EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – September 2017 Edition with data for July

A Guest Post by Islandboy

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The EIA released the latest edition of their Electric Power Monthly on September 26th, with data for July 2017. The table above shows the percentage contribution to two decimal places for the last two months and the year to date.

In July all dispatchable base load generators, that is Coal, Natural Gas and Nuclear powered plants, continued to ramp up production to deal with the increase in demand coinciding with the peak, mid-summer demand period. As a result, despite generating some 4,300 GWh more than it did in June, the percentage contribution from Nuclear continued it’s decline, going from 18.84% to 17.83% in July. Another result of the increase in the total amount generated was that, a 620 GWh decrease in the absolute contribution from Solar, translated to the percentage contribution declining to 2.04%, down from 2.47% in May. The gap between the contribution from All Renewables and Nuclear widened as All Renewables fell to 15.72% as opposed to Nuclear’s 17.83% contribution. While the amount of electricity generated by Wind held steady the percentage contribution declined by 0.6%. The contribution from Hydro continued to decline both in absolute and percentage terms. The combined contribution from Wind and Solar declined to 6.9% from 7.93% in June and the contribution from Non-Hydro Renewables fell to 8% from 9%. The contribution of zero emission and carbon neutral sources, that is, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, landfill gas and other biomass fell from 36.5% to 33.5%.

The graph below helps to illustrate how the changes in absolute production affect the percentage contribution from the various sources.

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The graph below shows the total monthly generation at utility scale facilities by year versus the contribution from solar. The left hand scale is for the total generation, while the right hand scale is for solar output and has been deliberately set to exaggerate the solar output as a means of assessing it’s potential to make a meaningful contribution to the midsummer peak. This July solar accounted for about eight percent of the additional peak mid summer demand, that is, eight percent of the approximately 100,000 GWh difference between the spring/autumn lows and the mid summer peak.

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The graph below shows the monthly capacity additions for 2017 to date. In July 57 percent of capacity additions were Natural Gas. Solar and Wind added 8.2 percent and 28.5 percent respectively. Hydro contributed 3 percent of new capacity, Wood Waste Biomass made a contribution of 3 percent and Other Waste Biomass made up 0.19 percent. Batteries made up 0.14 percent. I have added a line to indicate the total new capacity added each month to give an idea of what the absolute amounts were added from each source. In June the total capacity added was 1,693.4 MW.

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The graph below from the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Solar Industry Data web page shows US capacity additions from 2010 to 2016.

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For 2015 and 2016, solar and wind combined made up 69% and 65% of new capacity respectively with natural gas accounting for 29% of new capacity in both years. In 2014 wind and solar combined accounted for 52% of new capacity with natural gas accounting for 43% and coal just 1%. The previous year, 2013 saw wind and solar combined accounting for just over a third of new capacity with natural gas accounting for 47% and coal 10%. In 2012 solar and wind accounted for half of the new capacity with natural gas accounting for 31% and coal 16%. It would appear that 2017 is continuing the trend of more natural gas, solar and wind capacity additions and less coal capacity additions.

To get a better grasp of the trends, I decided to look at US generating capacity retirements in addition to capacity additions. Below is a graph of monthly US capacity retirements for 2017 year to date.

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For 2017 year to date, 3348 MW of coal capacity has been retired, along with 981 MW of natural gas capacity and 550 MW of capacity fueled by petroleum liquids.

To further examine the trends in capacity changes, I looked up the data for 2015 in Table 4.6. Capacity additions, retirements and changes by energy source at the EIA’s Electric Power Annual web page and downloaded the table for the years 2010 to 2014. The data for capacity additions and retirements for coal, natural gas, wind and solar was extracted to create a table to which a column was added for each source to indicate the net change, that is, additions minus retirements. The Electric Power Annual with data for 2016 is scheduled for release in November so, to get data for 2016, I extracted the totals from Tables 6.3 and 6.4 of the edition of the Electric Power Monthly with the data up to the end of December 2016. Below is a graph showing the net change for each fuel source for each year from 2010 to 2016.

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It is worthy of note that coal has seen net capacity reductions since 2012 while all the other sources in the graph have seen net capacity increases. In total, between 2010 and 2016 coal generating capacity declined by almost 33 GW while natural gas saw an increase of 23.6 GW, wind increased by 45.5 GW and solar by 20.5 GW as shown below.

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If these trends were to continue it would be difficult to envisage anything but continuing decline in the US coal industry. However the current US administration is doing everything in its power to make it more attractive to use coal for electricity generation including, repealing the previous (Democratic) administration’s Clean Power Plan and appointing a lobbyist for coal giant Murray Energy and former staffer to Sen. James Inhofe as deputy administrator of the EPA, along with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would aim to provide “full recovery of costs” for power plants that keep 90 days of fuel supplied onsite as compensation for “all the attributes they provide.”.

The problem is that, coal plant closures are being driven by hard economic circumstances rather than government regulations, the old, inefficient coal plants are being put under severe pressure by newer more efficient plants fueled by low cost natural gas. It would appear that even though gas prices have increased from their historical lows, the price of natural gas is still low enough to make it a more economic choice for many utilities. In addition, the costs of wind and solar technology are continuing to decline, making them more attractive as time goes by. In all likelihood the decision makers at the utilities are aware that the costs of wind and solar are likely to continue declining, making investments in coal burning plants an obviously risky proposition. It remains to be seen if the measures being taken by the current administration will see increased use of coal and a reduction in coal plant closures or even new coal plants being built.

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285 Responses to EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – September 2017 Edition with data for July

  1. robert wilson says:

    During the late 1980’s I bought a used Cadillac. It got about 10 miles per gallon. Our other car was a large Ford station wagon that also got about 10 mpg. Improvements since that time have helped save us, at least temporarily.

  2. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi Everyone,

    This post will serve as the Open Thread Non-petroleum, so any comments not related to oil and natural gas can go here (I mean natural gas production, rather than the use of natural gas to produce electric power).

  3. robert wilson says:

    During my young adulthood I often used a three-way 300 watt incandescent light bulb for reading and room illumination. This was a definite improvement over the kerosine lamps I sometimes used in the 1930’s and 40’s. The improved efficiency with LED has been impressive.

  4. Boomer II says:

    Why aren’t there more economic stories about the decline of coal rather than so much emphasis on the rollback of regulations? Seems like that’s exactly what Trump and the EPA want: to goad the media and environmentalists.

    I think it would be more effective to educate the public about why coal is on the way out and to call Trump’s bluff.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I think coal is a dead story, with or without the rollback of regulations…
      Other than a few trolls here and there nobody is really talking about it seriously.

      • Boomer II says:

        Yes, but I see many media headlines talking about the regulation rollbacks. As I said, Trump did this to be contrary, but utilities have already lost interest in coal. Trump and the EPA want to make this a culture war, but we shouldn’t be letting them steer the conversation.

        • islandboy says:

          I don’t know if you place the lead post in the category of “economic stories about the decline of coal rather than so much emphasis on the rollback of regulations” but I was prompted to look deeper into the issue of coal by the fact that six months into the pro-coal Trump administration there have been exactly zero coal plants added to the US generating fleet. Not zero percent when the percentages are expressed as whole numbers, flat out zero percent, no matter how many decimal places you want to use. Even in the years that show up as zero percent in the graph produced by SEIA there was some coal capacity added. There are still three months left in the year and the EPM with data for a particular month, is released roughly two months after the end of the month so, there is still a chance that we will see some coal capacity added.

          We all know that the planning and permitting of a coal plant takes way more than six months but, the backers of coal will need to be confident that the regulations that they claim are hampering them will be relaxed and remain so, before they make big plans. Are there any regulations that are currently hampering coal that can easily be dispensed with? AFAIK, existing regulations were put in place to cut down on things like acid rain, smog and other pollutants that were obviously affecting the environment around the plants. Is there any chance that the public is anxious to have these regulations relaxed?

          The regulations under the Clean Power Plan would only apply to plants that are in operation when those regulations go into effect so one is left to wonder what role regulations played in the closing of all the coal fired plants that have been shut down so far and those that are scheduled to shut down over the next year or more? See the following article:

          25% of remaining US coal fleet headed for retirement or conversion, new report says

          • toolpush says:

            When zero may not equal zero.

            http://marcellusdrilling.com/

            Without New NatGas Pipelines, Virginia Faces Power Blackouts
            October 12, 2017 0 Comments

            It has seemed to us that anecdotally most of the media in Virginia has tilted left and anti-pipeline when covering stories about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) projects, both slated to cross the state. So imagine our surprise in reading an editorial from the editors of the Fredericksburg, VA Free Lance-Star that gives full-throated support for fracked shale gas pipelines. The editorial begins by calling those who oppose ACP “NIMBY’s” (Not In My Back Yard). Later in the editorial, we learn this startling fact: “To prevent blackouts in Virginia this summer, Energy Secretary Rick Perry had to give Dominion Energy permission to reopen two shuttered coal-burning plants (Yorktown 1 and 2) in response to a request by PJM Interconnections, which manages the electric grid in 13 states. That’s how close the East Coast is to a real power crisis.” Yes folks, without ACP (and MVP), Virginia faces rolling blackouts. They won’t be able to produce enough electricity to meet the demand–unless they want to keep using coal. When will the NIMBYs wake up? Will it take a blackout to snap them out of their denial?…/

    • OFM says:

      Hi Boomer,

      It’s the Trump administration that want’s the public to think there’s been a war on coal, and that coal can stage a comeback.

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe just about everybody at the EPA has his heart and head in the right place, and wants to enforce our clean water and clean air and other environmental laws and regulations, with the exception of any administrator’s who have been hired or appointed since Trump won the WH.

      You’re right about the ruckus, the Trump crowd knows how to manipulate the media.

      But anybody who is remotely interested in the actual facts, rather than having his prejudices confirmed, can find a hundred good articles in the msm in a millisecond by googling ” reasons for the decline of the coal industry”, lol.

      • Boomer II says:

        There have been in the past, but my Facebook newsfeed over the last few days has been full of headlines decrying the EPA’s action. I think the current EPA is headed in the wrong direction, but I am annoyed at the media response to this because it think it’s another cultural war, which we don’t need. Don’t take the bait.

  5. GoneFishing says:

    Determining the concentration of and changes in atmospheric NO2.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMnDoXuTGS4

    Not to be confused with nitrous oxide (N2O).

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Not to be confused with nitrous oxide (N2O)

      Well ain’t that a laugh 😉

      • George Kaplan says:

        A couple of streets over from me there are some pubs and night clubs – every weekend there are a lot of discarded “hippy crack” canisters in the gutter. It’s legal, and insignificant compared to our skunk problem, though I think drug use here is overall in decline.

  6. robert wilson says:

    During the early days of the environmental movement, following the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill, I recall a joke that was circulating. “A true conservationist is one who will freeze to death while sitting on a coal mine” I recall with fondness the coal burning stove in the kitchen of my grandfather’s Missouri farm house. One of my duties was to empty the ash. My mother’s sister wrote about those times. I suspect that coal will outlast oil and gas and that some will elect not to freeze. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3416809-life-was-simpler-then

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I suspect you are just another stupid coal troll!

      • OFM says:

        Hi Fred,
        Robert’s an old hand here, although he doesn’t post very many comments. He’s not a troll.You probably know this already, which leads me to think you forgot to put a smiley after your comment.

        For what it’s worth, it’s a truism that the poor will always be with us, and I expect Robert’s likely right, that some people will continue to burn some coal, especially any people who are economically hard up and unable to pay the high upfront cost of renewable electricity.

        The fact that the big box of cereal or soap is cheaper per unit than the small box isn’t any help to the person who barely has enough money to buy the small box.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          He’s not a troll.You probably know this already, which leads me to think you forgot to put a smiley after your comment.

          No, my bad! I mistook him for someone else, so my apologies!
          I’m just really tired of trolls in general.

    • Boomer II says:

      No one wants to go back to the smog filled days of coal.

      For those who weren’t around or don’t remember, this is what Pittsburgh looked like in the 1940s.

      https://www.buzzfeed.com/kevintang/stunning-photos-of-pittsburghs-air-pollution-in-the-1940s?utm_term=.vmolOvjabr#.rhj1x4e5AK

      • GoneFishing says:

        I remember driving about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh in 1970 and could see the gray dome over the area. most big cities had pollution domes back then, Pittsburgh had a really big one. There was a brown ring at the horizon everywhere I went.

    • Dennis coyne says:

      Hi Robert

      See

      http://rutledge.caltech.edu

      If Rutledge’s estimate is correct coal is likely to peak before 2030.

    • alimbiquated says:

      Too bad your grand dad didn’t know about insulation.

  7. robert wilson says:

    As a child during the 30’s I had one visit to St Louis. It was badly polluted compared to my hometown, Amarillo. We burned no coal
    . But relatively little pollution was produced by one or two coal fires on a 160 acre Missouri farm. From 1956 to 1959 I lived in Montreal PQ, studying radiology. This included looking at the chest radiographs of the sick pink puffers and blue bloaters of polluted London. We also studied coal miners pneumoconiosis. It was in Montreal that I became friendly with the biologist N.J. Berrill who accidentally started me on a lifetime hobby studying population, energy and material resources. In the winter Montreal was badly polluted. Even the snow turned black. It was still nice to be warm when the temp. was below zero.

    • OFM says:

      I remember my first visit on a bad air day to the DC area sometime back in the sixties. You could see ok, but my eyes and throat burned like hell. I left within a couple of hours, although I had planned on staying the weekend for the most compelling of reasons, to a young man… potential sex with a hot young blossom who lived there.

  8. Hightrekker says:

    Adults in the Room

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34673467-adults-in-the-room

    A bit chewy for the average ‘Merikin, but worth the effort.

    This book will be uncomfortable or even dangerous for many current politicians, from Europe’s governments and EU institutions to the IMF and of course Greece’s Syriza party. Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (boy, does that title ever feel inadequate given the impact he had and has!) never made a secret of the fact that he comes to politics as an outsider. He is not a member of any party, not even the one that put him in office (which they couldn’t fail to do after he won more votes than any other MP). As such, he is not entangled with a net of interests and he has no qualms to tell all that he saw during his time on the ‘inside’ of international politics.

    • robert wilson says:

      Apropos debt discussed in the above book.. US Debt $20+ trillion but unfunded liabilities $107+ trillion. http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    • Ulenspiegel says:

      Is that THE Yanis Varoufakis, godfather of applied game theory – who cost the Greek people many billion Euro because he was eaten for breakfast by more competent politicians?

      • Hightrekker says:

        He refused to be a slave to neoliberalism.
        And those billion of euros went to bail out bad bets by elite investors, mainly German.

  9. Hightrekker says:

    Javier, is that you?

    NEW STUDY: GLOBAL WARMING STANDSTILL CONFIRMED, CLIMATE MODELS WRONG

    https://www.thegwpf.com/new-study-global-warming-standstill-confirmed-climate-models-wrong/
    ( SCAFETTA’S PRIMARY AREA OF EXPERTISE IS AIR CONDITIONING)

  10. George Kaplan says:

    No comments on the California wildfires here yet, nature in the raw and devastating. I have a couple of questions: would the late warnings represent a failure of a system that was supposed to be in place or are the houses built so close to the trees that things like this can happen without any effective warning (if so why is that allowed); what sparked the fires, I can see the dry conditions allowed them to propagate, but so many at once seems to imply a common mode cause, possibly one that is ever present (e.g. electrical cables, static)?

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I can see the dry conditions allowed them to propagate, but so many at once seems to imply a common mode cause, possibly one that is ever present (e.g. electrical cables, static)?

      The common cause seems to be careless people.

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/10/wildfire-california-danger-environment-spd/

      Though the exact source of Sonoma County’s wildfires is unclear, authorities have pointed to the fact that 95 percent of fires in the state of California are started by people, according to CNN.

      That and poor general management of forests in drought prone areas.

      Meteorologists aren’t yet able to forecast wildfire outbreaks, but there are three conditions that must be present in order for a wildfire to burn. Firefighters refer to it as the fire triangle: fuel, oxygen, and a heat source. Four out of five wildfires are started by people, but dry weather, drought, and strong winds can create a recipe for the perfect disaster—which can transform a spark into a weeks- or months-long blaze that consumes tens of thousands of acres.

      Historically, wildfires are actually supposed to be beneficial to certain natural landscapes, clearing underbrush in forests and triggering the release of seeds in some plant species, such as the Jack pine.

      Unfortunately, the suppression of naturally occurring, low-intensity forest fires has actually aided in the ability for high-intensity wildfires to run rampant.

      The denial of the dangers and real risks associated with climate change doesn’t help either!

      • OFM says:

        Every ag student in my day learned about Smokey Bear and fire suppression on the grand scale………. one of the biggest mistakes ever made as a matter of deliberate policy in managing forest and scrub lands. The problem was that we learned about Smokey in biology classes, lol. It took the forestry department a few more decades to finally accept reality.

        Fire, naturally occurring is not just SUPPOSED to be good for forests and scrub, it IS good, in that such lands have ecologically adapted via evolution over hundreds to thousands to tens of thousands of years, to such fires, depending on the climate’s variations.

        Now we’re STUCK, with so much development, so many houses and businesses located in places that NEED to burn occasionally, that ALLOWING them to burn is politically and economically impossible.

        I don’t believe any short to medium term solution is possible, as a practical matter. We will continue to suppress fire in such places as are currently burning in California, and the longer they manage to suppress the fires………

        Well, the worse they will be when they do finally break out. EXPONENTIALLY worse.

        So far they haven’t had one happen on the same day as a major wind storm…at least not recently. So far.Fifty mph gusts for an hour or two are one thing, sustained high winds over a day or two are something else altogether when it comes to spreading fire far and fast.

        Obviously the people there pay more taxes than they consume, so cutting them off from disaster relief would not be fair, nor politically expedient.

        But we sure as hell need to figure out a way to prevent people from continuing to build in places that are at high risk for fire and flood and so forth, or else at some point in time, we will owe such a debt for disaster relief that it will break our economic backs.

        I suggest that perhaps it would be possible to pass a law that sets a cap on relief for any given property, starting some years down the road, and freezes it, thereby allowing inflation, over time, to wipe out the value of it, two or three or four decades into the future. That would allow current day owners their day, and provide fair warning to future owners that little fellas like me aren’t going to be on the hook for their beach houses if a hurricane blows them out to sea, lol.

        The problem with such a law is that even if it were ever to be passed, it would be subject to revocation, depending on the political winds at any given time.

    • GoneFishing says:

      The place is a tinderbox, people, electrical, lightning, a hot catalytic converter over weeds, all causes. Throw in some dry wind and done.
      The only thing I don’t hear much about is locust plagues, but apparently they are happening too. So we have fires, volcanos, earthquakes, floods, drought, starvation, gluttony, locusts, war, crop failure and pestilence in proportions and affecting far more people than biblical events. Might as well throw in the Sixth Extinction to top off the layer cake of plagues. Oh forgot megastorms and hurricane herds.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpknTA5_J9I

      It is getting really tough to compete for media attention anymore. I still see damage and leftovers from Superstorm Sandy, it will never be totally cleaned up. So I can imagine that in many cases there will always be leftover damage from large events as well as incomplete recovery. When the rate gets fast enough, say once every five years then some recovery will never occur. Hopefully adaptation and mitigation does occur or it could be disaster groundhog day over and over again.

      Rebuilding has progressed slowly: At 34 months after the fire, 50 homes (30%)
      were rebuilt and occupied, 32 (20%) were in the process of rebuilding, and 82 (50%)
      were not yet rebuilding (Sanfac¸on 2014). Officials identified several factors that
      slowed rebuilding, including flooding, insurance settlement delays, and
      underinsurance—being insured for less than the home’s replacement cost. Officials
      indicated that underinsurance was common because building is expensive in this
      area, due to the cost of compliance with Boulder building codes and because any
      house built will be a custom home, with higher transportation costs, reflecting the
      distance from Boulder. In Colorado, insurers pay a portion of replacement costs
      initially, with the remainder awarded after rebuilding (Svaldi and Migoya 2012). If
      a homeowner chooses not to rebuild, the homeowner receives only the first payment.
      Insurance repayments are the same for rebuilding on the same footprint, elsewhere
      on the lot, or in a new location. Either mortgaged properties must be rebuilt or
      the mortgage must be paid in full.

      https://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_journals/2015/rmrs_2015_mockrin_m001.pdf

      http://6abc.com/weather/3-years-after-sandy-nj-homes-still-being-rebuilt-(photos)/1057107/

      • Fred Magyar says:

        So we have fires, volcanos, earthquakes, floods, drought, starvation, gluttony, locusts, war, crop failure and pestilence in proportions and affecting far more people than biblical events. Might as well throw in the Sixth Extinction to top off the layer cake of plagues. Oh forgot megastorms and hurricane herds.

        You forgot our fearless Tweeting Twit in Chief Thief” who wants a 10 fold increase in our nuclear arsenal… and who, when told that the 25th amendment, was the greatest threat to his continuing in office, reportedly said: “what’s that”!

        BTW, doomsday scenarios aside, you’d think that someone who has sworn to defend the US Constitution while holding the highest office in the land, would at the very least have read it, for crimminie’s sake!

        Edit: That YouTube of the locusts, that’s NOT a plague that’s free protein. Enjoy!

        • islandboy says:

          You forget he does not like to read? Have Fox and Friends do a special on the constitution, that explains it for him and you’ll probably get him saying, “I’ve been hearing some good things about the constitution!” 😉

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Yeah, someone needs to create The Illustrated Bedtime Stories US Constitution for Dummies… Trump’s voice: “Oh looky, laahts of pretty pictchures! Please read it to me…”

        • GoneFishing says:

          Yes Fred, I can read the comments below the video about raining protein.

          Increase the Nuclear arsenal? Why? First strike is much more effective and cheaper.
          Why not build a nuclear wall using coal and nuclear waste?

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Yes Fred, I can read the comments below the video about raining protein.

            LOL! I never even got to the comments… but I have been eating cricket protein bars from EXO. I really have a lot of fun offering them to friends and acquaintances. I’ll say: “Would you like a cocoa flavored protein bar?” And they’ll reach their hand out and pretty much stop cold when they see the cricket on the wrapper… More for me. Yum! 😉
            .

    • Hightrekker says:

      It was perfect conditions.
      Massive fuel from a very wet winter, now tinder dry, 50+ winds and low humidity.
      When one puts that many rapacious apes in the equation also, Bingo!
      I lost a car in the fire (one I kept in The Bay for connivence), along with various items in a friends storage unit.
      Have three friends who lost houses, and it is still dicey for many more at the moment.

      • robert wilson says:

        I moved to California in 1966. I doubt that there has been a year without fires. But this is the worst. Over the years I have watched several water and retardant drops. Once in the mountain above Ojai a bulldozer turned over as fire approached. This was seen from the air and a water drop was directed on the truck and driver. The driver later showed up at Ojai Hospital with ankle and rib injuries but otherwise OK. It is good that we have sufficient fuel for the big planes, the helicopters, and the firetrucks that are often several hundred miles from their home base.

      • George Kaplan says:

        There’s some reports that high winds blew down power lines which was a common cause, but the conditions that made things so dangerous are as you say:

        https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientists-see-climate-change-in-californias-wildfires/

        Strong winds were responsible for the fires’ quick incursion into urban areas, but months of record-high temperatures, preceded by heavy rainfall last winter, also fueled the destructive power of the fire that burned through the region, climate experts said.

  11. islandboy says:

    MIT researchers develop ‘air breathing’ sulfur flow battery

    “The current prototype is ‘about the size of a coffee cup’, however, flow batteries are known to be easily scalable, and Chiang states that cells could be combined into larger systems. He goes as far as to say that, thanks to its low materials cost, the battery could be the first technology to compete in cost and energy density with pumped hydroelectric storage.

    Chiang also states that the battery has a slow discharge rate, and could therefore be used in seasonal storage – an increasingly important concept as solar moves into regions further from the equator, where sunlight levels vary more greatly between seasons.”

    • GoneFishing says:

      Fantastic news. Thanks.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      What GF said!

    • Hightrekker says:

      Lets hope so—-
      Nothing as scaled so far—-
      We are still in a lithium world.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        We are still in a lithium world.

        Yeah, but the march of time goes on…

        Remember when we were in a world of VHS despite Betamax being a better product?

        I’ll bet more than half of all VCR owners never even figured out how to set the blinking clock lights on their machines before the entire technology was completely obsolete. Today we can already stream 3D virtual reality movies from the cloud to our Oculus Rifts… Star Trek Holodecks are probably not all that far off. Just last week I was watching unsuspecting customers take their first 3D VR ride on very wild roller coaster in a little VR shop a couple of blocks from my home. The screams were very real!

        I’m willing to bet that not only will there be huge improvements in lithium battery technology in the near to medium term but there will also be breakthroughs in yet to be discovered battery chemistries that might make this discussion entirely moot.

        • robert wilson says:

          Betamax would only record 1 hour. Worthless for movies. I loved my VCR. Granted the technology was primitive compared to today’s recording devices.

        • Hightrekker says:

          I hope so Fred.
          Battery technology has been the bottleneck.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            There’s always hope that fusion impulse engines powered by deuterium and lithium crystals, well not dilithium but Li6 are just around the corner… 😉

            No, that’s not science fiction. It is actual research.
            Not quite a warp drive and we still have to figure out fusion.

            But to put it in perspective it took over 200 years to build the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris and the universe is in no particular hurry.

            • Hightrekker says:

              True, no hurry—-
              We are a middle age star, that probably peaked in biological diversity.

              But a better battery might be on in the future.

  12. islandboy says:

    1366’s Direct Wafers achieve 20.1% and 20.3% cell efficiencies

    “The simple fact is sawing ingots – whether cast multi or pulled mono – is wasteful and energy intensive,” van Mierlo added. It’s an old process for a modern industry.”

    1366 produced the wafers at its headquarters Bedford, Massachusetts, and Hanwha finished the cell fabrication at Hanwha Q CELLS’ Center for Technology, Innovation, and Quality in Thalheim, Germany. Only five months ago, 1366 had reached a new efficiency record of 19.9% with its technology and reported its first deployment in a 500 MW commercial project in Japan.

    There is still no word on when 1366’s new commercial-scale facility in Upstate New York will be mass-producing wafers. The company notes that it is waiting on a U.S. Department of Energy-backed loan to fund the factory, and but that while waiting, it has “accelerated our plans to build factories in locations around the world and are currently in active positive discussions to do just that”.

    Bold mine. I have been warning that this would happen. IMO this is game changing technology and my bet is that that the Korean partner of 1366 Technologies, Hanwha Q CELLS will probably build a facility in Korea as the first major factory to use the technology. These guys should talk to Elon Musk. If this technology ever gains a foothold in Cina, it will be game over for PV manufacturing in the rest of the world. Here’s why:

    1366 Technologies Aims To Slash Solar Wafer Costs 50% And Make Solar Cheaper Than Coal

    Six by six inch wafers are the basic building block of crystal silicon panels, but without additional modification, they cannot produce electricity. The typical wafer is then etched, which removes a layer of silicon (1366 wafers are pulled from a melt and not subject to the sawing process, so this step is unnecessary) , and then exposed to phosphorus gas at high heat (diffused). Then, blue-purple silicon nitride is added to their top surface (to make them darker and reduce reflectivity). Finally, similar to the silkscreen process used in making T-shirts, metals are printed on both sides of the cell (those little parallel lines one observes when looking closely) to channel the electrons. The wafer is now a solar cell.

    Typical multi-crystalline solar panels contains 60 six-inch cells (in a six by ten configuration), though utility scale panels are now shifting to 72 cells. The interesting thing about the cells is that they are all shaped identically. This means that the less expensive 1366 Technologies wafer can easily be integrated into an existing module – it’s plug and play, and no additional work is needed. The company therefore has access to a fully developed global solar supply chain and simply needs to insert its product into the right spot.

    From a cost perspective, this matters, since – according to 1366 CEO Frank van Mierlo – the wafer represents 40 percent of the overall cost of the module. So a 50% cost reduction can cut the module costs by 20%. With current world module prices (driven largely by enormous Chinese fabs) currently at around 54 cents/watt, this suggests a price cut of over 10 cents per watt.

    Imagine the Chinese manufacturers being able to shave another 20% of their modules!

    • Suyog says:

      Not sure why 1366 is a game changing technology. Solar panels are already very cheap. The bulk of the costs are labor, permitting, marketing, etc. At present the residential cost of installing solar panels are around $3.50 per Watt. If this cost drops by another 10c is it a big deal?

      • islandboy says:

        If you are a customer looking to install a system on your premises, 10c off a $3.50 per Watt cost is not that big a deal. If you are a module manufacturer and can sell your product for 20% less than your competition, it is a huge deal. If you are a wafer manufacturer and can sell your product at half the price of your competitors it is a massively huge deal. This is a US company that has developed this process and wants to use it in a wafer fab in the US. If you noticed, I highlighted the sentence describing the company’s acceleration of ” plans to build factories in locations around the world”. So here we have a process, developed in the US that could give US fabs a significant competitive advantage that is now looking like it is going to be deployed on a large scale elsewhere first. To achieve lower cost in other countries, like China for example, the company would have to take advantage of incentives that provide lower cost real estate, lower taxes and lower energy costs. While the current US administration is screwing itself, there are other countries that will gladly offer whatever incentives they can.

        It is precisely because solar panels have become very cheap that this is a game changing technology. Applying the law of diminishing returns, as the panels have become cheaper it has become more difficult to find ways of trimming costs. At this point, module and wafer manufacturers are lucky to trim of a few percentage points here and there. Here comes a process that almost doubles the output for as given amount of raw material (silicon) and cuts the wafer cost by 50%. At the level of the wafer manufacturer this is a game changer. I am definitely focusing on this from the point of view of the manufacturers. If you want to say that it doesn’t matter which country is the lowest cost producer, then I don’t see how America can be made great again and start winning, using that kind of thinking.

  13. Fred Magyar says:

    Message to coal trolls, in case you didn’t get the memo:

    When Dow Chemical, Koch Industries and US Steel say, supporting coal and nuclear is a bad idea, maybe you should give it up and throw in the towel as well.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article178415311.html

    Dow Chemical, Koch Industries and U.S. Steel Corp. are standing with environmentalists in opposing an Energy Department plan that would reward nuclear and coal-fired power plants for adding reliability to the nation’s power grid and are pressuring the administration to shift course.

    • GoneFishing says:

      It’s pretty bad when the government is worse than Dow Koch and Steel.

    • Boomer II says:

      Coal and nuclear aren’t big enough these days to have much political clout.

      The rah rah coal people don’t seem to understand they are up against the natural gas folks and also utilities that want to modernize.

      This is the kind of thing that distresses me most about the Trump administration. It often advocates for policies that will put the US at a competitive and economic disadvantage.

  14. George Kaplan says:

    Columbia climate centre is back to predicting El Nino conditions with rising probability about nine months out base on their ensemble of models. They did the same about six months ago and it came to nothing then.

    https://iri.columbia.edu/our-expertise/climate/forecasts/enso/current/

    • GoneFishing says:

      Why are people so fixed on small repeatable ocean current changes such as ENSO? Is anybody considering that the overturn rate of the oceans essentially replaces the whole surface of the oceans down to 13 feet each year with cold bottom water? That is 500,000 cubic miles of water that is warmed from about 0C to 30C then chilled again before sinking back down into the depths. That is a 1.85 trillion kwh change. Considerably more energy than the calculated radiative forcing for the planet.
      Any changes in deep ocean circulation could significantly change our climate and a stoppage of the flow would make global warming look rather mediocre.

      • George Kaplan says:

        Because they affect the weather next year.

        • GoneFishing says:

          OK, it’s a weather thing. I still think we should be spending a lot more time and money monitoring OC both surface and deep, there is multiple times more energy involved than in GW.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        “Why are people so fixed on small repeatable ocean current changes such as ENSO?”

        Maybe it’s because global warming is not a linear process since it happens on top of internal variability inherent to climate. Therefore, the better we understand natural processes, the better we can identify the anthropogenic impact on the climate system.

        • GoneFishing says:

          I was simply pointing out something that has much larger energy change ramifications and climate change potential that is not well studied or understood.
          Anthropogenic impacts are taking a backseat to all the feedbacks in the system, many of which are not well defined or barely studied.
          I think ENSO is popular because it is easy to study and has direct links to short term weather.

      • Tom J. says:

        Scientists enjoy studying every little detail about ENSO because it changes so much, year to year, month to month, even day to day. That means a lot of grant money for endless studying is available, despite how virtually everything about ENSO is known enough that the grants only become wasteful to the taxpayers of America.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Hey Tommy Troll! Have you ever ventured outside of your mommy’s basement?! Have you ever been on an airplane and flown overseas? have you ever been in a Turkish bath with naked men?

          You do realize that even if the entire population of the USA were to suddenly be raptured, that 95% of the world’s population, that live in hundreds of other countries which have their own governments, industries, businesses, universities, research centers etc… would still be here and that none of them depend on a single cent from US taxpayers to do their own research.

          I’m sure many of them wouldn’t even miss us. Given that you are probably one of Putin’s, Trump supporting sock puppets, that’s probably what you’d like to have happen.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      According to this information there is a series of studies being released tomorrow in Science, that confirms feedback loops of increased CO2 emissions in various regions of the world due to El Nino weather phenomenon. It seems increased warming and CO2 are not so great for plants after all…

      https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/heat-drought-led-largest-recorded-211700710.html

      Heat and drought led to the largest recorded spike in carbon levels

      Engadget
      Swapna Krishna
      Engadget 12 October 2017

      Heat and drought led to the largest recorded spike in carbon levels
      In 2015 and 2016, NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite recorded spikes in the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.

      In 2015 and 2016, NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite recorded spikes in the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. These were 50 percent larger than expected increases. Now, a series of new studies set to publish tomorrow in Science can tell us why. Eighty percent of the spike, or the equivalent of 2.5 gigatons of carbon, occurred because of natural processes due to drought and high temperatures in South America, Africa and Indonesia.

      Specifically, the increase in carbon dioxide was due to the El Nino weather phenomenon, which scientists have long suspected. But they weren’t able to pinpoint the precise mechanisms that led to the carbon dioxide increase until now. A team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) led by Junjie Liu compared the 2015 data to readings taken in 2011 — a year with a “normal” increase — by the Japanese Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite to figure it out.

      The team found that the temperature and rainfall conditions brought about by El Nino dramatically affected these three regions. In South America, there was severe drought and hotter than normal temperatures because of the weather phenomenon. These conditions led to a lower level of photosynthesis, as trees and plants absorbed less carbon.

      looking forward to seeing the data in the studies.
      .

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Damn non linear dynamics and Chaos math with all those possible tipping points,feedback loops, etc…

        The lorenz attractor was first studied by Ed N. Lorenz, a meteorologist, around 1963. It was derived from a simplified model of convection in the earth’s atmosphere. It also arises naturally in models of lasers and dynamos. The system is most commonly expressed as 3 coupled non-linear differential equations.

        dx / dt = a (y – x)
        dy / dt = x (b – z) – y
        dz / dt = xy – c z

        One commonly used set of constants is a = 10, b = 28, c = 8 / 3. Another is a = 28, b = 46.92, c = 4. “a” is sometimes known as the Prandtl number and “b” the Rayleigh number.

        The series does not form limit cycles nor does it ever reach a steady state. Instead it is an example of deterministic chaos. As with other chaotic systems the Lorenz system is sensitive to the initial conditions, two initial states no matter how close will diverge, usually sooner rather than later.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Those regions have experienced repetitive droughts which makes them sensitive to weather changes. Looks like they may have observed a tipping point in one of the natural feedback systems.

        We need an acceleration of the ocean overturn and some change in cloudiness very quickly to calm down these regional heating events, otherwise more thresholds will be crossed. The whole system seems to be active now from the tropics to the poles.
        Problem is that the odds of a cooling system change happening are rather low without major interference.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Fish — A chaplain providing emotional support to about 250 evacuees at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building said he had no doubt the fires are a symptom of climate change, which is itself a harbinger of the “end times” that several religions believe will usher in a personal or universal age of enlightenment. AGE OF UNIVERSAL ENLIGHTENMENT! Ain’t that cool?

          https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientists-see-climate-change-in-californias-wildfires/

          • Hightrekker says:

            Never take advice from Cabbages For Christ.

          • GoneFishing says:

            But we are in the apocalypse and Age of Enlightenment. Just because some refuse to embrace the knowledge and revelations does not mean that it is not happening. The problem is not knowledge and enlightenment, the problem is lack of action. Action spreads enlightenment plus it holds back the dark and sinister forces.

            I don’t know what these religious experts expect, but the changes need to occur within the framework of reality.

            I started reading A World of Three Zeros. Looks to be worth the read.

  15. islandboy says:

    This Might Just Be A Tesla Semi Mule – Video

    This super-quick electric semi is more than likely a Tesla Semi test mule.

    Yes, it could be any semi right?

    Well, first of all, it’s almost surely electric. You can hear the brakes and other vehicles in the area, but when this “beast” accelerates, it’s not only ridiculously silent, but also crazy fast. Added to this, it has a strange, box-like, concealed area covered by a cloth, which is likely the battery pack. This would be especially true if it’s a test mule since there wouldn’t be a designated area to place and conceal the battery.

    We recently showed you a picture of what many believe is the Tesla Semi prototype. According to Electrek, it was being tested in California in an area that some say Tesla uses for testing. Additionally, Musk did previously state that testing was taking place with a mule. Keep in mind that the mule and the prototype are two different vehicles. In the picture below, you can see what’s believed to be the prototype, on the trailer in the middle. You can see the extended portion on the prototype, which potentially houses the battery pack. However, take a close look at the red box:

    I am interested in the views of anyone who has ever operated anything similar to one of these rigs. The 18 second video below is the “money shot” of the vehicle accelerating from standstill.

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

    OFM maybe?

    • OFM says:

      Hi Islandboy,

      It sure look quick off the line, fer sure fer sure, as they say in the movies. And while the actors in trucking movies don’t talk like most truckers, quite a lot of truckers talk as if they were IN the movies, to amuse themselves. FER SURE, lol. There’s a trucking lingo that’s sort of comparable to cowboy poetry, which is sometimes actually pretty good and almost always entertaining, the cowboy poetry I mean.

      Now that shipping container is probably empty, and some later model conventional tractors with big engines and automatic transmissions are probably about as quick off the line, empty. Maybe. Hard to say. A six hundred horsepower conventional truck will lift the front bumper up eight or ten inches at least, accelerating full throttle off the line pulling a full load, and I don’t see this happening in this video clip.

      And the gears are so closely spaced, and first is so low, that once you floor it with an automatic, the engine STAYS well up into the sweet spot, the most powerful part of the power band, after the first ten feet.

      I’m thinking that the likeliest locations for tractor batteries, meaning several of them, is along the frame rails and underneath the cab and so forth, because that’s where they will be helping the most with lowering the center of gravity and improving traction. My guess is that several smaller batteries will prove to be more practical than just one big one, in terms of getting the optimum access for maintenance and optimum weight distribution and so forth, and this would only require some additional cables, as far as I can see. Weight distribution is critical, because when you cross the scales, you get weighed both for the total weight of the entire rig, and also axle by axle.

      Overload tickets are VERY expensive these days, typically a thousand bucks and up. Mostly WAY up.

      Plus there’s PLENTY of room underneath and along the rails of the trailer itself for additional batteries, if the tractor and trailer are operated as a unit. This is commonly done, but it’s also common to do what’s referred to as hook and drop, meaning to hook to a trailer, move it to a new location, unhook from it, and hook to another trailer and take it someplace, sometimes back to the home base, sometimes across the country.

      If the cost of batteries falls far enough, it’s a foregone conclusion that the trucking industry will switch to a very substantial degree to electrical drive trains, although I personally think there will be plenty of diesel trucks on the road for several decades to come.

      Driving a truck when all you have to do is steer and work the gas and brake pedals is going to take all the fun out of it.

      I’m sort of fond of changing gears and listening to the musical ( to me at least) howl of a Detroit Diesel. My last personally owned real truck sounded almost exactly like this one, because it was equipped with the same make and class of engine, except mine had only eight cylinders and six wheels, but it did have ten forward gears and air brakes and so forth. I did pull an eight wheel trailer with it sometimes, plus I could haul eight tons directly on it, which got me up to fourteen wheels and sixty thousand pounds gross.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yiIbkcQBzI

      We seldom used it more than once a week, but it’s cheaper to own an older big truck and drive it yourself than it is to hire one more than one or two days a month. I could leave a load of lumber or fertilizer right on the truck and use it as needed, PRECISELY WHERE it was needed, for instance, over the next few days, rather than having to unload a hired truck and then reload the cargo on a smaller truck to get it to the precise spots it was needed, etc.

      Truckers like to pretend that driving is a sophisticated profession, but anybody who can chew gum and walk at the same time can learn to drive an eighteen wheeler in a few days,a month at the most, if he has good eyesight and depth perception. You will NEVER learn to back one up in a tight spot except by practicing doing so over a fairly long period of time, and backing competently requires EXCELLENT depth perception because you have to judge distances and clearances fifty feet or more behind you in the mirrors. I never did get to be GOOD at that, myself, but otoh I worked construction, rather than city deliveries, which is where backing makes or breaks you as a driver.

      Driving construction and farming, you usually have plenty of room, and most of the time, you can just LOOK to the rear, because you are using a ” lowboy” or flat bed trailer.

      But I most certainly don’t want to listen to rush hour traffic, lol, and when trucks go silent, the industrialized world will be a much more pleasant place.

      And while newer trucks are still pretty noisy, the noise of the engines is only a minor fraction of what it used to be. There’s no REAL reason a big diesel engine can’t be muffled to run almost as quietly as a car engine, other than it costs a little more to do it, and it cuts slightly into fuel economy and pay load. A hundred pounds of extra exhaust system components means a hundred pounds less payload.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Driving a truck when all you have to do is steer and work the gas and brake pedals is going to take all the fun out of it.

        Imagine when the truck doesn’t even have a steering wheel, gas pedal or brakes anymore and it just uses its GPS and LIDAR navigation system to stay in the convoy at a steady 45 mph between midnight and six AM…

        • GoneFishing says:

          ‘Platoons’ of autonomous Freightliner trucks will drive across Oregon

          https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/25/platoons-of-autonomous-freightliner-trucks-will-drive-across-o/

        • OFM says:

          Hi Fred,

          I give it ten to twenty in terms of reaching twenty percent penetration . Politics will slow down the transition more than the technology.
          What’s your guesstimate?

          • Fred Magyar says:

            What’s your guesstimate?

            My crystal ball is currently in the shop 😉

            But given the ripple effect consequences to the economy of displacing all those truck drivers, my guess is that it will be a highly polarized political battle and not a technical issue.

            The technology is pretty much ready today.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Meanwhile, back on the rails, a head of a major railroad has predicted that freight trains will soon be run by one man instead of two. Another step closer to autonomous rail shipping.

      • scrub puller says:

        Yair . . . .
        I would have thought it relatively simple to electrically power the wheels of the trailer as well as the truck . . . stacks of room for low mounted batteries.

        Diesel powered trailers are used on certain mining road train applications and are utilized as needed . . . pretty mature technology now.

        Chers.

        • OFM says:

          Hi Scrub,

          Plus when you have electrically powered trailer wheels, you get your trailer brakes for free, because you use the wheel motors for regenerative braking. This also means you can use smaller and lighter axles and reduction gears in the tractor differential, get better overall weight distribution and so forth.

          Putting a couple of tons of dead weight directly in the wheels means taking that much off the suspension and frame , meaning the frame and suspension can be lightened up somewhat, and still support the same weight of cargo. So putting a couple of tons of motors in the wheels, rather than supporting it ON the suspension and wheels, means another ton or so of legal load limit cargo.

          More but smaller motors means easier cooling, and less likelihood of a mechanical failure resulting in being unable to make it to the delivery site or back to home base.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Siemens developed in-wheel electric motors years ago.

          • scrub puller says:

            Yair . . . .

            Exactly OFM, there are lots of advantages in looking at the tractor and trailer combination as a part of a ‘system’ rather than a ‘truck’.

            I cannot see the point (apart from customer/driver acceptance) in retaining the standard class 8 bogey drive configuration.

            Possibly fifty percent of the Australian line haul rigs are COE which I realize is not popular in the US.

            Single drive tractors with powered trailer wheels, and sliding battery packs below the deck to ensure correct weight distribution are (to me) a logical means of deploying this technology.

            But of course I thought that too when hydraulic drive first appeared In earthmoving gear. I could see huge advances in the serviceability of machines as engines could be mounted across the frame or in any configuration at all.

            The first six wheel skid steers had the engine/pump assembly on a frame that slid out of the engine bay to give complete access to all components . . . what joy!! I thought, a brave new era of modular easily serviced machines!!

            How bloody wrong I was and we have ended up with abominations from all manufacturers that are nearly impossible to work on and with the growing use of digital and electronic control are becoming so unreliable I have friends who refurbish thirty year old machines rather than take a new machine out bush.

            Lets hope the new era of electric trucks and machinery develops in a more logical manner.

            Cheers.

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            “Plus when you have electrically powered trailer wheels, you get your trailer brakes for free, because you use the wheel motors for regenerative braking”

            Wrong TruckerTrumpster, regenerative braking doesn’t replace the need for standard brakes. Your kidding yourself. There is a reason why vehicles stop in much shorter distances than they accelerate. It’s because your brake system can absorb 5 to 10 times more energy than the engine can produce. Regenerative braking wouldn’t meet the safety standards required. There is a reason a Tesla still has a standard brake system.

            “Putting a couple of tons of dead weight directly in the wheels means taking that much off the suspension and frame , meaning the frame and suspension can be lightened up somewhat, and still support the same weight of cargo.”

            Wrong again TruckerTrumpster, increasing the unstrung weight increases the shock to the frame and decreases the ride quality. Here is the easiest way I can think of for you to understand this and I won’t even talk about how much harsher environment it is on anything mounted to the wheel than to the inter body of the vehicle.

            The idea of the suspension is to minimize the road shock to the load and driver. More than 90% of the vehicles mass is strung and runs parallel with the road as the vehicle travels down the road and the bumps in the road make the wheels go up and down. The more unstrung weight makes the suspension work harder. When the wheel hits a pothole the larger the mass of the wheel sends a the harder shock to the suspension and strung mess. This harder shock to the suspension will require a heavier frame rail. Most broken frame rails are at the front axle rear spring hanger and on off road vehicles.

            • Nick G says:

              I suppose the primary value of regenerative braking in this context is the reduction of wear: in passenger vehicles at least, brakes last 2-3 longer with regen braking. That’s one reason fleet operators (like taxis) like hybrids.

              There have been some attempts to create the equivalent for suspensions, so that the energy of the wheels moving upwards is turned into power instead of friction/heat. In theory that should improve energy efficiency and reduce wear on the suspension.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Hey HB, ever heard of storage? The regen pumps power back into the battery and then when needed will fire up the friction brakes using energy that came from the battery. Much of the braking could be done using regen. Only fast stops and really long steep downhill will need the friction brake application in addition to regen.

              https://www.popsci.com/new-garbage-truck-gets-regenerative-braking

              And from way back in 2009
              Delivery truck hybrid system with regen gets 30 percent mpg improvement
              “We get about 40 percent of our mpg improvement from braking regeneration,” said Mancuso, “Another 40 percent comes from simply having the gas engine run less, and we get about 20 percent savings from the electric power steering.””

              http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/hybrid-electric/reviews/a6339/4307346/

              Large vehicles get the most advantage from regen systems.
              Hydraulic hybrids can capture up to 70% of the kinetic energy where electric regen can recover up to 55% of the kinetic energy.

              • HuntingtonBeach says:

                Hi Fish,

                Yes I have heard of Storage and regenerative braking. I don’t think I’m understanding your point. Trumpster is saying it gives you braking for free but it doesn’t eliminate the cost of friction brakes system because it is still required. Like Nick points out, it can reduce the wear factor.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Hi Island,

      From 1985 to 1992 I sold class 8 tractors for Mack and International. I also had a commercial drivers license during that time.

      The first thing I noticed from the video was the tractor didn’t have a vertical exhaust system. Almost all(99% or more) tractors of this configuration would have a vertical exhaust. It is possible that it could have a under frame exhaust. I also didn’t see any exhaust smoke during it’s acceleration. Again, still not 100% proof. The vehicle did not accelerate like a loaded manual transmission simi either. This is a day cab configuration but still most likely not the style to be an automatic transmission. Think about, how many time have you been behind a simi at a stop light. It’s first 10 mph are very slow to accelerate. It would be common for a driver to have to shift 3 or 4 times before he gets to 10 mph. I didn’t see that either. If the tractor trailer set were empty. The driver could skip every other gear and get a quicker acceleration. I also didn’t notice the front of the tractor rise as the driver releases the clutch. Again, this is more noticeable if the trailer was at gross weight.

      I also noticed the kingpin and fifth wheel are setting farther back on the bogies than normal. It’s hard to tell exactly were the kingpin is on the trailer. But at best it is sitting directly over the bogies(the tractor twin rear axles) and at worst it’s setting behind the center of the bogies. This is important because it determines how much weight is transferred from the trailer to the front axle of the tractor. Setting center over the bogies would transfer no weight to the front axle and if the kingpin is setting behind the center of the bogies. This would mean the trailer is reducing the weight on the front axle. Most tractor trailers have their kingpin set about 12 to 36 inches forward of center of the bogies.

      A diesel engine for a tractor like this tractor weighs about 3000 pound and sets directly over the front axle. From what one reads about EV truck motors. It would be lighter than a diesel engine. This trucks front axle normal empty load weight would be about 7000 pounds and a maximum of 12,000 pound illegal on the road. The covered box behind the cab is setting almost centered between the axles. Meaning half the weight of it is transferred to the front axle and half to the bogies. To make a long story short. For proper weight distributions of this tractor. That covered box behind the cab of the tractor would need to weigh about 10 to 12 thousand pounds.

      It sure looks like a EV tractor to me.

      • OFM says:

        HB obviously knows a few things about trucks, lol.

        If he knew even ten percent as much about politics, he would have supported Sanders.

        There’s zero doubt in my mind that this tractor IS an electrically powered mule or prototype, unless it’s a flat out fake. They say photoshop works like a charm showing it like it ain’t, lol.

        He may be a little behind the times in respect to the popularity of automatic transmissions in commercial trucks. Going to automatics means it’s easier and cheaper to hire drivers.

        The wages paid to dump truck drivers around Richmond Va declined a couple of bucks an hour when automatic transmissions got to be popular, because a zillion out of work or poorly paid women who wouldn’t even think about learning how to use a clutch went for their CDL and went into driving. The state highway department has been buying ten wheeler and smaller trucks exclusively with automatic transmissions for at least twenty years now. Ditto school buses, etc.

        Automatics cost a fortune to repair, but overall, they’re cheaper to buy and run, due to greater fuel efficiency, ease of hiring drivers/operators, greater productivity, etc. Damned near every new construction machine and farm tractor sold these days is an automatic.

      • Lloyd says:

        Hi Beach.
        Just some thoughts based on what little I know about Teslas:
        1)Is it possible this thing is 6 wheel drive?
        2)Tesla car acceleration is tied to monitoring individual wheel traction. I assume that is happening here. What about monitoring weight transfer and tying that to acceleration and gear selection as well?

        -Lloyd

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Hi Lloyd,

          I’m not sure where your located up north, but I hope your not near any of the fires that are going on. The Anaheim fire down here is/was only about 20 mile from me. Tuesday there was white ash all over the car and smoke in some areas of the sky above.

          My guess is that the modifications on this tractor basically stop at the driveshaft. With very little or no changes to the axles. With one single electric motor to power the truck down the road and regenerate the battery under minor braking and slowing. I wouldn’t think it needs a transmission either. But, replacing the diesel engine would mean also adding a new air compressor system to operate the brakes, a system for a/c for the cab and changing the power steering pump to electric.

          From where they placed the battery. I would say this is a very simple prototype. It’s aerodynamics are terrible with the big gap between the cab and trailer. I wouldn’t be surprised if the aerodynamics was a 10 to 20 percent extra energy loss. In time I would expect them to integrate the batteries along the frame rails where the fuel tanks are located. I wouldn’t be surprised by the time EV trucks are road ready for sale. They could be driver less and not need a cab. Most likely the tractor is a 4×6. It could be a 2×6 with a tag axle which would be 1 or 2 percent more efficient. But by looking how the battery is mounted and the aerodynamics I doubt it.

          Road tractors don’t have much traction problems. Off road is about the only place where there is a traction problem for trucks because there is so much weight on the drive axles compared to the hp of the truck. Plus HD trucks really aren’t driven like race cars. Seldom do you even see a 6×6 dump truck and if you do. It’s most likely a municipality or military. If the traction problem is ice. The driver needs to pull over and park. Of course unless your producing a TV show called Ice Road Truckers.

          • Lloyd says:

            Hi Beach.
            I’m in Toronto, so the fires are on the other side of the continent from me. Hope the fire stays at least that 20 miles away from you.
            I’m not really thinking about traction per se: I’m concerned with the amount of power that can be administered at any one time. Tires are a roadblock when you are trying to get huge amounts of horsepower to the road. Dividing the power into a larger number of smaller contact patches, and controlling them with a computer, is how Tesla gets massive, controllable power to the ground in their cars. They know more about this than anybody, as far as I can tell: my guess is that they are judging the weight of the trailer based on the amount of horsepower required on a millisecond by millisecond basis, and that the more independent driving wheels (or axles) they have, the smoother and more efficient the truck will be.

            I just did a little research, and what I found was that according to Tesla, they are using Model S electric motors (rated at 258 horsepower, so they are using more than one), and driving all 6 wheels.

            -Lloyd

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              Lloyd for some reason I thought you were a Northern California guy. My mistake, maybe I got you confused with Hickory. I think he is from Northern California. The Anaheim fire is about the closest brush area to me. It’s almost solid tract homes between myself and any brush area. I should be safe.

              I just googled Tesla Trucks and was surprise to see they think their going to be selling EV trucks in 18 to 24 months. I will still be surprised if they put motors on every wheel. It looks like we will find out soon.

              • Lloyd says:

                Lloyd for some reason I thought you were a Northern California guy.

                There are lots of things worse than being mistaken for a Northern California guy 🙂 .

                But this stuff is actually really cool to think about. Did some more reading, and according to this article (Milling Through the Mire – Tesla Model S Drive Unit Woes http://evtv.me/2014/07/milling-mire/) one of the problems with electric drive trains is that 100% of torque at 0 mph is hard on the gearing. So even though the computer can adjust the amount of torque applied by ramping up gradually, it may be that it makes more sense from a gearbox standpoint to put a motor on each wheel.

                Also, they say that they are using mostly Model 3 parts, and no one has talked about a new gearbox. So my guess is that there are four Model 3 gearbox/motor drive trains, one assigned to each rear driving wheel. The front wheels in such a setup could be driven by a front drive unit from a 4 wheel drive Model S. Total torque could be in the 1800-2000 foot pound range.

                -Lloyd

      • islandboy says:

        Thanks guys! We should look forward to the unveiling of this product, now scheduled for mid November, for more details. The link below is to a 27 second video comparison of a regular class 8 tractor/trailer with a Toyota prototype fuel cell rig, with electric traction motors of course.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od81_2mglRE

        If Tesla’s results in the premium sedan market are anything to go by, this product should be a real game changer in the short haul, class 8 tractor segment. I don’t think Tesla is targeting cross continent applications for this vehicle. It doesn’t make sense. Trains make more sense for long haul applications. I’m sure there is a huge potential market for a “day cab”, short haul truck. A Youtube search for “Toyota Fuel cell truck” brings up as ton of results. Apparently, Toyota developed this prototype specifically for Port of LA drayage operations so, that in itself must be a significant market for them to go through all that is involved in a project like this.

        Disclaimer: I have no financial interests in Tesla. Just a fan.

        edit: I moved this from further up so my thanks encapsulates all the comments.

  16. Fred Magyar says:

    What The Fuck is wrong with Trump and his morons?! This is getting beyond ridiculous!
    How long is this farce of an administration going to be allowed to continue to wreak havoc upon our country and the world?

    https://thinkprogress.org/barry-myers-nomination-2b25958e958e/

    Trump nominates NOAA head staunchly opposed by agency employees
    Trump selects CEO with no science background who wants to privatize weather data.

    It is exceedingly rare for a federal agency’s workers union to formally oppose a nominee to lead their agency — especially before the nomination is even official. It’s even more rare for the nomination to go forward anyway.

    But that’s what happened Wednesday, when President Donald Trump nominated Barry Myers, CEO of weather forecasting company AccuWeather, to serve as administration of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Myers has no scientific background and has lobbied to privatize public weather information.

    Enough of this shit already, does nobody in this government have the spine to do what needs to be done to end this charade? Impeach him, put him in jail, use the 25th amendment, whatever, just do something to get him out of office before he does something we will all regret!

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Vote for Impeachment 2018

    • Hightrekker says:

      Fred-
      Late stage capitalism was never going to be fun.
      Surreal, embarrassing, yes, but not fun.
      The clown bus is going into the ditch.

    • Steven Haner says:

      The United States is one of the only countries in the world where the government agencies in charge of weather and climate data make every last bit of the data freely available to all. This is incredibly shortsighted in light of the cost involved in providing all the data as well as how doing so only serves to increase the nation’s budget deficit that much more. A common sense free-market approach would be to begin charging whatever the market will bear for access to some of the data while also identifying facets which could more efficiently be provided by the private sector.

      I know such action would be met likely with hesitation from the scientific community, as, like all liberal special interest groups, scientists are severely welded to entitlements. However, a rational new economic approach centered on privatization is desperately needed at this point simply to ensure the continued vitality of America.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Ah yes, a libertarian—
        I read Ayn Rand when I was 16, and liked it.
        Being a hero for being a total asshole is cool when you are 16.
        But one can’t be a simpleminded idiot as one ages (unless one continues to be conservative).
        Some of us continue to evolve —

        • OFM says:

          About Ayn Rand,

          If one percent of the people who claim to have read her books, and condemn her for being a right wing idiot are telling the truth about the reading, I will give anybody who can PROVE it to my satisfaction an hour to draw a crowd and kiss their ass in front of the courthouse.

          I have met MAYBE two or three modern day liberals in my LIFE who have actually READ Rand, and can prove it to me by discussing ANY of her books. Face to face, not over the net, where they can research their answers at leisure.

          Now I consider her a nit wit as a philosopher, and that’s about in line with the establishment consensus. I do NOT defend her politics. Her success as a writer lead her to reach her level of incompetence, and exceed it, as a wannabe philosopher, later on. Anybody who does not know about reaching this level should immediately read a little book titled THE PETER PRINCIPLE. It’s hilarious, and it’s relevant and meaningful.

          And her writing style can be enough to choke a horse, tedious, wordy, pretentious at times.

          BUT ……..

          As a philosophical and political NOVELIST, she’s a goddamned genuine twenty four carat GIANTESS, who broke anti utopian ground as a Soviet refugee and who broke a great deal of ground that has since fraudulently been claimed by feminist writers who refuse to recognize that SHE beat them to it by a full generation and longer.

          FOR INSTANCE……… I have never talked to a liberal who condemns Rand who actually fucking knows that THE central character in Atlas Shrugged is DAGNY Taggart. Dagny’s the original woman with cast iron balls who smashes her way right thru the glass ceiling to assume control of an industrial empire. Failure to know that is CONCLUSIVE evidence that the person condemning Rand is just repeating what they’ve heard, and what they WANT TO BELIEVE, and that they are lying about reading the book.

          Dagny is to my knowledge THE first super successful woman who makes it all the way to the top in a highly successful novel to fuck any man she pleased, and she fucked at least three or four in the book, and then publicly say she was PROUD to have done so, rather than hiding in shame.

          Name a well known feminist who has ever ACKNOWLEDGED this PUBLICLY. There may be one, but if so, I missed it. The leftish leaning establishment refuses to credit Rand with her good stuff, because she’s so VERY popular with the rightish establishment.

          And the BIGGEST FUCKING LIE is the one about crooked businessmen taking over ownership of the entire economy, and running it into the ground, because they are piss poor incompetents out to enrich themselves at everybody else’s expense. They aren’t capitalists, out to be free and unfettered. They’re fascists, they’re all about crooked business in cahoots with crooked politicians.

          What these Rand haters NEVER know, in my experience, is that the bums and thieves succeed in ruining the country via POLITICAL alliances with like minded politicians willing to go along with them in order to share the power and the loot, no matter the cost. Trumps, Putin, Maduro types. Banksters who believe in privatized profits and socialized losses.Crooked union guys, ala Hoffa. I know about Hoffa, my Dad was a Teamster for many years.

          Her good guys, such as Hank Reardon, the steel guy who invents a new type of steel, stronger, rust proof, longer wearing, and a far more efficient way to produce ordinary steel, is very much like Elon Musk or the guys who founded Apple, etc, a man who took his industry to new places.

          And in the last analysis, her books are just NOVELS, and should be read and appreciated for WHAT THEY ARE.

          It’s unfortunate that the right wing has made bibles out of them, and that the left wing has therefore reflexively trashed them without ever reading them.

          Now did she get a lot of things ass backward WRONG? SURE.

          But I don’t need to go there, because everybody here has almost for sure heard about what she got WRONG, many times over.

          It’s almost unheard of anywhere outside a Young Republican meeting to hear about what she got RIGHT. The Young Republicans are also guilty of believing her books are about what THEY want to believe.

          • Hightrekker says:

            I agree, she was a entertaining novelist.
            But she was a 50’s novelists, and like Heinlein with Starship Troopers, the smell of authority and capitalism was always present (even a taste of fascism with Heinlein).
            No, I haven’t read Rand since my teens, and my prefrontal cortex was not developed then.

            • OFM says:

              HI Hightrekker,

              I’m sorry I composed my comment so that it can be read as if it were directed at you personally. I didn’t intend it that way.

              One thing that really just pisses the hell out of me is the failure on any and everybody’s part to DISHONESTLY trash people and cultural positions and institutions they don’t like, for partisan reasons.

              Now it’s for damned sure sure that people like Bill Gates and the Apple guys and so on aren’t especially interested in the welfare of the people, when it comes to the way they run their businesses.They take every possible advantage and run out the competition anytime they can. If Rand’s hero’s were real people, they would be doing the same.

              ( Truly some of them are extremely nice about giving away their money to good causes, lol. Even then, they’re as much buying a place in history, maybe, as in being good citizens, but this is not relevant at the moment. )

              I could spend an hour pointing out the flaws in Rand’s novels, easily, and her PHILOSOPHY can be dismissed in an instant as the work of somebody of limited overall intelligence on an ego trip, rather than the work of a deep thinker. Lots of people sell out on the basis of their celebrity in order to REMAIN celebrities, and make some dough as well.

              But she deserves HUGE credit as a novelist, for being among the first and foremost to write SUCCESSFULLY about some topics.

              I trash politicians of any party, when trashing is called for, and I trash my own industry, when trashing is called for. I even point out from time to time that I have relatives that I avoid, publicly and privately. The fact that at least two or three of them are in jail for the long haul makes it easy to avoid those particular ones, lol.

              Bottom line, I go where the evidence leads me, or where I think it leads me. I’m not always be right, but I’m always honest in commenting. When I’m wrong, I want to hear it NOW, so I won’t repeat my mistakes again later.

              • Nick G says:

                That’s a funny idea. I always thought that Rand’s philosophy was what people cared about, not her writing skills, or her ideas about women and sex.

                But…Alan Greenspan was a big fan of her philosophy, and his actions were a significant contributor to the crash of 2007. There’s a rumor that he had a “thing” with her. Maybe that influenced his interest in her philosophy.

                So…maybe sex was the real cause of the crash of ‘o7.

                Wow!

                • robert wilson says:

                  The real “thing” with Ayn Rand involved Nathanial Branden. It resulted in at least two books and a good movie.

                • Hightrekker says:

                  He was a member of her “collective”, obviously a pun and satire on collective action.

          • robert wilson says:

            I can prove I read it. Synopsis: John Galt builds a perpetual motion machine.

      • Bob Frisky says:

        They need to be like the European weather model. Only a small bit is available for free. You want any of the good stuff, you pay. A lot too. But then some people who do pay up provide data for free to others, thanks to private free enterprise. Like this new site I saw the other day on Twitter, https://weather.us/model-charts/euro. No reason NOAA shouldn’t be allowed to license out data for profit too.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        However, a rational new economic approach centered on privatization is desperately needed at this point simply to ensure the continued vitality of America.

        Sure, while we are at it, let’s nominate the head of a successful plumbing business, with a third grade education, to head the A.M.A.

        Or even better, let’s get those plumbers to perform brain surgery on the likes of you, they can’t possibly do any more damage than is already evident…

  17. GoneFishing says:

    Saving the Barrier reef from bleaching by pumping cold water onto it?

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/07/plan-cold-water-barrier-reef-stop-bleaching

    Some of the strange comments below the article include getting retired people in kayaks to hold up umbrellas over the reef and a possibly serious comment about a politician that thinks putting shading netting over the reef will protect it.

    Maybe we should pump up cold water from the ocean depths to save the planet from global warming. 🙂

    • OFM says:

      In a serious vein, I’m interested in reading any articles, freely accessible, and written by real scientists, about the potential effects of global warming on ocean water turnover, and the reciprocal effects on warming.

      It’s easy to find plenty of abc level stuff, the sort of articles that are a page or two long and published in mainstream newpapers and magazines.

      What I’m hoping to find are articles that are meatier, but still within my grasp, the sort that would be used for the basis of a lecture by a visiting professor to the faculty and student body at a decent university.

      Or maybe a book or two on oceanography and climate, written by a serious scientist for people who haven’t taken any courses in these fields, but who are nevertheless technically literate.

      Any and all suggestions are welcome and thanks in advance.

      • Johnny92 says:

        Bruh you need to visit Sci-Hub http://sci-hub.io/. It’s the Pirate Bay for scientific literature, no more paying the stupidly expensive fees to read real science.

        • OFM says:

          Thanks Johnny92.

          I have that link already, but most of the stuff there is actually over my head, when it comes to climate, astronomy, oceanography, etc, since it’s most of it’s stuff written by pro’s for pros. I can read the ag and some of the biology science ok, I know enough to make sense of THAT sort of honest to Jesus research paper, but after fifty years out of U, I just can’t follow complex mathematical and statistical papers written by pros for pros very well. I’m obsolete, lol.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Try this one OFM, it might be up to your level.

        https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/jrt9401.pdf

        • OFM says:

          Thanks, GF

          BINGO,
          Some real meat, but still easily comprehensible to a reasonably literate person without any formal training in the field.

          I think maybe what I need to do is buy a few used intro level text books, especially if they have interactive content that I can use. I’m getting less able to do physical stuff at a scary rate, but I’m thinking I can do skull work for a few years yet, all day long.

          Stay busy if you want to stay alive.

  18. Doug Leighton says:

    NASA CARBON SPACE OBSERVATORY ‘WATCHES EARTH BREATHE’

    “If future climate is more like this recent El Niño, the trouble is the Earth may actually lose some of the carbon removal services we get from these tropical forests, and then CO2 will increase even faster in the atmosphere,” explained Scott Denning, an OCO science team member from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. That would amplify warming…

    The last major El Niño was 1997/8 and that was really just the start of the satellite tropospheric chemistry missions. We’re now sampling a lot of different variables and the real breakthrough comes when you tie all the information together. We’re not quite there yet, but this is a really good start.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41604760

    • GoneFishing says:

      More than four decades later we are not quite there yet.

      For nearly a decade, the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) has been making global observations of phytoplankton productivity. On December 6, 2006, NASA-funded scientists announced that warming sea surface temperatures over the past decade have caused a global decline in phytoplankton productivity.

      “Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere play a big part in global warming,” said lead author Michael Behrenfeld of Oregon State University, Corvallis. “This study shows that as the climate warms, phytoplankton growth rates go down and along with them the amount of carbon dioxide these ocean plants consume. That allows carbon dioxide to accumulate more rapidly in the atmosphere, which would produce more warming.”
      https://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=7187

      And produces less oxygen.

  19. Hightrekker says:

    Trump taps climate skeptic for top White House environmental post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/10/13/trump-taps-climate-skeptic-for-top-white-house-environmental-post/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_ee-harnettwhite-756am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

    Hartnett-White is a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, an organization whose board of directors includes oil industry executives and GOP activists. Koch Industries, an oil-based conglomerate that has funded a variety of libertarian political groups, was among the group’s broad range of original donors.

    From her post at the foundation, Hartnett-White often has challenged the conclusions of international experts on climate change science, as well as criticized the Supreme Court’s 2007 ruling that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are pollutants that can be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

    “I take issue with that,” she told The Post last fall. “Carbon dioxide has none of the characteristics of a pollutant that could harm human health.”

    She has displayed similar contempt for international climate efforts, calling scientific conclusions from United Nations panels “not validated and politically corrupt.” Hartnett-White has also questioned the idea that carbon dioxide is a pollutant at all, calling it “an odorless, invisible, beneficial, and natural gas.”

  20. Hightrekker says:

    Really Bad News:

    On the morning of May 1, for example, Pruitt met at EPA headquarters with the Pebble Limited Partnership. In 2014, citing concerns over the risk of contamination to a valuable sockeye-salmon run, the agency had blocked the Canadian company from building a massive gold, copper and molybdenum mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed.

    Hours after that first meeting, Pruitt met with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who had opposed the Obama administration’s decision. Less than two weeks later, the EPA struck a legal settlement with the partnership that cleared the way for it to apply for federal permits for the operation.

    The Iliamna River has the largest Sockeye Salmon run on Earth, and is a ecological gem that should not be thrown away to the rape and scrape greed heads.

  21. GoneFishing says:

    Referring to the discussion on the oil thread about disruption of transport and energy by 2030, be prepared for at least an additional fast 1C global rise in temperature as we clean up the air.
    Release Smaug, have a sunny day!

    • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

      I’ll believe that when I see it with my own eyes!

      “The oceans will rise 10 to 20 feet by 2010 if we do nothing.”
      –Al Gore, in 1998

      • Survivalist says:

        Al had actually said “in the near future”, not “by 2010”. Check your sources short bus.

        • Hightrekker says:

          “Think of the intelligence of the average person, and then realize 50% of the population is stupider than that”

          -Carlin

    • Fred Magyar says:

      be prepared for at least an additional fast 1C global rise in temperature as we clean up the air.

      Yeah but look on the bright side, no pun intended…

      If we add an additional 1C global temperature rise there will probabaly be more drought and heat in tropical areas of South America, Africa and Asia causing plants to absorb less CO2 and soils to release more CO2 which will probably kill off more trees leading to more CO2 being released and we’ll have bigger forest fires causing lots of smoke and smog and dust storms from all the new deserts and that will cause a pronounced dimming and everything will be back to square one again, the earth is a self correcting system… /sarc!

      Then we won’t have to worry about things like ice sheets in Greenland melting and causing sea level rise or perhaps permafrost melting and releasing vast amounts of methane and causing even more warming or any of the other 100s of possible ecological, geophysical and chemical feedbacks and tipping points that might then be crossed.

      So it will all be just fine, nothing to worry about, and the sun will come out tomorrow, you can bet your bottom dollar…

      Cheers!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNToRJI_oeg
      Keep On The Sunny Side – The Whites – LYRICS

      Edit: See! Here’s more global dimming, be happy don’t worry!

      Brazil’s worst month ever for forest fires blamed on human activity
      Brazil has seen more forest fires in September than in any single month since records began, and authorities have warned that 2017 could surpass the worst year on record due to the expansion of agriculture and a reduction of oversight and surveillance. Lower than average rainfall in this year’s dry season is also an exacerbating factor.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/28/brazil-forest-fires-deforestation-september-record-amazon

      • GoneFishing says:

        I wasn’t feeling bad or worried to begin with, but now I feel so much better. Thanks Fred. Anyway the black carbon and the CO2 warms things, it’s SO2 that cools the planet.
        Maybe, just maybe a fast 1C rise will kick the great sapiens into actually responding to the information and knowledge they have. Or is that asking too much?

        Probably half of the humans are mental and the other half are hiding from them while trying not to agitate. It’s a Mexican standoff combined with a Chinese fire drill at a three legged race. But nature might force us into a photo finish before the March of the Toy Soldiers really gets going (which will disappoint Tony Seba).

  22. Survivalist says:

    Is the 1.5°C target still reachable?

    “In the Paris climate agreement it was agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. There has been a debate whether the ambitious climate change mitigation goal of 1.5 °C is still within reach. This was fueled by a paper by Millar et al (NGS, 2017), which claimed there was still a reasonable carbon budget left to reach this very ambitious goal. Others claim this is already physically impossible.”

    https://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2017/is-the-1-5c-target-still-reachable/

    • GoneFishing says:

      Yes, because we keep moving the comparison baseline forward in time. Now it is up to 1990 and soon will be 2000.

      • Survivalist says:

        If you go to this link and select an 1880 to 1980 baseline we’re up just short of 1.2*C

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

        When one considers all the CO2 put into the atmosphere by humanity since 1750, and then what percentage of that total was put into the atmosphere in the last decade, or two, I’d suggest it indicates a bit of a rapid rise is on the way.

        “With 40 years between cause and effect, it means that average temperatures of the last decade are a result of what we were thoughtlessly putting into the air in the 1960’s. It also means that the true impact of our emissions over the last decade will not be felt until the 2040’s. This thought should send a chill down your spine!”

        https://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Change-The-40-Year-Delay-Between-Cause-and-Effect.html

        A rather dated article. But interesting to consider.
        What’s the latest on climate lag assessments?

        • Raymond Sloop says:

          Back in the 1980 time frame the science was all about the hole in the ozone. They said often on the news we were all going to get sun burned -then we would die- that is if acid rain didn’t get us first. Well maybe you aren’t old enough to remember the panic but I do. So what happened next was puzzling in light of the scientists warnings but the ozone hole fluctuated back to normal, everything was fine, even the acid rain went away. It happened because now we know climate along with many other natural things fluctuate all the time, for that is how we are able to even get mean temperature readings & so on in the first place.

          • George Kaplan says:

            I give you the prize for the biggest load of self-serving, misinformed bollocks I have ever read. The scientists’ findings and politicians acting on their warnings through the Montreal Protocol was what saved the planet from the ozone hole. Ozone depleting chemicals like Freon were removed from refrigerants and aerosols (unfortunately to be replaced in some cases with some extreme greenhouse gasses). Acid rain was removed by adding scrubbers, using cleaner burner technology and switching away from coal and high sulphur fuels in European and American power plants and engines.

            You are a willfully pig-ignorant dumbass (your name’s a good anagram: old moron yaps!)

            • Fred Magyar says:

              I give you the prize for the biggest load of self-serving, misinformed bollocks I have ever read. The scientists’ findings and politicians acting on their warnings through the Montreal Protocol was what saved the planet from the ozone hole.

              Unfortunately the trolls/bots/sock puppets,etc… that infest this site and others like it, are not ignorant at all. They are part and parcel of an insidious targeted agenda! The memes they push here and elsewhere are not just antiscience they are anti humanist and anti western democratic values.

              A good essay by conservative pundit George Will, (of whom I’m not normally a fan), in the Salt Lake Tribune puts his finger firmly on at least the political pulse of the Trump administration role in this agenda. He doesn’t specifically address the antiscience aspects but they are a fundamental part of their bigger picture agenda.

              http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2017/10/15/george-f-will-trump-is-turning-and-turning-in-a-widening-gyre/

              With Trump turning and turning in a widening gyre, his crusade to make America great again is increasingly dominated by people who explicitly repudiate America’s premises. The faux nationalists of the “alt-right” and their fellow travelers like Stephen Bannon, although fixated on protecting America from imported goods, have imported the blood-and-soil ethno-tribalism that stains the continental European right. In “Answering the Alt-Right” in National Affairs quarterly, Ramon Lopez, a University of Chicago Ph.D. candidate in political philosophy, demonstrates how Trump’s election has brought back to the public stage ideas that a post-Lincoln America had slowly but determinedly expunged. They were rejected because they are incompatible with an open society that takes its bearing from the Declaration of Independence’s doctrine of natural rights.
              With their version of the identity politics practiced by progressives, alt-right theorists hold that the tribalism to which people are prone should not be transcended but celebrated. As Lopez explains, the alt-right sees society as inevitably “a zero-sum contest among fundamentally competing identity groups.” Hence the alt-right is explicitly an alternative to Lincoln’s affirmation of the Founders’ vision. They saw America as cohesive because of a shared creed. The alt-right must regard Lincoln as not merely mistaken but absurd in describing America as a creedal nation dedicated to a “proposition.” The alt-right insists that real nationhood requires cultural homogeneity rooted in durable ethnic identities. This is the alt-right’s alternative foundation for the nation Lincoln said was founded on the principle that all people are, by nature, equal.

              Rationalist, science based, humanist and democratic values are anathema to this world view!

              I’ll leave you with a recent TED talk by
              Turkish activist and feminist writer ELIF SHAFAK who also firmly puts her finger on what is going on in the world. She and George Will, admittedly make rather uncomfortable bed fellows, but such is the world we now inhabit.

              https://www.ted.com/talks/elif_shafak_the_revolutionary_power_of_diverse_thought/up-next
              ‘The revolutionary power of diverse thought’

              Now is not the time to ignore world events and especially the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller

              First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
              Because I was not a Socialist.

              Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
              Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

              Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
              Because I was not a Jew.

              Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    • Peggy Hahn says:

      Releasing all these endless doomsday studies at least once a week condemning the planet to Kingdom Come is why you liberals aren’t being taken seriously. For every study ya’ll come up with supposedly proving one thing, ya’ll will have another study by next week supposedly proving some thing completely different. People at this point are understanding just looking out the window has a better ability at proving things about the daily climate conditions.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        For every study ya’ll come up with supposedly proving one thing, ya’ll will have another study by next week supposedly proving some thing completely different.

        Sigh! You obviously don’t understand non-linearity and Chaos Theory.
        Since you don’t want to put in the effort to learn any science or math you should find something more useful to do with your time than hang out here. Maybe you could join a Christian woman’s knitting group…
        https://www.renfrewcf.com/knittingroup
        Who knows, you could even learn to knit pink pussy hats some day…

        On the other hand in case you you might want to grasp some complexity…
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoW77IDEXkc
        High Anxieties – The Mathematics of Chaos – BBC documentary

        • GoneFishing says:

          Randomness and chaos is what makes the universe work. We cause system changes all the time by pushing things past tipping points. At what point does wood start to burn and become ashes and gases? After the match or other heat is applied to push it to an unstable region which then goes into feedback and voila, a fire heats your home or cooks your food, or burns down a large area of forest.
          We change things all the time from one state to another, from one material to another, from one place to another and think it wonderful. So why is anyone surprised that large systems can become unstable and then transform? Are they dunderheads?
          In the case of ecological and climate change, we have been making many dramatic and large scale changes to the systems, yet some appear to think things will not change while others just want to know how long they can get away with it. Then there are the bedtime story believers that the changes will be linear and smooth, with control knobs we can turn. Only a few realize that systems change and keep changing until they come to some new equilibrium, one not easily predictable due to the huge complexity of interactions.

      • George Kaplan says:

        My study says you’ve got your apostrophes fucked up by trying too hard to be the voice of down home wisdom when you don’t actually have a clue what you are talking about.

        • GoneFishing says:

          George, read Patrick F. McManus if you want to understand that most communication happens without a high degree of comprehension and knowledge only gets in the way or gets one ostracized. 🙂

          • Ulenspiegel says:

            Interesting concept, sounds like intellectual S&M.

            In Peggy’s case, today is obviously an M-day.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Nah, not S&M, just makes for good fish stories and saves the guys all that time learning things from books that most people don’t want to hear about.

        • Stephen Hren says:

          Exactly- it’s “y’all” not “ya’ll”. It’s a contraction of the words “you all”. Please don’t pretend to be from the South when you’re obviously not.

      • Bob Nickson says:

        “the daily climate conditions.”

        Commonly known as weather.

      • OFM says:

        Hi Peggy,

        It’s obvious that you don’t realize the true nature of the discussion here.

        We’re like a bunch of physicians and nurses discussing the health of a patient with many different problems, a great many of which may kill him……….. unless something else kills him sooner.

        There’s a chance the patient may live, with a great deal of luck. But in this case, the patient, the EARTH we live on, has already suffered many injuries that will NEVER fully heal, and more bad things are happening to the patient all the time.

        SO………. what we’re arguing about is not whether these injuries are real, but rather how bad they are, whether there’s a possibility of doing something about them, and maybe curing the patient, or ………. how much longer the patient may be with us.

        And when the patient goes………. We go too.

        Now you ‘re either a troll, or like a first grader that’s wandered into a high school level class. If you’re not a troll, you’re in so far over your head you would need remedial everything in order to get into an introductory science class of any sort at a community college.

        The average eighth grader in a decent school knows a LOT more than you do.

  23. islandboy says:

    From down under, courtesy of REneweconomy.com.au:

    Politics be damned – consumers jump aboard the energy revolution

    Australian energy politics might have reached peak stupid, but Australia’s energy revolution – led by innovators and incumbents alike, all focused on delivering smarter, cheaper power – is just hitting its stride. And consumers are getting into it.

    At least, that is the feeling at this year’s All-Energy Australia. In its second day at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the conference has attracted record crowds of more than 10,000 peopleand almost 200 exhibitors.

    The conference projects a sense of unstoppable momentum, underscored by this year’s record solar PV installation rates, booming interest in battery storage and the leaps and bounds made in smart technology and software platforms that are being masterminded by a growing number of “Internet of Things” start-ups.

    And at the centre of it all is the consumer: Australian households and businesses demanding access to the technologies they now know can deliver cheaper power bills and even a more reliable energy supply than what they are getting now.

    So while federal government politicians claim climate change is a good thing, and conservative columnists pedal wild conspiracy theories about new smart grid technologies, everyone else is just getting on with it.

    The last two sentences of the quoted portion of the story below, describes a situation that is the beginning of a phenomenon known as the utility death spiral.

    Australia’s solar juggernaut is coming – quicker than anyone thinks

    It is perhaps not surprising that the fossil fuel industry has hit the panic button and is pushing hard for the Turnbull/Abbott Coalition government to dump the proposed clean energy target and replace it with something that might be called a coal energy target.

    They can see what’s coming – and there is probably no better way to describe it than a solar juggernaut.

    The fact that solar will become the dominant energy source appears to be under no doubt, even the International Energy Agency admits it. And the CSIRO and AEMO appear to be in agreement that even behind the meter solar will account for around half of all demand by the 2040s or 2050s.

    But what if it happened a lot quicker than that? Australia’s grid prices have jumped again to absurdly high levels, and this has lit a fire under the rooftop solar market, which will be followed by a major push by corporate buyers into the large-scale market. The solar sector could boom in ways not previously imagined.

    China halts more than 150 coal-fired power plants

    China is to stop or delay work on 151 planned and under-construction coal plants as Beijing struggles to respond to a flat-lining of demand for coal power.

    The newly released list implements a target announced by premier Li Keqiang in March to stop, delay and close down at least 50,000 megawatts of coal-fired power plant projects in 2017.

    The list affects coal power plants with capacity equal to the combined operating capacity of Germany and Japan (95,000 megawatts) costing around US$60 billion (389 billion rmb).

    The amount of capacity affected hence exceeds the target set for this year but is still well short of the total of 150,000 megawatts the government says is needed by 2020.

    However the number of plants on the list has shrunk by around 15% from an original list of 182; a watering down of earlier plans after intense political negotiations. Also, the majority of the plants are technically only “delayed”, putting off the final decision to cancel the projects.

    Building new coal-fired power plants doesn’t directly increase CO2 emissions, because coal-fired generation in China is limited by lack of demand. But it does create a conflict between dirty and clean energy in the grid, because the grid operators tend to favor coal power plant operators when dispatching electricity.

    Fewer plants hit

    The coal industry bastion of Shanxi has managed to remove 6,000 megawatts of capacity from the list, despite having one of the worst overcapacity situations in the country.

    Construction of coal-fired power plants remains a coveted source of economic activity and of demand for locally mined coal for many provinces but the boom in China’s renewable industry and a slow-down in demand has left China with hundreds of coal plants it doesn’t need.

    Australia would appear to be an indicator of the situation that will arise in locations with a decent amount of sunshine all over the world as the costs of solar PV and storage technology continues to fall. The status quo can fight it all they want but, their demise is inevitable. It remains to be seen what will replace the existing arrangements but, one way or another they will be replaced.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Meanwhile, global human population growth amounts to about 75 million annually, or, almost 10 New Yorks per year. Whoopee, let’s just carpet the planet with PV installations, get rid of all nuisance species and live happily ever after.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Oh yeah, in the first quarter of 2017, excluding some major markets like Iran, the ME, Pakistan, Philippines and a few South American countries, worldwide sales of cars and light commercial vehicles increased almost 5% (according to JATO Dynamics figures, based on their data of 52 markets). That’s a million additional vehicle sales compared to the first quarter of 2016 for a new total of over 21 million in global sales. More roads and fewer wildlife reserves needed post haste .

        • islandboy says:

          Don’t get me wrong! I could come up with lots of articles about pollution, environmental degradation, species loss etc. but I would rather let others do so. There are areas of my little island that I don’t like to visit because they remind of the futility of trying to get people around here to stop breeding like rabbits (at 56 I have no children), as a matter of fact I went to an area last night, just teeming with people having fun. No doubt a few babies might have been conceived last night after all the fun had been had.

          In the late sixties my mother took my siblings and I to spend a year in her homeland, the UK. I remember run the palm of my hands along steel railings as we walked down the street, the sort of thing seven year old children might do to amuse them self. I quickly learned that my hands would end up black from all the soot that had accumulated on everything in London at the time. Earlier this year while I was on a visit to my sister in London I remarked to her husband about one of the reasons for all that soot. From the deck at the back of her terraced flat, every single older building had a stack of chimneys. My brother in law pointed out where all the fireplaces in their house were and described how each occupied room would have a coal fire burning in the fireplace during the winter. For a city the size of London, that was a lot of coal, not to mention the amount that would have been burnt at the likes of the Battersea Power Station on the banks of the River Thames.

          The Battersea Powser Station is being re-purposed as a mall or something but, the shell is being preserved as a historical relic and all the houses have natural gas fired furnaces supplying hot water and space heating. Any soot in London now is probably diesel exhaust or tire dust. I could also see solar PV on the roof of an old factory behind my sisters place that had been redeveloped into residential flats and a on the few overground train trips (most trains in the UK are electric) I took there was the odd PV array here or there. There was even a solar farm in walking distance of a commercial estate that I visited to transact some business. In my three weeks in London I saw two Teslas, three Nissan Leafs, four Nissan e-NV200 (vans based on Leaf batteries and drive train), rode on the new hybrid double decker buses and even took a ride in a 100% battery electric single decker bus. Progress I suppose.

          Yeah, I suppose I tend to post a lot about EVs and renewables but, I rather do that than sit around all day thinking woe is me, all is lost. I don’t need to dwell on the bad stuff. It’s in my face every day when I travel about on the streets.The sheer magnitude of keeping the teeming masses fed, clothed, sheltered and entertained, boggles the mind. That takes us full circle to population but, I don’t see any recognition of the fact that the world is in overshoot from anybody in my neck of the woods and the powers that be are all worshiping at the altar of never ending growth.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Keep posting islandboy, don’t mind Doug too much when he’s in one of his bad moods. He’s actually one of the good guys! Most of us know he is right…

            Sooner or later the population problem, infinite economic growth, private automobile ownership and fossil fuel use will all have to end and, or, be dealt with.

            Hey, 75 million humans is only equivalent to 6.4 São Paulos a year, that’s my home town and anyone who has been there knows that it is patently unsustainable under the current paradigm. But the same is true of most major metropolitan areas anywhere on the planet.

            Cheers!

            • Doug Leighton says:

              “… don’t mind Doug too much when he’s in one of his bad moods…” Bad moods? But I wrote that stuff during one of my good moods man. 🙂

              • Fred Magyar says:

                LOL!
                Hey, for what it is worth, here’s my antidote to just about everything.

                https://www.ted.com/talks/guillaume_nery_the_exhilarating_peace_of_freediving/up-next#t-1135631

                GUILLAUME NÉRY
                The exhilarating peace of freediving

                No, I have never been at 123 m in a free dive but even today at 64 y.o. I can slip down to about 20 m… weather permitting I might take my kayak out for a little free diving tomorrow…

                So, my recommendation to everyone, take a deep breath, forget the surface world, slide beneath the waves and hold it, then try not panic when you come back to the surface. 😉

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  Won’t work, water scares me. At 19 and showing off for a girl on a midnight swim in Hawaii, I ran into a giant jellyfish. Later, in New Zealand, after being assured there were no sharks there, with my new snorkeling gear on, I immediately came face to face with a hammerhead anda short while later a barracuda: took up rock climbing after that which is better suited to a geologist anyway.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    after being assured there were no sharks there,

                    I’ve always been somewhat amused when someone tells me there are no sharks in the ocean…

                    But I drive a car on the highways in South Florida, that’s much scarier than any experience with a shark could ever be.

                  • Hightrekker says:

                    I’ve encounter deep water grey’s and white tips.
                    Had a grey get quite agro on me once.
                    But it separates the men from the boys.

                    Grey reef sharks were the first shark species known to perform a threat display, a stereotypical behavior warning that it is prepared to attack.[3] The display involves a “hunched” posture with characteristically dropped pectoral fins, and an exaggerated, side-to-side swimming motion. Grey reef sharks often do so if they are followed or cornered by divers to indicate they perceive a threat. This species has been responsible for a number of attacks on humans, so should be treated with caution, especially if they begin to display. They are caught in many fisheries and are susceptible to local population depletion due to their low reproduction rate and limited dispersal. As a result, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed this species as Near Threatened.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Agreed! Water can be very relaxing.

                • Hightrekker says:

                  I supported myself in Micronesia as a spear fisherman.
                  Although scuba was useful, free diving was the norm.
                  I did get some resentment from the local islanders, having a Haole Boy off the streets of LA feeding them.

            • islandboy says:

              No worries. I’ve seen enough of Doug’s posts to know that he is definitely not one of the “bad guys”. I don’t suppose being smoked out of your home puts you in the mood for any fairy tale stories! Just wanted to let him know that I do think about all that other stuff and I am well aware of most of the issues but, I just choose to post on stuff I have a particularly keen interest in.

          • GoneFishing says:

            One of the big things we have to contend with up north is the cold. Homes are heated during the winter and the weak point in even a well insulated and sealed home is the window. To give you an idea typical windows are R2 and the ratio of window to wall is on the order of 20% to 30% in many homes. This is not bad if most of it is concentrated to the south and collects solar energy, but this is a rare system.
            Take a well made home with insulated 6 inch walls and R5 foam wrap. In my region the windows will lose up to 6 times more energy than the walls. Even very expensive R8 windows will lose more energy than the walls at the 30 percent ratio.
            Basically we build well sealed homes and then lose most of the heat out the windows. Air conditioning is not nearly as much of a problem since the average summer day is at most 5 to 10 degrees F above comfortable, so not much heat is transmitted through the windows when closed. Awnings can stop sun side heat collection. I see almost no awnings anymore up here, used to be common decades ago. Overhangs are too short also.

            Still a lot of room for improvement, considering many houses are leaky, have R2 windows and only 4 inch insulated walls with no foam insulation on the outside under the siding. Plus they may not have R60 attic insulation.

            If we could update old houses over the next ten years and build all new ones to near zero energy use, the other key use of energy would drop dramatically. Much less demand for energy in the future so the build out of renewables would be less than one might expect.

            http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2015/01/150120-thermos-like-passive-homes-heat-up-in-the-us/

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Here’s a thousand years of building science recording how we have gone from R2 full circle back to R2.
              If you want a good laugh watch from about 1:40 to 4:80…

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkfAcWpOYAA
              Distinguished Lecturer Series: Building Science – Adventures in Building Science

              • GoneFishing says:

                I have watched that and rate it excellent for both presentation and information. He has several other good videos out on different topics relating to building.

      • GoneFishing says:

        “get rid of all the nuisance species” Humans first in that case. 🙂

  24. GoneFishing says:

    There has been a lot of talk about how expensive cars are so I just did a rough calculation of how much time and money a person spends on a car. Then compared it to using Uber.
    Initial cost $30,000
    Loan interest $2,400
    Car insurance $15,000
    Fuel $11,250
    Maintenance and repair $15,000
    Total for 15 years is about $73,650 or about $4910 per year. Make that $5000 per year.

    Typical salary: $55,000 of which maybe $41,250 is take home, making the car cost on average to be 12 percent of the income and 312 hours of time per year which may be close to the time spent in the car. So a car is taking up 624 hours of a person’s time per year.
    To hire an Uber car for that much time (312 hours) and mileage would cost $22,000 per year in the San Francisco area and almost double that in the New York City area. It’s about $11,000 per year out in suburbia. Unless you hit high demand fees which can get very high. That is just driving time and distance. Probably be much cheaper to rent cars than use Uber for trips on weekends and such.

    Looks like personal car ownership is much cheaper and far more convenient than the touted Uber type system is currently. The car services will have to get much cheaper to attract general use. They are competing against $13 a day and a high level of convenience.

    I used 50 mpg in the calculation for fuel and $3 gasoline.

    • OFM says:

      The rock solid but unpleasant truth is that it’s going to be a hell of a long time before most of us here in Yankee Land can change our ways sufficiently to get by without a personal vehicle.

      Cars sure as hell are expensive, but compared to hiring one quite often……. They are DIRT cheap, especially if you drive an older cheaper model.

      My old Escort finally croaked sometime back. Now I’m driving the old family Buick, which was bought well used about twelve years ago for four thousand dollars. It’s been as reliable as any Honda or Toyota, and while it gets only twenty mpg overall on local roads, it costs peanuts for taxes, maintenance and repairs.

      I expect it to last at least another twenty five to fifty thousand miles, no problem, without a major repair being needed. That’s four or five years for me, if I last that long myself.

      Insurance, liability only, is four hundred bucks annually, basically a dollar a day. Other than insurance, I can drive it for no more than twenty five cents a mile with gasoline at two fifty.

      The people who yakety yak continuously about UBER, etc, always run on about all the things you can do while a hired driver drives, such as get laid, read the news, catch up on office work, and so on, but the reality is that most people aren’t in a position to do any of these things except maybe read the news on their phones.

      The VAST majority of us simply don’t have the disposable income to PAY somebody to drive for us frequently. Owning and driving your own car is a LOT cheaper, if you must rack up some serious mileage or lots of individual trips.

      But ten years from now……. When you will just call for a driverless taxi …….. and the taxi company has standardized on one bullet proof make and model that will last a million miles with some minor cosmetic work occasionally such as new carpets and seat covers…………

      THEN the day of the personal automobile will finally be OVER. IF you live where such taxi’s are available.

      Local politics will probably have more to do with WHEN than the technology.

      • GoneFishing says:

        By ten years from now there will be personal vehicles that use 0.1 kWh per mile or less, cost $12,000 and have ranges of 200 to 300 miles. The large niche left at the bottom will be filled by lightweight efficient moderately high tech vehicles that satisfy the need for transport. Automation and 3D printing and AI design will transform most everything we build. Family sized ones will go for $20,000 or less.
        The concept of a car is fairly simple now and electrification has made the drive train extremely simple. Having electronic control over the dual braking system is leading to performance never obtained before. Programming is becoming important as engineering.
        I just read about a Prius owner getting up to 100 mpg on trips (non-plug-in) by adding solar panels on the roof. Can you imagine the efficiency of EV’s with solar included? Some people will never have to charge their cars. In wheel motors plus flash capacitors will make the cars even more efficient and higher performance.

        Maybe by the time I am done driving, most of the cars will be autonomous. But the real winners will be the ones that don’t use any power at all except what they generate on their own and/or from their PV carports. No pollution, no need for a giant fossil fuel or electric grid network, just drive. That will throw off all those futurists calculations. Cars that last up to 40 years and use no energy from civilization. Houses and buildings should be like that too, except last 100 years or more.
        My old Saturn looks like new on the outside, it has a plastic body that never rusts.

        Air conditioning and refrigeration is the next big area with Asia and Africa coming up in the world.
        Of course I am writing this with winter looming around the corner and the lowest solar energy time. I think January around here averages 2.8 kWh per square meter. That is still plentiful but energy management becomes important with the wind blowing and temps sometimes dropping below zero F when those Arctic blasts come down. That is when the insulation becomes really important.

        • GoneFishing says:

          What might have been but wasn’t due to the free market. Size and power over efficiency.
          Automobiles on steroids.
          The results suggest that if weight, horsepower, and torque were held at their 1980 levels, fuel economy for both passenger cars and light trucks could have increased by nearly 60 percent from 1980 to 2006. This is in stark contrast to the 15 percent by which fuel economy actually increased.

          https://dspace.mit.edu/openaccess-disseminate/1721.1/75250

          “I find little fault with the auto manufacturers, because there has been no incentive to put technologies into overall fuel economy. Firms are going to give consumers what they want and if gas prices are low, consumers are going to want big, fast cars.” (Or trucks)

          http://www.hybridcars.com/mit-study-vehicle-weight-gains-have-offset-potential-mpg-improvements-41708/

          • Nick G says:

            “I find little fault with the auto manufacturers

            I find GREAT fault with the car makers. They devoted great effort to reducing and delaying CAFE rules which would have kept efficiency growing. Instead car efficiency plateaued around 1990, and SUV sales boomed (the car makers prevented the closing of the light truck/SUV loophole, and also kept in place the $10k “chicken tax” SUV subsidy).

            I don’t fault producers of harmful goods UNTIL they intervene in the regulatory process in order to maximize their sales. At that point they’re immoral.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Maybe by the time I am done driving, most of the cars will be autonomous. But the real winners will be the ones that don’t use any power at all except what they generate on their own and/or from their PV carports. No pollution, no need for a giant fossil fuel or electric grid network, just drive

          Yup, just check out what the next generation of engineers are up to.
          I really like some of the cars in the Cruiser class.

          https://www.worldsolarchallenge.org/dashboard/timing

          • GoneFishing says:

            Very stylish and fits the bill. I wonder if they use the high efficiency 40% panels in this race.

  25. Survivalist says:

    Economics and Values

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2017/10/11/economics-and-values/

    I quite like ethics. It’s why I find HRC and Trump such horrible people.
    I’ve been thinking for sometime that Sanders was likely the least horrible person out of all the 4 presidential candidates, the 6 D primary candidates, and the 17 R primary candidates.

    The shit seems to rise to the top in America, indeed perhaps everywhere.

    “Take away our political naiveté, our self-assured exceptionalism, and our national character looks bare.”

    https://theintercept.com/2017/10/14/tropic-of-kansas-american-war-el-akkad-book-review/

  26. OFM says:

    http://www.mdmag.com/medical-news/the-impact-of-cannabis-on-public-health

    Any DOCTOR worthy of the title simply HAS to understand that prohibition has never worked, and never will, when otherwise law abiding people want a drink, or a toke.

    And in states where pot has been legalized………. The REAL problem drugs are MUCH less of a problem. Incidentally the ones that ARE problems are mostly prescribed BY ignorant or unethical physicians, who prescribe so many doses to so many people that there’s an AMPLE supply available for the black market.

    ” In states that have legalized marijuana, the rate of deaths due to opioid overdose has decreased by 25%, and in a period where the United States averages 33000 deaths by opioid overdose per year, that number could be reduced by more than 8000 deaths if opioids were substituted by cannabis.”

    Unfortunately it looks as if it will be another ten years or longer before enough old farts who made their minds up forty or fifty years ago that Mary Jane is a BAD GIRL die of old age and quit blocking REAL drug law reform.

    I know several people personally who use pot to help them with chronic pain and other medical issues. Some of them have plenty of money and good insurance coverage as well, but they say a joint works BETTER than any pill they have tried.

    And some of them don’t have the money for an office visit, never mind ANOTHER hundred bucks for a bottle of pills. Mary Jane’s a LOT cheaper.

    • GoneFishing says:

      And another big potential Uh-Oh.
      Yellowstone Supervolcano’s Nasty Surprise: Only Decades To Prepare For An Eruption
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2017/10/11/yellowstone-supervolcanos-nasty-surprise-only-decades-to-prepare-for-eruption/?utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=social&utm_content=1113093859&utm_campaign=sprinklrSciForbes#395ec60314a7

      Now that is some warming we had better keep an eye out for, I mean a thermometer out for.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Might be another one for the UH-OH squad.
        Something might be keeping the ozone layer from healing itself
        https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/10/14/something-might-be-keeping-the-ozone-layer-from-healing-itself/23243496/

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Just a few days ago I read some news story about a plan by NASA to mitigate the potential for a catastrophic eruption by drilling down to the magma and harnessing the heat for geothermal energy generation.

        I was unable to find a link to that recent story but I did find this one:

        http://www.iflscience.com/environment/nasa-drill-yellowstone-supervolcano-order-save-planet/

        Yellowstone National Park (NPS) and its famous supervolcano are in the news a lot recently, and that’s perfectly understandable: It’s been rocked by earthquakes aplenty, and geophysical maps have shown how it’s continuously changing shape. Don’t fret though – the chance of any eruption taking place this year is around one-in-730,000, and even if it did get a bit volcanic, it could just be a slow-moving lava flow.

        Nevertheless, there’s still a good chance that the cauldron could one day trigger another supereruption, which would – among other things – devastate the US, destroy much of the world’s agriculture, trigger an economic collapse, and kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people, mainly through starvation.

        That’s why a team at NASA have come up with a rather audacious plan to actually prevent this from taking place: They’re going to drill into the magma chamber and cool it down.

        My first thought upon reading that, ‘What could possibly go wrong?!’

        Cheesr!

        • Doug Leighton says:

          “That’s why a team at NASA have come up with a rather audacious plan to actually prevent this from taking place: They’re going to drill into the magma chamber and cool it down.”

          Yeah right. Do you have any idea how much thermal energy is contained in a super-volcano’s magma chamber?

          SUPERVOLCANIC ERUPTIONS AS POWERFUL AS 100,000 NUCLEAR BOMBS

          http://www.industrytap.com/supervolcanic-eruptions-as-powerful-as-100000-nuclear-bombs/10038

          • OFM says:

            Can anybody imagine a method that might actually work ?

          • GoneFishing says:

            Hey. a few thousand deep wells and water from Yellowstone lake could power the world!!!! Land of a thousand and one geysers (with turbines attached). What a tourist attraction. Listen to those turbines running, look at all those beautiful power lines folks. Yellowstone will earn it’s keep and some Icelandic company will become really wealthy. There will be at least two dozen jobs too.

            Great care would need to be taken to make sure the drilling process didn’t inadvertently trigger an eruption. Going slowly and approaching the magma chamber from the sides and beneath would be the safest approach, according to Wilcox. And he says it would all be surprisingly feasible.

            https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/scientists-hatch-bold-plan-save-planet-supervolcano-ncna799166

            This gives a whole new meaning to “Aye, the haggis is in the fire for sure.”

            And people said there was no future to geothermal energy. Bahhh.
            And we will all live happily in Happy Valley (at least the happy ones).

            • Fred Magyar says:

              And people said there was no future to geothermal energy. Bahhh.

              Yep and as Doug so aptly remarked above:
              Yeah right. Do you have any idea how much thermal energy is contained in a super-volcano’s magma chamber?

              To which I can only repeat my own comment:

              What could possibly go wrong?!

              If something is gneiss, don’t take it for granite 😉

              • GoneFishing says:

                Be careful Fred, you don’t sound very happy.
                You will not fit into Happy Valley.
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMoNFMJJgW4&t=765s

                All seriousness aside, this seems much more practical than a Mars Colony. You and Doug probably don’t think we have a clue as to what we are doing. That has nothing to do with it. Once the President reads hears about this he will make sure it gets done. He will power America and beyond.
                So no more negative thinking or getting down on one knee, be happy and dance in the streets all day long, or else.

  27. Fred Magyar says:

    In case anyone is interested.

    https://origins.asu.edu/events/climate-change

    Great Debate: Climate Change – The Environmental and Social Consequences, for Mexico and the World

    Date:
    Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – 4:00pm
    Participants:
    Alicia Bárcena, Noam Chomsky, Mario Molina, Dan Schrag, Richard Somerville, Lawrence Krauss

    Join us for our first-ever event in Mexico, to be live-streamed in Spanish and English!

    This event takes place in Mexico City, Mexico. For those who are unable to attend in person, real-time screenings in English and Spanish are being setup in the Phoenix metropolitan area. All Phoenix-area screening times are given in Mountain Standard Time (MST). See below for registration pages for each.

    Climate change presents an unprecedented global challenge for humanity. The physical effects could alter national coastlines and whole agricultural systems, but the societal effects could be even more dramatic, raising questions from the sociopolitical effects of widespread droughts, to the international pressures of massive human migrations. We as a society need to proactively explore both possible challenges and possible solutions.

    The Origins Project Great Debate: Climate Change – The Environmental and Social Consequences, for Mexico and the World, will bring together world experts for a lively, informative, provocative and in-depth discussion of the science of climate change, the problems we may face locally and globally, obstacles to action, and the steps we might take to address these challenges. Join change makers and thought leaders Alicia Bárcena, Dan Schrag, Mario Molina, Noam Chomsky, Richard Somerville, and moderator Lawrence Krauss for this examination of an urgent global challenge for the 21st century, using Mexico as a starting point. We hope this discussion can both inform and empower citizens to help chart a course to a better collective future, for Mexico and the world.

  28. OFM says:

    I occasionally point out that in order to know the truth, you must read a great deal of both left and right wing media, because both sides in the cultural war are disposed to ignore or minimize facts and ideas that don’t mesh well with their respective agendas.

    And when you find that enemies agree on a general point, you can safely bet that the consensus view of any real experts is that the point in question is well understood and settled.

    In scanning the headlines at NR, I ran across this article.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/sponsored?prx_t=oBEDAF3wUAbNUMA

    Most of us here disagree with most or all of the National Review political agenda, but this article is right on the money, with TONS of links to establishment scientific organizations included to prove the point.

    Now it just MIGHT occur to a hard core cynic such as Fred Maygar, or yours truly, that when it suits their agenda, the folks at the NR are perfectly willing to promote their arguments using the work of government and university scientists as proof. Nary a line will you ever find at the NR that indicates the editors there are reluctant to believe in academic and professional scientific organizations so long as their agenda matches the positions of such organizations.

    BUT BUT BUT BUT…… when it comes to something that fails to match, well, all at once the scientific community morphs into a bunch of clowns living on grant money.

    • Hightrekker says:

      “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
      ~ H. L. Mencken, writing for the Baltimore Evening Sun, 26 July 1920

  29. OFM says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/13/can-never-eat-chicken-again-antibiotic-resistance?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=247978&subid=9848135&CMP=GT_US_collection

    This dosing of meat animals from birth to slaughter with antibiotics is a high crime, and one that profits nobody other than the pharma companies that produce the drugs.

    Farmers pass their costs along.

    Meat costs a little more, produced without using these precious drugs, which should be RESERVED for use in sick humans, but we eat too much meat anyway.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Meat costs a little more, produced without using these precious drugs, which should be RESERVED for use in sick humans, but we eat too much meat anyway.

      So eat crickets instead… 😉

      • robert wilson says:

        Controversies involving the use of antibiotics in sick humans has been around for a long time. My bacteriology course at Baylor College of Medicine was in 1952. Our PhD teacher (Professor of Bacteriology) was hysterical about the overuse of antibiotics in patients with viral upper respiratory infections etc. 65 years later my family doc has a wall poster advising her patients that antibiotics are not indicated in some instances.

        • OFM says:

          My biology professors were always FURIOUS about the ag professors advocating the use of antibiotics as supplements in animal feed.

          The ag guys were sort of like Javier, always trying to prove that using antibiotics this way was a desirable practice.

          Fortunately, the ag guys eventually mostly got the message.
          But now it’s almost too late, since we’ve gotten to the point politically and economically that we’re gridlocked.

          I guess we’ve forced along the evolution of all the various microbes more in the last half century or so than Mother Nature has in the last million years.

          I really do wonder if we will have so many super bugs later that a simple operation will be as dangerous as a similar operation prior to the advent of penicillin.

          When trashing is called for, I trash. The agricultural establishment has it’s head up its ass so far it will refuse to see daylight in this respect, but as a I said above, at least the professionals working as researchers and teachers are nowadays generally aware and doing what they can to correct this situation.

          Having said this much, speaking as a realist, I do understand that many tens of millions of people are dependent on cheap chicken, etc, for most of their high quality protein.

          When my apples retail for more per pound than chicken, chicken is a ten to one better nutritional bargain, in terms of the quantity and quality of the nutrients in each.

          This is not to say we don’t need lots of fresh fruit for optimal health outcomes. We DO.

          But protein deficiency is a killer. A dietary shortage of fresh fruit is not much of a problem, by comparison.

          Hopefully someday most people will come t understand that beans and rice , etc, in the right combinations, are adequate and cheaper, and also healthier, compared to eating too much meat.

          But I don’t expect to live to see that day.

  30. Javier says:

    Meanwhile the danger keeps building up at Mount Agung in Bali. Alarm was declared on September 21, and 140,000 people have been evacuated.

    Since October 13, non-harmonic tremors have started to appear. And since October 14, seismographs have been showing powerful rumblings indicative of magma violently flowing into the volcano.

    Agung erupted in 1963, as VEI 5, leading to a global cooling of 0.5°C. Nobody knows what is going to happen with Agung this time, but an eruption appears probable at this point.

    • Javier says:

      “EARTHQUAKE activity from Bali’s Mount Agung has reached its highest level since the volcano came back to life in August.

      The Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation has the volcano at its highest alert level short of an eruption.

      Last weekend there was an earthquake that measured at 4.6 on the Richter scale while almost 1000 smaller tremors a day are also being recorded.

      There are increases in shallow and deep tremors indicating magma is moving upwards.”

      http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/balis-mount-agung-reaches-highest-activity-since-volcano-came-back-to-life/news-story/e4fe54ab6334477c661feeff75642467

    • Javier says:

      Volcanic suppression of Nile summer flooding triggers revolt and constrains interstate conflict in ancient Egypt.

      Joseph G. Manning, Francis Ludlow, Alexander R. Stine, William R. Boos, Michael Sigl & Jennifer R. Marlon
      Nature Communications 8, Article number: 900 (2017)
      https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00957-y

      “Volcanic eruptions provide tests of human and natural system sensitivity to abrupt shocks because their repeated occurrence allows the identification of systematic relationships in the presence of random variability. Here we show a suppression of Nile summer flooding via the radiative and dynamical impacts of explosive volcanism on the African monsoon, using climate model output, ice-core-based volcanic forcing data, Nilometer measurements, and ancient Egyptian writings. We then examine the response of Ptolemaic Egypt (305–30 BCE), one of the best-documented ancient superpowers, to volcanically induced Nile suppression. Eruptions are associated with revolt onset against elite rule, and the cessation of Ptolemaic state warfare with their great rival, the Seleukid Empire. Eruptions are also followed by socioeconomic stress with increased hereditary land sales, and the issuance of priestly decrees to reinforce elite authority. Ptolemaic vulnerability to volcanic eruptions offers a caution for all monsoon-dependent agricultural regions, presently including 70% of world population.”

      The effect of disruptive volcanic eruptions during Ptolemaic Egypt appears to me quite similar to the present effect of strong economic crises leading also to socioeconomic stress. Resource constrain easily turns into class struggle when there is high social inequality.

  31. Hightrekker says:

    THE DEBUG GOD FORMERLY KNOWN AS STEVE GODDARD
    Looking For Work
    Posted on October 1, 2017 by tonyheller

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2017/10/goddard-he-be-de-debug-god.html

  32. OFM says:

    I have long believed and publicly said that the fifties and sixties sit com cultural era is over, that the Leave It to Beaver American cultural norm is fast dying away, and that it will disappear when the last of my generation and enough somewhat younger people finally die off. I’m thinking ten to twenty more years, more like ten than twenty, on a national basis, since so many of us live in big cities now, and so many more of us are getting at least the rudiments of a serious education, etc.

    The really old folks now are grateful if they can get their granddaughters and great granddaughters to go to church once in a while even though they are apt to go, if they do, wearing heels and miniskirts and tight blouses and makeup, lol. The Sunday school teachers still talk about Jonah and whales, and seven days of creation, in the little kids classrooms, but they don’t have a third as much to say about these things these days as they did back when I was a kid. Even the preacher understands that the world is at the very least MILLIONS of years old, rather than six thousand years old. He doesn’t say so of course, but he avoids saying otherwise, just as his grandfather, who was also a preacher, avoided saying the earth is round, a few generations back, although he did understand that the earth does NOT have four corners, lol.

    And he avoids mentioning evolution, because he’s SMART enough to understand that the hundreds of species of larger animals everybody knows about were not mentioned by name in the KJB because the people who wrote it never realized these animals actually exist, and so had zero idea what they look like, etc.

    And claiming they have EVOLVED since Noah’s voyage is no good either, since that admits that evolution must be real, laughing again. So the preachers have learned, and are learning , to avoid these issues, in order to HAVE a congregation, lol. Otherwise, they will have to find new lines of work.

    Now having said all this, I still remind people who don’t know any better that making fun of religious people in public, and that includes on the net, is not helpful if you want the liberalish leftish leaning cultural side to win the culture war. It’s better to talk about them respectfully, and point out the ground they have in common with the leftish cultural wing. There’s PLENTY of common ground.

    And since the environmental issue is more important long term than all other issues combined, well….. we better be hoping the leftish cultural wing wins the culture war, and control of the government.

    In the end, meaning another decade or maybe two, the younger class of voters will dominate the national political scene, and the leftish liberalish leaning faction will win the culture war. There will be some holdout states, and hold out communities even within states such as California and New York, and these states and communities will continue to elect some people to national and state offices, but not very many, compared to today.

    And the ones they DO elect, and will continue to elect, are finding it ever more practical to move to or at least toward the middle, instead of hanging out on the far rightish side of issues such as abortion, gun control, environmental regulation, renewable energy, and so on.

    Here’s some telling if anecdotal evidence about where we’re headed.

    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/oct/16/how-fallon-fell-why-is-the-late-night-host-floundering-in-trumps-america?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=248212&subid=9848135&CMP=GT_US_collection

    Virtually all of my neighbors watch television. Here in the backwoods, two out of three welfare shacks, maybe three out of four or more, have a satellite dish, since the entertainment value of television is insanely high in the case you have little or nothing in the way of other entertainment and distraction from the misery of an impoverished and barren life, other than alcohol and various kinds of dope.

    ( Pot ought to be legal, and dirt cheap. It’s FAR FAR safer than beer, by ANY measure, except the measure of getting arrested for possession or dealing. )

    People who don’t read newspapers, or watch the network news, and that’s most of us these days, are moving to getting a large chunk of what news they DO get from watching shows such as the Tonight Show.

    I didn’t anticipate the idiot box ever really doing anything much for us, politically, until very recently.

    But I ‘m happy to see that television is apparently a largely positive influence on us, in terms of informing the public about what’s what and who is who, politically.

    Television has evidently played an extremely powerful but mostly unrecognized and unappreciated role in helping the women of the world to understand that they don’t HAVE to have one baby after another, that they can limit the number of kids they have, and so live better lives themselves, and provide a better life for the children they do have.

    Brazil seems to be the poster child for this argument, with a few establishment organizations such as National Geographic pointing out the role television apparently played in the dramatic and unexpected drop in birth rates there.

    Maybe the liberalish leaning faction will win control SOONER if it backs off somewhat on some of the hot button issues that piss off and energize the rightish wing ?

    I believe this possibility is worth some serious thought.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      What have we missed? My parents decided a TV set might interfere with my education so we did without; wasted a lot of time reading books, learning foreign languages, pursuing hobbies and getting a lot of outdoor exercise. My wife and I blindly followed suite so our two deprived daughters were also forced to spend time reading books, learning foreign languages, pursuing hobbies and getting a lot of outdoor exercise. Now my Grandchildren are stuck in the same rut. Maybe with a little luck their kids will finally see the light, break the mold, and get a TV. There’s always hope.

      • GoneFishing says:

        TV is an electronic drug for the most part. There are a few honest attempts to impart ideas and even pure entertainment, but for the most part it is a drug. One that engenders dependency instead of addiction.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          I think it’s also a vehicle for the advertising industry. You know, make you unhappy with what you have so you’ll buy more stuff. At least that’s what I’ve heard. 🙂

          • GoneFishing says:

            Yes, they think we actually pay attention to the ads, but people have been skipping over them for years using dvr and even earlier vhs with fast forward. Also the commercial sets got so long, people could wander out to the kitchen and get snacks or do other tasks.

            Although a long time ago I did see a beer commercial, but it made we want to get talking frogs. I think I missed the point. 🙂

      • Cats@Home says:

        TV is old technology these days, something for the baby boomers to use. Now all buzz is with Netflix, with how the subscription #’s have reached a sustainable never ending growth pattern, along with valuation on the stock allowing for $billions to be spent on original content. From the news just today…

        Netflix Adds 5.3 Million Subs in Q3, Beating Forecasts
        By Todd Spangler

        http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/netflix-q3-2017-adds-5-3-million-subscribers-1202591159/

        Netflix kept the streaming train going full-tilt in the third quarter of 2017, adding more subscribers in both the U.S. and abroad than expected.

        The company gained 850,000 streaming subs in the U.S. and 4.45 million overseas in the period. Analysts had estimated Netflix to add 784,000 net subscribers in the U.S. and 3.62 million internationally for Q3.

        “We added a Q3-record 5.3 million memberships globally (up 49% year-over-year) as we continued to benefit from strong appetite for our original series and films, as well as the adoption of internet entertainment across the world,” the company said in announcing the results, noting that it had under-forecast both U.S. and international subscriber growth.

        Shares of Netflix popped to record highs in after-hours trading, up as much as 2.7%, after closing up 1.6% to $202.68 per share before reporting Q3 results.

        Netflix also indicated that its content spending may be even higher next year than previously projected. The company had said it was targeting programming expenditures of $7 billion in 2018; on Monday, Netflix said it will spend between $7 billion and $8 billion on content (on a profit-and-loss basis) next year. For 2017, original content will represent more than 25% of total programming spending, and that “will continue to grow,” Netflix said.

        • Hightrekker says:

          Still, opium for the masses.
          But Chang Rai #4 rather than Budweiser.
          (even google doesn’t know what I’m talking about)

    • Hightrekker says:

      Wouldn’t know—
      Only had a tee vee in the 50’s and early 60’s growing up, and living with a few working class girl friends in the 70’s in LA.

      Did work with some biofeedback researchers from UCLA who could put just about anyone in front of a tee vee in High Alpha in about 90 seconds, and the content broadcasted was of no importance.

      But seeing social progress is a stretch, just s a outside observer.

    • George Kaplan says:

      In terms of birth control I think radio in Africa might have been the most successful media (might have misremember though). I think the Clinton administration sponsored some soap operas that highlighted social issues, especially aimed at women. They were immediately cancelled by Bush. If you can find the old Academic Earth lectures from Yale concerning population (Dr. Wyman – all good) one of them is a guest lecture by the chap who ran the program.

      http://academicearth.org/universities/yale/

      As for TV – I’m pretty sure it made quite a difference to attitudes in Britain in the 60’s and some of what it produced was definitely “art”, maybe still is judging by some of the reviews. And however bad it might be I don’t think it’s in the same category as SmartPhones and social media in terms of mental issues through dopamine addiction, cyber bullying, group think etc.

  33. Hightrekker says:

    Transition update:
    And instead of a moment of cultural awakening we got fracking, a refugee crisis, and an economic recovery that, however false and unsustainable, appeased the upper 20% of knowledge makers and cultural elites who might have provided the leading edge of a broader Transition movement. In response we got the Paris Accords, and then the American withdrawal; we got Brexit, Trump, and a new nationalist movement, even as the global economy stumbles ahead and extreme weather wracks the globe.

    Almost all communities have remained as oil dependent and as unresilient as ever, as have almost all citizens. Even committed Transitioners remain by and large enmeshed in the planet destroying global economy.

    A interesting read:
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-10-16/transition-sacred/

    • GoneFishing says:

      Humans are mostly insane. We have our lucid moments and the few sane ones are confused and aghast at the acts of the rest of humanity.

  34. Doug Leighton says:

    Cool stuff:

    RADIO ‘EYES’ UNLOCKING SECRETS OF NEUTRON-STAR COLLISION

    “The story that now is unfolding is more complete than for any previous event in astronomical history. With information provided by both gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves, which are completely different phenomena, it’s like being able to both see and hear the same event for the first time.”

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171016102825.htm

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Must be all one big hoax, Doug. Get real, gravitational waves? Really? All those scientists just getting rich on endless taxpayer grant money for their useless scientific research…
      😉

      • GoneFishing says:

        That explains the big drive and big money behind space exploration, they want the gold.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          You are right!

          https://phys.org/news/2017-10-astronomers-cosmic-gold-precious-metals.html

          Astronomers strike cosmic gold, confirm origin of precious metals in neutron star mergers

          The first detection of gravitational waves from the cataclysmic merger of two neutron stars, and the observation of visible light in the aftermath of that merger, finally answer a long-standing question in astrophysics: Where do the heaviest elements, ranging from silver and other precious metals to uranium, come from?

          Based on the brightness and color of the light emitted following the merger, which closely match theoretical predictions by University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory physicists, astronomers can now say that the gold or platinum in your wedding ring was in all likelihood forged during the brief but violent merger of two orbiting neutron stars somewhere in the universe.

          Thars GOLD in them there neutron stars!
          Who knows, maybe that will be reason enough for some of the anti science crowd to rethink the funding of things like astronomy… 😉

          • GoneFishing says:

            Carbon and silicon are much more valuable than gold. In fact many of the common elements are much more valuable than gold. Civilization has it’s head up it’s posterior about the value of things, especially the life on this planet and the environment.

  35. OFM says:

    This is old news now, but it bears repetition.

    From the New Yorker

    xxxx

    Bernie Sanders’s Presidential race ended a year ago, but his campaign never did. Since the election, he has staged events in Michigan, Mississippi, Maine, West Virginia, Arizona, Nevada, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Montana, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, and Illinois. At every one, he speaks about the suffering of small-town Americans, and his belief that the Democrats can help them. When I caught up with him recently, his shirt was a little untucked, his head hung down, and he carried a printed copy of his remarks. Sanders was catching a late-night flight to Chicago, and was taking a moment to record a message for Snapchat. The central illusion of a Presidential campaign is that a candidate can, through constant motion and boundless energy, meet countless people and, in the end, give voice to the experience of the country. After the election, Sanders seemed to adopt the illusion as an ethos.

    Hillary Clinton’s loss gave his efforts a new urgency. The electoral map, with its imposing swaths of red, pointed to a crisis confronting American liberalism. Donald Trump may have lost the popular vote, but, as he likes to point out, he won 2,626 counties to Clinton’s four hundred and eighty-seven. Many of these counties are in states that Sanders won last year, campaigning on a platform of economic populism—Medicare for all, tuition-free college, and a fifteen-dollar minimum wage. Sanders told me that Trump was smart enough to understand that the Democratic Party had turned its back on millions of people: “He said, ‘Hey, I hear you. I’m going to do something for you.’ And he lied.” Sanders, who is seventy-five, may be too old to run again in 2020, but his barnstorming has a purpose—to deepen the connection to progressive ideas in rural America, to develop an attachment that might outlast him. At recent events, one of his biggest applause lines was that the “Republicans did not win the election so much as Democrats lost it.” Progressives do not have much of a foothold in this country. What they have is Bernie Sanders.

    xxxx

    These last two sentences need to be repeated over and over and over again.

    At recent events, one of his biggest applause lines was that the “Republicans did not win the election so much as Democrats lost it.” Progressives do not have much of a foothold in this country. What they have is Bernie Sanders.

    You couldn’t get a date in a cat house with a roll of hundred dollar bills if you talked about women the way so many progressives talk about socially conservative people, religious people, people who happen to believe that they have a RIGHT to own weapons, to pray if they want to, etc, without being made the butt of jokes.

    Gratuitously insult a man or a woman’s values, mores, culture, and you might as well forget about ever winning his vote , because he henceforth perceives you as his ENEMY. Deny that he is right about the things he IS right about, and he will go proactive against you, if he hasn’t reached that stage politically already.

    And anybody who denies that we have a debt problem, or a rotten school problem, and a bureaucracy problem, is basically either ignorant or a lying cynic. Anybody who denies that we need a powerful military establishment is a nincompoop.Right? Wrong? It hardly matters, if you call a man a fool or worse for disagreeing with you.

    If you talk to and about him respectfully, you will find that you have PLENTY in common with the rural religious man who loves to hunt and fish has nothing but contempt for people on welfare or artists who submerge a cross in a jar of piss, and can win elections TOGETHER. It takes moving only two or three or at most four or five people from one side of the political scale to the other, out of each hundred voters, to reverse most election results.

    • Hightrekker says:

      The Dims could easily harness this Sanders Energy.
      But, being the corporate whores they are under the current war/neoliberal/WallStreet paradigm, Trump is closer tho their values and interests.
      I don’t see any evidence that they will change.

  36. Javier says:

    From the good climate news department:

    According to NASA sea levels have not increased at all for the past 2 years. Not a single millimeter.
    https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/

    This is particularly good news because it shows that sea level rise is not accelerating. All catastrophic scenarios require that sea level rise accelerates, but so far the acceleration has not been observed despite the constantly increasing atmospheric CO2 levels. Even IPCC projections for a modest 0.3-0.4 meter sea level rise by 2100 require more acceleration than what is being observed.

    Lack of acceleration in sea level rise, Arctic sea ice melting, and temperature increase is one significant problem for the CO2 hypothesis, as they should all be accelerating as CO2 increases, if it is the driving factor.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Natural variability, a very simple explanation.

      There has been variation in the past and this is likely to continue in the future.

      For climate it is long term trends that matter.

      Chart below from

      https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/

      • Javier says:

        Dennis,

        Again as in the case of Arctic sea ice, NO ACCELERATION in the data.

        Linear atmospheric CO2 increase should cause an acceleration of its effects, as it increases the forcing. But atmospheric CO2 has not been increasing linearly, it has been accelerating due to our increasing emissions.

        It is contradictory that the supposed cause is accelerating its rate of increase, but the effect is not.

        One of the main conclusions is that any climate scenario that depends on an acceleration of the effects is unrealistic.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          The forcing goes up roughly linearly with the natural log of atmospheric CO2 and this has been increasing at a linear rate. The sea level will mostly respond to Global temperature which correlates quite well with the natural log of atmospheric CO2 supporting the basic science that suggests this should be the case, there will of course be natural variability as well from volcanic eruptions, changing ocean currents, and solar variability.

          • Javier says:

            Ah Dennis, but Log [CO2] does show significant acceleration, as CO2 does. You just have to join the ends by a straight line to see it. So that explanation is not good. The acceleration in CO2 and log [CO2] is not observed in the supposed effects.

            And you deceive yourself. If a linear rate increase was expected for temperatures and sea level, there would not be any room for catastrophic scenarios. We would be talking about 27 cm of sea level rise by 2100.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          HADsst3 World Sea surface temperature 5 year centered average 1972-2015 (using data from 1970 to 2017).

          https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadsst3/

          Data can be downloaded at link below

          https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadsst3/data/download.html

  37. OFM says:

    I have read a lot of stuff about EMP bombs, and what they could do to a country such as the USA, or any country which is highly industrialized and totally dependent on it’s national electric grid.

    And so far, I everything that I have read that seems credible to me indicates that a successful EMP attack would be disastrous almost beyond description, with the only thing WORSE being a flat out attack with a large number of nukes targeted on all or most of our major cities.

    This article is basically saying the same thing.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/north-korea-emp-attack-could-105719348.html

    So……….. The question is whether anybody here knows enough about this sort of thing to comment based on his own professional expertise.

    I’m thinking that two people who may have such expertise are Doug , who is into astronomy, and WHUT, because he’s a mathematician and into physics.

    I know some retired military people, including a few officers up to the lower middle ranks, and you can take to the bank that (while none of the ones I know are experts in nuclear weapons or technology) , they were taught in training that a successful emp attack COULD BE about as bad as it can get, short of being hit with an actual nuke, or being involved in an actual firefight and losing it.

    It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to have weapons that are hardened against an emp attack when you are dependent, long term, on the civilian economy for everything from fuel to food to replacement parts to ammunition and bandages, and the civilian economy has ceased to exist.

    IF the grid goes down, and stays down for as little as a few days or weeks, life as we know it’s ALL OVER, here in the USA, and any other industrialized country hit by such an attack.

    I might manage to live after such an attack, considering WHERE I live, and my personal assets and skills……. assuming I’m not murdered by people in search of food and totally willing to kill in order to get it.This is not a moral judgement, it’s just a fact. I would do the same, if I were in their situation, with a couple of starving kids and no other way of feeding them.I might even commit murder to feed my own sorry carcass, but I hope I would stop short of that. There’s no way I can know for sure unless I’m put to the test. There are a few people with complimentary skills, and a standing invitation, who know the way here, and might manage to get here, and bring a car load or truck load of goodies with them.

    There’s a lot to be said for owning an old diesel tractor that doesn’t have any electronics, and having a few hundred gallons of diesel and few tons of fertilizer, etc, safely stashed. A plow horse or mule wouldn’t be a bad idea either, but I don’t plan on getting one. In the event, if it happens, there will be plenty of good tractors sitting around, with their owners dead or fled.Security would be THE issue, fuel the second issue, and seed and so forth the third issue , at least for the first few years, for a subsistence level homestead operation if the homesteader is at least casually prepared.

    Declassified documents from the Cold War era tell us that the Pentagon estimated the odds of WWIII at two percent per year. I don’t have a clue as to what the odds are that we might actually be attacked by , or preemptively attack North Korea, but I’m sure of one thing. The odds are not ZERO.

    Now here’s a question. Assuming you have a truck with a computerized engine parked in a prefab metal building, and the computer itself is inside the steel cage that is the cab of the truck, what are the odds that it would still run? The building and cab might serve as makeshift but adequate Faraday cages…….. or might not.

    Suppose you unplugged the computer and disconnected the battery….. would that improve the odds ?

  38. OFM says:

    I have read a lot of stuff about EMP bombs, and what they could do to a country such as the USA, or any country which is highly industrialized and totally dependent on it’s national electric grid.

    And so far, I everything that I have read that seems credible to me indicates that a successful EMP attack would be disastrous almost beyond description, with the only thing WORSE being a flat out attack with a large number of nukes targeted on all or most of our major cities.

    This article is basically saying the same thing.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/north-korea-emp-attack-could-105719348.html

    So……….. The question is whether anybody here knows enough about this sort of thing to comment based on his own professional expertise.

    I’m thinking that two people who may have such expertise are Doug , who is into astronomy, and WHUT, because he’s a mathematician and into physics.

    I know some retired military people, including a few officers up to the lower middle ranks, and you can take to the bank that (while none of the ones I know are experts in nuclear weapons or technology) , they were taught in training that a successful emp attack COULD BE about as bad as it can get, short of being hit with an actual nuke, or being involved in an actual firefight and losing it.

    It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to have weapons that are hardened against an emp attack when you are dependent, long term, on the civilian economy for everything from fuel to food to replacement parts to ammunition and bandages, and the civilian economy has ceased to exist.

    IF the grid goes down, and stays down for as little as a few days or weeks, life as we know it’s ALL OVER, here in the USA, and any other industrialized country hit by such an attack.

    I might manage to live after such an attack, considering WHERE I live, and my personal assets and skills……. assuming I’m not murdered by people in search of food and totally willing to kill in order to get it.This is not a moral judgement, it’s just a fact. I would do the same, if I were in their situation, with a couple of starving kids and no other way of feeding them.I might even commit murder to feed my own sorry carcass, but I hope I would stop short of that. There’s no way I can know for sure unless I’m put to the test. There are a few people with complimentary skills, and a standing invitation, who know the way here, and might manage to get here, and bring a car load or truck load of goodies with them.

    There’s a lot to be said for owning an old diesel tractor that doesn’t have any electronics, and having a few hundred gallons of diesel and few tons of fertilizer, etc, safely stashed. A plow horse or mule wouldn’t be a bad idea either, but I don’t plan on getting one. Having this stuff on hand under my circumstances is just as good as money in the back, better maybe, because the prices of such things generally go up over time, and the bank pays so little interest it’s hardly worth mentioning. In the event, if it happens, there will be plenty of good tractors sitting around, with their owners dead or fled.Security would be THE issue, fuel the second issue, and seed and so forth the third issue , at least for the first few years, for a subsistence level homestead operation if the homesteader is at least casually prepared.

    Declassified documents from the Cold War era tell us that the Pentagon estimated the odds of WWIII at two percent per year. I don’t have a clue as to what the odds are that we might actually be attacked by , or preemptively attack North Korea, but I’m sure of one thing. The odds are not ZERO.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      “I’m thinking that two people who may have such expertise are Doug….”

      OFM, you can cross me off your list since my scant knowledge of astronomy mainly involves magnetohydrodynamic (Alfvén) waves as related to aurora AND the Equation of State as it pertains to (gravitationally bound) neutron stars. Incidentally, Dr Alfvén received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1970 and it was my great privilege to have known him.

    • GoneFishing says:

      OFM, we have been out-maneuvered by an old enemy and it’s not NK. We all know the answer to this.
      No sense in wondering about survivability.

  39. OFM says:

    Good morning GF,

    I find your answer cryptic, mysterious in a sense, and can interpret it many ways. We have SO many ancient and new enemies, starting with our own evolutionary heritage as the oldest one.

    The newest one among the ones that are truly worrisome in my opinion is the Trump administration.

    Which one in particular do you have in mind?

    • GoneFishing says:

      Russia, as far as I can determine, they are the source of the nuclear and EMP technology.

  40. Hightrekker says:

    In a post-truth world, anything goes, including Clintonian mendacity and delusion. Blended with US patriotism and sour grapes, she becomes the ultimate embittered narcissist who cannot admit to deficiency.

    https://dissidentvoice.org/2017/10/vengeful-in-defeat-hillary-clinton-fantasises-about-wikileaks/#more-72925

    To scold and condemn WikiLeaks in this affair is no better than dismissing the person who spots the fire as the arsonist gets away. Citing the efforts of the Kremlin, information bots, and fake news, can only go so far. The building still burns.

    • Lloyd says:

      ” Citing the efforts of the Kremlin, information bots, and fake news, can only go so far. The building still burns.”

      And arson is still arson. To ignore the cause is to be complicit in it’s repetition.

      Both you and the author are cheap apologists who don’t understand the stakes or are willfully trying to mask them.

      • Hightrekker says:

        It is arson.
        But the one who spots it is not the arsonist.
        It is the one commuting arson.
        Podesta was the arsonist.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Hightrekker, your not he one who spotted the arsonist. You and your buddy Trumpster are the wind spreading the fire. Podesta is the brush that got burned and democracy is the house that is burning.

          • Hightrekker says:

            Podesta is the arsonist.
            You are reality adverse.
            Can you face what actually happened?

          • Hightrekker says:

            Bernie and his people have been bitching about super delegates and the huge percentage that have come out for Hillary… We want [Bernie supporters] to go home happy and enthusiastic in working their asses off for Hillary. Why not throw Bernie a bone . . . his people will think they’ve “won” something from the Party Establishment. And it functionally doesn’t make any difference anyway. They win. We don’t lose. Everyone is happy.”
            “I am doing the opposite, repeatedly writing friendly and positive pieces about Bernie as an HRC supporter, and when the time is right I will have money in the bank with him and his people as a liberal to urge them to come out in force to vote for HRC.”
            “Frankly I thought it was dumb for McCaskill and Gutierrez to be attacking Bernie. We are going to need his voters to turn out in November for HRC, he won’t be nominated.”
            “Through internal discussions, we concluded that it was in our interest to: 1) limit the number of debates (and the number in each state); 2) start the debates as late as possible; 3) keep debates out of the busy window between February 1 and February 27, 2016 (Iowa to South Carolina); 4) create a schedule that would allow the later debates to be cancelled if the race is for practical purposes over.”

            Show me your data—

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              Do you need me to help you learn how to use Google ?

              “Hillary Clinton will officially become the Democratic nominee for president this week, at which point we’ll finally close the chapter on the 2016 primaries. But when we look back on the 2016 race, how should we think of it, as a close call or as a blowout? Could a few small changes have made Sanders the nominee — and could a higher-profile candidate such as Elizabeth Warren have beaten Clinton, when Sanders didn’t?

              My view is that the race wasn’t really all that close and that Sanders never really had that much of a chance at winning. From a purely horse-race standpoint, in fact, the media probably exaggerated the competitiveness of the race. But that’s not to diminish Sanders’s accomplishments in terms of what they mean for the Democratic Party after 2016. It’s significant that Sanders in particular — and not Warren or Joe Biden or Martin O’Malley — finished in second place.”

              http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/was-the-democratic-primary-a-close-call-or-a-landslide/

        • Lloyd says:

          Hightrekker, you’re full of shit.
          You’re incapable of devising a logical argument, so you decide to throw in Podesta, when the statement was obviously in response to Russian meddling.

          • Hightrekker says:

            No, he was sabotaging Sanders.
            Are you lacking reading comprehension?

            “Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess. Specifically, DWS [DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz] had to call Bernie directly in order to get the campaign to do things because they’d either ignored or forgotten to something critical.”
            “[Bernie is] someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do.”
            “He isn’t going to be president.”
            “[F]or KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
            “If she outperforms this polling, the Bernie camp will go nuts and allege misconduct. They’ll probably complain regardless, actually.”

            • Trumpster aka KGB agent says:

              From my personal perspective, in terms of my own goals, it hardly matters WHY HRC lost.

              My primary point is that the D party took a huge huge chance on losing by running HRC, because she was the most distrusted and disliked candidate in the history of the modern party, as measured by polling of the voting public.
              As a matter of fact, she was probably the most disliked and distrusted candidate in modern American presidential history, period, except for Trump…….. but the R party did not make the mistake of DELIBERATELY selecting Trump, the R establishment hated his guts, and mostly STILL hates his guts. He HIJACKED the R party.

              HRC took control of the D party over a period of years via old time machine politics. She was the worst, the very worst possible candidate the D’s could run at a time the country wanted CHANGE.

              Trump was able to capitalize on that, while in her insufferable arrogance, HRC went around partying with banksters and gratuitously insulting the very voters that are the CORE of the D party.

              She’s competent, when it comes to cutting deals, but when it comes to understanding the mood of the country, she’s a retard.

              She expected working class people to get out of the way of her carriage, and tug on their forelocks if she happened to glance in their direction by accident.

              She’s a Republican in disguise, in terms of the primary problems in this country today, and working people of this country recognized her as such.

              Now she won the popular vote, that’s true, but by a very slim margin, and a LOT of people voted for her in order to vote AGAINST Trump.

              I will go to my grave firmly believing that ANYBODY else the D’s could have nominated would have won by a land slide.

              She was such an octopus in the middle of the machine, with so many tentacles that she actually scared the entire fucking D establishment so bad, via that control, that nobody else even made a serious effort at RUNNING for the nomination, which is AMPLE evidence that she is exactly what she proclaimed she is not…… the FUCKING ESTABLISHMENT.

              Sanders popularity in very large part came from the same place a very large part of Obama’s popularity came from, as an unknown on the national stage…… the heartfelt contempt of a very large part of the D base to embrace ANYBODY BUT HRC.

              Obama was a pretty good president, taken all around, by comparison to others of recent times. But if it hadn’t been for the desire of SO MANY D party regulars to vote for ANYBODY BUT HRC………. he would have been just another footnote in terms of presidential history, a minor candidate who burnt out early. The fact that HRC OWNED the party appartus put Sanders in the same advantageous position of being the ONLY VIABLE ALTERNATIVE choice for the tens of millions of people who supported him, and still support him.

              Hopefully my comments will convince at least a few Democrats that next time around, they should support a candidate who has a BETTER reputation among the country’s voters considered as a whole.
              That’s my wish.

              • HuntingtonBeach says:

                OldFarmerMac better known as OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster, your the kind of guy who complains and wastes time with your neighbor for buying a 5/8″ garden hose and not a 3/4″ hose as your house burns.

        • Lloyd says:

          Exclusive: Putin’s ‘chef,’ the man behind the troll factory
          http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/17/politics/russian-oligarch-putin-chef-troll-factory/index.html
          “US investigators believe it was Prigozhin’s company that financed a Russian “troll factory” that used social media to spread fake news during the 2016 US presidential campaign, according to multiple officials briefed on the investigation. One part of the factory had a particularly intriguing name and mission: a “Department of Provocations” dedicated to sowing fake news and social divisions in the West, according to internal company documents obtained by CNN.”

          The people who want to stop the investigation of wrongdoing are typically the wrongdoers themselves, or the unsuspecting beneficiaries of the wrongdoing: people who would have lost or failed otherwise, and don’t want to own up to their lack of legitimacy.

  41. GoneFishing says:

    Eight million metric tons of plastic waste each year, much going into the sea and into animal life.
    By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans, study says
    According to the report, worldwide use of plastic has increased 20-fold in the past 50 years, and it is expected to double again in the next 20 years. By 2050, we’ll be making more than three times as much plastic stuff as we did in 2014.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/01/20/by-2050-there-will-be-more-plastic-than-fish-in-the-worlds-oceans-study-says/?utm_term=.69aa4e124130

    “Now look at the fine kettle of plastic you’ve gotten us into.”

  42. Doug Leighton says:

    Fred – Not that I expect you to be surprised:

    WHALES AND DOLPHINS HAVE RICH ‘HUMAN-LIKE’ CULTURES AND SOCIETIES

    “Whales and dolphins (cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects — much like human societies. A major new study has linked the complexity of Cetacean culture and behavior to the size of their brains.”

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171016122201.htm

    • islandboy says:

      I actually think that since dolphin brains are larger than ours, they may well be smarter than us! There was a thread recently, discussing advances in our understanding of how dolphins communicate, implying that their communication is much faster than ours, if I understood correctly.

      I wonder what their response would be if we asked them nicely to try and teach us their “language”. Maybe the more thoughtful and intelligent ones, the equivalent of our Phd.s, would be frustrated by wasting time to try to teach, what they consider a bunch of imbeciles, what to them are simple concepts. The playful ones can find ample time to amuse them self with us and are even willing to let us give them instructions! I have no doubt that they are perfectly capable of understanding our spoken and written communications. Who knows? Maybe they could listen to a digital data transmission and decipher it mentally. If they have superior computing power in their noggins, why not?

      • Doug Leighton says:

        “I actually think that since dolphin brains are larger than ours, they may well be smarter than us!”

        I agree. Humans make the mistake of measuring intelligence relative to their own accomplishments. A dolphin doesn’t need skyscrapers, nuclear weapons, a fridge to keep his fool cold, etc. I’ve often said the same about dogs. Sure I have better eyesight but my dog can smell an order of magnitude more than I can and has access a universe invisible to me: dolphins, more so. And, perhaps a dolphin (or a dog) is God’s Mercedes and we’re just limping Ladas. Maybe we’ll learn to speak dolphin before we’ve hunted them to extinction or poisoned the oceans to the point of being totally uninhabitable.

        • GoneFishing says:

          The complexity of their language is a big indicator of higher intelligence.

      • Javier says:

        “I actually think that since dolphin brains are larger than ours, they may well be smarter than us!”

        It is not actually the size of the brain that matters, as there is some correlation between body size and brain size. The deviation from that correlation, termed the Encephalization quotient gives a better idea of how much brain power mammals have available for intelligence.

        And then there are the exceptions that show we should be cautious before jumping to conclusions. Corvids are known to be highly complex, smart animals, that have very small brains. Not all is size, clearly.

        It is likely that dolphins are smarter than dogs, not so clear that they are smarter than chimpanzees. Thinking that they are smarter than humans is, well, baseless speculation. We might as well think that jellyfish have a huge collective intelligence, but refuse to communicate with us because they consider us so inferior.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        There was a thread recently, discussing advances in our understanding of how dolphins communicate, implying that their communication is much faster than ours, if I understood correctly.

        Well, I wonder. It apparently might have more to do with the comparative duration of dolphin vs human phonemes and the fact that the communication of dolphins occurs in water and of humans in air. Sound travels faster in water than it does in air by a factor of 4.3 times. So one should probably expect different evolutionary pressures to have influenced how dolphin and human languages developed. As any human diver knows the entire human hearing apparatus, which evolved in air, for among other things, to help us locate the direction from which a sound is emanating no longer functions adequately underwater because to our ears it appears that the sounds arrive at both ears simultaneously and we can’t tell from which direction it is originating.

        Here is the link to the full paper that I had previously posted:

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405722316301177

        This excerpted from the Discussion section of the paper:

        We can assume that, unlike humans, dolphins create every word by combining (with repetition) the corresponding spectral extrema (see Fig. 3), i.e., by combining several spectral extrema, different in frequency and level, that they can reliably distinguish, in a wider (by about 40 times) frequency range. Consequently, the spectral extrema of the ‘words’ in the spoken language of the dolphin play the role of phonemes in the human speech. Also unlike the human, the dolphin pronounces all the phonemes of a word simultaneously. Because of this, the duration of an noncoherent pulse is only 0.08–0.60 ms, and its average duration, i.e., the dolphin word, is about 0.25 ms, which is two to three orders of magnitude less than the duration of the phoneme in the human speech. Such a short duration of a word determines the high temporal and spatial (about 37 cm) resolution of the dolphin’s speech. On the other hand, this result indicates a definite advantage of the dolphin hearing over the human one, as dolphins can analyze complex acoustic pulses of shorter duration (by at least 2–3 orders of magnitude) than humans. Thus the NP interpulse intervals substantially longer than the dolphin words (19–300 ms) also vary within a wide range, which apparently improves the robustness of the dolphin’s speech against reverberation. In other words, the dolphin ‘says’ each following word after the reflections from the previous one have attenuated. However, the dolphin’s speech unfortunately lies beyond the time and frequency characteristics of the human hearing, and is thus unavailable to humans. In contrast to the human perception, dolphins hear human speech, as it falls in the low-frequency limit of their hearing but is weakened due to a substantial reflection of the sound energy at the air–water interface.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Yup, my own experience (discussed awhile back) demonstrated one dolphin apparently explaining a complex human experiment to another dolphin. Could it be that we’re on the cusp of a breakthrough in inter-species communication? Almost seems like it.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Tks, will read later but what would surprise me if that turned out not to be the case.
      Anyone who has had even a passing exposure to cetaceans and has taken a comparative anatomy class and has seen a a cetacean brain shouldn’t be too surprised either.
      cheers!

      • Hightrekker says:

        I took people dolphin watching (mainly Japanese) in Guam.
        Dolphin is a general term.
        Spinners? Quite fun, but have had a few get agro (especially males if you get too close in the water with females).

        But there is a dark side, especially with bottlenose dolphins.
        http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160204-cute-and-cuddly-dolphins-are-secretly-murderers

        The spinners would leave when some of these bad boys showed up.
        Not good for the dolphin business.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          “Quite fun, but have had a few get agro (especially males if you get too close in the water with females)”

          Yup, I’ve noticed the same thing happens in a lot of bars when you get too close some guys females. 🙂

        • notanoilman says:

          Not to mention Orcas. Spotted a couple when going out on a diving trip. Should have seen the owner’s face drop with realisation when I explained we would have to abandon diving if the Orcas moved to the dive area.

          NAOM

          • Hightrekker says:

            Orcas are really scary.
            Just look into their eyes—-
            With Global Warming, they are moving into the Arctic Ocean, and our Arctic friends are being hunted .

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Orcas are really scary.
              Just look into their eyes—-

              Have you seen any pictures of Steve Bannon?!

          • scrub puller says:

            Yair . . . .

            “Should have seen the owner’s face drop with realisation when I explained we would have to abandon diving if the Orcas moved to the dive area.”

            Why would that be then?

            • notanoilman says:

              By the time the Orca has realised that the yellow flippered, funny shell on the back seal is not particularly edible…..

              • scrub puller says:

                Yair . . . .

                I don’t think there are any recorded fatalities from normal human interactions with orcas and, in various parts of the world, swimming with them is common.

                An acquaintance speaks of several encounters in NZ and plans to go to Norway where there are organized ‘swimming with orcas’ expeditions.

                Cheers.

                • notanoilman says:

                  I’ve no intentions of being the first. Maybe Norwegian Orcas have a different diet but ours have followed the whales to prey on the young and I don’t want any mistakes made especially when taking our clients down.

                  NAOM

      • Johnny92 says:

        Once more King of the Hill had one of the best portrayals of a subject being discussed here. In this case the intelligence of dolphins and the certain “needs” and “desires” they, just like all mammals, have. If you like these wise cetaceans the episode is S03E16 “Jon Vitti Presents: ‘Return to La Grunta'”. Ho yeah! 😛

        https://youtu.be/ylB6iHCdhL8

    • Hightrekker says:

      Social animals, especially ones that navigate between large and small social groups, have larger frontal cortexes.

  43. GoneFishing says:

    Here is a site with a lot of info about EV motors and discussion of Tesla in particular. Just skip the first comment and move on down the page. One thing that is very clear is “everyone wants to get away from magnets in motors”.

    https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/58236/why-does-a-tesla-car-use-an-ac-motor-instead-of-a-dc-one/58240

  44. Hightrekker says:

    In short, does unfettered capitalism bring forth trillion-ton icebergs?

    “The answer is Yes! Indubitably without a doubt, unfettered capitalism, colloquially known as neoliberalism, impacts tremendous losses of classical bodies of ice. Indeed, the connection is stronger than mere coincidence. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 2,000 when Dr. James Hanson testified before the Senate in 1988:

    Today Dr. James E. Hansen of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration told a Congressional committee that it was 99 percent certain that the warming trend was not a natural variation but was caused by a buildup of carbon dioxide and other artificial gases in the atmosphere.1

    Today, with the DJIA up 10-fold at 22,000 global warming/ice loss tracks along with its own records. According to Earth Observatory, NASA: “How is Today’s Warming Different from the Past? In the past century alone, the temperature has climbed… roughly ten (10) times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.” Thus, the strangest of coincidences as both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and global warming are up 10-fold, although it took the climate more time. Still, hands down, it’s an all-time paleoclimate record for climate change. What used to happen in 5,000 years now only takes decades.

    After all, the planet is handicapped, a big lumbering spinning terrestrial sphere that travels 584,000,000 miles per year around the Sun. Whereas, by way of comparison, high frequency algorithmic automated traders plop down residence within blocks of the New York Stock Exchange to gain an edge over other high frequency traders, accounting for roughly 50% of all stock trading (absurdity upon absurdity w/o economic benefit) like rigged slot machines.”

    https://dissidentvoice.org/2017/10/trillion-ton-icebergs-and-record-stock-prices/#more-72820

  45. Survivalist says:

    Has anyone here heard anything about this idea?

    “Rethinking Global Transportation
    A design capable of out-competing jets, trucks, ships, and rail. That is what Skylite Aeronautics is all about. Our state-of-the-art vehicle—the GeoShip™—will change the way cargo and passengers get from A to Z and points in between. It will help the environment by reducing the burning of fossil fuels, serve communities around the globe, and earn profits while doing it. Learn how this total systems design effort is transforming what is possible.”

    http://www.skylite.aero/geoship/Welcome.html

  46. Doug Leighton says:

    OFM – You seem to be intrigued by this possibility.

    A TECH-DESTROYING SOLAR FLARE COULD HIT EARTH WITHIN 100 YEARS

    “The sun could be one of our biggest threats in the next 100 years. If an enormous solar flare like the one that hit Earth 150 years ago struck us today, it could knock out our electrical grids, satellite communications and the internet. A new study finds that such an event is likely within the next century.”

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2150350-a-tech-destroying-solar-flare-could-hit-earth-within-100-years/

    • OFM says:

      Thanks for that link Doug,

      While I’m especially interested in super flares, because they may be much more likely than we think they are, I ‘m also interested in compiling a list of all the natural events that might wipe us out, and placing these events in the order of their likelihood, to the extent this is possible.

      That list with homespun observations will have a place in my book, if it ever sees daylight, lol.

      Ditto man made events, or the consequences of such events.

      Millions of people, tens of millions of people, spend their lives worrying about things that are VERY unlikely to harm them, while ignoring very real known risks that can be avoided, sometimes very easily.

      For instance I have a friend who is religious about eating only organic foods, and she makes real sacrifices in order to buy organic only for her three kids. Now I fully appreciate that our typical Yankee diet, which is chock full of added salt, sugar, unhealthy fats, and a large number of questionable additives, etc, is SLOW POISON, but there really isn’t any evidence that indicates paying double or triple for organic food is worth the expense and trouble……… compared to a diet consisting of conventionally grown food that is PROPERLY selected , properly processed, and properly prepared.

      It’s for damned sure that she is exposing her kids to a potentially fatal accident every time she takes them someplace in her car, but THAT risk, which is hundreds and probably thousands of times greater than the risk of eating some trace amounts of pesticides, simply fails to register in her thinking.

      We have a pretty good idea what the odds are of being hit by an asteroid. We have a rough idea about how likely it is Yellowstone will erupt. We have various estimates from various professionals concerning the likelihood of another world war.

      But past super flares have proven to be extremely hard to detect in the historical/ geographical/ geological/ biological record, since they leave so few traces. It seems reasonably certain however that we know there have been at least three or four super flares within the last thousand years.

      So maybe the odds of a super flare are as little as one in a thousand in a given year, or as high as one in a hundred. So far as I can tell, nobody really knows.

      If the odds are as high as one in a hundred, or even one in a thousand, we sure as hell ought to be putting some SERIOUS resources into doing whatever can be done to harden our electric grid.

      Personally I don’t have any real idea what’s possible, and within our means, but maybe it would be possible to simply SHUT DOWN most or almost all of the grid if we know a killer flare is about to happen. That would save the heavy transformers, generators, switching equipment and so forth that can be isolated, even though a lot of long distance transmission lines might still fry, depending on the strength of the flare.

      The spares needed to get the grid up again, if it ever goes down in a big way, DO NOT EXIST, and building them within any meaningful time frame once the grid is down will be utterly impossible.

      And even if spares did exist, we probably wouldn’t be able to get them installed in time to prevent the Four Horsemen running wild and killing eighty or ninety percent of us.

      So ……. My guess is that a super flare that could wipe us out is at least as likely as the COMBINED estimated possibilities of a super volcano eruption, an asteroid strike, nuclear WWIII, a super plague that can’t be contained, my hitting the lottery, and a few other things all COMBINED.

      It’s good to see that this issue is beginning to get a little traction in the academic and political world.

      Incidentally, one of the politicians most liberals love to hate the most is Newt Gingrich. He’s probably done more, personally, to get this particular issue taken seriously than any other politician in the country, as far as I can see.

      I mention him to point out that we have more ground in common with our enemies than we realize in most cases.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Since I was involved in many high risk undertakings in my life, I did some studies on the subject. Although the big one off type events get the media attention, it’s usually two or three smaller events or mistakes that lead to a disaster or death.
        Once we get coupled and/or additive events within a similar time frame, it can go downhill very fast. Some people call it running out of luck, I call it inevitable. I think in the Black Swan (if I recall correctly) it was the turkey’s 100th day. One thing tends to lead to another.

        BTW, the organic food people are trying to avoid pesticides, herbicides and other toxic additives . They are trying to avoid biological damage and cancers.

        As far as cars go you have a lifetime chance of less than 1 percent of being killed by a car. Odds are about 13 percent of dying from a heart attack, similar for cancers. Dying of a disease is far higher. In fact death by unintentional poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances is more probable than a car death.

        If you need to drive to survive and to normally operate the family, the odds of bad outcomes if you don’t drive are extremely high.
        Although the people in my area drive very unsafely, they are all so freaking self important and do not consider the consequences of their actions. Still most seem to survive.

        https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-mortality-risk

        Odds are we will live to be fairly old in general but there are no guarantees, major problems can happen and happen fast.
        I think the unknown and uncertain risks are mounting in the world, beside the known ones.

        WWII killed off 3.5% of the world population, more civilians than military in that mix.
        Currently we add almost as many people each year to the population as were killed in all of WWII, just to give you some perspective.

  47. Doug Leighton says:

    On and on it goes:

    NEW AMAZON THREAT? DEFORESTATION FROM MINING

    “The findings come as Brazil’s government considers legislation that would further ease environmental regulations and lift restrictions on mining in protected and indigenous areas. Currently, when companies apply for mining leases, they do not need to account for any damage their operations may cause offsite, researchers say.”

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171018090212.htm

    • GoneFishing says:

      That sucks. Whatever happened to the age of enlightenment?

      • Fred Magyar says:

        The Age of Enlightenment was a couple of centuries ago. We now live in the Age of Morons.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Yes, Bozoism seems to have taken a turn at the wheel, but the enlightenment still proceeds, muted but still alive.

  48. Survivalist says:

    September 2017 was the 4th warmest September on record globally.
    1st/2nd – 2016, 2014
    3rd – 2015
    4th- 2017
    5th – 2013

    https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/news/20171017/

    • George Kaplan says:

      It’s a measure of how bad things might be getting that 4th actually seems like quite good news. The trouble is that from here another El Nino year is going to smash all the 2016 records.

  49. GoneFishing says:

    Looks like CO2 rise has accelerated up to 3 ppm for 2015 and 2016. Was running 2.3 ppm per year last decade. Looks like we are due to cross 500 ppm before 2050. Add on the other GHG’s and we will have doubled by then. That puts a whole new color to the Northern Hemisphere.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/03/13/carbon-dioxide-in-the-atmosphere-is-rising-at-the-fastest-rate-ever-recorded/?utm_term=.9f26e37c7be6

  50. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi all,

    A new post is up by George Kaplan

    http://peakoilbarrel.com/recent-production-colombia-mexico-and-brazil/

    and a new Open Thread- Non-Petroleum as well

    http://peakoilbarrel.com/open-thread-non-petroleum-oct-18-2017/

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