406 Responses to Open Thread Non-Petroleum- Sept 26,2016

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Half the article is about pay to play, which is in my opinion pretty much standard operating procedure when government subsidies are passed out.

      Clinton and Coumo , well, there’s a reason the worst possible Republican candidate in history is running a neck and neck race with her, and it AIN’T because of a ” vast right wing conspiracy”.

      I don’t know a soul who can look me in the eye and tell me they really believe she is trustworthy.
      ( Regulars here will remember I promoted Sanders candidacy. )

      Coumo is more of a question mark for me because I have never paid him much attention, but he doesn’t come across as Sunday school teacher material.

      So I am ready to believe the accusations of pay to play, because federal prosecutors aren’t in the habit of bringing frivolous charges against people with the money and power to fight back in court.

      Nothing in this comment should be interpreted as saying such subsidies don’t benefit the public, assuming the money is spent on projects that are successful and provide employment and tax revenues.

      Now anybody who is following the solar industry, and who knows something about the history of fast expanding industries, and how the many companies are soon consolidated into a few major players, will understand that any manufacturing plant associated with the solar industry is a risky proposition, because new technology can leapfrog the old before the old is even up and running sometimes.

      There is also the fact that the solar manufacturing industry has over expanded, and therefore some consolidation is to be expected for that reason. On top of that the Chinese have poured vast quantities of men and money in the industry in an obvious attempt to OWN it, to the extent possible, by driving out everybody they can.

      So – Solar City is not doing so well, but the company in my opinion has a pretty good shot at long term success.

      Heartland does produce some good stuff occasionally, and they usually get the hard facts right.
      But Heartland is also fairly hard core Republican party oriented outfit, and it is sop that they choose their words and subject matter to make the R party and R party values look better, and the D party and D party values to look worse.

      There are damned few think tanks or advocacy groups that are not guilty of this same sin, lol.

      If I want to know the half of what say HRC is up to , or is hiding, I have to go to right wing sites, and ditto to left oriented sites if I want to know about Trump’s many sins. I have quite a few of both sorts bookmarked.;-)

      • wharf rat says:

        “they really believe she is trustworthy”
        I would trust her with my granddaughters, which is what this election is about. I wish she was less hawkish, tho. I wouldn’t trust Trump with my septic tank, even tho he is intimately familiar with the care and feeding of its contents.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Bravo wharf rat, well said.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            I will go so far as to say that Clinton isn’t Trump,which is damming by faint praise, but I will be voting a third party unless I decide to stay home and get drunk and cry for my country.

            • wharf rat says:

              I’ve thought about 3rd Party, but future historians will talk about this race as a fight between tolerance and bigotry. They aren’t gonna look at Clinton, Johnson, + Stein vs Make America White Again. It’s just Clinton and Trump, and being an Other myself, I damn well want my vote seen.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                They are just labels to the coercive/violence-based plutocracy. A vote means a vote for that.

                “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.” ~ Karl Marx

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

                “According to him, the dystopia of the Wachowski Brothers’ Matrix trilogy is already here: the technological-industrial ‘machine’ is already running the world, a world where individual humans are but insignificant little cogs with barely any autonomy. No single human being – neither the most powerful politician, nor the most powerful businessman – has the power to rein in the system. They necessarily have to follow the inexorable logic of what has been unleashed.” ~ G Sampath on John Zerzan

                “The dystopian’s word for impossible is the word, utopian.” ~ Caelan MacIntyre (with special thanks to Dennis Coyne for inspiration)

      • R Walter says:

        Hillary knows what’s in those 32,000 deleted emails. It’s enough to ruin her career, kill her presidential campaign, and send her to prison. It’s like a ticking time bomb. And it’s eating away at her. The weight of the world is on Hillary’s shoulders.


        I’m going to vote for Gary Johnson, the candidate who doesn’t know where or what Aleppo is. Might as well vote for the second most clueless candidate. Of course, the most clueless is Trump, but don’t tell anybody.

        Romper Room with Howdy Doody in the Oval Office. Uff da looey.

        Lutefisk, lutefisk, lefse, lefse, we’re Norwegians, ya, you betcha! har!

        • Lloyd says:

          I’m going to vote for Gary Johnson, the candidate who doesn’t know where or what Aleppo is.
          If he can’t find Aleppo, he can’t attack Aleppo. You might have something here.


      • me says:

        Solar city is irrelevant. What is interesting is that the price of solar keeps falling aand falling.

        Solar energy continues to fall in price.


        It doesn’t matter whether the solar producers are making money, and it doesn’t matter whether solar can meet all humanity’s needs.

        What matters in the short term is that solar is sucking all the profit out of the energy business. The golden age of energy tycoons is rapidly ending.

        Of course it will hit the electricity producers first. Oil is still safe, as long as battery prices stay high enough.

  1. GoneFishing says:

    The CO2e pollution from oil extraction and refining in the US is greater than the CO2 pollution from all the diesel engines in the US, according to this article from the UCS.


    • Could be. But that UCS webpage and article lack sufficient documentation to understand their data and calculations. This is probably best approached using an energy accounting as well as emissions accounting approach.

      Most large companies keep track of emissions. Looking over what I had available I can say that producing high water cut 23 degree API oil causes more emissions than producing extra heavy oil – 8 degrees API – in Venezuela. There are also ways to optimize energy use, such as cogeneration.

      To show you how much we worry about it, I have seen feasibility studies for nuclear plants we would use to deliver heat and electricity to heavy oil mega projects. Bye bye emissions.

      But any serious work really has to skip over this UCS content. They are amateurish and waste verbiage on the usual global warming rants.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        But any serious work really has to skip over this UCS content. They are amateurish and waste verbiage on the usual global warming rants.

        That statement could be another data point in this recent new study.


        The ‘Alice in Wonderland’ mechanics of the rejection of (climate) science: simulating coherence by conspiracism

        Science strives for coherence. For example, the findings from climate science form a highly coherent body of knowledge that is supported by many independent lines of evidence: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human economic activities are causing the global climate to warm and unless GHG emissions are drastically reduced in the near future, the risks from climate change will continue to grow and major adverse consequences will become unavoidable. People who oppose this scientific body of knowledge because the implications of cutting GHG emissions—such as regulation or increased taxation—threaten their worldview or livelihood cannot provide an alternative view that is coherent by the standards of conventional scientific thinking. Instead, we suggest that people who reject the fact that the Earth’s climate is changing due to greenhouse gas emissions (or any other body of well-established scientific knowledge) oppose whatever inconvenient finding they are confronting in piece-meal fashion, rather than systematically, and without considering the implications of this rejection to the rest of the relevant scientific theory and findings. Hence, claims that the globe “is cooling” can coexist with claims that the “observed warming is natural” and that “the human influence does not matter because warming is good for us.” Coherence between these mutually contradictory opinions can only be achieved at a highly abstract level, namely that “something must be wrong” with the scientific evidence in order to justify a political position against climate change mitigation. This high-level coherence accompanied by contradictory subordinate propositions is a known attribute of conspiracist ideation, and conspiracism may be implicated when people reject well-established scientific propositions.

        What would be truly surprising, is, if a retired petroleum engineer’s world view was NOT in conflict with climate change science and the fact that it is due to anthropogenic causes, mainly the burning of fossil fuel such as petroleum.

        BTW, in case anyone is wondering, Alternative Energy such as wind and solar are part of a liberal socialist plot to get the American taxpayer to fund Climate scientists rich and famous lifestyles! 🙂

        • GoneFishing says:

          Personally, I think the value is low, they probably did not include the pollution from many of the inputs to production, pipelines and refineries. It should be at least 40% of the total, but the UCS give it about 25%.

          Fernando,apparently likes to agendamoan/self-aggrandize but did not follow the links in the article to the full report. Plenty of references there. Not that it would matter.

          For those interested: http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2016/02/Fueling-Clean-Transportation-Future-full-report.pdf

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gonefishing,

            From your link (page 12):

            The emissions produced through extracting and refining the oil add on average 1.5 tons of CO2e, an additional 35 percent (CARB 2015a).

            However in Figure 5 on page 13 it is 26% from extracting and refining oil, I guess the “additional” 35% is 1.5/4.2= 36%. The source is
            “CARB 2015A; COONEY, MARRIOT, AND SKONE, 2015”.

            I have not read that piece. Maybe the 40% number you have heard is that “additional 36%” which someone rounded to 40%?

            In any case I believe your point is that there is more to it than just the tailpipe emissions, the emissions from the production and refining of crude into usable products also creates significant emissions, which need to be included in the analysis. I agree.

            I found that source from CARB it is at


            From what I can tell it is about 26% from extraction, transportation, and refining of the fuel and 74% from tailpipe emissions.

            • GoneFishing says:

              My point is that there is a huge unaccounted emission directly attributable to oil, it leads back to the well emssions, the refinery emissions, all the inputs for drilling, refining, pumping and distribution..
              Cut out the use of oil for transport and you cut out much more emission than is normally accounted. There is a large amount of fuel being used behind the scenes.
              “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Gonefishing,

                As I said I agree, according to the California Air Resources Board, about 26% of the total CO2eq emissions is “behind the curtain”. This estimate is from CARB not the UCS.

              • GoneFishing says:

                I have shown in other posts that it is much higher. Don’t feel the need to reiterate. No one really listens anyway.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Gone fishing,

                  I am interested and did not see those posts.

                  Usually CARB does a pretty thorough job on these sorts of things.

                  Do you have a reference for the 40% estimate for CO2eq of total emissions for transportation coming from the extraction and refining of petroleum liquids?

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Fred,

          I believe Fernando accepts the science up to a point, but he thinks climate models such as the GISS Model E2-R (ECS=2.5C) are more sensible than some of the models with higher ECS and that scenarios such as the RCP8.5 which posit 5000 Pg of carbon emissions from carbon dioxide from 1800-2200 are not consistent with the reality of peak fossil fuels. I tend to agree with him on the second point as even my “high” fossil fuel scenario results in only 1600 Pg of carbon from all carbon dioxide sources. Even the RCP6 scenario (2000 Pg of carbon) is probably not realistic unless we burn the Green River Shale, which is not very likely.

        • Javier says:

          It is actually a good thing that Lew and Cook continue producing this garbage, as it completely exposes the total lack of arguments.

          “All Cook, Lewandowsky and Lloyd have done is take something which was poorly worded out of the context which shows it was a remark about a specific example and portray it as being a general statement that is always true.

          If you are willing to take things out of context and portray them as referring to things they clearly aren’t referring to, you will always find it easy to paint things as “incoherent.” That shouldn’t be how “science” works though. Similarly, “science” shouldn’t work by asking a bunch of men:

          Are you a woman?
          Are you a witch?

          And concluding that since everyone you asked said, “No” to both questions, men are not witches and women are. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how the “science” of this paper is being done. It’s not just this paper either. Stephan Lewandowsky relied on this same approach to creating spurious correlations to write multiple papers portraying global warming skeptics are conspiracy nutters. John Cook worked with him on projects arising from this. This sort of bogus methodology is essential for the body of work these people are creating.”
          A new consensus paper, at first blush

          … the consensus position that global warming is happening, is human caused, and presents a global problem is shared by more than 95 % of domain experts and more than 95 % of relevant articles in the peer-reviewed literature (Anderegg et al. 2010; Cook et al. 2013, 2016; Doran and Zimmerman 2009; Oreskes 2004; Shwed and Bearman 2010).

          I have read the Anderegg 2010, Cook 2013, Doran & Zimmerman 2009 and Oreskes 2004 papers and at that time I found nothing of that kind. In none of those papers participants were asked whether they considered this warming to be a global problem.

          this is an unsupported claim that global warming is a problem and that this problem is global and that it is surveyed and found to be 95+% of the papers/experts standing behind this claim. While in reality none of the referenced papers investigated that aspect and at least one of the authors was an author in two of the referenced papers and should know that this claim was unsupported by the evidence. Yet, the claim is made in the second sentence of the introduction of a scientific paper, determining the playing field for what comes next in the paper.

          I am trying to put is as politely as possible here, but I have a hard time imagining that this slipped in inadvertently and that the other authors, as well as the reviewers, just glossed over it.

          Or maybe, just maybe, did the authors took a little bit too much inspiration from the title of their paper and just created their own reality.”
          The “Alice-in-Wonderland” consensus position

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Are you a woman?
            Are you a witch?

            The much more important question is, does she weigh as much as a duck?!


          • Fred Magyar says:

            …this is an unsupported claim that global warming is a problem and that this problem is global and that it is surveyed and found to be 95+% of the papers/experts standing behind this claim.

            Yeah, right! Repeat after me:

            “Global warming is NOT a problem!”
            Global warming is NOT a Global problem!”
            “There is NO logical contradiction or incoherence in the previous statement!”
            “95+% of the papers/experts DO NOT stand behind this claim!”

            And let me guess, everyone who disagrees with those statements is a liberal socialist hell bent on destroying the global economy.

            Seems to me Javier, that your comment, rather nicely supports Cook, Lewandowsky and Lloyd’s contention!

            Which is:

            The coherent political stance of denial may not be undercut by its scientific incoherence. Climate science denial is therefore perhaps best understood as a rational activity that replaces a coherent body of science with an incoherent and conspiracist body of pseudo-science for political reasons and with considerable political coherence and effectiveness.

            And In other news Trump choses Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, to lead the EPA


            “Obama’s war on coal is killing American jobs, making us more energy dependent on our enemies & creating a great business disadvantage”
            Donald J. Trump

            Never thought I would say this but I’m praying for a Clinton win!

            • Javier says:

              We are promised that global warming is going to be a problem in the future, but it clearly isn’t in the present. 2016 the year of record warming (thanks to El niño), was also the year of record wheat crop in the world. The dissonance between what we are promised and what we see is what makes so many people to not care about global warming.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                2016 the year of record warming (thanks to El niño), was also the year of record wheat crop in the world.

                Yeah, but your claim is reminiscent of the guy falling from the 50th floor passing the 25th floor and claiming all is still well!


                Rising temperatures reduce global wheat production

                S. Asseng, F. Ewert, P. Martre, R. P. Rötter, D. B. Lobell, D. Cammarano, B. A. Kimball, M. J. Ottman, G. W. Wall, J. W. White, M. P. Reynolds, P. D. Alderman, P. V. V. Prasad, P. K. Aggarwal, J. Anothai, B. Basso, C. Biernath, A. J. Challinor, G. De Sanctis, J. Doltra, E. Fereres, M. Garcia-Vila, S. Gayler, G. Hoogenboom, L. A. Hunt et al.

                …The model ensemble median was consistently more accurate in simulating the crop temperature response than any single model, regardless of the input information used. Extrapolating the model ensemble temperature response indicates that warming is already slowing yield gains at a majority of wheat-growing locations. Global wheat production is estimated to fall by 6% for each °C of further temperature increase and become more variable over space and time.


                Agriculture and fisheries are highly dependent on specific climate conditions. Trying to understand the overall effect of climate change on our food supply can be difficult. Increases in temperature and carbon dioxide (CO2) can be beneficial for some crops in some places. But to realize these benefits, nutrient levels, soil moisture, water availability, and other conditions must also be met.


                Although the climate change in some areas of the world, particularly the areas located within the northern widths above 55°, will have positive effects on agricultural production (Ewert et al., 2005), but the negative impacts of these changes will be so severe in hot and dry areas (Parry et al., 2004 and Gregory et al., 2005), so in developing countries the rise in temperature and the decrease in rainfall have been more severe (Sivakumar et al., 2005), and moreover the frequency and intensity of the occurrence of rare climatic phenomena (drought, heat, coldness and flood) will also be intensified (IPCC, 2007). Undoubtedly, any change in climatic condition will affect the agricultural production systems of the world.

                Would you like links to another 100 papers refuting your unfounded optimism?

                • Javier says:

                  So despite evidence showing no ill effect from global warming, optimism is unfounded and pessimism is very well founded. I think you got the burden of proof reversed.

                  The last 1°C increase in global average temperature have shown a huge increase in agricultural production even in places where modern agriculture had little impact. What makes you think that the next 1°C increase (if it ever happens) is going to be so different?

                  Science is all about facts and evidence and nothing about beliefs. That info that you post is about beliefs and about model predictions that reflect the beliefs of those who made the models. The scientific consensus has been wrong many times before. It is only right when it sticks to facts and evidence.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    What makes you think that the next 1°C increase (if it ever happens) is going to be so different?

                    While I admit that botany isn’t exactly my forte I did take enough courses in plant physiology that I do know enough about the science to understand that it is you who either doesn’t have a clue or else you are just being disingenuous.

                  • Javier says:

                    Right, I also have a title in Biology and another in Agriculture.

                    That’s why the number of greenhouses and hothouses keeps increasing despite their price, and farmers keep using increased CO2 in them, because farmers want a colder world with less CO2 for their crops.

                    As I said, total disconnect between the real world and those science-fiction studies.

                  • Dave P says:

                    Wait, I thought you were a climate scientist Javier!?

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    As I said, total disconnect between the real world and those science-fiction studies.

                    Yeah! Says the guy who used the completely artificial environment of commercial greenhouses as an example to describe natural ecosystems.

                    That’s not even making a bad comparison like apples to oranges. That’s more like comparing wild apples to synthetic GMO fungi!

                    Hint, commercial green houses are NOT representative of REAL world ecosystems!

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    A planet full of greenhouses to feed the world…


                    “Carousels… amusement parks… We’re dancing under plastic skies. We’re living in a fantasy, avoiding reality… that kicks away my need to be, anything at all…

                    Flowers that consume the ground in a fake exotic town, that slowly sucks my life away… pushes me right through the day…

                    Hermitage, Part 3

                    “The top hat… chimney pot hat or stove pipe hat, [etc.] …was frequently associated with the upper class, and was used by satirists and social critics as a symbol of capitalism or the world of business. The use of the top hat persisted in politics and international diplomacy for many years, including at U.S. presidential inaugurations… The top hat also forms part of the traditional dress of Uncle Sam, a symbol of the United States…” ~ Wikipedia

                • scrub puller says:

                  Yair . . .

                  This grain production thing (in Australia) is a symbol of a screwed up system that runs on money.

                  How is it possible for a “farmer” to have a million dollars worth of machinery sitting in a shed waiting for the rain so he can plant cereal crops in fourteen inch country?

                  That is gambling not farming and never happened before the days of 500 hp tractors.

                  A cap on tractor size in the TRUE GRAINBELTS would bring things back into balance with more consistent and predictable production.

                  The emphasis as we move forward in our changing world needs to be focussed on people more than capital and the price of grain needs to reflect its true value.


            • Nancy Gebauer says:

              Mr. Magyar the real facts do indeed show that scientists aren’t as united behind the official climate change agenda as much as the mainstream media would like us to believe. Consider The GW Petition Project, which has had 31,487 real scientists sign it, including 9,029 with PHD.


              The purpose of the Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of “settled science” and an overwhelming “consensus” in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climatological damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists. As indicated by the petition text and signatory list, a very large number of American scientists reject this hypothesis.

              Publicists at the United Nations, Mr. Al Gore, and their supporters frequently claim that only a few “skeptics” remain – skeptics who are still unconvinced about the existence of a catastrophic human-caused global warming emergency.

              It is evident that 31,487 Americans with university degrees in science – including 9,029 PhDs, are not “a few.” Moreover, from the clear and strong petition statement that they have signed, it is evident that these 31,487 rea; scientists are not “skeptics.”

              These scientists are instead convinced that the human-caused global warming hypothesis is without scientific validity and that government action on the basis of this hypothesis would unnecessarily and irreparably damage both human prosperity and the natural environment of the Earth.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                “The Global Warming Petition Project… is a petition… organized and circulated by Arthur B. Robinson… Frederick Seitz… wrote a cover letter endorsing the petition, emphasizing connection to the National Academy of Sciences (of which Seitz had previously served as president)…

                ‘In a highly unusual move, the National Academy held a press conference to disclaim the mailing and distance itself from its former president.’

                Robinson asserted… that the petition has over 31,000 signatories, with 9,000 of these holding a Ph.D. degree. Most signatories with a Ph.D hold their degree in engineering [not climate?]. A 2009 report of the Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC)—a group that ‘disputes the reality of man-made climate change’—lists 31,478 degreed signatories, including 9,029 with Ph.D.s. The list has been criticized for its lack of verification, with pranksters successfully submitting the names of Charles Darwin, a member of the Spice Girls and characters from Star Wars, and getting them briefly included on the list.” ~ Wikipedia

              • Javier says:

                Having a university degree in sciences is not the same as being a scientist. A scientist is someone that in addition is paid to do scientific research. As this was not asked, it is not possible to know how many scientists are in that list.

                The climate debate is very politicized in the US. As such a lot of people are joining both sides of the debate, many with titles and also scientists, for political reasons, rather than making a personal judgement based on the evidence and information available.

                In the end is the society who has to decided on the response to this issues and it doesn’t look good for the alarmists. When asked how much would they be willing to pay as a monthly fee on their electric bill to combat climate change, 42 percent of respondents are unwilling to pay even $1. That shows how worried a great part of the society is about climate change.

                The Wall Street Journal: How Much Will Americans Pay to Battle Climate Change? Not Much

                Of course the part of the society that is really worried thinks that the response to global warming should be imposed on all and democracy be damned. Would they go to the extreme of using force against countries that do not adhere to the Paris accords?

                • me says:

                  Don’t need to use force. If a carbon tax is in place than it would be imposed on goods imported from regions where no carbon tax is levied. Since most carbon dioxide emissions are the result of waste anyway, this would provide a strong incentive to tax at the source and remain competitive.

                  About claims that reducing carbon emissions would “cost Americans”, it sort of depends on who you are talking about. Taxing gas at the pump would reduce net oil imports and cut carbon emissions. Since most liquid fuel consumption in America is pure waste, it would be a big win in GNP terms. So it would be a net benefit, not a cost at all.

  2. Javier says:

    I have published an article at Climate Etc. blog:

    Impact of the ~ 2400 yr solar cycle on climate and human societies

    I think it will appeal to anybody interested in climate, history, or climate history.

    If anyone wants to comment here I will be checking.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Judith Curry’s blog?! Really?!
      Let us know when you publish here:

      • I don’t know, Fred…
        Some of Javier’s comments in comparison to some of yours and Dennis’ for examples, do give one pause, such as with regard to ostensible lack of immunity to particular brands of denial; to lapses of logic and etiquette; and to rigidity of beliefs and values and so forth.

      • Tran says:

        Well I’d say right now all my money would be placed squarely on these citizen investigator scientists like Judith Curry and Javier who perform genuine intense investigations of what’s been happening with and on the sun over these past few years. So far they have been able to come up with a lot of impressive evidence showing that the sun is far more significant than any other factor in regulating global climate and that the significantly reduced sunspot activity we’ve been observing recently indicates the sun in the 2017-2018 time frame may enter a semi-permanent cycle of low sunspot counts…which could easily make many places around the world get colder as in the 1970’s.

        • Tran,
          You have no idea what you are talking about. Judith Curry is not a “citizen investigator scientist”, she is department head of Earth Sciences at Georgia Tech.

          Students that take classes from her are getting ripped off IMO

          And I don’t know what that mess that Javier wrote is all about. I don’t think English is his first language.

          • Javier says:

            My second language is better than most people second language, if they happen to have one.

            As a general rule only people with only a language poke fun of other people’s speaking a non-native language. It is a sign of being coarse.

            • As it turns out, Javier used the English as a second-language excuse himself !

              All that stuff that Javier is writing about is a smokescreen anyways.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          So far they have been able to come up with a lot of impressive evidence showing that the sun is far more significant than any other factor in regulating global climate and that the significantly reduced sunspot activity we’ve been observing recently indicates the sun in the 2017-2018 time frame may enter a semi-permanent cycle of low sunspot counts…which could easily make many places around the world get colder as in the 1970’s.

          Oh, we have EVIDENCE Yipee! Here comes the next ice age!

          To call that kind of crap, ignorant bullshit, would be to deeply insult all good bullshit!

          Judith Curry is a paid fossil fuel shill and while I haven’t quite figured out what Javier’s agenda is, at the very least we can say that very few reputable climate scientists agree with him!

          • Javier says:

            If you have bothered reading the article instead of writing comments about me, you would know that the evidence doesn’t support a glacial inception for 2000 years more, and that no grand solar minimum is expected for the 21st century. But you are clearly more interested about politics than science. That’s probably why the climate debate is so polarized.

            Everything in my article is a reflection from scientific articles some of which are referenced in the linked bibliography. The consensus between paleoclimatologists, very well reflected in the literature, is that solar variability has an important role in climate variability. The consensus between solar physicists is that it does not. So we have contradicting consensus from scientists that are looking at different things. When you talk about what scientists believe you have little idea of what they are reflecting in their published articles.

        • wharf rat says:

          “I’d say right now all my money would be placed squarely on these citizen investigator scientists like Judith Curry and Javier”

          Are you in the market for a bridge? I have one I’ll sell you, along with 10% interest in a second one that’s made from a railroad flat car.

        • Doug Leighton says:


          If you’re interested in solar activity as related to global climate I’d suggest you get information from a creditable source such as the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and ignore the nonsense put out by Javier. We all know that Sunspots Number is a tool used to study the solar dynamo, space weather and climate change. It has recently been re-calibrated and it shows a consistent history of solar activity over the past few centuries. We now know that there is no significant long-term upward trend in solar activity since 1700, as was previously indicated, which suggests that rising global temperatures since the industrial revolution cannot be attributed to increased solar activity.


          • Javier says:

            As I said astrophysicists look at the Sun and don’t see an effect, while paleoclimatologists look at the climate of the past and see an effect. And they are as reputable as scientists from any scientific field can be. Current theory does not account for it, but the evidence is there, and in science evidence always trumps theory. It is always the theory that is incorrect or incomplete.

    • Javier says:

      It is sad that my comment about a science-based article on climate only triggers a discussion about me. This says a lot about how believers in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming are behaving like cult-followers personally attacking anybody who dares to challenge their belief. This is one of the things that first called my attention to climate skepticism. If they are wrong, why is it necessary to destroy their credibility? So I did my research and found out that they are not wrong and that is why it is necessary to destroy their credibility.

      In due time climate will disprove all this nonsense, but by then a lot of people like Al Gore will have made a killing out of it. Then they will go out and invent something else.

      • wharf rat says:

        “This says a lot about how believers in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming are behaving like cult-followers personally attacking anybody who dares to challenge their belief.”

        Maybe you are the cult-follower, taking your cues from Karl Rove’s Rules for Projectors.
        Tactic #2: Attack Your Opponent’s Strengths.
        Tactic #3: Accuse Your Opponent of What He/She is Going to Accuse You Of.

        • Javier says:

          You seem oblivious to the asymmetry of the situation. While I try to raise scientific arguments, I am attacked personally, together with anyone that shares my view. But you should know because you engage in that behavior. Perhaps you are accusing me of what you can be accused of.

          • Javier, Even if you weren’t practicing the fine art of projection, we would still consider you annoying.

            The thing you don’t seem to get is that few of us here are AGW extremists. Most everyone realizes that fossil fuel depletion is just as big a problem, if not bigger, and that we take in the climate science research as it comes. Nothing has changed since about 1980 and the estimated temperature change is still 3C for a doubling of CO2.

            What we do know is how to spot contrarians, because they show up here all the time with some proof of a fossil fuel cornucopia awaiting mankind. All you are doing is a Gish Gallop of irrelevant points.

            I don’t know what your deal is but you should realize that we didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Javier,

      I think Marcott et al do an excellent job at a global reconstruction using the data.

      Many of your objections are based on data at a few locations, where the Marcott paper uses global proxies from 73 locations that overlap during the HCO and explore the uncertainty using a set of 10,000 Monte Carlo simulations that combine both proxy to temperature calibration uncertainty (1000 simulations) and age uncertainty (1000 simulations). From the 10,000 combined realizations, 1000 realizations are randomly drawn. For the LIA their reconstruction gives a slightly lower variability than the Mann et al reconstruction, so if we add a little variability to the Marcott et al estimate, it might be reasonable, but a 1 C change from the HCO to the bottom of the LIA seems more reasonable to me than your 1.2 C estimate. This takes the 0.45 C estimate during the HCO and adds the Mann estimate of about -0.55 C in 1700 CE for a difference of about 1 C.

      For those who have not read the Marcott 2013 paper, it is available for free if you are willing to register (name and e-mail is all they require). Link below


      • Javier says:


        We have had lengthy discussions about Marcott et al., 2013. You still believe it is an excellent work because you don’t dedicate any time to the arguments that I have posted. If you ignore the evidence that Marcott et al., 2013 is a poor job, then you can continue with your unshaken believe.

        The following things are wrong with Marcott et al., 2013:

        1. A bogus spike at the end. Marcott et al., 2013 global reconstruction jump to fame was because it presented a hockey stick at the end. This was highlighted by the MSM, the NSF (National Science Foundation), and the main journals. It turned out that the hockey stick at the end was an artefact, and Marcott et al. ended up saying the last century reconstruction was not robust, but obviously this retraction did not make it to the MSM, NSF or main journals.

        2. The redating problem. Of the 73 proxies, Marcott et al. redated 68 proxies, sparing only the 5 ice cores. Of 7795 observations redated, only four were left unchanged from their published values. Moving dates by 1000 years or more was not beyond their capabilities. There was a 1008-year and a 1612-year move forward, and a 3117-year move backward. The mean direction was slightly toward making dates older.

        Another dating issue was coretop dating by which the date of the top of the core was changed. This had the effect of altering the end result of the graph. In one case the top was assigned to 1950, when at 3 cm depth the core showed the typical H spike attributed to nuclear bombs testing that it is used to date at 1960.

        While some redating can be considered standard methodology (like the use of CALIB program), there is simply no justification for a lot of the redating work done to coretops and proxies.

        Also inexcusable is the truncation of the three most recent values of proxy #23, perhaps because they were very negative. This allowed the authors to exclude this proxy for the 1940 analysis

        3. Regarding the proxies, several problems also arise. One of the novelties of this temperatures reconstruction from previous major ones is the use of alkenones as temperature proxies. 31 of the 73 are alkenones, gathered from both the sea and lakes. So the reconstruction is >40% alkenones. Looks like a heavy bias.

        The problem comes because alkenone proxies are suspect because they do not agree with marine Mg/Ca proxies, as they should. This issue that baffles the scientists that work on marine proxies was tackled by Leduc et al., 2010, who attributed the discrepancy to the alkenone method not being representative of a mean-annual temperature signal, but capturing only the winter season and thus responding mainly to changes in insolation during that season.

        An example of alkenone proxies divergence is display within Marcott et al., 2013 itself when proxies from the same location display completely divergent temperature changes, like 2 cores that each showed Tex86 and UK37 alkenone proxies that were very divergent. How can it be a good reconstruction if proxies included from the same location display opposite trends?

        4. The problem with tropical temperatures. They show tropical temperatures increasing during the Holocene, due to their alkenone proxies, when a plethora of evidence from lake sediments, diatom sediments from the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, and glaciers show the exact opposite. Marcott et al., 2013 tropical reconstruction is at odds with essentially all the evidence published, and since the tropics are the larger region, this has a disproportionate effect on the global reconstruction.

        5. It is not supported by models. Renssen et al., 2012 have made a global characterization of the Holocene Climatic Optimum and it does not support Marcott et al., 2013, because it shows that there was a temperature maximum everywhere, including the tropics, at about the same time (see figure below). The global average should come between +1.0-1.5°C anomaly.

        So what Marcott et al., 2013, did was assemble a questionable selection of proxies heavily biased towards alkenones, redate and truncate them at pleasure, use a statistic averaging method that did not correct for proxy drop out in recent times and produced a fake terminal spike, run 10,000 Montecarlo simulations to eliminate all centennial variability (information) from the proxies and present it as the ultimate reconstructions while calling the press.

        The evidence that the Holocene Climatic Optimum was significantly warmer than the present is abundant and comes from different fields of science: biology, glaciers, and paleoclimate proxies. Since you are interested in the issue you can get more information by reading the appendix:

        Global Holocene Climatic Optimum Temperatures

        Leduc, G., et al. “Holocene and Eemian sea surface temperature trends as revealed by alkenone and Mg/Ca paleothermometry.” Quaternary Science Reviews 29.7 (2010): 989-1004.

        Renssen, H., et al. (2012) “Global characterization of the Holocene thermal maximum.” Quaternary Science Reviews 48, 7-19.

        • This is all irrelevant information that Javier is spewing.

          The important point is the here and now and trying to figure out the current trend and the natural (decade and sub-decade) variability that rides on top of it.

          For example:

          • Javier says:

            This is published research, unlike your irrelevant research that you keep bringing up all the time and for years you have been unable to have your peers consider that it is worth of publication. You seem so sore for the rejection that you keep denigrating skeptic scientists that have an impressive publication list. Good luck with your congress. Let’s see if somebody wants to stop by your poster.

            If you get really desperate, you can always publish it in a journal like this:
            Global Journal of Physics
            That will fool some people around here.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Ready to Submit Your Research to PLOS?

              “Follow the links below to get started…

              Who We Are

              “Open is no longer just about free and unrestricted access to research, it’s also about open data, transparency in peer review and an open approach to science assessment

              Open is a mindset that represents the best scientific values. One that focuses on bringing scientists together, to share work as rapidly and as widely as possible, to advance science faster and to benefit society as a whole.

              Making Breakthroughs Is Habit Forming

              Since launching its first journal in 2003, PLOS has been a force for transformation in scholarly publishing, breaking with archaic traditions from previous generations. Our key innovations accelerate science and medicine, from research discovery to influence tracking.”

              • Javier says:

                I suppose that’s another suggestion for Webby. I don’t do original research on climate nor I pretend to, unlike him. If you are familiar with scientific journals, they require that the research is original.

                • Ulenspiegel says:

                  “I don’t do original research on climate nor I pretend to, unlike him. If you are familiar with scientific journals, they require that the research is original.”

                  Now you lost me. If you can show that some accepted models were wrong you would do original research and you would be able to publish in peer reviewed journals, not only on blogs.

                  • Javier says:

                    Everything I wrote in that article is already published evidence or opinion on that evidence. There is nothing there that could interest a journal.

                    Everybody knows that the models are wrong, even the people that make them. What is publishable is to demonstrate how to make them perform better. And I have zero interest in publishing in climate. My scientific career is in molecular genetics. A publication on climate wouldn’t do anything for me.

                  • Javier said: ” If you are familiar with scientific journals, they require that the research is original.”

                    Javier once again proves himself to be a phony and poseur. There are things called review articles that are routinely published in research journals. These are not original research either but compile research of others. They often happen to be the most cited articles for an author, as many other scientists will cite the review article so they don’t have to provide a laundry list of the essential research literature.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Javier said:

                    Everybody knows that the models are wrong, even the people that make them.

                    Just like Watson and Crick’s original model of DNA?
                    Let’s face it, that model was just too simplistic to accurately explain what actually happens in a germ cell during meiosis!

                    There’s a reason we call things models they are thinking aids…

                    And Gregor Mendel’s experiments in genetic inheritance were a pretty poor foundation for understanding genomics, synthetic biology courtesy of CRISPR-cas9 and gene drive technology…

                    In the year 200o a 1 teraflop super computer filled an entire room and cost $150 million. In 2016 a 2 teraflop video card cost about 50 bucks. So I’m going to guess that all scientific modeling, even climate modeling has got to be getting better all the time just the exponential increase in computing power that we now all have access to.

                    As for predictions about the future I’m also guessing that as a Molecular Geneticist you must know something about the history and development of the periodic table and predictions made about elements that were unknown in the early days.

                    While I am aware that there exist scientists with PhDs in physics and cosmology who write papers correctly citing the age of the universe to be on the order of 13.72 billion years and then in their private lives because of their religious beliefs say the earth is only six thousand years old.

                    Personally, I have deep concerns about individuals who exhibit such extreme cognitive dissonance.

                  • Javier says:

                    “There are things called review articles that are routinely published in research journals.”

                    And you should know that reviews are normally written by well known and respected insiders of the field that have published original research on the issue themselves, and almost never in well respected journals by outsiders to a field.

                    Try to publish a review in Human evolution and see if you get it accepted anywhere, no matter how good it is. You are just nobody in anthropology. Without credentials no review.

                    As usual you attack me with things that you know are false. Or you should know at least.

                  • Javier says:

                    “Just like Watson and Crick’s original model of DNA?”

                    With a difference. Watson and Crick never tried to tell us how we should live or tried to meddle in the global economy or our energy supply basing it on their model.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    How do you propose that the global economy will do will energy scarcity?

                    It seems that you agree that a peak in fossil fuels will be a problem.

                    Given that one solution to solving peak fossil fuels problem is to expand non-fossil fuel energy sources, it would seem that would be a better way to focus your energy.

                    Whether or not climate change due to excess carbon dioxide (relative to 800,000 BP to 250 BP) in the atmosphere is of concern, the global economy will need to adapt to lower production of fossil fuel energy because the resource is not unlimited.

                    Many of the solutions to peak fossil fuels and anthropogenic climate change are similar. There are some such as carbon capture and storage that would clearly be a waste for someone who is convinced that carbon dioxide has little effect on climate (contrary to the physics). There are many, such as an expansion of wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, hydro, and nuclear power that could supplant diminishing fossil fuel output.

                    It would seem to be better to start on that project sooner rather than later as it will be difficult to accomplish overnight.

                  • Ulenspiegel says:

                    “There are things called review articles that are routinely published in research journals. These are not original research either but compile research of others. They often happen to be the most cited articles for an author, as many other scientists will cite the review article so they don’t have to provide a laundry list of the essential research literature.”

                    Yes correct. However, the authors of good review articles are usually people who have published original research in the field and are often invited authors. 🙂

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Javier said:
                  With a difference. Watson and Crick never tried to tell us how we should live or tried to meddle in the global economy or our energy supply basing it on their model.

                  Ah, so now we finally get to the bottom of it all! So let’s get this straight, if they had, and their science forced you to reexamine your world view then you would reject the scientific basis of molecular genetics out of hand?!

                  And that, fits perfectly into the conclusions of The ‘Alice in Wonderland’ mechanics of the rejection of (climate) science: simulating coherence by conspiracism

                  Authors and affiliations
                  Stephan LewandowskyEmail authorJohn CookElisabeth Lloyd

                  There is considerable evidence that the rejection of (climate) science involves a component of conspiracist discourse. In this article, we provided preliminary evidence that the pseudo-scientific arguments that underpin climate science denial are mutually incoherent, which is a known attribute of conspiracist ideation. The lack of mechanisms to self-correct the scientific incoherencies manifest in denialist discourse further evidences that this is not the level at which rational activity is focused, and we must move to a higher level, looking at the role of conspiracist ideation in the political realm. At that political level, climate denial achieves coherence in its uniform and unifying opposition to GHG emission cuts. The coherent political stance of denial may not be undercut by its scientific incoherence. Climate science denial is therefore perhaps best understood as a rational activity that replaces a coherent body of science with an incoherent and conspiracist body of pseudo-science for political reasons and with considerable political coherence and effectiveness.

                  With people like you it isn’t about the science or reality it’s about the simple fact that the conclusions of climate science and many other fields of scientific inquiry, contradict your world view and would therefore force you to accept that your way of living must change.

                  • Javier says:

                    You are wrong.

                    I have never ever questioned the reality of global warming because I have experienced it first hand.

                    I did not question the scientists predictions of a dangerous future climate until I became aware of the problem of Peak Oil and since it is so relevant I decided to look into it. My own personal experience was telling me that the warming experienced during the 80s and 90s had not continued. Since I am a nature observer and scientist I give a lot of value to my observations.

                    If Watson & Crick’s model was so relevant for our future I would have done the same. I would have looked at the evidence and I would have found that the evidence supported the model. That is the difference between something that is true and something that is false. When something is true it is supported by evidence. There is nothing in the evidence that shows that the climate is going to change into something dangerous.

          • What you do is parasitic spin. You latch on to a cherry-picked set of research articles and twist the results to match your agenda by stringing together a narrative of circumstantial evidence. Its really a cottage industry among contrarians and all so transparently phony, but you seem to believe that others won’t catch on.

            • Javier says:

              Right, because only alarmists are allowed to present scientific studies and outline the conclusions that support the current popular hypothesis. If skeptics do it for their nefarious purpose of pointing to the inconsistencies of the current popular hypothesis that is unacceptable. You play into the asymmetry of the debate by engaging in ad hominem attacks that reveal that you have no better arguments.

              In fact the entire catastrophic part of AGW hypothesis is a narrative of circumstantial evidence and shaky assumptions.

              • You are looking at spans of thousands of years when the current focus is on years.

                Everyone sees through your tripe.

                • Javier says:

                  If we don’t understand the climate of the past we can’t understand the climate of the present, and much less make reasonable predictions about the future.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Javier,

          Well we disagree, you seem to have misunderstood the Marcott paper. The resolution is only 300 years due to the smoothing which results from the Monte Carlo simulations, they say clearly in the paper that the temperature estimates after 1800 or so are not robust. We have the Mann et al 2008 estimates from 500-1880 CE and the instrumental record for 1880 to the present, so concern about core tops is not of any importance. Oh and I have not read any press releases or MSM pieces, usually these are not written by the authors and they are sometimes not very well done.

          I have read the blog posts below which in my opinion were well done.


          Marcott responds to criticisms at link below, see comment #24 and Gavin Schmidt’s response:


          • Javier says:


            So what about the heavy use of alkenone proxies that are questioned in the literature and contradicted by Ca/Mg and Tex86, and what about the discrepancies between his tropical reconstructions and nearly all available evidence and models? Should that be ignored?

            You can choose to believe in Marcott et al., 2013 reconstruction, but you shouldn’t say that it is very good, because it has lots of issues (numbered in the post above).

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Javier,

              No study is perfect. Marcott is the best we have at present, imo.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Javier,

                The reconstructions are based on the data. The paper you cited by Leduc is interesting, but the hypothesis is unproven.

                One can choose some data that supports what they would like to see, (aka they can cherry pick) or one can use all the available data, which was the choice of Marcott et al.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Javier,

                Your points 1 and 2 are not convincing at all, the previous dating was updated using the most modern methods. The end of the reconstruction “was probably not robust”, so your concern about the coretops is not really an issue, nor is worrying about the 1940 estimate which had too few proxies due to proxy dropout.

                The various proxies that were used are from the peer reviewed literature.

                You choose one article that you interpret as meaning a whole set of proxies should simply be thrown out, I read that piece and your interpretation is far different than mine. They discuss the issue of different tropical trends between two particular sets of proxies.

                You say:

                The problem comes because alkenone proxies are suspect because they do not agree with marine Mg/Ca proxies, as they should.

                There is no a priori reason why one type of proxy would be more accurate than the other, there are problems with both types. Again all of the proxies used are from the peer reviewed literature.

                Not everything published agrees with what has come before.

                The model that you cite does not give a temperature reconstruction, so it cannot really be compared to Marcott. Many of the “high” temperature estimates for the HCO make a very basic mistake. They often take the highest temperature anomaly estimates from many different locations and then assume they are all synchronous. As we are talking about roughly a 4000-4500 year period, that assumption hardly seems justified.

                As far as models see


                On page 269:
                In particular, there is nearly no simulated change in annual mean temperature or precipitation for the Mid-Holocene, consistent with no change in global annual mean insolation.

                Chart for JJAS Mean model for PMIP2, in winter the southern Hemisphere was warm by a similar amount see fig 6 and 7 on pp270-271. The lines at approx. 30N and 30S were added by me, the chart is for 6 ka BP, essentially the average PMIP2 model very similar to the control temp in 1750 (preindustrial) for tropical regions in summer, they don’t show us winter for the tropics, but as the summer SH anomaly and summer NH anomalies roughly balance, we can conclude that the tropics have very little change in temperature relative to 1750.

                Marcott has tropical temperatures about equal to the 1961-1990 average at 6 ka BP, and at -0.3C in 1740 CE, so Marcott has temperatures warmer at 6 ka BP than the models.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                The Marcott 30S-30N and 30N-90N estimates are in a chart below.

                There is not much of warming as you have claimed for the tropics, the temperature anomaly is relatively flat compared to the northern hemisphere and is consistent with the most recent modelling averages for the mid-Holocene relative to pre-industrial as performed in PMIP2.

                As far as Marcott not agreeing with other data, it uses the published data and as Tamino has shown, even taking a simple average of the data agrees quite well with the published Marcott stacks, except for the final 250 years, where proxy dropout becomes an issue .

                The point of the paper was to cover the period from 11,300 BP to about 450 BP so there would be a 1000 year overlap with Mann et al 2008. That’s the part of the analysis that matters, and it was well done imo.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Javier,

        In the Marcott et al 2013 supplemental data, they calculate a temperature profile using, Mg/Ca Proxies only, alkenone proxies only, and then all other proxies.

        It is the alkenones that you seem to think are suspect, if those were dropped, the data shows very little warming during the mid-Holocene from the Mg/Ca and “other” proxies.

        Data can be accessed at link below.


        or at


        Chart below.

  3. Response from here

    “…there are plenty of people from many organizations around the world who are actually on the ground working with the local communities. Like these people for example: … Medecins Sans Frontieres” ~ Fred Magyar

    Ya-ya, but that’s a red herring, Fred.
    Treating the symptoms that continuously get undermined by the disease is also a bit of a practical ‘red herring’, as is using the disease to treat the symptoms, unless it’s some kind of vaccine perhaps.
    You can bust your butt and get nowhere if you don’t address the fundamentals.
    And in fact that’s what a lot of former protesters, such as with the Occupy Movement, have found and are finding out, sometimes the hard way, like by tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and stun grenades. Some have switched strategies and a lot of it we won’t hear about because it’s not as much in the public eye like protests and riots usually are.

    Some things– perspectives, insights, approaches and whatnot– must change if we want to actually change things. That includes, but is not limited to, relatively shallow and mindless comments about corporate greenwashed feel-good technological schlock.

    “Doctors Without Borders Hospital Bombing in Yemen Earns Rare Saudi Rebuke at State Department

    After the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition bombed a hospital in Yemen supported by Doctors Without Borders on Monday, the U.S. State Department offered a rare condemnation of the coalition’s violence.”

    Kunduz hospital airstrike

    “On 3 October 2015, a United States Air Force AC-130U gunship attacked the Kunduz Trauma Centre operated by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders in the city of Kunduz, in the province of the same name in northern Afghanistan. It has been reported that at least 42 people were killed and over 30 were injured”

  4. GoneFishing says:

    To all the doomers, deniers, twisters of truth, those with lack of vision, the terminally depressed:

    • “Well, maybe like that Leonard Cohen song goes, ‘everybody knows’. So, as someone else– perhaps many others– once suggested we do, many of us just ‘play the game’, ‘play pretend’. If we didn’t, Wall Street would crash overnight or something… Maybe Steven Chu or Tariel Morrigan said that.
      If you play pretend, the crash will be less severe and everyone will have time to prepare, so some theory goes… Well, that seems about as rational as the rest of it.

      ‘Civilization is too big to fail’. Forget history, make that your mantra. Just keep repeating it over and over to yourself and it will all work out. But you have to believe it. Visualize those hydrocarbon lakes on Titan if it helps.

      And get back in your car and go to work. Earn your salary, pay your taxes, mortgage, mow your lawn, deal with the bank, etc., and play the game.

      Oh, and don’t worry about progeny. It will all sort itself out. If you toe the line…” ~ Tribe Of Pangaea- First Member

      • GoneFishing says:

        For Caelan:
        “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” from Alice in Wonderland

        “I love to talk about nothing. It’s the only thing I know anything about.”
        ― Oscar Wilde

        • ‘Tribe Of Pangaea- First Member’ was my nickname on The Oil Drum, so I responded to your comment here about 4 years ago.

          If people don’t respond to our comments, it could be because they already have, so to speak.

          But what does this mean about pasts that we may not necessarily be aware of? I’ll leave that to you to think about.

          …And with something else I’ve suggested before; with each new generation, a reset button is pushed.

  5. R Walter says:

    Yesterday was National Situational Awareness Day and the two clowns debating one another last night were barely awake and have no clue of the current situation the US is in, which would be par for the course. From their ivory towers, everything is fine and dandy.

    I fell asleep during the debate. Very boring and unenlightening. Neither candidate has any idea that it has become a dire situation for the US and the world for that matter. It is just a matter of time before the unraveling begins. Give us this day our daily mass shooting.

    Tomorrow is National Drink Beer Day and I will get an early start.

    It is over. Prepare for doom.

    Have a good day. har

  6. R Walter says:

    If the skies are clear where you are tonight and early morning, the Northern Lights are phenomenal.

  7. Oldfarmermac says:

    I wonder sometimes if there is any thing published or broadcast that doesn’t have a built in bias, which is sometimes very subtle, imparted by the prejudices of the authors and editors.

    Who can resist taking advantage of an opportunity to present his case in the best possible light, and his opponents in the worst, so long as it seems very likely he will get away with distorting the facts?

    This tendency to editorialize or exaggerate in presenting the facts is occasionally obvious even in the environmental camp.

    Consider for instance the various climate modeling scenarios. Serious and thoroughly credible workers , such as our gracious host Dennis , who have made a serious effort to estimate the size and life of our finite fossil fuel endowment, believe the worst case carbon pollution scenarios are grossly exaggerated.

    Equally serious ( but if you think about it, not quite so credible ) environmentalists shamelessly use these same worst case scenarios as if they were holy writ. Perhaps most of them are actually ignorant of the facts in respect to recoverable fossil fuel supplies, but ignorance is no excuse if you are a professional, when the relevant information is readily available.

    My personal opinion is that actually most of them are aware of this shortcoming in the modeling process, but in the interest of going along to get along, and getting the attention of the jaded and lethargic public, they apparently just keep quiet, going along with this serious distortion of the actual facts.

    None of them are willing to give the enemy camp any opportunity to criticize the shortcomings of the modeling process.

    You can read dozens of articles in the mainstream liberal leaning press that pretend to explain the shortcomings of our presidential candidates, in which these shortcomings are generally the fault of the republicans in the case of Clinton, and likewise somehow the fault of the Democrats in the case of Trump.

    What it boils down to is this. You have to read both camps, including some openly partisan sites and publications, in order to have a good understanding of what is actually going on.

    Unfortunately not more than a rather minor percentage of the voting public appears to really understand today’s political reality.

    Primary voters in the case of Republicans and party insiders ( mostly insiders ) in the case of Clinton have chosen the two worst candidates in my lifetime and probably in the history of the country in terms of electability. One party or the other is going to pay the price, when either party could have cakewalked into the White House by nominating almost anybody else.

    Old age is will be taking out R voters fast within another eight years, and whether the right wing can recruit enough new younger people to take their place is an open question.

    There is a very real possibility that the R party will split after this election, and it might never recover. If it does, it will probably be a very different party, more centrist.

    The younger people who were for Sanders aren’t going away. They will be the defacto owners and operators of the D party machinery within another decade or two at the most.

    Given that the demographic picture is in their favor, we might with some luck wind up with government more and more along the lines of the current Western European model.

    It won’t matter much to me, since I will likely be gone by then, but it’s a pleasant thought.


    Only about a third of the country is voting FOR a candidate,the remainder are voting against.

    • Nick G says:

      Serious and thoroughly credible workers , such as our gracious host Dennis , who have made a serious effort to estimate the size and life of our finite fossil fuel endowment, believe the worst case carbon pollution scenarios are grossly exaggerated.

      Dennis is indeed serious and thoroughly credible. That doesn’t mean he’s right.

      In this case, I disagree with his thesis that his projections provide a “hard” maximum for CO2 emissions, and a lot of serious and credible people do as well. In particular, there’s very likely more than enough coal and bitumen in the ground (not including kerogen, aka Green River shale) to produce the 8.5 scenario. The studies that Dennis relies on are serious, but they’re not thoroughly credible, and they’re not widely accepted. They rely on one simple idea that underlies Hubbert Linearization: that a peak (or even just a slowdown in the growth of production) in a oil field generally means that you’re starting to hit physical limits. That’s not a robust method for analyzing changes in coal production. It’s not a robust method in general: for example, Hubbert tried to forecast natural gas production, and failed quite badly.

      I think Dennis scenarios are indeed pretty likely, but only because “Leviathan” is in fact moving away from fossil fuels. China, for instance, is reducing coal consumption purely because of policy changes, not because of resource limits.
      Now, one thought about Trump vs Hilary: if you’re going to rely on Republican leaning publications, you have to work VERY hard to strip away the misinformation. You can’t rely on ANYTHING to be true. The sad truth is that they’re willing to put out a vast fog of misinformation, and it’s very, very hard work to find nuggets of value in them.

      You certainly can’t rely on the VAST cloud of slander and innuendo that’s been thrown at the Clintons. Many people have a negative impression of Hilary because of it, even though the great majority of it is pure fiction.

      • R Walter says:

        You must have a belly full of koolaid this early in the day.

        • Nick G says:


          But, I know koolaid when I see it.

          To be fair, I think there’s a decent chance that unlimited coal production would hit some real limits reasonably soon, especially in China, which may have less in the way of uncharted coal resources than other countries. The point is, though, that we don’t have good information. There’s no consensus about coal’s geological limits even there.

          Another valid point is that some of the growth of wind and solar (and decline of coal) is pretty well baked in now, given the dramatic declines in cost we’re seeing in areas with good wind and sun resource. But, politics still matter. Look at Saudi Arabia: they have astonishingly good solar resources, and yet they’re still burning their oil to generate electricity, with very little sign of their getting serious about ramping up solar generation.

          Look at Trump, who wants to shut down wind and solar. He probably won’t be elected, but the reactionary forces that support him are being successful at the state level, like in Nevada.

          The forces of counter-reaction are alive and well. The price of beating them back is constant vigilance. So…a moderate level of CO2 emissions is very far from guaranteed.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Nick,

            For all fossil fuels it is not about geological limits, it is about economic limits. In some cases coal resources are assessed without regard to feasible extraction. Very thin seams (less than 2 feet thick) at depths of over 500 feet are sometimes counted as “resources”.

            Those coal “resources” would be similar to the contention that in the future we will extract an average of 90% of original oil in place.

            Not realistic.

            In a 2003 USGS coal assessment, US coal reserves were about 30 billion short tons at prevailing prices, about 12% of recoverable resources.

            It is typically coal resources that are reported for the World. The recovered amount may be far smaller.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Dennis said “For all fossil fuels it is not about geological limits, it is about economic limits.”

              But are not the geological limits (thin seams, need to drill LTO, ultra deep water drilling, etc.) a major factor in driving the economics?

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Gone fishing,

                It is both geology and economics. I guess technology could be included as well, and probably politics, sociology, psychology, ethics, environmental science, …

                My point was intended to mean that there will be resources that a geologist could point to and say we could extract that for $1000 per million BTU (2015 $), for reference the 2015 average price for coal was about $3 per million BTU. It will only be done if substitutes for the fossil fuel also cost $1000 per million BTU or more (if we ignore externalities, which unfortunately is often the case.)

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Nick G,

        Have you ever read Steve Mohr’s thesis? Only his case 1 (low) scenario relies on Hubbert Linearization. I also do not rely on Hubbert Linearization (except for my low cases). One can assume very large resource extraction, if one also assumes very large price increases of fossil fuels (in real terms) and also assumes that there is no decrease in the future price of wind and solar, batteries, EVs, and all technological progress ceases, (but only for alternatives to fossil fuels). We will need all technological progress to be focused on extracting as much fossil fuel as possible at any monetary or environmental cost to even approach 5000 Pg of carbon emissions.

        Note that I do not advocate such an approach, nor do I believe such an approach is likely.

        The coal resource that is economically recoverable is not anywhere near as large as many assume.

        I try to stick to plausible scenarios. 🙂

        Steve Mohr’s thesis at


        My take on coal at


        Perhaps I could increase my coal estimates a bit, we do not have great data on World Coal recoverable resources, but one estimate I found was about 750 Gt0e of recoverable coal, similar to Jean Laherrere’s “high” case. If we take Rutledge’s estimate (about 400 Gtoe) as a low case and the average of these 2 as the medium case we get 575 Gtoe as a medium case, I would then round up to 580 Gtoe for the “medium” case.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Spoken like a true D partisan , Nick.

        The reason tens of millions of the best educated and brightest young people went so whole hog for Sanders is that they see thru the smokescreen you just blew defending the Clintons.

        Now tell me , and the rest of us, in no uncertain terms. Do you believe Clinton when she says she had a secret email set up for convenience sake?

        Do you really BELIEVE that they get millions of dollars for quick little speeches without expectation of favors ?

        I remember when it was considered a truly major outrage that Nancy Reagan got an evening gown donated by some fashion house, valued at a few thousand dollars, which she wore to state functions. None of the people who were so outraged so far as I can tell are the least bit upset about the Clintons accumulating money by the millions as the result of their holding public office.

        You are obviously mathematically literate. Go back and read the story of the Cattle Gate scandal as it is recorded in the major papers of that time, and tell me what you think of that little episode.

        I refer to myself as a conservative, but you will notice that I am on record as a Sanders supporter, that I believe in forced climate change, resource depletion, single payer health care, strong environmental regulations, subsidies for the renewables industries, etc, so that in right wing forums I am known as a liberal.

        I am on record as saying quite often that taken all around, the R party is way way worse on environmental issues than the D party, and the environment is the single most important issue of all, more important actually than all the others put together.

        But this does not mean I won’t tell it like I see it when I see a D politician with credibility problems.

        So far as the D partisans who actually BELIEVE in Clinton are concerned, I look at them like the folks at church who actually BELIEVE in the KJB, regardless of the evidence that it consists mostly of myths.

        Now I do know a dozen or so D partisans who in private are willing to say something to the effect that while they have their problems with Clinton, they are supporting her publicly, because politics is a hardball game.

        Mostly the reason I won’t describe myself as a liberal these days is that the liberal establishment has had it’s head up it’s backside so long and so often in respect to history and human nature that I find it impossible.

        It took goddamned fools to defend the USSR and communist China, but I had lots of professors over the years during the decades I was in and out of university years who did so. They all DESPISED conservatives of course.

        Bottom line, I try to think for myself, as best I can. The best I can say for Clinton is that she is not as bad in my estimation as Trump.

        If you actually BELIEVE that the Clintons haven’t brought most of the ethics troubles they have on themselves, then I am afraid I will have to lower my opinion of your political judgement quite a few notches.

        Yes, the right wing press tells some lies, and some of them are whoppers, but there is a great deal of truth to be found there, which is soft pedaled and overlooked in the leftish leaning press, which comprises quite a big chunk of the mainstream.

        Incidentally I just remarked up thread today that I hope to see our government evolve along the lines of the current day Western European model, and think this is a strong possibility because so many R voters are headed for the nursing homes and cemeteries over the next few years.

        • Nick G says:

          The reason tens of millions of the best educated and brightest young people went so whole hog for Sanders is that they see thru the smokescreen you just blew defending the Clintons.

          No. That’s not true at all. Sanders’ supporters like his POLICIES better.

          Let me say that again.

          Most people who like Sanders aren’t losing sleep at night about cattlegate. They simply want someone with more progressive policies and ideas. They, like me, want someone who will pursue the best policies, and be *acceptably* honest (this isn’t a high standard in politics – it can’t be).

          Clinton is a very careful, very thoughtful progressive who has enormous experience. She was there in Arkansas when Bill Clinton got fired by the voters after one term in office as Governor, because they thought his policies were too liberal. She was there when Bill came back and won the governorship again by moving to the political center. She was there watching when Republicans won victories over McGovern, Mondale and so on because they were just a little too liberal for the voters. And, she was there when Bill won the White House by pursuing a more conservative line.

          Hilary Clinton goes determinedly for the center. The precise center. That means that half the country will think she’s too conservative!!!

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            I went to a dozen gatherings, admittedly all in the local area, of Sanders supporters, nearly all of them youngsters, from my pov as an old man.

            No realist would deny that Sanders threw out a lot of raw red meat to his core following, lol, but no realist would say that either he or his more realistic supporters actually expected him to be able to get most of that red meat past congress, in the event he got the nomination.

            It was a given among them that if he got the nomination, he would get the White House. I agreed on that point once Trump was the obvious R winner. I believe any Democrat with name recognition, funding, etc EXCEPT Clinton could mop the floor with Trump, and she MIGHT, at least in terms of the electoral college.

            Nearly every last one of them expressed or admitted serious concerns about her ethical issues and flip flopping, taking corporate money, etc. A substantial percentage of them think she is just flat out selling access and influence, and nearly all of them thought of her as an old time machine politician, which is unquestionable given that the facts that have emerged verifying it.

            A lot of them like Clinton’s overall positions just fine, and nearly all of them are aware of her very respectable record on issues such as gay rights, but hardly ANY of them actually LIKE her, or TRUST her, in my experience. The older ones also expressed misgiving about her record of flip flopping on issues, wondering what she might flip on next.

            I also spent as much as four hours a day on the net posting comments pro Sanders in various forums and it was relatively uncommon to run across a young woman, self described, who professed any personal trust in her. Most men apparently just don’t trust her, period, except maybe those who are active in D party politics, and they are well aware of which side of THEIR bread has butter on it. They trust her to take care of them so long as they take care of her, at least.

            Men who generally detest her personally are supporting her in some cases. Organized labor guys know which side of their bread has the butter too.

            Way more than half , probably three quarters at least of the people I met were either college students or graduates. These people were not by any stretch of the imagination lacking in keen interest in what is happening in our country.

            Of course you are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine.

            I am wary of what the polling industry tells us when it comes to what people actually think about their own party’s candidates.

            A hell of a lot of people will tell what they perceive to be only little white lies, and say they like a candidate, so as to serve the greater interests of their party. This applies to both parties.

            I think Clinton will win, and am confident enough that she will that I bet twenty bucks she will win against five payoff if she loses with a local guy who can’t get it thru his head that folks in big cities don’t think like rural people here in the boonies, lol.

            But I still don’t have that dead certain feeling I have always had before about who the winner will be. Surprises are still possible.

            One reason I think she will win is that I think a very high percentage of Sanders fans will hold their noses and vote for her, especially if the race is close in their state.

            • Nick G says:


              Well, as I said before, Hilary Clinton is very determined to stay in the precise center of the electorate. That will certainly make her change her positions to keep up with shifts in things like gay rights.

              I really don’t care about the personal lives of candidates. They can sleep with whomever they choose, and embezzle relatively modest amounts. They all do – it’s the culture and the mechanisms in which and by which politics operates. It would take massive change in campaign financing (and the pay of elected officials) to change it, and the vested interests of this country do not want to give politicians their independence and freedom.

              Seriously – I think it’s very unlikely that Sanders doesn’t have anything that would look bad if publicized. He hasn’t gotten the decades of ferocious scrutiny that the Clintons have received.

              Now, as an aside – I’ve seen several very detailed defenses of Hilary Clinton on Quora – have you looked at that site at all? I’d be curious what you thought.

              And finally…I think the overwhelming dynamic here is anger that middle class incomes have stagnated for decades. Sadly, Republican misinformation has blinded most people to the fact that Republican policies (taxes, student loans, etc) have been a primary cause of this problem: the 1% are getting all the gains. So, people are interested in people like Trump and Sanders as a protest vote. They don’t realize that someone like Hilary Clinton would give them just as much improvement as they would allow: the problem is, they don’t give sufficient support to politicians who want to fight these regressive policies.

              Clinton understands very, very deeply that she can only go so far to the left without losing elections. So, the problem here is the misinformation (Fox, AM talk radio, etc) and the people who watch, listen and believe what they say. And, of course, the deeply corrupt current organization of campaign financing…

    • Nick G says:

      Let me make the argument broader and simpler.

      I think that Dennis’ projections for oil are pretty good. But…Peak Oil is not generally accepted. And that’s understandable – did PO analysts foresee LTO? No. Have their projections been consistently too pessimistic in the past (think Ace on TOD, or Simmons about KSA)? Yes.

      So, there’s no consensus in the broader community, and it’s not realistic to suggest that environmentalists are not being honest when they take the high end CO2 emissions scenarios seriously.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Nick,

        Even pretty smart people like James Hansen think the coal resource is very large, Hansen is aware that oil and natural gas are likely to peak.

        The Green River shale is unlikely to be extracted as coal to liquids would be more economical so coal would need to be very high in price before that resource would be touched. Oil sands that can be economically extracted are not as large as the underlying resource, it is doubtful that even the 500 Gb that Jean Laherrere assumes will be extracted (which I also assume) will be economically recoverable. Probably 300 Gb is a more reasonable estimate, especially considering that half (250 Gb) of this is assumed to come from Venezuela, which given the political situation seems unlikely in the next 30 to 50 years (probably 50 Gb is a better estimate).

        The people that come up with the RCP scenarios should research fossil fuel resources a little better RCP4.5 may be realistic, RCP6 and RCP8.5 are not.

        • Nick G says:

          Well, this can, of course, be a very long discussion. Here are a few thoughts.

          First, I believe this is the relevant question for the comment that started this discussion: is there something reasonably close to a consensus in the general scientific community about Peak Fossil Fuel? I don’t think there is. You comment about Hansen suggests that you agree on that point. Is that fair?

          2nd, liquid fuel from Green River kerogen is a bit of a distraction. The economical use for kerogen is simply to burn it on site, and transmit the power elsewhere. That would be pretty cheap and easy – the cost differential with coal, especially low quality coal, would be small. I don’t think that’s likely, but…it’s also not completely out of the question.

          The people that come up with the RCP scenarios should research fossil fuel resources a little better

          I agree – that would be very, very useful.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Kerogen is not an energy producer. If it is mined, the process involved uses large amounts of water. If it is produced in situ, the energy inputs are even higher. One the grease has been removed from the rock it must be put through a thermal process and hydrogenation.
            EROEI is put at around 1 to 2. I doubt if there would be any positive energy from it once it leaves the field, if there is when it starts. It is mostly an energy conversion and an environmental hazard.

            So we mine burn a crushed rock, which gives a small amount of energy per ton, then we make electricity from it at about 30 percent efficiency (if you have the water available in that arid area). Makes little sense te me. Pretty much a waste of time, personnel and materials

            Why do we need it? Transport?
            Electric vehicles are much more efficient and wind/sunshine are free for the taking with no environmental damage.
            The fact is that we can make liquid fuels from methane, CO2 and other simple organics far easier than mining/reducing greasy rocks with little or no real energy content to be had.

            Sometimes I think the mining/drilling meme is so embedded that we would do almost anything to keep it going. Which is of course a very unwise plan.

            • Nick G says:


              I think that the 1st 2 paragraphs in your comment apply to *liquid fuels* from kerogen.

              The 3rd paragraph applies equally to coal, right?

              Again…I think it’s unlikely that we’ll burn kerogen. Wind, solar and coal are more competitive. But…it’s out there, and it’s only a little more expensive than coal.

              So, the Peak FF approach isn’t quite right. It’s that FF isn’t competitive, especially if you include even a small portion of the external costs of FF, like pollution, security, etc.

              • robert wilson says:
                • Nick G says:

                  That’s a good overview.

                  Note the introductory anecdote, in which we find that “oil shale” burns just fine!

                  • robert wilson says:

                    Decades ago I became enamored with Huntington Hartford’s Oil Shale Corporation (later Tosco). I bought a modest amount of stock and watched its roller coaster ride. If memory serves I came out about even. The oil shale busted but the company happened to own a refinery that became valuable.

              • GoneFishing says:

                “The low EROI for oil shale is closely connected to a significant release of greenhouse gases. The
                large quantities of energy needed to process oil shale, combined with the thermochemistry of the
                retorting process, produce considerable carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Oil
                shale unambiguously emits more greenhouse gases than conventional liquid fuels from crude oil
                feedstocks by a factor of 1.2 to 1.75
                For every barrel of oil produced in an oil shale operation, between 1 and 3 barrels of water are
                required, confirming the conventional wisdom that this technology places significant demand on
                freshwater supplies. Pumping the large volumes of water required for industrial-scale oil shale
                operations would be yet another energy investment negatively affecting oil shale’s already thin

                Energy intensive and water intensive, located in fragile arid regions in the US.

                Much of the kerogen is too deep for surface mining. Previous attempts to in-situ extract kerogen from the rock were too expensive and the freeze wall around the extraction failed.

                Oil shale is 60 to 90 percent inorganic matter (rock). A trash source of energy at best. Much of it is higher molecular weight than bitumen.

                If one has need to mine carbon, go to Alaska.

                • Nick G says:

                  Well, sure, Alaskan coal would be better.

                  But, again, all the stuff you quoted applies to *liquid fuel* from kerogen.

                  Once people have an idea in their head, it’s hard to knock it out. For instance, hydrogen is a terrible fuel for passenger cars, but it would work fine as a seasonal backup fuel for the grid, stored in cheap underground storage and burned in cheap peaker generators. But very often when that’s brought up, people reply with all of the problems that we’d see if we tried to use H2 for passenger cars.


                  • Nathanael says:

                    Sure, H2 would work for seasonal peak storage backup. I’m not sure it’s needed, since I expect serious overbuild of solar and batteries.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Nick, if you are considering the direct burning of oil shale for power generation, carefully read this info on Estonian oil shale power and it’s effects.


                  “The fly ash of the oil shale power plants is airborne alkaline pollution that has caused vast changes in the plant cover of the northern part of Alutaguse. Plants characteristic of an acid environment, including peat mosses, the indicator plants of bogs, have vanished. The excess of lime has led to the introduction of several new calcicolous species. It has increased the number of species (about 600 species of vascular plants), but has driven the plant communities to an unstable state. The alkaline pollution is accompanied by an airborne deposition of lead, copper, cadmium, arsenic and other heavy metals, which falls on the soil and plants.

                  The former open cast mine near Kohtla-Nõmme
                  The former open cast mine near Kohtla-Nõmme

                  Organic waste leaking from black semi-coke heaps includes oil, phenols, ketones and other toxic liquids. This toxic waste has been carried to the Gulf of Finland by the Purtse and Kohtla Rivers. Pollution of the rivers may dramatically increase as a result of accidents, like the fire in the Estonia mine in 1988.”


                  • GoneFishing says:

                    I remember the many burning slag piles of the 50’s scattered across the Wyoming Valley. Cities and towns, a dense population embedded in sulfurous smoke that not only ruined lungs and hearts but took the paint right off of nearby houses. The coal mines were 7 layers deep under 30 miles of what was once a beautiful valley. Even though the mines have been closed for over fifty years, the drainage still makes some rivers and creeks orange and not habitable.
                    It was like entering the suburbs of hell with fire and brimstone. But it made the money for the area and the rich railroad barons. Until it all ended. Then a long depression followed, with a slow recovery over decades.
                    Yes, the American dream. Take a deep breath, cough up a lung, and smell the money.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    “Searching for appropriate analogies, we enter the realm of Weight Watchers. Oil shale is said to be “rich” when a ton yields 30 gallons of oil. An equal weight of granola contains three times more energy. America’s “vast,” “immense” deposits of shale have the energy density of a baked potato. Oil shale has one-third the energy density of Cap’n Crunch, but no one is counting on the Quaker Oats Company to become a major energy producer soon. ”

                    From Resilience.org

                    Maybe we should just grow the potatoes and forget those greasy rocks. We won’t need the electricity or liquid fuel anyway.

                  • Nick G says:

                    No, no, I recommend wind & solar, ASAP.

                    My point: the transition from FF to renewables will depend on conscious planning: we can’t rely passively on geology to force the issue.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi NickG,

                Sensible people realize that peak fossil fuels means the peak of fossil fuels that are economically recoverable. So whether fossil fuels are competitive with other sources of energy is implicit.

                It is not only about geology, the profitability of producers is also part of the equation.

                For the Gillette Coalfield of Wyoming (largest in the Powder River Basin) see


                The total resource is 201 billion short tons, in 2008 it was estimated that 10 billion short tons were economically recoverable, only 6% of the resource. This was at a Jan 2007 coal price of $10.47/ton, at $14/ton (March 2008) reserves would increase to 18.5 billion short tons (bst), assuming no change in production costs or other assumptions. Note that in 2014 the price of coal remained at $14/ton, though it is likely that costs have increased and in real terms the price of coal has decreased. If coal prices increased to $25/ton (2008$) and costs were unchanged reserves would increase to about 50 bst based on the USGS assessment.

                I expect coal prices will fall.

                Also the USGS estimates about 1 bst of Illinois coal was economically recoverable in 2002, not sure what the price was then but prices have been falling since 2011.


                • Nick G says:

                  Sensible people realize that peak fossil fuels means the peak of fossil fuels that are economically recoverable. So whether fossil fuels are competitive with other sources of energy is implicit.

                  If only that were true.

                  Let’s look at one of your examples: a Powder River coal reserve estimate increases by 5x when the price goes from $10 per ton to $25 per ton. That’s a tiny price increase!!! $25 coal at the minemouth is extremely affordable: a short ton of coal can generate very roughly 2,000 kilowatt-hours. So, a price increase of $15 is only 3/4 of a penny per kilowatt-hour, and the *total* cost of the coal is only 1.25 cents per kWh.

                  I don’t think your readers understand that when you say coal will peak due to resource limits that you mean that it will still be *very* affordable, but that it won’t be able to compete with even cheaper wind and solar.

                  How many of the readers of POB still think that Peak Coal will be TEOTWAWKI??

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Nick,

                    That assumes of course that costs remain constant. As a coal field depletes this is usually not the case, the easiest coal to mine (lowest cost to produce) is removed first.

                    So the assumption of fixed cost is unlikely to hold in practice.

                    The coal from Wyoming has a relatively low heat content (about 65% of higher grade coals) and it is a long way from the power plants. On 9/23/2016 the spot coal price for the Powder River Basin was $8.25 per short ton or 47 cents per million BTU. That is indeed only 0.5 cents per kWhr of there were no transportation costs to move the coal to the power plant.

                    It is not clear the mining companies are making money at $8.25 per short ton.

                  • Nick G says:

                    That assumes of course that costs remain constant.

                    If I understand you correctly…I think the USGS is more sophisticated than that. Here’s what they say:

                    “The economic evaluation to determine coal reserve estimates was performed using the program CoalVal. This program delineates recoverable resources and generates mine operating costs and a discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis to calculate the break-even price required to cover costs at a specified rate of return (ROR). All resource blocks with a break-even price at or less than the current estimated market price are considered coal reserves by definition.” page 27 http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1202/pdf/ofr2008-1202.pdf

                    As for the rest: the point is that if prices were to rise to $25 per ton, this coal would still be very affordable, and yet reserves would rise by a factor of 5.

                    The same is true for many other places. As you note, Illinois Basin coal is now given a very low Reserve estimate. That estimate would rise to a much larger, very roughly 100 billion short tons with a small increase in price to overcome the price premium due to higher sulfur content. Illinois Basin coal peaked a while ago, but there is still enormous amounts of affordable coal there: it’s just not competitive with even cheaper Powder River coal.

                    Finally, we have recently seen a clear peak in US coal production. Yet, as you note, coal prices are low, and coal companies are going bankrupt due to declining prices combined with declining sales volumes. Does that really correspond to what one would think of as Peak Coal for the US? It’s more like what we saw with mercury and lead, whose production volumes peaked due to a decline in demand (due to a recognition of “external” costs from their toxicity), not resource limits. And yet, the kind of analysis used by Mohr, Rutledge et al would regard US coal as declining due to resource limits.

                    So. There’s a real difference between a peak due to declining demand and a move to better and/or cheaper alternatives, vs a peak due to hard resource limits. I think it would be very, very helpful for your readers to make that clearer.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Nick,

                    The make their calculation based on the current costs and that is how they do the cost curve. Then using different price points they see how much coal would be profitable to produce. If they assumed costs changed over time there would have to be a set of cost curves. If you read the papers you will see there is a single cost curve rather than several.

                    Does the assumption that costs to recover coal will remain fixed over time seem reasonable? One would have to argue for magic technology that always improves just enough so that more difficult resources will still cost the same amount to produce.

                    Take a look at the oil and natural gas industry and it is clear that in that industry there has not been enough magic tech to keep costs low.

                    On peak coal, it is the production peak without reference to prices. Just as the peak in oil (C+C) output in 2015 will be the peak unless it is surpassed in the future, price does not determine the peak.

                    The World output is more interesting to me, for coal that was 2014, but I expect that will be surpassed by 2025, probably around 2020 with a plateau until 2025 and then decline (hopefully at 2% per year until 2040 and then more rapidly as wind and solar take more and more of the load).

                    I have always been very clear that it is both resource limits and availability of less expensive substitutes that allow a transition.

                    A peak in any resource is a function of both supply and demand, the older scissors example of which blade cuts the paper, it’s both blades.

                    Mohr has both supply and demand in his analysis, you never have read it have you?

                    You give him far too little credit, the thesis was very well done.


                    On Illinois coal,

                    Do you have any cost curves to back that up?

                    As far as I have seen the USGS has only done that analysis for the Powder River Basin.

                    You can make stuff up if you want, but the Illinois coal is much more expensive to produce than the Powder River Basin coal and the high sulfur content makes it more expensive to use and meet clean air emissions, which lowers it’s price. It is not likely that 100 bst of Illinois coal will be mined, even if the clean air act is repealed (a highly unlikely proposition, although Trump might be elected, so who can say.) A lot of that 100 bst would require very high coal prices, but I do not have the cost analysis to say what price would be needed, it would be interesting if you actually had the data.

                  • Synapsid says:

                    DC, NickG,

                    There is a factor to keep in mind about coal from the Illinois Basin:

                    Because of the high sulfur content Midwest coal-fired power plants have been equipped with scrubbers that, if memory serves, meet the new regulations on emissions. The coal industry in the region is in waiting mode, waiting for NG prices to go up–recall that coal lost place to NG for energy production because of very low NG prices but that won’t last if or when NG prices finally rise. If NG price rise makes coal cheaper to use for energy production in the Midwest the coal industry will have its markets back and will respond.

                  • Nathanael says:

                    Well you might be right about Illinois, but I think they’ll be stopped by increasingly tight local pollution ordinances. Once a mine has been closed it’s hard to reopen it.

                    The key thing I realized about coal is that transportation costs for coal only go up. It’s expensive to haul rocks. If your power plant isn’t *right next door to the coal mine*, you’re screwed economically, already. Illinois coalfields are very close to the power plants so they will probably be some of the last to go. Powder River Basin — and West Virginia coal — have to be moved by train. They’re fundamentally uneconomic.

                • Nathanael says:

                  Key point for coal: coal prices at the minehead will fall. Coal *transportation* prices, however, will increase, because it’s competing with other things you could ship. Every coal train is a train which isn’t carrying intermodal containers.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            I spend a great deal of time reading science oriented websites and publications and I occasionally correspond with more than a few people who hold professorships in respectable universities.

            Most people would not believe how willing most scientists – the ones who are not famous – are to respond to an email or answer their phone during the hours that are set aside for student conferences, etc, if they are teaching classes.

            There is no doubt in my mind that there IS a general consensus in the scientific community that fossil fuel supplies are limited and will be causing very serious problems within the next few decades.

            The one exception to this general observation is that CLIMATE scientists are reluctant to talk about possible shortfalls in fossil fuel supplies because that undercuts the carbon pollution control argument.

            Note that while I am a little cynical about the climate establishment being a little less than fully forthcoming about the size of the fossil fuel endowment, I fully support doing what we can, as a practical matter, to get away from fossil fuels as soon as we can, without crashing the economy, which would virtually guarantee there would be no successful transition to renewables.

            So we are stuck as I see it hoping the fossil fuel bau model will last long enough to allow the renewable energy industries to grow up to the point they can shoulder the load. This in my opinion will take a couple of generations.

            Let us pray to the Sky Daddies and Sky Mommies of our choice that we don’t wreck the environment beyond hope sooner.

            • Nick G says:


              Well, I’ve seen a number of individual scientists discuss Peak FF, but I haven’t seen anything that looked like a consensus statement from any scientific professional groups.

              Have you seen anything like that?

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Hi Nick,

                I have not. But on the other hand, scientific organizations are not prone to get into such messy subject matter since it is so controversial, and consumes much time and takes away from primary missions. Then there is the question of funding, university politics, etc.

                Consider the situation with pot.

                There is PLENTY of evidence that it is a very safe drug compared to alcohol or tobacco, but it’s Schedule One, while any kid with ten bucks can get a pack of cigarettes or a six pack of beer as easily as falling off a log.

                Show me some professional scientists who are NOT associated with the fossil fuel industries who DON”T believe in fossil fuel depletion. Those who are associated with the fossil fuel industries of course have a strong incentive to either lie about what they believe , or avoid any discussion of the subject.

                Of course there are a great many scientists who are so narrowly focused on their own specialty that they have never given fossil fuels five minutes of thought, and would say so if asked.

                I talk mainly to people in the life sciences, physics, and chemistry, the intersection of these three being the sweet spot for an aggie. ALL that sort are well enough informed to know fossil fuels come out of holes in the ground and don’t grow back like potatoes, lol.

                • Nick G says:

                  Well….this is hard.

                  I do agree that there’s enormous pressure on scientists to not acknowledge the problems of FF. OTOH, the scientific community has done a pretty good job of resisting that pressure when it comes to FF pollution, including GHGs. So, I don’t see much evidence for the suppression of a recognition of depletion by the scientific community.

                  And, oil is different from coal. There’s a lot more coal, and there’s much, much less evidence for “Peak Coal” than there is for PO.

                  Remember: iron ore is also physically limited, but there’s no realistic chance of running out. I’m reminded of the Club of Rome tables of resource limits, which were dramatically unrealistic.

                  There’s a basic problem: most “reserve” estimates were developed from limited information and a short time horizon. They weren’t developed for the purpose of estimating overall resource limits – they’re typically developed to assure that a company (or occasionally, a national industry) has enough available for their corporate time horizon, which is relatively short.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi NickG,

                There is little consensus about the timing of a peak in fossil fuels, but most scientists are aware that fossil fuels will peak.

                The National Academies of Science statement at following link:


                They say we will need to use other energy resources “eventually”.

                Generally you are correct that most scientists are unaware that peak fossil fuels is likely to be only 10 (possibly 15) years in the future (2025 to 2030 would be my guess).

                It will come as a surprise to most, “how come nobody saw this coming?” will be what many will say.

                • notanoilman says:

                  It will be hard to see the peak as the delta will be 0. Further down the line, when it is in the rear view mirror, it will be easier. I suspect that the difficulty in predicting it is that we are there and it is a broad peak.


                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi notanoilman,

                    Absolutely correct, the sooner a decline begins, with fossil fuel prices remaining relatively high, the sooner the peak will be recognized. That will be later than the peak.

                    I also agree with the plateau thesis, my dates for the “peak” are actually what I expect for the end of a roughly 10 year undulating plateau from about 2020 to 2030. So perhaps by 2035 the fact of peak fossil fuels being in the rear view mirror will be recognized (if my WAG is correct).

            • “The one exception to this general observation is that CLIMATE scientists are reluctant to talk about possible shortfalls in fossil fuel supplies because that undercuts the carbon pollution control argument.”

              I think you are right about this observation.

              Yet, I have had it explained that climate change is not as much as an existential crisis as fossil fuel depletion, simply because there is the impression that we can do something to arrest global warming. However there is nothing we can do about the disappearance of crude oil except to cry.

              For that reason, it is better to harp on climate change and then get the “no regrets” benefits of not having to panic people about FF depletion.

              I don’t know if I believe in this explanation, but there you go.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                For that reason, it is better to harp on climate change and then get the “no regrets” benefits of not having to panic people about FF depletion.

                LOL! I’ve heard the exact opposite as well. Either way, both fossil fuel depletion and climate change, (for those that accept the science) require the same solution set. Namely, transitioning away from an industrial civilization fueled by fossil fuels.

                That proposition is deeply disturbing to a rather large swath of humans who have a huge vested interest in the status quo, not to mention sunken costs in infrastructure and everything that makes the world go round.

                So it is quite unsurprising that there is so much resistance to facing the truth.

                So come children, gather round our solar powered LED screen and I will tell you of the days of yore when your ancestors lived with infinite resources in a world of milk and honey …and where the deer and the antelope played, Where seldom was heard a discouraging word And the skies were not cloudy all day…

                • GoneFishing says:

                  I wish the media would get off the political crap and talk a lot more about natural resources and climate change. But no, they just drone on about the most boring things, fires, explosions, wars, pestilence, politics, sports and other entertainment.
                  We need TV shows like “This Old Passive House” or “Captain Carbon” (for the kids). Finally when Mr. Green Jeans can have a powerful message promoting renewable energy, he is no longer around.
                  Wouldn’t it be nice if “reality” TV actual dealt with reality?

  8. R Walter says:

    Hillary deleted 33,000 emails, so we know she is a liar and is lying. She definitely cannot be trusted. Obviously corrupt to the core.

    We know Trump exaggerates his wealth and credentials, therefore cannot tell the truth. He is obviously lying through his teeth any given time of day. Not trustworthy whatsoever.

    Probably both are clones of Josef Goebbels, so neither one is qualified to be a president of anything except the Dominion of Hell. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and that is where they will lead us, both of them are Judas Goats leading the murkan sheep to slaughter.

    America cannot tolerate and probably not survive either one as a president.

    Too bad, so sad. That is how it is, the sorry state of affairs. The truth, when it is told, is not a pretty picture.

  9. wharf rat says:

    Because, why not?
    Mendocino County is developing a cannabis cultivation ordinance. In August 2016, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to move forward with an environmental review of the draft cultivation and zoning ordinance.

    In the spirit of “corporations are people, my friends”, Rat wishes to announce Wharf Rat Ag Inc, a Cal. non-profit corporation.
    How can I put this delicately? I know a chardonnay grower who just picked 85 tons of grapes, $1200/ton, from 20 acres, I believe. I’m told that a year from now, there will 900 lbs of (organic) medical marijuana being harvested right over yonder, at roughly the same price per pound, from 1/4 acre. I have sharecroppers who will do all the work. All I get is all I want; enuf smoke to make it to the next harvest.
    Right now, only Med Mary is legal, but we vote on recreational use in Nov. Weed (Calif.’s largest cash crop, but not counted in statistics), cookies, candy, lotions, oil, ointments, and salve should move us up the list of world’s largest economies

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      Consider being careful with all that money you may likely make because, over time, you may find your crops smoking sooner than you think, if you know what I mean.

      What I mean is what people do with money vis-a-vis this thing they call ‘the law’, upheld by these things they call ‘the police’, and what this means for land-grabbing, landlessness/homelessness and social unrest over time.

      • wharf rat says:

        No money for me. All I want is my stash, plus the chance to say, “A million bucks of cannabis was grown right over there, and all I got was my smoke and this lousy tee shirt.”

        “What people do with money vis-a-vis this thing they call ‘the law’, upheld by these things they call ‘the police’,”

        Starting now, people here are filing papers and paying fees to various government agencies, including the sheriff. I think the county issued 350 permits to grow medical marijuana next year. Recreational use is on the ballot in Nov, and I think the plan is to use the state framework already developed for medicinal use if it passes .
        A big bureaucracy and a major industry are both in the developmental stage It’s never counted in official stats, but weed is the largest cash crop in the state; maybe $14B. It’s like 50% of the income of my county. That’s just the value of the crop. When the value-added industry gets rolling, it’s gonna be yuge.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          So called government, post peak oil, in a no-growth or shrinkage economy are going to be looking for any and every way to bring in the income.

          Possibly the largest cash crop and it’s not even officially counted? Pretty surreal that, but unsurprising.

        • notanoilman says:

          In the future, CA exports of smoking material to Mexico.


        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Hi Wharf Rat,

          I’m a firm believer that large amounts of chardonnay consumption is more dangerous and damaging to humans than large amounts of cannabis. As long as you don’t count the damage done by the justice system by incarnation for possession of weed.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:


    • Puffalar (Your Five-Alarm Puff) says:

      Congratulations! ^u^

    • texas tea says:

      now if we can successfully tie the increase in CO2 levels to the increase in yield, shortened maturity time and increase in potency of weed, you global waring alarmist will be in real trouble as half your alarmist supporters will cease to care about C02 levels and the other half will be so stoned get to the couch. Javier as a biologist with an agricultural background I see a wide open opportunity to move the ball down the field and at the same time have a bit of fun. If you got em smoke em😜

      • wharf rat says:

        “if we can successfully tie the increase in CO2 levels to the increase in yield”

        Given the persistent drought, it might be easier to make the case that yield and/or potency is being negatively impacted by AGW. That, however, would require numbers, and I don’t know if they exist. The drought definitely cut into county grape production the last several years. California also had our four warmest summers on record the last 4 years. Maybe that’s why 75% of likely voters think climate change is a serious threat. 59 percent of likely voters are in favor of a bill which cuts emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Ain’t gonna be EZ. If it was , the US would be trying to do it. These things are best left to major global economic powerhouses like California.

  10. notanoilman says:

    Thanks to Fred and Bob Nickson for the replies, about batteries, in the previous open thread.

    I had a chance to follow the link, below, and found some useful stuff there and in some of the surrounding links. I must say that the guy could do with some good script writing and editing to get out the duplication but it was worth ploughing through.

    Jehru Garcia YouTube channel: Can good cells be found in old laptop batteries?


    • Oldfarmermac says:

      There is a more or less illiterate backyard engineer in my neighborhood who is using the batteries sold for the very popular YELLOW hand held power tools to run his home made electric bicycle. He has rigged them up in parallel to get the necessary amps.

      The trick is that since he is using them long and hard, but mounted inside a little padded box, they still look brand new when they are worn out, and they come with EXCELLENT warranties, lol.

      So far the local big box store is still happily exchanging them for him when they are won’t accept a good charge, lol.

      I have not investigated this myself, but I hear that you can salvage a lot of good cells from this general type of battery, sometimes all of them, if it failed due to being dropped and breaking a solder connection, etc.

      There are people who run businesses installing new cells in old power tool batteries for half the price of new batteries or less. I don’t know how well these rebuilt batteries hold up, not having tried them myself.

      • notanoilman says:

        Interesting. Hmm, thinking I may need to replace batteries in my screwdriver soon, one won’t take a charge.


  11. Oldfarmermac says:

    This is the clearest and best written article I have yet come across about the Arctic sea ice decline.


    • GoneFishing says:

      ” Indeed, we are not far from the moment when the feedbacks themselves will be driving the change every bit as much as our continuing emission of billions of tons of carbon dioxide annually. ”

      I have been saying this about feedbacks for quite a while. Even if we manage to control ourselves, nature might just finish the job for us.
      As far as the Arctic goes, it is essentially becoming a giant solar collector instead of a solar reflector. But it is worse than that. The increase of solar energy to the northern regions due to orbital position change will continue for forty thousand years. That increase alone will be equivalent to the forcing of CO2 in a few centuries, at a time when the Arctic is an absorber instead of reflector. Talk about add-on effects.

      Even if the methane release is slow, as some postulate, it will have a long lasting additive effect in a region dramatically transformed in radiative and ecological character, as well as global implications. One can envision a long flat plateau of GHG concentrations outward for 100,000 years or more. No reductions, as a lower boundary case.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Well said GF, that mirrors my thoughts exactly. And, as WWF’s Carter Roberts (and others) have said: “As the Arctic goes, so goes the planet.”

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Doug and Gonefishing,

          The fossil fuel is limited and eventually CO2 emissions will fall, population is also likely to peak and decline so methane emissions might also fall (less agricultural emissions). Do you guys think that fossil fuel output will never peak?

          Could you give me your guesses as to the URR of oil, natural gas, and coal?

          I am guessing you expect a peak before the next 10,000 years. 🙂

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Do you guys think that fossil fuel output will never peak?

            J.F.C., please Dennis, give me (us) credit for a smidgen of intelligence. Do you think the sun will never run out of fuel? Do you think Hell will freeze over? Do you know anyone here (on planet earth) who thinks fossil fuel output will never peak — apart from Southern Baptists? (shambles away muttering)

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Doug,

              Sorry it was intended as a joke, that is what the smiley face is there for, but it was put in the wrong place. How about URR estimates? Does the RCP8.5 scenario seem reasonable? It requires 3 times as much CO2 emissions as my “high” scenarios, which you have termed “cornucopian” in the past.

              The question was poorly put, my bad.

              Should have been, “when do you expect fossil fuels will peak?” A 10 to 20 year window is fine or make the window as large as you need.

              • George Kaplan says:

                Dennis – would you agree that extra CO2 in the atmosphere doesn’t have to come from fossil fuel emissions – it could be due to changes in the carbon cycle (so less taken up by oceans and vegetation for example), or new releases from stored carbon that is not fuel such as permafrost, hydrates or peat fires etc.?

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi George,

                  Potentially, yes. At present I am using what has been happening for the past 200 years or so as my basis, most has come from fossil fuels, with some from cement production and land use change as well.

                  I use the “other” CO2 emissions in the RCP4.5 scenario as a proxy for cement production, land use change and natural gas flaring, and my low, medium, and high scenarios for fossil fuel emissions from 2016 to 2200. I also assume fossil fuel use falls to zero from 2100 to 2150 in a linear fashion for each type of fuel (coal, oil, and natural gas.) That results in 1070, 1220, and 1440 Pg of carbon emissions from all sources for my low, medium, and high scenarios respectively. RCP4.5 has 1462 Pg of carbon emissions from 1800 to 2200, similar to my “high” scenario.

                  I think it not very likely we will see a big increase in carbon emissions from other sources, relative to current fossil fuel emissions.

                  And yes the carbon cycle could change with time, the models have what is called carbon cycle feedback which accounts for this, possibly the models do this incorrectly, there are many different carbon models that are used with a range of results. MAGICC6 uses an ensemble mean of the various models.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Fred, why are you taking Javier seriously? It’s like trying to argue with a teenage daughter.

                • Javier says:

                  No, George,

                  The CO2 increase is all ours. 100%. The natural stores are not adding anything, they are taking more and more. That’s why the biosphere is booming.

                  • farmboy says:

                    Javier says:
                    09/27/2016 AT 4:05 PM
                    Right, I also have a title in Biology and another in Agriculture.

                    Yet you seem to have been out of the loop since the 80s. It is estimated that the worlds agriculture soils have lost between 50% and 80% of its soil organic matter. 1% to 2% Soil organic matter is the normal in most of the farmed soils in my area compared to the 4% to 6% in the more natural environments right beside those fields. And you have the audacity to claim that the biosphere is booming.

                    I have personally witnessed and assisted in the destruction of the semi tropical rain forest of South America. Just to turn it into vast monoculture crops. This is biosphere massacre. The only difference compared to the other farmed areas of the world was the speed with which it all happened.

                    The grasslands of the world have fared no better. So that you can’t say its just in the Mideast or north Africa, or Mongolia lets focus on West Texas. This used to be cattle country, a sea of very diverse grassland, the home of many of the famed ranches of the west.

                    Today it is covered with bare soil and scatered mesquite/cactus. And you say the biosphere is booming.

                    I don’t have an issue with you saying that additional CO2 in the atmosphere will not cause climate change, but you saying that the biosphere is booming is a lie so big even Hillary couldn’t get away with.

                    some additional concepts for you to consider. One percent organic matter in the top 12 inches of one hectare is 47 tons of organic matter

                    47 tons of organic matter is 27 tons of carbon or 100 tons of CO2 so carbon is a good thing just needs to be in the right place.

                    An increase of 1% organic matter in the soil will hold onto an additonal inch of water for the plants.

                  • Javier says:

                    Loss of soil, rainforest destruction, land appropriation are all problems caused directly by us, not by climate change.

                    With increased temperature and increased CO2 ecosystems become more productive. There is already a very significant increase in forest mass in temperate areas, and greening in semi-arid areas. With the increase in temperatures and CO2 Nature is giving us a hand in restoring natural spaces faster if we are willing to take it. Instead of combating climate change we should be combating all the damage we are doing to natural ecosystems and wildlife populations taking advantage of climate change.

                    I don’t know why but humanity usually gets things wrong. Our species is badly named. We are not sapiens at all.

                  • farmboy says:

                    Javier Says “Instead of combating climate change we should be combating all the damage we are doing to natural ecosystems and wildlife populations taking advantage of climate change”.

                    I agree with that, but would add that by focusing our energies where it counts we can suck up all the supposed excess atmospheric carbon and put it to work. In order to do this we need to take into account the whole carbon cycle instead of only looking at the small part that may or may not be out of whack.

                    I am convinced that the total volume and diversity of the biosphere has been shrinking dramatically,and the distribution becoming more uneven, especially during the last century and not increasing as you would have us believe.

                    first Farmlands that used to be forests or grasslands is a massive reduction in volume of living organizims.

                    Second The remaining primarily grasslands that cover 1/2 of the earth’s land mass have been severily degraded by poor management of domestic herbivores, so that the plant biomass that remains is only a fraction of what was at one time. Plants are the source of life for the rest of biology and that has decreased right with the plants.

                    Whether the oceans have increased or decreased in volume of life forms is not something I feel competent to address.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    I am convinced that the total volume and diversity of the biosphere has been shrinking dramatically,and the distribution becoming more uneven, especially during the last century and not increasing as you would have us believe.

                    You and most ecologists!

                    Ask E.O. Wilson what he thinks about biodiversity.

                    BTW, Javier is right that humans are causing many of the disruptions to the environment. One of those disruptions just happens to be climate change.

                  • Javier says:

                    We do affect climate with our CO2 emissions, but nobody knows by how much as both climate sensitivity and natural contribution are not properly quantified. In addition the increase in CO2 and in temperatures since the Little Ice Age has been net positive for most animal and plant species, as almost all ecosystems have become more productive.

                    This is probably the only positive change that we have done to our planet. It is an irony that it has become an icon of our fury and that we are trying to remedy it.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Javier said:

                    In addition the increase in CO2 and in temperatures since the Little Ice Age has been net positive for most animal and plant species, as almost all ecosystems have become more productive.

                    Surely you jest!


                    When the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released its Living Planet Report 2014 on September 30, it wasn’t the usual doom-and-gloom environmental news story that is forgotten the next day. The report — the result of a science-based study using 10,380 populations from 3,038 species of amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles from around the globe — is garnering worldwide attention for its sit-up-and-take-notice findings: between 1970 and 2010, the planet has lost 52 percent of its biodiversity. In the same forty-year period, the human population has nearly doubled. Those figures take a while to sink in, especially since the previous WWF report that analyzed animal populations, published in 2012, showed a decline of only 28 percent over a similar time frame.

                  • Javier says:


                    You are not assigning responsibilities properly. Nothing of what you say is due to the increase in temperatures and CO2. The increase in both is a net positive to the natural world, the rest of our activities are a huge net negative. By citing the consequences of the second and blaming the first you engage in an exercise in cynicism.

                  • farmboy says:

                    Javier If you are trying to apply for a job at The Onion you will need to be a little more creative. Here let me try a line or two.

                    Researchers at Leon University,in Iowa recently came out with a report showing conclusively that corn fields that have recieved one or more applications of Roundup have a greater diversity of microbiology thanks to the minor antimicrobial effects of glyphosate which affects all microbes the same so that no one type can get the upper hand. This produces a diverse array of microbes which feeds an increasingly diverse set of insects compared to the non treated fields. The high levels of insects attracts multiple species of birds, some which previously were not thought to be associated with corn fields.

                    More research is needed to verify whether spraying Roundup in Non-GMO fields would have the same effect.

    • Andy Fishburn says:

      Would you mind explaining the significance or relevance of that arctic ice decline in light of the 18 1/2 year pause of global mean surface temperature increase shown by the global satellite data series?

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Andy,

        For the past 37.5 years the RSU satellite data has a trend of 0.131 C per decade.
        That trend translates to a temperature increase of 0.49 C since 1979. If we use a shorter time interval, such as 25 years the temperature trend has a larger slope of 0.139 C per decade. The choice of interval is arbitrary, but for a short data set of less than 38 years, using the entire dataset makes the most sense, it certainly avoids charges of cherry picking.


        Data from link above.

        • Javier says:


          You know very well how to check for changes in trends, because you do it all the time for oil data using moving averages.

          Why don’t you take a 13-year centered moving average through that RSS data and see what comes?

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Javier,

            I would use 25 or 30 years because I am interested in climate rather than weather. No doubt one could choose shorter intervals, but that simply shows us changes in AMO, PDO, ENSO, etc. The oceanic flows have a big effect on temperature and the models do a poor job of predicting them, in part because the models run for hundreds of years and the initial conditions for these phenomenon are not known in detail in 1750, which might be a typical start date for model spinup (though it might be earlier, I don’t really know).

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Good answer Dennis. 🙂

            • Javier says:

              Wrong answer. If you are trying to spot a change in trend (stock investors do it all the time), you use the shortest moving average that eliminates the noise. Once the change in trend is identified, no doubt after 25 years it becomes very relevant, but you don’t have to wait that long to spot it.

              • Dennis Coyne says:


                We are not talking about stock trades, we are talking about the difference between climate and weather. The short term fluctuations are just natural variation aka, weather. Climate is about long term trends, so 25 year averages or more are relevant. What’s so special about 13 years? I have never claimed, nor has anyone else here that I remember, that there is no natural variation in climate, in fact the major source of the variability may be lunar, along with longer term Milankovitch cycles and volcanoes. Changes in solar output may have some influence, but astrophysicists find the changes in solar output are relatively small in magnitude.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Old Farmer Mac,

      There are some scientists, such as the guys at Real Climate, that don’t agree that the methane is likely to be as much of a problem as this author. I think we should focus on reducing carbon emissions as quickly as possible, when we are successful, we can focus on removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. I would think that the albedo effects from melting sea ice, the changes in water vapor and so forth are already included in AOGCMs, these models are far from perfect of course. Generally reasonable assumptions about available fossil fuels result in about 1.5 to 2.5 C of warming from pre-industrial temperatures, even if no attempt is made to reduce the use of fossil fuels. As man will be forced to develop alternative energy as fossil fuel peaks and declines, such a scenario seems unlikely (that we will burn all the fossil fuels we can). Fossil fuels will become much more expensive than alternatives and society will switch to other forms of energy.

      All energy may become more expensive and it will be used more efficiently as a result.

  12. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    This problem led Dale Jamieson to suggest that the problem of climate change is

    …not merely one of economics, but also one of moral philosophy. As he puts it: ‘Unless we develop new values and conceptions of responsibility, we will have enormous difficulty in motivating people in responding to this problem.’

    The role of moral philosophy here is both theoretical and practical: theoretical insofar as it identifies one of the modes of thought that feeds the problem; practical insofar as it offers alternatives. Jamieson’s suggestion is to abandon the scheme that thinks in terms of individual responsibility for easily identifiable consequences and replace it with one that thinks in terms of the virtues of humility, courage, moderation, simplicity and conservatism.

    As a suggested cure, it is perhaps easy to quibble with this. But if the diagnosis of the disease is accurate, some such paradigm shift in our conceptual scheme may be necessary before we finally face up to our collective responsibilities.” ~ Neil Sinclair

    • GoneFishing says:

      The expanding knowledge of global warming effects as well as the continuing examination of the negative effects of most human activity by various biological and environmental groups has showcased the human condition as a very negative one, similar to a global disease. This does not set well with most people, it heavily impacts not only their business activities but their whole self-image. Rather than being superior beings, we start to look like the devils incarnate, crushing all in it’s path to self-gratification, self-aggrandizement. Which sadly is our collective reality.

      This blatant source of cognitive dissonance imparts an avoidance and escapist mentality. For to acknowledge the results of our activities is to place us in the lowest social and criminal order on the planet. So the majority are only able to acknowledge global warming and eco-destruction to a minimal and specific degree, while a battalion of mentally cloistered dark knights fights an absolute battle against any and all recognition of our collective deeds to protect their sinister masters’ interests.

      Recognition, and even more importantly, assimilation of these realities will take generations. In the meantime, strong and meaningful action will be delayed until the obvious destruction of coastal cities and the resulting migrations; the reductions in crops become too large to ignore and ecological damage impinges human activity in a crushing manner. Even then there will be resistance to the full implications.

      Until then, all recognition will be muted and narrow. United activity will be minimal in scope and effect. Not to say there will not be pockets of positive response, but only specific to apparent human demands. The grand awakening of the human place in the true context of nature is yet to come.

      • Nick G says:

        Rather than being superior beings, we start to look like the devils incarnate

        If you communicate with that kind of judgmental language, you definitely will alienate people.

        I’d describe humanity as behaving like any other species that has an opportunity to expand. Not worse, but not much better. And…the “not much better” part is the problem. We’re smarter. We can and do expect much more from ourselves. Again…the gap between expectations and actual behavior is the problem.

        And, I’d say we are indeed improving in that regard…just not as fast as we need to. That’s the thing to focus on: expanding people’s awareness, mindfulness, identification with other species as “us” rather than “other” to be exploited.

        And…if we want people to expand their compassion towards other species, we need to set an example, and show compassion towards people in our communication. Judgmental language will just drive them away and slow down progress.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Nick G,
          “I’d describe humanity as behaving like any other species that has an opportunity to expand. Not worse, but not much better”
          You must have flipped your lid or be joking.

          • Nick G says:

            Humans exterminate wolves, due to fear of wolves preying on domesticated animals or humans.

            Wolves eat elk. Chimpanzees kill other chimpanzees. Lions kill the young of other male lions. Polar bears eat humans.

            Is there a moral difference? I’d say no. The difference is that humans have a prefrontal cortex, and have higher expectations of themselves and a greater ability to identify with other animals as “us” (part of the human family) – that’s why some humans go vegetarian, or vegan. Plus, of course, it’s in their best interest to have a healthy environment…

            • GoneFishing says:

              Realization is a very tough and painful road, but it is the only way to build a true foundational change in human actions and culture.

              BTW, applying human constructs such as morality and ethics to the animal world just does not work, quite inappropriate. They have a way of life developed over a billion years, one that works. We fell off the wagon and started believing we were special and therefor all else is below us and we did not have to follow the ways of nature, we could use and control nature.
              The results show the inverse.

              • Nick G says:

                BTW, applying human constructs such as morality and ethics to the animal world just does not work,

                That’s exactly my point. When you talk about the “Devils incarnate” you’re using moral language. It doesn’t work.

                If you use language like that, you’re communication will fail. People will be avoiding this kind of judgmental idea, not the reality of what’s happening in the world

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Nick, I think dishonest pap will fail, it already has. Half-truths and half-realities do not cut it.
                  The shock of self-realization is needed to make real changes, anything less gets lost in the noise.

                  People are already avoiding reality, they do not trust their leaders or their world, and then become isolated and self-interest blossoms.
                  Without a major cultural change, the destruction will continue.
                  Maybe we can stop killing everything that inconveniences us and start being a positive influence on this earth. But first a large cultural change must occur and that starts with realization and internalization of the current situation.

                  • Nick G says:

                    It sound to me like you’re feeling quite desperate to get people to listen, and do something before it’s too late. You want to knock heads together, and tell people to wake up. I understand.

                    I worry, though, that your message will get lost, if your anger at the situation comes through as an attack on your audience.

                    You can tell the truth about the harm to our environment and fellow species without the characterization of people as being on the “lowest social and criminal order”.

                    A good resource for this is the idea of “Nonviolent Communication”.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Nick, “nonviolent communication”? I never threatened anyone or was not angry. It is the humans threatening and being angry.
                    I hope you increase your comprehension and stop just slapping labels helter skelter.
                    I am not desperate to pass on the message, just bringing up the reality here, thinking there were some intelligent heads that were not afraid to admit the truth.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Nick, “nonviolent communication”? I never threatened anyone or was not angry.

                    It’s not about threatening, or overt anger.

                    “Nonviolent Communication contains nothing new. It is based on historical principles of nonviolence– the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart. NVC reminds us what we already instinctively know about how good it feels to authentically connect to another human being.

                    With NVC we learn to hear our own deeper needs and those of others. Through its emphasis on deep listening—to ourselves as well as others—NVC helps us discover the depth of our own compassion. This language reveals the awareness that all human beings are only trying to honor universal values and needs, every minute, every day.

                    NVC can be seen as both a spiritual practice that helps us see our common humanity, using our power in a way that honors everyone’s needs, and a concrete set of skills which help us create life-serving families and communities.

                    The form is simple, yet powerfully transformative.”


                  • GoneFishing says:

                    I do feel very compassionate for the billions of life forms we poison, kill and crush every day. I feel deep empathy for the ocean critters, who live in a world that should be separate from ours, yet are being poisoned, decimated, injured, outright killed and diseased due to human activity.
                    I feel sorry for a race of intelligent beings that has turned much of the living soil on this planet into a sterile pile of dead matter. Last of all, I feel a sense of tremendous disappointment concerning the huge number of people who choose not to see what is happening around them and refuse to engage with the natural world at most any level. Their mental and spiritual growth is stunted by their own choices.

                    It’s all choices, all that technology will be for naught if people do not become aware of what they are doing and make changes in their relationship to this world.

                    I recommend you read the book as a primer on this subject “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History”. Better yet get yourself out in the world and actually look at it, see what is going on and what is trying to live. From the microscopic to the macroscopic, immerse yourself.

                    Welcome to the Sixth Extinction. Will people even shed a tear?

                    Answer one question if you can Nick. Is the world a better place because of the human species?

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    The concept of nonviolence is a false ideal. It presupposes the existence of compassion and a sense of justice on the part of one’s adversary. When this adversary has everything to lose and nothing to gain by exercising justice and compassion, his reaction can only be negative.” ~ George Jackson

                    “Lance Hill criticizes nonviolence as a failed strategy and argues that black armed self-defense and civil violence motivated civil rights reforms more than peaceful appeals to morality and reason.” ~ Wikipedia

                    “Peter Gelderloos criticises nonviolence as being ineffective, racist, statist, patriarchal, tactically and strategically inferior to militant activism, and deluded. Gelderloos claims that traditional histories whitewash the impact of nonviolence, ignoring the involvement of militants in such movements as the Indian independence movement and the Civil Rights movement and falsely showing Gandhi and King as being their respective movement’s most successful activist. He further argues that nonviolence is generally advocated by [the] privileged… ”

                    “William P. Meyers argued that nonviolence encourages violence by the state and corporations… with notions of non-violence in a deliberate (and successful) attempt to render [groups] harmless and ineffective.”

                    “D. A. Clarke… suggests that for nonviolence to be effective, it must be ‘practiced by those who could easily resort to force if they chose’. This argument reasons that nonviolent tactics will be of little or no use to groups that are traditionally considered incapable of violence, since nonviolence will be in keeping with people’s expectations for them and thus go unnoticed.”

                    “Indian guru Osho Rajneesh heavily criticised teachings of nonviolence, on psychological and spiritual grounds:
                    ‘…For five thousand years people have been taught to be non-violent; they have learnt the trick of pretending. And all that has happened is that they have repressed their violence… Let there be a riot, and all that piousness simply evaporates as if it had never been there…
                    This violence erupts again and again in this country because of the teaching, a wrong teaching, which is based on repression. Whenever you repress something, it will come up again and again.
                    I teach you awareness, not repression. That’s why I don’t talk about nonviolence. (…) And the more you become aware, the more your life will attain to silence, peace, love. They are by-products of awareness.” ~ Wikipedia

                    Gandhi was not a pacifist; he believed in the right of those being attacked to strike back and regarded inaction as a result of cowardice to be a greater sin than even the most ill-considered aggression.”
                    ~ What Gandhi Says About Nonviolence, Resistance and Courage, by Norman G. Finkelstein

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    There is little that is non-violent, dignified or polite about BAU.
                    The next time you see a beautiful wild animal that is dead on the highway, think of those advocating the products of BAU under the ‘mindless monocultural mantra’ of ‘we have to get off of fossil fuels’.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Non-violent communication and action only go so far in the contexts of violent and rampant systemic sociopsychopathology.

                  Besides, didn’t some of the most peaceful famous people get murdered in politely and peacefully advocating change? John Lennon? Mahatma Gandhi? Martin Luther King?

                  “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” ~ John F. Kennedy

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          In the previous thread, I encapsulated a concept by this expression:

          ‘Manners without ethics cancel out.’

          If members of society, after being mannerfully told to ‘cease and desist’, continue to somehow foul the global nest, or to advocate it or questionable behaviors that risk doing so, risk different subsequent responses that may transcend previous mannerfulness, and thus may not be to their liking, even if they, themselves, wear a mannerful facade, like a misplaced badge of honor.

          I imagine we’ve heard of the term, ‘tribal shaming‘…
          I imagine we’ve also heard of the terms, greenwashing and whitewashing…
          Well, here’s a new one; mannerwashing.

          (Perhaps it’s a little along the lines of the term, ‘diplomacy’ as it applies to the current understanding of the term, ‘politician’. This could change with Trump, if I may be so sarcastic.)

          With special thanks to Dennis Coyne for mannerwashing’s inspiration (I will dispense with the yellow-blob emoji happy face.).

  13. R Walter says:

    A few questions:

    How much concrete is in the base of a wind tower, the foundation?

    How much steel is in the tower?

    How much oil is in the gearbox in the nacelle?

    How much raw material is used too construct a turbine blade?

    How many acres of land do the turbines require?

    How many tons of gravel required to build a road to the wind turbine site?

    How much coal is used in the manufacture of one wind turbine?

    How much oil is used to manufacture one wind turbine, start to finish and during the lifetime of operation to dismantling and removal?

    How much CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere to manufacture and construct one wind turbine?

    How long does it take to have a net gain to offset the total tonnage of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere from the manufacture, construction, and maintenance of a wind turbine?

    In the final analysis, the wind industry is wholly dependent on fossil fuels, the consumer subsidizes the fossil fuel industry via the production tax credit.

    One last question, how much total energy is produced during the lifetime of one wind turbine?

    One can conclude that wind turbines are a culprit from the get go, a liability, not really an asset at all, they emit CO2 before they ever begin to produce usable energy in the form of electricity.

    By the ton.

    Today is National Drink Beer Day!

    • Fred Magyar says:

      One can conclude that wind turbines are a culprit from the get go, a liability, not really an asset at all, they emit CO2 before they ever begin to produce usable energy in the form of electricity.

      Of course when can never be completely sure when you are being serious or sarcastic but…

      One can conclude nothing of the sort! Every point you made can be thoroughly debunked if you start from a completely different design paradigm.


      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Fred,
        I am not yet well acquainted with biomimicry engineering but hope to be reading up on it soon. Can you recommend any books on the subject comprehensible to a well informed layman?

        Now here is something that as a practical matter matters a hell of a lot, when it comes to the energy returned on the energy invested in wind and solar farms.

        We are actually WASTING coal, oil, and natural gas by the tens of millions of dollars worth on an hourly basis. Saving even a small amount of that energy, in the form of a wind turbine, for later use is in my estimation a world class bargain.

        To illustrate, I once went on a guy thing trip with four or five buddies, fishing, drinking, indulging in things best not mentioned, etc, for a couple of weeks. It’s a miracle we got home more or less whole without getting hurt or killed or arrested or infected, lol. I had the last hundred dollar bill in the lot of us, every body else was broke, we were still a day from home. The other four were dead set on having a good meal on that hundred and buying a tank of gas to get us the last couple of hundred miles home. I refused. The car broke down and that hundred was just barely adequate to get it running again and get us home before we all had to report to work Monday morning.

        We got more ACTUAL VALUE out of that hundred than we did out of the last thousand we spent tipping dancing girls and buying beer and bait.

        We can in effect store fossil fuel AND skilled manpower in the form of wind and solar farms for use later when fossil fuel will be in short supply and damned expensive, fossil fuel that will otherwise be wasted ANYWAY, on football stadiums, more shopping centers, more three ton pickup trucks used as commuter vehicles, etc.

        This argument does not indicate or support the argument that wind and solar farms are bad investments in respect to energy returned on the energy invested.

        The energy that comes OUT of a wind and solar farm is worth at least two or three times the initial energy content of the materials that go INTO building them on a BTU or kilowatt hour basis. The naysayers virtually always manage to overlook this ENTIRELY pertinent fact, lol.

        And while most people insist on counting money and energy beans in terms of thirty years or so, old farmers are used to thinking in terms of generations.

        Once a wind or solar farm is in place, it will last more or less forever, so long as the industries needed to supply replacement parts are still functioning. I can only guess what it will cost to replace pv panels twenty years from now at a solar farm commissioned today, with new ones that will be far more efficient than today’s panels, but it’s a safe bet the cost of this maintenance and upgrade will be PEANUTS compared to the cost of a new from scratch solar farm.

        Hardly anything else will have to be replaced, except maybe some electronics such as inverters. The roads may need a little gravel, the farm manager may need a new pickup truck, lol.

        The same argument will apply but perhaps not to as great an extent to wind farms.
        Old support towers, if they are not in good enough condition to support the same size turbines as originally installed, can almost for sure be used to support somewhat smaller turbines, which by then will be far more economical in terms of output than they are today, due to improved designs and the low cost associated with mass production.

        I am not an engineer, but I know some, and they tell me it is reasonable to expect a turbine foundation to last a VERY long time, witness the foundations of bridges and large buildings, etc, which last indefinitely.

        The rights of ways, the permits, the roads, the transmission lines, and just about everything except the towers and turbines will last indefinitely. Nearly everything, maybe everything in both towers and turbines can be recycled effectively.

        Ground up concrete makes EXCELLENT gravel for unpaved roads or foundation for paved roads, etc, and while it is costly to grind it, the hauling costs are trivial when it is used nearby. Hauling gravel costs the average customer as much or more than the gravel itself if the stone quarry is more than forty miles away.

        My Daddy didn’t spend the extra money for masonry when he built our old farmhouse and barns , and put metal roofs on them , without good reason. We are spending peanuts for maintenance that is costing other people a LOT of money who built at about the same time using wood and asphalt shingles, etc.

        Neighbors who can afford it, those of them who have the long term outlook, are having in contractors to wrap their frame houses in brick, and roofers to take off the shingles and put on metal, lol. Their heating and cooling costs will be dramatically reduced, and painting the walls will never be necessary again. Painting the roof every ten or fifteen years is a hell of a bargain compared to putting on new shingles every twenty to thirty max.

        Furthermore old solar panels will be sold into the second hand market where they will be put to very good use by people who can’t afford new ones. There will always be plenty of people in that situation, with lots of space for them. If there is plenty of room for them the reduced output doesn’t matter very much.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Can you recommend any books on the subject comprehensible to a well informed layman?

          Sure, maybe start here and read this PDF overview and then buy her book if you want.


          Innovation inspired by nature

          The 2002 book,Biomimicry, describes a new science
          that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates
          these designs and processes to provide innovative
          and sustainable solutions for industry and research
          development. Author and international expert,
          Janine Benyus, is now focusing on working with
          industry and governments across the globe to
          implement her ideas.

          Janine Benyus

      • GoneFishing says:

        Yep, RW is beer goggling again. Drink enough beer and even a coal mine looks pretty. Here’s the skinny, even before manufacturing goes low carbon. Wind tower produces 25 times it’s build energy over typical lifespan. It actually produces electricity with no fossil energy input.
        A coal power plant needs over 3 times the energy it produces as electricity, most going into the atmosphere as pollution and heat. It can’t produce electricity on it’s own, just a rusting hulk like several around here. Always way more primary energy in than out. A loss loss situation. Although it does produce a lot of benefits, even for those who do not use it’s power, all toxic and deadly, but still benefits.

    • Ralph says:

      The answer to all your questions is ‘how long is a piece of string?’ – one that is having inches and feet
      snipped off each passing day and month.

      Modern large wind turbines become net energy positive in a matter of about 6 months.
      Not all turbines have gearboxes, so some do not use gear box oil.
      Offshore turbines require zero acres.
      Onshore ones require the area of the concrete base, which is typically of the order of 100 – 1000 m2
      How much fossil fuel is used in making a wind turbine – I do not know exactly, but a lot more than it needs to be, because almost all fossil fuel uses can be replaced in small quantities by non-fossil substitutes, and when it comes to wind turbines, small quantities are all you need.

      Wind mills existed before millennia before mineral oil was anything other than a second rate source of lamp oil.

      But then, you will only know that wind turbines are for real when they become a major energy source in
      a hard nosed fossil energy state like Texas.


      • Ulenspiegel says:

        “How much fossil fuel is used in making a wind turbine – I do not know exactly, but a lot more than it needs to be, because almost all fossil fuel uses can be replaced in small quantities by non-fossil substitutes, and when it comes to wind turbines, small quantities are all you need.”

        If you read German, here a nice article:


        A 2.3 MW Enercon E-82 contains 30 tons of epoxy glass resin, what I found, with around 50% glass fibres. This means the rest could be considered oil. Let’s say around 15.000 liters.

        1 liter oil =11 kWh energy content, with 50% losses we need around 16 kWh electricity per liter oil to substitute fossil fuel with “green” syn-fuel or 15.000 * 16 kWh = 240.000 kWh.

        How many days would the turbine run to generate this energy?
        What would be the additional costs (synfuel around 15 cents/kWh, around 1.50 EUR/liter = 250 EUR / barrel)?

        Energy demand for synfuel: 240.000 kWh or 240 GWh, this means the turbine has to run around 100 days to generate the energy. A Enercon turbine is good for 25 years, a CF of 25% means 6 years full load generation or 2300 days. This means the syn-fuel eats ~4% of the energy generation.

        The additional costs would be around 15.000 EUR, for a 2.3 MW turbine less than 90 EUR per kW or 5%.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Is what you are calculating actual energy? You seem to be calculating the cost of the oil to produce the epoxy. Unless I am misinterpreting it.

          If you want the actual useful energy that would be displaced by using that oil, the useful energy of oil for electric production is 2.7 kWh/liter. Using the electric power production value, it will only be about 25 days of wind turbine production to produce the actual power that the oil in the blades might have produced by being burned directly for energy.
          Of course if the oil had to be refined to diesel and then run in an ICE to turn a generator the useful energy would be far less. I have not included the typical 40 percent loss of energy due to inputs from well to refining to end use.

          I have read figures of 6 to 8 months payback time for the full cost of a 2 megawatt turbine with installation.

          • Ulenspiegel says:

            My gedankenexperiment was about the time a wind turbine has to run in order to produce the oil that is contained in its structure as synfuel from CO2 and water.

            My mistake was (of course) that the energy of fossil oil was already accounted for, i.e. the additional time would only be 30 days.

            We are indedeed in the six month range for the energetical pay-back time of a modern turbine.

  14. islandboy says:

    The latest edition of the EIA’s Electric Power Monthly was released on Monday, with data for July 2016. As usual below is the graph of US monthly generation as a percentage of total by source. Electricity production was up 3% on July last year and natural gas generated a record 152.459 TWh while coal generated 136.860 TWh, slghtly less than the amount generated using coal in July last year. Renewables excluding conventional hydroelectric were up in absolute terms but, the increases by coal and NG overwhelmed them in terms of percentage contribution. Conventional hydroelectric was down in absolute terms from last month but slightly up on the amount generated for July last year.

  15. islandboy says:

    Below is the graph of electricity generated by solar thermal and PV from the latest Electric Power Monthly.

  16. GoneFishing says:

    Haven’t had a CO2 update for a while:

    Daily CO2
    September 26, 2016: 400.91 ppm
    September 26, 2015: 397.51 ppm

    August CO2
    August 2016: 402.24 ppm
    August 2015: 399.00 ppm

    Looks like the 400’s have been reached and no going back.

    • Doug Leighton says:


      “In the centuries to come, history books will likely look back on September 2016 as a major milestone for the world’s climate. At a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide is usually at its minimum, the monthly value failed to drop below 400 parts per million….

      It’s against this backdrop that the measurements on top of Mauna Loa take on added importance. They’re a reminder that with each passing day, we’re moving further from the climate humans have known and thrived in and closer to a more unstable future.”


      • Javier says:

        CO2 is increasing. The climate is doing fine, thanks.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          “The climate is doing fine…” Is that English and if so what does it mean? In any case, the climate may be “doing fine” but the land and the oceans certainly aren’t. For example:

          “A US team of researchers found that forecasted shifts in climate by 2070 would occur too quickly for species of grass to adapt to the new conditions. The species facing an uncertain future include wheat, corn, rice and sorghum, which provide almost half of the calories consumed by humans…Not only does the grass family (Poaceae) of more than 11,000 species form the staple of people’s diets across the globe, natural grasslands cover about a quarter of the planet’s land area and provide a home to a rich diversity of dependent flora and fauna.”


          • notanoilman says:

            That appears to behind a paywall.

            A report on this:-


            I also read an article that stated that crop yields declined above 30C but I cannot find it, it was somewhere in the mainstream press. Any good googlers out there?


            • Doug Leighton says:

              “That appears to behind a paywall.” Sorry, yes, wasn’t thinking and also yes, the information is repeated in several places including New Scientist & Science Daily News.

          • George Kaplan says:

            Doug – I don’t spend much time in the non-hydrocarbon side of the blog here but do read a bit of the paper press in the UK, and it has a lot of denier columnists. It is noticeable that they are all moving away from “it’s not happening” to “it is good” or “it doesn’t matter”. I don’t quite follow their argument as a counter to the issue. Most of the “consequence” side scientists are saying that bad things are going to happen at 1.5 to 2 degrees celsius, which means they won’t be happening yet, but the denier crowd don’t seem to be willing or able to look beyond that to see that things can and will change, and almost certainly for the worst.

          • Javier says:

            Doug, so those researchers found something about the future?

            They must have invented a time machine then. Anything passes for science these days. No wonder than then we find out that:

            Ioannidis, John PA. “Why most published research findings are false.” PLoS Med 2.8 (2005): e124.

            Now you keep believing in those future things. That only requires faith. I have none.

            • Javier : “Why most published research findings are false.”

              So now we will know to ignore all your research on molecular genetics, since most of it is wrong. Thanks for the tip!

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Yup everything is just fine!

          • Javier says:

            What you don’t see in that picture:

            • Fred Magyar says:

              That isn’t necessarily going to help and could even make things much worse. At best it might give you a bounce and delay the inevitable… 🙂


              Format: AbstractSend to
              Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2002 May;65(5 Pt 1):051905. Epub 2002 May 6.

              Chaos in two-loop negative feedback systems.

              Bastos de Figueiredo JC1, Diambra L, Glass L, Malta CP.
              Author information

              Multiloop delayed negative feedback systems, with each feedback loop having its own characteristic time lag (delay), are used to describe a great variety of systems: optical systems, neural networks, physiological control systems, etc. Previous investigations have shown that if the number of delayed feedback loops is greater than two, the system can exhibit complex dynamics and chaos, but in the case of two delayed loops only periodic solutions were found. Here we show that a period-doubling cascade and chaotic dynamics are also found in systems with two coupled delayed negative feedback loops.

              Javier, at one point in a discussion we had, you mentioned you weren’t up to speed on chaos math, do yourself a favor and get yourself a better grasp of feedback loops.

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              Javier, I will give you $500 for a trampling after you jump off the top of a 10 story building on to it.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Gone Fishing,

      The trend has been steadily up at about 0.52% per year from 1995 to 2016. Chart below is natural log of global surface CO2 in ppm, monthly data from 1995-2016 (july). Data from link below.


      • GoneFishing says:

        Last 4.5 years have been at 2.4 ppm rise per year and the 2015 rate is 3.05 ppm per year, the first time the annual rate reached the 3 ppm region.
        Initial annual rates were less than 1.o ppm per annum.
        The seasonally corrected monthly data has been above 400 ppm since April of 2015

        Mauna Loa data.

        • GoneFishing says:

          As one can see, the CO2 growth rate is always positive. There are short term variations in the system but overall, the growth rate continues upward. Never negative.
          Increasing ocean temperature, increasing temperature of land and especially permafrost, increasing temperature of bogs, lakes, ponds and rivers, as well as the burning of forests are all sources of CO2 to the atmosphere (along with methane).

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Gone Fishing,

          1998 looks pretty similar to 2015. Could this be the effect of a strong El Nino?

          • GoneFishing says:

            Who knows? 1998 was the end of an El Nino and the start of La Nina about mid way through the year. These are just wind shift effects and current shifts causing warming/cooling in a region of the Pacific. There is no effect on climate change, just regional weather.
            The CO2 flux between the ocean and atmosphere is constantly trying to equilibrate. If one area warms it will release more CO2 which then is absorbed as it cools again. As we discussed earlier, there are many temperature anomalies in the ocean. It is well known that temperature effects the Pco2 in water. But the oscillations are short lived and the Pco2 in water is increasing right along with Pco2 of air.

            Doesn’t matter anyway, the CO2 came from the atmosphere and the energy came from the sun. If the ocean stores some energy then releases it, it’s just a transfer of externally sourced energy. The ocean is a heat sink and a carbon sink in general, otherwise the atmospheric temperature would be much higher as would the CO2 level.
            It’s a case of weather changes versus climate changes.

    • George Kaplan says:

      More significant to me than the absolute limit is the fact that we seem to have jumped to in excess of 3ppm rate of increase. This means 1) that warming will happen faster than predicted, and 2) something has happened to increase CO2 release that is not coming from fossil fuels (e.g. permafrost melt, increased wildfires, changes in ocean absorption, or other); and if we’ve let one of those cats out of the bag this early who knows where it ends?

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Indeed, it’s a brave man (or fool) who’s comfortable with his projections in non-linear systems. The ongoing wildfire feedback (with associated soot) is one of the tricky inputs that I personally find worrisome.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Hi Doug,

          The ONE thing, if there is any ONE thing, that we have enough of to last us till the end of time is fools.

          My impression from talking to kids who are studying subjects such as business, psychology, philosophy,criminology, etc, basically any subjects other than the hard and life sciences, is that they seldom hear a word about non linear systems and non linear change.

          Oh, the econ and business professors like to lecture a bit about new technologies displacing old, but they don’t have a clue themselves, as a rule, about the hard sciences, the life sciences, and the consequences of non linear change in the physical world.

          I will bring up Hoyle again, the famous astronomer at the top of his profession, who said evolution has as much chance of creating an eyeball as a hurricane has of assembling a jet plane from a pile of scrap yard parts.

          And this guy was a hard scientist himself.

          Ignorance is actually the real problem though. Only a very small percentage of students, even elite universities, other than the universities known as science and engineering institutions, get even ONE REAL COURSE in chemistry, physics, biology, etc.

          I was once at a social gathering in Charlottesville,back in the day, when in the course of five minutes, I heard a philosophy major from the institution known hereabouts as “THE University” making uncomplimentary remarks about me and Tech, referring to me as a hayseed farmer and Tech as a “cow college” while in the same general group conversation making a bigger fool out of himself than Hoyle did with his remark about eyes and evolution. This guy knew about as much about chemistry, geology, and biology as I know about reading Chinese script.

          These remarks were brought on by the fact I was enjoying an animated conversation with his date about the management of pleasure horses, and he had obviously had at least one too many.

          That one resulted in a NON LINEAR consequence, from feeling great to looking like a fool as his date left with me, lol.

          You can graduate from both the real Ivy League universities and the so called public ivies with just one so called survey course in the hard sciences or life sciences.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Well Mac, leaving the party, the function, with another’s date would certainly imply a non-linear relationship, and one with potential chaotic consequences. (i.e., negative feedback) 🙂

      • GoneFishing says:

        Agreed George, then add the albedo changes in the northern hemisphere and the increases in humidity in the dry Arctic air. It will be a few years before we grasp the changes that have happened in the last decade of so.
        We are experiencing rapid climate change, however that does not preclude abrupt climate change as has been seen in the past. Abrupt climate changes of +4C to +10C in just a few years have occurred in the past, at least from ice core data.
        Regional abrupt climate changes are quite likely to happen.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Take a look at this animated video from NOAA, it shows the global trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide over a two year period. 10 ppm anyone?


        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Gone Fishing,

          Yes there could be local changes, but the changes of the magnitude you cite were very local in Arctic climates (mostly Greenland and Northern Europe had the large temperature changes of 6 to 14 C). Some theorists propose a shutdown of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation (or conveyor belt). It would seem the deglaciation from the LGM might have increased freshwater input to the North Atlantic and might have caused such a shutdown. Should such an event occur due to a sudden release of fresh water from the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, we would see a regional temperature drop followed by a rise back to where we started. Based on the Shaken et al 2012 reconstruction (see chart below especially delta T Atlantic and Northern Hemisphere) we might see a drop of 1 C over 500 years followed by a more abrupt rise in temperature of 1 C over 250 years. Delta T is the temperature difference between Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and Delta T Atlantic is the difference between the North Atlantic and South Atlantic Regions.

          The Delta T Atlantic is a proxy to represent changes in the AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.)

          Data at


          Paper at


          Horizontal scale on chart is thousands of years BP so 15,000 BP to 11,000 BP, which includes the most significant Younger Dryas events.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Richard Alley seems to think that the temperature changes occur within one or two decades, which makes sense if it’s related to ocean current shutting down.
            I doubt if Europeans or other people in the Northern Hemisphere would appreciate waiting a thousand years for the temperature to get back on course.
            There have also been abrupt warming events.
            “In the Northern Hemisphere, they take the form of rapid warming episodes, typically in a matter of decades, each followed by gradual cooling over a longer period. For example, about 11,500 years ago, averaged annual temperatures on the Greenland ice sheet warmed by around 8 °C over 40 years, in three steps of five years (see,[3] Stewart, chapter 13), where a 5 °C change over 30–40 years is more common.”


            People think of the last glaciation as a stable event, it was not. The ice sheets repeatedly grew and decreased over the 100,000 year period, oscillating. So there are also long term oscillations within the cold periods as well as occasional abrupt changes.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Gone fishing,

              Yes there have been rapid changes in Greenland, globally there is not that much evidence for those rapid changes, essentially we are talking about a change in ocean currents which affect weather.

              See Shakun et al 2012 and my chart based on their data.

              For the Northern hemisphere temperatures dropped by about 0.7 C then returned to previous levels from about 13.5 ka BP to 11.75 ka BP or over a 1750 year period. There may well have been some faster local warming in Greenland. This was an affect of deglaciation, ice sheets in the World today are roughly one tenth the size that they were (total area of World ice sheets) during the LGM, so we might see one tenth the affect today from ice sheet melt.

              • GoneFishing says:

                You are not making sense Dennis, your graphs show effects over a millennia, yet you call them weather.

                “The Younger Dryas saw a sharp decline in temperature over most of the northern hemisphere, at the end of the Pleistocene epoch, immediately preceding the current warmer Holocene. It was the most recent and longest of several interruptions to the gradual warming of the Earth’s climate since the severe Last Glacial Maximum, c. 27,000 to 24,000 calendar years BP. The change was relatively sudden, taking place in decades, and resulted in a decline of 2 to 6 degrees Celsius, advances of glaciers and drier conditions, over much of the temperate northern hemisphere. It is thought to have been caused by a decline in the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, .. ”

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  The peer reviewed article by Shakun et al shows Northern Hemisphere temperatures falling by 0.5 C in 100 years, the fast changes over shorter periods were local effects in Greenland and Northern Europe. The phenomenon was probably due to a shutdown of the AMOC and as ice sheets are one tenth the size of the LGM are not likely to be repeated for 100,000 years or more.

      • Javier says:

        “More significant to me than the absolute limit is the fact that we seem to have jumped to in excess of 3ppm rate of increase. This means 1) that warming will happen faster than predicted, and 2) something has happened to increase CO2 release that is not coming from fossil fuels”

        Absurd. It is very well known for decades that El Niño increases a lot the release of CO2 from the ocean. Check El Niño years in that graph. So it is 3). That is called a false dichotomy.

        • Javier, Either you don’t know the simplest language construct or are trying to annoy everyone.

          Kaplan did not create a false dichotomy because he did say “2) something has happened to increase CO2 release that is not coming from fossil fuels”. So he did suggest an alternative that you glossed over to further your agenda.

          • Javier says:

            He didn’t mean something that has been happening for thousands of years (“if we’ve let one of those cats out of the bag this early who knows where it ends?”).

            Hence the importance of knowing what the climate has been doing in the past. Otherwise everything looks new and scary to a virgin mind.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi guys,

        As a fair amount of the increase is due to increased fossil fuel use, I expect the rate of increase will slow, also that is an exponential increase that I am showing, which is non-linear. The CO2 forcing is proportional to the natural log of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ratio relative to pre-industrial (278 ppm from 1500-1750 CE), and for the past 46 years has been rising at a roughly linear rate (the Mauna Loa data from 1970-2016 is also quite similar to the Global data (which starts in 1980).

        The rate will slow to some degree as fossil fuel peaks, though there will be some carbon cycle feedback which counteracts this. A scenario consistent with my medium fossil fuel scenario where an energy transition reduces carbon emissions from fossil fuels sharply after 2070 so that they reach zero by 2100, with other carbon emissions as well as all other greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the RCP4.5 scenario is shown below. Total carbon emissions from all sources is 1090 Pg from 1800-2200 and I have used the default carbon cycle for MAGICC6. The ECS was adjusted to 3 levels 2.75C. 2.25 C, and 3.25 C(consistent with removing the highest ECS model which is an outlier with ECS=5.5, while all other models are between 1.9 and 4.1 C, the average without the outlier is 2.72C). The MAGICC 6 default is an ECS of 3C. Temperatures rise for the average model (ECS=2.75C) to 1.83 C above pre-industrial temperatures. A higher ECS of 3.25C leads to higher temperatures about 2.1 C above pre-industrial. The GISS Model E2-H has an ECS of about 2.5 C and the GISS Model E2-R has an ECS of about 2.3 C. If the effect of future methane impact due to feedbacks are added the ECS increases to 2.4C (model E2-R) to 2.6 C (model E2-H) Those are the CMIP5 models see section 5 at link below.


        MAGICC6 uses the older CMIP3 GISS model. (whose sensitivity is similar to the CMIP5 GISS models.)

        Looking at simulations of the models relative to historical forcing from 1850 to 2010, the GISS Model E2-R matches better. See Section 4, figure 7 at link below.


        • GoneFishing says:

          Very nice Dennis, however the albedo changes and other natural forcings will be as strong or stronger than the CO2 forcings before 2100. That will at least double the forcing so the temperature will not decrease after 2100. Also, it takes a long time for CO2 to leave the atmosphere with the ocean keeping the partial pressure up as well as the increased temperature causing the ocean to release more CO2. Typically it takes long term geological absorption of CO2, not going to see that change for thousands of years.
          So unless there is a strong change in cloud forcing, the temperature will continue to rise for a long time.
          Many climate scientists now think we will blow past delta 2C before the end of the century, some say by 2050.

          Coal power plant buildup.
          “China is building one coal-fired power plant every 7 to 10 days, while Japan plans to build 43 coal-fired power projects to replace its shuttered nuclear units. ”




          • Doug Leighton says:

            I agree and so do many (most) experts:


            “Earth is on track to sail past the two degree Celsius threshold for dangerous global warming by 2050, seven of the world’s top climate scientists warned Thursday…Climate change is happening now, and much faster than anticipated, said Sir Robert Watson, former head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), the body charged with distilling climate science for policy makers…”


            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Doug and Gone Fishing,

              Many of those experts think the RCP8.5 is the most likely scenario.

              Those experts are incorrect in my view about the availability of fossil fuels to make RCP8.5 a possibility.

              It is correct that we may pass the 2 C limit by 2050 though based on the paper below. Many of the GISS models reviewed have Global temperatures at 2 C even with the RCP4.5 scenario, though I expect even that scenario is likely to be higher than reality due to a fossil fuel peak earlier than most people foresee.

              I do not have the ability to run the latest models so I am relying on older models that may be less sensitive. At some point the MAGICC model will be updated to the CMIP5 models, if anyone knows where such a model can be found, let me know. Too much work, and I do not have enough expertise to run the full AOGCMs.

              I have pointed out on many occasions that the albedo changes are likely to be less significant than you imagine as ice sheets are far smaller today than during a glacial maximum, in fact higher humidity may lead to higher snowfall amounts in Northern hemisphere winters, which might offset the faster melting in spring and summer due to higher temperatures. It takes quite a long time (about 500-1000 years) for the ocean to warm. In the mean time carbon dioxide levels will fall.

              I am well aware that the CO2 level falls slowly, and the models account for that.

              See figure 3 at (also in chart below) and also table 1 pp.249-50


              Note that RCP4.5 holds emissions at a level that keeps radiative forcing relatively constant from 2100 to 2500, RCP2.6 is more realistic in that it assumes emissions are reduced after peaking which is far more plausible for those that believe that fossil fuels will peak before 2050. My scenario is roughly between the RCP2.6 scenario (765 Pg C emissions all sources) and the RCP4.5 scenario (1462 Pg C emissions) (both measured from 1800-2200), my scenario is 1090 Pg C emissions.

              • Doug Leighton says:

                Dennis: Try as I might I cannot follow the logic of your arguments. For one, “the availability of fossil fuels” hardly affects the equation at all and I fail to see why you keep harping on this. There is one hell of a lot more going on than “total carbon emission”: IF IT WERE ONLY THAT SIMPLE. Perhaps the biggest unknown right now, as alluded to by GF, is the roll of cumulus clouds in a warming climate (positive feedback). Then there are all those negative feedbacks (too many to mention) that you seem to dismiss with: “they’ve all been built into the models”. Really?

                When people like Sir Robert Watson, former head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, signs on to a statement like: “Earth is on track to sail past the two degree Celsius threshold for dangerous global warming by 2050” that you confidently override I don’t think it’s his credibility I question. Meanwhile we have no idea what’s happening, and going to happen, in Antarctica:

                “To our south, Antarctica has also just broken a new climate record, with record low winter sea ice. After a peak of 18.5 million square km in late August, sea ice began retreating about a month ahead of schedule and has been setting daily low records through most of September.”


                • GoneFishing says:

                  Great points Doug. Most people seem to ignore the particulates in the atmosphere, which are global. As coal and oil burning are reduced we will easily get a fast 1C rise in temps, just from that one factor.
                  Considering global 2C reached by 2050, the Arctic (then with little to no ice during summers) will see about 6C increase. The impact on the Greenland ice sheet will be strong.
                  All that melt water could move and slow down the AMOC, causing temperature drops in northern Europe. Or not.

                  Here is a local AMOC event due to a slowdown in 2009-2010

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gonefishing,

                    So how quickly would you expect this shutdown of the AMOC? Note that in my MAGICC scenario I also reduced NOx and SOx pollution to lower levels than RCP4.5 with these levels falling sharply from 2070 to 2100, so that is accounted for in my models, the models also account for changes in sea ice, but not in ice sheets. CMIP5 models include changes in vegetation and CMIP3 models in MAGICC account for this through carbon models.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    I have no expectations, it is the accepted result large amounts of cold fresh melt water entering the North Atlantic. It will depend upon how natural feedbacks act over the next few centuries. The known feedbacks of albedo change will add at least 3 to 5 w/m2 by or before the end of the century. Orbital changes will add about 1 w/m2 per century to the northern regions. Reductions in particulates will add about 3 w/m2, timeframe mostly dependent upon industrial output energy transistion and vegetative burning rates (natural and manmade). The widespread carbon dioxide and methane releases from rising temperatures in water bodies spread over the globe is not well characterized yet, but will add another positive factor, could be a few watts/m2, could be much larger. The ocean release of CO2 as temperature rises in it’s surface layers is probably already calculated somewhere. The increase in water vapor in dry cold regions (where it make the most difference) will add more GHG heating directly impinging ice sheets and snow extent. Expansion of the ocean surface should decrease albedo in those regions and cause rotting of large amounts of vegetation.

                    Here is a model result attempt to assess the probability of an AMOC shutdown. It is an early attempt and I am not confident in it’s accuracy, but you wanted numbers so here they are.

                    Probabilistic hindcasts and projections of the coupled climate, carbon cycle and Atlantic meridional overturning circulation system: a Bayesian fusion of
                    century-scale observations with a simple model
                    If all those factors are accurately taken into account in your models then the coefficients are too low and/or the model is poor.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    The ice sheet modelling is an area of great uncertainty and is not included in the models.

                    So predicting an AMOC shutdown is highly speculative. Ice sheets are far smaller today than during the LGM so seeing the kinds of oscillations that were seem from 20 ka BP to 12 ka BP is not very likely.

                    The models are not “my” models, they are CMIP3 models with my scenarios for carbon emissions, these are essentially between RCP4.5 and RCP2.6.

                    A far more reasonable scenario than RCP8.5 (which has carbon emissions 5 times higher than my scenario.)

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Certain anthropogenic global warming thresholds seem to inconveniently/cognitive-dissonantly run up against pseudorenewables energy-cannibalism build-out fantasies.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    GF said:

                    Most people seem to ignore the particulates in the atmosphere, which are global. As coal and oil burning are reduced we will easily get a fast 1C rise in temps, just from that one factor.

                    Caelan, just curious do you have any understanding of the fact, that, that is going to happen with ‘Peak Oil’ alone and it won’t take any build out of renewables at all?! So why did you make your comment?

                    Actually, if the entire population of the planet were to suddenly transition to your fantasy world of permaculture and zero technology it would still happen and billions of people would die anyway!

                    BTW, your fantasy world view wouldn’t do much to save the biosphere either because unfortunately 7 plus billions humans living your way would increase their ecological foot prints unsustainably. Therefore wiping out the entire remaining wild parts of the biosphere just to produce enough food to survive.

                    You keep talking about pseudorenewables energy-cannibalism build-out fantasies but you seem to have zero understanding of the simple fact that the continuing of BAU and the fossil fuel status quo is going to end whether you like it or not and whether you prepare for that reality or not.

                    While reality checks and criticism are valuable in the discussion about these topics, as usual, you can only offer ignorant and out of context attacks against renewables.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    ‘My world’ is one in which we’ve lived for the overwhelming majority of our species’ existence, Fred.

                    ‘Your fantasy world’ never has. That’s why it’s the true fantasy one.
                    (And it’s likely not even the majority’s fantasy, but merely the so-called 1%’s fantasy imposed on the rest of us, many of whom, of course, accept The Programming/The Walls’ Shadows, like in The Matrix/Plato’s Cave.)


                    Ramping up along the downslope (Red Queen-style pseudo renewables build-out?), or attempting to roughly maintain the current use of fossil fuel as it depletes for the process of this fantasy, this ‘BAU-Lite’, in the faces of the have-nots (and there will be have-nots in this game) and of anthropogenic global warming climate change won’t likely help in that regard and is myopic and irresponsible.

                    In other words, some of us have our priorities screwed on backwards.

                    There are plenty of vast tracts of land all over the place, including in and around cities that have already long gone under the knife, so to speak, of pseudodevelopment, monoculture and general habitat destruction that could easily be re-wilded and adaptively re-used and repurposed to feed the local populations, which would include other animals besides humans. Win-win, all around.

                    But you have to actually get out there, like out of your systemic diapers; out from behind your toy digital screens; out from behind your toy wheels stuck in gridlock and survey the landscape, relearn quite a few things that our ancestors took for granted and knew without thinking, roll up your sleeves and get down-and-dirty. Stuff like that. Adult stuff.

                    Corporations and Nanny States infantilize by removing or displacing various forms of personal empowerment.
                    You don’t like the idea of your own infantilization, do you, Fred?

                    Real human species maturity is already in effect, in the form of community gardens, ecovillages, intentional communities, Transition towns and the like.

                    If done even half-properly, such as with regard to habitat-restoration, natural bounty and resilience, such that permaculture, rewilding and other assorted ecological movements involve, the logic of your aped meme doesn’t wash.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Caelan M
                    As I have shown, often with calculations, and studies; EV’s will not use any extra energy. In fact they can be an energy source if designed properly.
                    Same goes for wind and solar power. The energy waste and inputs needed to build and maintain the fossil fuel systems they replace will more than compensate for any “extra” energy needed to build them.
                    Look at the whole system and pay attention to what is discussed on this site.
                    Just claiming things won’t work doesn’t mean they don’t.

                  • islandboy says:

                    CM, your repeated harping on your vision of sustainable living is awe inspiring. However, from where I sit, I am not sure how practical it is. The island where I live is less than 150 miles long east to west and less than 60 miles north to south so, one would have to live a fairly sheltered existence not to see cases of poverty, in some cases extreme poverty.

                    The problem, as I see it is that, it is the folks who live in less than fortunate circumstances who seem to be having the majority of the children. All of my friends and acquaintances with at least some education past high school have no more than two or three children. It is the less educated and often unemployed that are having more than three and it is often young people from less fortunate circumstances who have their first children very early often before having ever held a job.

                    There are already way too many people here than regular “jobs” so there are thousands of people who have found ways of eking out there existence. You cannot go to any community in the island without seeing makeshift stalls selling everything from fresh fruit to cheap, Chinese manufactured consumer goods (clothes, toys, cell phone accessories).

                    One form of “employment” I have watched emerge is the job of “loader”. The city mass transit system is inadequate so people have turned regular cars into “taxis” and zip around on the regular bus routes to provide people with convenient, although often cramped mobility. At the beginning of each route “loaders” move around coaxing potential passengers to get into their “clients” vehicle, collecting a small fee once the car is full of course! A more redundant form of “employment is hard to imagine, since if you go to where the rides to your destination are waiting to depart, presumably you know where you are going and need no assistance to identify the next vehicle likely to depart.

                    So, your idea of people in the islands walking around naked, eating mangoes and making love (babies) rather than participating in the “system”, seems not to be practical except for the making babies part. All these people who are busy making babies also want convenient (processed) food, cable tv and cell phones among the other trappings of the system.

                    I’d invite you to pay a visit to the city of Kingston to spread your message in some of the poorer communities but, I can’t guarantee your safety. As for spreading your message among the more wealthy Jamaicans, I’m pretty sure they would think you’re a first class candidate for the insane asylum.

                    One of the reasons I stick to my message of renewables, EVs, energy efficiency and recycling is that, these are things that are obvious enough as solutions to various problems being faced in my neck of the woods that, they have a chance of gaining some traction. While your ideals might be the ultimate goal, we have to get from here to there somehow.

                    Do you have any suggestions as to how we could get the masses, the poorer folks in Jamaica (or any other country in the world for that matter) to embrace your vision?

                  • Islandboy,
                    They are not solutions to problems; they are at once mere treatments of the symptoms and capitulations to the status-quo.
                    You, like many others, would seem to have been ‘Borgged’ in some ways by the crony-capitalist plutarchy. I get that.

                    Poverty is as poverty does.

                    BAU is predicated on it.
                    It manufactures it. And then feeds it back.

                    My response is Permaea. Select my name for access to its very formative test-bed.

                    “Morpheus: I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.” ~ The Matrix

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “EV’s will not use any extra energy. In fact they can be an energy source if designed properly.” ~ GoneFishing

                    So the disaster that is BAU is going to, despite itself, somehow poop out these magical electric vehicles that will not only not use any extra energy but can also be an energy source as well?

                    WOW! LOL

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    islandboy (Alan?),
                    I looked for fun to see if there might be an ecovillage in Jamaica at least as listed on a particular website and found this one.

                    “All these people… want convenient (processed) food, cable tv and cell phones among the other trappings of the system.” ~ islandboy

                    With one keyword being ‘trappings’ as you wrote…
                    I think David Korowicz calls something similar, ‘lock-in’. Of course I call that and related, ‘disempowerment’…
                    John Zerzan would call our own industrial-feeding of ourselves, ‘self domestication’…

                    And there are signs occasionally encountered that basically say, ‘Do not feed the wild animals.’

                    They say that technology is a double-edged sword, but it appears as though one edge is, at least increasingly, sharper than the other and pointing toward, rather than away from, us.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Doug,

                  As I said above, with a high enough level of carbon emissions perhaps we will reach 2 C by 2050.

                  For example IEA and EIA forecasts of fossil fuel output until 2040 are much less realistic than my “medium”, or even my “high” scenarios (which on occasion some have termed “fantasyland” scenarios.

                  My “high” scenario is consistent with RCP4.5, one of the lowest of the set of RCP scenarios.

                  Why do I harp on carbon emissions?

                  There are very reputable climate scientists such as Gavin Schmidt and David Archer of Real Climate that believe that carbon emissions levels are important. There are many famous climate scientists I could list, there is pretty general agreement in the climate science community that carbon emissions levels are important.

                  I will assume you do not dispute that.

                  Do you distrust the models? There are many who share that view. I agree they are imperfect, the concensus is about an ECS of 3 C and a recent estimate of ESS by Hansen is about 3.5 C. Note that ESS changes would not be reached until 2500 CE or later, so ECS is most relevant.

                  The carbon emissions scenario is critical to reasonable predictions of future climate change.

                  You might dispute this, or you may simply believe ECS is very high. Most of the models that agree well with the historical data have an ECS of 2.5C to 2.9C.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Of course GHG emissions are important Dennis. They apply the lever to both fast and slow natural feedbacks. What your models do not seem to for is the magnitude and longevity of these feedbacks. I seriously question that the models show immediate falling of atmospheric CO2 as human produced CO2 falls.

                    Article about David Archer’s book:

                    “David Archer, a leading climate researcher who teaches at the University of Chicago, has written a new book that looks at carbon dioxide’s “long tail” and what it means for changes on Earth in the future.

                    If the world continues its heavy use of coal over the next couple of hundred years until it’s essentially used up, it would take several centuries more for the oceans to absorb about three-quarters of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. In those centuries, there would be a “climate storm” that Archer says would be significantly worse than the forecast from now to 2100.

                    The remaining carbon dioxide — the long tail — would stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years, leaving a warmer climate. About 10 percent of it would still be in the atmosphere in 100,000 years, Archer wrote in “The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s Climate.”

                    “Ultimately, the amount of fossil fuel available could be enough to raise the atmospheric CO2 concentration higher than it has been in millions of years,” Archer wrote.

                    Because of the long life of CO2 from fossil fuels, the climate impacts would last for many thousands of years. Ice sheets would melt, raising seas high enough to swamp 10 percent or more of the world’s agricultural land. Other climate impacts could include uncomfortable heat and drier continental interiors, Archer tells his readers. “In the long run, it could be a steep price to pay for a century or so of fossil fuel energy.” ”

                    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article24526897.html#storylink=cpy

                    And that is just the human produced effects. Now add in all the fast and slow natural effects.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    If every scrap of coal no matter how thin the seam, down to 300 feet is burned, then we will emit something like the 5000 Pg of Carbon which gets us to RCP8.5.

                    As I have said the models are not mine, I input a scenario where fossil fuel emissions fall to zero from 2070 to 2100.

                    It is possible the models are incorrect.
                    They include the fast feedbacks, including albedo change from sea ice change and snow cover and vegetation changes. The albedo effect from ice sheet melt in Greenland and Antarctica are not included, but many climate scientists believe these changes will take thousands of years under reasonable emissions scenarios.

                    Note that CO2 levels fall from about 496 ppm in 2075 to 440 ppm in 2200 with no fossil fuel emissions after 2100 in the scenario used for the chart up thread. This is for the average carbon model used by MAGICC, it is consistent with the BERN carbon model.

                    The models account for the long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere, in Archer 2009 CO2 gets absorbed by the ocean at about 2 Pg per year, so in 100 years this would be about 200 Pg of Carbon, with 1000 Pg of carbon emissions about half remains in the atmosphere so the uptake by the ocean reduces the atmospheric CO2 from 500 Pg to 300 Pg for a 1000 Pg emission scenario from 2100 to 2200.

                    The Models I use (CMIP3) only reduce CO2 levels by 10% rather than 40% as in the Archer at al 2009 paper.


                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Archers paper only deals with fossil CO2.

                    With all those relatively fast uptakes, it’s a wonder there is much CO2 left in the atmosphere at all.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    A Bern type carbon model which accounts for the different ways that carbon (all carbon, the Earth does not care where it came from, nor does the model, did you read the paper?) is sequestered. The last 25% (for a reasonable emission scenario of 1000 to 2000 Pg C) remains in the atmosphere a long time. The initial 50% of an emissions pulse is sequestered very quickly, the next 25% is absorbed by the land and ocean over 250 to 500 years, and the final 25% takes 10,000 to 100,000 years to be sequestered by very slow processes.



                    A very important paper which preceded the 2009 paper I linked above.

                    The understanding of this has not changed much since the 2009 paper.

                    A more recent paper by Joos et al from 2013:


                    From the piece linked above on p 2806, for a 100 Pg carbon emissions pulse in year zero:

                    The ocean continues to absorb carbon from the atmosphere and the multi-model perturbation in the ocean carbon inventory is 20±7GtC by year 20, 33±12GtC by year 100 and 59±12GtC by year 1000.

                    We could speculate that it is higher or lower, but this is what the carbon models predict as of 2013. Also MAGICC6 has about 10% of carbon sequestered over 100 years (Atmospheric CO2 decreases from 490 ppm to 440 ppm or roughly 10% sequestered and 90% remaining in the atmosphere vs 67% of carbon remaining in the Joos et al 2013 paper.)

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Actually Dennis, understanding of the role the ocean plays in absorbing CO2 changed dramatically in 2011.

    • Jay McLeod says:

      If these co2 observations are to be believed, well then anybody at home should be able to use one of those co2 alarms they sell in the Lowe’s next to the smoke detectors and such to get the same numbers the scientists do. Well I took my alarm with me a little while ago outside to test this theory. What I found is that in my own back yard the co2 is 226ppm. A picture is worth 10,000 words. But how could I possibly be seeing what I am seeing if the government’s own figures are showing more then 400ppm co2? I hope I’m not just dealt with by trying to explain it away that its just my eyes deceiving me because its not.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Jay, You seem to be confusing carbon dioxide with carbon monoxide. The wording in your picture is PPM of CO. Carbon monoxide alarms are fairly common. BTW, If the CO level in your yard is 226ppm (and not 22.6 ppm) you should be concerned — very concerned.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Jay, that carbon monoxide level is very high, You are unlikely to survive 8 hours of exposure. You said it was an outside reading. So where did you put that meter to get that reading?

      • Fred Magyar says:

        But how could I possibly be seeing what I am seeing if the government’s own figures are showing more then 400 ppm co2?

        Dunno maybe your analyzer wasn’t properly calibrated? What is the make and model of your gas analyzer. How accurate is it? How many times and in how many places did you take a reading? A single reading doesn’t mean very much. There are dozens of reasons why you might be getting an inaccurate reading.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Fred, the label below the readout says CO not CO2. I don’t think Lowes sells CO2 detectors.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Yeah, it’s hard to challenge Mauna Loa Observatory CO2 readings using a store-bought CO detector. 🙂

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Yeah, I saw that. As a matter of fact I even enhanced the image and zoomed in on it. Also about 30 ppm of CO is about as much as might be considered safe so as Doug said 226 ppm of CO outdoors is highly unlikely therfore that reading is probably 22.6 ppm of CO.

            Having said all that I figured I ask him for the brand and make of his analyzer so I could confirm that it is a indeed a CO analyzer.

            Here is my enhanced image:

            • GoneFishing says:

              Looks like 226 to me, must have been near a CO source.

              • Doug Leighton says:

                Possibly the tailpipe of his idling Super Duty F-350 Truck — sitting in the carport (and sent out there to measure CO by his wife who wanted an EV).

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Well, maybe Jay will drop by and enlighten us as to what actually transpired… though I won’t be holding my breath for too long because as the CO2 builds up in my tissues it will trigger my breathing response 🙂

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  A car or truck with a cold engine can produce readings this high when first started up, very near the vehicle, or inside a garage.


                  • GoneFishing says:

                    More likely a lawnmower. They produce a lot of pollution with just a few horsepower.

                    Under current standards, in an hour a push mower will produce the same HC+NOx as a car driven 257 miles, and the same CO as one driven 401 miles. To put it another way, assuming a car averages 40 miles per hour, a push mower produces more HC+NOx than six cars and the same CO as ten

  17. The Wet One says:

    This: http://witsendnj.blogspot.ca/2016/09/the-waste-land.html should be of interest to folks here.

    Apparently, the world’s trees are dying. I think I knew that already, but I haven’t had it set out before me quite like it is here.

    But then, this is really nothing new and is merely another tally of the multitude of tolls humanity is putting on the biosphere of this planet. In that respect, it isn’t much new in any meaningful sense.

    Still though, to share a bit, I leave it here for your consideration.


    • Bob Nickson says:

      I’ve no idea whether Gail Zawacki’s theory that tropospheric ozone is killing trees is valid or not.

      According to this study abstract: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1469-8137.1998.00184.x/full it isn’t established, but that research is also nearly 20 years old.

      “[…]A link between the occurrence of O3 and forest damage is not unequivocally established in Europe, and the problem remains of extrapolating and/or scaling up from studies on seedlings to predict responses to O3 of mature trees and forest stands, because we know so little about acclimation to O3. An accurate assessment is also lacking of the magnitude of the O3 effect on European trees both in terms of the forest areas affected and its extent. […]”

      But since I first ran across her site a few years back, I can no longer see the forest for the sick and dead trees, so to speak. I notice them everywhere. And she also opened my eyes to how dismal the vibrancy of fall foliage is anymore. It’s nothing like it was in my childhood. The trees just kind of look like they’ve rusted before they shed their leaves.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Forestry is way outside my specialty, and I got only a couple of basic courses in it, but I do read as much as I can about what’s going on in forestry.

      There is no doubt forests in many parts of the world are stressed and in decline but there is no obvious consensus as to the causes, which vary a lot from place to place. Acid rain, rising temperatures, prolonged droughts, run away insect infestations most often considered to be a consequence of drought and higher temperatures, various other diseases, loss of species that spread seed and keep down pests, etc all play a role, and probably more often in combination than singly.

      Ozone seems to be a serious problem at least in some areas, according to some foresters. But don’t ask me which ones, I am just regurgitating the last two or three years reading forestry news.

      Invasive species and introduced pests and diseases are also grave problems in some areas. We have already lost the American chesnut on the east coast, the single most valuable species we had from the human pov, and one of the most common.

      We may be losing most of the oaks in California soon.

      Fortunately the people working on the chesnut blight have just about whipped it , and they are now actually distributing a few seed and seedling trees that are said to be indistinguishable from the original, by a layman, or even a forester, unless he is equipped with a genetics lab.

      Hopefully I will be able to buy a few of these myself sometime soon, but I won’t live to see them turn into giants dropping enough nuts to to pick them up by the wagon load, as my great grandparents did. There are still some split rails around after being out in the weather for a full century. I doubt even red wood would last that long in our local climate.

      If I were the prez, I would pretty much put a hard stop to the trade in exotic species of plants and animals for any and all commercial purposes assuming I could stretch my authority that far.

  18. Paul Helvik says:

    Question for all the climate change enthusiasts here:

    I know you guys love to talk about climate change, but I’m curious about what you are doing to actually prevent it? Or at least lessen the impacts.

    I’m particularly intrigued to hear from this site’s most eager “researchers” (Javier, WebHubTelescope, GoneFishing, etc.)

    • GoneFishing says:

      Personally, I am using less than one third of the fossil fuels I used previously. The last third is the toughest, slowly reducing toward zero, maybe in three years. Insulation and sealing, better light bulbs, high mpg vehicle, trip consolidation, ride sharing, travel reduction, not buying anything unnecessary, repair instead of replace, buy used instead of new where possible and practical. Reduced hot water usage. Will start building solar thermal system for house this winter, should provide most of my heating when complete. Live low, live well, enjoy the simple things, don’t keep up with the Jones’s. No motors on my boats, have a very efficient lawn mower and have converted about 30 percent of lawn to food production and flower beds (feeds the insects and hummingbirds).

      Externally, have gotten several neighbors to increase house insulation. Talk to people about conserving energy and reducing use of materials. Planting ideas. maybe a few have grown.

      Up to this year I was growing some of my own food (all organic), but an injury prevented that this year. Next year if healthy. The best laid plans…

      I use my south facing windows as solar collectors in the winter, no covering during daylight. covered at night. In summer, white shades reflect light back out to reduce heat gain. Want to add summer awnings.
      Also keep refrigerator at lowest temp possible which prevents food spoilage and very little waste occurs. I eat less than I used to and eat less meat.

      • Paul Helvik says:

        How does the solar thermal system work? What are the average winter temperatures in your area (the temperatures the system will need to work in)?

        • GoneFishing says:

          It’s solar heat collectors with mass storage. Temperatures range down to minus 20F in the winter at times, winters have been very variable lately. Some years very cold with excessive snow, other years warm with little snow.
          Matching a variable source to a variable demand is the fun part.

    • I don’t research “climate change” right now. I research climate science and other earth sciences. The two topics I am most interested in are ENSO and QBO, which would exist even if there wasn’t any climate change.

      To be able to predict ENSO would be a huge boon for agricultural and business planning:


      To be able to predict QBO, it would enable instrumentation and networking balloons to stay aloft longer:


      The bottom-line is that the science behind ENSO and QBO is still not very refined. I kind of know how to deal with applied math and applied physics so that’s what I concentrate on.

    • farmboy says:

      Paul Helvik
      Don’t know if I make the cut in your category. Anyways, I have switched my small farm from a conventional corn/soy to what I call a rejenerative grazing operation, focused on increasing the volume and diversity of the biology both above and below ground. This is sequestering carbon in the soil as evidenced by such observations as the increase from year to year in the total aboveground vegatation production, soil forming agregates, turning a darker color, and loading up with visible insects and worms.

      I will soon be sending soil samples in to the lab which will give me some more evidence as to the increase of organic carbon and other soil functions compared to the baseline from 4 years ago. I expect to see an increase of at least 1% in soil organic matter. One percent organic matter in the top 12 inches of one hectare is 47 tons of organic matter. 47 tons of organic matter is 27 tons of carbon or 100 tons of CO2 sequestered per hectare.

      In my lifetime I am hopeing to go from 1.5% organic matter in the top 6 inches to around 8% organic matter level 3 feet deep on my farm. That would be an increase of 526 metric tons of pure carbon per hectare or 1,950 metric tons of CO2 sequestered on every hectare of my farm.

      I am doing this with practically zero NPK fertilizer which is extremly fossil fuel intensive. I have used what I call soil amendments including Gypsum, elemental sulfur, borate, and copper sulfate to supply what my soil test showed to be lacking. Aside from the gypsum I have used a total of less than 35 lbs per acre/year for the last 7 years.

      Under normal situations an increase of 1% organic matter will hold onto an additional inch of rain so I am mitigating the effects of drought expected with climate change. I also keep the soil covered which keeps it cooler in hot temperatures which greatly diminishes the loss of water to evaporation. This water is then free to slowly go down into the aquifer, guaranteeing water in the nearby stream during drought . The increased stability of my soil aggregates also increases the infiltration rate in a rainfall event so reducing the runoff which is the main cause of most of the flooding that our globe is experiencing at an increasing level.

      In the meantime I am producing around 250 lbs of grassfed lamb, per acre/year. which I value at $2.20/lb or $550.00 per acre in my figures to direct market the lamb meat. Since my grasses have become healthier my sheep have also become healthier, so that I no longer need to use any chemical wormers which saves on a lot of labor. These are just figures that indicate that my farming system has the possibility to be just as or even more financially viable then conventional lamb production systems. Because for rejenerative farming systems to be sustainable they need to either be financially viable or require subsidies etc.

      As the health of my soils increase I am putting a plan together to start a vegetable production opperation to supply the increasingly needy, local soup kitchens with volumes of produce. therefore I can grow limitless volumes in season and it does not need to be grocery store perfect, therefore I can use no fertilizer or chemicals other than an herbicide application prior to planting with a notill drill, thereby elliminating the harmfull effects of soil tillage.

      Main points are I am;
      sequestering tons and tons of carbon

      increasing the water infiltration rate, thereby reducing flooding

      Increasing the water holding capacity of my soil thereby reducing the effects of drought and heat.

      Increasing the habitat for diverse forms of life thereby increasing the resiliency of the biosphere

      Preparing a farming system that produces highly nutritious food to address the hunger problem that is rapidly increasing in our country rather than supplying the picky supermarket customers.

      • Paul Helvik says:

        To clarify, I was open to hearing from any of the routine contributors at this site. I’m glad you wrote because your response is quite intriguing due to the fact I live in a region with a lot of ranching. Over the years I’ve seen many of the ranches become increasingly corporate and pay lower attention to the long-term vitality of the land.

    • Javier says:

      “about climate change, but I’m curious about what you are doing to actually prevent it?”

      Nothing. Nothing should be done, nothing can be done. That’s why politicians talk a lot, travel long distance by plane to get together, sign agreements and then very little is done. Whether you believe in the dangers of increased CO2 or not, you cannot take away fossil fuels from people because they will kill you, literally. Bloody revolutions have started from much less.

      • Nick G says:

        Whether you believe in the dangers of increased CO2 or not, you cannot take away fossil fuels from people because they will kill you, literally.

        I’d say that the Chinese, who are literally dying by the millions from coal pollution, feel differently.

        They’re literally dying to transition to cleaner forms of energy.

        • Javier says:

          They are transitioning to nuclear. A path Occident has decided against.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Javier,

            I believe the Chinese are doing both, installing wind, solar, hydro and nuclear. Every nation should do what they believe is best. In the long run, wind, solar, and hydro will probably be cheaper than nuclear.

            In any case, even if one is concerned about the coming ice age 🙂 we should transition to other forms of energy so we can preserve the fossil fuels to warm the planet later if necessary. If this proves unnecessary, we can just leave the fossil fuels in the ground and we can use wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, geothermal, and tidal energy, maybe with a bit of biofuels for backup if batteries, fuel cells, or vehicle to grid are either inadequate or too expensive.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Hi Dennis,

              It will make it harder for me to represent myself as being environmentally enlightened, because being anti nuclear seems to be a mandatory litmus test to qualify for membership in the green movement these days but I am not personally sure that nuclear power is NECESSARILY out of line with renewables or fossil fuels in terms of cost and safety.

              Only a fool would argue that the nuclear industry as it exists today, running legacy reactors, is either comparably safer or cheaper, but there has been no real progress in deploying a new generation of safer cheaper reactors MOSTLY due to anti nuclear activism in my opinion.

              But such reactors may very well be built in the future- reactors that are reasonably safe, and affordable.

              It seems very likely to me that as the fossil fuel industries inevitably decline due to depletion if from nothing else, that some countries will put a lot of resources into reviving the nuclear industry.

              Not all countries have good quality wind and solar resources, and not all countries will be willing to bet on importing wind and solar power, or nuclear power for that matter, from other countries that might just flip the switch someday when a quarrel erupts.

              It is my impression that if the designers really want to design reactors that can be ramped up and down, they can, although such reactors will cost more.

              And while a new generation of safer, cheaper reactors is not guaranteed, well neither is a cheap and scalable new storage technology, lol.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Old Farmer Mac,

                I agree. If you re-read my comment I think nuclear is on the list with other non-fossil fuel energy.

                Every nation needs to decide what is best for them.

                For the most part with an interconnected grid, there is probably enough wind and solar resources as long as the electricity is moved around the grid as needed and price adjusts based on supply and demand. Note that I am talking 50 to 75 years down the road. Maybe nuclear is the way to go, but I worry a little about proliferation with the current types of reactors in use. A safe reactor that shuts down automatically in a disaster and produces no waste that could be used to make a nuclear weapon (excluding dirty bombs) and also uses a type of fuel that cannot be used for a nuclear weapon (thorium maybe ?), I would have less of a problem with.

                Note that with a good HVDC grid electricity can be moved north and south and east and west, so eventually solar may be able to power all of it with a little wind backup.

                Just a matter of building excess capacity of 3 or 4 times average load. Current power grid already has about 3X excess capacity. By which I mean at full capacity the grid could provide 3X average power load.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      Hi Paul,

      While POB is a small, shrunken and bifurcated forum, some answers to questions like yours you’re unlikely to read in any case/place because they will necessarily transcend the status-quo and arouse the suspicions of those who may be a little on the traitorous side to their world and the living creatures on it.

      This is why sometimes those involved in permaculture, for example, might mention something of ‘remaining under the radar’.

      I am ‘of course’ talking partially about such things as ‘unlicensed/unregistered/un-governpimp-controlled-etcetera’ milk, meat and alternative currency-system production and various means of trade and local community support, etc., that somehow avert and subvert the status-quo’s systems, such as of taxation, registration or licensing– all means of control over us.

  19. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    The Contrarian Matrix

    “Here are all the contrarian lines of arguments in online climate debates. They are ordered by six levels, ranging from climate science to investigative journalism:

    0. Lots of Theories
    1. No Best Practices
    2. Do Not Panic
    3. Do No Harm
    4. Future is Bright
    5. We Won, You Lost, Get Over It

    The matrix is no master argument: most of the lines of argument it contains are independent from one another…”

  20. me says:

    I have been surprised to see how quickly electric car charging is being rolled out. It’s the basic infrastructure that is needed if liquid fueled is to be challenged.

    Then I realized that liquid fuel is like cash. Cash is inconvenient compared to electronic payments. It’s a dinosaur.

    • Nathanael says:

      Liquid fuel is worse than cash. Cash is at least durable, small, portable, nontoxic…

  21. islandboy says:

    This is a test. Two earlier attempts to post have been met with “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” I recently upgraded my OS (linux) and did something that resulted in my browser not automatically filling the “email” field for comment submission so, I’m wondering if I used a different email than the one I usually use and that is triggering a moderation response.

    Edit :It appears I was on the right track. It appears that the email address I used in the previous attempts was not the one I usually use. I tried a different one and as can be seen from this post and the two below, no moderation!

    • notanoilman says:

      Check yer browser settings, there’ll be one for remembering things line filled in boxes.



    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Island boy,

      So the dashed line is total output on the left vertical axis ?

      • islandboy says:

        No. The dashed lines are the solar output on the right vertical axis. The version of the graph below has a better legend and both scales start from zero to give a better idea of the relative contribution of solar to the total. I used a scale for the right vertical axis that exaggerates the value of solar by about four times, just to get a little separation between the years. Otherwise, all the lines for solar would look like a straight line at the bottom of the graph. The graph above was meant to illustrate how solar might someday make a useful contribution during the summer.

  22. islandboy says:

    The latest edition of the EIA’s Electric Power Monthly was released on Monday, with data for July 2016. As usual below is the graph of US monthly generation as a percentage of total by source. Electricity production was up 3% on July last year and natural gas generated a record 152.459 TWh while coal generated 136.860 TWh, slghtly less than the amount generated using coal in July last year. Renewables excluding conventional hydroelectric were up in absolute terms but, the increases by coal and NG overwhelmed them in terms of percentage contribution. Conventional hydroelectric was down in absolute terms from last month but slightly up on the amount generated for July last year.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Island boy,

      It would be interesting to see Wind on that chart, instead of Renewables excluding solar and Hydro, I would think those two are almost the same in magnitude, so if its mostly wind, call it wind.

      • islandboy says:

        I have both Table 1.1 and 1.1.a in a single LibreOffice spreadsheet so I was able to pull the data from Table 1.1.a for wind. From the graph, it would appear that other renewables, not hydro, wind or solar seem fairly constant as a percentage of the total.

  23. islandboy says:

    Below is the graph of electricity generated by solar thermal and PV from the latest Electric Power Monthly.

    Dennis, please delete my previous attempts to post these graphs.

  24. SatansBestFriend says:


    King (insert name here) is about to get a legal rear spear from the litigatous USA.

    Oil is flammable isn’t it?

    • SatansBestFriend says:

      Am I the only brainiac that can notice that:

      1). Congress blames 9/11 on Iraq.
      2). Now they are blaming it on Saudi Arabia
      3). Next it will be blamed on heavy oils in Venezuela.

      I think even Javier could notice this pattern.

      • clueless says:

        “Brainiac” ??

        The congressional report blamed it on radicals, who almost all of came from Saudi Arabia and who received their funding from there. Notably, including the mastermind, Bin Laden. That is why everyone is so pissed at George Bush for attacking Iraq for supposed “weapons of mass destruction.” No official in Washington that I know of blamed Iraq. But, they did try to follow a link to some terrorist that was living in Iraq at the time, IIRC.

    • SatansBestFriend says:


      For those who think about “unintended consequences”.

      Can’t talk now, I have to go work on my nobel prize potential idea!

  25. R Walter says:

    About those wind farms:

    An excerpt:

    …We had a peaceful community here before the developer showed up, but no more. Now it’s neighbor against neighbor, family members not speaking to one another and there is no ease in conversation like in the old days. Everyone is afraid to talk for fear the subject of the wind turbines will come up. The kind of life we enjoyed in our community is gone forever.

    I spend a lot of sleepless nights wishing I could turn back the clock and apply what I’ve learned from this experience. Now corn and bean prices are up. The money from the turbines doesn’t balance out our crop loss from land taken out of production. The kind of life we enjoyed on our family farm is gone forever too.

    I would not sign that contract today. As I write this, the utility is putting up the towers all around us. In a few months the turbines will be turned on and we’ll have noise and shadow flicker to deal with. If I have trouble with these things, too bad. I’ve signed away my right to complain. These are some of the many problems I knew nothing about when I signed onto the project.

    If you are considering signing a wind lease, take the contract to a lawyer. Go over every detail. Find out exactly what can happen to your fields, find out all the developer will be allowed to do to your land. Go through that contract completely, and think hard before make your decision.

    I can tell you from first hand experience, once you sign that contract, you will not have a chance to turn back.

    Gary Steinich
    Steinich Farms, Inc.
    Cambria, WI
    June, 2011

    But wait, there’s more!

    This was printed as a full page ad in the Chilton, Wisc., Times-Journal, October 25, 2007.


    Now each morning when I awake, I pray and then ask myself, “What have I done?”

    I am involved with the BlueSky/Greenfield wind turbine project in N.E. Fond du Lac County. I am also a successful farmer who cherishes his land. My father taught me how to farm, to be a steward of my fields, and by doing so, produce far better crop production. As I view this year’s crops, my eyes feast on a most bountiful supply of corn and soybeans. And then my eyes focus again on the trenches and road scars leading to the turbine foundations. What have I done?

    In 2003, the wind energy company made their first contacts with us. A $2,000 “incentive” started the process of winning us over, a few of us at a time. The city salesmen would throw out their nets, like fishermen trawling for fish. Their incentive “gift” first lured some of us in. Then the salesmen would leave and let us talk with other farmers. When the corporate salesmen returned, there would be more of us ready to sign up; farmers had heard about the money to be made. Perhaps because we were successful farmers, we were the leaders and their best salesmen.

    Sometime in 2004 or 2005, we signed $4,000 turbine contracts allowing them to “lease” our land for their needs. Our leases favored the company, but what did we know back then? Nobody knew what we were doing. Nobody realized all the changes that would occur, over which we would have no control. How often my friends and I have made that statement: What have I done?!

    I watched stakes being driven in the fields and men using GPS monitors to place markers here and there. When the cats and graders started tearing 22-foot-wide roads into my fields, the physical changes started to impact not only me and my family, but, unfortunately, also my dear friends and neighbors. Later, a 4-foot-deep by 2-foot-wide trench was started diagonally across my field. A field already divided by their road was now being divided again by the cables running to a substation. It was now making one large field into 4 smaller irregularly shaped plots. Other turbine hosts also complained about their fields being subdivided or multiple cable trenches requiring more of their land. Roads were cut in using anywhere from 1,000 feet to over half a mile of land to connect the locations. We soon realized that the company places roads and trenches where they will benefit the company most, not the landowner. One neighbor’s access road is right next to some of his outbuildings. Another’s is right next to his fence line.

    At a wind company dinner presented for the farmers hosting the turbines, we were repeatedly told — nicely and indirectly — to stay away from the company work sites once they start. I watched as my friends faces showed the same concern I had, but none of us spoke out. Months later, when I approached a crew putting in lines where they promised me they definitely would not go, a representative told me I could not be there. He insisted that I leave. The line went in. The company had the right. I had signed the lease.

    Grumbling started almost immediately after we agreed to 2% yearly increases on our 30-year lease contracts. Some felt we should have held out for 10%. What farmer would lock in the price of corn over the next 5 years, yet alone lock one in at 2% yearly for 30 years? Then rumors emerged that other farmers had received higher yearly rates, so now contracts varied. The fast-talking city sales folk had successfully delivered their plan. Without regard for our land, we were allowing them to come in and spoil it. All of the rocks we labored so hard to pick in our youth were replaced in a few hours by miles of roads packed hard with 10 inches of large breaker rock. Costly tiling that we installed to improve drainage had now been cut into pieces by company trenching machines.

    Each night, a security team rides down our roads checking the foundation sites. They are checking for vandals and thieves. Once, when I had ventured with guests to show them foundation work, security stopped us and asked me, standing on my own property, what I was doing there. What have I done?

    Now, at social functions, we can clearly see the huge division this has created among community members. Suddenly, there are strong-sided discussions and heated words between friends and, yes, between relatives about wind turbines. Perhaps this is a greater consequence than the harm caused to my land — life is short, and friendships are precious.

    I tried, as did some of the other farmers, to get out of our contracts, but we had signed a binding contract. If you are considering placing wind turbines on your property, I strongly recommend that you please reconsider. Study the issues. Think of all the harm to your land, and, in the future, to your children’s land, versus the benefits from allowing companies to lease your land for turbines.




    It’s all referred to as disruptive technologies, but what really happens is the destruction of habitat and actual human suffering. The real reality, not the pie-in-the-sky nonsense reality like the glib pollyannas portray.

    In the final analysis, it is not going to work. Wind turbines cause and take a heavy toll.

    It will not end well.

    • GoneFishing says:

      A farmer who did not check things out thoroughly and had no legal advice. didn’t talk with the neighbors either. Still accepts the money from the lease though.

      Wind lease terms vary quite a bit, but general rules of thumb are: $4,000 to $8,000 per turbine, $3,000 to $4,000 per megawatt of capacity, or 2-4% of gross revenues. Larger turbines should translate to larger payments.

      “According to agents in Scotland and Wales, competition for suitable land is escalating rents. Landowners can expect to be paid 5-6% of the annual turnover of windfarms, or around £40,000 a year for each large 3MW turbine. “They see windfarms as a new farm subsidy but they do not have to take any risk,” said one agent. “Only 60% of development applications may go through, but the returns if they do get built are enormous.”

      That is around $8000 to $10,000 per year per turbine per year in the US, a big farm can make a decent income by doing nothing. Then they can farm too and make more money.
      A bit of inconvenience should be familiar to landlords, in this case the rents are really high and the risk for the farmer (landlord) really low. Having a good lease agreement is essential and requiring a site plan before signing should be part of it.

      Now I have been physically in and around wind farms. This was after construction had been completed. Other than some gravel roads and a couple of small parking areas, the area was nicely covered in natural vegetation, There was very little noise from these large turbines. They were on mountaintops, not farms.

      I can see turbines working for large farms.

      Here is a Texas Wind Farm Map. I looked at the one near Farwell (just first random grab). Using the satellite view there appears to be no real impingement on the farming from the wind towers. So it is quite possible to design for both activities.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      My BS meter is pinging quite loudly after reading that! Sounds like an anti wind agenda piece to me.
      I have walked in the fields under wind turbines in Germany and Austria. The crops and the cows seemed to be doing quite well and I didn’t think the noise level was problematic at all!

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        It’s mostly anti wind bullshit when you see that sort of thing, but this is not to say some people who really love their land like it is are not serious when they make such arguments.

        Anybody farming to MAKE A LIVING would be a fool to turn down the lease money ninety nine percent of the time. Anybody sitting on five hundred or more paid for acres with equipment in the barn,etc, in Iowa or Nebraska can most likely make enough farming to pass up the lease money, if they are willing to drive their new cars and trucks three years instead of two, lol.

        Farmers in dry country where irrigation is either impossible or very costly simply cannot afford to turn down a wind farm lease, from a business management point of view.

        Any body who has ever actually farmed knows how little you can actually make on average on an acre per year over the years. It is damned near impossible to make as much on the land actually occupied by roads and turbines as you can collect in lease money, which is a sure thing.

        Now there ARE plenty of people who own nice farms as much for the LIFESTYLE as for the living to be had from the farm. THAT sort, who usually have inherited money, or who have six figure outside incomes, are the ones who do most of the complaining. Some of them are well to do retirees.

        We have no wind farms locally but we do have a lot of people moving here, mostly to retire, who have a LOT of money, and they buy up whole farms and get pissed when the local guys cut their timber or clear a few acres or put up a prefab metal building rather than a classic red painted wood barn, lol. If they get their way, all the local poor people will have to move to a ghetto in a city someplace, because they will fix it so you have to have money to live here.

        Some of my friends and neighbors who own some acreage and who never dreamed of selling an acre are being forced to sell because they can no longer afford to pay their property taxes.

        This of course has the effect of ACCELERATING development.

    • HVACman says:

      Question that “kinda” ties to both petroleum and non-petroleum threads. How does this experience with a wind farm lease compare to what typically happens with farmers and other rural property owners who execute oil/gas development leases? ND Bakken area farmers, for example? How is their land and its use impacted, both near and long-term?

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        I too would like to hear more about landowners relationships and problems with oil and gas producers.

        The general long term situation with the owners of land, and the owners of the mineral rights to that land in my part of the country, is that as the owner, your are going to enjoy some forced sex without a lubricant, and there is nothing at all you can do about it, when they come for the coal.

        The entire adverse impact of every wind farm in the world, in terms of ecological footprint, is almost for sure smaller than the foot print of coal mining just in the eastern half of the USA over the last century and a half.

        Places I have seen, entire communities, where the coal operators have come and gone, are so bad , and the lives of the people left behind in these places , are so sad that it’s more than enough to make a strong man cry.

        The wind will for all practical purposes blow forever, and the roads, transmission lines, tower foundations, and just about all the infrastructure associated with a wind farm will last indefinitely, at least several generations, the only real exceptions being the turbines , generators, and maybe the towers themselves. If the towers aren’t in good enough shape thirty or forty years down the road to support the same size turbines originally installed, they will still be good enough to mount somewhat smaller turbines for another generation or two.

    • scrub puller says:

      R WALTER

      What a load of absolute crap. If true, the article does nothing but display the ignorance of the farmers in question . . . if they have a good wind power site consortiums are open to negotiation,

      The position of access roads is pre-established and can often be arranged to advantage. Cables are at such depth they can be farmed over and the time such works are done can be tied into the cropping cycle or compensation paid . . . that is my experience.

      The shadow flicker and noise illnesses appear to be a state of mind . . . if people don’t want or like turbines and declined to take part in the scheme they often succumb to these dreadful complaints.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Scrub,

        It’s hard to impossible to know when R W is serious.

        Don’t forget that I long ago nominated him as our resident court jester and comedian.

        He may be totally opposed to wind farms, or he may just be having a little fun.

        Without knowing more about his personal situation, I wouldn’t bet either way.

        If I had to guess, I would guess that he would strongly prefer there be no wind farms within sight of his own place.

        There ARE some people, not many, only tiny percentage of all people , who experience seizures and or other serious health problems that can be triggered or brought on by flickering light, certain kinds of noise, etc.

        Then there are people like me. One reason I moved back to the boonies is that I would never have to listen to another train or garbage truck or jet taking off, or look at strip malls and fast food joints.

        I won’t ever have to look at or listen to a wind farm, thank Sky Daddy, because the wind isn’t strong and consistent enough locally.

        • Hickory says:

          He could of been a jester,’cept that you didn’t know that he was serious all along.

    • notanoilman says:

      Signed a contract like that without legal advice, stroll on! Yeah, run yer roads and cables where you like without consulting me, stroll on. Whole thing well written and placed as an ad, stroll on.


    • Oldfarmermac says:

      “In the final analysis, it is not going to work. Wind turbines cause and take a heavy toll.

      It will not end well.”

      It’s hard to imagine it turning out any worse than running out of coal and gas to run the generating plants.

  26. scrub puller says:

    Yair . . .

    Gotcha OFM.

    We know folks with turbines on their block and it has been a positive experience. No doubt there would be those who have had issues but that article riled me with the generalizations . . . much better a turbine than an oil/gas well.


  27. Oldfarmermac says:

    At least one Tesla in commercial service has hit the two hundred thousand mile mark on the original battery without any battery problems except a bad sensor indicating the charge level.


    It seems very likely that other companies will be able to build batteries just as good, or better, as the patents on the technology run out, or maybe get licensed out for use by other companies.

    Batteries that last 200 thousand miles will probably be considered commonplace in ten years, maybe less. It took ICE engine builders a century to build automobile engines good enough that half of them last that long- assuming you buy the right make and model.Taken as a group, the average car engine doesn’t last more than one hundred fifty thousand miles, maybe less, without major repairs- meaning internal work rather than work on external parts.

    While I am a firm believer in electrifying the automobile, and admire Musk and the company for the incredible combination of skill, brains, foresight, and no doubt LUCK so far displayed, I wonder if he isn’t biting off more than he can chew in terms of proposed new projects.

    And as a purely practical matter, whatever you might save on gasoline by driving a Model S you would probably lose back if you have the slightest problem with the rest of the car, since there are no aftermarket parts and no aftermarket service available for the car, other than trivial stuff such as light bulbs, so far as I know. Repairs after very minor accidents are said to routinely cost as much as a nice new Honda, but I don’t know if this is true.

    Some people say the electric motors, gear boxes, and batteries are no good as evidenced by the fact that Tesla changes out a lot of them, but they do that because the car is designed to make it VERY easy and fast to do so, and that way they get to tear down the replaced parts at a central service center, and learn exactly what to do to refine the design and prevent the same problems recurring in the future.

    It would be GREAT if other companies would build conventional cars the same way, but the dealers would rather die than see that happen.

    I anticipate the Tesla S becoming known as the world’s most reliable car, in terms of breakdowns that require a tow truck, and holding that title until at least a couple of other companies have large numbers of premium pure electrics on the road.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Some good points about the costs of Tesla. The richer among us are going to fund that transistion. Of course the rich have historically funded and promote many cultural advances, from universities and libraries to giving life and legal strength to the environmental movement in the early 1900’s and beyond.

      I just hope that the autonomous driving push does not muddle the rise of EVs. All incidents will be magnified by the media and under heavy scrutiny even though we have over 17,000 cars involved in accidents every day in the US and who knows how many worldwide.

      Railroads are far behind on installing Positive Train Control which automatically adjusts speeds or stops the train. The railroad is a much more controlled environment than highways and roads, so electronic control is much simpler. However, even getting radio bandwidth for PTC is difficult.

      At this point, the New Jersey Transit Disaster of yesterday, which destroyed part of the Hoboken terminal and caused over 100 injuries as well as one death, looks like the Automatic Train Control system did not engage. NJT is a few years from installing Positive Train Control. The current system notifies the engineer and if he does not respond, should halt or slow the train. It did not, as far as anyone could tell there was no braking. The speed into the terminal is restricted to 10 mph. To crash through the bumper and far into the terminal takes more than 10 mph, I would think.
      The engineer was highly experienced, so it may have been equipment failure. No info yet about actual cause.

    • Bob Nickson says:

      “I wonder if [Musk] isn’t biting off more than he can chew in terms of proposed new projects.

      Naw. Manned space flight to Mars within 6 years? Piece of cake. You’ll have your seat to another world for $100k, and still be able to afford one of the Model 3 or Y’s that will be rolling off the line at a meter per second to console the wife that you leave behind on Earth. You’ll see, Musk will deliver.

      Regarding that 200,000 mile Model S, those aren’t pampered battery miles either. If I understand correctly, it’s a 2015 model, so lots of miles, short time frame, max charging and discharging, and lots of Supercharging. I suspect the reason that Tesla chose to replace the pack even though the firmware update would have resolved the inaccurate range meter issue, was because it is valuable to them for analysis purposes, just like what you are theorizing on the motors.

      The other interesting EV developments recently are the introduction of the 40kWh Renault Zoe and the 33kWh BMW i3 updates for MY2017. In both cases, the pack dimensions have not been increased only the capacity.

      I’m hoping that by 2020, 250 miles of range and 150kW fast charging capability will both be commonplace in EV’s. Fingers crossed.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Is that SpaceX Mars trip one-way or two-way?

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Elon Musk explicitly said anyone who goes must be prepared to die. He also said that is the reason he is not going. Hey at least the guy is honest!

          While I have no doubt he is helping the transition to EVs and Solar I have no confidence that he or anyone else will be able to colonize Mars in the near future. The real question in my mind is why not take the effort and resources that would entail and invest them into solving some of the problems we face down here on our own planet. It seems to me they are orders of magnitude easier to solve than terra forming Mars into a livable planet. Even a worst case scenario earth is probably more livable that Mars.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            “The real question in my mind is why not take the effort and resources that would entail and invest them into solving some of the problems we face down here on our own planet. It seems to me they are orders of magnitude easier to solve than terra forming Mars into a livable planet…” ~ Fred Magyar


          • Bob Nickson says:

            Couldn’t agree more Fred.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Fred, there will always be pioneers. The Mars effort is a drop in the financial bucket and I think it is mostly privately funded. Even better it is frontline BAU, so it’s easy on politicians and the businessmen love it, even if they don’t understand it.

            NASA’s budget is 1/2 of one percent of the Federal Budget, so it is not a mainline priority. They are continuing earth and space exploration (by robot probe). The private companies can deal with the manned expeditions.

            I am sure that a lot of computing, solar technology and sensor technology originated with the space program. All things we need to research and understand the geophysics and environment on earth.


            The NASA budget is 0.5% of the federal budget, so there is not a lot of slop in their system. With private enterprise taking over the standard launching of satellites and manned missions eventually, NASA is freed up to expand it’s earth exploration and sensing systems.

            Anyway, the push toward efficiency and renewables will help a lot. We do need a lot more field work in earth and ecosystem studies. Problem is getting the funding. Maybe the federal and state governments need to apply more money in those directions and universities need to push that too, instead of sports.
            Bread, circuses and fossil fuel wars. Water is going to be the big business of the near future, so watch that soak up the money (pun intended).

            • Synapsid says:

              Gone Fishing,

              NASA freed up to expand its Earth exploration and sensing systems?

              That’s the Holy Grail as far as I’m concerned. That mission is the single most important justification for supporting space projects.

          • Synapsid says:


            All right, Fred: you are perilously close to Crossing the Line here. I mentioned to Gone Fishing that I think NASA’s programs in Earth observation and sensing are the most important reason for going into space; that DOES NOT mean that we shouldn’t be looking to put people on Mars. I’ve been waiting, Fred, since 1955, and I’m RUNNING OUT of patience.

            Terraforming? No, that would be stupid, irresponsible, and criminal. But scientists up there to learn about the planet and its history? Absolutely, as Rocky would say.

            Do not, I say Do not, Stand In the Way.

            (No naysayers were harmed in the production of this message. That could change.)

          • notanoilman says:

            Maybe he won’t get there but the project may well stimulate technology the we may need in the future.


            PS I can think of one good candidate for a one way trip.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          SpaceX has not that good of a track record at just orbital flight delivery.
          Lucky we have the Russians for dependability, or our Space Station Comrades would be hurting.

          The SillyCon Boys and Girls are good at consumer goods and toys, but bad at large projects.

    • Nathanael says:

      Repair costs on Teslas are mostly because of the aluminum body. 😛 Same as a Ford. The repair shops are also jacking up prices on Teslas but they won’t be able to do that forever.

  28. GoneFishing says:

    Google Earth Outreach

    “Coal’s most catastrophic and permanent impacts are from mountaintop removal mining. If the American people could see what I have seen from the air and ground during my many trips to the coalfields of Kentucky and West Virginia: leveled mountains, devastated communities, wrecked economies and ruined lives, there would be a revolution in this country. Well now you can visit coal country without ever having to leave your home.”
    — Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.


    • clueless says:

      What is the difference between: 1. taking a beautiful meadow/forest and then converting it into a farm that plows up the soil every year. And then the farm is converted to urban sprawl – houses, roads, buildings, trash dumps, manufacturing plants, cell towers, water towers, slums, even wind farms. Then fly over that. And 2. Flying over a leveled mountain top the now is again covered with trees, albeit flat??

      But, I know that RFK would never fly over New York City and the thousands of acres surrounding it and say that it was catastrophic destruction of the land. Because, that is like where he lives. But, other people are not entitled to use their land because he wants to “look” at it occasionally.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Now clueless, do I have to get into the continuing pollution aspect, the sludge, the destroyed streams and villages? No?
        Let’s look at the potential future of those flattened out mountains. I used to travel down into West Virginia and in the southern half of the state there was very little flat ground on top of those mountains.
        Now there are flat areas, guess what people do to flat areas. They develop them. So maybe your idea of some homogenous planted forest that is no way natural is way off the beam, somewhere in the ozone layer.
        The picture below took just a few seconds to find, I am not seeing the forest.

  29. me says:

    Here’s an interesting topic — The German Greens want to ban new vehicles internal combustion engines starting in 2030.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Hello me,

      I think it’s just a matter of when and how this will happen. My personal opinion is the sooner the better. I see no reason personal light weight ICE vehicles couldn’t be banded even sooner than 2030. If there are those who feel they can’t live without an ICE vehicle. They can shock up on them and stimulate the economy by advancing sales.

      The hole isn’t going to stop getting larger until you stop digging.

    • GoneFishing says:

      I remember years ago seeing a bunch of kids lined up along a fence at a park near a river. Across the river was a mountain backdrop with a railroad track running along the base, up from the river about 40 feet.
      Along came a historic steam locomotive hauling passengers, does this a few times a year.
      I thought the kids would love the steamer, but no, they all started screaming in unison “Pollution, pollution, pollution!”
      I didn’t advise them that their car spews a lot of invisible pollution per year.

      Point being, the younger generations are against pollution. By now they know that much of the pollution is invisible. So those ICE’s may be looked upon very negatively in the near future. I wouldn’t want to be a holdout using ICE’s in an EV world.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi GF,

        You are dead on, the youngsters who will be running the country, and all the other more prosperous and progressive other countries, absorb the anti pollution message from the first grade on, even sooner.

        It hardly matters in this respect if they get no training in the physical sciences, since they accept the anti pollution message as gospel, due to tribal loyalties.

        They will be liberals, the vast majority of them, because they have very little use for a lot of old time conservative values. They believe in personal freedom when it comes to sex, marriage, drugs, lifestyles, etc, rather than the old conventional taboos, and they also believe in socialism, to put it in plain terms, in a lot of respects.

        Given that the environmental message has gotten inextricably intermingled with liberal or leftish leaning politics in the USA, the youngsters don’t actually NEED any real understanding of the physical and life sciences to believe in forced global warming, or strong clean water laws, etc.

        Belief in the environmental gospel is a foundation of the liberal culture, and the youngsters would believe in it even if it weren’t true, and as some notorious old conservative once said, it has the advantage of actually being true, lol.

        They don’t have any problem believing that everybody is entitled to medical care, food, and shelter, as a general rule, whether they are able to pay, or not.

        It is entirely reasonable to expect this country to continue to move more to the left over the next couple of decades at least, assuming this movement is not prevented by some accident of future history.

        • GoneFishing says:

          More like free internet and phone time for everybody. You need and upgrade Old Farmer. 🙂

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Hi Mac,

          You are dead on, the old farts who have been running the country, and all the other more failed Conservative countries, absorbed the Jesus saves message from the first grade on, sometimes even sooner from their exit of the birth canal.

          It hardly matters in this respect if they get no training in the physical sciences, since they accept the after life message as gospel, due to tribal loyalties.

          They will be conservatives, the vast majority of them, because they have very little use for the truth. They believe in repressing freedom when it comes to sex, marriage, drugs, lifestyles and they also believe in forced labor, to put it in plain terms, in a lot of respects.

          Given that the capitalistic hierarchy message has gotten inextricably intermingled with Conservative or rightish leaning politics in the USA, the old farts don’t actually NEED any real understanding of the physical and life sciences to believe in forced global imperialism, or strong environmental damage , etc.

          Belief in the religious gospel is a foundation of the conservative culture, and the old farts would believe in it even if it true, and as some notorious old wise man once said, it has the advantage of actually not being true, lol.

          They don’t have any problem believing that no body is entitled to human rights, medical care, food, and shelter, clean air as a general rule, unless they are born with privilege and a silver spoon in their mouth.

          It is entirely reasonable to expect in this country to have to fight for personal freedoms for the next couple of decades at least, assuming this movement is not prevented by some accident of future history.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi HB,

            We share some common ground, regarding my comment and your reply, but since yours is sarcastic , it’s hard for me to know for sure how much.

            A hell of a lot of people, maybe even most people of a certain political stripe, seem to believe that the power of the fundamendalist/evangelical religious faction is growing in this country. I couldn’t disagree more strongly, and I am an inside observer, in a manner of speaking, of this faction. It is my firm belief that its political influence is declining and will continue to decline for the easily foreseeable future as the older generations die off. The last truly religious generation, the socalled greatest, is just about gone, and the boomers are going, and will be going faster every day from here on out.

            We probably part paths when it comes to the interpretation of the advantages and disadvantages of religious practices and taboos. I take the remotest possible vantage point when evaluating such things, both historical and biological, and try to think of myself as an alien biologist secretly observing naked apes.

            Religions exist because they have survival value for those who practice them, and the practices and taboos associated with any particular religion tend to improve the BIOLOGICAL FITNESS of that religious community.

            Now it may come as a HUGE surprise to our overeducated, know it all, holier than thou, wiser than thou, looking down with contempt on such folks as my ancient old Daddy, who believes in his KJB, and an after life, but here are some undeniable facts gleaned from living in and among such people.

            Sexually transmitted diseases were extremely rare in the community he spent his life in. Harems ( approved of by some other religions, true) were non existent. Men were expected to look after their wives and kids, and sometimes forcibly reminded of this observation. The local church, and fundamentalist churches in general, did and still do a hell of a lot of work looking after the extremely poor, and those luck ran out, taking in orphans, etc.

            This particular community, my local community, got along FINE with ten percent of the level of police per capita we have now, with hardly any serious crime at all, except crimes of passion.

            And guess what? As times have changed, and gotten much better in many respects, the local churches have declined substantially in terms of active membership and influence. WHY?

            Well for one thing you can get food stamps these days, and free school lunches for your kids, and there is quite a substantial welfare net, especially for old folks. I am one of the last who will look after my own parents no matter HOW MUCH trouble it is for me personally in their old age. I ain’t exactly a kid myself anymore, been collecting my own old age welfare aka SS for a good long while, and I expect to be looking after my Daddy for as long as he may live. The CODE was that he did that, and his own parents did that, and theirs before them, as best they could. I could put him in a nursing home to die of a broken heart within a month, and I have many holier than thou liberal acquaintances, and conservative acquaintances, who have done that very thing, but I have ZERO serious Baptist acquaintances who have taken that path until absolutely necessary. My maternal grandfather spent the last six weeks of his life in such a place, but his kids looked after him in his own home for ten years after he was no longer able to do so for himself.

            What I am getting at here is that while the survival or fitness value of religion is declining in a modern society such as ours, it was and is still very real in many places and societies. As this REAL value declines, so does the religion itself.

            Going around and lambasting and condemning religion without qualifying your remarks is in my opinion generally a sign of partisan thinking, going along with the tribe thinking, rather than REAL thinking.

            You ARE dead on about conservatives failing to acknowledge a lot of well established hard science as a result of tribal loyalties, but this observation applies equally to liberals, so long as you remember in the case of the hard science example that the liberals happen to be luckily on the correct side on the science.

            But I can go out and locate fifty young men and women within a couple of hours who believe for instance in forced climate change who are utterly and totally ignorant of the hard sciences because they have never taken ANY courses in any hard science. They accept the forced climate change argument as a matter of tribal allegiance.

            “They don’t have any problem believing that no body is entitled to human rights, medical care, food, and shelter, clean air as a general rule, unless they are born with privilege and a silver spoon in their mouth. ”

            That’s ok, recognizing you as a sarcastic partisan, there’s a substantial kernel of truth in it.

            But it would be more accurate to say the same thing, with the qualification that yankee conservatives as a group these days believe everybody should have these things SO LONG AS THEY ARE WILLING TO WORK FOR THEM.

            I personally know a couple of dozen people who have made deliberate and conscious decision to work as little as possible, and that mostly under the table, so as to live to the extent possible on the meager fruits of the welfare state. I know them WELL.

            I can’t and don’t blame them, wearing my alien biologist hat, but wearing my conservative partisan hat, I am entitled to refer to them as welfare bums, lol. From the alien biologist pov, they are doing what all living things do—exploiting their environment to live as best they can, and as well as they can. The whole two dozen COULD easily find work, low paid work it is true, but I know a HUNDRED people who do such work and support themselves without resorting to welfare.

            The trade off is in terms of more personal dignity, VERY little free time, and a somewhat nicer place to live, etc, versus less dignity or pride, ENORMOUS amounts of free time, and a somewhat lesser life style in terms of material goods, but the welfare bums ( got on my conservative partisan hat! ) still have satellite tv, cell phones, plenty to eat, beer, cigarettes, meth, and pot right across the board, and most of them have automobiles as well.

            The ones that don’t have cars as a rule have no need for them, having lost their driving privileges as the result of too many visits to traffic court. That’s not much of a problem when you don’t have to go to work every day, and have friends who do have cars and provide rides as necessary to the doctor, supermarket, etc. Poor people and bums are very good about helping each other out this way.

            Meth is bad fucking news, and leads to the need for a lot of cops, etc. Freedom to do to suit yourself is not always as great a thing as it’s cracked up to be.

            Incidentally I also have a left liberal hat and wear it as well, when it suits me, as in advocating and predicting that we will eventually have a single payer health care system along the lines of the Western European model. You won’t find a stronger partisan when it comes to strong environmental legislation, etc.

            There’s nobody in this forum who has less use for banksters than I do, and less use for politicians who are obviously crooks, such as Trump, or politicians such as Clinton, who is no doubt in my mind using her political power to enrich herself at every opportunity. ( But I must go so far as to say in her favor that she is NOT Trump. )

            The truth is where you find it, and it is almost always between the extremes. It’s almost always somewhat of a surprise to dedicated partisans when they occasionally stumble across it.

            I made a friendly bet with a neighbor, four to one , that Clinton will win, and I am not worried about having to hand him a twenty, lol.

            But I sure do wish Sanders had won the nomination, and there is no doubt in my mind he would have, had he gotten started a little sooner, except maybe for the fact that Clinton owns the D party machinery lock stock and barrel.

            There is no doubt in my mind he would have mopped the floor with Trump, none at all. At least a full third of all the people who will be voting for Trump are going to be in actual fact voting AGAINST Clinton, because they have hated her guts for decades. Half of them would stay home if she were out of the race, because half of them have zero love for Trump.

            There is this to be said for R voters. Sometimes they are willing to condemn one of their own, and they do so far more often in my estimation than the D’s, who are better at holding the tribal defense perimeter, lol.

            I don’t know a soul who will vote for Clinton who would not also vote for Sanders against Trump, excepting maybe a couple of old line libbers who might stay home pissed off because Clinton lost the nomination.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Having said as much as I did at six forty two am, I wish to add that directly insulting people who disagree with you for cultural or religious reasons, or simply because they are not well educated, which is usually not their own fault, is the best possible way to motivate them to get out and vote for Trump.

              And for what it is worth, there are many many principled well educated people who will vote for Trump, for fear of Clinton, or out of simple disguist.

              They can swallow Trump easier than Clinton’s flip flops for example.

              What Clinton may be for six months from now is an open question, judging by her record.

              But as I said before, at least “She ain’t Trump”.

        • me says:

          I lived in Taiwan in the 80s and watched the collapse of the old KMT dictatorship. I think one of the main causes was the government’s inability to deal with pollution, traffic and public health.

      • me says:

        In European cities ICEs are already in trouble. City governments are under pressure to reduce particle counts, NOX levels etc, not to mention noise.

        That (and fleet maintenance cost) is why cities are already switching to electric for municipal vehicles. They are also pressuring delivery companies to do the same.

      • Nathanael says:

        I’m just young enough that I have absolutely no nostalgia for steam locomotives. I’ve studied them, they’re interesting, they’re horrible inefficient Rube Goldberg devices.

        I’m a fan of railways. *Electric* railways. I have to point out that streetcar museums are enjoying an uptick in patronage as “steam” railway museums see fewer and fewer patrons…

    • Nancy Gebauer says:

      All I ever needed to know about the motives of Green Parties the world over was explained to me in a nice short video put together by a highly respected and tenured MIT climatologist.


      • GoneFishing says:

        Garbage In Garbage Out.

      • That guy Richard Lindzen in the YouTube video is a scientific contrarian. His theories on the dynamics of the upper atmosphere are so complicated that no one understands them, yet they seem to have been accepted by consensus because the guy is from MIT.

        I looked at the physics and math and essentially redid his model for the QBO and simplified it here:


        Most of these AGW deniers like Lindzen are kooks. If their supposedly original research falls so short, why would anyone believe what they have to say about denying AGW?

  30. Oldfarmermac says:

    About congress allowing lawsuits about nine eleven going ahead against the Saudis.

    There’s no telling what the consequences of these lawsuits might be. The Saudis in collusion with certain factions in DC may manage to stonewall the suits, for fairly obvious reasons involving big time power politics – our long term relationship with the Saudi royal family.

    IF the suits go forward, Sky Daddy alone knows what sort of evidence might emerge, and who might be involved.

    If anybody has links to articles that have some in depth analysis, I thank them in advance for posting them here.

  31. Oldfarmermac says:

    Hopefully some of the regulars here are better informed than I am about conditions in the banking industry and how important stuff like this is:


    I strongly suspect that when Old Man Business As Usual finally keels over and dies that the earliest news we have about his passing will involve big banks, banks too big to fail, run by owners and bosses too well connected to jail.

    My guess for what it is worth is that we can probably collectively muddle along for another decade or two, but that there is a possibility the interlocking world financial system COULD die a sudden unexpected death sort of the way an apparently healthy middle aged man can have a sudden fatal heart attack or stroke.

    Here’s hoping to hear the opinions of any of the regulars here.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Old Farmer Mac,

      A financial crisis can be handled quite easily. Nationalize failed banks. In the case of the Eurozone in such a crisis, the EURO zone nations will at some point either decide to create a more cohesive political union (long the lines of the original conception of the United States) or dump the Euro and return control of monetary policy to individual European nations (this only applies to those nations who have joined the EU’s monetary union).

      Whether the ensuing economic crisis is handled properly will depend upon politicians being advised by economists that have read and understood Keynes. If unwise policies, such as a focus on balanced government budgets in the face of high unemployment rates (essentially a Herbert Hoover policy to dealing with a recession), then the economic crisis may be worse than the 1930s.

      Hopefully the realization that a nuclear World War 3 might lead to the complete annihilation of human civilization will prevent us from repeating the same mistakes from 100 years earlier over the 2029 to 2045 period. Keynesian policy would help to some degree, wise leadership and continued World trade (which helps people connect and realize their interdependence) may also help prevent the worse case scenarios.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Thanks Dennis,

        I understand that banks can be nationalized, and the advantages of doing so in a crisis or as a last resort, but I don’t see that nationalization will NECESSARILY be adequate to deal with a full blown crisis brought on by the confluence of two, three, or more major problems coming to a head at about the same time.

        The outcome of such a crisis will as you say depend a lot on good management by government leaders, and I am with you on the deficit financing, etc, in order to maintain employment and purchasing power among those employed this way.

        It seems to me that so long as the general public has confidence that things won’t get too bad, and stay bad or worse, rather than getting better within some reasonable time frame, a banking crisis can be managed along the lines you suggest.

        But if the crisis arrives at the same time as say an oil supply crisis and a bad year for weather and food production, etc, and the wrong politicians happen to be in power………..

        I don’t have any trouble envisioning a train wreck that could morph into a major war sure enough.

        Hopefully the handful of countries that have nukes enough to actually fight a nuclear war,and means of delivering them, will be firmly under control by leaders with sense enough not to fire off the first one.

        A pipsqueak nuclear power such as North Korea can destroy a city or two, maybe more, but most likely that would result in the fast destruction of North Korea, without the larger nuclear powers going nuts and attacking each other.

        Something tells me that NK would cease to exist as an organized country within an hour or two of actually firing a nuke at anybody at all.

      • Buster Hymen says:

        “A financial crisis can be handled quite easily.”

        I don’t think that is true at all. This scholarly paper by physicist David Korowicz outlines how easily the next financial crisis could spin out of control:


        In fact, the outcomes described in the Korowicz paper seem rather unavoidable to me.

        With specific reference to the scenarios described in the Korowicz paper, can you please describe exactly how we can avoid a rapid collapse?

        I look forward to your answer. Thanks.

  32. R Walter says:

    When Peru slanted legislation to favor mining and drilling in the Amazon Basin, the natives got restless.


    The world socialist web site is going to use propaganda disguised as the truth, you can’t trust the words they write. The propaganda from the free world is better, more equal.

    All things considered, a balanced, unbiased message is impossible. In my unbiased opinion, I am not prejudiced, everything on earth is fubar, no fixing it, no saving it. We’re doomed.

    Who cares if some ignorant farmer, the hapless victim, is so stupid he won’t read the fine print in a contract, he is a trusting sort believing in the integrity of company practice regarding ethics, honest negotiations, too cheap to pay a lawyer, and yet swindle becomes business as usual, you have to swallow your foolish pride and let progress advance, new technology needs space.

    In the end, the farmer is at fault, obviously too stupid to care if his fields are degraded, not worried about loss of production, thereby increasing costs, the agony causing all that misery, the guilt he bears, it could have all been avoided had he not signed the lease, which favored the wind turbine industry at the expense of the farmer, an ignoramus through and through. The farmer is guilty of being so stupid, he actually listened and believed the shtick involved in selling the schlock. Obviously, the farmer is at fault and guilty. In this case, it is appropriate to blame the victim.

    Reeks of corruption and crony capitalism. But that’s OK, it is business as usual, just have to accept the facts of the matter. Wisconsin, Peru, doesn’t matter, as long as the money can be made, wind, oil, all the same. We have to destroy the planet to save the planet.

    If we can exploit farmers in Wisconsin, then by golly we can extirpate natives out of the Amazon.

    Both bunches are deplorables, so it won’t make any difference.

    Nicht so schnell say the indigenous tribes in the Peruvian outback, no way, Jose, you can’t do that.

    The analogy, right there in front of you.

    This is my best attempt at being objective and unbiased, an agenda-free agenda, you can’t listen to anybody without raising some doubt, ask a question or two. Always get some answers, one of the requirements.. Can’t accept everything without question, you would be just like some dumb Wisconsin farmer, and we know how stupid they are. Dumber than an Amazon native, apparently.

    If the natives in the Amazon Basin aren’t buying it, then why should anyone else be subjected to the chicanery?

    Oh no, more cognitive dissonance. It is so doggone complicated and frustrating. har

  33. GoneFishing says:

    The energy to melt all the ice in the world is about equivalent to 710 days of solar energy impinging on the earth.
    That is less than 1 watt/m2 for 10,000 years or 10 Watt/m2 for one thousand years.
    Over the next 1000 years, Greenland insolation will increase by about 10 w/m2 extra light just from orbital changes and Antarctica will be getting that much less. The additional GHG contribution could be 3 to 10 w/m2 over a long period.
    Of course those are linear calculations, as melting occurs there are increasing heat inputs as more sunlight is absorbed by dark ground being exposed by loss of snow and ice cover as well as ocean ice reductions. The faster the melting, the more the ice melt will reduce the temperature rise of the atmosphere/ocean. The slower the melt, the faster the temperature rise of the earth/ocean which induces faster ice melting.
    So this just adds one more non-linear factor to over-all temperature rise, joining the natural CO2/methane release and albedo changes.
    From my observations of melting ice and snow, the process is non-linear with sudden collapse near the end of the cycle. Since human civilization will be strongly impinged if 1/100 of the ice melts, monitoring earth ice and increasing our knowledge of ice systems and earth systems is imperative. Our real question should be when will 1/100 of the grounded ice melt and how fast?

    Abrupt Sea Level Rise:

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Well said Fish. I wrote the following for Dennis last night but didn’t bother posting it. So, WTF.

      Hi Dennis,

      If you want to understand what’s going on with climate change science I recommend you listen to GF. AND, ignore all those over simplistic analyses floating around AND, stop showing projections out to infinity: it’s the next 30 years, or so, that’s going to determine our future. My view is that as educated people our responsibility is to identify problems with models and try to fix them (or point out potential problems) otherwise, it’s just a pissing contest.

      Too much reliance (emphasis) is on carbon emissions and not enough on feedback loops. This is where I see problems.


      “In and of itself, the study doesn’t link back to Arctic amplification directly, but a recent flurry of climate science papers connects the rest of the dots. A study published on May 2, for instance, shows blocking events have become significantly more common over Greenland since the 1850s because of climate change. Another, also published in May, definitively connects these weather patterns back to Arctic sea ice loss, via Arctic amplification.”


      • Fred Magyar says:

        Too much reliance (emphasis) is on carbon emissions and not enough on feedback loops. This is where I see problems.

        Yup, I couldn’t agree more!

        Unfortunately certain climate change deniers do have a point when they criticize the models currently being used. It is highly improbable that any model can accurately incorporate all the tipping points and feedback loops in a chaotic non linear system to incorporate all the interactions between the earth’s atmospheric, oceanic, geologic and living ecosystems. And precisely because of those limitations the precautionary principle should apply even more rigorously.

        If I might attempt an analogy that characterizes how myopic our view of the overall situation is. To focus solely on carbon emissions is akin to one of the six blind men focusing on the toe nail fungus of the elephant that is dying of terminal lung cancer.

        Anyways, linear thinking just doesn’t cut it when dealing with complex non linear systems, let alone when you are dealing with the interactions of multiple complex non linear systems.

        Oh and Doug, quite being such a doggone alarmist, chances are things are going to probably be even worse than you could possibly ever imagine… 🙂


        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Doug,

          All of the fast feedbacks are included in the models. I take my cue from climate scientists at Real Climate who tend to emphasize that carbon emissions matter.

          I usually do projections to 2100 or 2200, which is fairly typical in climate science, the chart to 2500 was pulled from a peer reviewed paper, you will need to talk to the climate scientists who published it. 😉

          It is certainly true there is much that needs to be learned, that is why I produced a range of estimates. The slower feedbacks from ice sheets are not included, the speed that ice sheets will melt will depend on the speed of warming which in turn depends on emissions.

          Do you think 5000 Pg of carbon emissions (about 3 times more than my high fossil fuel scenario) is reasonable?

          Emissions are what drive the feedbacks.

          Oh and Fred, I imagine you might have read a paper or two on climate models, they are pretty sophisticated, far from a simple linear model.

          See link below for a description of the GISS CMIP5 model.


          • Fred Magyar says:

            My comment was in no way intended to dismiss the importance of carbon emissions or the validity, sophistication and usefulness of the current models. I too follow Realclimate et al.

            However no matter how good they may be, and the example of the paper you cite is certainly quite good, once you start dealing with multiple feed backs from several interacting complex systems the probability that unknown unknowns will start to crop up, rises exponentially. I was specifically most concerned with the ecological consequences and not only the obvious changes in the physical and chemical systems of the atmosphere and oceans.

            My point with regards the climate change deniers and I definitely wasn’t including you in that camp, was that their criticism of the models being incomplete by the simple nature of the beast being as complex as it is, does in no way mean they are outright wrong. Quite the contrary, since they are actually quite good in what they already tell us we should be even more cautious with our public policies moving forward.

            Those who continuously spew misinformation such as: CO2 is good for plants, warming is good for agriculture, the deserts are greening, biodiversity is improving and has never been better globally etc etc… and then tell us we can’t depend on the models are either idiots, in deep delusional denial or paid professional misinformers and should be held accountable.

            • R Walter says:

              Those who continuously spew misinformation such as: CO2 is good for plants.

              Wake up, Fred. Wake up Fred.

              6CO2 + 6H2O ——> C6H12O6 + 6O2
              Sunlight energy

              Plants breathe CO2. Of course, you need a chlorophyll molecule, plants have chlorophyll molecules.

              In 1780, the famous English chemist Joseph Priestley (right) found that plants could “restore air which has been injured by the burning of candles.” He used a mint plant, and placed it into an upturned glass jar in a vessel of water for several days. He then found that “the air would neither extinguish a candle, nor was it all inconvenient to a mouse which I put into it”. In other words, he discovered that plants produce oxygen.

              A few years later, in 1794, the French chemist Antoine Lavoisier (left), discovered the concept of oxidation, but soon after was executed during the French Revolution for being a Monarchist sympathiser. The judge who pronounced sentence said “The Republic has no need for scientists”.


              Scientists get a bad rap under any and all circumstances.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Fred,

              There is always more to learn. The ecological impacts are far from clear for many reasons including complexity.

              We do not know precisely the radiative forcing from clouds, aerosols and their interaction. We can assume that current estimates are far too low and that equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is far higher than the model ensemble mean (around 2.9 C for the CMIP3 model mean.), but the reverse is also possible.

              I agree the uncertainty is reason for caution, but disagree with the implication that every uncertain parameter is necessarily going to vary in a direction that will make future temperature changes larger under any given emissions scenario.

              No doubt I will be accused of wishful thinking, but I simply think we do not know.

              • Doug Leighton says:

                “I agree the uncertainty is reason for caution, but disagree with the implication that every uncertain parameter is necessarily going to vary in a direction that will make future temperature changes larger under any given emissions scenario.”

                And who suggested this Dennis? Feedbacks go two ways; we all know this. For example, it’s entirely possible a warmer climate will greatly increase cumulus cloud cover that will reflect more sunlight back into space and mitigate the worst result of global emissions. What we don’t know, given the complexity of the environment, and will probably never know, is how things are likely to play out – even on a very short term (decades). So, as Fred said, the “precautionary principle” is the path to follow. What I object to is projections showing things being sort of OK 100 or 200 years from now when we have NO good evidence that is the probable outcome: to suggest otherwise is condescending in the extreme.

                Am I sounding grouchy this morning? 🙂

                • GoneFishing says:

                  The cloud factor is sort of a reliable fire stop. What if the clouds… We don’t know, can only go from the facts that we do know. In the past, the Greenland ice sheet has been almost gone or gone. The Arctic was ice free at times. So I wouldn’t depend on the clouds stopping that, maybe they stop things from going too far, maybe not.
                  One thing we can plan for, since there will be so much more energy in the system, is freakish and variable weather. Storm strengths can increase, frequencies change, new records set.
                  We know that droughts will get severe in some areas and floods in others.
                  Oceans will rise but more immediately, the storm surges will get bigger at times.
                  Life is going to change, with some species disappearing and others having population blooms. Animals and plants will shift in their locations.

                  And even more disturbing, what happens if the planned takeover by EV’s and renewables fizzles for some reason or is delayed at best? I think the optimistic view of replacement of the ICE by 2035 or even 2050 may happen, but there is always a large chance it will be too slow in growth.
                  Climate change and carbon restrictions may take a back seat when other problems show up.

                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    Yup, don’t see anything to argue with there. Meanwhile, I’ll stick with my view that given a system with countless variables (one stressed by ongoing greenhouse gas emissions) we have no bloody idea how things will actually play out. Fred already said this of course.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Re: camels replacing reindeer, you may be much closer to the truth than you can possibly imagine!

                    Camels are so well adapted to the desert that it’s hard to imagine them living anywhere else. But what if we have them pegged all wrong? What if those big humps, feet and eyes were evolved for a different climate and a different time? In this talk, join Radiolab’s Latif Nasser as he tells the surprising story of how a very tiny, very strange fossil upended the way he sees camels, and the world. This talk comes from the PBS special “TED Talks: Science & Wonder.”


                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Thanks Fred,
                    I knew they were North American in origin but I didn’t know the whole discovery story of the very northern camel.

  34. Oldfarmermac says:

    Hi GF, Doug,

    I don’t have the math and statistics to deal with the models the way you guys do, but I am firmly convinced from reading omnivorously in history, science, business, biology, you name it, that non linear feed backs are going to rule.

    I have seen such unexpected and mostly undesirable feed backs effects show up in dramatic fashion many many times in my own field. Put a given pesticide to work in a given situation, and while it may kill the targeted bug, it may also result in a runaway population explosion of another bug you have never even HEARD of, since up until that day it was just another of many thousands of species of insects local to the area. The result was that the more you sprayed , the more you HAD to spray, lol.

    Note, this is not to say pesticides are intrinsically bad, but rather that to be useful, they must be used sparingly and wisely, at the right times, under the right circumstances, etc, in order to provide a nice net benefit and remain useful. Over use has rendered some of the most effective ones virtually useless, not to mention the associated environmental damages.

    One thing I am trying to do is to find examples of positive feedbacks that apply to day to day life which are easily recognized and understandable to people with very little or no background in the physical and life sciences, and no interest in studying these fields, not to mention no opportunity, in most cases.

    Any examples posted by anybody will be appreciated. The best ones I find will make it into my book if I ever finish it, given that it will be written for laymen.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Hi Mac,

      My Daughter recommended: “NONLINEAR PHYSICS FOR BEGINNERS” by Lui Lam. Apparently it’s suited to self study & no math beyond calculus assumed. You might like the fact that Lam was a student of Feynman. The recommendation came with a lecture (negative feedback) on my poor father-daughter communication skills (guess I asked for the reference before asking how she was doing) and please note that I’ve never seen this book but I will next time I visit her. 🙂

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Thanks Doug,

        If you get a look at it, let me know if it has examples intelligible to laymen without technical backgrounds. I can probably get a copy thru the state library here.

        What I am trying to do is write a book about the environment and technology that is both comprehensible and enjoyable for lay people without any significant background in math or science, which means about ninety percent of us yankees when you get right down to the truth of the matter.

        It’s slow going, lol, but otoh I have plenty of free time, being retired and just working enough around the place to keep the trees and briars from taking over and to get a little exercise. I don’t expect it to sell so I will be publish it free on the net. There will be quite a few quotes from this blog, lol.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Positive feedbacks.

      Rabbit population growth.
      Weed growth on cleared land.
      Printed books, magazines, etc.
      Growth of roads, electric power, radio.
      Agriculture and energy combined effect on population and civilization.

  35. George Kaplan says:

    Has anybody seen any report on the outcome of this “White House Arctic Science Ministerial”, from 28th September:

    http://arcticportal.org/eventscal/g-4-7jo7vgbhcd80ff0ja01a8kikmc_20160928 ?

    “The White House Arctic Science Ministerial will bring together ministers of science, chief science advisors, and other high-level officials from countries around the world, as well as representatives from indigenous groups, to expand joint collaborations focused on Arctic science, research, observations, monitoring, and data-sharing. The goals of the event are to advance promising, near-term science initiatives and create a context for increased international scientific collaboration on the Arctic over the longer term.
    “The ministerial will focus on four main themes:
    – Arctic Science Challenges and their Regional and Global Implications
    – Strengthening and Integrating Arctic Observations and Data Sharing
    – Applying Expanded Scientific Understanding of the Arctic to Build Regional Resilience and Shape Global Responses
    – Arctic Science as a Vehicle for STEM Education and Citizen Empowerment. “

  36. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Living With The Land | Part 2 | Natural Building (video, ~6 mins.)

    “Kevin McCloud, a Channel 4 presenter well known for the TV series Grand Designs, introduces part 2 of Living with the Land – ‘Natural Building’.

    Natural buildings are an ancient tradition with a modern appeal. Creating healthy, beautiful homes from natural materials such as earth, straw and timber, building naturally is the ultimate expression of ecological design. Building isn’t ‘done’ to us – it can be done by us. The skills and techniques used in natural building are hands-on and accessible, enabling us all to design our own healthy living spaces bringing people and the elements together.

    The UK has a rich tradition of natural building and natural architecture that is seeing a renewed interest. Building naturally is one such response to Living With The Land…”

  37. texas tea says:

    James Lovelock on Climate Prediction: “I’ve grown up a bit since then.”
    “What has changed dramatically, however, is his position on climate change. He now says: “Anyone who tries to predict more than five to 10 years is a bit of an idiot, because so many things can change unexpectedly.” But isn’t that exactly what he did last time we met? “I know,” he grins teasingly. “But I’ve grown up a bit since then.”

    Lovelock now believes that “CO2 is going up, but nowhere near as fast as they thought it would. The computer models just weren’t reliable. In fact,” he goes on breezily, “I’m not sure the whole thing isn’t crazy, this climate change. You’ve only got to look at Singapore. It’s two-and-a-half times higher than the worst-case scenario for climate change, and it’s one of the most desirable cities in the world to live in.”

    But there is a third explanation for why he has shifted his position again, and nowadays feels “laid back about climate change”. All things being equal – “and it’s only got to take one sizable volcano to erupt and all the models, everything else, is right off the board”

    Lovelock maintains that, unlike most environmentalists, he is a rigorous empiricist, but it is manifestly clear that he enjoys maddening the green movement. “Well, it’s a religion, really, you see. It’s totally unscientific.”


    • GoneFishing says:

      This is the last straw, the minions of the Koch Bros have learned how to perform brain-snatching!

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        It is from “Watt’s my head doing up my a%%?” so look at it as humor.

        And Lovelock has always been quite wacky (but interesting), bless his little heart.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      “Well, it’s a religion, really, you see. It’s totally unscientific.”

      Yeah, and quoting anything from wattsupwiththat to most people who understand climate science is a lot like trying to convince hard core atheists that their world view is wrong, by quoting them verses from the KJB.

      For the record, most of the people on this site posting on the topic of climate change are not part of the so called green movement, whatever that may be. They tend to be actual scientists or people who at the very least have a high degree of scientific literacy.

      BTW I have never once in my entire life heard that James Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis was the basis for the Green Movement until you posted it.

      And what the temperature in Singapore and however desirable and livable a city it may be, have anything at all to do with the science of climate change, is definitely beyond me. That has to be one of the all time dumbest statements I have ever heard in my entire life!

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Singapore is actually a corporation, where chewing gum is outlawed.

        Only country of its size without a Nobel Prize (Denmark, of similar size has over 10).
        A friend had shit stamped into his passport because his hair was a bit long.
        You need to go the Malaysia to see movies (a Islamic Country) because the censorship is so tight.

  38. Oldfarmermac says:

    Tesla is delivering about two thousand cars a week for the last few months.
    Unless the economy crashes, success seems to be in the bag for the car company aspects of Tesla business, even without the Model 3. The development costs will eventually be paid off just selling the two top of the line models, given time, and even if the new “cheap ” model doesn’t sell, the battery factory can stay busy anyway, by way of driving some other older battery factory operations with higher costs out of the market.

    For a while at least.

    Who knows how many other new battery factories are under construction right now?

  39. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    The Source Farm Ecovillage (Johns Town, Jamaica)


    “Mission Statement:

    Create a healthy lifestyle
    Community Description:
    The Mission: The Source is a multicultural, intergenerational ecovillage.
    We have a commitment to:
    • Natural Living
    • Holistic Health and Spirituality
    • Ecological and Social Stewardship
    • Educational Sharing
    • Organic Farming and Gardening
    • Arts and Culture
    • Permaculture
    • Self-Sufficiency
    The Source Foundation creates a healing retreat for residents and guests, and a spiritual sanctuary to experience serenity and tranquility.

    Our Vision: The Source will be an innovative model community that is dedicated to respecting and restoring Mother Earth. We will foster personal growth and development and empower our community to be ambassadors of natural and progressive living. The Source will be known for its diverse social and economic opportunities with a mosaic of award-winning cultural, recreational, and artistic amenities and services.”

    The join fee of $30 000, for example, is affordable for some, but not for many and this fact is an important one for consideration for the Permaea project.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Sounds elitist.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        The whole dystem is elitist, so what do we expect?

        I’ve mentioned a concern for this elsewhere online; eco-nouveau sharecropping/landgrabbing.

        I’ve seen so-called ecovillages that look suspiciously like repackaged and greenwashed resorts, and where they get free labor to boot in the form of WWOOFers

        Red flags flapping in the breezes of change not necessarily for the better…

        Permaea is on this issue though, as it has to be if it’s serious.

        Money doesn’t equal land, even though ‘legal’– whatever that means– nonsense, backed up by weaponized thugs and assorted indoctrinates, say it does.
        That’s how we get so-called landlessness, homelessness, poverty, crime, civil unrest and ultimately, if left unremedied, war and ecocide/collapse.

        It all ties in.

  40. GoneFishing says:

    Ocean release of CO2 is much faster than previously thought. As water temperature rises, dissolved CO2 is released until reaching a new equilibration point with the atmosphere.
    The previous thoughts on the time lag for this response was thought to be a thousand years. New research shows it is 200 years and may be much lower than that.

    Also, since the solubility of all CO2 is temperature dependent, it is not just the fossil produced CO2 that will be emitted from the ocean surface, it is from all sources of CO2.

    The ocean surface area is 360 million sq. kilometers, or 360 trillion sq. meters. The top meter is 360 trillion tons of water. A change of temperature of one degree for cold water changes the solubility by: 360 X 10E12 tons = 360 X 10E15 kg X 0.08 g/kg = 28.8 X 10E15 g CO2 or 28.8 Petagrams CO2. A tenth of a degree temperature change changes solubility by 2.88 Petagrams CO2.

    Since the top 100 meters of the ocean has risen 0.6 C during the period 1975 to 2015, that gives 1728 Petagrams released over that period. About 40 Petagram per year less CO2 solubility.
    Calculating down to 2000 m depth gives 3456 Petagram since 2004 (from Argo temperatures).

    Considering that water vapor concentration and ice/snow cover are also temperature dependent and both provide warming (which releases more CO2), I wonder how long before the temperature rise gradient steepens.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      No sweat man, it’s all been build into the models. 🙂

      • GoneFishing says:

        ROFL, gasping for breath. ROFL again, gasping for breath. Stop it, you are killing me Doug.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Doug,

        Yes, snow melt, sea ice changes, and the carbon cycle interaction with the land and ocean are all indeed included in the models, are the models perfect? No.

        The clouds, aerosols, and atmospheric chemistry need improvement and ice sheet modelling also need to be improved (ice sheet changes are not included in most of the models). The LGM to average pre-industrial Holocene radiative forcing changes were roughly 6 W/m2 with half from slow feedbacks (ice sheets and vegetation changes), the Global temperature change was about 3.5 C. If we assume half of this was from slow feedbacks that would be about 1.75C due to those changes. Ice sheets today are roughly one tenth the size that they were during the LGM so if they melted completely (over a 2000 year period) we would expect about 0.2 C of warming from the albedo effect of the melting ice sheets. The albedo changes from sea ice loss and reduced snow cover predicted by the AOGCM are included (however imperfectly) in the models.

        Also note there is no a priori reason why models must be underestimating these effects, overestimation is equally likely. The scientists try to get it exactly right and there are large differences between models. A review of CMIP5 models at link below.


        • Doug Leighton says:

          Hi Dennis,

          Quoting from your “review of CMIP5 models” link:

          “A new generation of more complex models running scenarios for the upcoming IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC AR5) is widely, and perhaps naively, expected to provide more detailed and more certain projections…Interestingly, the local model spread has not changed much despite substantial model development and a massive increase in computational capacity….”

          Doesn’t that pretty much reflect what I’ve been saying?

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Doug,

            You did notice the “naively” in what you chose to quote.

            If you read the entire piece you will get the opposite perception of that quote. Or I did anyway.

            Bottom line the newer models are far more complex and include more processes, such as atmospheric chemistry, the aerosol indirect effect, and many others, I linked to an article earlier that covers many of the details on the GISS CMIP5 models. The increased complexity leads to more model spread. The ensemble means from CMIP3 to CMIP5 have not changed much for RCP2.6 and RCP4.5, which are the only scenarios of relevance in my view because fossil fuels will peak and limit carbon emissions to RCP4.5 at most.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Well forget “naively” then and go with: “Interestingly, the local model spread has not changed much despite substantial model development and a massive increase in computational capacity….”

              For Christ’s sake Dennis, face it, these models yield no comfort and we should be going “all-hands-on-deck” and assume worst case scenarios. Argue with Fish, I’m going to spend my time reviewing pulsar research.

          • GoneFishing says:

            CMIP6 will take care of it.

            Total solar irradiance graph from 1600’s onward.

      • GoneFishing says:

        You nailed it Doug.

  41. GoneFishing says:

    Interesting summary of how the carbon cycle is changing and points out some of the potential of melting permafrost.

    The Changing Carbon Cycle

    “The biggest changes in the land carbon cycle are likely to come because of climate change. Carbon dioxide increases temperatures, extending the growing season and increasing humidity. Both factors have led to some additional plant growth. However, warmer temperatures also stress plants. With a longer, warmer growing season, plants need more water to survive. Scientists are already seeing evidence that plants in the Northern Hemisphere slow their growth in the summer because of warm temperatures and water shortages.

    Dry, water-stressed plants are also more susceptible to fire and insects when growing seasons become longer. In the far north, where an increase in temperature has the greatest impact, the forests have already started to burn more, releasing carbon from the plants and the soil into the atmosphere. Tropical forests may also be extremely susceptible to drying. With less water, tropical trees slow their growth and take up less carbon, or die and release their stored carbon to the atmosphere.

    The warming caused by rising greenhouse gases may also “bake” the soil, accelerating the rate at which carbon seeps out in some places. This is of particular concern in the far north, where frozen soil—permafrost—is thawing. Permafrost contains rich deposits of carbon from plant matter that has accumulated for thousands of years because the cold slows decay. When the soil warms, the organic matter decays and carbon—in the form of methane and carbon dioxide—seeps into the atmosphere.

    Current research estimates that permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere holds 1,672 billion tons (Petagrams) of organic carbon. If just 10 percent of this permafrost were to thaw, it could release enough extra carbon dioxide to the atmosphere to raise temperatures an additional 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.3 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.”


    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Positive feed backs in climate are like the initial little problem in a comedy. The initial problem spawns two offspring, which spawn four or more, up to however many the writers can fit into the plot.

      Except in the case of climate, it’s just not funny. 🙁

      Something tells me that I have been lucky enough to live at the very best time ever all of recorded history, having enjoyed all the benefits of modern civilization while also being personally lucky enough to avoid all the really serious common problems such as cancer or getting run over by a car.

      The odds from where I sit appear to be rather high that for most people things are soon going to be going downhill for a good long while for all the usual reasons we talk about here. 🙂

      My thinking is that the technology hospital may have the cures for the various problems that ail us, but that the tech ambulance is going to run out of gas well short of the hospital for most of the people in the overpopulated and badly degraded parts of the world.

      But some people in some places have a fairly decent shot at pulling thru ok and coming out in great shape. 😉

  42. robert wilson says:

    Will there be a hot winter or a cold winter? http://www.reuters.com/article/usa-natgas-kemp-idUSL5N1C931T

Comments are closed.