268 Responses to Open Thread Non-petroleum, Oct 4, 2017

  1. OFM says:

    How fast is the renewable energy industry growing?


    “On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency released its latest outlook for renewable energy and made this observation:

    We see renewables growing by about 1,000 gigawatts by 2022, which equals about half of the current global capacity in coal power, which took 80 years to build.

    Let’s adjust those numbers for utilization and say, very roughly, that coal plants produce at just 60 percent of their capacity and renewable sources at just 30 percent. Even then, we are talking about renewable energy with the equivalent of a quarter of the effective capacity of the world’s coal power, which took eight decades to build, switching on within half a decade.”

    Pretty damned fast.

  2. Javier says:

    I usually abstain from political commentary and it is none of my business the US gun control policy, but the enormity of the Las Vegas shooting is something that is difficult to assimilate. Very few Europeans can understand what is going on with guns in the US. As I lived in the US and have personally known people that owned semi-automatic weapons I am in better position than most.

    When somebody wants to kill someone, he doesn’t need a gun. Plenty of methods. When somebody needs a gun for criminal activities he is going to get it in most cases. But it is clear that the less guns people have the better. It is only logical that less guns and less powerful guns is only going to translate on saved lives. The only reasonable policy is that every non-hunting gun should be outlawed. Hunting guns and collection guns should require special permits and restricting conditions. Modification of guns should be absolutely forbidden.

    No other policy is reasonable in a civilized country where the exercise of armed violence is only legal by security forces.

    That this policy is not going to save the lives of a lot of people because a terrorist can kill dozens armed with a truck is no excuse. A person might save his life for not wearing his seat belt if his car is about to fall a cliff and he is able to jump out of the car, but this is no excuse for the thousands of people saved by seat belts every year.

    I can understand people that like guns. I like guns. I’ve always liked them. But I have never owned a gun and I have only used them during the time I spent in the army. I wouldn’t buy a gun even if it was legal. I don’t want them to be legal. I can’t understand the politicians that defend legal ownership of guns and oppose gun control. It is a completely unreasonable position. The US is an anomaly in that respect and the rest of the civilized world is quite astonished by it. Is that some sort of population control stealth measure?

    • WeekendPeak says:

      It’s all about money….. the NRA owns lots of politicians on both sides of the fence who are too afraid to cut off funding to their campaigns, chairmanships etc. That’s all. The lives don’t really matter. Today 95 people died in car accidents. 58 is a drop in the bucket. Money, money money. that is the answer.
      PS ben jij Belgies?

      • Geoff Riley says:

        It’s actually not so much about money as it is about receiving and maintaining an A+ voting record from the NRA. Republicans know that as long as they get A+ grades on gun rights and anti-abortion issues, they can keep winning elections, especially in gerrymandered districts. Meanwhile, the left has simply never been as impressionable to single-issue voting.

    • Alfred says:

      Didn’t some crazed Norwegian kill 77 people in 2011?

      • Ulenspiegel says:

        And? The point you miss is the very high average rate:

        The strange aspect is that the 10 000 gun related deaths in the USA per year, which are NOT suicides, imply a tenfold(!) higher per capita gun related death rate in the USA than in Europe.

        • Longtimber says:

          It’s not about loving guns so much, it’s as much about Government control over the individual, last century 100+ million lives were terminated by governments for what reason? They say that if even 1% of victims in concentration camps had revolted, they would have overwhelmed the Guards and some would have lived.
          Then there is the OATH to the US Constitution – that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC. If you don’t want to defend yourself – you can choose not to. Should fat people or people on SSRI’s have the right to bear arms? State and even local laws superseded the USC on this issue, like or not.

          • Nick G says:

            I have the impression that people who like gun ownership also tend to like the official military. Is that your impression?

            • Hightrekker says:

              “Strong Daddy” people.
              Daddy is always right, and you don’t question Daddy—
              You admire and submit to authority.
              You admire cops and the military.

            • Longtimber says:

              The Soviet Union failed due to over-centralization. Most Nation state military is an example of massive over centralized control. Many gun owners fear overreach by Authorities. Power Distributed is more sustainable.

              • JJHMAN says:

                I love this idea, foundational to the gun culture in the US, that a bunch of yahoos with AK-47s are going to “protect freedom” by standing up to the government. Ya, right.

                All anyone without a real government is able to do with AK-47s is muck everything up and kill a lot of innocents. It’s pretty much that believing that twaddle is reason enough to not let you have a firearm.

              • Nick G says:

                The Soviet Union failed due to over-centralization.

                The Soviet Union failed because they spent all their money on the military, and not on consumer products.

                In other words….they liked guns too much.

          • alimbiquated says:

            > about Government control over the individual

            The bottom line is that Americans care more about wacky ideologies than about people. Otherwise you would be able to say something less abstract.

            The mayhem on the streets of America is “the price of freedom”, because life is cheap in America, and wacky ideologies holy.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        It’s doubtful that you understand what a statistical outlier is. Here’s a study published in The American Journal of Medicine…


        Violent Death Rates: The US Compared with Other High-income OECD Countries, 2010

        Erin Grinshteyn, PhD’ Erin Grinshteyn, PhD David Hemenway, PhD

        US homicide rates were 7.0 times higher than in other high-income countries, driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25.2 times higher. For 15- to 24-year-olds, the gun homicide rate in the United States was 49.0 times higher. Firearm-related suicide rates were 8.0 times higher in the United States, but the overall suicide rates were average. Unintentional firearm deaths were 6.2 times higher in the United States. The overall firearm death rate in the United States from all causes was 10.0 times higher. Ninety percent of women, 91% of children aged 0 to 14 years, 92% of youth aged 15 to 24 years, and 82% of all people killed by firearms were from the United States.

        One crazy Norwegian’s sick act doesn’t change those global statistics!

      • Gerry says:

        Breivik is an outlier not only for gun related murders. Also for terrorist attacks


    • Longtimber says:

      My once a month 10 minute diversion/check out of infowars was a discussion in that it’s time new to distract the sheeple from the pain of day to day struggles, besides Russia mettling… Specifically, it’s time for a shooting, terror attack or an oil spill..

      • islandboy says:

        As an outsider, would I be correct in saying that the paranoia exhibited by the likes of Aex Jones (The Alex Jones Channel) is way “over the top”? I’ve watched a few Youtube videos of Jones and his ilk and to me, their paranoia borders on insanity.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Nah, that’ just how he makes his living. He is still a piece of shit, though!

          • coffeeguyzz says:

            Gentlemen, Ladies …
            For various reasons I refrain from politically-tinged comments on this site.
            However, I feel the need to pass this on as the vast majority of readers are both intelligent and honest, while undoubtedly holding different views from myself.

            Regarding the Las Vegas tragedy …
            After reading an odd comment that there was footage of a man dressed in security attire shooting from a kneeling position into the crowd, I did some searching.
            There are actually many clips posted online that contain this content, but a discerning (or, forewarned) eye is necessary to see it as it happens so quickly.

            It happens just before and after a somewhat familiar scene of a heavy set man wearing a flag-bearing, white tee shirt and white cowboy hat, stumbles onscreen.
            The khaki-clad shooter, wearing a yellow security vest and still holding the weapon in his right hand, looks over his shoulder as he leaves.

    • shallow sand says:

      No doubt gun violence is a serious issue in the US.

      Just google Chicago shootings on Monday and you will routinely see that 30-50 people were shot over the weekend. THIS IS EVERY WEEKEND in one major US city.

      However, I live in a very rural area where many people own many, many guns. Some here truly have aresenals like the guy in the most recent tragedy.

      But people here rarely shoot at others. It happens, but for how many guns there are around here, it doesn’t happen much. Like once maybe every ten years or so in a population of 20K. And the events I am thinking of involved people high on meth.

      I will bet there are almost as many guns as people around here, maybe more.

      So the answer is not just reducing the number of guns, I am afraid. But there is absolutely no reason for machine gun capabilities, high volume clips, etc. I agree with that.

      We have two very serious social problems in the USA. Gun violence and drugs. These two issues need more attention for sure.

      • Bob Nickson says:

        The Guardian really brings it on home with this graphic:


        1,516 mass shootings in 1,735 days:

        The attack at a country music festival in Las Vegas that left at least 58 people dead is the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history – but there were six other mass shootings in America this past week alone.

        No other developed nation comes close to the rate of gun violence in America. Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every adult.
        Data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive reveals a shocking human toll: there is a mass shooting – defined as four or more people shot in one incident, not including the shooter – every nine out of 10 days on average.”

        emphasis mine.

        The graphic really hits hard on the sheer number of wounded at Vegas. They just go on and on.

        • Preston says:

          Yes, unfortunately it’s another example how we no longer live in a democracy.

          Polling shows even majorities of NRA members think background checks should be done, even at “gun shows”. Majorities agree people on the Terrorist watch list shouldn’t be able to buy guns. Majorities agree mentally disabled people with court rulings they need a guardian and can’t even handle their own money shouldn’t be able to buy guns. But what do we get from our government? -new rules allowing the mentally disabled to buy guns, new laws allowing silencers without registration and refunds of taxes paid on them, laws preventing bans based on the terrorist watch list and more.

          They finally had enough in Australia and fixed the problem, it’s not that hard.

        • George Kaplan says:

          A lot of wounded but I think most minor injuries from the crush to escape rather than gun shots.

      • alimbiquated says:

        America needs to spend about twice what it does at least on police. And a lot of that needs to go into proper training.

    • Eulenspiegel says:

      Yes, we can’t really understand that here in Europe.

      If you want only shooting you can go to a club practicing small calibre shooting. These guns are very accurate, but not usable to anything but shooting holes into cardboard. Single manually loaded, small calibre low energy – no massacre possible with these things. Using them as a club would be more effective after the first shot.

      Fortunately, most (not all) thugs don’t use guns here, too.

      The problem in the USA would be to get the gun level (especially in ghetto suburbs) down – that would be a long slow process.

      One additional good thing not having a gun at home: Many people restrain from suicide if there isn’t an easy solution like a gun at hand – driving to a high bridge is a big act if you are in a deep depression, so many people don’t do it and can be helped.

      • Roger Blanchard says:

        Guns give many Americans a sense of power. North America has historically been about exploitation, be it people or the environment. With exploitation comes violence. The U.S. has historically been a violent society and it will continue to be.

        • Gerry says:

          The violence in the “Wild West” was quite different from the myths people believe


          • Hickory says:

            Gerry, I think the Native Americans will tell you that they found the experience of ethnic cleansing to be quite violent.
            Genocide violent.
            Does it get ant more violent than that?

            • Gerry says:

              Exactly that is in the linked article.

              • JJHMAN says:

                I confess to not reading every word of the article but as I read I started to get the impression that the author started out with a message and looked up sources to support it. I kept looking for comparison to pre-Civil War relations with Native Americans. What about the Trail of Tears? Does the author suggest that US expansion all the way to the Mississippi river was done peacefully? Perhaps Americans were brutalized by the war and violence against the natives was enhanced. Maybe. In collusion with capitalists? Maybe. I’m not sure that the acquisitive nature of European culture was swollen after the war.

                And civilian violence? Many of those “land companies” and their “professional gun men” used violence and intimidation to corral grazing land, cattle and other forms of wealth from each other.

  3. Preston says:

    Mach Effects for In Space Propulsion: Interstellar Mission

    Somehow I missed the mach effect thruster, but it sounds pretty cool. It’s similar to the EMDrive and claims to generate reactionless propulsion.

    The idea is a capacitor changes mass when you charge it up. So if you push on the capacitor when it’s heavy and pull on it when it’s light – then you can get a net positive thrust. Not really from a classic Newtonian analysis, you would lose any thrust moving the energy in and out. And the effect would be tiny with the mass change equal to the energy change divided by the speed of light squared.

    BUT, they claim if you do the full general relativity equations it does generate a net force and not all the terms are tiny. Anyway, here is a nice video with NASA’s plans for an Interstellar Mission…



    • Fred Magyar says:

      Without the best that science and technology can offer to a highly creative artist these images would not be possible. Take a look and be amazed! Consider it an antidote to all the anti technology luddites, and anti science trolls out there pushing their small minded agendas on the rest of us.
      Imagine if instead of gambling in Vegas and owning 43 high powered guns Steven Padddock had used his wealth to purchase equipment such as this and decided to shoot pictures of insects instead…



      From the collections of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

      Note: These images are absolutely incredible, like nothing anyone has ever seen before!

      • GoneFishing says:

        Fantastic. Now I can see what they really look like. Amazing creatures. Thanks.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Yeah, insects are truly fascinating.
          This is a cropped picture showing the detail of the antennae that I took of a silk moth using my cellphone camera while in Brazil last year. Very few of us truly appreciate the incredible technologies we all have access to in this day and age!

      • Alfred says:

        From my experience, only small minded people call other people small minded people.


        • Fred Magyar says:

          So what are your interests in life other that being a stupid troll in your mother’s basement? BTW, didn’t you suggest to Peggy Hahn that she put me on ignore for being an atheist? Why don’t you practice what you PREACH, no pun intended, and do yourself a favor by doing the same!

          • Alfred says:

            Youre digging the hole deeper! I thought I was on the ignored list! Guess not. lol

            There is hope for you, but not on this earth. Maybe preaching is what you need instead of a condescending patronizing attitude.

            You are ignored, err… make that ignorant. Like I say, you are a lost cause.


            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              I seem to recall recently mentioning something about ‘mother’s basement’ before Fred’s comment above, and, among other ‘echoes’ and consistencies, my hypothesis is that he does not have me on ignore and that it’s more of a ‘virtue signal’ and/or somesuch polished bullshit.

              In any case, any shmuck might figure out pretty quickly that the ignore button/’snowflake-icon safe space’ might be to their occasional disadvantage, such as if they cannot see what someone is writing about their comments.

      • JN2 says:

        Thanks Fred. Fantastic!

  4. Fred Magyar says:

    Mind you, I have a cheap cellphone and the fact that I can take pictures with it never ceases to amaze me. Took this pict of a little lizard on the hood of my car the other day.

  5. George Kaplan says:

    Stark Evidence: A Warmer World Is Sparking More and Bigger Wildfires

    The increase in forest fires, seen this summer from North America to the Mediterranean to Siberia, is directly linked to climate change, scientists say. And as the world continues to warm, there will be greater risk for fires on nearly every continent.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s last report, in 2014, could only pin down strong evidence of major impacts on forest fires due to climate change in three areas: Alaska, some parts of the Mediterranean, and eastern Africa. But that was a few years ago and, fire researchers argue, it was a conservative view even at the time.


    A lot of details on the wildfire season in BC.

    Yale puts out a lot of good stuff on the environment, and earth and life sciences. Here’s another paper about the spread of the pine bark Beetle:


    • OFM says:

      Hi George,

      The Yale environmental sites are near the top of my booklists, and they’re always on the money.

      Bark beetles are right down my agricultural alley, considering that forestry and timber management are part of my profession, although foresters don’t always see it that way. They like to set themselves off to one side, the way chemists do, but in reality, chemistry is a branch of physics, and forestry is a branch of agriculture, in general terms.

      The general public simply doesn’t have a clue just how bad things are, environmentally already, because the public is basically technically illiterate.

      When I work as a mechanic, and I’m qualified in that trade, and I hear a metallic clunk coming out of an engine that tracks the engine speed, I know the end is near.

      When a doctor sees hears a heart murmur getting worse from one month to the next, he knows his patient’s end is near without drastic interventions that might or might not work.

      The shit is well and truly in the fan already when it comes to bark beetles.

      Neither I nor anybody else knows how long it will be before the next super major pest outbreak occurs, and occurs in a staple crop such as corn or wheat.

      My personal guess, which matches that of numerous specialists, is that the banana will be the first major food to simply disappear in terms of being a cheap mass marketed food, due to the bulk of the industry being standardized on a single cultivar, meaning a single new variant of a pest organism may go thru the industry like grass thru a goose, like bark beetles are going thru the northern forests.

      There’s no way to predict how tough things might get, because as Fred Maygar so often points out, the world is a NON LINEAR place.

      We don’t have much in the way of hard data as to just when and where we will hit critical tipping points that will result in cascades of trouble like an avalanche rushing down a mountain, growing in size and power at an exponential rate, sweeping everything away before it, down to bedrock sometimes.

      I’m not predicting it will happen any particular year, but I’m personally convinced that if I live another decade, or maybe two, I will see climate refugees on the move by the millions.

      Maybe by the tens of millions.

      What the results of such forced migrations might be……….. I can’t say, but we already have political backlash in effect to the point that it is resulting in the election of hard core right winger politicians, and personally I don’t have ANY problem whatsoever understanding the fears that drive working class people to do anything they can , especially something as easily as voting for an anti immigration politician, to stop more people from moving into their country.

      Such fears are quite justified. I know. I come from a working class background, and I fully understand such concepts as elasticity and inelasticity of demand.

      Put ten percent too many unskilled or semi skilled people in line for the number of jobs available, and wages crash, and working class communities start falling apart, and people have to go to flipping burgers at half what they used to make, or on welfare, or start dealing a little pot to help make ends meet………

      And while Nick G is right about automation, I’m also right about the realities of the working class people of this country. I know what motivates them, what they believe in, what they fear, and above all what pisses them off to the point that they extend the middle finger to the BAU Republican Lite D Party establishment.

      And one of the things that REALLY pisses them off is talking down to them, and referring to them as racists, etc.

      • George Kaplan says:

        OFM – we will probably lose the Cavendish banana, but they may come up with something to replace it – lot’s of places are working on it. Before the Cavendish we had the Gros Michel, which was apparently tastier, but got taken out by the same fungus in the 50s (still some around though). There are a couple of thousand varieties of plantain and bananas, some a lot tastier than the Cavendish, which we use mostly because it can be shipped easily in big quantities and, by using all hydrids, they all ripen exactly at the right time on the supermarkets shelves. So I think there is some chance there.

        For some trees we might be fighting a losing battle. In the UK our signature trees – oak, elm and ash – are all under attach from imported parasites and might be on the way out. I think horse chestnuts have already been clobbered in England as well, probably spread to Scotland once i gets warmer. The problem isn’t as noticeable as the swaithes of brown pine trees as the ones in UK, especially the oaks, tend to be solitary trees in parks and fields.

        We already have many refugees here, maybe not classified as climate related yet. It just needs a bad crop somewhere and huge numbers will be on the move (almost certainly heading north in general). Maybe the South Africa drought will be a wake up call – you kind of hope there never is anything bad enough to possibly be a wake up call (even if ignored), but it seems inevitable.

        ps – for interest, the first Cavendish, from which all others come and are nominally identical, was supposed to have been bred at Chatsworth, a famous country house in UK, often used on BBC period drams, though I think there are competing claims from plantations in the West Indies.

        • Hightrekker says:

          We will lose the Cavendish.
          We have many bananas to work with.
          The small Ice Cream bananas are my favorite.


        • OFM says:

          Back to you George,

          You obviously know some stuff.

          Yes, there will be a replacement for the Cavendish.

          There’s a replacement now for the incredibly beautiful and productive chestnut trees that were once one of the most common trees in the eastern hardwood forests here in the USA. The lumber from these trees is or was almost unmatched in terms of durability and work ability. We still have a few fence rails that have been out in the weather for a hundred years now.

          The replacement seedlings cost an arm and a leg, justifiably I will add, due to the cost of producing them.

          It took most of a century to giterdone.

          Fortunately with modern genetic engineering tech, it will be possible to cut the time needed for such work by eighty percent or more in the future.

          Hopefully well intentioned but poorly informed environmentally conscious people won’t manage to delay the use of this tech until it’s too late to scale it up to prevent a fungus from taking out say the south east Asian rice crop for five or ten years by way of a possible example.

          ( As Fred says , supporting the technology does not mean supporting the giant octopus tentacle corporations that currently own it. It should be open source, and public property. )

          There will also be a period of some years between the time today’s commercial banana is wiped out on the grand scale and the time production can be restored using a new variety which may not produce nearly as well, or as cheaply.

          We don’t have stockpiles of food adequate to last thru the loss of a major food crop for a period of years. And if we did, we don’t necessarily have the other material resources and good will necessary to distribute such food over large areas to millions of people with no way to pay for it.

          When I mentally put myself in the shoes of any one of the countless millions of people who depend on bananas for a major portion of their daily calories and a little cash income, it makes the hair stand up on my arms, I get the fight or flight reaction.

          People are going to die by the millions and tens of millions due to forced climate change and invasive species wiping out crops they depend on, within the next few decades, as surely as I am going to die myself.

          And the general public is no more aware of this FACT than it is of the fact that most of our personal health problems here in the rich West are due to our own bad habits.

          We’re damned if we do, long term, in respect to conventional industrial agriculture, and we’re double damned if we don’t, short term.

          Some people refer to such situations as predicaments.

          Hillbillies refer to them as being up shit creek without a paddle.

          As a purely ethical consideration, I of course advocate doing everything we can to help the people who will be hit soonest and hardest survive the hit, but there’s only so much we CAN do.

          As a practical matter, I foresee them migrating by the millions , even if they know they will be up against fences and guns at various national borders.

          Maybe if some super rich person would create a ten year birth control pill, and pay any woman in the parts of the world at the highest risk to take it, or something along this line……..

          Men could be paid to have vasectomies.

          Free solar powered tv sets could be supplied by the tens of millions, and set up to receive from satellites dedicated to broadcasting programming conducive to having few or no children.

          • George Kaplan says:

            If things get bad enough people will always move whatever the risk if they can. There has never been an instance of people just choosing to stay somewhere and starve in-situ; they may of course be kept there by force (e.g. Ukraine, China, India, North Korea famines).

          • Hightrekker says:

            Bananas are one of our most productive crops per land area (along with potatoes).
            On Maui, you can get hundreds of pounds in a small area.

  6. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi Javier,

    You mentioned the following paper


    The paper below seems to contradict the paper linked above.

    On the relationship between stomatal characters and atmospheric CO2 Chantal D. Reid,1 Hafiz Maherali,1,6 Hyrum B. Johnson,2 Stanley D. Smith,3 Stan D. Wullschleger,4 and Robert B. Jackson1,5
    GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 30, NO. 19, 1983, doi:10.1029/2003GL017775, 2003


    • GoneFishing says:

      All that the Stanford paper showed was the change did not happen in four years under controlled conditions.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Gone fishing,

        The subject seems pretty complex as it seems there are multiple factors at play besides simply CO2, including, light, temperature, and water as well as variation in response among different species. Your assessment is correct, a four year controlled experiment was reported.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Exactly, here is a study of many species of plants across altitude changes in their natural environment. Of course CO2 availability changes with altitude but so do other variables.

          When dealing with the past, increased CO2 may or may not imply higher temperature since the sun has increased in output over time. What is significant is climate and altitude. Even moving a few hundred miles north or south or upslope on a mountain can have more effect than CO2 changes. As mentioned in the report, lighting can change with altitude for smaller plants due to living in the understory at lower altitudes vx. open areas at higher altitudes.
          My mountaineering experience showed me that even two thousand feet in altitude can drastically change the rate and height that trees grow. Also soil quality and water availability can be big determiners of how plants respond.

          • OFM says:

            It’s pretty much impossible to grow Christmas trees on my place, commercially.

            Eight hundred to a thousand feet upslope, some of my neighbors grow them without any climate or weather related problems at all, so far, except for drought.

            Eight hundred feed downslope, I can’t grow apples or peaches successfully due to frost problems along the low lying flat land on the stream on my farm.

            What works for Mother Nature won’t necessarily work for food producers. Mother doesn’t need to produce a big excess the way a farmer does.

            Sure apple trees will live and produce SOME fruit in the bottom land, and sure the Christmas trees my neighbors grow will survive on my place, but they don’t flourish.

            And while most of the larger and better known species around here are probably going to make it for at least a while longer, there’s no doubt in my mind that we are losing some of the physically smaller and lesser known ones every year, as their habitat disappears. They don’t have room enough to migrate up slope to survive higher and dryer conditions. They’re already at their limit, or very close, in terms of tolerating heat.

            • GoneFishing says:

              The robin does not just eat worms.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                There may be many fewer kinds of worms that eat robins and that is not necessarily a good thing…


                Due to climate change, one-third of animal parasites may be extinct by 2070
                September 6, 2017

                The Earth’s changing climate could cause the extinction of up to a third of its parasite species by 2070, according to a global analysis reported Sept. 6 in the journal Science Advances. Parasite loss could dramatically disrupt ecosystems, and the new study suggests that they are one of the most threatened groups of life on Earth.

                Parasites have an admittedly bad reputation. The diverse group of organisms includes tapeworms, roundworms, ticks, lice, fleas and other pests—most of which are best known for causing disease in humans, livestock and other animals. But parasites play important roles in ecosystems. They help control wildlife populations and keep energy flowing through food chains

                Unfortunately ecosystems are very complex and dynamic…

                “It is not the world that is mysterious. Rather it is the way we view it that makes it mysterious.”
                Dutch mathematician Floris Takens



                A Twisted Path to Equation-Free Prediction

                Complex natural systems defy standard mathematical analysis, so one ecologist is throwing out the equations.

                Well, sorta, kinda but not really… 😉

                • GoneFishing says:

                  They also eat a lot of insects, fruits and berries.

                  The point being they are resilient and likely to survive anything except major disruptions. Can we say the same about ourselves having become dependent upon so many non-natural systems?

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    The point being they are resilient and likely to survive anything except major disruptions.

                    Right! Rapidly reacting resilient robins remain robust… Resulting range ramifications random? Rigorous rational research required! 😉

                    Call me a crazy alarmist, but I think that we are becoming more and more likely to see some of those major ecological disruptions in the not too distant future.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Practicing your alliteration?

                    There is no “Rigorous rational research required!”. The robins will get along just fine without our interference. We have other more important things to do than bother our betters.
                    Of course if you want to read a horrifying evolutionary arms race, just get a copy of Cuckoo- Cheating by Nature written by Nick Davies (a field biologist).

                    Ok, you are an alarmist with aggregated allegorical anomalous anxieties.
                    BTW, the major ecological disruptions have been in process for over a century and are profoundly proceeding. Some say they started 70,000 years ago when the first assholes modern humans of the current variety got loose on the world.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Of course if you want to read a horrifying evolutionary arms race, just get a copy of Cuckoo- Cheating by Nature written by Nick Davies (a field biologist).

                    Funny you should mention the Cuckoo, they have been locked in an endless evolutionary battle with their various host species for a darn long time.

                    Though to be fair I can think of a quite a few parasite host relationships that the faint of heart might find even more horrifying. As we know, nature doesn’t care one way or another, it’s all about survival…


                    What I find most fascinating about their survival strategy is their egg mimicry. Especially the fact that a single species of Cuckoo can specialize in mimicking wildly different looking eggs. I don’t have a good specific link handy but I think they do a pretty damn good robin egg…

                    My lousy 3:30 AM alliteration exercise aside, the rigorous research required, that I was referring to wasn’t so much about robins per se. It was more along the lines of needing more in depth study of the consequences of reaching ecological tipping points.

                    Anyways , the climate science deniers so often like to use the tired old canard that ‘The Climate Has Always Changed’, well so have ecosystems but what matters is the rate of change and how that ends up affecting the complex interactions of vast multitudes of living organisms…

                    Whether or not the robins happen to have a leg up on the competition for the relative near term, is pretty much moot when looking at the big picture of the sixth mass extinction event in the Anthropocene.

                    A planet earth teeming with extremophiles would still be a fascinating place for evolutionary biologists to study. Unfortunately for them, they probably would no longer be around to enjoy the exercise. The silver lining there might be, that neither would the trolls!


                  • GoneFishing says:

                    I am not worried about humans. They are a fairly resilient invasive species and human intelligence may be a dead end anyway, or not. So enjoy it while we can, just be kind to each other when possible and when not let loose the hounds on them.
                    Maybe this is an evolutionary test for our type of intelligence. Can we self-evolve fast enough to get ahead of our stupidity? An interesting dilemma, meanwhile we are ignored by most species and inhabited, used and parasitized by others.
                    Maybe that is it, we are deeply hurt by being ignored. But then again, we are not really lovable. And then there are cannibals, the true top of the food chain.
                    Food chain

                    And dumbass big MF’s

    • Javier says:

      Hi Dennis,

      That paper demonstrates that they did not find changes in their four years experiment. Nothing more.

      The people working on stomata are as careful in their work as any other scientist. They have used all sort of controls. Stomatal index from plants collected for herbariums in Botanical Gardens since the 18th century can be matched to CO2 changes under known temperature changes. Those experiments are a lot closer to paleo measurements than artificial enclosures for a few years.

      Van, Hoof., et al. “Atmospheric CO2 during the 13th century AD: reconciliation of data from ice core measurements and stomatal frequency analysis.” Tellus B 57.4 (2005): 351-355.

      “A significant CO2 change during the 13th century AD is evident from direct measurements of CO2 in gas enclosures in the Antarctic ice core D47 as well as from stomatal frequency analysis of fossil oak leaves. The independent detection of this CO2 shift, and the good agreement between the different records, provides persuasive evidence for the reality of this event.

      By applying the firn air densification model to the raw stomatal frequency CO2 data, a hypothetical profile is generated, where the main processes acting on atmospheric CO2 in air bubbles trapped in ice are simulated. During enclosure, the trapped air is subjected to processes that alter the CO2 mixing ratio ultimately preserved in the ice (Anklin et al., 1995; Schwander, 1996; Trudinger et al., 2003). Diffusion through the firn layer and gradual enclosure in the bubbles leads to smoothing of the record and, thus, underestimation of the amplitude of the CO2 changes (Trudinger et al., 2003).

      The observed firm correspondence between the CO2 [Stomatal Index] and CO2 [ice] data indeed confirm that the observed amplitude differences between the raw stomatal frequency record and the D47 ice core data can be explained by the smoothing of CO2 during ice formation.”

      Wagner, Friederike, et al. “Reproducibility of Holocene atmospheric CO 2 records based on stomatal frequency.” Quaternary Science Reviews 23.18 (2004): 1947-1954.

      “To address the critique that these stomatal frequency variations result from local environmental change or methodological insufficiencies, multiple stomatal frequency records were compared for three climatic key periods during the Holocene, namely the Preboreal oscillation, the 8.2 kyr cooling event and the Little Ice Age. The highly comparable fluctuations in the palaeo-atmospheric CO2 records, which were obtained from different continents and plant species (deciduous angiosperms as well as conifers) using varying calibration approaches, provide strong evidence for the integrity of leaf-based CO2 quantification.

      An unique opportunity to study the leaf morphological adaptation of plants to changing ambient CO2 is provided by the well-documented continuous CO2 increase from pre-industrial values of approximately 280 to 375 ppmv present day level. Analysis of herbarium specimens of known age allows us to tie up known historical CO2 and corresponding stomatal frequencies.

      Because partial pressure decreases with elevation due to the reduced air pressure, inclusion of leaf material grown at higher altitudes allows extension of the historical training set to CO2 levels below 28 Pa (equivalent to 280 ppmv at sea level).

      The response patterns on species or genus level determined in the modern training sets require the application of taxon- specific statistical treatments for the individual plant categories to guarantee the best fit of the models for palaeo-CO2 estimations.

      The successful replication of stomatal frequency records in terms of timing and duration in the seven compared records provides strong evidence for the integrity of the leaf-based proxy for atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The general coherence of the reconstructed amplitudes of atmospheric CO2 fluctuations corroborates the assumption that a wide range of terrestrial plants shows a common response to this environmental factor independent of geographical setting, habitat conditions or taxonomy.”

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      “Any body who has brains enough to care about his country owes it to himself”

      OldFarmerMac if you weren’t so overwhelmed with your hate for HRC and not lead around by the nose by Russian propaganda. You would realize it’s ignorance like yours, that is this countries problems.

      Nothing new here except for confirmation like always. OldFarmerMac is a day late and dollar short. Also known as “OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster”.

      • OFM says:

        Glad to see you’re still around, HB

        I could use some help posting the news about the Trumps.

        And eventually……… maybe…….. you will come to understand that running somebody like HRC as your party’s candidate is a foolish thing to do.

        Half the country hated her guts, and continues to hate her guts.

        I just have a substantial measure of contempt for her due to her stupidity, personal greed, arrogance, and contempt for the people she supposedly wants to represent.

        As some old Greek or somebody said way back when, those whom the Gods would destroy, They first raise high.

        She brought it on herself, with her incredibly stupid email system, Cattle Gate, White Water, Bimbo Patrol, sticking by her philandering husband earning her the contempt of millions of women who consider that the ultimate display of a lack of self respect, flipping and flopping on fundamental moral questions, etc etc etc.

        The older people of this country tend to remember such history.
        And the younger better educated people tend to understand that they’re looking at a classical insider machine type politician when they’re looking at one, and they went for Sanders by the millions.

        Hey Dude……… She managed to lose to TRUMP, the ONLY other candidate ever put on the ticket for prez by a major party with numbers similar to her own, in terms of the public trusting and respecting him.

        She was so dumb and arrogant and contemptuous of the people who are the REAL core of the D party that she spent her time hobnobbing for a quarter of a million at a pop making secret speeches to banksters, instead of having enough RESPECT for that core to actually FUCKING SHOW UP and campaign in the states that put Trump over the top.

        And incidentally, when the banksters can buy somebody for such trivial sums, they talk nicely to them, face to face, but once out of their hearing, they laugh at them, and consider them for what they are………… bought and paid for.

        Of course a quarter of a million for a few minutes yak yak doesn’t look like chicken feed to a person who has seen his job outsourced, lol. It looks like bribery, pure and simple.

        I guess she was afraid she would be booed and maybe hit with some rotten eggs or tomatoes, considering she more or less campaigned on sending more of our basic industries overseas, and leaving the people who used to work in them without a living.

        You may never get it, but I’m confident a LOT of other people have, and more will.

        If you want to win, you support a candidate in the primary season that is at least marginally acceptable to people who tend to vote middle of the road to the opposite extreme.

        Just about ANY other D could have mopped the floor with Trump.

        You went with the only D he had a shot at beating.

        I was posting well before the primary season ever got underway that the FONDEST hope of the R establishment was that HRC would be at the head of the D ticket.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:


          Mrs. Clinton won the biggest states—Texas, Florida, New York and, on Tuesday, California. She also won the most votes: 15.5 million, compared with 11.9 million for Mr. Sanders.

          Still, seniors remained the larger group, and Mrs. Clinton won more than 70% of them.

          Mrs. Clinton topped Mr. Sanders among all income and education levels, but she was particularly strong among those with the highest incomes and college attainment.


          • Hightrekker says:

            How She Lost


            Base and Identity at the Expense of Class

            Clinton and the campaign acted as if “demographics is destiny” and that a “rainbow coalition” was bound to govern. Yes, there is a growing “Rising American Electorate,” but Page Gardner and I wrote at the outset of this election, you must give people a compelling reason to vote and I have demonstrated for my entire career that a candidate must target white working-class voters too.

            Not surprisingly, Clinton took her biggest hit in Michigan, where she failed to campaign in Macomb County, the archetypal white working-class county. That was the opposite of her husband’s approach. Bill Clinton visibly campaigned in Macomb, the black community in Detroit, and elsewhere.

            The fatal conclusion the Clinton team made after the Michigan primary debacle was that she could not win white working-class voters, and that the “rising electorate” would make up the difference. She finished her campaign with rallies in inner cities and university towns. Macomb got the message. “When you leave the two-thirds of Americans without college degrees out of your vision of the good life, they notice,” Joan Williams writes sharply in White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America.

          • Hightrekker says:

            while Clinton’s overall margin looks large and impressive, it is due to Clinton’s huge margin of victory in one state — California — where she got a whopping 4.3 million more votes than Trump.

            Trump actually won the popular vote in the other 49 States.

            If you take California out of the popular vote equation, then Trump wins the rest of the country by 1.4 million votes. And if California voted like every other Democratic state — where Clinton averaged 53.5% wins — Clinton and Trump end up in a virtual popular vote tie. (This was not the case in 2012. Obama beat Romney by 2 million votes that year, not counting California.)

            Meanwhile, if you look at every other measure, Trump was the clear and decisive winner in this election.


            Number of states won:
            Trump: 30
            Clinton: 20
            Trump: +10

            Number of electoral votes won:
            Trump: 306
            Clinton: 232
            Trump: + 68

            Ave. margin of victory in winning states:
            Trump: 56%
            Clinton: 53.5%
            Trump: + 2.5 points

            Popular vote total:
            Trump: 62,958,211
            Clinton: 65,818,318
            Clinton: + 2.8 million

            Popular vote total outside California:
            Trump: 58,474,401
            Clinton: 57,064,530
            Trump: + 1.4 million

            • GoneFishing says:

              The real difference in voting is not statewise but city versus suburb/rural. Clinton took major population centers. Trump got the rest. If the Dems push hard to get the city voters out and edge into the suburbs, they will win. Not that either is a good thing now, just bad and worse.


              But as in the past, and probably always, it’s the old versus the new butting heads and playing Tug of War with our national identity and course.

              Lippmann had no doubt about which side would ultimately prevail: “The evil” that rural America believed it was resisting, he wrote, “is simply the new urban civilization with its irresistible economic and scientific and mass power.” Before long, the polyglot “urban civilization” established unquestioned dominance over the nation’s direction in culture, the economy, and ultimately politics, when it emerged as the cornerstone of Franklin Roosevelt’s lasting New Deal coalition.

              Echoes of this struggle to define the nation’s identity and direction are growing louder today. This campaign crystallized the long-developing separation between a Democratic Party centered in the urban areas at the forward edge of growing racial diversity, new family and sexual arrangements, and the transition to a globalized information economy; and a Republican Party consolidating a deepening hold on the non-metropolitan places where many view those changes with suspicion, if not hostility.


              Meanwhile lots of citizens get thrown under the bus and the major problems we were barely facing are now overshadowed by a circus act to distract from economic piracy.

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              “If you take California out of the popular vote equation, then Trump wins the rest of the country by 1.4 million votes”

              Gerrymandering- manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class

            • Lloyd says:

              If you take California out of the popular vote equation, then Trump wins the rest of the country by 1.4 million votes.

              And if you take Alabama, Nebraska, and Kansas out of the equation, Clinton’s win in the popular vote becomes even greater.

              Is there some kind of point here? Like, do you think that Californians are not real Americans? That Trump is King of the Red States? If you or the author do have a point, it escapes me.

              • Charles Van Vleet says:

                We don’t know how many votes in Commiefornia came from illegal immigrants. Had to be a lot because of how happy the state is giving sanctuary to lawbreakers pouring in plus the lopsided result against Trump. There’s no other good reason why just one state would love Hillary so much more than every other state.

              • Hightrekker says:

                The point is California is a outlier in the politics of the US.
                Disclaimer: I was born there, as was my father, and my grandmother lived there in the late 1800’s
                I’m a UC graduate. So I’m quite familiar with the place.
                It doesn’t represent the rest of the country.
                Get it?

                • Lloyd says:

                  Your answer is that Californians are not real Americans and that Trump is King of the Red States?

                  California is 12% of the population. If they don’t happen to agree with you, that doesn’t make them un-American.

                  The people in Alabama and Texas and North Dakota are just as much outliers as those in California…albeit in the opposite direction.

                  I would suggest that the red states don’t represent the rest of the country either. Especially if you live in, say, the northwest…or California.

                  You have a divided country. More than half the population agrees with California’s liberal position. IWithout Gerrymandering and the Electoral college, the GOP wouldn’t be in power. So until California slides into the Pacific after the big one, you’re stuck with dealing with them.

                  • Hightrekker says:

                    Not defending Repugs. Just pointing out what eliminating one State out of 50 does to the results, that has percentages not in line with the rest of the country.

                    HRC would have been better on work place, gender, the environment (up to a point), etc.
                    But same on the macro economic issues, and worse on aggressive foreign policy, and knows where the levers are, and how to pull them.

                    Anyway, as stated before, reformist politics are not going to save anyone at this point.

                    We need to break the spell, and possibly jettison a late enlightenment document that is increasingly out of date.
                    We need to be more nimble, and Make ‘Meriika Smart Again!

                  • Lloyd says:

                    Not defending Repugs. Just pointing out what eliminating one State out of 50 does to the results, that has percentages not in line with the rest of the country.

                    Your answer is absurd. Plain and simple. It doesn’t tell us anything useful.

                    Unless you’re suggesting genocide against California.

                  • Hightrekker says:

                    Tell me why it is absurd.
                    Is CA not a outlier with the data?
                    California is a place I love, and grew up in.
                    In fact other than the Dog Track on Wall Street, some tech in Boston, bomb factories in Texas and Colorado, a bunch of GMO Corn in Iowa, some really nasty corps in Washington State, the rest is Third World status.

                  • HuntingtonBeach says:

                    The problem is how you spin the information and misrepresent it. Then discount it as an “outlier” not important and something wrong with California politics. The truth is California is a blue state. The same as the South are red states and no more extreme or “outlier”. Just because California is one state and not divided up into 6 or 8 states. Doesn’t warrant discounting it’s population as “outlier”.

                    “worse on aggressive foreign policy”

                    Your opinion which can’t be proven. I’ll bet 4 years from now, 8 out 10 Americans believe your wrong.

                • HuntingtonBeach says:

                  I “get it”. Your embarrassing yourself with your bullshit spin and meaningless credentials.

                  Over 2.8 million more Americans voted for Clinton than Trump period. That’s more votes than Trump got from the 8 states of West Virginia, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. Which is only about 1/3 of the votes Clinton got from California and a higher percentage of of Hawaiians voted for Clinton.

                  What the fuck does your grandmother 120 years ago have to do with anything regarding the subject?

                  Let me help you. Nothing

                  • Hightrekker says:

                    Establishes a long CA history.
                    In fact, anyone without a parent born in State before 1925 should be required to leave, and will not be admitted without a visa.

                  • HuntingtonBeach says:

                    How convenient your rules favor yourself. Maybe you could get the UC system to refund your tuition too, because it appears you got short changed.

                  • Lloyd says:

                    Your inability to tell us why Californians are outliers and red states are not, and your desire to deny immigrants born within the last century suggests that you are with Mr. Van Vleet: that your objection is ultimately racist.

  7. GoneFishing says:

    The Augmented Human -The incredible inventions of intuitive AI
    Is this the future? Or is it the very near future?

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Yeah, I had seen that a while ago. I’m personally very interested in such possibilities.
      Though on the one hand my imagination takes off and wants to soar with eagles to rarefied heights, in the morning I still have to walk out into a world populated by turkeys who most definitely do not share my aspirations…

      Anyways, I have posted links to the DIF before. If anyone is interested in leaving that past behind in the dust, then by all means come join the fun.


      These three main themes will shape this year’s DIF

      21st Century Economics
      Age Of Automation
      Future Of Design

  8. Timothy Sponge says:

    Washington state axed the permit for the final coal export terminal still being proposed in the state.


    These environmentalists just don’t get it. As long as there is a lucrative market to export American coal overseas to Asia, the coal is still going to get there one way or another. The railroads are already gearing up to send the coal by way of Mexico, plus there’s Roberts Bank in BC.

    In the end, all the negative side effects these environmentalists claim they are worried about will still happen. All that will have been accomplished environmentally is to deprive local economies of beneficial jobs and prosperity.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Sounds like you are not concerned at all about all the deaths and suffering that coal burning produces.

      Coal is getting beaten down from several directions at once, and then the mine owners have to face increased cost of mining along with increased cost of transport. But which will come first, the lack of diesel fuel to move the coal or the lack of interest in burning it as cheaper and better systems get even cheaper and better?

      • Timothy Sponge says:

        No, because the issue here for politicians isn’t whether or not we should mine and burn the coal, but rather should we turn down jobs and economic development with the knowledge that they will go somewhere else if we do. I think you have to be pretty cruel to willingly deprive your local community of either. Those attitudes won’t go very far in Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation circles.

        • Gerry says:

          Ahh, well, the old false equivalency of “coal or no jobs!”.

          You can swap “coal” for whatever natural resource you can think of.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Timothy Sponge?! LOL!!!
        Is there a special AI (Artificial Idiot) algorithm that all these fucking trolls use to create their handles?
        This site is suffering from a severe infection of the Putin Trump Koch Bros brigade… Though you really have to be three bulbs shy of a full moron to still try and defend coal. MAGA!

        • Boomer II says:

          Each time a new troll pops up, I use the ignore option.

          Most of what is discussed in the non-petroleum threads I never see. Scrolling is so much faster this way.

        • George Kaplan says:

          To quote the wise-beyond-his-pores SpongeBob, “If I had a dollar for every brain Timothy doesn’t have, I’d have one dollar.”

    • Hickory says:

      People living along the Columbia Gorge don’t want all that coal coming down through that choke point. Its a ton of dust and smoke coming off those trains. How would you like to be living in their path?


      • Timothy Sponge says:

        The issues surrounding dust are overblown and mostly used as a convenient excuse by environmentalists why export terminals shouldn’t be built. But since states and municipalities can’t regulate interstate commerce, the dust argument is meaningless in the big picture. The railroads will happily move the coal to Roberts Bank instead. Texas would eagerly grant the permits too, if the coal can be transshipped through the Panama Canal.

      • Hightrekker says:

        As a Oregon resident, even my Trump voting, meth snorting, Jack drinking, gun loving redneck friends are against it.

  9. Javier says:

    Arctic Ice Natural Variability

    New article by me on Arctic sea ice changes and natural variability.
    Among other things I show how close are the melt season decrease in ice extent and the subsequent increase during the ice-growth season. That’s shown on this graph.

    • @whut says:

      “Among other things I show how close are the melt season decrease in ice extent and the subsequent increase during the ice-growth season. “

      Ice melts when it gets warm and water freezes when it gets cold.


      (that’s why WUWT is such a wasteland of pseudoscience and Trump-like inanity)

  10. Bob Nickson says:

    Jobs? Prosperity? The solar industry already provides more jobs than coal does.


    It’s not environmentalists that are killing coal, it’s the market, or so says Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy, the world’s largest coal mining company.

    “Trump has consistently pledged to restore mining jobs, but many of those jobs were lost to technology rather than regulation and to competition from natural gas and renewables, which makes it unlikely that he can do much to significantly grow the number of jobs in the industry, said Murray.


    Another conservative in the energy business has this to say:

    “I’m a fiscal conservative. Politically and socially I lean to the right. And I’m in the energy business. So naturally, I’d be an ally of Tony Abbott on energy policy, right? Nope. I’m anti-coal; vehemently. Here’s why.
    Coal may be abundant but it is not cheap. It isn’t failing as an energy solution because “green religion” has a stranglehold on common sense or the levers of commerce and government. Coal power isn’t being regulated out of existence, it is being priced out of existence. We have witnessed an unprecedented drop in the price of renewables and the market isn’t stupid. We are moving to a zero-emissions future because it now makes obvious economic sense to do so.”


    In other energy news today: “The cost of solar PV has hit a stunning new low – with a bid for a 300MW solar project in Saudi Arabia pitched at just $US1.79c/kWh – or $US17.9/MWh ($A22.7/MWh) – with no subsidies.”

    No use building the coal terminals, barring regulatory capture by fossil interests, no one is going to want the coal.

    $0.0179 per kWh!

    • Gerry says:

      “$0.0179 per kWh!”

      Meanwhile, the ROSATOM boss is hallucinating:

      “Today, nuclear power are 10-20% cheaper that coal and natural gas, half cheaper that wind and sun.”


      • JJHMAN says:

        Who could possibly know more about the benefits of nuclear power than the guys that brought us Chernobyl?

    • OFM says:

      Considering that the solar resource is not as good in most of the USA, I wonder how much more the juice would sell for if this solar farm were to be duplicated in say California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, etc.

      I’m thinking that pretty soon we will be able to get solar electricity in most of the southern USA for only a little more, and that eventually we can get it even cheaper.

      But we should acknowledge that it will be necessary to maintain the conventional nuclear and fossil fuel grid for quite some time, probably several decades at least, in order to be sure we have ample juice at night and during cloudy weather and anytime demand is unusually high.

      This means in effect that since this conventional backup will cease to exist unless SOMEBODY pays for it, we will be looking at paying rather high rates for it, directly, or subsidizing the owners of it, so that they can stay in business for however long it takes.

      The conventional mostly fossil fuel generating industry isn’t going to survive getting paid at anything like the rates we pay today while doing less and less business, while the high fixed costs of the industry stay about the same.

      Failure to acknowledge such facts leads people who are suspicious of renewable energy and environmentalists to assume we are talking pie in the sky, and trying to make fools out of them.

      It’s one thing to talk about having a double and triple built wind and solar industry and storage in a forum like this one, without acknowledging the above mentioned difficulty, but it’s something else altogether to fail to deal with it openly and honestly in other forums where most of the visitors are not well informed about such issues and technologies.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        But we should acknowledge that it will be necessary to maintain the conventional nuclear and fossil fuel grid for quite some time, probably several decades at least, in order to be sure we have ample juice at night and during cloudy weather and anytime demand is unusually high.

        No, I disagree. It is time to go full Monty. We already have all the technology available to eliminate 100% of conventional nuclear and the entire fossil fuel grid right now, not decades from now.

        I’m posting one of Jack’s replies to a comenter over at Jack Rickard’s EVTV. I happen to agree with his views on this. Note: Highlight mine.

        replied:1 day ago
        I understand your desire to promote your kickstarter program. And I generally applaud innovation and anything in alternate energy or solar is laudable. But this is EXACTLY the tact that Selfish Solar is devised to destroy. Everyone touching solar wants to do a LITTLE BIT of solar. A toe in the water. Kind of like not using plastic grocery bags will save the earth. MOst of what I perceive as problems with solar equipment is this desire for a wider market by making it all things to all people and certainly something that can be used to do a LITTLE BIT OF SOLAR.
        This is kind of like getting people to convert to electric cars by offering them rides in a golf cart, or more to point, an elevator. It gives precisely the WRONG impression, accentuating the limitations, which are not limitations of electric cars at all, but limitations of golf carts and elevators.
        It is my position that the costs of equipment have dropped sufficiently for us to do REAL SOLAR POWER for our homes or shops or commercial buildings. To actually power them that way. Not to dabble with it or put a toe in the water. BIG solar. 50kW arrays. 85kWh batteries. 20-50kW inverters.
        And of course, one of the cost saving strategies is to repurpose electric car equipment to this purpose, particularly the batteries. As several have pointed out, there should even be a way to repurpose the motor inverters to produce 60Hz AC. Imagine a Tesla inverter that can do 350kW. Ok, since it is more or less continous, let’s derate it to 200kW.
        100 watt solar systems to recharge my phone simply misses the point and actually makes the WRONG statement. Solar is good for little things. No. The message is that solar has reached the point where we could realistically really use it for electrical power, with very little added by the grid. And eventually nothing.
        I hardly invented off-grid solar. But again, for cost reasons those tend to be weeny 5kW systems. Try 50kW. And for cost reasons, let’s reuse EV parts. And that really implies a 360v buss.


        Time to jump in the water and swim like our lives depended on it. Ask the Puerto Ricans if they want solar and Tesla’s power packs instead of rebuilding their pathetic fossil fuel based grid.

        • Longtimber says:

          I’ve Hammering Jack that the Utility of EV’s is Powering your World. He’s finally seeing the Light. After all, you get an EV for free considering current cost of EChem storage ( aka Battery, kWh ) Interesting news that Damlier is investing 1B ( out of 10 Billion ) in Alabama for a Battery Plant.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Walk, don’t run to the nearest exit.
          I am fairly sure we will fully electrify (or something similar) this century. Since most of the infrastructure will need to be rebuilt or built elsewhere ove the next 60 to 100 years, it can be built better. Sustainability might be achieved within the next hundred years.
          I do not think that any place is prepared for the mass migrations within regions, large countries, and across continents that will be the background of this century. I do not think that most people have a concept of what will happen in the next 30 years let along the crash of the environment within the next one hundred. I also do not think anyone has a clue as to what a company like Monsanto will be capable of once it gets AI, let alone the governments and military.
          I am all for simple solutions like Ev’s, PV, wind, efficiency and system changes. I think that AI assisted engineering will come up with some real wonder designs. Maybe some major diseases will be conquered and some social problems rectified. But the donut holes and blind spots in our civilization had better be filled and viewed or we are just going down the rabbit hole directly to the Red Queen.
          I also think that advanced tools will give too much power to the wrong people.

    • aaaa returns says:

      Solar? more jobs? Just shut up. Once the farms are up and providing pithy amounts of electricity to the grid, the jobs are over and done. The only remaining job is for the lawn-mower man.
      The only people that get paid are the solar shills, like yourself, who get massive tax monies in various forms to resell exorbitant electricity back to the taxpayers, and pocket the difference

      • Longtimber says:

        Why pay the Utility 14+% annual for 30 years for a sand and glass pane you can stick on your roof? A kW of PV that you own on your roof is worth how much more than one 500 km away?

      • GoneFishing says:

        Hmmm, problem with math, huh? If you consider that it will take 40 or more years to build out the new systems then by the time they are done, the cycle of replacement will start all over again. Not only a lifetime of employment but generation after generation gets to keep building the system and the “fuel” never runs out.
        Plus there will be lots of other things to do.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        You obviously don’t understand the paradigm change currently afoot! It’s about getting free from the utility monopolies altogether. Whether it be by outright solo ownership of your own energy production on your roof or through co-operatives and community micro grids.

  11. Survivalist says:

    Global surface air temperatures were the 2nd warmest on record for the month of September ’17


    “The warmest instances of each month of the year occurred from October 2015 to September 2016. Each of the twelve months from October 2016 to September 2017 has been the second warmest on record for that month of the year.”

  12. Longtimber says:

    Can anyone explain why the DOE is #2 in Welfare? Coal in Xmas Stocking for All?
    Anyone have a better solution for DC other than the giant L A S E R?

    • GoneFishing says:

      Homeland Security has a much bigger budget than the Dept of Energy, yet no one seems to be able to justify the huge expense.

      Imagine a labyrinthine government department so bloated that few have any clear idea of just what its countless pieces do. Imagine that tens of billions of tax dollars are disappearing into it annually, black hole–style, since it can’t pass a congressionally mandated audit.

      Now, imagine that there are two such departments, both gigantic, and you’re beginning to grasp the new, twenty-first-century American security paradigm.


    • notanoilman says:

      Nuclear weapons.


      • GoneFishing says:

        True, DOE has some real responsibilities whereas HS spends a lot of time and money treating citizens as criminals and terrorists.

  13. George Kaplan says:

    In the UK we have a thing called the Office for Budget Responsibility, which is supposed to be independent of the government and give realistic prognoses for growth, productivity etc. by which the treasury can set their budget. Unfortunately (more for the millennials and later generations, but pretty bad soon enough) they are either not-independent, incompetent, corrupt, lazy or scared shitless – or all of the above. They get growth predictions miles wrong every time and don’t even make an effort to do better next time – see chart below. To quote todays Times:

    For the past seven years, the OBR has downgraded its short-term forecast for productivity, but assumed that growth would return to the long-term average of about 2 per cent after a couple of years.

    Like a lot of other OECD countries UK productivity is flat or declining, and it’s unlikely ever to pick up again. We are worse than some, partly because we relied on North Sea oil and gas up until 2014 to boost the numbers. Most commentators go on about management, technology, tax regimes etc, but really we are just an over the hill county which has had it’s day, and with nothing much special to offer any more, a massive pension and health care problem on the horizon, and with few resources left (I think we import about 35% of food now). But nobody is ever going to say any of that, least of all civil servants like in the OBR.

  14. GoneFishing says:

    Oh no, despite all claims otherwise, September sea ice volume is below the trend line. What will the deniers and trolls do now when even a cold Arctic summer still has descending volume?

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Gone fishing,

      Some will claim we don’t know how thick the sea ice is or perhaps that thin ice is better (you can cover more of the Arctic Ocean that way). 🙂

      • GoneFishing says:

        Good points Dennis. They will also most likely claim that there is natural variation and it will get colder in the future as we move into the next glaciation (always 50 or 100 years in the future except during cold winters and cool summers).
        Just remember, it’s all natural and probably organic too.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        you can cover more of the Arctic Ocean that way

        Sure, and with almost no natural organic butter at all, I can spray a one atom thick layer of butter to cover my entire slice of toast… 😉

        • GoneFishing says:

          Should be some interesting optical interference effects from that as the spread spreads.

      • George Kaplan says:

        It’s noticeable that even though the extent is growing it looks like the thicker ice North of Greenland and the Archipelago is still declining. There is still no transport out the Fram and the Greenland Sea is staying ice free which has never happened before. I think one reason the volume decline slowed so much in September is because there was no loss from MYI export to the Fram – and that was partly because there’s none left to transport, apart from very little drift.

        The temperature anomaly looks the same as last year – about 3 K and growing as the actual temperature stays fairly constant while previous years it would be falling fast – therefore the freezing day anomaly is big and growing. After the 1998/99 El Nino there was a marked change on weather patterns in the Arctic (Summer melt accelerated) maybe there’s another change to winter freeze after the 2015/16 one.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Sea ice extent is a terrible measure since it can be up to 85% liquid water and is influenced by wind and currents. It is usually, on average, at least 40% off from actual sea ice area. It also tells nothing about thickness, which is an important factor in the real world.

    • George Kaplan says:

      Even when they are not commenting you’re letting the Dumbasses direct the conversation.

    • Javier says:

      September sea ice extent is not only above the trend line, but the trend line itself is becoming less steep each passing year. From September 2016 to September 2017 the trend line went from -11.8%/decade to -11.6%/decade, according to DMI.

      Unlike volume, extent is measured.

      Arctic sea ice loss between 1979 and 2017 has not accelerated at all. Which considering how much CO2 levels have increased makes very difficult to defend that the loss of ice is due to the increase in CO2.

      This graph shows the difference between the ice lost one year (September minus previous March) and the ice gained in the following ice growth season (Next March minus September). Positive values indicate ice gained, negative values indicate ice lost. Despite the linear trend being negative at 53,000 km2 lost each year, the trend is flat, indicating zero acceleration in ice lost since 1979. Clearly CO2 is not driving Arctic ice loss.

      The official story is bullshit. CO2 is not melting the Arctic. The ice does not respond to CO2 changes. The loss of ice is not getting worse in the Arctic. It is continuing at the same rate.

        • Javier says:

          So you agree that Arctic sea ice loss shows no acceleration in the period 1979-2017.

          However CO2 has increased significantly during this period, so its forcing must have increased also. The rate of growth of CO2 has increased significantly, from 1.5 to 2.5 ppm per year.

          Why don’t we see an acceleration if the forcing is increasing? The obvious explanation is that Arctic melting is not responding much to CO2 increases.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Forcing goes as the natural log of atmospheric CO2.

            Chart with natural log of atmospheric CO2 from 1979 to 2016, a constant rate of increase.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            The response is probably to Sea Surface temperature or possibly Northern hemisphere temperature, rather than to CO2 directly and there is natural variability that also influences temperature along with anthropogenic forcing and most people are aware of that fact.

  15. islandboy says:

    Puerto Rican Solar Farms Heavily Damaged By Hurricane Maria

    Puerto Rico’s second largest solar farm, located in Humacao, took a direct hit from Maria’s eyewall. The farm currently accounts for nearly 40% of solar-produced electricity on the island and is currently under expansion to produce even more. Unfortunately, a majority of the newly added solar panels were ripped from their foundation and completely destroyed by Maria’s strong winds. These panels are so recent, the “before” image seen below doesn’t include the expansion. [snip]

    The fates of several other large solar facilities, including the island’s largest site, are unknown as aerial imagery has not reached the entire island yet. More imagery is expected as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) performs daily flights to collect aerial footage. This story will be updated as more images become available. [snip]

    Update: After going through more NOAA imagery, I found some good news. The giant solar field built by Canadian Solar (below) came out relatively unscathed after facing harsh winds from Irma and Maria. These panels are specifically designed to outlast hurricanes. Each panel is built several meters off the ground to avoid floods and reinforced to withstand winds of category 5 hurricanes (156mph).

    It would seem this installation described in the the last paragraph provides possible guidelines as to how to avoid catastrophic damage from hurricanes. On the other hand, it could just be that the less affected farm is one on the north coast, close to San Juan and away from the extreme winds in the eye wall while the farm at Humacao experienced the eye wall.

    • islandboy says:

      Solar farm on the banks of the Rio Grande de Loiza near the town of Loiza

      • islandboy says:

        I was a little careless with my link in this comment below, which actually links to the image of the farm above. The link to the farm below is actually:


        and the link in the comment below should have been similar to the one in this post except that it would have ended “html#16/18.1339/-65.8160” instead of “html#19/18.13391/-65.81603”

        Having taken a closer look at the farm at Humacao, it would seem somebody is going to have some questions to answer, as to why the new section fared so badly as compared to the older section. See the image below.

      • Longtimber says:

        In NW Florida we have to design Structures and PV for 150mph wind loads South of I10.
        PV is cladding like Shutters. It will survive if the building survives. Yes some panels may get nailed by flying objects, but we can replace $300 panels same day, where as replacing roof damage may take months to years. Most new residential systems have MLPE -Module-Level Power Electronics, monitored and power gen is independent on the Panel level. Solar Farms-Not Brilliant. Better on the roof and feed critical loads for Life PV DIRECT – independent of Batteries and associated complexity.

        • islandboy says:

          Farms are definitely an attempt to extend the life of the status quo, the central ownership, concentrated profit center model. I don’t quite understand why some so called free market fundamentalists (Republicans) are opposed to the idea of decentralized power generation and the wider dispersion of revenue generation (or savings) that will accompany it. Surely putting more disposable income in the hands of consumers is a good thing for free markets? I guess their agenda is not as pure as they would have us think, the so called free market fundamentalists that is.

          Notwithstanding all that I still find the difference in the effects of Hurricane Maria on the newer (north east) section of the farm at Humacao as opposed to say. the older western section remarkable. I would just love to be a part of the team assessing the damage! I suspect some of the damage from the newer section would have cascaded on to the north eastern part of the older section but it would be interesting to find out what the story is for the southern tip. See the image of the older section below from Google Maps satellite view.

          • OFM says:

            ” I guess their agenda is not as pure as they would have us think, the so called free market fundamentalists that is.”

            I GUESS you’re right. 😉

            Personally I’m all for both farm and small scale solar power.

            The personal freedom argument rings all my bells, but nevertheless it’s a hard fact that it’s substantially more economical and practical to build large solar farms and distribute the juice thru the existing grid, at the present time.

            The cost of planning, permitting, and installing small scale pv systems is abysmally high, for now, and while it’s coming down, it’s going to be a damned long time, if ever, before it’s really affordable for people who aren’t reasonably well off, money wise.

            Then there are the problems such as lack of adequate space for mounting, being blocked from the sun by nearby trees or buildings, neighbors who think solar panels are ugly, lack of workers competent to put panels on roofs without either breaking their necks or making the roof as leaky as a your mom’s flour sifter, etc etc.

            A solar farm solves all these pesky thousands of times repeated over and over problems plus it solves the financing problem for poor people as well.

            The grid is THERE, already. Or at least it USED TO BE, before the storm, lol.

            What we need is better stewardship of the existing grid, maybe even to the extent of moving to public ownership.

            We have rural electric co ops where I live that take care of our grid, and we have just about ZERO problems with this arrangement, whereby the big utilities simply supply the juice, they don’t distribute it, except along backbone lines.

            Of course we don’t have much in the way of hurricanes here either, lol.

            There’s no reason our local electric co op can’t build solar farms, in principle at least, although there are political roadblocks we would have to clear away.

            There’s no reason in principle that people in hurricane country can’t own their own solar farms. It’s politics, rather than technology, that’s the problem.

            From my perspective,for now and for the next decade or two, the ideal would appear to be a combination of mostly solar farms with enough personally owned and on site pv to keep the lights and refrigerator on until the power lines can be repaired after a storm.

            Maybe after that, home scale will work out just great, without even needing much in the way of a grid anymore.

  16. Fred Magyar says:

    Puerto Rico governor says ‘Let’s talk’ after Elon Musk offers to solve the island’s power crisis


    I’ll even bet the Chinese would be happy to put up the financing…

  17. OFM says:


    Tesla is apparently automating the assembly process to the extent they are referring to the factory as an “alien dreadnought”, something never seen before, only imagined, but still this is only taking the automation process further than has been done before by other car builders.

    It’s not something new in principle, but it’s going to take a while yet to actually do it.

    So the big truck is being delayed in order to put the people working on the truck on the car assembly line to get the bugs out.

    I’m hoping some other forum members will post their guesses or estimates as to the range of the big truck.

    Even forty miles would make it practical in some urban environment hauling jobs, where a great deal of time is spent loading and unloading at the same locations on a repetitive basis, thereby reducing the number of miles driven in a day to this low number.

    The truck could get a partial recharge at both ends in this situation, and that might allow it to run a hundred miles in single driver’s shift, and pretty close to three hundred in a round the clock application.

    But I’m guessing the range of the truck will be at least a hundred miles, because Tesla won’t likely put any new product out that makes the company look wimpy.

    There’s actually no reason at all that an eighteen wheeler CAN’T haul enough of today’s batteries around to go three or four hundred miles, other than that doing so cuts very sharply into the legally limited payload. Truck weights are regulated in gross to prevent damage to the highways, and to prevent overloading bridges.

    But here’s a point that has not yet been made in this forum, as best I can remember, although it’s common talk among truckers themselves.

    You can haul along ten tons of batteries to propel the truck, and still haul ten plus tons of cargo.

    And there are PLENTY of trucks that are filled to the top and to the back doors on a daily basis with stuff that’s light and bulky, for instance a load of mixed good pallets from a warehouse to a big box store. Tomatoes, potatoes, beer and soft drinks would still have to go in a conventional truck, but all the lighter stuff such as paper towels, convenience foods packed in large cardboard boxes, clothing, etc, could go in the electric truck.

    Ten tons net will work delivering many loads to big box stores, and many loads to construction sites, and for some other jobs as well.

    There’s many an eighteen wheeler out there pulling a flat bed delivering a chained down load that weighs only ten or twelve tons, meaning there’s ample margin to install plenty of batteries. A company running three or four flat beds or low boys locally could make good use of an electric eighteen wheeler.

    By big boy toy backhoe weighs only eight tons. If it has to go to the dealer for repairs, they will send an eighteen wheeler lowboy for it.

    And incidentally, they call them eighteen wheelers because they have dual wheels on four of the five axles, but before too much longer, the industry will be standardizing on larger single wheels and tires.

    Singles cost more initially, but in the long run they are more economical, being lighter, and thus allowing more net payload.

    So far the only application I see them used locally is on tanker trucks. They can be and are loaded very precisely to the gross legal limit, trip after trip, day in, day out, and the savings in weight makes running singles a real bargain.

    Dead weight is not going to be THE problem with electric trucks, at least not in the first decade or so as they are first sold in large numbers. The cost of the batteries is the BIG problem, for now.

    You can install an extra axle with air bags that lifts the wheels on that axle off the road so you can make very sharp turns in parking lots, etc, and that means you can haul ANOTHER ton and a half of batteries, or even more. You can put one of these extra axles on both the tractor and the trailer.

    It all boils down to the cost of batteries versus the cost of diesel and maintenance for the next few years, plus charging stations.

    But trucking companies will gladly pay for their own charging stations when they operate locally and can recharge at night at company locations , or at delivery locations used on a regular basis, if it’s profitable to do so.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Edison and his men invented the modern production system. His buddy, Henry Ford, later applied those principles to his car making and got credit for it. Now E Musk and Tesla crew will bring it up to date.

      OFM, think bigger and better. Electric Zeppelins hauling cargo cross country or cross region, covered with a skin of lightweight PV. No need for highways with all that wasted materials, energy and maintenance. We have a whole sky above us to use and we have barely scratched it.
      Or maybe they could be autonomous, filled or partly filled with hydrogen and use that for fuel along with the PV skin! What blazing glory will the future hold? Lumbering giants of the air quietly humming along, the only noise the whoosh of the props. Little children playing outside (they still do that?) looking up and thinking how amazing human endeavor can be. No pollution, no noise, just great majestic balloons with propellers.
      A bit over the top but useful ideas:

      • GoneFishing says:

        Trucks OFM? Your ideas about lightweight bulky cargo stirred my braincells.
        Completely redesign the current tractor trailer, in fact one might make it completely autonomous with no cab at all (more storage room available). Maybe just a big streamlined box on wheels with the motors, a battery, electronics and some carbon-fiber pressure tanks all down in the frame. On the top (surface maximized) will be a covering of triple layer high efficiency PV cells. They can produce up to 20 horsepower on their own in bright sunlight. Since it would be a hybridized pressure system the pressure tanks would add to the power when needed along with the battery. Hydraulic pressure systems are capable of about 70 percent recapture of energy on downhill and braking so much of the energy used gets returned. Caught in heavy traffic, no problem, excellent breaking regen and the PV is charging up the battery. Sitting around, PV could charge up battery and then onboard pump could charge up pressure vessels, or plug it in.
        Just fill it up with lightweight bulky cargo and send it on it’s way. Initial pressure charge could come from rooftop PV. No fuel needed and hundreds of miles of range, taking cargo to and from the dirigible and electric sailing ship ports. No more need for major highways, only local roads.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Electric Zeppelins make perfect sense.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        OFM, think bigger and better. Electric Zeppelins hauling cargo cross country or cross region, covered with a skin of lightweight PV. No need for highways with all that wasted materials, energy and maintenance. We have a whole sky above us to use and we have barely scratched it.

        Heck, and why not live up there too?

        Would you live in a floating city in the sky?

        But if you really want to think BIG, let’s go Dyson Sphere 😉

        • GoneFishing says:

          Live in the sky? Not far enough, Elon wants to send us to Mars, not just the sky!

          I prefer Ringworld over Dyson. Of course if resonance ever started, end of that big ribbon, eh? Would solve the problem of all the Aussies being mostly upside down and having the sun in the north (weird). No energy problems either. But what keeps the air from flowing out the edges?
          You are definitely breathing too often today. Go kayaking or something. I am out of here now. Bye.

          • OFM says:

            Back when I was a long haired hippie with a peace sign hanging around my neck, and indulging in various mind altering substances OTHER than beer, I could have, and DID imagine lots of impossible things, but never as many at once as the Queen who bragged to Alice that she imagined six BEFORE breakfast, lol.

            There’s no real reason I can see that any truck must necessarily run on diesel at some future time, perhaps twenty or thirty years down the road.

            It may take that long for the trucking industry to manage a complete conversion to electric drive.

            We farmers pick our apples and make our hay when the sun is shining, and I’m sure that the trucking and railroading industries can adapt to doing the same.

            And the limited number of vehicles that MUST run at night, such as fire trucks, ambulances, and cop cars, can be charged up during the day and ready to go.

            And I’m ready to believe in ships with sails making a comeback, and in the sails being covered with pv crystals and generating power to help run the ship.

            But I’m not so sure about the zeppelins. 😉

            Methinks trains will prove to be more practical and economic.

            The thing about the first few thousand or tens of thousand heavy duty trucks running with light bulky loads is that this creates the opening necessary for the industry to get a good foothold and start expanding into the heavy cargo, longer distance hauling jobs.

            Once heavy duty electric trucks are commonly available, lots of companies will be willing to buy one or a few just to run the short local trips, thereby freeing up a conventional truck for a longer trip.

            It’s the old camel’s nose in the tent proposition.

            • GoneFishing says:

              These are not new ideas, just maybe new mixes of older ideas, new innovations. There is a certain art and style to dirigibles that no other aircraft has. And to move mostly with the rhythms of nature would be a much more pleasant experience than the machine-like 24-7 systems we try to emulate now. There need to be times of quiet and darkness and times to gather with friends and family.
              I remember those evenings in the mountains, sitting with the family on the porch swinging on the glider as the darkness enveloped us. No driving off to town, just relaxing after the day’s activities, the crickets and frogs trilling. Fireflies blinking their codes. Sometimes we would take a lantern and walk down through the dark woods trail to the old wooden rowboat for a late evening session of catfishing on the lake. The bats flying around our heads and the whip-por-will singing in the distance. In the dark it’s more sound and feel than sight. Waves lapping against the boat, the squeaking of the oars, the rommph of a bear in the dark, crunching footsteps, stars overhead, with at most only the weak light of the lantern to bend back the omnipresent darkness.
              No motors, no traffic, not even a battery. Just life making it’s sounds and the great darkness stretching for many miles toward the city far away. Mostly silence and a few words once in a while. Peaceful.
              It was dark and quiet at night except for frogs and crickets, something most people don’t experience now. Something many seem afraid of now.

              • OFM says:

                I still get out at night the same way and enjoy all the same things. Unfortunately the family has dispersed for the easier life in the city or suburbs, meaning such family get togethers are possible only a few times a year at most.

                Up until a few years ago, the frogs sang for us like you wouldn’t believe, with the little ones starting it all, and the big bulls coming on with bass that made up a symphony as powerful as anything Beethoven ever composed.

                Some fungus or another has just about wiped out the local frog population.It’s probably down well over ninety percent, but that’s still better than losing them altogether.

                Hopefully the ones remaining will evolve to the point they can survive and thrive, but a lot of frog species are apparently lost forever.

                You didn’t mention foxes or owls, which are still plentiful here, and now we have coyotes too, although they arrived only within the last decade or so.

                I would give my teeth to be able to go possum hunting one more time with a kerosene lantern with my grandfathers and my Dad, but they’re long gone and Daddy can’t go much farther than to the bathroom and dining room on his own these days.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Rabbit population does it’s usual spring surge then a fox or two shows up as well as cats to cull them back. Always a few rabbits and lots of squirrels. Plenty of nuts around of several varieties, got to watch not to get beaned by them.
                  Coyotes have moved on too.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  But those days are gone for us, I just wish some youngsters in the future will have similar ones.
                  If we don’t grasp at possible solutions now they may not have much of a chance.
                  BTW I am not on some drug trip as you imply, all those things exist in some form or other at the commercial level. Hybrid hydraulic trucks are running on the road right now. Cars with solar panels are driving around. Heavy lift dirigibles and hybrid airships actually exist. Autonomous trucks are on the way and being tested.


                • GoneFishing says:

                  More crazy aircraft


                  No need for bridges for these vehicles. 🙂

              • GoneFishing says:

                SPIDERs – more autonomous machines that take away tedious jobs

              • GoneFishing says:

                STINGRAY the inflatable aircraft


                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Love it! I can easily imagine that inflatable wing covered with ultra thin flexible solar panels and the aircraft being powered by electric motors and back up batteries!

                  We really do live at the interface of both the best and the worst of times!

  18. GoneFishing says:

    Due to just ocean overturn 25% of the extra heat from global warming is being driven to the very deep layers of the ocean. With this in mind:

    In the slides, the example of a 1 GtC release was used. That represents 0.01% of the
    total methane hydrates in the ocean. The quantity degassed to the atmosphere
    15,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age is now believed to be around 4 GtC as
    methane or 0.04%. The average temperature of the Earth increased from 30°F to
    60°F within a few decades. The radiative forcing from the methane alone would
    have been insufficient to cause more than a 3°F increase. It is thought that feedback
    effects from additional methane released from melting permafrost, carbon dioxide
    and water vapor contributed to the rest of the warming. But the initial methane
    hydrate release from the ocean may have been the catalyst.
    All of the conditions that may have led to the methane hydrate release 15,000 years
    ago do not exist today. Sea levels were much lower and thus, the pressure on the
    sediments was less. However, there is some evidence that ocean currents that
    impinge on ocean sediments are getting warmer, especially in the Arctic. Global
    warming is thus a possible triggering mechanism for massive methane hydrate
    release in today’s climate.

    In this event, methane will enter the atmosphere as methane gas. It will have a
    residence time of several decades and a global warming potential of 62 times that of
    carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.
    This would be the equivalent of 248 GtC as carbon dioxide or 31 times the annual
    man-made GHG emissions of today. Put another way, this would have the impact of
    nearly 30 years worth of GHG warming all at once. The result would almost
    certainly be a rapid rise in the average air temperature, perhaps as much as 3°F
    immediately. This might be tolerable if that’s as far as things go. But, just like
    15,000 years ago, if the feedback mechanisms kick in, we can expect rapid melting of
    Greenland and Antarctic ice and an overall temperature increase of 30°F.


    So warm water, earthquake or volcanic activity, a stray off course nuke, seabed drilling, all could initiate a large slump and release initiating the trigger event. Just the ocean sediments have an estimated 10.000 GtC.
    This is not a smoking gun, this a is fully loaded cannon primed and ready to go. Maybe we should really try to cool things down now. Wishing it was not there will not make it go away. Keeping it and the other carbon sources in the ground is the way to go.

    To those who don’t like potential realities just think who is in control of one of the largest set of active nuclear missiles in the world, and cannot be countermanded. Total control.
    Is there a great reason we should chance this by pushing things further? It could happen anyway, but why load the dice?

    • Fred Magyar says:

      To those who don’t like potential realities just think who is in control of one of the largest set of active nuclear missiles in the world, and cannot be countermanded.

      Um, the Dalai Lama?

      • GoneFishing says:

        Quietly aside “Fred, just remember that Snowden had to move to Russia for revealing state secrets. ”

        Pick up your complimentary copy of “Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories: And Other Disasters” on the way out. Thanks for playing Fred.
        Next contestant please.

  19. OFM says:

    The discussion here has been mostly about solar power recently, which is no big surprise, considering the last couple of hurricanes.


    Here’s a good fairly short read about what’s going on in Wyoming as the wind industry there is expected to grow by leaps and bounds for the next few years, even as the coal industry, and the jobs it provides, fades out, etc.

    Wyoming taxes wind. At first glance this seems unreasonable, but when you think about it for a minute, as somebody at the conference pointed out, the wind farms will be there FOREVER, as a practical matter, and allowing the industry to escape taxation forever by allowing it to escape taxation NOW is probably a big public policy mistake.

    Various states have made this sort of mistake in the past, allowing various companies to build reservoirs on rivers, etc, and use the river as private property, at low or non existent rates, for very long periods of time, while raking in the dough by the tens of millions of dollars.

    So…… I’m thinking it’s right and reasonable to encourage the growth of the wind industry by not charging any production tax for some period of time, but that there should be a tax at some point.

    Once wind farms are paid for, they’re going to be literally generating tons of money out of thin air, and they’re going to be doing it, in many cases, on publicly owned land.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Seems like for Federal lands there could be an auction just like offshore drilling rights. A level playing field is fine.

  20. Survivalist says:

    Sea-ice cover for September 2017


    Arctic sea ice at 7th lowest September


    “The oldest ice, that which is over 4 years old, is only slightly higher than last year and remains almost non-existent within the Arctic. At the minimum this year, ice older than 4 years constituted only ~150,000 square kilometers (~58,000 square miles), compared to over 2 million square kilometers (~770,000 square miles) during the mid-1980s.”


    • Javier says:

      Arctic sea ice at 7th lowest September

      Not bad after all the alarmism spread since March about how low sea ice extent was this year.

      It is likely that there will be more Arctic sea ice next year. That’s what an upward trend is about. Higher chance of going up than down.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Yes Javier,

        As last year was the lowest NH March Sea ice extent on record, it is a fairly safe assumption that in March 2018 there is likely to be more Sea Ice than the 38 year low of March 2017. A good guess would be 14.4 to 14.9 million sq km for average March 2018 NH Sea Ice extent, probably about a 75% probability it will be in that range. September 2018 average NH Sea Ice Extent is likely to be between 4.3 and 5.2 million sq km.

  21. OFM says:


    So far, as best I can tell, nothing in the Steele Dossier has been dis proven, whereas quite a lot of it HAS been proven.

    The Republicans in swing districts and states are going to have to abandon Trump in order to save their own asses next election cycle, and if the D’s can come up with some likable younger candidates that aren’t already well known as old line establishment politicians, the odds are looking VERY good, in my estimation, for big gains.

    Maybe even big enough to make impeachment possible. 😉

    Almost all the more or less well informed ( meaning they read or watch the news occasionally, which is a very low standard ) people I know who voted for Trump are now sick of him, at the personal and ethical level, but many tens of millions of people are still happy about his being prez because of a few things he keeps promising, such as building THE WALL.

    It’s probably impossible for the stereotypical university educated liberal person who is almost totally sheltered from worries about losing his or her MEANS OF EARNING A LIVING to immigrants to UNDERSTAND the RAGE ………..

    But the typical person who works in manufacturing, construction, or service industries, and must compete with immigrants for his daily bread is far more motivated than the gun control faction.

    He’s even more pissed about immigration than my stereotypical liberal is pissed about murder, retail and wholesale, committed with firearms. Immigration’s been a LONG SLOW BURN for him that has erupted into a fire like the ones that burn uncontrollably in parched forests out west so often, except in this case the fire extends border to border and sea to sea. It’s one of the things that put Trump in office.

    I’m personally insulated from employment issues, because I OWN a business, one that does not compete directly with other businesses that depend on cheap labor, but I know dozens of people personally who are single issue anti immigration voters. The odds are better than even that anybody I will speak to on the street for the next year will be vehemently anti immigration, due to being at risk personally, or having friends and relatives at risk of losing their living to an immigrant who will be happy to work for less money, with fewer benefits, and without ever raising an objection to speeding up the line or doing something dangerous or undignified.

    And yes, my own people were immigrants not all that long ago. When one of my great great grandfathers arrived in this neighborhood,family lore has it that he was so poor that when he broke camp all he had to do was call his dog and piss on his campfire. (The dog fed him, rather than him feeding the dog. ) He started as a share cropper, but he died the proud owner of his own farm. I just recently bought a portion of it from a relative who inherited it.

    And yes, it’s likely that some of my ancestors helped in murdering the people who lived in these mountains previous to the arrival of us Euros, but not in this IMMEDIATE neighborhood, so far as I can tell. The so called Indians were pretty much all gone, locally, by the time my known family arrived here.

    THAT was THEN.

    THIS is NOW.

    I’m trying to get across some insights as to WHY we are in the situation we’re in.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      He’s even more pissed about immigration than my stereotypical liberal is pissed about murder, retail and wholesale, committed with firearms. Immigration’s been a LONG SLOW BURN for him that has erupted into a fire like the ones that burn uncontrollably in parched forests out west so often, except in this case the fire extends border to border and sea to sea. It’s one of the things that put Trump in office.



      Undocumented Workers Are The Backbone Of Dairies. Will Trump Change That?
      “A cow does not take a day off.”
      By Dee J. Hall and Riley Vetterkind
      10/06/2017 10:24 am ET

      “Well, it’s a hot topic, and every night on the news you hear about building a wall and what we’re gonna do, like we’re gonna kick everybody out,” Chuck Ripp, who owns the farm with his brothers Troy and Gary, told the group. “First of all, Trump has a lot of power, but I don’t think he has that much power. He doesn’t quite understand, I don’t think, everything that involves in our lives all the time here on the dairy farm.”

      What will eventually replace many immigrant worker’s jobs on those dairy farms isn’t a border wall or misguided immigration policy, it will be automated milking machines.

      And on a slightly different but very related note:


      The real reason manufacturing jobs are disappearing

      What the world needs is completely open borders for both people and goods. In the 21st century, nationalism of all stripes is dangerous and downright stupid!

      • GoneFishing says:

        The March of the Machines (1997 and 2004)
        Warwick proposes that because machines will become more intelligent than humans, machine takeover is all but inevitable. The drive to automate is fueled by economic incentives. Even if machines start out without intentions to take over, those that self-modify in a direction toward a “will to survive” are more likely to resist being turned off. Arms races will likely create ever-increasing pressure for greater autonomy by robotic warfare systems, and this pressure would be hard to curtail. Machines have a number of advantages over human minds, including the ability to expand practically without limit and to spread into space where humans can’t reach. “All the signs are that we will rapidly become merely an insignificant historical dot” (p. 301).
        Meanwhile the pesky computer and engineering geniuses are designing even themselves out of jobs as AI starts to become better than they are. 🙂 Stupid humans.
        But there is no stopping this in a world that has no clue about real value and is all about profit and price. Our economic system is driving us out of business and over the biological cliff.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Meanwhile the pesky computer and engineering geniuses are designing even themselves out of jobs as AI starts to become better than they are. 🙂 Stupid humans.


          In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Max Tegmark about his new book Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. They talk about the nature of intelligence, the risks of superhuman AI, a nonbiological definition of life, the substrate independence of minds, the relevance and irrelevance of consciousness for the future of AI, near-term breakthroughs in AI, and other topics.

          Augmented human AI…

          • GoneFishing says:

            The key point is the ratio of interactions between oneself and machines and between oneself and humans. Define machines as ones that have a chip in them somewhere (no, not a wood chip, a silicon integrated circuit). What is your interaction ratio. You can go one step further and define human interactions as ones that do not involve any smart machines at all or are not interrupted by them.

            I was having some intermittent problems with my internet connection, so I got on the cellphone to call my provider and report the problem. I talked to an operator for about 10 seconds then waited 8 minutes while a machine played music and told me things I didn’t want to know.
            I gave up and so my ratio for that call was 0.023 human/machine interaction for that activity.
            After a while I realized that almost no interactions did not at some point involve a machine since people are always answering and consulting their smart phones even while I am actually trying to have a conversation to them.
            So embedding the phone or other system link directly into people is an obvious next step since they can’t misplace their phone then. “You would lose your head if it wasn’t attached.” Remember that one?
            Sadly, I have seen people on the verge of full panic when they lost or misplaced their cellphone.
            Think I will go and talk to my smartphone for a while. It always has an answer and pays attention to me when I talk to it, unlike people who think their phones are the most important thing in the world.
            At least my dog is not so encumbered and when she doesn’t pay attention to me I am proud of her for being independent from stupid humans and machines at the same time.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Sadly, I have seen people on the verge of full panic when they lost or misplaced their cellphone.

              Yeah, while cellphones are not yet, as far as I know, currently physically implanted in our brains. they do amount to what can be considered a cognitive prosthetic. Imagine for example the panic attack that a blind person might experience, if he or she were walking along in mid Manhattan and their walking stick were suddenly grabbed out of their hand…

              Are you familiar with the work of Lambros Malafouris?


              Lambros Malafouris – Embodied Patterns

              Lambros Malfouris is the Balzan Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Cognitive Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. His research interests include the archaeology of mind and the anthropology of the brain artefact-interface (BAI) covering topics extending from early stone tools and the exographic symbolic technologies of more recent periods, to the latest developments in neuro-prosthetics and cognitive enhancement. His research aims at developing ways to understand the long-term implications and causal efficacy of material culture in the functional architecture of the human brain and the evolution of human intelligence (especially with reference to human capacities related to self awareness, memory, theory of mind, agency and the body schema).

              For the last few years he has been working on the Material Engagement approach to the study of mind and the archaeology of extended and distributed cognition. Malfouris also participates in the European Platform for Life Sciences, Mind Sciences, and the Humanities (Volkswagen Stiftung).Part of the ‘Embodied Patterns’ Lecture Series.

              Interesting side note: If you take the time to watch that lecture, he talks briefly about speed bumps in a road. He then comments on how the ‘Medium Is The Message’. I was specifically struck by that analogy because in Hungarian ‘Speed Bumps’ are called ‘fekvőrendőr’ Which can be literally translated as ‘A Laying Down Police Man’…

              So many dots to connect! I’ll have to consult my AI scientific research assistant for help… IRIS.ai


              • GoneFishing says:

                Thanks I will read that, now out to one of my projects.

                Throughout my career computers, phones, and other assorted mechanisms were just tools. Now they are integrated into our lives, society and interactions. A much different and fast changing meme is forming now. One that is dangerous, annoying, helpful and entertaining all at once. Sort of like dealing with people. 🙂

      • Boomer II says:

        It’s not much of a free market if capital and goods can cross borders, but labor cannot.

        Opening up the borders and then reducing or eliminating government social programs because they would be harder to manage would seem to fit with conservative/libertarian viewpoints.

        But they would also have to give up their defense budgets because there would be no nations to defend.

  22. Trumpster aka KGB agent says:

    Vehicle to grid will be a physical reality within twelve months in Merry Olde England, the country that introduced us to coal and to the Industrial Revolution, lol.


    The UK became a net petroleum importer sometime back, unless I’m mistaken, but that might only be for finished products, rather than crude.

    It’s for sure that the North Sea is in serious and likely terminal decline, and before long the Limeys will be paying dearly for every liter they must buy with money earned by exporting something they can manufacture.

    And maintaining a big manufacturing export base in competition with Asian countries where wages and living standards are a minor fraction of those in the UK is NOT going to be easy, no siree.

    If I were a younger man, I would be driving an old Volt or Leaf most of the time, and charging it mostly with second hand panels I would have erected myself.

    Old HB might want to think about selling out his interests in the oil industry, and putting his money where his mouth is, politically.

  23. Fred Magyar says:

    In case anyone is interested, The World Solar Challenge Race is happening right now, down in Australia.


    Every two years, for the past 30 years, the World Solar Challenge has welcomed the greatest minds from around the world to Australia to challenge the norms and travel the outback in a vehicle powered only by the power of the sun.

    Traversing 3,000km from Darwin to Adelaide, teams comprise of tertiary and secondary students from over 30 countries. These students and their support team have achieved greatness.

    They have engineered and built a vehicle with their own hands and powered it across some of the world’s most challenging landscape.

    In 2017, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge will celebrate its 30th Anniversary.

  24. Fred Magyar says:

    It had been many months since I last visited George Mobus’ blog, ‘Question Everything’.


    As usual most of his insights are spot on! Though, I think I detect a slightly more pessimistic bent in his views. Could just be my own rather gloomy outlook as of late coloring my perception.

    For those out there who still read, he has a few good book recommendations as well!

    • Hightrekker says:

      I agree– it has been a while for a update.
      He is getting to that predicament stage, with homo trumpus just too stupid to survive.

  25. GoneFishing says:

    A friend of mine works at a garden center and she just sent me a photo of hanging flower pots with Monarch butterflies on them. Four of them. That is twice as many as I have seen all season. The migration must be on.
    Monarchs are way down in population, but reading the article below makes me think of my own personal observations of large loss of other insect life in the area.

    Where have all the insects gone?
    Of the scant records that do exist, many come from amateur naturalists, whether butterfly collectors or bird watchers. Now, a new set of long-term data is coming to light, this time from a dedicated group of mostly amateur entomologists who have tracked insect abundance at more than 100 nature reserves in western Europe since the 1980s.

    Over that time the group, the Krefeld Entomological Society, has seen the yearly insect catches fluctuate, as expected. But in 2013 they spotted something alarming. When they returned to one of their earliest trapping sites from 1989, the total mass of their catch had fallen by nearly 80%. Perhaps it was a particularly bad year, they thought, so they set up the traps again in 2014. The numbers were just as low. Through more direct comparisons, the group—which had preserved thousands of samples over 3 decades—found dramatic declines across more than a dozen other sites.


    • notanoilman says:

      There was a swarm tracked on (ISTR) Denver radar recently, not sure where I saw the article.


    • DimaondJoe says:

      Great, next watch the libs use this BS to pass an “insect tax” while declaring “insect lives matter” and so on. You know normal people would be completely happy in a world with less insects, lots of people pay good money to get rid of insects in homes and businesses or spray for them outside.

      • scrub puller says:

        Yair . . . .

        “You know normal people would be completely happy in a world with less insects”

        Crikey, isn’t ignorance bliss?

        Pretty much all the pollinators in my region have been eliminated by weather, climate or spray . . . and I don’t just mean honey bees.

        To get fruit from my few zucchini plants I have to pollinate by hand every morning, so yes DimaondJoe, we do need a diverse and healthy population if biting, itchy, annoying insects despite what you may think.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        You know normal people would be completely happy in a world with less insects,

        Apparently NORMAL people are fucking morons of the highest order!

        There are trolls, there are stupid trolls, then there is a special class of troll that defies all description, and after that comes Dim Joe Aond!

        • Hightrekker says:

          “Oh look, Dr Phil is doing a show on the Vegas shooter!”

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Not to worry: Fred’s technology will mimic all biology; his bugs will be CRISPR than ever before; and artificial intelligence nanotech drones will clean/maintain/repair/replace all those millions of hectares of solar panels in the wink of an artificial optical implant! ^u^

          All that– and more!— while we fly around in our Amazon-delivered electric SpaceX drones in our lives of leisure and contentment.

      • GoneFishing says:

        I like it, an insect tax. Anyone using toxic sprays would be fined and there is a general tax to promote and secure insect habitat. Sounds great. Thanks for the idea DJ.

        But how about an insect apocalypse?
        “Without pollinators,” Davidowitz said, “most plants on the planet will disappear.”

        The world would not just be a less leafy place in this insect-apocalypse scenario. Between 50 and 90 percent of the human diet by both volume and calories, depending on the country, comes directly from flowering plants.


        So they die, you die smarty pants.

  26. George Kaplan says:

    Another article last month indicated that the ECS is likely to be in the higher end of model predictions.



    I can only read Nature Climate Change at a (not very) local library, so haven’t seen all the details, but it looks like the variations in the models from difficulties in cloud modelling are getting sorted out (and as usual the result is worse than previously thought).

    Since 1990, the wide range in model-based estimates of equilibrium climate warming has been attributed to disparate cloud responses to warming. However, major progress in our ability to understand, observe, and simulate clouds has led to the conclusion that global cloud feedback is likely positive.

    • GoneFishing says:

      And now only several dozen more feedbacks to include as we get some empirical understanding of them.
      Meanwhile we keep pushing.

  27. Javier says:

    Cold extermination: One of greatest mass extinctions was due to an ice age and not to Earth’s warming:

    And the article:

  28. Javier says:

    Fred Magyar deleted comment (my bold):

    It has been a long time since I bothered to read any of your posts so I wanted to see if anything you say might change my opinion of you as a disingenuous cherry picker of data.

    The link you provided to the paper in Nature titled:

    ‘Timing of global regression and microbial bloom linked with the Permian-Triassic boundary mass extinction: implications for driving mechanisms’

    Just confirms my view that either you don’t read the papers you link to, have serious reading comprehension problems, or you really don’t care about engaging in any honest scientific discussion.

    You say:
    “Cold extermination: One of greatest mass extinctions was due to an ice age and not to Earth’s warming”

    Actually that is NOT what the paper says at all!

    Abrupt drop down of sea surface temperature, shrunken habitats on shelves resulting from a global low stand, and short-term acidification may all have synergistically triggered the PTBME. In many aspects, the environmental upheavals linked with the PTBME (i.e. short-lived cooling followed by longer term warming) tend to parallel the most recent model proposed for the Triassic-Jurassic boundary mass extinction event52, thus leading to a more unifying view of causes and effects of large igneous provinces.

    Based on that highlighted statement, most honest scientists would not unequivocally claim that one of the greatest mass extinctions was due to an ice age alone and had nothing to do with earth’s warming… but I’m certainly not surprised by your dishonesty!

    Your comment just states how biased you are against anything I say, even if I am not the one saying it.

    I didn’t wrote a single word. It was just a copy/paste of the sciencedaily article title. The sciendaily article is written after getting the authors’ comments to the article. Just go the link and check it.

    You have a serious bias problem, but what is worst is that you are unaware of it. Since you won’t read my response you will continue happily ahead with your bias in your own echo chamber where not even science can make a dent.

    It seems dishonesty these days is pointing out to scientific links that doubt the official version of climate change even at such peripheral matters as past mass-extinctions.

    And I don’t know how you read that article, but it also states very clearly:
    “The mainstream claim that the mass extinction occurred “during the transgressive pulse when anoxic bottom waters often became extensive” is untenable in the view of our timing from the South Chinese record with its locally restricted occurrences of Griesbachian anoxic marine deposits.”

    The sciencedaily article explains this more in the words of the authors:
    “By dating the various sediment layers, researchers realised that the mass extinction of the Permian-Triassic boundary is represented by a gap in sedimentation, which corresponds to a period when the sea-water level decreased. The only explanation to this phenomenon is that there was ice, which stored water, and that this ice age which lasted 80,000 years was sufficient to eliminate much of marine life. Scientists from the UNIGE explain the global temperature drop by a stratospheric injection of large amounts of sulphur dioxide reducing the intensity of solar radiation reaching the surface of Earth. “We therefore have proof that the species disappeared during an ice age caused by the activity of the first volcanism in the Siberian Traps,” added Urs Schaltegger. This ice age was followed by the formation of limestone deposits through bacteria, marking the return of life on Earth at more moderate temperatures. The period of intense climate warming, related to the emplacement of large amounts of basalt of the Siberian Traps and which we previously thought was responsible for the extinction of marine species, in fact happened 500,000 years after the Permian-Triassic boundary.”

    You have really outdone yourself here.

    • Javier says:

      An example of the unfair attacks I have to bear at this place for pointing out to science that doesn’t support the alarmist claim of a climate catastrophe in the making. The earmark of a failed theory is its need to silence its opposition out of the scientific debate.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        “Unfair attacks”? Get serious Javier, you’re not a climate scientist but an interpreter of climate science and a continuing failure at doing that (cherry picked data, poor reading skills, no understanding of basic statistics, etc.). If you want to be taken seriously, write a scientific paper about climate change (or lack of it), submit said paper to a creditable journal and be done with it. Meanwhile, don’t be surprised if you are ignored, ridiculed or taken to task for your silly interpretations and questionable logic.

        • Javier says:

          I am not a climate scientist, Doug, that’s why I rely on published climate science and evidence from scientific institutions. There is nothing to be published from what I do because it is all published already, so your proposal is not a good one.

          You are entitled to your opinion about how I do what I do, but nobody has the right to insult me for my opinions and much less for linking scientific articles or showing alternative interpretations to the dominant climate change hypothesis.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            @whut — “The problem with Javier is that he is trying to attack one of the most solid climate science models known.”

            And, he does so with a (very) limited knowledge of the applicable basic science: the physics, chemistry, and geology; and, no apparent facility with even elementary statistics. The fact that the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Meteorological Society, the American Physical Society, the Geological Society of America, the U.S. National Acad. of Sciences, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (to name just a few), all stand solidly behind the science isn’t good enough for little old Javier. Insulted for his opinions? Bullshit. His opinions receive all the respect they deserve.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Javier who?

            • Javier says:

              It is not my knowledge against climate science or against scientific societies. I am under no illusions about the limits of my knowledge of climate science. It is the evidence presented by climate scientists in their publications that contradicts some of the tenets of the CO2 hypothesis. I am just pointing to them.

              And quite frankly, the catastrophic predictions made by scientists and high ranking officials have turned out so wrong, that being skeptical about the catastrophic future climate that we are told is the only reasonable position. They have nobody else to blame for their lack of credibility.

              • @whut says:

                That’s wrong . The first estimate for the AGW warming signal was ~3C for a doubling of CO2 from the Jules Charney report of 1979 https://www.nap.edu/catalog/12181/carbon-dioxide-and-climate-a-scientific-assessment

                Today the estimate for the AGW warming due to a doubling of CO2 is about ~3C

                So this estimate hasn’t changed for almost 40 years.

                What’s funny is that there is an entire industry of skeptics who think the stability of this estimate is a sign of failure because it hasn’t really changed much.

                No, it hasn’t changed much because it is a simple calculation, primarily based on the estimate of the earth’s temperature of 255 C without greenhouse gases.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Javier,

      Fred deleted his comment, so perhaps he realized he was mistaken, I am not really interested in determining.

      Your post complaining about something he deleted seems kind of silly.

      You also insult others all the time. If you stop you can stop complaining about insults.

      Responding to insults with insults, just puts you in the same boat with others.

      I am not going to decide which insults are more egregious.

      When someone says something stupid, it will be pointed out.

      • Javier says:

        I haven’t called anybody here dishonest, and I am not responding to insults. You can’t be equidistant between those that insult and those insulted.

        Fred’s post is not the first absolutely unfair comment I receive. But it is a good example. It deserves to be read so other people can see how intransigent and bigot the climate change debate becomes when the consensus beliefs are challenged.

        • @whut says:

          The problem with Javier is that he is trying to attack one of the most solid climate science models known — that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that the CO2 prevents the earth from turning into a snowball.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Javier,

          Fred deleted the comment. That is a fact. So putting any weight behind the contents of a comment deleted by the author is a waste of everyone’s time.

          Focus on it if you wish, your choice.

  29. GoneFishing says:

    Freight service of the future?
    The idea is simple: Shipping by air is fast, but expensive. Boat is much cheaper, but very slow. So why not send all those boxes and packages on an un-piloted, amphibious Boeing 777-sized drone that can fly point to point and eventually drop off as much as 200,000 pounds of cargo at a seaside port? It would carry that cargo at about half the cost of normal air freight thanks to a more efficient use of fuel and the lack of an expensive crew.

    That’s the thinking behind Natilus, a Richmond, California-based startup that this summer plans on flying FAA-approved tests of a 30-foot prototype that’s about the size and weight of a military Predator drone. The flight will mark the first significant step toward upending the global freight forwarding industry.


  30. GoneFishing says:



    BAU is doing fine.

    • Bob Frisky says:

      A wonderful day for fans of common sense energy policy. Note how coal jobs came roaring back to life as soon as the new administration was elected.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Yep, looks like a “big’ rise that started months before the election.

        • GoneFishing says:

          And now for an even bigger change.

          • GoneFishing says:

            You can’t fight replacement natural gas and you can’t fight automation.
            Coal jobs have been falling for decades to machinery and automation.
            Now we are at a new inflection point.
            In the next decade, the mining industry may lose more than half of its jobs to automation, according to a new report. That’s not based on future technologies, but on automated equipment being deployed today.
            The mining industry is primed for automation. It’s capital intensive, buys expensive equipment and pays relatively well.

            Cosbey estimates that automation will replace 40% to 80% of the workers at a mine. New mines and those with many years of life left are the prime candidates for automation.
            Automation’s impact will affect the high-wage countries the quickest, “and is going to be keenly felt,” Cosbey said.


            During that long employment fall, production increased. It is a story seen across many industries.

      • islandboy says:

        Solar Industry Data

        Nearly 260,000 Americans work in solar – more than double the number in 2012 – at more than 9,000 companies in every U.S. state.

        American wind jobs crack 100,000 according to DOE

        January 13, 2017

        Washington, D.C., January 13, 2017 — Wind power employs just over 100,000 Americans according to new data released today by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), more than work at nuclear, natural gas, coal, or hydroelectric power plants.

        “Wind means opportunity and job security for over 100,000 Americans,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “The Department of Energy’s new jobs data underscore the incredible impact of wind power in creating American jobs. Wind workers directly contribute to our nation’s energy independence and economic success story. We’re especially proud of helping America’s veterans find well-paying jobs after their service, employing them at a rate that is 50 percent higher than the national average.”

        U.S. Renewable Energy Jobs Employ 800,000+ People and Rising: in Charts

        In 2016, solar was creating U.S. jobs at 17 times the rate of the national economy, rising to more than 260,000 jobs in the U.S. solar industry today. In the U.S. wind industry, now with over 100,000 jobs, a new wind turbine went up every 2.4 hours this past quarter. One driver of this rush to build out solar and wind capacity over the past few years was the expected expiration of key federal tax credits, which were ultimately renewed but with a phase-out over time for wind and solar.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Looks more like a wimper than a roar. Coal jobs are falling because coal is expensive relative to natural gas and renewable energy. At some point natural gas will peak and become more expensive, but wind and solar will remain cheaper than coal and costs of wind and solar will continue to fall.

        Jobs increased from 50,000 to 52,000 from Nov 2016 to Sept 2017. Huge increase. 🙂

        Probably the increase in natural gas prices for electric power from March 2016 to Jan 2017 caused the increase in coal mining jobs.

  31. islandboy says:

    Norway Nears 50% EV Market Share In September, Tesla Nets 2,000 Deliveries

    Plug-in electric car sales in Norway reached an all-time high in September of 2017, with record 6,524 new registrations (up 43.3%) at a record 48.4% market share!

    It’s amazing to see nearly half of the Norwegian market opt for plug-ins:

    BEVs 3,850 (up 46.6%%, good for a 28.6% market share) + 1,053 used + 90 vans (74 new and 16 used) + 6 FCV
    PHEVs 2,674 (up 39.1%, good for 19.8% market share)

    Plug-In EV Sales To Hit 1.1 Million In 2017

    Global plug-in electric vehicle sales have shown an increased every month (YoY) for the past several years, and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

    EV-volumes forecasts that this year total sales will climb to some 1.15 million, which would be a 48% gain over 2016.

    Which would mean that plug-ins would take a worldwide market share of about 1.22%…or one of every 82 new vehicles purchased would come with a plug.

    The numbers seem spot on – perhaps even a bit conservative, as ~649,000 sales were noted in the first eight months of the year, giving a great base for the last few months (typically the strongest) to build on. Sales from September to December are expected to range from 100,000 to 140,000 a month.

    Marchionne Again Says Electric Cars Aren’t The Solution – Video

    It comes as no surprise that Fiat-Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne, is talking smack about electric cars … again.

    How about the time that he turned up the radio during a Telsa Model S test drive because he had to fill the silence. He told reporters that there will never be an electric Ferrari because the car must make a sound. He also spoke against autonomous cars saying “you’ll have to shoot me first.”

    This is the same CEO that publicly asked people to not purchase his company’s compliance electric car (Fiat 500e) because the automaker will lose money. Yes, Marchionne is well-known for such statements.

    “It’s usually the ‘experts’ and ‘insiders’ who dismiss Disruptive Opportunities” – Tony Seba

    Graph from the second linked article below. Exponential curve anyone?

    • OFM says:

      I’m personally very fond of such Twain quotes as the one about the news of his death being greatly exaggerated.

      The death of the oil industry has been greatly exaggerated as well, but that does not mean the oil industry won’t shrink and die. The question is not if but when.

      And while the leadership of the world’s dominant tech companies does appear to be environmentally conscious, I am not so sure that the guys running things at Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Walmart and other leading companies REALLY give a shit about the environment. Maybe they do. Maybe they don’t.

      I AM sure however that they know how to play their cards when it comes to the BOTTOM LINE, and that they are confident that when they sign up for huge amounts of wind and solar power, they are doing so as much or MORE because they believe they’re locking in availability and a BARGAIN price as well than because they are greenwashing their business laundry.

      Maybe gas and oil is are as plentiful as some people believe, but maybe not.

      It wouldn’t take much in the way of a supply shortfall to push the price of gas and oil thru the roof, if the world economy remains on its feet.

      Locking in the price of substantial amounts of electrical energy for decades ahead may well prove to be one of the smartest possible moves made by forward looking companies.


      Who’s to say that Putin, or whoever eventually takes his place, won’t turn off the gas someday?

      Who’s to say the Chinese won’t work out deals with some or most of the countries that have gas and oil to export to send it preferentially to China, perhaps in exchange for the Chinese sending a thousand engineers and ten thousand craftsmen, and the materials needed, to build some critical infrastructure for them?

      • GoneFishing says:

        I bet people in the 1920’s thought the diesel locomotive would never come to much. 30 years later there were very few steam locomotives operating. It did not even need a fuel source problem, just lower maintenance, some lower costs and other benefits to help the bottom line.
        So EV’s not only have many benefits and lower maintenance but are in time to cover for a depleting oil supply. An even greater advantage than the diesel locomotive had over the steam locomotive.

  32. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    The Wrong Kind of Green:
    McKibben’s Divestment Tour – Brought to You by Wall Street
    “100 Billion for Everyone Who Signs”

    “The B Team was incubated by Virgin Unite, the foundation arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group… It has since grown to include 23 ‘leaders’ including… Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical, Mary Robinson… and several others of elite status

    Mary Robinson (a staunch believer in carbon markets) and Mo Ibrahim were two of those involved in the inception of The B Team. Ibrahim is the British Sudanese entrepreneur who excels in the undermining of Africa and her leadership, ‘for no other reason than to force African leaders to submit to Western economic and political ideology‘. [‘Today, Mo Ibrahim tells us that in 2012 and 2013, there was no African leader that qualified for the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. Mo Ibrahim, who has made billions of the back, blood and sweat of Africans, joins the predatory fray, in taking cheap pot shots at Africa’s leadership, in a transparent ploy to present himself as more caring for Africa and its people than those who sacrificed their lives and limbs for the liberation of Africa.’]…

    The elite associations in The B Team continue to proliferate

    This group and its alliances represent many of the key NGOs tasked with creating/achieving a buy-in from the populace (targeted as consumers) for new markets that will continue to drive growth under the false pretense of a ‘new economy’. The NGOs are strategically positioned within this hierarchy. For example, Avaaz and 350 are the trusted front groups while their alliances and key leaders/staff are closely affiliated with the corporate world and it’s map for the future. In reality they are all part and parcel of the same circle. A circle of power and elitism that both protects and expands current power structures while continually reabsorbing any/all movements of resistance. They keep their alliances at arm’s length in order to retain the illusion of being representative of civil society. NGOs such as 350.org and Avaaz while being the most powerful NGOs in the world, are actually on the lower rung of the hierarchy. They function in discreet servitude to NGOs such as Ceres and The Clinton Global Initiative that exist at the top of the hierarchy

    The B Team twitter account is a mix of elite/ appointed ‘leaders’, green tech, foundation financed super powers, finance, social media experts, finance, etc.

    Behavioural change is a key component of the ‘new [circular?] economy’. Recall that the term ‘green economy’ was deemed dead in 2014 by Avaaz and Purpose Inc. co-founder Jeremy Heimans. Heiman’s for-profit public relations firm, Purpose, Inc. consults for institutions such as… A shill for trafficking ‘prosumers’ and ‘millennials’ to the highest bidder, these organizations also have their hands dipped in many seemingly ‘humanitarian’ endeavors.

    Heimans… bears much responsibility in building acquiescence for the deaths of hundreds of thousands Syrian and Libyan citizens. Purpose (in tandem with Avaaz) has been instrumental in its building acquiescence for war on Syria via it’s many demonization campaigns that serve empire, including the White Helmets [see extensive research by independent researcher Vanessa Beeley]. To demonstrate the interlocking mechanisms between the NPIC and the humanitarian industrial complex, consider the close affiliation of Richard Branson (The B Team co-founder) with the International Crisis Group. Then consider Heiman’s role as a Branson B Team ‘expert’. Thus, it should be of no surprise to identify that The B Teams headquarters utilized on all B Team correspondence, is actually the headquarters of Purpose.

    The ideologies espoused by ‘We Mean Business’ are transparent in the following 1:40 minute interview with Avaaz & Purpose co-founder Jeremy Heimans by We Mean Business.

    “We’ve been talking in a broader way about the future of consumer activism, of organizing people not as citizens but as consumers.” ~ Jeremy Heimans, Purpose, 2011

    The fact that the 2014 Peoples Climate March was designed and orchestrated as a mass mobilization social engineering experiment financed by the oligarchs to ‘change everything’ (expand capital markets and insulate/strengthen existing power structures) is captured in the next 01:40 minute video titled We Mean Business Momentum…

    Additionally, the dystopian focus on perpetual growth via consumption as the solution to climate change is clear in the following We Mean Business video… Also note the reference to ‘Natural Capital’ which is code for the global privatization of nature via payments for ecosystems services (PES) which is currently being implemented into policies behind closed doors

    The 2016 article ‘From Stable to Star – The Making of North American Climate Heroes’ concluded that ‘The nurtured youth of today’s clearing houses for 21st century environmentalism, which is merely a guise for full-blown anthropocentrism, are the well-intentioned albeit naïve foot soldiers for today’s most powerful oligarchs.’.

    (…as demonstrated throughout this series, 350.org is always kept at arm’s length from those NGOs in the background doing the heavy lifting for the expansion of capitalism while they are in full view cautiously keeping the patina of grassroots mobilization intact)…

    In part thirteen of the divestment series [The Increasing Vogue for Capitalist-Friendly Climate Discourse], the report touched upon the imperative of grooming cherry picked ‘celebrity leaders’ to further serve capital…”

  33. Preston says:

    I just saw that corn and wheat production for the US for 2017 is down from all the weird weather.

    Corn production is forecast at 14.2 billion bushels, down 7 percent from last year.
    All wheat production, at 1.74 billion bushels, is down 25 percent from 2016.


    They are saying exports of wheat will not be reduced. Really, wouldn’t some kind of import/export rule apply? Or do the Russians and Saudi es get supplied first? Also, I heard we sold off our strategic grain reserve to raise money to bail out the banks in 2008. I’d bet we have a stockpile of MREs, but oh wait maybe they already used them all in Texas and Florida this year…

    • George Kaplan says:

      FAO food index was up 0.8% in September, but cereal index was down 1%. French wheat harvest was good, not so much elsewhere in Europe. Poland apple harvest was bad as well.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Hey, but look on the bright side, “Donald Trump is NOT a cannibal”

      Jon Stewart Grants Trump’s Request For Equal Time On Late-Night

      • GoneFishing says:

        He is one of three things ( or a combination of ) animal, vegetable or mineral.

      • Hightrekker says:

        “I need proof Trump and his soulless kids aren’t cannibals.”

        Don’t know about the Ghost in The Machine part, but are they cannibals?

  34. HuntingtonBeach says:

    “Trump Administration Denies Endangered Species Protection To Walruses Threatened By Climate Change

    Declining sea ice means the walruses must increasingly “haul out” ― meaning congregate in large numbers ― on land instead of on sea ice. And when females and their young perform those behaviors on land instead of on ice, there are serious risks.

    “When walruses are forced to land, they have reduced access to their food and have to swim farther to find food,” Wolf said. (Their diet is largely bottom-dwelling prey like clams.) Scientists have observed a lack of sea ice resulting in walrus pups being separated from their mothers and left to starve or drown.”


    • Javier says:

      One could take the view that nearly all species are endangered, but that doesn’t lead to useful action. It is clear to biologists and conservationists that the best approach is to protect natural environments, over species. The idea of making a list of endangered species makes sense only in special cases when a species is at risk of being lost in the short term, can only be saved by specific action, and it has some importance to us. After all there are millions of species. If the list is expanded too much it becomes useless.

      Not to defend Trump on anything, but the idea of including species in the list that are not in immediate danger, due to perceived dangers is clearly a mistake. Polar bears were included in the list as vulnerable in 2005 based exclusively on climate change perceived risks to the species. Their number is actually quite reasonable for a top predator in such a low productive environment. The justification was that the predicted loss of ice would cut their food sources leading to a huge decline in the species. But the ice that was predicted to disappear in 30 years took actually 7 years to vanish, and polar bear populations did not suffer the expected decline. Quite the contrary their population appears to be expanding despite the low ice situation. By putting species on the list based on assumed or imagined risks that turn out to not affect the species as expected can only lead to diluting the importance of the list. Either the animals and plants in the list are in real and present danger and require human action to be saved or the list loses its purpose. So including more animals on the list on perceived climate change dangers, that are tied to political arguments will only serve to make it a more political, and therefore less accepted list.

      And in any case we should concentrate our conservation efforts on environments. If we don’t save our natural spaces, saving a bunch of species will do us no good.

  35. Javier says:

    Cyclone Blanche is latest to cross land in second consecutive quiet season in Australian history


    “WHERE have all the cyclones gone?

    It is the second consecutive year Australia’s cyclone count has been chronically low.

    Last year, there were just three for the entire season, itself a record for the quietest cyclone count in the country’s history.”

    Dr. Ryan Maue shows that 2017 Global Accumulated Tropical Cyclone Energy to date is only 86% of normal year to date. Only the North Atlantic is showing an excess this year.

    Next Atlantic names are: Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, Whitney

    So no, we are not getting an excess of hurricanes due to climate change. Just an overdue statistical normalization after an unusual drought in hurricane landfall in the US since 2006, in a year particularly favorable to North Atlantic hurricanes.

  36. OFM says:

    For Nick and Fred, in particular, and anybody else interested,

    I’m putting this at the end because this thread is getting old , and it might be missed altogether otherwise.

    First off, hopefully you guys do realize that I am not generally arguing pro or con for immigration, except on the grand scale.Ten thousand or even a few hundred thousand people coming into a country annually the size of the USA don’t amount to anything significant, in terms of the overall economy and the environmental and cultural health of the country UNLESS perhaps they refuse to assimilate, insisting on living within a small area all together and thus creating some very real problems for the locals already there…. problems which WILL be politically exploited to the max by anti immigration elements of course.

    Second off, I AM arguing against immigration on the grand scale, over long periods, meaning year after year. ( I am NOT opposed to relatively small numbers of REAL refugees or kids being allowed into this country. ) So far as I am concerned, only an idiot could possibly REALLY believe at one and the same time that we are living in a seriously overpopulated world plagued with a fast deteriorating resource base and even faster deteriorating environmental situation and ALSO believe that the borders of his own country should be open, allowing immigrants into his country by the millions.

    THAT sort of bullshit might play out ok in “Caelan World” where people move around on foot or maybe on horses and in sailboats, and tribes rather than nation states rule, and people are only able to kill each other with muscle powered weapons.

    In the nation state world we actually live in, any sort of open border proposition ( other than something such as the Euro Union where everybody is at least somewhat equally civilized, prosperous, law abiding, culturally compatible, etc ) is about as DUMB as anything I can imagine.

    If such a policy implemented here in the USA, it would very shortly result in the election of politicians and who would make Trump and associates look like hard core socialists and vestal virgins.

    By way of example, my attorney has two thirtyish daughters, both professionals, who are green thru and thru, SO LONG as being green doesn’t impact their cushy personal lives. They can afford six and seven dollar coffee, so they don’t have to share a coffee shop with rednecks like me, lol, and they can afford two thousand plus a month rent, and three hundred plus houses, etc, so they don’t have to LIVE around or associate with or even LOOK at rednecks and poor people.

    Speaking as an environmentally literate and realistic person, I think any American ( Western European, etc) who fails to understand that his country will be his LIFEBOAT, in times to come, is suffering from a bad case of double think and or cognitive dissonance, in believing in both major environmental problems down the road while also believing that a LARGER population is a good thing.

    So……. I put this blind spot off as due to such people failing to think, and supporting and believing in two mutually contradictory positions simultaneously. Or maybe they’re just being hypocritical and or cynical about it, and going along with the overall positions of their political allies, putting cultural and political solidarity ahead of critical thinking.

    Now my lawyer is a wise man, not just a lawyer, or I would have a different one, and he says without any shadow of doubt that his girls would vote R next election if the power goes off and stays off a couple of days a couple of times in a year, because the R’s would promise to bring back RELIABLE coal based and nuclear based power. I believe he is right about that.

    Now as to the WHY of this rant?


    Read this piece for the fucking propaganda it IS, and I’m telling it like it IS about my OWN industry, agriculture.

    All a dairy farmer, or ANY farmer, has to do to hire AMPLE first class help is pay enough.

    There are MILLIONS of local people who can either do the work, or learn to do it fast, who will do it for a respectable wage, all things considered, and here’s the RELEVANT POINT. Virtually all farmers operate at roughly economic breakeven, meaning they would be just about as well off taking their assets out of farming, and putting their capital and skills to work in some other business.

    Farmers as a rule do NOT have pricing power, they are PRICE TAKERS, not price makers, and they PASS ALONG ALL THEIR COSTS. If a guy selling a million dollars worth of milk every year has to pay an extra fifty grand for help, THEN HE WILL and DOES GET that extra fifty grand for his milk, on average over time, it’s as fucking simple as that. So the wholesale price of milk goes up five percent, and the retail price goes up maybe a couple of percent or most likely less. This sort of thing is FINE with every liberal I have EVER MET, when discussing income inequality, paying a little more for environmentally sound business practices, cleaner cars, etc etc.

    The need or desire for dirt cheap labor ONLY becomes a fucking PROBLEM, in forums dominated by liberals, if it is handy to use it as a club to bang on the heads of conservatives who prefer to limit immigration. OTHERWISE, I can’t think of any occasion when I have heard liberals bitching about a NEED for cheap help, publicly. I do hear some private bitching about having to pay a little more to get their grass cut or their car washed if they have to hire a local person, sometimes.

    OTHERWISE, anybody who advocates cheap labor is immediately called a heartless, insensitive, soulless conservative, at the minimum, and generally called a LOT worse.

    I have hardly ANY trouble hiring good help, because I’m willing to PAY for good help, although the fact that I don’t need a full time employee means I have trouble finding part time help sometimes precisely when I need it.

    How do I get it? I pay a couple of dollars an hour more than my neighbors,and I throw in some soft drinks and a pack or two of peanuts when we take a break, that’s HOW. It’s as simple as fucking falling off a log.

    Now could I compete this way, if I were to come out of retirement? There’s no doubt in my mind I could, because I would have people I could trust to work unsupervised, to actually check the oil and water before they start a tractor, and to quit what they’re doing in the event of a fire and fight the fire instead of waiting to be TOLD to do so, etc, lol. The need for stupid labor on a farm is mostly history now, with almost everything being automated or at least partially automated, and almost all the equipment and all the crops representing a LOT of investment/ cash. I don’t WANT an eight to ten dollar an hour hand driving my truck, or operating my tractor, maybe having an accident, or ripping out the transmission. Twelve bucks buys an order of magnitude better quality help, locally.

    In Wisconsin maybe that pissing and moaning multimillionaire dairy farmer might have to pay eighteen plus bennies. That would be ok, he would STILL make the SAME profit, overall, over time, because his competitors would be paying the SAME wages.

    Every economically literate person in this forum knows I am telling it like it IS, whether his politics will allow him to admit it, or not.

    And about automation, yes, it’s destroying jobs faster than immigration, no question.

    But my final and REAL point is that I’m trying to get liberals to UNDERSTAND how conservative people , and particularly working class people, think, and why they believe what they do.

    I’m not arguing whether immigration may or may not be good for the OVERALL economy, at least in the short to medium term. I think maybe it is,I’m open minded on that point, but over the long term………… NO.

    My REAL END OF RANT POINT is that if liberals / big D Democrats want the votes of working class people, they better get their heads out of their asses and pay attention to the sort of things I have been posting here for the last few years. Otherwise, the R’s are going to continue to own those votes.

    And without those votes, the D’s will REMAIN where they are, in the dog house, more than likely.

    • Hightrekker says:

      I can just see these clueless idiots nominating Joe Biden come 2020—
      (if their choice for DNC Chairman is a indicator, they have learned nothing)

    • Fred Magyar says:

      OFM, first a couple general points.

      I am never going to argue with any expert unless I’m willing to put in the effort to learn what they know both in theory and in experience. I may know something about agricultural science and biology but it would be ridiculous of me to pretend that I know anything about the business of farming. So in that department I will always defer to your hands on expertise.

      Earth is in ecological overshoot and has a population problem that sooner or later needs to be addressed.

      I do not in any way shape or form equate immigration with the global population problem or as a cause of population growth in any particular nation. I also do not see immigrants as being the same as refugees.

      I am unapologetically in favor of open borders and free trade between all peoples of the world. Protectionism and ultra nationalist ideologies are counter productive to solving our global problems. These are ideas that no longer make sense in the 21st century and even less so going forward.

      I do understand the mindset of those who disagree with me on these points. I think they are clinging to the past. I am also well aware of forces at work that want to protect certain interests and will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Propaganda is certainly part of their tool set. Their bots and trolls are hard at work even here.

      We need a fresh way of looking at our economic, political and social systems.

      Doughnut Economics with Guest Kate Raworth

      Economics affect all of us. Whether good or bad, whatever is happening in the world of economics affects policy decisions, multi-billion-dollar investments, and even social and environmental policy decisions. But according to economist Kate Raworth, most ideas about economics are extremely out of date and college courses are behind by decades. What is the traditional view of economics and how is it out of date? How would Raworth reframe the way we think about economics? What kind of changes could occur if we change this thinking?

      Time for some doughnuts and coffee…

      • Hightrekker says:

        Time for some doughnuts and coffee…

        No cigarette?

        • Fred Magyar says:

          You’re supposed to smoke a joint before the doughnuts and coffee…

      • OFM says:

        Back to you Fred,

        Let me say first off that I have a very high opinion the cpu that lives between your ears. It’s fast, and it’s well programmed, with TONS of data, and it seldom if ever produces any garbage, because you obviously don’t supply it with garbage data.

        I apologize for the tone and any personal slight contained in my last comment.

        And you most certainly do know enough biology to understand anything, in principle, relating to agriculture, from the purely technical pov.

        I’m not sure just how much if any time you have devoted to the study of economics, but in any TRULY competitive industry, in a TRULY competitive economy, as a theoretical matter, you are about as well off in any given business as any other given business. This is true because if I’m doing landscaping, and you’re building decks, and either of us notices that the other is making more money, we can switch lines of work. There aren’t any really significant barriers to getting into either deck building or landscaping. So the earnings of people in such industries tends to average out, overall, everything considered.

        Farming is one such industry, with every dairy farmer getting basically the same price for his milk, namely whatever the buyer pays. If I sell a load of logs, the sawmill pays me the same amount per calculated board foot and quality grade and species as it pays every other logger who delivers there. We’re price takers, excepting those of us who can sell at retail, which gives us the opportunity to decide whether we’d rather sell fresh tomatoes at ninety nine cents and sell LOTS of them, or charge two bucks, and sell far fewer, maybe hardly any at all. We make some money either way running a roadside retail market.

        Everybody running a fast food restaurant is in about the same position, at least within a given market area, they are all forced to sell at basically the same price, and they all have to pay about the same wages, pay about the same rents, the same taxes, etc, so if the local or higher government mandates a higher minimum wage, all operator’s expenses go up about the same amount, and while the local INDUSTRY’s hamburger volume will probably shrink a LITTLE BIT ( due to prices being on average up a little bit) , the typical restaurant operator’s long term profit margin remains about the same, because if he isn’t doing well, he gets out of the biz, and takes his time and talent and capital elsewhere.

        I can’t remember anybody disputing these particular observations, except when it’s politically expedient to do so.

        If that particular dairy farmer would pay an extra ten grand to each of his five employees, he could almost for dead sure hire some bright eyed and bushy tailed young LOCAL people, including some with substantially more expertise than he is ever apt to possess himself in fields such as computer programming, diesel engine maintenance and repair, veterinary medicine, etc. He could even IMPORT help from a nearby city where lots of willing workers are on unemployment. Free borders are just an EXTENSION of the concept of moving WITHIN political borders to where the opportunities are, lol. My family migrated from the Highlands to this country and spent some time in the coal mines and moved from there to here to farm and has mostly moved from farming here to professional work in the cities within the last generation, so that few farmers are left, but we now have lots of teachers, lawyers, accountants, nurses, programmers, etc. I have nieces and nephews now who more or less live on planes and in airports, as required by their professions.

        Now so long as his COMPETITORS can pay less, he is himself pretty much compelled to pay the same, or only a little more, given that dairy farming is relatively labor intensive, and labor is a significant portion of his total costs. Otherwise, he might not make enough to stay in the biz.

        “Earth is in ecological overshoot and has a population problem that sooner or later needs to be addressed. ”

        I totally agree, except that everything I have ever learned in the school of hard knocks,meaning personally, or elsewhere, including at university and on my random fifty year walk thru the libraries of the world, has taught me that the TIME to be dealing with problems that grow worse exponentially, is YESTERDAY, lol.

        We need to be doing anything and everything we possibly can NOW to slow and halt the overall growth of the population of the world. We are on the same page, same paragraph in this case.


        “I do not in any way shape or form equate immigration with the global population problem or as a cause of population growth in any particular nation.”

        Unless I’m badly mistaken, our Yankee women have already dialed their baby production back to the point that we are now having less children here than necessary to MAINTAIN our population, long term, except for the fact that we have lots of immigrants coming into the country.

        ( Our population would continue to grow at this same birth rate for several more decades, before stabilizing and starting to decline, even with zero immigration. )

        I agree that immigration does not have any thing significant to do with the GLOBAL population problem.

        “I am unapologetically in favor of open borders and free trade between all peoples of the world. Protectionism and ultra nationalist ideologies are counter productive to solving our global problems. These are ideas that no longer make sense in the 21st century and even less so going forward.”

        As a matter of PRINCIPLE, as a matter of THEORY, I wouldn’t want to have to argue the contrary position in an academic debate, lol. You would mop the floor with me, if the judges were scientists, rather than politicians.

        BUT BUT BUT BUT……. Scientists don’t run this old vale of tears, and I don’t see any likelihood at all that they will be running at any time soon, if ever.

        Now you tell ME, I’m all ears.

        What do you think the ACTUAL CONSEQUENCES would be if for instance we opened our southern Yankee border to anybody and everybody from south of that border, or anybody who could get across the Atlantic or Pacific to Central America?

        HOW many new wanna be citizens do YOU think we would have we have in the space of five or ten years?

        And just what do you think the political consequences would be if such a policy were hypothetically implemented, with the political left being able to just barely muster enough support to enact it, with the political right just barely failing to prevent it being implemented? ( Such changes are usually made in this country with almost as many people opposed as in favor. )

        You tell ME. What sort of congress critters and presidents and sheriffs and mayors and county supervisors and town council members would be elected as the result of the backlash?

        Methink’s it’s necessary to point ONCE AGAIN out that I’m usually commenting, politically, as a COACH, rather than as an ADVOCATE. My own positions are not even relevant, although I have made it clear I believe in strong environmental protection law, single payer health care, personal freedoms, education for all, etc, meaning I agree with most of the bau liberal agenda. A few parts of it I do not agree with, because those parts don’t work out well in the real world, and need revision from the ground up.

        What really counts in politics is winning elections, without creating such a backlash in the process that you lose the next several elections in a row to the opposition.

        Now maybe I’m wrong, but it’s my OPINION that advocating open borders is about as unwise a policy, in terms of elections, here in the USA, as I can imagine, because I believe that doing so is about as sure a way of guaranteeing that the working classes as a whole vote R as opposed to D as can be imagined. ( There are some working class subclasses that would likely continue to vote D on the basis of single issue politics, for instance some minority voters or the basis of their civil rights. )

        If you want to win elections, you must have the vote of the working classes. The R’s have that vote all thru the south and midwest all sewn up, they have it sewn up NATIONALLY a’s evidenced by the number of elected offices they hold from dog catcher to mayor to governor to congresswoman to senator to president.

        Old HB is right that HRC won the popular vote, but she lost the election on the vote of the working classes, and the D’s would still be in the doghouse, taken all around, even if she had won, with the R’s in control of Congress and most state and local government offices. And while he points out correctly that some Sanders voters probably voted for Trump , and that many more probably stayed at home or voted Green, as I did, he FAILS to mention that an equal or larger number probably voted FOR HRC not because they wanted her, but to AVOID Trump becoming prez. So any other D would have gotten those anti Trump votes just as well. If she had had the vote of the working classes, she would have won by a landslide instead of losing by the proverbial hair.

        I don’t want to sound like a supporter or friend of the Trumps, but it IS a fact that there are such things as ALTERNATIVE facts, in a manner of speaking. By this I mean that YOU are right theoretically about open borders, the facts in this case in terms of raw science and humanitarian ethics are on your side, as I pointed out earlier.

        But I believe that the POLITICAL facts, ALTERNATIVE facts, are on my side. The question now is WHICH set of facts are the more important?

        I will add one more point and give it up for the moment. The LONG TERM is an academic question, unless you survive the short term, lol.

        I believe we both understand that the environmental and political crises we face are approaching or already at tipping points that will result in catastrophic consequences. My personal opinion is that the next two or three decades are going to tell the tale, politically, ecologically, economically.

        I believe you agree , although you may estimate that we have a somewhat bigger or smaller window of opportunity to solve our environmental problems before Mother Nature solves them for us, via dieoff, on the grand scale.

        For what it’s worth, I believe that die off for substantial portions of our species is already baked in, barring extraordinary good luck on the grand scale on the technical, economic, and climate fronts. I used to believe that die off would get nearly all of us, planet wide, but I’m more optimistic these days, considering how fast renewable energy is growing, how fast birth rates are falling, etc.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Unless I’m badly mistaken, our Yankee women have already dialed their baby production back to the point that we are now having less children here than necessary to MAINTAIN our population, long term, except for the fact that we have lots of immigrants coming into the country.

          I’ll basically agree with that statement!

          The problem I have with the latter part of it: “except for the fact that we have lots of immigrants coming into the country.”, is that this is a symptom of the ‘Global Population Problem’ and will never be solved by closing borders, that simply will not work, never has, never will! Pretending otherwise is a head in the sand kind of attitude. This is precisely the kind of problem that is exacerbated by isolationist, protectionist and nationalist paradigms of the last century.

          Just happened to read an article about Otzi the Ice Man:

          This discovery could also lead to more clues about Copper Age connections across Europe, Live Science reported.

          In the past summer, researchers said that the metal found in the Neolithic hunter’s copper axe suggested it came from Southern Tuscany. This could imply that a long-distance trade route possibly existed between central Italy and the Alps around 5,300 years ago, reports said.

          By measuring the traces of lead in the blade, the copper in the newly found blade can be traced to the same source in Southern Tuscany.

          “Mainstream research normally does not consider the possibility of intense contacts between south and north in the Alps” during this time, Schaeren told Live Science.

          Nation States are a relatively new idea that may already be past their prime…

          The same can be said of the economic systems and paradigms we are all still clinging to. They haven’t worked for a while, aren’t working now, except for perhaps for a very small minority of the world’s very wealthy elites, and they are clearly unsuited for what the future holds, my guess is that something has got to give and probably sooner than later!

          Having said that, I will readily admit that I have very little formal university level training in economics. Though I also haven’t spent years studying astrology, yet I’m pretty sure most of it is useless BS. In any case, whether any of us likes it or not we live in a highly interconnected global economy which is still stuck on the idea of infinite growth and discounts harm to global ecosytems. It still hasn’t quite grasped the consequences of how technology is making human labor obsolete. (See, Yuval Noah Harari’s book: Homo Deus A Brief History Tomorrow)

          Also a good read Douglas Rushkoff’s ‘Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus’


          Excerpt from a Forbes review:

          But Rushkoff isn’t claiming Google GOOGL -0.45% is at fault. He says: “there is something troubling about the way Google is impacting the world, but neither it’s buses nor the people in them are the core problem; they’re just an easy target. He says we’ve brought a set of industrial age. “We are running a 21st-century digital economy on a 13th Century printing-press era operating system,” writes Rushkoff.

          Here’s a Youtube vid from Rushkoff:

          It’s not the just the ‘Economy’, it’s the “OS Stupid!” just ask our old friend George Mobus.

          The world we are entering is not our forefather’s world this is truly a new dawn and old protectionist ways of thinking are not going to work despite the backlash coming from Nationalists of all stripes, Brexit Supporters, and our own Trumpists. Political sytems the world over are not up to the task. I’m way past counting on ‘Depublicans’ and ‘Remocrats’ to come up with new ideas they are both going down. Not sure what will rise up to fill the vacuum in the near term, but it probably won’t be recognizable by most of us.


          • GoneFishing says:

            Fred said” I’m way past counting on ‘Depublicans’ and ‘Remocrats’ to come up with new ideas they are both going down. Not sure what will rise up to fill the vacuum in the near term, but it probably won’t be recognizable by most of us.”

            Probably won’t matter after this happens.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          “but she lost the election on the vote of the working classes, and the D’s would still be in the doghouse”

          Here is the root of the problem. History shows for the last 100 years. The Democrats are the party of the working class. They support Unions, health care for all, the minimum wage, a progressive tax system and believe government can help people have a better life. To many of the working class are to dumb to realize it and let other factors like religion, racism, guns or even the thought of having a beer with their representative get in the way of their own good.

  37. Hightrekker says:

    “Halloween apparently came early this October because the nomination of Andrew Wheeler as Deputy EPA Administrator is absolutely horrifying”


  38. Boomer II says:

    Seems like the coverage about the EPA rolling back regulations on power plant emissions focuses on the wrong stuff. Trump and Pruitt are doing this as part of a culture war, but economics say coal plants are being phased out because they are old and not price competitive with natural gas and renewables.

    But environmentalists and the media seem to be taking the bait on this issue, making it a bigger deal that it may be. I’d emphasize that this is more of a political dog and pony show than impactful legislation.

    • Kevin Nishimoto says:

      I’m not against clean air, but why should the EPA be able to deliberately pick business winners and losers? Reliability of energy should be key, and with clean coal we get 2 benefits in 1; reliability and clean air.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Kevin,

        When coal fired power plants have the same emissions as natural gas fired power plants, then they will be “clean”.

        Essentially this was what the clean power plan required.

        Now the EIA is proposing that we subsidize coal power plants.

        I am all for reducing all subsidies to zero as long as any harmful emissions are taxed (coal is far from clean).

  39. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    AGW-Denial and Status-Quo Technology/New Economy: Playing Different Sides of The Same Coin?

    The Wrong Kind of Green: Beautiful Delusions
    McKibben’s Divestment Tour – Brought to You by Wall Street

    ” ‘Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver-tongued pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities – yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change.’ Note that this same description also aptly describes those at the helm of the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC)

    …’Kenner is particularly fascinated by the phenomenon of self-described ‘grassroots’ organizations that are actually shilling for specific corporate and political interests… The shilling in this instance for The Rockefeller Foundation, The Clinton Global Initiative, etc… the author writes that by ‘[P]roviding an accessible, somewhat facile framing device, professional magician Jamy Ian Swiss describes how all sleight-of-hand (including the card trick he performs and demystifies onscreen) is predicated on the audience’s willingness to be deceived.’ This same predication fits America’s self-described environmental activists like a velvet glove.

    The authors of Merchants of Doubt found that ‘one way to effectively remove public fear around a particular issue is to create fear elsewhere…

    This same tactic is utilized in the building of acquiescence for the ‘new economy’. It is not the industrialized capitalist economic system causing our environmental crisis, ecological collapse and the Sixth Great Extinction. Rather, it is the lack of technology via ‘clean energy’ infrastructures global in scope (which in reality would/will only further industrialization, thus accelerating both greenhouse gas emissions and planetary environmental degradation).

    In a final observation, the reviewer concludes that ‘There’s perhaps a necessary element of hypocrisy in this approach, given the film’s point that too many Americans, by and large, prefer showmanship over science.’

    Today’s ever-devolving Western society continues to demonstrate its preference for showmanship over science, celebrity over substance, technology over nature, liberal ideology over radical ideology, human life over all other life

    The first ‘follows’ chosen upon the set-up of twitter accounts are always revealing and Breakthrough’s twitter account is no exception…

    ‘Breakthrough Capitalism’ asks the question as to how to engage the ‘1,100 or so companies that now control half of the world’s market capitalization.’.

    Whereas Volans and Generation would have us believe we should give these corporations even more power, the truth is that these very 1,100 corporations more than likely represent the first ones that should be targeted for dismantlement.

    John Elkington is the founding partner and Executive Chairman of Volans, as well as the co-founder of SustainAbility (1987) and Environmental Data Services (ENDS, 1978). He is recognized as a world authority on ‘corporate responsibility’ and ‘sustainable development’. In 2004, Businessweek described him as ‘a dean of the corporate responsibility movement for three decades’. In 2008, The Evening Standard named Elkington ‘a true green business guru’, and ‘an evangelist for corporate social and environmental responsibility long before it was fashionable’.

    Of course, only those who serve to benefit from such false narratives bestow these titles and accreditations…

    In September of 2016 Elkington launched ‘The Breakthrough Innovation Platform’ to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in partnership with UN Global Compact. ‘The ultimate target of the SDGs is the privatization of Indigenous and public resources worldwide.’

    Zeronaut was launched in April, 2008. It was founded by John Elkington.

    Sophisticated and seductive marketing which appeals to an audience comprised of privilege is of critical importance. The marketing strategist executive, set with the task of selling an illusory ‘new economy’, employs both market-centric and human-centric terminology, which is alluring when paired with an underlying white saviour pretext – a prerequisite to successfully gloss over and elude the true extent of capitalism’s inherent violence and destructiveness. Market-centric language is strategically enticing as it invokes a ‘new’ economy’… with new profit centres, inclusive of carbon emissions credits, carbon capture storage, and most critically, today, the financialization of nature.

    It is important to note that the Zeronaut mission/philosophy/marketing scheme is beguiling: ‘a new breed of innovator, determined to drive problems such as carbon, waste, toxics, and poverty to zero’. Yet, such beautiful delusions can only be afforded by the privileged. Not those who are oppressed under the capitalist economic system. Not the earth herself whose natural resources are destroyed in the creation of commodities for capital. Not for those now referred to as ‘human capital’. Not for those murdered by empire in the race for what’s left of our planet’s rapidly declining rare Earth minerals and resources.

    The Zeronaut 2012 Roll of Honor list includes Bill and Melinda Gates (GMO seeds), Al Gore and David Blood (Generation Investment, environmental markets), Ban-Ki Moon (environmental markets, carbon markets, methane extraction, REDD+), James Hansen (nuclear), Paul Hawken (‘natural’ capitalism), Pavan Sukhdev of TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity – commodification of the commons) and many more of those in elite positions of power and influence…

    The deluge of half truths and misinformation propagated by the NPIC is the reason why it is necessary to analyse and define what the term ‘zero waste’ truly means. In that regard, what is not mentioned is the mandatory mass-consumption of the product leaving the manufacturing plants and warehouses. Of no mention or consideration is the waste of energy to produce this ‘food’ and transport this ‘food’ that very likely has little to no true nutritional value. In fact, one could quite easily make the argument such processed foods and ‘edible’ oils, key products/ingredients of Kraft, actually poison whole societies, inducing cancers, sickness/disease, and obesity. (In essence, products under the guise of ‘food’ that amount to no more than toxic sludge.)…

    Starbucks five dollar lattes are full to the brim with the blood and sweat of the farmers that barely survive under the industrialized capitalist system. Support of corporate power dominating agriculture ensures the continuance of exploitation while furthering negative social and community impacts…

    …beneath the layers of… [this] zero waste ‘feat’ is little more than green washing with highly evolved and a most sophisticated marketing…

    The idea that the same corporations that have brought the apocalypse to or doorstep are the same corporations who will now usher in a new green utopia is just that – a utopian fantasy.

    Under an industrialized capitalist economic system, zero waste cannot and will not ever be achieved. To varying degrees, every one of these corporate entities, and the junk they produce (which are things we do not need to survive), have to go. Bare essentials in the most radical sense must be our collective goal.”

  40. Longtimber says:

    Finger Pointing – Too expensive to never meter.
    “The V.C. Summer project, started in 2009, drew national attention because it promised to usher in a new era of nuclear power in the United States. Instead, the project became a crater of debt that left electric customers on the hook for a squandered investment LARGER than the state’s $8 billion annual budget.”
    If the Vogel addition in Georgia is ever completed, it’s likely to be the most expensive man-made object on planet Earth

  41. OFM says:


    I’m open to any suggestions as to things a single citizen might do that would potentially contribute to the progress of the sciences, other than the ones already well known, such as recording the dates of arrival and leaving and numbers of birds at a given location, etc.

    I for instance might be able to turn up some old animal skins from a century ago that might be analyzed for the distribution of pollutants such as lead which has been spread via burning leaded gasoline, etc, but there are plenty of skins in museums.

    A person with time enough on their hands could spend some of it poring thru old diaries and books and newspapers looking for comments about how dirty the air was, noting for instance how many days you couldn’t see the sun in a given month, compared to decades previously.

    Or when it got to the point that you couldn’t let your cow drink from a given stream, indicating how long it took for coal mining pollution to get to the point the water was poisoned at a given location, etc.

    But there are already plenty of historians, too, lol.

    How about some new ideas?

    • GoneFishing says:

      Points to ponder.
      The pollution levels in the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s was so bad it shows up in the temperature record. Between the very poor burning of huge amounts of coal and the major continental forest fires, aerosol pollution was extremely bad. Plus there were ten large volcanic eruptions from 1883 to 1899. Then another 15 large eruptions from 1900 to 1919 including the largest eruption of the twentieth century.
      There is a large volcanic eruption almost every year or so. 2000 to 2015 had 21 large eruptions occur.
      So we are just looking at the points where greenhouse warming overcame aerosol cooling, around 1910 and again around 1975. Maybe the so-called “pause” or slow down of global warming lately had some volcanic origin as well as the huge amounts of coal and dirty oil being burned.
      Now those were the large eruptions. Total 20th century eruptions added up to 3542.

      Despite all these cooling effects from aerosols, GW keeps on chugging along. A point to ponder.

      SO OFM, contact universities and state agencies to get a particulate monitoring station put up in your area or on your land. In the meantime do not discount the power of public observation data sets. These large data sets can be used in many studies. Cornell Ornithology can set you on the right track with birds.

      • GoneFishing says:

        To see what is going on in the world of volcanism.

      • OFM says:

        Hi GF,

        There are at least a dozen various monitoring stations within five to ten miles of my home that I know about personally, having seen them, and there are probably three times more .

        Most of these have to do with various insect and pest or potential pest populations, the rest with weather, so far as I know. I will look into whether there are any particulate stations nearby.

        Our local air is unquestionably cleaner NOW than it was a few years back, but dirtier than it was when I was a kid, based on observations of the visible horizon over my lifetime from the highest point on the farm, which is high enough to have fifty mile plus views.

        Haze here originates mainly to the west of us, and is brought here by the prevailing winds. When the feds forced the coal plants out Ohio way to clean up their act, at least partly, things started getting better again, but the air is still not as clear as it was back in the fifties.

        I would really like to come up with some sort of project I could carry out without spending much money on it, over the remaining years of my life, creating an environmental record that might be useful later on to a real practicing full time scientist. So far I haven’t been able to think of anything within my potential budget and within my skill set that isn’t already being done by lots of other people.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        The pollution levels in the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s was so bad it shows up in the temperature record.

        I’m sure at least a few of you remember the story behind these guys, eh?

  42. Hickory says:

    My analysis of the past decade macroeconomics scenario (US centric)-
    The repeal of Glass Steagall (thank you Newt Gingrich/B Clinton, and the whole congress pretty much)
    opened the door for the banking industry to gamble on a massive scale.
    The gambling did indeed grow to an immense scale, the gambles crashed and we all have paid the price.
    I have to now acknowledge that despite all the finger pointing, the Fed has done a masterful job since the crash. The world economy is growing at about 3.6%, and there has not been a global depression.
    Sure the debt is now huge. We will find a way to default on it eventually, and that will be extremely painful for many, especially the elderly (pensions) but also to any tax payer.
    But the Fed did manage to prevent the severe chaos that was at the doorstep, chaos that was brought to you by the congress in the form of the repeal of Glass Steagall.
    Now it your turn to tell why I am all wrong on this.

    • GoneFishing says:

      The only things I see is that a lot of pain was caused, a lot more pain and suffering has been put off to the future, more wealth was redistributed to the wealthy and there has been no real cures for the problems.

      Having global economic growth finally equal to global inflation is not something to brag about. Global debt has reached over 215 trillion dollars this year, up from 63 trillion in 1996. Anyone see a trend there?
      Has the Russian economy ever stabilized?

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Gone fishing,

        The growth in real GDP uses constant dollars (it is adjusted for inflation).

        Now people will point out that GDP is an imperfect measure.

        I agree, but it’s the only decent measure that we have long term data for.

        Yes, Global debt has increased, but there is a balance sheet, financial liabilities are equal to financial assets. Much of the increase in debt is a matter of the World becoming more developed (China and India, as well as Brazil and Russia and Korea) and more people having access to credit.

        I agree reducing banking regulation was a big mistake. The lessons learned from the financial meltdown that led to the Great Depression had been forgotten 60 years later, and still had not been remembered by 2009 (especially in Europe).

        Economists and politicians need to read Keynes or perhaps Paul Samuelson’s introductory macroeconomics text.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      The world economy is growing at about 3.6%, and there has not been a global depression…

      Now it your turn to tell why I am all wrong on this.

      Row, row, row, your boat,
      Gently up shit’s stream.
      Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily,
      Growth’s but a Ponzi Scheme!

      • OFM says:

        I love the cartoon, Fred.

        And I would like to stop the growth that’s consuming the natural world like a cancer.

        There’s not much I can do, personally, in terms of the world, but I am doing what I can to get people to pay attention, politically, to what actually goes on here in the USA.


        There IS a slight chance however that if I ever finish my homespun book of redneck wisdom that enough people will read it for amusement and enlightenment that it will make a difference.

        If only a thousand people read it, there’s a fair chance one of them will eventually be in a position of power and influence and remember what was in the book.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          If only a thousand people read it, there’s a fair chance one of them will eventually be in a position of power and influence and remember what was in the book.

          I think I remember Sam Harris saying that while he enjoys reading and writing books, the number of people he reaches with his pod cast, is multiple orders of magnitude greater than what he could ever hope to reach, even with his books that are on the NY Times best seller list.

          So I think the take away message there, is, if you are truly interested in reaching people in a wide audience and possibly changing the way they think, start a blog with a podcast… 😉

          Hint, there is a reason print newspapers are going the way of the Dodo as is Network News and TV broadcasts. I’m sure if Samuel Clemens were alive today, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer would have been podcast on multiple episodes of Mark’s biweekly ‘Story Telling Hour’ and you could follow him at #Twain…

  43. OFM says:

    If anybody with a working brain is actually wondering WHO is in control of the Democratic Party, and WHY the party is in such disarray, perhaps they might like to read this article for insight.


    Personally I tend to think that the real reason the D Party is not supporting liberal D candidates in local and state races is that the people in control, aka the HRC machine, would rather see the party shrink even more in terms of power and influence than to welcome in any new blood, blood that is not indebted to the machine and the corporate interests that make that machine possible.

    From the article

    “Right now, for example, if you can believe it, the Democratic National Committee seems to be slightly baffled about what to do as regards the race for the open U.S. Senate seat in Alabama. The Democratic candidate is Douglas Jones, the former U.S. Attorney who sent to prison the last of the terrorists who bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963. The Republican candidate is a lawless theocratic nutball named Roy Moore, who lost his job as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court twice because of flagrant judicial misconduct.

    It would seem to the casual observer that people generally should realize it to be their patriotic duty to keep Moore out of the Senate for the good of the country. However, as reported by The Daily Beast, the Democratic Party apparatus can’t even decide if it should go all in for Jones.

    A spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said only that the group is closely monitoring the race and providing support if necessary to the Democratic candidate, Doug Jones. The spokesman also said that Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the chairman of the DSCC, had made a personal contribution to the Jones campaign. Democratic super PACs, meanwhile, are evaluating their options when it comes to the Alabama general election, which isn’t until December. Before making any investments in the race, they first want to assess how vulnerable Moore is in the state. The former chief justice has emerged from a primary during which virtually every establishment Republican institution was against him. Democratic operatives said on Wednesday that they’re looking to see if some GOP voters keep their distance from Moore before deciding to come to Jones’ aid.

    Good god, how is this even a question? Roy Moore is a howling extremist, if that word has any meaning at all anymore. Why would the Democratic Party worry about whether or not Republicans in Alabama are going to “keep their distance” from their party’s lunatic candidate? (Pro Tip: They almost never do.) Get in there with both feet immediately and don’t get out until the job’s done.

    Or, if you insist on overthinking yourselves into paralysis, turn Nina Turner and the people allied with her loose and then come in at the end—cooperatively, mind you—and drown the race with money and ads. And if the Our Revolution people hold back because they don’t want somebody on the Internet to get mad at them for “selling out,” they should tell that person to shut up and dance. This is too important. There are now two mayors who’ve proven that progressive candidates can win just about anywhere. Learn that lesson or you deserve to lose forever.”

    Now I suspect that Moore WILL win, but that the D Party is withholding real support for him is the sort of activity southern country folk describe as lower than a snake’s belly.

  44. Dennis Coyne says:

    New Posts


    A post by islandboy on the Electric Power Monthly, non petroleum comments in this thread please.


    OPEC Post by Ron Patterson, petroleum comments in that thread.


Comments are closed.