Wind and Solar Scenarios and Non-Fossil Fuel open thread- May 25, 2016

blogchart/

Wind and solar energy consumption have grown quickly from 1994 to 2014 based on data from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2015 at a rate of 25% per year combined. Historical data on oil consumption from 1900 to 1975 shows that oil use grew by about 7% per year over that period. Note that this rate of growth was constrained by demand for energy as evidenced by very low oil prices from 1950 to 1972 and the high rates of oil consumption growth from 1960 to 1970.  World GDP and population grew rapidly over that period before supply constraints became apparent and rates of oil consumption growth slowed markedly after 1979.

The scenarios above cover a range of possibilities with the lowest representing growth in Wind and solar output at 7%/year from 2016 to 2070, the middle scenario was chosen to end at about midway between the low and high scenarios in 2070 with a simple exponential increase of 8.4% per year.

The high scenario uses separate scenarios for wind and solar over the 2015 to 2030 period which are then added together. Wind grew at an annual rate of 22% from 2001 to 2013 and solar grew by 45%/year from 2004 to 2014.

The high scenario assumes that wind grows by 10%/year from 2015 to 2030 and that solar grows at a variable annual rate starting at 36%/year in 2015 and decreasing in rate each year by 2% until 2027, then growth continues at 12%/year until 2030.

The combined rate of growth of wind and solar is 11% from 2029 to 2030.  I assume this growth rate continues for a decade, then the annual growth rate falls to 10%/year in 2041 and to 9%/year in 2051.  In 2056 the rate of growth begins to slow as most energy is provided by wind and solar at that point, it is assumed that demand becomes a constraint on further wind and solar consumption.

I believe the low scenario is too pessimistic because there will be plenty of demand for wind and solar as costs fall, while the cost of fossil fuels rises so that switching will be economically attractive. The high scenario is likely too optimistic, as there will be technical barriers which may prove difficult to overcome and there may be efficiency gains that I have not accounted for, which may result in lower demand growth. I have assumed 1.4% per year growth in primary energy demand from 2015 to 2070 (the 2005 to 2014 rate of growth) which would lead to energy consumption of 28,000 Mtoe/year in 2070.

Bottom line, reality will fall somewhere between the low and high scenarios, if there is not a World economic collapse (equal to or worse than the Great Depression) between 2015 and 2070. Note that a Global Financial Crisis(GFC) similar to 2008 to 2010 is certainly possible, if not likely, but wise economic policy using Keynesian principles can stabilize the World economy.

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326 Responses to Wind and Solar Scenarios and Non-Fossil Fuel open thread- May 25, 2016

  1. Wharf Rat says:

    Meet Proterra, The Next Generation Of Bus

    Proterra’s 40-foot electric buses have fuel efficiency equivalent to 22 miles per gallon, giving them one-fifth to one-fourth of the per-mile fueling cost of regular diesels, hybrids, and natural gas buses. And they have much lower maintenance costs. So over the 10- to 12-year lifetime of a typical urban transport bus, the Proterra can save $400,000 in total operational costs compared to a typical diesel.
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/05/24/3778463/proterra-tesla-electric-buses/

    • notanoilman says:

      I talked to the owner of one of the local workshops that repairs buses. He told me that many are 20 or 30 years old. The place is always full of gearboxes and rear axles/differentials in various states of repair.

      NAOM

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Ten years of around the clock around the calender stop and go use on a truck or bus is a hell of a long time. They certainly are going to need a LOT of work by then.

        But it’s still a lot cheaper to repair the older ones than it is to buy new ones. Half a dozen old buses cost a hell of a lot less than one NEW one, and you can afford enough buses to add some at rush hours.

        Buses are just specialized trucks, and REAL trucks ( as opposed to pickup trucks which are not built to commercial truck standards ) are designed and manufactured in such a way that repairs and maintenance are easily, quickly, and cheaply handled.

        A bus garage can keep economically keep every part needed to repair the system fleet on hand, and have mechanics who specialize in transmissions, or brakes, or sheet metal repairs, etc. Every repair becomes a routine job, easily and reliably accomplished.

        Cars and pickup trucks could be built the same way, but I am not holding my breath, lol.

      • Brian Rose says:

        notanoilman,

        The beautiful impact of that is that it is ultimately measured as GDP growth.

        If I go around keying people’s cars (ideally, for this example, people well off enough with significant savings – thus not offsetting spending on other goods), then it acts as an economic stimulus!

        When it comes to buses run by business’ or governments they cannot defer revenue and must instead stimulate the economy via increasing demand to the parts manufacturers and auto shops that benefit from these services.

        These repairs show up economically as spending and economic growth, but in the LONG TERM the thermodynamic reality of wasting resources to maintain a less efficient system detract from growth.

        The problem lies in how these affects reveal themselves. Businesses will generally be able to calculate the payoff period of investing in a lower residual cost system, and act on it so long as the large upfront investment pays off in X years.

        A government faces lobbying pressure from those who benefit from the current system and know, for a fact, they will lose business if new buses require less service and parts. No one likes losing their job, and they will fight HARD for it.

        The benefits and large upfront costs of purchasing new buses (that will eventually pay for themselves in saved residual costs) are not lobbied for strongly because no SPECIFIC person stands to gain a job where on the other side very specific people do stand to lose their jobs.

        On top of that a significant percent of people can be rallied around denying the extra funding that must be approved to purchase new buses – as opposed to the already allotted funds that maintain current buses.

        The path of least resistance is to do nothing as a politician. Funding is already allocated for maintaining current fleets. Proposing increasing funding through higher fares or gas tax or whatever is a high risk stance that could ruin your career, and presents little career benefit.

        I’m just speculating, but I imagine this is why countries like China have an easier time transitioning to electric buses. The logical, long-term benefit can override the emotional factors of short-term impacts. However, such practices have historically been detrimental since politicians with no checks or balances choose policies even more emotionally than the populace does.

        That being said, China seems fairly unique in that its policies seem to reflect the rational, consensus policies of technocrats rather than irrational, emotional policies of an autocracy or dictatorship.

        China certainly has a wide breadth of problems, but it does, generally, seem to aspire to the Platonic ideals of a Philosopher King. The cultural history of Confucianism drives this, but only time will if the least worst form of government is American Republican Democracy, Chinese Technocratic Communism, European Parliamentary Democracy, or some other variant that has yet to reveal itself.

        Long story short, I very much predict China will transition to sustainable transport and energy sources more rapidly than the U.S. due to its different governmental structure. For all the bad rap China gets for its pollution problems it is undergoing the same industrial revolution the U.S. and Britain did 100 years ago. It is doing it at a much more rapid pace, but it also has the immeasurable large benefit of current 21st century technology – China merely had to choose to invest in it, which it is on a breathtaking scale.

        • notanoilman says:

          Agreed.

          NAOM

        • Nathanael says:

          Agreed. I sometimes wish we had a history of Confucianism here… or even Taoism. Or Stoicism.

          Instead, we seem to have developed a cultural hostility to long-term thinking in the US, with predictable long-term results.

      • Brian Rose says:

        notanoilman,

        The beautiful impact of that is that it is ultimately measured as GDP growth.

        If I go around keying people’s cars (ideally, for this example, people well off enough with significant savings – thus not offsetting spending on other goods), then it acts as an economic stimulus!

        When it comes to buses run by business’ or governments they cannot defer revenue and must instead stimulate the economy via increasing demand to the parts manufacturers and auto shops that benefit from these services.

        These repairs show up economically as spending and economic growth, but in the LONG TERM the thermodynamic reality of wasting resources to maintain a less efficient system detract from growth.

        The problem lies in how these affects reveal themselves. Businesses will generally be able to calculate the payoff period of investing in a lower residual cost system, and act on it so long as the large upfront investment pays off in X years.

        A government faces lobbying pressure from those who benefit from the current system and know, for a fact, they will lose business if new buses require less service and parts. No one likes losing their job, and they will fight HARD for it.

        The benefits and large upfront costs of purchasing new buses (that will eventually pay for themselves in saved residual costs) are not lobbied for strongly because no SPECIFIC person stands to gain a job where on the other side very specific people do stand to lose their jobs.

        On top of that a significant percent of people can be rallied around denying the extra funding that must be approved to purchase new buses – as opposed to the already allotted funds that maintain current buses.

        The path of least resistance is to do nothing as a politician. Funding is already allocated for maintaining current fleets. Proposing increasing funding through higher fares or gas tax or whatever is a high risk stance that could ruin your career, and presents little career benefit.

        I’m just speculating, but I imagine this is why countries like China have an easier time transitioning to electric buses. The logical, long-term benefit can override the emotional factors of short-term impacts. However, such practices have historically been detrimental since politicians with no checks or balances choose policies even more emotionally than the populace does.

        That being said, China seems fairly unique in that its policies seem to reflect the rational, consensus policies of technocrats rather than irrational, emotional policies of an autocracy or dictatorship.

        China certainly has a wide breadth of problems, but it does, generally, seem to aspire to the Platonic ideals of a Philosopher King. The cultural history of Confucianism drives this, but only time will if the least worst form of government is American Republican Democracy, Chinese Technocratic Communism, European Parliamentary Democracy, or some other variant that has yet to reveal itself.

        Long story short, I very much predict China will transition to sustainable transport and energy sources more rapidly than the U.S. due to its different governmental structure. For all the bad rap China gets for its pollution problems it is undergoing the same industrial revolution the U.S. and Britain did 100 years ago. It is doing it at a much more rapid pace, but it also has the immeasurable large benefit of current 21st century technology – China merely had to choose to invest in it, which it is on a breathtaking scale.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Brian,
          A third new passenger rail plan has been proposed in my region. The first two have died the death of long term put off after extensive planning and surveys.
          This third one would be run by Amtrak over existing freight and passenger lines to connect a town/city region to a huge city region. I think it will be doomed to failure or constant life support, since like the others, the numbers don’t add up.
          Like all these proposals, it’s not high speed rail (which is extremely expensive and likely to make some politicians look good in the short term). The federal government is less ready to support low or medium speed rail than high speed projects.
          30 years of ideas and planning and no new rail to the less densely populated regions. The mega-city and very dense areas get lots of new rail projects and improvements, but there the numbers add up mostly.
          With this lack of will and support, I don’t see passenger rail making any real dent in the US transport system in the next two decades.
          It takes about 9 hours for Amtrak to go from NYC to Pittsburgh. One can drive it in 7 for a fuel cost of $21 versus a $120 train ticket. A plane takes 1 hour and 25 minutes (if you don’t mind being probed and irradiated). A bus takes under 8 hours.

          • Nathanael says:

            Multibillions have been poured into highways, and are being poured into highways, on a yearly basis to keep that driving time down to 7 hours.

            For much, much less money the train route from NY to Pittsburgh could be improved to run in 6 hours. Nobody’s bothered. Eventually I figure someone will bother. The numbers add up, and eventually the unsustainable highway funding pyramid will collapse.

            • GoneFishing says:

              There are only two highways that parallel the rail into Pittsburgh.
              Much of the traffic on those highways goes elsewhere, so the highways will still have to be in place.
              Passenger movement on that line is mostly freight and far more valuable than the passenger moves. The line is already full, so it would mean double tracking, improving bridges, modifying tunnels, giving subsidies to the freight rail company that owns the track. Private rail companies do not want passenger, it’s a loser.
              From my point of view, air travel will keep the rail passenger traffic stifled. There is no need for infrastructure between airports, zero cost there and much faster.

              • Nathanael says:

                The line isn’t actually full. It was cut back from four tracks to two during the worst period for the railroads in the US.

  2. Wharf Rat says:

    Floatovoltaics!
    About time they hit the New York Times:

    …floating solar arrays are becoming more popular, with installations already operating in Australia and the United States, and more planned or under construction.
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2016/05/floatovoltaics.html

  3. GoneFishing says:

    Wind and solar power are currently growing at a much higher rate than the scenarios.
    Geothermal growth rate is predicted at 10 percent from 2015 to 2020.

    Soon all new power additions will be renewable. They are the major percentage now.
    As natural gas gets more expensive and enters it’s peak period around 2025 to 2030, alternative energy will be the major replacement for n-gas power production. So solar, wind, geothermal, tidal will enter a new phase of growth as natural gas peaks.

    Limiting factors:
    Growth in energy will be limited by increased use of insulation and passive/active solar heating in buildings. This will drive demand for energy downward.
    Transportation will be much more electric driven in the future, with EV’s becoming at least 33% more efficient than current EV’s. Downward energy forcing.
    The conversion to EV’s across the board will cut energy use dramatically, since oil is inherently very inefficient as transport energy (20% compared to 80 to 90%).
    Wind was a limited resource until lately, when new designs have more than doubled the potential capacity of wind power.
    Solar power is only limited by deployment.
    Solar panels will become about 20 to 30 percent more efficient over the next ten years. That means easier and more efficient deployment.
    Cost of PV is predicted to continue to fall.
    Wind turbines will become more efficient as they tap a wider range of wind speeds.
    Storage and adaptation are strong limiting factors in the deployment of solar and wind power. Unpredictable at this point but may not be very necessary on the large scale.
    CO2 mandates will most likely give an additional boost to renewables and efficiency.
    Major changes in world politics and nationalism.
    Major wars.

    There may be a large knock-on effect as the transportation industry electrifies. The large amounts of natural gas used to support the petroleum industry will not be needed, nor will the large amounts of energy to collect, refine, distribute and maintain the industry. Hall has estimated this at around 40 percent. Add to that the fact that EV’s need about one quarter of the energy to move the same distance, world energy demand will fall dramatically in the future if transport is converted to solar/wind renewable driven electricity and away from fossil fuels.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Gonefishing,

      All of those things are possible, which is why I said the high scenario is probably too high.

      I doubt this will happen as quickly as you envision, but I hope that you are correct, that would be better for the planet and the humans and other creatures who live here.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Hi Dennis,
        There is no way to know for sure just how fast solar PV and wind power will actually expand. At current rates we would be fully converted by 2030. Of course demand plays a big part. If people really want electric vehicles, the changeover will occur faster.
        To convert to electric vehicle and have them powered by coal and natural gas plants would be fairly stupid. By using wind and PV the energy needed for transport would fall dramatically, as well as the pollution.
        We had a real mix of transport fuels and types during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Everything was tried. Seems to be happening again. The giant infrastructure of railroads, very poor roads and lack of fueling places did not stop the rise of the automobile. The millions of horses and carriages did not stop the automobile either.
        The huge infrastructure for the ICE will not stop the electric vehicle. If it wasn’t for climate change and peak oil though, we would end up with a mix for a long time. With those two bugaboos breathing down our necks like hounds from hell, the conversion could go fast indeed.

        • me says:

          What I expect is that renewables will continue to suck the profits out of the fuel based energy industry. Cash flow sets market prices and it’s hard to beat an energy source on price when it is essentially free at the margin.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Hi me, (kind of redundant that)
            The oil industry is in it’s final desperation mode, going after oil that is very difficult to get, expensive and does not produce over the long term.
            Natural gas is following. Coal will last a little longer, maybe.

            Our whole biological system is based on abundant free energy. The invented energy system depends upon solar energy that was stored away long ago in the form of molecular bonds formed by life itself.
            Essentially a giant battery that is running down.
            So we are going directly to the source now, instead of waiting millions of years under special conditions for the battery to recharge.
            Our machines can only parasitize the earth for so long, time to get them on a direct source, or let them rust away.

        • Nathanael says:

          I actually expect we will continue at roughly current rates. We will basically be converted by 2030, apart from specific bottlenecks.

          Identifiable bottlenecks:
          — solar doesn’t work at night. Once we max out daytime usage, this puts us on the battery curve instead of the solar curve
          — running out of good wind sites which don’t have NIMBY problems
          — EV factories take time to build

          I believe this means we reach about 2/3 renewable electricity and then see a slowdown as we move over to the battery deployment curve and wait for batteries to get cheaper.

          EVs are sold as fast as they can be manufactured. I think we get to 100% of new cars being EVs somewhere between 2030-2035 because I simply don’t think the factories can be built faster than that; it might be delayed longer than that because it might take even longer to build the factories. Or I might have vastly underestimated how long it takes to build the factories.

          However, the key question for oil is when the EV deployment starts suppressing oil demand faster than depletion suppresses oil supply. I found another way to estimate this recently: Bloomberg figured that every 20 million EVs on the road reduced oil demand by a million barrels per day, and one analysts suggested that the supply decline rate was 3 – 4 million barrels / day. This would mean that the EV deployment would catch up with the supply decline when they’re producing 60 – 80 million cars per year, which is roughly the same as when all new cars are electric. This would imply high oil prices until then. There are other possible factors, though; plugin hybrids also reduce oil usage by nearly the same amount. If they’re produced at roughly the same rate as EVs, then the oil price would turn down around the time EV production is at 50% of the global market (with the other 50% being plugin hybrids).

      • Nathanael says:

        I strongly suspect your high scenario is way too low. Since growth rates have been much faster than your high scenario for *decades on end*, you have to have pretty solid evidence of hitting a *particular* roadblock to make a serious argument that the growth rate will slow down.

  4. Hickory says:

    Dennis,
    For the sake of context, what the value Mtoe on the graph- million tonnes oil equivalent or something like that?
    It would be of interest to show a point on the graph indicating current energy production levels for reference.
    Thanks.

    Additional comment- I get the sense that some people who live in cold, calm, or cloudy areas, or who have a vested interest in the fossil fuel industry for income, are much less enthusiastic or even hostile in regard to renewable development.
    I understand that, its just human nature. But I think an important point for them to consider is that renewable aren’t going to put them out of business anytime soon, and as a consumer of fossils the deployment of renewables may just help ameliorate the effects of depletion to some degree, and thus blunt price shocks to the individual and economy as a whole.
    Some people seem to react as if it’s an all-or-none scenario, and that is surely not the case. We will be needing all the cheap fossil fuel we can come up with for decades at least. Now if only we can figure out some sort of carbon capture mechanism….

    [all tendencies to be rude, sarcastic or condescending have been intentionally filtered from this opinion piece]

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Hickory,

      I think sarcasm is ok. I agree rudeness, ad hominems, etc should be avoided and would prefer it if people were civil always.

      Unfortunately I am sometimes guilty of not following those guidelines myself. I try to be polite, but fail on occasion.

      The energy unit is millions of tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) per year which is roughly equivalent to 7.33 million barrels of oil equivalent per year. World primary energy consumption in 2012 was 12,928 Mtoe in 2014, 10,920 Mtoe in 2005, and 5729 Mtoe in 1975, the growth rate in primary energy use has slowed since 2011 to about 1.4%/year from a rate of 2.3%/year from 1965 to 2008.

      At assumed growth rate of 1.4% per year primary energy use would be 28,000 Mtoe/year in 2070, more than a factor of 2 higher than 2014. I doubt that energy use will grow at that rate due to peak fossil fuels, the high cost will result in greater energy efficiency so that energy may grow to about 21,600 Mtoe in 2070 in a low population growth and lower GDP growth scenario. Optimistic estimates of adoption of energy efficiency measures might push this even lower, but I am attempting to be realistic (this would be near my medium scenario).

      Of course 2070 is 54 years in the future and though I will be dead, hopefully my children will be alive to see 2070. Think back to 1962, there has been pretty dramatic change since then, my guess is that the World today looks very different from what was imagined in 1962 to be realistic, today’s predictions for 2070 may be just as bad as 1962 predictions for 2016, probably worse.

      • JustSaying says:

        Dennis, a month ago I got put in the spam penalty box on everything I post for writing a nice sarcastic ad hominem to someone who has attacked myself with much worse. Sarcasm doesn’t always come across and is misunderstood frequently in blogs. Maybe it’s time to free me for my mistake and save yourself time clearing my comments.

        “Unfortunately I am sometimes guilty of not following those guidelines myself. I try to be polite, but fail on occasion.”

        You don’t need to post this

  5. Oldfarmermac says:

    If anybody has links that calculate the value of small scale solar, taking into the likely falling costs of a turn key system, as well as the rising costs of grid sourced electricity, please post them, and thanks in advance.

    It is hard to say how much home grown juice is worth, in dollars and cents, without making a lot of assumptions that are not likely to hold true very long. But I think the actual cost of a turn key small pv system will probably fall by half in constant money within a decade here in the USA.

    It also seems likely that the purchase cost of grid juice will double in ten to fifteen years, for several reasons.Consumption taxes are apt to go up, the costs of fossil fuels will go up, plain old inflation will play a role, etc.Furthermore centralized fossil fuel generation is a very mature technology, and there is little reason to expect costs in that industry to come down due to innovation.

    Yesterday the local Ferguson dealer told me a new clutch for my old tractor would cost over six hundred bucks. But happily for me, and everybody except the owners of the dealerships, I can buy a top quality brand new clutch for only half the dealer price. COMPETITION truly works wonders, sometimes!!!!

    Something tells me that as patents expire, and the number of stores and contractors selling and installing pv systems grow, and manufacturing volume scales up, the price of INSTALLED solar systems will fall faster than just about anybody predicts.

    HOWEVER- The older members here can probably remember BIC ball point pen advertisements, ” writes first time, every time, or your money back” , nineteen cents! The last ones I bought cost a buck forty nine for two. Cokes were a nickel when I was a kid.

    Sooner or later the price of small scale solar will start going up due to inflation once the industry matures. I suppose it will be at least ten to twenty years before the price of small scale solar starts going up instead of down.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Old Farmer Mac,

      Usually people do these things in “real dollars”, that is money adjusted for inflation.

      I am a little younger than you, I remember getting a popsicle for a nickel at the corner store, but I think the Coke was 15 cents or so. The bottles were also either 8 or 10 ounces, so your nickel Coke would cost 10 cents in today’s 20 ounce serving (assuming 10 oz is correct).

      Interesting piece on Coke.

      http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2012/11/15/165143816/why-coke-cost-a-nickel-for-70-years

      The last nickel Coke was around 1959, at that time mean family income in the US was $6000/year, today mean family income is about $89,000, about 15 times higher. So relative to income the 5 cent Coke is like a 75 cent Coke and the 5 cent Coke was only half the size of the typical 20 oz bottle.

      The moral, use real dollars when thinking about this stuff.

      You should probably do this before the residential credit expires in 2022, the tax credit is 30% until 2019, 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021 and ends Dec 31, 2022.

      http://www.seia.org/policy/finance-tax/solar-investment-tax-credit

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Dennis, I try to remember to include the term “constant money” in my comments of this nature, but I forget sometimes.

        Investing now or within the next few years in a solar system might or might not pay big dividends. If it is purchased using a low interest loan, I think such a system will be a superb long term investment.

        Nominal prices have been going up pretty much ever since central banks were invented, and so far as I can see, nominal prices will continue to go up. REAL prices adjusted for purchasing power may go either up or down.

        The real price of small scale solar power will probably go down for a long time yet . If you lock in a system payment of say one hundred bucks a month for twenty years, or thirty years, by adding it to a purchase money mortgage, in ten or fifteen years, the REAL payment is apt to be reduced by half, maybe more, since you will be paying with depreciating money. Your wages will double, so you spend half as much time working out the payment.

        Furthermore , while the REAL cost of electricity may hold fairly steady, in relation to your wages or salary, the nominal cost of purchased juice will be going up for sure. So the electricity your system generates will be WORTH more in terms of nominal money, by saving you having to spend it on grid juice.

        For NOW, home grown electricity is for practical tax purposes a source of tax free income. If you save fifty bucks on your electric power bill, that means you don’t have to work out sixty five or seventy bucks in order to have the after tax money to pay the bill. If you have a hundred dollar system payment, when time nominal electricity costs double, your present day fifty dollar saving will double and be worth a hundred, and wipe out the payment for you.

        So far I have not run across any charts or graphs that take ALL these factors into consideration. I can’t create such charts and graphs personally, because I lack the necessary skills, and at my age, I will never learn them.

        But the bottom line is that I suspect people who install pv systems within the next few years are going to think of them as some of the BEST money they ever spent ten or twenty years down the road.

        My PERSONAL peeve is that I am unable to decide how long I should delay buying a pv system of my own. For now, the cost of pv is still falling pretty fast. It’s very hard to say when the cost will bottom out, but pv can’t keep getting cheaper forever, lol.

        The decision is further complicated because money has a real opportunity cost , and there are other things I can use it for that will generate rock solid dependable returns.

        There is for instance an overgrown hillside orchard on the place that ought to be worked up as a managed forestry plot. Good timber is SURE to be super expensive down the road, unless the economy goes entirely to hell in a hand basket.

        • Hickory says:

          I doubt this is exactly the tool you are looking for , but it may be of some help-
          Solar financial considerations from Sunrun ( a competitor of Solarcity from SF)
          https://www.sunrun.com/solar-savings

          and here is a solar cost/payback calculator with many variables to input-
          https://ilsr.org/ultimate-solar-calculator/

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Old Farmer Mac,

          Just keep in mind that there is a federal tax credit for 30% of the system cost that gets gradually reduced to 22% from 2020 to 2022 and gets eliminated by Dec 31, 2023. I plan to install some PV by Dec 31, 2019.

          Where I live a reputable solar installer offers no money down (they take the 30% tax credit when you get it as the down payment) and 2.99% annual interest on a 12 year loan for the remaining 70% of the full system cost.

          For me a system producing an average of 3600 kWhr per year (no battery backup just a simple grid tied system) would result in about a $70/ month payment, my average bill at present is about $50/month so I would pay a premium of $20/month over 12 years, if I used a home equity loan, the interest paid would be a tax deduction so there might be 25% savings in taxes on the interest payments. In any case electricity would be close to zero after 12 years (I would still have to pay about $8 per month to be connected to the grid so the cost does not go to zero in my case.) I would save about $42/month and probably more because electricity rates will likely increase (unless cheap wind and solar make rates go down).

        • Rural says:

          Hi Oldfarmermac,

          I might be able to shed some light on when to buy a PV system as I am taking a college program in the area (as a relatively old man) and my coursework last week was directly related to your personal peeve. The short answer is, if you can put it to use immediately, a solar PV system makes sense right now.

          The longer answer is that the price of PV modules (called panels by consumers) is a small fraction of the cost of a solar PV system, about a third, probably less. Although PV module prices have fallen a great deal, and will continue to fall for at least a few years, the price of an installed system probably won’t fall very much.

          The electronics (charge controller, inverter, and such) may fall in price somewhat, but nothing like the fall we’ve seen, or can expect, with PV modules. However, they will continue to improve in capability and quality for a given price.

          Racking won’t fall in price much, if at all. Nor will installation labour and expertise.

          Batteries are interesting, but your system may not require them. I expect steady progress in battery technology and prices to fall somewhat while longevity increases.

          So systems will get cheaper and better, but probably not enough to justify waiting.

          Off-grid systems are particularly interesting. For new construction in rural areas where new power lines would be necessary (ie. my situation), an off-grid solar PV system is a clear, and huge, win. Getting a grid connection would have cost more than my whole system cost, including installation. The day my system produces its first Watt, I will be ahead, and the lead will increase every month that we don’t get a bill, even including battery replacement costs. On the other hand, December is going to be an interesting month, as it is for all off-grid solar systems in the North.

          A few years ago, I was convinced that solar PV installations would take off in a big way, pushing prices up. Knowing that we were going to need a system on completion of our house, I bought the PV system components and have been storing them ever since. (Framing of the house started last week.) Watching prices of systems fall has been interesting, and they have definitely fallen, but only enough for me to feel some regret, not so much that I really beat myself up about it.

          • Nathanael says:

            The price of an installed system SHOULD fall substantially in the US. Here’s why. The “soft costs” — overhead, profit margin, marketing, etc. — are way, way higher in the US than they are in Germany or Australia. There is *no reason for this*. These costs ought to come down to the international standard levels.

            As soon as they do, then systems won’t get much cheaper.

  6. Oldfarmermac says:

    Things are really JUMPING in the political arena today. But for now I am putting in enough time on politics in other forums.

  7. JN2 says:

    Thanks DC. Electricity in 2014 was 1,930 mtoe. At 1.4% growth rate would be 2,500 mtoe in 2035.

    From your chart, solar + wind would be 100% of global electricity (high scenario) by 2035!

    [or 40% (low/medium scenarios)]. Time will tell 🙂

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi JN2,

      The way BP does the conversion to Mtoe for wind and solar, they assume 38% power plant efficiency and how many Mtoe od fossil fuel would be needed to produce 1 TWhr of electricity.

      Based on BP data it was 5326 Mtoe to produce the World’s electricity in 2014. The nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar account for 1654 Mtoe of this electicity, so fossil fuels would be 3672 Mtoe of 2014 electricity production, we will assume all of this is from coal and natural gas.

      As the World uses more electicity for heat pumps and EVs and plugin hybrids the share of total energy provided by electricity will increase and these types of energy use are probably more efficient.
      Heat pumps replacing power from natural gas in a 38% thermal efficient power plant and a 2.5 COP Heat pump is a wash with a 95% efficient modern natural gas boiler, so not a lot of savings there.

      Better building envelopes and passive solar will help. The EV is roughly 2 times more efficient than an ICEV, when all losses are considered so oil use on transportation could be cut in half with the same miles travelled.

      In any case we will be at 2014 levels of electricity output from wind and solar in Mtoe by 2042 in the high scenario and 2062 in the low scenario, but electricity use will grow faster than primary energy use as fossil fuels are replaced by wind and solar and more electicity is needed.

      You assumed the 1.4% growth rate in electricity use (it will most likely be higher than this). The high scenario would pass that for electricity only in 2047 and the medium scenario in 2063.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        “Heat pumps replacing power from natural gas in a 38% thermal efficient power plant and a 2.5 COP Heat pump is a wash with a 95% efficient modern natural gas boiler, so not a lot of savings there.”

        True but there is hardly any upside improvement possible with the natural gas boiler.
        The upside potential for heat pumps is considerable.

        Furthermore, I foresee internal combustion engines running on natural gas being used to run heat pumps in the future. It is now possible to build such engines well enough they will last for many years, and enclose them in such a way that nearly all the waste exhaust and friction heat can be captured and used for space heating.

        Couple such a small motor to a small ac generator, and you can use it anytime the grid is down for emergency power, or drive the heat pump with it, using the otherwise wasted heat to cut back on the running time of the heat pump.

        Digital controls will make this sort of thing a no brainer tech in a few more years, starting in places with long cold winters. A five to ten horsepower gas or propane fired generator, tied into the house wiring will be enough to run most houses all night when the electrical load is low, with the heat from the engine being enough to keep the house warm in a lot of cases.

        Clean running super long lasting small stationary ic engines are getting cheaper all the time , and once such systems are STANDARDIZED, a tech will be able to swap out a worn or problem engine in a matter of minutes and replace it with a new one or a reman or repaired unit on his truck. Space and weight are not big considerations in stationary applications. Easy quick access, snap couplings, etc will be sop.

        Such systems may also come in very handy in reducing peak loads and thus earn their owners credit against peak load power bills in hot climates, although solar pv would probably be better. A ten thousand watt generator is big enough to run a small or variable capacity heat pump so the owners house will be cool when he gets home on a blistering hot day.

        Larger units will be used to run larger buildings, and the bigger the building, the greater the potential for savings , at least during heating season, assuming the owner can buy gas or propane at a reasonable price.

        It might also be economical to use hot exhaust gases from a large unit to heat a small boiler, thereby using the exhaust heat to drive an ADDITIONAL small generator, especially in a large building that needs a good sized generator to begin with.

        Conventional IC engines are operated with low pressure water as the coolant, and the coolant seldom gets much hotter than 220 F. Purpose built future engines will have some ceramic components and run at MUCH higher temperatures if the intent is to capture otherwise wasted heat for use driving a mechanical load.

        • HVACman says:

          OFM –

          LOL! My senior paper back in 1975 at engineering school was almost exactly the scenario you discussed – a hypothetical diesel-engine-driven heat pump.

          Today, though, it will probably be a NG-fired fuel cell driving a variable-speed electric heat pump + reclaim the waste heat off the fuel cell. FC’s have a much higher conversion efficiency than ICE’s plus very few moving parts. easy heat reclaim. The best parts of electric and fuel cell technologies. Sierra Nevada Brewery, just down the road from me in Chico, has one of the world’s largest FC installations. It runs their brewery. The NG fuel cell + their PV system provides about 90% of the brewery’s total energy needs.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            HI HVAC Man,

            I must admit none of the scenario I commented on above is original with me. I have been researching such possibilities for a while now, lol.

            I wonder how long it will be before fuel cells are cheap enough to be mass marketed.My guess is that it will be quite while yet, but I have no expertise in the field.

            OTOH, I do know the basic physics and chemistry involved, and there is only so much heat in a cubic meter of gas. If you burn it in an internal combustion engine, and capture all the waste heat, and put it to good use, then I don’t see the fuel cell as being much if any cheaper to operate in terms of overall expense.

            PURPOSE BUILT STATIONARY STANDARDIZED IC engines are about as reliable as the sun coming up these days. I have no idea how reliable fuel cells are, but I expect they will fail frequently at least for the first few years they are built in large numbers at low prices.

            If somebody wants to build small I C engines that run on natural gas in a stationary application, at a steady speed, in large numbers, ALL JUST ALIKE, they need not cost more than a few hundred dollars each, and they can be made to last for a VERY long time.

            The biggest drawback I see using a purpose built IC engine this way is that there will be times when the engine throws off more heat than can be put to good use for domestic hot water and space heating. This would mean dumping the heat outside sometimes, thereby greatly reducing overall efficiency.

      • HVACman says:

        “Heat pumps replacing power from natural gas in a 38% thermal efficient power plant and a 2.5 COP Heat pump is a wash with a 95% efficient modern natural gas boiler, so not a lot of savings there.”

        Two assumptions in this statement are not valid now and probably will not be valid going forward.

        #1 – 38% thermal efficiency for a NG power plant. That is what older conventional NG power plants are. Currently and going forward – almost all new NG power plants have around 60% thermal efficiency. They use combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) systems that reclaim the heat off the turbine exhaust to make steam and run a steam turbine “for free”. They are called “combined cycle” because gas turbines work on the Brayton thermodynamic cycle and steam turbines work on the Rankine thermodynamic cycle.

        #2 – “Heat pump with 2.5 COP”. Current-generation variable-speed compressor heat pumps are achieving at least a seasonal average 2.9 COP (10 HSPF). Many are up around 3.5 COP(12 HSPF). That means that for one therm of gas (100,000 BTU’s) burned in a CCGT and powering a 2.9 COP heat pump, you get at least 100,000 x 0.6 x 2.9 =174,000 BTU’s of heat. No combustion boiler or furnace in history has achieved 174% combustion efficiency. Even if we deduct distribution losses (about 10%), the efficiency is over 150%. Bottom line: To optimize natural gas heating efficiency, burn the gas in a CCGT power plant and run a variable-speed compressor heat pump. Don’t burn it in a furnace for heat unless the air temps are too cold to support a variable-compressor heat pump. That would take temperatures lower than -10 deg. F.

        I made a good 1st career doing a lot of heating boiler change-outs – yanking old 75% efficient Scotch Marine boilers in favor of 95% efficient condensing boilers. My latest career twist is now yanking old chillers and relatively new boilers in favor of brand new variable-refrigerant-flow (VRF) commercial heat pump systems.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi HVACMan,

          I live in one of those places where we often see -10 F in Jan and February, probably no more than 10 days per winter, so I used a conservative 2.5 COP and assumed an air source heat pump. Ground source would be better, but very expensive in existing construction. Any idea what the average thermal efficiency of the existing fleet of natural gas power plants?

          I checked for the US and for 2014, the average thermal efficiency for utility scale natural gas power plants was about 43%. So using a heat pump in the US saves an aver
          age of about 13% in energy assuming a heat pump COP of 2.5 and that the electricity is produced in the average natural gas power plant.

          The average coal fired power plant in the US had 32.7% thermal efficiency in 2014. The efficiency is 3412 divided by the heat rate in the chart at the link below.

          http://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_08_01.html

          see also

          https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=107&t=3

      • Nick G says:

        The way BP does the conversion to Mtoe for wind and solar, they assume 38% power plant efficiency

        That’s because at some point in the past they looked at oil-fired generation in Europe, and came up with that 38% figure. They thought they should limit the analysis to oil generation because the metric is in oil equivalents.

        Of course, that’s way too narrow (oil has mostly disappeared in the US and Europe), and out of date. Coal would be lower, and gas would be higher (as noted below by HVACman): coal is shrinking, and gas is growing.

        I’d suggest using 50%, despite the inconvenience of adjusting BP’s figures.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Nick,

          The power fleet in the World has roughly a 38% thermal efficiency, the data is based on what exists rather than what will exist.

          The higher the thermal efficiency used the less Mtoe we get for wind and solar.

          So if in 2014 we had 201 Mtoe of wind and solar consumption using the 38% thermal efficiency estimate and switched to the 50% estimate you suggest, our new estimate would be 153 Mtoe of Wind and solar output and it would be incorrect because the actual thermal power generation in the World does in fact have roughly 38% thermal efficiency.

          • Nick G says:

            The power fleet in the World has roughly a 38% thermal efficiency

            Wow. Really? Cuz BP has been using that number for quite a while, so it’s an old number. And, I believe it’s based on European oil-fired generation. So, if it’s still accurate for the worldwide fleet, that’s quite remarkable.

            On the other hand, it occurs to me that you really need a number for a much larger sphere than just power generation. For instance, converting the average existing US car from oil to electricity would reduce joule consumption by about 80%, for a 5:1 ratio.

            So…what the heck, 33-38% may be just fine.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Nick,

              I checked the US for 2014 and the average efficiency of all thermal power plants was 35% (coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear weighted by output). For just coal and natural gas it was 36% thermal efficiency as a US average.

              • Nick G says:

                Interesting. I think the world (IOW, China) uses more coal than the US, and US generation is likely much more efficient on average, so the world figure is probably significantly lower.

                A heat pump with a COP of 2.9 gives a conversion efficiency of 34%.

                I was thinking about the best-in-class for thermal generation, but probably instead we should compare the all-electric end-point to the average existing status quo.

                Similarly, the average US vehicle gets only 23MPG. If we want to look at the trajectory from the current status quo to an all-electric end-point, then we’re comparing 23 miles per 35kWh (the content of gasoline) for 1.5kWh per mile to .3 kWh per mile for EVs.

                And, of course, if we get serious about energy efficiency, we can dramatically reduce energy consumption regardless of energy source: net-zero housing, etc.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Yes, Nick EV’s use less energy and most importantly, waste very little energy.
                  The beauty of the whole thing is that residential and local PV short circuits the fossil fuel thermal conversion losses and make the use of EV’s a very efficient and clean way to run transport.
                  The actual value of a gallon of gasoline should be more like 2.4 kwh per mile since there are large energy losses just getting it from the ground to the fuel tank. That means a real 8 to 1 advantage in energy use per mile traveled.
                  Standard size car ICE’s have the potential to run at 40 mpg to 60 mpg practical which would make it about 1 kwh per mile . EV’s (standard size cars) have the potential to run on no average external input of energy (or very little). In fact the EV can act as a power source when not in use.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Nick,

                  I don’t know about the World numbers, you are correct that BP has been using that 38% thermal efficiency since 2004 (oldest BP Statistical review I could find).

                  Note that China has ramped up electric power output a lot since 2000 so there electric power fleet may be more efficient than the US fleet, but you are correct that coal plants may tend to be less efficient in general than natural gas.

                  I don’t think we really know the World’s average electric power thermal efficiency.

                  In 2008 the IEA estimated thermal efficiency from all fossil fuels used for electric power production at 36% over the 2001 to 2005 period (this was weighted by electric output for the various sources). This value improved from 34% in 1990, and might have improved more by 2014.

        • Politcal Economist says:

          And using a higher thermal efficiency number would make the renewable energy in term of Mtoe smaller not bigger

  8. Daniel Schmitt says:

    “Note that a Global Financial Crisis(GFC) similar to 2008 to 2010 is certainly possible, if not likely, but wise economic policy using Keynesian principles can stabilize the World economy.”
    A very bold statement indeed! Hope your right but I fear it will just delay things and make them far worse.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Daniel,

      Yes there are many economists that don’t think the government should play any role even during a depression. Hopefully most in government won’t listen to them, Herbert Hoover thought the advice was good and many in Europe during the GFC.

      What Keynes wrote in 1936 is still true today, a market economy following laissez faire principles my return full employment in the long run, but in the long run we are all dead. (I think he may have been referring to the Upper Class and the real fear of revolution in the mid 30s).

    • Matt White says:

      Agree that was a bold statement. I guess we should find out soon, as we are now far into uncharted territory with interest rates having been pegged at near zero for 8 years. The trick of pulling demand forward by lowering interest rates constantly for 30 years is over. I’m not sure how this will play out but I highly doubt we’ll see those smooth curves you have there. It’s obvious we’ll have some big discontinuities in there somewhere in the next 50 years.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Matt,

        Sole reliance on monetary policy is what is called a Monetarist policy, Keynesian policy focuses on fiscal policy rather than monetary policy. This is called the zero lower bound of monetary policy where fiscal policy is particularly appropriate. Monetary policy might help when real interest rates are 5%, when they become zero or negative, they are not effective.

        The nonsense about balancing budgets in the face of a severe recession has been proven false in the European experiment performed in response to the GFC.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Matt,

          In every scenario of the future I produce there will always be ups and downs which cannot be predicted in advance. The scenario is a general path that might followed. But there will be recessions and so forth that will cause the actual path to be unsmooth.

          In addition the path is likely to be between the high and low scenarios, but can be as jagged as you like.

  9. Oldfarmermac says:

    This link contains a good discussion of an option that gets only a very little public discussion, when the issue is long distance electricity. The right of way issue is a political killer for new lines.

    But they can be buried and that eliminates most of the controversy. If they are buried along rail road right of ways and interstate highways, there will be almost NO controversy to prevent them being built.

    http://understandsolar.com/hvdc-grid-to-radically-cut-co2-emissions/

    A nation wide hvdc grid will cost an arm and a leg, but it will also save us as much or more, long term, by saving on the costs of purchased fossil fuel, and losses due to storm damage will also be greatly reduced.

    I don’t usually emphasize the climate and pollution points because other people hammer on them enough.

    The way to convert a skeptic is via his wallet and his prejudices. Just about every body is prejudiced in favor of getting his electricity cheap, and most people with a working brain do realize that the price of fossil fuels will necessarily go up, long term. If you just provide them with information, rather than preaching, you can get to some of the people who are not yet in favor of renewables and change their minds.

    • Hickory says:

      I sure don’t understand why the HVDC transmission system isn’t a bigger item in the national dialogue.
      Here is a reason why I’d like to see a nation with lower debt Dennis- it could more easily spring for something worthy like HVDC lines if it wasn’t so far in the red, and over-entitled (sorry to beat a dead horse). I know, I guess we could fabricate some more debt to pay for it.

      Build out of a nationwide HVDC system could employ a lot of workers.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Hickory,

        There is no reason we couldn’t finance such a build out of HVDC. Currently interest on Federal long term debt is very low. On may 25, 2016 the real interest rate on a 30 year treasury note was 0.9%.

        The fact that employment would increase might lead to more tax revenue and debt might decrease rather than increase over the long term.

        Now would be the perfect time to do this, but most politicians are very short sighted.

        Or we could give tax breaks (or tax credits) to companies that invest in building out the HVDC grid, let the private sector do it, they may do it more efficiently and use interstate highways, rail, pipeline, and existing transmission right of ways to get the job done.

        What is needed is leaders with vision and they are very scarce.

    • HVACman says:

      OFM –

      Underground is aesthetically pleasing, but you might want to research what it takes $-wise to insulate 500 KV from ground when buried, as well as what might happen if a backhoe hits one. There are reasons those super-high-voltage lines go overhead…WAY overhead. Most underground power distribution is local. 12KV or so. That is something conventional cable insulating systems can handle. Things get weird once you have really, really high voltages – lightning and Tesla-coil type voltages – with several hundred amps behind it.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Thanks, HVAC Man,

        I know already buried hvdc is super expensive, but I have not yet found out how much MORE expensive it is that above ground lines on towers.

        All I know for sure is that hvdc lines CAN be buried , and that this has been done already, including putting some lines not only underground but under water for substantial distances.

        If you have links going into the costs, I would love to have them, and thanks in advance!

        It might turn out that going underground in some or many parts of the country is the only way we will GET hvdc lines permitted.

        If the cards fall that way, the question may eventually boil down to using less and less electricity as fossil fuel supplies inevitably dry up, or paying the cost of going underground and building wind and solar farms where the sun shines hot and steady nearly every day, and the wind blows hard, most of the time.

        I hear that some of the newest and best sited wind farms are getting pretty close to forty percent of their name plate production. That adds up to one hell of a lot of electricity over a few decades.

        My gut is telling me that in the end , remotely located wind and solar power farms plus hvdc will be more economical than depleting fossil fuel within the lifetime of the younger people reading this forum today.

        When we get to the point that wind and solar power are providing ten or twenty percent of our electricity, the reduced sale of coal and gas as generating fuel will force down the prices of both fuels substantially.

        For EVERY body other than the folks invested in coal and gas, this means that everything else dependent on the use of coal and gas will be CHEAPER, thus offsetting part or maybe even all of any subsidies given to the wind and solar industries.

        Example: The price of nitrogen fertilizer varies substantially with the price of natural gas, and nitrogen is one of the key and most expensive inputs farmers use. Cheaper fertilizer means cheaper food and fiber for everybody.

        Cheaper gas means a lower gas bill for folks who use it domestically for cooking, hot water and space heat.

        ETC.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Old Farmer Mac,

          Probably the existing transmission rights of way could be used for much of what is needed, although I have not researched it. Note that with greater efficiency and demand side management there may not be huge increases in the total electricity produced in OECD nations. The nation is pretty well connected already, except Texas. It might be better if all of the various regions were interconnected and maybe HVDC links would be the way to accomplish that.

          Again I would need to read up on it, so far I have not.

          On a quick read, most of North America is interconnected and DC ties are what is used. Even Texas is tied to the Eastern Interconnection, but it is not tied to the Western interconnection directly, it is tied to the West indirectly through the Eastern interconnection, it would make sense to be tied to both and then Texas could more easily sell its excess Wind Power when needed.

          http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2010/ph240/sherer1/

        • HVACman says:

          re: HVDC costs.

          http://www.datcllc.com/learn/underground-transmission/

          According to Duke-American Transmission Company (A transmission company with both AC and HVDC projects in the works. Affiliated with Duke Energy) , 10x – 25x that of overhead.

          Note that in Europe, with their high population density and shorter travel distances, underground is more appealing despite the cost. Also note that if high tension lines have to go underground, they have to be HVDC, as there are capacitive effects in buried AC lines that create havoc on high-power transmission.

          Here’s a link to an electrical-industry article that discusses some of the places where underground HVDC HASs been installed. Very interesting.

          http://tdworld.com/transmission/evolution-hvdc-transmission

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi HVACMan,

            You seem to have done some research on this. Could much of the HVDC transmission simply use existing transmission corridors?

            I realize that there are cases where we might want to connect a large wind farm, but I would think we could use existing HVAC grid infrastructure to connect to an HVDC backbone that moves electricity east west (for daily cycles) and north south (for seasonal cycles).

            Ideally the North South backbone would connect the Northern and southern hemispheres so that summer in the north can provide energy to winter in the south and vice versa.

  10. islandboy says:

    The EIA’s Electric Power Monthly was updated this afternoon. As usual the graph is below, showing what appears to be a new all time low contribution from coal (23.8%) and what appears to be a new all time high for total renewable (including hydro, wind and solar) contribution (19.6%). There is no line for total renewables on the graph but I’ve added a column for it to the spread sheet and can include in the graph if anyone’s interested.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Islandboy,

      Would love that cart with total renewables, coal, natural, gas, nuclear, and petroleum. Thanks.

      • islandboy says:

        Here’s the 3 year chart. It might be interesting to some that, the line “Renewables” in the other graphs, excludes solar and hydro and is three quarters wind, at least for the last data point, March 2016.

  11. islandboy says:

    Below is the graph for solar output from the EIA;s latest Electric Power Monthly.

  12. Jeju-islander says:

    Here is a graph for land based wind-power in the US going back to 1980
    from http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/11/f27/Revolution-Now-11132015.pdf

  13. Jeju-islander says:

    And here for Utility-Scale Solar PV from 2008 from the same report as above

    • Gerry says:

      I’ll add a real world update to this chart regarding prices:

      http://www.photovoltaikforum.com/angebote-f41/64625-44kwp-1114eur-astronergy-t112298.html

      44kWp (not exactly “utility scale”, is it?)
      roof mounted, located in the southern most third of Germany, anual irradiance of about 1,300 kWh/m² (PVGIS)
      total cost (1): 1,300 USD / kWp
      And commenters on the forum still think it can be done for10-20% lower cost!

      (1)
      Almost total cost, because part of the electrical work on site has to be done for other reasons and is not part of this quote.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Note that the actual prices for utility scale solar in 2015 in Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) in the US southwest (best area for solar in the US) were as low as 5 cents per kWhr. So the 2008 report may have been conservative.

      Note your chart for solar is not very clear because we don’t know if those costs are W(AC) or W(DC).

      Probably its W(AC). Levelized PPA prices fell from 15 cents per kWhr in 2009 to 5 cents per kWhr in 2014.

      See

      https://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-1000917.pdf

  14. Jeju-islander says:

    This shows the falling costs of 5 different clean technologies

    • sunnnv says:

      Not clear he wanted wind turbines all that much.

      Some think he just wanted the right-of-way for a water pipeline (that would follow the electricity right-of-way he could get by eminent domain) to sell to Dallas/Fort Worth.
      When that was blocked, he gave up on the wind, since he couldn’t have “the world’s biggest”.
      Probably gave up on the wind too soon, getting caught up in the 2008 financial crisis and panicked.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2011-07-14/pickens-water-to-riches-dream-unravels-as-11-texas-cities-scoop-up-rights

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickens_Plan#Questions_over_Pickens.27_motives_and_methods

      Others were building a lot of wind turbines in Texas as this time…
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Texas#Statistics

    • Hickory says:

      Just because a tycoon didn’t make a profit doesn’t mean that the inexpensive electricity being generated in windy Texas isn’t a valuable contribution to the states and countries economy.
      What if no one made a profit, but all the loans were paid off and the grid was being pulsed, each and every day. Thats OK. Profit isn’t the only measure of a projects success.
      I just invested some money in a fund that is an infrastructure fund, and they are aiming for a decent yield for investors- something like 4-7%/yr (and the capital appreciation is a bonus and has been decent thus far). That might not work for Pickens, but it would sure work for most pension funds, or others with a similar expectation.
      Coal, wind, NGas, solar- its a nice mix to have. Texas ought to smiling about its resource mix.

      • Caelan MacIntyre On Bubbles At The Bottom says:

        I think it’s important to view energy, like oil, solar (photovoltaic) or wind power in context with political power– especially undemocratic. Even if you don’t care about stuff like anarchy or equality…

        (Glances over at Dennis)

        It may improve your general analyses.

        Incidentally, you can find the tulip bulb mania mentioned in both robert wilson’s linked article as well as Wikipedia’s ‘Economic Bubble’ entry.

        And as mentioned before of course, solar photovoltaic power is being spoken of in bubbly ways too.

        It has been a long time since reading that the switch from fossil fuels to pseudorenewables should have happened 30 or 40 years ago.

        If so, it might explain the unsubstantial suds we are seeing; the bottom of a cup after a frothy drink.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Caelan,

          I care very much about equality. It is a problem that is not easily solved. My solution is election reform in the US that reduces the influence of money in politics and highly progressive taxation.

          “True democracy” will have to wait for much lower World population.

          I used to think a lot about utopia, it is important for figuring out where we would like to go. I tend to focus on trying to get there as my wand is broken 🙂

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Howdy, Dennis,
            Here, I’m just talking about the ‘lenses’ and to suggest that it might help to have an anarchist one to put on to help analyze the ‘universe’, (even if one feels they can’t do much to change it). Like sometimes using a radio telescope, etc., along with an optical one.

  15. Oldfarmermac says:

    I know the capital costs of water desalination plants is HIGH.

    And I know that the cost of electricity to run them is high as well.

    What I have NOT been able to find out is whether such plants can be easily cycled on and off, or up and down, without problems, other than the capital expense problem. When heavy infrastructure is budgeted, the assumption is that it will be used constantly, in just about every case.

    But if the cost of the plant itself can be reduced sufficiently, then it would be possible to run the plant intermittently. Desalinated water can be pumped into any existing nearby reservoir for storage, or directly to customers, reducing drawdown of reservoirs.

    What I am thinking about is a sort of ” flip side peaker” plant, one designed to use any surplus wind and solar power anytime it is available.

    It is likely that there are other ways surplus wind and solar power can be put to good use, providing what amounts to electricity in a piggy bank, just in a different form.

  16. R Walter says:

    I can drive and see probably 300 wind towers strewn hither and yon across the Great Divide. Now and then I see the blades swinging around in circles generating some electricity. Whop-dee-do, yowsers!

    I can also see a handful of coal-fired power plants generating electricity night and day. the smokestacks are 650 feet high, equipped with scrubbers, and kill very few birds. The dragline out in the coalfield operates 24 hours a day.

    The wind turbines take up a great deal of space and time wasted to run all of the materials out there using up precious oil and gas for a fool’s errand such as a wind farm.

    Five coal-fired power plants trump hundreds of wind turbines, hands down, any day of the week, year, millions of years of time to form coal saves trees and oil and birds too! The wise old owl lives on, that would be King Coal.

    A far better use of a valuable resource, coal rises to the occasion each and every day because it has to.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi R Walter,

      Cats are much more of a problem for birds than Windmills. Coal is a real problem for health and climate change and it will peak and decline like all other fossil fuels. Wind and solar will be cheaper than coal when that occurs and they are already cheaper when we consider the pollution cost of coal.

      Natural gas is a much better fuel source for producing electricity than coal, the average coal power plant in the US has about 33% thermal efficiency, the average natural gas power plant about 48% thermal efficiency, so far less waste, pollution, and carbon emissions.

      We should use as much wind and solar as possible with natural gas backup, eventually we should shut down the Nuclear power plants as well. Hydro and pumped hydro would be a good back up as well.

      • R Walter says:

        Thanks for the reply, Dennis. Can’t really see eye-to-eye, but there are always disagreements no matter the subject matter.

        I haven’t ever seen a cat take down a vulture or an eagle. However, wind turbines have on a regular basis.

        It was a warm winter, demand for coal was lower, no need to burn more coal during a warm winter.

        I will stand by my words, coal-fired power plants trump wind turbines by a country mile.

        You need manufacturing facilities and power plants to build wind turbines, concrete for the foundations, equipment to erect the towers, synthetic oil in the nacelles to lubricate the gears, etc. wind turbines are not carbon neutral.

        Before and after photos of the countryside in Germany where wind turbines have been built.

        http://notrickszone.com/2015/06/02/shocking-before-and-after-photos-how-wind-parks-are-devastating-idyllic-german-countryside/#sthash.MucqX9Il.dpbs

        http://savetheeaglesinternational.org

        “Intermittent energy causes more fossil fuels to be burnt (4). Besides, its high cost (5) is causing a double problem: “fuel poverty” in humble households, and job destruction as investments and whole industries are attracted by lower energy prices abroad. Japan has been quick to understand the dangers of the German “energy transition” model: today, “Sendai 1″ is active again, in spite of Fukushima. Nuclear energy appears to be back for the long haul in Japan (6).”

        http://savetheeaglesinternational.org

        • GoneFishing says:

          RW,
          When the fossil fuels deplete we can go back to the massive slaughter of wild birds for food and the massive slaughter of birds of prey because they kill off our food. People in Europe are putting big nets to catch song birds and black birds for eating. When the energy runs out and there are no alternatives, the last of the wild creatures will be hunted to extinction by the starving humans.
          Good plan RW. Crash civilization and cause mass extinction to save 20 eagles a year.
          Surprisingly the eagle populations have been rising even with the fast expansion of wind towers. I guess the removal of DDT worked.
          Why are you not concerned about the albatross nearing extinction because of overfishing in the oceans, fishing methods and human interventions at their nesting areas? They are even bigger than eagles but will probably be extinct in our lifetime or soon after.

          Wind towers and PV are the safest thing we can do for wild populations. They will help keep the humans in check as the fossil fuels deplete.

          Image below to give a little perspective.

          • R Walter says:

            On the outskirts of one of China’s most polluted cities, an old farmer stares despairingly out across an immense lake of bubbling toxic waste covered in black dust. He remembers it as fields of wheat and corn.

            Yan Man Jia Hong is a dedicated Communist. At 74, he still believes in his revolutionary heroes, but he despises the young local officials and entrepreneurs who have let this happen.

            ‘Chairman Mao was a hero and saved us,’ he says. ‘But these people only care about money. They have destroyed our lives.’

            Vast fortunes are being amassed here in Inner Mongolia; the region has more than 90 per cent of the world’s legal reserves of rare earth metals, and specifically neodymium, the element needed to make the magnets in the most striking of green energy producers, wind turbines.

            Live has uncovered the distinctly dirty truth about the process used to extract neodymium: it has an appalling environmental impact that raises serious questions over the credibility of so-called green technology.

            http://www.bccrwe.com/index.php/8-news/10-pollution-on-a-disastrous-scale-environmental-cost-of-wind-turbine-manufacturing

            Wind turbines are also guilty of causing massive pollution and damage to ecosystems.

            You can’t make it all go away by condemning one resource and endorsing another that has the same devastating results.

            Humans are capable of leaving a huge mess, doesn’t matter what resource is being exploited.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi R Walter,

              Yes everything that humans do causes environmental damage, the damage to the environment is far less from Wind turbine manufacture than from coal mining and the pollution emitted from the burning of that coal along with its distribution to utilities and industry, mostly by rail.

            • GoneFishing says:

              The ideas are to minimize damage, reduce carbon and other pollution, find substitutes and transistion energy for fossil fuels.
              Point sources like mines and manufacturing sites are easily controlled by government mandate. Distributed sources of pollution are not. Solar PV and wind solve the distributed source problem quite elegantly. Electric cars do too.

            • notanoilman says:

              Neodymium is not required for wind turbines and there are better materials available anyway.

              NAOM

        • Bob Nickson says:

          Meanwhile, the scenic vistas that coal leaves behind…

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Bob,

            No doubt they checked with the Eagles and Vultures before destroying that ecosystem. No doubt there were no Eagles or other birds of prey harmed in the mining of that coal. 🙂

            What some people fail to realize is that coal will also peak and decline and it will become more expensive as it does not flow well through pipelines and rail transport is not as cheap as pipeline.

            There is not a lot of cheap coal left and it is the worst fuel as far as energy output per metric Tonne of carbon dioxide emitted.

        • Ulenspiegel says:

          “Intermittent energy causes more fossil fuels to be burnt (4). Besides, its high cost (5) is causing a double problem: “fuel poverty” in humble households, and job destruction as investments and whole industries are attracted by lower energy prices abroad. Japan has been quick to understand the dangers of the German “energy transition” model: today, “Sendai 1″ is active again, in spite of Fukushima. Nuclear energy appears to be back for the long haul in Japan (6).”

          So much nonsense in such a short text, quite an achievement. 🙂

          Please get correct data, then we can discuss.

  17. islandboy says:

    Solar, efficiency play a role in crashing capacity prices in PJM Interconnection

    The impact on the falling prices has been damning for conventional generation, particularly nuclear power. Exelon Corporation reported that two of its nuclear power plants did not clear the auction, and warns that the combination of this and low wholesale power prices – which are also impacted by wind and solar – may cause it to shut down two plants.

    “The capacity market alone can’t preserve zero-carbon emitting nuclear plants that are facing the lowest wholesale energy prices in 15 years,” said Exelon President and CEO Chris Crane. “Without passage of comprehensive energy legislation that recognizes nuclear energy for its economic, reliability and environmental benefits to Illinois, we will be forced to close Quad Cities and Clinton.”

    A 2015 report by the MIT Energy Initiative states that older coal-fired plants will be the first to close down in the United States as a result of increasing penetrations of solar PV. However, as coal plants are retiring at a record rate and new ones are not being planned, nuclear generation may not be far behind. In this way, the United States is following the lead of Europe.

    “You are seeing disruptions already,” states GTM’s Kolo. “Obviously (solar and demand-side solutions) are impacting the revenues of other conventional generation.”

    Is the transition (away from FF) now firmly underway? Is this Tony Seba’s Clean Disruption playing out?

    With reference to Ronald’s post just above, I believe the writing is on the wall. Wishful thinking? Maybe. Maybe not.

    The wise old owl lives on, that would be King Coal.

    I dunno about that. See the graph attached to my post above. Coal’s share down by 17.3% for the month of March over two years? See the 3 year chart below.

  18. robert wilson says:

    DDP meeting. Will be an interesting collection of brainy kooks. In the past I have enjoyed their presentations on nuclear power, radiation, civil defense and medicine (except HIV/AIDS nuttiness). I am not interested in climate change but Willie Soon is fun. I will probably not attend this year.. With some members I an a persona non grata.
    —–Registration Fees: $250 for the entire seminar includes a welcome reception, a banquet, and two luncheons ($200 for each additional family member). Strategic Air and Space Museum Tour: $50/person. Nebraska Bio-Containment Facility Tour: $25/person.

    Saturday, July 9, 2016
    GENERAL SESSION DAY 1
    7:45 am
    Welcome. Jane Orient, M.D., DDP President
    8:00 am Willie Soon, Ph.D.
    Beethoven’s Ice Cream, Tolstoy’s Fire, Happer’s Picosecond Pedestal—and Climate. Dr. Soon, an astrophysicist, authored The Maunder Minimum and The Variable Sun-Earth Connection.
    9:00 am David Legates, Ph.D.
    Freedom of Information Act and Academic Freedom in Climate Science.
    Dr. Legates is professor of geography at the University of Delaware and a former Delaware State Climatologist.
    10:15 am Mohan Doss, Ph.D., MCCPM
    Rationality in Radiation Protection Standards.
    Dr. Doss, a medical physicist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, is one of the founding members of Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information.
    11:15 am Arthur Levy
    The Status of Radiation Monitoring in the U.S.
    Former asst fire chief, journalist, & producer, Mr. Levy of Apogee Communications Group is deploying fallout monitoring stations nationwide.
    12:15 pm S. Fred Singer, Ph.D. & Ken Haapala
    Paris COP-21; Legal Actions of EPA, CPP, and SCOTUS
    Dr. Singer founded and Mr. Haapala is now president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).
    2:00 pm Steven Hatfill, M.D.
    An Update on Emerging Diseases.
    Dr Hatfill is an adjunct assistant professor at George Washington Univ and has done research involving Ebola, Marburg, and orthopox virus.
    3:00 pm Geoffrey L. Shapiro
    Police, Fire, and Civilian Emergency Medical Preparedness.
    Mr. Shapiro directs EMS and Operational Medicine Training at George Washington Univ. Emergency Health Services Program.
    4:00 pm Tony Heller
    The Analysis of Historical Climate Data.
    Mr. Heller brings 40 years of engineering experience in government agencies and the private sector to the analysis and verification of data.
    6:30 pm Robert Zubrin, Ph.D.
    Reception, Banquet. The War Against Freedom.
    Dr. Zubrin, president of Pioneer Energy and the Mars Society, has authored 8 books, including Merchants of Despair and Energy Victory.
    Sunday, July 10, 2016
    GENERAL SESSION DAY 2 – Sunday includes lunch and another full day of speakers.
    8:00 am Patrick Frank, Ph.D.
    No Certain Doom: On Physical Accuracy in Projected Global Air Temperatures.
    Dr. Frank, a chemist at the Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SLAC) at Stanford University, has authored 68 peer-reviewed publications.
    9:00 am Joe Leimkuhler
    Offshore Drilling: Current Status and Role in National Energy Security.
    Mr. Leimkuhler is VP of drilling for LLOG Exploration. He has 30 years experience in deepwater drilling with Shell and LLOG.
    10:15 am Donald W. Miller, M.D.
    Combating Heart Disease: Statins, Supplements, Stem Cells, Hyperbaric O2?
    Dr. Miller practiced and taught heart surgery for 40 years and has authored 3 books and numerous articles, many for lewrockwell.com.
    11:15 am Howard Hayden, Ph.D.
    A Geologic History of Climate: Why Correlated with CO2—or Not.
    Dr. Hayden is professor emeritus of physics, University of Connecticut, and publishes The Energy Advocate.
    12:15 pm Lee Hieb, M.D. & Yuri Maltsev, Ph.D.
    Living near Ground Zero; Nuclear and Other Govt-Made Disasters
    Dr. Hieb, an an orthopaedic surgeon, grew up 25 mi from Omaha. Yuri Maltsev was part of the Academy of Science Task Force on Chernobyl.
    2:00 pm Stephen Jones
    Expedient Expedient Civil Defense: the Nuclear War Survival Skills Plan.
    Mr. Jones has distributed essential basic knowledge and expedient radiation detectors to thousands of 1st responders nationwide.
    3:00 pm Matthew Robinson, Ph.D.
    A Nuclear Power Supply for a Deep-Space Probe.
    Dr. Robinson developed an inherently safe nuclear reactor that works only under weightless conditions.
    4:00 pm Arthur Robinson, Ph.D.
    Prospects for America.
    Art Robinson is founder and research professor of chemistry at Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, and editor of Access to Energy.

  19. Hickory says:

    On the ERoEI subject, I find it odd that so broad a brush is used to make a conclusion on the energy balance for solar systems, since there are so many variables.

    One of the biggest variables (like for wind or hydro, and certainly geothermal) is where you put the project.
    For example, lets say you put the identical system (therefore with identical costs and energy input) with one
    in Redding,Ca (40 degree N at the north end of the Central Valley) you get a annual DNI (Direct Normal Irradiance) value of 6.05 kWh/m2/day. [just up the road from HVACman and the SierraNevada brewery]
    And the second project is placed just 100 miles due west on the coast at Eureka,CA, you get an annual DNI of 3.89.

    For simplicity sake just assume that those DNI numbers equate to the ERoEI, well, that’s a big variation. It varies much wider when take to country as a whole. On a more practical level, these output variations have a huge impact on the payback period/breakeven time of a home or community system.

    This data can be found for the whole USA at- http://maps.nrel.gov/prospector

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      I have remarked several times that if the Germans were magically relocated to the southwestern USA nobody would be laughing about the economics of their renewable energy investments.

      One problem with government incentives or subsidies is that they tend to result in a hell of a lot of renewable energy investment in places where it IS true that renewable energy IS UNECONOMIC.

      Investments in areas with marginal wind and solar resources OUGHT to be delayed until the costs of renewables infrastructure comes down.

      Any incentive money that would ordinarily go to such places ought to instead be diverted to helping the local people upgrade their energy efficiency.

      • Hickory says:

        That is exactly right OFM

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi OFM and Hickory,

          The subsidies are a good idea, but you don’t want to micromanage too much. The market participants will decide where to invest, now if you think there should be no incentive to invest in wind and solar, I would strongly disagree, unless a carbon and pollution tax were enacted on all fossil fuels that is equal to their external costs. In that case, we could eliminate subsidies for wind and solar and for EVs as well.

          The problem with imports from nations that do not tax fossil fuels appropriately can be adjusted by using tariffs on imports from those nations.

      • Brian Rose says:

        OFM,

        It’s odd.

        The U.S. has benefited tremendously by being the world leader in software development. The world’s most valuable companies (and richest people) are skewed toward software companies that didn’t even EXIST 25 years ago.

        Europe invested heavily in renewables, but has not benefited to nearly the same degree.

        There are numerous contributing factors to this, but, I think, one stands out the most.

        Invest early in PV or wind, and you’re stuck with a large, physical fixed cost that will soon be outdated. Even worse, your large, sunk investment (in that now outdated wind turbine) is what allowed for the development of the new, more efficient, and cheaper turbines… that everyone ELSE will benefit from.

        With software it is different.

        There is no large sunk cost in physical materials. There is code and Intellectual Property. Once “built and deployed” software can be updated (or entirely replaced) for nearly zero energy cost.

        A small update to Google’s search engine can be uploaded and spread universally, at no cost, in an instant.

        Updating a wind turbine or solar panel? Well… Suddenly the next guy who invented a minor improvement has a HUGE advantage because your entire manufacturing process is now inferior.

        I’ve pondered this before, but never really put it on paper. Not entirely sure it checks out, and it certainly isn’t a black or white evaluation – it is only one factor among a dozen that all have an impact.

        Europe basically did the world a solid, and sacrificed a lot by being the first adopters of large scale renewable energy investment. Granted, as most everything it was not altruistic – weening Europe from their complete dependence on Russian oil and gas was a large motivation, and likely the ultimate reason why Europe accepted the sacrifice of being a first adopter of large scale renewable energy before the U.S.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Hi Brian,

          Great thoughts and insights, and much better expressed than some of my own scribbling.

          I am much indebted to you for throwing some daylight on some gray areas in my own thinking and helping flesh out my understanding of political and economic nuance.

          Very few people appreciate just how big the issue of energy independence IS in a country such as Germany.

          As I see it, the environmental camp is for better or worse politically married to the leftish liberalish political camp, which is entirely understandable. The right wing generally has somewhat of an anti environmental agenda, so the alliance is a natural.

          But a problem arises when it comes to truly UNDERSTANDING political and economic policy, if you are leftish liberal sort of person. THAT mindset is anti military industrial complex, anti war, pro yak yak instead of fight fight, all of which is noble and good, but not NECESSARILY realistic, because like it or not, we DO live in a Darwinian world.

          I have yet to meet a stereotypical liberal environmentalist who UNDERSTANDS recent GERMAN history and the things Germans worry about late at night. So their mindset blinds them to major factors involved in the decision making process in Germany, when it comes to questions such as renewable energy.

          I have had the privilege of talking to a few Germans over the last few decades, face to face, and while they seldom EVER say anything about it in public, they know damned well that the Russians have not forgotten WWII.

          They are also fully aware that their very survival as a prosperous industrial society depends on staying at the cutting edge of whatever technology dominates the world economy.

          What people DON’T say publicly often has a hell of a lot to do with their actions.

          A hell of a lot of people like to pooh pooh Russian capabilities,but Russia could close her borders to all trade, and survive, without suffering severe problems, while utterly destroying the economy of Western Europe by shutting off oil and gas imports.

          Such an action would also crash the economy of the US and most of the rest of the world as well.

          The Russians are not apt to pull such a trick of course, but just the fact that they could ……………….

          • Brian Rose says:

            OFM,

            Seems to me this is the unsaid objective of international trade agreements.

            The more intertwined two countries are economically and financially the more severe the economic consequences a war would bring.

            A nuclear weapon that ensures peace through Mutually Assured Economic Destruction.

            I may be wrong, but it seems that both the exporter (say, Russia) and the importer (Europe) would experience economic and/or financial collapse.

            Europe would surely experience economic collapse, and Russia financial collapse as 90% of the governments revenues disappear, and the currency crashes.

            Even the relatively minor sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014 for their actions in Ukraine created a crash in the rubles value. I cannot fathom what the ultimate financial consequences would be, but it is certain that default and currency collapse would occur virtually overnight.

            Russia would certainly survive, but the leader may not as currency collapse quickly morphs into social unrest and various factions of the military (now being paid in worthless toilet paper currency) plan multiple coups.

            Perhaps I am a cynic, but I suspect that often times political leaders are more concerned with what may happen to THEMSELVES first, and their countries citizens second when thinking about pulling that trigger.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Backatcha Brian,

              I agree with everything you have just said. Generally speaking I u agree with just about everything you post here.

              If there is ONE good thing about globalization, in the short to medium run it DOES tend to promote peace, at least in the short to medium term. Long term ? Still probably the same, but so MANY variables can come into the equation…………

              In the long run, globalization is leading to the emergence of new superpowers, namely China and a unified Western Europe. Probably/ maybe another power center in South America. Russia is declining, in terms of real power. The USA may have peaked, but we are still unquestionably on top, for a while yet.

              The Russians are not in a position to do much in the way of projecting power any farther than their own geographic back yard, but otoh nobody at all is in a position to wage an active war on them, so long as they stay home.

              IF the Chinese continue to prosper, they WILL eventually be positioned to play the role of superpower. They have the technological base, the necessary economic scale, favorable geography, etc. But I don’t expect them to create too much trouble on the global scale for another ten to twenty years at the minimum. Locally, they are already throwing their weight around. Thus ever it was, and thus ever it will be, or so the sages say.

              One thing that bothers me enough to lay awake at night once in a while is that technically and scientifically literate people seem to have a hell of a lot more political power and influence in Germany and China than they do here in the USA.

              I am not worried about the Germans, because they aren’t going to start another war, at least not anytime soon. If they come to dominate some critical new industry, they will at least open a number of manufacturing, distribution, and tech support facilities in the USA. Second fiddle isn’t too bad, as long as you are still in the band.

              China on the other hand is not necessarily going to play the economic dominance game the same way. If the Chinese can gain control of some key industries, especially new ones, they may use that control for political purposes.

              It’s not that the USA wouldn’t do the same thing. But I prefer to be on the WINNING side, in the event of conflict. 😉

              I hope we don’t get to the point that if we need to fight a major war , we have to ask whoever the enemy is to sell us some machinery on credit, and send us a few million skilled tradesmen to run it, in order to fight it, sarcasm light BLINKING moderately. The MIC still has a robust industrial base in this country.

              Russia as you point out will NOT cut off energy exports UNLESS something really bad happens that leaves them believing that is their best option. That would have to be a hot war, or their coming to believe a hot war is unavoidable.

              As bad as it would be for them, they wouldn’t starve or freeze. It would be infinitely worse for Western Europe.

              “Perhaps I am a cynic, but I suspect that often times political leaders are more concerned with what may happen to THEMSELVES first, and their countries citizens second when thinking about pulling that trigger.”

              I totally agree. I am as cynical as they come in this respect, but I also take comfort in the belief that most people who make it to the top in politics are smart enough to look after their people the way a competent farmer looks after his livestock. They may not treat their people as well as they should, but at least they treat them well enough to keep them docile and at work, rather than in the streets throwing molotov cocktails.

              After all, the farmers own security and prosperity depend on his crops and animals doing well. 😉

              As Adam Smith put it, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers do not provide their goods and services out of the kindness of their hearts, but rather because they wish to be personally prosperous and secure.

              There aren’t many modern day leaders right now as stupid as Maduro. The ones like DoughBoy running North Korea are not nearly as likely to remain alive and prosperous and leave their kids equally well off as their counterparts in free countries, over the long term.

          • Ulenspiegel says:

            “As I see it, the environmental camp is for better or worse politically married to the leftish liberalish political camp, which is entirely understandable. The right wing generally has somewhat of an anti environmental agenda, so the alliance is a natural. ”

            Here you project your US perspective to the German situation. It should be kept in mind that the “green” movement was launched by conservatives in southern Germany, it is not by chance that Baden Würtenberg has a green Ministerpräsident. 🙂

            Green and conservative works well when sold by good politicans in Germany; and BTW, all the Frisean farmers who own most of wind power capacity in Germany are “no-BS” conservatives. 🙂

            The Russian issue, or better the high import share of primary energy, is of course an underlying driving force for the change, the ability to sell the stuff (wind turbines, bio gas reactors etc.) is the icing of the cake.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Brian,
          I find it interesting that Europe produces a similar amount of product for about half the energy use of the US. I think they have been going at this from both directions at the same time, efficiency and alternative energy. They are also more advanced in energy distribution and storage than the US.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Old Farmer Mac
        Germany has an average daily solar insolation varying from 4 kwh/m2 in the south to 3 kwh/m2 in the north. That actually overlaps much of the US solar insolation. Where I live it is about 4 kwh/m2/day and there are lots of solar farms and quite a number of residences with solar PV.
        The big difference between northern and southern installations is the higher latitudes get most of their solar power in the summer, while the southern latitudes have a more even power distribution throughout the year. So in the north they want to use tilting or tracking systems and more efficient panels to compensate for the mid winter reduction in average power production.
        People are concerned about the short term variability of wind and solar. I would be more concerned about the ever present depletion of fossil fuels. The sun is fairly stable and will get a 10 percent boost when we clean up the air. Fossil fuels are only going in one direction, less and more difficult to get. Long term fossil fuels reach near zero availability, long term solar and wind are about the same.
        That is if we want to keep feeding the machines.

  20. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    The real EROI of photovoltaic systems: professor Hall weighs in

    “There are at least three reasons that EROI estimates appear much wider than they probably really are:

    1) They are often done by advocates one way or another, not by experienced, objective (and peer reviewed) analysts.

    2) a common protocol is not followed. Murphy et al. 2011 should be followed or good reasons given for not doing so. They recommend that all investigators generate a “standard EROI (EROIst) so that different studies can be compared, but then suggest that investigators may define in addition other criteria/boundaries as long as they are well defined and the reason for their inclusion given. This protocol is being updated at this time to deal with various concerns.

    3) Related to above appropriate boundaries are often not used. For a start “follow the money” as money is a lien on energy. Where there is controversy (e.g. include labor or not, and how) this should be dealt with through sensitivity analysis. Energy quality (e.g. electricity vs fossil) also needs to be considered, as Prieto and Hall did in their final chapter.

    The largest problem with EROI studies is that although the concept has been around and even lauded since at least 1977 it has essentially never been supported by legitimate and objective funding sources such as the US National Science Foundation (which however has recognized this as a large failure and is starting a new program on EROI.)… “

    • islandboy says:

      2 cent solar

      A new analysis by Germany’s Photon Magazine finds that solar might be the cheapest source of electricity already today – not in sunny regions, but in cloudy Germany.

      Recently, I wrote about the astonishingly low prices that photovoltaics has posted in countries from the United Arab Emirates to Mexico. From my standpoint, anything below five cents looks suspicious and requires explaining. Local conditions (note: not subsidies) tipped the scales. These conditions – practically free land, (nearly) zero-interest loans, and practically nonexistent business taxes – are not applicable everywhere, so the prices simply do not apply universally.

      Which makes Photon’s analysis all the more interesting. In this month’s issue (available only in German), the experts investigate a different assumption: what if solar panels didn’t last for 20 years (the duration of German feed-in tariffs), but much longer? The longer they last, the less expensive power generation becomes. After all, maintenance costs are just 1% of the upfront price annually.

      The authors point out that the recent price in Abu Dhabi is equivalent to 2.6 cents in euros. They then put up the following calculation for German conditions, assuming a rather low annual production of 800 kilowatt-hours per year (in most locations, 1,000 can be reached, and 900 is easily the average for the country as a whole):

      20 years: 5.25 cents
      30 years: 3.79 cents
      40 years: 3.06 cents
      50 years: 2.63 cents
      60 years: 2.33 cents
      {snip}

      As for longevity, the article points out that arrays built 40 years ago are still in operation, and the first manufacturers have begun offering 30-year performance guarantees.

      The finding is a bit tendentious, but the calculation is nonetheless worth investigating. Germany still calculates the cost of solar based on a 20-year time frame, which is clearly outdated. On the other hand, there are reasons (a lack of space being one) why utility-scale arrays are avoided in Germany. Quite possibly, Germany is already building five-cent solar – and other countries are building solar for less than two cents. We simply won’t know for another 30 years.

      Looks like it will be difficult to pin down the EROEI of solar for the next 30 years or so. IIRC, last year I was posting the fact that, 95% of all the PV in existence worldwide had been installed since the end of 2007 and I expect that, by the end of next year 99% of all PV will have been installed since the end of 2007. That means only 1% of all PV modules in existence will be more than ten years old. It really looks like it’s gonna be a while before we know what the true long term performance of modern PV is going to be.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      It all depends on the initial assumptions…. Ugo Bardi’s full comment is well worth a read.

      There are a few fundamental problems with the concept of “EROIext” that I think make it a scarcely viable idea, but it might become a standard if we all find an agreement on it. The main problem, I believe, is that when we deal with such a thing as the survival of our civilization we move into a very slippery set of questions. One problem is that EROI is not the only parameter that we need to consider, and PV not the only renewable technology available; to say nothing about defining what we mean as “our civilization”. So, claiming that PV, alone, cannot support the present civilization may be true, but it is also totally irrelevant. If our civilization has to survive the ongoing crisis it has to go through profound changes that are difficult even to imagine for us. For sure, however, all the renewable technologies able to produce a positive net energy, such as PV, have a role to play in our future.
      Ugo Bardi

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Sometimes I wonder just how boxed in most people are in their thinking, even if they are technically literate.

        I have spent hours, literally, trying to convince a damned fool that there IS a connection between genetics and intelligence. Having been born and bred and steeped in liberal bullshit, he simply cannot handle the idea that not every normal human being ( meaning individuals, not races or phenotypes ) is equipped between the ears to be a physician, or physicist, or mathematician or engineer.

        Finally I changed tacks and steered the discussion to the intelligence of so called lower species, and after a while I boxed him into admitting that no all lower animal behavior is instinctive, that lower animals can think and solve problems to at least a very modest extent.

        He didn’t see it coming of course, but then I let him have it in the chin with the observation that dogs can’t learn to read. DOGS ARE GENETICALLY LIMITED in terms of intelligence. Porpoises on the other hand are VERY intelligent indeed, at least in certain respects.

        This rant is only remotely related to the EREOI argument, at first glance.

        But in REALITY, the question of the EREOI of solar cells and wind turbines is for now and for the easily foreseeable future a strictly academic argument, hardly any more than a BULLSHIT argument, insofar as proving wind and solar power are unsustainable and uneconomic and won’t work over the long run.

        First off, we live or die by the short run, and the short run end of the fossil fuel era is now well withing sight, like distant mountains as you cross wide plains. Younger folks are going to live to see oil, gas , and even coal supplies declining, and the prices thereof shooting skyward, UNLESS they are displaced ( GASP ! ) by renewables.

        Anything we can do to extend the economic life of our existing one time gift of nature, DEPLETING supply of fossil fuels helps ensure our short to medium term survival and prosperity. Doing all we can to go renewable NOW may not in the end actually result in securing prosperity for our descendants, but stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the indisputable facts of depletion and the economic disaster that will follow if we DON’T succeed in going renewable GUARANTEES ECONOMIC AND ECOLOGICAL DISASTER WITHIN THE NEXT COUPLE OF GENERATIONS. The consequences might very well include a flat out NBC WWIII.

        Pardon me for being blunt, but only goddamned fools choose certain disaster for themselves and their descendants when there is at least a CHANCE such a disaster can be avoided by doing the prudent thing NOW.

        My point with the discussion of intelligence is that there ARE hard physical limits, and EREOI no doubt does put some hard physical limits on what we can accomplish.

        Hounds will never be mathematicians, but I strongly suspect they can count as high as three, from observing their behavior. A truly exceptional hound might be able to count as high as four.

        Ordinary men CAN master the intricacies of higher mathematics, if they really work at it. They might not make it thru Cal Tech or MIT, but they can emerge with a math degree from a respectable university, and that’s pretty damned good.

        EREOI means there probably are HARD LIMITS on what we can accomplish. But we are not anywhere NEAR those limits for now, and we won’t be anywhere near them for the foreseeable future.

        WHY? Because we are pissing away awesome quantities of fossil fuel energy NOW.If it is going to be wasted ANYWAY, whatever is invested in renewables matters not a whit in the long term. In the medium term, though, the investment will enable us to live better longer.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          And yet other animals, with supposed lesser intelligence and no Cal Tech math, live and prosper fine– or could in the face of our own trashing of the planet for them and ourselves that undermines not only our very survival but notions and direct experiences of nature, spirituality and true community…

          We think we’re living within our insular cage of technology welded around us as we further remove ourselves from the planet. We live vicariously via the technoprisoncage and its periodic and voracious large-scale dips of the vast machine– mining and agro– into nature for our materials and sustenance.

          “ ‘If industrial civilization doesn’t last a good long while yet, there won’t be enough economic fat to manage the hoped for transition to renewables.’

          If you can refute THAT, I will send you a bottle of good sipping whiskey to any address to which it can be legally delivered.” ~ Oldfarmermac

          Just do a hard cider with your apples and/or a freeze-distillation– a ‘jack’– with some of it. Pressed apple juice with vodka or moonshine added should be fine too. I drink mostly for taste than effect. (What varieties are the apples?)
          And I’ll either claim it and/or work for it, etc., if or when I go over.

          Thanks for the invite.

        • SatansBestFriend says:

          Anyone who thinks genetics doesn’t affect intelligence or other traits like athletic ability or appearance is simply ignorant.

          Identical twins are an undeniable example that genetics affect who you become.

          If you are the identical twin of Pee Wee Herman you are highly unlikely to become a professional athelete.

          If you are the identical twin of Brad Pitt or George Clooney you are more likely to be lucky with the ladies, than if you are the identical twin of Danny DeVito.

          I had this argument with a mate, and I have pretty much given up on humanity and common sense.

          The idea that genetics doesn’t matter in the 21st century is extreme stupidity IMO.

        • Having been born and bred and steeped in liberal bullshit, he simply cannot handle the idea that…..

          Mac, not all liberals are that dumb. The vast majority of evolutionary biologists, as well as a vast majority of scientists in related fields, understand intelligence is heritable. There are, or were, only a very few exceptions. Stephen J. Gould was one of those rare exceptions. But liberal scientist who do champion the knowledge that intelligence is heritable are Edward O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker and I could name many others.

          Put it this way, if intelligence is not heritable then it did not evolve. If it did not evolve then it could only be created by God. Therefore we can conclude that the belief that intelligence is created by God and not inherited is far more likely to be a trait of conservatives than liberals.

          • Brian Rose says:

            Ron,

            I think the scientific concensus is more nuanced than that.

            Intelligence is heritable (nature), and is also impacted by development (nurture).

            The current scientific concensus is that if you have 2 babies:

            1. A baby with all the “smart” genes, but is devoid of education and stimulus during development.

            2. A baby with all the “stupid” genes, but is given world class education and stimulus during development.

            Then the “stupid” gene baby will have a higher IQ than the “smart” gene baby.

            It’s no different than someone with genes that give them a natural predilection to being good at sports, but is deprived of kinesthetic and hand-eye training during development. This person will be far worse at sports than the people whose genes make them naturally shorter, less muscular, and with sub-par visual processing and bodily awareness.

            When it comes to the relative impact on intelligence from nature vs. nurture there is overwhelming data that supports the thesis that nurture is far, far more impactful than nature.

            No biologist denies that genetics plays a part in intelligence. It is not a black and white issue.

            • Good grief Brian, I never meant to imply that one’s environment does not play a huge role in everything, including just how smart you are. Environment is about half of everything, more or less. That is more in some cases and less in others. I made that very clear in my essay on this blog.

              The Grand Illusion I wrote:

              “I do not wish to debate the weight of genes over environment or vise versa. I only wish here to point out that determinism, without a qualifier, implies the sum total of both your heredity and environment And, I might add, it implies absolutely nothing else. That is enough however because there is nothing else to add.”

            • Nathanael says:

              The evidence is becoming overwhelming that *environmental chemical factors*, such as lead and mercury exposure in early childhood, have more influence on intelligence than genetics *or* social upbringing (education, stimulus).

              This is upsetting a lot of people of all political stripes. Though it’s rather vindicating for environmentalists.

              (A lot of this is epigenetics relating to what genes are activated or not activated — these “switches” are heavily influenced by the chemical environment.)

              (A lot of genetics is also a scramble. Just because something is genetic doesn’t mean that it’s heritable. A lot of genetic things are *not* heritable in any meaningful way. They’re innate, but not heritable, since they’re due to luck during the scrambling of the genes during meiosis and fertilization. Biology is complicated.)

    • Ulenspiegel says:

      Why do you post the nonsense again and again? Have you understood the limitations of the sources Hall cites?

  21. Jeju-islander says:

    Here’s a comment for the islanders. I live on an island which is planned to be 100% renewable by 2030. It means we need to see 400,000 EVs sold here in the next 14 years. Plus a lot of new wind and solar installations. And the storage capacity for when those renewables aren’t running.

    Today I went to a talk by JB Straubel (Tesla CTO) on how such a scenario might be possible. He is a super optimist about such a high tech future. He was talking about Tesla’s electricity storage investment in Kaua’i – see http://cleantechnica.com/2016/02/19/solarcity-deploy-tesla-energy-batteries-52-mwh-evening-electricity-storage-kauai-hawai%CA%BBi/

    It turns out that there are already 3 islands in the top 10 most solar communities in the US (Guam, Kaua’i and Maui) see http://www.solarelectricpower.org/discover-resources/solar-tools/2015-solar-power-rankings.aspx

    Most interesting to me was the discussion on how a Smart Grid network could be decentralized behind the meter. All discussion and research I’ve seen here before has been about a centralized Smart Grid operated by the utility company itself.

    JB Straubel is an impressive speaker. I was impressed. The cynic in me must point out however that this was a publicity event for local politicians. Over half of the audience (total 1000) for his speech were students bussed in to fill up the hall. They weren’t given headsets for the simultaneous-translation, so they couldn’t understand a word. They just chatted and read comic books on their phones. I doubt JB Straubel would have noticed.

    • JN2 says:

      Thanks for your comment JI. A smart grid decentralized behind the meter. Fascinating. I like how these Tesla guys think!

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Don’t forget the part in Jeju-islander’s comment at and after ‘…this was a publicity event for local politicians…’.

        Bussing in ‘filler’– like extra ice in your drink or flour in your ground ‘meat’– of young people who don’t understand the language and without translation access, and with a limited understanding of how society works?

        Tesla’s business model from Tesla’s POV has to work because it’s about and from Tesla, after all. It’s a ‘circular rationale’.

        And some drink it up like Kool Aid.

        If our beloved Fred (Magyar) has a background in this kind of thing, perhaps he would think that Solar Impulse 2 is little more than a Goodyear blimp (advertising vehicle) for the big-oil/gov’-goes-solar/wind industry.

        There is a lot more to this than ERoEI and this ‘a lot more’ may render ERoEI practically unknowable– not because it’s necessarily not to a point, but because the crony-capitalist plutocracy may not really be interested in having it be known with any degree of certainty– maybe like anthropogenic climate change.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          If our beloved Fred (Magyar) has a background in this kind of thing, perhaps he would think that Solar Impulse 2 is little more than a Goodyear blimp (advertising vehicle) for the big-oil/gov’-goes-solar/wind industry.

          Caelan, how sweet of you, I’m touched, XOXOXO!

          Here’s what the folks behind solar Impulse have to say about their mission and goals:

          OUR STORY
          Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, have set out to achieve something that still seems impossible today: the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, powered only by the sun, with no fuel or polluting emissions.
          In line with the Piccard Family tradition of scientific exploration and protection of the environment, Solar Impulse wants to demonstrate that clean technologies can achieve impossible goals.
          The record breaking solo flight of 5 days and 5 nights without fuel from Nagoya to Hawaii gives a clear message : everybody could use the plane’s technologies on the ground to halve our world’s energy consumption, save natural resources and improve our quality of life. This message is being spread by the pilots to the general public, students, key decision-makers and entrepreneurs all over the world.

          I guess you could construe that as being advertising by Big Oil and Gov going Solar if you wanted to but I think Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are very pragmatic entrepreneurs and business men. I hold their entire team in very high regard and I have only the utmost respect for the people and corporations that are supporting this adventure.

          If you for some reason have a problem with what they are doing then why don’t you engage them by posting your thoughts and ideas on their website and ask them to respond to your points. At least every technical question that I have asked them has been answered in a timely manner.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Why don’t I get large XO’s like that from the women? All I get from them are lower-case ones.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Dunno, maybe try using a little more honey instead of all that vinegar.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Silly XOxo joking aside, what you think is honey could be vinegar and vice-versa.

                Advocating getting prostituted for panels is something that sounds less sweet; while vinegar might be good for cleaning them.

    • Jeju-islander says:

      After my comment about JB Straubel ‘s impressive speech Caelan MacIntyre replied on only one aspect, the lack of understanding by those who couldn’t understand.

      For a different perspective here is an article by a reporter who did have the translation. http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3019285 The reporter expected the talk to be a press-release by Tesla on their plans for EV roll-out in Korea and their use of Korean suppliers. It wasn’t. His article focuses on the things that JB Straubel didn’t say. The actual content of the speech was irrelevant to this reporter.

      Caelan MacIntyre the world is more complex than simple black and white.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Jeju-islander, you wrote it yourself.

        “It means we need to see 400,000 EVs sold here in the next 14 years. Plus a lot of new wind and solar installations. And the storage capacity for when those renewables aren’t running.” ~ Jeju-islander

        That sounds like a racket. Like pushing wall-to-wall carpet to sell vacuum-cleaners.

        The health of community and planet doesn’t ‘need to see 400 000 EV’s’ and their support infrastructure rackets. Only BAU Lite does.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Caelan,

          If you mean that 400,000 less vehicles would be better, I agree. In the real world there will be 400,000 vehicles sold. You seem to think the EVs would be just as bad for the environment as ICEV, but the facts suggest you are mistaken.

          So what do you think the chances are that there will be no more new vehicles produced?

          Do you really think that EVs will do more damage than ICEV?

          Do you have evidence?

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Hang on, Dennis. I haven’t even answered your other post yet. 😀

        • Jeju-islander says:

          Caelan MacIntyre: The health of community and planet doesn’t ‘need to see 400 000 EV’s’ and their support infrastructure rackets. Only BAU Lite does.

          Again this is a black and white dichotomy. Currently on Jeju Island there are 400,000 ICE vehicles. It is possible that in 14 years time there will be
          a/ still 400,000 ICE vehicles
          b/ 400,000 EVs
          c/ no vehicles at all.
          You seem to prefer option c. (All or nothing!) But is this really likely? What if a collapse doesn’t happen. Rejecting option b as BAU Lite risks leaving us with option a by default which is clearly the worst option.

          Back to JB Straubel’s talk. Another of his talking points was the likelihood of safer cars, as computer systems reduce the possibility of driver error. Here in Jeju there are 30,000 rental cars. Yesterday I walked past a scrapyard that held dozens of brand new, high performance, expensive rental cars. Clearly renting these cars that you have never driven before on roads that you have never been on is a dangerous activity. Yet obviously profitable for BAU. Isn’t a future BAU Lite world where these cars don’t crash not a better alternative. (And yes I know you prefer option c)

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            d/ Plant some trees and some fruit and nut varieties as well; native plants and some edible varieties as well; and a predominantly-edible garden. Get 400 000 others to do the same.
            e/ Question and quit feeding the status-quo that’s wrecking the planet in a hurry.
            f/ Learn stuff our ancestors used to know and/or do. Empower yourself.
            g/ etc.

            Cars unfortunately have their uses in a world built around them, but the majority of the ones I see being driven around have only one person in them. That’s just yet more of the diversity of insane practices that I see everyday from members of my fellow species.

            So make us proud (for a change) and use your head and heart.
            This is not all necessarily for you, I am just speaking in general. There’s more to life than useless crap we think we need.

            • Jeju-islander says:

              Caelan I live surrounded by orchards. Tangerines are the primary crop. People here know a lot about growing fruit. People also have cars. It isn’t one or the other.
              The local buses are all switching to electric tomorrow (June 1st). Do you approve of buses? The brand of bus chosen is called Begins FiBird. It has a battery pack on the roof that can be swapped out at the bus terminal. I’ll look for more info and post it later.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Public transportation seems to make more sense than individual.
                The logic of replacing 400 000 ICE’s with the exact number of EV’s doesn’t seem to follow.
                ‘Tangerine orchards’ sounds like monocropping. Have you heard of permaculture?

  22. Pingback: Wind and Solar Scenarios and Non-Fossil Fuel open thread- May 25, 2016 | Energy News

  23. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Is The Cleantech Bubble Over? The Reality Of Solar Economics

    “…I noted that advocates of solar energy in particular tend to avoid talking about the cost of the electricity produced by focusing on the fact that costs are dropping, or that prices are sometimes low, or simply pointing to the large increase in installations as evidence of success. Unfortunately, the message seems to be that advocates of solar power are either ignorant of, or willfully ignoring, real world developments

    Supporters make it sound as if the government is working against the industry, rather than cutting assistance, apparently not wishing to admit the technology remains uncompetitive.

    Similarly, in Japan and Germany, solar success has been widely hailed as worthy of emulation, with comments such as ‘And yet a combination of canny regulation and widespread public support for renewables have made Germany an unlikely leader in the global green-power movement.’

    But those who are not solar power activists have a different view, noting that solar remains very expensive and that rising amounts of unpredictable and highly volatile generation are adding to utility costs. This has led to pushback from utilities, who feel that solar panel owners should share those costs and that restrictions should be placed on net metering

    The industry is starting to be affected… bankruptcy… stock price has been under pressure… their market value crater.

    The fact that they were considered the ‘newest, hottest things’ two years ago suggests that Cleantech, or at least segment of it, were experiencing a bubble, with investors relying on intangibles in assessing the market valuation. To a very real extent, the solar power industry is driven by government support

    Ultimately, electricity from solar remains expensive and viable in niche markets and the enthusiastic promotion of its advantages has led to excessive valuation of firms in the industry. More rational policy-making by governments, with closer attention to cost/benefit analysis, will result in reductions in subsidies, price guarantees and mandates that will see a significant shrinkage of the industry.

    The dot com bubble was inflated by expectations that a new business paradigm would mean that standard metrics of stock values would no longer be relevant. Ultimately, that argument proved more a tool to confuse and mislead investors than to point to appropriate stock prices. In Cleantech, the intangible value of environmental progress has been combined with the many advocates with little understanding of, or interest in, economics to confuse and mislead investors far more than anything ExxonMobil has done.”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      So Caelan, since you posted Michael Lynch’s article are you a supporter of his point of view and also Forbes’? I mean aren’t both Forbes and Lynch the epitome of supporters of evil industrial civilization and capitalism?

      Or are you just looking for every contrarian view towards alternative energy that you can find and posting them just to be contrarian?. It’s sometimes a bit difficult to tell if you have any ideas of your own other than that BAU is bad and anyone who doesn’t relish the idea of living in a cave with some bones to gnaw on while trying to find alternative paths forward is deluded. Shouldn’t you be eschewing electricity and posting on the internet altogether and resorting to communicating via smoke signals?

      Given your constant harping on the evils of modern life and how we are destroying the planet by living as we all have, shouldn’t you be leading by example and not using any modern conveniences? Especially if they are powered by fossil fuels or do you think fossil fuel powered electricity to power your computer is ok or even much better than if it is provided by solar or wind? BTW did your computer magically materialize from from some non industrial process?

      For example do you think these people in the video below are evil or deluded? Do you think they support Big Oil and Government or BAU just because they want to make changes to existing paradigms in industry? What do you imagine their politics or personal motivations are?

      https://goo.gl/PezVMt

      Biomimicry: systems that work…and lessons we can learn – Disruptive Innovation Festival 2014

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Fred, there are plenty of electric solar panel bubble articles out there. Take your pick.

        Also, since we are talking about society/culture, what and who exactly are we talking about? I mean, when big government is big oil is big electric solar panels and utilities, what does that mean and what are its implications?

        (So,) If you want to pitch electric solar panels, then I give you Forbes and Michael Lynch (too).

        To answer the rest of your comment, which appears to consist of somewhat limp or hackneyed cliches with a focus on the messenger, we have to imagine and then actually create a new world, or safety-net if you will, for people to want to step onto and off of this cultural Titanic.

        I address this in Permaea’s manifesto. A quote:

        Business-as-usual is drawing down, overshooting, competing unfairly (i.e., economies of scale & cost-of-living difference leverages) and crushing alternative, sustainable, regenerative and ethical ways to live. Diminishing returns notwithstanding, some of this has had the illusory superficial effect of appearing more convenient and competitive in the short term than most any sociopoliticultural alternative. Reminiscent of the ‘Do not feed the animals’ signage, so far it appears easier, if increasingly-barely, for many domesticated, disempowered and distracted human animals to go to the local big-box industrial-agro grocery stores and purchase increasingly-expensive & inferior food with lousier wage-slave salaries than it is to grow their own food, and transition to that, to say nothing of nevertheless still being locked, and by force/coercion, into the dystem in a myriad of other ways that can be just as difficult to transition out of. The increasing voluminous anti-crony-capitalist plutarchy sentiment all over the internet, while encouraging, so far appears to be doing very little to overturn ostensible complacency, apathy, reluctant acceptance and/or lock-in into the kinds of real changes necessary. But the volume is there!
        And then there is a looming storm cloud overhead that threatens that an escape from lock-in may only happen in lock-step with the logic of the system…

        That said, humans may be unlikely to significantly change or give up their relatively locally-perceived and simply-perceived lifestyles until their lifestyles give them up and/or things get significantly uncomfortable enough, irrespective of how much time, if any, they have left from a global standpoint– feedback dynamics of climate-change; financial and ecological collapse; peak oil, and so on. This is perhaps unless, and that’s a big unless, humans somehow smarten up, mature and act very quickly, and a new ‘ecointelligent’ or ‘extraintelligent’ way-of-life is developed that is more directly competitive against the increasingly-crowded and putrid petri-dish of the status-quo.”

        Plugging electric vehicles and solar panels from the crony-capitalist plutarchy and as some sort of silver bullet is inadequate to put it mildly. Myopic arguments in support of them is really just post-adolescent dicking around.
        Tesla should be a full-blown cooperative if it isn’t, with Musk a bit more of a no-name and periodically working the floor– stuff like that at least.
        All journalists and articles should be pushing that kind of angle as well.

        If we want stuff like EV’s and PV’s, we can have them, but elitism is going to have to go and true equality and democracy arrive. I seriously doubt it will happen any other way.

        (This slow transition that you or some seem to think will happen this way may simply prove to be a more prolonged, torturous collapse with greater negative consequences for the world at large. [Energy cannibalization isn’t being discussed, or AGW discussed as much lately in this light, are they?])

        I am uninterested in some suit telling me what I want and need and that I have to pay for it. <– There's the crux, or one of them, Fred. In bold.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          If it has to do with modern life, Caelan is like a preacher when it comes to sin.
          As my short spoken neighbor put it about an excessively long sermon when asked specifically about the preachers thoughts, “He’s agin it.”

          Never the less, Caelan is certainly doing ME a big favor, by posting links that I find useful in my research. It never hurts to actually know what the opposition is thinking. Or to have lots of quotes handy to make the opposition look bad if I choose to do so, lol.

          Just about every body in this forum is technically literate and obviously just about all the regular posters are politically very “liberal” in the sense that that word is currently used in American political discourse.

          But smart as the forum members are, most of us / them appear to be ignorant of the GOOD parts of current day conservative political philosophy.

          Hardly anybody is willing to listen to anything anybody outside his “in ” group has to say, because we are apparently hard wired to be loyal to our own political social economic religious cultural “community.

          There are few exceptions. I am one of that few, having flipped from one side of the political spectrum to the other and back a couple of times, and I now reside in a strange spot where I have acquaintances but no real allies politically anymore.

          My old R republican type acquaintances mostly disown me when they discover I am supporting single payer health care, and my old D type democrat acquaintances are aghast that I refuse to support the teachers government supported monopoly that is obviously not working any better than our so called free market health care industry.

          If you don’t have money, and plenty of it, both systems F you and or your kids over BIG TIME.

          Neither the D nor the R establishment really give a flying F about the working class in this country.Both are in the pocket of big biz, as witnessed by supporting trade policies that send our industry overseas.

          I do recognize that the D’s are better than the R’s in many respects and that there are upsides to globalization.

          BUT I am generally the ONLY member in forums such as this one who really and truly identifies with poor and working class people. I grew up among them, and live among them by choice. A guest at my house is as likely to be an illiterate farm hand as not, but another day my guest may be a lawyer, or a teacher or an engineer. I have yet to meet the first college educated social worker from a TRUE middle class ( professional family, country club, etc ) background who socializes with true lower class ( uneducated, semiliterate, poor, Etc) clients.

          Every body who writes for or comments in this forum is a defacto guest in my house, because I read every comment.

          From where I LIVE intellectually, between my own ears, the rage that has driven working class and materially successful conservative people to rally around Trump is as understandable as the rage among younger liberal people who are rallying around Sanders.

          If you want to understand , you CAN. You merely have to open your mind, dismiss your prejudices , and LISTEN. The ENEMY truly is US.

          The KJB is so chock full of baloney, but it is also chock full of WISDOM, and as good a GUIDE to UNDERSTANDING the nature of the beast known as the naked ape as any I have ever found.

          Somewhere in it, God offers somebody any gift he desires, and he asks for an understanding heart.

          In the language of modern medical science, which incidentally I have studied to some extent, professionally ( I lack one semester owning the right to sit for the RN license ) an “understanding heart” is PRECISELY what is meant by the possession of truly first class LISTENING AND CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS.

          The very first and and yet paradoxically the most elusive key there is to understanding naked apes can be summarized under the heading US AND THEM.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          HI Caelan,

          Are you going to vote for Sanders? I will if I have the opportunity. He is certainly far more agreeable to people who advocate true equality and democracy in my opinion at least than the other two leading candidates.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Fred, there are plenty of electric solar panel bubble articles out there. Take your pick.

          Like this one?

          While I’m not a big fan of the Las Vegas Culture I find it interesting that the casinos are finding it cost effective to switch, at least in Nevada.

          http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/05/28/warren-buffetts-nv-energy-losing-customers-vegas.aspx

          Warren Buffett’s NV Energy Is Losing Customers on the Vegas Strip to Renewable Energy

          The biggest utility in Nevada could be losing some high-profile customers this year.

          Warren Buffett’s utility in Nevada is having a rough year from a public-relations standpoint. NV Energy, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B), has felt a backlash from residential solar customers after regulators made punitive changes to net metering, and now most of the Las Vegas Strip may be looking elsewhere for energy.

          MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) have said that paying $102.6 million to leave the utility and find their own energy is better for their businesses than staying with NV Energy. Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) stopped short of committing $23.9 million to leave NV Energy this year but is leaving its options open. As these resorts collectively make up 7% of the demand in NV Energy’s territory, this is a big deal for the utility.

      • Brian Rose says:

        Fred,

        It’s no different than a creationist who gets a flu vaccine every year, or a climate change denier who complains about insurance on their waterfront property going up.

        They’re just incapable of seeing the inherent hypocrisy and their tacit involvement with the very things they claim to abhor or not believe in.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Caelan,

      As you want BAU to fail, based on the article you cite you should be in full support of solar.

      Or do you not think the source is reliable?

  24. Hickory says:

    Caelan says-
    “I am uninterested in some suit telling me what I want and need and that I have to pay for it. <– There's the crux, or one of them, Fred. In bold."

    Yes I get that, and most of us feel the same way about the 'suits' making choices for us.
    You do seem to especially resent the money be spent on solar/wind, and thats your choice.
    I'm much more likely to resent being forced to fund some other things.
    Things like stupid wars (I guess one could say they are all stupid). And no one asked me if giving a government loan guarantee to build a nuclear plant was OK. There are a whole lot of things to get pissed about the spending on, but for me the incentives for solar and wind is something I just don't mind chipping in for. Thats even though I have no personal gain out it. I see it as a common good. A degree of energy security for the country, an attempt at adaptation rather than just shoveling coal.
    Perhaps you see that as a delusion. So be it. Arguments can be made on both sides of that issue.
    You may get more big X's and O's from the gals if you change your tune though. They generally seem to like a positive message, in my experience.
    Cheers.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      Again, Hickory:
      “If we want stuff like EV’s and PV’s, we can have them, but elitism is going to have to go and true equality and democracy arrive. I seriously doubt it will happen any other way.”

      That’s actually positive, if you think about it.

      Oxo cubes,
      ~ Cae ^u^

      • Fred Magyar says:

        but elitism is going to have to go and true equality and democracy arrive.

        No that is not positive at all! It is deeply delusional and shows a profound lack of understanding of history, anthropology, psychology, neuroscience and biological evolution and how and why the world really works the way it does.

        Try going out in the field and observing any group of social animals, they all have an alpha female or male and there is a very clear hierarchical pecking order amongst the rest of the group.

        Having said all that it is great to have ideals and to use our rather large brains and incredible amount of scientific knowledge accumulated over the last few centuries to try and construct a more equitable society than what nature originally imposed on us but to suggest that we will not be able to develop useful technologies for our communal survival until TRUE DEMOCRACY (whatever the hell that even means), arrives is really not the way things happen.

        Witness the political circus currently happening in the US and elsewhere such as Brazil, or just about any other large country in the world today and quite a few small ones. Even highly progressive ones like Iceland. These are societies composed of naked great apes.

        It might be useful to remember that perfect is the enemy of good enough. You have three options in any endeavor you participate in. You can lead, follow or get out of the way. If you truly believe that your ideas expressed in your Permea Manifesto are the way forward, more power to ya! However if you think you can bring other’s on board to work with you then you need to learn to work with people. I don’t get the impression from your posts that you are anywhere near having acquired the necessary skill set to be able to accomplish that and until you do that you are always just going to be an angry young man with your head in the sand and those are a dime a dozen and don’t accomplish real change. Usually they end up lonely or even worse, shot or crucified.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Fred your pontification here appears angry and hypocritical, an attack on me, and selectively-misinterpretative of what I wrote. Are you crapping bricks over there or what?

          Also, why are you posting it under my reply to Hickory? LOL (And twice no less?)

          Change your underwear and let’s go for a bike ride.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Calean I really don’t have the energy to waste on being angry!

            This morning since it is pouring outside I was revisiting some of the 2013 lectures at the Nobel Conference on particle physics
            https://goo.gl/sTpCKf

            Now I’m listening to Suitar Samba which is sonified real-time data from the ATLAS experiment at CERN derived from: calorimeter energy deposits, tracks, muon detector hits, missing energy etc…
            http://quantizer.media.mit.edu/

            I think it is the perfect soundtrack to listen to while I do other things…

            Some people watch TV, I chose my own entertainment. If the rain stops I might go for a bike ride or a paddle.

            Cheers!

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              A permanent culture is unlikely to take knowledge, like what you apparently appreciate, to its grave.

              An impermanent culture is likely the one you already have.

              Permaea already exists. It exists in the separate, but philosophically and morally-connected, people and groups around the planet.
              That’s part of its strategy and potential strength.
              Maybe it is like the appearance of the first cyanobacteria, or a cancer, virus or starvation of the status-quo.
              And there are plenty of very angry Permaeans, like, for example, native locals who set police cars on fire during anti-fracking protests.

              Anger is an energy that can be leveraged, redirected and/or tapped for good.
              Perhaps its suppression is encouraged, though, by the status-quo to maintain control over the sheeple herd…

              “So this guy’s sitting back in Europe– probably in England– sharpening his pencil… His bloody cordoned fences are in place. He’s killed out thousands of tons of game and he’s killed out a lot of people…
              I tell you, fury drives me… Fury will continue to drive me… And that’s the sort of thing that makes me totally furious…” ~ Bill Mollison

              “You have three options in any endeavor you participate in. You can lead, follow or get out of the way.” ~ Fred Magyar

              There’s also cooperation.
              Some people may not manage the kinds of adaptation required for a permanent culture, though.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                An impermanent culture is likely the one you already have.

                I have no idea what you are talking about. I’m actually an amalgam of three different cultures but the whole is much greater than the sum of the individual components.

                And there are plenty of very angry Permaeans, like, for example, native locals who set police cars on fire during anti-fracking protests.

                Good luck with that. Setting police cars on fire is just going to get you arrested or shot.

                Here ya go, here’s a little sweet ‘Lovin’ fer ya!
                https://goo.gl/0Abira

                If I were you I wouldn’t pick a fight with her because she would probably kick your butt with one hand tied behind her back and a smile on her face… but you might learn a thing or two from her with regards how to spread your message.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  A relatively-impermanent culture is one that likely collapses and/or declines– along with your colliders and maybe taking your corals along with it– sooner than a relatively-permanent one.
                  That’s part of the main idea behind permaculture, incidentally.

                  Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Caelan,

            You sound pretty angry as well.

            • Hickory says:

              Caelan is not only an angry guy, but he just can’t stop lecturing everyone. Every single post has his version of lecture/preaching.
              I’m sure that doesn’t work with the girls, and it sure doesn’t work with me.
              But I’m sure he can change, we all hope to learn from feedback.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Actually, it’s a couple of you who seem angry and/or spiteful, and not to be thinking clearly. And perhaps with a skewed interest toward the messenger over the message.
                Fred, your posts seem to have taken a bit of a dive in quality and content, or at the very least, diplomacy/consistency.

                In a way, it’s kind of understandable, given indications here and here.

                BTW, how do you like my new post, complete with comics, from Nicole Foss about renewables and that ponzi thing behind fracking?

                Maybe renewables is the new frack. The new ponzi.

                Maybe some of us are in on it.

                Bad Mood Guy

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Howdy, Dennis,

              “Macy’s department store contacted Frank Paris, the creator of the puppet, to ask about rights for a Howdy Doody doll. While Paris had created the puppet, it was Bob Smith who owned the rights to the Howdy Doody character; an argument ensued between the two men, as Paris felt he was being cheated out of any financial benefits from having made the puppet. After one such disagreement, Paris took the Howdy Doody puppet and angrily left the NBC studios with it about four hours before the show was to air live; it was not the first time Paris had taken his puppet and left, leaving the live television program with no ‘star’.

              With Paris’ past disappearances, impromptu excuses regarding the whereabouts of Howdy Doody had been hastily concocted. This time, an elaborate explanation was offered—that Howdy was busy with the elections on the campaign trail. NBC hurriedly constructed a map of the United States, which allowed viewers, with the help of Smith, to learn where Howdy was on the road. The explanation continued that while on the campaign trail, Howdy decided to improve his appearance with some plastic surgery. This made it possible for the network to hire Velma Dawson to create a more handsome and appealing visual character than Paris’ original, which had been called ‘the ugliest puppet imaginable’ by Bob Smith…

              Howdy Doody himself is a freckle-faced boy marionette with 48 freckles, one for each state of the union (up until January 3, 1959, when Alaska was admitted as the 49th state).” ~ Wikipedia

              New Cold War (Featuring Howdy Doody)

      • Fred Magyar says:

        but elitism is going to have to go and true equality and democracy arrive.

        No, that is not positive at all! It is deeply delusional and shows a profound lack of understanding of history, anthropology, psychology, neuroscience and biological evolution and how and why the world really works the way it does.

        Try going out in the field and observing any group of social animals, they all have an alpha female or male and there is a very clear hierarchical pecking order amongst the rest of the group.

        Having said all that it is great to have ideals and to use our rather large brains and incredible amount of scientific knowledge accumulated over the last few centuries to try and construct a more equitable society than what nature originally imposed on us but to suggest that we will not be able to develop useful technologies for our communal survival until TRUE DEMOCRACY (whatever the hell that even means), arrives is really not the way things happen.

        Witness the political circus currently happening in the US and elsewhere such as Brazil, or just about any other large country in the world today and quite a few small ones. Even highly progressive ones like Iceland. These are societies composed of naked great apes.

        It might be useful to remember that perfect is the enemy of good enough. You have three options in any endeavor you participate in. You can lead, follow or get out of the way. If you truly believe that your ideas expressed in your Permea Manifesto are the way forward, more power to ya! However if you think you can bring others on board to work with you then you need to learn to work with people.

        I don’t get the impression from your posts that you are anywhere near having acquired the necessary skill set to be able to accomplish that and until you do that you are always just going to be an angry young man with your head in the sand and those are a dime a dozen and don’t accomplish real change. Usually they end up lonely or even worse, shot or crucified. Your choice.

        • GoneFishing says:

          My uncle fought the Germans in the battle of the bulge WWII, helping to stop them from breaking out over a bridge. He took quite a pounding himself. Of course he was quite pro-democracy and even back then, before the internet, would sometimes wonder why we could not use a combination of TV and telephone so that the people could see and directly vote on the issues. Closer to true democracy.
          I thought it was a good idea back then, but having gained perspective over the years and seen how people really are, it is probably a bad idea to move toward an actual democracy. Few have a wide enough view to be effective and even fewer are willing to spend the time and energy.
          How about this? Why don’t people get more active in the government we have now. Write letters to congressmen and senators, organize groups to promote or stop certain actions. Instead, we have lots of consumers and TV watchers who later complain how things are, after the fact, but still do nothing.
          Maybe some think that they can’t sway the system, can’t change things. So they don’t try. I did try and I have succeeded a number of times. So use the government we have and participate, then maybe we can talk democracy, once we get enough real citizens.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            I detect an amazing lack of commentary attacking the R party and Trump in this thread and the last open thread. Given the usual tendency of some members of this forum to tell us what they think of REPUGLITHANS in no uncertain terms, I am WONDERING why they aren’t saying anything right now.

            How about it folks?

            • GoneFishing says:

              You mean back when people took them more seriously? Long past that now. Sad but true, this presidential and previous other sideshows are doing them and the country definite harm.

              https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/republican-self-destruction-is-fun-to-watch-but-bad-for-us-all/2016/01/29/c420a9c6-be64-11e5-bcda-62a36b394160_story.html

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                I was thinking maybe the regulars who often express their opinions of right wing politics are too embarrassed at this time to bring up the subject of politics at all. 😉

                Maybe they would rather not have anybody remind them of the events of the last few days on their side of the fence. LOL

                I am doing about ninety nine percent of my politicing for Sanders who is an HONORABLE man in other forums, because the readership here is technically literate, and able to see thru bullshit, if so inclined.

                If a person has however made up his mind on the basis of us and them politics, no amount of evidence will induce them to change their mind.

                But just in case…….. there might be a few people here who are still eligible to vote in upcoming primaries……….. and who have NOT made up their mind whether to vote for Sanders or Clinton in said primary, well ……..

                MSNBC AIN’T FOX.

                https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=msnbc++clinton+emails&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-002

                If you want honest government, send Bernie twenty seven bucks.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Old Farmer Mac,

              I think it is pretty obvious where most here stand and the person needs no more ink devoted to them.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              If Bernie doesn’t go independent I’ll probably have to vote for Trump just to help tip the apple cart a little further…

              As hard as I try I can’t see myself voting for Hillary!

              I’d apply for asylum in Canada but their leadership isn’t a whole lot better either. Maybe I need to start learning Danish. I thought of Iceland but there is no way I could ever pronounce names like Eyjafjallajokull 🙂

              And I speak a few languages including Hungarian, go ahead, try it yourselves. Good Luck!

              https://goo.gl/nAIDI8

              • Hickory says:

                As much as I find listening to trump painful, I was actually looking forward to seeing a trump-sanders debacle.
                Looks like trump put his tail between his legs and bowed out. And then he declared that Calif has no drought problem.
                Praise the Lord.

                • HuntingtonBeachCa says:

                  Hi Hickory,

                  The man will say anything and change his mind the next day. Pretty scary and unbelievable that he is as close as he is to world power. Fear and hate are very powerful. The things wars are made of.

                  Most Americans still haven’t recovered from the mistake of 2000. You could soon be calling the Bush years the good old days.

                  Now where are those WMD ?

                  • Nathanael says:

                    “The man will say anything and change his mind the next day.”

                    Reagan did that too. We survived Reagan. Sort of. (He was a disaster and the main reason the US remained dependent on oil for another 30 years.)

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Fred,

                That is surprising. Perhaps you forgot your 🙂 Neither choice is perfect, the choice is pretty clear to me. I am fairly sure that Bernie realizes that if he ran as an independent it would ensure a Republican victory.

            • islandboy says:

              Maybe if some more of us could sit through the torture of watching the following 44 minute video on youtube we could have an interesting discussion.

              Fantastic Donald Trump Speech On Energy at the Petroleum Conference in Bismark North Dakota 5-26-16

              I couldn’t find anything about his policy on energy at his web site but, a quick search brought up the following article that helps to explain the bizarre nature of his speech.

              Donald Trump’s horrifying gullibility, as revealed in his energy speech

              • HuntingtonBeachCa says:

                Hello IslandBoy,

                Sorry, but I could only make it to 31 minutes. At that point the bullshit got so deep I had to come up for fresh air and close the browsers. It’s going to be a small group of educated rational Americans that can listen to 44 minutes of Donald’s Republican ignorance.

                I will be voting Hillary June 7 and November 8. Fred’s voting for Trump and than planning to move out to the country sounds like a Caelan option to me.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi HuntingtonBeachCa,

                  For those who would like to see BAU crash and burn very quickly, and/or prefer anarchy, a vote for the worst possible candidate makes the most sense.

                  Perhaps that is Fred’s angle, not sure or I missed the sarcasm.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    LOL
                    Dennis, just because some of us want to see BAU quickly crash-and-burn doesn’t mean we don’t want business at all.
                    I mean, there’s business as unusual for example.

                    Anyway, Trump isn’t going to do anything much to the underlying fundamentals is he? He’s just one guy, although he might help them along and inspire the rest of the cronies to get extra-cocky. And who knows what can happen when crony-capitalist plutarchs get extra-cocky… Well, many of us do of course, and in a little while, we may just get yet another taste of it.

  25. GoneFishing says:

    Our view of the universe is backwards through time, only seeing the past. The further we look the farther back into the past we see. Has anyone tried to show what the actual universe might look like now?

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Has anyone tried to show what the actual universe might look like now?

      Sure! That’s what cosmologists and particle physicists do for a living. That’s why the LHC was built.
      maybe watch this lecture by Nobel prize winner Frank Wilzcek.
      https://goo.gl/jOh0sa

      • GoneFishing says:

        I was interested in a graphic depiction of what the universe physically looks like in real time. How positions have changed and how stars have evolved. Do those quasars fade with time? Have black holes taken out huge chunks of the universe in the billions of years we don’t see? Things like that.

        As far as cosmologists, they seem stuck in the quagmire of “dark matter” and “dark energy”. Neither fit the definitions of matter or energy and if they do exist, interact(where they do interact) in ways that imply a whole different physics than we understand. Or they imply interactions with other universes. Or they are merely artifacts of misunderstood observations and laddered logic.

        I have kept up with the LHC programs to a large degree. Wonderful progress made there. Who knows, anti-gravity and force fields may be in our future.

        Personally, I was just hoping for high temperature super-conductivity. But that is my pragmatic side. 🙂

        • Fred Magyar says:

          I was interested in a graphic depiction of what the universe physically looks like in real time. How positions have changed and how stars have evolved. Do those quasars fade with time? Have black holes taken out huge chunks of the universe in the billions of years we don’t see? Things like that.

          You can see that in George Smoot’s talk at the Nobel conference 49
          https://goo.gl/1Ylm2J
          Good graphic of the current state of the universe at 31:14 of his talk.

          Actually if you watch all the talks, there are six physicists and cosmologists for a total of about 9 hours of presentations. That should pretty much bring you up to speed in general terms though a lot has continued to happen in the three years since those talks were given.

          Cosmology and particle physics are moving fast (no pun intended) since the LHC is now operating at full design energy levels. Think about it, the Higgs Boson and the confirmation of Einstein’s gravitational waves are almost ancient history now 🙂

          • GoneFishing says:

            Thanks, very interesting, but I still have not found a current time view of our universe or even our local region. All the views are as seen over time, which drifts back to over 13 billion years.

            I did find an animation showing the formation of our galactic universe called Galaxy Tracking Evolution Animation.
            http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160530.html

  26. Hickory says:

    Here is a scenario that may come to pass- any comments on its probability would be welcome.

    Within a few years oil demand outstrips a stagnating supply. We shift back into a global energy insecurity phase, and other forms of energy including coal, nucs and renewables jump back into the limelight.
    I see a considerable chance that demand will outstrip the supply of PV panel production, and the price trend of falling PV will reverse. Hopefully temporarily.
    But the fossil fuel input to PV during all the phases of mining/manufacturing /deployment will be a factor in increased PV price, and there may very well be a global manufacturing shortfall (relative to demand) as well.
    Ideally the global manufacturing capacity for PV will grow smoothly with demand, but I’ve lost a lot of my idealism when it comes to the world working smoothly.

    ??

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      I can’t see any reason in particular that your scenario might not come to pass. It could be that the odds are actually in favor of things working out more or less along the lines you suggest.

      If I were younger and investing in the stock market, I would keep a keen eye out for signs of coming booms and busts in solar energy stocks. There will be some for sure. How big, how often , how prolonged is anybody’s guess.

      But consider this , which I just copied from a prorenewable web site. Nevertheless I think the numbers are accurate.

      “According to the analysis, electrical generation by wind rose 32.8% and set a new record of 6.23% of total generation. In the first quarter of 2015, wind power’s share was only 4.46%. Similarly, electrical generation from utility-scale solar thermal and photovoltaics grew by 31.4% and comprised 0.69% of total electrical output. SUN DAY notes that the EIA also estimates that distributed solar PV (e.g., rooftop solar systems) expanded by 35.2% during the quarter. Combined, utility-scale and distributed solar accounted for 1.01% of generation. A year ago, solar’s share was only 0.72%.”

      Both wind and solar power infrastructure build out is proceeding at a blistering pace, although both industries are still toddlers compared to the full grown fossil fuel industries.

      OLD AGE necessarily follows full growth. 😉 Large segments of the fossil fuel industries are showing their age already.

      It seems very likely that wind and solar power combined will be providing over ten percent of our electricity here in the Home o ‘ the Free by the end of this decade.

      • islandboy says:

        “It seems very likely that wind and solar power combined will be providing over ten percent of our electricity here in the Home o ‘ the Free by the end of this decade.”

        Ya think? According to the data from the EIA for March , solar, including behind the meter was 1.3% and wind was about 7% so, wind and solar combined were 8.3%, only 1.7% short of 10%. Based on the current rates of growth, I would not be surprised to see the combination of wind and solar hitting 10% for some months by next year and for the entire year by 2018.

        Now, if by some miracle Bernie Sanders were to be elected POTUS, his focus on energy efficiency could result in a fairly rapid decrease in the energy intensity of the US economy and a drop in the total demand for electricity. A big push for more efficient lighting could easily do it very quickly.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Hickory, more likely high oil and then gas and coal prices will keep the solar and wind engine running. The higher fossil fuel prices will stay above the PV and wind and their effect will fade with time. Blips in pricing will be quickly sorted out and mean little in the long run. As renewables take over more of the load, the fossil fuels will get a long extension if we don’t ban them (doubtful, but one never knows). Once the renewables reach saturation, fossil fuels will be primarily used for chemical production.
      The exponential growth of PV and wind turbines combined with the growth of the EV indicate that they will at least be a major part of future energy. I expect the growth will eventually go linear. Right now factor utilization rates are well below manufacturing capability.

  27. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Both unconventional fossil fuels and renewable energy technologies became focii for huge amounts of inward investment

    “These are both relatively low energy profit energy sources, on average, although the EROEI varies considerably. Unconventional fossil fuels are a very poor prospect, often with an EROEI of less than one due to the technological complexity, drilling guesswork and very rapid well depletion rates.

    However, the propagandistic hype that surrounded them for a number of years, until reality began to dawn, was sufficient to allow them to generate large quantities of money for those who ran the companies involved. Ironically, much of this, at least in the United states where most of the hype was centred, came from flipping land leases rather than from actual energy production, meaning that much of this industry was essentially nothing more than an elaborate real estate ponzi scheme.

    Renewables, as we currently envisage them, unfortunately suffer from a relatively low energy profit ratio (on average), a dependence on fossil fuels for both their construction and distribution infrastructure, and a dependence on a wide array of non-renewable components.

    We typically insist on deploying them in the most large-scale, technologically complex manner possible, thereby minimising the EROEI, and quite likely knocking it below one in a number of cases. This maximises monetary profits for large companies, thanks to both investor gullibility and greed and also to generous government subsidy regimes, but generally renders the exercise somewhere between pointless and counter-productive in long term energy supply terms

    We are moving into a lower energy profit ratio era, but lower EROEI energy sources will not be able to maintain our current level of socioeconomic complexity, hence our society will be forced to simplify. However, a simpler society will not be able to engage in the complex activities necessary to produce energy from these low EROEI sources. In other words, low energy profit ratio energy sources cannot sustain a level of complexity necessary to produce them. They will not fuel the simpler future which awaits us.”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      We typically insist on deploying them in the most large-scale, technologically complex manner possible, thereby minimising the EROEI, and quite likely knocking it below one in a number of cases.

      I have followed Nicole for a long time and I agree with many of her points but she can also be dead wrong as in that statement above. See the link OFM posted to Ugo Bardi’s critique of Hall et al. I also referenced Ugo myself for the same reason.

      Here is a link to Ugo Bardi discussing the implications and facts of EROEI over at Resilience. He wrote it in response to Hall’s piece concerning the very low value EROEI Hall came up with.

      http://www.resilience.org/stories/2016-05-24/but-what-s-the-real-energy-return-of-photovoltaic-energy

      BTW, one of the greatest advantages to renewables, Nicole’s opinions notwithstanding, is that it is not absolutely necessary to deploy them in large scale centralized systems. They are quite amenable to small scale localized distributed power generation.

      Your views on this matter seem to be rather one dimensional, reality is much more nuanced and is not so strictly black or white. There are many shades of grey to consider.

      Unlike you, Nicole, at least claims she is open to new information as seen in her replies to comments at the link you provide:

      If ANYONE can show me a solution space that matches the supraordinate problem space, while simultaneously neutralizing the the selfish competition between sub-global actors for limited, highly leveraged, mutually exclusive shares of biocapacity in a zero sum game, PLEASE DO!

      I am a dynamic, fluid thinker, with no organizational or financial conflicts of interest with my thoughts. I incorporate BETTER ideas into my mind at light speed (So long as they are based on reason, mathematics, logic, and biophysical reality).

      I am an advocate of meritocratic round table consensus decision making. Yet this ideal is NOT compossible with the supraordinate problem space we face, and does not resolve the game theory paradox.

      I did not say the first planetary government would be perfect. (far from it) But it will be the FIRST planetary government, in an asymptotic progression taking humanity from a near infinite assembly of competing tribal units to a unified people in homeostatic dynamic equilibrium with EARTH.

      My oh my, did she mention something about planetary government… what’s an anarchist like you doing citing anything she might have to say?!

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Nicole is not stupid or ignorant but she is a businesswoman with a brand and a product, and she is probably making a lot of money out of it.

        Given this observation, expecting her to change her act is naive.

        I once had the opportunity to ask her a few questions at a conference back in the TOD days. I was wearing an OFM name tag, and she got off stage in a hurry when she realized who I was, rather than continuing questions and answers.

        Her presentation was strictly scripted and canned, and delivered without any sign of enthusiasm or humor. If I ever saw a speaker grinding his or her way thru something just to get DONE, and collect the fee, that was the day.

        Follow the money is often EXTREMELY good advice.

        John Micheal Greer was there. Now HE’S a man who BELIEVED in what he was saying. He was VERY happy to talk to me.

        I am not saying Nicole what’s her name doesn’t believe her own speech, and there are some elements of undeniable truth in it, but she sells it for a living, so far as I can see, and people who sell that sort of product are BOXED IN by their own success. They CAN’T change their product, to any substantial degree, because their current customers will abandon them, and they would have to start over anew.

        The times they are ah changin’ and the old rules will no longer apply, excepting the ones based strictly on PHYSICAL laws.

        Even the brightest of the people, and ESPECIALLY the best educated within a given profession, are generally blind to REAL change.

        It is a complete waste of time to try to explain WHY sovereign governments CAN inflate money to any extent they please to a person who believes otherwise.

        Such people cannot conceive of THROWING OUT THE OLD RULE BOOK.

        But in reality, that old rulebook was written by the people who wrote it a century or more ago, for the most part.

        When the shit really and truly hits the fan, then the old rule book will go out the window, and a hell of a lot of new rules will be written in a BIG hurry.

        There is nothing sacred about the Federal Reserve system of banking. ONCE THE SHIT IS IN THE FAN, and Congress and the executive decide there is no hope otherwise, they will collectively rewrite the rule book, and the titans of the banking industry will be heard of no more. The Supreme Court will go along.

        Congress and the Executive will print money DIRECTLY, and distribute it DIRECTLY to everybody not on politicians shit lists.

        There is NOTHING to stop this from happening today, other than dug in special interests groups, if congress critters were to get together and decide to do it. Laws on the books can be repealed, and there is ample precedent for congress to do just about anything so long as it has to do with interstate commerce.

        Ways to inflate the currency and get money down to people at the bottom of the heap WILL eventually be found within the current banking system, or it will be trashed.

        The alternative is chaos, political , economic, cultural, criminal, humanitarian. Down that road lies a bloody revolution, and the people in power will do just about anything to maintain power and prevent that revolution, unless they are prevented from doing so by their own stupidity.

        Does the gold in sacks crowd have the power to prevent congress from kicking their asses to the sidelines ? Yes , for NOW.

        Later? Yogi sez predictin’ s hard.

        But the current system most likely cannot stand forever, in the face of an economic collapse brought on by debt deflation.

        So a collapse brought on by debt deflation will have to be prevented, one way or another, no matter how nasty the necessary medicine may be.

        There IS a distinct possibility that enough inflation can be deliberately brought on in controlled doses to enable society to default on its debts in a more or less controlled manner.

        Doctors save a LOT of patients by way of using poisonous drugs.

        Note that I do not expect a deliberate inflation to CURE economic problems. But you can live longer drinking hundred proof whiskey alone than you can by eating and drinking nothing at all.

        A major deliberate inflation might prevent an economic collapse , in much the same way that a poisonous drug can save the life of a patient, or it might DELAY a collapse.

        My gut feeling is that WITH GOOD LUCK AND GOOD MANAGEMENT, public order can be maintained during a deliberate emergency implemented inflation, meaning not too many people starve or die in riots in the streets.

        MONEY is NOT wealth, money is not farmland, clean water, heating fuel, or skilled hands. Money is merely a CLAIM on these things. They will still exist regardless if debts are paid, or not.

        The aftermath was not pretty , but France survived the French Revolution.

        Anybody who believes something equally REVOLUTIONARY can’t happen again, in other countries, in ANY country, doesn’t read enough history and science.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Old Farmer Mac,

          The government already does print money, but it is a small part of the total.

          Now if you are envisioning an elimination of private banks, I suppose that is possible, but I doubt it would happen unless thing get much worse than during the Great Depression.

          You should find and introductory macroeconomic text and review it, or better yet a textbook on Money and Banking because your thinking on money and banking sometimes is a little fuzzy. Microeconomics seems to be more your thing.

          Read Paul Samuelson or Paul Krugman.

          http://www.alibris.com/search/books/isbn/9780073344225?gclid=CjwKEAjwpqq6BRC99aKUkaSjuDsSJAC0pNTVJuO3wKNDGkTHBHaFc5NeHQxFhlt6Ez9McIzTL2QoQhoCkqTw_wcB

          The solution to a deflationary environment is fiscal stimulus by the government. This is very well understood since 1936, when the General Theory was published by Keynes and later formulated into a neoclassical synthesis by Paul Samuelson and others.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Dennis,

            Things MIGHT NOT get so bad that TPTB are forced to throw out the existing rule book. I can’t say for sure that things will get that bad.

            And the entrenched corporations and the owners thereof and old boys networks, etc, may be powerful enough to enforce a draconian austerity level standard of living on the people in general, and hang on to their privileged stations in life.

            But barring damned good luck , I DO expect things to get a HELL of a lot worse than the Great Depression over major parts of the globe within this century.

            There is a chance I am wrong of course, but my gut feeling is that the technology ambulance is going to run out of gas well short of the renewable economy hospital for most of the human race.

            I am only cautiously hopeful that we will successfully manage a transition to a renewable energy, low material input economy even here in the USA and a few other countries that are by luck well situated to make the transition.

            The path to victory in terms of a successful transition is narrow, and there are a million things that could go wrong along the way.

            About the only real hope I can see for a countries such as Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan or even Saudi Arabia is that some sort of contagious disease breaks out rendering the all the women in those countries sterile after having ONE kid.

            Things might desperate even here in the USA as well, if a few cards fall wrong.

            I do NOT believe a deliberate inflation can PERMANENTLY stave off economic catastrophe brought on by real physical problems such as overpopulation, depleted fossil fuels, shortages of fresh water, climate problems, etc.

            I DO however believe that once things get REALLY bad, governments almost always do whatever they can to maintain short term stability, just as physicians do to keep patients alive.

            A deliberate inflation to my way of thinking will DELAY a nasty crash and burn scenario, maintaining stability in the short run, but probably NOT actually PREVENT such a crash, barring excellent management.

            Such an inflation might buy us, collectively, a few months or even a few years of precious time that can be used to put emergency policies into effect. Think Chemotherapy, it’s rough as hell on the patient, but it adds months and sometimes years to the patient’s life.

            There are also other ways the people can get control of the economy again, presuming democracy prevails. One way would be to put confiscatory taxes on the ownership of property valued beyond some arbitrary cutoff, and close the loopholes than allow people to dodge the cutoff. That would mean the end of megabucks family foundations, etc.

            Money ceases to mean anything , beyond a certain amount, in terms of actual living standards. There is virtually nothing worth mentioning that can’t be bought with say a half a million a year.

            Money by the tens of millions, and hundreds of millions is all about POWER, rather than life style and living standards.

            The general political and cultural trend of human history, in spite of setbacks such as WWII, is positive in terms of people living better, longer, more secure and peaceful lives.

            If this trend continues, which is possible but by no means assured, we will see the power that was once concentrated in the hands of kings, which is now in the hands of congress critters and too big to fail businesses, gradually diluted and redistributed into the hands of ordinary people.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Old Farmer Mac,

              The New Deal was essentially a plan to prevent a revolution, by imposing heavy taxes on the rich and fiscal stimulus to put people back to work.

              If a regulated market economy (one that taxes externalities and subsidizes public goods based on an objective cost benefit analysis) with a highly progressive income tax with no loopholes is left to allocate resources efficiently, we may be ok.

              A reform of the political system that shortens the election cycle and removes big money from politics (no donations over $200 constant 2016 dollars) would also help.

              I doubt things will be much worse than the Great depression, but I suppose economists that do not understand macroeconomics may rule the day (as in the European Union from 2008 to 2014).

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        “Unlike you, Nicole, at least claims she is open to new information as seen in her replies to comments at the link you provide:

        ‘If ANYONE can show me a solution space…’ ” ~ Fred Magyar

        That’s not Nicole Foss, Fred.

        In fact her comment directly above it seems to at once negate & address your mischaracterization and suggests our being quite inline in terms of some of our shared views:

        “Supranational, I did address population and carrying capacity as problems. What I do not countenance is people playing god as to how that predicament resolves itself. Nature will take care of it. We are not going to like that, but it will happen whether we like it or not. That’s far better than turing to fascist methods. Those would achieve nothing good and everything bad, arguably making life not worth living in the meantime. I would rather take my chances with nature, and I mean that far beyond the personal level.” ~ Nicole Foss

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Ok you are right those aren’t Nicole’s words but it doesn’t really matter and it doesn’t change the facts about the EROEI of solar which OFM and I referred to and which were addressed by Ugo Bardi. Both she and you are still mistaken on that point. It simply isn’t true. The evidence contradicts it.

          I still get the impression that you are closed to any information that doesn’t jive with your preexisting world views. Over the last couple of weeks you have continually posted comments about solar energy claiming an EROEI of less than one and that is just plain false.

          Your convoluted point about Solar being some Big Oil/Government propaganda stint to maintain BAU is just plain ridiculous. If that’s what you think, fine, more power to you. It makes no sense to me.

          The two cartoons you posted are indicative of your simplistic assumptions about others. That is not even close to how most people on this forum think or act. People here are mostly scientifically and mathematically literate and are as a rule quite intelligent.

          You should watch the Hunter Lovin video I posted above if you haven’t already. You might still learn something about the hows of communicating ideas. You don’t have to agree with her points but she is a pretty darn good communicator and almost without fail everyone here has told you that your constant angry and condescending preaching style wins you very few admirers even if you do have some valid points. How you interact with people does matter in the long run.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            You’re just aping a whole lot of angry, preachy, condescending nonsense, much of which aren’t even your own words, never mind not even getting Nicole’s right.

            Go manufacture opinion/consensus elsewhere or ‘interact with’/’educate’ TechGuy, for example, with some more of your hypocrisy.

            Don’t forget your mitre.

            “No asshole, you missed my point completely…
            Fuck you and everybody who thinks like you!” ~ Fred Magyar

            “Perhaps the most widely discussed recent book on the transition from a wasteful, unsustainable economic system to a more sustainable one is Natural Capitalism.. Unfortunately… is deeply flawed because, like most US books of its type, it pretends that the transition will be so highly profitable that the market alone will bring it about and that government regulation and legislation are unnecessary. Surprisingly, it maintains this position despite an excellent chapter on the ways in which markets can fail.” ~ Malcolm Slesser

            I’ve looked at part of the related video so far.
            My tentative sense of it, oversimplified, is that if the market/profit model is not relatively-purely democratic, then ‘natural capitalismis unlikely to work.

            But I still have to look more into what she’s saying.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Hey I have no problem being angry at an individual who disrespects me personally and deliberately takes what I say out of context and tries to put words in mouth.

              By posting that quote over and over again you are also neglecting to address the context of why I engaged in that outburst with that particular individual.

              Could I have have handled that differently and just let it slide, sure but that person managed to push my buttons on a particularly bad day. For the record, upon occasion I’ve told some of my best friends and even family members to fuck off. They are still my friends and no grudges are held. Life goes on and we just don’t dwell on it.

              It’s one thing to have an occasional angry response to something specific. We are all human, however it’s quite another to incorporate anger as a mainstay of your interactions with just about everyone on a regular basis.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                How would you know what my internal state is?
                Quite the arrogance you seem to have there that seems to match your hypocrisy.

                • Nathanael says:

                  When you spout stuff which is proven false (and has been politely demonstrated to you) as if you’re saying something true, it means you’re angry. And you probably would be well advised to actually listen to people who know more than you.

                  You’re just dead wrong when it comes to EROEI of solar panels, and if you weren’t so angry, you’d have listened and figured out why you were wrong.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    It is imagined that the Church of Global Industrial Neofeudalism would love nothing better than to railroad their religion through with holy smoke-and-mirrors, indoctrinate the gullible and, for example, render sites like Peak Oil Barrel little more than advertising and promotion altars.

                    That said, you might want to go back to consult your pope or archbishop and see what to do about some people’s infernal blasphemy, since kind of insinuating them, via a bit of a mantric chant, with the ‘angry devil’ doesn’t appear to be working. LOL

                    We (You) don’t need electric solar panels or electric cars, Nathanael, we need clean air and water and good food.
                    And we (you) need them out of and off of our nanny-state-dispensed diapers and high-chairs, respectively.

                    There are multiple of concerns with BAU-related alternative energy and transportation beyond just EROEI but even its EROEI, alone, is questionable enough.

                    Chaika (by Pussy Riot)

            • Fred Magyar says:

              But I still have to look more into what she’s saying.

              I specifically tried to make it clear that you didn’t have to so much agree with the content but rather try to learn from the way in which she communicates… More honey, less vinegar.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Not interested at the moment. It’s long.
                Besides, you’ve lost a little bit of cred’, Fred, and I mean, if you want to talk about honey and vinegar.

                In any case, I happen to like a little bit of acid, like lemon, fruit, tomatoes, vinegar or wine in my foods, like salads, stews or soups. Honey can be nice with acids too. ^u^

      • Ves says:

        Fred,
        Some good questions you ask by pointing at that text from Nicole in your post. Here is my take to her questions..

        Nicole: ” If ANYONE can show me a solution…..”

        Here is my thought. If she has been studying and collecting knowledge all her life, like all of us do, and we collectively can’t find “SOLUTIONS” then collecting and absorbing that kind of “knowledge” is useless as many ancient thinkers have said. Collecting that kind of “knowledge” is not only useless but that “knowledge” becomes our barrier. Everyone gains “knowledge” through suffering and that is the only way.

        Problems have Solutions. If there are NO SOLUTIONS as she claims then there are NO PROBLEMS. You cannot have a problem without solution. “Solution” is to DO NOTHING and allow life to happen.

        Nicole: ” I incorporate BETTER ideas into my MIND at light speed (So long as they are based on reason, mathematics, LOGIC, and biophysical reality).”

        Here is my thought: Nicole like many of us works with MIND and LOGIC and that is a problem. MIND is logical, but LIFE is dialectical. MIND always follows straight line, but LIFE goes from one extreme to other. Everything that happened in life happened because of some deep reasons.

        Logic is our enemy. Logic will prove you that life has no meaning. Logic will prove you that between birth and death, your only choice that you have is to somehow make your ends meet. Logic will tell you that you have been getting up every morning and nothing happened. Why do you then get up tomorrow? Then eat breakfast. Whole life we have been eating breakfast and nothing happened out of that.

        Get up, eat breakfast, go to work, post little bit on “Peak Over Barrel” blog, and then go to bed. Circle that just repeats and never leads anywhere. Logic will even give you rope and some convenient tree. Logic will scream at you to end the life because life has no meaning. If someone wants to be unhappy just follow the logic.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Ves, those are not Nicole Foss’ statements as it appears.

          They are by someone with the nickname, Supranational.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Caelan, take a chill pill man! It doesn’t change the main points that Ves is making and I already corrected myself both above and below.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Chill yourself, it’s just bold text. It doesn’t bite, except maybe in your mind. Thanks for the correction.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                ROFL! Just curious, then what exactly was the point of bolding the text and italicizing the adverb if not (no pun intended) to add a little extra emphasis and or drama? It came across as being a bit shrill.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  To see if there could be yet more silly commentary from you? (Is there a ‘fly’ named Fred on my comment? Yep.)

                  Maybe if there was some text emphasis like that on Nicole’s site, it might help some flies to better distinguish who the real author is.

                  While Ves might not need it in the way you do, I value Nicole’s real work enough to help avoid some flies spreading disease.

                  (Perhaps you still think that Oldfarmermac is yelling out the words he posts in caps.)

          • Ves says:

            Thanks Caelan. Okey then my response was to just those statements that Fred posted whoever made them. I see now that you have posted below Nicole’s posts and I do agree with those except with this part “arguably making life not worth living in the meantime.”
            That only applies if we blindly follow our minds logic.
            Anyway thanks for good thought provoking stuff from other blogers since I don’t venture too far away on the internet. Lots of dangerous stuff out there 🙂

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Hey Ves, minor correction, as Caelan pointed out those are the words of one of the comenters on Nicole’s site but I take your points.

          Everything that happened in life happened because of some deep reasons.

          I disagree with that statement if you are suggesting that the universe has a purpose and logic is our enemy, even if it tells us that the universe was not built for us and it really doesn’t care if we like reality as it is or not, since reality just is what it is. Having said that, we as individuals can still choose to create our own purpose in life.

          https://goo.gl/cf6D1l
          Lawrence Krauss at Nobel Conference 49

          • Ves says:

            Fred: ” we as individuals can still choose to create our own purpose in life.”

            Agree. But it always comes to one purpose: To Live a Life, to experience a life. Experience is the only purpose. We, humans will try to taste everything in life. Without that experience we can’t talk about anything.

            Reading the books is useless. Words in the books could be beautiful but they cannot ever be truthful. The words just have esthetic value. They are not bad but there are not truthful. Truth can only come in silence.

  28. R Walter says:

    All the Republicans and Democrats can do is brainwash people to go and vote for the candidate who is best able to brainwash voters. Hillary does a poor job and Donald Trump says all the words that make some voters believe there can be a change for the good, still is propaganda. It just works better, voters do believe Trump’s tripe. I don’t think Bernie knows if he is afoot or horseback, to tell the truth. Hillary did poorly in West Virginia where the coal miners live and work, so her sthick doesn’t wash in West Virginia.

    A campaign these days is nothing more than a propaganda blitz, it is called political advertising, but all it is is brainwashing.

    The rallies, the money, the rhetoric, all propaganda. Makes people super stupid.

    It has got to change.

  29. GoneFishing says:

    Looks like we may be in for a hot time on the old planet, no matter what. However, this new study examines the results of continuing fossil fuel burning and other carbon producing activities.

    “In most of their models, heat transport into the deep ocean doesn’t continue to rise with the rising temperatures. As a result, more of the energy remains stuck in the atmosphere and upper ocean. Smaller-scale climate models, which are generally used for longer-term simulations, simply don’t recapitulate these details and therefore show less warming on these timescales.

    What does this mean for the planet? By 2300, the models suggest that the global warming will be somewhere between 6.4 and 9.5 degrees Celsius. In the Arctic, however, the warming will reach at least 15 degrees Celsius, and possibly close to 20 degrees Celsius. Precipitation will also change dramatically, with some regions seeing a four-fold increase.”

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/05/what-happens-if-we-burn-all-the-fossil-fuels/

    I wonder if they accounted for natural feedbacks. I guess with those numbers, it doesn’t matter.

  30. Longtimber says:

    “The new Gas-o-lean”
    “as the price of lithium-ion batteries falls (it was down 35 percent last year), the price of electric cars will drop as well. That’s because batteries currently make up a third of the cost of electric cars. One forecast calls for 35 percent of all car sales to be electric vehicles by 2040.”
    http://www.businessinsider.com/lithium-could-be-in-an-epic-bubble-2016-5

  31. Longtimber says:

    “Twenty-four years after its release, Werner Herzog’s Lessons of Darkness, a de-contextualized view of the first Gulf War, still comes across as one of the most piercing war films yet recorded.”
    “Particularly bizarre are the scenes of American oil men working in the Middle East desert, looking absurdly calm and out of place even in moments right at the brink of death”
    The whole thing is on YouTube.
    http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/werner-herzogs-gulf-war-documentary-remains-one-of-the-1778290614

  32. Oldfarmermac says:

    Sometime back a few people here refused to believe me about how much doctors make. This is from Forbes today.

    “Compensation of primary care physicians has eclipsed $250,000 a year as doctors are increasingly paid via value-based care models that emphasize quality, better outcomes and keeping their patients healthy.

    The new Medical Group Management Association annual compensation survey shows median primary care doctor compensation rose 4.3 percent to $251,578 in 2015 from a year earlier as the role gains importance in the U.S. health system. Primary care doctors in the survey of 80,000 providers include internists, family physicians and pediatricians that are among the most in-demand health professionals.”

    Specialists are at about 425 k median earnings according to the same article. This is pure and simple robbery, because the medical profession makes sure there are not enough doctors for competition to hold down their obscenely high fees.

    It’s way past time to pay the way of promising kids straight thru med school, and put them to work at a more reasonable salary of say a hundred k.

    There is ZERO doubt in my mind that there are PLENTY of well qualified young men and women who would be willing to take that deal.

    There really isn’t any reason for any professional schooling to cost such an obscene amount of money as most universities charge these days.

    Research is one thing. Turning out graduates who know enough to pass exams for professional licensing is something else altogether.

    A little populism might do the body politic some real good.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Good ideas Oldfarmermac, however…

      “Preventable medical errors persist as the No. 3 killer in the U.S. – third only to heart disease and cancer – claiming the lives of some 400,000 people each year.”
      Even if that number is not accurate, medicine in the US should not kill a city’s worth of people every year. More safeguards and checks need to be put in place along with any other improvements.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        “More safeguards and checks need to be put in place along with any other improvements.”

        Twice as many doctors working for half as much money would cost us about the same, and the doctors need not be any less talented or well trained.

        THAT solution ought to allow us to cut down on medical errors. LOL.

        • Paulo says:

          If you think 250K for a doctor is out of line then perhaps you should research it a bit more. I think it is very realistic. Not only do they work long days, they also do rounds in the hospital after they have finished, at least my Doc in BC does. He is also my father-in-laws doctor and he often phones our house about follow-up information on his appointments, tests, etc. Considering their degree(s) and what that entails, the rigor involved, the responsibility, and the ‘joy’of dealing with sick people, 250 k is a steal of a deal, imho. I know welders making that much. If you want well trained people who care about their job, then you have to pay them a decent wage and offer the respect they deserve.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            The reason doctors work long hours is that they make goddamned sure they HAVE all the work they can POSSIBLY do, by making sure there are not enough doctors for them to run short of as much work as they possibly CAN do.

            I know my own doc at this time and my last one quite well, socially, and they both agree with me. Medicine as it is organized now is a racket. Our entire health care system is a cross between a racket and a cluster fuck, which is why it costs us YANKEES twice as much to get worse results than other modern countries.

            We ought to loan or give med students enough to live on, modestly, right thru med school, and write off their debts so much per year they actually look after patients.

            AFTER ALL, if you ask a hundred doctors why they went into medicine, the entire hundred are going to tell you they are in medicine because they want to HELP PEOPLE.

            I think maybe we ought to give them an opportunity to live up to their words, and do it for a hundred k, working normal hours.

            If we make the opportunity to do that available,without new docs being in debt head over heels, there will be PLENTY of bright young women and men lined up ready for med school, lol.

            There is NO GOOD REASON for us to pay MORE than necessary to get good quality medical care.

            I am actually maybe the only person in this forum who describes him self as a conservative, which I am in some respects, such as in believing in the free enterprise system.

            BUT I am also a REALIST, and therefore not dumb enough to support something that does not exist, namely free enterprise in USA health care.

            The lawyers and the insurance companies and big pharma are all like oversized ticks bloated with blood.

            A truly conservative position is that whatever is NECESSARY to ensure the peace, tranquillity, and prosperity of the country is a GOOD thing, and a NECESSARY thing.

            Our health care system is incapable as it currently exists of maintaining the peace, tranquillity and prosperity of the country. Times have changed, and poor people will not CONTINUE to go quietly without medical and dental care, which is obviously and patently unaffordable to half or more of the country today.

            A Western European style health care system will be a hell of a lot cheaper for everybody in the end than the troubles that result from NOT having such a system.

            I know a couple of men who will be on welfare, such welfare as is available to them, for the rest of their lives, because they were unable to pay for the treatments necessary to enable them to continue to work after having accidents. It would have been FAR cheaper to have made their injuries whole.

            The local hospital sent one of my neighbors home with a really bad wound resulting from getting intimate with a hay mower after stabilizing him, when it was obvious he needed to stay in the hospital.

            A week later he was back in for a check up, and they took off his leg, due to a run away infection that could have been easily caught early by any nurse checking on him.

            There was no doubt about WHY he was “stabilized” and sent home. They didn’t know him, he was dressed like a laborer, etc. They figured him for a charity case. He was in shock, and nobody actually asked him if he had any money.

            He could have written a good check on the spot to pay for his treatment and never even missed the money.

            I took another guy in to get an ultrasound for a suspected blood clot in his leg, and they charged nine hundred bucks for the technician, the equipment , and the doc’s opinion. We were in and out of the tech’s work station in thirty minutes. She was an old woman who learned her profession in the local community college and earns about forty grand, plus good bennies, for a very low stress job. I asked and she said all the equipment cost a couple of hundred grand, many years ago, and that she typically does twelve procedures a day. That’s ten grand , day in , day out, except weekends and holidays, when they do only emergency procedures. When we were ready to leave, I asked her how long it would before the doc looked at her stuff, and she said wait a minute, sometimes he responded right away. In this case his opinion came back even as we were asking, since he happened to be at his desk. He must have spent considerably less than five minutes on this evaluation.

            It is virtually impossible to find emergency dental care in my part of the world, at ANY price. The dentists simply flat out refuse to keep even one office open on a rotating basis so if somebody has an emergency, they do without treatment sometimes for weeks.

            I pay cash on the spot and my dentist makes no bones about charging me more than he charges insurance companies for the same procedures.

            My lawyer, who does NOT do medical malpractice, was told a gall bladder operation would cost him about ten grand, some years ago. He checked, and called back and told the hospital they charged Blue Cross Blue Shield clients only six grand and that he was prepared to pay cash. Tough shit, was the response, go join up with BC BS.

            One of his favorite observations is that in every city you go to, you can just about bet the biggest building in town belongs to an insurance company.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Sounds like doing the same thing over twice as much and expecting different results.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Old Farmer Mac,

          Interesting, do you think the people with the highest ability will be attracted to the medical profession if their salary were cut in half?

          Note that many medical errors may have little to do with physicians, they cannot be in all places at all times, many errors may be due to mistakes by nurses, pharmacists, and other technicians.

          The idea of free medical education is fine, but you will not necessarily have the best doctors at half the salary.

          Really, median personal income in the US in 2014 was about $29,000.

          Not sure many will be interested in 4 years of school plus 3 years of training (where salaries are far lower) for $100k. Many jobs with a master’s degree have a higher median salary. A physician’s assistant has a median salary of 96k.

          http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/compensation/2015/public/overview#page=2

          http://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/best-and-worst-paying-masters-degrees#

          • robert wilson says:

            It believe that becoming a board eligible physician now takes thirteen or more years post high school. It was slightly less in my day if one did not count the then common military obligation. During intern/residency training I was paid an average of $65 per month plus room, board and laundry. (late 1950’s). Baylor Medical School tuition was about $800 per year (1950’s). Pre-med tuition was less. I had night call jobs while in med school.

  33. Oldfarmermac says:

    My edited comment in reply to Paulo went to spam. I am going to try to post it here to see what happens using it as a new comment.

    The reason doctors work long hours is that they make goddamned sure they HAVE all the work they can POSSIBLY do, by making sure there are not enough doctors for them to run short of as much work as they possibly CAN do.

    I know my own doc at this time and my last one quite well, socially, and they both agree with me. Medicine as it is organized now is a racket. Our entire health care system is a cross between a racket and a cluster fuck, which is why it costs us YANKEES twice as much to get worse results than other modern countries.

    We ought to loan or give med students enough to live on, modestly, right thru med school, and write off their debts so much per year they actually look after patients.

    AFTER ALL, if you ask a hundred doctors why they went into medicine, the entire hundred are going to tell you they are in medicine because they want to HELP PEOPLE.

    I think maybe we ought to give them an opportunity to live up to their words, and do it for a hundred k, working normal hours.

    If we make the opportunity to do that available,without new docs being in debt head over heels, there will be PLENTY of bright young women and men lined up ready for med school, lol.

    There is NO GOOD REASON for us to pay MORE than necessary to get good quality medical care.

    I am actually maybe the only person in this forum who describes him self as a conservative, which I am in some respects, such as in believing in the free enterprise system.

    BUT I am also a REALIST, and therefore not dumb enough to support something that does not exist, namely free enterprise in USA health care.

    The lawyers and the insurance companies and big pharma are all like oversized ticks bloated with blood.

    A truly conservative position is that whatever is NECESSARY to ensure the peace, tranquillity, and prosperity of the country is a GOOD thing, and a NECESSARY thing.

    Our health care system is incapable as it currently exists of maintaining the peace, tranquillity and prosperity of the country. Times have changed, and poor people will not CONTINUE to go quietly without medical and dental care, which is obviously and patently unaffordable to half or more of the country today.

    A Western European style health care system will be a hell of a lot cheaper for everybody in the end than the troubles that result from NOT having such a system.

    I know a couple of men who will be on welfare, such welfare as is available to them, for the rest of their lives, because they were unable to pay for the treatments necessary to enable them to continue to work after having accidents. It would have been FAR cheaper to have made their injuries whole.

    The local hospital sent one of my neighbors home with a really bad wound resulting from getting intimate with a hay mower after stabilizing him, when it was obvious he needed to stay in the hospital.

    A week later he was back in for a check up, and they took off his leg, due to a run away infection that could have been easily caught early by any nurse checking on him.

    There was no doubt about WHY he was “stabilized” and sent home. They didn’t know him, he was dressed like a laborer, etc. They figured him for a charity case. He was in shock, and nobody actually asked him if he had any money.

    He could have written a good check on the spot to pay for his treatment and never even missed the money.

    I took another guy in to get an ultrasound for a suspected blood clot in his leg, and they charged nine hundred bucks for the technician, the equipment , and the doc’s opinion. We were in and out of the tech’s work station in thirty minutes. She was an old woman who learned her profession in the local community college and earns about forty grand, plus good bennies, for a very low stress job. I asked and she said all the equipment cost a couple of hundred grand, many years ago, and that she typically does twelve procedures a day. That’s ten grand , day in , day out, except weekends and holidays, when they do only emergency procedures. When we were ready to leave, I asked her how long it would before the doc looked at her stuff, and she said wait a minute, sometimes he responded right away. In this case his opinion came back even as we were asking, since he happened to be at his desk. He must have spent considerably less than five minutes on this evaluation.

    It is virtually impossible to find emergency dental care in my part of the world, at ANY price. The dentists simply flat out refuse to keep even one office open on a rotating basis so if somebody has an emergency, they do without treatment sometimes for weeks.

    I pay cash on the spot and my dentist makes no bones about charging me more than he charges insurance companies for the same procedures.

    My lawyer, who does NOT do medical malpractice, was told a gall bladder operation would cost him about ten grand, some years ago. He checked, and called back and told the hospital they charged Blue Cross Blue Shield clients only six grand and that he was prepared to pay cash. Tough shit, was the response, go join up with BC BS.

    One of his favorite observations is that in every city you go to, you can just about bet the biggest building in town belongs to an insurance company.

  34. Oldfarmermac says:

    Some interesting commentary on the inflation question. It takes a few minutes , but it is WELL worth reading.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-05-11/trump-s-ideas-about-the-deficit-sound-inflationary

    This article is NOT really about Trump , either pro or con.

    It just uses some of his public statements as a jumping off point to discuss this topic.

  35. R Walter says:

    There is a grade pole standing in the San Joaquin Valley that has three marks. The first mark is 29 feet above the ground level that exists now. The mark at 29 feet high on the pole is the level of the land before irrigation began or soon after. The second mark is midway between the high and low marks.The valley floor has fallen 29 feet over the years to the present level. Similar to the emptying of the Aral Sea. The water used is probably stored in human bodies at this point in time. You are part of the hydrological cycle too, you know. Your body has an eighteen percent carbon content too. Gotta fix carbon into your body to be alive. With help from ground water from the San Joaquin Valley, you can live another day.

    You are doing some heavy duty pumping of water when the land level shrinks that much.

    India grows good malting barley, maltose is the word of the day. You have to sprout the barley to a length of the seed, then you can do the malting process, heat and a keen eye to achieve the desired result, good malted barley.

    It’s after 5, so it can be beer time.

  36. Longtimber says:

    Latest generation too i Addicted & Distracted to Safely Dive? Adaption of Driver-less cars can not come fast enough?

    “A portrait of our digital age that will deeply frighten you and cause you to reevaluate many common aspects of your ‘connected’ life. … An extraordinarily important book that everyone—and I mean everyone—should read.”

    https://audioboom.com/boos/4627712-a-deadly-wandering-a-mystery-a-landmark-investigation-and-the-astonishing-science-of-attention-in-the-digital-age-by-mrichtel

  37. Longtimber says:

    eTrucks — Short Range but gotta start somewhere.
    https://chargedevs.com/newswire/california-awards-23-6-million-for-electrified-drayage-trucks-at-seaports/
    Can Tesla Quickly Execute 10 Fold?
    “From an engineering standpoint, we are already almost complete with the design of Model 3,” said Musk. The company is now “hell-bent” on becoming the world’s best automotive manufacturer.
    https://chargedevs.com/newswire/how-tesla-plans-to-meet-its-unprecedented-new-production-schedule/

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      There aren’t very many heavy duty trucks that run such short routes they can be battery powered using today’ s battery technology, but every little bit helps.

      I don’t personally foresee much progress in electrifying trucks, farm machinery, and construction machinery, until -IF – batteries got to be a LOT better.

      An eighty horse power farm tractor is just a little fella these days. A top of the line Tesla battery would last only about an hour running it, doing field work, because tractors USE all the power they have available. A class eight truck, fully loaded, can barely maintain fifty five mph on a level road with a two hundred horsepower engine. That’s an honest two hundred, commercial engines are rated at what they actually produce.

      It’s going to be a good while before batteries are good enough for construction, farming, and inter city deliveries, etc. They may NEVER be good enough for that sort of work. We might have to get by with electrified rail or some other work around , and use electric trucks only for very short routes.

      Now as to whether Tesla as an organization can get the details right in building cars, well, actually putting them together on an assembly line is not the same thing as DESIGNING them.

      Neither TESLA nor anybody else can fill an entire giant factory with super dedicated, smarter than average, gung ho people, the way TESLA has manned the company engineering offices.

      It’s hard to say how many parts TESLA must buy from other companies, but my educated guess is that the large majority of the parts in any car are manufactured by smaller specialty suppliers. It’s going to take TESLA a while to work out the kinks in the purchase of so many NEW parts, and the actual assembly of the cars.

      • Nathanael says:

        “There aren’t very many heavy duty trucks that run such short routes they can be battery powered using today’ s battery technology, but every little bit helps. ”

        Actually, all the “port to warehouse” and “port to freightyard” and “freightyard to warehouse” and “warehouse to supermarket” local in-city trucks run such short routes that they can be battery powered using today’s battery technology. This is a lot of heavy duty trucks.

        More interestingly, this is heavy duty trucks which currently spend a huge amount of time idling. Electric trucks use zero energy when “idling”. This means that the financial savings for switching this class of trucks to electric is very substantial.

      • Ulenspiegel says:

        “It’s going to be a good while before batteries are good enough for construction, farming, and inter city deliveries, etc. They may NEVER be good enough for that sort of work. We might have to get by with electrified rail or some other work around , and use electric trucks only for very short routes. ”

        Here I would bet on hybrids: The electric engines are much more powerful than their ICE competitors, a small battery plus an small diesel engine as range extender may be sufficent for construction and farm work, hybrids are more expensive but in professionl fields that is ok, for cars not. (The Ferdinand tank in WWII was a hybrid. :-))

        Long range hauling could be electrified, you put cables in/above highways and equip the trucks with some kind of pantograph or induction loading system.

      • Nick G says:

        Mac,

        Long-haul BEV trucking is perfectly doable. We just don’t have strong social consensus that it’s a good idea. If we incorporated all of the external costs of oil, and overcame the resistance of the FF industry, then the industry would start investing in it, or start being replaced by rail…..

        First, the best E-ROI and $-ROI strategy is aggressive increases in efficiency: aerodynamics, rolling resistance, drivetrain friction, platooning, etc. That can get you up to 12MPG. At 60MPH, that’s 5 gallons per hour. At 40 kWh per gallon, and 40% efficiency, that’s about 80kWh per hour. So, you’d need about 400kWh per 5 hour trip segment, combined with fast battery-swapping at a limited number of fleet or public locations.

        400kWh would weigh less than 3 tons, using Tesla battery packs. That’s not much for a vehicle with a 40 ton payload. When you consider that many payloads are volume-constrained rather than weight limited, it doesn’t look bad at all.

        This would cost about very roughly the same as diesel, at around $3/gallon. It would be enormously cost effective at the real cost of around $8/gallon. Again, both efficiency and electrification aren’t getting investment because the industry isn’t yet getting clear signals that it’s needed, and large investments are somewhat risky.

        If range was a problem, you could certainly do plug-in hybrid, which would still reduce fuel consumption by 90%. In the long-run the liquid fuel could be replaced by synthetic fuel, which will cost less than $10/gallon.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Hi Nick,

          The first thing you need to learn about the trucking industry is that you need to put a Peterbilt emblem on the grille for success. All truck drivers are prewired at birth to love Peterbilt. If you want to fail in the industry, you put a Mack bullDOG on the hood.

          Second, 80,000 gvwr weight minus the weight of the tractor trailer gives you payload. You need a rare light weight rig to have a 25 ton payload.

          Third, electrifying long haul rigs will not be low hanging fruit. There is a big difference between a 400 hp truck and 400 hp car. It takes about 12 to 15 hp to push a car down a level road and about 100 to 120 hp for an aero dynamic rig. Now think about the energy needed to lift that 80K over a 5000 high mountain compared to a 4000 pound car. The truck engine is design to pump out it maximum hp all day long. Your car powertrain would be lucky to last 15 minutes under full throttle.

          I would guess Ulenspiegel is right about it making more sense to electrify the roads than to carry battery packs on long haul trucks. Most long haul truck carry about 300 gallons of fuel capacity. Today’s EV’s battery storage only equals a few gallons of diesel. Maybe a small battery pack back up to get the truck from the warehouse to the electrified interstate.

          • Nick G says:

            gvwr weight minus the weight of the tractor trailer gives you payload.

            Yeah, I should have referred to GVW.

            A 400-hp turbodiesel engine weighs about 2,600 lbs, plus requiring 120 gallons of fuel for about 1,000 lbs with the tanks, and a 12-16-speed transmission weighing ~600 lbs, for a total of 4,200 lbs.

            A motor + controller would weigh 100 kg? A 3-4-speed transmission weighing ~150 lbs? Would a trans be needed?
            Batteries at 14 lbs per kWh, 1.33kWh/mile and 300 mile range gives a total of about 3 tons.

            Daimler Trucks North America’s (DTNA) SuperTruck program found they could reduce frame weight by 318 kg.

            That’s a total of maybe 3 tons, vs 2.1 tons for a conventional truck, for a net increase of about 1 ton. That’s less than 5% of the payload of the average truck.

            electrifying long haul rigs will not be low hanging fruit.

            Probably true, because the trucking industry is very conservative. Trucks last a long time, and an investment in the wrong truck (and supporting parts, staff, etc) is a big problem.

            Your car powertrain would be lucky to last 15 minutes under full throttle.

            Are you familiar with the powertrain used by trains? It’s electric, because electric powertrains are more powerful and durable.

            making more sense to electrify the roads than to carry battery packs on long haul trucks.

            Road electrification would be far more expensive, and infinitely slower.

            Today’s EV’s battery storage only equals a few gallons of diesel.

            Diesel is far less efficient, and more expensive. On the other hand, a plug-in hybrid is probably the sensible solution: the diesel range extender gives route flexibility.

          • GoneFishing says:

            More trains, less trucks. Electric or diesel-electric, both are much more efficient ways to move freight. Let the local haul be trucks, less distance, more easily run as an EV or hybrid.
            Diesel-electrics are getting more efficient and cleaner with time.
            Some of this is done already. Take grain for instance. It is grown in Canada and the Midwest US, gathered at local grain facilities, put on rail , moved hundreds to thousands of miles to a grain milling facility by rail. After milling the products are distributed locally by trucks. Trucks are the last step.

            Sometimes ships and barges are involved, an even more efficient way to move bulk goods.
            With more freight rail, a lot more material and goods can be transported efficiently with the truck being the local last leg.

            • Nick G says:

              Trains are good, too.

              If we transition away from fossil fuels, that will free up very roughly 1/3 of the capacity of the rail system, now used for coal and oil, for moving other stuff.

  38. Oldfarmermac says:
  39. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    We cannot possibly rely on a system that profits from the very disaster it has helped to create, yet that is the dead-end feedback loop we are locked into.

    “Mexico is a good example of how landscapes and communities are being carved up for alternative energy farms and carbon trading schemes that benefit only large corporations. Even philanthrocapitalism promotes the convenient myth that market forces and the whims of billionaires will solve systemic problems. The precautionary principle has been thrown out the window in the pursuit of short-term profits and power. We have only a vague inkling of nature’s rich complexity and interdependence. The scale of our ignorance is frightening considering our oversized impact.”

    today humans have discovered and used more than half of the oil the planet has on offer

    Our use of it must eventually decrease, and the longer we postpone that decrease the more dramatic the decrease will be. Far from reassuring us that we can always solve our problems, history tells us that civilizations that experience dramatic declines in their net energy uptake usually develop authoritarian political systems in an effort to stave off collapse, but then crash and disappear anyway.”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      “Mexico is a good example of how landscapes and communities are being carved up for alternative energy farms and carbon trading schemes that benefit only large corporations.

      Really? I have to wonder if the author of that statement has ever been to Mexico?
      Considering that excerpt is from a site that calls itself collapse of industrial civilization, I’d say you have to factor in a bit of confirmation bias.

      Just curious, do you know the actual amount of land that is involved in these alternative energy farms? I checked there are currently 10 projects that have been permitted, the largest of which is a 37.4 MW project in the north-east state of Guanajuato.

      Just to keep things in perspective:
      Land-Use Requirements for Solar Power Plants in the United States
      http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/56290.pdf

      We found total land-use requirements for solar power plants to have a wide range across technologies. Generation-weighted averages for total area requirements range from about 3 acres/GWh/yr for CSP towers and CPV installations to 5.5 acres/GWh/yr for small 2-axis flat panel PV power plants. Across all solar technologies, the total area generation-weighted average is 3.5 acres/GWh/yr with 40% of power plants within 3 and 4 acres/GWh/yr. For direct-area requirements the generation-weighted average is 2.9 acres/GWh/yr, with 49% of power plants
      within 2.5 and 3.5 acres/GWh/yr. On a capacity basis, the total-area capacity-weighted average is 8.9 acres/MWac, with 22% of power plants within 8 and 10acres/MWac. For direct land-use requirements, the capacity-weighted average is 7.3 acre/MWac, with 40% of power plants within 6 and 8 acres/MWac. Other published estimates of solar direct land use generally fall within these ranges

      I don’t get the impression that the Mexican landscape is going to be carved up or covered in solar farms anytime soon…

      BTW that one project required an investment of 80 million dollars, as far as corporate projects go, it’s pocket change.

      You can compare it to building an oil refinery:
      https://goo.gl/ANb4Dc

      Building a complex, hydrocracking, hyrdroskimming, catalytic cracking refinery, can cost anywhere between 5-15 billion USD. The throughput (processing capacity) of this refinery should be between 250-500,000 barrels per day. Oil refining is a difficult business and margins are painfully slim. Economies of scale are critical to maintaining a viable business.

      I really don’t understand why you keep making all these all these anti alternative energy posts that have absolutely no basis in reality. We know we are not going forward for long with BAU but unless you really believe there is no hope for civilization and therefore we should all just give up, then you had better hope that we find some way to maintain an industrial civilization until we find a way to reduce human population to about one billion.

      There is no way to go from where we are now to permaculture anarchist utopia without condemning 6 billion humans to death. Perhaps that is what you propose?

      We have only a vague inkling of nature’s rich complexity and interdependence. The scale of our ignorance is frightening considering our oversized impact.”

      Just who is this WE you speak of Kemosabe? I think many here have discussed E.O. Wilson’s Half Earth project. E.O. Wilson understands perfectly well that we can’t get from here to there without also maintaining Industrial civilization.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        “you had better hope that we find some way to maintain an industrial civilization until we find a way to reduce human population to about one billion.

        There is no way to go from where we are now to permaculture anarchist utopia without condemning 6 billion humans to death.”

        Well said , Sir Fred.

        The very BAU that will kill us in the long run is absolutely necessary to support us in the short run while we do what we can to transition towards a more sustainable, lower energy society.

        For now we are still rich enough to waste almost inconceivable amounts of energy, but ten, twenty, thirty years from now………. We will truly be scraping the dregs from the bottom of the fossil fuel barrel.

        We have that long to divert enough of natures one time energy gifts to preparing to use her DAILY energy gifts of sun and wind.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Where’s the discussion of the Half Earth project on here, please, Fred? Thanks.

        “Children who remain out of touch with the natural world are like cattle in a feedlot, Wilson says. They may appear content, but are they children—or cattle—in the fullest sense?” ~ PBS

        I’ve already quoted this before:

        “Someone has written a book about the children and their need for their, just simply, emotional and mental development to have contact with the mountains, with the air, the sea, with the dawn, the sunset, the trees, the birds, the song of the birds. Children that don’t have these experiences have no real idea of the world they live in. They live in a house, in a school, in a city that’s all manufactured. And they begin to be progressively isolated from the basic dynamics of what human life is all about.” ~ Thomas Berry

        These kinds of sentiments don’t strike me as being from people in support of BAU/industrial civilization.

        In any case, I am in the process of cross-referencing Wilson with BAU-derived alternative energy.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          These kinds of sentiments don’t strike me as being from people in support of BAU/industrial civilization.

          Caelan, what part of the simple fact that most of us here get that BAU is dead, do you not understand?! However if BAU dies before we find ways of transitioning, a hell of a lot of people, billions of them will die very painful and miserable deaths.

          In the video link I posted of Hunter Lovins she alludes to the fact that we are all on a bus headed over a cliff but if you slam on the brakes and try to suddenly turn the bus 180 degrees in the other direction it rolls over crashes and we all die, So that won’t work.

          BTW, I know that at the very least both OFM and I have been discussing E.O Wilson’s writings for quite some time. I’ll have to look to find some links and posts.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            (Quick and dirty, off the cuff…)

            No they won’t if they self empower themselves vis-a-vis democracy, equality and doing and learning– very soon– the basic things like food, clothing and shelter in true community and democratic/equality contexts. The avenue to this won’t be via continued BAU solar electric panels and electric cars. In fact I think it’s irresponsible, naive and unenlightened. We are already disconnected/decoupled from the planet through our technology in a myriad of ways, so we need to connect back to it and pronto! Any book author or scientist or whoever who is saying something to the contrary is likely speaking from the moon and needs to come back down to earth.

            If we agree that BAU is dead in the water, then we need to get the hell off it. How? By doing exactly what I just wrote and maybe by confronting the solar electric panel and electric car (etc.) BAU zombie fanboys/fangirls/fantransgenders, cheerleaders and corporate shills, etc..

            By the way, tentatively, my intuition tells me that Pinker, Wilson, and Fresco and maybe others are struggling with and/or dancing around the human paradox, at least as I briefly mention in Permaea’s manifesto rough draft. They all want essentially a zoo, only for humans. A Truman Show set. They want to invert the zoos and put the humans inside instead– inside their prison-of-technology. Wilson wants 50% natural with the rest of the planet a human Venus Project Zoo.

            Won’t happen.

            Humans are not going to allow themselves to be corralled like sheep into half a planet. It feels ridiculous to even type this. Maybe Wilson is saying something different, though, and I hope so.
            And BAU as a zombie won’t save us through a techno-transition either, using itself– the BAU zombie– not without at least equality and democracy added, where we can work out our problems as a species as a whole– (But then, it would not be BAU anymore.)– not via the limited results from a few gangs of, (sometimes apparently sociopsychopathic) elites via the ‘profit motive’. That’s insane.

            If we maintain this elite/status/pecking-order/class-of-humans tack, it’s over the falls, unless, or as, we get seriously culled through wars, diseases, famine, etc., which is most likely how this is going to play out if we can’t effectively work our way around the human paradox.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Humans are not going to allow themselves to be corralled like sheep into half a planet. It feels ridiculous to even type this. Maybe Wilson is saying something different, though, and I hope so.

              Obviously he is! I’m done with this discussion.
              Fred out!

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Yes, go plant a tree…

                “but if you slam on the brakes and try to suddenly turn the bus 180 degrees in the other direction it rolls over crashes and we all die, So that won’t work.” ~ Fred Magyar, on Lovins

                Getting back self-empowerment in part vis-a-vis such things as permaculture and removing your corporate-cum-nanny-state diapered ass ASAP is not doing a 180 or slamming on the brakes. It’s getting out of the fucking car.

                You don’t ‘find ways to transition’ through a dystopic system that created the necessity for transition– and at this late stage– in the first place. As you’ve written yourself, it’s repeating the same thing over and over again. Insanity. Derrick Jensen, in his book, ‘End Game’, describes our culture in precisely that way: Insane. And I agree wholeheartedly.

                Incidentally, you, Oldfarmermac and others seem to be making an implicit assumption along the lines that clinging to BAU is how to make a transition.
                I would not necessarily make that assumption. Clinging to BAU may actually make it harder to transition and may even risk more lives and wreck the planet further in the process. There’s also no guarantee that all countries everywhere will make that transition either. Thus, there is no guarantee that we won’t continue to burn through all fossil fuels until there is none left for energy cannibalization across the board.

                One last thing: I just read something about Wilson changing his tune with regard to something like living creatures other than humans having their own intrinsic value or rights that are separate and cannot be defined by humans. This may be in line with what I’ve heard about for Bolivia and Ecuador. This of course may be in conflict when the lithium mining for batteries over there gets ramped up.

                Ya gotta luv how some people make some things, some technology or another, look so pretty without thinking about what actually happens for real when humans finally get their hands all over it. Like…

                “Lithium mining is really nothing like other kinds of mining. It’s really just a benign scrape of some surface salt flats and that’s about it.”… “What’s that? The locals? We relocated them all peacefully and happily… And the rivers, soil and air are all clean…”

                You Can Drink a Whole Quart of It and It Won’t Hurt You…

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  Business As Usual is not “dead in the water” , Caelan.

                  It is however getting pretty long in the tooth, and lame, and asthmatic, and won’t last more than another generation or two, insofar as fossil fuels are concerned.

                  Old and approaching or at or maybe past the all time peak is NOT the same thing as dead.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Do we have that much time on our hands?
                    From a little above you in this thread:

                    “…what part of the simple fact that most of us here get that BAU is dead, do you not understand?!” ~ Fred Magyar

                    So go talk to Fred and maybe he can agree to take it out of the water.
                    Or maybe we can cut it in half and leave half in the water and put the other half on land.

                    Anyway, it’s just a figure of speech and between Fred and me. I’ve written BAU-zombie elsewhere.

  40. Toolpush says:

    A question from a warm climate person to ones who live in a more frigid climate. Northern US/Canada

    If a fridge is left in an unheated garage, does the contents of the fridge run the risk of freezing due to freezing ambient temperatures?
    Do fridges contain any anti freezing components, or is the fridge insulation good enough for to stop freezing?

    Thanks in advance.

  41. Toolpush says:

    Thanks Caelan,

    I hadn’t thought about the fridge freezer combination, just above freezing, so I learnt more than I was seeking. So straight refrigerators, in temps below freezing will end up as freezers, given enough time, depending on distance from heat scores.
    We certainly do not have this problem where I live, lol.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      You’re welcome. I learned about the fridge-freezer combo too as a result.

    • aws. says:

      Cold Weather Passive Refrigeration

      by Larry Schlussler PhD on September 21st, 2010, The Sun Frost Sustainability Blog

      In the mid 1980’s Sun Frost built a handful of refrigerators that used both passive and active cooling. We recently encountered renewed interest in this technology. We are currently refining the design and are building a prototype RF-16 for the Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. In an exceptionally cold climate like Fairbanks the passive cooling can be used for both the refrigerator and freezer sections. With the new design the heat pipe transferring coolth from the outside is only ¼ inch in diameter.

      If you live in a cold climate, your refrigerator is often running when the temperature outside is colder than it is in your refrigerator. A simple way of using the “coolth” from the outside to cool your refrigerator is by incorporating a heat pipe. A heat pipe is a passive device that transfers heat by evaporation and condensation.

  42. aws. says:

    Don’t know why one would drill for gas going forward. Renewables have killed coal, and will slowly destroy demand for gas.

    SPP CEO: Regionalization, transmission help push renewables penetration near 50%

    Southwest Power Pool CEO Nick Brown says he sees solar, storage and more footprint expansion coming in the next five years

    By Gavin Bade, Utility Dive | May 26, 2016

    “We have experienced a 48% penetration in the footprint, meaning that 48% of our capacity in a given hour was from wind generation in meeting our peak demand,” SPP CEO Nick Brown told Utility Dive. “Obviously, that occurred in a period of light load and high wind, but still, in our footprint, to have 48% of our generation being met by any single resource is phenomenal — and for it to be by a variable energy resource is equally phenomenal.”

    At present, SPP has more than 12.5 GW of wind capacity in its footprint, accounting for about 14% of its total. But the market has seen more than 10 GW of that in operation at one time, Brown said, pushing it well beyond operational assumptions about renewable energy integration at the beginning of the decade.

    According to SPP’s latest wind integration study, the grid operator can currently manage wind penetrations of up to 60%. Getting to that point was no mean feat, Brown said in a phone interview.

    • Heinrich Leopold says:

      aws,

      As renewables need high back up capacity, natural gas demand is actually forecast to grow much faster than renewables:

      http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=21072

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        aws seems to somehow exist within the contradiction between a concern for anthropogenic climate change (ACC) and a push for a pseudorenewables buildout which may exacerbate ACC and push the climate past a tipping point and beyond a certain level of safe stability.

        As one tv personality once said: “I am enormous and can contain contradiction.”
        So maybe aws is enormous.

      • Ulenspiegel says:

        To use the eia for projections of renewables is nonsense, they have shown a piss poor performnace in the past. 🙂

        Back up is not that expensive and most people forget to mention that most conventinoal generators also need back up, the differential costs are ok.

        As long as the back up runs with low FLH we have many options.

  43. Heinrich Leopold says:
    • Fred Magyar says:

      OIL PRO?! Really?! Great place to get unbiased climate science…

      Marita Noon?!
      Executive Director at Energy Makes America Great Inc. No conflict of interest there, eh?

      Mike Wallace? Wasn’t he the great scientist who debunked the ocean acidification fraud.
      NOT!

      https://quantpalaeo.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/not-phraud-but-phoolishness/

      Not pHraud but pHoolishness
      Posted on 26/12/2014 by richard telford
      By a curious coincidence, many climate sceptics are also ocean acidification sceptics. Some, for whom a rose by any other name would not smell so sweet, try to hide their rejection of reality behind semantics, arguing that ocean acidification should be called ocean neutralisation or ocean dealkalinisation. Others try to disprove ocean acidification with misremembered school chemistry, and yet others use dubious statistics.

      Certainly, Wallace’s “compelling” analysis is junk. I hope the rest of his PhD is better than this pHoolishess.

      I guess Wallace’s high stream flows are also filling Lake Meade but maybe it’s all evaporating or something. No worries, there is no climate change!

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Fred, there’s no such thing as a completely unbiased source and you’ve posted one or more corporate suit-and-fucking-tie, Tony ‘Thought Leader’ Seba links before. Can one get any more biased than ‘Thought Leader’? That’s about as close as corporate lingo for ‘mindfucking’ as we can go.

        Ugo Bardi just referenced his own research (granted, co-authored) in a comment at another site too, incidentally.

        With regard to climate change (and Ugo Bardi’s reference, incidentally), there’re the two issues of energy cannibalization and a global Jevon’s Paradox, both of which tie into AGW or anthropogenic climate change. No one seems to be addressing those two in any capacity that I’ve noticed.

        If you want a buildout of alternative energy, you may be risking a certain level of climate change above and beyond what may be considered dangerous/runaway, not to mention the continued effects on your corals. And all for what exactly? Maintaining a dying business model? It’s irresponsible.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          It’s INSANE to advocate a hard crash, an economic collapse on the grand scale, which is what C M is advocating, although he does not seem to appreciate it.

          A hard economic crash, world wide, is baked in, when , not if, fossil fuels start running really short and getting to be really expensive. The likely consequences will include but not be limited to, the abandonment of clean air and water laws, nature preserves being overrun by people, low quality coal deposits being mined and burnt in makeshift power plants, massive migrations of people from have not to have countries, with real violence, machine gun style, at borders, fisheries wiped out, wild life big enough to shoot and eat wiped out, I could go on all day.

          But we might as well get right on down to the main attractions of a hard collapse, which will include the FOUR HORSEMEN being the headliners for all of us who hang out on the net, right up until the net goes down, indicating the Horsemen will be coming to our town, soon.

          • Hickory says:

            You are exactly right on this OFM.
            C.M. is advocating an abrupt shift (hard crash) away from the industrial underpinnings of the modern world, including that of modern agriculture, water infrastructure, and energy production, for example.
            What I don’t think he understands is that this abrupt shift will only happen if accompanied by a massive die off in population.
            Many of us believe that we are in a massive overshoot condition , and that we surely need to begin a massive downsizing in the human global footprint.
            But must of us also would like to work hard to make this transition gradual, with adaptation, and hopefully without a couple billion souls being crushed under the steamroller. Might happen anyway, but it is extremely naive to think that you could make an abrupt shift to C.M.’s version of ‘permaculture” without bringing on stoneage conditions. His wife would find it hard to come up with even wool undergarments.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              “I don’t know if we are about to get a lot warmer (from CO2), or on the verge of a big cool down as the Holocene pleasant period comes to an end. Anyone who says they do either is just trying their best to make a prediction (guess), or has some big agenda.
              Either way, I see one possible big positive aspect of attempts at CO2 control. All successful attempts will have the effect of putting the brakes on economic growth-specifically industrial output. And that will help put the brakes on population growth. Any thing we can do to put the brakes on population growth will make the eventual die-off a little less massive. Any mechanism to roll back population gradually and gracefully is a very good thing- whether its contraception, education of women, elective euthanasia, or CO2 economic penalties.

              I have climbed up a short ladder and looked out over the ocean of human heads, and this ocean of humanity stretches out beyond as far as you can see in every direction. And so, I have deliberately (and successfully) avoided having children. Not to say that I haven’t gone through the practice motions with some ladies many hundreds of times……” ~ Hickory

              LOL

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            If there is going to be, as you write, a ‘four horsemen’ anyway, we might as well start looking at taking our pacifiers out of our mouths, rolling up our sleeves and getting down-and-dirty with our own adult self-empowerment again. Empowering ourselves and helping each other in that endeavor– community, cooperation, and all that.

            The longer we maintain this infantilistic cultural tack in our ‘plastic pants’, the harder and more brutal the crash will be. Why? Because a lot of the skills many people will have by then if no change will amount to little more than shopping, driving a car, pushing a product, and surfing the net/texting.

            “Hey kids! What has the same number of syllables as ‘biz•ness•as•u•su•al’?!”

            Kids: “What?!”

            “Vul•ner•a•bi•li•ty!”

            Kids: “Yaaayyyyy!”

            “Not yaaayyyyy!”

            Kids: “No?!”

            “NO!”

            😀

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Fred, there’s no such thing as a completely unbiased source and you’ve posted one or more corporate suit-and-fucking-tie, Tony ‘Thought Leader’ Seba links before. Can one get any more biased than ‘Thought Leader’? That’s about as close as corporate lingo for ‘mindfucking’ as we can go.

          There is a big difference between what Tony Seba talks about, he simply talks about possible scenarios and Mike Wallace, who if one understands anything about ocean chemistry, statistical analysis and the scientific method would understand that his paper on the correlation between the increase in atmospheric CO2 and ocean acidification is profoundly flawed! That’s simply put, bad science!

          So if his past work clearly demonstrates bad science, then I am even more skeptical of a site that is a fossil fuel site, with obviously vested interests in saying that climate change is not a problem. showcasing his latest paper, as evidence that the drought in the Western US and Lake Meade’s water level, water use mismanagement notwithstanding, is not in any way influenced by climate change. Even more so when those claims include labels like ‘Climate Alarmists’!

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            I was just making a point about bias.
            In any case, we have limited time to go running after research papers, etc., civilizational overcomplexity and all that.

      • Geoff Riley says:

        Climate change (both in the form of warming and cooling) has been going on for as long as the sun has pumped its radiation through our solar system and onto our humble planet. In other words, its a process ongoing since the beginning of time. Furthermore, the effects of the process can be summed up quite simply by saying that when the sun is highly active and hot, the earth warms. When the sun is less active and cold, the earth cools.

        The abrupt warming seen mostly in the 1980’s-2000’s was due solely to increased solar activity. Such action led simply to a hotter sun as part the long-term solar cycle that always naturally comes and goes over a period of many years. Where most of the climate scientists working for the government make their greatest error is in presuming the earth’s atmosphere to be a completely “closed system” with CO2 emissions always winding up as the only consequential “input” in the system.

        In reality, this really is a haphazard (you could even say lazy) assessment of the situation, since it doesn’t take into account how the sun went into a major state of inactivity and cooling beginning around 2007, or how the consequences of this state have been reflected in the recent winter cold spells, significant lowering of Atlantic hurricane activity, and decreases in the core temperatures of the world’s oceans.

        • Gertrude Riley says:

          I wish I could say that what my brother, Geoff, is doing is not related to the fact that governments and energy industries need to push for energy cannibalization (and therefore endangering the climate further) in order to railroad their alternative energy strategies, but Geoff knows better, right Geoff?

          We just had an argument about this, and so I decided to post this in protest of what he is doing and how he is indirectly contributing to the risk of the planet’s climate by his activities. It is traitorous, but he doesn’t care because as he told me, he won’t be around when it gets really bad. I have kids, though, so they will be affected.

          • Geoff Riley says:

            I don’t have a sister named Gertrude or know anything about the “argument” mentioned here. Hopefully the mods can sort out why somebody thought it appropriate to impersonate a family member of mine who doesn’t even exist!

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Hi Geoff,

          A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. You know just enough to be dangerous, but the odds are actually about eighty percent or better you are a Koch brothers troll, and only about twenty percent you are simply ignorant.

          We see a lot of people like you show up for a day or two, but they always leave in short order, because they soon realize they are talking to their ELDERS, whereas they are not yet even out of the first grade in respect to climate science.

  44. R Walter says:

    http://io9.gizmodo.com/5958954/what-destroyed-the-maya-a-stalagmite-from-beliz-could-finally-solve-this-ancient-mystery

    The Mayans collapsed due to water shortages, drought made life miserable. There they were, gone.

    Climate change was the culprit says the stalagmite.

  45. Longtimber says:

    Indeed, many of the forecasts made just five years ago about solar’s costs, competitiveness, and generation, have been completely overtaken by the global solar buildout.

    Because India is now very much in the solar game–and because the economics of coal have also quickly become unattractive–we speculate the world will achieve its first terawatt of solar sometime in the next 5-7 years.
    http://www.terrajoule.us/

  46. Hickory says:

    Might be nice to have a separate thread for the science and religion of permaculture.
    Topics for the new thread could be-
    How do we downsize to the 760 million carrying capacity that permaculture enables in the shortest timeframe possible?
    Who gets to be on the population downsizing selection committee, besides C.M. of course?
    And, just how do you convince your girlfriend to wear wool panties?

    OK- bad hickory. Now sit in the corner and get your lecture.

  47. robert wilson says:

    For several months I have been watching for an ev in the Camarillo CA area. I finally saw one today, a Chevrolet Spark in the Costco parking lot.

    • Hickory says:

      What is strange is when an ev, or hybrid running in electric mode, comes up behind you if you are walking or riding a bike- they are near silent. They really do need some kind of artificial noise maker for safety sake.
      There are lots of them up in Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara counties.

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        There is a lot of EV’s here in Huntington and Newport Beach too. Six months ago in the local Costco parking lot Tesla put in 10 charging stations. Within a couple of weeks you would always see all of them being used. Now there is an attendant that watches over the chargers and there only about half full most of the time.

  48. Fred Magyar says:

    Probably OT even for this thread… but it is interesting in that it shows how completely ignorant and unprepared most of us are with respect huge changes that are already upon us. I find what is happening in the field of AI to be fascinating and more than a little bit scary.

    A guy trained a machine to “watch” Blade Runner. Then things got seriously sci-fi.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/6/1/11787262/blade-runner-neural-network-encoding

    …In other words: Warner had just DMCA’d an artificial reconstruction of a film about artificial intelligence being indistinguishable from humans, because it couldn’t distinguish between the simulation and the real thing.

    We are truly entering completely uncharted territory where SciFi and current technology are becoming indistinguishable from each other and here I am not talking only about this one case. Think about what might happen when AI is mated (no pun intended) with technology such as CRISPER-Cas9, gene drives and synthetic organisms a la Craig Venter…

    CRISPER-cas9
    https://www.neb.com/tools-and-resources/feature-articles/crispr-cas9-and-targeted-genome-editing-a-new-era-in-molecular-biology

    Gene Drives:
    http://wyss.harvard.edu/staticfiles/newsroom/pressreleases/Gene%20drives%20FAQ%20FINAL.pdf

    First Self-Replicating, Synthetic Bacterial Cell Constructed by J. Craig Venter Institute Researchers –
    See more at: http://www.jcvi.org/cms/press/press-releases/full-text/article/first-self-replicating-synthetic-bacterial-cell-constructed-by-j-craig-venter-institute-researcher/home/#sthash.zWAT0103.dpuf

    Now add AI to the above mix! Enjoy! 🙂

    • Hickory says:

      I agree Fred. We are on the verge of huge disruptions with genetic engineering, and there are a lot of bad bad outcomes possible, especially on the virus/bacterial/fungi level.
      Throw in AI and weaponized robotics and we on the verge of a potentially very lethal wild west.
      This stuff is going to surprise us all- big time.

      Don’t open that valve…Watson

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Don’t open that valve…Watson

        Watson: Hey, don’t blame me! I found the lid, right there beside Pandora’s Box and there is nothing in the box…

        The good news is that Gene Drives only seem to work with eukaryotes and not with viruses.

        But Gregor Mendel’s genetics is ancient history at this point and we have opened up a completely new chapter and paradigm in biological evolution. As everything else that science gives us, it is neither good nor bad but common sense tells us that the precautionary principle should apply in spades when using this technology in the field.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Fred,
      Don’t worry about AI, the brain is far more complex than can be simulated by solid state circuitry. Chips are already near the quantum boundary and use way too much power to even run 1/100 of a brain. We will have to invent a whole new way of computing to get to actual AI.

      The ability to manipulate genetics does make is a much more dangerous world. but genetic manipulation is one way for humans to move to a biological culture, much more integrated with nature and thus a way out of the energy/destruction dead ends we are pursuing.

      That said, you are correct to be concerned about the future uses of genetic manipulation and genetic construction. Reminds me of the quote from Jurassic Park “and that is when the running and screaming starts”.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      “…and here I am not talking only about this one case.” ~ Fred Magyar

      “Oh, look, more tech and look what it can do and might do!”…
      They’ve been saying this probably since humans had their current capacities, Fred.

      So how about making your own case, your own synthesis?

      Many previous civilizations were advanced for their time perhaps precisely because they were civilizations, and so tapped social/knowledge and material/energy pools normally or previously unobtainable.

      So what happened, where are their technologies, and where are they now? Well they declined and/or collapsed.

      Why are we not yet on Mars? We should be– if we want. So who’s ‘we’?

      The state ostensibly wraps itself around civilizations and is probably what creates drags on them and inevitably declines/collapses them.

      While we continue to lose sight and touch with the planet, our home, and what really matters– community, etc.– there’s a lot we can do with what we already have right now, but we won’t and never will.

      Why’s that? In part because no one calls us up about it? Decisions by relative minorities are made for us. And ‘we’ (well, the indoctrinees and/or prisoners, etc.) vote for their so-called reps, and, like good little dogs, roll over and beg for them and eat their food that they put in bowls on the floor for us, etc..

      …And we continue along ‘our’ technotreadmills while what really matters rapidly passes by us like all those vistas, that were once pristine, do when we’re in our cars.

      That’s why.

      • GoneFishing says:

        I do wonder why people want to go to Mars. It’s a dead uninhabitable planet and could soon become a graveyard planet. Scientists are worried we will contaminate it, instead of worrying about reducing the contamination here.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          The point isn’t to go to Mars per se, but what we want to do with our own money as a collective. The point is that if we don’t have real democratic control over our own money, then we are not going to go where we want.

          We are going to go where the elites want to go, using our money.

    • Bob Nickson says:

      I think gene editing should be approached with extreme caution.

      Except for correcting male pattern baldness. Let’s get on it people. What’s the holdup?

  49. Fred Magyar says:

    “Oh, look, more tech and look what it can do and might do!”…
    They’ve been saying this probably since humans had their current capacities, Fred.

    I just realized that you don’t have the slightest idea what I have been talking about do you?
    Let alone what the implication of connecting those thing would be.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      Excuse me?

    • Fred Magyar says:

      The ability to manipulate genetics does make is a much more dangerous world.

      I have a background in biology so I have a pretty good grasp of the fact that we have been genetically manipulating our domesticated plants an animals through artificial selection since the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago.

      The game changer that has recently become available are gene drives and how they affect inheritance compared to ‘normal inheritance’.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        I get that only too well, Fred, that’s why we need to bail and that’s why we will– willingly or by force (of nature).

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Don’t worry about AI, the brain is far more complex than can be simulated by solid state circuitry.

        That isn’t what I’m worried about. It’s what AI is already capable of right now that makes me raise an eyebrow. Deep learning algorithms can already do some really amazing things.

        From the link I posted above:

        …In other words: Warner had just DMCA’d an artificial reconstruction of a film about artificial intelligence being indistinguishable from humans, because it couldn’t distinguish between the simulation and the real thing.

        Remember AI works on the very same computers that are used for gene editing…

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Shiver me timbers, Fred.
          Mother Nature is going to make a fool out of your gene drives, depending on their light of day.

          As she has with practically every other human technology.

          Mother Nature is the game-changer.

  50. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Scientific Consensus: ‘Efforts to curtail world temps will almost surely fail’

    By Kenneth Richard

    “Already this year there are 6 peer-reviewed papers examining efforts to curtail CO2 emissions through the use renewable energies. They all conclude that the effort won’t be successful. Given the trillions already committed and at risk of being totally wasted, one has to seriously question the wisdom of the effort.

    In fact, some think the renewable energy effort could make things even worse.

    What follows are 6 scientific publications from this year alone that tell us the climate protection efforts are not working.”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      https://goo.gl/mxNWLe

      Johnny Mandel Suicide is painless with lyrics

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        I wrote this myself, Fred, a long time ago. Enjoy:

        Spectrum

        Neurochemical tones of
        A very narrow spectrum

        An infinitely variable palette,
        Of frequencies they called ‘color’

        Red green blue were enough
        For those who could not
        see all there was.

        Radio-waves…
        What lovely hues, it thought…

        What were they really like?…

        Not a human could respond…

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Not a human could respond…

          Perhaps you should have tried to address a synesthetic self aware mantis shrimp.

          I created this graphic for those very creatures 🙂

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            What would it say if I was that synesthetic mantis shrimp? And would my math convention even look like that? And why mantis shrimp or the light-show and wavy number graphic? Is some of it supposed to echo my poem? Also, aren’t mantis shrimp already self-aware?

            Lastly, have you made up your mind about technology? You seem a little conflicted.

            EV’s and PV’s but no gene drives? What?

            • Fred Magyar says:

              You can google mantis shrimp eyes, they have really interesting eyes. No, they are not definitely not self aware, they are arthropods.

              Lastly, have you made up your mind about technology? You seem a little conflicted.

              EV’s and PV’s but no gene drives? What?

              You seem to misunderstand much of what I write. I am not conflicted at all. we already have gene drives and I’m neither for nor against them. All I said is that they are a potential game changer in terms of how we are now able to manipulate inheritance.

              You seem to assume that one has to always be for or against something. That’s just not how I see the world at all.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Wow, I’m impressed.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Regarding the above, I selected post comment by accident and the editor is not working. In any case,
                  while the eyes of the mantis shrimp are indeed impressive, perhaps it is just as well that it is apparently not self-aware at the level that we are, hm?

  51. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Many of the most efficient energy systems don’t use electricity at all.

    Any form of electricity, even generated by renewable energy systems like photovolataic panels, comes with a cost in efficiency. The second law of thermodynamics says that every time energy changes form, some is lost as heat or light. For instance, if you turn sunlight into electricity via photovoltaics and then turn that electricity into hot water, the process is likely less than 15 perscent effective because of the two conversions. In other words, 85 percent of the solar energy hitting the photovoltaic panel is lost before it actually results in hot water. Using the source to the job directly (for example, heating water directly with the sun’s rays) is often the most efficient way to get it done.

    Given that using electricity isn’t the most efficient way to get things done and that it takes a fair amount of technological savvy to produce your own electricity, it makes sense to look at nonelectric ways to get work done first.” ~ Jessi Bloom, Dave Boehnlein, ‘Practical Permaculture for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth’

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Hi Caelan,

      It’s about time to get out there in the sun and hoe the corn, the way my grand parents did it for the last couple of acres they produced for old times sake. My money says you would have blisters by seven am DST , and a bad sunburn by ten am, and that you wouldn’t be able to keep up with a twelve year old girl used to physical work for more than an hour. Might need an ambulance for you by noon.

      • Caelan MacIntyre: Superweeds 1; Industrial Agro 0 says:

        We’ve been doing agro wrong for the past 7000 years or so… monocropping, limited crops, annuals, GMO’s, pesticides, soil draw-downs, antibiotics, aquifer draw-down, runoff, industrialization/factory-farming/factory-feedlots, soil salinization, mad cow (feeding cows their own products), large-scale centralization/distant markets, etc..

        That’s how you spell fuck-up, Glen. And its coming home to roost. *Bwokbwokbwok*

        ‘Farmer’ sounds so idyllic, doesn’t it. Until you peel back the slimy layers.

        I wonder how much of the courses you took in agro have anything to do with sustainability, regeneration or resilience. Your hypothetical 12 year old girl might single-handedly have an easier time with permaculture and/or with working humbly and respectfully, rather than arrogantly and disrespectfully with Mother Nature’s 13 billion+ year technology, than your entire family did in the old daze.

        Wild edibles grow without any help all over the place every summer here in tough conditions– through asphalt and concrete– right under our shnozes while we walk into the supermarkets like domesticated pets and fork over money. You know about money and how it works, don’t you?
        Your governpimps don’t want you to grow your own food. Because it’s free and empowering and gives them less taxes.

        And removes part of your sociopoliticultural diapers. How does your BAU pacifier taste today, Glen?

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          My pacifier tastes of imported cheese shipped a few thousand miles, right this minute, plus a pear that probably came just as far. It will be well over a month before local watermelons will be ripe. I may have a banana pacifier for my bed time snack. The banana will come from even farther away. 😉

          It will be nice and cool tonight, so I won’t run the AC, lol.

          You don’t understand the physical world, and physical reality, at even the most trivial level.

          You would starve to death, or die of exposure or violence , within six weeks of having to do without the government and industry you spend so much time railing about.

          I am not ready to advocate starving a couple of billion kids.

          ARE YOU?

          Down thread you propose building some sort of tree house contraption using wire or cable.

          NO CAELAN , DUMB CAELAN, YOUR RULES do not allow wire and or cable, and if you want any rope, you will have to weave it yourself out of vines or grass, and you must expect it to rot and allow your tree house to come crashing down within a few months if you live in a place with significant rainfall.

          Good luck hacking out the timbers with a stone hand axe.

          You might manage to chop out just one in a week or so, if the blisters don’t get you first.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Past time to change BAU before it starves a couple of billion kids, then, and, while we’re at it, teach them how to feed and fend for themselves– yes, like how to determine what kind of good fibre that grows and/or that can be grown that makes good rope, and/or how to run a local cooperative company.

            It’s called taking the suss out of your mouth, Glen. Our kids are waiting and they are probably not going to have the kind of governpimp fiat or useless jobs to be able to afford much in the way of PV’s or EV’s or houses to put them on and park them in, respectively.

            Our kids are looking to both you and me as adults to teach them, or at least inspire them with, what they need to know and I doubt they are going to be too impressed with adults in BAU diapers. Not the ones interested in survival and comfort in an increasingly uncertain world.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Caelan, do you possess even the most rudimentary reading skills?

              You don’t have a CLUE, so far as I can see. I support bau because bau is absolutely, utterly, totally , incontrovertibly ESSENTIAL to our survival over the short to medium term.

              I have never argued for bau long term but rather that without bau short to medium term, we have an “approaching zero” chance of managing a transition to a sustainable society.

              If you actually knew doo doo from apple butter, you would understand that it is utterly out of the question to give up bau at this time, or at any time in the easily foreseeable future.

              Almost all the little kids would starve, excepting the ones that would die violently, or of nasty diseases. You have your head so far up your backside you will NEVER see daylight.

              As it happens, I actually WORK at sustainability, even as a RETIRED professional, doing real research, teaching people how to live well on less, how to avoid getting sick, etc.

              It has probably never occurred to you – you are probably too IGNORANT to understand the issue- but people live longer healthier lives now than they have ever lived before in history, due in no small part to BUSINESS AS USUAL INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE.

              Supplying yourself with an adequate balanced diet in a place like the BIG APPLE means industrial agriculture, pure and simple.

              Nobody in this forum is so stupid and ignorant as to believe that business as usual can last long term, and I certainly do not want the currrent iteration or generation of business as usual to last forever.

              But it is a total waste of time to just go around repeating your sky is falling speech, as if you know something everybody else does not.

              Just about all the rest of us are interested in DOING SOMETHING to change things.

              We spend our time here, most of us, trying to figure out HOW to change things. We discuss possibilities, we argue the pros and cons of various possible solutions or partial solutions.

              You just go on and on with your sky is falling soapbox speech.

              If you have EVER posted one single practical suggestion, or a practical possible solution to any problem, I must have missed it.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                I would lay a whole lot of steaming dumplings all over your BAU if I didn’t think that they were worth more as compost. Or in a nice stew.

                I’ve already mentioned plenty of self-empowering ‘extraBAU’ things on POB, including under/in this very article/thread, like permaculture, ecovillages, knitting, wild edibles (‘weeds’) and even the treehouse with the use of palette wood as a design constraint.
                This kind of stuff means ‘transition’, of getting the hell out of BAU before it kicks us out, unceremoniously.

                They are part of a collection of adaptive survival strategies, if you will, but even of just a nice life.

                BAU is predicated in large part on elitism, the commodification of nature, and resource draw-down and despoilment anyway, so your notion of ‘living longer, healthier lives’ is distorted– rather, perhaps, like some effects of debt– and maybe a result of looking too close to the picture. If BAU was sustainable, then you could claim that. But then, we wouldn’t be here talking about this, would we? If BAU delivered us to some kind of Eden?

                “If you have EVER posted one single practical suggestion, or a practical possible solution to any problem, I must have missed it.” ~ Glen McMillian/Oldfarmermac

                Yep. Practical solutions are all over the place under your very shnoz, but the more often you have it buried up BAU’s bottom-line, the more (alternatives to it) you’ll likely miss.

    • Longtimber says:

      PV Hot water is a Great way to go for so many reasons.

      1. Economics of kWh’s by PV
      2. Hot water on cloudy days with Proper design
      3. XX pipes to freeze
      4. Decades long maintenance free.
      5. Larger Area of Roof Shaded in Southern Climates ( Lower eff is a plus )
      6. Collector is Standardized ( 60 cell panel is $200 vs $1500 for a HQ Thermal )
      7. Ease of Installation – No expensive insulated pipes to run, Panel is < 20kg, etc, etc.
      8. Collector can be a very remote.
      9. Downside – Not a lot of Providers .. yet…

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Considerations:

        • Local resilience?
        • Community involvement?
        • Local alternatives to heating water?
        • Complexity/Simplicity/Sustainability of systems?
        • Supply-chain-disruptions?
        • Support disruptions?
        • Type of architecture/settings
        • Self-empowerment (degrees/levels)?
        • Appropriateness and contexts of systems (urban, village, rural)?
        • Are all selling-point features needed?
        • Lifestyle adjustments?
        • Embedded energies (emergy) of various systems?
        • Long-term lifecycles (comparative analyses)?
        • Biodegradability/Reuseability/Adaptive reuse for different systems altogether?
        • Flexibility of materials in construction/replacement/maintenance?
        • Flexibility of methods of exchanges for systems (barter? governpimp fiat? sweat equity? no wage-slave job equals no corporate PV system?)
        • Democracy/Equality inherent in the systems?

        • Longtimber says:

          There’s only 2 things stopping you from hooking up a matched PV Array
          to a hot water heater. 1. NEC & Building Codes, 2. The Thermostat relay is not designed for DC. As with AC – Make sure the Tank is grounded.. use a the AC switch to switch an dc or EV Relay .. Many been doing this for a decade … since PV fell below $5.00 watt.
          Or you bypass the Relay and let the PT valve limit the temperature ( Not Recommended) .. Or simple – just Balance things and have a smaller array and do a PV pre-heating tank. Newer NEC codes treat PV as a freak … require Arc & Ground Fault on PV Source circuits in homes. PV Source circuits have always been required to be in Metal.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Thanks, Long’. I’ll keep that under consideration.

            What do you think about a rainwater collection system that’s maybe something along the lines of an old oak barrel that’s painted black and under some sun-facing skylights in the attic? How high would it have to be to have sufficient pressure for a decent shower? I’ve heard from 30 to 100 feet so far.

            • scrub puller says:

              Yair . . .
              You can have a “decent shower” with the tank six or seven feet above the shower base provided a decent sized pipe (say 3/4″) is used to the shower head.

              Cheers.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Even better and great to know. Thanks, scrub’.

                I might try to get something like that in a two-storey treehouse design previously mentioned on here before. I guess the water container would have to be relatively-small with maybe showers limited to a little after it starts raining.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  FWIW, I’m replacing this and going with more of a tension design, using wire/cable and/or rope.

  52. Oldfarmermac says:

    http://www.pv-tech.org/news/queensland-commits-long-term-funding-for-120mw-of-solar

    Getting the few big solar farms in place will take a while , but the more that are built, the faster more CAN be built.

  53. Oldfarmermac says:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/06/02/save-the-climate-and-protect-america-build-an-underground-energy-interstate-now/

    It seems rather likely that we could get to eighty percent or better renewable electricity by building out lots of wind and solar farms all tied together using a national HVDC grid.

    Maybe we will get a few Pearl Harbor Wake Up Bricks upside our collective head and build such a grid.

    Cheap gas won’t last forever, and we will be needing it for other things as important as electricity.

    The wind and solar farms will surely follow if the grid is available, and it wouldn’t have to be all built out at one time. Just a few new high capacity lines could bring enough wind and solar power to some population centers from out in the windy sunny boonies to get the process started.

    Scale brings economies.

    My guess is that more than half of a HVDC system could actually be above ground, since the opposition to new lines is mostly associated with developed areas. Put some sweetener on it, in the form of local tax collections, and most rural counties would probably approve above ground construction.

    • GoneFishing says:

      First, I don’t think a real emp weapon even exists. Right now you would have to set off multiple hydrogen bombs to take out the grid.
      In that case it would be a lot cheaper to have effective ABM and anti-satellite systems rather than building a network of power conduits that will feed into a destroyed local network and might be destroyed themselves. From where? If an area had power left, it probably would not have enough power to feed a national grid. So what is the point?

      “Myth: When an EMP hits the ground, the induced electric currents either head directly toward the center of the earth or they just vanish from existence.

      Fact: When EMP (or lightning) hits the ground, the currents tend to spread out horizontally. These ground currents can do great damage, especially to underground cables of all kinds. Metal conduits are of little help, and may actually make the situation worse by providing a path for underground currents which can, in turn, induce large voltage spikes on the underground lines inside of the conduits. A large amount of damage has actually occurred due to these underground currents, due to both lightning strikes and nuclear EMP. This is one reason that so much of the information on the internet on grounding and on underground cabling is pure nonsense. Large variations in soil conductivity makes the ground current situation even more complex.”

      http://www.futurescience.com/emp/emp-myths.html

      The price of technology is that much of humanity and the world of species is at constant risk. Many species are already extinct or headed there right now. So why do we do it? We simply want to go faster, be more powerful, communicate like gods and never, ever be safe at any time anywhere, even from our food. You can defend yourself from wild animals, attack by small groups of humans with simple weapons, but there is no defense against weapons of mass destruction and robotic drones hovering over you high in the sky or the very chemicals and industry that gives all that power. Heck, we can’t even protect our own children from drugs, crime, rampaging murders and perverts. It is even illegal for me to defend myself and family in many circumstances.
      So how far will we let this go and where is it going anyway? What is the goal, the end purpose of all this gizmoid, nuclear, machine existence? Does anybody know the plan let alone the frequency Kenneth?

      So what are the odds of nuclear attack? 100 percent over the long term, they will be used if they continue to exist and spread. It’s just a matter of time, opportunity and error. We are in a constant state of terror and it’s building. We are under constant attack if you read the media.

      Cold War? Who needs one?
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/07/nuclear-weapons-risk-greater-than-in-cold-war-says-ex-pentagon-chief

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      “In 2013, longtime owners the Graham family sold the newspaper to Jeff Bezos for US$250 million in cash.” ~ Wikipedia

      “Jeffrey Preston ‘Jeff’ Bezos… is an American technology entrepreneur and investor.” ~ Wikipedia

      On June 3rd., 2016, Oldfarmermac commented favorably on the blog, Peak Oil Barrel, about a Washington Post technology article. ~ macintyre~media

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Caelan, every body has an agenda.

        Now personally, I think a robust new grid, mostly buried, out of sight, safe from storm and sabotage, for the most part, and capable of enabling us to keep on ACTUALLY LIVING in existing houses, and working at existing jobs, is a GREAT idea.

        I am ready to pay extra for the wind and solar power that new grid can bring to my house.

        I have mostly found it amusing to poke you with a stick, but you are so humorless and fixated on impossibilities I have gotten tired of it.

    • Longtimber says:

      “The Grid” be for dwellers of city canyons. Country Folk should not be taxed and burdened with such mass techno absurdity. A single kW of PV on you roof is worth several kW located timezones away, regulated by gubbermint buro-rats and financed by Banksters . Ask those of Iraq or Venezuela.

  54. Longtimber says:

    Samsung sees THE Future in Electro-Chem .. Abandons R & D Fuels cells.. Guarantee we can have our MTV. Hopefully Toyota is next. We should have an affordable 66kWH Prius Pickup VIII by now.

    https://chargedevs.com/newswire/samsung-sdi-drops-fuel-cells-will-concentrate-on-batteries/

  55. Oldfarmermac says:

    http://cleantechnica.com/2016/06/03/two-former-australian-brown-coal-bosses-switch-solar-clean-tech/

    Small scale solar is great, especially out in the real boonies, such as the Australian country side.

    But large scale solar is and will remain cheaper by a mile, because small scale installations simply cannot be installed efficiently, compared to bringing in large crews and doing a large solar farm. The grid is already there.

    • Longtimber says:

      Game may be over.. Don’t see how CG can compete with DG as Centralized generation
      is Mortgaged by IOU or Jamie Diamond. One can take 4 items.. 4-6 Panels, Mounting , Wiring and Simple high reliability drivers/converters ( made by the millions ) and get the power at what ever voltage you need you need for pumps, freezers, communication, entertainment, battery charging, etc, etc 8-13 hours a day. No Batteries, Little complexity.

  56. GoneFishing says:

    A long time ago in a place not too far away (just don’t count how far the earth has moved since then), a grand canal was built down a moderately steep river. It was built by hand and horsepower of giant stone locks and stone and wooden dams. It was a one directional canal, actually the river itself. When the great lock doors opened a rush of water would fill the riverbed, carrying the loaded boats downriver to the next pool and lock. The boats were built from local wood near the top, used, then broken down and sold for other purposes. All to move coal from the mountains down to the cities where it would be burned and returned to the atmosphere. Coal and trees moving downhill toward the ocean, intercepted along the way.
    As the hills were denuded of forest to provide wood for the canal boats of this grand enterprise, the land no longer held water the way it had and spring freshets would regularly flood the river/canal ripping out a dam or two along the way.
    Luckily, or unluckily for the canal and lock operators, the railroad was invented and soon coal was burned to move more coal. Slowly the canal business faded and the forests came back, not the same, but there were trees again.
    Meantime, in other places along the river, hemlock trees were cut and stripped of their bark for the animal hide tanning process. So went the great hemlock forest, for it’s skin. 70 million cut down just from the Catskills, all so we could wear cowhide over our own. Or sit on it. Or walk in it.
    There are only so many trees and trees are nice to have around, so we found chemical ways to do what took six months of soaking with hemlock bark, tanning.

    All examples of limited resources being overused and depleted until we could move on to other limited resources to be depleted. Sound familiar?

  57. Oldfarmermac says:

    http://www.popsci.com/renewable-energy-is-about-to-boom-thanks-to-new-white-house-initiative

    This link is a very useful one for any body who wants to read a simple explanation of the network effect, and it has some good graphs etc.

    Basically the message is that renewable energy industries are just now getting to the steep part of the S new technology adoption curve.

    For what it is worth, I believe the message is on the money.

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  60. Adam Ash says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-09/energy-world-s-newest-supership-misses-the-boat-on-lng-pricing

    Keeping their finger’s crossed. But for how long before the financiers pull the plug?

  61. Oldfarmermac says:

    Here are some quotes by the founders of our federal government concerning firearms. It sort of aggravates me that some people, lots of people actually, find it convenient to pretend when it comes to what people thought back in the early days of this country. I doubt anybody will read it at this late date, but with the massacre in Florida in the news, it’s important to maintain a little perspective.

    The 2nd Amendment it seems was specifically about the experience the Founding Fathers had with the Mighty Imperial British Army.

    QUOTES FROM THE FOUNDING FATHERS ABOUT GUNS AND THUS THEIR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE INTENT OF THE AMENDMENT.

    “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787

    “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776

    “A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776

    “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

    “The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824

    “On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823

    “I enclose you a list of the killed, wounded, and captives of the enemy from the commencement of hostilities at Lexington in April, 1775, until November, 1777, since which there has been no event of any consequence … I think that upon the whole it has been about one half the number lost by them, in some instances more, but in others less. This difference is ascribed to our superiority in taking aim when we fire; every soldier in our army having been intimate with his gun from his infancy.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Giovanni Fabbroni, June 8, 1778

    “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    “To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them.”
    – George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adooption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788

    “I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.”
    – George Mason, Address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 4, 1788

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.”
    – James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789

    “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
    – Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787

    “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.”
    – James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788

    “…the ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone…”
    – James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788

    “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
    – William Pitt (the Younger), Speech in the House of Commons, November 18, 1783

    “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms… “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
    – Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

    “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
    – Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778

    “This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…. The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”
    – St. George Tucker, Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1803

    “The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like law, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance ofpower is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one-half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves.”
    – Thomas Paine, “Thoughts on Defensive War” in Pennsylvania Magazine, July 1775

    “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
    – Samuel Adams, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788

    “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”
    – Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833

    “What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty …. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.”
    – Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, I Annals of Congress 750, August 17, 1789

    “For it is a truth, which the experience of ages has attested, that the people are always most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion.”
    – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 25, December 21, 1787

    “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.”
    – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28

    “[I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”
    – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28, January 10, 1788

    “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
    – Tench

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