The World in 2030- Non-Fossil Fuel Open Thread

This is a non-fossil fuel Open Thread, with a suggested topic of what the World will look like in 2030.

There are many different visions of the future. Some see either slow or fast collapse due to financial crises caused by high debt levels, overpopulation, resource constraints, war, and environmental damage (not a complete list.)

Others see the potential for technological progress in EVs and other transportation, low cost solar and wind energy sources, reduced cost battery storage, low cost sensors, and new business models leading to disruptive changes that may allow us to overcome many resource constraints, reduce environmental damage, and transform society.  In addition, this optimistic view foresees a Worldwide demographic transition with World population peaking in 2050 at 8.2 billion and falling back to 7 billion by 2100 and reaching 2 billion by 2200 as total fertility ratios (TFR) fall to 1.6 births per woman and average life expectancy tops out at 90 years.

Reality may fall somewhere between these sharply contrasting visions of the future, but from my perspective, the future is far from clear.

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326 Responses to The World in 2030- Non-Fossil Fuel Open Thread

    • AlexS says:

      Electric Car Models in 2016

      Electric Cars: A Tipping Point for Oil?
      Tue, Apr 19, 2016

      • Bob Nickson says:

        Simply awesome. Tesla is even more incredible than I imagined.

        Where can I buy this 2016 Tesla Model 3?

        • Creedon says:

          I have not seen any talk on this website of battery life or cost of battery replacement in an electric vehicle. What I know of such things is that the replacement cost of a battery in an electric vehicle is prohibitively expensive for the masses. It doesn’t seem to be stopping people from jumping on the bandwagon however. Maybe someone could come up with the battery replacement cost of a Tesla Model 3.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            TESLAs are definitely not for the masses of the earth’s poor. Americans tend to be clueless about the fact that their lifestyles are the exception and not the norm… but heck there are currently more middle class Chinese than the entire population of the US and they all want the lifestyles of the rich and famous too but I digress.

            BUT! With an 8 year, unlimited mileage warranty on the battery, Tesla expects the battery to last longer than 160K miles.

            Cost of a replacement battery pack should continue to fall during that period and should probably still be cheaper than just the gasoline alone, needed to run an ICE vehicle during that same time.

            Maintenance cost on an EV are much lower than for an ICE because EVs have very few moving parts compared to ICEs

            Good talk on Lithium Ion battery technology

            My hunch is that private car ownership will be a thing of the past anyway and we will be sharing not owning so the cost of new battery packs will be less of an issue for any one individual. See talks by Tony Seba.

            See Yogi for predictions about the future, they ain’t easy 🙂


          • Anton Koffield says:

            Let us conduct a fair comparison.

            How much does preventative and reactive maintenance on an ICE vehicle cost?

            Ever have to pay for replacing an automatic transmission?

            It seems that electric drive trains are considerably simper than ICE drive trains.

            For electrics, of course the batter replacement is the primary concern.

            I was going to add electronics as a BEV concern…but ICE vehicles are now loaded with plenty of electronics as well.

            To do an honest comparison, one needs to conduct a life cycle cost comparison, using stated, realistic assumptions and empirical measurements with an evaluation framework which compares ‘apples to apples’.

            More so than maintainability costs, my main concern is how folks are supposed to charged their BEVs. Not everyone owns a house, and certainly a lot of people who do own houses don’t keep the same house for life. People who rent houses and apartments/condos etc. are at the mercy of their property owners. The charging infrastructure needs to be built out so as to be common features for people’s domiciles…owners, renters, houses, apartments, etc. Work places need to gear up as well, with some charging station capabilities added to the panapoly of 7-11s and other such convenience stores. If the U.S. had a functional government, and so many people were not sustainable to fear mongering propaganda from the right-wing, federal, sate and local governments could partner with businesses and citizens to make this happen.

            Meld widespread Plug-in EVs with BEVs and envision the robust growth of firms such as Uber and other similar paradigms. These allow folks to use cars in a convenient manner but not own them. Voila, you have a vision for a future with far fewer and far more efficient vehicles resulting is substantially less use of resources to provide adequate transportation for people.

          • Brian Rose says:

            There’s a Chevy Volt with over 100,000 electric miles on named Sparkle (also a lot of news articles on it). The owner, after 100,000 electric miles, has experienced ZERO range reduction on the battery. I can’t speak for other EVs but not a single Volt has experienced range reduction and it is the best selling EV in the world in total sales.

            Hopefully that puts some of your fears to rest. The Active cooling and low SOC (the amount of the battery allowed to be used) of EV batteries makes them last much, much, much longer than the battery in your phone.

      • Sydney Mike says:

        Comments about electric vehicles have almost nothing to do with peak oil. Within one generation from the peak, western industrial civilisation will completely collapse. All of what we call a modern economy is utterly dependent on oil. In fact it only exists because of oil. An electric vehicle is made from materials that were mined and made with enormous oil input. Lithium for batteries needs to be mined with bulldozers powered by oil.

        If we assume a 5% annual decline rate from peak and assume that the peak is now, in 2030 we would only have half the daily oil production available today. That would mean unspeakable economic and social carnage. Food prices would be a multiple of what they are today at a time when many people will have no job or will earn much less. Please stop talking about electric cars because they have almost no impact on the big picture of peak oil. Nobody is proposing to mine iron ore with lithium battery powered Caterpillar trucks.

        Talking about electric vehicles in the context of peak oil is like saying that you have booked a first class ticket on the Titanic and things will be fine for you. It ain’t gonna be.

        • JustSaying says:

          2030 – I’ll be driving around in my EV powered by solar panels. Beats the hell out of walking 30 miles a day.

          “Nobody is proposing to mine iron ore with lithium battery powered Caterpillar trucks.”

          That’s correct. There will always be oil.

          • Sydney Mike says:

            Mining is done with oil powered machines, Lithium batteries are made with layers of plastic made from oil. They are transported from far away to the user burning oil. Batteries for EV’s will be out of reach. Imagine having to pay $100,000 every few years. Horse or donkey will be more economical and environmentally friendly transport.

            The other question is, where you would drive to for 30 miles? Shopping malls and supermarkets will be abandoned. Your office fauna job will have disappeared.

            • Ulenspiegel says:

              “Mining is done with oil powered machines, Lithium batteries are made with layers of plastic made from oil.”

              The largest mining equipment is of course electric, get educated. That in many cases diesel is used does not mean that we will not have alternatives.

              You sell things that are done with diesel because it is convinient now as still essential for the future, that is shallow and wrong.

              BTW Do you actually know how much of the oil and gas is used as chemical feedstock? What are the alternatives?

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Do you think the planet can endure yet more mining, whether electrified or not? When do we decide that we’ve mined enough? When there’s hardly any pristine nature left and mostly all we have is this synthetic manufactured bubble world we created for ourselves and predominantly exist within? And sicknesses are epidemic in the face of all the pollutants we’ve kicked and engineered into our environment?

                • TheChameleon says:

                  Top of the morning to you, MacIntyre

                  That is a fine list of perfectly good questions you have there. I ask myself, does it really matter ? I would like to turn the table on you and ask that you answer your own questions from the heart. Please no copy and paste, or word backslash word. Remember in your answer, humanity doesn’t get to start over. It is 2016 and the only direction is 2017 with a bus load of over 7 billion. President/king/supreme ruler what next ? Please don’t write a book. Keep it relatively simple.

                  It’s easy to run around websites with your hair on fire and play the doomer card. But, in the real world nearly all of the 7 plus billion of us don’t wake up to quit.

                  We all know that someday humanity will come to an end. You don’t get any brownie points for calling it. You have over 7 billion lives resting on you answer. What next ? Where do we go from here ?

                  In honor of the Prince-

                  I was dreamin’ when I wrote this
                  Forgive me if it goes astray
                  But when I woke up this mornin’
                  Could of sworn it was judgment day

                  The sky was all purple
                  There were people runnin’ everywhere
                  Tryin’ to run from the destruction
                  You know I didn’t even care


                  Take your time

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “I ask myself, does it really matter?” ~ TheChameleon

                    Princes are part of oligarchy of course, which is a major problem.

                    And Chameleons of course don’t change their form, just their color. Like a wash.

                    But here’s something interesting, perhaps true:

                    “In an interview on CNN on 21 April 2016, hours after the musician Prince’s death, Van Jones revealed on CNN that Prince had secretly contributed to the funding of Green for All.” ~ Wikipdia

                    “You know I didn’t even care” ~ Prince(?)


                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Incidentally, if it doesn’t matter as you say, then why even bother posting here and jerking around with your nicknames to boot?

                    Do you feel that I pissed on you in the process of pissing on your ‘flags’? LOL

                    In any case, my answer(s) and critiques are plainly evident in my comments hereon and in Permaea, a project I am working on.

                    If you think ‘it doesn’t matter’, then your attitude appears beyond what we might consider doom and what some might consider leaning toward nihilism.

                    Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy… Friedrich Nietzsche… argued that its corrosive effects would eventually destroy all moral, religious, and metaphysical convictions and precipitate the greatest crisis in human history.” ~ Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

                    Premise Ten: The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. The culture is driven by a death urge, an urge to destroy life.” ~ Endgame, by Derrick Jensen

                    This culture seems to be leaning toward nihilism actually, and it can be imagined how those who may be more easily susceptible to its leanings– those who drink deeply from its Kool Aid wells– might start exhibiting some nihilistic sentiment.

                    A fair, free and fulfilling life matters to me and many others, including the other creatures of the planet. If that doesn’t matter to you, that’s fine, as long as you kindly keep out of the way of those it matters to.

                    ” I ask myself, does it really matter?… We all know that someday humanity will come to an end.” ~ TheChameleon

            • me says:

              Lithium is mostly gotten from salt pans, I believe, not mining at all.

          • likbez says:

            You forgot about another nice feature of your 2030 fantasy land: sex in self-driving cars 😉

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Born to damned soon and got old too damned quick for sure!
              But at least I was getting some back when we drove cars with back seats BIG ENOUGH, lol.

        • Bob Nickson says:

          Differences of opinion are what make discussion interesting.

          72% of petroleum used is for transportation. 63% of that is light duty vehicles. So of 90mbod, 40 million barrels are subject to potential substitution by electric vehicles. The adoption curve need only stay ahead of the decline curve.

          Why worry about Caterpillars first when transportation is the biggest slice of the petroleum pie, and the most readily subject to supercession by other energy sources?

          Transition may be improbable, but that’s different than impossible.

          • Bob Nickson says:

            Assuming that an ICE is 20% as efficient as an EV, which seems reasonable as one barrel of oil is energy equivalent to 1628.2kWh, and will produce 19 gallons of gasoline, and 12 gallons of diesel. Assuming 30 mpg economy for each, the barrel of oil provides 930 miles of travel, while 1628.2 kWh at 3mpkWh will provide 4,884 miles of travel.

            So if the light duty transport fleet was replaced 100% with electric vehicles, 40.8 mbo/day would require 13.3 TWh of electric power substitution.

            We have increased global annual renewable power production by 3,250 TWh’s in the last decade, so to increase renewable power production by 2030 to produce 13TWh/day to offset 40.8 MBO/day used in the transportation sector would require that we accomplish in the next fifteen years what we have accomplished in the last ten (+3,250TWhp/decade).

            As for the vehicles, all we must do is replace 100% of the light duty fleet with EV’s in that same 15 years. Easy as pie, right? 😉

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Bob,

              I do not expect all light duty vehicles will be replaced by EVs and plug-in hybrids in 15 years. A more realistic guess (imo) is that about 95% of new cars sold in 2030 will be EVs and plugin hybrids.

              By that time the F150 will also be offered in an EV and plug-in hybrid and maybe 10% sold (or less) will be ICEV (no plug in or hybrid capability).

              • Bob Nickson says:

                I don’t expect it either, in fact I think you’re optimistic. 2030 is only 14 years away, which is not very long. Remember when WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl was killed, or the Beltway Sniper attacks began, or George W. Bush was elected president, or the Queen Mother died, or, the biggie, September 11th 2001? All of those tragic events were 14 years ago or more.

                The Tesla Roadster was introduced 8 years ago and the Nissan Leaf 5 years ago.

                From a systemic perspective, how different is the world now than it was then? Not very. I’m still driving the same car, and it was ten years old then. I have shoes and sweaters older than that.

                I’ll be surprised if 25% of new cars sold in 2030 are EV’s. That would be 20,000,000 cars +/-, and displace roughly 1 mbo/d of demand growth.

                IMO, replacing the (light duty transport) oil is easy, but replacing the cars will be very hard.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Bob,

                  Let’s say li ion batteries continue their lower cost trajectory but at a reduced rate falling to half the previous rate to 7%/year lower each year from now until 2025. By 2024 battery costs fall to under $100 per kWhr, which makes the EV competitive with ICEV at gasoline prices at $1.33/gallon (2012 $).

                  If that projection is correct (this is half of the rate that Tony Seba assumes), I would be very surprised if only 25% of new light duty vehicles sold are EVs or plugin hybrids. What has changed in the last 15 years? The price of a kWhr of lithium ion battery storage has fallen from about $1200 per kWhr in 2001 to $190 per kWhr in 2015.

                  The decrease in battery cost by a factor of almost 8, is one thing that has changed. There are other trends as well such as the fall in the cost of sensors, the fall in the cost of solar PV, and the fall in CPU cost. All of these trends will make a difference.

                  You did notice that I said new cars, there will still be a lot of older cars around, that will take another 10 to 15 years (by 2045) before 90 to 95% of all light duty vehicles will be either EV or plugin hybrid vehicles, most vehicles will be autonomous by then, and fewer cars will be owned as many may find it cheaper to use an Uber like service or public transportation.

                  • Bob Nickson says:

                    I hope you are right Dennis. That’s just a big market swing in a very short time.

                    It would require 500,000 EV’s sold this year, and sustained 30% growth every year until 2030.

                    Of course if Tesla alone builds 100,000-200,000 cars in 2017, and 500,000 in 2018 like Musk just forecast in guidance, we’ll be off to a ripping start.

              • me says:

                It’s also worth keeping in mind that most like duty vehicle use is just a waste. In America, simply removing senseless zoning laws and legalizing private bus services would cause vehicle traffic to plunge

          • Nick G says:

            Heavy duty vehicle can be electrified too. SUVs and pickups are considered heavy duty.

            Heck, Chinese buses are going heavily electric: there are projections that they’ll be 100% electric in 10 years.

            • ChiefEngineer says:

              Hi Nick,

              As an ex Mack Trucks sales person. I always considered SUVs and pickups as light duty. I agree they will be electrified but it’s going to take a little longer than passenger vehicles. Right now hybrids are much more feasible because of the more extreme workload they preform. Towing a 10k trailer a couple of hundred of miles is going to take a lot of juice.

              America already runs hybrid buses if you consider that electric. To get were the world needs to be, we’re going to need a lot of f’n batteries. Once the world solves the battery issue, there is not much reason class 8’s can’t be electrified starting with local delivery trucks.


            • JustSaying says:

              UPS updates 125 Workhorse E-GEN series hybrid electric step vans


              EV’s are the Future

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                ‘Green Car’ is an excellent oxymoron. A bit like ‘Smart Car’.

                **Viewer-discretion required for a couple of the following links.**

                Have any of you ever experienced or seen the aftermath of an accident? One with fatalities and severe injuries still at the scene, including one’s involving animals that have nothing to do with your car industries? You should.

                Then come back and continue to pitch your EV’s.

                This guy died and lost half his body apparently. You can also see pictures of him in the aftermath.

                In related news…

                Tesla Model S Catches Fire, Burns To Nothing While Supercharging In Norway

                For probably the first time, we have an unfortunate report of a Tesla Model S burning down while being charged at a Supercharger station in Norway today.

                So unfortunate. Our hearts bleed for Tesla.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  An average of 152,300 cars catch on fire every year in just the US. Driving and all transport is dangerous, always has been, always will be.
                  Society accepts the large number of kills and millions of accidents as part of operational costs.
                  Yes, EV’s are really superior to ICE’s in many important ways.
                  Planes crash, trains derail and burn, ships sink, bicycles have accidents, people slip and fall when walking. Houses burn, sometimes they explode.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Maybe society ‘accepts’ some things because they’re more hidden, more deliberately swept under the carpet. So they don’t really know about it. Like foreign wars. Like outsourced toxic pollution and C02 emissions to so-called poorer countries.

                    We don’t like to do followups much do we. We prefer the front end of things, to hell with the back end, the long-term. Out of sight, out of mind.

                    Why your car battery may be as bad as malaria for the developing world
                    “Toxic pollutants, such as lead from batteries, are endangering the health of nearly 125 million people in 49 developing countries, new report shows.”

                    Solar power’s dirty secret: skyrocketing lead pollution
                    “Solar power has a dark side. In developing countries with less robust electrical grids, solar power is heavily reliant on traditional lead batteries for local electrical storage and a new paper suggests widespread lead pollution may be a side-effect.”

                    Think ahead 40 or 50 years, to a time when half the US car fleet is electrified to varying degrees
                    “There will be many vehicle battery reclamation centers and perhaps several lithium battery recycling centers – the kind where hammer mills smash them open to extract the anodes and electrolyte. (Now would be a good time to go back and read the toxicity summary above if you skipped that.) I raise this point because there are going to be workers handling every aspect and doing process cleanup. Will they be using rinse water? Is aquatic toxicity from effluent discharge a concern? What about drinking water contamination potential?”

                    That’s one of our kids there, GoneFishing:
                    Caption under photo:
                    “Hazardous battery recycling on the streets of New Delhi. A child disassembles a spent truck battery on the sidewalk to sell lead to unregistered recycling units.”

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    It’s even scarier than you thought Caelan. The most dangerous single act you will probably do is get admitted into a hospital.

                    You are afraid of technology. It is quite safe when handled properly. I worked with dangerous and toxic materials, many unknown, for most of my life. Proper precautions kept me safe.
                    Why not focus on where the real problem lies? The sociopathic business men and gangster governments that could care less what they do to the people around them as long as they get the profits and power they desire.
                    You are wasting your time on the wrong things. Life was always dangerous, probably more so in a primitive society than now. Stop being swept along by the media hype and start looking at the source of the problems.
                    Or do you just like to complain?

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    It is the human incapacity to manage technology that I am concerned with. And you seem to have just agreed anyway.
                    Maybe you and I can manage it, but that’s just so much personal anecdote.
                    I’ve also suggested hereon– possibly before you arrived– that it is a social or human problem, not a technological one.

                    And the former problem comes first.

                    Or should.

                    But doesn’t.

                    “The sociopathic business men and gangster governments that could care less what they do to the people…” ~ GoneFishing

                    The proper expression is ‘could NOT care less’. (Think about it.)

                    But then, is language a technology? And if so, how did you just ‘manage’ it? (Think about it.)

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi NickG,

              Only vehicles with gross vehicle weight above 8500 lbs are considered heavy duty, not many SUVs and pickup trucks are in that class. An F250 is in that class, but an F150 is not. Even a chevy suburban, which is a big SUV is not in that class, Ford expedition also not in that class, both are around 7500 lbs GVW.

              • Nick G says:

                Yes, indeed.

                I used to know that – I think Sherlock Holmes was right: after a certain point, new knowledge starts to hide or replace old knowledge.

                Still, the basic point is correct: heavy duty vehicles are very susceptible to electrification. Who would have expected that Chinese buses would be moving very quickly to electric?

    • Longtimber says:

      New synthetic Anode could bump the Panasonic 3400mAh 1865’s to perhaps 4000mAh in next 24 months.. ?? That would be a significant jump in energy density.

  1. MudGod says:

    Nobody knows tomorrow and making predictions is difficult, especially about the future. However, on the surface it appears within the next decade we are headed for an economic collapse of biblical proportions. So all I can say is God help us all. And for you non-believers, remember, there are no atheist in foxholes.

    • Bob Nickson says:

      There are no Atheists in foxholes?

      Well why the hell not? Why do they get a fee pass? They should have to fight for the motherland same as anyone.

  2. islandboy says:

    The EIA released the latest installment of their Electric Power Monthly with data for February. Below is the usual graph of generation by source as a percentage of the total. This February gas surpassed coal, having been the second largest source in January. Last year generation from gas did not surpass coal until April so, it will be interesting to see if trend of utilities generating more electricity with gas than with coal continues. Also of interest is that solar went above 1% in February while February 2015 it was at 0.7%. Also worthy of note is that all renewables hit their second highest contribution of 17.3% just below the 17.4% set in April 2014.

  3. islandboy says:

    Here is the graph for solar thermal and PV generation. As was the case last year generation is trending to surpass last year’s peak by March.

  4. R Walter says:

    The world will be a different place in 2030. In 1986, there was no internet to speak of. Cellphones were in a bag. Hard to believe 30 years ago is the year 1986. If we were to return to 1971, 45 years ago, it would feel like the Stone Age compared to what the world has become right now for humankind.

    As long as the resource base is maintained there is no reason to believe that the business that is happening right now can’t be improved, greater efficiency at lower costs.

    I will make a prediction, about the future, can’t predict the past, it has come and gone, made an early exit. Icey the US gov defaulting on 45 trillion dollars of debt. It will never be repaid. How can it be?

    45,000,000,000,000/450,000,000=100,000 dollars of debt for each and every of the 450,000,000 Americans alive in 2030. When you are born, you create a liability, you’re in debt. Your hospital stay will cost your parents 20 thousand dollars in 2030, providing all goes well. It must be paid and all you did was breathe some air to get yourself going. Hard to stop after that. The debts will continue to mount and your true value will be exposed, you’re a hundred grand in debt. You’re a baby, how can you begin to repay what you owe. Warren Buffet started from a baby and then he hatched 40 billion dollars. It can be done.

    You’re going to need a loan to fog a mirror. har

    If I am still alive in 2030, I just could very well be, barring any unfortunate circumstance like getting hit by a beer truck, I will live to see the prediction come true or false.

    All in all, it is a purdy good time to be alive.

    By 2030, maybe the human animals will stop being so political and finally learn a thing or two about a thing or two.

    It is going to take a lot of beer. Troegs’ Perpetual India Pale Ale is the beer of the day.

    Beer, it’s what’s for breakfast. Give us this day our daily beer. And some bread once in a while, man cannot live by beer alone. 😅

    In 2030, there will be beer, the liquid of choice.

    I see that Delta bought 75 commercial jets from Bombardier, a 5.6 billion dollar deal, so Bombardier might be a buy. Closed today at 2.04 USD (BBD.B). I don’t have any, none, nada.

    In 2030, aviation will probably overtake the automobile. Eastern Wyoming will still be devoid of humans that is for sure.

    • Ghung says:

      “As long as the resource base is maintained there is no reason to believe that the business that is happening right now can’t be improved, greater efficiency at lower costs.”

      Since humanity’s collection of inter-connected predicaments is deeply systemic, I can fill a page with reasons. But why bother? We’ll muddle along as we degrade the planet’s ability to support billions of people and other creatures. At some point, I fully expect cascading effects and feedbacks to flip growth into full contraction, at which point populations will do what they’ve always done in such times; turn on one-another even more than we already are. This time it’s global and the smoke won’t begin to clear for centuries, if not millennia.

  5. GoneFishing says:

    Let’s move on to 2100, a much more interesting time than 2030.
    Many coastal towns, ports and cities will either be abandoned, partially abandoned or under threat from rising seas and storms. The Southwestern US will be a place to escape from, not go to, unless you like dehydration. Most of the Amazon rain forest is gone. The Arctic Ocean is ice free all summers.
    And just when you think things couldn’t get any worse, some idiot lets AI loose without the command restrictions and civilization as we know it comes to an end in 72 hours. Ooopsy.
    Good for the rest of the species that are left on the planet though, robots have no real interest in them and tend not to overpopulate, not driven by deep emotional needs and crazy ideas.

    • Brian Rose says:

      It’s so difficult to ponder how the mounting costs of climate change unfold.

      I live in St. Petersburg, FL and specifically chose the highest point in Pinellas County when purchasing my home – I am 52 ft above sea level. The highest point in the county is 1 block North of me at 54 ft above seal level.

      Since I purchased my home the value of homes that are not in a flood zone have appreciated more quickly. Flood insurance is mandatory in flood zones, and flood insurance has rocketed higher every year. The higher flood insurance rises, the more valuable the small about of land not in a flood zone in this city becomes.

      Foreclosures are rising in flood zones because some homeowners cannot afford their rising mortgage payments. A friend of mine went into foreclosure because the flood insurance jumped so much that her monthly payment went from $1,000 to $1,4000 in 3 years.

      It is much akin to how the housing crisis happened with Adjustable Rate Mortgages except the adjustment HERE is the insurance cost of climate change and rising sea levels.

      This is already happening!

      This is the on the ground, real time way that climate change impacts society. Things cost more, living certain places becomes uneconomic, and the “safer” land becomes more valuable.

      This is the gradual, creeping cost of climate change, but there will also be punctuated costs. My home may be rising in value more rapidly for now, but one major hurricane, made worse by rising sea levels, would devastate the entire region’s economy. Katrina and Sandy are testaments to this.

    • GoneFishing says:

      One of the big changes we will see by 2030 is the large increase in air travel. With highly efficient designs already happening and new ones coming, fuel will not be as much of a problem. Efficient short hop smaller low speed passenger will become popular.
      A huge advantage over road and train travel is that no infrastructure needs to exist or be maintained between airports. Airports can range from grass strips to large international airports. STOL aircraft can access most places with little space needed.
      There may be a few electrified high speed passenger lines (150 mph +) but the economics will halt any real growth of that mode of travel.

      So you pack your bag, get picked up by an autonomous car at your home in southeastern NY state. It drives you to a local airport and you travel to Pittsburg at 200 mph by air. Hopefully, you wanted to go to Pittsburgh. 🙂 From there another autonomous car takes you to your local destination.

      As air travel increases, highways will become obsolete and will be closed if there is a problem maintaining them. Local roads will be maintained.

      Surveillance will have grown to the point that personal freedom ceases to actually exist, except somewhat in private rural areas. Everyone will be tracked, every move recorded and all communications analyzed by computers. Use of resources will be tracked also. The police state will be in full swing by 2030.
      Most jobs will be fully robotized and computerized. Production, distribution and sale of commodities will be fully mechanized and controlled.
      Permits and licenses will be ubiquitous for almost all activities. Money and taxes will be so highly tracked that it will be useless to attempt evasion. Paper money will disappear and all transactions will be electronic, therefor tracked and reported.
      All of your possessions will have to be recorded and reported to the state.
      Interpersonal communication will be discouraged. Handwriting will no longer be taught in schools, everything will be done through the ubiquitous electronic device. Paper will be for art and specialty applications.
      Schools will be very different also. Most courses will be electronic and uniform. Education past the sixth or eight grade level will be by testing and societal demand. Private teaching will have a renaissance. Most education will be very specific and the humanities will fall by the wayside.
      Previous history will start to appear so primitive and different as to be considered anthropology.

      Much of the medical field will consist of at home of local sensor related testing and computerized analysis. Actual doctors will be reduced in number and only handle cases forwarded to them by machines.
      Chemo and radiation treatments for cancers will be eliminated in favor of specific protein, genetic and immune system therapies. Heart and circulatory conditions will be highly reduced as target patients are selected in their early teens and given long term preventative therapy.
      Nano medicine will be on the rise. Growth of organs for transplants will be the norm.

      Access to the public space system will be licensed and permitted.

      Building materials will be mostly 3D printed and only rarely will structures be made that do not produce energy or are not carbon neutral.

      • brian says:

        safe to assume people in this bland techno-paradise will be commensurally further along the psychological interdependency curve due to ever-increasing ability to watch what the other man (sorry, “friend”) is doing in ever more excruciating detail 24/7?

        Constant comparison creates a suicide machine.

        • GoneFishing says:

          So they will be watching each other watch each other?

          • Oilman2 says:

            GoneFishing, they are already watching each other watch each other, and have been. Witness shows like ‘Entertainment Tonight’, which people watched, which was a show about what actors were doing and what other people were watching. The internet is even more self-referential and circular.

            I see the future as it ever was, struggle to survive as best one can, but in the future every single movement or even thought will be monetized, regulated and/or taxed. There are far too many humans who rely on other humans doing the actual work for this to end well. Far too many people making a living without producing anything, possible only with largesse, and hence we have many navel-gazers.

  6. Oldfarmermac says:

    First off, Yogi sez predicting is hard.
    There is a significant chance, impossible to estimate in my estimation, that what few of us survive WWIII will be living pretty much of a sci fi existence in 2030. Scavenging. No muties. Not any worth worrying about at any rate.

    But I think the odds are much better than even that there will be no WWIII, at least not one with the nukes and plague rockets flying freely, not within the next fifteen years.

    A financial collapse is a different ball game altogether, and I am perfectly willing to believe the world wide banking and money system will have a heart attack, and a very bad one, between now and 2030.

    The consequences of THAT scenario could be very bad indeed, in terms of our doing anything to curb forced climate change and deal CONSTRUCTIVELY with fast depleting non renewable natural resources ranging from oil to clean water.

    Hot energy wars would just about be a given. Government operated safety nets would fall apart in most countries, and violence would be the rule of the day in many most communities that are pleasant and safe today. Most people would probably be living in abject poverty, with millions dying early, LOTS of millions, due to poor diets, lack of medical care, etc.

    On the other hand, we might get lucky, and have good leadership. With good leadership, we could avoid most of and the worst of the consequences of a financial collapse. Money after all is NOT resources, money is NOT oil, or energy, or a roof over the head, or food, or farmland, or medical care. Money is NOT HUMAN CAPITAL.

    Money is only a way of keeping tabs on CLAIMS to these things, and the loss, destruction, or absence of money will leave most of them POTENTIALLY intact.

    It is absurd to assume that a couple of hundred million people will allow a million bankers to put them out on the street, and it is absurd to think the million bankers would want to have to deal with half the houses in the USA sitting empty, the targets of vandalism and unhappy campers who can still scrape up a pack of matches even if they can’t afford five pounds of potatoes.

    Things will get to be very very bad, in the case of a financial collapse, but in countries such as the USA, almost every body will still have a roof,running water, electricity, and SOMETHING to eat. The feds and the states will take over, and while BIG Government scares the hell out of me, I have no doubt big government will in it’s own hamhanded fashion keep the peace for the MOST part, and see to it that people don’t starve or die of exposure in large numbers at least here in the USA and most other currently reasonably well governed and reasonably prosperous countries.

    As far as an ecological collapse is concerned, I am not much concerned about this happening within the next decade or two on a world wide basis, although it could happen on a regional basis. Right now a fungus is sweeping thru the Florida citrus industry and playing hell with yields. A disease that wipes out rice or soybeans etc could really play hell in a country such as India without upsetting the world wide applecart.

    Now for the flip side.

    The price of renewable energy technologies will continue to fall. Farmers will continue to get ever larger yields using conventional but continually tweaked industrial methods and genetically modified crops. Birth rates will continue to fall, but not fast enough.

    Energy efficiency across the board, at every level , will continue to show substantial improvement. In industry the improvement will be driven mainly by the desire to control cost, everywhere else both by price competition and by government mandate. People WILL buy pure electric and plug in hybrid cars when it becomes perfectly obvious that owning and driving them costs a lot less than owning and driving a conventional car.

    People will gradually come to realize that real neighborhoods are superior to endless houses on streets empty of even children playing except when everybody leaves for work and heads home.

    Doubling up with the old folks will become FAR more popular than it is today. I would rather BURN a house that belongs to me than to leave it to ungrateful kids who would put ME in a nursing home, if I had any kids. ( There is a very slim chance there might be a couple out there somewhere, but if so, we are strangers. )

    Given the steel toed boot of necessity that will be buried between the collective buttocks of both old and young folks, everybody will start to figure this out.

    If we are lucky, 2030 won’t be much worse than 2016, and it might be a LOT better in some respects.

    We might have a cure for rheumatism, or diabetes. We could have a good drug to keep us from getting fat. Electronic entertainment might get to be so good most of us will be content to stay inside, and quit consuming so much.Electrons will still be cheap, considering the alternatives.

    Viagra will be OFF PATENT, praise Sky Daddy!!!!!!!!!!!!

    But by then I will be so old it probably won’t matter AT ALL to me. 🙁

    But maybe I can get some sort of sci fi helmet and drugs that used in combination will allow me to THINK I am not only young and horny but also good looking and rich. 😉

    Incidentally a top Ford manager has confirmed that Ford is working on a long range ( two hundred miles) electric vehicle that will also be offered as a plug in hybrid that will probably compete with the VOLT.

    It will probably be in production within three or four years.

    This would be a GOOD time to put some money in small lithium mining companies that appear to have good resources in the ground.

    • Brian Rose says:


      Junior Lithium Miners have EXPLODED over the last 6 months.

      Orocobre (OROCF), Galaxy Resources (GXY), and Western Lithium (LACDF) are the best choices, especially Orocobre as they officially have started production and have partnered with Toyota. Western Lithium is a solid bet on resources close to the Tesla Gigafactory.

      These stocks are already up over 1,000%, and, frankly, this whole market has only just started heating up. It all started with a massive spike in lithium prices in China, which eventually made its way into the global markets. Let’s not forget that Warren Buffett has bet billions on BYD being a major producer of EVs, and BYD is already producing over 50,000 EVs a year, just a bit more than Tesla.

      Here’s the thing: At full production the Gigafactory will make more lithium ion batteries, in that one factory, than the entire current global supply. That is just enough batteries for 500,000 vehicles a year.

      Think about that.

      The global supply of lithium carbonate needs to DOUBLE by 2020 just to supply Tesla’s vehicles.

      Much less BYD, GM, BMW, Toyota, Mercedes, VW, Honda, Hyundai, Ford, (and maybe even Apple, Faraday Future, Uber, and Google, but that’s sort of speculative).

      The financial markets simply do not yet realize the magnitude of the change coming to lithium mining. Tesla is building the Gigafactory to secure supplies of a resource they know will be squeezed by soaring demand and relatively inelastic supply. In fact, the Gigafactory is so big because it is fully vertically integrated – it will literally receive “raw” lithium carbonate and other raw materials and perform the entire industrial process from raw material to battery pack in the factory. It will be the largest building on Earth by footprint for a damn good reason!

  7. Sydney Mike says:

    The oldest civilization on the planet is in Ethiopia. Lucy’s skeleton was found there. It has been dated at over three million years old. So you might think that the world would beat a path to these hardy people to learn how they became the most sustainable population on earth.

    Sadly, the opposite is happening. Misguided do-gooders of all persuasions set up NGO’s to “teach” the modern way and “develop” this country. That means burning fossil fuels. In Addis Ababa one can observe this dichotomy of old on new. Thousands of Chinese Sino trucks carry materials to building sites alongside donkeys that do the same. In the outskirts of Addis Ababa you can catch public transport horse and cart taxis or take a stinking external combustion version instead.

    The old way is fine. Donkeys do good work and demand little in return. Our western obsession to finding technological solutions to everything has blinded us completely to the genius of proven traditional methods of transportation and farming.

    This is a highly charged point. Most who have not seen such a society imagine untold pain and misery. People say that they would rather die than go “back” to such a life. After seeing it in action I look forward to developing forward to rediscover the elegance and simplicity of horse and cart and donkeys. You do not have to scar the earth by digging up iron ore to transport it to a far-away factory, to make steel to make a car that then requires fuel from far away to function. You do not have to spend your life in artificial environments to “earn” the money to buy this contraption. Animals reproduce by themselves. All we need is land to sustain them. This will be the problem to us in the developed world. We don’t have the expertise to live the old way and land is getting more and more crowded.

    When oil hits $1,000 / barrel and the pump price 10 or 20 times of what it currently is, technological solutions will no longer exist. All our raw materials are mined with machines that burn oil. International trade will die and relocalization will happen naturally. Going forward to donkeys, oxen and horses will be the only option. A drastically reduced human population will also happen naturally as industrial farming will go away.

    Whether this happens in slow cascading steps or relatively suddenly, we shall see. It seems humanity is determined to cling on to the technological dream down to the last environmental disaster in the form of fracking, tar sand mining or nuclear waste creation. We are prepared to burden future generations for millions of years with nuclear waste just so that we can watch some trashy tv show on a bigger television set. Chernobyl and Fukushima were contained by applying solutions that involved untold amounts of fossil fuel. What will happen to old reactors when you cannot haul a fuel powered water pump to cool the melting rods? There is a real chance that old reactors will become environmental disasters all over the place when we lack the ability to manage them with oil powered machines.

    In a mindless orgy of waste, we create single use plastic packs for almost anything. When oil price rises will make such practices uneconomical we will find our way forward to the old proven ways. At that point we will have a less fertile and more polluted planet.

    As to 2030, we will have entered the downward slope of the Hubbard curve and economic hardship will be the order of the day. Those who understand what is happening, will have a fighting chance to make the best of it. Electric cars will not save us. A remote and fertile piece of land might help the lucky few. It will be an interesting time.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      The first able bodied couple that shows up with good looking twin virgin daughters and swears fealty to me as their leige lord can come live on my farm with me and I will do my damnedest to make sure they have bread, beans, and potatoes enough, and even a chicken for the pot once a week.

      My place is not exactly remote any more, but it does have very fertile land, timber, a good stream, and all that sort of stuff.

      For the stupid folks who read everything literally, or lack any sense of humor- this comment is a mixture of sarcasm and humor.

      But as a matter of actual fact, I am gradually working on making my place over into what some people would refer to as a doomstead. Anything I will do will be worth doing ANYWAY, and nothing lost, if the shit fails to hit the fan during my lifetime, and I don’t expect things to get that bad here in the backwoods of the USA .

      Paying work might be very hard to find. In that case, being able to produce most or all of your own food, provide your own water and heating and cooking fuel, knowing how to preserve and store home grown food, etc, will be an enormous advantage.

      If the right couple were to show up and want to live on the place, they could leave their virgin daughters with relatives, lol. Actually such a couple could save half or more of their off farm earnings easily, thus enabling them to buy a place of their own within a few years, IF they are really willing to put in some hours outside the forty in town.

      • Sydney Mike says:

        The able bodied couple might very well challenge waning Old Farmer Mac’s residence on his land to shield their virgin daughters from his clasp. 🙂

      • Joe Clarkson says:

        Paying work might be very hard to find.

        This is the crux of the problem. Money is the mediator of the developed world’s global market economy. Most people who live in it would rapidly begin to starve without money.

        Will cascading resource problems cause a financial crisis that destroys confidence in our monetary system? Can new money be “helicoptered in” by central banks and governments fast enough if it does? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but that uncertainty is one of my main motivators to learn to live without money.

        If you can’t live without money, you are trusting your life to a system that could literally disappear in a few days. My life expectancy exceeds the number of years to 2030. I doubt if anyone can say the same about our monetary system. Everyone should be preparing to live without it.

        • Oilman2 says:

          My farm is paid for, and my son works it while I still exist in declining suburbia for now. My bills include electricity and propane, along with diesel for the tractors. I could go the horse-plow route, but it is quite the reduction in production. But even in the best scenarios, I still have to deal with the USDA, local health guys and county taxation alongside federal taxes. Even if you own something, you still have to pay for the privilege in America.

          If it weren’t for that, I do think I could work out deals enough to stay alive and even thrive with the farm – but the regs and taxes all want money.

          • Nick G says:

            Taxes pay for real things, that you might call overhead: roads, police, hospitals, military.

            Those things aren’t free. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be a freeloader.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              “I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be a freeloader.” ~ Nick G

              Unless a forced rider (and by a dubious collective).
              Then I wouldn’t be too sure that someone wouldn’t want to be, as you suggest, a (so-called) freeloader in that context.

              ‘You force me to ride there, then I will ride free here.’

              A forced rider in economics is a person who is required [by coercion?], by [pseudo]government or other collective, to share in the costs of goods or services without desiring them.” ~ Wikipedia [my addition in square brackets]

              And, Nick G, we’ve kind of been down this path before.

              “Taxes [extortions] pay for real things, that you might call overhead: roads, police, hospitals, military.” ~ Nick G [my addition in square brackets]

              In a true democracy, as opposed to, say, a democracy-by-name-only; a plutocracy; or a dictatorship, taxes pay for things that people want to pay for, like health care, but not (the all-too-common) brutality against civilians under the guise of police protection or genocides under the guise of foreign military interventions.

              “Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavour are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.”
              ~ Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society

              For Nick G

    • brian says:

      Great comment.

  8. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi all,

    Using real GDP per capita data from the World bank, UN population data, and BP oil data, I found the change in World oil intensity from 1985 to 2014, Oil intensity is real GDP per unit of oil consumed, in my chart this is in thousands of 2005 dollars per metric tonne of oil equivalent. The average growth rate has been 1.46%/year from 1985 to 2014, an exponential trend line has been fit to the data by minimizing the square of the difference between model and data (least squares).

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Using World Bank data from 1985 to 2014, we find that the average growth rate for World GDP per capita was 1.43%/year on average over that 30 year period.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        If we assume Real GDP per capita grows at 1.43%/year from 2016 to 2030 and use the UN Low Fertility Population scenario to estimate World Population from 2016 to 2030, we can find Real GDP in trillions of 2005$ (T2005$). The growth rate of real GDP is about 2%/year in this scenario or 0.57% too high if the reciprocal of oil intensity only grows at 1.43% per year.

        Note oil intensity is unit of oil used per unit of GDP, not GDP per unit of oil consumed. What I called oil intensity earlier is the reciprocal of oil intensity. Sorry.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      The Oil Intensity chart is incorrect. (3 charts up).

      real GDP per toe oil is not oil intensity.

      Oil intensity is Oil consumed per unit of GDP, what I called Oil intensity in that chart is the reciprocal of oil intensity.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        From 1974 to 1989 World real GDP per toe oil consumed increased at a rate of 3.09%/year. So a 2%/year rate of increase is possible, but can it be done today?

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          What is not well understood is the degree of change in the efficiency of World oil use from 1975 to 1985. From 1960 to 1973 Real GDP per toe oil decreased at a rate of 2.7% per year and then increased from 1974 to 1989 at a rate of 3.1% per year, a net change of 5.8%. I think a change today of 10 times less, is possible (0.58%/year higher rate of increase in the real GDP/toe oil compared to the 1.46%/year rate of increase from 1985 to 2014.) Chart below shows 1960 to 1973.

          • Verwimp says:

            Thanks Dennis! Very interesting set of charts!
            World in 2030 is an interesting exercise. Long enough to be significant, short enough to be ‘predictable’ in a certain sense. I’ll think about it.

  9. wimbi says:

    The future path, optimist view. Trainer speaks my mind, but I am more optimistic than he is, simply because I have used my own eyes, right here, and see a good path forward, since we have IGNORED huge opportunity right and left.

    Example, energy. With only a modest amount of wit, I think we could easily use 1/10 what we do now and be HAPPIER.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Wimbi is dead on about us being able to live well on a hell of a lot less energy and other resources than we do today. A tenth might be cutting it pretty thin, but a quarter would be ample imo, and renewables could easily supply a quarter.

      The problem is getting from our HERE to the renewable THERE.

      I just read the link he posted and put this comment up over there at Resilience.

      The problem with the sort of thinking this article is based on is that people don’t WANT to live simple lives with little in the way of material goods.

      The temptation to specialize, organize, and mass produce in order to get to be well off if not actually rich is OVERWHELMING.

      The BUILT IN ITCH to possess and display status and power is overwhelming.

      The built in tendency to eat like a pig, if sufficient food is available, especially fatty, salty, or sweet foods is overwhelming, witness the belt lines of people who can afford it.

      The temptation to work shorter hours, and have more leisure time to enjoy the toys is overwhelming, meaning most people will always prefer the job that provides MORE leisure and more toys to the low energy long working hours lifestyle. And believe me, I have had some experience with that lifestyle, and it requires a hell of a lot more work, and harder work, than living in a suburb, working forty, and buying every last thing you use.

      A person can know ALL there is to know about a given technology, or economic system, or life style or society, but if he doesn’t understand the competitive nature of the naked ape………… well, he is basically just conducting an academic discussion.

      This is not to say such discussions are not useful, because they might lead some people to change their ways and adopt a lower energy lifestyle.They can also serve to stimulate research that will help us live better on less energy and fewer non renewable resources.


      But expecting people to go back to the low tech low consumption ways of the past VOLUNTARILY is expecting a LITTLE too much, to put it as gently as possible.

      • Phil S says:

        Hi OFM, I agree “expecting people to go back to the low tech low consumption ways of the past VOLUNTARILY is expecting a LITTLE too much”. But for the sake of discussion, it’s interesting you consider the low tech to be a hell of a lot more work. May be we have to go back even further into the past, forget agrarian society, and live as hunter gatherers. It all depends on the climate and resources where you live, and how much “leadership” you have to support 🙂

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Phil S,

          Really? Hunter gatherers with 7 Billion people? Maybe in 2300 if population falls to 500 million or so that might be practical, but the last time most of the World’s human population consisted of hunter gatherers (around 10,000 BCE), World population is estimated at about 4 million at that time.

          How society is organized is an interesting question, cooperation is often needed and often perfect freedom is not possible unless humans were atoms with no social interaction. The atomistic view of social interaction where invididuals and families only act in their self interest makes it hard to understand society. Sociology is a complex subject and my understanding of it is quite limited.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Generally speaking, hunting and gathering IS a hell of a lot of hard work. Ocassionally there are times when hunter gatherers have it very easy for a WHILE, but that WHILE seldom lasts very long.

          I tell ya true that low tech agriculture in any shape or form is a hell of a lot of hard work. I have lived it, in the form it last took in the USA, and made it a point to read first hand accounts of living in societies that still practice it.

          Dennis has nailed it in his comment just below.

          There IS a slight possibility that in the future the human population will fall back to a few million, no more. If that happens, we could once again live as hunter gatherers, but the odds are extremely high we would go right back to mixing in some primitive farming with the hunting, because settling down allows us to specialize, and specialization means easy living, or at least easier living.

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            I’m a former commercial fisherman (troll and spear), one of the last hunter gathers.
            A lot of work, but also satisfaction. Watching the Southern Cross come up over the Marianas Trench, while anchored on White Tuna Bank, about as remote as you are going to get on the planet.
            Main concern is pirates. Fed thousands of people, plus, with blood on your hands, one knows how things actually work.
            I still gather, mainly mushrooms and berries, and still fish
            My past world is dying.

      • Brian Rose says:

        Sending an email consumes less energy than putting ink on paper and shipping it.

        Paying a bill online consumes less energy than putting ink on paper and shipping it.

        Video chats and hangouts consume less energy than a bunch of people traveling to a destination to see each other and talk.

        Digital movies and books consume less energy than buying a physical Blu-Ray or book.

        The definition of technology is that it improves productivity through efficiency i.e. it consumes less energy to accomplish the same goal. A lower energy lifestyle IS a technological life style. Whether it is the windows in our homes, more efficient lights, or improved wind turbines tech is lower energy.

        The catch-22 we’re all pondering is that tech achieves efficiency through complexity, so we set ourselves up for serious consequences if the financial and economic system that complexity relies upon fails. It’s precisely why it is silly for people to suggest going back to how things used to be done is a solution – it would radically increase energy consumption per capita.

        Sure, we can start using candles instead of light bulbs, but it’s gonna take a hell of a lot of energy to produce and ship candles to 7.3 billion people every week.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Yes, we either manage to maintain MOST of the complexity, or we DIE, almost every one of us, short term or medium term.

          There is not a snowball’s chance in hell that more than two percent of the population of the USA would survive a complete economic collapse. We would eat all the pleasure horses that might otherwise be retrained as draft animals, lol.

          But how useful is a trained horse, if you lack the ability to manufacture a plow or wagon ?

          Two percent of us might manage to feed ourselves. I could, if I were younger, but now I could not, not for long, unless I could recruit help.

          Most modern hands on farmers couldn’t do it. Modern farming is a highly specialized profession, and the average guy who produces fifty thousand bushels of apples or a hundred thousand bushels of grain using machinery these days really doesn’t know as much about GARDENING as an accomplished suburban amateur housewife who gardens mostly for the pleasure and sense of accomplishment involved, plus having some really fresh produce.

          This average farmer has no draft animals, no varied stock of seed, no rat and weather tight place to store his harvest to last him out thru a year. He probably does have a mattock and a spade though, because he has an occasional need for such hand tools when he has a plumbing problem, or his wife wants a new ornamental plant, lol. If he is still young and tough, he could dig up enough ground by hand to feed his immediate family over the course of a few months every winter.

          Up until twenty years ago, I still knew a few old men who dug up rather extensive gardens by hand. They were USED to that kind of work, and did it from habit and pride and to save paying somebody fifty bucks to plow their garden with a tractor. I plowed some for them in their later years, free of charge except for some early or late tomatoes, etc. Those tomatoes saved their pride. That sort of man or woman would rather go hungry than accept charity.

          It always blows me away when I read about farming by hand without plowing. The idiots who post such stuff have never figured out that the PRIMARY purpose of plowing is weed control above all else. It’s perfectly obvious they are talking about things they have never DONE, or even attempted to do. The perennial crops they talk about for the most part simply don’t exist, or if they do, they produce only a rather minor fraction of what conventional crops yield.

          It’s not that we couldn’t LEARN to do it all by hand again, but rather that the skills are missing, the built out infrastructure of low tech farming is missing, and we are mostly all in the wrong places to do it.

          • Ulenspiegel says:

            “It always blows me away when I read about farming by hand without plowing. The idiots who post such stuff have never figured out that the PRIMARY purpose of plowing is weed control above all else.”

            OFM, what is in your opinion the maximum area you could cultivate without plowing? Let us assume a family with one full time “farmer” or better gardener and an additional half time helper (wife/kid).

            Our neighbour had 2000 m^2 garden (1/2 acre) and was quite busy as spare time gardener, we had only 1/4 acre. I assume with chickens and pigs you could have some biological weed control and “plowing “.

            Gardening (and cooking) is something which give me a nice compensation for my office job – digging up a few hundred square metres saves the gym – and I would hate it to give it up.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Chickens are helpful to some extent in controlling insects, but virtually worthless when it comes to controlling weeds. You cannot turn pigs into a working garden, they will destroy it in short order. You can graze pigs on dormant or fallow garden ground,after harvest is finished, etc.You probably won’t notice any improvement in respect to weeds.

              The thing about weeds is that they are extremely hardy, and sprout and grow very fast, and produce LOTS of seed. In is extremely difficult to get rid of the seed which blow on the wind,and are distributed by birds, and in animal manure, etc. So lots of weeds are going to come up, and you are going to have to hoe and cultivate and mulch and pull weeks.

              Plowing buries a lot of the seed, and some of the insect eggs and dormant insects, etc, deep enough you can forget about them, and plowing breaks up the root systems of established sods consisting of grass and weed roots.

              So with the top of the soil more or less denuded, loosened, and exposed to the sun, via plowing or spading it up, this allows your CROP to take off fast, and hopefully after a while, you can actually count on the crop to out compete the weeds and shade them out, mostly.

              It is not easy to say how much one person can “cultivate”. The answer could vary by an order of magnitude or more, depending on the person, the soil, the local climate, the crops raised, etc.

              If a draft animal is involved, you could work five or ten times as much.

              I have never spaded up more than maybe fifty square feet personally, at any one time.

              I have seen a tough middle aged man, a horny handed son of the soil, spade up an entire acre, but it took him the better part of the winter to do so, working at it some almost every day the weather was decent. That soil was easily spaded too.

              I doubt if an average man could spade up much more than a couple of hundred square feet a day in some soils, and most definitely not if it were in a heavy grass sod.

              If you have enough land, you can grow a lot of stuff without turning the soil, by planting your crops in hills, meaning many small spots a few inches across that have been cultivated. But this reduces yield per acre substantially, and you pay in terms of time keeping the weeds down.

              It’s very difficult to provide good answers to such questions because circumstances vary so much.

              A tough man with little else to do can work three or four acres by hand, alone, except at peak busy seasons, depending on the land, the crop, the climate, and the tools he has available.

              Or he can work half an acre or so daylight to dark using the most intensive methods, and get awesome yields, under the right circumstances.

              Any body who wants insight into this question can’t do any better than read Farmers of Forty Centuries.

              When I was young and tough, I could mow an acre a day with a scythe, not for hay, but simply to keep the weeds down in the orchard in spots too steep or too confined to use the tractor mower. I could have ( back then ) looked after ten acres of fruit trees by myself, using only hand tools, except at harvest season.

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              I use no till agriculture.
              Once you have gone there, your productivity rises significantly.

              I have horses, llamas and chickens, so good input.
              Kelp adds needed nutrients.

              The plow, next to wheat domestication, sealed our demise.

              • Ulenspiegel says:

                “You cannot turn pigs into a working garden, they will destroy it in short order. ”

                That was claer, even too many chickens do damage. You need fences.

                ” I have seen a tough middle aged man, a horny handed son of the soil, spade up an entire acre, but it took him the better part of the winter to do so, working at it some almost every day the weather was decent. That soil was easily spaded too.”

                With decent loam soil you can spade up around 200 square meter per day, but you know what you have done in the evening, you need a second pair of hands if you have to work in manure etc.

                “I doubt if an average man could spade up much more than a couple of hundred square feet a day in some soils, and most definitely not if it were in a heavy grass sod. ”

                This I have leant on our new plot on the hard way. 🙂
                We had converted much into grass land for weed control eight years ago and are now converting it back to kitchen and flower gardens. 50 square meters are 6 hours hard work for my wife and me, this includes remeoving stones, half-rotten roots and some parts of weeds you still find (field bindweed).

              • R Walter says:


                My plow broke last fall. The assembly to attach the center arm of the three point hitch fell apart and the plow hung up on the lower right side arm, it wouldn’t move. Couldn’t lower the plow to the ground. You have to study the situation for a while to figure out the problem so you don’t drop the plow on your foot or some damn dumb thing like that and your winter is spent healing your footless leg, if you live. There is a particle of risk in anything you do.

                The rain will beat down the soil to a pack. You have to plow to regain the tilth. Weeds never go away. If I could sell red-rooted pigweed, I would be a millionaire ten times over. Insects are the bane of your existence. If you don’t protect some plants, like lettuce, the deer will wipe you out.

                An old farmer that I have known for fifty years let his son become the farmer. “I used to be worth millions”, he said, “now, I’m just a millionaire.”

                Owns land up the wazoo.

                He also owned a drilling rig and would drill for oil too.

                The work never ends. Gotta take a break now and then.

                I spent half a day transplanting the garlic I missed last fall, there was quite a bit left behind. Got a good garlic stand going now. One of the most requested plants out there. Nothing eats garlic or onions. The critters out there get first choice. A ripe tomato is eaten before you find it.

                A tractor and a plow will do the work that takes several hours into minutes. After the weeds begin to grow some, you can use the disc to uproot them. Then it’s time to plant. Kohlrabi is by far one of the better vegetable crops to grow. The edible portion is hardly ever damaged by insects or voles.

                I plant probably 800 kale plants and pick hundreds of pounds. It will survive 20 degrees fahrenheit and can be harvested for months. There it was, gone.

                A tractor will do the work of a hundred men that would take several hours. Without a tractor, it is over.

                Gotta have gas though, no gas and you are working your ass off.

                I do see draft horses grazing out there these days. Maybe some farmers are preparing for collapse.

                • Duncan Idaho says:

                  Got a big garlic crop also—
                  I mix it with other plants, as it does seem to repel pests.

                  • Paulo says:

                    I use a BCS tractor on a 1/4 acre ‘spud’ patch. I plant the hills 4′ apart in order to run the tractor between the rows 2X per growing season for weed control. I mulch the hills with wood chips. This year I am putting in a couple hundred feet of beans for drying (soups). The patch is big enough to rotate the crops in order to avoid the various blights, etc. For my wife and I, we have planted approx 100 hills, mostly Russian fingerlings. I throw on a sickle mower on the BCS in order to keep our trails open in the woodlot. They would be impassable within 1 year in this west coast mild climate. I use approx 5 gallons of regular gas per year to run the BCS, and considering Canada is 2X self-sufficient in oil products/energy I will assume I will have access to fuel to keep said tractor going for my lifetime. (I am 60). I also use a Belarus Titan tractor for hauling wood, etc. It is powered by a 13hp Honda engine, has articulated steering, and is 4X4 when needed. It goes anywhere and also has a 3pt hitch, hydraulics, PTO, etc. Very very handy.

                    Our main vegetable production is done with a good sized kitchen garden, and two big greenhouses. We also have 8 layers and are almost ready to process 30 meat birds. We put 200 lbs of salmon in the freezer every summer for family and friends. This year I am also buying a side of grass fed free range beef from a friend who has a grazing lease. I plan to package up meat/fish boxes for early Christmas presents for family.

                    I spent 1/3 of my life in aviation. I have to disagree with the above post about air travel increasing. Most air travel is discretionary and could almost be entirely eliminated without any loss. If the economy tanks, flying stops. In industry, thie first thing that gets cut in tough times is the company plane and/or helicopter. Look at Mexico for a clue…a country ahead of us on the downslope. They have excellent bus services and several tiers of it. Folks don’t fly, only the rich and gringos. Every one else goes by private vehicle or by bus. If my kids wanted to go into aviation I would have done absolutely anything to have stopped them. Instead, one is a music teacher and the other is an industrial electrician with his own company. This year, helicopter pilots cannot buy a job. Fixed wing commuter pilots are on food stamps, and airlines have a two tier pay scale and little to count on for future pensions. Airlines have one foot in the grave and the other on a bannana peel. The only thing that saved them is ZIRP and the collapse of fuel prices. They are in a race for the bottom.

                    In 2030 I think we will all be working harder for less. I am glad I am retired and experienced the relative good times. Our preps will ultimately be passed on to our family in the form of an established growing system fully paid for. I hope it will be enough.


        • GoneFishing says:

          Brian, have you considered that just the servers consume 10 percent of world electrical power? Then add in the devices themselves, the energy and materials to manufacture and distribute them an you have a huge energy and material sink.
          I know we are stuck with high tech communications and computers, but I never spent much money on stamps, envleopes or phones back when that was all we had. TV came through an antenna, as did radio.
          Now a family might spend $300 a month just on communications and TV “entertainment”.

          It’s also a system that needs systems. Buy a camera, you need a computer, a printer, anti-virus software to make it work. Yet still the photo paper and ink needs to be purchased or one needs to go to a print shop to get actual photographs. And all that high tech needs to be replaced and upgraded frequently. It snowballs. Just one Iphone needs 388 kwh of energy per year for phone and data use.

          We have superior tech and we are caught on a superior hamster wheel of cost and materials and energy.
          Tech in the typical house of the early 1950’s: washing machine, electric kitchen mixer, toaster, furnace, telephone, radio, TV, light bulbs and fixtures. Pens, pencils, paper. Generally only one car per family.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          The ostensible irony, Brian, is that you seem to be thinking too simply about human technocomplexity and missing its ironies and paradoxes. You seem to suffer, along with a few others hereon, from ‘techno-narcissism’, if that’s the right word, which I think I got from Kunstler. Or, how about techno-naval-gazing. (Any artificial and/or fossil-fuel-produced fibre lint in there?)

          For example, you can make beeswax candles; good for the bees, good for the plants, good for your education and community, and locally-produced. Oh, and honey is a fringe benefit. Oh, and less need to ship sugar from afar too. Cuz honey is a sugar, apparently with natural antibiotics within no less. Oh and bees are bird-food and birds are food for other creatures and so on… Get it? (That’s part of permaculture’s ‘attitude’ by the way)
          Right now, the complexity of industrial agro– pesticides– are what’s killing many bees– and weeds, except the super and superduper ones of course.

          Industrial agro is the weed. Kill it.

          Speaking of industrial agro and weeds, Oldfarmermac et al., you can eat weeds. Weeds are only weeds, relatively. They grow themselves– perennial and self-pollinating and all that– and grow in a bitch of soils (like the side of the road for example) and climates. Eat this, climate-change!
          I eat weeds increasingly often; they are practically effortless to gather, grow like ‘weeds’, and are packed with nutrients you wont get in wage-slave-salary-needing corporate-grocery-store-bought loveless poopouts.

          I could go on, but hopefully, you get the idea. And I’m going back to bed… Goodnight…

          • wimbi says:

            Duckweed. We are saved.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Eat The Weeds

              Ostensibly, certain forms, methods and/or implementations of technology can decouple/isolate us from reality, while others may have the opposite effect.

              For example, it is relatively well-known how cars and their surrounding support infrastructures and development wreck and distort communities by, in part, shifting scales beyond the human and into the realm of the car. You can see the example effects in suburban sprawl and in vast tracts of parking lot and big-box commercial outlets that transcend the human (navigation) and practically require a car.
              This is what David Korowicz might call a form of lock-in and is in part also why I am generally against the car, whether an EV or ICE, unless perhaps its development process, from cradle to grave, is directly democratic. But even then.

              I suspect that whether a tech is ultimately successful has a lot to do with somehow allowing nature to remain coupled with it, and when I speak of that, I also speak of democracy and equality– a kind of personal control over it.

              Possibly most so-called weeds that grow right under our noses can be eaten or used medicinally. You have to be careful of the part of the plant, its growth stages and the times of year and so forth, but that’s like anything, any knowledge base or learning process.

              “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 [travel in a car,] 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 [my addition in square brackets]

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            HI Caelan,

            For what it is worth, the farmers definition of a weed is a plant growing in a place it interferes with the production of a crop.

            I eat a number of plants that are often called weeds and that grow wild in my neighborhood myself, lol. Sometimes I pick them myself, but in late times I usually pay a local old guy who is a semi retired farm hand with less than enough paid work to share his collection with me.

            I am hoping to find some morelles tomorrow. They ARE the queen of mushrooms, without a doubt, but they are mostly gone already, it’s very late in the season for them here. I gathered ten bushels of black walnuts last fall, and put five bushels of them out to sprout. When they sprout, I will transplant at least a hundred of them into my fence rows. Likewise I will be planting a couple of gallons of persimmon seeds this fall, for the fourth or fifth time, since damned few of them make it. I manage a quarter of an acre piece of bottom land so as to KEEP it thick with wild blackberries. If I turn my back on them, the trees will take that land again. I get enough for a pie or two every week all year, myself and give the rest away for the picking. Now that I have time enough, being more or less retired, I will hopefully have TONS of stuff growing that requires very little assistance, or none. There are semiwild chickens, wild rabbits, fish in small ponds, etc, already. I bought a big yellow machine mainly so I can build my small ponds to my hearts content, and dig gravity powered irrigation ditches, and make roads thru the woods , so it is somewhat like a park.Roads mean more edge, and edges are where almost all the more important key local species flourish best.

            I am planning on going back to keeping a few beef cows on pasture, but I expect to eat more wild venison than any other meat except those semi domesticated chickens. Of course the deer won’t last more than a few months if things really do go to hell in a hand basket. In that case, I will have a hell of a time keeping people from shooting my cows and butchering them on the spot.

            I will have a small water wheel that will pull a small generator, enough to run a few lights and a refrigerator,or an electric water pump or power tool. I will build the water wheel myself. If I had a big enough stream, with enough drop, I would build a really big one.

            It’s not like we are not on the same page, in terms of what we would LIKE to see happen.

            Now I will be the first to admit that industrial agriculture as it is practiced today is not sustainable over the long haul, but we sure as hell are stuck with it for now, and for the easily foreseeable future.

            Shut down industrial agriculture, and most of the human species would be dead of starvation, exposure, disease , and violence within a few months.

            AND although I doubt you will believe me, the SCOPE of the problem , the SIZE of the problem, of a transition back to SIMPLE, LOCALIZED agriculture makes the necessary transition to renewable energy look like toddler’s child play.

            Out of all the people I know, maybe a couple of dozen could actually feed themselves, and their immediate family, without industrial agriculture. ( At this time, I don’t actually PERSONALLY know anybody living the peasant’s life style in a third world country. )

            I have forgotten more about old time farming than just about anybody I have ever encountered on the internet, and investigated most of what is referred to as permaculture, etc, in some detail.

            Now you can make damned near any sort of agricultural production system work, if you put enough time and effort into it.

            But feeding seven billion people via the methods you advocate just is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

            The average young woman who lives in a city or suburb would get down to eighty pounds before she would even THINK about putting her pretty hands in dirt with manure mixed in with it.

            The chances of society VOLUNTARILY going back to the old ways APPROACH ZERO. In plain language, that means it will NEVER happen, VOLUNTARILY.

            It won’t even happen at the point of a gun in a soldiers hands, because most of the soldiers would desert before they would participate in forcing people out of their homes by the tens of millions and into tents out in the boonies someplace.

            I have been fishing around for close on to ten years now, looking for a few people who would like to live on a communally owned farm and live a MOSTLY low tech life style, growing what we need for our own use MOSTLY by the old fashioned methods. They could continue to hold outside jobs, manage almost all their own money, own outside assets, etc.

            SO FAR, only a couple of nibbles.Damned few people are truly interested, and even fewer are willing to move and make a commitment.

            I HAVE lined up some old friends of the military and construction sort who will come in the event the shit hits the fan hard and fast, so that we might actually have to FORT UP. I think the chances of that happening in my own lifetime are EXTREMELY slim, but not zero. At any rate, it didn’t cost us anything to make those plans, except a few weekends together cooking out and drinking beer.

            I appreciate where you are coming from, but you might as well go and preach Jesus in a water front cathouse someplace in the Far East. You will make more converts there.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Seems that we’ve been down a similar path before

              If so, maybe it kind of suggests why you think that society or some people won’t do a certain thing voluntarily. Because they won’t do a lot of things voluntarily. So why should farming be any different?

              One more time…

              “…more knowledge would be key to any effort to boost organic farming or its yields. Conventional farming requires knowledge of how to manage what farmers know as inputs—synthetic fertilizer, chemical pesticides and the like—as well as fields laid out precisely via global-positioning systems. Organic farmers, on the other hand, must learn to manage an entire ecosystem geared to producing food—controlling pests through biological means, using the waste from animals to fertilize fields and even growing one crop amidst another. ‘Organic farming is a very knowledge-intensive farming system’, Seufert notes. An organic farmer ‘needs to create a fertile soil that provides sufficient nutrients at the right time when the crops need them. The same is true for pest management.’.” ~ Scientific American

              “when I studied organic biological agriculture, part of the studies looked at differences between conventional produce and those produced with living soils. Because plants are, in simplistic terms, when it comes to water, basically ‘pumps’ (pumping water up from below), when they have water-soluble fertiliser they suck it up, grow rapidly and ‘look’ great, but the differences in nutrition are quite striking… Plants that are instead fed a balanced diet through symbiotic exchanges between the plant’s roots and the micro-organisms that surround them, end up getting much more than just NPK, but also trace elements the plants (and we!) need for health. This makes the natural defences of plants much stronger, eliminating a great deal of ‘pest’ problems, and when we eat these healthy ‘broad spectrum’ nutrient bombs, we also receive the gift of strong immune systems.” ~ Craig Mackintosh

              ‘Yield’ also seems relative to what the produce inevitably contains and does not, as well as what it requires and destroys in the process and how sustainable it is in the long run.

              See also (voluntarily of course)…

              Rodale’s 30-year organic versus conventional Farming Systems Trial

              United Nations Calls for an End to Industrialized Farming

              The benefits of alternative farming methods

              “Permaculture can help farmers produce more food using fewer resources through agroecology – a farming approach that mimics natural ecosystems…”

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                I will be perfectly BLUNT and just put it this way. Almost every thing that is said about organic farming, in terms of the world converting to it and providing people in the short and medium term enough to eat by practicing it is complete and total bullshit, just plain fucking simple pie in the sky dreaming.

                I KNOW, and anybody that REALLY knows, and is interested in telling the truth rather than pushing a partisan agenda for any of a dozen different reasons will tell you so.

                FIRST OFF- Farms are not ecosystems. Farms will never BE ecosystems, so long as they are located dozens, hundreds, and thousands of miles from the cities where the people live who consume the food produced there on, at least not for the easily foreseeable future.

                This is because the nutrients that are removed from the soil must be replaced, and it is simply not POSSIBLE now, and will not be possible for easily foreseeable future , to recapture those nutrients from the toilets of the urbanites,and return them to the farm.

                I know people who practice socalled organic farming, and have certifcations, and advertise their stuff that way, and get premium prices for it. They still operate ninety percent the way I did, using trucks, tractors, MOSTLY PURCHASED FERTILIZERS, just DIFFERENT fertilizers, purchased shipping containers, grid sourced electricity , lots of pesticides, just DIFFERENT pesticides.

                Their operations are necessarily more labor intensive than otherwise, and necessarily conducted on a smaller scale. All the bullshit you hear about somebody farming ten different crops in a rotation and keeping four or five kinds of livestock and MAKING A LIVING at it, present day, are special cases at best. Sure it can work, if you have money enough, and are located in exactly the right spot, and can get a price premium.

                Well, ninety nine percent of us are NOT located in the right spot. A farmer out in the flat wide open spaces can grow the hell out of corn or soy or wheat, etc, and a bitter winter hardly matters at all. But that ten crop rotation and that five kinds of livestock WON’T WORK out there.

                I can grow EXCELLENT apples by the organic rule book, and still use my fertilizer spreader, and my 200 horsepower air blast sprayer, and my tractor and truck and cooling and packing equipment, but I CAN’T make them BLEMISH free.

                Well, ya know what? Nor can anybody else who lives in my area, because we get enough cool damp weather that fungus and scab blemish the fruit,and the organic methods so far invented can’t stop that problem.

                NOBODY will buy blemished apples, NOBODY. I can’t even GIVE them away. Well, sometimes the cannery a hundred miles away will pay five cents a pound, but the trucking bill gets most of that. It costs from three to five cents to pick them and get them loaded on a truck.

                The people who can AFFORD organic apples can afford apples grown in a place with a climate where it works. The organic apples in the upscale produce section of my usual supermarket are shipped here from three thousand miles away..

                We will gradually learn to farm with fewer pesticides and other chemical inputs, but a transition away from industrial agriculture IS IMPOSSIBLE for cultural, economic, political, and geographic reasons until the population problem is solved……….. unless we go about the transition by way of something right out of RED CHiNESE and or Stalinist USSR history.

                I suppose most of us in this forum know something of the history of Chairman Mao’s economic policies, and the old soviet economic policies, where by people lived WHERE the government TOLD them to live, and worked at what they were TOLD to work at……….. or else they were imprisoned, enslaved , and worked to death…….. or just shot out of hand.

                If any body thinks the typical western citizens who live in the cities and suburbs will give up their usual lives , and go in for a MA KIP sort of existence, well, that person is just too damned stupid to bother with.

                By comparison , putting solar panels on every roof, building every body an electric car, generating all our electricity with wind and solar power, etc, IS CHILD’S PLAY.

                So long as there is organized government, farmers will get the necessary industrial inputs, if industrial civilization itself survives.

                IF industrial bau crashes and BURNS , so does industrial agriculture. People will be eating each other within a few months.

                I am perfectly willing to agree with the doomers that industrial civilization MIGHT CRASH and BURN.

                The odds of that happening within the next couple of decades,which is as long as I can hope to live, are very slim in my opinion, but still significant, even here in the USA. They aren’t so slim again in my opinion that I have not given substantial thought to the possibility I might NEED to FORT UP someday.

                I think the odds of a crash and burn collapse over most of the world before this century is out are HIGH. We Yankees and a few other people who are well situated MIGHT pull thru more or less whole. We might NOT.

                • Newfarmermac (Caelan MacIntyre) says:

                  The move away from industrial agro is already beginning.

                  Bees ‘farm’… Probably all animals. Maybe Earth is one giant farm, just that we as humans that decouple ourselves from reality in various ways– symbolism, money, technology– just haven’t noticed. Or don’t want to.

                  We can’t even shit where we are (so to speak). It has to be piped away as our water is piped in from far away. Like our apples.

                  Do you think that we can’t enhance our environment not only for us and our survival but also for other creatures and the planet as a whole? By actually acknowledging our coupling with Earth?

                  What’s remarkable is that we are even delineating the word, ‘organic‘. That farming would not be organic seems to speak to how far off-track we’ve come. Ya, lock-in, but of the wrong kind. And now we have to unlock and fast and re-lock to the ecosystem. So it’s time to all become farmers again.


                  “By comparison , putting solar panels on every roof, building every body an electric car, generating all our electricity with wind and solar power, etc, IS CHILD’S PLAY.” ~ oldfarmermac

                  Bingo! Past TIME TO GROW UP.

                  “Balance of the eco-system,
                  Self-reliance beckons us
                  Windmills and waterfalls, strawberries and lily ponds
                  When skyscrapers no longer block the sun’s meridian
                  When we wake up to the whisper of the voice

                  Tapping into the aeon…”

                • woodsy_gardener says:

                  NOBODY will buy blemished apples, NOBODY. I can’t even GIVE them away. Well, sometimes the cannery a hundred miles away will pay five cents a pound, but the trucking bill gets most of that. It costs from three to five cents to pick them and get them loaded on a truck.

                  “Technology will save us.”
                  “The American Way of Life is not negotiable.”
                  Take off your blinders Mac. The time is coming when a person will be grateful to receive a blemished apple.

    • Bob Nickson says:


      A question for you.

      Is it possible to directly charge a LEAF with DC voltage straight from a PV panel?

      • wimbi says:

        Not without fussing with lots of widgets. But in my case, I simply use the widgets already in a normal PV array. A bunch of PV panels each with microinverter pumping 240VAC into the house circuit, that circuit running the conventional charger hanging by the leaf as normal, and good to go.

        Those microinverters are made to operate only when they sense a proper grid freq and voltage, and when the grid goes down, so do they. But, just between you and me and everybody else, it’s easy to fake the inverter into thinking it’s still on the grid, so, up or down, still can charge leaf if sun shining.

        I don’t bother with the fake-out because I started off with a small off-grid system, and when I went to the big grid-tied one, I just left the old off-grid one untouched, so when the grid goes down, pretty frequently around here, I just switch to the old 120VAC leaf charger running off batteries.

        Redundancy is the name of the game.

        • Bob Nickson says:


          The idea of course was to avoid the cost of inverters and other ancillary costs, as modules are .50c a watt now, but installed system prices are $3.50/watt or more.

          $500. of module cost to get 15+ miles of range per day is a no brainer, and such a very low hurdle. $3,500. is a bit of trouble more.

          • wimbi says:

            Every sane car buyer looks for a near-new car with big knockdown on price because it isn’t new. Same with solar. Really good used solar system components lying around because fat cat owners want the next great thing and will bump out their perfectly good inverter or whatever to get the new one.

  10. 70%H2O says:

    I’d say pointing at a specific date or year is futile. I NEVER include dates in my predictions. First class at prophet school teach you to say what OR when, never AND. So forgoing the “2030” mark in the original post, my main points are these:

    Peak Oil: No way we can find new oil or replace it. The decline will be in an accelerated state and the big economical crash will come. I guess there will be some seriously bad news this fall already, but dates don’t matter, it will come. And everyone will lose their job.

    Food: We burn and eat more than we produce. We will empty our storages within shortly, and then we will live from hand to mouth. Expect massive famines, where the UN don’t send food, ‘cus they ain’t got any.

    Climate change: The CO2 is ALREADY OUT THERE.
    When we emit the green house gasses we also emit small particle wich cause global dimming. GHG so far has caused 1.5 deg C warming (the Paris agreement is already broken), but there are another 1-3 C of warming hiding the global dimming as well. It only takes a few weeks of no industrial activity, and then the sky is clear. Those 1-3 deg C of extra warming can come in weeks. And it only takes one massive global industrial pause for this to happen.

    Now, add these together. Fossil fuels are running low. The economy fails. At one point or another the industrial web will desintegrate. When, the global dimming will end, and we will cross the 4 degree mark in a few weeks. This leads to climate and then ecology collapse. Food production is ended, and massive global famines.

    From my experience, doomers are always wrong on WHEN it will happen, but they are right about WHAT. This will come. I just don’t know when.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi 70% H2O,

      No you don’t have your physics right. The global dimming is a relatively minor factor. The Global temperature is affected to a large degree by the ocean. The ocean takes a very long time to warm up (it turns over in about 400 years, but the deep ocean takes longer than that.) So we are not going to see rapid warming in a matter of weeks, not on a global basis.

      Note that my argument is not that climate change is not an issue, but if you want people to pay attention, you need to get the science right.

      And if things collapse quickly (say in 50 years), there is less carbon emitted and climate change is less likely to be a problem. So either we have adequate fossil fuels to cause severe climate change and BAU continues for a while or we don’t and things collapse, but then climate change is not a problem. It is not really possible to have a near term peak and rapid decline in fossil fuels and a problem with climate change, the physics just says it isn’t so.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Dennis,

        Personally I believe crossing the fossil fuels depletion bridge without the troubles associated with that bridge morphing into WWIII is a bigger threat to the planet and to humanity that forced global warming.

        It’s not that warming isn’t an extraordinary threat. It’s just that we are focusing so much attention on it we are ignoring the other more immediate threats that are apt to destroy large chunks of the biosphere sooner, and maybe us in the process.

        Javier may be wrong about climate, but he sure as hell knows what he is talking about OTHERWISE.

        It is a loss to this forum that he has stopped commenting here.

        Fernando likewise, although he may pop in once in a while yet. His actual expertise in the oil industry enabled him to point out a lot of sloppy thinking on the part of some other members.

      • 70%H2O says:

        There is this lag caused by the oceans, as you point out. Thanks to it we now experience the climate of the CO2 levels of 30-50 years ago according to my sources (sources, plural). So if the emissions stop this next morning, we still have 30 to 50 years of CC to go.

        We have most likely already broken the target of the Paris agreement, 1.5 C warming. The last few years have seen several cases of acceleration. The ice loss of the west Antarctia is exploding right now and Greenland has been for the last 5 years. The ongoing El Niño brought a temporary heating that was 20% of the total global warming of the 20ieth century. It took 10 years for the record heating of the parallell year 1998 to become average and 15 to become relatively cold.

        And we got 30 to 50 years more to go, even without a single extra molecule of CO2. I am afraid your calmness on this issue are unfounded. And with “afraid” I mean it the literal way.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          For perspective,
          Let’s look at forced climate change the way I look at my own personal health.

          I am constantly at risk of dying accidentally, or being murdered, or suffering a fatal heart attack or stroke. This sort of thing might very well result in my death TODAY. This could be my last comment ever.

          As time passes, I know I will die of cancer, or heart disease or diabetes, or SOMETHING, maybe just plain old age.

          RIGHT NOW, I estimate the RISK of really major problems with the environment that are NOT due to forced warming bringing on troubles that could result in a hard crash of our present day industrial civilization IS HIGH ENOUGH that we need to refocus our attention to dealing with these problems more directly and sooner.

          Now as to the effect of doing that, the better most practical solutions to these problems will also serve to help reduce and delay the effects of warming.

          DIVERTING as much of the currently burnt fossil fuel to building out renewables as fast as possible would be one such solution. Building wind and solar farms pedal to the metal will not appreciably increase the amount of fossil fuels used on a world wide basis, but the BIGGER the renewables industries are NOW , and over the next decade or two or three, THE MORE renewables we will be able to build LATER, WHEN there is no longer any question in the mind of the man on the street that climate change is REAL.

          If renewable energy were to get just HALF the emphasis and publicity that climate change gets, the renewables industries would probably be four or five or maybe TEN times as big TODAY as they actually are.

          We would be far enough along that transitioning to renewables BEFORE we run critically short of fossil fuels becomes a limiting factor would definitely be possible. AS THINGS ARE, we might run short enough of fossil fuel before we get enough renewables built, because after that , they WON’T get built.

          We either manage the transition and get to the necessary tipping point in terms of BUILT renewables, or they will never get built.

          IF the renewables industries DON’T get scaled up soon enough, it is a foregone conclusion that we will burn every goddamned last ton of coal we can possibly dig out of the ground, because short term survival is always the ultimate controlling factor in terms of any big picture scenario.

          No politician anywhere will be able to tell his or her citizens that they will have to do without electricity, etc, in order to prevent FURTHER climate change decades down the road.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Excellent 70%H2O. Global dimming is a large factor to be considered, controlling about 4% of total radiation across the planet. As Dennis C points out the ocean is large. It is also dark so it will absorb that energy quickly. Both land and ocean surface will heat quickly.
      The skies started to clear after the 1980’s but massive coal burning in this century has set us back again.

      The estimated negative forcing for aerosols is between 1.5 and 2.1 watts/m2. That means a doubling of heating when the aerosols disappear.

      • 70%H2O says:

        I put my short term hopes on the thermal inertia of the oceans. But for the long term I have no hope.

        Let me say this about the CO2: It is already out there. Interglacial CO2 is 280 PPM. Glacial CO2 is 180 PPM. Difference of 100. We are now at 400 PPM. Under the most optimist scenarios we will still reach 150 PPM above pre-industrial before the stop of emissions. So we have a thermal forcing that is the difference between an ice age and no ice age and half of that too. People do not consider this span. It is huge. Most of the change has not taken place.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Remember the relationship is logarithmic so 180 to 360 is the same relative change as 280 to 560. If we stay under 500 ppm things will not be too bad if carbon emissions stop.

          My medium fossil fuel scenarios suggest a maximum of 515 ppm of atmospheric co2. Then levels decline by 100 ppm over the next 400 years while the ocean absorbs excess heat.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Dennis, the average global temperature during the last glaciation was 4 C lower than preindustrial temperature. A change from 180 ppm to 270 ppm. Are you considering albedo and orbital forcings in your calculation?
            Not considering those gives a temperature rise of greater than 4C for a rise from 270 to 550 ppm.

            Also, the total manmade greenhouse gas concentration is currently 550 ppm CO2 equivalent.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Equivalent is less important mostly co2 is long lived.

              The albedo will change much less because ice sheets are far smaller.
              The temperature changed over thousands of years.
              Carbon dioxide levels will fall after 2100 because carbon emissions will be low.

              After 400 years they will fall to 400 ppm. Temperature will rise to 2 C above preindustrial if ECS is 3C.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Albedo change is not just ice sheets, it’s snow cover and arctic ocean ice loss. The current total radiative forcing change for ice cover on this planet is 5%, which is 14 w/m2. Not small at all.
                “The temperature changed over thousands of years…”
                Exactly my point, if small forcing from orbital changes takes thousands of years, the large forcing will take a much shorter time with much more dramatic effects on natural forcings.

                As far as the “other” greenhouse gases go. The methane converts to CO2. Both methane and CO2 will be replenished and increased due to natural feedbacks in the northern regions. Warmer temps increase the concentration of the strongest greenhouse gas, water vapor. It’s all going in one direction.

                Did you miss the 4.5C change due to small forcings?
                Why do you think that large forcings will have any less effect?

                I think you are making a lot of assumptions about the use of other fossil fuels and the burning of forests as oil depletes. More than half of the people on the planet will not be able to afford low CO2 lives, they will burn whatever they can get for as long as they can get it.

              • Dennis Coyne says:


                If ECS is 3 C and the net increase in CO2 from 1800 to 2300 is from 280 ppm to 450 ppm (CO2 rises to 515 ppm in 2100 and then gradually falls to 450 ppm by around 2300.we would get 2.03 C of warming above the average pre-industrial temperature, any longer term earth system affects may be offset as CO2 levels continue to fall (it would reach 400 ppm by 3000 CE with Temperature at 1.69 C). Orbital effects would tend to suggest a long term cooling, the higher CO2 will delay this, but CO2 will not remain high for 80,000 years and the last 4 glacial cycles were around 100,000 years each.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Those are a whole bunch of IFs at the lowest end of the levels and they do not take into account the big factors of natural feedbacks. Also seem to go fully counter to the findings of our top climate scientists. The minimal change of radiation due to orbital changes is many times smaller than just the albedo changes and take a long time to reach a maximum, whereas albedo change and natural release of methane and CO2 are ongoing now.

                  Does your scenario take into account coal and natural gas?
                  Here is NASA’s view.
                  “Today, we stand on the threshold of a new geologic era, which some term the “Anthropocene”, one where the climate is very different to the one our ancestors knew.

                  If fossil-fuel burning continues at a business-as-usual rate, such that humanity exhausts the reserves over the next few centuries, CO2 will continue to rise to levels of order of 1500 ppm. The atmosphere would then not return to pre-industrial levels even tens of thousands of years into the future. This graph not only conveys the scientific measurements, but it also underscores the fact that humans have a great capacity to change the climate and planet. ”

                  Even half of that would be way above your scenario. I feel comforted too when I extrapolate the better side of humanity and the low end of outcomes, but in reality, we are continuing the old ways at a higher rate than ever, despite knowledge and awareness to the contrary. This is a not a problem, but a predicament well on it’s way to conclusion.

                  Doesn’t matter anyway, because the remaining fossil fuels will allow humans to physically complete the extinction event they started and climate change will merely finish off the fragile isolated islands of limited bio-diversity.
                  Do you think that humans will survive the upcoming bottleneck we have created once most of the ecosystem is devastated, even in your overly optimistic scenario? Keep in mind, we are a genetically weakened species dependent upon a few homogeneous species and machines for food.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gonefishing,

                    The mainstream view is that we should try to keep carbon emissions below 1000 Gt after 1750. My medium scenario includes all emissions from coal, oil, natural gas, land use change, cement production, and natural gas flaring and if there are no further emissions after 2100, the total will be approximately 1200 Gt of carbon emissions (multiply by 44/12 to get CO2 emissions). The ECS estimate includes water vapor effects, the albedo effect will be much smaller than the effect from the last glacial maximum to the present. In that case there were very large ice sheets during the last glacial maximum covering large portions of the northern hemisphere land mass, no longer true today.

                    The fossil reserves are not as large as NASA thinks. Atmospheric CO2 will not approach 1500 ppm, there is not likely to be enough fossil fuel to make this possible.

                    Atmospheric CO2 will fall to about 365 ppm by 3300 CE, using an Earth System Sensitivity(ESS) of 5 C (including long term vegetation and ice sheet effects, which operate over 30,000 years or so) an atmospheric CO2 level of 365 ppm corresponds with a temperature of 2C above pre-industrial temperature (around the 1700-1750 time frame).

                    The ESS is discussed at the link below:


          • zeroworker says:

            I’m curious – what, specifically, does the phrase “not be too bad” mean?

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              2C above preindustrial.

              Not good but not a catastrophe.

              Less carbon emissions would be better.

              A fast transition to renewable energy and better energy efficiency would improve the outcome.

        • wharf rat says:

          Study: US oil field source of global uptick in air pollution

          Associated Press

          WASHINGTON (AP) — An oil and natural gas field in the western United States is largely responsible for a global uptick of the air pollutant ethane, according to a new study.

          The team led by researchers at the University of Michigan found that fossil fuel production at the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and Montana is emitting roughly 2 percent of the ethane detected in the Earth’s atmosphere.

  11. Oldfarmermac says:

    Suburbia ain’t going away, and will still be growing by leaps and bounds in 2030.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Maybe it will be a kinder and gentler suburbia than some of them now. The homogeneous bedroom community may cease to exist. Houses with shops and businesses interspersed, more like extended towns may become the norm. Easy enough to do once the politicians get over their power to regulate all land use and become more flexible. Whole town centers could spring up in the middle of large suburban wastelands and overpopulated towns could get more green space and less crowding.
      Imagine only having to go a few blocks to get milk, bread and eggs instead of miles to a super-store where it takes forever just to park and walk around for a few small items.

  12. dolph911 says:

    Interesting question. I’m a doomer, though I don’t believe in fast collapse.

    In 2030 I believe the end of American empire, and possibly even civil war, will be in sight. The entire Middle East will be in complete turmoil. Europe and Asia will turn increasingly to autocratic regimes in order to control resource distribution once the energy decline really sets in.

    We will already see mass migration away from both cold/hot areas and the coasts. Each of these will be unlivable in their own ways, and we are seeing the beginning of this process.

    A great number of cities and industrial plants will be completely shut down and abandoned. Population decline across the entire world will have begun, and the financial system will have collapsed, and reset around local economies of much smaller scale. Many of the unhealthy and old will perish without delivery of medications. Only the toughest and strongest will survive, as was the case for millenia before the modern age.

    Much of what we take for granted today will be lost. Not to worry, much of it is waste. But with the waste will go a lot of cultural and technological know how, as well.

    In think this process more or less continues for the remainder of the century.

  13. Dark Fired Tobacco says:

    My first engineering job back in the mid-1970’s was updating the long range (25 year) transportation plan for a urban metropolitan area in the U.S. This was still the era of mainframe computing and punch cards. We broke the metro area into 900 zones plus external stations. Ran capacity restrained and stochastic models for auto and transit. I had a citizens’ committee that wanted no more money spent on roads and highway departments with little interest in transit (traditional bus or light rail). What struck me most was the difficulty everyone had envisioning a future different from what they knew.

    Realize that this was the era of Limits to Growth and the first Earth Day events. Air pollution was visible. Sulfur dioxide was a concern; carbon dioxide was not. We even used elasticities of demand to project the impact of changes in the price of gasoline on modal choice. Nonetheless, our traffic volumes, resultant levels of service, population projections, and needed capital and policy improvements were simply incomprehensible to many.

    Forward to 2016, and little has changed. When I tell a (younger) fellow highway engineer that he/she might want to attend a seminar on railroad design, I get a blank look. Pedestrian issues are still an afterthought at intersections. People are amazed that my current mid-South home city has more construction cranes than church steeples in the midtown area and that developers are building high-rise condos, not office towers. Young people seem to understand the future is in the city, not the suburb.

    With that said, here are my predictions for 2030 (only 14 years away, a midrange forecast at best) and 2041, a more traditional 25 year projection.

    1) By 2030 the average citizen will fully understand that the oil age has ended and will be perplexed and anxious. Most new highway construction will have ceased. Interstate 2.0, a plan to construct high speed rail within the rights of way of the Interstate Highway System, will be well-underway, though constrained by lack of capital. Most new vehicles will be hybrid or electric, some will be fully-self driving; all will have advanced cruise control and safety features. Air traffic will be increasing out of reach for average citizens, who will be demanding more passenger rail service.

    2) By 2030 the volume of freight carried by trucks will be dropping rapidly. Distribution systems will serve smaller areas and use rail for their inbound mode. Global trade will be dropping at an accelerating rate, as manufacturing returns to domestic locations.

    3) Energy efficiency will be the primary focus of energy policy by 2030. Cable television will have transferred to desktop and hand-held devices, and the home television will seem as odd as the land-line telephone in 2016. Solar power will outpace wind power, and residential rooftop systems will be chosen over central systems in most areas as a matter of trust, not technology. The electric utilities will focus on industrial and institutional customers.

    4) By 2041 the idea of individual vehicles will be something only for the wealthy. Upper middle class commuters will summon an automated, driverless taxi, get in alongside their neighbors, and ride to the closest rapid transit stop or neighborhood commercial district. Garages will be used for self-storage or for at-home businesses.

    5) Intercity travel will be unpredictable in 2041, as highways disintegrate after years of neglect. Rail travel will be complex due to the failure to complete Interstate 2.0 or expand Amtrak. Air travel will be possible only from about 50 or 60 remaining commercial airports, and far too expensive for most families. College students will no longer have study abroad programs unless they can get passage by ship.

    5) The Internet itself will be government regulated for file size, not necessarily content, by 2041. Large files, whether of kittens or cougars, will be shifted to times of low demand or restricted altogether. Consumers will flock to lower tech handheld devices (similar to the Raspberry Pi) and use simple text in 256 character blocks as the primary messaging method. Internet cafes will offer file storage and photo transfer for grandparents wanting to share grand baby pictures, a kind of localized Facebook.

    6) By 2041 the typical neighborhood will be walkable to a degree, with a central neighborhood commercial area. Such neighborhoods may self-organize by religion, ethnicity, ethics, or some other unifying principle. Many residents will remain within their own neighborhood on a typical day. Others will use the neighborhood’s one transit stop as a means to get elsewhere in the urban area. Those not within walking distance of the commercial district or the transit stop will be wealthier and able to afford the neighborhood taxi.

    7) By 2041 the primary intercity freight transport method will be rail. Trucks and construction equipment will have natural gas or electric power, but range will be limited, as there will be no economic incentive to build natural gas fueling stations in rural areas. Water transport will be primarily by solid sail ships. Pipelines will continue to bring the remaining oil and natural gas to urban areas, but the service lives of those pipelines will be short and funding for upgrades will be limited. The Alaska Pipeline will have shut down years earlier.

    8) In 2030 the transition of the United States to a nation living primarily in urban areas greater than 50,000 will be far advanced, with more than 85 percent of the population in such locations. Smaller communities will realize that their fate is hinged, as it was a hundred and fifty years ago, on the availability of rail transport. Those without it will often, but not always, enter a death spiral. The idea of state and federal agencies buying up land with poor agricultural prospects and closing down doomed small towns will gain traction. Farming communities that survive will need to show high production levels, sustainable water sources, and available labor. Favorable farming communities will receive much of the remaining fossil fuel (as gasoline or fertilizer) and incentives for addressing the needs of their vital citizens.

    9) By 2041 the United States will be an urban nation dominated by eleven distinct urban corridors crossing state lines. (See the site for a map.) Surface transportation within a corridor will be acceptable, but transportation between corridors will be more difficult. Urban society will organize itself within those eleven corridors. The rural and smaller city sites will organize under two separate regions, one in the east and one in the west. As a practical matter, America will once again be 13 colonies.

    10) Finally, by 2041, the concept will be emerging that individual homes in large urban area cannot support traditional in-home cooking, washing, and other energy-intensive activities. These will increasingly be accomplished in community locations that can operate with greater energy efficiency as well as offer employment to persons with particular skills in those areas. The typical urban American is more likely to be at a neighbor cafe talking with friends than on a sofa staring at a television set.

    Life will be very different, worse in some aspects, better in others. The end of the oil age will be as transforming as World War II, the Civil War, or the American Revolution. These things happen about every 80 years. (See the Strauss and Howe books, Generations, and The Fourth Turning, for more explanation.) We are in a generational crisis era. The good news is that our crisis doesn’t have to involve the deaths of millions of people. We just need to learn to live within our natural resources.

    • PonziWorld says:

      You need to go to Puerto Rico and Atlantic City and preach the Gospel of Glorious Future…

      Somehow they just don’t get it.

      • JustSaying says:

        Your sour grapes have turned into a whine

        • Caelan MacIntyre: Whitewash Now Comes In A Spray! says:

          Has GreaseMonkey been decommissioned?

          (What else? Trump2.X? But I see ChiefEngineer is back… with Mack trucks. Maybe GreaseMonkey is over there.)

          But it is a Ponzi World.
          That’s in part maybe why we have the ceaseless happy sewage of text about those flowery Lysol-sprayed-over shitboxes-on-wheels, AKA the car/EV, often to the exclusion of much of everything else, except where the car/EV stats in their support are concerned.

          In any case, making spirits, knowing how, like wine, beer, cider or assorted ‘moonshine’ seems part of a good strategy, post peak oil.

          Mind you, there are those who like to ‘talk happy’ until which time as they ‘have a few’. Then their wine can turn to vinegar in a hurry. But, hey, that’s good for other stuff, like salad dressings and cleanups.

          Here, have another sour grape, JustSaying. It’s good for you. (Throws grape, but it just bounces off JustSaying’s head.)

          Bullet With Butterfly Wings

  14. Oldfarmermac says:

    I wonder how you decided on your handle, Mr. Dark Fired Tobacco.

    I really am an old farmer,although I have four or five times more adult time away from the farm than actually ON it, previous to the last ten years, and my nick name really is Mac.

    You obviously know a hell of a lot,and have done a hell of a lot of heavy thinking. I am impressed, and that’s not something I say often.

    For your points one, two and three, I am in near complete agreement.

    Number four, I think maybe you are premature by ten years or maybe even twenty years, because there will be SO MANY cars still available at dirt cheap prices, and there will be some gasoline available, etc.

    People are creatures of habit, and habits such as driving are going to be exceedingly slow to go away, except when there is NO choice in the matter.

    With traffic falling off dramatically (cheap insurance !) and good used cars selling dirt cheap, owning one will cost peanuts, compared to doing without, imo, because the alternatives in my estimation aren’t going to scale up fast enough.

    Having the use of a personal car just fifty miles a week will be considered well worth while to tens of millions of people. It will probably be nearly priceless to me assuming I live that long and can still drive, lol. A taxi once a week would probably cost me a hell of a lot more, out here in the boonies.

    Furthermore, although I am NOT an engineer, I do understand the basic concepts, and know a hell of a lot about machinery. It will be ten times cheaper, twenty times cheaper, to BUY a super small plug in hybrid auto or pure electric auto that will get the owner as far as he HAS to go, which is to say, to work and back with ten or fifteen miles of range to spare THAN IT WOULD BE TO GIVE UP THE MCMANSION.

    Such cars as I have in mind will probably go that far on battery power alone, at forty mph, using today’s battery tech, with a battery only a quarter the size of the one in a new VOLT. I am talking an aerodynamic two seater fore and aft, low and narrow, very light weight, limited to maybe forty five mph by hard wiring it that way at the factory- by law.

    ANY doctor, lawyer or Indian Chief WILL drive such a car, rather than give up his suburban mcmansion for non existent city housing, which will NOT get built within the next fifteen years. There really isn’t any reason such a car, or larger cars, can’t be built to last forty or fifty years. Cars don’t actually wear out. Most of the mechanical components in old cars that are scrapped are in excellent condition. They’re just too cheap to buy new, and too poorly made, to be worth keeping them on the road past about twenty years. I know, I have worked on countless cars. With an electric drive train, a fiberglass and aluminum car , built to a standardized design, could easily be kept in service fifty years or longer, with maybe a couple of new or rebuilt batteries.

    Any established auto manufacture can easily manufacture such a car within a year or two of deciding to do so.

    And so far as I can see, almost everything IMPORTANT that we use can be built to last two or three times as long as the stuff we have today, using less energy and materials over the life cycle of the product. We can return to the days when things are FIXED rather than hauled to the curb.

    A washing machine using cold water really uses only a trivial amount of energy in forty years time, compared to the cost of manufacturing a new one, boxing it up, hauling it thousands of miles, retailing it, delivering it, and hauling it to the dump, two or three times over. Solar domestic hot water will be almost free in energy terms, for that matter, lol.

    Wind and solar farms to keep them charged, and HVDC power lines to get the power from the wind and solar farms to where the super mini cars and PEOPLE are will cost an arm and a leg, but nevertheless, paying that cost is probably the cheapest doable option by a factor of at least four or five in terms of total cost, considering the time restraints associated with other possible solutions.

    Nothing says these cars can’t be autonomous of course.

    Five, agree about the file size being taxed or somehow limited. Otherwise, yes but not so soon.

    Six, yes for some older neighborhoods,and lots of NEW neighborhoods , but not so soon for MOST neighborhoods.

    Seven , agreed but there will be natural gas stations at intervals along major roads, enough that dual fuel commercial trucks can use them so as to cut diesel consumption by quite a bit.

    Eight, I don’t know, but one thing that I am sure of is that most of what happens in big cities is not actually necessary to the survival of industrial civilization. We could live just fine without advertising or life or health insurance industries for instance. We could live without super banks, etc.

    There are a FEW things that will always need to be located mainly in large cities, for instance hospitals capable of the very latest in high tech medicine, because out in the boonies, there won’t be enough patients for local hospitals to afford the equipment and keep the necessary specialists on hand to run it.

    With excellent rail transportation, even large scale manufacturing of things such as cars ( ahem!) and washing machines could be dispersed very easily into smaller cities,and in fact this is currently quite often the case already. There is a factory near me that makes auto glass, and another that makes wiring harnesses for cars.

    What part of the manufacture of truly essential goods, what part of truly essential services, depends upon the existence of BIG cities?

    Number nine, I am going to look into this and give it a lot of thought.

    Number ten, way premature. Electricity is not going to be that expensive , tens of millions of home owners will have their own solar power, etc, and we are still going to be living in existing houses too spread out for it to work. Eventually, yes,in lots of places. Maybe never in most places. Culture may win out if renewable energy gets cheap enough.

    Of course cities ARE very efficient in terms of energy consumption and materials such as concrete, asphalt and lumber on a per capita basis.Water, sewer, grid, etc are MUCH cheaper on a per capita basis. That’s about the only TRULY strong point I see in favor of the big city model.

    On the other hand I just installed a deep well and new septic system at a property I own for eight thousand bucks, and it will last indefinitely, maybe “forever” for the well, at least a century for the septic system. A new pump costs only about five hundred bucks as of today. I can maintain this system for less than a fifth of what a typical city water and sewer bill runs TODAY, including the recommended periodical pumping.

    I hope you will critique my response, which IS largely just my own personal OPINION, as opposed to established fact, and I welcome critiques from any body else as well.

    I am working on a book,and this forum is one of my primary research vehicles.

    All the regulars here will be mentioned and thanked in the foreword, IF I ever see it in print. If I can’t get a publisher, then I will post it free on the net, assuming I ever finish it.

    Thanks in advance!! anybody and everybody.

    • Dark Fired Tobacco says:

      OFM, I have followed your comments for years and have very deep respect for your thoughts. I truly appreciate your kind words.

      The Dark Fired Tobacco handle is one I used on The Oil Drum and other places, so I just kept it for this forum. I was raised on a Tennessee tobacco farm as an only child and thus was motivated to get off the farm as soon as possible! Most tobacco is air-cured, but one type we raised was fire-cured using sawdust and wood on the floor of the barn to generate the curing smoke. I have fond memories of going to the barns on Saturday night with my dad to check the fires, listening to the Grand Ole Opry out of Nashville on the truck radio.

      I still amaze people when I explain that my elementary school had two teachers for eight grades and that we used outhouses at school and at church. About half my schoolmates had outhouses at home. In this context we learned base 2, base 16 (the foundations for computer programming), and better grammar than is heard in multi-million dollar school buildings today.

      You make some excellent points about the longevity of automobiles. After all, the 1950s fleets are still operating in Cuba. Likewise, an upper middle class family will still want the McMansion and the landscaped yard. However, there will be some trends along the way that will start to limit choices for the majority of citizens.

      First, the Highway Trust Fund is in poor shape financially, and Congress seems in no mood to do anything about it. State fuel tax funds have the same issues. Historically, road maintenance or construction is rarely achieved by a government’s general fund. Moreover, we have four million miles of road in the United States, and far too much of it is paved. Simply put, highway departments will be forced to defer maintenance to the point that the roadbed requires reconstruction. Do that often enough and the roadway system becomes undependable and unaffordable. Bridges have to be closed or limited to very light weight vehicles. The condition of the roadway system and the resultant lack of jobs is what will drive many smaller town residents to larger communities.

      Second, things like health care, as you mention, are much more cost-effective in larger communities. Many small towns have water supply and wastewater treatment systems that are antiquated. (Flint is not the only problem child here.) Natural gas lines were installed in the 1930s. These smaller towns simply cannot afford reconstruction of these systems if they do not have the tax base. States can rescue some towns but not all of them. Political observers such as Kevin Williams at the National Review have already recommended such people hitch up a U-Haul and leave.

      Third, young people today are delaying getting drivers’ licenses and have less interest in having cars. They are more attuned to ride-sharing (Uber, etc.), taking transit, walking, or biking. Their friends are always with them via smartphones. Once they get jobs they are choosing gentrified neighborhoods near downtowns. Even brick warehouses are being converted over to midtown condos.

      I spent much of my career in local government. Even after becoming a consultant my client base either worked with local government to get permits or we had the local/state government itself as a client. The mayors, city managers, and state officials I know will make tough decisions regarding the allocation of resources, and it will not necessary be what you or I might do.

      I probably did not define “urban corridor” very well. The site has a good map. They use the term mega-region. For instance, the Piedmont-Atlantic Mega Region has Charlotte-Atlanta-Birmingham as its central corridor, but it also includes Memphis, Nashville, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem. The USDOT has funded high speed rail studies for Charlotte to Birmingham, and the Georgia DOT has done further studies for Columbus-Atlanta, Atlanta-Jacksonville, and Atlanta-Chattanooga-Nashville-Louisville. There is a lot of open land within the mega-region, but it is still unified within a common transportation system, commercial-distribution network, and culture in ways that individual cities outside the mega-region are not.

      These are just my thoughts, as well. I appreciate the feed-back and critique very much.

      • notanoilman says:

        My neighbor has acquired himself a used Jeep. It just sits there for 99%+ of the time. He spends hours cleaning and maintaining it. But, he HAS a Jeep. That is what counts. To him at least.


  15. Oldfarmermac says:

    THIS is why insurance companies and individuals will insure autonomous cars.

    Insurance companies are in business purely and solely to make money. Here’s the deal, in plain language. Each and every policy provides so much coverage in dollars for property damage, loss of life or limb, pain , suffering, lost wages, medical bills, property damage etc.

    An insurance company does not give a DAMN about how much it costs to settle claims, in terms of the BIG PICTURE , so long as the premium income and investment income earned by investing the premiums of individual policies exceeds the claims paid out by a comfortable margin.

    Run a bicyclist off the road and kill him, your policy might have limit of say five hundred thousand, for one person,and seven hundred fifty thousand for two deaths.

    Run a BUS full of kids off the road, and kill them ALL, and your policy probably has a million dollar limit for ALL the kids combined. The insurance company literally does not give a shit, insurance is a BUSINESS.

    It won’t matter a whit whether the car is driving itself, or a human is driving it, from this perspective. The only question for the insurance company will be how much premium income can be earned in relation to claims paid out. If autonomous cars prove to be safer than conventional cars, then it will cost LESS to insure them, once this improved safety record is a well established fact.

    Now from the perspective of an INDIVIDUAL, you have a policy, maybe some assets that might be seized by a court, and maybe a job. The policy will pay as much but not one nickel more than the insurance company HAS to pay, but the insurance company lawyers are covering your ass because the people hurt in an accident have to deal with your insurance company FIRST, before they come after you.

    If the insurance company wins a settlement less than the policy limits, you are are financially home free, in terms of lawsuits.

    Now IF you believe your potential autonomous car will drive itself more safely than YOU can drive yourself, then you believe you are at LESS risk due to being involved in an accident. So you will drive one, everything else equal. Right now I would rather drive myself with some auto assist such as emergency braking in case I am slow to hit the brakes in an emergency. In ten more years, I would much rather trust myself to a fully autonomous car. If I am still driving I will avoid the big city freeways for sure,and even avoid small town rush hours as best I can.

    And what happens if you are found to be at fault, or injured? You policy will pay up to the limits, and after that, you get your assets seized and sold, or your paycheck garnisheed, or whatever. You go bankrupt.


    It’s a wash.

    A serious at fault accident will bankrupt most people. Big deal. A serious accident KILLS people. The average man or woman on the street gives about ten seconds thought to such considerations ONCE in a while, and gets in the car and GOES.

    Once the technology is truly ready, the only thing that will slow up its adoption will be social inertia and the stinking lawyers who both get rich out of auto accidents and dominate our legislatures from dogcatcher to president.

    • Silicon Valley Observer says:

      OFM, what you say makes sense as long as the driver is the one who is liable. The problem with self driving cars, as Google has found out, is determing who is the driver. If Google is the driver that opens up the door to class action suits way out of the scale of ordinary insurance claims.

      Also, when I cause and accident it’s my fault as a singular driver. When an automatic driving system causes an accident, it’s a systemic issue that goes straight back to the company creating it.

      If we were having a beer together I’d put my $100 against yours that we will not see self driving cars in the next then years. And if I’m lucky, I’ll live to see you try and collect! 🙂

      But here’s my bigger question. Why would I want a self driving car? I can’t imagine being comfortable in one. It could be useful for disables and elderly, I grant you that, but wide spread acceptance I think is even further away than legal acceptance.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Read up on the Price Anderson Act. There are ways to limit the liability of businesses.

        It might take a while, but the facts and the truth usually win out in the end. If autonomous cars and trucks do prove in actual use to be safer than human driven cars and trucks, congress and legislatures and the courts will EVENTUALLY fix the law so that companies that build or sell self driving cars will not have to pay out more than an established limit in the event being held at fault for any given accident.

        But you have a hell of a point about the fucking safety mommie bureaucrats in charge of our lives today in the USA.

        If aspirin were a new invention, aspirin would be ten bucks a tablet, or twenty, and you would only be able to get a weeks supply per visit to your doctor.

        And then there are the fucking lawyers, who OWN the legislatures and judiciary of this country. They can be counted on to make sure their frat brothers who make their living out of car wrecks continue to prosper the same old way.

        I have made YOUR POINT on other days in this very forum.

        My goal is to get as many viewpoints and as many critiques as possible posted here, both pro and con , about any issue that is discussed. This enlightens all the readers, and suits me to a “T”.

        I am sorting them all, and copying them into files according to topic, etc, and using them to write a book.

        So I am not taking sides on how long it will take for the tech to be perfected, or how long it will take to be ACCEPTED. I argue BOTH SIDES, if I am not sure of the facts. If I am sure, as about forced climate change for instance being real, and dangerous, I say what I believe.

        Make that proposed bet for twenty years and I will take it.

        You are probably right about it taking over ten years to settle the legal issues so self driving cars CAN be legally driven on public roads.

        What happens if they are legal in one state, but illegal ten feet across the state line in the adjoining state ? How long would it take the Supreme Court to rule on that question?

        Now as far as class action suits are concerned, they can be defended, and the costs of defending them can be predicted, and the companies selling the product can spin off subsidiaries to do the dangerous selling, and keep the subsidiaries broke by siphoning out all the money, etc.

        If enough money is coming in, a few hundred great white shark lawyers kept on retainer won’t be that big a deal.

        If FORD and GOOGLE are afraid of the liabilities, they can sell the tech, and take a cut out of future revenues, and let some smaller new outfit modify cars to be self driving.

        This is the way big trucks are sold. The chassis goes to a second company that actually takes responsibility for the finished product, after installing a dump bed, or an oil tank, or a crane, etc, on the chassis. FORD is responsible only for the parts installed at the FORD factory.

        All the major tobacco companies are still in business, right?

        • Silicon Valley Observer says:

          It all depends on who will make money off it. If there’s enough money to be made of self driving vehicles, then politicians with the correct opinions will find themselves elected. I just don’t see the demand for the damn things being big enough to make it a real money maker. Also, try as I might, I just don’t see it working from a technical point of view. Just too many complexities in my opinion. And I’m never wrong! LOL

      • notanoilman says:

        Self driving cars will be a gift from heaven for the litigation lawyers. If there are emergency overrides can you just imagine the arguments over whether they should have been used or not irrespective of if they were or not? A child darts out between two parked cars within the minimum stopping distance, no way to miss it. You hit the brakes, should you have left the car to do it. You don’t, maybe you shouldn’t have relied on the car. Perhaps you should’ve spotted the child earlier and pre-emptivly braked. The list goes on. They only winners will be the lawyers. The losers, as always, the consummer.


        • Silicon Valley Observer says:


        • Ralph says:

          On my car, if you hit the brakes, but not hard enough, it simply takes over and hits them harder. The car is 6 years old already. Budget model. Happened to me when a cyclist pulled out into my path. I realised I wasn’t going to hit him and eased off. The car took over and caused my passenger daughter an injury she wouldn’t otherwise have suffered.

  16. PonziWorld says:

    The Day of Wreckoning
    Globalization was Disneyland for yuppies and billunaires. They control the media, they control the message. Everyone else was just a commodity to be monetized…

    History will not be kind to the plastic fantastic. Corporations fabricated this entire clusterfuck from end to end. It’s all by and for corporate profit. They control all aspects of it from the phony governments to the phony economy, to the phony people.

    By the end…

    Faux News/24 hour bullshit was the main source of infotainment propaganda. Orwell’s Ministry of Truth was de facto.

    Reality TV predominated, devoid of all reality. The history channel was devoid of history and the Learning Channel was devoid of learning. The Matrix was complete.

    Soylent junk food and junk culture were de rigueur as monocultures supplanted anything real.

    The Yuppies of the day were maxed out in every direction: financially, mentally, emotionally, physically. They never saw it coming. They were the handmaidens to collapse. They even laid themselves off to make the last quarter. Ever efficient, loyal corporate bukkake whores to the very end.

    Central Banks orchestrated the end game. Printing money replaced the erstwhile economy. Escalating poverty was monetized into 0% Ponzi loans as a proxy for a real economy. It was economic euthanasia.

    The stock market devolved into a momentum-driven casino wholly disconnected from the outsourced economy. Stoned gamblers threw their money down a shit hole while pretending to be wealthy.

    Politics devolved into the circus it aspired to be. Choosing a candidate was like playing Russian roulette with a full revolver.

    University had long since devolved into a social stratification mechanism to control entry to the country club. Fraught with rampant date rape, alcoholism, rote memorization, pointless theories, all culminating in personal bankruptcy.

    In lieu of personal responsibility pharmaceutical companies created chemicals to treat every symptom of a bad lifestyle. Doctors sold more narcotics than the Medellin Cartel. Pills were used to fix pills. The silver bullet was ever at hand with side effects ranging from uncontrollable diarrhea to sudden death.

    Bear in mind, it all made perfect sense at the time.

    Because nothing was more fake than the people who believed in all of it.

    • JustSaying says:

      Those who can’t navigate life end up being losers and the first to complain

  17. aws. says:

    David Keith is pretty influential. This will have an impact.

    I Was Wrong About the Limits of Solar. PV Is Becoming Dirt Cheap

    Harvard’s David Keith revisits his assumptions about solar costs: “Facts have changed.”

    by David Keith, April 28, 2016

    Over the last few years, solar PV has gotten cheap. Cheap enough to start impacting some commodity energy markets today. Cheap enough that with continued progress, but no breakthroughs, it might alter the global outlook for energy supply within a decade.

    I have long been skeptical of solar hype. In 2008 we did an expert judgment exercise suggesting only even odds of getting to module prices of $0.30 per watt in 2030. In 2011 we did some analysis showing how the power-law learning curve for modules appeared to be flattening. That analysis was done at the end of a decade that saw big increases in installed capacity, with little corresponding change in module prices.

    I worried that deployment incentives (the global total amounting to many hundreds of billions of dollars over the past decade) would simply lock in the current technologies and do little to drive the breakthroughs that were needed to get solar cheap enough to compete for commodity power.

    I was wrong.

    • PonziWorld says:

      The Crackpot from Harvard is peddling another “Mining the Air for Carbon” scam.

      “For transportation fuels, if cheap solar means hydrogen prices under 10 $/GJ in sunny places, then carbon-neutral synthetic fuels look promising. It takes about 2 t-CO2 and 40 GJ of H2 to make 1000 liters of gasoline using a process like Exxon Methanol-to-Gasoline. If we can get CO2 from the air at 125 $/t-CO2 then the idea of making fuels at prices of order 1 $/L looks plausible over the next few decades.”

      And if you thought the GeoPolitical Nightmare of the Middle East Oil was bad, or the current Solar vs Utility War within Germany, here is Solar at a distance.

      “Cheap solar is limited by intermittency and by the fact that many of the locations with the highest energy consumption don’t have good solar resources (e.g, NE US, northern Europe, coastal China).

      In the near term, a surprising amount of intermittency can be managed cost effectively with gas turbine backup, and this works even as electricity sector carbon emission are pushed down to a third of today’s values. Looking further ahead, long-distance electric transmission can move solar power from good sites to demand centers and can reduce the impact of intermittency by averaging supply and demand across larger areas.”

      Harvard is a SlumLord, nothing else.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Ponzi,

        I will be the first person to admit I might be wrong about a lot of things, which is why I try to remember to put words like maybe,possibly, potentially,unlikely, etc in my comments. Sometimes I put both the positive and negatives of an argument in one comment.

        You , Sir, appear to be a TRUE BELIEVER, and there is no amount of evidence , no matter how clear it might be, that will ever convince a True Believer to change his mind.

        You might turn out to be right on some points, I won’t deny that.

        In the meantime, I must say you do have more than a little bit of talent, when it comes to expressing your thoughts. I ‘m probably going to crib some of your stuff one of these days. I will try to remember to mention your handle here, lol.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        It takes about 2 t-CO2 and 40 GJ of H2 to make 1000 liters of gasoline using a process like Exxon Methanol-to-Gasoline. If we can get CO2 from the air at 125 $/t-CO2 then the idea of making fuels at prices of order 1 $/L looks plausible over the next few decades.”

        Why in Sky daddy’s name would anyone waste, (no pun intended) time resources and energy to produce a liquid fuel to be used in a machine that is at best only about 20% efficient at converting said fuel into useful work?! Especially when you have the technology to use completely renewable energy in machines that are over 90% efficient?

        “Cheap solar is limited by intermittency and by the fact that many of the locations with the highest energy consumption don’t have good solar resources (e.g, NE US, northern Europe, coastal China).

        Someone seems to be in dire need of updating their knowledge on the state of the art in solar power, wind, micro grids and battery backup technologies… Because that tired ole canard is just flat out misleading!

        • Bob Nickson says:

          Also crucially relevant to any discussion of bio-fuels: “an Iowa cornfield captures energy at a paltry efficiency of 1.5%[.] Algae can be far more efficient, right? But even here, photosynthesis tops out at something like 5–6% efficiency under ideal conditions.”


          Compare that to basic PV efficiency of 15%.

          This is one reason why I believe that although it’s impossible to predict the specific form of future electric transport vehicles – although odds are high for small and lightweight – it is pretty certain that we will not go back to animal power.

          A good illustration of why not is this video of any olympic sprint cyclist attempting to power a toaster:

          That guy is a freak of nature well trained elite athlete, and it wipes him out to generate enough power to run a toaster. Two 350w PV panels could do it without breaking a sweat, and they can do it for five straight hours or more every day that the sun shines. Module cost: $25 years. That’s a little bit more than the manpower cost of 3 days labor at the up and coming $15/ hour U.S. minimum wage.

          There is simply no way a food powered animal can compete with the efficiency of an electric motor powered by PV, and animals tire.

          Regarding solar intermittency, Clean Technica posted an interesting article yesterday about concentrated solar, specifically about a South African project that uses molten salt storage to provide dispatchable power:

          To test how long it could run on its stored solar energy each day, ACWA Power operated Bokpoort at 66 percent of its capacity. When operating at the full 50 MW, the storage is enough for 9.3 hours each day. Operating it at 66 percent, ACWA was able to spin out quite a bit longer, with round-the-clock generation from solar for 14 days.

          Bhula said that Bokpoort’s 14-day record indicates that South Africa could replace coal generation after dark with CSP.”

          It’s easy to get caught up in debates about the viability of electric cars, and it will be interesting to see how that all plays out over the next half century, but I think a lot of intracity transport will ultimately end up being oriented around light vehicles like bicycles, electric bikes, enclosed bikes like velos, and multi-passenger vehicles that are much closer in form to an electric rickshaw than to a Tesla. Intercity transport will likely become much more rail based, or perhaps some sci-fi hyperloop fantasy will actually come to fruition. Air travel may become limited to transcontinental and intercontinental routes only.

          So what?

        • Gerry says:

          “Why in Sky daddy’s name would anyone waste, (no pun intended) time resources and energy to produce a liquid fuel to be used in a machine that is at best only about 20% efficient at converting said fuel into useful work?! ”

          Non-stop intercontinental travel by airplane?
          And a replacement for bunker fuel that is way less polluting than the currently used horrible stuff would be very welcome.

          I’m sceptical of the “CO2 from air” part though. AFAIK there is no known process to capture CO2 from earths atmosphere which would even remotely make sense energy and money wise.
          Getting it from the exhaust of a combustion driven plant is only viable as long as we keep burning fossil fuels.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gerry,

            Trash could be burned and the CO2 collected from that process (rather than just putting the non recycled trash in landfills as we now do for the most part in the US).

            Biofuels for air transportation, slower speeds, and maybe hybrid solar/biofuel propulsion is a possibility. Or we could forgo the air transport and use ships and rail, it depends how much we want to reduce carbon emissions as to whether we continue to use fossil fuels for air transport.

  18. Longtimber says:

    “Cheap solar is limited by intermittency”
    Correction: Cheap Solar can address much of the intermittency. Cheap PV for Autonomous Systems PV allows designs unthinkable 3 years ago. Production for 100% of “required loads” even on short winter cloudy days. Now the challenge is making use of Sunny day 200-500%+ kWh surplus when the name of the game is to minimize kWh’s “expensive battery” storage.
    Yet Another Centralized generation challenge:

    • notanoilman says:

      The 26B£ to be spent on the new nuclear power station, in the UK, could provide rooftop solar for most of the homes in the UK or upgrade insulation/double glazing in most of the homes that need it. What a waste.


      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Perhaps, but then, that would be too threatening of a step closer toward democracy, yes? And a step away from the vested-interest loci of centralized political power? Like throwing away good stolen money back into the hands of the victims?

        Large-scale centralized power generation seems to empower the control of the non-plural anarchists many call, ‘government’over the general populations– the ‘sheeple’, the ‘unwashed masses’, the ‘peasantry’. Like you.
        So then, maybe windfarms and solarfarms too are a better idea for them in that regard, such as if we want to talk about renewables. Or, from what I thought I read; grid-tied EV-charging supposedly can feed the cravings of the utilities to supply demand, while the utilities apparently use that and/or the inactive battery power of an idle EV to ‘load balance the grid’ or something like that. Is that right?
        In any case, gotta luv the ways in which things can be brought back to centralized control and influence, ay?

        …What was it that Nick G once said? Utilities love EV’s? Ah, here it is.

  19. Oldfarmermac says:

    I am not much interested in arguing that nuclear power is cheaper than coal or gas fired power, or that it is cheaper than solar or wind, etc.

    BUT compared to the alternative of DOING WITHOUT, nuclear power is a world class bargain , barring runaway reactors.

    I worked in the nuclear industry off and on for twenty years, on shutdowns, and made it a point to learn something about it beyond what my job involved. I was just a tradesman usually assigned minor administrative tasks, but I enjoyed many a conversation with a senior engineer, once he found out I was a rolling stone professional myself, with enough background knowledge to APPRECIATE his conversation.

    ( Nuke jobs are like army campaigns, you run like hell, a lot, but more often you are just WAITING for something to happen. Ask any engineer who is just waiting for a crane, or a particular piece of paper, or daylight, or a new mobile generator to replace one that just went down a few intelligent leading questions about his work, and he will think you are the finest fellow on the whole job, and invite you to go fishing with him in the reactor tail race, which is the BEST place in the entire world to catch a HUMONGOUS bass. And the ONLY way you will ever get near that tail race without getting arrested, or SHOT if you don’t freeze and get your hands in the air when challenged, is if you accompany a senior engineer, unless you have assigned work there. Rank has its privileges, and fishing in the tail race is one of them. )

    Half the cost of a nuclear plant comes from the never ending permitting process, the never ending change orders forced on the builders in the middle of the job, and the utter lack of standardization of the designs so that components could be produced just as well or better, but much faster, and cheaper, and construction crews could learn how to get a month’s work done in a month, instead of two months.

    Nuclear design is decades behind where it should be, mostly due to political problems involving the military and the regulatory agencies, which are extremely reluctant to look at anything new.

    We may yet get a new generation of far safer , standardized nuclear plants that CAN be built at reasonable cost within a reasonable time frame, but I am not holding my breath or predicting it.

    • Ulenspiegel says:

      “BUT compared to the alternative of DOING WITHOUT, nuclear power is a world class bargain , barring runaway reactors.”

      Different perspective, you can as investor only spend your money once: NPPs are more expensive per kWh than alternatives like onshore wind and in many countries PV. Nuclear power is dying because of this basic economic issue. As long as this issue exist nuclear power is NOT a bargain IMHO.

      • wimbi says:

        Right. And the solar/wind investment starts putting out kW almost right now, not some fuzzy time later, if ever.

        Sure, I agree with OFM that we could make a lot better nukes, but I always come up against the insurmountable barrier to reliance on N from skilled, suicidal madmen of whom we have such a vast oversupply.

        Those madmen who could wipe out whole cities with a cleverly designed nuke wreck, would work all night sawing down wind turbines without much of a bother to anybody but themselves. Think of all the sweat!

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          I mention a lot of things that I do not NECESSARILY advocate.
          Now so far as nukes go, I am ambivalent, and believe that the risk of NOT having them is about as big as the risk of HAVING them, in terms of social stability over the next half a century or so.

          We naked apes are not very good at critical thinking. A new generation of nukes can almost certainly be built that WON’T melt down, and there’s a good possibility of solving the nuclear weapons proliferation problem as well.The amount of mercury , co2 etc we are dumping in the air is demonstrably doing more harm to us, and to the environment, than nukes, on a weight adjusted statistical basis.

          I know a lot of people who are afraid to fly. They have HEARD that flying is safer than driving , but they feel safer driving.WHY? Because when you hear about a passenger aircraft crashing, the news and everybody you speak to mentions it constantly for days on end. Lots of people die. But if your best friend dies in a car crash, only people who know he was your friend will mention it.

          Nuclear accidents are treated the same way, in terms of news.

          I seldom mention the positive side of nukes, but the truth is we sure as hell ought to be pedal to the metal on figuring out how to build safe and affordable nukes, because there is a good possibility it can be done.

          In the meantime, I daily stress the unquestionable fact that we ought to be pedal to the metal BUILDING wind and solar farms. We KNOW that’s possible, affordable, and politically doable.

          And as Wimbi points out, quick and safe for everybody, excepting maybe the odd cow hit by a flying blade or chunk of ice, or a relative handful of birds, a lot less than one percent as many as are killed by pet cats.

          Personally I am confident that by building some pumped hydro, some long distance power lines, some giant batteries, managing demand, etc, we can successfully run a modern day economy on wind and solar power. It won’t be business as usual as we know it today, but it’s doable.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Old Farmer Mac,

            I agree, we should do whatever works best. One needs to try to figure in the risks as well as the benefits of nuclear power.

            You mentioned somewhere the Price-Andersen Act, this places the risks squarely on the shoulders of society as a whole in the US.

            There is also the nuclear proliferation risk when there are more nuclear reactors. Seems to me that it would be safest to minimize this risk by focusing on wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal power and limit the new nuclear power to plants that can shut themselves down and produce no weapons grade nuclear material (or material that can easily be transformed into weapons.)

    • Sydney Mike says:

      When you count the decommissioning cost and the cost of storing the waste for a million years, future generations will wonder why anybody could create such machines that have a very limited life and much of the energy thus generated is used in a frivolous fashion. We have been lucky with Chernobyl and Fukushima. They happened in rich nations. There were hundreds of thousands of liquidators helping to cover up the spewing Chernobyl reactor. To this day, maintenance on the containment building this is sucking the Ukrainian economy dry.

      In Japan we also had a rich nation dealing with the problem with massive effort. Here also to this day, there is an ongoing massive cost to the nation of Japan.

      In both cases, the downwind area from the reactors is sparsely populated. Belarus is downwind form Chernobyl. They now have significant contaminated areas that cannot be used for habitation. Fukushima had the vast Pacific Ocean to dissipate is poison to.

      Statistically, we will have one such accident every generation or so with the current amount of reactors. Occasionally, a much bigger accident will happen. Had the spent fuel rods in Fukushima caught fire, the radioactive discharge into the environment would have affected the entire northern hemisphere.

      I struggle to find this kind of Russian Roulette with any region a world class bargain. If and when a major reactor accident occurs near a major city, things will be entirely different and we will look at Chernobyl and Fukushima as minor annoyances by comparison.

      By the way, nuclear fuel too is finite. It is mined with oil powered machines. This idea that nuclear is going to provide us with unlimited energy past oil is not going to work out.

  20. Oldfarmermac says:

    Not too many people need micro credit to get some solar power in this country,but micro credit is going to electrify the third world, bringing modern communication. The first thing people want seems to be electric lights, then either fans or tv and radio.

    El cheapo tv picking up soap operas broadcast from a satellite can apparently reduce birth rates substantially.

  21. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Social entropy is a macrosociological systems theory…”

    “It is a measure of the natural decay within a social system. It can refer to the decomposition of social structure or of the disappearance of social distinctions. Much of the energy consumed by a social organization is spent to maintain its structure, counteracting social entropy, e.g., through legal institutions, education and even the promotion of television viewing… Social entropy implies the tendency of social networks and society in general to break down over time, moving from cooperation and advancement towards conflict and chaos… What Hall showed is that the real cutoff is well above that, estimated to be 3:1 to sustain the essential overhead energy costs of a modern society. Part of the mental equation is that the EROEI of our generally preferred energy source, oil, has fallen in the past century from 100:1 to the range of 10:1 with clear evidence that the natural depletion curves all are downward decay curves. An EROEI of more than ~3, then, is what appears necessary to provide the energy for societally important tasks, such as maintaining government, legal and financial institutions, a transportation infrastructure, manufacturing, building construction and maintenance and the life styles of the rich and poor that a society depends on…

    The EROEI figure also affects the number of people needed for food production. In the pre-modern world, it was often the case that 80% of the population was employed in agriculture to feed a population of 100%, with a low energy budget. In modern times, the use of cheap fossil fuels with an exceedingly high EROEI enabled 100% of the population to be fed with only 4% of the population employed in agriculture. Diminishing EROEI making fuel more expensive relative to other things may require food to be produced using less energy, and so increases the number of people employed in food production again.” ~ Wikipedia

    The Rush To Electric Cars Will Replace Oil Barons With Lithium Dictators

    “Of course, there is always the possibility that lithium isn’t the real bottleneck at all. What keeps LeVine up at night is phosphorous, which is used in the Li-ion chemistry used by A123 Systems and Chinese battery makers. It is also vital to food production and is rapidly running out. (The U.S. doesn’t have much it, either.) And then there are the rare earth metals essential to an electric car’s permanent magnets, 97% of which are found in China. In perhaps a taste of what’s to come, Chinese officials have drastically cut exports since the beginning of the year, causing prices to soar as high as 475%. If this keeps up, oil prices may start to seem like a bargain.”

    • Ulenspiegel says:

      “phosphorous, which is used in the Li-ion chemistry used by A123 Systems and Chinese battery makers. It is also vital to food production and is rapidly running out.”

      I as chemist have heard this phosphorous-is-running-out nonsense for almost 30 years now, the first time during my lab course in inorganic chemistry.

      Some changes in agricuculture – we simply waste most of our phosphorous- can reduce the demand dramatically and the share of phosphorous as chemical feed stock for high value products is small. There is no issue for batteries.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        So forget about the phosphorous then.
        The article covers other issues, not just with phosphorous and doesn’t even begin to tackle other related and more fundamental issues. We won’t ‘run out’ of oil, either, apparently.

        It’s interesting how, often, we can zero in on and focus on some minutae. Sure we can do this and that more sustainably, but do we? And sure the planet will ‘bounce back’. Bounce back from where? Where has it gone?

        Frankly, Ulenspiegel, our lives in this uneconomic system which seems to do practically everything wrong, appear to amount to not much more than frauds– you know, like we are all in the Matrix and nibbling on the blue pill.

        “I as chemist…” ~ Ulenspiegel

        Are you nothing more? Is that the limit of your reality? One big glorified obsessive compulsive disorder? Are you somehow responsible for putting chemical toxins in our environment, chemicals that nature hasn’t seen before?

        “Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I am going to do chemistry day in and day out during the majority of my waking hours and the most productive part of my life.”

        “The important thing to understand about collapse is that it’s brought on by overreach and overstretch, and people being zealots and trying too hard. It’s not brought on by people being laid back and doing the absolute minimum. Americans could very easily feed themselves and clothe themselves and have a place to live, working maybe 100 days a year. You know, it’s a rich country in terms of resources. There’s really no reason to work more than maybe a third of your time. And that’s sort of a standard pattern in the world. But if you want to build a huge empire and have endless economic growth, and have the largest number of billionaires on the planet, then you have to work over 40 hours a week all the time, and if you don’t, then you’re in danger of going bankrupt. So that’s the predicament that people have ended up in. Now, the cure of course is not to do the same thing even harder… what people have to get used to is the idea that most things aren’t worth doing anyway…” ~ Dmitry Orlov

        Cheerleader: “Hey all you rat-racers, it’s Monday tomorrow in the Americas! Woohoo! Ya! Alright! Time to do it all over again!”

        9 To 5 (Dolly)
        9 to 5 (Morning Train) (Sheena)

        • Ulenspiegel says:

          “Are you nothing more? Is that the limit of your reality? One big glorified obsessive compulsive disorder? Are you somehow responsible for putting chemical toxins in our environment, chemicals that nature hasn’t seen before?”

          Boooo. I am simply a lazy person, therefore, the assessment whether P is a limit for batteries or not was easy with 30 years of experience. 🙂

          No, I am not resposible for the production of “toxins”, only for the analysis of some stuff, actually I am a boring NMR spectroscopist with expertise in the structure elucidation of plant secondary metabolites. 🙂

          The not so fun part of my work is teaching lab courses for students of pharmacy. 🙂

          Because I am not a doomer I have to be the incarnation of OCD? That is shallow! I bet you can do better.

          Look, if you check the increase of P consumption in agriculture and the much less impressive increase of crop yields, then a competent farmer like OFM or chemist will tell you something about the roots of the issue and deliver a partial solution. But this is of course less entertaining than searching for contributions to DOOOOM. 🙂

          Or from a different POV, try to learn from history. Around 1890 there was the same doom scenario you sell for phosphorous assumed for potassium nitrate (“Chile saltpeter”). What happened?

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Fair enough, Ulenspiegel, and some of that is cute.
            History is vast but I do try to learn what I can about it and again, there’s much more to mining, history and everything else than phosphorous, but I nevertheless understand and appreciate your point.

    • Silicon Valley Observer says:

      Great point about social complexity and it’s tie to energy abundance. We have built a society of layer upon layer of complexity. As energy abundance declines, simplity must return. But it won’t do so quietly or peacefully, in my opinion. How many pencil pushers are going to want to pick crops? NOT ME!

      • Ulenspiegel says:

        “We have built a society of layer upon layer of complexity. As energy abundance declines, simplity must return.”

        We do not face a shortage of energy, only a shortage of some fossil energy carriers.

        The tricky part is that replacement of large amounts of fossil energy carriers with RE alternatives increase the complexity of the system. Therefore, a energy transition with less technology will not happen. This is the main reason for me to fight for a stable society which can support the required complexity. After a transition we may get a simpler system in the long run, but not during the transition.

      • Ralph says:

        I think the irony people often forget, is that the complexity of society is lost by losing specialisation of skills in the workforce. Each of us becomes a generalist, we need to know far more detail about all aspects of staying alive, and it is our inability to learn this that triggers collapse. Life for each of us will get a lot more complicated.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          With regard to an epiphany I had (which I may return to in more detail), paradoxically, it may be that specialization is what atrophies our brains over time.

          It may already be happening.

          If so, we might want to truly forget the EV’s and PV’s and the rote, repetitive, mind-numbing wage-slave positions that they are dependent on and go learn some basic, generalistic stuff like what our ancestors knew like the backs of their hands.

          Go to any metropolitan area in North America. What do you see? A lot of people peering at the screens of their digital gadgets. They’re looking less and less at the real world even away from home. Then they’re at work in an office, lab, class or factory: More artificial square environments. Then they go home and go on the internet and/or watch tv.

          Wake up, humans: It appears that your capacity for the symbolic representation of reality and technology are folding in on themselves


          You appear almost– literally– to be pushing your collective heads up your derrieres


          The planet that you are modifying and mining– oil, coal, lithium, nuclear and hydroelectric power plants, etc.– ostensibly to make a better world for yourselves is what’s in part making a worse world for yourselves.

          And so on…

  22. wimbi says:

    Now, class, would you please come to order? Jimmy, quit staring at that coon in the garbage can and get your eyes back in here.
    Good. Now, there has been a lot of chat here recently about the future, most of it mere hot air, for the reason I will once again remind you of. And this WILL be on the test.

    Paraphrasing Ilya Prigogine comment on the dynamics of complex systems in non-equilibrium (that is to say, the future), There are only simple and obvious truths to be said:

    1) If you add energy to the system, it has a higher probability of higher extremes in every dimension
    2 The exact state of the system at any time is so sensitive to so many trivial initial variants that it becomes so voluminous in probability space-time that it is

    Simple recent example. Gore-Bush election result. A few people getting out of bed a little earlier, and the middle east entirely different.

    Or, Hitler listens to his fighter chief Galland, agrees the ME 262 is useless bomber, but great fighter, and the 8th air force is slaughtered quick as a blink.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Paraphrasing Ilya Prigogine comment on the dynamics of complex systems in non-equilibrium…

      Just wish a lot more people could take Prof. Wimbi’s classes!

      Complex systems and chaos mathematics are even less understood by the average person than Dr. Bartlett’s exponential function.

      Oh, and instead of telling Jimmy to stop staring at the coon in the garbage can I might have taken a few minutes and had the entire class take a look and who knows maybe, maybe use it as a teaching opportunity to learn about disrupted ecosystems. At the very least it might have been a good introduction to thinking about some real life complex systems. 🙂


      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Just wish a lot more people could take Prof. Wimbi’s classes!

        Complex systems and chaos mathematics are even less understood by the average person than Dr. Bartlett’s exponential function.

        Double plus good on both of ya!!!!!!!!

      • wimbi says:

        Right about the coon. Even better, Jimmy had left that lid off again on purpose to provide amusement during incredibly boring and irrelevant lectures on obvious mathematics.

        I actually did give that lecture to my saturday science seminar kids, and they actually did get it, and even thought it was obvious, once the idea had sunk in. We used lots of very familiar examples and demos to get it across.

        The next lecture was less irrelevant. You can’t predict the future but you can construct it.

        Now, I am doing what I can to construct the Garden of Eden right here in little ol’ river city. So far, some progress. Lots of used Leafs on the road, Group purchased PV to match, charging stations halfway to the city, car club in progress.

        Other good people doing great things in other important areas. Makes me an optimist.

        Of course not all happy, my crusade against soft drinks and lawns ain’t all that popular. But, what softer targets than those? No defense possible.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Wimbi,

          Note that the post suggested people’s vision of the future, rather than predicting the future. It is rather obvious to most intelligent people that the future is not predictable and requires no sophisticated math to prove it. It is also pretty obvious that the World is quite complex and that simple theories usually do little more than scratch the surface, but they are an improvement over hand waving in my opinion at least marginally so.

          I like your idea about constructing the future, a vision of what that future might be or should be is needed to get to the future one envisions.

          Some people think these visions do not matter, I disagree.

    • GoneFishing says:

      I think wimbi just pulled the wool over our eyes again. Remember how magicians operate.

      • wimbi says:

        How flattering, I don’t deserve it. I was just quoting Prigogine, who pulled the wool over the eyes of the Nobel Prize selection board by saying the sorta thing I quoted.
        Quite a feat!

        • GoneFishing says:

          Yes, it is amazing what people will believe. Though they generally believe what they want to hear and what fits into their view. They look at the noise in a system and think the system is unpredictable. They see a few variable and think nothing can be solved or predicted. Variables are our own invention, a mathematical modeling of conditions. Interpretations of them are also our own constructs.
          Nature is fairly simple, at least on the big scale.
          It really does not matter how big the system is or how many variables if you know the important variables (ones of significant magnitude). Those are usually only a few in number. It is generally of low probability that low magnitude independent variables will all line up in the same direction to overcome significant variables. The dependent variables don’t mean much since they are driven by larger factors and are predictable from them.

          Look at climate, it is dependent upon only a few variables. All the rest is local and temporary, just noise in the system.
          Solar irradiance is an independent variable, but a small one.
          Radiation at the surface is dependent upon atmospheric transparency with a small factor from orbital variations and solar variations.
          Radiative forcing is dependent upon atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric transparency.
          Surface albedo is primarily dependent upon temperature.

          The only one we don’t have a good handle on yet is atmospheric transparency (cloud formation). That does not mean it is unpredictable, only that we do not fully understand it yet.

          If one reduces rainfall in a region, is the general result predictable? If one increases temperature in a cold region, is the general result predictable?
          Was the continued destruction of the environment by humans predictable? Was overpopulation predicted? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
          Would another glaciation be approaching if we did not change the chemistry of the atmosphere? Yes.

          Big systems are generally predictable with a modicum of knowledge. Small events within a big system are less predictable because they are linked to many other small events. We can predict the pressure of a gas, but are not going to predict the movements of a given molecule in that gas. Why waste the time and energy? We can determine free path lengths and speed range distributions.

          I am not saying that small events are not predictable, some are, but many are not since we do not have a way to determine the many other small events that interact with them.

          Most of what we do is predictable. The universe and us work on certainty. If most things were unpredictable then the universe as we know it would not exist, probably not exist at all.
          If I put a flame to some dry wood, it will burn, every time. Quite predictable. If I breathe, I continue to live and metabolize. Quite predictable.
          Only small, narrowly defined mental abstractions are unpredictable. Such as the exact time, place and circumstance of my death. Quite similar to trying to chase one molecule’s movement in a gas. Bu even that can be constrained within certain bounds and probabilities. Or even made certain.

          If a car is aimed at a wall going 100 mph and is only 100 feet away, what is going to happen? If we know the driver is unconcious, that narrows the prediction to certainty. If we know the pavement is wet, that narrows the prediction, but does not change it much.
          If I don’t get out of the way of that car, I can predict the results with a very high degree of certainty.

          If a planet is way over it’s carrying capacity, the predictions narrow down to a range of similar results. People often cite the “green revolution” but did it not just put off the inevitable and make the results just that much more dramatic on the other end?

          We predict all the time. When I turn the steering wheel of my car I am predicting the course of the car. I know the significant variables ( I hope I do), speed, how the vehicle handles, pavement conditions, tire conditions. I successfully predict things millions of times a day.

          Back to complex systems, butterflies don’t matter. If you add energy to the earth system, it will warm up, climate will change, ice will melt, forests will burn, rivers will dry up, storms will increase in energy, some places go to desert, some deserts get wetter, some places lose their snow. Glaciers melt.
          Whether or not a certain degree of such things happens in a certain year is not relevant. They will happen.
          Local effects will vary, overall is fairly predictable and if it is not, we just need to think a little more.

          It is not ESSENTIALLY UNPREDICTABLE. The earth is not going to launch itself into the sun or explode or not warm up. The earth will not just do any old thing at random, nor will we. We can predict overall effects within a fairly narrow range. We can often predict exactly what will happen on a small scale, or close enough. If we can’t predict things, it’s our fault for not paying attention.
          The inability to predict is due to a lack of knowledge, a lack of effort and an inability to determine what is important and what is not.

          • wimbi says:

            Good. Now, help me out. I have put up a goodly prize for winner of solar/wind/muscle boat race challenge on a local lake on Sept.24 this year. The boats have to be made before then, of course, so the designers gotta choose right now which source of power will be best on that date, and make their boat accordingly.

            So, tell us, which, solar, wind, muscle would be best on that day coming up fast. Please be quick about it, we gotta start building that boat.

            • JustSaying says:

              Muscle with a long narrow boat

            • Bob Nickson says:

              How far?

              Also, the muscle category gets to used stored energy, are the wind and solar allowed the same perquisite?

              • wimbi says:

                Rules ( subject to instant change)
                Winner takes $1K
                payoff function = people-miles per minute
                max time 1 hr.
                max boat area 9 sq meter
                max linear dimension 6 meters.
                people > 100 lbs.
                only wind/solar/people muscle power( homo sap, no apes).
                no storage (except muscle)
                must finish with everything started
                nobody overboard at any time.
                any boat, any propulsion mechanism
                must be offered for sale at end of race for $8K

                My entry at moment
                rectangular surface skimmer (air bearings)
                6 strong people driving whale tail
                Roof PV, kite, pole
                Figurehead – Goddess of Luck.

                • Bob Nickson says:

                  Ahh, so any combination of all three power sources is allowed?

                  I was thinking you had to pick one.

                  • wimbi says:

                    It’s a poker game. If you go whole hog for wind, no PV, you beat the PV guy – if no sun.

                    And some wind.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Will it be held rain or shine or will the race only occur on sunny days?
              Is it on a lake or river? If river, is it against or with the current?
              Race distance?

              • wimbi says:

                Poker game. Same little lake, same time, rain shine wind calm. Play the hand you are dealt.

                Never much waves, too narrow, low hills here and there.
                Usually a little wind. Usually a fair bit of sun. Lots of snags near shore.

                Race time near noon. Run from point to point around loop til time up (1hr or less as you choose).

                I am having fun with model surface skimmer on a water tub. Maybe the thing oughta be just a disc?, Turning around is a pain. That kite operator had better be mighty good, or won’t be there when the whistle blows.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  I would go with a catamaran design or a single long hull with outriggers. Solar can be added to outrigger framework.
                  Long narrow hulls are the way to go. A group of lightweight athletic paddlers or rowers will give you a big advantage.

                  • wimbi says:

                    One glance at the required path, point to point in a narrow, snaggy lake, more or less eliminates any boat that might have any problem making sharp turns while keeping things going to the max.

                    Long skinny boat not gonna hack it, for sure. Besides, PV gives maybe 7 times as much power/weight as a people.

                    Payoff function =( people-miles)/ minutes.

                    Has to be a people-hauler.

                    Anyhow, constraints on boat are being deliberately chosen to make no one particular choice obviously advantageous. I am trying to stimulate real engineering analysis of complex situation.

                    And I seriously intend my team to win that race. My contribution is ideas, money and beer.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Catamaran sound good. Use two electric motors, one on each hull, steerable to provide turning thrust. Train paddlers or rowers to have one side paddle forward while other side paddles backward, turns on a dime then. Get a megaphone and a coonskin hat. 🙂
                    PV only works that well in bright sunshine, 50 percent chance at least of being partly cloudy. Ability to move when wind (or sun) is absent was used by Vikings, Romans and Greeks to great advantage.
                    Put a battering ram on front to take out competition during speed bursts.

                  • wimbi says:

                    Thanks, GF, for the good replies. Funny thing just happened – local low carbon club seized on the boat idea as great PR stunt, and have taken over the whole thing. Fine with me, I’m not only old but also lazy.

                    BUT! These people don’t seem to be able to get the idea of a payoff function like (P-M/m). Apparently too complex. For them, a race is nothing but SPEED.

                    Antithetical to my whole sustainable energy intent! Groan.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              VANISHING SAIL: The Story Of A Caribbean Tradition (2015)

              “The Grenadines are a small group of islands in the Lesser Antilles where the traditions of boatbuilding were once crucial to the survival of local communities skimming a living from the sea. Hundreds of sailing vessels were once launched here, more than anywhere in the West Indies.

              Alwyn Enoe is one of the last wooden boatbuilders in the village of Windward, Carriacou. To keep the tradition alive, he decides to create a final vessel with his sons before the skills introduced by Scottish ancestors are lost forever.
              ‘If this thing gone from here, everything gone, you know.’
              Alwyn Enoe”

              Main Site & Trailer

              A little personal background:
              Through my own interest in sustainable/resilient/glocal(translocal)/democratic networking and trade and in some of the old, tried-and-true ways that make sense, I first ran into the sites of Dmitry Orlov (who lived and perhaps still lives on a boat) and Jan Lundberg’s Sail Transport Network, among others.

              (As an aside, a potential concern I have with each is that some of Jan’s Sail Network stuff seems to look like large-scale products of corporate industrialism; and Dmitry seems more preoccupied with his own personal agenda– projects, books, soapboxing– and with less interest or even tolerance with anything that might interfere with that, yes, Dmitry? To each their own of course.)

              I also relocated to Nova Scotia with an interest in the promise of physical human networking with fleets of smallish wooden sailing boats, and even in picking up some boatbuilding-level carpentry skills, myself. This was partly why I chose a particular small town here on the coast, which still has some classic wooden boatbuilding.

              Wimbi, naturally, if we want to consider ‘winners’, we also have to consider the kinds of entire lifecycle inputs and outputs that go into things and the democratic control people have over them, as well as their relations to, and interplays with, the surrounding world and stuff like that. We can’t just waltz into a small-scale local production shop and bang out an EV or PV like we can with a sailboat and sailboats already have plenty of highways. How much of the planet is covered by navigable waterways that don’t need to be ‘maintained’?

              I am quite confident that, if humans survive the next few decades or centuries, the sustainable networking inherent in the wooden sailing boat that preceded the internet, the PV and the EV is going to outlast them all.

              There is little man has made that approaches anything in nature, but a sailing ship does. There is not much man has made that calls to all the best in him, but a sailing ship does.” ~ Alan Villiers

              Sailing Through The Bardo

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:


          • Oldfarmermac says:

            “If a planet is way over it’s carrying capacity, the predictions narrow down to a range of similar results. People often cite the “green revolution” but did it not just put off the inevitable and make the results just that much more dramatic on the other end?”

            Yogi sez predicting is HARD.

            As a matter of fact, the Green Revolution may not have resulted in merely putting off the “inevitable “. I played a ( very very ) minor role in the Green Revolution myself, as a teacher, and as a foot soldier. I never did any formal research as such, nothing intended for publication.

            Back then, I was reading about organizations such as Zero Population Growth, and thinking about overshoot, although not very seriously, because in those days I was young with a hard on, and concerned with the PRESENT. I was thinking the people advocating lowering birth rates would NEVER actually succeed, and probably for the most part, they did not.

            BUT birth rates have CRASHED since then, almost entirely for other reasons.

            Be careful about being too complacent about making predictions involving the behavior of naked apes. 😉

            After three generations, the USA may finally be coming to its senses, and ready to treat pot like beer.It’s actually demonstrably MUCH safer than beer, and only a fucking idiot would could ever believe otherwise.

            Some rich guy might just decide to pay for any young woman’s birth control meds, anywhere, no questions asked. Just go to a clinic, get the necessary exam, get the prescription filled, send the bill. Send it again next year. And the year after that.

            Tony Seba might be right. Electric cars MIGHT displace conventional cars almost as fast as cell phones have displaced land line phones.

            But yes, the behavior of natural systems can generally be predicted within certain broad guidelines, if the assumptions you use in the guidelines hold true.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gonefishing,

            The glacial cycle is a pretty long term phenomenon at roughly 100,000 years for roughly the past 400,000 years. Also the albedo will depend on more than just temperature, at high latitudes the orbital cycles and humidity levels will also have a big effect on Albedo. Usually higher temperature leads to higher humidity and higher snowfall amounts in winter, so a model that is too simple and predicts that higher temperature means lower albedo may be incorrect.



            Excerpt from link above is below:

            Albedo has had an effect on global temperatures – mostly a cooling effect on long term trends. As for recent albedo trends, earthshine data shows increasing albedo from 1999 to 2003 but little to no trend from 2003. Satellites show little to no trend since 2000. The radiative forcing from albedo changes in recent years appears to be minimal.

            What will happen to future Earth albedo is a complex problem, depending on both the earth’s surface and on clouds and cannot be reduced to high temperature equals low albedo.

            I do agree that reducing carbon emissions as fast as possible is important to minimize the risk of severe climate change, the uncertainty is reason to be cautious.

            About half of the World’s current population lives in nations whose combine total fertility ratio is less than 2. As the rest of the World becomes more developed, or at least has better educated women because they or their families voluntarily choose more education because it increases women’s opportunities and power, and also has modern birth control methods that are readily available for everyone who chooses to control their fertility, then population declines and environmental degradation is reduced.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Dennis, I said “surface albedo” not albedo of the atmosphere. Surface albedo is directly related to temperature. As land warms it loses snow and ice cover and gains dark forest and other vegetative cover in general.
              Albedo changes cause immediate changes in radiation flux.

              Yes the atmosphere does control 70 percent of the radiation, yet one needs to understand that it’s not just changes in reflection that cause warming. Cloud cover causes warming as seen just lately in Greenland where warm moist air is being driven over the ice cap and clouds are warming and melting the ice. So those earthshine measurements are not directly valid as the infrared reflections from cloud to land and back again are not accounted for and are a large part of warming.
              Earthshine is a poor estimate of global albedo, covering only the optical range and not giving returns for portions of the earth.

              From the skeptical science article:
              “How accurate is the earthshine method in determining global albedo? The earthshine method doesn’t give a global albedo estimate. It covers about one third of the Earth at each observation occasion and certain areas can never be ‘‘seen’’ from the measurement site. Furthermore the measurements are sparsely sampled in time, and only made in a narrow wavelength band of 0.4 to 0.7 µm”

              So why are you pushing a poor observation method? It does not measure global albedo, does not measure infrared, UV or cloud cover effects on warming, and uses a model to hopefully account for the atmosphere (as it’s measured from the ground).
              A Swiss cheese method. Probably should be put on a burger with some lettuce and tomato.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Gonefishing,

                I am not pushing any method, I linked the entire piece and a summary section of the piece.

                Do you believe that vegetation and snow cover will change instantaneously? The snow coverage at high latitudes is influenced by both temperature and humidity. The increases in humidity will lead to higher snowfall amounts that may offset the higher melting due to higher temperatures, the problem is more complex than you envision.

                Also forests moving further north may be offset by more grassland further south and possibly desertification which may tend to off set the reduced albedo further north, again the problem is complex.

                Hansen and Sato estimate the earth system sensitivity(ESS) at about 4 to 5 C, with that estimate (which is over thousands of years) and an atmospheric CO2 of 365 ppm in 3000 CE warming is about 2C above preindustrial.



                During a period like the Holocene while warming to a Pliocene-like climate, slow feedbacks (such as reduced ice and increased vegetation cover) increase the sensitivity to around 4.5°C for doubled CO2. However, a climate warm enough to lose the entire Antarctic ice sheet would have a long-term sensitivity of close to 6°C. Fortunately it would take a very long time to lose the entire Antarctic ice sheet.

                I do agree however that because of the uncertainty (maybe the ESS is higher than 5 C and the ECS is higher than 3 C ) less carbon emissions is preferred, we should aim for 800 Gt of carbon emissions to be safe. That target will be exceedingly difficult to achieve unless the clean disruption vision of Tony Seba proves correct.

  23. Pingback: The World in 2030- Non-Fossil Fuel Open Thread | Energy News

  24. Silicon Valley Observer says:

    This has been an amazing thread with great comments from so many of you. I haven’t put in my own two cents yet, so here goes.

    2030 — my gosh, it’s only 14 years away! That’s less time than my 16 year old son has been on this earth. Going back 14 years to 2002, world c+c production was about 67 million bopd according to Ron’s chart. I believe that 2015 will be the all-time world peak in oil production but if I’m wrong it won’t be later than 2020 and any delay will only increase the decline rate. My prediction is that in 2030 world c+c production will be below 70 million or about 10% less than today. And that will be enough to set off the biggest and longest lasting depression the world has ever seen (which I believe has already started). What we saw in 2008 is just a glimpse of what’s to come — unemployment, major debt defaults, local and state governments scaling back services, infrastructure continuing to rot for lack of maintenance. These two things — declining oil production and worldwide economic depression — will be the drivers of our reality.


    EVs will exist but few people will be able to afford them because most of their income will be taken up by increasing housing and food costs, which also is happening today. Most people will still have their ICE vehicles, but won’t be able to afford to run them. Roads will be relatively empty and bus service will grow rapidly. Because we have committed ourselves to a low-density living arrangement called suburbia, people will end up spending more of their time just getting from place to place because mass transit will require walking more and making connections. Car pooling will once again become important.

    Train transportation will revive to some extent, but I think buses and truck-trains will make more sense for a long time. Expect to see electrified buses in urban areas.


    Population growth and a trend towards urban living will push up demand for housing closer to work. Suburbs will still be populated, but less desirable than now. I see more and more renters as prices rise and long term mortgage lending dries up. I also see more people living in the same space. Houses will begin to be subdivided just as happened to older homes in inner city neighborhoods.


    Not sure where this is heading. The trend towards online shopping may accelerate since companies can deliver goods more efficiently. On the other hand, people may just end up taking mass transit to shopping centers. Will Walmart and malls go out of business? I don’t think so. They will still be places that people will go to to kill time, just as they do today. I think much of the change will follow regional patterns.

    Social Changes

    People will spend more time in their local area out of necessity. Young adults will stay with parents longer, marry later, have fewer children. I believe the biggest social change will be the rise of virtual reality. Homelessness will be a major problem with knock effects on public health and crime. I expect drug use will rise as people seek escape and law enforcement lacks the ability to staunch the flow of drugs. New and more powerful synthetic drugs will be cheap to manufacture and distribute.

    People will need entertainment and won’t be able to drive far to get it — virtual reality will bring a whole new form of entertainment to the home, one that will allow people to escape the dullness of their lives. Just in its infancy now, virtual reality will be the predominant form of entertainment within ten years replacing video games and tv as we know it.

    I expect a strong return to religion and the emergence of new religions, not unlike what happened in upstate NY when the opening of the Erie Canal prompted huge social and econmic change. Also, migration from central and south america will continue and grow with major social impacts.


    The role of computers and the internet will become even more important than it is today as the demand for greater economic efficiency spurs even greater use of automation (exacerbating unemployment at the same time).


    Roads, bridges and buildings will continue to deteriorate especially in the northeast where even today the sight of rebar protruding from concrete is common. In the South, increasingly violent weather patterns will devastate housing and roads and there will be little ability to rebuild it. In general, things will start to fall apart.

    My crystal ball is getting cloudy now. Remember — it’s just 14 years away!

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      HI SVO,

      GREAT comment, great insights. You may be right, partly or even completely, Yogi sez predicting is hard.

      So – in the friendly spirit of a debate among friends, I will take the opposite tack on some points, BECAUSE it is the opposite. Your reasoning is good, etc.

      2030 — my gosh, it’s only 14 years away! That’s less time than my 16 year old son has been on this earth. Going back 14 years to 2002, world c+c production was about 67 million bopd according to Ron’s chart. I believe that 2015 will be the all-time world peak in oil production but if I’m wrong it won’t be later than 2020 and any delay will only increase the decline rate. My prediction is that in 2030 world c+c production will be below 70 million or about 10% less than today. And that will be enough to set off the biggest and longest lasting depression the world has ever seen (which I believe has already started). What we saw in 2008 is just a glimpse of what’s to come — unemployment, major debt defaults, local and state governments scaling back services, infrastructure continuing to rot for lack of maintenance. These two things — declining oil production and worldwide economic depression — will be the drivers of our reality.

      I believe you are right about the depression, but it might not be the worst ever. Depending on how we react, we might do ok here in the states. There is nothing coming out of Asia we can’t make at home, thereby relieving ourselves of the necessity of supporting our working class on welfare, which is NOT a long term option for sure.

      So far as I am concerned personally, I believe we can live FINE without much in the way of globalization.The folks who insist otherwise are the ones winning the globalization game.



      EVs will exist but few people will be able to afford them because most of their income will be taken up by increasing housing and food costs, which also is happening today. Most people will still have their ICE vehicles, but won’t be able to afford to run them. Roads will be relatively empty and bus service will grow rapidly. Because we have committed ourselves to a low-density living arrangement called suburbia, people will end up spending more of their time just getting from place to place because mass transit will require walking more and making connections. Car pooling will once again become important.

      Train transportation will revive to some extent, but I think buses and truck-trains will make more sense for a long time. Expect to see electrified buses in urban areas.

      I think there will be a hell of a lot of ev’s on the road by then, especially if we get a couple of Pearl Harbor Wake Up Events, in the form of a sharp spike in oil prices, or a war that disrupts deliveries, etc. The AMERICAN economy can run ok on ten percent less oil, even with the population growing, because we waste so much. My thinking is that a plug in hybrid and maybe even a pure electric will be a no brainer decision within five years, because the electrified car will be cheaper, relative to a new conventional car, and gasoline will be back up to four bucks and well past four bucks.
      The oversize pickups will gradually wind up as used work trucks in the hands of carpenters and plumbers, etc.

      The oversized SUV’s etc, will just go to the scrap yard early, because it costs a fortune to make major repairs, and with gasoline at five or six bucks or more, and a few dents, and worn upholstery, these vehicles aren’t going to get new four and five thousand dollar transmissions, and they aren’t going to be repaired after a serious accident.

      People will still be able to drive their conventional cars, but they sure as hell will cut back on driving them, maybe by half or more. But my guess is that it will still be cheaper to own an old conventional car than it will be to depend on taxis, buses, etc, in most places at least here in the USA.
      See my comment on housing.


      Population growth and a trend towards urban living will push up demand for housing closer to work. Suburbs will still be populated, but less desirable than now. I see more and more renters as prices rise and long term mortgage lending dries up. I also see more people living in the same space. Houses will begin to be subdivided just as happened to older homes in inner city neighborhoods.
      Totally agree with what you say. Will add that cars that go a hundred miles or more on a gallon of gasoline and a few kilowatt hours are going to be a hell of a lot cheaper than the alternative of giving up the mcmansion.



      Not sure where this is heading. The trend towards online shopping may accelerate since companies can deliver goods more efficiently. On the other hand, people may just end up taking mass transit to shopping centers. Will Walmart and malls go out of business? I don’t think so. They will still be places that people will go to to kill time, just as they do today. I think much of the change will follow regional patterns.

      I knew a cute girl ,one of the kind able to take care of herself, thirty years ago who made her living running errands for people. She made up cards that read ” ERRANDS , BY GEORGE”, with her pic on them, and her phone number, and stayed totally busy picking up and delivering groceries, and made a decent living. Deliveries on the grand scale in the future are just about a damned sure thing. I can actually pay UPS cheaper than I can go to town when I need something, if I know two days in advance of the need, and town is only twenty minutes away.

      Buses and group outings will be a big deal. I have a relative who gets buses from as much as a hundred miles away by appointment ( so he has adequate inventory on hand ) to his farm market ten or more times a year. These are mostly church buses, for now. Later on?

      These same buses make runs to major malls on the big sales days too.


      Social Changes

      People will spend more time in their local area out of necessity. Young adults will stay with parents longer, marry later, have fewer children. I believe the biggest social change will be the rise of virtual reality. Homelessness will be a major problem with knock effects on public health and crime. I expect drug use will rise as people seek escape and law enforcement lacks the ability to staunch the flow of drugs. New and more powerful synthetic drugs will be cheap to manufacture and distribute.

      People will need entertainment and won’t be able to drive far to get it — virtual reality will bring a whole new form of entertainment to the home, one that will allow people to escape the dullness of their lives. Just in its infancy now, virtual reality will be the predominant form of entertainment within ten years replacing video games and tv as we know it.

      I expect a strong return to religion and the emergence of new religions, not unlike what happened in upstate NY when the opening of the Erie Canal prompted huge social and econmic change. Also, migration from central and south america will continue and grow with major social impacts.


      Totally agree, other than that I don’t expect more than a small minority of people to seriously embrace religions, new or old. Also, it is rather likely in my opinion that we will close the borders of this country to the extent that no more than a mere trickle of people manage to get in.



      The role of computers and the internet will become even more important than it is today as the demand for greater economic efficiency spurs even greater use of automation (exacerbating unemployment at the same time).


      AGREED . The honorable profession of personal servant will be a hot growth field. I am hoping to get a hot young blossom to hang around with me and cook and clean while I fantasize about making a pass at her. Too old here to actually bother, but ya never get too old to think about it, lol, according to guys I know right at the century mark. She can have an outside job, and an OUTSIDE boyfriend, and save every dime she makes. Plus maybe a small salary plus room and board.



      Roads, bridges and buildings will continue to deteriorate especially in the northeast where even today the sight of rebar protruding from concrete is common. In the South, increasingly violent weather patterns will devastate housing and roads and there will be little ability to rebuild it. In general, things will start to fall apart.

      I am afraid you’re right about this. Roads out in the boonies and electric power out at the ends of the lines are questionable at best.
      But there are ways around this sort of problem. Trucks for instance can be made smaller and lighter, and still achieve the same ton miles efficiency. A hell of a lot less trucks will be on the road as rail retakes shipping volume.
      Communities will be tightening up geographically. I might be altogether wrong about suburbia continuing to grow, depending on how long it takes energy restraints and other resource restraints to
      force growth to a halt. OTOH, super mini hybrid cars and renewable energy might result in continuing suburban growth.

      Asphalt will be DEAR, but stone is plentiful and will stay relatively cheap, and if you put down a really good stone bed, it doesn’t take a lot of asphalt to make a good road, especially if you keep heavy trucks off of it. One truck damages a road as much as five thousand cars, or more , so they say.

      More axles and more wheels can be added to trucks, so as to better distribute the load on the road.

      My crystal ball is getting cloudy now. Remember — it’s just 14 years away!


      Mine is no better, and may be a lot worse.

      When I finish my book , I will include all the pro and con points on each issue , to the best of my ability, but the general tone will be that we can successfully transition to renewables and a lower per capita energy and consumption life style , with luck and hard work.

      • Silicon Valley Observer says:

        OFM, brilliant as usual, except where you don’t agree with me!

        There will be huge regional differences down the road. That’s exactly why I moved to silicon valley from NYC area. There are two areas that I think can survive — the stretch of the pacific coast from Monterey up to Seattle, and most anyplace on the east coast outside the major urban areas. Southern Cal will be a lost cause being so incredibly spread out and dependent on Lake Mead which may be gone by 2030. Expect huge migration out of So Cal which will be a problem for us up here. The bay area, by contrast, is relatively constrained geographically so that mass transit is actually an option. And don’t forget the sun – as much as I’ve decried the practicality of EVs on a nationwide basis, they make a lot of sense here. And I expect to get some solar panels installed — about 1/3 of the houses around me already do. Don’t have to worry about heat in winter so much, though it does get nippy at ties. Only problem is affording a house here.

        Back east, I expect the NYC and the rest of megalopolis to have problems, especially if natural gas production takes a nose dive. Roads, bridges, and anything with rebar is in bad shape. And traffic will only get worse. Manhattan itself may be livable for those who can afford to live there. On the other hand, smaller cities and towns close to agriculture stand a pretty good chance of surviving as long as they can get heat in the winter. Before moving the Calfornia I was looking into getting land and setting up a homestead. Only problem, my wife is alergic to nature, has a fear of all animals, and likes to eat at nice restaurants! Oy! And she hates winther, so Cal made sense.

        I think I made the right choice for me. But I miss the smell of cow manure on the fields in the spring — reminds me of my youth.

        • JustSaying says:

          “Southern Cal will be a lost cause”

          Hey Silicon, if you think there is some magical Trump wall. That’s going to separate the fortunes between Northern and Southern California. Think again. The Sierra Nevada isn’t any better off than the Rockies.

  25. GoneFishing says:

    This was predictable and is accelerating as social support is being quickly demolished in the US.


    • JN2 says:

      OFM, thank you for existing. Seriously!

    • Silicon Valley Observer says:

      Great article. Another prediction : in 2030 we will be eating a lot less meat and a lot more oatmeal. Eating will be a lot more about cheap calories than wonderful food.

      • JustSaying says:

        That wonderful food you call meat is the corner stone to heart disease and animal cruelty. Speak for yourself. I have a back yard full of avocado, apple, pear, plum, apricot, peach, mango, cherry and citrus trees.

        If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

        • Silicon Valley Observer says:

          Jeez, lighten up.

          • Hickory says:

            He is a little uptight because he lives on imported water.
            That is even more unsettling than living on imported energy.

            • JustSaying says:

              We are all in this together. 80% of the Colorado river water goes to agriculture to feed the world. The 25 million of us here in SC will get enough to flush our toilets and shower before you get your veggies.

              There is still lots of water, just not enough as to treat it as a free commodity anymore.

              Ya, a little up tight

              • Fred Magyar says:

                We are all in this together. 80% of the Colorado river water goes to agriculture to feed the world. The 25 million of us here in SC will get enough to flush our toilets and shower before you get your veggies.:

                Couple quibbles there!

                While the Colorado river water might help with US fruit and vegetable production it does not come anywhere close to feeding the world… just sayin!

                Flushing toilets with potable water is just plain stupid. Especially in drought prone areas. Heck composting toilets don’t require any water at all.

                As for showers you can learn from the birds and other beasts and take dust baths…


                The M.I.T.-trained chemical engineer who invented AO+ has not showered for the past 12 years.

                AO+ should be mandatory for all California residents, that, and Stillsuits 🙂

                You want water? Move to the Amazon river basin!

                • JustSaying says:

                  I expected better from you Fred. My point was that the agriculture products reach markets around the world. Composting toilets are not a realist option in the LA basin and “dust baths” aren’t going to happen in our life time either.

                  “Move to the Amazon river basin!”

                  You know as well as I do that South America has a bigger drought problem than the west coast.


                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Dost thou not recognize sarcasm when thou sees it?! I even added a smiley, fer crimminies sake! Stillsuits?!

                    Yes, I am extremely well aware of what is happening in the Amazon. I have been there not all that long ago!

                    Albeit we can and do disagree on what is realistic. Composting toilets are very realistic. If they can work in Scandinavia they sure as hell can work in California.

                    These from India are actually really neat..

                  • JustSaying says:

                    My error, that went right over my head


                    When times get tuff, I’m going to dig a latrine in the back yard

  26. PonziWorld says:

    Solar Pipedream in Europe. Wind Ponzi is just a naive fairytale….”Its cheaper than coal”…yeah sure for the bankers and thats it. A fraud courtesy of God.


    Data are available from several years of photovoltaic energy experience in northern Europe.

    These are used to show the way to calculate a full, extended ERoEI.

    The viability and sustainability in these latitudes of photovoltaic energy is questioned.

    Use of photovoltaic technology is shown to result in creation of an energy sink.

    Conclusion and policy implications

    The calculated value for ERoEI is dimensionless, constituting the energy return (2203 kW he/m2) divided by the energy invested (2664 kW he/m2) – a ratio of 0.82. It is estimated that these numbers could have an error of +/-15%, so that, despite a string of optimistic choices resulting in low values of energy investments, the ERoEI is significantly below 1. In other words, an electrical supply system based on today’s PV technologies cannot be termed an energy source, but rather a non-sustainable energy sink or a non-sustainable NET ENERGY LOSS. The methodology recommended by the expert working group of the IEA appears to yield EROI levels which lie between 5 and 6, (see Section 4.1), but which are really not meaningful for determining the efficiency, sustainability and affordability of an energy source. The main conclusions to be drawn are:

    The result of rigorously calculating the “extended ERoEI” for regions of moderate insolation levels as experienced in Switzerland and Germany proves to be very revealing. It indicates that, at least at today’s state of development, the PV technology cannot offer an energy source but a NET ENERGY LOSS, since its ERoEIEXT is not only very far from the minimum value of 5 for sustainability suggested by Murphy and Hall (2011), but is less than 1.
    Our advanced societies can only continue to develop if a surplus of energy is available, but it has become clear that photovoltaic energy at least will not help in any way to replace the fossil fuel. On the contrary we find ourselves suffering increased dependence on fossil energy. Even if we were to select, or be forced to live in a simpler, less rapidly expanding economic environment, photovoltaic technology would not be a wise choice for helping to deliver affordable, environmentally favourable and reliable electricity regions of low, or even moderate insolation, since it involves an extremely high expenditure of material, human and capital resources.
    Research and development should however, be continued in order in future to have more efficient conversion from sunlight to electricity and a cheaper, more reliable PV-technology offering increased efficiency and a longer, failure-free lifetime. The market will then develop naturally.

    • Ulenspiegel says:

      Maybe you should check some of the assumption of the authors and be a little bit more carefull with your or better their claims. They pick not optimistic values for their projection.

      To use one paper that contradicts one decade of literature is dangerous. But I assume you do not write and review papers. 🙂

      And it will be interesting to see how their work will be discussed by people who are closer to PV prodcution. 🙂

      • Ulenspiegel says:

        A clear methodological weakness of the paper is that it uses for critical parameters references that are extremly weak, especially the EROEI values in Weissbach et al. (2013) . With such starting point it is no surprise for me that they get “interesting” results.

        And to use a book (Prieto and Hall, 2013) which was not per-reviewed and has for the Swiss/German framework of the discussion a very limited relevance is also not state of the art.

        Why using not relevant data from producers of PV, calculating hard data without critical assumptions? Then a usefull discussion of the results instead of this two layers of scientific fog. This requires knowledge of the actual processses and basic chemistry and means work.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Quite often it is the case that people and countries do things for reasons they cannot openly discuss, or even acknowledge, due to the possibility of undesirable consequences .

          Sometimes I think of myself as a solitary independent scholar, one of the kind that might have existed previous to the rise of universities, able to poke into any thing interesting because he had money of his own, or had a sponsor.

          I have never had a LOT of money but I always found it easy to get enough to take more months off than on, sometimes taking off nine months in a year. I have spent my time just reading, more than doing any other one thing, all my life.

          So – why is Germany going whole hog on wind and solar power, when it does not seem to be working that well ?

          First off , it IS working, but not as well as they originally hoped. They understand history-ALTHOUGH THEY DON’T TALK MUCH ABOUT recent history. They are first class engineers, they have first class scientists, they have superb schools, as good as any large country.

          They know their survival as an industrial society DEPENDS on their generating as much of their own energy as humanly possible. They understand depletion, they understand war. They understand that Russia has not forgotten WWII.

          They understand that they won’t be exporting gasoline fueled cars forever, so they are working on electric cars, feverishly. They know the future is dependent on renewables, and they plan on being DOMINANT players in producing renewables hardware, and exporting both that hardware and the expertise associated with it.

          They will succeed, because while China can undersell them, enough people and countries will stick with them over the long haul. Anybody who thinks the Chinese are nice guys is a fool. In terms of business, there just aren’t any nice guys, Darwin rules. It’s always been us versus them, in terms of the big picture, and the odds are that China is going to be our ” them” unless China crashes. The Germans for now at least are part of our “us” coalition.

          Basically Germany does not give a shit about what it costs to go renewable, so long as success is achieved. Germany plans on getting it all back, with plenty left over, in terms of Geman security and prosperity, over the long haul.

          Wind and solar power are already demonstrably cheap enough in places with good wind and solar resources to start displacing coal and natural gas. Nobody can deny this. Only a fool could possibly believe fossil fuels will stay cheap over the long term.

          If the storage problem can be solved at reasonable cost, wind and solar power will rule in any part of the world where the wind and solar resource is good to excellent, within twenty years, or not too much longer than that. IF the storage issue is NOT solved, then wind and solar will displace enough conventional generation to extend the life of fossil fuel supplies by decades at least.

          • Hickory says:

            When you consider coal, Ngas and crude, Germany gets about 25% of its energy from Russia (its biggest supplier).
            This makes them very uneasy, I don’t blame them.
            And, they have decided that despite being known as good engineers they do not trust themselves (or mother nature) to pull off a safe nuclear energy program. [insert snide comment here- maybe they were afraid that VW execs would be running the nuc program and would cheat on radiation emissions]

          • Ulenspiegel says:

            “So – why is Germany going whole hog on wind and solar power, when it does not seem to be working that well ? ”

            The funny aspect is it is working better than anticipated, PV is only a minor theatre of war, wind power is the real thing. And we are now where we wanted to be around 2020.

            The study Ponzi cited is a issue for me because of its methodology. If the results were true, we could simply switch to more wind.

            “Basically Germany does not give a shit about what it costs to go renewable, so long as success is achieved. Germany plans on getting it all back, with plenty left over, in terms of Geman security and prosperity, over the long haul. ”

            The worst case scenario (with constant energy costs, as national solution) is 0.7% of GDP for the transition the next 35 years; afterwards no additional costs compared to running BAU.
            These 0.7% are well spent money IMHO. And Germany can afford this with ease.

            If we assume increasing energy costs the transition will very likely be cost neutral or even make money when done as European project.

            If you are reall interested of the economic aspects I suggest you read the Fraunhofer study on this topic, English version avialable:


            “Study: What will the energy transformation cost?”

            • wimbi says:

              Even more important Q – what will the NOT transformation cost?
              The biosphere, that’s what, or so I am told by those who I believe.
              Are we willing to pay that?
              “Will you pay for what you are with all there is?”

              • Ulenspiegel says:

                If we consider external costs, then BAU is already a very expensive alternative.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Thanks for this link. It will come in very handy later on. A lot of the best stuff is in German, and I can’t read German.

              • Ulenspiegel says:


                you are welcome. It is indeed a pity that in many cases the publications are first in German and only months later the English version is available or in case of smaller research institutes no English version at all.

                The Fraunhofer Society has done a great job of publishing research results in English and mainting good international internet sites (see windmonitor).

  27. PonziWorld says:

    Won’t be long before Facebook is the premier USA Corporation shortly followed by collapse. Its the pride and joy of PseudoIntellectuals (PR and Marketing). Bits vs Furnaces…the Bitheads never had a chance.

    “When they came for the Third World, I enjoyed the cheap junk at Walmart”

    “When they came for the Developing nations, I bought an SUV to take advantage of cheap oil”

    “When they came for the manufacturing jobs, I maxed out at 0% interest rates”

    “When they came for the science and engineering jobs, I was relieved that the geeks were out of the way of marketing”

    “When they came for China, I loaded up on junk bonds to protect my assets”

    “When they came for my job, I never saw it coming. How could I, I don’t know anything”

    “No one saw it coming. Because printing money was their secret to effortless wealth”

    “Collapse is a buying opportunity”

    • JustSaying says:

      The selfish are always last to see the consequences of their actions and the first to complain

  28. PonziWorld says:

    Dennis Coyne: “The future is far from clear”

    Looks clear to me…as in bankrupt. I wonder if the Facebook Fools are going to chat the day away while drinking untreated water: Adenovirus infection, Amebiasis, Campylobacteriosis, Cryptosporidiosis, Cholera, E. Coli 0157:H7, Giardiasis, Hepatitis A, Legioellosis, Salmonellosis, Vibrio infection, Viral gastroenteritis, free living amoebae (ADHS).

    “Today’s underground sewer infrastructure is the result of an enormous investment over the last 100+ years with, for example, an estimated asset value of one trillion dollars in the USA (Brongers). This equates to ~7% of its current gross domestic product. However, these assets are under serious threat with an estimated annual asset loss of around $14 billion in the United States alone. Sulfide-induced concrete corrosion is recognized as a main cause of sewer deterioration in most cases.

    Many water utilities will need to upgrade both their water supply and wastewater service infrastructure over the next 10 to 15 years, which will require enormous capital investments.”

    • DramaQueenAlert ! says:

      “these assets are under serious threat with an estimated annual asset loss of around $14 billion in the United States alone”

      “which will require enormous capital investments.”

      The U.S. wasted that much on a weekly basis in the Bush Cheney Iraq war in the name of terrorism for oil

  29. PonziWorld says:

    DC: What will happen in 15 years?

    Dennis, Venezuela has 15 DAYS left.

    Only 15 days of Food Left, looting intensifies

    And Venezuela has the REAL “renewables” called a Hydroelectric Dam. Not that Ponzi bullshit of Solar Industry that is so strong it doesn’t have any Euro-American members. Doesn’t matter…it aint gonna save them because oil is “cheap” you know and thats what isn’t paying the bills. The Guri Dam speaks loud and clear: “Stop draining me, I canny do it any longer, I’m not renewable!”

    America has about 15 months left because all the “jobs” are in propaganda oops PR tied to the Facebook Ponzi:

    Predictions for 15 Years from now, my ass. The world will be a smoking ruins long before that.

    • JustSaying says:

      Venezuela is a country of vast riches of energy reserves. I guess that blows a big hole in the energy doomers theory of expense oil will bring collapse and demonstrates the importance of a countries citizens to support stable democratic government.

      Anarchist need not to reply, please.

      • woodsy_gardener says:

        “Predictions for 15 Years from now, my ass. The world will be a smoking ruins long before that.”

        Civilization had a great run but it’s over. Gone with the Wind. Might as well enjoy the rest of the show; there’s no changing the ending.

        • JustSaying says:

          Woodsy gardening doesn’t exactly sound like 21st century civilization. Actually, it sounds more like 2000BC. You should also practice your survival skills by going computer free and come back in 15 years to tell us about your experience.

  30. Oldfarmermac says:

    If the shit really gets into the fan in respect to oil within the next eight years, neither Trump nor HRC will hesitate to export a little democracy down Venezuela way. Either one of them is smart enough and mean enough to make it stick for at least as long as they are in office.

    • JustSaying says:

      That’s the same stupid idea Cheney & Bush had in 2003 with Iraq. Billions of solar panels and millions of EV’s makes more sense. How quickly you forget the real cost of fossil fuel.

      HRC supports a billion new solar panels by 2020. Trump doesn’t believe in climate change.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Iraq ?

        Unquestionably a mistake in hindsight, but that sort of thing tends to keep the other players reminded of who is who and who has the big stick, who is where in the pecking order, and in the last analysis it could be said , Iraq for that sort of reason, has kept the oil flowing. This would take a while to lay it out in detail. Short term it worked, long term it created more problems than it solved.

        Now IF the world, and the rich western world comes up critically short of oil, because of troubles in the Middle East, and problems such as depletion, and ESPECIALLY if he USA comes up critically short of oil, near term to mid term, THEN our own Yankee asses will be in one hell of a fix, we will be looking at the “deep dark depression and excessive misery ” Ponzi and SVO talk about, and it will be real, not a song.

        I don’t KNOW that Ponzi and SVO aren’t better fortune tellers than I am. There is a possibility they may be right. Yogi sez predicting is hard.

        Trump and HRC have this much in common, both of them are the sort to use power when they have it, and nobody in the world has more power than a Yankee prez if he can get congress to go along. Remember that Twain said congress is our pride and joy when it comes to the American criminal class.

        Congress will go along because above and beyond EVERYTHING else, party politics, and politics as a whole , in this country boils down to keeping the people happy enough to vote for the incumbents. In this case SHEEPLE is the word. Sometimes Caelan McIntyre is dead on the money. It’s not too hard to convince a country to go to war if the ruling class WANTS to go to war. The ruling class owns the media, which is why HRC is probably going to win the D nomination, because enough of the media are siamezed to the D party apparatus. The appartus controls the nominating process, and all that sort of thing. Never in history has a politician with such negatives managed to SCARE ALL the other potential candidates out of the race, excepting one late comer. Ordinarily, she would be laughed out of the picture, but she OWNS the party appartus.

        I advocate going renewable as fast as we possibly can, but in terms of a bad shortfall in oil supplies within the next ten years, solar panels even a billion of them, won’t mean jack shit, not in the short term.

        IF we succeed in making the transition, it will be a couple of decades before there are enough new trains, enough electrified cars, etc to really matter in terms of preventing a deep economic down turn.

        Politicians are more afraid of hard times than they are the very devil himself.

        • Silicon Valley Observer says:

          “Unquestionably a mistake in hindsight, but that sort of thing tends to keep the other players reminded of who is who and who has the big stick, who is where in the pecking order, and in the last analysis it could be said , Iraq for that sort of reason, has kept the oil flowing. This would take a while to lay it out in detail. Short term it worked, long term it created more problems than it solved.”

          Mistake in hindsight? It was a mistake from the start and if it weren’t for the calculated hysteria cooked up by Bush, it would never have happened. Many of us saw through the lie. But scare tactics work and Rove was the expert at that.

          Short term it worked? That has to be one of the most Machiavellian statements I’ve ever heard. Did it work in the short term for the thousands of dead and wounded Americans who bravely fought on behalf of Halliburton? Was the oil not flowing when Saddam was in control?

          Keep others reminded of who has the big stick? OFM, that is really offensive as well as completely wrong. If the Iraq war showed anything it is how impotent our “power” is. After a trillion dollars and thousands of lives things are much worse and more dangerous than before. In the meantime, China and Russia have increased their influence not only in the middle east but elsewhere. Iraq demonstrated to the world that the U.S. has a big stick but that it is wielded by a moron.

          • Paulo says:


            VietNam showed how ineffective US power actually was and is…and that lesson was not learned even with the sight of civilians hanging off the Huey skids as the last rotary left the diplomatic compound. They dozed the machines into the water to make landing room for more., then pushed them overboard, too. Insurgency will always win, eventually. I suspect when times toughen up all the soccer moms and accomodating dads will put down their remotes and iphones and demand a quick solution/scapegoat. (“Hurry up, the new season of American Idol is supposed to start, and NFL started 3 weeks ago”!). The MIC will have some great products with bought and paid politicians pushing them on to the military. (All bought on credit, of course). The military, stagnant in the dearth of promotions and opportunities will echo the refrain and gung-ho off they go…to war…again. The actual bare cupboards will hasten the empire’s decline, and conquest will not fill them up again….because there is no conquest; only cost, only the death of young soldiers/sailors/airmen, and mostly civilians. VietNam will be forgotten, and every other foreign escapade beyond Reagan pointing them towards Grenada, the arrest of Noriega and the the overthrow of Allende. Of course, failing Venezuala will welcome the US! hah. For about two months. How’s Kabul doing? Will they change the name of the Iraq Green Zone to the Red Zone, now?

            If everything is a nail, then all you think you need is a hammer. If every country and people is something to dominate and turn for your own advantage/profit, then don’t expect success . The Empire will bring itself down in a withering, tire-burning, angry mob expression of failing infrastructure, empty store shelves, and dumb people who have been told they are exceptional for far too long for no reason beyond being born in the US and being full of over-processed carbs. They will not be appeased by truth, the facts, or reason. There are too many guns in the US for this to end well. Possible statesmen/leaders are nowhere to be found, only demagogues pounding out their election mantras.

            There will be no mass of solar charged EVs replacing today’s highly complex ICE vehicles, because no one will have any damn money. Sure, there will be some boutique niche cars for the very wealthy, but God help them if they stray into the wrong neighbourhood. This is all a diversion, designed to snare more investors and free them from their money. There are already 7 year car loans out there for consumers!! People starting out have no freaking money, few prospects, and fewer opportunities. They will not be buying $35,000 electric vehicles. They will be ground down and slapped awake by economic decline. The tough and resilient might survive, provided they have a vison and a landing area… support. Joe Blow living in a Sacremento neighbourhood, not likely. That goes douple for San Jose, Observer.

            If you have some money and skills, there is time to relocate. Not much time, though. This charade will not continue much longer; the high-living lifestyle when most of the World has sweet eff all. How much longer is the big question, isn’t it? 2030?


            • JustSaying says:

              “because no one will have any damn money”

              New vehicles have never been about the masses. Guys like Mac here have made it clear that his hopes are for a used Volt or Leaf. 17 million new vehicles sales per year works out to about 5% of the U.S. population. The industry still pumped out about 10 million U.S. sales in 2009.

              EV’s are the future

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                You forgot the trademark symbol… Allow me…

                EV’s are the future™

              • robert wilson says:

                EV’s may be the future but they are not the present. Excluding golf carts and mall vehicles I have not encountered an EV in my Southern California town in three years. I did see one in a neighboring town four years ago. Granted I live a sheltered life. The Prius is fairly common (I own one). It is a handsome fashionable car but it was bad mouthed by the tow truck operator that recently towed mine to the shop. Also by the experienced shop owner. He believes that the Honda Civics and Accords are the most reliable vehicles.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Robert,

                  The automobile took over from the horse pretty quickly (15 to 20 years in the US), EVs and plugin hybrids will do the same to ICEV from 2017 to 2030.
                  When the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 start to ramp up output other companies will jump on the Bandwagon and ICEVs (non-hybrid and non-plugin) will fall in market share for light duty vehicles (Gross vehicle weight rating of under 8500 pounds) to under 10% of new vehicles sold by 2030.

        • JustSaying says:

          “Trump and HRC have this much in common”

          Mac, I call “Patterson Bullshit” to this statement. The closest thing that these two have in common is that they both have small hands.

          Bush and Cheney are oil men. Their goal was about removing oil from the market place and control of the reserves. You were conned by your Republican leaders. But don’t let that get in your way for your hate for Hillary.

          You need to read this:

          Trump will make the “W” administration look like the good old days.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Bush and Cheney were not the brightest guys ever , but their overall goal was to keep the oil flowing, and keep the USA at the top of the political and power pecking order. No doubt they were glad to enrich themselves and their buddies in the process, but if you think they were out to shut down the production of oil in the Middle East, etc, you are very badly deluded.

            The loss of middle east oil ,or any other major source of oil on the world market, would have resulted in an economic crash of biblical proportions, no doubt. That STILL holds true TODAY.

            That would have sunk them and all the people allied with them, including the R party, a huge chunk of the banking industry, etc. etc

            Now as far as HRC and Trump having a few things in common, if you don’t recognize by now that HRC is as mean and as tough as they come,regardless of the fact that she has no penis, then you are even more deluded. You’re a true believer.

            Incidentally I know some HRC true believers who DO think she is as tough as any man, when it comes to NERVE and willingness to run risks.

            I don’t waste time hating politicians,I just try to recognize them for what they are. Trump is worse.

            Now the only way you can continue to BELIEVE in HRC is if you are a true believer. True believers never never allow any amount of evidence to interfere with what they believe.

            I was born into a true believing community, and my old Daddy still believes Jonah was eaten alive, and spit up alive, by a whale, and that Noah built a wooden boat big enough ………. oh , never mind. No amount of evidence will ever change his mind, or the minds of hundreds of other people I know some well, most casually, who believe the same thing.

            Suppose you go to wikipedia and read the main article on Cattle Gate.

            But after you do, you will STILL believe.

            A few days ago the news came out that HRC and super pac working with her ( AND SHE SAYS IT IS OK FOR HER TO DO SO) started spending a million bucks hiring trolls to attack Sanders. Overnight, some websites I follow, sites that are very well known , suddenly started getting five or ten times as many nasty comments about Sanders, and many MORE nice comments about HRC.

            I promised Ron P I would keep my politicking here to a minimum , as a courtesy to him, as our host and founder.

            So I will leave it at this HERE , for now, coming back only to post the wikipedia link in a minute.

            Here’s the link.


            Read it, and in your head, picture HRC as a young TRUMP.

            Come on back here and tell every body what you think.

            At one time I was a capital R republican,at other times, I have been a capital D democrat.

            I have posted TONS of comments here indicating I support positions mostly associated with the D party, such as strong environmental legislation, a single payer health care system, downsizing of the super banks, etc.

            I suppose you think it is perfectly OK for a presidential candidate to collect millions of dollars for making a few quick speeches to people who she will be governing.

            I don’t.

            I don’t believe she will walk the walk when it comes to properly overseeing the people who have enabled her to get RICH in a few short years without actually doing anything to EARN the money.

            If she were on the opposite side of the political fence, YOU would be making this ethics argument.

            Some people accuse me of hating women in general, I could care less. I spend a good bit of time in the company of young women in public settings, such as the cafeteria at the nearest community college, and when I can get there, other public gatherings where politics are discussed.

            Seven or eight out of every ten young women I have heard express an opinion have a low opinion of HRC. They see her as a fraud, a sell out for sticking beside Bill, personally untrustworthy,etc. Ya gotta walk the walk to impress young women, they aren’t much into flipflopping and chasing polls.

            Going a little farther, the ones who do support her, among YOUNG women, all young women being quick to see a phony, for a phony, the story is about the same as some D’s used to tell about Johnson.

            “He’s a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”

            Now I am going to spend most of the day, and a good bit of the night, posting comments on other sites,using various handles, and various argument,supporting Sanders.

            I will try to remember to not to post anything else directly about the upcoming election here for at least a week.

            If the republicans manage to nominate somebody even remotely acceptable to independent and younger voters , they will mop the floor with her in the election.

            You better HOPE Trump gets the R nod, because he is one of the TWO leading candidates in the history of this country who appears to be about to win the nomination with negatives that would ordinarily mean they couldn’t get elected dogcatcher.

            I leave it to you to figure out who the OTHER one is.

            Sanders can mop the floor with Trump if he gets the nomination.

            • JustSaying says:

              The race between Bernie and Hillary has been over for more than a month now. It’s time for the “Burn” to bring the party together before turning into the next Ralph Nader.

              Bush and Cheney are not dumb, they knew exactly what they were doing. There was no flow problem in the Middle East before they blew it up by attacking a country that had nothing to do with 911. America saw a 6 fold increase in the price of oil under their watch. Mac, “badly deluded” is your naïve view.

              There’s a reason their administration refused to stop filling the national reserve in a time of economic crisis. There friends were making a lot of money. It was also part of a scorched earth policy to undermine the next administration that would be a Democrat.

              No one could accidently screwed up as badly as the Bush Administration left the country in 2009. How quickly the Trump supporters forget which party buried their opportunities. The country still hasn’t recovered.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                This is a peak oil forum, and I have read it faithfully every day since the beginining. I followed the old TOD forum jqust as faithfully, as well as several other sites, and I follow the msm news as well. I read a dozen books a year on energy and environmental issues.

                Your comment is the FIRST one I remember ever reading that blames the price of oil going UP by a factor of four or five over the last twenty or thirty years on the R party establishment.
                EVERY body else seems to think it has a lot more to do with economic growth , and the effects of depletion, etc.

                Now as to who is politically naive, just about every body understands that American presidential elections are won in the middle, and the middle has little use for either HRC or Trump.

                And while no true believer ever believes differently, the PUBLIC as a whole does not put much faith in HRC in terms of ethics and honesty.

                Trump will have so much stuff to throw at her that it will be a serious contest, and he might actually win.

                There’s not much to throw at Sanders. Not much at all. He’s clean. He has the independent vote. He will get tens of millions of the more educated sort of conservative voter who will vote FOR him in order to vote against HRC.

                He’s not a BAU politician, and THE big story of this election is that the people of this country are sick and tired of bau politics.

                • JustSaying says:

                  “I promised Ron P I would keep my politicking here to a minimum”

                  “So I will leave it at this HERE”

                  First to start with, it appears your promise isn’t worth the digital space you write on.

                  Second, how do you turn my statement below into your translation without having a comprehension problem ?

                  JustSaying – “Bush and Cheney are not dumb, they knew exactly what they were doing.”

                  JustSaying – “America saw a 6 fold increase in the price of oil under their watch.”

                  Mac – “blames the price of oil going UP by a factor of four or five over the last twenty or thirty years on the R party establishment.”

                  Third, your statements in your posts are contradictory.

                  Mac – “American presidential elections are won in the middle”

                  Mac – “Sanders can mop the floor with Trump”

                  Trump, if anyone can figure out were he stands on any give day. Seems to stand left of right wing conservative Republicans. Meaning closer to the center. On the other hand, Sanders is a left wing socialist, left of Hillary. Another words for FoxNews viewers, a Communist on the far left.

                  When the dust settles in 2030 after the world energy drama ends. Old Old Mac is going to look at a chart of the price of oil back to the beginning and say : Why was there a spike in the price of oil from about 2003 to 2014 ? The answer is going to be, That F’n Bush Administration.

                  If there is one thing in the last two years that should have make it into your skull after all your patting yourself on the back for reading is that small imbalances of supply and demand over time can multifold change the price of oil. Lifetime oil men know this.

                  You’ve been conned, open your eyes

            • JustSaying says:

              “Sanders can mop the floor with Trump if he gets the nomination.”

              Sanders hasn’t seen one day of the 25 years Hillary has weathered of the Republican propaganda machine. Only a “badly deluded” naïve fool would make your statement above. The same kind of fool who believes Sanders is going to transform America into a Socialist country.

              • wimbi says:

                I am not attuned much to politics, and sure don’t want to get into any tornado about one or another. But.

                The important Q for any politician is – Did he/she do the job elected for?

                Seems the people of New York said of senator HRC. Yes she did.
                That’s the one that counts, to me anyhow.

                I grew up in Huey P Long country. People there naturally assumed that all politicians were crooks, but were they putting some of their crookery to my benefit?

  31. Longtimber says:

    Get you head round this: Story at BBC about the proposed nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, UK which at $35 billion will be the most expensive object ever put together on Earth.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Just one question, WHY?!

      • aws. says:


      • Ralph says:

        This may have something to do with it.

        He was an intelligent man. I discussed peak oil with him a decade ago. Unfortunately, he couldn’t let go of economic BAU.

      • George Kaplan says:

        Fred – in winter we in the UK can have weeks or more where the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Maybe we could hibernate, but without really cheap energy storage (i.e. batteries that are probably two order of magnitude less that today, or something else that has to be a disruptive technology) we are going to be in trouble (that is rioting at best and mass die offs otherwise). There may be tidal and wave power but not really proven at scale yet. Other suggestions welcome, but at the moment we are going to be reliant on gas.

        • Ulenspiegel says:

          “Fred – in winter we in the UK can have weeks or more where the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. ”

          More transmission lines, i.e. connecting sites of not correlated generation, helps a lot and of course the useage of Norway and Sweden as huge battery. 🙂

          • wimbi says:

            I spent a very pleasant year in England just after marriage, since wife had a scholarship to Cambridge. From Cambridge Mass to England, was interesting weather shift, in one, colder’nhell in winter, in other, just sorta drippy.

            But I was much more comfortable in CM than I was in CE. Since the English could get away with it, they made their houses with walls so thin I could see thru the bricks, and had weak little heaters here and there, including, to my horror, fireplaces burning, or more accurately, smoldering, garbage.

            Then we took a few weeks off and went to Norway, Germany and Switzerland, where it was much colder, and we were much warmer.

            The anglosaxons came to the new continent unprepared for the hard winters, and the Nordics came ready for it. So the N settlers in Minnesota were cozy when the AS ones in Kansas were dying of winter and ignorance. (See Little House on the Prairie)

            So, as an innocent young man with an idle interest in such things, I concluded that us anglosaxons had long ago left our wits behind in Saxony.

            Still looks that way, when you look at all us colonials denying global warming and marching all together off the cliff.

  32. Fred Magyar says:

    Really now! Brits have to be really stupid if they allow it…

    It’s been a pretty bad few weeks for the Number 10 Press Office.

    Between the chaotic response to the steel crisis and the absentee Secretary of State Sajid Javid, the fallout from the forced schools academisation announcement, another Junior Doctors’ strike and the ongoing ripples from the second omnishambles budget and IDS’s resignation, the last thing the press office needed was one of the biggest leaks in history raising questions about Cameron’s own tax status.

    Perhaps it was the cumulative pressure of weeks of bad headlines for the Prime Minister and his party that led to the spectacularly botched press operation since news of the Panama Papers contents emerged.

    Them Brits musta been smokin some really good shit!

    Panama Red

    On the other hand since this thread is about visions of the future I submit the views of the Solar Impulse Team, currently about to land in Phoenix Arizona as I type these words. It is about as diametrically opposed to the one for building a 35 billion dollar nuclear power plant as it is possible to be…

    Let’s run the world with clean technologies
    The two record-breaking solo flights of André Borschberg from Nagoya to Hawaii and Bertrand Piccard from Hawaii to San Francisco give a clear message: everybody could use the same technologies on the ground to halve our world’s energy consumption, save natural resources and improve our quality of life.

    May the best vision win!

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Hi Fred,

      As you well know, I am for pedal to the metal renewables.

      But otoh, I am NOT sure we WILL actually manage the transition from fossil fuels successfully due to factors mostly having to do with ff depletion, short term thinking on the part of naked apes individually and collectively, etc.

      So I am constantly on the look out for news to cheer myself up, hoping that fossil fuels will last LONG ENOUGH for renewables to grow up and shoulder the load.

      Here’s something extremely encouraging.

      The renewables naysayers will continue to insist that solar power is uneconomic, because we will have to have fossil fuel backup, but the backup already exists, in the form of today’s legacy ff capacity. LOL

      I think maybe that ten years from now, just about any place that gets lots of sun, any place with consistently dry cloud free weather, will be a place that solar power will be cheaper over the long term than fossil fuel generation based on the savings in fuel costs alone.

      Exponential growth of solar power can and hopefully will result in our having enough fossil fuel to maintain social stability and a stable economy for some additional years, years that will be critical to the coming of age of renewables, not just technically, but also economically and politically.

      We don’t want to be fighting WWIII over oil, gas, and coal. WWIII might disrupt the environment even more than another couple of decades of fossil fuel pollution, and that pollution is a dead sure thing ANYWAY.

      Now as far as the ever stalled, ever more expensive new nuke in Limey Land is concerned, I never hear anything about WHY it is so far behind and so far over budget.

      But methinks it might have something to do with successful political attacks resulting in ever changing ground rules. 😉 Guerilla warfare works.

      It’s damned near impossible to bring in a big industrial project on time and on budget unless you have a plan you can stick to. If you get one change order after another, you inevitably get farther and farther behind, and the budget will be shot in very short order.

  33. Perhaps the ultimate fantasy lies in the purpose of it all.
    Our civilisation exists through our ability to trade with one another. In the 10 millenia since hunter gatherers enclosed land and became farmers, any kind of prosperity has depended on trading of excess. We trade by buying and selling, and moving stuff (including ourselves) from A to B in order to facilitate that. Until the industrial revolution, trade moved only at the speed of hoof and sail.
    The faster and more efficiently we shift ‘stuff’ the wealthier we have become.
    Problem is that we have come to regard ‘movement’ itself as being a wealth creator, rather than the goods and services (effectively forms of energy) themselves. Our ongoing “civilization” has come to depend entirely on the ability to convert explosive force into rotary motion—-Think about that, and what it means.
    Hence our focus on the necessity for wheeled transport: “as long as our cars and trucks run–we will be ok” is the basic mantra. Every piece written on our “future” puts transport at the top of the list.
    Missing the point, that in the SHTF situation, no one will be shifting 40 tons of melons from CA to NY, or (and this is the ultimate fantasy) with no employment, you will have no have an ‘ongoing purpose’ to drive anywhere.
    The delusion persists that wheels (on the scale we use them) have brought us prosperity, when in fact it has been our (temporary) prosperity that has allowed us to have wheels.—Therefore if we continue to produce wheeled transport able to travel great distances, our prosperous lifestyle will continue undiminished. —we will still drive to ‘work’. Get real!!!!!
    Politicians, priest and economists promise more into infinity, and the gullible majority believe them.
    This is why I wrote the book, The End of More,
    It is an attempt to hammer home the reality that there really is no more.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Good points Norman. The true wealth of the world lies in the natural wild world and we have barely begun to see and use that. Progress is erroneously defined and it’s current definition will mostly lead to dead ends and a barren world. Possibly we are going to produce cyborgs or full automatons as our descendants. They will have no problem using wheels on a barren and destroyed planet. Maybe that is why Mars looks so appealing to some, their “descendants” will do well in that dead landscape.
      Right now energy is the least of our problems, the environment and biology is supreme dictator of our end result and little is being done in those realms.

        • GoneFishing says:

          I don’t have the hubris to believe I know enough to call anything a “true” religion.
          Should we be praying to the giant “machine” that created us and will eat us in the end?
          The new religion of science has quickly forced the fast growth of the predicaments in which we and the world of life now find ourselves. So I am skeptical of the scientific view of the world and the universe. It takes too narrow of a view and is a phantom chimera of conclusions and results.
          I never needed science to know I was part of a great creation. I came to that conclusion when I was very young, merely by looking at the world. So maybe religion springs from nature, even though it gets perverted or changed later. Maybe it is how our brains really work, if we let them.

          • wimbi says:

            Ahem, did you read what Einstein said? What he and i say is that we don’t know and never will know how it all works, but it sure is wonderful to behold.

            The “one true” was yet another failed attempt on my part to say something obviously intended just as a joke.

            Seems like “obvious” is an impossibility around here. Um, obviously.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      Good comment, Norman, and it dovetails with what I’ve been in part bleating about in this thread.

      Perhaps what could be inferred or summarized by at least a portion of your comment is that the cart is being confused with the horse.

      In any case, while EV’s might ‘work’ ‘here and there’ now, now is not tomorrow or next year.

  34. Jeju-islander says:

    Here’s two predictions from Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog –

    1. Cutting emissions could prevent nearly 300,000 U.S. air pollution deaths by 2030.
    “… reducing U.S. emissions in the energy and transport sectors could prevent almost 300,000 early deaths caused by air pollution in the U.S. between 2015 and 2030, or about 20,000 per year. ”

    2. Food System Shock: Climate Change’s Greatest Threat to Civilization
    “… I predict that the type of triple-whammy of extreme weather events capable of causing a food shock scenario similar in impact to the Lloyds scenario will increase in probability to become a 1-in-50 year event by 40 years from now–a 2% chance of happening in a given year–due to the increasingly extreme nature of the jet stream, when combined with the ongoing increase in global temperatures, drought intensity, and heavy precipitation events. This means that it is likely we will see something causing the impact of the Lloyds scenario occur in the next 40 years–a significant disruption of the global economy, intense political turmoil, war and the threat of mass famine.”

  35. Oldfarmermac says:

    Here’s something hilarious from Salon…

    Watch Sarah Palin make a complete fool of herself. I guess she really is dumb enough to believe she is right, that forced climate change is a hoax.

    Trump is not that big a fool, most likely, but I have no doubt he is a sufficiently skilled liar to sound as if he believes the same.

  36. Politcal Economist says:

    In first quarter this year, PV power curtailment in some parts of China reached 50%!

    In Xinjiang, PV electricity curtailment reached 760 GWH with a curtailment rate of 52%; in Gansu, PV electricity curtailment reached 840 GWH with a curtailment rate of 39%; in Ningxia, PV electricity curtailment reached 210 GWH with a curtailment rate of 20%

    • Longtimber says:

      Link or Button to switch to English?

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      So the Chinese came down too hard with the pv hammer and should have switched sooner to the transmission lines hammer, which seems to be the primary reason for this curtailment issue.
      They import a LOT of coal, and every kilowatt hour they can get from pv or wind means a little less spent on that imported coal, and cleaner air .

      They will catch up on the transmission lines, and cut back on the coal, in relative terms, because that will be their most economical and practical solution. It might take a while, they are still just people, and people are not always quick to solve problems.

  37. Oldfarmermac says:

    I am just too happy about this not to post it.
    With Cruz out, it’s almost for sure down to three, Sanders or Clinton, versus Trump, as to who will be our next prez.

    And Sanders just hit another homer, badly needed, it is true. He started ten or fifteen years behind, and Clinton has had the benefit of closed primaries in a bunch of cases.

    Now he has momentum enough that a lot of people will be registering or changing registration in order to vote for him in remaining primaries.

    He is kicking the shit out of Clinton when it comes to young people.

    Basically what this means is that even if he loses, he wins, because he has helped found a new movement to take us past the status quo of business as usual politics.

    The country is puking sick of business as usual politics, which is why Trump is now the presumptive R nominee, and why Clinton has such awesome negatives, even though she scared all her potential competitors so bad with her ownership of the party appartus nobody else really even CHALLENGED her- except Sanders of course.

    Sanders is clean, and can win the independents, and minority voters will vote for him , they sure as hell aren’t going to vote for Trump.

    American presidential elections are won in the middle. Sanders owns the middle.

    • JustSaying says:

      Sanders loss the election two months ago. In basketball terms. There is only 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter and Sanders is trailing the Golden State Warriors by 30 points.

      Clinton beat him. Your in denial Old Farmer. It’s over. No more. Even the super delegates don’t want him. The guys not smart enough to know he loss. Two of a kind.

      Old Farmer – “I promised Ron P I would keep my politicking here to a minimum”

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        So I broke have BENT a promise. Big deal. The ESTABLISHMENT D party has been telling us how evil super pacs are since Citizens United, and before that preached endlessly about the corrupting influence of big money from rich people and businesses in politics.

        Now explain to me just which D candidate is head over heels into debt to people and businesses that donate by the thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even yes by the millions ?

        Who gets a quarter of a million for a thirty minute speaking engagement and won’t let us know what was said?

        “Even the super delegates don’t want him” ?

        The super delegates are mostly the bought and paid for apparatchiks of the party. The people who voted Clinton early in the south in a lot of cases hardly even realized Sanders existed back then, two or three months ago. Starting a campaign ten years earlier than the competition had a little to do with Clinton winning earlier.

        Sanders may not win, true. But he has captured the soul of the D party. Old farts like me are on the way out. I have friends , very good ones on both sides of the divide. A whole lot of life long D’s told me years ago that they were happy to vote for Obama simply because he was “anybody BUT Hillary” when he came out of nowhere just as Sanders is coming out of nowhere NOW.

        Incidentally Politico is telling us that HRC is diverting money to her campaign that is supposed to go down party, and the State Dept just admitted hiding at least on critical email for a couple of years to hide the fact that she was using a personal private server.

        NOW if you actually BELIEVE she set this up, for CONVENIENCE, and kept it a secret, for CONVENIENCE, well I would agree, it would be a very convenient way to prevent the public from knowing what she is up to that she ought not be.

        There is NO WAY competent security professionals assigned to the state dept would not have known she was not using the proper GOVERNMENT OWNED SERVERS due to a lack of traffic on them, if nothing else.

        Incidentally , the FBI in not quite so many words turned down a Freedom of Information Act request for information, a couple of days ago, the reason being that the investigation is a law enforcement matter. The spokesman put it as casually as possible, but that’s basically what was said.

        BETCHA ya haven’t read the Cattle Gate link at wikipedia.

        I have yet to meet a single mathematically literate person who has read it who has thereafter had any thing positive to say about her ETHICS. I have managed to piss off some older women so bad by mentioning it that they won’t talk to me anymore, because they KNOW they have no answer except to admit she has the ethics of an alley cat.

        I know about true believers, I read the book thirty or forty years ago,or whenever it came out.

        My Daddy is a true believer when it comes to his KJB. He will die believing he will see his family again, all healthy and happy forever. My Momma was a true believer, as were all my grand parents. Evidence doesn’t matter to true believers.

        My lawyer is a life long capital D democrat, and he just about spit up his beer laughing when somebody ask him about security law and culpability and that server . When he was able to get his breath, he basically said that if the Justice Dept fails to prosecute somebody , it’s a political decision.

        Have you forgotten that the man who set it up took the Fifth, when questioned about it, and since has been granted immunity?

        I have a sister who is a life long capital D democrat, and also a retired officer, regular army. She says the law is perfectly clear, and that the regulations are crystal clear. By putting secret government documents , intentionally or not, on that server, she broke the law. Ignorance is no excuse in such a situation.

        The law itself is not even the question, in my eyes. It’s the arrogance and secretiveness and the appalling lack of judgement displayed in having such a server.

        Now I most likely won’t be posting much here for a few days, because I am going to be busy as hell posting elsewhere.

        • JustSaying says:

          Look at those sour grapes.

          Old Farmer – “early in the south in a lot of cases hardly even realized Sanders existed back then”

          Now who’s falt was that ? Besides the fact Bernie can’t count delegates. He was a day late to the party too. Loser

          It’s over, your boy got beat by a girl.

          EV’s are the Future

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            From the Guardian

            “Clinton, who has repeatedly promised that as president she will crack down on “outrageous tax havens and loopholes that super-rich people across the world are exploiting in Panama and elsewhere”, collected more than $16m in public speaking fees and book royalties in 2014 through the doors of 1209, according to the Clintons’ tax return.”

            Seems like I remember her saying she was flat broke not that long ago, and with a straight face. Seems like I hear her campaigning on closing up tax loopholes.

            I don’t know how many people in this forum will vote, but the large majority who post here are mathematically literate.I don’t know a mathematically literate person who will vote for Clinton, period.

            The rabbit lost to the turtle because he was asleep.

            HRC’s supporters are still mostly asleep.

            She may yet get the nomination of course, the odds are in her favor, but as Yogi sez, it ain’t over till its over.

            You haven’t posted ANYTHING about WHY we should vote for Clinton, other than that she’s leading the race.

            Here’s a thought for you. Tens of millions of Second Amendment advocates will feel comfortable voting for Sanders, who will NEVER vote for Clinton.

            Name ONE demographic, other than old white women, lol, who will vote for Clinton, who just conceiveably might stay home if Sanders gets the nomination. I know a LOT of black people, including three farm hands who I took to get them registered to vote the first time who will vote for ANY Democrat over ANY republican.

            I know a lot of older white women, and not a ONE of them would have to hold her nose to vote for Sanders. On the other hand, millions and millions of young women will, if Clinton gets the nomination, will have to hold their nose in order to vote for her. They MIGHT stay home.

            They might not ever become local leaders in the Democratic party, and move up thru the ranks – yes all the way up, and become legislators, governors, congress critters, maybe even president.

            You may notice that I am saying one thing and then doing the other. I am just practicing what HRC does on a daily basis. Fair for the goose, fair for the opposition.

            Now I need to get seriously back to work, because this forum doesn’t have that big an audience. It’s a whistle stop.

            • Bob Nickson says:

              The three way race coming up after Hillary secures the Democratic nomination and Bernie declares as an independent candidate is going to be super exciting.

            • JustSaying says:

              Old Farmer – “I promised Ron P I would keep my politicking here to a minimum”

              And yet Old Farmer Mac continues to make himself a liar.

              What part of “it’s over” don’t you understand ?

              Sanders lost, million more Americans prefer Clinton

              Former Top John McCain Aide Says He’s Backing Hillary Clinton Over Donald Trump


              It’s A Tough Day To Be Female And Republican


              • Oldfarmermac says:

                “And yet Old Farmer Mac continues to make himself a liar. ”

                I don’t suppose you understand the difference. I broke a promise. You apparently don’t think such minor distinctions matter.

                And just to rub it in a little, I AM keeping it to a minimum here, compared to what I am doing in other forums, using other handles, with a bigger audience.

                Basically the D party establishment , which HRC OWNS, has been screaming about big money polluting politics since when. HRC has promised to rain on Wall Street’s parade, while Wall Street has been buying her umbrellas at a quarter of a million a pop. She can change her mind,I can change mine, ya see?

                MY POINT is that once politics go hardball, and it is about time now to go hard ball, promises are not going to stand in anybodys way.

                I will never support Trump. Period. I will never VOTE for Trump. Period. But if it comes down to Clinton versus Trump, I will write in. Or I might just get drunk and stay home and cry for my country.

                HEY, here’s a thought. Maybe it’s time for the D party to get together behind a candidate with a respectable ethical record. LOL

                You don’t actually need to be a lawyer to see the difference, but we all know about twisting technicalities around to suit ourselves when it comes to defining the meaning of “IS”.

                The judge who most likely is going to force HRC into testifying about the email server was appointed by her husband BILL.

                The LT General Flynn who Obama appointed to head the DIA for the last two years before he retired a while back has said he would have been out on his ass and most likely in jail for handling classified info the way HRC did, and it’s not a matter of just making mistakes.You are still guilty when you have been briefed on the rules, and especially when you are a lawyer. Ignorance doesn’t count.

                It’s a matter of hiding such stuff, and failing to take responsibility.

                For every R type you can name who supports HRC now, I think maybe I can find a couple of people who see thru the bullshit.

                This comment wouldn’t be here except for you calling me a liar. Facts count.

                Now I’m back to work.

                Oh, by the way, Sanders was marching with MLK when HRC was a “young republican”.

                Betcha didn’t know that, lol.

                • JustSaying says:

                  Old Farmer says – “No.
                  I don’t suppose you understand the difference. I broke a promise. You apparently don’t think such minor distinctions matter.”

                  With this kind of Bullshit you should be a politician. Oh, that’s right. Nobody cares enough to pay you for your thoughts.

                  Old Farmer – “I will never VOTE for Trump. Period. But if it comes down to Clinton versus Trump, I will write in. Or I might just get drunk and stay home and cry for my country.”

                  There you go again thinking with your small head, LOL. Letting your hate get in the way of your well being.

                  Hillary supports a billion new solar panels by 2020. Trump doesn’t believe in climate change.

                  Hillary 2016 and EV’s are the Future. You can take that to the bank.

                  Oh and by the way, Hillary was a Democrat last year when Bernie was a Independent. A good reason the super delegates should support her over Sanders. Yes, Hillary learned in college that her fathers Republican party are conmen. You going to hold that against too. You need to learn how to control your hate.

                  • Oldfarmermac says:

                    Actually I am working out of a play book written in large part by some of her old campaign people.

                    You want to resort to personal attacks, I am practicing up on that too, because it’s trench warfare time from here on out.

                    But for now I will only mention again that young people who are just now getting into policitics, and have zero use for R type politics also have very near zero use for the Clinton type personality.

                    Since they weren’t into politics until now, and most assuredly aren’t Fox new s fans, they have taken an unbiased look at Clintons record, and they read her as a phony. I have heard a couple of young adult women who are the sort that might be called super liberated, say in conversation that if THEY had been in Hillary’s shoes, they would have pulled a Lorena Bobbit on Bill , instead of defending him.

                    Flip Flop queen, talk the talk, but avoid walking the walk, that’s what they mostly all say about her.

                    Want a quote about marriage and how she has flip flopped on that issue ?

                    Only a fool would trust her. What will she flip flop on next in order to try to gain power and office ? What will she flip flop on if she gets into the White House?

                    Have you read the wiki piece on Cattle Gate yet?

                    Remember I have never met or read an analysis of that little escapade witten by anybody who is MATHEMATICALLY LITERATE who defended here.

                    Sanders has always caucused with the Democrats,and he has always been a Democrat in everything but name only.
                    She talks the talk about big money but she takes it. She votes for wars that have not had a single person ever comment on in a favorable fashion in this forum.

                    One of her very closest associates is head over heels into looking after the pay day loan industry, which makes the worst of the old time loan sharks look like girl and boly scout brownie den leaders.

                    Want me to come back and quote some on that topic?

                    A line or two attacking me personally will get a few paragraphs attacking Clinton. I have an ENDLESS supply of ammo, and I am getting faster as a typist too . 😉

                  • JustSaying says:

                    Old Mac says- “You want to resort to personal attacks”

                    Mac, scroll up the blog to a couple of days ago when you started the “personal attacks”.

                    Oldfarmermac says:
                    05/02/2016 AT 10:58 AM-
                    “you are very badly deluded.”
                    “regardless of the fact that she has no penis, then you are even more deluded. You’re a true believer”

                    Your a hypocrite and a lair Old Farmer. That’s how I know your a Trump support trying to bash your next president Hillary Clinton. You’re just trying to swift boat her.

                    Not going to happen

                    Hillary believes in climate change. Trump is in denial of climate change.

                    Hillary 2016

                  • JustSaying says:

                    Old Farmer – “I promised Ron P I would keep my politicking here to a minimum”

                    And yet Old Farmer Mac continues to make himself a liar.

            • Brian Rose says:


              Hillary has beaten Sanders by over 2,500,000 votes.

              There was a great breakdown of the delegate math on Meet The Press a few weeks ago. It turns out that if all delegates, including super-delegates, were allocated proportionally to the vote in each state and district Hillary’s delegate lead would actually INCREASE.

              Believe it or not, people are voting for Hillary, and she is earning the nomination through VOTES.


              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Plenty of time for people to change their minds, and I am out to help them.

                The vote totals would be WAY different if the primaries and caucuses were held again today. A lot of Sanders followers have not been ABLE to vote for him due to closed primaries.

                Due to lack of familiarity with him my black neighbors didn’t believe Sanders was marching with MLK when HRC was a republican, until I invited them over and showed them personally. ( They are old people, and not computer savvy. )

                Try this on for size, from Think Progress.

                “Payday lenders fearing modest federal regulations will cut into their vast profit margins have a new, high-profile ally in Washington: The chairwoman of the Democratic Party.

                Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) is co-sponsoring legislation to delay and permanently muffle pending Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules to rein in small-dollar lenders that are currently able to levy triple-digit annual interest rates on the nation’s poorest, the Huffington Post reports.

                The bill would force a two-year delay of the CFPB’s rules, which are still being drafted. Last spring, the agency set out a framework for its rulemaking process that indicates it is taking a more modest approach than industry critics would prefer. But the bill Wasserman Schultz signed onto would both delay those rules further, and permanently block them in any state that enacts the sort of ineffectual, industry-crafted regulatory sham that Florida adopted in 2001.”

                Schultz is so tight with HRC that they might as well be conjoined twins. This is the sort of bau politics people are sick of, when they are aware of it.

                Generally speaking, enough of the country is aware of this sort of thing , and puking up sick of it , that the R side has had the equivalent of a civil war, and wound up with the worst possible candidate, but one that still might win.

                The younger people, and those who might honestly be referred to as ” Democrat’s Democrats” in terms of their values are going with Sanders.

                Notice Schultz’s job title. This pay day loan thing is the sort of in big biz vest pocket stink that is turning people away from HRC.

                They used to put people in JAIL for charging the sort of interest rates and using the sort of tricks the pay day loan industry uses.

                It ain’t over till it’s over folks.

                And even if he loses this battle, Sanders wins the longer term war. His campaign has likely set the stage for the next generation of Democratic party activists, who will be D party OFFICE HOLDERS starting as soon as the next election cycle in some of the more progressive and liberal voting districts and states.

                I often dismiss the typical man or woman on the street as being dumb as a fence post, but this is mostly rhetorical excess or specifically in reference to science and math.

                The typical younger person on the street these days is better informed than ever before, and not much subject to being brainwashed by the msm.

                The younger folks get together socially, physically and electronically, and they are DAMNED GOOD at sniffing out bullshit. IF a politican wants their vote, now, and for as long as the internet lasts, then that politician is going to have to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

                Sanders walks the walk.

                Trump does not, and Clinton does not.

                They aren’t true believers when it comes to Reagan type politicians or Clinton type politicans, like so many of their parents.

                • JustSaying says:

                  Old Farmer- “Plenty of time for people to change their minds, and I am out to help them.”

                  WRONG – 85% of America have already voted. They don’t get to change their mind. Hillary’s lead is insurmountable.

                  Trump would call you “Lying Mac”

                  It’s over, Hillary 2016

                • JustSaying says:

                  Mac says- Plenty of time for people to change their minds, and I am out to help them.

                  Wrong, 85% of Americans have voted and don’t get to change their mind.

                  Clintons lead is insurmountable

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Isn’t it practically irrelevant which marionette is so-called-voted in as it’s the same bloody system?

        Another Bloody Election

        • JustSaying says:


          Just wait until “The Donald” twists Canada’s nipple. Your going to wet your pants. He wants you to pay America because we protect you(from us). LOL !!! You’ll miss your old freedoms.

          EV’s are the Future

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            A dictator is nothing without their dictatorship.
            Without a mass collusion or collaboration of ideological indoctrinees.
            The dictatorship includes people like you, steeped in its ideology and willing to uphold and fight for it.

            Trump needs the system’s backing. Even better if the marionette happens to dance more or less on its own and to the tune of both the system and its indoctrinees. If it is there, then, yes, I will wet my pants with excitement and anticipation. Maybe because it might be the beginning of the end… of this musical chairs dance.
            It might be even why some are voting for Trump; to help push the whole thing off the cliff it’s heading toward anyway. I guess many more have become nihilistic toward this dystopia I like to call the ‘dystem’.

            (The term ‘Canada’ is yet another form of ideological indoctrination, by the way, that many of us– including you perhaps– swallow, hook, line and sinker.)

            “You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.” ~ The Matrix

            “…we’re not nationalists, we don’t believe in nationalism. Nationalism or nationhood is… akin to superiority, is akin to racism…” ~ Bobby Seale

            “Patriotism is, as we know, the last refuge of a scoundrel.” ~ Gore Vidal

            “Behind Boetie’s thinking was the assumption, later spelled out in great detail by David Hume, that states cannot rule by force alone. This is because the agents of government power are always outnumbered by those they rule. To insure compliance with their dictates, it is essential to convince the people that their servitude is somehow in their own interest. They do this by manufacturing ideological systems…”
            ~ Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

            “Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.” ~ Noam Chomsky

            “The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself… Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable…” ~ H.L. Mencken

            “Bearnaise or Béarnaise sauce… is a sauce made of clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks and white wine vinegar and flavored with herbs. It is considered to be a ‘child’ of the mother Hollandaise sauce, one of the five sauces in the French haute cuisine mother sauce repertoire. The difference is only in the flavoring: Béarnaise uses shallot, chervil, peppercorn, and tarragon, while Hollandaise uses lemon juice or white wine…

            In appearance, it is light yellow and opaque, smooth and creamy.

            Béarnaise is a traditional sauce for steak [which can, naturally, be made out of people as well].” ~ Wikipedia [my quotes in square brackets]

            Chef Eduard (‘father sauce’), distingué: (de l’ Haute Cuisine Américain)

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Hi Caelen,

          It is not at all likely that the system you abhor will ever be taken via a frontal assault, French Revolution style, and IF IT IS, the results won’t please ya, I set my watch and warrant on THAT.

          Sanders is a step in he right direction, from the INSIDE of the system.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Are you suggesting a frontal assault because I’m not.
            Permaea is little of the sort.
            But I am not against it either:
            Wars are not fought on paper or in a lab of course.
            And it is a war. It is a war against creatures & communities.
            And everyone’s waging it.

            Inside and out, failure looks to be baked-in– failed-State-as-tautology and all that.

            I guess we can salvage a cake after it’s collapsed. We can always use it to make some sort of pudding afterward if there’s anything left, we are still around, and we are still in the mood to bake.

            But don’t forget, Oldfarmermac, it’s not really me: I have little to do with Mother Nature’s attitude– her abhorrence to use your word– if we want to continue to tease and prod her in all our obtuse arrogance and pretend she has little to do with us or vice-versa…

            Sanders is cult-of-personality (COP), no? Has COP gotten us anywhere? Or has it been a cop-out?

            Savage Freedom

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Should also be applied to articles and books about resource depletion written by economists such as Marian Radetzki … dang I just checked and his book is priced at $116.00 hard cover version on Amazon, $32.00 for the Kindle version.

      BTW, I’d just go ahead and call a spade a spade and call what it really ought to be called: “A Bullshit Detector”! 🙂

  38. sunnnv says:

    100k + cycles from a lithium battery…. Wow!

    Wasn’t even behind a paywall when I got the article and the supporting information.

    not-so-technical discussion of this development

  39. Heinrich Leopold says:

    The weekly supply estimate is out:
    Production fell a whopping 113 kb/d and week to 8.825 mill b/d albeit mostly due to a big fall of Alaskan production, which is probably revised next week. However, supply came down by over 100 kb/d and week ( including other supply such as ethanol fuel , natural gas liquids, processing gains…) over the last three weeks, comprising an over 350 kb/d decline.

    Finally, the huge reduction of drilling rigs has an impact on production. As rigs have been still quite high six months ago, yet steadily declined to record lows, production can only further precipitate to much lower production over the next six months.

    This is also very good news for a potential price rise by end of the year.

  40. Heinrich Leopold says:

    Snow in the vinyards during May. This is what we have not seen over the last 50 years. What next?

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Well that definitely proves that anthropogenic global warming is a hoax!

      While I don’t know where those vineyards are I do remember a day in June when I was still in high school back in Buffalo New York when we had snow flurries… I think it was the day the public swimming pool was supposed to open and I certainly remember quite a few snow storms in late April when I lived in Connecticut!

      For the last time, weather is NOT climate! On the other hand if you don’t like snow in May maybe you can move to Fort McMurray in Alberta and stay nice and toasty!

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Fred,
        I am not spending ALL my time politicing, I still try to keep up with environmental news in particular.

        Here is something you probably already know about, but in case not, I am sure you are a man who will help spread the word.

        The only real reasons to make these traps out of old tires is that old tires are free and plentiful and they last almost forever .

        But sawing them up is a hell of a job, and without power tools, it’s damned near impossible. I know, having tried it myself.

        There’s no real reason such traps can’t be made out of old milk jugs, or any sort of large plastic bottle, just by cutting part of it off. It would be a lot quicker and easier to make them that way, and they would still last at least two or three years. Making a replacement would take only a couple of minutes.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Hmm, I thought I had posted a reply to this? It seems to have disappeared into the ether…

    • me says:

      Next thing you know balls of ice will be falling out of the sky during mid-summer storms! Egad!

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        More often?

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Yep and much larger stones…

          Good for the glass and windsheild repair guys.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            And through the roofs too– chipboard at least, maybe shingles too on the way in. Just watched some more videos. That’s likely going to put a hole in an unprotected head. Softball-sized.
            One video had a woman nervously exclaiming, “This is not normal! This is not normal!”

  41. Enno Peters says:

    I have another update on the oil production from the 4 major shale basins in the US,

    Sorry, wrong thread.

  42. Oldfarmermac says:

    Education does work when it comes to changing public perceptions, but as they say in academia, change comes one death at a time, as the old authorities die and new comers assume their professorships.

    I am not sure WHO conducted the poll this that this article examines:

    But there is some encouraging news in it.

    This excerpt consists of about the last half of the link.

    It surprised me that so many Trump supporters are willing to at least SAY to a pollster that they support the policies mentioned.

    Registered voters support a broad array of energy policies, including many designed to reduce carbon pollution and dependence on fossil fuels and to promote clean energy. The Democratic candidates’ supporters are the most likely to strongly or somewhat support such policies, but supporters of the Republican candidates do as well, including: Funding more research into renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power (Sanders: 93 percent, Clinton: 91 percent, Kasich: 86 percent, Trump: 76 percent, Cruz: 64 percent) ; providing tax rebates to people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels (Sanders: 94 percent, Clinton: 92 percent, Kasich: 80 percent, Trump: 70 percent, Cruz: 59 percent).

    At least half of supporters of all candidates except Cruz also would support: Regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant (Clinton: 91 percent, Sanders: 87 percent, Kasich: 74 percent, Trump: 62 percent, Cruz: 47 percent); requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a carbon tax and using the money to reduce other taxes such as income taxes by an equal amount (Sanders: 88 percent, Clinton: 85 percent, Kasich: 53 percent, Trump: 51 percent, Cruz: 27 percent).

    Most Sanders and Clinton supporters (90 percent and 87 percent, respectively) and over half of Kasich voters (61 percent) support setting strict carbon dioxide emission limits on existing coal-fired power plants to reduce global warming and improve public health, even if the cost of electricity to consumers and companies would likely increase. Half of Trump supporters do as well (50 percent). By contrast, only 36 percent of Cruz supporters agree.

    Most Sanders and Clinton supporters (90 percent and 76 percent, respectively) and over half of Kasich voters (61 percent) think the U.S. should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, regardless of what other countries do. About half of Trump supporters agree (49 percent), but only four in 10 Cruz supporters (40 percent) do.”

    The fossil fuel industries are gradually losing the war to keep people in the intellectual dark, although the way they would put it is that they are keeping the lights on while the renewable energy industries are trying to turn them off, lol.

  43. Oldfarmermac says:

    The judge handling this little affair was appointed by Bill Clinton.

    Then there is this little thing over at fact check dot org that says Sanders is “false” about family incomes being stagnant, and worse than stagnant. They are TECHNICALLY accurate, in that they just list after tax dollar amounts in their chart, but they don’t mention the effects of inflation on purchasing power over a period of thirty five years. If they are using inflation adjusted figures, I will be red faced of course, but I don’t think so.

    Nor do they mention that “after tax income” is generally understood to mean BEFORE AFTER SALES AND USE TAXES, which have been put in place and increased substantially in most places over the same time period. Considering this additional tax burden on low income folks makes their case look even worse.

    Sanders told it like it is.

  44. wharf rat says:

    Besieged by the Fires of Denial — Fort McMurray Blaze Grows to Overwhelm Anzac, Shuts off 640,000 Barrels per Day of Tar Sands Production

  45. GoneFishing says:

    Big companies selling their coal mines while possibly dodging costly rehabilitation mandates.

    “It speaks volumes about the challenges facing the coal industry when most of the established players seek to exit while the value of their assets are depressed.

    Prices for thermal and coking coal have been falling for five years, and by the end of 2015 about 65 per cent of the world’s coal mines were loss-making.

    With debt challenges and climate-conscious shareholders pushing them to reduce their fossil fuel exposure, the big corporate miners decided to bite the bullet; Anglo American, Rio Tinto, Peabody Energy and Brazilian miner Vale moved to liquidate their Australian coal portfolios”

    Read more:

  46. islandboy says:

    US Wind industry marks strongest Q1 for installations since 2012

    Wind energy provided 4.7% of U.S. electricity in 2015, the most of any non-hydro renewable resource, according to the U.S. Energy Information As.sociation, and renewables met 13.7% of the nation’s electricity demand.

    Wind also led new capacity for 2015, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, clocking in at 41%. Solar was second at 28.5%, and natural gas was third at 28.1%.

    The wind industry could double its capacity to meet 10% of U.S. electricity demand by 2020 and then double it again to meet 20% of demand in 2030, according to the 2015 Department of Energy Wind Vision report.

    Well that’s one forecast for 2030. Sometime ago, I put together a spreadsheet to forecast the contribution of wind and solar to electricity generation under various growth scenarios. I adjusted the variables to get wind from 4.7 to 10 percent by 2020 and 20% by 2030, with solar going from 1 to 5 percent by 2030 and 20% by 2030. My guess is that a contribution of 40% from wind and solar to the electricity generation mix in the US by 2030 is certainly possible. If other renewables grow as well, the total contribution from renewables could well be more than 50%. If by then, the US is still getting 10% of it’s electricity from nuclear, the contribution form coal and gas will have to fall to less than 40%.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      It just about blows me away to think I might actually live to see fifty percent of my grid sourced juice coming from renewable sources and see a half the new cars in dealership showrooms come with electric motors instead of IC engines.

      By then the cars themselves will be numerous enough to serve as a gigantic dispersed load balancing system, storing up “excess” wind and solar power enough to save burning a lot of coal and gas when the sun and wind fail to cooperate.

    • JN2 says:

      islandboy, my calcs show that solar + wind will be 50+% of global electricity by 2028. Assumes global demand growing by almost 2% per year, solar CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 35% and wind CAGR of 15%. These rates are not guaranteed however…

  47. Oldfarmermac says:

    It’s too damned bad THIS scandal won’t be going to trial before the election.

    There is an EXCELLENT chance right now that the R party will break up into factions unable to work together due to Trump getting the nomination. In the end this might be good for the party, in the same sense that having a near fatal heart accident occasionally motivates a drunk to give up the booze, or it might be the end of two party politics in America. We may wind up with two right of the center parties.

    In the short term, the “new” conventional wisdom is that Trump is a disaster for the R party, just as OCARE was a short term disaster for the D party. The D party paid dearly in terms of congressional seats, but in the LONG run, there is virtually no doubt at all that OCARE will be recognized as a huge winner for the D party.

    But the old rules don’t necessarily apply any more. A year ago , I would have bet the farm against a case of cheap beer that Trump would never win the R nomination, and virtually every D I know would have bet ten to one at least that HRC would get her long delayed coronation as the D nominee.

    For the first time in decades, I was not only wrong in reading the political chicken entrails, but so wrong I still can’t quite believe it when it comes to Trump.

    Sanders only surprises me because he IS the upstart nominee, the outsider threatening to upset the D party machine apple cart.

    Obama coming out of nowhere primed me for the possibility of a second such surprise. But I would have bet on just about any well nationally well known D politician being the upstart rather than Sanders.

    Times have changed, and both Sanders and Trump have made fools so far out of virtually everybody, in terms of out performing.

    And just as the R party may be ready to split into two parties , there is a significant chance that the D party will split as well. A few of my older D friends from all the way back to the Dark Days think this is a real possibility. It’s no longer out of the question that we might soon have a true multiparty political system in the USA, similar to the system that prevails in Western European countries.

    The current day version of the D and R parties are WAY too much like too peas in a pod when it comes to some critical issues, as I see it. Both parties are pretty much operating as wholly owned subsidiaries of Wall Street when it comes to who pulls the strings.

    If the D’s split, the two new parties will see virtually eye to eye on civil rights and the issues closely related politically, such as abortion rights, etc, which is good, and bodes well for continued progress on those issues. There will be general agreement on environmental policies and law as well, also good and also boding well for the future.I foresee infighting mostly being limited to control of the economic policies of the party. A lot of blood might flow when it comes down to regulation of banks and large industries, and who pays how much tax for what purpose.

    It’s too early for me to say what the two new R parties might agree on without bloody infighting. So far as I can see right now, “NOT MUCH” is the answer,except low taxes.

    That issue won’t hold the two factions together very well, or very long, because old farts who believe in playing by the old rules, my generation of foot soldier republican voters, is fast headed for the cemeteries and incinerators. The time when you could count on working hard and getting ahead just by working hard and living modestly is just about GONE.

    Some people believe religion will continue to serve as social right wing glue, and it will, but to a lesser extent every year from here on out in my opinion. I have been in many churches, and talk to people from other parts of the country who have been in a lot of churches, and churches these days are places kids are seen mostly only on the days they are there to observe the rituals associated with friends and family departing this old vale of tears. The old republican coalition will die of natural of natural causes of the demographic and economic sort within another ten years, fifteen at the most. By then ninety percent of the boomers still around will be dependent on government handouts, mostly in the form of health care, in order to live.

    But it is NOT YET DEAD, and not so far gone it is safe to ASSUME it will LOSE on the national level this election cycle or the next one or two after that.

    The younger generation of D voters senses in its collective heart and soul that it is time for REAL change, and in they see that change embodied in Sanders rather than Clinton, who to them is just one more BAU politician.

    The younger R party types are mad as hell, but they don’t yet know what they want, except that it is NOT what the R establishment has thrown to them like scraps fed to dogs. They do know they don’t want another BUSH or another CLINTON. The door is open for them to move hard left, if the opening is handled diplomatically.

    I have converted a couple of the ones on the lowest rungs into socialists already , lol, by quietly pointing out that the real reason they have to spend from a day to a weeks take home pay to get into a dentist’s office for less than an hour is due to the R party fixing it that way, in essence fucking them over for the sake of the medical and pharma industries. You don’t win people over in this sort of situation by confrontation, but by gradually introducing them to the pertinent facts and letting them draw the conclusions themselves.

    They don’t want to pay another dime in gasoline taxes to keep the roads up better, but it pisses them off when they find out that airlines pay no fuel taxes at all, because they know damned well people in their economic boots never fly, unless they are wearing uniforms.

  48. Oldfarmermac says:

    There is a very real possibility we could lose a couple of staple foods within the next couple of decades.

    It’s scary as hell when you start looking thru the environmental news.

    If I were Sky Daddy, all the people dealing commercially in exotic species, whether for pets, or for ornamental gardens, etc, would be out of business in very short order. I might offer them a few bucks to live on while they learn a new business, and I might not. Virtually all of them know what they are putting at risk, excepting the nincompoops that run retail stores.

    They can run some other sort of store.

  49. R Walter says:

    What a world we live in anymore.

    The left uses leftist propaganda to brainwash the Great Unwashed, the right wing fools and their right wing propaganda brainwashed the Great Unwashed even more. A brainwashed nation, a ship of fools. har

    A lot of hate is the result.

    “I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally. ” – W.C. Fields

    Laughter is the best medicine.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Every body ought to read WC Fields, he is one of our best comedian philosophers, a man who buried bury many a file of truth in cakes presented to the prisoners of the intellectual mob that passes for our cultural leadership.

      Now for a little more politicing.

      “The majority of voters are motivated by contempt for the opposite party’s nominee, not love for their own candidate, according to a new survey.

      A Reuters/Ipsos online poll finds that 46% of voters who would support Clinton in a head-to-head matchup against Trump say they are primarily backing her because they don’t want to see the business mogul become President, compared to 43% who say they agree with most of Clinton’s political positions. Similarly, 47% of voters who plan to back Trump say they’re doing so because they don’t want Clinton in the White House, compared to 40% who agree with most of Trump’s positions.

      Voters on both sides also overwhelmingly dislike their favored candidate. Only 6% of Trump supporters said they like the business mogul personally, and just 11% said the same for Clinton.

      “This phenomenon is called negative partisanship,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, in an interview with Reuters. “If we were trying to maximize the effect, we couldn’t have found better nominees than Trump and Clinton.”

      The poll also finds Clinton beating out Trump if the 2016 election were held today, with the former Secretary of state receiving about 40% support, Trump taking 32% and 27% declining to commit their support to either candidate. The poll was conducted April 29 through May 5, polling 469 likely Trump voters and 599 likely Clinton voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.”

      I am not acquainted with this “Ipsos” outfit, but Reuters is a reputable organization.

      Read this and think, if you haven’t made up your mind. Nobody actually HATES Sanders. Everybody who will vote AGAINST Trump will turn out for Sanders, if he pulls of the miracle.

      On the other hand, out of all the people who will bestir themselves to vote AGAINST Clinton, quite a lot of them will stay home, if she is not heading up the D ticket.

      • Nathanael says:

        This is one of the weirdest elections in my lifetime and a demonstration that our election system is no good. We have two hated candidates, Clinton and Trump, competing to see who is more hated.

        If an readers haven’t voted yet, vote Sanders to avoid this scenario.

  50. Oldfarmermac says:

    ” When respondents in our NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll were asked whether they would cast a vote for Trump or either of the Democratic candidates still in the race, Sanders is the favorite over Trump by 13 points.

    Clinton also beats Trump, but the race is decidedly closer — 49 percent to 44 percent. These results are according to the latest from the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll conducted online from May 2 through May 8 of 12,714 adults including 11,089 registered voters.”

    Things can go wrong for any politician, but the odds of things going badly wrong for Clinton and Trump are MUCH worse than the odds of things going wrong for Sanders, because he isn’t loaded up with baggage,and damned few people actually hate his guts.

    The fat lady is in the wings, but she is not yet on stage singing.

  51. Oldfarmermac says:


    The Quinnipiac University Poll tested a Clinton-Trump match-up in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The two were close in every state, with Trump even edging Clinton in Ohio, 43-39 percent.

    In Florida, Clinton led Trump 43-42 percent. The Democratic primary front-runner held the same 1-point edge in Pennsylvania as well.

    “Six months from Election Day, the presidential races between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the three most crucial states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, are too close to call,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, said in a statement, also noting that Trump at this point is doing better in Pennsylvania than the GOP nominees in 2008 and 2012.

    The polling is still just a snapshot. Most national polls continue to show Clinton leading Trump in a general election match-up, and the overall electoral map is widely thought to favor Democrats in November.”

    I want a Democrat in the WH next year. Sanders is more likely to win in the actual election if he can get the nomination.

  52. The insufferable climate scientist Judith Curry is presenting a webinar on climate change to the Society of Petroleum Engineers

    Climate change is a popular topic in today’s society. It is difficult to go a day without hearing something about it in the media. Let’s take the emotions out of the equation and learn from the world renowned scientist, Dr. Judith Curry, about the science behind climate change.

    We will come away from this webinar with a better understanding of the following:

    • the history of climate and climate science
    • the facts, fiction, and the unsettled aspects of climate science
    • key climate studies
    • recent developments
    • influence humans and the petroleum industry have to impact the climate

    I guarantee that anyone that attends this event will get dumber afterwards.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      I was going to watch, but you have to join up to see it.

      If you want to expose such people for what they are, the best way to do it is to catch them saying things that are demonstrably false or at least misleading, and quote them as often as possible in other forums.

      • “If you want to expose such people for what they are, the best way to do it is to catch them saying things that are demonstrably false or at least misleading, and quote them as often as possible in other forums.”

        I do that all the time with Judith Curry. She once made an embarrassing blunder in applying Bose-Einstein statistics to atmospheric physics. I have mentioned it so many times on various climate forums that I get scolded for it 🙂

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          I lack expertise to catch her out at that level, but if the show had been free, I would have found experts who caught her out and posted their refutations all over the internet.

          Here is hoping to see you posting here more often.

  53. Oldfarmermac says:

    Sanders wins West Virginia.

  54. Oldfarmermac says:

    From Yahoo Finance

    “As a Democrat, Clinton bears association with the relentless bank bashing of Sanders, her rival and tormentor. And she has in fact moved leftward on some economic policies, such as her shift away from free trade. But Clinton has spelled out fairly modest financial reforms she would seek as president, whereas Sanders would carve up the big banks, as everybody knows. And Republican Donald Trump has rattled financiers with jarring proposals such as sharp new tariffs on imports and a partial default on U.S. debt, while also expressing animosity toward hedge funds for the relatively low taxes they pay.

    Those views unnerve investors, which could make Clinton the devil Wall Street knows and prefers. “As a Wall Street guy, I’m quite comfortable with her approach toward Wall Street,” Steve Rattner, chairman of Willett Advisors, says in the video above. “She would be good in the sense that she would take a more thoughtful approach [than Trump].”

    Rattner, who helped run the Obama administration’s auto bailout in 2009, is a Democrat who supports Clinton, but many other financiers seem to agree with him. Clinton has snagged 70% of the money donated by employees of the nation’s six biggest banks, for instance, and the finance industry has given more than $26 million to Clinton’s main super PAC, Priorities USA Action – more than any other industry.

    Sanders and other Clinton critics charge that the former senator and Secretary of State is too close to Wall Street firms, which paid her nearly $4 million for speeches between 2013 and 2015. And she has long enjoyed the support of big Wall Street donors such as George Soros, David E. Shaw and James Simons.

  55. Oldfarmermac says:

    For you Caelan,

    Changing times and circumstances and COMPETITION happened to the dinosaurs, of course.

    And changing times and circumstances and COMPETITION happened to your dream land society wherein people lived without technology, without government, without hierarchical power structures governing our behavior. The bigger groups have coalesced to to dominate the smaller groups until the planet is controlled by nation states. Of course certain groups WITHIN these nation states possess substantial power, and rule over other less fortunate groups.

    BUT the top of the heap is a slippery place, and even kings and royal families eventually get their asses kicked off the top.

    There are maybe a few dozen small tribes of people still living who use hardly any technology at all , beyond fire, a few primitive hand tools, and WEAPONS.

    And you know WHAT?

    In such a society, the strongest man generally has things arranged mostly to suit himself, just like the alpha male in a band of chimpanzees. If he gets TOO nasty, the next three or four highest ranking males get together and give him a good thorough ass kicking, with the result that a NEW alpha leader emerges.

    Such a leader would deal with YOU , if you were LUCKY, by merely slapping you around, and if that didn’t work, by exiling you, and if you came back, by murdering you.

    If somebody could find a half a dozen men and women who think the way you do, and the lot of you were dropped onto a tropical island paradise, with food free for the gathering, and no need of clothing or shelter, one of you would be bossing the rest around in two weeks.

    Caelan, you are utterly hopeless. You might as well get yourself a KJB and stand on a soap box on a street corner.

    A street corner preacher occasionally runs across somebody ignorant enough , or desperate enough, to take him seriously.

    You do raise an interesting point, once in a while.

    But to the best of my memory, you have NEVER posted a single useful suggestion as to how we as a society or a species might do anything to solve our problems.

    I have FORGOTTEN more about the nature of the beast known as mankind than you will ever learn if you live to be a thousand years old, because you have made your mind up to DENY any and all OBJECTIVE evidence.

    The thing about the world being a Darwinian place that non Darwinian thinkers don’t GET, that they CANNOT comprehend, is that evolution in principle is not concerned with any sort of morality. Evolution is not an intellectual entity, a GOD , if you choose to express it that way. It’s a non living, non thinking, non judgemental mathematical phenomemon , that keeps score by way of the winners surviving and reproducing. The score card is the fossil record.

    Now there IS such a thing as EVOLVED cooperation, and evolutionary psychology is an off shoot of the BASIC theory.

    Cooperation rules, and we will never go back to living as single nuclear families. We never DID anyway.

    I doubt if you even READ half the bullshit you post.

    Now I have gotten in my typing practice, and I get faster every day, lol.

    Anybody who aspires to write a book will do well to learn the Dvorak keyboard.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      I wonder if much of the wordiness and content of some technology-mediated commentary can be equated to chests that deliberately puff out and/or get thumped, or like the backs of cats that arch and fluff up their fur. It’s a natural adaptation of course.

      Dinosaurs were the apex and nature decided to intervene and look what happened. Birds?
      We might have remained as little mice-like creatures otherwise. But so what. That’s an adaptation too.
      But now we’re the new ‘dinosaurs’– a scale that threatens our very survival as a species– thanks in large part to our capacity for symbolism and technology, which includes large-scale industrial operations and large-scale centralized social technology we call the ‘government’ or the ‘deep state’…

      It appears to be a survival paradox, and I have written about it before, including in Permaea’s manifesto.

      “Anybody who aspires to write a book will do well to learn the Dvorak keyboard.” ~ Oldfarmermac

      There are many different options/adaptations in this regard, and it helps to illustrate my point about adaptation:
      Earlier today, I caught James Howard Kunstler on The Keiser Report, via Longtimber’s recent post about it. In it, James talks about the ‘deep state’ and about a new way to potentially make money through writing, called Patreon. At the same time, voice recognition and AI are at the point now where typing may not always be necessary.

      In any case, nature doesn’t bother about the limited ways in which some people think about it. And I’m part of nature, as are you, and we affect it and it affects us…

      Free Kittens

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        evolution in principle is not concerned with any sort of morality. Evolution is not an intellectual entity, a GOD , if you choose to express it that way. It’s a non living, non thinking, non judgemental mathematical phenomemon , that keeps score by way of the winners surviving and reproducing. The score card is the fossil record.” ~ Oldfarmermac

        Then why are we, as conscious entities, talking about it?
        Does the universe drive evolution?
        Can the universe be conscious?
        Do notions of what we call, ‘morality’ stem from consciousness, (from evolutionary pressures)?
        If morality exists, then it would appear to be part of the math too.
        It may not ‘look’ like morality from a mathematical standpoint, but then, ‘beauty’, say, may not look like beauty either.

        “Species move from competition to cooperation because they discover the economic value of cooperating. It is cheaper, more efficient… All you have to do is look at our pentagon budget and see that a tiny fraction of it would really develop countries that we’ve been levelling instead… Very much more cost-effective to make friends of them than it is to keep them as enemies.” ~ Elizabet Sahtouris, evolutionary biology

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Morality certainly exists. Morality is an EVOLVED behavioral system that contributes in a positive fashion to the survival of those that practice it.
          Morals and cooperation are very much the same thing in many respects. Those that cooperate, whether a wolf pack or a group of men, are more apt to reproduce successfully.

          Many so called “lower” species practice behaviors that indicate either the possession of rudimentary morals, or the EMERGENCE of rudimentary morals.

          You quote an evolutionary biologist who knows her stuff.


          It is truly a desirable agenda, no doubt, but it has nothing to do, intrinsically, with evolutionary biology.

          If we could ask her, she would readily agree that evolution is a random process that results in many many times more ” bad” outcomes than good ones. The process is blind, and there is nobody and nothing guiding it. There are thousands of times more EXTINCT species than there are SURVIVING species.

          Bottom line in this particular case, if we bomb OUR COLLECTIVE SELVES into the fossil record, with no survivors, as far as evolution is concerned, it’s just one more shuffling of the cards, one that didn’t work out for US NAKED APES, but one that WOULD work out quite well for many other species that would survive and move into lots of empty ecological niches. Cockroaches and rats would probably do VERY well in a post nuclear war world, lol.

          COUNTLESS species will survive even if we totally expend all the munitions in existence from pistols to nuclear bombs and release every sort of artificial plague we might create in laboratories. It might be a few tens of millions of years though, before large animals evolve again, lol.

          If the “experiment” runs enough times, cooperation generally wins out. But in the short term, in the case of ONE run of the “experiment” randomness prevails.

          Warfare can be a VERY successful survival strategy, which is why it has played such a prominent part in our history as far back as we HAVE history. I am a Scots Irish guy mostly descended from Vikings who colonized my last for sure known ancestral homeland close a thousand years ago in round numbers. My more immediate ancestors invaded and colonized the corner of North America where I live today.

          At some point in time, some other variation of naked ape will colonize my little corner of the world, and absorb or drive out or kill my descendants.

          MOTHER NATURE is not an ENTITY with an INTELLECT, and is incapable of giving a damn what sort of naked ape lives or dies in any particular spot.
          In terms of evolutionary science, there is NOBODY and NOTHING out there to give a damn whether our SPECIES survives another year, or another million years, or forever.

          Now is it possible that we can work together on the super grand planetary scale?

          Sure. Maybe one day we will have an effective one world government. If we do, I fear the people who control it will use the ones of us near the bottom of the heap more like domesticated animals than otherwise. I HOPE for better results, of course.

  56. Oldfarmermac says:

    If an R politician pulled this trick, he or she would have been laughed off the national stage ages ago.

    If an R politician took three quarters of a million bucks for three speeches to Goldman Sachs, every D friend of mine would be screaming for his head.

    I am NOT a REPUBLICAN, but more so a sort of populist with libertarian tendencies, and I believe in government BY the people, which means government NOT bought and paid for by Wall Street.

    Go Sanders!

  57. Nathanael says:

    Both at once. Demographic transition worldwide — cheap solar and wind — electric cars — batteries….

    …but also massive coastal flooding, fishery collapses, wildfires, food shortages, and resulting wars.

    Also collapses of governments. Peacefully where the system allows it (Spain and Italy are already transitioning), violently where the system does not allow it.

    Like I say, both at once. Energy will get cheap and food will get expensive. There will be fewer people and women will be a lot happier, but governments will collapse and there will be a lot of refugees…

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