340 Responses to Open Thread Non-Petroleum Nov. 16, 2016

  1. Ghung says:

    As an independent who couldn’t support either presidential candidate, I’ve been told by many, including the media, that I should give Trump a chance. What choice do I have, even though he’s placed folks like Steve Bannon at his side, and clearly shows his only understanding of energy issues is “more is better”? Anyway, my doom-o-meter has been buzzing in the background for a while now, and I’m doubling down on the go local, self-sufficiency thingy. Glad I don’t have debts or utility bills, and live in a quiet backwater no one pays attention to much. I’ll just grow my cabbages and beans, and teach my grandchildren what I can.

    FYI: Anyone in South Florida who wants to play around with solar stuff, “Solar Electric World” – Miami (sunelec.com) is moving their warehouses and is liquidating a lot of stuff at ridiculous prices. Used solar roof tiles are free according to an email I got the other day; “make an offer” on other stuff. Maybe Fred can check it out for us.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Hey Ghung, I’ll look into it!

    • Nathanael says:

      I agree with the “go local” concept. South Florida is a pretty bad place to do it though because of sea level rise.

  2. GoneFishing says:

    The Doomsday Clock is at 3 minutes to midnight and a meeting was just held to see if it should be moved. Stay tuned.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      My own clock is already about two and a half minutes fast…

    • Nathanael says:

      I actually think Trump reduces the chances of nuclear war, because he’s buddies with Putin.

      I honestly don’t think the US government was doing anything to stop global warming anyway, so I’ve kind of been ignoring it. There are, thank goodness, other powerful forces operating now, and I don’t think even President Trump can stop them.

  3. Oldfarmermac says:

    It’s good to see you here Ghung, and I am sure all the regulars would like to see you commenting more often.

    I am on the same page as you, politically. Sky Daddy help us is all I can say about the political situation at the moment.

    Maybe Trump will screw up so bad everybody gets mad at him , and votes him and his homies out of office in 2020.

    That would leave us in a lot worse shape than we would be otherwise, but the country and the world will survive Trump. I hope!

  4. Oldfarmermac says:

    I posted this at the very tail end of the last open thread, and most likely nobody saw it there.

    If anybody has read it, I would like to hear their opinion of a book titled The Creature from Jekyll Island, I forget the author’s name, but it has been very popular book for a long time.

    All the reviews I have read uniformly judge it to be trash, but then all the authors of these reviews are establisment types with skin in the game, which is precisely WHY I picked up this book. Insiders and people whose careers and paychecks depend on going along to get along are not apt to tell the truth about such institutions as the Fed, even if they know the truth.

    The book is certainly well documented, but I have not read enough of it yet to know if the author’s opinions are worth serious consideration, or not.

    One thing is for sure, this being that powerful establishment institutions and powerful establishment individuals are not at all hesitant to tell fibs that would make Reynard the Fox blush and turn green with envy.

    (Incidentally, anybody who is not acquainted with Reynard the Fox is in for a treat. I believe you can read all about him his doings online , free. He’s a VIP in French literature and culture. )

    I am willing to believe that the Fed might or may the best of all the unsatisfactory solutions available when it comes to a banking system, but I am not ready to go much farther than that.

    The author’s basic conclusion is that the Fed is the creature of the banks that own it, and that it’s primary purpose is to further the interest of those banks, and the banking industry in general, rather than the interests of the country as a whole.

    The book is dated, but it looks to me as if he has a strong case, but I have not read a lot of it yet.

    I will also be looking for other books about the Fed written by outsiders, and would appreciate any recommendations. Thanks in advance!!

    • Ghung says:

      Thanks, Mac. I’m kind of numb these days, mainly from having my fears regarding the cluelessness of so many of our citizens confirmed on a daily basis. As I said years ago at TOD, we’re due for interesting times that many won’t handle well. Not at all.

      I never got around to reading “The Creature…” but have read a lot about what it says. Suffice it to say that, as societies get “great” (as in, begin to become too large, complex, and unmanageable), their Faustian bargains keep pace, and the Fed is one of the most surreal Faustian bargains ever made. That said, it has done a fine job of paving the road to unprecedented overshoot. That’s what most folks wanted, even if they didn’t know it.

      G. Edward Griffin (the author) produced a movie/lecture before the book was published, I think. On youtube:


  5. Oldfarmermac says:


    I presume this link tells it like it is, that HRC’s campaign managers sidelined Bill, who imo has forgotten more about CONNECTING with the people than HRC and all her cronies put together know, collectively, and that he did indeed have a nasty phone fight with her about it.

    If she had paid more attention to the pain of working class people, she would be prez elect, in Bill’s opinion, according to the link. Methinks he is right.

    The Rust Belt felt abandoned by the D party, end of story.

    • Nick G says:

      I presume this link tells it like it is

      You shouldn’t. It’s based on anonymous sources, and published in Newsmax. Really not reliable.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        I take Newsmax with a lot of salt, for sure.

        But there is little doubt Bill was sidelined, that’s been covered in more middle of the road to leftish sites.

        About all I would question is whether he and Hill had a spat about it. That’s common enough, and a number of people who have worked around her have said she has a temper and a mouth on her.

        Alpha individuals seem to be that way, it sort of goes with the territory. Tempers and harsh words are good tools for intimidating underlings in private, but the existence of the the temper and words often leaks out.

        The difference between us is that you are a partisan, either a true believer or a cynical party line guy, and NEVER have anything to say bad about HRC.

        I am not a partisan, and bad mouth most of the politicians on the national scene, both D and R, if they happen to come to my attention. Most of them deserve it, to my way of thinking.

        Clinton has been center stage for the last couple of years, and in my honest opinion, she managed to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory for the D party, for the environment, and for the country.

        I haven’t gone back to look, but I am willing to bet that earlier, you similarly dismissed other reports of Clinton follies and scandals as not worth consideration, due to the sources or if the sources were unimpeachable, you most likely dismissed what was said as either trivial or irrelevant.

        I don’t think there IS a single newspaper or web site or any other established source of news that doesn’t slant what they publish to some extent in favor of one party and wing of the political spectrum, or the other.

        This can be subtle, or it can be perfectly obvious. The exact words chosen , the expression on the face, the tone of voice, all convey meaning.

        The simple fact that a source either does or does not cover a lot of what other sites consider news determines what a lot of people think, depending on where they go for their news and information.

        If I had been reading a lot of right wing sites, instead of only a few, and reading fewer leftish leaning sites, instead of many, I would probably have been predicting a Trump victory, or a very close race, instead of predicting a Clinton victory, by a fair to large margin.

        It’s a great comfort to believe your leaders are flawless.

        Many of my local friends and relatives believe the same thing about Jesus, lol.

        • Nick G says:

          The difference between us is that you…NEVER have anything to say bad about HRC. I am not a partisan, and bad mouth most of the politicians on the national scene

          No. The difference between us is that I never had anything bad to say about ANY politicians. Their personal failings are just not important. Partisans use those personal failings as propaganda that distracts from the important issues.

          I don’t like Trump, and most Republican policies, for the EXACT same reason you don’t like them: they’re bad for the country, and they’re bad for Republican voters.

          I don’t think Hilary is flawless. I don’t think Sanders is flawless. I don’t think Trump, Bush or Romney are flawless. The difference: Hilary’s policies were better.

          Again…if we want to analyze what happened in order to prevent it happening again, we should start with the people who actually are the center of the election: the voters. They made a mistake. They voted against their own self interest. They voted against the programs that help them, like social security, medicare, disability, and food stamps. They voted against minimum wages, unions, and good health insurance. They voted for coal, pollution, climate change and oil wars. They voted for tax cuts for the wealthy!


          I think it was because they were misinformed by irresponsible media, chiefly Fox news. Trump took advantage of that, and ran a campaign which sounded just like Fox news – angry and full of misinformation.

          Do you agree?

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            Absolutely !

          • R Walter says:

            Hillary was an un-electable candidate from the word go, just like all of the Democrats these days. People do not like her, she can’t relate. The choice was easy for the low information, misinformed basket of deplorables.

            Can’t blame them for not wanting to vote for somebody who more or less labeled them untermenschen. You can’t win an election when the people who give you the job aren’t worthy of some respect by the candidate.

            Tough to cope with reality, she lost because of her own failings.

            The Democrats just don’t have what it takes to win elections anymore, especially in Republican controlled states. They are unable to choose a candidate that is well-liked by the population. They can’t do it anymore. The days of FDR are gone and gone for good. The Democrats are withering on the vine and good riddance, don’t need Democrats anymore at all. The Republicans are next in line for dissolution. The paper filing finally halted and good riddance to those jokers too. It will be morning in America and crocodile tears for those two useless parties with useless eaters and useful idiots as members. Both parties need to be gone and gone for good. I’ll say it over and over again and again, they need to be gone.

            All she had to do was to do her job as a leading government employee to the best of her abilities, that was not her goal, her goal was to be the president, by hook or by crook, apparently. Her political ambitions involved a lot of stumbling and bumbling. She didn’t get what she wanted, she got what she probably deserved though. Lots of crying, wailing, gnashing of teeth, all that goes with it, the despair, the emotional gutting, too bad and so sad.

            Had her career been stellar, made the world and America a better place, just a better world, voters would not have rejected her for a philanderer, a four time bankrupt wealthy New Yorker, a Democrat himself, a real piece of work.

            Donald Trump played the game of politics with some finesse, not much grace though. Misinformed the voters, called Hillary a ‘crooked liar’, the discontented voters, the deplorables, believed Trump and drank the koolaid.

            When it is all misinformation, fake news, at all times from every network, including the Propaganda Broadcasting System, what more can you expect? Misinformed voters chose the best of the two worst candidates ever chosen by the useful idiots and useless eaters from both parties.

            One of two morons was chosen by the moronic deplorables.

            Besides, the Clintons had their turn at the White House and now that is over.

            Get over it.

            The election maps at BBC:


            • Nathanael says:

              If you wanna know why we still have the two established parties, the primary reason is Duverger’s Law. The secondary reason is that they’ve entrenched themselves with various rules establishing things like “bipartisan” election commissions and excluding third parties from debates. But Duverger’s Law is way more important.

              Wanna get rid of the two-party system? We need to change to approval voting or proportional representation or something else which solves the underlying problem. See electology.org if you’re curious.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Well said Nick.

          • Oldfarmermac says:


            Back atcha Nick,

            I have to the best of my memory not criticized HRC’s policies in this forum, at least other than to say it’s not easy to know what her policies would actually BE, given her history of flip flopping on major issues.

            I would for instance never take her word for anything having to do with forcing the big banks to play by the rules, or international trade agreements. I would trust her to be consistent on personal and sexual rights and that sort of issue from here on.

            Now as to whether D party and ” liberal ” policies are better for the country, and the people of the country, as a WHOLE, I agree, they are better. MUCH better.

            I have voted D in recent elections, with the exception of a few state and local offices, in recent times, but voted Green this prez election, and with Virginia safe for Clinton, that didn’t help Trump.

            Taking good care of the environment, considering it is our only home,and supplies all our needs, is a VERY conservative policy, and I AM a conservative, in many respects. I am not however a stinking big R republican, lol.

            I readily agree that there are many web sites, newspapers, magazines, and talk radio pundits, etc, that have a vested interest in people voting R , but I SERIOUSLY disagree with your conclusions as to WHY, and view those conclusions as being obviously tinted by your partisan attitude, whether you recognize you have such an attitude or not.

            There are as many or more leftish or liberal leaning outfits in all categories except talk radio. And while NPR etc is supposed to be neutral, in actual fact, NPR blankets the country with excellent , sophisticated, varied NON STOP LIBERAL coverage.I know, I listen to NPR quite often, probably four or five times as often as I listen to the Hannity Limbaugh type.

            First off, the way I see things, is that most voters know that really major economic changes are not in the works, not on the table, regardless of which party they vote for, except on fairly rare occasions.

            Hard core R voters do not expect their R congress critter or president to actually do away with Medicare, or Social Security, or even free school lunches, etc.

            And hard core D voters don’t expect D politicians to just outlaw burning coal, or the use of pesticides, or the sale of firearms and ammunition, etc.

            This observation applies to both parties’ adherents, and to middle of the road or independent voters as well.

            Consider this from the most successful, and in my opinion, the smartest and savviest and clearest thinking politician of our time, Bill Clinton.

            HIS first rule of electioneering is that it’s the economy, stupid.

            His second rule is that you feel the pain of the people you want to vote for you. Dreaming the dreams of your single issue voters is important too, but NOT NEARLY as important as the economy. Gays and lesbians vote, environmentalists vote, but they are not numerous, compared to wallet voters. Gun owners and enthusiasts vote R.

            Neither party can afford to seriously piss off these captive voters , but focusing on them rather than the broader issue of the economy is a mistake.

            I am painting fast with a broad brush, but I doubt if anybody much will disagree with this nutshell distillation of his formula for getting elected, etc.

            Now consider the ADDITIONAL indisputable fact that we are tribal creatures, and while the more liberal fraction of our citizens might not agree, most of the people in this country who vote aren’t really much motivated when it comes to gay rights, or abortions, or the environment, etc, but they ARE highly motivated by their sense of community.

            And there really IS a huge block of socially conservative people who like things a lot better the way they “used to be”. The precise size of this block is disputable, but considering that old folks, and especially older folks with a little money, tend to vote more often than younger, less well off folks, that block is probably a lot bigger than most liberal types think it is.

            So long as they do not perceive that they are going to be hurt as INDIVIDUALS by voting R, they will vote R because the R party is aligned with their cultural beliefs and identity.

            Now consider minimum wage. Not a whole lot of people make minimum wage for any extended period of time, as a general rule, because they eventually find better jobs.

            A high minimum wage HURTS a lot of people, including me for instance, as an INDIVIDUAL, because it forces me to pay more for help, when I need help, than I might have to pay otherwise. It hurts every owner of a fast food restaurant, as an INDIVIDUAL, etc.

            So let’s forget about minimum wage as a hot button issue, in terms of the PEOPLE of this country being helped or hurt by it, in terms of their voting pattern.

            The economy is generally lousy in my area, compared to the better off parts of the country, but I doubt if even five to ten percent of local people are working for minimum wage, excepting teenagers and people unable to find anything other than fast food jobs. Employers have figured out that an extra dollar buys twice the performance and attitude, and pay the extra dollar, so as to be able to sort thru the applicants. You might start as a cashier at minimum, but store owners mostly would rather steal a cashier with six months experience and pay a little more.

            This is NOT to say that some people don’t benefit a LOT from having a minimum wage. The problem with that is that I , as an employer, just don’t hire those potential employees at all, unless I think they are worth the minimum. Yesterday I would have been glad to pay somebody out of work fifty bucks to just hang around with me, doing almost nothing, except holding one end of a tape measure, or fetching a tool from the truck for me, once every ten minutes or so. But since the local labor market is such that I would have had to pay at least eighty bucks for the day, I just worked alone, and got less done. I would vote yes for a minimum wage law in a referendum, but such a law hurts ME more than it helps ME.

            Now let’s consider unions. I have been a member of three, at least, and worked with some more, when they were willing to allow non members on the job, which is usually only when there is more work than union members available to do it.

            And I might have eventually been able to get in with the boilermakers, or electricians, or pipefitters, or carpenters, but I never wanted to work a specific trade day in and day out all my life. The unions do accept outsiders as members, sometimes. Other times, the only way to get in is thru a personal connection, stereotypically father and son.

            Liberals in general seem to believe in unions the way my old Daddy believes in Jesus and the KJB. Well, I have read extensively in history, including labor history, and there is no doubt in my mind that historically unions have been VERY good, overall for working class people.

            The reason unions exist, first and foremost, is for the benefit of their MEMBERSHIP, and any benefits accruing to non members via trickle down is a happy accident. My dear old Daddy was a Teamster for almost his entire life on his “part time” forty hour job in town. I got involved in trying to start a more aggressive teachers union, and I went on strike some construction jobs, and helped get the Operating Engineers voted in on a big job I worked, the construction of I77 thru Fancy Gap Virginia. I was a member of the VEA , and the NEA.

            And I am telling it like it is, unions and union members seldom give a flying xxxx about anything other than their own specific personal and organizational interests. It’s great making thirty or forty bucks an hour as a union guy, IF you are a union guy. If you aren’t , you are fucked, pure and simple, in lots of places, because you can’t practice your trade without that card.

            In forty years spent paying close attention to the political scene, I have NEVER ONCE heard a pro union liberal point out this perfectly obvious truth, at least not in public. Furthermore, while government unions that have lots of white collar or clerical types as members might be pretty prissy, all the union guys I ever met were mostly pretty much rednecks, in terms of their personal opinions and attitudes, in respect to women, gays, lesbians, guns, welfare (safety net to you ) , chamber music, the arts, etc. They talk like Trump, to be perfectly blunt.

            In other words, unions are only aligned with the D party because the cards fell that way, with the D’s being opposed to big business, at least in the minds of the union members. If it weren’t for the wallet issue, nearly every construction guy, truck driver, mechanic, welder, equipment operator, etc I EVER MET would be voting R.

            Now take health care for instance. I am on Medicare, thank goodness, except I would rather be young than old, lol. But at times I made enough money that I would have had to pay a kings ransom for a good Ocare policy, which I would NOT have wanted rammed up my ass, without any choice in the matter.

            It is a MISTAKE to say the country voted against better medical care, in the sense that the country does not vote. INDIVIDUALS vote. I know several people personally who voted for Trump specifically because they do not WANT Ocare.

            I have stood in line in a supermarket, with friends and relatives who make very little money, although they work their asses off, who never buy steak because they can’t afford hamburger, so if they eat any meat, it’s usually chicken .

            When such a person sees somebody they KNOW is on welfare checking out food they can’t afford themselves, they conclude that that person’s vote was BOUGHT with food stamps. ( The stamp user in such cases is usually making some money, maybe a lot of money, under the table. )

            I went to the hospital a few years back in the middle of the night with a killer headache, afraid I might have had a stroke or something, and was charged almost two grand for fast check over and a cat scan, all of which except for eight bucks came out of my pocket, due to the annual deductible on my group policy being two grand before it paid anything.

            If I had not been so stupid as to tell the clerk I had insurance, the hospital would have written off fifty percent on the spot. I know, I have a niece who is a RN full time there, and one of the ladies who works in the clerical end is an old family friend. I have heard many an old farmer or carpenter or mill hand who is now in the poorhouse due to six figure hospital bills say they wish they had never bothered to work and save and try to get ahead, because they know somebody else ( I know some of them too ) who got the same treatment written off, since they had no assets. Such people believe in paying their own way, but they HATE welfare programs, because they correctly understand that they pay for themselves as well as charity patients.

            Note that I support this country moving to a Western European type health care system. In effect, the AMA is nothing more than a labor union for physicians, the primary purpose of which is to make damned sure physicians make a hell of a lot of money, justified or not. Everything else is secondary.

            Note, I am NOT anti union, I just tell it like it is, as best I can. A farmer usually hates rats, for good reason, but a biologist OBSERVES rats in order to understand them, without passing judgement on rat hood.

            I try to look at everything from the biologists pov, in terms of trying to understand anything and everything. I mostly succeed. I could easily waste my time and energy hating a black kid, or a lilly white cousin, peddling meth on a street corner, but I am smart enough to understand that ” but for the Grace of God” or random chance , he could be ME, and I could be him. I was luckier in the parent lottery, no more, no less. Incidentally I have at least two lilly white relatives who currently reside at the Graybar for that very reason, peddling dope, or worse. They say the Kennedy clan got it’s start with the Old Man of the Family running booze during Prohibition.

            Nothing I have said should be interpreted as saying people who voted R in the prez election are well informed about the environment, or climate, or ANY broader issue.

            Most people are technically ignorant, whether liberal or conservative, and so most people vote their wallets and their cultural and tribal allegiance.

            The guy who is working his ass off , and paying SOME taxes, believes he is being taxed to subsidize people who in his opinion aren’t willing to do what he does, namely pull his own weight. In his eyes, he has made the RIGHT decision to vote against such programs, since they result in his own standard of living being lower.

            INDIVIDUALS vote, the country TALLIES votes, and puts the winners in office.

            You REALLY want to know why the average liberal young woman almost for sure believes in forced climate change, whereas the average conservative young man is most likely a skeptic, to put it politely?

            It’s as simple as falling off a log.

            Each believes what her or his perceived ” In ” group believes.

            In the VAST majority of cases, both the young woman and young man are utterly unqualified to actually have an opinion on this question, since NEITHER of them, statistically, has ever taken a single real course involving the physical sciences, or any higher math course, or read EVEN ONE BOOK about the topic.

            One last thing. You say you discount personal issues in a candidate because the opposition uses these issues as propaganda to distract the voter from more important issues, and you have an excellent point.

            But otoh, I SERIOUSLY doubt you would enter into a marriage or business partnership with a person you suspect of being less than ethically upright, or or being power mad, or without respect for the spirit of the marriage vows, or the spirit of the law, or willing to blatantly break the law, if it appears to be safe to do so, for reasons of personal gain.

            In my estimation, both HRC and Trump fail to pass, and fail miserably, on these grounds.

            Since you pointed out that you have said nothing bad about either candidate, at the personal level, I realize this is true.

            I have overstepped in stereotyping you to some extent, and for this I apologize.

            But my observation about you sticking to your message like super glue stands. VERY few people are able to do this successfully. Methinks you are a professional communicator of some sort.

            My comments, and all responses, are working notes, and someday anybody interested will be able to see them, plus lots of other stuff, organized into a series of essays all together in book form, free on the net.

            Assuming I live long enough, lol.

            Otherwise I wouldn’t be spending so much time on them.

  6. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Hey, look what I found:

    “Oh, well, you see that’s because I work in law during the day, in architecture at night and in teaching at twilight, so my time to follow Tesla’s safety record for example, and brush up on CRISPR’s progress of course, is fairly limited.” ~ Caelan MacIntyre

    “Yet interestingly enough you somehow seem to find plenty of time to keep up with Tesla’s crashes.” ~ Fred Magyar

    With your keyword being ‘seem’. I find them almost by accident– no pun intended, believe it or not.

    Like many in the peak oil know, I get around, and occasionally just run into them. Pun intended, somewhat.

    “Have you also checked on the statistics of ICE automobile crashes and deaths? How many ICEs caught fire recently? Guess what, people die in cars all the time and I’ve never heard anyone claim that TESLAs were 100% safe. Regardless, TESLAs are pretty safe compared to the average car on the road.” ~ Fred Magyar

    Sure, but I don’t like ICE cars either.
    There’re also the issues of relative proportion of EV’s and ICE’s in accidents versus their numbers on the roads, respectively, as well as the electrical danger of an electric car in general and burning electric car in specific (and as it compares with an ICE-car fire), as well as one that simply spontaneously catches fire, such as the one in Norway apparently (and if recalled, another elsewhere) as I mentioned previously.

    There are other issues with EV’s but we’ll leave it at that.

    “In future please leave me out of your comments, don’t address me and don’t quote me. If you see me post a link please don’t follow it.” ~ Fred Magyar

    That seems to feed well into that previous word mentioned; sycophant. If you want that, then your comment here would stand to reason.

    As I’ve already said, you have not only not followed your own previously-announced directive for yourself where my own comments were concerned (and responded to a few through a third person’s comment), but this sort of directive reminds me a little of what the despot of an authoritarian regime might recommend for their detractors.

    Just follow your own advice.

    (Detractor is close to the antonym for sycophant by the way. In any case, detractors can keep us on our toes and healthy. 🙂 )

    Presumably, you aren’t going to read this or respond to it.

    • Ghung says:

      “Oh, well, you see that’s because I work in law during the day, in architecture at night and in teaching at twilight,…”

      Gosh. No wonder you’re grumpy. They have these things called roses…. [sorry]

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Hi Ghung,

        My comment-in-question was of course sarcastic.

        And nobody’s grumpy here. We’re all tickled pink that each year things get worse or stranger or whatever and Trump is in, etc..

        So how are you? I think you are over at PeakOil.com sometimes yes?

        …But free solar panels? That seems pretty competitive.

        I prefer roses, though, and guess you know they are edible?

        “Flavor reminiscent of strawberries and green apples. Sweet, with subtle undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice. All roses are edible, with the flavor being more pronounced in the darker varieties. In miniature varieties can garnish ice cream and desserts, or larger petals can be sprinkled on desserts or salads.” ~ Edible Flowers Chart, Whats Cooking America

        How’s the house holding up, by the way? I know that when we were on TOD, you showed some nice pics.

        ~ Tribe Of Pangaea- First Member

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        I look forward to Caelan posting some conceptual drawings of structures that can be built without using any of the technology he badmouths day after day here in this forum.

        Ah well, the pyramids were built without much in the way of modern technology, lol.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Maybe he and DT should get together and plan the unraveling of our big ball of yarn. It will probably look like this.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Not sure if that picture is Rio de Janeiro but it certainly portrays the typical have, have not divide that is often the hallmark of your run of the mill right wing authoritarian regimes the world over. It is what happens when 1% of the population controls the resources and the wealth of a nation.

            It does not bode well for our own country that this appears to be where we are headed now. All the 1% has to do is convince the population that ideas like socialism are evil. Universal free health care for everyone is a bad idea, higher education is only for the elites. Immigrants and deviants are the devil… etc…

            It seems to work like a charm every time! The voters are more than happy to vote against their own interests. And you certainly under no circumstance would want any of those evil lazy good for nothing slum dwellers to be empowered by technology such as solar panels!

            Got wind of Nicolas Kosoy, Prof. of Ecological Economics and was watching a Youtube video of one of his classes and he happened to mention this Art project in Rio de Janeiro.

            This is how those evil lazy brown people really live!


            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              “And you certainly under no circumstance would want any of those evil lazy good for nothing slum dwellers to be empowered by technology such as solar panels!” ~ Fred Magyar

              Solar panels in the current elite-driven pseudoeconomic model, aren’t really pure forms of technology, if they are that at all, nor are much of any other forms within that framework, depending on how we define technology.

              This is because they are not purely for people by and/or commissioned/controlled by those very same people.

              They are simply toys that the oligarchy deems us to have/buy ($).

              Take art:
              If the purest form of art is the art whose intent is not for-money-profit, but rather for personal expression, then the moment the money-profit intent ($) enters the equation, it changes the nature of that art– arguably, it spoils it. Naturally, only the artist knows what their intent is, though, but we can certainly reject what they say, as well as the art, if we feel they are lying about it.

              If we had pure technology, we’d more likely than not be far more advanced with it than we are now in our relative illusion of technology.

              • GoneFishing says:

                You need to go to school, then spend a few months living off the wilderness. Quiet is golden out there.


                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Yeah, schools are great and knowledge in the right hands can help to bring about completely new paradigms. Even help you learn how to make a knife out of silk. I find that kinda cool!

                  And speaking of unraveling that ball of yarn silk you spoke of…

                  Disclaimer: This video brought to you by the proponents of the circular economy at the Ellen MacArthur foundation and posted at the Disruption Innovation Festival. Oh, I don’t really think that a silk knife is a silver bullet… 🙂

                  Warning it will take about 46 minutes of your life to watch this, for some that might be a huge waste of time.


                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Hi GoneFishing,

                  I came to Nova Scotia to create, in part, a ‘school’, with one difference being that everyone teaches and everyone learns as we go along– learning and teaching, in part, in the doing as a group.

                  I especially appreciate this passage on the About page of your link, which suggest a bit of my approach and/or attitude:

                  “In pure survival there is no want or debilitation, for the perfection of skills makes any survival situation easy.”

                  Apparently, Bill Mollison of permaculture fame, and with a similar attitude (i.e., permaculture’s supposed to be easy), and who died this year, incidentally (rest in peace, Bill, we sorely miss you) dropped off civilization’s map for a brief time, only to realize that connections and communication with the rest of society were a better idea to get his ideas across.

                  Incidentally, I moved to NS around the same time as James Howard Kunstler moved to where he is now, if recalled. Unsure what he’s up to lately (no recent, at least illustrated, progress on his garden for example), but he would seem to be in an ideal situation to create or at least inspire a Transition Town. Maybe that’s what he has in mind, although writing books can be a lonely and time-consuming endeavor, and creating new community would seem to require certain social and time-involvement levels… But he would nevertheless appear well-positioned in that regard.

                  Likewise with many in that bookwriting vein.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          It might be nice if Oldfarmermac showed us pics of nice home-grown veggies and/or stuff like that, like Bob’s nice tomatoes. Maybe live up to his nicknamesake.

          And, yes, inappropriate, inequitably-derived (etc.) technology is no good.

          You don’t need me to demonstrate that kind of structure thing, all you need to do is look into what our ancestors used to do. (Was it you who wrote that you had read ~4000 books?)

          Your pyramid example is just plain silly, even stupid, but maybe it was sarcasm. In which case, ‘Ohhh, hahaha! Ya got me! You funny man. You crack me up! Big time!’ (ROTFLMAO).


          “lol” ~ Oldfarmermac

          (in Russian accent) What, lol? What is that, lol? From you?! No no no! Here! Try LOL! Go ahead go ahead, I listening!

          …(We big country, yes? You want, we do business?)

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Yer plumb behind the times, Caelan, even an old farmer like me gets his produce at a local market, in season, or else a supermarket, which is open all year long.

            I have about a dozen varieties of more or less fresh out of season fruits and veggies in the house at this minute, most of which were imported from the tropics or California or from the American deep south. I do have local apples, cabbage, persimmons, onions, and walnuts.

            No modern tech, no modern industry, and I would be eating a far less healthy diet this winter. I don’t know about you, but I am DAMNED glad I have a refrigerator, and a freezer, and air conditioning, and internet, and antibiotics, and a cell phone, and a personal library, plus many more things beyond the wildest dreams of an emperor who lived as little as a couple of hundred years ago.

            There won’t be much in the line of fresh local produce here until late MAY 2017. I will harvest some wild greens, and some wild mushrooms, and that will about be it.Maybe a few spring onions, some radishes, some kale.

            There ARE things to be said for modern technologies, lol.

            One of Daddy’s brothers, the youngest one, is only about eighty, and still runs a farm market only a couple of miles away.

            He gives us anything we want for our personal use, free of charge, lol, from June till around the first of November. The rest of the time, I go to the supermarket, like everybody else.

            Is there a rule that says lol for laugh out loud should be capped?

            It’s been over half a century since I studied grammar.

            I read at least a couple of hours a day, usually more, even now, and I used to read as much as eight or ten hours a lot of days.

            On my chair side table for the next couple of weeks :
            Journal of the Plague Year,by Daniel Defoe, Jeff Sharra’s Gods and Generals, The Shack by William P Young, Helter Skelter, by Vincent Bugliosi, Beyond Shock and Awe, by I forget who, but it’s about technology of modern warfare and the nature of nation state conflicts short of actual war.

            I am currently reading The Creature from Jekyll Island, A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, by Edward Griffin, which is an outsider account and history of that institution, and selected for that very reason.

            I have a couple of books by E O Wilson and Stephen Pinker on order.

            Anybody who is willing to give up the idiot box and other such wastes of time as hanging out in bars can easily read a upwards of a hundred books a year, if he wants to. I wanted to, up until a few years ago.

            Yes, the reference to the pyramids was primarily intended as sarcasm.

            • hightrekker23 says:

              Veggies are easy–
              It’s calories and oils that are hard.

              Calories– potatoes or grains.
              Oils- dairy or nut oils.
              I have olives and walnuts for oils.

              But I still need a market—

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Natural Systems Thinking

                There’s a lot of starch growing wild right under our noses in the forms for example of tubers of various sorts, such as cattail and wild carrot.

                Depending on the part of the plant, the time of year and where it grows, etc., there’s also a buffet right under our noses… which commercial markets might not want you to know about.

                This doesn’t of course demand the calories ‘required’ to grow them, since they grow themselves– often in ‘ridiculous’ soil.

                If you encourage wild edible growth, you might encourage more animals and animals are of course, fat and protein. Encouraging diversity encourages greater ecosystem health.

                Oh, and beekeeping for honey, beeswax, mead, preservation, encouraging greater natural diversity, and pollination, etc..

                Get your neighbors in on it and you have a ‘market’ you don’t know what to do with as excess apples, pears, cherries, berries, peaches, nuts, etc., all come a-splotching down into the streets and yards.

                Press them for drinks before they do. Ferment some. Feed some to the livestock.

                Create celebratory fun-filled festivals. Use some of the calories to fix neighbor’s homes.

                Burp, fart, piss, crap, spread it around, grow some more.

                Think permaculture and/or things along those lines. Think killing many more than two birds with one stone.

                Cattails: Swamp Supermarket

                “The United States almost won WWII with cattails.

                No green plant produces more edible starch per acre… not potatoes, rice, taros or yams. Plans were underway to feed American soldiers with that starch when WWII stopped. Lichen, not a green plant, might produce more carbs per acre. One acre of cattails can produce 6,475 pounds of flour per year on average (Harrington 1972).”

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Oh, and quit your job, because now you have a few new ones worth it. ^u^

    • Nathanael says:

      Caelan, you’re seeing the relentless and biased media reports attacking EVs. If you’re coming across the crash reports by accident, that should be a warning to you — you’re seeing biased propaganda. Everyone who actually does the research realizes that the media is making a mountain out of a molehill.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Sure, Nathanael, the crashes are just one facet of a larger problem.

  7. R Walter says:

    Today is National Fast Food Day, yesterday was National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. So… you could remove all of those fast food bags that contain the remnants of your fast food and start all over again. har


    What is interesting is the 14th was National Spicy Guacamole Day!

    Can’t beat that with a stick.

    One medium tomato, one medium onion, a small bunch of cilantro, a section of lime or lemon, salt to taste, you have pico de gailo. When is it National Pico De Gailo Day?

    Life is great, electricity, cars, you can even buy a tomato in the middle of November in the northern hemisphere anywhere you go.

    Life, it can’t be beat.

    If it were 1796 and Hillary had received the second highest votes of the electoral college, she would now be the Vice President. However, women couldn’t even vote in 1796, just men who owned land or paid taxes.

    Time to repeal the 12th Amendment and right what is all wrong about that college, all because Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr ended in a tie.

    Jefferson was one of four presidential candidates. As he composed his letter to Rush, Jefferson paused from time to time to gather his thoughts, all the while gazing absently through an adjacent window at the shimmering heat and the foliage, now a lusterless pale green after a long, dry summer. Though he hated leaving his hilltop plantation and believed, as he told Rush, that gaining the presidency would make him “a constant butt for every shaft of calumny which malice & falsehood could form,” he nevertheless sought the office “with sincere zeal.”


    Life is not fair and jonesin’ to be the President involves getting to know who really gives you the job, voters. Something Hillary ignored. It was an election, not a coronation.

    Oh well, still have a Democrat as President, all is well.

    The lament of the left still goes on though, probably will never stop.

    The mainstream media thought to manufacture, engineer, consent when all they really did was manufacture dissent, the anger built up to a fevered pitch and rejection of the way things are was off the charts.

    November 8th was National Cappuccino Day and also National Harvey Wallbanger Day. It is some consolation.

    Every single day is National Drinking Day.

    There is no beer in heaven.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      “Life is not fair and jonesin’ to be the President involves getting to know who really gives you the job, voters. Something Hillary ignored. It was an election, not a coronation.”

      “The mainstream media thought to manufacture, engineer, consent when all they really did was manufacture dissent, the anger built up to a fevered pitch and rejection of the way things are was off the charts.”

      Every once in a while, RW comes up with a real gem of an observation.

      Two today.

      Hill shoulda listened to Bill rather than her yes girls and guys.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Life is great, electricity, cars, you can even buy a tomato in the middle of November in the northern hemisphere anywhere you go.

      Hey we are on track to make life even better! Pretty soon you will be able to grow tomatoes outside in November in the Northern Hemisphere! Heck you won’t even have to worry about CO2 fertilization like they do in greehouses because there will be plenty in the atmosphere… 🙂

      BTW check out Toast Beer: http://www.toastale.com/

      See, we are in heaven already, so yes, there is beer in heaven.

      Cheers, or Toast!

      • Bob Nickson says:

        Pretty soon you will be able to grow tomatoes outside in November in the Northern Hemisphere!

        By pretty soon do you mean now? I’m at 40 degrees North. It was 72F yesterday. I’m still harvesting fresh tomatoes off my vines.

        Just walked out and picked these:

  8. George Kaplan says:

    The attached graph is not a sensor error. New record temperature anomalies are being set and Arctic ice growth has stalled in the middle of November. Apparently we may be experiencing a sudden stratospheric warming, where the stratosphere warms by 10 or more degrees, the jet stream stops and central Europe freezes (“Day After Tomorrow”?). It is quite rare, but then a few rare or unknown climate related phenomena are happening this year.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Looks to me like the Jetstream is broader than ever and portions of it are bringing warm air up into the Arctic right to the north pole. Basically, some warmer air is moving northward while the main Jetstream is remaining intact at around 35 to 50 N latitude.

      More chaos in the weather patterns. The formation of sea ice is inhibited by a warmer Arctic Ocean.

    • Steven Haner says:

      Sudden stratospheric warming events aren’t that particularly rare. And the displacement of the polar vortex resulting from them can bring cold temperatures to the mid-latitudes anywhere on earth, not just central Europe.

      • In 2001 we had record warmth in the far north. I think it was only minus 13 C over a large area around the North Pole. But this year’s abnormal weather may also be associated with the energy stored in the Chukchi, Kara, and Barents. I think it’s going to take at least 60 days for the water to radiate that extra energy. After that the cover should be closer to normal.

  9. Oldfarmermac says:


    I hereby declare that not only is Elon Musk one of the world’s most capable ( and LUCKY ) businessmen, he is also probably the world’s BEST salesman.

    He has had the foresight to take the electric car’s weakest point among automobile enthusiasts, performance, and turn it into the strongest, and even as he has opened a giant can of whop ass on the competition at a minor fraction of the elite opposition’s price.

    Nobody else, excepting NISSAN, is even in the same league at a comparable price.

    • Nick G says:


      In hindsight it makes all the sense in the world. The conventional car companies should have seen it, but they just…didn’t really like this new, weird thing, and they assumed it was an annoying compromise that would only appeal to people who didn’t have the money to buy a REAL car. So…they made EVs small, and cheap, and weird looking.

      Tesla, on the other hand, made a car that took advantage of the inherent advantages of an electric motor. And…finally…they made it beautiful. Not weird looking. I mean…just look at the Nissan Leaf. Just weird. Like a catfish. Nissan, of all the other car companies, most gets the idea of an EV, and they still made it weird looking.

      If you look at the German EVs, they’ve finally gotten that, and they’re making some good looking EVs. Of course, they’re mostly still concept vehicles – you can tell that the companies as a whole still haven’t really accepted EVs into their culture. But…they’re getting there.

      I shouldn’t forget GM – they’ve also made a decent start on that transition in car culture. But they’re not there yet – the Bolt is still a relatively low volume compliance car.

      • JJHMAN says:

        I have new Chevy Volt. I think for the current era, that is without charging stations in every parking lot, it is the most intelligent EV on the marke. I’ve driven about 4,000 miles and only used about 6 gallons of gas. No range anxiety AT ALL. Our electric utility has reduced rates between 7PM and 7AM, really low after 11PM. the car is smart enough to measure the charge requirement against the utility rates and give me a full charge at the cheapest rate. Once you get over the fear of owning a car built by GM its hard to beat and at a cost about 1/4 the price of the cheapest Tesla.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          On Giving Up On Some Things

          Works for now until the effects of scale set in. It’s a numbers game.

          You have the action, and then everyone wants a piece of it.

          Do you drive alone in your car? How often do you use it?

          Did you know that humans come in at least 2 different scales? One is our simple physical size; the other is our effects-on-the-planet size.

          And one’s hitting different ceilings…

          What’s Wrong With The Volt

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          If I had plenty of money, I would buy a new Volt in a heartbeat.

          Unfortunately, or fortunately for me, take your pick, I am short enough of money that I need to consider the OPPORTUNITY COST of buying a new car, and smart enough to consider opportunity costs.

          There are many things I can do with the difference between what it costs to drive a new car, and an old one, which are sure to result in my earning an excellent return, rather than watching the fast depreciation of a new car consume my money. I am for instance at this time leveraging my money by fencing some land, enabling me to work tax free for the capital gain. Two grand spent on materials will result in an estimated eight grand improvement in the value of my property.

          That six grand difference is income tax free, until I sell, and I am not planning on selling anytime soon.

  10. I have just added the below to the page The Competitive Exclusion Principle

    Of Human Extinction

    Few biologists would argue with the estimate that 99 percent of all animal species that ever existed, are now extinct. Many people argue that accepting that statistic means it is quite likely that Homo sapiens will go extinct within the next few thousand years. Such people know absolutely nothing about biological evolution, or statistics either for that matter.

    What is lacking here is the knowledge of why species go extinct. If we are talking about one of the five great extinctions then we are talking about some type of natural disaster. A giant meteorite and/or the massive volcanism of the Deccan Traps caused the last great extinction, the KT extinction. And the volcanism of the Siberian Traps caused the greatest of all mass extinctions, the great Permian extinction. It is possible that a great meteor strike triggered that massive volcanism but I suspect we will never know.

    Some species last for many millions of years while some may last for only a few thousand years. Species, quite obviously, do not go into extinction because their allotted average time on earth is up. So the fact that 99 percent of all species that ever existed is now extinct, has no bearing on whether or not Homo sapiens are in imminent danger of extinction.

    So barring some type of natural disaster, what causes species extinction?

    Species are driven into extinction. That is, some other species outcompetes them for territory and resources.

    Many will claim that some type of disease, virus or pestilence, can cause the extinction of a species. But that is only likely after their numbers have already been decimated, their territory shrunk and their immunity weakened by competition from another species. If their numbers are great enough, and their territory large enough, there will always be survivors. Great plagues decimate populations but not species.

    Most mammalian species, as well as many foul and fish species, are now living on earth are in imminent danger of extinction. They are being driven into extinction by the evolutionary success of one great ape, Homo sapiens. But there are a few species that are in absolutely no danger of being driven into extinction. That is they are in no danger of being outcompeted by another species. That is because their numbers are so great and their territory so widespread that no competitor is likely to drive them into extinction. These, safe from extinction species, include rats, mice… and Homo sapiens.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      How dare you include us, God’s creation, with rats. That’s just not right!

    • Fred Magyar says:

      These, safe from extinction species, include rats, mice… and Homo sapiens.

      Ron, not sure I agree with that!

      While the species Homo sapiens may not be in any immediate danger of extinction during the next few decades or so, since it has obviously proven to be one of the most highly adaptable animal species in the entire history of life on earth!

      However, the jury on its long term survival is still out!

      We still need a fully functional biosphere with intact ecosystems for our long term survival. What is currently in doubt is the very survival of those systems on which, whether we like it or not, we depend, for our basic necessities such as sustenance, our air and our water.

      In the medium to long term, unless humans can somehow relearn to live in harmony with those systems or they are able to somehow construct totally artificial enclosed environments where they can continue to exist, I am highly doubtful that we shall fare any better than the other inhabitants of this tiny blue sphere, adrift in the cosmos.

      There are no guarantees for the rats, the mice or us!
      On the other hand humans are clever and can learn lessons on how to survive in extremely inhospitable environments. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from Halicephalobus mephisto a nematode that lives a mile or so down in the earth withstanding hellish heat and very low levels of oxygen.

      If I were to bet on the kind of life that will survive the longest on this planet those nematodes would be high on my list, as would Tardigrades and extremophile bacteria, mice, rats and humans not so much!

      • Fred, of course if we destroy the entire world, we will go with it. Hell, that goes without saying. For instance if we have enough nuclear reactors, and some calamity causes us to abandon them all, and they all melt down… Well who knows, that could poison the atmosphere enough to kill all life, or most life, on earth.

        But barring such a worldwide calamity, Homo sapiens are not going extinct. I don’t care what else we do to the earth, if life survives above the surface of the earth, then Homo sapiens will be among that life.

        Of course I am not talking about bacteria, or even cockroaches, if any form of life, above plants and insects survive, then Homo sapiens will be among that life.

        But when the vast majority of people talk about human extinction, they are talking about humans going extinct while other mammalian life, even larger animals, survive. No, that is not going to happen.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          …while other mammalian life, even larger animals, survive. No, that is not going to happen.

          Agree 100% on that!

          Though I’m not so sure we will be able survive outside of very limited niche habitats if what I think I see happening with all biomes, ecosystems and biodiversity continue along current trends.

          I guess that is the bottle neck and if, whether and how, we do or do not emerge from it on the other side is a big question, at least in my view.

          I guess the recent election results have made me have an even gloomier outlook than usual. 🙂


          • Doug Leighton says:


            Don’t panic, but the human race could be on the verge of being wiped out in a terrible doomsday incident, according to some pretty complex maths. In fact, there’s a one in 500 chance we’ll be wiped out within a year. University of Barcelona mathematician Fergus Simpson based his calculation on the Doomsday Argument, calculating the probability of a species-ending disaster — using the numbers who have already been born. Simpson writes: “Our key conclusion is that the annual risk of global catastrophe currently exceeds 0.2 per cent.”

            There is some good news in his calculations however. He challenged previous research which indicated humans had a 50 percent chance of surviving the 21st century. According to Simpson’s sums, it is about 87 percent certain we’ll survive to see the year 2100.


            • GoneFishing says:

              1 in 500 chance of survival. Baloney. I bet almost everyone alive today will be dead by 2100.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Fred, Ron,

            I think Ron is right, a few of us naked apes are almost sure to survive anything less than the a thoroughly poisoned atmosphere, meaning poisonous enough to kill us directly, so long as a few other higher life forms such as insects or small mammals survive.

            We are spread out all over the planet, and able to travel, and in the event of a super hard crash of any sort, any survivors will have the advantage of being able to salvage an immense amount of treasure such as a nice big stainless steel butcher knife.

            But if the atmosphere is unbreathable, or there are no plants t or small edible animals left, well……….

            Some other species might eventually evolve that can make good use of all those stainless steel knives, etc. Some of them will be in great shape after a couple of hundred million years, if buried in the right sort of soil and stone.

            • Ghung says:

              The ultimate extinction event; the PLANET KILLER!

              That be us?

              • GoneFishing says:

                There are only a few possible reasons we have not come across alien intelligences.
                1) They are so advanced that their communication systems are beyond our capability to intercept or detect.
                2) They don’t want to be found.
                3) They know we are here but we are of no interest to them.
                4) Intelligent life that can manipulate it’s environment tends to destroy it and itself.
                5) We are scheduled for pest removal but it has not arrived yet.
                6) All intelligent life in the universe is robotic and they are waiting for actual intelligent life to appear on this planet before contact.
                7) Some other reason.

                • HuntingtonBeach says:

                  5) We are scheduled for pest removal but it has not arrived yet.

                  Soon, Trump 1/20/2017

                • Bob Nickson says:

                  8) The ability to build a radio transmitter isn’t an accurate definition of ‘intelligent life’.

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  Or 7a),



                  • GoneFishing says:

                    That is tiny box thinking amid a universe of various conditions. Bound to be some long term living planets in the cosmos.

                    But what if the speed of light is really a limiting factor? Life on distant planets would never reach us nor we them. So what would be the point of beaming huge radio wave energies across galaxies or between galaxies? We could never talk even if we could understand what they are saying and we could never visit.
                    The ultimate bio-containment system.
                    Maybe we should just learn how to live here then move and terraform Venus later.

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  Hi GF,

                  My personal opinion as to why we haven’t run across any intelligent alien life, assuming some other intelligent species exist, is that the galaxy, never mind the universe, is just too big a place for other intelligent life forms to be located within detection range, more than likely.

                  I have fished in a lot of various places.

                  Just about any fisherman will tell you that in a large body of water, you will almost always find at least a few fish SOMEWHERE, but they will be concentrated, most of the time, in relatively small areas, and there will be very large areas where your chances of finding even one fish are pretty close to zero, at any given time.

                  So- Let’s say we properly understand the physics, and communications, intentional or inadvertent, are limited to the speed of light.

                  We have been inadvertently sending out signals that might possibly be detected out to a hundred light years, for about a hundred years, if anybody or any THING is listening, with very sophisticated equipment.

                  I have NOT run across any good discussion of our ability to pick up inadvertent signals that might be produced by an alien civilization, but I really doubt we would be able to detect such signals if they originate more than a few light years away, with a hundred light years being my guess at the outside limit.

                  In other words, the Milky Way galaxy is a HELL of a big place, and if there were a hundred intelligent species living on a hundred different worlds, well scattered thru the galaxy, we probably wouldn’t be able to detect accidentally sent signals. It’s very unlikely even one of that hundred hypothetical worlds with intelligent life is located within a hundred light years.

                  And while I may be extrapolating too much Terran biology, I think the odds are excellent that anyplace intelligent life evolves, there will be predators, and prey.

                  A species intelligent enough to broadcast deliberate signals, very strong ones, would also be intelligent enough to realize that such a signal is an invitation to be HAD for dinner if there are any space traveling predators scouting for a new food supply, or a new world to settle on.

                  OTOH a space traveling predator species with a LOT of self confidence might broadcast signals hoping to get a reply from a potential prey species, as well as that species ADDRESS.

                  Then there’s the time frame question. If an alien civilization were to last say five thousand earth years, it would have to not only be within detection distance, but also it would have to exist approximately concurrently with our own existence.

                  A few thousand years out of several billion years makes that a hell of a long shot. Even a hundred thousand years is not very long compared to a billion years.

                  If I were in charge of a SETI program, I would spend all resources on listening, and NONE on broadcasting, in consideration of the precautionary principle.

                  So -If Sky Daddy would answer the question, I would personally bet that intelligent life exists SOMEWHERE, probably LOTS of some wheres, other than on this one planet, but I would also bet it is too far away to be detected by way of our intercepting inadvertent signals.

                  Then add on your list of reasons!

                  My guess is that we will not make contact with an intelligent alien life form within this century, and maybe we NEVER will , unless there are fundamental breakthroughs in physics and technology that allow us to extend the search for INADVERTENT signals out to millions of light years.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Good points Old Farmer.
                    The radio phase of an advanced civilization might only be fairly short as they move on to other methods or abandon it altogether, if it ever happens for them. They may just go quiet.
                    Advanced civilizations might be totally biological and something like radio emissions could be considered pollution and totally unnecessary.

                    Even empire building civilizations might only span a few hundred light years and not use radio because it’s too slow and erratic.
                    We also have no way of knowing how they think. They may think in totally different terms than we do and consider looking for alien civilizations as a total waste of time and energy, or may not even care or be that curious about the universe.

        • Preston says:

          This year is off the chart in terms of global warming. Hopefully,it’s an outlyer but If it’s the start of a new trend then humans could be in real trouble real soon. Emissions of Co2 have supposedly been flat for the last few years, but Co2 is rising a lot more than it did just last year. There are either uncounted emissions or the normal sinks like the ocean are no longer working. Arctic sea ice is shrinking right now, in November!

          Throughout earth history there have been two stable states, one is cool about 22C which we live in. The other is a hot house with no ice and 20C hotter. There was plenty of life on Earth when it was 40C even huge giant butterflies, but it’s not habitable by humans. We may be passed the tipping point and headed to that hotter state regardless of anything we do.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Preston,

            The higher rate of increase in CO2 is probably due in part to the strong El Nino, in 1998 CO2 increased by 2.81 ppm and in 2015 by 2.96.



            If we look at the monthly trend and find the difference from sept 1997 to sept 1998, it was 3.58 ppm or 0.98% of 364.7 ppm. From Sept 2015 to Sept 2016 the global atmospheric CO2 trend increased from 399.83 ppm to 403.4 ppm or 3.57 ppm or 0.89% of 401.6 ppm.

            In both of those cases the rise in CO2 followed a strong El Nino.

            Monthly data at link below


            • GoneFishing says:

              El Nino has been over for months now. Co2 now going up faster than when it was happening.

  11. Doug Leighton says:


    “The wildfires of 2015 were the worst we’ve seen for almost two decades as a result of global climate change, land use changes and deforestation. The extremely dry conditions in that region mean that these are likely to become more common events in the future, unless concerted action is taken to prevent fires.”



    “A new study found that rainfall over land in the subtropics — including in the southeastern U.S. — will not decline as much as it does over oceans in response to increased greenhouse gases. The study challenges our previous understanding of the drying that will occur in subtropical regions and suggests its impact on people living in these regions could be less severe than initially thought.”


    • Ghung says:

      Meanwhile, in the southeastern U.S., we’re choking on smoke and have had the driest 3 month period on record, perhaps headed for the driest calendar year.

      • Paulo says:

        Our torrential rains finally quit on the BC Coast. Thank God we didn’t have a snow pack to melt and add to the freshet. I think it rained for over 30 days straight. Our river was pretty high, but we did not get cut off and stranded as in years past.

        I am building a post and beam wood fired sauna, 10′ X 8′ approx. It is constructed out of old growth yellow cedar. Instead of winter getaways requiring air travel the wife and I will sandal out to the sauna. It will boast a small fountain in one corner as well as a salvaged woodstove with rocks plus an outside air source so we don’t die in there. It should be finished within two weeks. One thing that is wonderful about living on the coast is access to premium wood. In the ’70s this stuff would have gone into Japanese temples.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Ghung,

        It’s so dry it’s scary in my neck of the woods, not that far from you.

        A fire right here now would be hell to deal with if there is any significant wind.

        There has been zero meaningful rain in my immediate neighborhood for the last sixty days and only an inch or so in the last ninety days.

        The ground is dusty dry a foot below grade in some local pastures and lawns.

        The leaves are six inches to a foot deep in the woods, most places, and so dry they crackle when you walk on them.

        We are getting western type fires these days, and the methods we have always used to control them are no longer going to be adequate.


  12. Oldfarmermac says:

    The situation in Venezuela grows worse from day to day.
    But at least the msm is finally owning up to the fact that the Maduro regime is what it it is, and what those of us who do not reflexively defend socialism have openly called it for a long time- a dictatorship.


    I am not opposed to socialism as such, and support some socialist policies, such as universal health care,etc, but I tell it like I see it, regardless of who or what the issue may be.

  13. R Walter says:

    Fred, the toastale pale ale has some real mojo going its way. Tanks!

    On another note, kind of an interesting place, just so everyone knows:


    From Consciousness Explained by Daniel C. Dennett (Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1991):
    The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds it’s spot and takes root, it doesn’t need its brain any more so it eats it. It’s rather like getting tenure.
    In a footnote, Dennett writes:
    The analogy between the sea squirt and the associate professor was first pointed out, I think, by the neuroscientist Rodolfo Llinás.


    The sea squirt eats its own brain, so you don’t really need a brain at all. har

    Call it wireless communication. lol


  14. Doug Leighton says:


    “With the new data, Sarmiento and his team can test their models and refine estimates of how CO2 moves between the seas and the sky. Indirect evidence suggests that the Southern Ocean is a net carbon sink and has absorbed as much as 15% of the carbon emissions emitted by humanity since the industrial revolution. But at some times of year and in specific places in this region, carbon-rich surface waters release CO2 into the atmosphere. Now, researchers are getting some of their first glimpses in near-real time of what happens in the Southern Ocean, particularly in winter. “Right off the bat, we are seeing CO2 fluxes into the atmosphere that are much greater than we had estimated before….

    “The unpublished analysis is based on just 13 floats that have been in the water for at least a year, so the question now is whether the higher CO2 emissions during winter represent larger trends across the entire Southern Ocean. “It’s pretty tantalizing,” says Alison Gray, a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton who is leading the study. “It would imply that potentially there is a much weaker carbon sink in the Southern Ocean than has been estimated…

    Le Quéré says it’s unclear whether that rise in CO2 absorption is a return to normal or a deviation from the long-term weakening of the sink. Regardless, she says, it’s now clear that the Southern Ocean might be much more fickle than scientists thought….”


    • GoneFishing says:

      As the oceans warm and ocean life goes, less CO2 is absorbed by the oceans.

      “Sometime after 2000, however, the rise in emissions and the oceans’ carbon uptake decoupled. Oceans continue to absorb more carbon, but the pace appears to have slowed.

      The reason is based in part on simple chemistry. Increased concentrations of carbon dioxide have turned waters more acidic, especially nearer to the poles. While carbon dioxide dissolves more readily in cold, dense seawater, these waters are less capable of sequestering the gas as the ocean becomes more acidic. The study revealed that the Southern Ocean, near Antarctica, absorbs about 40 percent of the carbon in oceans. ” (See Doug’s comment above)

      “There are several factors that may be responsible for what’s going on,” Khatiwala said. “Increasing acidity is only one of them. Faster emission growth rate is another, perhaps more important, cause, as could be changes in ocean temperature and circulation.”

      “The United Nations estimated in a report released in October that 3-7 percent of current fossil-fuel emissions could be offset in two decades if more action is taken to prevent marine vegetation loss and degradation worldwide. ”


  15. GoneFishing says:

    Daily CO2
    November 16, 2016: 404.70 ppm
    November 16, 2015: 400.43 ppm

    Delta 4.27 ppm per annum

    Total major long lived anthropogenic greenhouse gas (CO2 equivalent) is now 607 ppm.

  16. Dennis Coyne says:

    Sea Ice extent from Danish Meteorological Institute at


    • George Kaplan says:

      Gone flat, or even negative, on today’s graph. The NSIDC one below uses a five day average so lags measurements a bit. As I understand from some high level reading they each use different masks at the boundaries and different algorithms to identify ice, melt ponds etc so have different numbers. The DMI is gradually moving towards the NSIDC numbers as it is developed from what I can see. I think they have rebaselined their numbers a couple of times this year. The DMI always used to be quoted by deniers as it give higher numbers than any other service, especially as it had a higher extent limit (30%? – TBC), but less so now as it is using 15% and with improving algorithms.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi George,

        I went to DMO because you posted a chart for temperature from there. There are always different estimates.

        What I would tell someone who posted information about colder temperatures than normal for a single season is that we are concerned about climate rather than weather.

        The same applies to warm temperatures, I think cherries are delicious. 🙂

        • GoneFishing says:

          Add energy into the weather system and the range of weather and temperature expand, in both directions. The shift is toward warmer overall, but the total range increases.
          Weather is important because that is what we really live in. Climate is just an average of weather over a period of time.
          When the temperature is 30F higher or lower than normal, that is reality and has real ramifications to people, animals, crops, wild plants. Ask a farmer about the effects of early thaw and refreeze on his orchards. When the monsoon shifts timing that year, ask a farmer if he cares about climate, no, he cares about his starving family. Same with floods or droughts.
          None of it is cherries, although some will misinterpret due to agenda. The climate people are always saying how single events are due to climate change, so why not cold and hot temps?
          A week of too hot weather at the wrong time kills the fish in a creek far faster than a climate shift.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gone fishing,

            I think it is difficult to tell what is happening based on weather, the noisiness of the data makes it difficult to interpret. The point was simple choosing warm daily temperatures or cold daily temperatures from specific locations tells us about the weather. It changes daily. 🙂

            • Doug Leighton says:

              I’d guess GF is as aware of the distinction between climate and weather as anyone here. Of course extreme weather events can forebode trends which is the reason climate scientists watch them like hawks.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Climate is a construct, a distribution formed over time. Weather is the reality. When weather in a given region falls within a range of parameters for a given period of time, we call it climate. Climate is a convenient way to track long term changes in weather. It is the cumulative extremes and shifts of weather that determine climate changes not the other way around.
                For those not familiar how to tell a construct from a reality, I can stand out in the weather and have it effect me right now, I cannot stand out in the climate.

                “Climate is the statistics of weather, usually over a 30-year interval. It is measured by assessing the patterns of variation in temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, precipitation, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological variables in a given region over long periods of time.”

                Climate: the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period.

                Climate is an agreed upon defined quality, weather is what happens real time.

                Definition of Climate Change
                Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time (i.e., decades to millions of years). Climate change may refer to a change in average weather conditions, or in the time variation of weather around longer-term average conditions (i.e., more or fewer extreme weather events).

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  I think I knew that Fish. 🙂

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Wasn’t meant for you Doug, just for general knowledge and those who think that mathematical constructs are reality.

                    I think the point is that climate change is a form of cherry picking. We chose a period of time to define climate and then say see the climate changed or didn’t change in that period. Was it a series of weather events just adding up or a long term change? Only the future and a longer time span (or more knowledge of the system) will tell.
                    Was the Medieval Warm period climate change or the Little Ice age climate change? Depends on your definition and the range of the region examined.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Depends on your definition and the range of the region examined.

                    Dunno, how about an arbitrarily chosen 784,000 year period…


                    Nonlinear climate sensitivity and its implications for future greenhouse warming
                    Tobias Friedrich1,*, Axel Timmermann1, Michelle Tigchelaar2, Oliver Elison Timm3 and Andrey Ganopolski4


                    Global mean surface temperatures are rising in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The magnitude of this warming at equilibrium for a given radiative forcing—referred to as specific equilibrium climate sensitivity (S)—is still subject to uncertainties. We estimate global mean temperature variations and S using a 784,000-year-long field reconstruction of sea surface temperatures and a transient paleoclimate model simulation. Our results reveal that S is strongly dependent on the climate background state, with significantly larger values attained during warm phases. Using the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 for future greenhouse radiative forcing, we find that the range of paleo-based estimates of Earth’s future warming by 2100 CE overlaps with the upper range of climate simulations conducted as part of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). Furthermore, we find that within the 21st century, global mean temperatures will very likely exceed maximum levels reconstructed for the last 784,000 years. On the basis of temperature data from eight glacial cycles, our results provide an independent validation of the magnitude of current CMIP5 warming projections.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Fred,

                    Not very likely that there are enough easily extracted fossil fuels to make RCP8.5 a reality.

                    Studies should use more reasonable emissions scenarios that do not require magic. 🙂

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Gone fishing,

                  To most scientists it is both the average and the standard deviation that matter, you may get that by standing outside at a single point in time in a single location, but usually when one talks about global climate, you are trying to understand those many realities (many points in space and time) which includes the extremes and all the points in between.

                  Again my simple point is that individual data points by themselves don’t tell us very much, it is the totality of data that matters more than the individual examples of cold or warm temperatures.

                  When someone says, “See it’s snowing in Georgia, so much for Global Warming” doesn’t that strike you as silly?

                  The data for 80N to 90N is very variable in the fall and spring and since 1958 has been above the 1958-2002 mean by 15 C fairly regularly. 20 C above normal is quite unusual, in the spring of 1976 (late March) temperatures were about 17 C above the 1958-2002 mean based on DMI data.


                  Click on 1976 on left of page to see 1976.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    “To most scientists it is both the average and the standard deviation that matter”
                    No, most scientists actually compare the distributions. Two points do not describe most real distributions, nowhere near, unless you have simple symmetrical ones. Which in nature, rarely occurs since there are usually several interacting variables.

                    Look Dennis, I spent years of my scientific career daily analyzing complex distributions.
                    Twisting my point to mean something else is just pathetic. The point is do you know the difference between reality and a constructed mathematical result.
                    Not one of us lives an average life, has 2.2 children (that would be weird), drives an average distance or lives in an average climate.
                    I know when I would crawl out of my tent onto the snow at -20F trying to start a cookstove, the big joke was the average temperature was quite balmy for the area (50F). Average meant nothing, just a number from a mathematical calculation.
                    Climate is a choice of a data set all developed from weather measurements. For some reason the set was measured at a minimum of thirty years so we are always looking at 15 years behind on climate, yet weather is here and now, forming the actual data set. Also the effects of added GHG take 40 years or more to show up, so our measurements do not reflect their current concentrations. Since climate often changes over thousands of years, why pick 30? Why not 50 or 20, or 200?
                    And the weather at a particular point has a range much larger range than climate shifts, thus making it difficult and uncertain to determine actual climate shifts from measurements. So we look at averages over time, changes in shape of the distribution, changes in mode. But still that is a mathematical construct from a few parameters that do not even adequately describe weather.
                    Let’s say a regional change of 110 w/m2 occurs, yet the average over the globe might be very small, less than 1 w/m2. Still in that area the radiation change has dramatic effects due to the energy involved. The average tells us about nothing.
                    Climate is a distribution of a set of distributions from a limited data set. Data is getting better, but still large area interpolations and modeling is done to even get the average temperature for one day. We are in a multi-modal world where many scientists seem stuck on averaging the modes to get simple answers, even though dramatically different things are going on in different places.

                    Similarly, climate models are not predictions of the future. But that is another subject.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    Yep the distributions are rarely simple, just an approximation to pick a Gaussian.

                    The world is complex and the models are obviously a simplification.

                    It would seem that you would agree that looking at a single day on a very small part of the planet tells us very little in isolation about climate.

                    I find the observation of temperature on a single day in November over a small area of the planet not very convincing that climate is warming. It is the temperature distribution over many years over the entire planet that tells me what is happening (the entire data set is what is relevant to me, rather than individual data points).

                    That is all I am trying to convey. YMMV.

                    Of course a climate model is not a prediction of the future. The model does not mimic nature perfectly and even if it did we do not know what future emissions will be.

                    We represent nature to the best of our ability in the model, guess at emissions, volcanic output, and future solar output and how ice sheets will be affected by future temperature change (currently a major shortcoming of most climate models), and probably much more that I am unaware of (not being an expert in climate science) and the model generates output of future temperature, precipitation (including snow), sea ice cover, changes in vegetation and surface albedo, cloud cover, ocean currents, river flow, and probably much more.

                    If the guesses of future emissions, solar output, and volcanic eruptions were perfect and the model was also a perfect representation of nature and we knew with perfection the initial state of the climate from which to initiate the model the future climate would be accurately predicted. We have neither perfect knowledge of the current state of climate, nor knowledge of future emissions and certainly here are no perfect models.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Here is how weather works. We get a few weeks of warm weather in the fall in the Arctic. The ice is delayed, the water warmer and the ice is thinner. This in turn allows earlier melting in the spring and more absorbance of heat/ Repeat every so often. Soon the Arctic Ocean is ice free during parts of the summer and ice is annual only, thus thinner and thaws more quickly. All the extra warming in the Arctic Ocean affects the rest of the Arctic which causes more melting of Greenland Ice cap, earlier melting of snow cover and major weather changes across the northern hemisphere. Those changes increase the effect. Eventually the effect is global and climate has changed due to weather events.
                    Same thing for dying forests, areas going into desert etc. Sets of weather events produce climate change, not all climate change but a lot of it. The feedbacks are numerous and it’s local weather changes forcing the feedbacks.

                    My local area has experienced an increase in temperature range of over 20%, most of it on the colder side. That tells little since the winters are more variable now, with about half being warmer with little ice and snow and the other half having heavier snowfalls with extreme cold. In the past snowfalls were more steady with most every winter having snow cover, temps were in a narrower range.
                    So winter weather here has gone bi-modal, probably presaging an essentially snowless region in the future, as areas to the south of me are. In the meantime, weather is all over the place with some summers being cool by about 20F compared to historical summer temps.
                    Of course the changes seem very related to the Jetstream and that is related to the Arctic changes.
                    If one was to average the seasonal weather over decades, little change would be seen to have occurred, yet the seasons are dramatically different now.
                    That is how averages can be very deceptive, especially during a time of fast climate change.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    In my last comment did I say anything about averages? I said all of the data aka the entire probability distribution is what matters. That is what weather is. The feed backs I understand very well, as I also understand weather.

                    Note how in your description you do not focus on weather on a single day you talk about many summers and many winters over many years, perhaps your entire life. That is an important slice of the data distribution. You would know very little about climate if you only knew the temperature on a single day and someone told you that it was 20 C above the mean temperature for that date, or perhaps you would, but without the experience of the weather over many years, I wouldn’t.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    That’s OK Dennis. Still missing the point and making your own, which I guess is the result of averaging and standard deviating .
                    No problem, I tried, but reality never set in.
                    I did my best to communicate, failed again.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Stop being obtuse. I never said many, you did.
                    Maybe NASA can explain it to you:
                    Weather is basically the way the atmosphere is behaving, mainly with respect to its effects upon life and human activities. The difference between weather and climate is that weather consists of the short-term (minutes to months) changes in the atmosphere. Most people think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, wind, and atmospheric pressure, as in high and low pressure.

                    In most places, weather can change from minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. Climate, however, is the average of weather over time and space. An easy way to remember the difference is that climate is what you expect, like a very hot summer, and weather is what you get, like a hot day with pop-up thunderstorms.

                    Some scientists define climate as the average weather for a particular region and time period, usually taken over 30-years. It’s really an average pattern of weather for a particular region.

                    When scientists talk about climate, they’re looking at averages of precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity, phenomena such as fog, frost, and hail storms, and other measures of the weather that occur over a long period in a particular place.

                    For example, after looking at rain gauge data, lake and reservoir levels, and satellite data, scientists can tell if during a summer, an area was drier than average. If it continues to be drier than normal over the course of many summers, than it would likely indicate a change in the climate


                    Weather is what really happens. Weather data averaged over 30 years is climate. Climate change is that average of data shifting. It’s just a way to track weather.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    I understand your point perfectly, though you do not understand mine. That’s fine.

                    I give up.

                    Clearly you do not think a single data point tells us all we need to know about climate, I don’t think climate is simply how weather averages change over time, and I agree that assuming a Gaussian probability distribution would be unwise (I was simplifying). Your earlier mention of the probability distribution (whatever its form) of weather variables over time seems like a proper way to view things.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Doug,

                Sometimes they do, but not always, it is the data in total that is important in my view a single data point all by itself is not all that important. In fact how do we know we are at a weather extreme, without the historical data set, an extreme would usually be anecdotal, as in its pretty warm today for winter in Norway or cold for a summer’s day in the South of Spain.

  17. Doug Leighton says:

    Kind of redundant but,


    “As 2016 continues on its march toward becoming the hottest year on record, the Arctic is seeing extreme warmth beyond anything previously recorded at this time of year, prompting alarm from climate scientists around the world. The bizarre heat is fueling the rapid melt of the pole’s ice caps, and it is particularly unusual because it’s all happening during the polar night,the time of year when the North Pole never sees the sun, observed UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain:

    “The Arctic warmth is the result of a combination of record-low sea-ice extent for this time of year, probably very thin ice, and plenty of warm/moist air from lower latitudes being driven northward by a wavy jet stream. The alarming Arctic weather is happening during the UN climate conference in Morocco, and as environmentalists and climate scientists in the U.S. grapple with the prospect of a president-elect who denies the existence of climate change. Things are indeed not looking good for the planet — experts warn.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      The alarming Arctic weather is happening during the UN climate conference in Morocco, and as environmentalists and climate scientists in the U.S. grapple with the prospect of a president-elect who denies the existence of climate change. Things are indeed not looking good for the planet — experts warn.

      That’s ok Cthulhu will take care of things. He is already sending his scouts into parking garages in South Miami. You don’t believe in climate change and sea level rise, eh?

      Octopus in the parking garage is climate change’s canary in the coal mine

      Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article115688508.html#storylink=cpy

      It’s beginning to look a lot like fish-men

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Fred,

        In a comment above you referred to a study that assumed emissions in the 21st century might be similar to RCP8.5.

        It seems to be common for many to accept RCP8.5 as reasonable, while also thinking that peak oil (and possibly peak fossil fuels) is also a reasonable proposition.

        Is the expectation that peak fossil fuels is likely to be in the 22nd century?

        Consider the three scenarios below for carbon emissions (all emissions including land use change and cement production). Which seems most likely?

  18. Oldfarmermac says:

    The evidence seems to be that I have er, ah, hmmn, somewhat “premature” in predicting the country will move farther to the left, becoming more liberal, based on educational, cultural, and demographic trends. It is never good policy to just admit you have been flat out wrong, lol.

    I still believe my basic argument is sound, and that we WILL become a more liberal, leftish leaning country, more like most Western European countries, eventually- but not nearly as soon as I thought.


    Some of us here will argue that the R party, and the fat cats who control it, have succeeded in fooling enough of the country for the R’s to have taken over most state legislature seats, etc, but my personal opinion is that a huge part of this takeover is the result of political backlash. Apparently there are still enough social conservatives around who JUST DON’T LIKE modern liberal social policy ( easy access to abortion, gun control, same sex marriage, any other similar hot buttons , there are plenty of them ) to have reversed the ratio of D’s and R’s over the last ten or twelve years in state legislatures.

    This is not to say that cultural issues are the whole story. Anywhere from a third to two thirds of the story might be about the economy, jobs, living standards, etc.

    Quantifying such factors is hard to impossible in my opinion.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi OFM,

      And the political backlash can snap back. It is hard for the same party to hold the White House for more than two terms, though Reagan/Bush did it. The people who voted for Trump are likely to be those most hurt by his policies in the short term, unfortunately they are unlikely to realize it.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Even though the Democrats outnumber the Republicans, more Republicans (percentage wise) vote in elections. Also there is a very large contingent of non-voters to be tapped that could swing any election, if one could get them involved.


      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Dennis, GF,

        I am with both of you one hundred percent, there can be and in my opinion WILL be a strong political backlash against Trump type policies, and I have already said so in this forum within the last few days, pointing out that the D ‘s may kick out the R’s as soon as 2020 or 2024.

        And it is true that R types are more reliable voters than younger people, poor people and liberally inclined people. This is to be expected, the R type foot soldier tends to play by the old rule book, the rule book used back when things were the way they used to be. He or she votes, rather than joining a sit in, etc, lol, more likely than not pointing out that he has no time to sit in, since he’s too busy making enough money to pay the welfare bums living expenses ( his words not mine) and his taxes and his own living expenses.

        I believe Trump is prez elect for any of several reasons, taken in combination, one of them being that he succeeded in motivating quite a few independents starving for change to vote for him. The flip side is that a lot of voters eager for change believed that Clinton was all about business as usual.

        Taken all the way around, Obama has been a pretty good prez, considering what he has been up against, domestically and internationally, but I am still waiting to hear about his Justice Department putting even half a dozen bankers in jail, or fining big banks enough to actually force them to obey the law, rather than just pay the fines out of their excessive profits derived from BREAKING the law. This example is part of what I mean by saying Clinton was perceived as more of the same, nothing new.

        • Nick G says:

          I haven’t had time to read your last two comments – too long (and skimming the 2nd to last one, the profanity was discouraging).

          But, reading a few comments I noticed this idea that Trump would be tougher on the finance industry, which is….ahem…highly unrealistic. Here’s something from the campaign:

          ““Dodd-Frank has made it impossible for bankers to function,” he says. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Tuesday that sweeping financial reforms put in place under President Barack Obama were harming the economy and he would dismantle nearly all of them.

          Trump told Reuters in an interview that he would release a plan in about two weeks for overhauling the 2010 financial regulatory law known as Dodd-Frank.”


          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Nick,

            Any real understanding of anything complicated, such as human behavior, requires a willingness to hit the books, and read the words, whether a basic chemistry text, or a psychology text, or a great novel or play- or for instance understanding my basic point, which is that INDIVIDUALS vote, rather than the ” country voting” for or against any given policy.

            I am not a brilliant writer, and cannot get the nuances of culture and behavior across in sound bites.

            As far as the profanity is concerned, without going back to look, I think it was a single word, fucked, as in being a carpenter or welder without a union card and thus being unable to practice your trade in many places, which is NEVER EVER pointed out by folks who reflexive support unions because they are alinged with the D party, and they are D or D leaning.

            I have been in both situations, personally, able to work, and unable to work , where I would like to, for reasons of having or NOT having that card.

            As far as Trump doing anything to correct the abuses and crimes perpetuated on us by the big banks, etc, anybody who believes he will is in my opinion short of processing capacity between the ears.

            Obama hasn’t really done anything about it.

            I don’t believe that either HRC would have done anything about it, and I don’t believe Trump will do anything about it.

            If you had actually read the comment, for nuance, you would know that I said Obama has been a pretty good prez, all things considered, imo, except for this one glaring failing.

            You would also know that I apologized to you, partially, for over stepping the line in stereotyping you as a partisan, because you pointed out that you have not in fact attacked either candidate on personal grounds.

            I sometimes wonder if I should never use a cuss word, and sometimes I think cuss words are needed, in order to get across the heat and venom that people feel in their hearts, when it comes to a culture war.

            And since I am FROM a working class background, and most of family is working class, up thru my generation, and nobody else here tries to really get across what working class people really believe, and why, I do the best I can to throw some light on their beliefs and motivations.

            Talking down to people and insulting them will NEVER get them to vote the way you want them to.

            Any R voter, any socially conservative voter, who happens to read your comments involving politics would direct the cuss words at you, if they cuss.

            I did not, I tried to express the situation and rage of the guy who cannot get a job because a union will not allow him to join.

            The people who voted for Trump are NOT NECESSARILY stupid, or ignorant, or racist, or fundamentalists, or even religious at all. Not many of them are rich, either, so far as that goes.

            You might realize that if you were to make an effort to put yourself in the shoes and situation of such a person.

            If you want the D’s to win elections, you would do well to read a few conservative publications and web sites on a regular basis. That way you would be better prepared to win the votes Trump and the R’s won a couple of weeks ago.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Old Farmer Mac,

              A point you may be missing is that in places like Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania many of those in the working class have benefitted from Unions and likely support Unions.

              Generally in more rural areas whether you have a Union card or not you can find work if you are good at what you do, I have many friends and relatives who are Working class both union and non-union. Things may be different in the South, but in most Northern states east of the Mississipi people realize that strong unions raise all workers wages (though the Union members often do better than non-union members). Unfortunately the nepotism in unions is a problem which exists in many aspects of life.

              Clinton was just a candidate that a lot of people could not get excited about or who they did not like.

              I liked Sanders as well, but thought independent voters would not vote for a socialist, I also thought Trump would not win the nomination, probably Sanders would have done better with the Working class than Clinton in Pennsylvannia, Ohio, and Wisconson and it might have been enough to win the election. We will never know.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Hi Dennis, I agree with you, pretty much, in everything you said at 2 :45 .

                Unions are great, if you can get in, and even if you can’t, you , or rathere all of us collectively, still benefit from the historical changes in labor law and the economy, brought about in the last hundred plus years in VERY large part as the result of union pressure political and economic clout exerted over the years.

                The thing about unions that is partially responsible for their success up north is that up north is where the really large heavy industries have historically been located.

                Once a union has a good foothold in such an industry, it can get the concessions it wants from management, because management can pass along the increased costs of higher wages, etc.

                So- the UAW could strike Ford, and put Ford out of business for lack of inventory in the last analysis, and so Ford gave them more money, then they struck GM, then Chrysler, and all these companies could actually increase prices, and make the increases stick, because between the three, they OWNED the auto industry, for a LONG time. They had pricing power, to at least some extent.

                That strategy doesn’t work so well in an industry such as textiles, where historically hundreds of small companies here in the south competed for the same business, and none of them had much if anything at all in the way of pricing power.

                There was a union at the A and P supermarkets where I used to live, and they paid better, but in the face of non union competition, they wound up closing all their local stores.

                Getting a union started in such an industry, and up on its feet and running is an almost impossible job.

                Not having a union card was never too much of a problem for me, personally, but it did keep me from working on some very desirable local construction jobs that did indeed pay much better than average.

                I soon figured out that if a company could make money selling my skills, so could I , and I mostly worked for myself, as a one horse contractor for a customer, or the owner of a business project.

                The law in Virginia allows me to do almost anything I please in the line of residential construction and repair, if I own the property, excepting only gas work and surveying for courts of record, and maybe a couple of other minor exceptions. I can actually draw up a deed, or a sales contract, so long as I am a principal, or my own will and last testament, etc, but I am smart enough to get my attorney to do or at least double check this stuff, considering the potential price of a mistake.

                So in between times spent farming a few months, or taking a few months off, I mostly worked on old houses that belonged to me , and a couple of business partners. Stints working for contractors were for more for the experience to be gained than for the actual paycheck, with the exception of power plant shutdown work. There were non union jobs available on shutdowns, to people like me, working with both management and actual trades people, jobs that paid very well, about the same as union scale, and the overtime was awesome, like seven twelves weeks on end, in the right spot. I often got to be the attendant in a tool room than HAD to be open anytime ANY tradesman was working, by way of having a reputation for NEVER missing work.

                Trade work is actually very simple if you have anything between your ears to work with, and good basic math, etc.

                As a rule, working for ourselves, we didn’t deal with real estate agents, one of us being an attorney, or grading contractors, or electricians or plumbers, all of which I did myself. One of us was a really good carpenter and took the lead on that aspect.

                We made out like bandits most of the time, and could easily have gotten rich if we had been motivated to work all the time, year in and year out.

                It might sound like an exaggeration, but a good handyman really can fix most land lord type problems in less time than it takes a ” hands off ” investor just to get estimates for the work.

                I am NOT anti union, I am simply pointing out where and why, in part, HRC lost the election.

                My old Daddy was a Teamster down here in the southern boonies for over forty years, as unlikely as that sounds, and a honcho in his local. It was impossible to ever get a lot of money out of his employer, because the company didn’t have much profit margin to begin with, but they managed to win a superb benefits package that paid off nearly all of my chronically ill Mom’s hospital bills, before she got on Medicare, and all of the remainder after that. Her total health care bill ran well over a million bucks, over the course of a couple of decades, with her being in and out of intensive care sometimes three or four times in one year.

                And this was back when a million bucks was actually worth something, lol.

                Without the Teamsters, she would have died a LOT younger for lack of the extensive sophisticated care the union made possible.

                There really is two sides to every political argument.

                Clinton’s mistake, one of them anyway, was assuming that Rust Belt state workers would be so stupid as to remain on the D plantation, with her campaigning on globalization, and identity issues, and against Trump, rather than FOR and ON THE issue that motivated those Rust Belt D working class voters- their lack of work, and especially for her being known as for TPP, etc, before she flip flopped on it.

                Taking millions in bankster money was ok maybe , among the intellectual class of D partisans, but the French have a relevant saying about people believing in absurdities.

                The French say that ” Only a fool or an intellectual could believe………. ”

                Well, the working people of the Rust Belt states are most not intellectuals, in the usual sense, but neither are they fools.

                Put yourself in the shoes of a self employed or clock punching guy or girl compelled to spend as much as five or six thousand bucks for a health insurance policy he or she DID NOT WANT, and trying to convince them that the price of it was NOT A TAX.

                Technically, maybe it was not, according to the nuances of tax law, but they suddenly found themselves with that much less money- and maybe they were spending all they were making already. Most people do, you know.

                Telling this guy or girl they were not being taxed to support those getting subsidies was a MAJOR mistake, in terms of losing them, and not only losing them, but turning them into active Trump supporters.

                They did not and don’t give a hoot about the nuances of tax law, and not even JC himself could convince them that the price of their unwanted Ocare policy is not a tax levied on them to support the people getting the subsidies.

                All this sort of thing, every thing I have been talking about, collectively falls under one general heading, in terms of explaining Trump being the prez elect.

                Political backlash.

                So far as I am concerned, anybody who denies this OBVIOUS truth is EITHER cynically lying to save face, claiming that Trump won because Fox and the Koch Brothers and their cronies and homies fooled too many people, enough people to put Trump in the WH, or ELSE he is so blinded by his own partisanship that he is UNABLE to understand or ADMIT that HRC was the weakest candidate ever fielded by the D party, as evidenced by her indisputable negative polling numbers from start to finish.

                Now come to think of it, there IS a third possibility. A hard core partisan can challenge you by asking if you agree when he says Clinton lost because of Fox , etc, in other words, because Trump voters were stupid enough to fall for R party propaganda.

                The implication is that if you DO NOT AGREE, you are not a GOOD RIGHT THINKING CAPITAL D Democrat, and thus an outcast, rather than a member in good standing, because in order to be one, by this criteria, you MUST blame Clinton’s loss on somebody, anybody at all, other than Clinton and her campaign team.

                It won’t work on me, because I do not want to be recognized as a capital D Democrat, nor an R Republican, for that matter.

                I am an OBSERVER, after the fashion of a biologist studying various life forms.

                No competent biologist would ascribe any behavior of an animal as inherently good or bad, in some ultimate or abstract sense. He describes such behaviors in terms of their impact on the competitive standing, or reproductive success, of the life form, either helping or hindering.

    • Nathanael says:

      Gerrymandering is the only reason Republicans control so many state legislatures. Well, OK, there’s also malapportionment. I’ve looked that over quite carefully. It’s actually disgracefully undemocratic. If we had proportional representation in the state legislatures, it would look VERY different.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        SO – you think Democrats DON’T gerrymander when they have the opportunity to do so?

        That they did NOT, when they had the opportunity do so?

        • Hickory says:

          Both parties do it (gerrymander). Both parties guilty of partisanship. The party activists/establishment only goal is for their side to win.
          Both parties put their interests above those of the country.

  19. Fred Magyar says:

    BTW, Prof Richard Alley bats another one outta the park with all bases loaded for one helluva of a grand slam!

    Big Ice: Prof Richard Alley (October 2016)

    What amazes me is that there is this enormous body of social science research that supposedly explains why no amount of exposure to actual facts will ever convince anthropogenic climate change deniers to change their minds and accept the truth. But how can anyone who listens to this lecture not accept reality?

    • Lydia says:

      Fred, what you consider to be the “truth” others will take to be a political and economic agenda. That’s the basic reason behind why your side has such a difficult time changing anyone’s mind.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Lydia, it isn’t what I consider to be the truth. The universe doesn’t give a rodent’s rear end what I or anyone else THINKS is the truth! Science, math, physics, chemistry and biology don’t care what anyone’s political ideology is or what SIDE some is or is not on. So go ahead, watch the lecture and then come back and tell me if you have any questions about the science.

      • chilyb says:

        Hi Lydia,

        I am interested to learn if you have any thoughts on Richard Alley’s lecture.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          LYDIA is a bot.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            For a second I thought that read, ‘Lydia is hot’…

            Speaking of which, whatever happened to that nice woman out west (Oregon? Washington?) who popped in here briefly, Glen? Did you two ever exchange emails and hook up or what?

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              I have so many hot women chasing after me I couldn’t possibly hope to remember any particular one , Caelan.

              Hopefully you will recognize this as a feeble attempt at humor.

              Now there ARE some old women around who have finally come to realize that an old farmer with many varied skills, and a farm, and some other “valuable” property, who can walk without a cane, etc, is a desirable catch, even if he is foulmouthed, and has dirt under his fingernails, and stinky on his boots, sometimes.

              But I have outlived any burning desire for a woman, and I am fortunate in that there are several old local women who are relatives or friends, and they make sure I get a good meal once in a while, that I don’t have to cook myself, or buy. They even come over and do some housework once in a while, out of consideration that I look after my old Daddy day in and day out.

              How any man could get PHYSICALLY interested in a woman in my age class is beyond me. I was BORN PROGRAMMED to want sex with women of reproductive age.

              But there’s no fool like an old fool, so they say, and if some hot young blossom ( Twain’s words ) happens along and wants my farm and other property, in exchange for her companionship, well, she has a fair shot at making a fool out of me.

              BUT if after due consideration, and some test driving, I conclude that she is a gold digger, rather than in love with me, well then, I just might make a fool out of HER.

              All’s fair in love and war, so they say.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Fair enough, Glen. How’s Dad by the way?

                Anyone who uses that kind of requisite vulnerability in matters of love– relationship trust, etc.– for nefarious purposes is playing a fool’s game, and a dangerous one. Hey pillow buddies are ok, just be honest about it.

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  He’s holding on well, everything considered, thanks for asking, and the odds appear to be about even that he will make the century mark, unless he develops Alzheimer’s or something of that nature, which has happened before, in his side of the family often enough for me to worry about it, personally.

                  SOMETHING has to get you, and if your heart, lungs, liver, intestines, etc last long enough, well then, the head goes first. His parents, grand parents, and his great grand parents all lived into their late eighties, with only a couple of exceptions, with at least three breaking the century mark, unless they died as the result of accidents or violence.

                  I am sure you will agree that living a simple life, getting plenty of exercise, eating simple wholesome foods, locally grown, drinking crystal clear spring water, being out in the sunshine and fresh air and wind and snow in the winter, rather than sitting in a chair in an office, is conducive to living a LONG TIME.

                  Plus they practiced a variety of the Baptist faith that forbids the use of alcohol and tobacco, avoiding excessive enjoyment of rich foods, saving for a rainy day, maintaining close family and community ties, and all that sort of religious foolishness. 😉

                  If they had known how ( some did, some didn’t) and bothered to write down what they knew, you would find just about everything you know about living simply and sustainably in their words.

                  Unfortunately I didn’t have foresight enough to record the countless conversations I had with the ones still living when I was a kid myself.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    100 is excellent, congrats and best wishes.
                    Indeed, we all have our curtain-call and certain forms of living and attitudes seem to work toward its delay.

      • Lloyd says:

        That’s the basic reason behind why your side has such a difficult time changing anyone’s mind.
        Of course, fact has a well-known liberal bias.

        There is no “ism” in the climate change evidence- no big money for anybody, no fame, no thanks. Merely treatment for the scientists one step above that given to terrorists, and stress from delivering results that will infuriate a majority of the political class. The Republicans because it doesn’t fit their continuous growth/trickle down fairy tale, and the Democrats because they are trying to be mistaken for Republicans, and this is a step too far.

        The real problem is that the right wing’s agenda has a short-term bias and essentially eats its young.

        The same scientists will be there during Trump’s tenure. The science will be the same; all that will change is the muzzling and perhaps waterboarding of those doing the work.

        • GoneFishing says:

          And the rest of the world will be making scientific progress while we burn time.

    • Mark Frei says:

      The climate changes. This is simply proven fact that over the lifetime of our mud ball, the climate has changed. We know all about some of the reasons, and know all about ice ages and warming periods.

      The problem is that an issue that should be rigorously studied, has instead become an industry. Profiteering is actually what we’re getting, and not reasonable discourse…plus NO solid plans to prepare for what might be coming.

      Let me set this straight for you for a moment. If you know anything about the academic world, the #1 rule is “publish or perish”. If you are a professor, you get more money from grants so long as you pick the popular topics in the research world. Well, there’s the rub as global warming simply has had billions funneled into it at this point, so the academic world has gotten fat and happy on the money. Remember they have to publish *something* or else they will “perish” according to the research cycle. The end result of this is that the professors/researchers keep on applying for more grants, which in turn means more money into the research cycle. Accordingly, a paper saying…”well, there’s indeed some things we need to study, but we’re not going to be facing global disaster like the movies and media portray” will get you quickly escorted off campus, and when you have no means to survive in the real world, where results matter, that’s the last thing you want to have happen.

      Then, the politicians grabbed hold of the idea to terrify people in order to get legislation passed that benefits them and their corporate banker buddies. If we’re facing losing our crop lands and major cities, Carbon Credits would do absolutely NOTHING to address the problem, since it’s these political types who say “the disaster is inevitable and we’re past the point of no return, the world is ending, blah blah blah…but lets create a whole new tier of taxation to suck up more bribes and 3rd world countries can belch pollution out to make our newest iPhones…”. And then, we’ll create exchanges for the carbon credits, so we can trade them and make even MORE money, although we won’t invite those annoying plebs out there. (Recall, Obama, Clinton Foundation, Al Gore were heavily invested in the carbon exchanges).

      Next, you’ve got the media going along with their liberal talking points, as usual and as they have been trained.

      So, we have Bill Nye The Science Guy and Neil Degrasse Tyson telling us climate change is “truth” (kind of like how the Catholic Church regards all its teachings as “truth”). Well, yeah, the climate change may be truthful, but is it caused by us…or the sun? The elites in politics and science ignore that while wagging their fingers at us instead.

      But, if it’s true anyway, what are these people doing to prepare for the drastic changes they say are coming? If the croplands will cease to be productive, have they identified where the new ones will be, do they then have a plan to switch to those new lands? What plans are in place to relocate NYC, since it’s supposedly under threat from the sea? What are we doing to protect any species that might be wiped out in the coming Armageddon?

      But now, “climate change” is nearly a religion, and they even have labels for what they call apostates, like “denier”, which may be cute, but is slightly terrifying at the same time.

      For all of the crying and Chicken Littleing going over the subject, you’d think humans, as a species, would be doing more to prepare, more than just inventing phony new taxes and things to trade for further greed and profit. It’s just infinitely hard to take someone seriously, when all of their energy seems to be focused on creating a One World Government through crushing regulations and taxes, rather than feeding, clothing, and housing people who should be in harm’s way if the seas rise.

      These are just a few of the things that make me go “hmmmm” early in the morning.

      • Fred Magyar says:


        The problem is that an issue that should be rigorously studied, has instead become an industry. Profiteering is actually what we’re getting, and not reasonable discourse…plus NO solid plans to prepare for what might be coming.

        Um, the studies are in fact quite rigorous and the scientists engaged in the research quite clear in communicating the results of said research.

        Let me set this straight for you for a moment. If you know anything about the academic world, the #1 rule is “publish or perish”. If you are a professor, you get more money from grants so long as you pick the popular topics in the research world. Well, there’s the rub as global warming simply has had billions funneled into it at this point, so the academic world has gotten fat and happy on the money.

        Gotta hand it to you. You sir, are a master in the art of spreading finely refined yak dung! However, some of the folks here actually have close friends and family who are scientists in government, academia and industry. A few even have actual degrees in science. They can even understand basic math and charts and can do simple google searches to check facts and numbers.

        In fiscal year 2015, the federal budget is $3.8 trillion. These trillions of dollars make up about 21 percent of the U.S. economy (as measured by Gross Domestic Product, or GDP). It’s also about $12,000 for every woman, man and child in the United States.

        The New Normal in Funding University Science

        Researchers across the country encounter increasingly fierce competition for money. Funding rates in many National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) programs are now at historical lows, declining from more than 30% before 2001 to 20% or even less in 2011 (with an uptick in 2009 associated with stimulus funding). The funding rates in some programs are substantially worse, dipping into the single digits. At these success rates, even the most prominent scientists will find it difficult to maintain funding for their laboratories, and young scientists seeking their first grant may become so overwhelmed that individuals of great promise will be driven from the field. As the Chronicle of Higher Education reported in 2013, the anxiety and frustration among principal investigators were manifested in the form of a letter to NSF, signed by more than 550 ecologists and environmental scientists, criticizing the negative impact that new policies, designed to cope with the flood of proposals, would have on the progress of science, junior faculty members, and collaborative research.


        The president’s budget request for fiscal year 2016 includes measures to address climate change, such as an investment of $7.4 billion in clean energy technology programs, an area that received reduced funding under the fiscal year 2015 budget. It would also provide $1.29 billion for the Global Climate Change Initiative, which would reduce emissions from deforestation, expand clean and efficient energy use, and phase down chemicals with high global warming potential. It would also provide $4 billion over 10 years for a Clean Power State Incentive Fund to provide funding to states that achieve faster or greater than planned reductions in carbon emissions.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:


        What’s interesting is that there are those– including here on Peak Oil Barrel– who somehow accept, even argue for, the status-quo (big-business-as-usual myosis with coercive/violence-based government and its tax-theft structure that funds, for example, so-called science, industry, technology and education) that’s undermining our prospects of survival and/or ability to thrive on the planet, while they turn around and argue with those who challenge the ostensible climate-change consensus.

        If they are unwilling and/or feel unable to challenge/change the status-quo, then why bother with arguing about anthropogenic climate change?


        • Fred Magyar says:


          If they are unwilling and/or feel unable to challenge/change the status-quo, then why bother with arguing about anthropogenic climate change?

          If you seriously believe that people here are unwilling to challenge the status-quo, then you are still missing the forest for the trees!

          I doubt it will change your mind but maybe listen to this podcast….
          Energy Transitions and the Circular Economy

          BTW, here’s a plug for permaculture and systems and design thinking.
          They have quite a few more discussions on this topic there. I personally have been convinced for a long time that permaculture has a role to play but like everything being discussed it has to be integrated into a systems view.

          Does Permaculture Have the Potential to Revolutionise the Food System?

          In case you are still wondering the whole idea behind the circular economy and the disruption innovation festival is to bring people together to discuss finding ways to transition away from the status-quo.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Details details, Fred…

            If we can get past the coercive elite status garbage, then the details will practically jump off the bone and melt in our mouths.

            Calls to permaculture, rewilding, ‘thinkdif/thinksys’, Solar Impulse X.0, disruptive technospeak, (etc.), are utterly useless otherwise to a species that doesn’t want to grow up and take responsibility.


            [translated] “Neanderthal and his gray suit.
            Trying to fill up with senseless power…

            There is no more time for your excuses.
            There is no time for the pretension.
            Drop everything you’re doing now and
            Look around you…

            (In the air, in the fire, in the earth.
            In the water, in your hands, in the soul of the people.)”

      • JJHMAN says:

        The biggest flaw in your reasoning, Mark, is that nothing, absolutely nothing, would make the career of a scientist like proving that everyone else is wrong. In science, unlike whatever you are an expert at, facts are what make the difference. Yes it does take a while to get through the process but the scientific consensus is getting a bit long of tooth and the facts supporting the scientific consensus continue to grow. Eventually even the Catholic church had to pardon Galileo. It took a couple of hundred years. Hopefully the right wing anti-science crowd is a little more quick witted than that but I worry that both cases are similar in that sacred ideology is at stake.

        • Mark Frei says:

          But is an Armageddon coming? I have serious wide ranging doubts. The same types of people have been predicting the effects of warming for what seems like forever, and…well, none of their paranoid ideas of mass doom have ever come true. Polar bears are still alive, it still snows in the places where its supposed to snow, NYC is still above water, and so on.

          So what then to do? Keep cleaning up our planet. Messing up your own nest is never a good idea. But it’s way past time for the scientists to stop the dramatics, exaggerations, Chicken Littleing…sure continue studying the world, but get rid of these globalists and elitists who are trying their best to get their agendas pushed through by scaring everyday people. Case in point, DiCaprio…he’s a good actor, but obviously at this point he has the globalists and elitists so far up his backside that he’s no longer anything but a puppet. I’m talking in regard to his climate change propaganda film.

          • George Kaplan says:

            Mass doom doesn’t start happening until 2 degrees warming, that is why it has been chosen as a limit. Until then there’s only a few tens of millions climate refugees, a few tens of thousand heat wave deaths, another few tens of millions reliant on food aid following droughts and blights, a few hundreds of billions lost to crop failures and increasing extreme weather events and a probably unstoppable sea level rise of a few metres, which may take a thousand years, or maybe a lot less.

          • GoneFishing says:

            “Polar bears are still alive, it still snows in the places where its supposed to snow, NYC is still above water, and so on.”

            Have patience, it’s not a Hollywood set. Lots of death and destruction are happening now. It will come to your neighborhood eventually.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            But it’s way past time for the scientists to stop the dramatics, exaggerations, Chicken Littleing…sure continue studying the world, but get rid of these globalists and elitists who are trying their best to get their agendas pushed through by scaring everyday people.

            Ok Mark, help me out here if you can.

            Give me a list of names say the top ten scientists you are referring to. Including their net worth and sources of funding.

            Tell us specifically where in their research and papers they are exaggerating. Please provide citations from reputable scientists that disagree with them.

            Also give us a list of names of a least a few of these globalists and elitists and some specific examples of their agendas and how exactly they are benefitting. Again, include their net worth.

            Then compare that to the say the net worth of the Koch brothers. The Koch Brothers’ Net Worth is $99.2 Billion. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index…

    • islandboy says:

      But how can anyone who listens to this lecture not accept reality?

      See the comment by Mark Frei above for an example of how people do are able to dismiss what most of us view as logical reasoning. Mark, who may well be a bot, is either a purveyor of Koch brothers propaganda or a victim of it. He ignores the huge stake that the FF industries have in continuing to burn carbon/hydrocarbons and the sizable sums of money spent setting up front organizations like “The Heartland Institute” and “The Institute for Energy Research”, not to mention the campaign contributions to the likes of Mitch McConnell and James Inhofe, well known Koch brothers lap dogs. Instead, Mark chooses to vilify people who are genuinely interested in understanding the planet we live on and survive on a salary and relatively modest research grants. He even names Bill Nye The Science Guy (net worth est. $6.5 million) and Neil Degrasse Tyson (net worth est $1 million), both of whom are celebrity scientists with TV shows and neither of whom are actually climate scientists. Contrast this with the Koch brothers estimated net worth of over $100 billion and I guess it’s a bit of a stretch to state that “the academic world has gotten fat and happy on the money” considering that I doubt you could find many people in the academic world whose net worth even comes close to that of the celebrity scientists.

      On another front when I watched the Richard Alley video, a related video President-elect Trump & Climate Change: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse showed up on the right hand side of the page. Sen. Whitehouse, at about 2 minutes into the video echoed a view I expressed a few days ago that the president elect will soon hear form his national security chiefs and quoted former Pacific commander, Admiral Locklear as saying it was the biggest national security threat we faced in the Pacific Theater, to use Admiral Locklear’s exact words, “climate change is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen that will cripple the security environment probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about”. Sen. Whitehouse outlined a whole bunch of reasons why the president elect might not conform to the GOP leadership’s agenda.

  20. Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

    President-elect Trump has laid out the plans his administration intends to pursue in the realm of energy. They’re well worth checking out!


    The Trump Administration will make America energy independent. Our energy policies will make full use of our domestic energy sources, including traditional and renewable energy sources. America will unleash an energy revolution that will transform us into a net energy exporter, leading to the creation of millions of new jobs, while protecting the country’s most valuable resources – our clean air, clean water, and natural habitats. America is sitting on a treasure trove of untapped energy. In fact, America possesses more combined coal, oil, and natural gas resources than any other nation on Earth. These resources represent trillions of dollars in economic output and countless American jobs, particularly for the poorest Americans.

    Rather than continuing the current path to undermine and block America’s fossil fuel producers, the Trump Administration will encourage the production of these resources by opening onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands and waters. We will streamline the permitting process for all energy projects, including the billions of dollars in projects held up by President Obama, and rescind the job-destroying executive actions under his Administration. We will end the war on coal, and rescind the coal mining lease moratorium, the excessive Interior Department stream rule, and conduct a top-down review of all anti-coal regulations issued by the Obama Administration. We will eliminate the highly invasive “Waters of the US” rule, and scrap the $5 trillion dollar Obama-Clinton Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan and prevent these unilateral plans from increasing monthly electric bills by double-digits without any measurable effect on Earth’s climate. Energy is the lifeblood of modern society. It is the industry that fuels all other industries. We will lift the restrictions on American energy, and allow this wealth to pour into our communities. It’s all upside: more jobs, more revenues, more wealth, higher wages, and lower energy prices.

    The Trump Administration is firmly committed to conserving our wonderful natural resources and beautiful natural habitats. America’s environmental agenda will be guided by true specialists in conservation, not those with radical political agendas. We will refocus the EPA on its core mission of ensuring clean air, and clean, safe drinking water for all Americans. It will be a future of conservation, of prosperity, and of great success.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Shit hitting fan.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      The Trump Administration is firmly committed to conserving our wonderful natural resources and beautiful natural habitats. America’s environmental agenda will be guided by true specialists in conservation, not those with radical political agendas. We will refocus the EPA on its core mission of ensuring clean air, and clean, safe drinking water for all Americans. It will be a future of conservation, of prosperity, and of great success.

      Wow! George Orwell’s ‘Double Speak’ much?!

      Oh, yeah! Myron Ebell! Go USA!

      • GoneFishing says:

        Fred, you really need to learn how to translate conservative propaganda speak. The messages are clear to me.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          GF, you are probably right! I think my old copy of the 1984 Newspeak dictionary needs to be updated.

          To say that something or somebody is the best, Newspeak uses doubleplusgood, while the worst would be doubleplusungood (e.g., “Big Brother is doubleplusgood, Emmanuel Goldstein is doubleplusungood”).
          Source Wikipedia

          I’m sure that Trump and his team will make America ‘Doubleplusgooder’ by multiple orders of magnitude!

  21. HuntingtonBeach says:

    Hundreds Of Dead Puffins Are Mysteriously Washing Ashore In Alaska

    Climate change could be driving the seabird to starvation, amid reports of mass puffin die-offs worldwide in recent years.


    • GoneFishing says:

      Or it could be a combination of pollution, overfishing and topped with acidic warming ocean water killing the food chain. Once they rule out disease and pin it on starvation then we will have an idea of the causes.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        GF, you must heretofore refrain from using such inappropriate language! Please think of the children.

        The proper way to describe the current situation is as follows:

        A considerable amount of fecal matter is impinging upon the ventilator

        • GoneFishing says:

          Ok, I will render it more appropriate for the tender eyed by using acronyms.
          SHTF RFU KYAG

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Maybe they’ve given up and they’re just committing suicide en masse…

        • GoneFishing says:

          No, they died of heat exhaustion. All that political hot air has warmed the polar regions so much, their little bodies could not take it.

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            or #9) alien intelligences using the Puffins as host bodies and discarding them when they leave to report back to their native planet

    • Fred Magyar says:

      And then we have stupid trees!


      102 million dead California trees ‘unprecedented in our modern history,’ officials say

      Damn needy trees! We gave them more CO2 and that just wasn’t enough! They they wanted more water too…

      Unusually high temperatures have added to the trees’ demand for water, exacerbating an already grim situation.

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        There are 16 wildfires burning in North Carolina. The two biggest local concerns are the Chestnut Knob fire in Burke County and the Party Rock fire at Chimney Rock.


      • R Walter says:

        If there are three trillion trees, 102 million dead trees is about…

        Gotta burn some wood in the ol’ noggin.


        102 trees die for every 3,000,000 living.

        One tree in thirty thousand dies.

        1/30,000 is .003333333 percent of all of the trees on earth.

        No big deal, more birds are killed by wind turbines than trees die of thirst. Too many trees out there anyhow, especially in California. Plenty of wood to harvest and make into building materials. The price of a 2×4 should drop some.

        Dead trees in California, dead birds at every wind farm, who cares?

        Another wash.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Make America Great Again for pine beetles!

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          “102 trees die for every 3,000,000 living”

          Walter, you are wise enough to realize that there are trees that die outside California too. Aren’t you ?

          California land mass – 163,696 mi²

          Earth land mass – 57,470,000 mi²

          163,696 / 57,470,000 = .0028 = .28 % of earths land mass is California

          12,000 years ago, before the advent of agriculture, Earth had twice as many trees as it does now (Sep 9, 2015).

          • GoneFishing says:

            Now stop bothering RW with the facts, we are trying to get him to run for president.

            • R Walter says:

              All facts are equal, but some facts are more equal. Like mine, not yours. It should be obvious by now.


              I know that too many tons of coal are burned each year and too many barrels of oil are burned just for the hell of it. The earth is at a breaking point, a showdown, all because humans are busting their butts making everything go like it does. All heading towards a critical mass, suddenly it all stops and everybody is standing around wondering what happened.

              Sumthun’s gotta give in the long run.

              • GoneFishing says:

                You need to forget about real facts to qualify for candidacy. You must achieve the ability to believe all your delusions are the only facts. Everything else is wrong.
                Not far to go now, keep working on it.

                • R Walter says:

                  If I believe that all of my delusions are facts and then I should forget about the facts, which are real delusions, I’ll have new real delusions that are new facts that I will also discard because they are the facts as the delusions would tell me. There are now two sets of facts, the correct facts and the wrong facts, which can intertwine to conjure up delusions that are the sometimes wrong facts and the sometimes correct facts, the right facts together. The correct facts, the wrong facts (delusions), and the real facts, which also can be delusions and more than likely in the wrong facts category. Probably Orwellian, but who cares anymore?

                  Truth is Lies said George Orwell.

                  The correct facts times the wrong facts divided by the delusions equals the right facts. Munchausen by proxy, sort of kind of.

                  Trump will fix it all using those criteria.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Uh Oh, RW is getting brain feedback. Explosion imminent. Clear the area.

                    Note to self: look for new candidate

  22. GoneFishing says:

    With the US getting the neck of renewables on the chopping block, don’t count on low carbon output.

    “Davis’ research shows that, assuming an average lifespan of 40 years, the world’s coal-fired power plants will emit 280 billion tons of CO2, exceeding the budget for 1.5 degrees. And that doesn’t even count the hundreds more that are under construction or on the drawing board, primarily in China and other Asian countries.”
    “But global energy demand is also growing, meaning renewables are adding power capacity rather than replacing existing capacity from fossil fuels, said Glen Peters of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo.”

    “There is a bit of displacement going on in U.S. and in China,” he said. “But for emissions to go down you need to not build any more fossil (fuel) infrastructure. And to go down faster you would have to close down existing infrastructure.”


    • Doug Leighton says:

      It’s true that things don’t look good,

      Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist at the University of Victoria in Canada who was not part of the study, said: “We are losing control of our ability to get a handle on the global warming problem.”


      “The amount of heat-trapping pollution the world spewed rose again last year by 3 percent… So scientists say it’s now unlikely that global warming can be limited to a couple of degrees, which is an international goal… Of the planet’s top 10 polluters, the United States and Germany were the only countries that reduced their carbon dioxide emissions… Last year, all the world’s nations combined pumped nearly 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, according to new international calculations on global emissions published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change — that’s about a billion tons more than the previous year and 2.4 billion pounds per second.”

      Depressingly, the latest pollution numbers, calculated by the Global Carbon Project, a joint venture of the Energy Department and the Norwegian Research Council, show that worldwide carbon dioxide levels are 54 percent higher than the 1990 baseline. Last year:
      China, up 10 percent to 10 billion tons.
      India, up 7 percent to 2.5 billion tons.
      Russia, up 3 percent to 1.8 billion tons.

      • GoneFishing says:

        So should we go for another 54 percent in the next 26 years? Think I will go out and do my part.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist at the University of Victoria in Canada who was not part of the study, said: “We are losing control of our ability to get a handle on the global warming problem.”

        I think many are stuck in looking at the problem from the wrong perspective. I am not a cornucopian but I’m aware of many places around the world that are at least exploring different ways of doing things. The US is NOT the world!


        Low-to-middle income (LMI) countries face a number of hurdles to developing a robust economy that works for everyone, but they do have a couple of aces up their sleeves. Firstly, they can learn from the mistakes of highly developed nations, not least by investigating how to design out waste of materials and energy, as well as giving a body swerve to the inherent structural waste found in these economies. Secondly, and this is a related point, they can use modern and emerging technology to help leapfrog some of the more painful stages of the historical development process. And, what’s more, they can make their economies more inclusive in the process.

        I was personally involved in a small way in the process that helped leapfrog the need for a copper wire telephone network in Brazil and saw what the effect of ubiquitous and cheap cellphone and now smartphone technology on Brazilian society. So I have seen first hand the effects of at least one highly disruptive technology. I am also highly aware of the myriad social problems that the underprivileged in these societies still face today.

        Having said that I am convinced that distributed solar and wind is going to be a major force in turning the table. BTW, any thinking person should be doing everything possible to help empower the people involved in this paradigm change. Fossil fuels are NOT the future they need to be phased out as fast as possible.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          And let’s all do our part to make sure to two billion plus about to be added are up to speed on the importance of renewables. 🙂

          • Synapsid says:


            And pulsars. Don’t forget pulsars.

          • Fred Magyar says:


            You never know, times change, case in point, until relatively recently it was against the law in Switzerland to eat insects. It is now legal to eat insect burgers. Maybe that doesn’t strike most people as important.

            I just watched 6 hours of discussions at a conference being held this past week in Rio de Janeiro by an international panel of young savvy innovators, entrepreneurs, hackers, computer scientists, international lawyers, social scientists, etc… there were even a few USians present.

            Though the panelists made a very concerted effort to keep recent political events out of the discussion as much as possible, given recent events in Europe, the UK, Brazil and the US, it was obvious that all of the above were on everyone’s mind. Occasionally some passionate exchanges were inevitable…

            The main topic revolved around blockchain technologies, crypto currencies, and the potential for the creation of parallel economic systems completely decoupled from our current international banking systems, specifically in central and Latin America.

            Especially interesting to me were topics such as peer to peer crop insurance for flood and drought damage caused by climate change. Also how Venezuela, given the total financial chaos caused by the Maduro dictatorship was especially ripe for a crypto currency revolution.

            Anyways, my long point here is that there are more disruptions occurring now at every level of our societies, governments and economic structures than at any time in human history and this is an exponentially developing trend. I sincerely believe that what we are seeing all over the world from Brexit to Trump to Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment are obvious signs of a crumbling old world view and order that will not be able to be held back and defended long term.

            While there is potentially a rather dark side to all of this especially as the purveyors of the old order try to cling on to power by any means necessary, I doubt they will be able to do so long term.

            Change and disruption is happening everywhere you look but it remains to be seen how all the angry, frightened, disenfranchised xenophobes who fell for the promises of a con man and demagogue will be able to be integrated in to a very strange, for them, new world.

            All of the panelists and the members of the audience seemed to be of the opinion that the transition process will not be smooth or painless and that the path ahead is fraught with myriad dangers but that all is not hopeless!

        • GoneFishing says:

          There are too many variables to predict our energy future. So those that believe in fossil energy will continue with that and those that believe in renewable energy will continue with that. Who knows where nuclear sits in that mix.
          At least until it becomes obvious that fossil energy is a dead end. That may take 20 or more years.
          If developing countries take up renewable energy as their primary energy source, things will happen faster. However, that has not been the case so far although some are doing better than good ole USA.
          The effect of the USA reversing it’s stance on renewable energy is unknown yet. A stuttering plan is not recommended.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        From Global Carbon budget the long term trend of global carbon emissions is about a 2% per year increase, chart below shows natural log of carbon emissions in Mt/year (including fossil fuel, cement, natural gas flaring and land use change).

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          More recently from 2010 to 2015 the rate of increase has fallen to 1.4% and from 2013 to 2015 to under 1%, so we are moving in the right direction. By 2022 carbon emissions will level off and begin to decline by 2030 at least. As non fossil fuel energy fills the gap left by depleting fossil fuels economies of scale and falling costs will lead to fossil fuel output falling rapidly after 2050 as non-fossil fuel will have the scale to quickly replace fossil fuel at that point, by 2060 carbon emissions may be zero, depending on land use changes and population. I expect population will peak at about 9.3 billion in 2070, cement emissions could be reduced using advanced cements that absorb carbon as they are produced.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Annual mean carbon dioxide growth rates for Mauna Loa.

            year ppm/yr
            1959 0.94
            1960 0.54
            1961 0.95
            1962 0.64
            1963 0.71
            1964 0.28
            1965 1.02
            1966 1.24
            1967 0.74
            1968 1.03
            1969 1.31
            1970 1.06
            1971 0.85
            1972 1.69
            1973 1.22
            1974 0.78
            1975 1.13
            1976 0.84
            1977 2.10
            1978 1.30
            1979 1.75
            1980 1.73
            1981 1.43
            1982 0.96
            1983 2.13
            1984 1.36
            1985 1.25
            1986 1.48
            1987 2.29
            1988 2.13
            1989 1.32
            1990 1.19
            1991 0.99
            1992 0.48
            1993 1.40
            1994 1.91
            1995 1.99
            1996 1.25
            1997 1.91
            1998 2.93
            1999 0.93
            2000 1.62
            2001 1.58
            2002 2.53
            2003 2.29
            2004 1.56
            2005 2.52
            2006 1.76
            2007 2.22
            2008 1.60
            2009 1.89
            2010 2.42
            2011 1.88
            2012 2.61
            2013 2.10
            2014 2.18
            2015 3.05

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gone Fishing,

            I assume your point is that a reduced carbon emission growth rate has had little effect on atmospheric CO2 levels. I agree.

            I think a regression on natural log of annual mean atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa vs time from 2000 to 2015 shows this very clearly. The slow down in carbon emissions from 2010 to 2015 has had no effect on the rate of growth of atmospheric CO2 of 0.5%/year from 2000-2015. Likely this is due in part to carbon cycle feedbacks at the Earth gets warmer. Better to have lower emissions which eventually fall to zero (sooner would be better hopefully by 2060).

            • GoneFishing says:

              Decadal growth rate of atmospheric CO2

              Decade Growth Rate
              2005 – 2014 2.11 ppm per year
              1995 – 2004 1.87 ppm per year
              1985 – 1994 1.42 ppm per year
              1975 – 1984 1.44 ppm per year
              1965 – 1974 1.06 ppm per year
              1959 – 1964 (6 years only) 0.73 ppm per year

  23. R Walter says:

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    It turns out that wind promoters like Sen. Grassley and AWEA have long made claims that wind would soon be cost competitive and that the PTC would not be needed forever. Here are of some of their claims over the years:

    1983 – Booz, Allen & Hamilton did a study for the Solar Energy Industries Association, American Wind Energy Association, and Renewable Energy Institute. It stated: “The private sector can be expected to develop improved solar and wind technologies which will begin to become competitive and self-supporting on a national level by the end of the decade [i.e. by 1990] if assisted by tax credits and augmented by federally sponsored R&D.”(Renewable Energy Industry, Joint Hearing before the Subcommittees of the Committee on Energy and Commerce et al., House of Representatives, 98th Cong., 1st sess. 1983)

    Then all the way to 2015, yee haw!

    2015 – Senator Chuck Grassley on (yet another) PTC extension. “But, I also know this credit won’t go on forever. It was never meant to, and it shouldn’t. In 2012, the wind industry was the only industry to put forward a phase out plan. I have expressed support in the past for a responsible, multi-year phase out of the wind tax credit. But, I believe any phase out should be done in the context of comprehensive tax reform, where all energy tax provisions are on the table.” (Senator Grassley letter to Chairman Hatch, 7/7/15)

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. For more than 30 years, wind promoters have claimed that wind would soon not need subsidies because it would be cost-competitive. But here we are in 2015, and despite claims from AWEA that wind is cost competitive, their actions suggest they don’t believe their own talking points. After all, if wind were competitive, the wind lobby would be greedy to insist on $6 billion from the taxpayer for the PTC.


    30 years of production tax credits and still no end in sight. Always asking for more because a little bit more is never enough.

    It ain’t about transitions and disruptions to a better energy mix, it is about money.

    Other People’s Money, that is.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      There are fossil fuel subsidies as well. When those subsidies are eliminated (allowance for master limited partnerships and tax credits for stripper wells) for the fossil fuel industry. The subsidies for renewables can be eliminated as well. In addition, the ZEV credits for car companies should also be eliminated because those credits put EV companies like Tesla at a disadvantage relative to traditional car companies and essentially are another subsidy for the fossil fuel industry.

      How does that work?

      The ZEV credits for a company like Chevy are worth 100% of their nominal value and allow Chevy to make more money selling ICE vehicles. For Tesla each credit can only be sold for 50% of its nominal value. An elimination of all ZEV credits would make the Model 3 more competitive relative to the Bolt.

      When subsidies to the fossil fuel industry are eliminated, the subsidies to the renewable industry can be eliminated as well. In fact the fuel tax is not high enough to cover road construction as it is intended to, though aa better system might be to base taxes on vehicle miles travelled and Gross Vehicle weight and collect the tax at registration of the vehicle so that EVs don’t get a free ride.

      It is the heavy vehicles that do the most damage to roads and they should pay appropriately.

      • JJHMAN says:

        You remind me that in California a few years ago a push was made to stop taxing small trailers under 1000 lb capacity because they had virtually no effect on road wear. After the proposal went through the legislature no trailers, including those hauling gravel, industrial machinery and Caterpiller D9s, are taxed.

        Abandon hope all ye who enter here (tax policy)

    • Nathanael says:

      The US has been subsidizing oil companies continuously since the 1920s, coal companies for longer than that, and hard rock mining companies since 1872. Isn’t it time to wean them off the subsidy teat?

      Bluntly, “you go first”.

  24. aws. says:

    G20 countries spend $450B a year on fossil fuel subsidies, study says

    Countries promised in 2009 to phase out ‘inefficient’ fossil fuel subsidies — but progress has been slow

    By Margo McDiarmid, CBC News, Posted: Nov 12, 2015 5:00 AM ET

    BTW, Chris Nelder has a good podcast that came out this week, “The Future of Wind”. Covers issue like LCOE, etc.


  25. Oldfarmermac says:

    I post comments at some sites using my own name, at others using various “handles”. I post at The Atlantic using my own name.

    I put this comment up a few minutes ago in response to an article about the nature of progress, wherein the author implies that scientists are no longer worried about population and food supply.

    My opinion is that just about everybody in this forum, including even our resident champion optimist 😉 Nick, will agree with me that we have a HELL of a problem involving over population and food, and that there are no guarantees that we will be able to solve this problem.

    Glen McMillian • 2 minutes ago
    The author has made a VERY serious mistake in implying that scientists today no longer worry about the possible consequences of overpopulation.

    I have been studying environmental and economic issues since the sixties, and once had the privilege of a conversation with Paul Erlich, the author of “The Population Bomb”.

    It is true that practitioners of my profession, agriculture, have been able to increase food production faster than the population has grown since then, and indeed, ever since the Industrial Revolution, which Malthus could not be expected to anticipate.

    But the industrial agriculture that feeds the world today is utterly and absolutely dependent on inputs supplied by various other industries, such as the oil and gas industries, for materials ranging from tractors to diesel fuel to pesticides to manufactured fertilizers.

    There is no shortage of oil and gas at the moment, but there are literally thousands of places where oil and gas were once produced that will produce no more- because oil and gas are one time gifts of nature. Ditto good quality phosphate deposits.

    There are three basic killer issue problems with agriculture as we practice it today, and in the short to medium term, we have NO CHOICE about continuing to do what we have been doing, namely farming the same way. Long term, we might or might not be able to solve these three problems.

    In no particular order, these issues boil down to soil, fresh water, and forced climate change.

    In many many places, the soil is being severely depleted by erosion, and this loss of soil cannot be corrected in the short to medium term by any practical means. The soil in many many places is also being severely damaged by excessive use of various chemical inputs, which increase yields short term, but destroy the productive capacity of the soil long term, meaning we are trapped between a rock and a hard place in this respect. We can’t quit using mined and manufactured fertilizers, or herbicides, or diesel fuel, but l there is no assurance that these inputs will always be available and affordable in the long term or even the middle term.

    And it’s not just eroded and damaged soils we have to worry about. Millions of hectares are lost annually to development, and this lost land is very often part of the BEST farmland available.

    Anybody who ever comes out from under his rock simply must know that we have a HUGE problem involving fresh water, but what is normally covered in the news hardly even scratches the surface. Dig just five minutes, and you will find that farmers in lots of places are pumping ground water many many times faster than it is replaced by scant rainfall, and the inevitable conclusion among hydrologists and other scientists is that high yield irrigated agriculture will soon be impossible over vast tracts of land. By SOON I mean yesterday in countless cases, and within a decade over many millions of square kilometers within a decade or two.

    Forced climate change, which is primarily the result of air pollution , with most of the remainder being the result of our covering the land with black roofs and highways, cutting down forests by the millions of square kilometers, etc, is already making it hard to farm in a lot of places, although it is not ( yet ) possible to say ANY GIVEN drought in ANY GIVEN place at ANY GIVEN time is the result of our inadvertent meddling with the climate.

    The odds are high to very high that the coming climate changes are going to make it hard to impossible to maintain current yields in many parts of the world, and may in fact make it impossible to farm at all in some places. Less rain and higher temperatures are going to be the most important specific problems, on average, but there will also be MORE catastrophic floods, and MORE catastrophic storms, and MORE losses of crops to late frosts or early freezing weather, etc.

    You can take this to the bank. Most scientists working in the life sciences, specifically in environmental biology, in climate science, and in agriculture , as well as some working in geology, etc, spend a great deal of time worrying about the countless ways things can and very well may go WRONG on the grand scale.

    There are thousands of them who are utterly convinced that things WILL go wrong on the grand scale within the easily foreseeable future.

    And the bottom line is that all three of these major food supply issues are conjoined quadruplets, with the fourth being over population.

    Here’s a bit of Greek wisdom well worth contemplation. He whom the Gods would destroy, they first raise high, paraphrased.

    Now it is possible that we will solve these existential problems, but there are no guarantees whatsoever that we WILL succeed in doing so, and within the next few decades at that.

    The optimism of the ” technocopians ” may in the end turn out to be justified, and there IS some extremely good news involving falling birth rates. There is a very strong possibility that there will be substantial progress in genetic engineering of crops, etc, so that they will at least survive droughts and yield SOMETHING instead of nothing, as happens frequently today, by way of example.

    But there are NO GUARANTEES whatsoever that we will be able to solve these problems in a timely fashion, and if we DON’T, there is going to be hell to pay, because the population IS threatening to outrun the food supply.

    Anybody who believes otherwise is either woefully ignorant of the true facts, or naive, or a true believer in technology and convinced that more technology will solve all the problems it creates.

    Well, think about it a minute. The REASON we are headed to a future with upwards of ten billion people is that technology made it possible.

    The biggest single source of problems may be the solutions used to solve previous problems. 😉

    Any comments pro or con, but especially con, if reasons are given, will as always be appreciated, because you learn a lot more from people who disagree with you than from your supporters, and thanks in advance.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Old Farmer, I totally agree that we have let technology and it’s pursuit become our master and it’s side effect has been a huge increase in population. It is a self-sustaining feedback system that will lead us to our final boundary unless we put on the brakes, change course and start controlling ourselves. Right now our way of life is so dependent upon feeding the great maw of technology that we are it’s slaves more than we are it’s master.

    • Nathanael says:

      The solution to the population bomb is given women the power to control how many kids they have: both the legal power (equal rights, not controlled by husbands), and the economic power (ability to get their own jobs), and the actual access to and knowledge of how to use birth control.

      The population means that governments like Saudi Arabia — which attempt to control women and make them have as many kids as their husbands want — are the enemies of humanity. So are organizations which preach against birth control, and you know which churches I’m talking about.

      China, idiotically, only started providing proper sex education in its schools about 10 years ago. No wonder the one-child policy didn’t work before then.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        The CIA World Fact Book is pretty good on statistics, and gives the average Polish woman’s age at first birth at over twenty seven , and the estimated average number of kids per woman at 1.34, and if Poland and Italy aren’t Catholic countries………… then there aren’t any.

        The numbers for Italy are roughly comparable.

        IF Poland and Italy aren’t Catholic, ……….. ?

        Ireland……. TFR now less than 2, by a hair, and the use of contraceptives given as almost two thirds. That has to be bullshit, unless the men in Ireland are doing without sex, because a reasonably healthy woman will get pregnant five or six times, at least, over her sexually active years.

        So the third who say they aren’t using BC are lying about it, almost for dead sure, once they have a couple of kids. The one third who supposedly don’t use BC ought to have an average of about five or six kids.

        I believe that the average birth rate for practicing or nominal Christian women in the USA is hardly any higher than for any other large and comparable demographic, although I have not researched this point. But only a minute fraction of the women who attend any one of the Christian churches in my immediate neighborhood who are under forty have four kids or more kids. Two or three are more common, and one is as common as three, for a guess.

        The birth rate seems to have fallen almost as far among the farm and factory workers as it has the educated segment, but it does trail by at least a decade, maybe two decades.

        Now in countries where the priests actually are listened to, because it is dangerous not to listen, things are different.

        But we aren’t allowed to criticize THOSE countries, because we all know everything wrong in this old world is the fault of DWEM, right?

        And no culture or religion is superior to any other, right?

        My sarcasm light is blinking, in case anybody is wondering.

        Education for women is THE key to lowering birth rates, no question. But less educated women do seem to be following the example of their better educated sisters.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Having less than replacement rate in many countries will make it so much easier for the mass migrations of the future to occur.

    • scrub puller says:

      Yair . . . .

      Food is far too cheap and way undervalued and wasted.

      The average person does not understand that and has never gone hungry . . . but eventually they will.

      I have never “gone hungry” but I have never wasted food and lived in a world where we milked a cow and fattened a pig and grew vegetables because milk and butter and veges were expensive in a household with eight kids . . . many little hands to milk the cow and churn cream into butter and cultivate the beans.

      Some Romanian folks down the road a bit used to grow an acre of wheat, cut it with a scythe and winnow and grind by hand.

      Such a mind set and system do not work in a world with oversupply of everything and wheat on the world market at less than 250 bucks a ton.

      I can buy very good asparagus flown in from Peru and sold in a regional supermarket at a dollar fifty a bunch.

      It’s all crazy stuff and folks get upset if you tell them food is far to cheap.


    • Hickory says:

      You say near the end of your piece that ‘The REASON we are headed to a future with upwards of ten billion people is that technology made it possible.’
      I would add to that notion a related factor- Energy!
      Just about all of the technological innovations in Ag are enabled by energy. Whether it is N fertilizer using nat gas, or phosphate mined and shipped thousands of miles. Water pumped, chemicals synthesized and sprayed, or tractors plowing/discing/harvesting etc. Transport, storage and processing of grains.
      Without external energy inputs, we just have human and animal labor to grow food.
      How many people could you feed without fossil fuel?
      Before fossil fuel was brought to Ag in a massive way, the world well had less than two billion, and many of them were Ag slaves, or laborers one step above slavery.
      Remove the fossil fuel, or make it very expensive, then we are going to slide back toward a much lower population one way or another.
      Solar is not going to make a big dent in this over the next 75, I believe.
      The biggest stop gap measure we could take is dietary- eat further down the foodchain. Less meat.
      I know that none of this is news to you, but most people don’t have much training in the energy supply flows in our Ag systems. Famine has not been erased from realm of possibility by any means.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Hickory,

        Well said, I agree with you totally.

        It’s safe to assume the members of this forum understand, but you are dead on, but most people don’t have a clue.

        I don’t like to think of myself as part of any elitist group, but when it comes to understanding energy, well, the folks who hang out here ARE elitists, in the good sense.

  26. GoneFishing says:

    How much natural resource is left for the world? Looks like we will find out soon, the graphic below shows estimates for continued expansion of use and for using them at current rates. Some of them look like they will run short soon. If you think metals like zinc are not important, just take the tires off your car and try to run it or removing some of your plumbing fittings and see how well that works.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Yeah, but there are people who do get it and are doing things about it!

      Which for me, is why having Trump in the White House, especially at this particular juncture, is adding HUGE insult to injury! The planet can not afford the kind of thinking that he and the people he has surrounded himself with are engaged in.

      Anyways, fortunately there is still some glimmer of intelligent life outside the US and this is the kind of thinking and the kind of people that I think we need to support and engage with. I especially like her idea of coming up with a rating and labeling scheme for individual resources and materials.

      Embrace Complexity: Effective Resource Use in a Circular Economy. Eva Gladek | Metabolic


      Eva Gladek, Founder and CEO of Metabolic (www.metabolic.nl) will explain what many people get wrong and oversimplify about the circular economy and how we can begin to address the nuance within different resource cycles.

      We need people who understand science and technology and how best to integrate such knowledge into our social, economic and political systems more than ever. I hope more people like Eva will be willing and able to step up to the plate.


    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Hi GF,

      Can you post a link to your chart, so I can post it to other sites, and bookmark it as well? Thanks!

    • Nathanael says:

      Zinc’s recyclable. And like most metals it isn’t that hard to extract from landfills should we need to do so. It just requires energy…

      • GoneFishing says:

        Yes, and much of it is recycled. However there is still 13 million tons annually being mined, so to make up for the difference would be a big and expensive job. Global usage has been outrunning zinc mine production for a while and the difference is widening.
        If not for China expanding it’s production there would be a shortfall.
        Mines only last so long and eking out the last of a resource depends on price. China’s consumption is projected to hit 8.5 million tons by 2020.
        The zinc mines near me closed decades ago.
        The world is still growing and it looks like the zinc mines won’t be there for very long.

        This should galvanize people into action.

        • Nathanael says:

          Galvanize — ha ha — deliberate joke there? 🙂

          Galvanzie (2). coat (iron or steel) with a protective layer of zinc.
          “an old galvanized bucket”

          What happens with mining of metals is that it’s done while mining is cheap, until recycling becomes cheaper, at which point the economy switches to recycling. You only really have a depletion / find-a-replacement issue if the recycling is super-expensive in some way. For a lot of metals the recycling is now only a little bit more expensive than the mining; I haven’t looked into zinc specifically, but I believe it should be one of the easier ones to recycle; you can dig out high volumes from the high volumes of alkaline batteries, for instance. Rare earths are a problem because they’re used in tiny tiny magnets and then thrown in the trash and sifting through to extract the tiny quantites of them from the large quantitis of trash *is* super-expensive.

          Or you could also get a serious depletion issue if you’re doing something really destructive with the metals like using them in nuclear reactors and contaminating them with radioactive elements so that nobody can ever use them again. I think this is mostly an issue with zirconium and beryllium, possibly a few others…

          • Doug Leighton says:

            If you want to discuss metal recycling intelligently you’d be best to introduce a metallurgical engineer into the discussion. A lot of metal, for example, is in what is referred to as dispersive material and not possible to access (for reasonable cost). There are also environmental problems associated with contamination when scrap is collected and shipped. A common solution is to dump metal waste into the hold of a ship and send it to some third world country where extremely poor kids can do necessary separations by hand. Toxicity isn’t an issue since they probably won’t live all that long anyway: an ideal situation because it removes vast quantities of toxic matter from OUR environment.

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              “to some third world country where extremely poor kids can do necessary separations by hand”

              Not a problem, Trump’s going to bring those jobs back to America. Or better yet, young Americans can drop out of school to go into coal mining. Then we can cut more taxes for education. Win win

              Let’s make America Great Again !!

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Only it was never great to begin with either.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Caelan, pay attention, it’s a great place for machines.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Is this starting to read like a Zero Hedge comment section?

                    Want to sink the status-quo, along with Trump? Grow local gardens and community anew that you can live with and within and quit your unreal jobs (thus stop paying taxes or as many).

                  • HuntingtonBeach says:

                    “Want to sink the status-quo” and “Grow local gardens” as a career is the avenue of losers in a modern day economy. Those who have invested 15 to 20 years in personal education and 20 to 40 years working in the system. Want to make the current system better, not blow it up. Going back to the 19th century is not a viable option except for losers.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    My dear, the ‘Dark Ages 2.0’ is fast approaching, never mind the 19th century. Are you kidding? Should we be so lucky.

  27. GoneFishing says:

    America is an anomaly. Jon Stewart’s analysis of the America and the election. This will not be what you expect.


  28. GoneFishing says:

    Yes, it happened. What do we do now?


    • Fred Magyar says:

      Yeah! Fuck You 2016!
      Ok, that felt good for about a nanosecond…

      • GoneFishing says:

        Fred, if you get a dozen people to say it at once it feels good for a whole second (it’s non-linear).

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Dang! And if each of those twelve people get 12 more people to do the same and then those 144 get 1,728, then 20,736… we could even propagate a hyperexponential feel good wave, and in no time, all 7.5 billion of us are feeling GREAT for the next four years and then some!

          On the other hand I think I might have just washed all of humanity off the face of the planet… C’est la vie!

  29. Longtimber says:

    Of measurable Interest: For wrenches & the Lab & hands on with electrical Energy.. Have one on order.

    • notanoilman says:

      Currently unavailable 🙁 If I may ask, what was the price of it? How about a review when you get it?


      • Longtimber says:

        Rats, If you follow the amazon links, currently only available but in the UK. Potential warranty issues out of country. Either sold out or not ready for prime time. Likely best
        to wait for Mark II. Expect Others to offer such soon. Need therefor will have when it’s in production

      • Songster says:

        If I am seeing this correctly, I see the meter for about $275 on Amazon.

      • Preston says:

        I have one https://www.circuitspecialists.com/mooshimeter_wireless_multimeter.html

        I like it a lot. The app works on my iphone 5 and android devices. I got a $35 amazon fire tablet on Prime day, I had to hack it a little to get google play to install the mooshimeter app, but it does work and gives a large display. You can read both V and I at the same time, so it’s great for battery logging. The ohm input can be set to read micro-volt levels, so I can see small voltages on gnd pins and can track down where the power is being used.

        They should add doors for the SD card and battery, it’s a pain to take apart to get the sdcard and battery. On the plus side,the battery life is really long I use it a lot and haven’t had to replace them.

    • Preston says:

      Also, check out this IR camera,
      (also available from amazon for $214)

      It combines two images, a higher resolution visable image and an IR one.

  30. Longtimber says:

    “Trump Can Make the U.S. Energy-Independent—If He Goes Green”


  31. SatansBestFriend says:


    For those scoring at home, general mattis was the guy who signed off on the infamous us military 2015 peak oil prediction.

    2010 joe report .pdf

  32. George Kaplan says:

    Not much explanation needed for this. FDD is freezing degree days and this shows the anomaly below 1956 to 2002 base line. This year is a continuation of an accelerating trend, so maybe not so unexpected after all.

    • GoneFishing says:

      For where and from where?

    • GoneFishing says:

      This gives freezing degree days and percent change for Alaska. Looks like things have gotten warmer.


    • Doug Leighton says:

      Waters at greater depth are warming with a rise in ocean heat up to 2000 metres deep that has more than doubled over the past decade. Data from 2005 through to 2014 contain a polynomial trendline which points at a similar rise by 2017, followed by an even steeper rise. So the North Atlantic is warming rapidly, with sea surface temperatures as high as 22.2°C (71.96°F) recorded east of North America in April, 2015. The North Atlantic is a major contributor to the warming waters of the Arctic Ocean, since the Gulf Stream keeps carrying higher temperature water into the Arctic Ocean all year long.


      • GoneFishing says:

        Tropical fish along the Maine coast anyone? Sharks in the Labrador Sea?

        • George Kaplan says:

          In the UK we are getting anchovies and sardines in place of cod. All are good, but the cod might be going for good.

          As an over view of the situation for climate, resources and population this is pretty good and balanced:


        • Fred Magyar says:

          Tropical fish along the Maine coast anyone?

          Want me to send you some of our invasive Lion Fish?

          BTW, are you posting under your real name over at realclimate?

          Warm regards… LOL!

          • GoneFishing says:

            Already have lionfish off Long Island. Not too far to go.
            Myself, I just hope the gators don’t get this far north. They will, but I need a few more years of just wondering about the snapping turtles (who don’t seem that aggressive in the water). No water moccasins yet either. No tiger mosquitos, except once when a big storm brought them up. They didn’t last.
            Happy days are here right now.

  33. Doug Leighton says:


    Canada will announce today a plan to virtually eliminate the use of traditional coal-fired electricity by 2030, the Globe and Mail newspaper has reported.

  34. R Walter says:

    The United States was founded in a world where the fastest form of communication was a letter on a horse. A national popular vote would have been very hard to correctly record, so the founders created an alternative system where political elites traveled to Washington, D.C. after the general election to cast the votes for president.

    These elites, or electors, ranged from party operatives to members of Congress. Instead of voting for president directly, Americans instead vote for electors in November who then vote for the candidates in December.

    It was also a matter of control. As musical superstar Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers, the president should be elected “by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station.” In other words, the founders didn’t really trust the common man to make political decisions.


    In other words, your vote doesn’t count and probably never will.

    Especially applies to those nattering nabobs of negativism, Hillary voters, the most deplorable of the deplorables. They can’t handle the truth whatsoever. Their votes don’t count and didn’t in the final tally. The Hillary propagandists are in deep denial and will never give up. Good for them.


    Although, Hillary should at least be the Vice President. If Donald Trump doesn’t meet the qualifications to be the President, then the Vice President should be the person who doesn’t meet the qualifications to be the Vice President, Hillary meets those expectations. Neither one has any interest in who voted, they just wanted votes.

    Can’t we just rid ourselves of Democrats and Republicans? It would help immensely.

    In other more important news:

    Tokyo Electric Power is building two brand new coal-fired power plants to produce electricity. They are being built at Fukushima. Nuclear is not that great in Japan these days.

    Mitsubishi Corporation Power Ltd., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, along with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. and Joban Joint Power Co., Ltd. have established two joint ventures, Nakoso IGCC Power GK*1 and Hirono IGCC Power GK*2, for the construction and operation of the world’s most advanced coal-fired power plants in Fukushima, Japan. Approvals that were previously granted to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. and Joban Joint Power Co, Ltd., following the environmental impact assessment they had undertaken on behalf of the project, were today transferred to the newly established companies.


    • GoneFishing says:

      Let’s first get over the rhetoric. The USA is not a democracy, it is a representative republic. Yes, votes count directly in many elections and at the state level in presidential elections. Since the electoral college does not exercise it’s power, it is the states that elect the president, each having a certain amount of votes.

      Next, the political parties are not federal. There are 50 state Republican parties and 50 state Democratic parties. The states regulate the parties. The only time the parties meet as a group on a national level is every four years to chose a presidential candidate.

      Yes, it’s a little confusing, but it is the interplay of state’s rights and federal rights.

      Why don’t we have strong third and fourth parties? Because not enough people are interested enough to form them and build them up. The two big parties seem to encompass the mainstream views of Americans and the other 40 percent can’t get it’s act together.

      As far as coal in Japan goes, well it’s just one more energy product they have to import and when the tsunami washes over a coal plant, the coal just gets a salty flavor. The fires go out and the place is a mess, but the surrounding area is not radioactive. Big plus for that country.
      Maybe they should think wind, solar, tidal energy. The Kamisu offshore wind farm was hit by the tsunami and did not fail.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Tokyo Electric Power is building two brand new coal-fired power plants to produce electricity. They are being built at Fukushima. Nuclear is not that great in Japan these days.

      Speaking of which, this just in:
      6.9-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes off the Coast of Japan: USGS
      The earthquake hit in the Pacific Ocean east of Japan just before 6 a.m. Tuesday local time, at a depth at 10 kilometers (about 6 miles), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. A tsunami warning was issued for Fukushima’s coast. A tsunami advisory was issued north and south of Fukushima, the agency reported.

      • GoneFishing says:


        * MAGNITUDE 7.3
        * ORIGIN TIME 2100 UTC NOV 21 2016
        * COORDINATES 37.3 NORTH 141.6 EAST
        * DEPTH 10 KM / 6 MILES


        NOVEMBER 21 2016.




  35. Doug Leighton says:


    “The study provides the first field-based evidence that arctic N2O emissions increase when the Arctic is warming; and that hampered plant growth plays a substantial role in regulating Arctic greenhouse gas exchange. Besides the increased emissions of N2O, the authors observed significant increases in the seasonal release of CO2 and CH4 as a result of only a mild temperature increase, and dug deeply into the reason behind the observed changes by detailed soil and vegetation measurements. One of the major conclusions drawn from this study, with potential far-reaching implications, is that even mild air warming of less than 1°C is triggering greenhouse gas production at depth: enhanced input of labile organic substances from the soil surface, transported to deeper soil layers via leaching, greatly influences arctic greenhouse gas biogeochemistry. Since leaching processes as well as arctic N2O emissions are not yet well incorporated in Arctic biogeochemical climate models, they pose a challenge for future research.”

    Note that arctic soils are a relevant source of the strong greenhouse gas N2O — nearly 300 times more powerful than CO2 in warming the climate.


    • Doug Leighton says:


      New figures suggest just five years of CO2 emissions at current levels will be enough to use up the carbon budget for a good chance (66% probability), of keeping the global rise below 1.5C. Most climate scientists now seem focused on how to keep temperatures below 2C or even 3C. And, most admit their models don’t include many of the feedbacks that have already kicked in. It seems like methane emissions alone are going to cause global temperatures to skyrocket in the near future, as will the upcoming blue ocean event in the Arctic.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Paper budgets are nice but the reality is that low cost renewables and necessity will be the only thing that will slow carbon fuel burning. EV’s could punch a hole in oil but batteries need to get cheaper/better and more charge points before the masses start really buying in.
        There is only about 1 vehicle for every 7 people. If this car thing ever catches on worldwide, we could reach 2 or even 3 vehicles per 7 people . So we better make sure they are low or no carbon vehicles.

    • GoneFishing says:

      This is what we get for running uncontrolled experiments on our very own home planet.
      And this is no laughing matter.

  36. Doug Leighton says:

    As a Canadian (and economics ignoramus) I have no opinion on the following other than that it indicates your next president may be a man of action.


    “President-elect Donald Trump says the US will quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on his first day in the White House. The TPP trade deal was signed by 12 countries which together cover 40% of the world’s economy. The Republican also pledged to reduce “job-killing restrictions” on coal production and stop visa abuses.”


  37. Fred Magyar says:

    Slightly OT…

    I recently discovered this little wormhole in the internet and have already been sucked deeply down into it a couple of times.

    Having knowledge of this makes me feel a little like Eve in the garden eden after having been convinced
    by the serpent to bite into the apple of knowledge, she had to share it with poor unsuspecting Adam. So go ahead take a bite.

    It’s a free AI science research assistant and her name is Iris https://iris.ai/ you can take any science topic that you might be interested in type in the url of a paper related to that topic in the search engine and hit explore…

    Warning! Once you start exploring you might disappear into the hole for a long time sort of like Alice going down the rabbit hole.

    Have fun!

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Hi Fred,

      I’m a big fan of AI, especially robotics and virtual reality. There are some Japanese bots that must be seen to be believed (no exaggeration); used to have a lot of fun conversations with my wife about this stuff. Once I asked her if I had sex with a robot would I be committing adultery to which she replied: “If I have sex with a robot am I committing adultery?” End of discussion.

    • GoneFishing says:

      So Volkswagen will jump on the bus along with everyone else now. Cutting employees and building EV’s.

      Hydraulic hybrids are the way to go. They can easily be fitted to existing trucks and save lots of fuel in stop and go situations. UPS figures about $50,000 savings in fuel over the lifetime of each truck. No batteries needed.

      70 to 80 percent of the energy of braking is captured and used to run the vehicle through a transfer module. Buses, delivery vans, any vehicle that deals with city traffic.

      Cars can be built with this system too and when someone gets smart enough to put one on an EV their range will extend greatly in city and other stop and go traffic. Using almost no power in rush hour traffic would be a big plus for both ICE and EV’s and a great way to reduce pollution.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi GF,

        I’m not an engineer, but I know a little about about most of the things they have to take into account in designing these things and have read a few articles about the difficulties involved in building hydraulic hybrids.

        It’s very expensive, and very difficult, to build such a system well enough that it is compact enough, light enough, and durable enough to be useful and to give reliable service.

        The biggest single problem seems to be that in order to get the system to work well, you have to pressurize the gas well past the point that ordinary industrial quality components can handle the load, and I am talking about the quality that goes into machines such as new major brand industrial equipment, such as a Caterpillar bulldozer.

        But they sure do work. I read a report about Ford having a prototype on a thirty thousand pound truck that could be used to stop the truck from fifty five, without touching the brakes, in the usual fashion, meaning it’s no good for a panic stop.

        Panic stops would still require using the brakes, because this rig up is normally attached to the rear wheels only, and thus can serve as a brake on the rear wheels only. This prototype would then accelerate the truck from a standing start to over thirty five mph without any help from the engine at all.

        And this was just a prototype.

        Maybe the cost of them will come way down if some major company puts them into mass production.

  38. Doug Leighton says:


    “Taken from the bottom of the marine food chain, microalgae may soon become a top-tier contender to combat global warming, climate change and food insecurity…

    “We may have stumbled onto the next green revolution,” said Charles H. Greene, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, and lead author of the new paper, “Marine Microalgae: Climate, Energy and Food Security From the Sea…

    “Marine microalgae do not compete with terrestrial agriculture for arable land, nor does growing it require freshwater. Many arid, subtropical regions — such as Mexico, North Africa, the Middle East and Australia — would provide suitable locations for producing vast amounts of microalgae.


    • Fred Magyar says:

      While anytime I here someone touting something as the next ‘Green Revolution’ my skeptical alarms go off, I have been a long time advocate of looking to marine algae as a source of food. Though I’m a bit more partial to macro than micro algae. As an example, kelp has nutritional value similar to soy.

      ‘3D ocean farming’

      Of course if none of these ideas pan out we can always default back to plan Soylent Green…

    • GoneFishing says:

      So where would this 800,000 square miles of algae farms be located? I assume along shallow shorelines where much of the fish and other ocean animal life breeds, as well as bird life. I do wonder about the effect of all that infrastructure on the shoreline. Other life would have to be eliminated from the area to keep up yields. Then down the line someone will come up with additives to increase production.

      Here is another microalgae growth idea using excess CO2 from a power plant.

      Sounds sort of OK until you realize that artificial light and fertilizer have to be “imported” into all those containers. At least some of the CO2 would be captured from the power plant and released later by cars and critters.
      Sounds like the energy out is less than the energy in?

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Stop it now, RIGHT NOW, or you’ll be getting an hour long detention; negativism in not permitted here. Is that clear?

        • GoneFishing says:

          Sorry to bring some reality to the situation. I look on most bio-fuel ideas as just another run down the rabbit hole.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Bio-fuel? We’re talking bio-food man. Ten billion will need to be fed and you ain’t gonna do it with cows. Your choice: Soylent Green, bugs or bio-food.

            • GoneFishing says:

              You really think they will be fed? No, we will watch them die on the other side of the wall while we let half our food rot and not be used.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                It’ll be a fence, because fences are cheaper and faster to build.

                Dead bodies will pile up on one side, and hot spent brass on the other.

                Most of my working life we had a problem with a giant carry over of grain from one year to the next. Now we have a problem with an inadequate year to year carry over, because if the shit ever hits the fan in a major way TWICE in one year, say a bad widespread drought in both southeast Asia and the Yankee bread basket, or one place in drought and another having rice, corn, or wheat wiped out by blight……….

                Well, there are two possible solutions, short term when it happens, because it WILL happen, sooner or later.

                We either divert a hell of a lot of grain from meat production, or we watch a lot of people starve, for sure.

                You can take it from a farmer that this sort of shortage and market imbalance tends to happen ABRUPTLY, as a rule.

                Things go along routinely for years, maybe a decade or two, and then BAM!

                All at once you can’t buy any hay, or apples, or corn, or whatever for less than twice the usual price.

                We have been lucky so far , collectively, because for the last couple of generations, we have not had a really bad year in two ” super major” bread baskets , the same year, and then there was that HUGE carry over, which has shrunk dramatically……..

                But luck never holds forever…….

                If a CHRONIC shortage of food develops, gradually, then there is reason to believe that something can be done about it, politically.

                Passing laws that tax meat very heavily, while leaving taxes low on grains, etc, would help a hell of a lot, and the shortage of food would also have a big impact on the birth rate, assuming birth control can be and will be freely available.

  39. GoneFishing says:


    Hemlocks forming green cathedrals in the nearby forests. I would wander among these plants, some hundreds of years old, shading the land and the creeks, shrouding the waterfalls. Then I noticed it raining, not water droplets, but hemlock needles. These dying giants went quickly, their stark wooden bones most evident in the mountain gaps, but dying everywhere. Now most of them have fallen or will soon.
    Whether they will survive at all is still in question. All due to a tiny insect from Japan, hemlock woolly adelgid.

    Sure there is a big dump of CO2 into the atmosphere but the real loss is in the forest ecosystem and in the loss of a beautiful tree.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Where I live (Western Canada) it may be worse: root rot (laminated root rot also known as yellow ring rot) is widespread in our fir trees, the pine needle infestation has wiped out vast forests, every spruce tree in my area is dead and something is even killing birch trees. Walking in the bush here has become a nightmare which for a retired geo-type like me is sad indeed.

      • GoneFishing says:

        At least you don’t have the Lyme disease epidemic yet, with most ticks infected, many with multiple diseases. Bushwacking is a guarantee of tick bites. I have even been attacked when snow is on the ground in February. Darn thing was all shriveled up but still got me. The ticks moved up into the mountains a couple of decades ago, into regions that were tick free when I was young. I stopped hiking the lowlands a long time ago, but now no place in the region seems safe. I guess the hunters ignore it mostly, allow some natural selection to go on.

        Our white pines are still fine as are the birches. Wood stoves and development are the real dangers to trees here, other than the hemlock.

    • Synapsid says:

      Gone Fishing,

      This has happened before on a very large scale. What’s called the hemlock decline dates to about 5400 years ago and shows up in the pollen record as a drop in the amount of hemlock pollen in a core of lake sediment to about zero. Hemlock had been one of the abundant pollen types lower in the core. The signal shows up all over the Northeast, in the US and Canada, and it’s caused by insects. Recovery time was on the order of 2000 years.

      It’s a useful time marker in the pollen record (cheaper than a radiocarbon date!) A similar elm decline shows in pollen records from NW Europe; it dates to about 6300 years ago, I believe. With modern travel and shipping spreading pathogens we’ll have a much more detailed record to leave for future researchers.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Very interesting, it was fairly warm 5400 years ago, especially in the northern regions. I wonder if that had anything to do with it.
        Do you have any websites or book references on this ancient hemlock decline?

        • Synapsid says:

          Hi Gone Fishing.

          I wrote the above out of my head–well, no, it wasn’t that I was out of my head, just that I was writing from working memory (one of my professional hats is Quaternary palynologist.)

          This is a topic where Wikipedia is actually useful; I’d suggest starting there. There is a book called The Holocene, by Roberts, (3rd edn now?) but he’s in England so I’d expect he’ll mention the elm decline but I don’t know about the hemlock decline. They’re both well-known topics in Quaternary palaeoecology.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      I live at the extreme tail end of the range of these magnificent trees, but there were a few around, including a couple my folks dug up and moved here from up north someplace. I had to cut them down a couple of years back.

      You could go places in a national forest or national park where they created such an ambiance along a mountain stream that it was like being in a cathedral.

      It’s enough to make a grown man cry.

      There are still a few chestnut trees right on my place putting out valiant but forlorn new growth from old roots, always to die back, due to the blight.

      And now all the dead stumps and logs left in the woods are gone, too, even though the wood is one of the most decay resistant species. I saw stumps when I was a kid that were six and even eight feet across.

      But the chestnut can come back. I will be paying an exorbitant price for seedlings that are hopefully, almost for dead sure, blight proof this winter. It took nearly three generations for researchers to breed them to be both blight proof and also supposedly indistinguishable except by genetic test from the original trees.

      The new genetic engineering technology could probably have gotten the job done in a minor fraction of the time, but you still have to grow the trees experimentally to verify the results.

      I will gladly pay the price, it’s to a non profit, and with a little luck I might live to see one of my seedlings bear a nut, but I will not live to see a mature chestnut tree, unless I get to go see the ones in the upper midwest that were transplanted there by settlers, where the blight has never yet penetrated.

  40. GoneFishing says:

    Atmospheric CO2

  41. islandboy says:

    I’ve been trying to get some post election analysis and have watched videos featuring people like Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. I’ll start with Warren since she addressed Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp”. In the wee hours of the morning on November the night, during the broadcast (stream) I was watching, I distinctly remember the chants of Trump supporters when it became clear that he was going to win the election. They were chanting, “Drain the swamp.. Drain the swamp…”, It was the first time I had heard it so I was not aware what they meant. I have since found out what it means and have come to the conclusion that the deciding factor in the election was a backlash against the status quo in Washington politics. Trumps supporters could have chanted anything but, what did they choose to chant?

    Just in case there’s anyone who does not know what was meant by “drain the swamp”, it refers to the promise by Trump to reduce the influence of lobbyists on the US government, to make politicians more accountable to the voters and less accountable to “special interests”, donors and lobbyists that spend huge amounts of money on campaign contributions and lobbying. His promise carried with it some credibility due to Trump’s considerable wealth and his claim that he was self funded and could not be bought.

    Note that Bernie Sanders also funded his campaign without the help of “big money” and voiced very strong concerns about the influence of “big money” on Washington politics. I believe it is the perception of a government that is beholden to it’s corporate “citizens” rather than it’s regular citizens that was the common thread for the popularity of both Trump and Sanders. Neither Clinton nor any of the Republican candidates showed any credible resolve to do anything about money in politics unlike Trump and Sanders. IMO moral issues like abortion and LGBTQ rights played a relatively minor role IMO, as did things like gun control. I really do not believe that many people outside of the 1% have a problem with actually extracting more taxes from the wealthy or rescinding trade agreements that allow corporation to move manufacturing offshore and make greater profits. IMO since Sanders shared some of these deciding issues with Trump, he would have won the presidency had he been the candidate and might have garnered more seats in the senate and congress as well.

    It is going to be extremely interesting to see what happens going forward. Will the real Donald Trump please stand up. Who is he and what does he really want? Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, in the video linked to in my comment further up hinted at some stuff he has supported in the past but in the video of Elizabeth Warren’s presentation she rips into his selections for his transition team, reminding her audience of the promises he made during the campaign. Have his views on money in politics had as long a history of his denial of global warming? If so, might he do an about turn on the issues of climate change and the environment like he seems to be doing with his other major campaign promises? According to Warren he is doing anything but “draining the swamp” and is actually setting up to do the bidding of “special interests”, including the fossil fuel industry. It remains to be seen, how he is going to interact with GOP stalwart members like McConnell and Inhoffe who have very specific agendas that are in direct opposition to some of his campaign promises.

    I’m afraid that as far as global warming goes, we are going to have to wait and see if tipping points are passed before the deniers will concede that there is a problem and that homo sapiens had anything to do with it. Problem is that as each day passes it gets more and more difficult (expensive) to deal with the predicted effects or any attempts to try and slow down or reverse the process that is currently underway. I find the graphic posted by George Kaplan further up very disconcerting as is the one below that, I believe I first saw on a previous thread and can be read about at the following link:

    Crazy Cryosphere: Record Low Sea Ice, An Overheated Arctic, and a Snowbound Eurasia

    • Bill Franti says:

      I’m afraid that as far as global warming goes, we are going to have to wait and see if tipping points are passed before the deniers will concede that there is a problem and that homo sapiens had anything to do with it

      There is a stark difference between saying climate change in general and saying climate change “caused by mankind.” Our climate is seriously changing, and there is nothing we can do about that, but what we can, and indeed should, do is build better housing, stop building in flood-prone areas, stop building right on top of faults, stop polluting our water supply (like in Flint where, as usual, the democrats/liberals did nothing while complaining about Republicans doing nothing), encourage more recycling of plastics, and possibly one or two other actions. Meanwhile, the researchers who never leave the socialist world of academia should learn that the earth’s climate is much more impacted by the sun and its own inner core, rather than any mankind activities. Here’s a plan for the next time anybody here talks to a real scientist–ask about what the global climate was like 6,000+ years ago. Hint, it was hot…very hot.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        We know the mid-Holocene (roughly 6,000 years ago) was warmer than today (at least during summer in the Northern Hemisphere). Moreover, we know the cause of this warming and we also know this “astronomical” climate forcing mechanism cannot be responsible for the warming over the last 100 years. However, I for one don’t see how climate is impacted by the earth’s inner core and would appreciate an explanation.

        • Bill Franti says:

          The inner core controls the planet’s magnetic field which interacts with the solar winds to influence our weather.

          Here’s a good science article about the warnings the whole system is giving off.


        • islandboy says:

          Doug, I very specifically use the term “global warming” when discussing climate change because I believe it will attract trolls and bots, troll/bot baiting if you will. Our friend, Bill Franti, swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker and has exposed himself for what he is, in order of likelihood:

          1. A paid purveyor of FF industry propaganda (troll)
          2. A victim (believer) of FF industry propaganda (troll)
          3. A volunteer purveyor of FF industry propaganda (troll)
          4. A very advanced AI bot.

          I used Google to search for his name on this site using the search term “Bill Franti site:http://peakoilbarrel.com/” and got exactly two hits, both instances of him posting about climate change. Here is what he had to say in one of his posts.

          My best advice to you along with all these nervous nellie scientists would be to just accept the fact that climate change is going to happen as a perfectly natural process. It surely is only very minutely influenced by the human factors the 5th Estate media, unionized public schoolteachers, leftist college professors, and left-leaning political parties try to pound into our heads seemingly everyday. Understand that one more government agency, one more tax, or one more unionized workplace is not going to be able to reverse any kind of worldwide climate trends, no matter what any of these special interest groups try to cook up from one day to the next. I made a career out of drilling wells in the North Slope of Alaska. I saw firsthand many times just how incompetent supposedly smart scientists and number crunchers in the public sector can be. In the end, such incompetence makes you and me—the taxpayers and consumers of the world—have to give up more of our valuable money while also restricting the freedoms to do what we wish or buy what we want.

          I find it somewhat odd that someone who ” made a career out of drilling wells in the North Slope of Alaska”, comes to a Peak Oil blog with lots of posts about oil, oilfield technology, well profiles, and oil industry financing but, has nothing to contribute to any of the oil related discussions, nothing, zero, zilch, nada! Instead he comes with a knee jerk reaction to a post that mentions global warming and references a page at wunderground.com. His post reads like something that might come straight out of the Koch brothers “Global Warming Denier Handbook” if such a thing exists. So predictable. Have a nice day “Bill”.

          • Doug Leighton says:


            I agree with everything you’ve just said and I was an idiot responding to his/its comment — which obviously should have been ignored.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Here’s a plan for the next time anybody here talks to a real scientist–ask about what the global climate was like 6,000+ years ago. Hint, it was hot…very hot.

        Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire!

        6,000 years ago? Isn’t that when God created the earth? So 6000+ years ago the earth wasn’t even here yet so it didn’t have any temperature at all! A REAL scientist told me that, I swear it on the Holy Bible…

        “Creation Science 101” by Roy Zimmerman

      • Lloyd says:

        Just got back to my computer, loaded an unsent comment and then saw that Fred made exactly the same joke. (Which I have now edited out.)

        Apparently all smart alecks think alike.

  42. islandboy says:

    The graphic below should have been attached to my comment above.

  43. R Walter says:

    Waxing inquisitive:

    A used Cheby Volt will cost you 14,000 dollars at cargurus.com

    A used Infiniti will cost somewhere near 38,000 at cargurus.com


    Do the batteries in the Volt last?

    Seems as though the reviews are good, but that might be propaganda.

    Methinks electric behicles isst Die Zukunft.


    The benefits of crude oil products

    There are thousands of products that modern Americans enjoy that come directly or indirectly from crude oil. These products have transformed the quality of life of Americans and people around the world.

    Crude oil generates heat. Heating this material and other petroleum products can warm homes in colder weather, making modern living possible even in colder climates. This oil also produces energy. Many petroleum products are energy carriers. When burned, the energy is released and can be harnessed for various products, like gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

    This product makes machinery move by providing the lubrication oil that modern industrial equipment depends on to run smoothly. Crude is also used to create the asphalt that cars and trucks move on. Asphalt is easier to lay than concrete and is generally cheaper as a result.

    Petroleum provides the ingredients that are essential in products like soaps, detergents, and paints. This product also makes modern furniture manufacturing possible. It takes about 16 gallons of crude oil to produce a typical modern sofa. Crude is also an integral part of modern textile production, with 40 percent of textiles now containing some petroleum byproduct.


    They forgot to mention oil ducks, no excuse for that.

    A site to see:


  44. Doug Leighton says:


    A new study of the temporary slowdown in the global average surface temperature warming trend observed between 1998 and 2013 concludes the phenomenon represented a redistribution of energy within the Earth system, with Earth’s ocean absorbing the extra heat. The phenomenon was referred to by some as the “global warming hiatus…

    “The hiatus period gives scientists an opportunity to understand uncertainties in how climate systems are measured, as well as to fill in the gap in what scientists know….


    • Doug Leighton says:



      “Overall, our results show that rates of climatic niche change among populations of plants and animals are dramatically slower than projected rates of future climate change,” said Tereza Jezkova and John Wiens, of the University of Arizona…

      “It’s a double jeopardy of climate change and habitat destruction…


    • George Kaplan says:

      Not that it matters much now that we’ve had the three hottest years in a row and the recent accelerating trend must be obvious to anyone without blinkers on, but I find this hiatus thing more and more confusing – was there one or not? I thought most of it had been explained a) by cherry picking starting with a hot El Nino year; b) by correction for some sampling measurement biases of ocean temperatures (i.e. as measurements switched from ships engine coolant intake – which tended to be slightly warmed as it moved through the engine room pumps, and may also be slightly limited geographically to the major sea lanes – to, now, mostly buoy measurements which give real time true numbers; and c) wasn’t there something about not fully capturing the effect in the Arctic as there weren’t enough temperature measurements and it was there that a lot of the warming was happening. But then we still keep getting articles like this one as well.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Obviously the laws of physics do not turn on and off and obviously the extra GHG’s did not go away, so the so called hiatus is not significant and may in part not be real. Instrumental difficulties, modeling problems, some variations in the natural system, shifts in ocean currents all could play a part in short term appearance of reduced temperature rise. The fact that ice sheets are melting at an accelerating rate means more energy absorbed due to phase changes (heat of fusion).
        It takes 30 years of data to meet the defined criteria of average climate change, so variations in between are not that consequential. Meanwhile during this “hiatus” the Arctic Ocean rate of ice loss never reduced, in fact it generally increased.

        We are lucky that the oceans and ice sheets are absorbing a lot of heat. The oceans and land are also absorbing a lot of CO2 now. This will not remain so in the future and is changing even now. So expect future accelerated heating.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Hi George,

        I tend to agree with you and Gavin Schmidt, of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who claims the “hiatus” comes down to definitions and academic bickering, that there is no evidence for a change in the long-term warming trend and that there are a host of reasons why a short-term trend might diverge and why climate models might not capture that divergence.

        • Doug Leighton says:


          TROUBLING SIGNS IN ANTARCTIC AND ARCTIC SEA ICE LEVELS– NASA says ice levels at both poles are at record lows.

          And Peter Wadhams, head of the polar ocean physics group at Cambridge University: “sea ice is retreating at an unprecedented speed, with ice at the Antarctic running at its lowest ever levels for this time of year since records began.”


          • GoneFishing says:

            Doug, what happens in the Arctic (or Antarctic) stays in in the Arctic. We have to get those pesky scientists out of there, always playing peeping Tom, and those satellites too. Stop wasting time and money. Nature will take care of the penguins and bears, not us.
            How else are we going to get on with increasing the coal business and oil industry? All that scientific mumbo jumbo is just crazy stuff. Stuff that might or might not happen in the far future. It just gets in the way of energy independence.

            Look it’s cold here now, some snow fell. Sure it melted but I know it’s going to get colder soon and more snow will fall. That is what is important, that kind of stuff we need to know. That and hair styling science. That’s what makes America great, not scientists with Magic Eight Balls running around telling everybody to be alarmed.


            • Doug Leighton says:

              “Man, do not pride yourself on your superiority to the animals, for they are without sin, while you, with all your greatness, you defile the earth wherever you appear and leave an ignoble trail behind you — and that is true, alas, for almost every one of us!”

              ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

              • George Kaplan says:

                Doug – as things start to slide in all directions I’m more and more drawn to the writings of John Gray – e.g. Straw Dogs and The Silence of Animals:

                “Long after the traces of the human animal have disappeared, many of the species it is bent on destroying will still be around, along with others that have yet to spring up. The Earth will forget mankind. The play of life will go on.”

                He is not a fan of humanism or eschatology or, particularly, science and technology, though.

              • Doug Leighton says:

                George, I can’t honestly say I have a philosophical bent, maybe I’m simply bent. Growing up gave me several languages which provided countless opportunities. Being based in Japan at the University of Tokyo (a long story) for awhile was an amazing experience, especially for one Scottish background boy who thought porridge was the very stuff of life. Traditionally, Japanese worshiped nature (you’d never know it now) and this had a truly profound influence on me, elegance through simplicity and all that. I had started off doing engineering physics but marriage meant earning a living which took me into geology and geophysics (in Sweden) and, ultimately, even closer to Nature as in the natural world; my wife was a kindred spirit for sure. Now I live as closely as I can to nature and will do so for my (few) remaining days. I do read constantly and will definitely check out your John Gray: always looking for a good read. Thanks.

              • GoneFishing says:

                “Men do not accept their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and worship those whom they have tortured to death.” Fyodor Dostoevsky

  45. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    This week…

    I have had the opportunity to work [with]… leaders at many corporations around the world.” ~ Fred Magyar

    (bwok bwok bwok…)


    “To provide food for 7 or 8 billion humans isn’t possible with permaculture teqhniques.

    I am not an advocate for solar or wind nor am I against fossil fuels… If humanity is going to survive it isn’t going to happen because of permaculture, it is going to take a hell of a lot of innovation and new technology. Let’s hope BAU lasts long enough to get us there.” ~ Fred Magyar


    “…I personally have been convinced for a long time that permaculture has a role to play…” ~ Fred Magyar

    “I’ll defer to the civil engineers…” ~ Fred Magyar (on stage)

    Double bill:
    Follow The Leaders (encore prez)
    Subterranean Homesick Blues

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

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Right, I said all those things and your point is?!

      No need to reply, the question is rhetorical, you don’t have one, other than to be deliberately obtuse.

      You continuously take most of what I say completely out of context and attempt to attribute intent to me which is usually diametrically opposed to both my world view and what I am actually saying.

      If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.
      Cardinal Richelieu

      Here, you can add this to the things I’ve said: “Grow the fuck up already! “

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        Ditto !

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:
        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          “Huntington Beach. I suspect that the banned poster was particularly obnoxious. Gail dos not generally ban critical posters. She often replies thoughtfully and courteously.” ~ Robert Wilson

          If ‘HuntingtonBeach et al.’ are the same person, they may have been previously banned from POB as well. Not necessarily a biggie, depending on the site, and I do recall someone on TOD with a handle something like, ‘bannedonsomesites’.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Fred,

        I can’t remember who said it, right this minute, but I will add this , paraphrased, from somebody else a couple of hundred years ago.

        It is impossible for a man engaged in any sort of business, beyond that of a common day laborer, to live without breaking one or more laws on a regular basis, and he will not even be aware that some of the broken laws even exist.

        Consider the number of laws and regulations on the books today, and it seems reasonably certain that virtually everybody breaks some of them on a regular basis.

        I will never defend Trump, unless he does something upright or useful, which seems unlikely, but he does have a point about excessive regulation of the economy AS SUCH, because many regulations exist solely to protect certain classes of workers and investors.

        If you can win competitive admission, and pass college level chemistry, biology, algebra, etc, you can get a RN ticket, that’s registered nurse, in Virginia it two years.

        I would have mine, which I started after retirement, for a number of reasons, including the women, having something interesting to do, wanting to be prepared for TEOWACKI, etc, and for sure to be able to better look after myself and older family members, etc. I dropped out due to a family crisis, which has turned out to be more or less permanent, and never went back, more than halfway thru.

        It takes the same two years to get a license to be a hairdresser in this state, in the same building as the nursing classrooms. Almost the same exact amount of money, and about the same number of hours actually in class or labs.

        Incidentally washing hair, barbering, shaving, and even styling hair to a minor extent, is covered in the nursing curriculum. The instructors devote about five to ten minutes to this chore in class, mainly to make sure you know that if you do it, you better ask the patient or family member FIRST about their wishes, and you are assigned about an hour of reading specifically about the do’s and don’ts, and you take a self administered test for that lesson. You also have to find somebody who will let you shave them, once, and wash their hair, once , to check off that skill on a punch list about ten pages long.

        They will haul your ass to court in a heartbeat if you get caught barbering without a barber’s license, and force you to close your business, and pay a fine. Do it twice, and the fine gets to be substantial, and a third time will get you a few days in jail, which is the judges way of helping you remember he doesn’t want to see you a fourth time.

        We are swamped with hair dressers and barbers , who mostly end up doing anything BUT hairdressing and barbering, but we still have bureaucrats who make their living encouraging kids to sign up to get a hairdresser’s license.

        None of this is to say Trump is honest , or ethical, or that he has the country’s best interests in mind.

        But part of the explanation for his success is that there is a little truth in enough of his arguments to convince people to vote for him.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        From POB archives…

        “but if you slam on the brakes and try to suddenly turn the bus 180 degrees in the other direction it rolls over crashes and we all die, So that won’t work.” ~ Fred Magyar, on Lovins

        “Getting back self-empowerment in part vis-a-vis such things as permaculture and removing your corporate-cum-nanny-state diapered ass ASAP is not doing a 180 or slamming on the brakes. It’s getting out of the fucking car.

        You don’t ‘find ways to transition’ through a dystopic system that created the necessity for transition– and at this late stage– in the first place. As you’ve written yourself, it’s repeating the same thing over and over again. Insanity. Derrick Jensen, in his book, ‘End Game’, describes our culture in precisely that way: Insane. And I agree wholeheartedly.” ~ Caelan MacIntyre

        “If Bernie doesn’t go independent I’ll probably have to vote for Trump just to help tip the apple cart a little further…” ~ Fred Magyar

  46. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    “Go-o-o-o-o-d morning, slaves, and welcome to another sedition of…

    It’s The End Of The World As We Know It And I Feel Fine

    The show where we wash down tacos with Liberal tears.”

  47. GoneFishing says:

    Ethiopian ant forming super colonies

    “Though not always, supercolonies are often perceived as a threat to biodiversity and a sign of degraded habitat. They can invade homes and other structures, as well as damage crops, and can cover thousands of miles. Scientifically, a supercolony is described as having no natural limits to its expanse.

    In Ethiopia, researchers have observed the Lepisiota canescens supercolonies expanding beyond the perimeters of church forests. One supercolony was found stretching 24 miles.”


    Sounds like us! We are a supercolony.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Ants are like manna from heaven! Free sustainable low carbon footprint protein. 🙂


      Our Copenhagen-based startup, Insekt KBH, produces delicious food products – with insects!

      At the moment it is debated intensely how to make society’s food production more sustainable. In this regard, edible insects keep suggesting themselves as part of a viable solution. Unlike other breed animals and most vegetables they require a minimum of water and feed, thus reducing their carbon footprint to a minimum. On top of that, they are very nutritious and protein rich. And they taste good too.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Apparently it does not take much brain power to form an organized civilization. We are probably overthinking it and not well designed for an orderly civilization.
        So as these ants take over large portions of the landed globe, we can eat them as they show themselves. But as the obvious few are being sacrificed, the other larger groups will be raiding our larders in a strategy as old as the world.

        Ants weigh just a few milligrams, so one would need many thousands of them to make a meal. Keeping them on the plate would be entertaining for the kiddees.
        In total all the ants in the world weigh about what we weigh in total, so they will only really make side dishes otherwise we would eat all of them quite quickly. People eat about a ton of food each year including several hundred pounds of protein and fat rich foods.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          It’s damned easy to grow “high protein ” fruits and veggies. All ya need to do is use fewer insecticides and successfully market the concept of wormy apples as a feature, instead of a bug.

          Sometimes the things we say that sound awesomely silly make excellent sense, once you manage to open your mind to the possibilities. 😉

          I have tried a few insects here and there, both raw and cooked, intentionally and inadvertently. Toasted grasshoppers are pretty good.

          My personal estimate is that they would be quite satisfactory raw after about two days with nothing to eat.

          Honeybees and wasps of various sorts are to be avoided, believe me.

          You will understand if you ever bite into nice tree ripened apple right off the tree, with a yellow jacket having ITS lunch hidden in a little pit dug out as it feeds.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          People eat about a ton of food each year including several hundred pounds of protein and fat rich foods.


          How nutritional are they?
          Insects are very nutritional; they tend to be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Let’s take the cricket as an example: 100 grams of cricket contains: 121 calories, 12.9 grams of protein, 5.5 g. of fat, 5.1 g. of carbohydrates, 75.8 mg. calcium, 185.3 mg. of phosphorous, 9.5 mg. of iron, 0.36 mg. of thiamin, 1.09 mg. of riboflavin, 3.10 mg. of niacin and .05% fat. 

          Compare that with 100 grams of ground beef, which, although it contains more protein, about 23.5 g. to be exact, it has 288.2 calories and an enormous amount of fat, in fact 21.2 grams worth!

          Lou Sorkin, Advisor for Insects Are Food, would like to add that like any food, how you prepare them can change their status from healthy to not so healthy. Deep-frying them or using them only as a novelty in a sugared or chocolate coating might be tasty, but then you’re eating a junk-food preparation, albeit a tasty one. The difference however between a regular chocolate chip cookie and one made with crickets is that the one made with crickets has a lot more protein! It’s a no-brainer to choose the chocolate chip cookie with crickets (or as entomophagists call them, “chocolate chirp” cookies) over any other brand!

          No one is saying only eat insects! However about 2 billion people in the world regularly incorporate insects into their diet. If you are stuck on the yuck factor you can process insects into flour and add them to breads, fruit juices, etc…

          Not to mention that anyone who understands the impact humans are having by burning fossil fuels on climate should take a long hard look at the sustainability issues raised by 9 billion humans all wanting to get their protein from beef, pork and poultry.

          Google the water requirements for producing a kg of beef protein vs a kg of cricket protein…

          I’m betting all of us will be getting at least some of our protein from insects sooner rather than later! Those ants won’t stand a chance once we start making pizza out of em. 🙂

          Seriously, check out what these guys are doing inDenmark.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Apparently it does not take much brain power to form an organized civilization. We are probably overthinking it and not well designed for an orderly civilization.
          So as these ants take over large portions of the landed globe, we can eat them as they show themselves. But as the obvious few are being sacrificed, the other larger groups will be raiding our larders in a strategy as old as the world.


          THE MIND’S I

          Chapter 11: Prelude . . . Ant Fugue
          Achilles and the Tortoise have come to the residence of their friend the Crab, to make the acquaintance of one of his friends, the Anteater. The introductions having been made, the four of them settle down to tea…

          TORTOISE: Pardon me, my friends. I am sorry to have interrupted. Dr. Anteater was trying to explain how eating ants is perfectly consistent with being a friend of an ant colony.

          ACHILLES: Well, I can vaguely see how it might be possible for a limited and regulated amount of ant consumption to improve the overall health of a colony-but what is far more perplexing is all this talk about having conversations with ant colonies. That’s impossible. An ant colony is simply a bunch of individual ants running around at random looking for food and making a nest.

          ANTEATER: You could put it that way if you want to insist on seeing the trees but missing the forest, Achilles. In fact, ant colonies, seen as wholes, are quite well-defined units, with their own qualities, at times including the mastery of language.

          ACHILLES: I find it hard to imagine myself shouting something out loud in the middle of the forest, and hearing an ant colony answer back.

          ANTEATER: Silly fellow! That’s not the way it happens. Ant colonies don’t converse out loud, but in writing. You know how ants form trails leading them hither and thither?

  48. R Walter says:

    A cow or steer is going to drink fifteen gallons of water each day. Two years of feed and watering costs money. You’ll need pasture, hay, feed barley, maybe some oats. Then off to the market then to the final resting spot at the rendering plant.

    Ants form ant hills all by themselves, no costs involved at all except for harvesting.

    Maybe Andrew Zimmerm will eat ants, however, I’ll go to the grocery store, buy some ground beef and make me a hamburger deluxe sans ants. Just the way things are in this world.

    Human nature says to eat beef, not ants.

Comments are closed.