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    Running Out Of Room

    No energy = no goods and services = no economy
    by Chris Martenson

    Thursday, November 2, 2017, 12:02 AM

This article ran earlier to PeakProsperity.com's premium subscribers. Many of them have requested we share it with a wider audience.

Given that feedback and since Chris in Munich, Germany right now presenting on a related topic, we are making the below report available to the general public.

The idea of an 'industrial economy' is an extremely recent human invention. And we’ve staked quite a lot on its continuation.

But it faces a massive predicament: It’s running out of resources.

When talking about the “economy”, we're really referring to the flow of goods and services — which are themselves entirely dependent on energy. No energy = no goods and services = no economy. It’s really that simple.

So to track where we are in this story, put on your ‘energy goggles’. If you do, you can discover quite a lot.

Examples of our increasing use of energy to extract primary resources are all around you, if you know where to look. Most folks, though, willfully distract, if not delude, themselves with faith in our technological triumphs, so they remain blind to the evidence — even when it's right in front of their faces.

One indication of increasing energy use is exemplified in the very recent practice of drilling 5-mile long oil wells into source rocks, then performing 100-stage frack jobs that consume up to 50 million pounds of sand and 16 million gallons of water (per job!). This is the essence of the shale oil revolution.

Some see it as a technological marvel; others, as a sign of severe desperation. The media will only ever dutifully tell you the technological marvel side of the story. And while it is a marvel, that's only half the story.

More examples come to us from the world of hard rock mining. Where humans high-graded all the easy, nearby, high-yield ores during the first decades of the industrial revolution, the last few decades are clear examples of increasingly desperate efforts to go after the increasingly dilute residuals that remain.

Again, many of these new mining efforts are both testament to advancing technology and skills, as well as condemnation that the primary inputs for our economic machine are in increasingly short supply.

As mentioned, the media already does a fantastic job telling us about how wonderfully advanced all of these efforts are, so we’ll skip over that side of the story. Rather, this report will help you focus on understanding what these efforts actually represent in terms of where we are in the industrial story, which is really a tale of pursuing infinite exponential growth on a planet of finite resources.

We don’t do this to be sticks in the mud. But because every single stock and bond, as well as our entire collective economic future, is committed to the belief that economic limits will never appear, a reality-based counterpoint is badly needed. We think those limits to growth are already here, and are staring us right in the face once we know where and how to look for them.

If perpetual economic growth isn't possible, then the entire construct of debt-based money will eventually implode. Pensions will not be serviced, and involuntary simplicity will visit economies and cultures alike.

And if our math is correct, it’s already too late to avoid these events. like Wile E. Coyote, all of our hopes and dreams are suspended in mid-air, now too far from the cliff’s edge to scrabble back to safety.

Keeping Your Eye On The Ball

The hard truth is that, after just a few hundred years of intensive exponential economic growth fueled by the industrial revolution’s greatest achievement – unlocking fossil fuels to perform work for us – we are now scraping the bottom of the barrel.

As I noted in The Crash Course, additional resources are becoming harder to find and harder to get. They are more dilute, deeper and more distant. We quite predictably “high graded” the best resources decades (or centuries) ago, taking those that were easiest to get to, the most concentrated, and the most economic.

Once those were gone, we moved on to the harder-to-get to resources.

And now?

Now we’re at that awkward part of the story where rational people really ought to be asking some difficult questions besides Can we do this? Now we likely should also be asking Why are we doing this? And What is today's scarcity tell us about tomorrow? And perhaps, Should we even be doing this?

Today’s textbook-perfect example of a project that really ought to provoke some serious inner questioning comes to us courtesy of the WSJ, reporting on the massive Rio Tinto project known as the Resolution Copper Project near Superior Arizona.

As you read this, please set aside the technical brilliance of what’s being proposed, and think instead about what such a project implies about Where we are in the story of perpetual economic growth. Are we closer to the beginning, the middle, or the end?

Mining a Mile Down: 175 Degrees, 600 Gallons of Water a Minute

Jun 7, 2017

SUPERIOR, Ariz.—One of the world’s largest untapped copper deposits sits 7,000 feet below the Earth’s surface. It is a lode that operator Rio Tinto wouldn’t have touched—until now.

Not that long ago, an abundance of high-grade copper could be mined out of shallower open pits. But as those deposits are depleted and high-grade copper becomes tougher to find, firms such as Rio have been compelled to mine deeper underground.

(Source)

Comment: This is just about as a clear as the writing on the wall can get: The high-grade stuff is gone. This is what’s left. It wouldn’t have even been considered perhaps a decade ago. Now it’s the best option left on the table.

A good question to ask here might be: So what will people be left to mine in 100 years? 50 years? 10 years?

Continuing on:

Advances in mining technology are making that possible—just as developments in oil and gas drilling heralded the fracking revolution. Now, using everything from sensors and data analytics to autonomous vehicles and climate-control systems, Rio aims to pull ore from more than a mile below ground, where temperatures can reach nearly 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Copper has just become a lot harder to get, and we’re relying on technology to keep dealing with that decline in grade,” said Craig Stegman, Rio’s vice president for operational and technical support for copper and diamonds.

Comment: “Copper has just become a lot harder to get.” That’s code speak for “Copper is now a lot more energy-intensive to get.” Consider the energy costs involved in cooling shafts in the deep earth from 175 degrees down to 77 degrees.

Just for kicks, here’s a handy steak preparedness chart to give us a sense of what 175 degrees means should the cooling systems fail for any reason:

So if the cooling shuts down and anybody gets trapped for an hour or more at 175 degrees, they will be very 'well done'.

Continuing on:

Most of the world’s copper is extracted from open pits at the Earth’s surface, according to the International Copper Study Group. Some mines are deeper than the Resolution mine, but this is Rio’s deepest underground mining project to date. While a deep underground block-cave mine costs much more to develop, Rio says it can match the operating costs per ton of ore of a surface mine, partly because it is so mechanized.

“Because Resolution is so deep and so hot, it’s really going to push the envelope of technology,” said Mary Poulton, professor emerita of mining and geological engineering at the University of Arizona.

A 15-minute elevator ride 6,943 feet down Resolution’s No. 10 mine shaft leads to a dimly lighted cavern where warm water falls from the rocks like rain. Electrical gear buzzes constantly, and a network of pipes pumps water out of the shaft at the rate of 600 gallons a minute. A ventilation system cools the area to 77 degrees.

Over the next few years, Rio plans to deploy tens of thousands of electronic sensors, as well as autonomous vehicles and complex ventilation systems, to help it bring 1.6 billion tons of ore to the surface over the more than 40-year projected life of the mine.

Comment: Now lets consider the additional required energy costs, including those needed to pump 600 gallons of water a minute up a vertical mile, and then haul the ore, ton by ton, up that same vertical mile.

That’s a lot of lifting!

So the mine being proposed here is more than a mile underground, wicked hot, flowing with 600 gallons of water a minute (my outdoor faucet can manage 5 gallons per minute, so that’s like 120 of my faucets running full blast all day, every day) that needs to not just be pumped back up to the surface, but then transported and disposed of elsewhere.

Now think about 1.6 billion tons of ore brought to the surface at a tremendous energy cost, which is then smashed and processed. Oh yes, and then the left-over tailings have to be disposed of…somewhere. Energy, energy, energy.

Again, this heroic effort is being proposed only because it is the best one left to prosecute. The engineers and executive staff at Rio Tinto know their business, and they've concluded there's no easier option left to pursue.

Doing The Math

So what’s actually involved here? Perhaps putting a few numbers to it might help us to get our arms around the scale and scope of the proposed project.

From Wikipedia:

Resolution Copper (RCM) is a joint venture owned by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton formed to develop and operate an underground copper mine near Superior, Arizona, U.S.

The project targets a deep-seated porphyry copper deposit located under the now inactive Magma Mine. Rio Tinto has reported an inferred resource of 1.624 billion tonnes containing 1.47 percent copper and 0.037 percent molybdenum at depths exceeding 1,300 metres (0.81 mi).

The proposed mine is one of the largest copper resources in North America. Following the passage of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, many Native American and conservation groups fear the copper mine will destroy sacred and environmentally sensitive land.

(Source)

These are huge numbers. So let’s start with the biggest. What might it cost in terms of energy to lift 1.624 billion tonnes from 1,300 meters deep?

Well, without any friction or other considerations, it takes 10 Joules of energy to lift 1 kilogram by 1 meter.

A tonne is 1,000 kilograms. So it takes 10,000 Joules to lift a tonne by a meter. Carrying on, it would take 10,000 times 1,300, or 13,000,000 Joules (13 Mega Joules or MJ), to lift 1 tonne of ore to the surface.

Let’s assume that friction and thermal waste cost you around 30%. So the total amount of Joules would be (13,000,000)/0.7 = 18.5 MJ.

Therefore, to lift all 1.624 billion tonnes would require a very large number of Joules: 2.97 * 10^16

And how much energy is that? Well, with a little conversion of MJ into barrels of oil, we discover that just a little over 5 million barrels of oil would be involved just in lifting the ore to the surface.

And for the water, the calculations turn into some 5,000 barrels of oil a year just to lift the water out. That doesn’t seem too ridiculous, but it’s not free either. That’s 5,000 barrels of oil that cannot be used to do something important like grow food, or build out the next energy infrastructure.

It’s being burned simply to keep water out of a mile-deep, super-hot hole in the ground.

I have no idea how much energy is required to cool the deep earth by roughly 100 degrees, but I'll bet it’s a lot. Further, we have no idea what will be done with the approximately 1.6 billion tonnes of mine waste. But if it’s anything like prior efforts, it will end up in a big pile somewhere leaching out awfulness into the surface water table for the next few hundred years.

Put it all together and even though it can be done, and Rio may make a profit doing it, we have to ask: Is this is the best use of that energy at this point in the human experiment?

Conclusion

The Resolution mine proposed by Rio Tinto is progressing because it's the company's the best option left. That tells us that we are now at the stage of chasing resources where going a mile down into the Earth makes sense.

Well, economic sense. But not energy sense.

Without massive energy inputs this mine doesn't happen. When copper came to us relatively easily and more inexpensively in the past, that’s the same thing as saying that it came to market requiring a lot less energy involved. That won't be the case going forward.

We should be asking at this point in the human experiment if it makes sense to be using our remaining energy in this way.

Sure, we can develop the Resolution mine project. But should we? Are there any different or better uses for that energy that might take precedence?

Further, if this is what’s required to keep the whole exponential industrial economic system going, why do so few people see projects like the Resolution mine as the curtain call for the entire project of economic growth?

Look, we all can easily calculate that eventually there are limits to our status quo pursuit of resources. There's only so much fish in the ocean, so much land on which to grow food, and so much non-renewable energy to cheaply exploit.

We all know this intellectually; and yet the idea that such limits might apply seems to most people to be a very distant or dismissable prospect.

But what are 5-mile long oil boreholes and mile-deep copper mines but clear-cut, incontrovertible evidence that we are on the difficult part of the extraction slope?

It’s not like engineers are dreaming up risky, expensive projects for fun. They are chasing what’s left.

If we can already see that we’re at the what’s left part of the story, it’s really not much of an intellectual leap to begin asking: What does the next part of the story look like?

In some respects, that’s easy. Growth will slow down for the simple reason that it’s far easier to grow 4% from a smaller base than from a larger one. It’s doubly hard to grow that 4% on a larger base if the resources required for that growth are more expensive, more dilute, deeper and vastly more energy-intensive than the similar resources that funded prior growth.

So growth will slow. It has to, mathematically.

The next part of the story is also easy to predict: eventually there won't be enough energy to do everything. We will have to begin deciding to do some things but not other things. How society triages that will be very interesting to watch.

Will we consciously jettison this over that? Or will we allow the vagaries of “market forces” to determine what gets shed along the way?

But the big part of this story is that the past 50 years have been entirely dominated by one key economic force: The growth of debt at TWICE the rate of the economy.

Compounding debt at 8% while the economy grew at 4% made sense only using a very narrow “logic” that assumed that, someday, rapid economic growth would magically arrive and bail us out from all that debt. It was a singular bet on growth.

Now it’s entirely obvious that bet is busted. But the urge to continue growing debt is now so thoroughly entrenched that it practically has a life of its own. Virtually every institution now depends on growth continuing the way it has been.

Central banks feverishly work to continue growing debt piles because that’s what they think has to be done. Why? Because that’s what was done during their lifetimes. It’s what they know.

So the remaining key question is: What happens to the world financial system and its mountains of debt if/when the required growth does not materialize? That’s easy, the debt piles implode.

Either through a process of inflation or deflation, those debts will be reduced. The only operative question remaining is Who’s going to eat the losses?

This is why you need to have the proper context for the story at hand. Where the media works 24/7 to laud the "technology is amazing" angle, you need to be aware that this obscures the even more important observation that the technology is there because we’re at a very delicate and new part of the story.

The bottom line is this: humans are now at the desperate phase of trying to keep the perpetual expansion model alive. These efforts are clearly failing, which we can detect in faltering ecosystems, slowing global growth, and immensely energy-intensive and environmentally-destructive efforts to get the remaining dregs out as fast as possible.

You can easily detect this desperation in the projects being proposed. Ask yourself what a human just 100 years ago would have thought if you’d pitched these ideas to them:

  • We can grow lettuce in metal boxes using LEDs near cities!
  • Scraping 10’s of thousands of acres of Canadian wilderness and then use hot water to scrape a waxy reside off of each grain of sand leaving behind a moonscape and systemically poisoned waters.
  • Drilling 5 miles and using huge amounts of water and toxic chemicals to create short-lived oil wells.
  • Mile deep holes in a hot spot to get at some 1.45 concentration copper ore.
  • Creating new, more powerful and more lethal pesticides and herbicides because the last round became a little less effective.

In closing, the fact that we can do all of these things is a testament to human ingenuity, and my role here is not to bash that side of the equation. Instead I'm here to provide some balance to that incessant cheerleading. As discussed here, there is a very important side of the story the media too often ignores.

As much as I try, I cannot gaze out over the next few decades without concluding that technology is simply prolonging the inevitable date with less that humanity will have to confront.

~ Chris Martenson

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69 Comments

  • Wed, Nov 01, 2017 - 6:38pm

    #1
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 525

    We all need to share our resources better!

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  • Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - 4:32am

    #2
    Geedard

    Geedard

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    Joined: Oct 13 2014

    Posts: 15

    + 0.25% BOE decision just out...and so it begins...

    And so it begins…the much anticipated (slow) race back up to the top…and all that that could mean…

    “BOE now out with their eagerly awaited decision 2 Nov

    • bank rate 0.5% vs 0.25% prev
    • QE unch at £435bln
    • corp bond target at 10bln
    • vote: 7-2
    • all members agree that any future increases in Bank Rate would be expected to be at a gradual pace and to a limited extent”

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  • Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - 7:18am

    #3
    Rodster

    Rodster

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    Posts: 30

    Thank You Chris !

    This article is just as eye popping as the one you did on the loss of Bees and what it means to our food supplies in the future and the damage we humans are doing to our biosphere.

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  • Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - 9:24am

    #4

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 202

    Taking the math a bit farther

    I’ll take this a bit farther Chris.  You were generous in assuming the ore as only 1300 m down.  The article implies it starts there.  It continues to 2100 m, so lets average that to 1700 m or about 25% more.  The ore will probably be moved to the surface with electricity.  Oil (or more likely the energy equivalent in natural gas or coal) is converted to electricity with 40% efficiency in the new more efficient power plants.  Even so, we need to multiply by 2.5, so your 5 million barrels of oil becomes 5M x 1.25 x 2.5 ~ 15.5 million barrels. 

    To look at whether renewable electricity could do this for us, let’s translate that to MW.  You got 3×10^16 joules.  My 25% adjustment gets us to 3.75×10^16 joules / 40 years (or 1.2 billion seconds or 1.2×10^9 seconds). That gets us about 3×10^7 W or 30 MW.  A solar power plant even in sunny Arizona averages about 25% of capacity because of night time and the low sun angle in the early morning and late afternoon.  So we would nee a 120 MW solar plant (probably 200 + with the ore transport, crushing, processing and disposal + maybe 2-3 MW continuous pumping and cooling).  And we would need to operate only when the sun was shining or have some big batteries.  The cost of that electricity just for the lifting, assuming $100/MW hour would be  $3000/hr * 8760 hours/year * 40 years or somewhat over a billion dollars (which agrees nicely with the $40/ton price in the next paragraph).

    1.624 billion tons at 1.47% gives us about 24 million tons of copper or just over 1.5 tons per barrel.  So the oil involved in lifting the ore only contributes about $30-$40 to the price of a ton of copper.  This explains why it’s economically viable right now.

    I wonder how much energy is involved in crushing the ore, transporting it to the smelter, smelting it and then disposing of the waste.  I bet this is about equivalent to the lifting energy.

    Of course, what happens when, in a few decades, the deep ore beds are down to a few tenths of a percent like they are on many currently mined surface deposits.  That changes everything by a factor of 5-7.

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  • Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - 2:00pm

    #5
    Goodsalt

    Goodsalt

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    Posts: 9

    Ethanol

    http://www.agriculture.com/news/business/dupont-is-selling-iowa-cellulosic-ethanol-facility

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  • Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - 2:06pm

    Reply to #2

    Pipyman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 24 2011

    Posts: 65

    Yes but what?

    My confetti is on a pathetic number of small increases before the next crash. Some kind of pretext will precede the crash to distract the masses from the simple fact that the economy cannot bare higher interest rates. Then, safe in the shadow of the “beast”, central banks around the world hold hands, sing Kumbya and promise to save us all with their mighty “bag of tools”. Low and behold, interest rates are rammed below 0%, and just as granny’s crushed head rears up from the road to see what flattened her……. the reverse lights come on.

     

    Thoughts? 

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  • Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - 2:12pm

    #6
    climber99

    climber99

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    Posts: 184

    We're in trouble

    We’re in trouble. I have just come across the following site that summarizes our collective denial well.

    https://un-denial.com/2017/01/06/you-know-you-are-in-trouble-when/

     
     

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  • Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - 3:39am

    #7

    GerrySM

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 20 2017

    Posts: 16

    Becoming irrelevant

    The careful avoidance of any mention of the key climate issue is starting to make this site a comical irrelevance.

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  • Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - 4:02am

    #8

    Olduvai.ca

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    Posts: 9

    Diminishing Returns

    After reading this I am reminded of Joseph Tainter’s basic premise in The Collapse of Complex Societies:
    -human societies are problem-solving organizations that require energy for their maintenance;
    -increased complexity carries with it increased costs per capita and investment in complexity as a problem-solving response often reaches a point of declining marginal returns;
    -humans tend to make use of the easier-to-acquire, -extract, -process, and -distribute resources first and shift to more costlier ones later with no greater returns;
    -as stressors increase, the costs associated with complexity increases over time while the benefits decline, initially at a gradual pace but then much more quickly 
    -the likelihood of collapse increases as excess production and/or surpluses are used to meet currents needs, leaving no reserves when a stress surge arises and this may result in a weakened state that makes society even more vulnerable to future stress;
    -once a society begins experiencing declining marginal returns, collapse becomes more likely and may just require the passage of time;
    -as return on investment in complexity declines, complexity becomes a less attractive option and sections of society opt out via separation or selecting less complex options (collapse, then, can be seen as an economic ‘choice’ that is not catastrophic but a return to ‘normal’ conditions of less complexity; much more chaotic and problematic for the ‘administrators’ of society than the majority of the population–if they can produce their own food);
    -significant increased costs occur late, just prior to collapse, for a population already experiencing declining marginal returns;
    -population tends to level off/decline, just prior to collapse, while the well-being of most declines;
    -areas are abandoned, perhaps due to environmental degradation and peripheral groups rise in prominence post-collapse.
     
    As I say to friends/family repeatedly: infinite growth on a finite planet, what could possibly go wrong?
     

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  • Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - 12:35pm

    Reply to #8
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

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    Posts: 365

    That's some list Climber99.

    That’s some list Climber99. It makes me so sad for us all and for our whole planet. I want to relish each moment of friendship and caring I’ve got left.

    Lest people loose heart completely I want to say there’s good evidence for past lives and hence future lives. I know this doesn’t solve the problem but maybe it allows more time and hope. 

    It sure is one good mystery.

    I’m also reminded of the Alcoholics Anonymous standby: one day at a time.  

    Come to think of it maybe more from the AA Handbook would be helpful? We are dependent on oil and stuff.

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  • Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - 1:11pm

    #9

    Stabu

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 97

    What if EROEI Doesn't Matter Much?

    I’m only partially playing devil’s advocate in here, but I’ve really started to wonder if one reason why things haven’t fallen apart as much yet is because EROEI matters less than it used to? Here’s my thinking: Let’s assume that current society needs 1,000 units of energy and it was previously getting it by burning 1,000 units of fossile fuels with an EROEI of 10 to 1. Therefore, society had to invest 100 units of energy to get the required 1,000 units (900 surplus). Let’s now say that EROEI drops to 5 to 1 and therefore society needs to invest 220 units of energy to get the required 1,100 units out (900 surplus). This would be a problem if it necessitated a doubling of the workforce for this pursuit, but with increased technology you now have robotic roughnecks and hence what really matters is to get to the right gross energy, regardless of how much energy invested it requires. Naturally there are some limits to this. If EROEI would drop to 2 to 1 we would need to invest 900 units to get the required 1,800 units out (900 surplus) etc., but as long as this doesn’t require increasing human capital we can technologically do this. This would then push our energy problem out in the future, unfortunately it would mean that when we’re done scraping the bottom of the barrel the collapse would be even more swift than otherwise. There are also some technical limits such as max flow rates of oil etc, but in theory I would say that the robotic revolution that we’re currently witnessing is reducing the importance of EROEI.

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  • Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - 10:13am

    #10

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 465

    What if EROEI Doesn’t Matter Much?

    There is a line of thought that if the world is over populated then cheap, easy, renewable energy would be disastrous for the planet.  So do we really know what the state of energy availability is?

    Just wondering?

    AKGrannyWGrit

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  • Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - 11:47am

    Reply to #9

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4712

    Not sure I agree with your assumption here

    Stabu wrote:

    I’m only partially playing devil’s advocate in here, but I’ve really started to wonder if one reason why things haven’t fallen apart as much yet is because EROEI matters less than it used to? Here’s my thinking: Let’s assume that current society needs 1,000 units of energy and it was previously getting it by burning 1,000 units of fossile fuels with an EROEI of 10 to 1. Therefore, society had to invest 100 units of energy to get the required 1,000 units (900 surplus). Let’s now say that EROEI drops to 5 to 1 and therefore society needs to invest 220 units of energy to get the required 1,100 units out (900 surplus). This would be a problem if it necessitated a doubling of the workforce for this pursuit, but with increased technology you now have robotic roughnecks and hence what really matters is to get to the right gross energy, regardless of how much energy invested it requires. Naturally there are some limits to this. If EROEI would drop to 2 to 1 we would need to invest 900 units to get the required 1,800 units out (900 surplus) etc., but as long as this doesn’t require increasing human capital we can technologically do this. This would then push our energy problem out in the future, unfortunately it would mean that when we’re done scraping the bottom of the barrel the collapse would be even more swift than otherwise. There are also some technical limits such as max flow rates of oil etc, but in theory I would say that the robotic revolution that we’re currently witnessing is reducing the importance of EROEI.

    Your assumption seems to be that it’s only human capital that matters when calculating EROEI.  In fact, what matters is the total amount of energy required to get the energy.

    The embodied energy could be in the steel piping, the giant Cat D-9s, Humans, or the diesel frack pumps.  The returned energy is in the aggregate amount of energy multiplied by its quality.  So a tonne of anthracite coal has more energy than a tonne of lignite.

    I think that human labor is actually the smallest share of EROEI…I haven’t run the calculations, but since a single gallon of diesel has 6-weeks of 24/7 human labor embedded within it, I seriously doubt I’ve got that wrong.

    While “robots” is a pretty big catchall term, the effort of drilling 20,000 feet under the North Dakota prairie is not going to be very different if conducted by an entirely automated platform or one with a few roughnecks on it.  The energy cost is contained in the effort to chew through solid rock for 5+ miles and then frack 10,000 feet of that to bits.  Automation doesn’t change any of that calculus.  

     

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  • Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - 12:33pm

    Reply to #9

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 202

    cmartenson wrote: Stabu

    cmartenson wrote:
    Stabu wrote:

    I’m only partially playing devil’s advocate in here, but I’ve really started to wonder if one reason why things haven’t fallen apart as much yet is because EROEI matters less than it used to? Here’s my thinking: Let’s assume that current society needs 1,000 units of energy and it was previously getting it by burning 1,000 units of fossile fuels with an EROEI of 10 to 1. Therefore, society had to invest 100 units of energy to get the required 1,000 units (900 surplus). Let’s now say that EROEI drops to 5 to 1 and therefore society needs to invest 220 units of energy to get the required 1,100 units out (900 surplus). This would be a problem if it necessitated a doubling of the workforce for this pursuit, but with increased technology you now have robotic roughnecks and hence what really matters is to get to the right gross energy, regardless of how much energy invested it requires. Naturally there are some limits to this. If EROEI would drop to 2 to 1 we would need to invest 900 units to get the required 1,800 units out (900 surplus) etc., but as long as this doesn’t require increasing human capital we can technologically do this. This would then push our energy problem out in the future, unfortunately it would mean that when we’re done scraping the bottom of the barrel the collapse would be even more swift than otherwise. There are also some technical limits such as max flow rates of oil etc, but in theory I would say that the robotic revolution that we’re currently witnessing is reducing the importance of EROEI.

    Your assumption seems to be that it’s only human capital that matters when calculating EROEI.  In fact, what matters is the total amount of energy required to get the energy.

    The embodied energy could be in the steel piping, the giant Cat D-9s, Humans, or the diesel frack pumps.  The returned energy is in the aggregate amount of energy multiplied by its quality.  So a tonne of anthracite coal has more energy than a tonne of lignite.

    I think that human labor is actually the smallest share of EROEI…I haven’t run the calculations, but since a single gallon of diesel has 6-weeks of 24/7 human labor embedded within it, I seriously doubt I’ve got that wrong.

    While “robots” is a pretty big catchall term, the effort of drilling 20,000 feet under the North Dakota prairie is not going to be very different if conducted by an entirely automated platform or one with a few roughnecks on it.  The energy cost is contained in the effort to chew through solid rock for 5+ miles and then frack 10,000 feet of that to bits.  Automation doesn’t change any of that calculus. 

    I think that Stabu is assuming that the main reason low EROEI is a problem is that with low EROEI, the energy industry to needs to employ large numbers of people – taking human capital from health care, education, law enforcement, etc.  With automation, this won’t happen and the only issue becomes getting enough surplus energy to run the rest of society. 

    I’m not sure this is true because low EROEI the energy industry also requires larger quantities of raw materials and finished goods (machines, steel pipe, water, trucks to haul it all, etc.) just at the time when it’s getting harder to find good quality mineral deposits.  There may be other limitations too.

    But he is correct that automation will ease the human labor and supply of skilled labor bottlenecks – although of course it could cause other bigger problems.

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  • Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - 1:04pm

    Reply to #10
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 365

    ERoI - Energy Quality

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Hopefully this helps;

    https://thewodanianethics.com/2017/10/30/energy-quality-the-missing-piece/

    It’s a paper I wrote recently and sent to the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (not that they asked me for it).

    All the best,

    Luke

     

     

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  • Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - 1:24pm

    Reply to #10

    Pipyman

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 65

    Hmmm

    Makes you wonder. But if we’re not in the “club”, and we never will be, does it matter what goes on behind the doors?

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  • Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - 6:16pm

    #11
    nigel

    nigel

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    Posts: 90

    Stabu's point

    I don’t know if this was his point or not, but he has highlighted the fact the infrastructure is not a perpetual cost in terms of EROEI. So once a road has been made, pipes run and mine dug, some of the cost has already been spent, that cost is then amortized onto the final product over several years. The actual ongoing cost of extraction is much lower than the total EROEI.

    So sure the cost of fracking may be close to break even, but only if you include the sunk costs of making the fracking wells. If you were someone buying bankrupt mines for pennies on the dollar then operating them would be a much better EROEI than making a new one. (Assuming they still have something to extract)

    If you were willing to put up with failing infrastructure then this could go on for longer than you might think once you get over the initial write off of the sunk construction costs. (read total market crash and adjustment)

    Also, if you include other sunk costs, like bulldozers, pick up trucks, computers, automation systems, there is an awful lot of things that we have sunk money into that are practical and can be leveraged to lower total costs. Things like an industrial town is a sunk cost, the first company in paid a premium, and the rest free load on the roads, workforce, the shops, the medical centers and so on.

    He has made me think about the non linear nature of EROEI and both negative and positive feedback loops.

     

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 6:36am

    #12

    Stabu

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 07 2011

    Posts: 97

    Peak Conventional, EROEI and Wasting Energy

    As I see it, here’s the basic problem: Conventional oil peaked around 2005 (didn’t look up the exact date) and yet 12 years (or so) later we’re still doing “okay” as a society. Unless I stare carefully at statistics, there’s nothing that tells me that we’re in an energy crisis. How can this be? The basic explanation would be that the central banks have printed so much money and hence pulled demand forward that it has stopped the economy from going into recession. Partially it also explains why EROEI has not dropped as much, since it has allowed shale energy companies to drill for oil that would have probably otherwise been (even more) uneconomical. The reason I stated EROEI doesn’t matter much is that it seems to me that this (and technological advancement) has temporarily enabled us to live as if nothing significant happened around 2005. We had simply continued to get more net energy out by doing more energy extraction even with a falling EROEI. Hence, I think, we’re in a peculiar point in history where EROEI doesn’t seem to matter. Of course, once this situation ends in 5, 10, 15, 20 etc. years, we’re going to fall off even harder, since we spent so much resources that we couldn’t really afford just to keep things going. What again is very frustrating to me is that not only are we not doing any of the right things, but we’re doing many of the exact wrong things. A great example of this is that the total energy spend of all crypto currency mining, if annualized, is now the equivalent of the entire energy spend of a country with 5 million people with a Western standard of living. All this energy consumption gives society is some ridiculously secure financial transactions that really don’t matter and could have been done in a far less energy intensive manner.

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 7:18am

    #13

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4712

    On EROEI and Continuing On

    The way I see it, conventional oil, which peaked a while ago, was yielding something very impressive – say 25:1 or better returns.  

    Or maybe it was 20:1 or even 40:1.  Who knows?  All I know is that until you dip below 10:1 you are safely off the energy cliff.  

    So let’s imagine that we have 60 mbd of high net energy oil at 25:1 being slowly mixed in with a variety of sources that probably range from 20:1 (deepwater) to 5:1 (shale + tar) to bring us to 78 mbd.  

    It will take a long time for the average net energy to decline below 10:1 under such a regime, meaning we will not feel the energy impacts for a while.

    In the meantime, fancy financial shenanigans have allowed what erosion there has been to be masked, especially given that the way this funny money has flowed into society it has been concentrated into the hands a very, very tiny minority who have not yet felt the need to, let alone been able to, spend it back into circulation.

    All this means is that when (not if) the energy EROEI reality bites it may well be the perfect storm.  All the pent up energy of money tucked away may come roaring out demanding real returns which means high interest rates.  Those in turn will mean vastly higher drilling costs as the cost of capital skyrockets, which then translates into higher oil prices which slam into a mountain of debt.

     At the same time, lower EROEI margins finally bite and fewer things can be supported which drives another stake into the global economic heart.  At some distant point a critical mass of awareness dawns that our entire system of exponential expansion is irrevocably unsustainable and debt-based money shatters as a concept.

    That, in turn, crumbles the entire social contract which is based on the illusion that money = power; or, flipped, that your lack of money means you are powerless (i.e. a wage slave).  Then the whole edifice of social hierarchy breaks down and things are chaotic for a while until a new human organizing principle is obtained.

    This is the reason why we are doing a Rowe seminar this weekend on “Being.”  The rebuilding will require leaders who can and are embodying the new future.   It’s not easy letting go of everything you once thought was true and important, but that’s what’s required to reassemble whatever remains into a coherent plan for living. 

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 8:44am

    #14

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 465

    Thanks Luke & Chris

    Luke, great job on your paper, it’s well thought out and I hope it gets read.  Chris thanks for the visual, it’s one of the best I have seen in a long time.

    I was trying to plant a seed in my last post.  A friend of mine is a tinkerer and thinks that since energy isn’t created or destroyed just converted that it could be possible to harness energy.  He has said that individuals/inventors (some of his mentors) who work on unique perpetual energy machines have had their work confiscated by 3-letter officials and the statement was “its for national security”.  If you think about it what government would ever let their populace have free energy.  It must be controlled and a profit made from it.  So if there is such a thing as an easy way to convert energy we will never know.  In the meantime we watch and are told where we are at in the energy story.  True or not, again we don’t know exactly. I trust Chris to share and explain the mainstream narrative.  It is a subject that should be talked about much, much more.  

    For your entertainment.

    AKGrannyWGrit

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 10:24am

    Reply to #14
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

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    perpetual energy - not - no conspirency

    It is not created or destroyed, but he did not mention the other important energy law, energy moves from concentration to diffusion as it is used. We have built our current lifestyle societies based on access to some very concentrated energy reserves, which become diffuse, little bits of heat everywhere, as we use it.

    But, 2 things. First, these laws are for the entire universe. Our planet is not a completely closed system, it radiates energy out, away from the planet to space, but, it receives radiant energy from the sun. So, we actually, from the viewpoint of this planet, have a constant input of energy.  And, energy is concentrated again by life. Living organisms concentrate diffuse energy. Like a tree, firewood, etc… and this is how coal and oil came into being, sunlight initially concentrated by ever more complex levels of life, and then worked on by time and pressure.

    There are no perpetual energy machines that violate the laws of thermodynamics. We DO have constant energy input into our system, diffuse radiant energy from the sun. We do have life, which concentrates and organizes energy.

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 3:46pm

    #15

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 465

    Perpetual Energy - Not - No Conspiracy

    I am not so sure.  There was a time when it was thought man couldn’t run a 4 minute mile, break the sound barrier and only a few short years ago we had telephone party lines.  Heart transplants, space stations, laser beams etc, etc, etc.  Cheap energy from a source we don’t comprehend, it’s entirely possible.  However, we won’t be privy to it.  You see the longer we live the less we should be surprised by what’s possible and the less we really know.

    How long ago was it finally determined that a Doctor just washing their hands could save lives?  If as Catherine Austin Futts says there is 20 Trillion dollars missing from our national budget, Then perhaps there are amazing research projects going on we don’t know about?  

    Perhaps asking questions is s good thing?

     

     

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 4:12pm

    #16

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 202

    mining capital

    One way to mask decreasing EROEI for a while (a decade or two or three?) is to decrease investment in maintaining infrastructure and building new infrastructure.  You can get away with this for a while, but then the bridges start to fail,  and the roadways just get too potholed, etc.

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 4:24pm

    Reply to #15

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4712

    The older I get...

    AKGrannyWGrit wrote:

    I am not so sure.  There was a time when it was thought man couldn’t run a 4 minute mile, break the sound barrier and only a few short years ago we had telephone party lines.  Heart transplants, space stations, laser beams etc, etc, etc.  Cheap energy from a source we don’t comprehend, it’s entirely possible.  However, we won’t be privy to it.  You see the longer we live the less we should be surprised by what’s possible and the less we really know.

    How long ago was it finally determined that a Doctor just washing their hands could save lives?  If as Catherine Austin Futts says there is 20 Trillion dollars missing from our national budget, Then perhaps there are amazing research projects going on we don’t know about?  

    Perhaps asking questions is s good thing?

     

     

    Truthfully, the older I get, the more I have to unlearn.

    I used to know a lot when I was younger!

    Now? Not so much.

    DNA is not a linear string of encoding blocks, but a 3D model that also talks to the outside world.

    Consciousness alters experimental phenomenon.

    Chloroplasts exploit photons in a quantum state.

    On an on…..

    I am thrilled to be here now.

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 4:29pm

    Reply to #12
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 365

    ERoI - In decline in the UK

    Deleted – formatting errors

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 4:37pm

    #17
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

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    Posts: 365

    ERoI - In Decline In The UK

    Hi Stabu,

    I live in the UK so I can’t speak for anywhere else. Here in Blighty the University of Leeds has just undertaken a recent study of national UK ERoI levels

    https://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/fileadmin/Documents/research/sri/workingpape

    In it they concluded the following;

    “Applying the UK IO data, IEA data and MRIO model to equation (5), we calculated

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 4:40pm

    Reply to #17
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 365

    Deleted

    Having problems with post lengths

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 6:46pm

    #18

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3156

    energy = control

    I think the secret here is that the EROEI of the marginal barrel may be 3:1, but the majority of the rest of the oil production remains at 30:1.

    As long as you don’t look at EROEI of marginal barrels, your society works just fine, for a time anyway.  Shale ponzi = a way to not look at the EROEI of the marginal barrel.

    Control over energy is an axis of control over society, since energy slaves run our society.  The fact that oil is pulled from the ground and delivered by tanker allows the US Navy to dominate the world.  Example effect: pragmatically speaking, Japan has to be our ally or else no more oil.

    Shale is a way to perpetuate the oil-control-axis for a while longer.

    Solar + batteries threatens the system.  Solar alone does not.

    Any sort of “free energy” would threaten the system.  Oil does not.

    (Mainstream) economic science ignores banks, debt and money in their models.  This is great for banks, and is probably no accident.

    Current physical science says that “free energy” is impossible.  That’s great for the current energy-as-axis-of-control paradigm in exactly that same way.

    If UFOs exist, and they visit earth from far away, they probably don’t use oil.  Or solar + batteries.  The mere existence of UFOs call into question the basis for the current energy-control axis.

    Once you know something is possible, finding a way to build it becomes vastly easier.

    Related: it will take you a very long time to find your keys that are sitting in plain view on the kitchen table, if you start from the belief that your keys are not in the kitchen…

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 7:17pm

    Reply to #18

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 202

    davefairtex wrote: I think

    davefairtex wrote:

    I think the secret here is that the EROEI of the marginal barrel may be 3:1, but the majority of the rest of the oil production remains at 30:1.

    As long as you don’t look at EROEI of marginal barrels, your society works just fine, for a time anyway.  Shale ponzi = a way to not look at the EROEI of the marginal barrel.

    Dave, I think you’re saying that the 3:1 barrels are unprofitable at the highest price that is affordable, but if we fuel a Ponzi scheme to fund their production, then we can ignore that fact for a while.

    The alternative is to just allow consumption to fall to the point that the marginal barrel is profitable (deepwater maybe or the few shale sweet spots). 

    Of course as more and more 30:1 oil get’s replaced with 3:1, consumption would have to drop lower and lower.

    But how long can you keep the Ponzi going?  It gets harder as the amount of 3:1 oil needed increases.  And eventually you hit hard limits where it just starts siphoning too many resources from the rest of society to maintain a semblance of the status quo even if the funding keeps flowing.

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 9:25pm

    Reply to #15
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    AKGrannyWGrit wrote: I am

    AKGrannyWGrit wrote:

    I am not so sure.  There was a time when it was thought man couldn’t run a 4 minute mile, break the sound barrier and only a few short years ago we had telephone party lines.  Heart transplants, space stations, laser beams etc, etc, etc.  Cheap energy from a source we don’t comprehend, it’s entirely possible.  However, we won’t be privy to it.  You see the longer we live the less we should be surprised by what’s possible and the less we really know.

    How long ago was it finally determined that a Doctor just washing their hands could save lives?  If as Catherine Austin Futts says there is 20 Trillion dollars missing from our national budget, Then perhaps there are amazing research projects going on we don’t know about?  

    Perhaps asking questions is s good thing?

     

     

     

    The perpetual motion machines ideas that are passed around right now are not, not some new energy, etc…

     

    Do we understand everything ? No. Asking questions is good, of course. But, there is not some answer right now that is being suppressed. We would like to believe that there is. It gives people hope to think, oh, we will come up with some magic thing. This has been talked about here, even. But, that is dangerous to not see our reality as it is. Should we keep doing research in to understanding the Universe ? Yes ! There is so much we do not understand fully. The conspiracy theory stuff though, not buying it. Dont think it would even be possible. Too many labs are all looking into the same areas.

     

    The things you mentioned as examples are not violations of basic laws of physics. We have more to learn about the newer areas of physics. Lots of labs are doing so. A breakthrough there is like Einsteins  insights. Running faster, getting better skilled and more exact surgery, running better phone switchboards were improvements, not something new in basic science. Space stations did not use or make new physics knowledge, we had to do more exact calculations, make materials with better tolerance, etc… but the space propulsion we are using right now is not a new science at all. Nor laser beams.

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 9:31pm

    #19
    Br3dS01

    Br3dS01

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    Joined: Mar 21 2011

    Posts: 25

    EROEI vs $RO$I

    $60/bbl Oil Output is being subsidized by cheap $3/mscf Natural Gas (the energy equivalent of $18/bbl oil) Input.

    Oil sands synthetic crude output (ER) is subsidized by cheap natural gas input (EI) in the form of power generation, water & process heating, upgrading, etc.

    ER, Energy Returned = Crude Oil @ $60/bbl Return

    On

    EI,    Energy Invested = Natural Gas @ $3/mscf, or $18/bbl Input (i.e. 6 mscf = 1 bbl on an energy equivalence basis).

    A meager 3:1 EROEI would thus translate into $180:$18 or half decent 10:1 ROI ($RO$I if you will).

    Unconventional oil and gas liquids output is similarly subsidized by cheap natural gas input costs in the form of natural gas and/or bi-fuel driven drilling rigs, frac spreads, processing & transportation facilities, etc.

    My simplified, round number take on it… Brad (Calgary, AB)

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 9:45pm

    Reply to #15
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    cmartenson

    cmartenson wrote:
    AKGrannyWGrit wrote:

    I am not so sure.  There was a time when it was thought man couldn’t run a 4 minute mile, break the sound barrier and only a few short years ago we had telephone party lines.  Heart transplants, space stations, laser beams etc, etc, etc.  Cheap energy from a source we don’t comprehend, it’s entirely possible.  However, we won’t be privy to it.  You see the longer we live the less we should be surprised by what’s possible and the less we really know.

    How long ago was it finally determined that a Doctor just washing their hands could save lives?  If as Catherine Austin Futts says there is 20 Trillion dollars missing from our national budget, Then perhaps there are amazing research projects going on we don’t know about?  

    Perhaps asking questions is s good thing?

     

     

    Truthfully, the older I get, the more I have to unlearn. I used to know a lot when I was younger! Now? Not so much. DNA is not a linear string of encoding blocks, but a 3D model that also talks to the outside world. Consciousness alters experimental phenomenon. Chloroplasts exploit photons in a quantum state. On an on….. I am thrilled to be here now.

     

    Different than a perpetual motion machine that is being suppressed —

     

    I have seen for a long time that there is likely ALOT going on in living systems, living organisms, at all levels, down to cells and DNA. Communications, influences, etc…. Living organisms have change, choices, conciousness. Whole different area.

    This thread of thought was, I thought, in response to poster here whose friend had been talking about current technology suppressed energy from perpetual motion machines that violated entropy.

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 11:08pm

    Reply to #18

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3156

    how long

    QB-

    Dave, I think you’re saying that the 3:1 barrels are unprofitable at the highest price that is affordable, but if we fuel a Ponzi scheme to fund their production, then we can ignore that fact for a while.

    But how long can you keep the Ponzi going?  It gets harder as the amount of 3:1 oil needed increases.  And eventually you hit hard limits where it just starts siphoning too many resources from the rest of society to maintain a semblance of the status quo even if the funding keeps flowing.

    Yes, that’s what I’m saying.

    And its certainly not a long term plan.  It just keeps the fiction of normalcy going a bit longer.  The great unwashed see low oil prices, so they don’t question how it happens – “technology” – “shale miracle” – “energy independence” – “drill, baby, drill.”

    And it does have a time limit on it.  And we might be at that time limit right now.

    Could it have happened without the hunt for yield driven by the Fed?  I dunno.  Possibly not.

     

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  • Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - 11:25pm

    Reply to #15

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3156

    laws of physics

    mntnhousepermi-

    The things you mentioned as examples are not violations of basic laws of physics. We have more to learn about the newer areas of physics. Lots of labs are doing so. A breakthrough there is like Einsteins  insights. Running faster, getting better skilled and more exact surgery, running better phone switchboards were improvements, not something new in basic science.

    If UFOs are real, and have traveled across interstellar distances to visit us, then our understanding of the basic laws of physics are…shall we say, incomplete.

    Our basic physics still doesn’t understand why things more or less stop working properly when you look at things too closely.  I’m referring to that double slit experiment, of course.  That puzzle has been in place for almost 100 years, and still no real progress has been made on a model that can explain that in the context of our “basic physics” view of the universe.

    Our society at large has some huge problems in a large number of critical areas.  There’s sickcare, and illegal drugs, banking, economics, food production, news – and I’m guessing that’s also true in energy technology also.

    The gang at the top really like the status quo to remain intact.  Everywhere.  That’s my observation.  If there’s a conspiracy (or – let’s just say a plan everyone in banking agrees with) to only fund economists who espouse banker-friendly theories that don’t look at banks, debt, and money in their models, and that has been largely successful in focusing the institutional energy away from our massive debt accumulation – what else might be going on in other fields?

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 12:54am

    #20

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1945

    The unknown: String Theory

    Strings:  small energy packets (10^-33 cm in length) that pop in and out of existence from the background “zero point” field some 10^15 times per second.  These strings “may” explain all mater, energy, light, heat and gravity.  Maybe…..

    “One notable feature of string theories is that these theories require extra dimensions of spacetime for their mathematical consistency. In bosonic string theory, spacetime is 26-dimensional, while in superstring theory it is 10-dimensional, and in M-theory it is 11-dimensional. In order to describe real physical phenomena using string theory, one must therefore imagine scenarios in which these extra dimensions would not be observed in experiments”

    The Calabi-Yau manifold is a shape of spacetime that allows 6 dimensional string theory to remain valid.

    The Wikipedia String Theory entry provides a taste of this field.  

    The bottom line is that we haven’t a clue what the universe is made of or how it is organized.

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 12:55am

    Reply to #15
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

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    Joined: Oct 17 2008

    Posts: 365

    Reality Stranger than Fiction

    mntnhousepermi, writers like Joseph P Farrell talk about a breakaway civilization; a small group keeping some techno. breakthroughs secret and being developed by favored companies such as Lockheed. ” The Day After Rosewell” book by Colonel Corso recounts back engineering some of these products. Elites it seems, don’t necessarily share discoveries or money.

    Also, many pursuing” free” energy products have met early deaths.

    See also ” The Hunt for Zero Point” – Nick Pope, for hidden energy

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 2:05am

    Reply to #17
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

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    Posts: 237

    UK's EROI in 2012 was 6.2

    having been 9.6 in 2000. See page 19 of the report.

    If the rate of decline has been constant, the EROI would be just over 4 today.

    The report says that an EROI of at least 11 is required for continuous economic growth.

    Hmmm.

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 2:48am

    Reply to #12
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 365

    ERoI - In Decline In The UK

    (Hopefully it all goes through this time)

     

    Hi Stabu,

     

    I live in the UK so I can’t speak for anywhere else. Here in Blighty the University of Leeds has just undertaken a recent study of national UK ERoI levels

     

    https://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/fileadmin/Documents/research/sri/workingpapers/SRIPs-103a.pdf

    In it they conclude that the ERoInat for the UK increased from 5.6 in 1997 to a maximum of 9.6 in 2000 before gradually falling to a value of 6.2 in 2012.

    Note: ERoI (soc) developed by Hall et. al and ERoI (Nat) developed in the study above don’t appear to equate to the same measurement which comes down to how the methodology was developed.

    The implications for the UK have been noticeable (IMO). We have the following;

    – No more free university tuition (I think students can now expect to pay £9k a year)

    – the prevalence of JAM families (Just About Managing)

    – Deteriorating Prison System

    – Longer waiting times for operations on the National Health Service

    – An increase in homelessness

    Just to name a few.

    It would be an interesting discussion though to see just what level of failing infrastructure we could handle.

    PS. AKGrannyWGrit, thanks for the kind words.

    All the best,

    Luke 

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 3:03am

    Reply to #18
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 237

    Solar + batteries resisted in Australia

    davefairtex wrote,

    Solar + batteries threatens the system.  Solar alone does not.

    In the sunny land of Oz, this certainly seems to be the case. Our federal government is strongly resisting any major solar + battery project, and is fanatically, monomaniacally, irrationally promoting coal mines. (To the extent that I wonder if they have been instructed to do so.)

    The state of South Australia has taken up Elon Musk on an offer to install the world’s biggest Li-Ion battery there, within 100 days or it’s free. So far it’s halfway there and still on time. Our federal government has been lavish in its ridicule, but to no avail.

    The general public are adopting batteries too: I have one for my home (not a Tesla Wall).

    So, ignoring other matters such as whether renewables really can replace any amount of fossil fuels, it seems that in the matter of solar + batteries in Oz, “They” are thwarted for the time being.

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 3:40am

    Reply to #18

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 866

    No, no, Northampton County has the answer.

    The solar plus batteries doesn’t threaten the system, as long as you levy huge taxes against those who had bought and installed solar, “because they aren’t paying their fair share”.

    Northampton, Va came up with that one.

    All of a sudden, a technology that was responsible, and now a positive investment, becomes something that destroys you so you can’t pay the mortgage, having already committed under far different terms.

    Let that be an example to the rest of you.

    Chickens are for eating. Never forget it.

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 4:49am

    Reply to #18

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 202

    Give details on Northampton solar tax, please

    Could you give details on these solar taxes in Northampton, Virginia, please?  If it involves net metering in which people can sell their excess power back to the grid at retail prices whenever it happens to be available, yes, they aren’t paying their fair share.

    Solar power is not available in the early evening when power demand peaks and there are plenty of sunny days that are mild enough so that air conditioning demand is low.  So they have a sweetheart deal where they get to sell their power back at the full retail rate even if it’s not needed.  Meanwhile, they still use as much electricity as they want so that a huge capacity of natural gas and other peaking power needs to be maintained for them delivered over a grid they are not paying much for anymore (because their net electric usage is near zero and with current billing practices the delivery charge is only on your net usage).  Of course this problem gets worse as more homes install solar – now everyone has power to sell when it’s not needed.

    Large scale power producers sell power into the grid at the going wholesale price or they sell tomorrow’s power today if they think the price will be lower tomorrow.  They also step the voltage up and deliver it directly to the high voltage transmission systems at their expense while homeowners rely on the local distribution lines and transformers/substations that were designed to deliver power one way, not to accept power from small-scale home-based producers.  This is not a problem if only a few people have solar panels, but becomes a big problem if lots install them.  Wholesale prices vary greatly on occasion, but they average 30-40% of retail.  Of course, wholesale responds  to the market, so the net effect of solar is to cause prices to crash during the day due to oversupply and maybe rise a little in the evening.  This of course, makes it hard for the large scale producers to remain profitable, damping investment.

    Of course, changing the terms of a deal partway into a long term investment is not playing fair even if it was a stupid deal on the part of those who are responsible for the electric grid.  So grandfather in those who already installed their system and don’t offer the deal to those who install in the future.

    Now if homeowners want to be off the grid, they should be able to do that without any tax consequences.  If they want to remain on the grid, and they install batteries and are willing to:

    1. store their daytime production and sell it at wholesale when the price is higher in the evening and
    2. pay their share of reconfiguring substations that will be required as more and more people install solar and want to sell it

    then they will be paying their fair share.

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 8:52am

    Reply to #20
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 17 2008

    Posts: 365

    I'm wondering SP if you've

    I’m wondering SP if you’ve seen the UK Development Secretary’s been caught secretly meeting Israeli gov people. Questions in the House and recalled home.  Very significant.

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 9:59am

    Reply to #20
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    sand_puppy wrote: Strings: 

    sand_puppy wrote:

    Strings:  small energy packets (10^-33 cm in length) that pop in and out of existence from the background “zero point” field some 10^15 times per second.  These strings “may” explain all mater, energy, light, heat and gravity.  Maybe…..

    “One notable feature of string theories is that these theories require extra dimensions of spacetime for their mathematical consistency. In bosonic string theory, spacetime is 26-dimensional, while in superstring theory it is 10-dimensional, and in M-theory it is 11-dimensional. In order to describe real physical phenomena using string theory, one must therefore imagine scenarios in which these extra dimensions would not be observed in experiments”

    The Calabi-Yau manifold is a shape of spacetime that allows 6 dimensional string theory to remain valid.

    The Wikipedia String Theory entry provides a taste of this field.  

    The bottom line is that we haven’t a clue what the universe is made of or how it is organized.

     

    Yes. This is a new area if knowledge and inquiry, and we have alot to learn

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 10:07am

    Reply to #15
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    davefairtex

    davefairtex wrote:

    mntnhousepermi-

    The things you mentioned as examples are not violations of basic laws of physics. We have more to learn about the newer areas of physics. Lots of labs are doing so. A breakthrough there is like Einsteins  insights. Running faster, getting better skilled and more exact surgery, running better phone switchboards were improvements, not something new in basic science.

    If UFOs are real, and have traveled across interstellar distances to visit us, then our understanding of the basic laws of physics are…shall we say, incomplete.

    Our basic physics still doesn’t understand why things more or less stop working properly when you look at things too closely.  I’m referring to that double slit experiment, of course.  That puzzle has been in place for almost 100 years, and still no real progress has been made on a model that can explain that in the context of our “basic physics” view of the universe.

    Our society at large has some huge problems in a large number of critical areas.  There’s sickcare, and illegal drugs, banking, economics, food production, news – and I’m guessing that’s also true in energy technology also.

    The gang at the top really like the status quo to remain intact.  Everywhere.  That’s my observation.  If there’s a conspiracy (or – let’s just say a plan everyone in banking agrees with) to only fund economists who espouse banker-friendly theories that don’t look at banks, debt, and money in their models, and that has been largely successful in focusing the institutional energy away from our massive debt accumulation – what else might be going on in other fields?

     

    You are basing an argument on what you see as a factual statement — Alien space travel. That is not a proven fact. You are speaking from a point of, well, we all know that….. a common base that we do not all share.

    We absolutely do not understand why small particles change behavior in the way you mentioned — we seem to have a ways to go to do so. I am sure we will be adding to our knowledge in this field, if our civilization lasts long enough. And, if that happens, we will add to our knowledge, ie. the new rules for how these real small level particles and such behave and how that fits in with our longer observed macro level observations/physics laws.

    None of this is in anyway showing or proving or anything the premise that at this time we have suppressed perpetual motion type working models, etc….

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 11:19am

    #21

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1945

    Expect No Consensus on Novel Viewpoints

    I am convinced that there are deep characterological difference in our relationship to novel and unproven ideas.  Some are excited and eager to explore (and perhaps accept with too little evidence), and some are repulsed and vigorously reject until the ideas are widely regarded as “proven.”  The diffusion of new ideas from conception to “generally regarded as proven truth” can take a generation or more.  And perhaps longer if there is active, coordinated suppression of the idea.

    Thus, the different characterologic types will NOT agree when novel explanations and ideas are floated. This is independent of the content of the idea. 

    One effect is that platforms regarded as “authoritative,” like the New York Times for example, are able to tell us what is proven and generally accepted as true.  They hold great power over the collective understanding.

    And Overton’s Window is the label by which “respectable people” are restricted to only talking about the proven and widely accepted as true, material.  To step outside “Overton’s Window” makes a person vulnerable to being called a “kook” by the respectable people.

     

     

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 11:46am

    Reply to #15
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 17 2008

    Posts: 365

    There is some evidence we're

    There is some evidence we’re in a controlled environment on planet earth. Atomic testing being monitored by ufos – Roswell.   A   breakaway civilization giving us integrated circuits, Fiber Optics,Lasers, seeded to corporate giants -The Day after Roswell. Attempts to develop ” free “

    energy being frustrated and research into LNER being bad for one’s career and health. Animal and human abductions for experimentation and sexual hybrid experiments- Linda Martin Howe, Dr. David M Jacobs, et al.

    But evidence is only facts we are willing to accept as such. Some things don’t change much. 

    Maybe we’re being hot-housed in more ways than one.

    Andy Grove of Intel did say you had to be paranoid. Of course as Rommel might say, you have to be paranoid with fingerspitzgefhul, ie. fingertip feel.

     

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 1:09pm

    Reply to #21
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 17 2008

    Posts: 365

    To follow where reason leads

    To follow where reason leads those so disposed one must check out The Greys.

          google: bibliotechapleyades.net vida_alien/esp_vida_alien_18za.htm

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 1:18pm

    Reply to #21
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    sand_puppy wrote: I am

    sand_puppy wrote:

    I am convinced that there are deep characterological difference in our relationship to novel and unproven ideas.  Some are excited and eager to explore (and perhaps accept with too little evidence), and some are repulsed and vigorously reject until the ideas are widely regarded as “proven.”  The diffusion of new ideas from conception to “generally regarded as proven truth” can take a generation or more.  And perhaps longer if there is active, coordinated suppression of the idea.

    Thus, the different characterologic types will NOT agree when novel explanations and ideas are floated. This is independent of the content of the idea. 

    One effect is that platforms regarded as “authoritative,” like the New York Times for example, are able to tell us what is proven and generally accepted as true.  They hold great power over the collective understanding.

    And Overton’s Window is the label by which “respectable people” are restricted to only talking about the proven and widely accepted as true, material.  To step outside “Overton’s Window” makes a person vulnerable to being called a “kook” by the respectable people.

     

     

     

    No, there are many points in between. There is being totally open to new ideas, but we do not accept them as fact without either alot of consistent observation and/or experiments that are replicated by different labs with the same results. I do not take news sources as fact, at all. When I look at studies, I have to go back until I find the source material and read it myself. What did they do ? What questions were asked ? Not what some newspaper says ! I have enough educational background in Physics and engineering to understand the points being made and the actual reports, I do not need them deciphered by a third party. I understand the scientific method and how and why it is used. I have a degree in Engineering, years of physics, classes at the graduated level in energy conversion and have worked at one of the Labs in Livermore, seen the machine and experiments done for Fusion research, etc…. I am not being fooled by any newspaper. Being open to new ideas does not mean excepting as fact statements by random people without evidence. I have even gone and read various things sent to me by well meaning people not in the industry that they think proves something, and so far these things have not had any data or proof. I have known physicists that have proved things in my textbooks that used to be theory, I know a few bright young minds presently studying physics and the intelligence and rigor they bring to the field, as well as all their peers doing the same. There are alot of interesting things they hope to be working on in applied physics. Many things do get talked about by respectable people in science and engineering. A lot of what ifs and wouldn’t it be cool, and maybe this research will lead to …. which is entirely different than claiming some broad conspiracy and suppression of basic knowledge, or perpatual motion machines and aliens. Everyone thinks it would be cool if….. many think there must be other intelligent life, etc….. But, that is entirely different from claiming that there is a conspiracy suppressing knowledge of it.

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 1:19pm

    Reply to #21
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    sand_puppy wrote: I am

    sand_puppy wrote:

    I am convinced that there are deep characterological difference in our relationship to novel and unproven ideas.  Some are excited and eager to explore (and perhaps accept with too little evidence), and some are repulsed and vigorously reject until the ideas are widely regarded as “proven.”  The diffusion of new ideas from conception to “generally regarded as proven truth” can take a generation or more.  And perhaps longer if there is active, coordinated suppression of the idea.

    Thus, the different characterologic types will NOT agree when novel explanations and ideas are floated. This is independent of the content of the idea. 

    One effect is that platforms regarded as “authoritative,” like the New York Times for example, are able to tell us what is proven and generally accepted as true.  They hold great power over the collective understanding.

    And Overton’s Window is the label by which “respectable people” are restricted to only talking about the proven and widely accepted as true, material.  To step outside “Overton’s Window” makes a person vulnerable to being called a “kook” by the respectable people.

     

     

     

    No, there are many points in between. There is being totally open to new ideas, but we do not accept them as fact without either alot of consistent observation and/or experiments that are replicated by different labs with the same results. I do not take news sources as fact, at all. When I look at studies, I have to go back until I find the source material and read it myself. What did they do ? What questions were asked ? Not what some newspaper says ! I have enough educational background in Physics and engineering to understand the points being made and the actual reports, I do not need them deciphered by a third party. I understand the scientific method and how and why it is used. I have a degree in Engineering, years of physics, classes at the graduated level in energy conversion and have worked at one of the Labs in Livermore, seen the machine and experiments done for Fusion research, etc…. I am not being fooled by any newspaper. Being open to new ideas does not mean excepting as fact statements by random people without evidence. I have even gone and read various things sent to me by well meaning people not in the industry that they think proves something, and so far these things have not had any data or proof. I have known physicists that have proved things in my textbooks that used to be theory, I know a few bright young minds presently studying physics and the intelligence and rigor they bring to the field, as well as all their peers doing the same. There are alot of interesting things they hope to be working on in applied physics. Many things do get talked about by respectable people in science and engineering. A lot of what ifs and wouldn’t it be cool, and maybe this research will lead to …. which is entirely different than claiming some broad conspiracy and suppression of basic knowledge, or perpatual motion machines and aliens. Everyone thinks it would be cool if….. many think there must be other intelligent life, etc….. But, that is entirely different from claiming that there is a conspiracy suppressing knowledge of it.

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 2:23pm

    Reply to #21
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 17 2008

    Posts: 365

    It's helpful to remember

    It’s helpful to remember there seems to be many dimensions to our world. If there are beings more powerful mentally than ourselves might they not treat us as we mistreat sensitive lesser creatures. They may not be all friendly.  Suppose we are just useful biological material to them. Let’s hope they bring their own food and don’t read Jonathan Swift’s humorous  “A Modest Proposal “about eating children.

    It used to be called body snatching. Of course the doctors who paid for them only wanted to help humanity. Like Chinese medics who buy the organs of executed prisioners.  My local cemetery has watchtowers and high walls to try and stop them. 

    Reason wanders into strange places.

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 4:26pm

    #22
    DennisC

    DennisC

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2011

    Posts: 101

    Prepare to be Harvested

    At least you get to watch some nice videos with pretty sunsets.

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 5:18pm

    #23

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1945

    Open, undecided, still learning

    When a Jehovah’s Witness knocks on my door I do not listen to them.  I already have a firm opinion (a conclusion) and I do not gather any more information about their viewpoints.  

    Having a decision closes down learning and exploring.  This shutting down the mind around a conclusion can be very appropriate.  However, if I have been bamboozled and the learning is shut down by my decisiveness, the misunderstanding is sealed. I am unlikely to ever recover.

    I believe that the most educable stage is when we are still “unsure,” or at least “open.”  

    The single most influential person on UFO’s, for me, was the late Edgar Mitchell.  (He died a few years ago.)  He is a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering from MIT, an Air Force test pilot, astronaut, and the 6th man to walk on the moon with Apollo 10.  Smart, articulate, willing to explore new areas.

    Mitchell never saw a UFO personally, yet became a strong advocate for their existence.  Many people that he knew personally came to him and told him their stories.  (Ignore the crap the youtube poster puts on the video.)

    Below is an excerpted interview where Mitchell, in his later years, explains a bit of how he came to this conclusion.  Use your intuition about the words and the speaker.

    0:00  His spiritual experience on the return flight from the moon of feeling oneness with all of the universe (nirvilkalp samadhi)

    5:54  There must be lots of life.  The universe is BIG

    6:42  UFO knowledge.  Old timers from his home town of Roswell, NM told him of their experience with the UFO crash site.

    8:04  some governments have made their UFO files public.  Hopes US will follow suit.  

    9:17  some astronauts have had direct UFO experiences in pre-Apollo days as fighter pilots and Gordon Cooper who saw a flying saucer land near him.  Some shuttle astronauts report direct UFO sightings, though Edgar Mitchell has not talked with them personally.

    11:00  It is time to join the larger community.

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  • Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - 10:48pm

    Reply to #15
    Br3dS01

    Br3dS01

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    Posts: 25

    Tom Campbell - TOE (Theory of Everything)

    Our basic physics still doesn’t understand explain why things more or less stop working properly when you look at things too closely.  I’m referring to that double slit experiment, of course.

    We absolutely do not understand why small particles change behavior in the way you mentioned — we seem to have a ways to go to do so.

    Tom Campbell seems to have a plausible explanation in his TOE (Theory of Everything).

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=tom+campbell+in+calgary+my+big+toe&t=hw&atb=v8

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=tom+campbell+my+big+toe&t=hw&atb=v84-4&ia=vide

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  • Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - 1:22am

    #24

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3156

    factual statements

    mntn-

    You strawman-ed me a bit with this:

    You are basing an argument on what you see as a factual statement — Alien space travel. That is not a proven fact. You are speaking from a point of, well, we all know that….. a common base that we do not all share.

    My statement started with the word “if”.  As in, IF aliens have visited us, THEN we must dramatically recalculate a whole lot of things about our view of technology, energy production, how our government functions, and so on, since the craft – IF they are real – cannot possibly be powered by oil, or solar cells, etc.  If.  It was a thought experiment, which you chose to interpret as a factual statement.

    However, a valid question might be, what’s my level of certainty that aliens have visited the planet?

    How about using the legal system’s quantums of proof as a measuring stick.

    1. More likely than not
    2. Clear and convincing
    3. Beyond all reasonable doubt

    I assess the “alien visitation” likelihood at level #1 – more likely than not.  I’m guessing, you probably assess the likelihood at some lower level.

    As a result of this, I have had to reassess my views on the US government, energy production technology, “what’s possible”, spaceflight, and so on.  Certainly, since you don’t share my assessment, you haven’t had to reassess anything.

    But – as a thought experiment – supposing you DID obtain enough evidence that caused you to move “alien visitation” up to level #1, would you then reassess?  Or would you require some higher quantum of proof before you actually integrated the consequences of the assessment into your worldview?

    My sense is, some people are willing to change their beliefs, but then don’t go the next step and say, “and so what does that imply about reality?”

    Here are some examples of things that have caused me to reassess my worldview in significant ways.

    WTC-7 collapse.  More likely than not, the collapse didn’t happen the way the NIST report said it did.  That brings with it a whole flock of recalculations, most salient of which is, more likely than not, the whole event was a false flag effort used to drag us into war.  Just like Babies in Incubators, the (proposed) Operation Northwoods, and Tonkin Gulf.  [If I were a civil engineer, it might be “clear and convincing”, but I just don’t have the expertise.]

    Double-slit experiment: beyond all reasonable doubt.  Recalculation: reality isn’t as we think it is.  Possibility: we live in a simulated world.  (Being a software guy, this has a certain appeal to it – the story does hang together).  How certain am I of the “simulation” possibility?  Its not even to level #1.  I’m not certain at all.  So I’m certain reality isn’t as it appears – but I’m uncertain as to what it actually is.  Which brings me to…

    The placebo effect.  It calls into question our mainstream “newtonian” (strictly mechanical) view of health and body function that operates independently of our consciousness.  I rate this as “clear and convincing”.  Clearly, belief (the power of consciousness) is a surprisingly powerful force, even when unguided.  Re-evaluations: I now personally focus a substantial amount of time and effort on my own mental and emotional state, and I view it as a critical element of maintaining my own health.  If unguided consciousness is powerful, how much more powerful would it be if guided?  I also have a weakened faith in “the medical system” to come up with answers that don’t involve me spending a ton of money.

    Given the series of re-assessments I’ve had to make, my view of what’s possible in terms of energy production is a whole lot less certain than it once was.  Is perpetual motion possible?  Not as defined, but if a device can tap into some energy source that is beyond our current understanding, then for practical purposes, it is possible.  And given my assessment of alien visitation, I think such a power source may well exist – more likely than not.  Most likely, the hypothetical alien craft aren’t powered by gasoline.

    Note: that’s still not a “factual statement”.  🙂

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  • Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - 4:15am

    Reply to #18

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 866

    Details have been in the Eastern Shore News

    Occasionally I read the Eastrn Shore News, and one other paper.

    My understanding is that Virginia gave a timeframe inwhich new solar would not be taxed on machinery for small operations in renewable energy, in order to spearhead it.

    But that also applied to houses and farms.

    However, strong opponents of solar and wind are moving to block it, including by threatening changed tax situations.

    It has nothing to do with grid tie in: everything to do with eliminating renewable energy.

    Dominion Power has also long been a strong opponent of Renewable energy, while faking participation. Umm… but they are big on hydro: lake Gaston, and the Highland County hydro-storage project.

    One of the ways was by stating up front that they would pay for grid tie-in, and pay for the power, but the tie-in equipment had to be theirs, and they would charge more for rental of the equipment than they would pay for the power. That has pretty well kept competition down, #or anone who wanted to tie in.

    So already, the claims of not paying fair share based on tie in are moot. If you’re going to start up power in virginia, it isn’t going to be for tie-in.

    Oh, and Dominion Power is a former public-company that went private, yet still is a major beneficiary of public largesse, and still regularly violates limits of profit agreed to in order to go private with public property, and still agrees to pay refunds, and still doesn’t pay the refunds.

    so THEY definitely aren’t paying their fair share, if you want to say it that way.

    Some sample articles are below.

    http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/virginia/2016/09/30/solar-fa

    http://www.bayjournal.com/article/company_suspends_plans_for_wind_farm_o

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  • Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - 4:24am

    Reply to #18

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 202

    re:solar in Virginia

    How totally silly of Dominion to discourage solar!  (Well, more likely evil, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt wink).  Their hydro storage project would be a perfect companion to solar.  Just pump the water up the hill on sunny afternoons and run it back down throgh the turbines when you need it.

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  • Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - 4:36am

    #25
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 881

    Dominion Power?

    come on folk, they haven’t bought and paid for va.’s legislature,,,have they?

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  • Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - 7:47am

    #26

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1945

    Two perpetual motion machines

     

    Open systems, that receive energy input from the outside, CAN be (apparent) perpetual motion machines without violating the laws of thermodynamics.

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  • Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - 8:53am

    Reply to #26
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    sand_puppy wrote: Open

    sand_puppy wrote:

     

    Open systems, that receive energy input from the outside, CAN be (apparent) perpetual motion machines without violating the laws of thermodynamics.

     

    No. Not by definitions of such.

     

    Both of these are using solar radiation for power, and solar is the one input to the planet, which is good. But, the sun is our nuclear fusion power plant, set up initialy with a large amount of fuel ( that will run out some day) and conveniently a far enough distance away to be safe….. So, no violation of thermodynamics at all, the energy contained in the sun is moving from concentrated to diffuse and will run out, it is a finite amount of Fusion material.

    I mentioned Solar radiant input in my very first post on this thread, though. As far as us on this planet, we do have energy input, Solar radiation. And, life concentrated diffuse energy. This 2 things are what we have to work with, things that wont run out (until the sun dies) Constant receiving of diffuse solar radiation, and life that concentrates it.

     

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  • Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - 4:35pm

    #27

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1945

    DaveF, I would love to hear what brought you to consider UFOs

    I am just always curious when a bright, creative and articulate person expresses a viewpoint that I was unaware of.

    What brought you to consider the UFO topic?

    What factors/features make it seem to you “more likely than not?”

    (I understand that UFOs are not the focus of PP and will remain an off-topic detour from the 3E’s and preparing to live in a low energy future.)

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  • Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - 1:25am

    #28
    skipr

    skipr

    Status Bronze Member (Online)

    Joined: Jan 09 2016

    Posts: 129

    independently verified working prototypes

    I’m not going to bet the farm on the invention of a miraculous energy machine until an actual working prototype is built and independently verified by an entity that will not make a quick profit.  If such a device can be made, it will most likely be producing electrical power.  How will this power produce all of the fertilizers that are now being produced from huge amounts of fossil fuels.  If you fly over the midwest you see that every square inch is consumed by farms that would be sterile if it wasn’t for the fertilizer.  That is a huge amount of fertilizer.  And lets not forget about the rapidly disappearing aquifers there.  Will this machine make more water out of thin air?  I wonder if Lawrence Livermore is trying to build a mini big bang machine, 🙂  They have been working on that football stadium size National Ignition Facility for quite a while, and it still hasn’t reached zero net energy yet.

    A while ago I heard that 70% of the power produced by a photovoltaic solar panel during its lifetime is needed to manufacture, transport, and install it.  I bet that that ratio is now significantly higher since the rare earth materials that are used are getting rarer.  Recycling the silicon cells will be way too energy intensive.  I wonder if the thin film panels like those from nanosolar.com could be recycled economically like silver has been recycled from photographic films.

    We are now past peak-everything except for the human population.  If such a machine could be built, the population growth will only accelerate until it doesn’t.

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  • Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - 2:35am

    Reply to #27

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3156

    UFO = energy

    The linkage I see behind the UFO and today’s topic is twofold.

    First, as I said, if they exist and are visiting, their craft aren’t powered by little gasoline engines.  They have a power source that must be quite substantial to get them across interstellar distances.  (That, and a mechanism for travel that uses physics we don’t understand yet).  But its the energy bit that’s important.

    Energy drives society.  Currently, we are looking at going from a more concentrated source (gasoline) to a less concentrated source (solar & wind).  If, on the other hand, we had the little engines that power spacecraft across interstellar distances…the energy problem is solved.  So UFOs are linked very closely with our energy predicament.  I didn’t sort this out before, and that was part of the problem.

    As for why the move above level #1?  I’ve also become more suspicious.  World doesn’t work the way I was told – I mean, not at all.  Not at the micro level, not at the macro level, not inside my own body, and not outside either.  Its like the operating manual they handed me as a kid was simply wrong in a large number of important ways, and all of the “mistakes” just happen to weaken us, to make it easier to keep us all in a sort of slavery – in one form or another.  So that realization made it more credible that they were hiding this too.

    It was also one of those amassing of evidence things.  Enough evidence piled up that I felt was credible, along with a credible explanation for why the government would want to keep it a secret, and there it is.  It used to be just a matter of idle curiosity for me; I always thought, “ok, it makes for a great TV series, but beyond that, why should I care?” 

    Its the energy aspect that makes it so critical.  Its a potential Deux Ex Machina that simply makes the peak energy problem go away.

    Related: AI was a lab curiosity a few years back.  I worked for a professor who helped invent the stuff when I was an undergrad – many years ago.  Now, like an egg they sat on for several decades, it has finally hatched.  Now we have a freaking revolution.  A self-driving car – its a revolution.  (downside: a short step to a self-driving tank, always loyal to its commander, willing to shoot anyone it is ordered to fire upon.  Nice thing to have if you are a member of a small elite that don’t want to lose control and don’t want to depend on “unreliable” human functionaries who might refuse to follow “unpleasant”/sociopathic orders when push comes to shove).

    So, GPU-powered AI: Deux Ex Machina.  I didn’t see this coming, and I was there at its inception!  (As an undergrad grunt, to be sure, but still!)

    What’s next?  And from where will it come?

    That’s why I’m not so focused on the inevitability of our helpless, downward slide of civilization into the pit of low EROEI energy despair.  I have the sense that there is so much going on behind the scenes, literally anything could happen.

    Both good and bad.

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  • Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - 5:02am

    Reply to #27
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 365

    The Breakaway Civilisation

    Hi DaveF,

    I’ll open with a question that I don’t believe anyone can answer yet, “What species utilise this UFO technology?”

    Let’s start with natural selection. The environment applies selective pressures to all species contained within it. Homo Sapien has a distinct advantage over other creatures in this regard as it can manipulate its environment through exploitation of extremely dense energy sources. However, as a biological entity it is dependent upon an organic diet for its survival. Currently we can synthesise vast amounts of nitrogen fertiliser from natural gas which keeps most of us alive. We are thus tied to an organic energy source.

    Depletion of our high quality energy sources will drive efficiencies – I’m sensing this is what ultimately drives us towards automation. Currently we need to pay people to sleep in the form of heat and fats. Machines either don’t rest, or can be shut down when not in use. They can also be powered on non-organic energy sources thus offering more resilience.

    Will this efficiency see a new dominant species emerge? When I look at declining ERoI I don’t think that it is a threat to civilisation – i just think it’s a threat to our civilisation.

    I ultimately think (believe) that whichever species succeeds Homo Sapien will be vastly more responsible than us because selection will hammer home the point of efficiency (as it did previous to our fossil fuel boon).

    It leads me to conclude the following; “Selection will create a species more conscious of its energy dependencies. The success of this species will depend upon the energy source(s) it adopts.” Ultimately, I don’t think it’ll be Homo Sapiens flying spaceships – we’re too expensive 🙂

    Anyway, that’s all i got for now.

    Cheers,

    Luke

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  • Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - 4:16am

    Reply to #28

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 866

    If such a thing can be made, it won't produce electric

    Just a point here: we understand electricity pretty well, and we haven’t found any magic violation of the second law of thermo there.
    As Chesterton wrote,
    “Tell me that the great Mr Gladstone, in his last hours, was haunted by the ghost of Parnell, and I will be agnostic about it. But tell me that Mr Gladstone, when first presented to Queen Victoria, wore his hat in her drawing–room and slapped her on the back and offered her a cigar, and I am not agnostic at all. That is not impossible; it’s only incredible. But I’m much more certain it didn’t happen than that Parnell’s ghost didn’t appear; because it violates the laws of the world I do understand. So it is with that tale of the curse. It isn’t the legend that I disbelieve–it’s the history.”
    The first is impossible, meaning that we don’t understand the rules. The second is improbable, meaning that we DO understand the rules; and improbable is far less likely than impossible.
    So… if you want to look for free energy, look in the quark interactions; look to dark matter; look to the strong force; don’t look where we’ve already looked and found nothing.
    If there’s free energy, it won’t be electric.
    oh, and intergalactic travel is a low energy business, but it’s slow. FAST intergalactic travel is the prohibitively expensive thing. Look up interplanetary highways; the same applies to intergalactic highways.
    Just as a comment, my father had a dream in which he talked to God, an engineer-like person as depicted in his dream. And he asked God how he managed to create all this; and the answer was, if you’re willing to wait long enough, there’s not a lot you can’t do.
    Maybe the free energy IS patience. In which case, a little ICE might be enough to get you to Andromeda.

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  • Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - 11:59am

    #29

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1945

    When the story doesn't fit: dreaded recalculations

    Following on from DaveFs comments:

    Here are some examples of things that have caused me to reassess my worldview in significant ways.

    1)  WTC-7 collapse.  More likely than not, the collapse didn’t happen the way the NIST report said it did.

    2)   That brings with it a whole flock of recalculations….

    1)  My suggestion to all the very bright people here is to persist.  It is possible to know absolutely without a doubt that the NIST computer animation does not match reality.  Go all the way so that you KNOW in your bones–we will need this level of certainty to face the recalculations that follow.

    The NIST animations of WTC7 available to the public stop just as the building starts to fall.  Earlier public releases of the animation are very hard to find, but here is one that shows several more seconds.  The crumpling of the building’s outer shell is visible here at the 45 second mark.  Stills of the crumbling shell are here (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Fig 12-70, p 594) Video of the actual event does NOT have a crumbling shell.  The simulation just does not explain the observed.

    Keeping the NIST model secret prevents honest peer review.  NIST could cheat if it wanted to.  And the biggest recalculation of all is the certainty that the authorities cheat.

    ———————-

    2)  So we become certain that the NIST simulation is a lie, then other recalculations become more pressing.  This strains and stretches at the limits of human cognitive flexibility.   There are so many recalculations needed. Some take years and some, probably never.

    –a scientific agency just lied to me.  Caught ’em red-handed.  So how does “science” actually work?  We thought it was pursuing truth.  What is actually going on?

    –the news media does not question the WTC 7 story.   How is the public discourse so restricted?

    –We don’t believe in murder but we DO believe in war.  Endless wars.  Our national industrial machine bombs others by the hundreds of thousands yet we celebrate ourselves as noble and peace loving?  How is this deception maintained?

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  • Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - 12:12pm

    Reply to #27
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 17 2008

    Posts: 365

    I believe there were many

    I believe there were many yogis, buddhas, adepts, and saints who here lived on very little food.  Maybe none at all.

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  • Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - 12:23pm

    Reply to #27
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 17 2008

    Posts: 365

    I believe there were many

    I believe there were many yogis, buddhas, adepts, and saints who here lived on very little food.  Maybe none at all.

    Please google ” Have you Heard of Sungazing: What it is and how to do it ” The man referred to is an Indian Engineer.  He’s literally solar powered!

    Needless to say, I’d be very careful.

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  • Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - 2:39pm

    Reply to #27
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 17 2008

    Posts: 365

    Reverse Engineering

    Luke, I think select groups of humans are utilizing this technology today; see “Reverse Engineering – Paul la Violette on Youtube.

    For secrecy purposes, each group is probably unaware of the others, The question for me is who has overall oversight of these Special Access Programs, if President Clinton was told he had no need to know when he inquired about Ufos, and how can these groups be made accountable. We’re going to need any new ways of power generation obviously.

    Graham Hancock thinks our losing contact with nature, and with the spirit guides contacted through psychedelics, may have regressed our evolution. I think Arthur was saying something similar.

     

     

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  • Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - 2:57pm

    Reply to #29
    Tim Ladson

    Tim Ladson

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 22 2012

    Posts: 16

    Bone Deep

    s_p,

    This is bone deep for me – but I have lived most of my life around Washington, D.C. until recently when I was able to escape to saner climes and observe from a safe distance. 

    Thanks for the reminder !

    Tim.

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