Live Blog: New Orleans Investment Conference

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  • Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - 09:41am

    #31
    Chris Martenson

    Chris Martenson

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    It was seriously cool

[quote=Sharsta]

Is this the exhibition you saw?

It looks seriously cool!

http://www.deutsches-museum.de/en/exhibitions/special-exhibitions/energiewenden/

[/quote]

First I was impressed that they were having it at all.  They had me at the intro (emphasis mine):

The energy turnaround is one of the most urgent issues of our time. How can the aims of ecology, profitability and social justice be reconciled? The "energie.wenden" exhibition offers background knowledge and lets visitors gain a sense of the stumbling blocks en route to a sustainable energy supply through games and activities.

The 10 exhibition areas explore such topics as solar, hydroelectric and wind energy as well as mobility and nuclear energy. There have been several big energy transitions in the course of history that introduced new energy sources such as coal and oil as well as far-reaching changes around the world.

Today most of our energy comes from fossil-based resources. Because they will run out one day, however, and the emissions they release promote climate change, people hope to do without them in the future. But how will that be possible?

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a game in which visitors are invited to step onto the "political dancefloor" and into the central exhibition space. There they encounter big screens with key figures in the energy turnaround played by actors.

Everyone is there: from the nuclear power lobbyist and the farmer to a woman involved in building hydroelectric plants and a technician who works on the electric power network. Visitors will try to sort out the slogans and arguments and decide what kind of energy turnaround they want.

Can you imagine any publicly funded entity in the US declaring that fossil fuels will "someday run out?"  Not a chance.  They'd be defunded, fired or demoted within the week.

Land of the free and all that…

Second, the exhibit noted the challenges in terms of time, scale and cost and posed to people that NIMBY just wasn't an option anymore.  I thought they did a good job of expressing the problems and predicaments in a way that could nudge public opinion towards the reality of the circumstances.

Third, in Germany people are far more connected to nature than in the US.  Obesity is very rare here, people are out jogging and walking all the time, and I could travel enormous distances via 'greenways' which were bicycle and walking paths that had generous natural buffers on either side….it really felt like I was in a healthy forest most of the way.

The main river through this part of Munich, the Isar, shocked me when I looked into it from the bridge over the main part of downtown…I could easily see the bottom.  Clear and clean.

What I take from this is that Germans are very interested in balancing all the aspects of energy production as they stated; ecology, profitability and social justice balanced.  I.e. "Environment, Economy, and Fairness."  I could get behind such an approach.

Finally, the museum was really fun for me because they had so much from the early years.  Seeing the pictures of Siemans, Joule and others in their labs, using devices that seemed wholly inadequate doing things that were so precise today we are just filling in numbers ten or more decimal places to the right. 

Really inspiring.  Humans are clever.  Let's hope we're not too-clever-by-half.

Can we be clever enough to not only extract the resources that allow us to expand but also clever enough to stop expanding when it's time. 

P.S.  It's time. 

  • Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - 09:53am

    #32
    Chris Martenson

    Chris Martenson

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    This was the sort of thing I spent time admiring

Here's a gigantic electric DC motor.  I don't know why such things fascinate me, but they do.  

This thing was about as tall as me, and I might point out there's not a lot of additional sophistication or efficiency contained within a Tesla motor today.

This thing consumed 88kW and was built in 1893.  Just a monster.  

There was an enormous hall filled with such devices and you could wander around and touch them.

Also fo note, I went to an electricity demonstration where two museum workers were busy sending gigantic bolts of electricity arcing through the air and touching off gigantic capacitors that simply exploded to ground.  A huge noise, very, very loud happened and they warned you to put your fingers in your ears as protection.

The place was packed and children as young as 2 were sitting on their parent's shoulders putting their own fingers in their ears.  As an American, I could not believe it.  In the USA one of two things would have been true: (1) the demonstrations would not have been held because the noise could have harmed or disturbed someone or (2) there would have been special hearing protectors provided.

In Germany?  Nein.  Just plug your ears and we're good, right?

I loved it.  I felt free again in some way…as if I/we were being trusted to not be idiots and take care of ourselves.  

After so many years of being considered and treated like an idiot, how does one not actually begin to absorb that message?    This is where cultural capital comes in.  A people born and bred and treated like idiots are going to be especially useless in a crisis as they wait for the rescue that never comes, while failing to activate their own vestigial critical thinking abilities.  Use it or lose it.  I wonder how much has been lost to such coddling?

 

  • Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - 01:39pm

    #33

    Quercus bicolor

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    Just plug your ears … Just put on a rain jacket.

Last Sunday from 12-4 PM, I led the 4th session of a program that helps 8-12 year old children feel more confident in the woods.  Here in Eastern New York, a significant rain event was forecasted and as usual, the weather forecasts were hyped up to make it sound quite a bit more like Noah's flood than they needed to.  The biggest problem is that the emotional hit from the overhyping prevented people from getting the key messages that there would be only light to moderate rain before 4 PM and that the temperature would be 60-65°F (15-18°C)!  A good or even not so good rain coat and your child is in business, especially on this land with about 30 covered pavilions scattered through the woods.

Even so, 5 of the 12 children did not show up.  One girl had been out running cross country practice all morning and had just had enough of being wet – I can identify with that.  The other 4 were kept home because of their parents fears including one of my most enthusiastic students.  

Needless to say, we had a great time learning how to build good fires in the rain and playing an awesome game called "Chickadee" where most of the kids roam about 10 acres trying to find hidden pieces of "food" to bring back to their nest while they are hunted by "Coopers Hawks" – the world's most effective songbird predator. I posted a bunch of pictures online to show parents how much fun we had – and yes, we got somewhat wet, but nobody got cold and nobody melted like the Wicked Witch of the West did in the Wizard of Oz.

See photos here.

  • Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - 05:29pm

    #34

    sand_puppy

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    Warning: Hot Coffee Can Be Hot

It seems there are two sides of the single coin of not thinking for yourself:

1.  Assumption:  You are not able to realize that standing on the edge of a cliff puts you at risk for falling unless a sign tells you that.

2.  You are not permitted to use your own common sense.  You are expected to defer to the opinion of experts who will guide you the the "right" conclusions.  

A.  If a medication causes severe diarrhea and you continue to take it day after day with ongoing disabling diarrhea causing dehydration and electrolyte depletion until you die–it is NOT your fault.  The doctor should have warned you to stop taking the medicine if you got diarrhea.

B.  If an authority tells you that a building's collapse was due to a fire (though little fire is seen) and that it  progressively spreads from one edge to the other in a 13 second duration progressive wave of collapse (even though you can see that all 4 corners of the building fell at the same moment) you are not permitted to honor your own understanding.  You must defer to the authority (who is MUCH smarter than you).

C.  If neonic pesticides are found to be killing bees on multiple scientific studies, you should not believe that this is true until the "proper authorities" tell you that this is true.

You are not required to think.

You are not permitted to think.

Two sides of the same coin.

Enter the era of the scientist for hire.

  • Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - 06:12pm

    #35
    Grover

    Grover

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    Refugees in Germany

Chris,

Shifting gears somewhat … did you get a feel from the locals about how the refugee situation is playing out? Any thoughts?

Grover

  • Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - 08:18pm

    #36
    Chris Martenson

    Chris Martenson

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    Re: Refugees in Germany

[quote=Grover]

Chris,

Shifting gears somewhat … did you get a feel from the locals about how the refugee situation is playing out? Any thoughts?

Grover

[/quote]

Yes, I asked this question everywhere I went.   The short version of the answers I got was that people could not decide if the authorities were really that dumb or really actually trying to destroy the country.

In Germany culture and history are very important and everywhere in sight.  Such things are not taken lightly.

Now, keep in mind I was at a gold conference where the crowd probably runs a bit more on the conservative/libertarian side of things, but I did ask a few shopkeepers one of whom gave me the exact sort of expletive and scatologically oriented tirade I was most hoping to experience. 

Same as somebody going to NYC wanting to see the Statue of Liberty.   A local experience not to be missed!  🙂

One person told me under hushed breath that the #1 name of males born in France right now is Mohammed.  The common concern is that the new refugees seem not the slightest bit interested in adopting the culture of their new home.  

I know that's a generalization, just reporting what I heard.

It's a really big deal and with the first economic downturn you can bet that pot will boil all the more briskly.

  • Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - 04:52am

    #37
    Grover

    Grover

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    Heads – We Lose; Tails – We Lose

Thanks for the on-the-ground report, Chris. Your words confirm my suspicions. I wish we could trust the media to report accurately, but they owe their access to power by appeasing those in power. They have to spin everything accordingly. We just don't get the real story. Sadly, I no longer expect them to deliver the real story. About the only thing I trust the MSM to deliver is the weather forecast. Even then, it rarely meets their predictions.

I don't want to be anti Muslim, anti Jew, anti Christian, or anti Atheist. I just want the real story so I can make up my own mind. Even with the limited amount of slanted reporting, I simply can't see how "inviting" all these refugees is going to turn out good for Europe. It's a match made in Hell.

Grover

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