of this century.

                  The French have enough good engineers and scientists in positions of influence that they have totally electrified their rail system by way of example.

                  It’s incredibly bad luck for the USA that not only are we mostly scientifically illiterate, our political system evolved in such a way that it is dominated by lawyers, who as a class are pretty close to as ignorant as Joe Sixpack in his giant four by four spit shined off road capable grocery hauler when it comes to matters of physical reality.

                  Everything seems to be negotiable to lawyers. They don’t seem to understand that facts involving nature are not negotiable at all.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    We have to warn the people!


                    Thanks Tom.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    Current policies pretty much doom us to fall behind technologically.

                    We don’t want foreign scientists and technologically trained people to immigrate here.

                    We don’t want to support educational programs in this country to train our own.

                    We don’t want to hear science that doesn’t support our beliefs.

                    We’d rather put government money into defense equipment than into research or infrastructure which might transition us into a different energy future.

                    There once was a time when we felt we needed to be competitive in terms of new technology and science. No more.

                  • Nick G says:

                    The Chinese are also acutely aware of the costs of pollution, which kills millions annually in China.

                    I don’t worry about the fine details of climate change that much, because there are already more than enough other reasons to phase out fossil fuels just as quickly as we can.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    I am less concerned about global actions concerning fossil fuel than I was a few years ago.

                    I’ve always assumed that economics would force the transition away from fossil fuels. It was just a matter of when and how abrupt.

                    Now I see so many signs pointing to a transition that even though Trump and his administration won’t acknowledge it, other counties and major companies are.

                    Now, we have the hardcore doomers here saying no matter what we do, it won’t make a difference. Civilization will collapse and the earth as we know it destroyed.

                    Okay, but if that is the case, it won’t hurt if we go ahead and try to moderate or delay the inevitable. What difference does it make to you guys if we have people experimenting with renewables? You’re prepared for the end, anyway, so these actions won’t change your lives, right?

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    The shift to renewable energy gives us some time and wiggle room to find sustainable ways of living on this planet.
                    Technology will have to become biological or strongly mimic biology to be sustainable. Limits will have to be accepted.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Technology will have to become biological or strongly mimic biology to be sustainable.

                    I agree 100%!

        • wharf rat says:

          From 2 months ago; Gavin Schmidt tries to teach basic science to Adams.

          Dr. Gavin Schmidt’s Epic Response to Scott Adams

      • Survivalist says:

        Time to thin the herd. I wish the famine would just hurry up and get here.

  7. GoneFishing says:

    Paul Beckwith discusses the causes of the extreme Ottawa River flooding


    • Fred Magyar says:

      Why, thank you GF! I’m sure by now almost all 63 million Trump supporters have Googled the ‘Clausius-Clapeyron Equation’ and are busy plugging numbers into it to better understand why there are going to be more frequent 100 year type flooding events from now on…

      • GoneFishing says:

        Fred, you misunderstand them. It’s all faith and belief with them. Maybe if the relationship between water vapor concentration and temperature were on Sesame street or the right wing equivalent it would get into their belief system before it solidified to concrete.

        Anyway, I thought you might like that there is more water in the atmosphere, means less in the ocean!
        Update: change the saying ” It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” to ” It’s the heat and the humidity.”

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Anyway, I thought you might like that there is more water in the atmosphere, means less in the ocean!

          Interesting talk on Atmospheric Rivers: California Rainmakers


          • GoneFishing says:

            Thanks Fred, a well done and informative talk on the subject. Having experienced and used linear weather formations while sailplaning I have some appreciation for this type of phenomenon (on a smaller scale).

          • bunky says:

            Anybody that has not done so is sure as hell making a mistake if he does not read the history of the California floods occurring during the Civil War.

            There will be more floods on this same scale, which would be almost impossible to credit except we have an indisputable historical record.

            Most people have never heard of this flood due to the fact there were very few anglo types there at the time, and such news as was reported was eclipsed by the Civil War.


            There was another of similar magnitude a couple of hundred years earlier, and one not so big but still huge in the LA area sometime around WWI iirc.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Fred, the president is trying to pump more SOx into the atmosphere to cool the planet through his Make America Coal (pronounced cool) Again program. All those demon infested liberals are fighting his programs and turning the media against him. A sad situation.

        • Hightrekker says:

          “Unlike much of the world, we Americans have always despised intellectuals. We pretend we don’t, but we do. We resent cultural snobs, know-it-alls, smarty-pants media types, and “deep thinkers,” and we admire salt-of-the-earth businessmen, self-made moguls, and (counter-intuitively) military officers.

          That’s partly because of our native egalitarianism, and partly because we don’t wish to be reminded of our ignorance. We prefer brevity and plain talk to complexity. We embrace slogans (“Make America Great Again”), and avoid nuance, ambiguity, and self-doubt. Arguably, if we don’t count Ronald Reagan, Trump is the most anti-intellectual president since Andrew Jackson.”

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Trump is the most anti-intellectual president since Andrew Jackson.

            I don’t think he is anti-intellectual any more so than an atheist is an anti-theist. I don’t think there is such a word but I think we might characterize him as more of an ‘a-intellectual‘! I can’t think of another public figure who displays such a total lack of general knowledge and global awareness. He seems to have no intellectual curiosity whatsoever and what makes it worse is that he truly believes he knows more than all the experts on any topic.

            I could give a thousand examples from his tweets but here’s just one:

            “How come nobody has ever asked this question: Why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”
            Then he topped it off with his comment about Andrew Jackson.

            • There is simply no denying it, America elected a blooming idiot for president when it elected Donald Trump.

              Now the man may be a genus when it comes to bilking contractors out of their money in his real estate dealings. There is no doubt that he is the perfect con artist, a really talented con artist. But conning a contractor is a bit different from conning the American people.

              The man is a genus as a con artist but an ignorant fool as far as politics is concerned.

              And every person who is still a Trump supporter, at this late a date, is an ignorant fool as well. You may have have been, perhaps, half smart if you were a Trump supporter in January. But if you are still a Trump supporter today you are as dumb as dirt.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Thank the crafters of our union that they separated powers or we would be in a horrible mess right now. At least there is a strong chance the executive branch will self-implode by being faced with external opposition and indictments.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                It seems there are growing signs that even his most ardent supporters are beginning to lose confidence in the president.

                Gallup has Trump’s approval rating at just 38 percent, making him the least popular president at this point in their first term in the history of modern polling.

                For a narcissist concerned about image, approval and ratings, that can’t be too good for his ego. Who knows maybe he’ll have a nervous breakdown and he can be removed from office,

                Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment provides an “involuntary” procedure allowing the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to notify the leaders of Congress that the president is disabled. In that case, “the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

                • JJHMAN says:

                  Pence may be just as scary. He actually believes some of the things he says.

                  Next in line after Pence: Paul Ryan.

                  We are so totally screwed

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Looks like no matter what happens we will get to see the results of an unfettered BAU for the next few years, maybe longer.

              • HuntingtonBeach says:

                Lock Him Up !

                • Trumpster says:

                  Trumpster sez he is VERY busy with some personal issues, but he’s too far down the ladder to be of any interest to the just appointed special prosecutor, and most likely won’t be going to jail, at least not for political crimes, lol.

                  So very few comments for now, but ……..

                  For once at least he sez he is in complete and total agreement with HB.

                  Lock him up????

                  Damned right, and throw away the key!

              • clueless says:

                The problem is that you guys actual believe “the news.”

                The greatest secret that the US ever held was the atomic bomb. Truman never knew about it until Roosevelt died. He then went to Potsdam and told Stalin and Churchill that we had it. So, they knew a month before MacArthur was told. That should pretty much put to bed the power that a president has with respect to classified material.

                Comey, under oath before Congress [early in May when still in office] was asked if anyone had tried to obstruct any investigation. He testified “NO.” He then went on to say that he knew that if anything like that occurred, it would really be a big deal – a violation. Later, also under oath before Congress, the deputy in charge of the Justice Department with regard to Russia investigations was asked if anyone had impeded any investigation. He responded “no.” He went further and said that the story that Comey was seeking additional resources was false. The FBI does not request resourses for investigations – they just do whatever it takes.

                If Comey wrote a letter claiming obstruction of justice, then there are two statutes that could put him in prison for not bringing to the attention of the justic department. Further, he lied under oath to congress.

                Then there is a possible legal argument, not really needed for this case, that an FBI investigation does not rise to the level of a legal proceeding in order to have an “obstruction of justice” even possible.

                Even Alan Dershowitz said that Trump had the absolute legal right to fire Comey.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Even Alan Dershowitz said that Trump had the absolute legal right to fire Comey.

                  Oh, you mean that guy, who believes that torture works and should be legal?!

                  Let me guess, you have a framed poster of a shirtless Putin, riding bareback, on your bedroom wall, right?!

                  And no we don’t have to believe “the news.”
                  We can read Trump’s own words in his daily tweets! @#sad!

                • Lloyd says:

                  If Comey wrote a letter claiming obstruction of justice, then there are two statutes that could put him in prison for not bringing to the attention of the justic department. Further, he lied under oath to congress.

                  From what I read, obstruction is hard to prove; when the meeting occurred, Comey probably couldn’t prove intent. Even if all the threads are true, it’s still up in the air.

                  For more detail, “The guy who predicted Comey’s memos thinks Comey may be trying to take down Trump” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/17/the-guy-who-predicted-comeys-memos-thinks-comey-may-be-trying-to-take-down-president-trump/?utm_term=.a43363f7cecb

                  MILLER: Yeah. And Comey — he might have had two motives here. One is, when you’re put in this situation, you want to make a record, so if the other side ever tells their story, you can pretty clearly demonstrate with contemporaneous records that you acted appropriately.

                  I keep wondering — something in the back of my head keeps saying to me — maybe Comey was actually trying to build an obstruction-of-justice case against the president here. You know what I mean? Because Comey could handle this one of two ways: The president makes this request, and the first time Comey might say to him, ‘You know, Mr. President, it’s inappropriate for us to have this conversation, and I would appreciate if you would not make a request like this to me again.’ That’s a way to handle it that says very clearly to the president that this should never be repeated.

                  But if you’re trying to build an obstruction-of-justice case, you might want the president to keep talking, because everything he does is digging a deeper legal hole for himself.

                  And yes, Comey’s a jerk, and the reason we’re in this mess. But he’s a lawyer…what can I say? He is undoubtedly in a position to make Trump look bad, and not to make himself look any worse.


              • Trumpster says:


                The odds of soon being rid of us Trumpsters are improving fast, and are now at least fair to good.

                Some people would say good to excellent.

                My personal opinion now is that there is at least a fifty percent chance he will be forced out of office before the 2018 midterm elections.

                I wouldn’t bet on his lasting out his term unless I could bet two and win four or more if he lasts until the next presidential election.

              • Hickory says:

                About 95% of Trump voters are still with him, as of last week pool. They aren’t buying all the ‘fake news’.

                • HuntingtonBeach says:

                  Well, religion does breed ignorance

                • About 95% of Trump voters are still with him, as of last week pool. They aren’t buying all the ‘fake news’.

                  Total Bullshit! Trump supporters don’t know how to tell the truth. They only know how to lie. You need to post a link to that “pool”. I could not find any recent poll but here is one from a month ago.


                  Just 34 percent of the country approved of the job Trump is doing, down from 44.1 percent in March, according to the latest survey this week from Investor’s Business Daily/TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence (IBD/TIPP). The president’s approval rating remained well underwater, with 56 percent of the respondents disapproving of his job performance.

                  Some key supporters have begun to migrate away from Trump, notably Republicans, independents and white men. Trump’s approval among Republicans dropped to just 74 percent, a 14-percentage-point tumble from last month, according to IBD/TIPP. His approval among independents fell 11 percentage points to 29 percent. Among white men, one of Trump’s strongest demographic bases, his approval rating fell from 58 percent to 49 percent.

                  That’s a 16% drop among “white men” his strongest support group. The man is a blooming idiot and stupidity cannot be hidden.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Yeah, here’s a piece from Monmouth University Polling Institute posted yesterday that pretty much confirms his loss of support.


                    Thursday, May 18, 2017

                    President’s job approval moves decidedly downward

                    West Long Branch, NJ – Donald Trump’s approval rating has slipped into majority negative territory since the last Monmouth University Poll. The public is split over whether the president’s attitude toward Russia poses a national security threat for the U.S., although the level of concern increased after news broke about Trump’s conversation with Russian officials in the White House. A majority feel our allies will now be less willing to share sensitive intelligence information with the U.S. government after hearing these reports. The poll also found that most Americans believe that FBI director James Comey was fired in order to hinder the ongoing investigation into Russian ties with the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

                    The president’s job rating currently stands at a net negative 39% approve and 53% disapprove. It was more evenly divided two months ago at 43% approve and 46% disapprove. Trump’s rating has dropped slightly among residents of the nearly 2,500 counties that gave him a victory margin of ten points or more, from 55%-33% in March to 51%-41% today. It has also dipped in the 400+ counties he lost by ten points or more – from 33%-57% to 28%-64% in the current poll. Trump’s biggest decline, though, came among residents of swing counties – the 300 counties where 2016’s winning margin was in the single digits – dropping from 41%-46% in March to 34%-54% in the current poll.

                    “Trump has been losing support in the places that matter most,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey.

                  • Hickory says:

                    Hi Ron- here is a link the the ‘pool’ I referenced-
                    “When asked if they would vote for him again, 96 percent say they would, which is higher than the 85 percent of Hillary Clinton voters who say they would support her again.” from https://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2017/04/trumps-unfavorables-are-high-so-current-support-his-voters

                    Regardless of the actual data, my point is that the people who voted for him are so ignorant and misinformed that the vast majority still believe he is worthy of their vote. We are stuck with a huge number of basically stupid, brainwashed, or indoctrinated voters.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    Do you think his hard-core supporters now make a distinction between “good” Muslims and “bad” Muslims? What do you suppose they think of Trump’s cozying up to the Saudis?

                  • Thanks, Hickory, I apologize for mistaking you for a Trump supporter. I think that poll has his ratings a little high. Polls vary you know. But the very latest Gallup poll, May 8-14 has him at 38 percent. His approval among republicans is 84 percent, independents 35 and democrats 8 percent. That poll did not have a category for just “Trump voters”.

                    Donald Trump’s Presidential Job Approval Ratings

                    To Boomer: I don’t think Trump’s hardcore supporters do much thinking at all. They just accept everything he says as gospel. They approve of him cozying up to the Saudis. If he cozied up to the Devil, they would approve.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            On top of being anti-intellectual, a large contingent of the American population are also de facto deniers of reality!
            Even while the news gets worse and worse every day.


            As concerns grow over the condition of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which has endured widespread coral bleaching in the past several years, scientists are finding similar damage on reefs all over the world, including in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

            Now, a recent expedition to the Chagos Archipelago, a collection of at least 60 small islands in the Indian Ocean, has revealed devastating coral bleaching and coral death there, too.

            “In shallow water, above 15 metres and in places down to 20 metres, we’ve seen a lot of coral mortality – probably somewhere in the region of 90 per cent,” said John Turner, a professor at Bangor University in Wales, who led the recent expedition.

  8. bunky says:

    Trump is well on the road to impeachment imo. As this article points out, if he doesn’t change his ways radically and immediately, the folks who run the R party will find it necessary to disown him in order to hang onto their own elective government offices in any of the swing states and cities.

    The public is slow to wake up, but once awakened…………


    His winning was a long shot, mostly a matter of luck, and the opposition running a business as usual campaign when the mood of the country was all about radical change.

    The odds of his getting kicked out are looking better from week to week, but shit has a way of happening, and he might draw a few more lucky cards before his political lucky streak ends.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      “Trump was equally clear with me that he didn’t value — nor even necessarily recognize — the qualities that tend to emerge as people grow more secure, such as empathy, generosity, reflectiveness, the capacity to delay gratification or, above all, a conscience, an inner sense of right and wrong. Trump simply didn’t traffic in emotions or interest in others. The life he lived was all transactional, all the time. Having never expanded his emotional, intellectual or moral universe, he has his story down, and he’s sticking to it.”

  9. Petro says:

    …be careful what you wish for, everybody!
    If Drumph is impeached, we are going into civil war…
    Just to avoid impeachment and gather “patriotic support”, he might take us to WWlll… if he has no other choice.
    He is what he is, but given the alternative (the ugly, fat, sick EVIL in a pant-suit), he is an “angel”.

    The most important discovery in human history is binary thinking.
    It is the key of/to ruling for us blue bloods, for thousands of years now:
    God-devil, good-evil, left-right, libs- cons, fascists-communists…..
    Once simpleton multitudes believe it, it works wonders…

    There is ABSOLUTELY no difference other than to trick otherwise smart people like you here, at this fine blog….. to make you vote and pay taxes…. to make you think that things can change…. and believe it!

    DemoClicans and RepubliCrats are sides of the same coin, same tyranny…

    We are in a predicament, but upsetting the system (i.e: impeachment, etc) brings the inevitable doom’s day closer.
    Let us all enjoy what we have before ignorantly and naively decide to change it…. for there shall be no “do over”… and Permeae will not save us.

    There will be no “pearly gates” after Rapture and no “72 virgins”, either…. nor will we be reborn as rats in a Buddha suit…
    Enjoy the “orgasm” here and now BEFORE feeling revolutionary and changing things…

    Be well,


    P.S.: no I am not Republican, no I did not vote for Drumpf…

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      “He is what he is, but given the alternative (the ugly, fat, sick EVIL in a pant-suit), he is an “angel”.”

      Hey Lloyd, we got another one

      • Lloyd says:

        Yo, Beach.
        Between contracts right now, so I have far too much time to follow this stuff. The idea that the Republicans and Democrats are equivalent is lodged in the body politic like one of those big Epidermoid Cysts on Dr. Pimple Popper (look it up yourself.) I’m not a big Krugman fan, but this article is painfully on point:
        What’s the Matter With Republicans?

        First, Republicans are professional politicians. Yes, so are most Democrats. But the parties are not the same.

        The Democratic Party is a coalition of interest groups, with some shared views but also a lot of conflicts, and politicians get ahead through their success in striking compromises and finding acceptable solutions.

        The G.O.P., by contrast, is one branch of a monolithic structure, movement conservatism, with a rigid ideology — tax cuts for the rich above all else. Other branches of the structure include a captive media that parrots the party line every step of the way. Compare the coverage of recent political developments on Fox News with almost everywhere else; we’re talking North Korea levels of alternative reality.

        And this monolithic structure — lavishly supported by a small number of very, very wealthy families — rewards, indeed insists on, absolute fealty. Furthermore, the structure has been in place for a long time: It has been 36 years since Reagan was elected, 22 years since the Gingrich takeover of Congress. What this means is that nearly all Republicans in today’s Congress are apparatchiks, political creatures with no higher principle beyond party loyalty.

        The fact that the G.O.P. is a party of apparatchiks was one crucial factor in last year’s election. Why did Marine Le Pen, often portrayed as the French equivalent of Trump, lose by a huge margin? Because France’s conservatives were only willing to go so far; they simply would not support a candidate whose motives and qualifications they distrusted. Republicans, however, went all in behind Trump, knowing full well that he was totally unqualified, strongly suspecting that he was corrupt and even speculating that he might be in Russian pay, simply because there was an “R” after his name on the ballot.

        Other writers point out that Republicans run the risk of being “primaried”-replaced by a more conservative challenger in the next election cycle if they are not deemed conservative enough.

        So…you guys have a bunch of soulless, opportunistic weasels on the Republican side who, through gerrymandering and other questionable tactics, represent far fewer people than their numbers in Congress suggest. And they are all on the run from even more extreme people.

        The more extreme people on the Democratic side?

        Bernie Sanders.

        I rest my case.


    • Hightrekker says:

      ” We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

      — Karl Rove speaking to a small group of reporters at a cocktail party in 2004…… printed in the Washington Post

    • Hightrekker says:

      “So most of us, whatever inklings we may receive of an alternative reality, will settle for doing nothing untoward, recusing ourselves from political debates, and hewing as closely to inoffensive blandishments in our speech as we can. (The only other major path is to adopt the ideologically bankrupt cop-out of lesser evilism and rant about how horrible the other party is. This provides the frisson of feeling at one with the herd, but does nothing to improve society.) In other words, we shackle ourselves to political groupthink and play the role of the conscientious centrist like any good straight man would. We have no time for the revolutionary urgency of the disenfranchised. It was Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor who argued that people don’t want intellectual freedom, but rather to be told what to believe. Only then will they be happy. Otherwise, we ruin our peace of mind through choice paralysis or some variety of existential angst, or through a lack of religious faith that leaves us with no guiding myth to sustain us. Given all these apolitical factors that inform whether or not one challenges the received narrative, is it any surprise that mental slavery and ignorance are as prevalent today as in Orwell’s time?”

  10. Survivalist says:
  11. While it is true that not all republicans are racists, it cannot be denied that all racists are republicans.

    Shockingly Stupid Republicans

  12. Hightrekker says:

    “If there is going to be a climate catastrophe,” says Ohio State glaciologist Ian Howat, “it’s probably going to start at Thwaites.”


  13. Doug Leighton says:


    “China has for the first time extracted gas from an ice-like substance under the South China Sea considered key to future global energy supply. Chinese authorities have described the success as a major breakthrough. Methane hydrates, also called “flammable ice”, hold vast reserves of natural gas. Many countries including the US and Japan are working on how to tap those reserves, but mining and extracting are extremely difficult….”


    • GoneFishing says:

      Oh goody, more fossil fuel. There is a nearly endless supply if one is willing to do anything to extract it.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Well, methane hydrate deposits are probably a larger hydrocarbon resource than all of the world’s oil, natural gas and coal resources combined. Do you expect this energy source will be ignored, especially by countries like Japan who currently must import most of their energy? Put another way, how else are we going to absolutely guarantee destroying the planet’s eco-system given depleting coal, oil and natural gas reserves?

        • GoneFishing says:

          Doug, I expect people in general to continue as they have. I would love to be surprised by their not.
          Now that natural feedbacks are kicking in strongly, humans will not want to be outdone.

  14. OFM says:

    Things are hectic as hell on the personal front at the moment, so I can only drop in for a minute here and there.

    This comment is brought on by Ron’s remark that all racists are Republicans. I wouldn’t argue with this, as a generality, but phrasing it as an absolute is a mistake. It pisses people off who happen to be Republicans who know better.

    Here’s ANOTHER top dog big D Democrat who thinks the D’s lost the presidency because Clinton ran a lousy campaign.


    “What happened was that this was the first campaign that I can recall where my party did not talk about what it always stood for — and that was how to maintain a burgeoning middle class. You didn’t hear a single solitary sentence in the last campaign about that guy working on the assembly line making $60,000 bucks a year and a wife making $32,000 as a hostess in restaurant.”

    This is basically saying fifty percent of what I have been saying for the last year or two about the D’s problems. The real core of the party, the HEART of the party , consists of working people, rather than people like HB who talks the talk but walks the investor class walk, making his money not by the sweat of his brow, but in the stock market, sitting around waiting until he can get the capital gains tax rate which is less or about the same as secretaries and guys who cut grass for a living pay in social security taxes.

    Working people weren’t much in the mood to vote for a D who prefers to hang out with banksters rather than their kind. SOMEHOW the Clinton camp managed to overlook the perfectly obvious fact that there are a hell of a lot more working class D’s in this country than there are gays, lesbians, minorities of all kinds, etc etc. There are many times as many WORKING CLASS D voters as there are HB types who brag about the killings they make in the stock market, and paying only capital gains taxes, which are about what a self employed laborer pays in social security taxes alone. Gays, lesbians, minorities and just about any other easily identified class of people, other than the MONEYED class, ARE mostly members of the working class.

    Of course it’s true that Trump is far worse, but then all almost all the D’s I know were so cock sure that Clinton would win that they never even CONSIDERED the possibility that she would lose. I thought she would win myself, but I tried to tell everybody that the people were in a mood to give the establishment, both R and D an emphatic vertical middle finger.

    I will never know whether more people voted FOR Clinton because they feared or loathed Trump than voted for Trump because they feared or loathed Clinton. But I do know that there were substantial numbers of people who voted against rather than for either of them.

    The other fifty percent is the culture war.

    Biden also said this.

    “n announcing he wouldn’t run for president in October 2015, Biden took a shot at Clinton’s debate response that the enemy she was most proud of was “probably the Republicans.” Here’s what Biden said:
    “I believe we have to end the divisive, partisan politics that is ripping this country apart and I believe we can. It’s mean spirited. It’s petty. And it’s gone on for much too long. I don’t believe, like some do, that it’s naive to talk to Republicans. I don’t think we should look at Republicans as our enemies. They are our opposition. They’re not our enemies.”

    Now I’m just another rednecked old hillbilly who happens to actually RESPECT people based on their character, rather than their level of education, etc, because when you get right down to it, at least half of what we accomplish in this world is determined by how lucky we were in the parental lottery. Getting into university is no big deal if your parents are university graduates.

    But it can be a big deal if you come from a tough background and nobody you know offers you a hand up and good advice or shows you a good example. I got in by way of moderately good luck in the parental lottery, in that I had poor uneducated religious parents, but they taught me as well as they could as best they knew how to work and take responsibility, plus I was also lucky in that academics come real easy for me, so I made it. Most of the kids I knew didn’t, lacking one or the other or both of these lucky cards.

    Just about every last person who comments about politics here, excepting yours truly, makes fun of conservatives, religious people, southerners, etc, and then seems to think the D’s ought to expect the butts of their jokes and insults to vote D.

    Well guys, talk like that around women, and you couldn’t get a date in a whore house with a fat roll of hundred dollar bills.

    And then you wonder why the D’s lost, and blame in on the R’s being smart enough to fool the voters.

    When you lose a contest, if you are a grown up, you look to your own team, and your own mistakes, your own failure to execute.

    • This comment is brought on by Ron’s remark that all racists are Republicans. I wouldn’t argue with this, as a generality, but phrasing it as an absolute is a mistake. It pisses people off who happen to be Republicans who know better.

      Mac, I don’t really give a flying fuck if the one in a thousand racists who is not a republican gets pissed off. But I would like to meet this guy… or gal… because I have never met a racist who was not a republican. And during my almost 79 years I have met a lot of racists.

      I was born, raised and lived most of my life in the deep South. I have met and have had conversations with thousands of racists down here. And they were to the man, or woman, Bible thumping, gun loving, queer hating republican racists!

      So I would say to that one in a thousand racist who is not a republican, I hope you are an independent because you are too goddamn dumb to be a democrat. And I am really glad you are pissed off because I said so.

      • OFM says:

        Hi Ron,

        If you will concede that people who vote D most or nearly all the time or Democrats, by definition, then I must say you have never been on a union construction job where ninety five percent of the guys are white, but four or five times that many people in the community or city are black, lol. Or where most of the cops are white, but the city government is controlled by democrats, etc, and most of those cops are declared democrats, etc.

        Do you think these situations exist as ACCIDENTS?

        Do you think it’s an accident that there are so few blacks in such unions ?

        Harsh generalizations such as you make in this case are driving political polarization, when what is needed is a little civil discourse.

        I repeat, you CANNOT CONTROL the opposition, but you CAN control your own team, and there are a LOT of people who are respectable, hard working, tax paying, morally upright people who tend to take a great deal off offense at such statements as all racists are republicans.

        Incidentally, although I am NOT accusing you of being a racist, there are plenty of people who WOULD do so, if they were to run across some things you have said here in your own blog about the people you worked with when you were in the oil biz overseas, lol.

        ANYWAY, I basically AGREED with you, I am simply trying to point out SOME of the reasons why Democrats are in the fucking electoral dog house, and the Republicans are riding high.

        You are a literate man, and smart enough to understand that in order to win elections, in most cases, in this country, you only need shift from one or two percent, or slightly more, of the voters from one candidate to the other candidate. Two percent off one’s tally adds two percent to the other, you see, it’s not all that complicated.

        I know a lot of both kinds of people, both D and R, and the indifferent kind as well. On several occasions, I have tried to get technically literate social conservatives to follow this blog, as an educational exercise, because there is a WORLD of useful info here, the kind of info that ENABLES a person to make better long term decisions about his own future, etc.

        None of them read it for more than a few days because they got pissed about the constant stream of insults heaped on their preferred culture. This is unfortunate, because if they were to follow this blog, they would be far better informed about matters such as the depletion of fossil fuels, etc, and thus more likely to make rational decisions both in their own lives and as voters.

        You are NOT helping your case, you are ranting. Well, I rant a lot too,lol.

        I don’t get mad about being called dumb, or ignorant, etc, and if we were neighbors, you almost for sure be one of my best friends.

        Here’s something to chew on. The membership here is mostly FACT FOCUSED and LITERATE. People who are truly literate NEVER deny indisputable facts, knowing they will then be condemned as fools in the eyes of any other truly literate person.

        My basic contention for the last year or two, politically, has been that HRC ( Trump too) was ethically unqualifed to be president, and lacked the political acumen and judgement to be president. In math class, you only ever had to provide ONE proof to make your case. I provided that ONE INDISPUTABLE PROOF that Clinton is or was a scam artist, an amatuer compared to Trump of course, but still a scam artist.

        Now I am of the firm belief that the average D who hangs out here is too blinded by his own cultural and political prejudices to even GIVE A REAL THOUGHT to WHY the R’s more or less OWN government, nationally, from the WH down to village dog catcher, and have been gaining power at the D’s expense for the last ten to twenty years.

        Democratic LITE politics are the reason why, plus the culture war. It takes a political fool to fail to understand that the big money donors to the D party aren’t buying the same thing the big money donors to the R party are buying- influence, access, legislation tailored to their agendas, etc.

        If you really and truly want the country to return the D’s to power, well, you need to think about the fact that the Sanders camp raises money from actual fucking VOTERS rather than a handful of rich people, etc.

        Consider this for instance.


        The national party, still controlled by the Clinton machine, has not contributed one fucking DIME, to the best of my knowledge , to a competitive Democratic congressional candidate, one who is truly in a position to win, and may win, on grass roots support, rather than corporate money.

        Consider what the last VP had to say……… the Clinton campaign virtually IGNORED working people, preferring to run on identity politics, and on the banksters agenda, and globalism, which was utterly stupid considering the mood of the country.

        Some time back you described Obama as a saint. Well, I rate his presidency as pretty good, except that under his leadership , the D’s got their asses kicked, on average, and were used as a mop.

        Could a saint have FAILED to prosecute any banksters ? They all walked away with their multimillion dollar salaries and bonuses. Damned right Obama was decent, but a saint? That’s simply partisan bullshit.

        I speak as a disinterested COACH in terms of talking about electoral politics.
        Everything I have ever posted, in terms of the environment, etc, is reasonably or entirely consistent with the overall D party position on environment, etc.
        I PERSONALLY support a single payer health care system, etc. I married a Jewish woman. I ‘m welcome in the home of a local lesbian couple, etc. My black neighbors eat with me at the family table when the occasion arises, I don’t love them at a distance while living in places there aren’t any blacks because they can’t AFFORD to live near me, etc.

        Can I still be a CONSERVATIVE and support both strong environmental law and single payer? Sure, because the labels liberal and conservative no longer mean very much, except as weapons in partisan hands. Maybe tonight I will compose a rant about WHY being in favor of strong environmental regulation is the MOST CONSERVATIVE possible position, if you use the word in the true sense, the way engineers, accountants, lawyers, and other professionals, other than political professionals, use it.

        Personal issues looked as if they would be overwhelming long term a few weeks back, but things look better now, and I am now free again to spend ample time politicking.

        • I must say you have never been on a union construction job where ninety five percent of the guys are white, but four or five times that many people in the community or city are black,…

          No, no and no, I have never, (in the last 40 years or so), seen such a situation. And I have seen a lot of construction sites and they all seemed to have been pretty well racially balanced. Mac, I think you are imagining shit that doesn’t really exist. But if you have a link or some proof, I would be glad to look at it.

          Or where most of the cops are white, but the city government is controlled by democrats, etc, and most of those cops are declared democrats, etc.

          Well, now you need to tell me which city you are talking about. In almost every city in America, I see black cops everywhere. Most of them, especially here in the south in cities where blacks are the majority, have black mayors and police chiefs. And even in cities where whites are the majority, like my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama, I see black cops everywhere. But as I said, if you have a link or some proof, then please post it.

          What I am saying Mac, is that I just don’t think you have your facts straight. Mac, anecdotal evidence is never worth very much to start with. But when your anecdotes are just stuff you just thought was true, it is worth even less.

          I stand by my original statement. Though not all republicans are racists,racists are almost all republicans. That fact simply cannot be denied!

          Did you watch this very short video? Shockingly Stupid Republicans This film was made in Mississippi. Here and Alabama is where I lived almost all my life Mac. This is exactly how it is down here. Of course, there are some enlightened people in the deep south, they are just not in the majority.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster,

      It’s time you become honest with yourself. You fell hook, line and sinker for the fake news and were instrumental along with millions of other haters in spreading it across the internet.

      “I can recall where my party did not talk about what it always stood for”

      Trumpster, you claimed earlier that you were an Independent. So what is it ? Are you lying now or before ? You also claimed you voted for Jill Stein. That doesn’t sound like a Democrat to me.

      Did Jill Stein Get $40,000 to Party with Putin?

      The Kremlin paid General Michael Flynn roughly $40,000 to have dinner with Vladimir Putin at a December 2015 Russia Today gala according to The New Yorker


      “WORKING CLASS D voters as there are HB types who brag about the killings they make in the stock market”

      Now Butt Breath, if your going to talk about me. At least tell the complete story. I never received anything from anybody to build my estate, no inheritance, nothing. I started paying Social Security and Medicare taxes at the age of 14 and now have contributed to it for 47 years preforming both blue and white collar work. I’ve earned everything I have, no hand outs. That’s a far cry from you who lives with Daddy in the basement and whines poor me.

      “Well guys, talk like that around women, and you couldn’t get a date in a whore house with a fat roll of hundred dollar bills”

      I wouldn’t know, but it sounds like you have a little experience on the subject.

      “When you lose a contest, if you are a grown up, you look to your own team, and your own mistakes, your own failure to execute”

      Trumpster, you need to practice what you preach

      OFM says:
      05/12/2017 AT 2:16 PM

      “I won’t be posting much political stuff here any more”

      Well Trumpster, it only took less than a week for you to make a liar out of yourself again. Your going to have to step up the pace to keep up with your boss.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Lets be honest:
        Here’s the takeaway: Obama’s numerous debauched decisions ranged from refusing to pursue criminal charges against those responsible for the financial meltdown in 2008 to energetically prosecuting more whistleblowers than any president in U.S. history; from continuing the disastrous wars in the Middle East to orchestrating the greatest transfer of wealth ($4.5 trillion) in history to the richest 1% in our country. These policies were neither “mistakes” nor implemented because Obama was a “bad guy,” but because that’s the role of the president in our class-based system. The president’s function is to administer the state at home and abroad for the plutocrats. As David Harvey explains, the role requires that “…no serious challenges to the absolute power of money to rule absolutely” will be tolerated. Perpetual maximization of profit is the abiding principle. Period.

        Straying from this basic truth into arguments over personalities only serves the interests of the powerful and unnecessarily antagonizes many good-hearted, potential allies. Finally, it diverts our attention from replacing this irredeemable system with one that responds to our desire for a truly democratic, radically different society. It’s nothing personal.

        HRC would of been plug and play BAU, with a more war centric attitude.

        On a micro level, better on women’s, workplace, gender, an the environment (as long as it didn’t infringe on donors profits).

        Cheeto Boy is a moronic thug, but with the same macro policies and allegiances.

      • OFM says:

        Hi HB,

        Your reading skills are sadly deficient.

        “I can recall where my party did not talk about what it always stood for”

        That’s a Joe Biden quote. The link is in my comment, lol.

        All along I said I would probably stay home and get drunk and cry for my country if the election came down to a choice between HRC and Trump.

        Of course you can continue to paint me as a Trump supporter, but you will look long and hard before you find anything I have posted that paints Trump in a good light, although I do occasionally acknowledge that he is truly talented crook, and that he had a far far better grasp of the mood of the country than HRC and here Prada and English suit yes girls and boys.

        And I am free to continue to point out that I support the large majority of what the D party stands for, while having zero use for HRC on ethical and judgemental grounds, not to mention I flat out detest pompous people of any stripe who go around with their nose in the air looking down on every body else, especially if the people they look down on happen to be the same folks as a substantial portion of my friends and family, and most of my neighbors, lol.

        Enjoy your money, I suppose you donate by the thousand, since you are one of the moneyed class. The D lite Democrats will take care of you, enabling you, along with the R’s, who are more your friends than mine, especially at tax time, to continue to pay a pittance of income tax on your investment income.

        There were some important local races on the ballot, so I didn’t stay home. I voted a D ticket, except for president I voted Green.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Like I explained to you before, I don’t read your post because you go on and on and on with mostly crap. I just scan it for a couple of your stupid points. If you didn’t rant, I wouldn’t have make the mistake. You are your own worst enemy.


          Trumpster(Cornel West) you really need to watch this.

          Bill Maher gets into epic shouting match with Cornel West over Hillary versus Trump


          Bonus, Excellent entertainment – New Rule: Orange Sphincter to the Rescue | Real Time with Bill Maher


          • islandboy says:

            Since you bring up Cornel West, he made a point that I thought was a very hard to argue against. He made the point that where he lived, his vote for Jill Stein made no difference since Clinton won his state regardless and that she lost because of the swing states she DID NOT campaign in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

            I followed the 2016 presidential elections more closely than I’ve ever followed a US presidential race, primarily because of Bernie Sanders and the incredible energy his campaign generated. HRC’s almost complete lack of real enthusiastic support was an omen the DNC should have taken seriously instead of seemingly insisting that it was her turn. Even the campaign slogans were uninspiring, “Stronger Together” and “I’m with her”? Contrast that with Obama’s “Change we can believe in”, “Hope” and “Yes we can”, messages that convey aspirational goals as opposed to just staying with the status quo.

            Bernie Sanders and Trump trapped in to a deep seated angst among poor, rural, largely white voters that Clinton apparently did not sense at all or if she did, didn’t think it was worthwhile worrying about. These voters needed “a savior” and a savior Clinton definitely was not. The second Bill Maher video you linked to points to that. Bernie Sanders repeatedly brought up the fact that he did much better against Trump in every single poll yet the DNC did everything they could to make sure Clinton got the nomination.

            Face it buddy Donald Trump only won because HRC was a poor choice of candidate considering the mood of much of the country. The people who voted for Trump may have voted for Bernie but, they were never going to vote for her. Bernie was offering a change, a transformation that promised to put millions of people to work. He didn’t stress putting FF out of business but, instead spoke of putting millions of people to work creating a new (renewable) energy infrastructure. Clinton, while she may have been on the same page as Bernie on energy, didn’t articulate what that vision meant for the rural working class voter.

            The DNC needs to own the fact that they fumbled the ball and move on with the intention of never fucking up like that again. They had a winner and ran a loser.

            • Boomer II says:

              Hard to say, though, what would have happened if Sanders won the nomination. I think he would have been subjected to the same kind of misinformation campaign that Clinton received.

              • twocats says:

                yeah I’m not sure the “bernie’s killed people” or “bernie foundation corrupt to the bone” (no such foundation) or the ever popular “bernie caused benghazi” memes would have stuck. 🙂 all good propaganda has a kernel of truth to it.

                • Boomer II says:

                  Oh, they would have made up stuff. I guarantee it. It’s called false news for a reason.

                • Nick G says:

                  And…what was the kernel of truth to “Obama was born in Kenya”?

                  30% of Americans believe that…

                • Boomer II says:

                  If Sanders had gotten the nomination, he would have been subjected to this.

                  The Seth Rich ‘Scandal’ Shows That Fox News Is Morally Bankrupt | Foreign Policy: “The Pulitzer Prize-winning website PolitiFact found that nearly 60 percent of the statements it checked on Fox News were either mostly or entirely false. Another 19 percent were only half true. Only Fox News viewers are likely to believe that climate change is a hoax, that there is a ‘war on Christmas,’ that Obamacare would create ‘death panels,’ that there is an epidemic of crime committed by immigrants (they actually have a lower crime rate than native-born Americans), that President Barack Obama forged his birth certificate and wiretapped Trump with the aid of Britain’s signals intelligence agency, and that the accusations bedeviling Trump are a product of ‘Russophobia.’ FNC might as well stand for Fake News Channel, and its myths have had a pernicious, indeed debilitating, effect on U.S. politics.”

                  • OFM says:

                    Sanders came into the contest with a sterling reputation for honesty and integrity, as opposed to HRC who came in with the lowest ratings by a mile of any prominent Democrat in the country, dragging a baggage train that reached all the way back to Arkansas.

                    She was effectively punch drunk in terms of reputation with middle of the road and conservative voters and most WORKING working class people even BEFORE Trump started in on her.

                    It’s true that Trump would have slimed Sanders, but it wouldn’t have worked to anything like the same extent it worked for against HRC.

                    It doesn’t even matter as a practical matter whether HRC deserved her bad reputation, whether it is fact based, or the result of her famous Great Right Wing Conspiracy.

                    She still had it to deal with, like a cannonball attached to her ankle with a chain.

                    And for what it’s worth, this is a forum dominated by mathematically literate members. I am still waiting for one to say something in defense of her astronomically unlikely success as an amateur trader in cattle futures, lol, explaining how she did so much better than anybody else in the history of the business, just about, starting from scratch and getting her info, according to her own words, from two and three day old newspapers.

                    I’m perfectly satisfied that Trump is in smelly shit up to his orange nose with the Russians, etc, the evidence is clear enough, all things considered.

                    But suppose a REPUBLICAN candidate for president had had such a secret email system as HRC had, and deleted half the contents ?

                    Every liberal and or Democrat I know would have screamed bloody murder, while either idiotic and or cynical REPUBLICANS would have defended their candidate.

                    Any body with a lick of political sense understands that this is true, and it follows that millions of people decided on this basis that they would have to think long and hard about voting for Clinton. Some of those millions either stayed at home, and some of them no doubt even voted for Trump.

                    So maybe there weren’t any smoking guns in all those emails. Paint me a cynic, I believe they were deleted so as to cover her ass, politically. Ivy League lawyers with dozens of lawyers handy generally know how to skirt the law without actually running much risk of prosecution, lol.

                    But if those deleted emails had ever seen the light of day, there is no doubt in MY mind that some of them would have revealed a hell of a lot of pay for play shenanigans going on between the Clinton state dept and the many known money bags ethically questionable donors to that foundation.

                    Speaking as a COACH, as a non partisan political analyst (I AM NOT CLAIMING I AM A NON PARTISAN, other than as an analyst commenting on why she lost ) , it’s perfectly obvious the D party made a major mistake in going with a candidate with such a tattered reputation and such miserable polling numbers.

                    I must say in terms of the R’s and Trump that they at least TRIED to run somebody else.

                    The D’s ran a primary system rigged to the extent they could get away with it in favor of HRC, and actually had their lawyers in court arguing that the party is free to ignore it’s own charter and lie to party members, etc.

                    And while they did get away with it, it’s possible to make a good argument that it cost the D’s the WH, which Sanders could have won, he out polled Clinton versus Trump right along.

                    And given that the election turned out to be very close in a lot of places, it could also be that a lot of very pissed off young well educated, very liberal gung ho Democrats who were in favor of Sanders actually just stayed home election day.

                    There might have been enough such young D’s that WITH THEM she would have won. Of course the vast majority of Sanders supporters voted for her, excepting the handful that voted Green. I’m referring to the unknown number who stayed at home, there were some, no doubt. The only question is how many.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    The fake newers played on people’s impressions of Clinton rather than the facts. They would have played on people’s impressions of Sanders if he had been the target. It didn’t matter if it was true. The propaganda machine would have put up anything necessary.

                    Why do you think some people don’t believe climate scientists? Do you think it is because climate scientists have a bad reputation? No. It’s because they have preconceived ideas of liberals and the environment and believe the lies told to them.

                    Look at how some people have reacted to vaccines? They still cling to the work of a lying scientist.

                    It’s not about the person being lied about. It is about the lie and who WANTS to be believe it. There would have been a massive campaign against Sanders if that is what it would have taken to defeat him. Again, it’s about feeding people misinformation to reinforce what they want to believe. It isn’t about facts.

                    I am talking about the success of misinformation campaigns. It happens routinely with fake news sites. If the fake newers want to create discord and if they want to influence people away from certain ideas, they will plant rumors, fake facts, etc. And those who want to have something to back up their re-existing biases will point to that fake news.

                    You can see the pattern with global warming. “The numbers aren’t true.” “The scientists have been paid to fake their research.” “There’s a global conspiracy to take away our lifestyles.” “It’s a Chinese plot.” Etc.

                    Now just imagine the campaign against Sanders. It wouldn’t have to have been true. Clinton has been a target since her husband was president. Sanders hasn’t been subjected to the same fake news campaigns. But it would have happened. Just like we see with the anti-global warming campaigns. Reputation doesn’t mean much if you are a target.

                    Look at Obama. His reputation was clear. But he was subjected to fake news campaigns. There wasn’t anything on him or his wife, so they made stuff up. “He’s a Muslim.” “He was born in Kenya.”

          • Hightrekker says:

            West is a Cabbage For Christ.
            That negates most of his analysis.
            That said, how could anyone left leaning vote for HRC?:
            Voted for the Iraq War
            The Patriot Act
            Keystone Pipeline
            Said the TTP was the “gold Standard” of trade deals
            Was on the board of WallCrap
            Influential in her husbands administration, that put 8 million women and children into poverty, and locked up a large number of the male population.
            I could go on—-

            At least Cheeto Jesus is making some people wake up.
            (At this point the only thing important is what is on the other side of the wall we are going to crash into)

          • OFM says:

            So I’m a liar because I thought I would be having a lot less time to play on the net, and said I would be posting less. Well, circumstances changed again for the better, and now I have my free time back again, in spades, and have plenty of time to post.

            WHEREAS, you have often said you don’t read my posts, but you seldom fail to respond to them, and I thankya truly, for doing so!

            But I have a little trouble understanding how it is that you manage to quote me, and to misquote me, and attribute Biden’s words to me, without reading my comments.

            Now I’m just a stupid dumb trumpster, we all know that because you have said so a thousand times, but if you explain VERY carefully, using small words and short sentences, I might be able to understand how you do it, quoting me without reading my comments???

      • OFM says:

        Back to ya HB,

        As the old song goes, when the guy denies he’s a commie, we don’t even HAVE a basement, in the house, anyway.There are basments in some of the various buildings on the farm. I own a great deal of very desirable property, including three rental houses, and my farm, some timberland, half a mile of a fine trout stream, etc.

        I live with my Daddy so he can spend the last days of his life at home in comfortable and familiar surroundings rather than as a number in a nursing home, looked after by badly overworked and underpaid burnt out caretakers.

        It probably sounds ENTIRELY ridiculous to you, but even though I am scientifically literate, I do take some of the moral teachings of the Christian church, and some other religions as well of course, very seriously.

        One of those teachings is that you honor your parents, meaning in part to take care of them in their old age. I took care of my Mom, and I’m taking care of my Daddy, and will do so to the extent I am able for as long as necessary, which could be a long time yet, or another hour.

        Now you can continue to try to deflect attention from stupid mistakes HRC made as a candidate, etc, by pointing out the evidence of shortcomings of the opposition. I’m not defending Trump, or any of his friends, lol. Never have, never will, most likely.

        You can’t go around pretending to be a REAL Democrat, and then bragging about all your money, and paying a fucking pittance in taxes. You’re a Democrat Lite, a DINO, Democrat in Name Only.

        HRC lost because she’s a fucking D Lite, as much or more a Republican, than a real Democrat.

        She was so fucking arrogant she talked down to the working class, the heart and core of the D party, like trash. She didn’t even show her fat ass in the states that cost her the election, being so arrogant as to assume that working people would continue to vote for her in those states even though she campaigned as a fucking money bag gloablist, lol.

        Well, they gave her the straight middle finger, did they not, and in UNMISTAKEABLE fashion, lol.

        Arrogance and stupidity, when you come to those categories, she matches Trump on the arrogance, but when it comes to political brains, to understanding the mood of the country, she proved herself a dunce in comparison to Trump.

  15. GoneFishing says:

    Wolf in sheep’s clothing. The difference between reality and advertisement is dramatically demonstrated by this attempt to make a world heritage site.

    The hills, whose clothes so many profess to admire, are naked. The narrative we are being asked to support is false. The attempt to ensure that the ecological disaster zone we call the Lake District National Park can never recover from its sheepwrecking is one long exercise in woolly thinking.


    • Fred Magyar says:

      And in other news, seems like we might be DOOMED regardless!


      The Arctic Doomsday Seed Vault Flooded. Thanks, Global Warming

      It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Not good news—

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Want to truly protect the world’s seeds? PROPAGATE! (And support that endeavor, which might mean not supporting other endeavors that get in the way of that.)

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Want to truly protect the world’s seeds?

          Of course not! Why would the hell would I want to do that?! I want to see as many people die of starvation, within the few remaining years of my life, as I possibly can…

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Well if you declare it, then it must be true…

            “Please please, everyone… Let us take some moments of silence to gaze meditatively at Frederick’s navel…”

      • notanoilman says:

        Surprised – not!


      • JN2 says:

        Hyperbole. No seed damaged. Thankfully!

  16. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Questioning The Theory and Practice of Biomimicry

    “While Benyus comes across quite strongly about the supposed eco-friendly nature of biomimicry, this is not always how the practice of biomimicry unfolds…

    For instance, if we take a short trip through some recent research projects in biomimicry, we find projects devoted to:
    • designing undetectable surveillance cameras based on the compound eyes of insects.
    • emulating biological molecules, such as DNA, to create industrial nanomachines.
    A. Marshall & S. Lozeva, Int. J. of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics. Vol. 4, No. 1 (2009) 3
    • exploring other planets with space craft inspired by insects, spiders and worms.
    • inventing new military technologies based on all kinds of animals and plants.
    • fashioning new consumer bio-inspired products (from bionic automobiles to genetically engineered
    fi bres).

    None of these projects has pronounced sustainability credentials. Some probably involve expanded ecological footprints and others a high degree of environmental risk. It is also noteworthy that the prime funders of large-scale biomimicry research are tending to be the defence industry along with various large corporations. What this suggests is that biomimicry could indeed be a profitable way to render nature’s secrets available for human use, but it is a tool with as much capacity for environmental harm as for eco-friendliness.


    The belief that techno-fixes are the path to global eco-friendliness has been labelled ‘technocentrism’.

    Various writers define technocentrism in slightly different ways, but generally technocentrism is held to involve ideas such as the following:
    • economic growth and technological growth hold the key to solving ecological and social problems
    • science is able to provide precise and politically neutral information for the management of the environment
    • an anthropocentric value system (humans are the locus of ultimate value; nature is a resource for humanity)
    • the role of experts (scientists, engineers and technocrats) is venerated and privileged
    • the market is the best conduit for realising technological dispersal across society
    • globalisation and the universality of mass-produced technology is a force for good
    • centralised organisation of technological development (in the hands of a few corporations and Governments) is both normal and efficient
    • the spirit of industrialism should be encouraged

    In contrast to technocentrism lies ecocentrism, which—as it name suggests— espouses values centred around ‘ecology’ rather than ‘technology’.

    Ecocentrism tends to be:
    • pessimistic about the chances that science and technology alone will save the world from environmental crisis
    • wary about the virtues of centralised decision making and the (biased) knowledge of experts
    • supportive of technological innovations that are low intensity, people-oriented, sustainable, democratic, and do not require its users to become trapped in a global market system
    • non-anthropocentric (humans are not the only locus of ultimate value; nature is to be preserved because it, too, has intrinsic value)…

    We might also judge that the biomimicked projects listed above cannot possibly be ecocentric given their propensity to:
    • propose technological solutions to problems that can be handled in other ways (spiritual, social, political, behavioural, moral ways, for instance)
    • expand unsustainable practices and industry
    • favour the market as the main dispersal mode (and converting all citizens into mere consumers)
    • rely on science as the best (and only truth exposing) medium to interpret nature (instead of through other realms of human thought such as religion, poetry, philosophy and politics)
    • embed local communities in a global technology trap (where they are promised personal freedom and flexibility through technology but soon become dependent on faraway resources and experts)…

    Plenty of biomimics will respond that although biomimicry may like to prudently protect the environment so that it can remain a source for innovative ideas, there is no requirement that bio-inspired technologies must necessarily do this…


    …Whereas biomimicry (a) does not necessarily involve eco-friendly technological design, (b) is invented and regulated by experts and (c) works within the mass market without much democratic input, ecomimicry will operate to be:
    • inherently sustainable from an environmental and social point of view
    • encouraging of decentralisation and localism
    • democratic when it comes to decision making over technological change
    • understood by all, not just by the experts
    • sensitive to the need to disperse power rather than to concentrate it

    All these suggestions work within the social dimension of design and can be woven into the practice of bio-inspired design in order to synergistically get the most out of human communities as well as biotic communities.

    The introduction of the label ecomimicry is not intended as a launch of a grand new philosophy and practice of technology, it merely acts as a categorisation system that delineates between practices of mimicking nature that are not particularly socially and environmentally responsible (biomimicry) and practices of mimicking nature that aim to be environmentally sensitive and socially just (ecomimicry).”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Oh great! Philosophical BS from the Humanities vs Science…

      Bio: Silvia Lozeva, PhD Sustainability studies
      Enthusiastic global (environmental) citizen. Likes languages, board games, classic Russian literature, Philosophy and Korean movies. I have a passion for sustainability, equal (gender, work etc.) rights, books, radio, audio-novels as well as bicycles. Wanting to make a documentary movie, write books and teach.
      Curtin University of Technology Australia, Perth
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Sustainability Studies, 2008 -2013
      Sofia University St. “Kliment Ohridski” Bulgaria, Sofia

      Master, Gender Studies, 2004 -2006 University of National and World Economy Bulgaria, Sofia

      Bachelor of Arts (B.A), Economics (Labour Economics), 1996-2001

      Experience since October 2013 Researcher/ Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute

      Bio: Janine Benyus is a biologist, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. In Biomimicry, she names an emerging discipline that emulates nature’s designs and processes (e.g., solar cells that mimic leaves) to create a healthier, more sustainable planet. Since the book’s 1997 release, Janine has evolved the practice of biomimicry, consulting with businesses and conducting seminars about what we can learn from the genius that surrounds us. Her favorite role is Biologist-at-the-Design-Table, introducing innovators to 3.8 billion years of brilliant, time-tested solutions.

      So we have Dr. Silvia, a non scientist with a background in the humanities, criticizing an actual biologist about bioscience…


      Nature is a big thing, both physically and conceptually. There are many levels within it that may serve as a basis for bio-inspiration: from the molecular level, through the organismal level to the ecosystem and biosphere levels. There is also a lot going on in nature: birth, death, sex, cooperation,competition, parasitism, predation, scavenging, nurturing and care, movement and mechanics,cycling and recycling, growth and decay, etc. Some of these processes appear quite amazing and wonderful to us humans. Some of it appears wasteful and cruel. Philosophical reflection upon the great diversity of processes in nature might lead one to regard it as so riddled with self-contradictory diversity that it is impossible to extract any general principles from it. For all the examples we may give where nature seems dynamic and energetic, for instance, there are plenty of examples that show it to be sluggish and degenerative. Despite the amazing diversity of nature, Benyus [3] believes it is important for biomimics to take account of certain basic laws of nature when they engage in the practice of biomimicry. For her, there are nine such basic laws

      Pure unscientific drivel, riddled with unsubstantiated statments, typical of someone with a background in the humanities…

      A. Marshall & S. Lozeva, Int. J. of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics. Vol. 4, No. 1 (2009)5

      1.Nature runs on sunlight
      2.Nature uses only the energy it needs
      3.Nature fits form to function
      4.Nature recycles everything (finding a use for all wastes)
      5.Nature rewards cooperation
      6.Nature banks on diversity
      7.Nature demands local expertise
      8.Nature curbs excesses from within
      9.Nature taps the power of limits

      Critics from a positivist slant (whereby it is held that true knowledge about nature is obtainable if you use the correct methods) would surely like to point out that all these basic laws of nature are broken by nature herself.

      Whoever these critics are they are obviously not scientists and certainly not biologists. The criticism is based on ignorance of the scientific method and therefore not valid. Furthermore that is a strawman argument since that is not a list of natural laws. They are useful observations. I highly doubt that any trained biologist such as Dr. Benyus would suggest that those constitute immutable natural laws.

      For instance, with regards to number 7, there are generalist organisms that rove around wildly different geographic regions with no great adaptations to local situations, yet they still thrive.

      Well, DUH!

      Similarly with regard to number 1, some organisms deep in the ocean feed within ecosystems totally removed from the impact of solar radiation. From this point of view, there may be a problem in practicing biomimicry based on any ‘basic law of nature’ since what is or is not a basic law of nature is entirely contestable.

      Only a non scientist would suggest that because there are chemosynthetic organisms that live near hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean, that this somehow invalidates the laws of nature! They obviously need to revisit the scientific method, brush up on their biochemistry and perhaps take a post graduate level course in ecosystem thermodynamics. Only then could they intelligently discuss how the laws of thermodynamics impact these fascinating deep sea ecosystems. To be crystal clear, the laws of nature are not contestable and I’m pretty sure any biologist worth his or her salt would agree!

      Nature, at least biological nature, is just too diverse to be generalisable into laws.

      That is just too ridiculous a statement to even deserve a comment!

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Good morning in the Americas, Fred.

        Your first comment of the day and guess who catches it. ^u^
        Some problems with it of course…

        While I have to head out soon, let’s take a look at a few, shall we?

        ♥ First, looking at the paper, your quote is ostensibly misattributed, and is apparently Benyus’ quote, as per reference #3:

        “Benyus [3] believes it is important for biomimics to take account of certain basic laws of nature when they engage in the practice of biomimicry. For her, there are nine such basic laws:
        1. Nature runs on sunlight…”

        ♥ Second, there is another author– A. Marshall. Where are they and what do they do, since you’re on about that?

        ♥ Third, according to your own comment, Silvia Lozeva has a 5-year PhD in Sustainability studies, etc.. What’s that? How does it compare, just for fun, with Benyus’ actual education (and level of education or work experience), since you’re on about that too?

        ♥ Fourth, did you check the paper’s references? Do you think there might be more critiques of biomimicry (and/or its contexts) both in there, as well as outside? Would you like to take a look for us?

        ♥ Fifth, why do you think that Benyus would somehow have a better handle on equability and ethics simply because of her apparent background? I mean, there are a lot of people with degrees and professions– working in such areas as the military industrial complex and places like Monsanto– on this planet while it nevertheless continues to go to hell in a handbasket, yes? (Javier? Judith Curry? Climate?)

        ♥ Sixth, why would you ignore one of the main underlying issues brought up pertaining to biomimicry in a status-quo (industrial/consumerism/military/etc.) context?

        ♥ Seventh, according to your comment, “Janine Benyus is a biologist, innovation consultant, and author of six books…”; but according to Wikipedia, Benyus graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with degrees in natural resource management and English literature/writing. Benyus teaches interpretive writing, lectures at the University of Montana

        Is this the same Benyus? If so, what sort of work do those with ‘natural resource management’ do or can do? Mining management? Forest-lumber management? Nothing like managing nature, like as some sort of resource-container for human consumption, ay?
        Nothing wrong with ‘interpretive writing’ and maybe Wikipedia got her background wrong, right?
        And I’m not necessarily saying that Benyus’ heart isn’t in the right place, either.
        Just sayin’.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          “Benyus [3] believes,…

          Um, no, it is absolutely NOT a quote from Benyus. It is what the authors suggests she believes. The authors say Benyus thinks these are 9 immutable natural laws which they then to proceed to criticize.

          And having read what Benyus actually believes and says, I can tell you the authors are mistaken. And yes, I am aware of the second author and didn't feel I needed that author's bio to underscore my main point, which is that the paper is unscientific BS written by two authors who don't understand how science works, let alone should be considered qualified to opine about natural laws, which they are unable to distinguish from observational guidelines. I'm pretty sure Benyus knows the difference. As for what a degree in Natural Resource Management entails you can google it yourself. Basically it is biological and ecosystems science. I believe she is an Adjunct faculty member at ASU.
          Here’s a link to a Natural Resource Management MS or PhD at ASU

          I'll repeat the first bullet point from Benyus list to underscore my point.

          1.Nature runs on sunlight

          And the author’s ridiculous criticism:

          Similarly with regard to number 1, some organisms deep in the ocean feed within ecosystems totally removed from the impact of solar radiation. From this point of view, there may be a problem in practicing biomimicry based on any ‘basic law of nature’ since what is or is not a basic law of nature is entirely contestable.

          I am quite sure that Benyus is quite aware that there are entire ecosystems feeding off chemosynthetic organisms, living near hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean and that they do not require sunlight for survival.

          There is no reputable biologist anywhere on this planet that would say that ‘Nature runs on sunlight’ is an immutable law of nature.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            “I highly doubt that any trained biologist such as Dr. Benyus…” ~ Fred Magyar

            If you or anyone else could please tell us what doctorate degree has Benyus, as well as where and/or how she got it, it would be appreciated. Thanks.

            “Benyus graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with degrees in natural resource management and English literature/writing.” ~ Wikipedia

            “Latin honors
            (Redirected from Summa cum laude)
            ‘Summa Cum Laude’ redirects here.

            These honors, when they are used, are almost always awarded to undergraduates earning their bachelor’s, and, with the exception of law school graduates, much more rarely to graduate students receiving their master’s or doctorate degree.” ~ Wikipedia

            Silvia Lozeva, on the other hand– and which, conveniently for you perhaps, does not even include her co-author– has, apparently, and according your own quote, a PhD in Sustainability studies.

            “I am quite sure that Benyus is quite aware that there are entire ecosystems feeding off chemosynthetic organisms, living near hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean and that they do not require sunlight for survival.” ~ Fred Magyar

            The below image and/or quote is apparently pulled from Benyus’ own book, and is apparently ‘all over the net‘, even, as you can see, in graphic form.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Yes, those are ‘Principles’ of biomimicry that Janine Benyus often talks about but I was quoting the paper and their criticisms of those principles not Janine directly.

              BTW the paper was saying that Janine Benyus was calling those principles IMUTABLE LAWS Which is not something that Janine is inclined to do.

              And the criticisms were pretty darn lame. Like using the example of deep sea chemosynthetic organism to argue that the fact that the ‘Nature runs on sunlight’ so called immutable law, is therefore broken or false.

              Is your reading comprehension beyond third grade level or are you just plain stupid?

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Lozeva et al. appear to be, in part, challenging Benyus’ ‘qaint little notions of nature’ and asking how well, if at all or if at all well, is nature to be mimicked given this.

                From the article:

                “If you approach biomimicry from a positivist slant, believing at least some of our knowledge about nature reflects true reality, then at some point you are going to have to wrestle with what nature actually is. In our professional lives, scientists, technologists, designers and philosophers struggle to codify the term ‘nature’.”

                Lastly, should we take it by your silence in this regard that Benyus doesn’t actually have a doctorate, nor much more at best than a couple of undergrad degrees?

      • GoneFishing says:

        The fabric of society is unraveling. People are getting nastier, uncivil and politicians are right up there leading the way showing how being nasty and lying wins the day. I think most politeness and niceness is mostly forced and in reality people deep down just want all those other people to just go away.


        • Fred Magyar says:

          Then you should also listen to this podcast.


          In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Anne Applebaum and Juliette Kayyem about the unfolding Russia scandal in the White House.

          • Hightrekker says:

            If you dare, this is even more interesting in my opinion:
            (Harris is hated by both the left and right, which usually is a sign he is somewhere near reality)

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Yeah, I listened to that and I admit I had the same prejudice (no pun intended) about Murray and the Bell Curve, that most people who have never read the book share. I don’t always agree with Harris’ views but I have a great respect for his thoughtful in depth analysis and his willingness to go out on a limb. At the end of the day if the data and the science are sound then you can’t argue with the results and you have to set your emotions and gut reactions aside. Reality is what it is and if you don’t like it, tough noughies!

              • Hightrekker says:

                I read the Bell Curve in 1994. The science and analysis was very interesting, and has held up with the test of time.
                It examined two taboos that no one wanted to look at-
                and it did make everyone uncomfortable.

                Harris has also been a favorite witch hunt victim, so he had insight into Murray’s situation that others would miss.

                • robert wilson says:

                  I too read The Bell Curve and the massive criticism which followed its publication. After associating with physicians of Jewish and other ethnic backgrounds during a medical career that dates back to the 1950’s, I am convinced that Jewish doctors are ‘on average’ smarter than the others. This is especially obvious upon consideration of the minuscule US and world Jewish population. http://forward.com/news/10505/bell-curve-scribe-mulls-roots-of-jews-br/

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Let’s not forget the Hungarian Martians… 😉

                    Though to be fair, the Bell Curve points to East Asians as still being the most intelligent amongst all human tribes.

                    However if you’ve ever examined a boomerang and watched a skilled Aborigine hunter, use one to take down a large bat or other prey you have to admit that it is an instrument that is the result of a stroke of genius plus 40,ooo years of applied research.

              • Bob Nickson says:

                I’ve not yet read the Bell Curve, but the Sam Harris podcast has renewed my interest in doing so.

                This article: http://mentalfloss.com/article/94569/clair-patterson-scientist-who-determined-age-earth-and-then-saved-it
                recounts the career of scientist Clair Patterson and the contribution his research made in the eventual banning of lead from gasoline.

                From the article: “Today, experts know that a blood-lead level over 5 μg/dL can damage a child’s brain, increasing the risk of attention disorders, lowering IQs, affecting academic achievement, and delaying puberty. In the mid-1980s, the Agency for Toxic Substances estimated that nearly 17 percent of preschool kids had blood lead levels over 15 μg/dL. The problem was especially bad in urban black neighborhoods: About 55 percent of African-American children in cities had damaging amounts of lead in their blood.”

                Does anyone know if the IQ study data that Murray and Herrnstein relied upon for their book controlled for lead exposure? In America at least, isn’t this proven to vary by race?

                • Bob Nickson says:

                  Rick Nevin published a paper on this in 2012:

                  The impact of lead exposure was
                  barely acknowledged in a fierce debate over IQ after the 1994 publication of The Bell Curve,
                  but subsequent research has shown that trends in behavior linked to IQ in The Bell Curve have
                  tracked lead exposure trends across decades and around the world.

                  Emphasis mine.

                  According to Nevin, Murray and Herrnstein did not control for lead exposure.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Deleted, double checking sources.

                  • robert wilson says:

                    Note the numbers 22.4% (prize winners) and 0.2% (population). A 112 to 1 ratio. That suggests something more than lead exposure. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jewish_Nobel_laureates

                  • Bob Nickson says:

                    Robert, I’m confident that you’re right and that the documented higher levels of lead exposure that ethnic minority populations have historically experienced, and the corresponding quantifiable detrimental neurological effects does not account for the high ratio of Jewish Nobelists.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  “…although IQ attempts to measure some notion of intelligence, it may fail to act as an accurate measure of ‘intelligence’ in its broadest sense… ~ Wikipedia

                  “The scale, properly speaking, does not permit the measure of intelligence, because intellectual qualities are not superposable, and therefore cannot be measured as linear surfaces are measured…
                  Some recent thinkers seem to have given their moral support to these deplorable verdicts by affirming that an individual’s intelligence is a fixed quantity, a quantity that cannot be increased. We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism; we must try to demonstrate that it is founded on nothing.” ~ Binet

                  (see also Flynn et al.)” ~ http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8646/854220

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

  17. Hightrekker says:

    Genetically Engineered Disappointments

    A report by the United States National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine – picked up by the New York Times – found that US GE crop yield gains have slowed over the years, leaving no significant advantage in yield gains compared to non-GE plant varieties. Over two decades ago, Western Europe largely rejected GE crops while North America – the United States and then Canada – embraced them. More than twenty years later, US crop yield gains are not significantly higher than in Western Europe.

    Since the adoption of GE crops, US use of herbicides has increased. In the US, decreasing use of some herbicides has involved large increases in the use of glyphosate, a key ingredient in herbicides used for GE crop cultivation. This is in contrast to France, which bans GE crop cultivation, where overall use of herbicides has been reduced due to EU efforts.

    Glyphosate-resistant GE crops survive herbicide spraying while killing non-resistant weeds. However, rising weed resistance to glyphosate has led to the application of larger doses. For example, although land planted with GE soybeans has grown by less than a third over the last two decades, herbicide use has doubled. Herbicide use for maize production was declining before the introduction of GE crops, but has increased since 2002.

    Glyphosate was assessed as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) under the World Health Organization. Some glyphosate-based herbicides also contain other more toxic herbicides – such as 2,4-D, a key ingredient in Agent Orange, the infamous Vietnam War defoliant – to increase their efficacy against resistant weeds.

    • OFM says:

      Hello Hightrekker,

      While I often agree with you, I am not so big a cynic as to believe that political change for the better is impossible.

      The guy you are quoting is unfortunately all too close to the ten ring, the bullseye, but sometimes things do change for the better, and I personally believe that the Democratic Party can return to power, and actually serve the interests of this country and the people who live in it, rather than the interests of the moneyed class.

      Perhaps I am a little too naive in believing this, but just giving up is not an option in my book.

      You are dead on, in your last three short paragraphs.
      The only really big difference between a Clinton type, and a Trump type, in terms of the grand scheme, is that Trump is worse, and will run the country into the dirt even faster.

      • Hightrekker says:

        You are correct— I’m not so optimistic on the Dim’s.

        • OFM says:

          The Sanders camp is making a hell of a fight and seems to have a decent shot at taking control of the D party away from the Clinton business as usual big money big biz Republican Lite faction. This will take a while, it won’t happen overnight.

          There is hope. If the Sanders faction prevails, we will be well on the road to having a government after the fashion of the western European countries.

          BETTER government in just about every respect.

          Otherwise……….. In the end, the moneyed elite will control everything.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Genetically Engineered Disappointments

      Yeah?! Ok, then meet the ANTI Caelan 😉


      George Church has a wild idea to upend evolution. Here’s your guide

      Harvard biologist George Church burst into the headlines (yet again) last week when he helped organize a closed-door meeting of scores of top scientists to discuss accelerating efforts to create synthetic DNA — including a complete human genome. They’re considering launching a decade-long drive to build, from scratch, all the genes that make humans human.



      In recent months, Church has been vocal in saying that the much-hyped genome-editing technology called CRISPR, which is only a few years old and which he helped develop, would soon be obsolete. Instead of changing existing genomes through CRISPR, Church has said, scientists could build exactly the genomes they want from scratch, by stringing together off-the-shelf DNA letters.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Little known early synthetic genome experiment gone wrong, and escaped.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          No worries, they just need to tweak it a bit here and there and you’ll get this much nicer version.

      • clueless says:

        So, in the future, we will all be black.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Church was a “other” player with CRISPR, and will not be on the podium for the Nobel with Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier. He is with the evil MIT group, who are in it for the cash, and have some questionable intentions.
        I think the third person should be the Slovenian who had his paper delayed.
        (or was it a Latvian? See Wired for the debate)

    • OFM says:

      About glyphosate, it’s not as safe as the industry would like you to believe, but otoh it’s probably safer than some people think.

      The real question is how well it stacks up, overall, compared to the several possible alternatives.

      The real PROBLEM with most reporting on such issues is that there is seldom any effort made to present a balanced case.

      The downside is obvious, this chemical is at least somewhat to moderately dangerous to people, and it’s definitely one that does some real harm in the environment. The downside is routinely what’s reported.
      The upside is generally presented in the form of advertisements, or testimonies from people with skin in the game, one way or another.

      Now THIS is the one nitty gritty relevant fact in relation to the welfare of American farmers, and the use of glyphosate. It lowers costs and increases profits, under certain circumstances, compared to not using it. BUT since just about all farmers are free to use it on approved crops, it does NOT make farmers any money, because farming in terms of the big picture is an industry that operates basically at cost. On average farmers get paid JUST ENOUGH to stay in business. When a new technology, or chemical hits the market, lowering our costs, pretty soon every body is using it, and we produce more, driving the market price we get down until we are back at the same miserably skinny profit margin before we adopted the new tech or new chemical.

      So except for the fact that it would take a couple of years to adjust to not having it available, we farmers would make pretty much the same amount of money WITH IT, or WITHOUT IT. Farm economics are sort of weird, compared to the economics of other businesses.We’re price takers, almost every time, and hardly ever price makers.

      It’s debatable whether the overall net benefits of using glyphosate are equal to or greater than the over all net costs of using it.

      On the farm, it allows us to reduce the amount of plowing and tilling we do, which reduces wear and tear on expensive machinery, reduces fuel consumption, reduces soil erosion, reduces the amount of fertilizer needed, reduces fertilizer and other chemical run off, reduces the need for irrigation water, etc. This is because using glyphosate enables effective sod planting, without plowing up the soil.

      Off the farm, it means a little bit cheaper food for everybody, which means a hell of a lot to low income people.

      As a practical matter, if glyphosate is delisted, taken off the market, farmers will in most cases use some other chemicals or combinations of other chemicals, which are still approved for whatever they grow, and maybe go back to plowing and cultivating as well.

      There’s a flip side to just about every story.

      And Mother Nature invented the evolutionary arms and defense race hundreds of millions of years ago. When we use any given technology, or chemical, or management technique, the weeds and bugs and microbes and insects of all descriptions simply evolve to deal with the new condition we create.

      Glyphosate is already on it’s last legs as a matter of life expectancy. Pretty soon the weeds it used to control will grow just as well when it’s used as when it’s not. Back when I was a kid, we used to jok around that after ten or twenty years, the bugs got HOOKED on certain insecticides, and after that, you wouldn’t have any of that kind unless you kept on using that insecticide.

      This sounds crazy, but it actually works out that way sometimes.

      We used to spend a lot of money controlling a little fella called a red mite on apple trees. When a certain chemical we used to control some other bug lost efficacy, and we quit using it, the red mites vanished like magic.

      The explanation of course is that the second chemical killed red mite predators, but not red mites, lol.

      Now a day, and for the last thirty or forty years, we have known how to deal with such problems more effectively, and use far fewer chemicals, and far less often, and get far better results.

      We’re stuck in a damned if we do and damned if we don’t predicament, in terms of using herbicides, insecticides, manufactured fertilizers, etc. We can’t survive short term without them, or provide food enough for everybody, short term, without them.

      But long term, we are going to have to do things differently, because we aren’t going to have any choice. The transition is already happening, to a real degree, but it’s going to take a long time and it’s going to be damned painful for a lot of people.

      I don’t know just what European farmers are doing, specifically, but it’s easy to guess they are either using other herbicides, or plowing and cultivating more, or both, etc.

      You can get great yields either way, but without glyphosate, or an equivalent, you lose more soil to erosion, etc, and your costs are apt to be somewhat higher. Profit margins, overall, remain comparable.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Maybe you should try permaculture… 😉

        On a more serious note, I actually have nothing against permaculture and am happy to see it used where appropriate. On the other hand I’m quite familiar with natural selection and the constant escalation of nature’s biological warfare so I know it is only a matter of time before glyphosate becomes ineffective as a tool for controlling weeds. I’m going to bet that Monsanto or someone else has the next herbicide already in the pipeline. To be clear, I’m also not exactly a big fan of Monsanto’s business model!

        Nature, generally speaking, tends to bat last and she has some very heavy hitters in her lineup.

        I was reading a paper just the other day about a study where soil bacteria that are closely related to some of our worst disease causing pathogens were grown on substrates consisting of some of our best antibiotics. Think about that, pathogens flourishing by extracting nutrition from our antibiotics.

        While there certainly might be valid ethical concerns or objections to uncontrolled development and deployment of certain bioengineering and DNA editing tools such as CRISPR-cas9 or building synthetic organisms from synthetic genomes or launching Gene Drives in order to control insect vectors or invasive species. The fact is, these technologies already exist and are in use today. Unfortunately our politicians and legislators, let alone the vast majority of our society, don’t have the slightest understanding as to how any of this stuff works. Being ignorant of these technologies or suggesting they shouldn’t be used is simply not an option.

      • Hickory says:

        This is for you OFM, and anyone else interested in food production.
        Food for thought.

  18. Longtimber says:

    More cover up. 20 year tanks? Who ya going to call?
    What about radionuclides release into the Biosphere do people not understand?
    How is stalling to re-located spent fuel underground not risking an extinction level event?
    God made it simple – Be responsible to your planet and children and just isolate it from the environment.


  19. GoneFishing says:

    Just a couple of things that go on at Stanford U.

    Air conditioning that sends the heat out to space.

    High efficiency heat to electric power conversion.
    “A Stanford University study in the February edition of the journal Nano Energy presents a novel heat-to-electricity conversion device that uses graphene instead of metal, making it almost seven times more efficient than previous technologies.”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Air conditioning that sends the heat out to space.
      That’s cool 😉
      Now someone needs to invent something that will punch holes or create windows in the cloud cover.
      How about something like a fiber optic space elevator cable made of something as strong as spider silk.

      • GoneFishing says:

        “Now someone needs to invent something that will punch holes or create windows in the cloud cover.”
        Another Buck Rogers solution. Nahhh, just make a heat storage unit that can be tapped when the sky clears somewhat.
        The hottest days are usually the clearest days, at least around here.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          The hottest days are usually the clearest days, at least around here.

          I wish! Around here it at least in the summer, it can be overcast and stifling with 100% humidity, even at night…

          • GoneFishing says:

            Sounds like you live in a swamp.
            53F here this morning, will hit high of 64 with showers. Been a cold May except for a few days in the 80’s. Highs this week might crack 71.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Sounds like you live in a swamp.

              More like a tropical saltwater marsh!

  20. GoneFishing says:

    The many sordid details of civilization matter not at all if the mechanisms to stray outside a sustainable and non-harmful system are not made available. People need to be much more discerning as to what is and what is not allowed to come to fruition. That of course implies an actual vision of the future and set goals for humanity.

  21. Bob Frisky says:

    Here’s where all the smarty pants people of the U.S. live. Counties where at least 25% of the population over 25 years old has a college degree. Do most of the commentators here live in one of these counties?

    • Boomer II says:

      The South is still fighting the Civil War.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Don’t worry Bobby, you should be happy to know that when it comes to STEM degrees (the ones that really count) the US currently ranks 39th… And that country you want to build a border wall to keep it’s people out, ranks 8th overall. So you can contentedly wallow in your ignorance. Oh, BTW, Turkey ranks 35th…


      1 Korea
      2 Germany
      3 Sweden
      4 Finland
      5 France
      6 Greece
      7 Estonia
      8 Mexico
      9 Austria
      10 Portugal

      • Fred, at first that survey just blew me away. How could it be possible that Mexico ranked so high with people with science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) degrees while the US ranked so low? But it turns out that this was not what the survey was measuring at all.

        The ranking is based on the percentage of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) degrees awarded per capita so that it’s a fair comparison between countries with different populations. For example, Spain ranked 11th by awarding 24% of its degrees in the natural sciences or engineering.

        What the survey was measuring was what percentage of degrees that were issued were issued for science or engineering. That put things in a whole different light. It was still interesting, however. What it means is that the US, and other countries down the list, were getting a lot of bullshit degrees instead of science or engineering. That is they were getting degrees in arts, divinity and such.

        The survey did not measure the total percentage of the population with degrees.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          What it means is that the US, and other countries down the list, were getting a lot of bullshit degrees instead of science or engineering. That is they were getting degrees in arts, divinity and such.

          The survey did not measure the total percentage of the population with degrees.

          Absolutely correct! Forbes has a chart I saw recently, (I’ll have to look for a link) that shows the US substantially ahead off all countries when it comes to total PhDs. But keep in mind that a doctorate in theology is not quite the same as a PhD in Neuroscience or Chemical Engineering…

          • Hightrekker says:

            I think I remember getting a PhD in Theology.
            But that could of been in another lifetime.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              That’s fine, as long as you don’t hang a shingle advertising ‘Trepanation to Release Evil Spirits $19.99, Walk ins Welcome!’…

          • Doug Leighton says:

            But you’ve got lots of lawyers. Although the US has just 5 percent of the world’s population, it has most of the world’s lawyers at 70 percent. The American Bar Association has estimated that by 2000, the U.S. will have one million lawyers. Joy!

            • Doug Leighton says:

              BTW there were 23,119 lawyers registered with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations as of last March (Pop. 127 million).

            • Ulenspiegel says:

              “…it has most of the world’s lawyers at 70 percent.”

              And 60% of the porn sites are run by US companies. OK, the latter is not that clear, the porn sites my be honey pots of the NSA. 🙂

  22. OFM says:

    We’re falling short in health care to about the same extent.


    And it looks as if we might fall even farther behind pretty soon.

  23. OFM says:


    I will go so far in saying something nice about HRC as to agree with the caption.

    • Hightrekker says:

      It’s clear Trump is wildly incompetent with no interest in trying to understand his job or the rules that govern it.

  24. OFM says:

    I cannot say anything either for or against the source of this information, other than that Fernando in my opinion is at least as reliable a source of news regarding Venezuela as anybody else I know of, and better than most.


    There’s for sure a chance the country will erupt into a full scale civil war pretty soon.
    With so many people opposed to the government, some of them may do things to shut down what’s left of the oil industry.

  25. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    The Academic Feminist: Putting an Economic Value on Life – A Conversation with Elizabeth Johnson

    “Although still a growing field, biomimicry is similarly shifting how we understand, use, and govern nonhuman life as a resource: instead of considering it a limited material to extract–or even source material of any kind–biomimicry values nonhuman life as an inspirational element…

    My hunch though is that there is something a bit more insidious taking place alongside these transformations: that they reflect and reproduce on going tendencies to revalue life in terms of productivity and profits

    I also know that challenging sedimented conventions are seldom so simple. And, as I mentioned earlier, biomimetic practices have been employed for a wide range of purposes and many of its practitioners have no interest or incentive to trouble social and environmental hierarchies. So, while many of biomimicry’s successes support claims that the field will facilitate a more ecologically sustainable future, a detailed look at the field reveals that many laud it as a way of making ecological sustainability commensurate with economic success.

    While this seems like a good way to generate more ecologically sound production practices, it also threatens to reduce the value [of] ‘life’ in economic terms. This carries considerable risks as the value of ‘life’ becomes conditioned upon its ability to generate economically viable commodities… In other words, rather than elevating nonhuman life to a position worthy of respect and consideration in our society, biomimetic practices might instead result in its reduction to a purely commodified form

    The RoboBee project is actually a terrific example of the problem above that I outlined. Biomimicry appeared at the heart of the project: the researchers meant to both harness bee-abilities and to recreate bees in a robotic form. But I never found any indication that their engagement with bees or biomimicry might engender questions about the superiority of human engineering or a greater respect for bees. In fact, I found the opposite: simply imagining that actual bees could be replaced by robotic ones diverts attention from the ecological and largely anthropogenic problems that were causing bee colonies to disappear in the first place. For them, ‘nature-inspired research’ was purely instrumental

    There have been troubling trends taking place in higher education over the past few decades. The dramatic defunding of public higher education and rapidly increasing tuition and fee rates for students are just the tip of the iceberg. As with the rest of the country, we are also witnessing a weird redistribution of funding in higher education: scarcity in some sectors parallels highly visible surpluses in others.”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      simply imagining that actual bees could be replaced by robotic ones diverts attention from the ecological and largely anthropogenic problems that were causing bee colonies to disappear in the first place. For them, ‘nature-inspired research’ was purely instrumental…

      That is the most ridiculous strawman argument I’ve ever heard in my entire life!

      No biologist, naturalist, agronomist, or ecologist or advocate of biomimicry for that matter, (and I know quite a few such individuals personally!) would ever in a million years suggest that bees can or should ever be permanently replaced by robo bees either in agriculture or in nature. That goes against everything that anyone who has chosen a career in any of those fields believes! To suggest otherwise is idiotic!

      Which, in no way should stop the development of technology that can mimic swarming of micro bee like drones for other purposes, such as agricultural or ecosystem data collection. And yes, they could conceivably also be deployed as pollination aides in certain circumstances.


      Autonomous Flying Microrobots (RoboBees)

      Autonomously flying microrobots with potential uses in crop pollination, search and rescue missions, surveillance, as well as high-resolution weather, climate and environmental monitoring

      Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University.
      Inspired by the biology of a bee, researchers at the Wyss Institute are developing RoboBees, manmade systems that could perform myriad roles in agriculture or disaster relief. A RoboBee measures about half the size of a paper clip, weighs less that one-tenth of a gram, and flies using “artificial muscles” compromised of materials that contract when a voltage is applied.

      The masterminding of the RoboBee was motivated by the idea to develop autonomous micro-aerial vehicles capable of self-contained, self-directed flight and of achieving coordinated behavior in large groups. To that end, the RoboBee development is broadly divided into three main components: the Body, Brain, and Colony. Body development consists of constructing robotic insects able to fly on their own with the help of a compact and seamlessly integrated power source; brain development is concerned with “smart” sensors and control electronics that mimic the eyes and antennae of a bee, and can sense and respond dynamically to the environment; the Colony’s focus is about coordinating the behavior of many independent robots so they act as an effective unit.

      Only a complete fucking moron would suggest that this is an attempt to substitute real bees or that it is an excuse not to worry about bee dieoff and ecosystems that depend on them!

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Fred, methinks, like many, you appear easily mindfucked by the industrial science and technology thought-leader complex. Maybe more so. Probably.

        That’s why we’re in the jam we’re in:
        People, mindfucked by, and on the altar of, science and technology– jammed through the crony-capitalist plutarchy funnel– are royally-screwing up the planet, such as from the lab, with political and industry backers, funding and ceaseless propaganda rollouts, and coerced/milked/duped populations with little to no control over the unfolding disasters and disasters waiting to happen.

        Indeed, biomimicry is just that: Mimicking biology, rather than integrating/working with it.

        “Work with nature? Fuck it. We’ll ’emulate’ it…
        Hey, Frederick… Ya wanna do some shilling/cheerleading for us?”

        RoboBees? Houston, Paris, Moscow, Tokyo… we have a problem…

        “Janine Benyus… co-founded the world’s first bio-inspired consultancy, bringing nature’s ideas to the design table and board room of 250+ companies including Nike, HOK, GE, Procter and Gamble, Levi’s and General Mills…” ~ Biomimicry.org

        Dystopic science fiction, eat your heart out.

        In The Wake Of Poseidon

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Does Biomimicry as a Tool = Sustainability?

          “Here I begin to expose my personal discovery. If the question driving the use of biomimicry does not focus on sustainability, it will not occur. If the change desired is not embedded in the use of any tool, the operator of that tool will never achieve the change they hoped for

          Biomimicry does not guarantee sustainability, but holistic questions that drive biomimicry might.”

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Fred, methinks, like many, you appear easily mindfucked by the industrial science and technology thought-leader complex. Maybe more so. Probably.

          Whatever Caelan, I really don’t care what you think about me or anything else for that matter. You come across as a whiny little boy who bursts into tears every time some other kid comes along and picks up one of his toys and wants to play with it. Then he goes running to his mommy!

          It is not possible to have a meaningful adult conversation with you!

          I find science and technology fascinating and am interested in how they influence the future of humanity. I don’t see the world as starkly black and white and I have had the privilege of seeing a good bit of it from many different vantage points. I find your world view limited and naive and I don’t see any point in continuing this discussion with you.


          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Sounds like you’re the one who’s currently whining and sniveling by my commentary, which includes others’ critical commentary, ostensibly about what you naively find fascinating. Are you going to run after everyone and their qualifications in a blind huff? Knock yourself out. You’ll risk missing out on what they suggest which, of course, you would do well to confront like an adult.

            “I don’t see any point in continuing this discussion with you.” ~ Fred Magyar

            ShootSuit yourself, kiddo. Give my regards to your mommy for me…

            (Notices something buzzing intermittently on the ground… Picks it up…)

            (Calls out) “Hey, you forgot your RoboBee!”

            (Notices a fluttering, writhing bird nearby, apparently with another RoboBee or more caught in its throat…)

  26. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Rachel Armstrong on Biomimicry as parametric snake oil

    “Biomimicry is Nature for the digital world – one that has lost any real connection with materiality, context and environment – or, what it is like to be embodied. It sterilises the natural world through algorithms, edits out the bits that we can’t deal with and then calls the product ‘sustainable’. It is a trophy destined to be abstracted into 3D renderings, which are tenuously entangled with parametric datasets (called ‘ecology’) and recapitulated at a scale of ‘one to whatever’. It is an abstraction of reality, compatible with the idea of biology as a form of information, which can be prototyped into existence by hitting the print button.

    Biomimicry is Nature for the digital world – one that has lost any real connection with materiality, context and environment- or, what it is like to be embodied…

    Indeed, as an idealised and abstracted form of Nature, biomimicry can be whatever we choose it to be – slugs, hummingbirds, beetles, carnivores, de-extinction – even the ugly stuff. Through the transformative platform of the digital realm biomimicry can address almost any problem that we ask of it, with any value we like ascribed to it. Right now, the cultural agenda is sustainability, which is what this book is responding to. But, there are no paradigm-shifting proposals in this book – it is parametric snake oil.”

    Brings to mind, CRISPR, too.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      LOL! I couldn’t resist posting this just to underscore the fact that if one wanted to it is possible to critique and gore anyone’s ox! So let’s examine your favorite solution to the problem of providing food for all of humanity in an ecological and sustainable manner. Why Permaculture won’t cut it! One could even argue that permaculture is basically a cult! Though it will be necessary to read to the end of this post to get to my punch line.


      A square kilometre of Sumatran rainforest can only support 10 orangutans.
      Traditional farming in the rainforest
      If an acre of rainforest can’t support a single orangutan, what chance do humans have of living without traditional farming?

      By Ken Thompson
      Ken Thompson is a plant biologist with a keen interest in the science of gardening. He has written several books, the latest being Do We Need Pandas? The Uncomfortable Truth About Biodiversity, which is published by Green Books

      “Sorry, but it’s no good. I don’t get permaculture. And the more I read, the less I get it. According to an article in the RHS magazine The Garden, permaculture is “a state of mind or a way of thinking”, and involves “using the energies of the environment, rather than fighting them”.
      So far, so meaningless. What actually is it? Examples of permaculture mentioned in the article include growing ornamentals and edible plants together, composting, collecting rainwater and buffering your greenhouse against extreme temperatures by putting a few large containers of water in it. These are all well and good, but surely just examples of ordinary good gardening?

      BTW, If you are going to expound on the use of energy in any ecosystem you do need to understand the basics of ecosystem thermodynamics otherwise you are just spouting nonsense. If any one is interersted here’s a primer:


      The avid permaculturists making comments at the end of this article don’t understand the basics and belie an almost religious fervor when discussing the truth of their holy grail and defend it at all cost against the unfaithful.

      On the website of the Permaculture Association, I quickly learn that permaculture will make the world a better place (and me a better person, likely as not), but still nothing about what it is. Back to The Garden, which tells me that a primary feature of many permaculture gardens is the “forest garden”, and that I can learn about that from the Agroforestry Research Trust in Devon.

      Fast forward to the end of the article:

      How does forest gardening stack up in terms of actually keeping body and soul together? In an entertaining YouTube video, Martin Crawford takes us on a tour of the forest garden at Dartington, in Devon. At one point he says an acre of forest garden should feed four to five people. Maybe, but he also says if our near relative the orangutan can live on forest leaves and fruits, why can’t we? Good question, but the highest density of orangutans ever recorded (in a very productive rainforest in Sumatra) was seven-10 per square kilometre. To save you the trouble I’ll do the maths: that’s 0.04 orangutans per acre.

      So based on this article would it be fair to say that any and all attempts at permaculture are a complete waste of time?! Of course not!

      Even though there are plenty of ignorant new age hippies who think permaculture with cultivation of energies flows and magic crystals will be able to save humanity and provide a sustainable alternative to corporate agro business, it doesn’t in any way take away from the merits of sane rational application of permaculture principles. There is much that can be learned from nature and mimicking natural forests to produce biomass is a useful practice in it’s own right. One should never be so rigid or dogmatic in one’s views as to accidentally throw the baby out with the bath water. That applies to technologies such as CRISPR and principles of biomimicry as well all pursuits in life.

      Though I doubt I have managed to to get my main point accross, perhaps I have at least managed to plant a seed or two…


      • scrub puller says:

        Yair . . .

        Good post Fred.

        In my life I have been fortunate to see and witness bounty few folks can imagine . . . and that bounty depends on the soil and the season.

        With a Massey Ferguson dozer I once cleared about fifty acres of paw-paws up in PNG. Beautiful red fleshed paw-paws thick and fruiting growing wild as far as I could see. The dozer just had sweeps and I had paw-paw pulp inches deep and slopping from the bonnet and dribbling down the side screens.

        The trees were probably twenty five feet high and the canopy up there was held together by a mass of climbing wild tomatoes the fruit as large as a thumbnail and tarty sweet . . . I was clearing for pasture to run brahmans between the coconuts.

        The thing is it was seasonal and such bounty occurs only in the dry.

        Before some one jumps in here about preserving, sun drying, and what not we are talking a climate that grows half an inch of mould on your boots overnight . . . and unless you are very careful the same thing on your crotch.


        • Fred Magyar says:

          Before some one jumps in here about preserving, sun drying, and what not we are talking a climate that grows half an inch of mould on your boots overnight . . . and unless you are very careful the same thing on your crotch.

          Yep! Been there done that, LOL! Couple years ago I was down in Brazil had a lot of nice bananas and I built some solar dryers to make myself some sun dried bananas. All worked pretty well until the rainy season came in a bit earlier than expected… I barely managed to save my crotch 😉


      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Which of course shifts your end of the conversation from biomimicry to permaculture; avoids really addressing any points made about biomimickry, such as WRT its crony-capitalist plutarchy angle; and may even create a little distraction and confusion along the way.

        All in a day’s work for Fred.

        Changing one’s end of the topic/conversation so that any initial claims within the flow become hardly relevant doesn’t make for science, either, of course, never mind good science.

        “…bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant…” ~ Goodreads intro of book, ‘On Bullshit’, by Harry G. Frankfurt

        In any case, let’s take casual advantage of the opportunity…

        Ken Thompson’s ‘Sceptical Gardener’ and permaculture

        “While understanding his conservative audience, maybe a little more circumspect research would have given him a few more insights.

        He makes much of looking at several websites. I realise that today’s students are encouraged to use the internet as a useful tool. However, I always taught that going to the original peer reviewed published research was a much better way of exploring ideas

        Ken Thompson seems to equate permaculture with forest gardening and then dismiss it because it is not a valid method of producing enough food to feed the world. Totally agree that forest gardening is not a panacea for all the world’s problems; however it is not a significant part of permaculture. I would suggest, however, that good design of new forests would produce a lot more resources than the monocultures do at present…

        [Permaculture]… is an overarching landscape design procedure. It takes the fundamental factors of living systems and designs them to achieve the most productive and sustainable and abundant outcomes that a particular landscape and its topography can provide. It seeks to control elements like water and nutrient availability through low appropriate technology. It is pragmatic in the extreme. It celebrates what works. It is based on a careful consideration of landscape potential together with intense observation.

        No matter where it has been tried throughout the world – Australia, Ethiopia, China, Jordan, Morocco, United States, Britain – it seems to be an effective way of producing a very sustainable, low fossil carbon method of agriculture and horticulture.

        It is a method of mitigating the effects of environmental extremes like flooding and drought and turning what seems to be impossible growing environments to advantage. It seems to work both at the macro and micro level…

        Permaculture reminds landscape designers to consider climate, aspect, water, nutrients, dwellings, access, energy production, recycling, productive fauna and flora, and materials such as clay and gravel. It melds all these elements into a synergetic system which is designed to meet the reasonable needs of people.

        So it’s a little more than planting nut trees Ken Thompson.”

        Quote-snapshots about the same topic, from Ken’s article-in-question:


        The light tone of your piece fits in perfectly with the militant ignorance of it; many of the many opinionated idiots I’ve known have seemed similarly carefree and self-satisfied. You’ve made almost no effort to find out what permaculture is–who invented it, for example, or if he’s maybe written a book or done an interview explaining what it is.

        Almost above all in permaculture is its ecosystem- and site-dependence, so of course the plants that would work for some people who want some things in some places might not work for you. To ridicule the system for that is a surprisingly stupid and irresponsible act for a plant biologist–akin to saying cacti are useless plants because they don’t grow well in your yard in Wisconsin…

        Shame on you for writing a mocking review of something you know almost nothing about.”
        “What a piece of crap!”
        “As another commenter said, where to start in responding to such an ill-considered piece of writing…
        As well as his remarkable 2 acre 12 year old forest garden which is packed full of edibles, Martin Crawford has an 8 acre trials site where he is growing walnuts, 11 varieties of chestnuts, bladdernuts. hickory, monkeynuts, heartnuts, hazels, butternut and buartnut almonds and nutpines.
        If KenThompson had taken the trouble to actually look at the website he would have found the plant list listing these…
        If I sound cross it is because I have rarely read such a blatant misrepresentation of something which I have found extremely informative, interesting and likely to provide valuable experiential and carefully researched knowledge of potential food sources in a changing climate.”
        “Clearly there are those out there who have co-opted the permaculture name and associated it with a range of different things that it is not related to at all.”
        “As a… Permaculturist I would like to highlight your outright misrepresentation of this subject.
        There are three simple ethics of Permaculture:
        People Care
        Earth Care
        Fair Share
        The rest is merely means towards those ends.”
        “wow Thompson, You really didn’t read, at least, what the subject of your blog paycheck was!!! please show more respect by studying well what you write about, so you can make a truly sustainable discussion -LOL-”
        ” ‘I don’t get permaculture.’

        You summarised your entire article in that statement, Ken.”
        “…how much did monsanto & co pay you to write this twaddle?”
        “All that said, forest garden strategies can be productive, beautiful and do not, you know, tend to desertify entire regions and bring down civilisations like monoculture grain production has had the unfortunate tendency to do. I would recommend my friend Angelo’s blog as someone who is measuring the outputs of his inner city backyard forest garden. He’s providing for all his fruit and vegetable needs in a 150m2 yard, with plenty of room for seating areas and ornamentals…”
        “…But I’ll be frank, Ken… The reason for that is primarily your lazy connection between agroforestry and permaculture. Article writing takes time, I know, but Martin’s book on the subject makes this distinction very early on. It’s not hard to find. What is hard to find – I’ve read the book twice now – is any reference by Martin to this new & improved world without conventional agriculture you mention.

        As with anything, push too far in one direction and… you have the nightmare dependency on fragile, high maintenance monoculture, soil degradation, low diversity, pests, viruses, diseases, heavy use of pesticides and high carbon emissions. I suppose that nasty capitalism is probably shoehorned in there somewhere too…

        Overall, I honestly think you’ve associated one thing with the other here, skim read and misunderstood it.”
        “pfffff quite mindbogling to have to explain that.”

        One should never be so rigid, dogmatic, disingenuous and/or deliberately obtuse as to avoid, confound or discourage ethical/value/equability/etc. considerations and discussions thereof when discussing science and technology. That applies to technologies such as CRISPR and principles of biomimicry as well all pursuits in life.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          LOL! Nuff said!

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          My (and others’) point(s) in a nutshell:

          ‘Mimicking biology’ (the water) has been around for a very long time;

          ‘Biomimicry™’ (the sewage) is a status-quo brainwash…

          Keep the baby and use the proper water and be wary of any bad water. No ‘ox-goring’ per se is necessarily required (unless, perhaps, the baby is CRISPR™ ‘u^).

          This and my previous comment above, which strive for clarity in the face of Fred’s nonsense, allow me to elaborate a little on permaculture, and acknowledge a readership beyond just him and me, transcend his ‘point’, which appears as a straw man and/or red herring, and in red-colored type to match.

          Of course my ‘punch line’ is at the bottom, and adaptively-re-uses a passage from his own comment, which he has ‘gotten’ (so to speak), assuming he has read that far.

          “As an informal fallacy, the red herring falls into a broad class of relevance fallacies. Unlike the straw man, which is premised on a distortion of the other party’s position, the red herring is a seemingly plausible, though ultimately irrelevant, diversionary tactic. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a red herring may be intentional, or unintentional; it does not necessarily mean a conscious intent to mislead.

          The expression is mainly used to assert that an argument is not relevant to the issue being discussed.” ~ Wikipedia

          Cute graphic.

  27. Trumpster says:

    Trumpster sez all you guys who are so down on Trump oughta know about the awesome size of the crowd at the air port that wuz cheering like crazy when he got on the plane to leave.
    He guesses this proves that Trump really IS popular, but then according to HB, he’s not very smart, lol.

  28. OFM says:


    News from where it’s happening in California, the battle for control of the heart and soul of the Democratic Party continues. So far the Clinton/ bau/ big money wing is holding on, mostly, but the Sanders wing has the energy and the momentum, in my opinion, and will hopefully prevail and return the party to its roots and traditional values, thus positioning it to return to power.

    Republican Lite Democrats aren’t a whole lot better than Republicans, in all too many respects. They talk about RINO’s , Republicans in name only.

    There should be a lot more talk about DINO’s , Democrats in name only, lol.

    What happens when Trump takes Viagra?
    He grows taller.

    What’s the Trump plan for combatting global warming ? Nuclear winter.

  29. OFM says:


    What this link really explains is what’s wrong with our political system. I must acknowledge that there are DT quotes in it that describe exactly one of the worst aspects of what’s wrong, the modern Democratic Party’s addiction to big money donors. He basically brags about having the Clinton’s at his beck and call because he OWNS them via their addiction to his donations to their foundation, etc.

    Of course the author goes on to point out that Trump is who he is, an utter asshole, etc.

  30. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Towards a Deeper Philosophy of Biomimicry

    “In conclusion, I have argued in this paper that biomimicry will not furnish a key to sustainability until we act not only in imitation of nature but from within, so to speak, the mindset of nature, where this means allowing nature to ‘re-design’ not only our commodities but our own desires. Until we, like all other elements of the ecosystem, weave ourselves into nature’s synergistic net of desire, wanting what our eco-others need us to want, no amount of clever biomimetic design of our products will ensure the integration of those products into nature. Moreover, even understood in this deeper sense, biomimicry retains ambiguities that could render it inconsistent with bio-inclusive outcomes. If it is not to degenerate into the Baconian nightmare of a ‘new nature’, biomimicry must be understood to rest on an ethical premise, an ethical commitment to the community of species that currently constitute the biosphere…”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Yep, greed is a well know human trait. Few businesses are immune to it. You can probably Google dozens of articles like this one…


      The Popping of the Shale Gas Bubble

      For much of the past decade we have been inundated by reports of how the wonders of technology, specifically horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, have unleashed a new era for energy supplies. Industry leaders have touted that shale gas, along with burgeoning shale oil production, will lead to America’s energy independence, kindle a manufacturing renaissance, lower bills for everyday Americans and create millions of much-needed jobs. While there is little doubt that booming shale gas production, along with a very deep recession put an end to the natural gas price spike of 2008, much of the accepted conventional wisdom about the longevity of the shale gas bonanza is wrong. America’s shale gas resources and reserves have been grossly exaggerated and today’s level of shale gas production is unsustainable.


      • OFM says:

        There are a number of people in this forum who are seriously into the marketing of gas and oil.

        Hopefully some of them will post their opinions as to how long current levels of gas production can be maintained.

  31. Hickory says:

    Wild ass prediction-
    I think we have a significant chance of causing enough disruption to the physiochemosphere (my term) to initiate a strong (very strong) gyration in the gradual drift of climate. By this I mean a very strong fluctuation that goes beyond the projections of climate change that models are indicating, because our models are of course faulty and we may very well push things far past some unknown tipping point.
    No ones knows what this chance may be, but I believe it is considerable.
    Our best move is downsize quickly, so as to have some wiggle room to adapt.
    Step right up to volunteer.

    • Hightrekker says:

      “Today the frontiers are gone, and the evidence is mounting that technology cannot hold the law of diminishing returns at bay much longer. Resources being stressed today are often being stressed globally; they will not be replenished from outside the ‘system’.”

      • GoneFishing says:

        On the other hand, technology is fast developing new materials from vast untapped resources such as carbon. It is also finding new ways of transport that use far less energy and materials to operate. New technology is faster, smarter, smaller and more energy efficient. It also often lasts much longer and is recyclable.
        New methods and new tech will reduce our use of energy and materials by up to an order of magnitude. It will also make obsolete a huge and energy sucking energy production infrastructure that is currently in place.
        Water use can be reduced. Food production can be more efficient and less wasteful.

        For many problems it is more in the choices that are made. The world is not yet crystallized into a given path.
        No there is no going back, but if each month or year we make new choices rather than continue the old ones, the old BAU will get eaten away and the new business of change will form into the new BAU.
        Basically civilization is now running for it’s life. If it stops and tries to hold the old ground it will crumble. If it runs too slow it will be damaged. Continuous change in a positive direction may be the rule for the next hundred years. Making mistakes are very costly when running near the edge.
        Right now the world in general is running too slow where they are running at all. The US is hitting the brakes and trying to hold the old ground. Somebody needs to give humanity and it’s governance a good kick in the pants.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Basically civilization is now running for it’s life. If it stops and tries to hold the old ground it will crumble. If it runs too slow it will be damaged. Continuous change in a positive direction may be the rule for the next hundred years. Making mistakes are very costly when running near the edge.

          Which is the main reason why we can’t afford to let the ignorant neo-luddite, head in the sand populists and cultists of all stripes run amok, and implement their backward looking agendas. The ship has sailed!

          Reminds me of an old Ney Matogrosso song: “Sou Homen com H!”
          Ironic on so many levels because Ney is flamboyantly gay and is singing about being a ‘REAL’ man with a capital ‘M’. But still awesome music from a great artist.

          His lyrics drip with sarcasm, inuendo and double entendres.You would need to be fluent in Brazilian Portuguese and culture to get all of it. He pulls no punchs in his criticism of a hypocritical Brazilian macho Catholic culture but his lyrics apply equally well to our current global civilization and society at large.

          Nunca vi rastro de cobra
          Nem couro de lobisomem
          Se correr o bicho pega
          Se ficar o bicho come
          Porque eu sou é home

          Roughly translated:
          I’ve never seen snake tracks
          Or the skin of a werewolf
          If you run, the beast catches you
          If you stay the beast eats you
          because what I am is a man

          Here’s a link to Ney performing:

  32. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Biomimicry: New Natures, New Enclosures

    “Advocates of biomimicry encourage a new industrial paradigm that ostensibly leaves behind the crude violence of Francis Bacon, the domination of nature-as-machine, and a history of toxic production processes that have given rise to a present and coming climate crisis. As part of a broader trend towards the conceptualization and development of a ‘bioeconomy’, we argue here that biomimicry produces ‘nature’ in new ways. At face value, these new approaches to valuing nature may seem less violent and exploitative. Yet, new natures can and are tortured in new ways. We argue that biomimicry produces ‘nature’ through well-worn logics of resource enclosure and privatization, focusing upon two fundamental shifts in how nonhuman life is figured and put to work: (1) the production of nature as intellectual property (as opposed to raw materials); (2) the production of nature as an active subject (as opposed to a passive receptacle or vehicle).”

  33. OFM says:


    A good summary of what’s wrong with Venezuela, and where the country went wrong.
    Chavez may or may not have had his heart in the right place, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt in that respect, but IF SO, then he had a poor understanding of economic reality, and did not realize that you can simply purchase prosperity at the national level, permanently, by exporting oil or any other natural resource. If his heart WAS in the right place, his mistake was spending the oil money ( the portion of it that wasn’t stolen by insiders ) almost entirely on stuff that’s great to have, but does not produce future income.

    Houses are essential and all that, but a family that gets a free house still needs a JOB, an industry in which to work, of some sort, because the freebies must eventually come to an end.

    More cynical people, some of them at least, tend to believe that the plan was to control the people and remain in power indefinitely by way of controlling the country thru the oil financed welfare state, etc.

    I am personally willing to believe that there is a great deal of truth in either or both scenarios, and that a combination of scenarios is most likely to be closest to the truth.

  34. GoneFishing says:

    I vaguely recall a discussion on holding open store refrigerator doors while looking for an item when one can clearly see through the door.
    First, the upright freezer with glass door was put in place as an energy saver over the open top freezers or fridges of the past used in food stores. The doors are closed most of the time.

    I have seen several big box stores replace their fluorescent lights with LED lighting. They look like fluorescent lamps but are LED. The LED’s use about half of the energy of the fluorescents. The next big step for stores is to increase insulation their buildings. I notice that most stores have a protected double entrance to help reduce air intrusion and energy loss at the most used exit and entrance points.


      • notanoilman says:

        It blows a BIG hole in the ‘energy saving costs too much’ meme. 7 month payback and after that profit! Think of all the new jobs created, too, in installing these measures.

        Many stores here now have led lighting in fridge/freezers and car parks. Wal Mart has added doors to its fridges and walking down the aisle is not like taking a trip to the arctic any more.

        Big Boooo for Oxxo, maybe Kiosko too but I don’t shop there very often, is the use of 2 VERY wasteful devices, both 24/7. A hot dog heater that has sausages rolling all the time and an uninsulated soft drinks machine that is churning continually.

        For my part, I am switching over to LED lighting and trying to improve efficiency all around. Solar cooker to come on-line soon and trying to track down a panel for solar hot water.


  35. Hightrekker says:

    Key takeaways for policy makers

    The results of Graham Palmer’s work now need to be confirmed by other studies, and his proposed framework for incorporating EROI into electrical storage refined. In particular, further simulations based on different regional grids and assumptions would be needed to capture the benefits of geographic diversity. Palmer’s findings however already raise three essential points that need to be taken into account by policy makers when designing energy transition strategies:

    1. A shift from an electrical system based mostly on energy stocks (with built-in energy storage function) to one based mostly on natural flows (with the construction of storage devices required to ensure large-scale availability) will probably be constrained by the energetic demands of the VRE-storage subsystem. Or in other words, high penetration of VRE will require the large-scale deployment of storage solutions, but there might be biophysical limits to how much storage can be deployed if the energy system is to remain viable.

    2. Lithium-ion batteries, which are the fastest growing form of electrical storage today and are increasingly being touted as capable of supporting the energy transition to renewables, could probably only usefully contribute a short-term role to buffering VRE. The energetic productivity/EROI of an energy system reliant on lithium-ion batteries (and other similar electro-chemical storage devices) would indeed rapidly fall below the minimum useful EROI for society. The energetic requirements of pumped hydro storage, on the other hand, are sufficiently low to enable a greater displacement of conventional generation capacity and penetration of VRE, but wide scale deployment is dependent upon regional topography and water availability.

    3. Storage technologies that would enable a full displacement of conventional generation capacity and 100% penetration of VRE at the current system reliability level are, as of today, unavailable. New storage solutions may emerge as a result of current and future research activities, but in order to assess their potential it will be necessary evaluate their energetic performances within the VRE-storage subsystem, all along the energy transition pathway. Only if these performances are markedly superior to existing technologies will storage potentially constitute the ‘holy grail’ of the energy transition that many expect.

    • Nick G says:

      I agree with 1, and the comments about li-ion in #2: batteries are fine for daily buffering, but far too expensive for seasonal buffering. The same is true for pumped storage: the capital costs are prohibitive for seasonal storage.

      But…there are perfectly good solutions for seasonal storage: Germany’s “wind-gas” is the basic model. You use surplus power during most of the year to store cheaply for seasonal needs.

    • notanoilman says:

      Pumped hydro is not the only way to use hydro. An excess of solar/wind would work well in areas with hydro. If hydro is contributing power during solar/wind times then an excess of solar/wind could replace it, turn off the hydro. When solar/wind falls off turn the hydro back on. In the off time the water supply builds up naturally and no pumping is required.

      Lithium is not the only battery technology available and we can expect to see more types become available, at industrial scale, over the next 10-20 years.


    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Hi Trekker,

      What is VRE?

  36. Boomer II says:

    Since the latest news is that Trump will likely pull out of the Paris Accord, this is relevant. I’ve read that there are even people who are glad that the US will pull out because they believe the US would try to dilute the Accord actions.

    If the US is going to be a roadblock to cleaner technology, I hope Europe and China and India move past us, even if it results in a decline in US economic influence.

    EU and China strengthen climate ties to counter US retreat: “China and the EU have come together to fill the vacuum should Donald Trump decide to retreat from international action on climate change by forging a green alliance to combat global warming.

    In a stark realignment of forces, documents seen by the Financial Times show that Beijing and Brussels have agreed to measures to accelerate what they call the ‘irreversible’ shift away from fossil fuels and the ‘historic achievement’ of the Paris climate accord.”

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