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    We’re Not Going To Make It…

    …without real sacrifice
    by Chris Martenson

    Wednesday, March 30, 2016, 4:18 AM

Right now I'm on a Metro North train heading the NYC. I’ve been invited to sit on an advisory council at the UN on building a sustainable energy future.

I’ll let you know how the meeting goes, after I take a few selfies to immortalize the experience in case I'm not invited back. 

Why might I not? Because I can either be a good boy, hold my tongue, and get to serve on more committees (maybe); or I can speak the truth as I see it.

It's not a hard decision: I'll be going with the latter. I really don’t know how to do differently any more; it’s a matter of internal integrity.

Now, I may not understand the ‘truth’ any better than the next person. But I do have access to a lot of data that seems to confirm this one idea: Humanity is not going to painlessly wean itself off of fossil fuels.

Instead, we’ll hit some sort of a wall: be it a food/population crisis, a climate crisis, or a debt/fiscal/economic crisis.  Each of those candidates has it roots in our global society's addition to fossil fuels.

No growth in fossil fuels and we get no growth in our debt-based economy. Translation: we’ll have a debt/financial crisis.

No fossil fuels and our entire method of industrial agriculture breaks down. Food crisis anyone?

Now, we won’t suddenly run out of fossil fuels. But we are going to find it increasingly difficult to extract more and more of them. And other limits like oceanic acidification and climate change may force us to move away from fossil fuels for a totally different set of reasons.

No matter the path we take, we need to transition sooner or later. We should know that.

Poor Math

One of the things I did in the book version of The Crash Course was to run the basic numbers to make the case that, unless we immediate decide to pursue the equivalent of a Manhattan Project (times) an Apollo Project (times) some whole number like 10, we're not going to make anything even remotely resembling a seamless transition to alternative energy.

Fortunately, there are now more groups carefully studying the math and making the same case:

Renewable energy demands the undoable

Mar 27, 2016

LONDON, 27 March, 2016 – The world is increasingly investing in renewable energy. Last year, according to UN figures, global investment in solar power, wind turbines and other renewable forms of energy was $266 billion. 

But right now, the report says, renewable energy sources deliver just 10.3% of global electrical power. Neither the report’s authors nor anyone else thinks that is enough to slow climate change driven by rising global temperatures as a consequence of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.
In the last century, this has already climbed by 1°C. In Paris in December 2015, 195 nations agreed on a global plan to limit global warming to a figure no more than 2°C above the long-term average for most of human history.

This will be difficult, according to Glenn Jones, professor of marine sciences at Texas A&M University in the US.

In 2015, the world installed the equivalent of 13,000 five-megawatt wind turbines. But to contain global warming to a figure less than 2°C nations would have to ramp up renewable investment by 2028 to the annual equivalent of 485,000 such wind turbines.

“That’s a 37-fold increase in the annual installation rate in only 13 years just to achieve the wind power goal,” Professor Jones said.

(Source)

There’s some really important information in this study, not the least of which is the realization that, to achieve just the wind power goal, the world would have to increase its rate of wind tower installation by 3,700% (or 37 fold).

This translates into going from installing 36 towers per day (the current rate) to 1,329 per day. Every day. 365 days a year. For 13 years straight. With no breaks.

But our fossil fuel addiction goes well beyond the desire/need for electricity. Transportation fuels are just as essential to our current human condition.

The article continues:

He and a colleague argue in the journal Energy Policy that during each hour of every day 3.7 million barrels of oil are pumped from wells; 932,000 tons of coal are dug; 395 million cubic metres of natural gas are piped from the ground; and 4.1 million tons of CO2 is released into the atmosphere.

In that same hour, another 9,300 people are added to the global population. By 2100, the world will be home to 11 billion of us.

“It would require rates of change in our energy infrastructure and energy mix that have never happened in world history and that are extremely unlikely to be achieved,” he says

“So the question becomes, how will they be fed and housed and what will be their energy source? Currently 1.2 billion people in the world do not have access to electricity, and there are plans to try to get them on the grid. The numbers you start dealing with become so large that they are difficult to comprehend,” Professor Jones says.

“To even come close to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, 50% of our energy will need to come from renewable sources by 2028, and today it is only 9%, including hydropower. For a world that wants to fight climate change, the numbers just don’t add up to do it.”

3.7 million barrels of oil per hour, along with nearly a million tons of coal and 400 million cubic meters of gas.  Every day, for 365 days a year.  

The numbers are indeed difficult to comprehend. But they just don’t measure up to our hopes for the future. At the current pace of energy transition, we’re not only going to miss the climate targets we've set, but we’re also going to miss the chance gracefully deal with the continued growth in both our debt pile and population.

This chart explains why.  As fast as renewable energy sources have grown, fossil fuels have grown, too. They remain ~80% of the world's total energy consumption:

(Source – Gail Tverberg)

While people excitedly point out the growth rates in energy renewables, they often fail to note either/both the scale involved and/or the fact that a tiny percentage growth in fossil fuels will utterly dwarf a large percentage gain in renewables.

This is the dynamic that the numbers in the above study are warning us of. Loudly.  

It’s nothing personal. It’s just math. But it’s going to get very personal over the next years and decades as the world is finally forced to confront the idiocy of attempting infinite growth on a (quite) finite planet.

And it's for this reason I am going to have a hard time being a good little committee member and sign off on some cheery report suggesting we can achieve a sustainable energy future if we all just try a little harder.

We’re going to need to try harder than any generation has ever had to try on anything, ever in all of history, to remake our energy infrastructure.

Meanwhile…

The Predicament That Stares Us In The Face

These days it’s very hard to scan the headlines without running into seriously troubling ecological data.

The two ocean related articles below recently jumped out at me, both of which are related to the implications of oceanic warming:

Underwater Heat Wave Devastates Great Barrier Reef

Mar 29, 2016

CANBERRA, Australia—An underwater heat wave is devastating huge swaths of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, marine researchers have found.

An aerial survey of the chain of 3,000 coral outcrops—a Unesco world-heritage site and the only living system visible from space—found 95% of its northern area, roughly half the reef’s length, had been hit by a bleaching event that began six months ago. Damage to the southern area is still being assessed.

“This has been the saddest research trip of my life,” said Terry Hughes, a professor at Australia’s James Cook University and expert in coral bleaching. “Almost without exception, every reef we flew across showed consistently high levels of bleaching, from the reef slope right up onto the top of the reef.”

(Source)

This bleaching is caused by the loss of the symbiotic algae upon which coral depends, causing the coral organisms to die from starvation.

Another important bottom-of-the-food-chain organism, phytoplankton, has been disappearing from a variety of ocean basins with the Indian Ocean being one that recently made the news:

OCEAN PASTURES OF INDIAN OCEAN DISAPPEARING RAPIDLY

Feb 2, 2016

Research reveals that phytoplankton stocks in the region fell an alarming 30 percent over just the last 16 years. This most recent tally of the collapse of this vital ocean pasture ecosystem compounds the observed collapse that has been documented since the early 1950’s!

The collapse of ocean pasture ecosystems is taking place in all of the world’s ocean, not just in the Indian Ocean. Indeed many of those ocean basins are in a much worse condition of pasture collapse than the Indian Ocean.

(Source)

As the study itself concluded, the cause was due to hot surface water blocking mixing with the nutrient dense(er) lower waters:

We find that these trends in chlorophyll are driven by enhanced ocean stratification due to rapid warming in the Indian Ocean, which suppresses nutrient mixing from subsurface layers. Future climate projections suggest that the Indian Ocean will continue to warm, driving this productive region into an ecological desert.

(Source)

These are by no means rare exceptions plucked from a sea of otherwise positive news.  The world’s ecosystems are having a really rough time absorbing the scope and the pace of changes that humans are creating.

The grief expressed above by the scientists who study these ecosystems tells the tale.   

Conclusion

The world is just not yet serious enough about the urgency of transitioning away from fossil fuels.  The math says that without a tremendous change in behavior, far greater than anything currently on display, we simply won’t “get there” waiting for market forces to do the job for us.

We’ll have to make and adhere to very different priorities. Such as completely redirecting our entire defense budgets to the process of retooling our entire relationship to energy.

We’ll need our buildings to use less energy. And we’ll need to live closer to where we work and play.

Our food will have to be grown differently. And it will have to travel less far to get to our plate.

Electricity will have to come from sources other than fossil fuels too.

Is it possible to figure this out in time? Well, whether it is or not is sort of beside the point because these changes are going to be forced on us anyways if we don't get our act together in time.

So I guess I could be an optimist on the UN panel by telling them that I have 99% confidence that humans will someday be powering 100% of their energy needs from the sun.

I’ll just leave out that what I mean is that, in 100 or 200 years, humans will have painfully reverted back to a 1600’s-style subsistence farming lifestyle.

The point of this article is to refocus our attention on the need for each of us to lead the way, to begin our own individual energy transitions without waiting for some top-down solutions to come forward. The calvary simply isn't going to show up.

In our podcasts with Joel Salatin, Singing Frogs farm and Toby Hemenway, we've been surfacing examples of the ways in which we can begin farming regeneratively and relationally today.  You can do this on your own if you garden. Or you can support local farmers/CSAs that will do this for you. 

Anybody paying into a pension or trying to manage an endowment that needs to be there in 30 or 40 years (or forever, as is the case for university endowments) needs to understand that projections based on prior rates of economic growth are fantasies, hatched when we had the luxury of pretending there were no energy limits.

The restructuring of our energy economy, if taken under our own terms and on our own timelines, will utterly crush traditional economic growth as we’ve come to know and love it.

If taken under more dire terms, there may not even be a recognizable economy for a very long time.  

These are serious matters. They deserve serious consideration and even more serious answers.

Every little step each of us can make, both for its direct impact and for its leadership effects, is actually vitally important.

So one question we might ask ourselves is: How can I use less energy today, enjoy life just as much (if not more), and be part of the solution?

The future is going to be very different from the past. And the only thing that could come along to ameliorate the situation from an energy-food-survival standpoint would be a brand new source of energy. Something along the lines of workable, scalable fusion or if LENR (Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction) pans out and is quickly adopted.

As long as we are collectively relying on ~80% of our primary energy coming from fossil fuels, we're on the opposite path from creating a world worth inheriting.

And the extent to which we fail to run he numbers and appreciate the scale and the scope and the timing involved, preferring perhaps to content ourselves with just the renewables side of the story, is the extent to which we are failing to appreciate the challenges we face.

So my challenge for myself is to see how much I can further cut back my own energy use — something I've already done in good measure by heating my water using the sun, insulating my home, and having a relatively efficient vehicle.  But there’s still a lot more I can do. 

How about you?

~ Chris Martenson

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185 Comments

  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 5:31am

    #1
    Sharsta

    Sharsta

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 12 2009

    Posts: 40

    Good Luck Chris!

    Good luck with talking to these UN guys Chris!

    My efforts –

    # Solar Hot water – tubes

    # Grid connected PV

    # Insulated the walls and roof, working on the windows

    # Certificate 3 (CIT) in Nursery and Landscaping – back and front gardens in development – veggies as well as perennial herbs, fruit and nut trees

    # Nissan Leaf car + Level 2 charger at home

    # 4 (spoilt, pet) chooks in the back yard – I protect the veggies and small plants from them

    # battery electric lawnmower, whipper snipper, sheers and blower

    Currently working on reducing the current gas winter heating bill…..

     

    (Most people I have spoken to don't really cope too well with the concept of serially nested bubbles – let alone the practical consequences!)

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 6:52am

    #2
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Call 'em the way you see them

    Congrats on the council invitation, Chris. Thank you for taking that on.

    Find yourself a Teflon overcoat and call things the way you see them. Call that spade a spade! Many people/entities will resist or ignore but some will hear.

    Some of our efforts:

    • Energy conservation upgrades in home and workshop, including triple-pane windows and 18 inches of attic insulation
    • Walking more, driving less. My car is a hybrid; my bike is a three-speed.
    • Gardening, of course; seeking out locally produced food
    • More cooking from scratch
    • More bartering, buying used, or making/fixing things ourselves
    • Less banking, more "credit unioning"
    • Making micro loans through Kiva.org (over 700 so far)

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 6:54am

    #3
    Daniel Hromyko

    Daniel Hromyko

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2010

    Posts: 9

    Getting Serious

    "gracefully deal with the continued growth" Nice style but wrong message.

    "I have 99% confidence that humans will someday be powering 100% of their energy needs from the sun." Deceptive message. Brutal honesty is getting serious, Catering to the politically correct sensibilities of professional compromisers compromises you Mr Martenson. Manners and etiquette be dammed. Political Correctness was an Orwellian political agenda to protect/prevent calling a lying lowlife scum politician, a lying peice of sh*t, and it is a way for the corrupt to carry out their machinations together and amongst their peers in an environment where lying is spin,the mass murder of civilians is collateral damage, and my favorite, " he wasn't entirely forthcoming with the truth" is accepted as reality without costs. Political correctness is primarily cowardice hiding behind the skirts of prudence when it's coming from a politician, so why not "let them have it" with a little shock and awe of reality?  

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 8:04am

    #4

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Rossi to the Rescue

    Of Homo Capensis, not H.Sap.

    Andrea Rossi
    March 29, 2016 at 1:44 PM
     
    DEAR READERS:
     
    WE HAVE RECEIVED RIGHT NOW THE ERV’S REPORT WHICH HAS BEEN DELIVERED TO INDUSTRIAL HEAT AND TO MYSELF. While I cannot release the report publicaly at this time, I can state that I am very pleased with the results. I hope that Industrial Heat and I will be able to release the report publicaly in the near future.
    May God help us for the hard work waiting for us all.
     
    Warm Regards,
    Dr Andrea Rossi,
    CEO of Leonardo Corporation
     

    https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/index.php/Thread/2927-WE-HAVE-RECEIVED-RIGHT-NOW-THE-ERV%E2%80%99S-REPORT-Rossi

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 11:19am

    #5
    jhutchison

    jhutchison

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 03 2014

    Posts: 4

    Energy efficiency combined with renewable energy can do the job.

    -Heat pumps like this  http://www.daikinaircon.com.au/daikin-split-systems/daikin-ururu-sarara-split-system can replace gas space heating saving 90% energy

    -Heat pumps can also heat water saving 75% energy http://www.sandenwaterheater.com/

    -LED lights can save 80% lighting energy 

    Combine this with home insulation, draft sealing, life style changes, thermostat settings etc and you can cut your energy (not just electricity) consumption by 90% (suddenly renewable energies job got a whole lot easier).

    -Transport can be achieved within say 15 km ranges via electric bicycle which covers that distance in 30mins (if you stick to a legal motor size).

    -Electric motor bikes can be used for longer distances. 

    If you combine all these options with growing food more locally, upgrades to rail networks, telecommuting, electric freight vehicles, buses etc the transport task will shrink its energy requirements by over 80%.

    It is not just about supplying the same amount of energy via solar and wind it is about cutting the huge energy waste which is the bulk of the job. 

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 2:38pm

    #6
    RoseHip

    RoseHip

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 05 2013

    Posts: 144

    Walk the talk

    Upon some of the revelations of your other recent post and the subject of deception and some of its positive aspects. Sort of like the best way to cease smoking is to do more of it while paying close attention to how it makes you feel. 

    I suggest an alternative strategy or approach other than being absolutely truthful, fact driven while exposing all the rational reasons why we should change, (that has been tried and I don't think you enjoy banging your head against a wall). Suggesting the opposite, the absurd. I think you have the mind and the now I know you have spiritual sense to fill in these blanks.

    Maybe the most success isn't exposing the deception its creating your own.  

    R

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 2:53pm

    #7

    ckessel

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 12 2008

    Posts: 170

    The UN advisory council

    Good work Chris,

    You will obviously be delivering a message that the council will have difficulty receiving. The reaction should be a good litmus test of how this predicament will play out as regards global leadership.

    The other day I was going through my old book library and came across a copy of  'The National Energy Plan' authored by Jimmy Carter in 1977. It lays out a course of action very similar to todays narrative regarding the need to limit our use of fossil fuels ….. or dire consequences await. Of course we know how that worked out. As a populace we remain in denial.

    If someone wanted to know what life would be like with an 80% reduction in energy, take your electric and gas bill and calculate the amount you use and then turn off your meter main switches when you reach that number for the month. And stop driving your car when you have consumed 20% of your usual allotment. The present time good news is that you could simply flip the switch back on if you got into trouble …………… which most of us would IMHO.

    I think things like lawns and electric lawnmowers, driveway blowers, heatpumps and rototillers would switch to vegetable patches, rakes and hoes and natural ventilation rather quickly. But available water and good soil ultimately will be an absolute necessity as the energy noose tightens.

    I am very interested to hear how your visit goes. At the very least we know that there will be some discomfort from council members. Let's hope so anyway!

    Coop

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 3:01pm

    #8

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 487

    Professor Jones wrote:The

    [quote=Professor Jones]

    The numbers you start dealing with become so large that they are difficult to comprehend,."

    [/quote]
     
    Al Bartlett would be pleased with your efforts.
     
    I have two hybrids and a European style scooter that I ride exclusively when weather permits.    
     
    Some retirees in Arizona drive Hybrids, but many more drive trucks, SUVs and muscle cars.  We've even seen a few of these running around.  They sell at RV centers and go for around $100K.  Their retiree owners seem to use them for day sightseeing trips.
     
     
    I moved last fall, so this year I get to start a garden again.  I'm also going to look for people giving away old thermopane windows to build a greenhouse with.  
     
    Increased attic insulation and storm windows for over my thermopane windows are on the list, as is an alternative heat source, but probably next year.
     
    I'm retired.  Thanks to the Fed, I don't have much income and my medical insurance costs are rediculious and growing.  Thanks Obama, for the affordable health care legislation that bears your name.  
     
    So there is a limit to how much I can do.  I'm thinking about taking a part time job at a building supply store, mostly to get an employee discount on building materials.

     

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 3:07pm

    #9
    Vilbas

    Vilbas

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 14 2014

    Posts: 10

    Taking a bit of a different track...

    My girlfriend and I both were growing increasingly discontent living in Austin working jobs we don't really like knowing we can't really do any of the homesteading and big picture things we really want to do.  On top of that, we both are interested in doing something different for a living that doesn't require us to commute and sit in front of a computer for 8+ hrs a day.  Our problem is that we don't really know where to head to next.  My hometown near Dallas is always a fall back but it and Texas overall leaves much to be desired on many fronts.

    So, instead of continuing to self-loathe we made the decision to quit our jobs, sell most of our stuff and go on a cross-country many months long road trip adventure with our dogs.  The goal is to eventually learn how to bounce around without spending a ton of money.  We plan on camping, seeing friends/family, WWOOFing (working on organic farms for room and board), and generally finding some unique adventures and experiences along the way and maybe just maybe finding a place along the way that we really like and decide to move to. 

    We are hoping that along the way on this trip we can really make some investments on the 8 forms of capital.  We have enough financial capital to allow us to take this risk at least for a little while.  We will be setting up a blog and social media presence to see if we can monetize some of our adventures and hopefully network well enough to find other interesting opportunities along the way.

    Needless to say, if any fellow PeakProsperity folks need a hand with summer chores, gardening, special projects or just might be willing to let some friendly travelers stay at your place or camp on your land, let me know!  We hope to meet as many people along the way and do as many varied things as possible.

    We are both as utterly disgusted with modern life as the rest of you so I hope we can make some connections along the way!  We opted out of Rowe this year because that $1200 we would have spent to attend will go a loooong way on our trip.

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 4:15pm

    #10

    Taz Alloway

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 18 2010

    Posts: 461

    Thank you Chris

    It is hard to communicate that we may be facing 'less'. Not a popular message for people who are constantly seeking 'more'.

    I am dissatisfied with just reducing my own carbon footprint and keeping the issue present in conversation with others. I do not know how to be more broadly effective.

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 5:24pm

    #11
    richcabot

    richcabot

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 05 2011

    Posts: 210

    The practical issues of going electrical

    The whole alternative power industry has some serious challenges. Not the least of which is that fossil fuel infrastructure uses steel. There’s lots of iron and carbon around to make it.
    Electric power depends on copper. There’s not so much of that around.

    Here’s a back of the envelope calculation I just ran.

    There were about 15 M cars sold in the US last year, about 70 M worldwide.

    Electric cars take about 150-180 lbs of copper for their engine rotors and chassis wiring. Conventional vehicles use about 50 lbs. That’s a 100-130 lb increase.

    Multiplying these out, converting to electric cars would require 1.5-1.9 Billion pounds of copper for the US and 7-9 Billion pounds worldwide.

    World copper production was 19 M metric tonnes in 2014 or about 43 Billion pounds. Cars alone would consume 1/6th of all the copper produced.

    Now extend that to all the other fossil fuel engines used, like big trucks, bulldozers, cranes, airplanes (I’m not sure these are even feasible), etc. I haven’t attempted the numbers, but I’ll bet the copper consumption doubles.

    With all those electric vehicles you will need to boost the distribution grid all the way down to peoples homes to handle the increased energy transmission. More copper.

    Now consider that copper production is peaking. The US is at half its peak output (reached in 1997) and Chile has been flat since 2004. World reserves are estimated at 700 Million tonnes or about 38 years at current rates of consumption. Of course, consumption has been going up every year so the number of years left in reserve is going to be lower. If the electric vehicle conversion happens the reserves will be used up even faster.

    Electric vehicles also need a way to store all that energy. The current favorite battery technology is based on lithium. I haven’t attempted to estimate if there’s enough of that around, but I doubt it.

    Even if we could make enough electricity I’m skeptical that we’d be able to use it.

    The obvious conclusion is what Chris alluded to in his article. There will have to be massive societal changes, bringing people closer to their places of work, bringing food production closer to those places, etc. A complete restructuring of society into numerous small sustainable villages.

    This also means major changes in where people live. Places like Las Vegas are simply not sustainable in the long term.

    In spite of all this we continue to build housing and infrastructure in these types of cities. Our political structure is such that it is virtually impossible to stop. These places have two senators with no shortage of seniority.

    There’s lots more to the problem than can fit in a comment like this.

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 5:36pm

    #12

    Greg Snedeker

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 22 2012

    Posts: 380

    Contrary view

    Hi Chris,

    Congrats on the UN invitation. I expect just the opposite reception from them. My guess is they will be very receptive to and agree with your point of view. The problem will not be the message or conclusion but rather will be finding agreement as to how to reach agreed upon sustainable goals.  I look forward to hearing an update on how it went. – GB

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 6:12pm

    #13
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 892

    When, as i approx.

    when did we as a society become unsustainable? 1600's, late 1800's, I dunno, but think i'm close.

     

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 6:15pm

    #14
    richcabot

    richcabot

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 05 2011

    Posts: 210

    The Train

    Chris said: “So my challenge for myself is to see how much I can further cut back my own energy use”
    You did lead the article with “I’m on a Metro North train heading the NYC”. You didn’t drive!

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 6:21pm

    Reply to #9

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4767

    Congrats!

    [quote=Vilbas]

    So, instead of continuing to self-loathe we made the decision to quit our jobs, sell most of our stuff and go on a cross-country many months long road trip adventure with our dogs.  The goal is to eventually learn how to bounce around without spending a ton of money.  We plan on camping, seeing friends/family, WWOOFing (working on organic farms for room and board), and generally finding some unique adventures and experiences along the way and maybe just maybe finding a place along the way that we really like and decide to move to. 

     

    [/quote]

    Congratulations on the decision!   My wife Becca and I once took a year off and traveled the US in a VW camper.  I've never regretted that decision or set of experiences.

    There's a great relief in finally making the decision itself, so revel in that too.  🙂

    While it would have been great to see you again at Rowe, I totally understand your priorities.  If you need any suggestions on places to go, I'd recommend putting Asheville NC on your list an being sure to swing by Montague MA so we can introduce you to our neck of the woods.

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 6:36pm

    #15

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4767

    UN update...

    Well, I've just returned form the session and I can happily say that I spoke my piece.

    The advisory panel I am on is charged with sifting through a pile of grant applications for a $1M pile with the intent of delivering a very short list to a senior group which will make the final call based on our recommendations.

    The theme this year is "sustainable transportation."  I noted that I would be heavily favoring truly ground and mold breaking ideas that are both aspirational and have a strong means of shifting the narrative, because the time for nibbling around the edges has passed us by.  

    While $1M (going to a single winner) is a drop in the literal ocean of money needed to address the energy predicament, the opportunity here is to really influence the direction of the conversation by selecting an awardee that is not just figuring out a slightly slower (i.e. more efficient) way of burning fossil fuels.    That is, whose project can help shape the conversation and shift the narrative far beyond what the award can directly support.

    Of course, I am just one person on a sizable panel, so all I am doing here is explaining how I am looking at all this.  There are many other views in play.

    It's a great group of people involved and they are all very prominent and established in their fields.  I was nominated by one of them because he had used Crash Course video chapters to introduce people on his staff to the topic of energy economics.

    So this all feels like a good use of time, and I am very much liking the conversations so far, and I look forward to contributing where and how I can.

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 6:54pm

    #16
    Kraski55

    Kraski55

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 30 2016

    Posts: 1

    Energy Nomad

    Good Luck at the UN. Remember, to quote Ure, "it's all a business plan". 

    I consider myself to be an "energy nomad". Whatever steps one takes to reduce energy usage leaves the 800 pound gorilla in the room, the high costs of heating and cooling. A simple solution for retired folk,  follow the birds! I keep two smaller condos, one in CT and one in SW FL. Leaves heating and cooling costs very close to zero. To remain in NE would cost at least $500/mo in winter. I have not found a good way around this. Plus its a forever summer!

    It breaks my heart to think of the elderly suffering through the cold NE winter, especially when heating oil was $4/gallon. It will be there again. For that kind of money, with the tax savings, you can pick up a cheap condo down south and enjoy life. 

    Just an idea that works for me…..

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 6:56pm

    Reply to #15
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Good to hear

    [quote] I can happily say that I spoke my piece [/quote]

    [quote] feels like a good use of time, and I am very much liking the conversations so far [/quote]

    That's good to hear. Now put your feet up, have a drink of something interesting, and get ready for the next round! 

    We'll be interested to hear more as this progresses.

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 7:09pm

    #17
    DennisC

    DennisC

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2011

    Posts: 101

    Ah, Meetings

    I read through most of this last year, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development from the U.N.

    https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

    The key topics:

    Sustainable Development Goals

    • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
    • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
    • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
    • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
    • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
    • Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
    • Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
    • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
    • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
    • Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
    • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
    • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
    • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
    • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
    • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
    • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
    • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

    The goals are futher detailed subsequently.  For example:

    Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
    7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
    7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
    7.a By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology
    7.b By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support

    My favourite result from any meeting (particularly the ones that were not making much progress, i.e. many of them) was when someone said "I agree in principle with you" (on that point or topic). [Def: If you ​agree with or ​believe something in principle, you ​agree with the ​idea in ​general, ​although you might not ​support it in ​reality or in every ​situation].

    Yeah, meeting over!  Time to head to the local watering hole or Kneipe and knock back a few rounds of Budweiser Budvar (the real deal).  An extra round for the poor bloke that gets to type up the meeting minutes.

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 7:17pm

    #18

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1540

    It's just like the Titanic

    Chris, I cheer your opportunity to inject some sanity into the international dialogue about "What To Do."  Even if the attempt ultimately fails (and I'm sure it will along the lines gillbilly suggested in #12), the attempt should be made if for no other reason than to take away the excuse of "No one could've seen this coming! Why didn't somebody say something sooner?"  The attempt to warn others, change our own personal courses, and change society's course is also a moral imperative for us (regardless of results) if we ever hope to consider ourselves people of compassion and integrity.

    To me, the problem boils down to one of morality. The willingness to honestly face problems and predicaments with eyes wide open is a positive moral trait, one of the essences of "wisdom."  The refusal or unwillingness to face them is evil and foolishness.  It seems undeniable to me that the large majority of people all over the world are morally deficient in that they refuse to or "can't" (emotionally) face these problems and predicaments in any significant and constructive way.

    We've been this way on environmental and energy problems/predicaments for decades, and we've only gotten worse.  I too remember working for Jimmy Carter's election and cheering his attempt to generate "an adult discussion" (as Chris often describes it) around these issues.  I also remember the push back he got from TPTB and I remember my neighbors and friends scoffing and laughing at his attempts (especially his sweater).  And here we are about 40 years later without much to show for the efforts many have made before and since.  (I'm not demeaning the many positive changes and efforts made. I'm just saying the problem has gotten bigger too, largely negating the impact of the good.)

    In fact, I think it's much worse morally for us than it was in the 1970's and 80's.  We are still morally unwilling to face up to the problems and predicaments that are upon us, but now more than ever we are turning on each other in a million predatory ways.  We're just like the passengers on the doomed Titanic: proud, arrogant, refusing to see potential problems, and when disaster strikes there is chaos (from lack of adequate preparation) and the rich and powerful prey on the poor and weak (in the disgusting struggle for the inadequate number of seats on the life boats).  Just when we most need to put selfishness and greed aside and all work together, most of us, from first class on down to steerage, are stabbing others in the back for a chance at survival or even just for a tiny, temporary advantage.  We aren't rising to the occasion.  We're sinking to the lowest levels imaginable.

    This is from today's Daily Digest:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/30/a-dozen-current-and-former-principals-of-beleaguered-detroit-public-schools-allegedly-took-nearly-1m-in-kickbacks/

    When Ronald Alexander appeared via video conference on the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” last month, he was described as “the most amazing man.” Alexander, 60, was the principal of Charles L. Spain Elementary-Middle School, a Detroit public school that became the recipient of a $500,000 donation facilitated by the show.

    The episode, which aired in early February, played footage of the school’s crumbling roof and dilapidated gym. Virtually none of the school’s technology worked, DeGeneres told her audience, and the students were forced to take P.E. classes in the hallways.

    Before a crowd of students and staff in the cafeteria, DeGeneres announced a slate of donations totaling half a million dollars from Lowe’s, the home improvement company, amid raucous cheers.

    Then, the grand finale came in the form of Justin Bieber emerging from a box beside DeGeneres. The pop star announced that $1 of every ticket sold for an upcoming concert in the area would be given to Spain Elementary.

    “Of all the people in the whole world, I am the happiest principal on Earth,” Alexander said into the camera with a wide grin. “I love you! I love you again! This is the best.”

    His mood may have since changed, as Alexander was named on Tuesday as one of 12 current and former Detroit principals charged with taking bribes and kickbacks from a school supplies vendor and fabricating invoices from the city’s beleaguered public schools.

    The alleged scheme began in 2002 and continued until January 2015…

    statement from McQuade’s office accuses Norman Shy, the owner of school supplies vendor Allstate Sales, of conspiring with Clara Flowers, the assistant superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools’ Office of Specialized Student Services.

    Shy and Flowers are also charged with tax evasion for failing to report income.

    Flowers allegedly received $324,785 in kickbacks from Shy in return for using him as the district’s vendor. According to charging documents cited by the Detroit Free Press, these came in the form of cash, gift cards and payments to contractors who renovated Flowers’s house.

    Flowers and Shy allegedly met regularly to discuss the favors that Flowers was owed, amounts which were carefully tabulated on a ledger that Shy maintained…

    The arrangements with principals allegedly unfolded in a similar manner, but in return for kickbacks and bribes, the principals submitted fraudulent invoices — claiming costs for auditorium chairs, lined paper and supplemental teaching materials that were never delivered.

    According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the financial compensation received by the principals ranged from a low of $4,000 to a high of $194,000. In all, the alleged payments from Shy to school officials totaled $908,518.

    As the Detroit Public Schools were sliding below the waves, some people at the top were shamelessly skimming from the shrinking pot for their own benefit instead of working unselfishly for the good of all.  And these are just the ones who got caught and for whom there is enough evidence to bring criminal charges.  There were/are many others.

    I'm all in favor of trying to warn others and alter the course we're all on, regardless of how few positive responses there may be.  I feel morally bound to do so, as probably all of us do here at PP.com.  However, I'm under no illusions about the possibility of good and glorious results.  So I'll keep trying, but in the meantime I'm working on this Ark I'm building.

    "Welcome to the Hunger Games. And may the odds be ever in your favor."

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 7:41pm

    #19
    Helix

    Helix

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 20 2008

    Posts: 58

    The real conflict I see here

    The real conflict I see here is that the steps that need to be taken really need to be from the bottom up.  Is the UN equipped to support bottom-up transformation? 

    The fact is that the dilemmas we face are becoming quite well know — thanks to you and others like you, Chris!  Despite that, I don't see much bottom-level action except by kooks like us.  So knowledge of the problem is not enough.  Concrete programs need to be put into place to facilitate the needed transitions at the local level. 

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 7:43pm

    Reply to #9
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    Vilblas - this summer

    I will pm you

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 8:07pm

    #20
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    energy use

    I did this a few years ago, as part of the Riot For Austerity. The idea was that to keep the carbon emissions below 350ppm, it was estimated that the US needed to collectively lower its average energy usage by 90%.

    Of course, we are well above 350ppm at this point. But, we still need to do this. It wasnt that bad, my household basically made it, and we still exist in a modern house and all. I mean, I do have  refrigerator etc…

    Transportation is a huge thing. We carpooled extensively, and I drove a TDI running off of Biodiesel, locally made. Heat is a second. We heat with locally harvested bio-mass (wood) burned in a modern catalytic converter equiped freestanding wood stove. And did the insulate the Sill Plate thing, as well as encapsulating the crawlspace from the dirt and closing off vents to the  crawlspace. We wear used cashmere sweaters in the house and sleep under down comforters. We keep the electric hot water heater "off" most of the time right now as the solar hot water heater panel is broken. We cut our showers down to 1 or 2 a week, short, and wash inbetween using less water by the sink. No one except you all I just told, is the wiser.

    Internet boxes turned off at night and for large swathes of time in the day while we go be more productive. We only have laptops, etc….

    Grow food, by local produce if needed, buy dry goods in bulk, can my own tomatoes, jam, fruit, broth, etc…..

    I dont want to do the whole list. We made our 10%

    Even I can do more.

    On the list: Fix the solar hot water; replace my broken solar PV batteries; Make warm window curtains; extend fencing to provide more forage to chickens and goats; We may finally get to Bio-Gas generation, look at Hestia for inspiration; Finish Caulking; Fix the various air-sealing problems between the downstairs bathroom and the garage; In the farther future will be: a better root cellar area; etc… to take dependence off of having a refrigerator.

    The most important electrical appliance to me is my clothes washer. and well pump. These are the needs hardest for me to get around. I can cook in various ways, my solar ovens, woodstove, maybe biogas in the future. I can wash by dishes by hand. We would all live withe the internet gone. I like some refrigeration, given that we have dairy goats, but could be alot less, or direct solar, or absorbtion cycle off of bio-gas. Other people could wash clothes by hand, but I am disabled esp in the arm shoulder area. I could trade for it. Well pump could be run direct off of one of my solar panels, just needs to pump on sunny days as we have a water tank

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 9:00pm

    #21
    DurangoDan

    DurangoDan

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 14 2015

    Posts: 3

    AGW/Ocean Acidification

    Chris, You provide too much accurate information and analysis to continue to be a purveyor of the carbon based warming and ocean acidification fear mongering.  I just came across this site and I believe if you take the time to check it out your fears will be erased. http://nov79.com/gbwm/acd.html  This page explains the limits and drivers of acidification.  On other pages, he demolishes the radiative green house effect, which is the foundation of climate fear.  Thanks for all you do, but please keep the criminality of the banksters and politicians front and center.  The debt based monetary system is the real source of our problems.

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 9:20pm

    #22
    Time2help

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2272

    Nice weather

    It’s sunny and 70 outside here in Seattle…in March.

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 10:05pm

    #23
    Trun87114

    Trun87114

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2013

    Posts: 79

    Bravo

    Bravo, Chris.  This is the sort of article that keeps me coming back here.

    While I thought the entire article was fantastic, the best part IMO was that you were nominated via someone with influence sharing The Crash Course.  The Crash Course is a genuine masterpiece and it's inspirational to think that it may be reaching more people.

    Also inspirational was your challenge to us, your readers, and some of the responses to it.  In that vein, here are my meager efforts (all of which have occurred in the past 4 years.)

    – 3.5 kW grid-tied PV system 

    – geothermal heat pump for cooling/heating/hot water

    – 5 chickens in the backyard, 7 fruit trees and the garden has now grown to > 200 sq ft

    – this spring's project is installing drip irrigation to that garden

    – I mostly work from home and when I have to drive I often ride my 650cc motto that gets ~52mpg

    Where I need to improve most, I think, is in supporting and encouraging others to make similar steps.  I'm a private person and relatively new to my area.  I haven't built the social capital I need, not just for myself but to effective influence others to become the change I/they want to see.  

     

    T.

     

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 10:22pm

    #24
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 367

    Roman Central Heating

    Maybe this is a wild card but has anyone had any experience constructing roman style central heating systems (Hypocaust)?

    In particular how easy is it to construct and how efficiently does it keep the house/room warm? I'm assuming it'll be wood fueled. What caught my eye from the wikipedia entry was the following;

    [quote]

    "With the decline of the Roman Empire, the hypocaust fell into disuse, especially in the western provinces. In Britain, from c. 400 until c. 1900, central heating did not exist, and hot baths were rare.In the Iberian Peninsula, the Roman system was adopted for the heating of Hispano-Islamic (Al Andalus) baths (hammams). A derivation of hypocaust, the gloria, was in use in Castile until the arrival of modern heating. After the fuel (mainly wood) was reduced to ashes, the air intake was closed to keep hot air inside and to slow combustion."

    [/quote]

    It would seem we have a choice between either hypocausts or modernised gas central heating systems. Anyone come across other heating alternatives?

     

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 10:58pm

    #25
    climber99

    climber99

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 12 2013

    Posts: 184

    Reality check time. Life after fossil fuels.

      It has been estimated the average US person consumes 250 kWh/day. So how much of this came from "renewable" sources?     Well 5 mins research can easily reveal that.

    In 2013 the US produced 522.46 TWh of energy from all types of "renewables". Divide this by a population of 320 million over 365 days. Answer: 4.47 kWh/day per person or 1.8% of what an average American consumes.

     

    Shocked ? You should be. Even if "renewables" were to go through 4 doubling from 4.5 to 9 to 18 to 36 to 72 kWh/day per person (which is highly unlikely in my view), it would still mean the average American would have to reduce their energy consumption by 71% (from 250 to 72 kWh/day). Forget running an electric car !

     

    However it gets worse than this because not all the 72 kWh/day would be available to people. A proportion (perhaps all) of this 72kWh/day will have to be reserved to "renew" the "renewables" as they come to the end of their life spans.

     

    (By the way, so that you can get a handle on the figures, 1 kWh/day is just enough to power a 40W light bulb for the whole day)

     

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 11:09pm

    Reply to #11
    jhutchison

    jhutchison

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 03 2014

    Posts: 4

    Going electrical but also being much smarter

    richcabot, when people say we need to go to the electric car the assumption is that we replace ICE cars for electric cars in a direct swap, that would be silly and probably impossible as you say.

    Say the passenger task equals 100 transport units (passenger miles/kms etc) it could be achieved by by a direct swap i.e.  

    like for like

    99 units electric car

    1 unit bikes walking etc OR

    something like this: 

    10 units walkable neighborhood

    10 units telecommuting

    20 units bikes/electric bikes

    5 units electric motobikes

    10 units electric buses

    15 units electric trains 

    5 units electric taxis 

    10 units shared electric cars

    15 units private electric cars 

    or any other mix you like, much less materials required, much more efficient same goes for the freight transport task. 

     

     

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 11:13pm

    #26
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    a challenge to all

    One thing I have noticed is how much driving is done "for the children". We are dooming them to various troubles of instability by not changing.

    My challenge to all is this : Try It. For One Year. You know it wont kill them, tell your spouse it is a learning and experiment, whatever you can excuse it as to do it. Say it is temporary, try for one year. Do not drive them to activities. Not to friends houses that is 20min, 1/2 hour away.  For one year, they can live without soccer, ballet, basketball, etc…. Instead do things right there at home, together as a family and with neighbors, for one year.

    This year, do not fly somewhere for vacation, save the money aside. Do a staycation or go somehwere a lot closer.

    Have fun. Make art. Play loud music. make music. Cook cookies in the solar cooker. Make lemonaide. picnic on the front lawn and invite passersby to have some.

    Power down. Choose to simplify and have alot of fun. Be expansive. Make fun projects from local materials. Play board games. Play tag. Play in the sprinkler on the lawn this summer. Sleep on the lawn after a campfire there even on a work night.

    Let the neighbor kids come over and give them homemade frozen juice bars. Make tea for their moms. Get to know your neighbors.

    Hang your laundry outside. Shower less. Unplug the TV and video game players and put in a box in the garage. For one year.

    Use the time saved from not driving them so much to cook homemade, garden a bit. Do not buy the boxed premade foods. For one year.

    Assess and the end, report back

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 11:17pm

    #27

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 471

    Thumbs Up

    Congratulations Chris for getting your foot in the door and being asked to contribute.  I hope you will become a permanent presence and advisor.

    There continues to be articles in our local paper regarding the ongoing die-off of sea birds up here.  What does ecological disaster and sustainable transportation have to do with each other? I think it's the pursuit of "profit" and that means controlling resources. In my mind it's painfully simple.  Changing global focus away from profit to a healthy planet seems like a daunting task.  I can't think of anyone else I would rather have fighting for us and the planet than Chris.  I hope people listen.  

    AK GrannyWGrit

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 11:21pm

    #28
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    riot for austerity calculator

    here is one link to the riot for austerity calculator

    http://greenknowe.org/r4a/

    Barb is nice enough to keep alink to it. The goal is to reduce your total to 10 or 20% of US average, there are many ways to do this, we all do slightly different mixes.

     

    my present snapshot m

    Riot for Austerity
    Resource Calculator

    Public Transportation: miles per person per
    Waste veggie oil: miles per person per
    Solar: kWh per household per
    Wind/Hydro: kWh per household per
    Propane: gallons per household per
    Heating Oil: gallons per household per
    Wood: cords per household per
    Used stuff: dollars per household per

     
    Transportation
    Gas, diesel, biofuels: gallons per person per
      You have used
    48.7 %
    of the national average
    for transportation fuel
    US Avg.
    Your Usage
    R4A Target
    Electricity
    Conventional: kWh per household per
      You have used
    22.1 %
    of the national average
    for electricity
    US Avg.
    Your Usage
    R4A Target
    Heating & Cooking fuel
    Natural Gas: therms per household per
      You have used
    4 %
    of the national average
    for heating & cooking fuel
    US Avg.
    Your Usage
    R4A Target
    Garbage
    Garbage: lbs per person per
      You have used
    4.4 %
    of the national average
    for garbage
    US Avg.
    Your Usage
    R4A Target
    Water
    Water: gallons per person per
      You have used
    0.0 %
    of the national average
    for water
    US Avg.
    Your Usage
    R4A Target
    Consumer Goods
    New stuff: dollars per household per
      You have used
    2.9 %
    of the national average
    for consumer goods
    US Avg.
    Your Usage
    R4A Target
    Food
    Local, sustainably grown: %
    Dry, unprocessed bulk goods: %
    Wet goods & conventional: %
    Local & sustainable
    Dry bulk
    Wet goods
    R4A Target
    Your Usage
    Overall (excluding Food)
      You have used approximately
    13.7 %
    of the national average
    for non-food categories
    US Avg.
    Your Usage
    R4A Target

    ight be something like this, as my solar needs repair and I am not currently buying recycled veggie fuel, and I am driving an exchange student to school

     

     

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 11:29pm

    Reply to #24
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    Why in the world would you

    Why in the world would you think there are only these two choices ? what about solar heat , passive direct solar gain? What about a regular wood stove ? O, a wood stove with built in mass, of which there are many types and designs ? what about all the plans for Solar air, thermosyphoned heat ?

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  • Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - 11:34pm

    #29

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Online)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1971

    Building a Home Around a Russian Fireplace

    Luke's Hypocaust reminds me of a Russian Fireplace, a central heat source that a small well insulated home was build around.   Exhaust heat and smoke from the firebox was routed through a circuitous path heating up a large thermal mass of masonry/stone/brick which would stay warm for many hours. 

    These things are very heavy and are not easily added-on to an existing home.

     

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 12:29am

    Reply to #13
    richcabot

    richcabot

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 05 2011

    Posts: 210

    The date

    I’ve read several papers that assert the late 1800’s.

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 12:31am

    #30
    Weogo

    Weogo

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 06 2015

    Posts: 48

    ocean ph changing

    Hi DDan,

    The ph of the oceans is changing:

     http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?p=2&t=63&&a=243

    You might want to read this thread, from beginning to end; I did.

    It is moderated by a real climate scientist :
     https://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/definitive-global-climate-change-aka-global-warming-thread-general-discussion-and-questions/71#comments

    Thanks and good health, Weogo

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 12:42am

    Reply to #11
    richcabot

    richcabot

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 05 2011

    Posts: 210

    Electrical Alternatives

    I agree that there are more intelligent solutions than one for one swapping of cars. Although it improves things, I suspect there will still be a vast shortage of copper.
    Regardless of how this might shift the demand for copper, the impact on infrastructure design will still be immense. The traditional urban/suburban model with people commuting in cars and mass transit is grossly energy inefficient. However, that’s how current housing is still being built today.

    The required changes to come even close to sustainable living are far more fundamental than the vast majority of people understand. I think that was Chris’s real point. The time for incremental changes is long gone. Revolutionary changes are required. We’re still arguing with people who don’t want to even make the inremental changes.

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 12:54am

    #31
    Tikky2

    Tikky2

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 24 2012

    Posts: 11

    What to do?

    This is great (albeit horrifying) information but I never quite know what to do with it. I've personally done what I can to reduce my energy use, but I live in a condo with my husband in a city just outside of Seattle. I walk everywhere I can, and my husband takes the bus to work. I grow a small amount of veggies, berries and herbs on our patio. I have a small community garden plot (not within walking distance though) and grow more there. I freeze, dry and can some food to use during the year. Storage space is limited, but I do what I can. We do have cars but drive as little as possible. We have family in the area and have no desire to move far away.

    My husband already owned this condo before I moved in (and I was unfamiliar with our current predicament at that time). I'd love to move to a small homestead, and there are houses/lots within 20 miles that would fit the bill perfectly. However, we don't have the 700K to 1.5 million (at least) we'd need for such a place (nor do I wish to take on such a mortgage). My husband also isn't remotely interested in that kind of life (he's a tech guy).

    So I do my best to be at peace with the uncertainty of our future as we head toward collapse. I work on emotional and spiritual resistance on a daily basis. I am increasing my skill set and adaptability as best I can. I nurture the relationships I have in my life and make efforts to be on good terms with my condo neighbors (not an easy task at times). I'd love to do more, but at least I am doing something.

     

     

     

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 1:37am

    Reply to #24

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 487

    mntnhousepermi wrote:Why in

    [quote=mntnhousepermi]

    Why in the world would you think there are only these two choices ? what about solar heat , passive direct solar gain? What about a regular wood stove ? O, a wood stove with built in mass, of which there are many types and designs ? what about all the plans for Solar air, thermosyphoned heat ?

    [/quote]

    I'm thinking you don't live very far North.  As Al said, do the math.

    There isn't enough wood to replace the energy supplies we are currently using.

    In the book "Collapse," deforestation was frequently one of the last acts of a collapsing society.

    What's the point in surviving, if we cut down all the trees and drive all the animals into extinction?

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 2:24am

    #32
    chipshot

    chipshot

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 15 2010

    Posts: 50

    We Have to Use More Human Energy

    One indisputable conclusion is we have to use more human power and much less manufactured (for lack of a better term) energy, for there is no method of generating energy without harmful side effects.

    Every other life form on the planet is limited by it's own energy.   It's past time that we do the same.  For the past 150 years the human race has been the beneficiary of a once-in-a-species-lifetime-jackpot of fossil fuels, and all the other ways of generating energy that fossil fuels enabled.  We've blown through much of that jackpot, and the consequences of doing so are reaching critical levels and tipping points.

    Relying on our own energy will result in a vastly lower standard of living, to the point of requiring great sacrifice.  In practically all areas of our lives.  Our radius of travel will be significantly reduced.  We will experience a lot more physical discomfort.  The quantity and variety of food will shrink.  Many people won't be able to cope.

    But…with changing priorities and the right attitude, our quality of life doesn't have to suffer, and in many ways could improve.  That's if we make this shift fast enough.  And if it's not already too late.  Not sure why anyone would realistically believe the former is likely, or that the latter is not, but it seems irresponsible, inexcusable and just plain evil not to try.

    Why there hasn't been a movement to switch from cars to mopeds, scooters, e-bikes and bicycles is beyond me.  Never mind climate change, our dependence on foreign oil, or the likely oil price spikes/suppIy problems coming our way, I don't see anyway around the prospect that a majority of Americans are going to be financially unable to keep their cars in the not too distant future (with or without higher oil prices).  Whether that happens in 5, 10 or 20 years is anybody's guess, but we aren't going to make such a transition over night. And we'll never be able to afford mass transit for the masses.   

    IMO switching over to 2 and 3 wheel vehicles should be a top priority.  It won't be pretty if millions have to give up their traditional cars without a feasible, quick to implement plan B.

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 2:35am

    #33

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 230

    About those 485,000 turbines installed per year.

    But to contain global warming to a figure less than 2°C nations would have to ramp up renewable investment by 2028 to the annual equivalent of 485,000 such wind turbines.

    That's about 2.5 million megawatts total or 2.5 terawatts (trillion watts or TW) per year of capacity.  Assuming turbines operate at about 30% of capacity on average, that's an increase in power generated of about 0.8 TW every year.  The only problem is that one study that has actually looked at how many turbines we could have concluded that we'll be limited to 1-3 TW total energy production.  At that rate of installation, we're at the limit in a few years.

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 3:30am

    Reply to #24
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    les phelps

    I was responding to someone who said there were 2 choices, wood fired hypocaust ( as the Romans used) or natural gas furnace.

    There are more than those 2 ways to heat.

    I live where it is cold in the winter, I live on top of a mountain. I know that we use too much enervy to het right now. SO, the first thing to do is to air seal and insulate and need less added heat. I know our spaces we are heating are too big. When the space is smaller, it needs less heat. I know we need to focus on heating hte person and not the space — so, we wear things like used cashmere sweaters and wool hats inside so we dont need to add as much heat. I know I do not need to blast heat at night while we are asleep, although that does make it tough to get out of a warm bed in the morning.

    " I'm thinking you don't live very far North.  As Al said, do the math.

    There isn't enough wood to replace the energy supplies we are currently using.

    In the book "Collapse," deforestation was frequently one of the last acts of a collapsing society.

    What's the point in surviving, if we cut down all the trees and drive all the animals into extinction? "

    This is a common thought — But, we do not and can not go on using what we do now. We need to reduce what we are using, maybe doing somethings as I outlined above. We actually have to change our lifestyles and how we live.

    Then, it is not so much energy that is added to stay warm. A radient heat source, like a wood stove, warms the people in line of sight of it without needing to bring the households air up to a high temperature.

    Passive solar gain is very useful and adds alot of heat for us. Other people use solar heaters that make warm air. So, there are more options than wood hypocaust or forced air natural gas furnace.

    I can live without much added energy — we all can

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 3:46am

    Reply to #24
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    integrated processes are more efficient

    The other thing that happens when lives are more integrated is that the same energy used to make food heats the living space. SO, instead of a factory cooking or canning the food, with alot of resultant waste heat, these things are done in the home where the energy and heat also warm the house. So, animal forage from perrenial bushes and coppiced trees, the goats eat the leaves and leave the branches. These waste branches are the only fuel that is needed to process foods and heat a small (insulated) house. No deforestation required. Just one of many examples would be Mulberry, a very, very fast growing, easily pollarded or coppiced, the leaves are super high protein feed for goats or chickens. 

    Another very renewable fuel for cooking, and maybe even heating if you live where there is alot of organic waste would be Biogas. (anerobic digestion of organic wastes)

    We actually get a ton of heat from passive solar gain, when it isnt pouring down rain. It is significant. 

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 3:53am

    Reply to #31
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    Tikky2 wrote:This is great

    [quote=Tikky2]

    This is great (albeit horrifying) information but I never quite know what to do with it. I've personally done what I can to reduce my energy use, but I live in a condo with my husband in a city just outside of Seattle. I walk everywhere I can, and my husband takes the bus to work. I grow a small amount of veggies, berries and herbs on our patio. I have a small community garden plot (not within walking distance though) and grow more there. I freeze, dry and can some food to use during the year. Storage space is limited, but I do what I can. We do have cars but drive as little as possible. We have family in the area and have no desire to move far away.

    My husband already owned this condo before I moved in (and I was unfamiliar with our current predicament at that time). I'd love to move to a small homestead, and there are houses/lots within 20 miles that would fit the bill perfectly. However, we don't have the 700K to 1.5 million (at least) we'd need for such a place (nor do I wish to take on such a mortgage). My husband also isn't remotely interested in that kind of life (he's a tech guy).

    So I do my best to be at peace with the uncertainty of our future as we head toward collapse. I work on emotional and spiritual resistance on a daily basis. I am increasing my skill set and adaptability as best I can. I nurture the relationships I have in my life and make efforts to be on good terms with my condo neighbors (not an easy task at times). I'd love to do more, but at least I am doing something.

     

    I think you are and can do alot. You dont need to grow your won food right now to learn to process food, this is very helpful skill. So buy flats of fruit and dry or can. Buy staple foods in bulk (grains, beans). Etc… lots of skills to learn and do. You can learn to ferment or makes cheeses.

    Learning to repair or make clothing is also a great skill to develop. Crochet or knitting is portable and small hobby. Sewing is good too.

    I think there is a ton os self sufficiency skills you can nurture in a condo.

    Ham radio for emergency communications.

    Social Capital with neighbors is key.

    You can power down the household alot. Hang your clothes to dry. All our clothes are dried inside on drying racks.

     

    [/quote]

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 3:53am

    Reply to #31
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    Tikky2 wrote:This is great

    [quote=Tikky2]

    This is great (albeit horrifying) information but I never quite know what to do with it. I've personally done what I can to reduce my energy use, but I live in a condo with my husband in a city just outside of Seattle. I walk everywhere I can, and my husband takes the bus to work. I grow a small amount of veggies, berries and herbs on our patio. I have a small community garden plot (not within walking distance though) and grow more there. I freeze, dry and can some food to use during the year. Storage space is limited, but I do what I can. We do have cars but drive as little as possible. We have family in the area and have no desire to move far away.

    My husband already owned this condo before I moved in (and I was unfamiliar with our current predicament at that time). I'd love to move to a small homestead, and there are houses/lots within 20 miles that would fit the bill perfectly. However, we don't have the 700K to 1.5 million (at least) we'd need for such a place (nor do I wish to take on such a mortgage). My husband also isn't remotely interested in that kind of life (he's a tech guy).

    So I do my best to be at peace with the uncertainty of our future as we head toward collapse. I work on emotional and spiritual resistance on a daily basis. I am increasing my skill set and adaptability as best I can. I nurture the relationships I have in my life and make efforts to be on good terms with my condo neighbors (not an easy task at times). I'd love to do more, but at least I am doing something.

     

    I think you are and can do alot. You dont need to grow your won food right now to learn to process food, this is very helpful skill. So buy flats of fruit and dry or can. Buy staple foods in bulk (grains, beans). Etc… lots of skills to learn and do. You can learn to ferment or makes cheeses.

    Learning to repair or make clothing is also a great skill to develop. Crochet or knitting is portable and small hobby. Sewing is good too.

    I think there is a ton os self sufficiency skills you can nurture in a condo.

    Ham radio for emergency communications.

    Social Capital with neighbors is key.

    You can power down the household alot. Hang your clothes to dry. All our clothes are dried inside on drying racks.

     

    [/quote]

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 4:11am

    Reply to #24
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Warming the Person

    [quote] heating the person and not the space [/quote]

    Some useful reading from Low Tech Magazine:

    Restoring the Old Way of Warming: Heating People, Not Places

    How to Keep Warm in a Cool House

     

     

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 4:19am

    Reply to #24

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 487

    mntnhousepermi wrote:I can

    [quote=mntnhousepermi]

    I can live without much added energy — we all can

    [/quote]

    Some of us can, but the number may fall well short of 7.3 billion.

    Can't say I'm looking forward to it.

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 5:55am

    Reply to #24
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    LesPhelps

    [quote=LesPhelps]

    [quote=mntnhousepermi]

    I can live without much added energy — we all can

    [/quote]

    Some of us can, but the number may fall well short of 7.3 billion.

    Can't say I'm looking forward to it.

    [/quote]

     

     

    Well, first off, alot of those 7 million do not currently have central heat and air conditioning.

    …. Inuit lived without central heat or burning wood in the fozen arctic. People live in Tibet without burning much wood, they dont have much. It is cold there. People live Nomadic in yurts on cold, treeless plains. We are adaptable so far as the various living environmental conditions found around the world without central heat or air conditioning.

    It is nice to practice how to stay comfortable now while we can so easily turn on a modern convenience if we were wrong about a particular way to not freeze.

    We should all, in our current environment practice things like making shelter. We should all try low to no energy ways to keep our respective body temperature regulated. Experiment with ideas like, can we stay warm if we….. are all in one room….have a tent in the room…..wear certain clothing items….. etc…. If nothing else, it is good practice for if there is an emergency and you cannot use your heat. Collapse doesnt come at once anyways, more likely to have intermittancy in service. breakdowns that arent fixed quickly. Inability to pay a much higher than now bill if laid off. Find out how you can stay warm enough in your location if you had to.

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 6:16am

    Reply to #24
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 168

    Yoxa wrote:Quote: heating

    [quote=Yoxa]

    [quote] heating the person and not the space [/quote]

    Some useful reading from Low Tech Magazine:

    Restoring the Old Way of Warming: Heating People, Not Places

    How to Keep Warm in a Cool House

     

     

    [/quote]

     

    Thanks for this, I had forgotten about this site.

    They also have this one, on how  clothing makes so much difference. http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2011/02/body-insulation-thermal-underwear.html

    And, I have found this is true here. Right now I would be unhappy on this cilly evening if it wasnt for woll socks and wool sweater

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 6:51am

    #34
    Time2help

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2272

    Do we grow up in time?

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 8:57am

    Reply to #11
    jhutchison

    jhutchison

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 03 2014

    Posts: 4

    Heaps of copper is wasted

    I can't help thinking we have heaps of wasted copper in the form of telephone lines etc that could be recycled if we went to fiber for voice and data (which would also improve the viability telecommuting) of , much more efficient that refining ore, there is probably quite a bit of copper in landfill that could be mined. One thing is for sure we are going to have to get very serious about recycling just about everything if we what to have a hope of making a transition to a move viable civilisation. 

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 9:09am

    Reply to #1
    jhutchison

    jhutchison

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 03 2014

    Posts: 4

    Kill (gas) bill

    You can get rid of your gas bill entirely http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/12/9/smart-energy/want-get-rid-gas-bill-heres-how

     

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 10:43am

    #35
    VeganDB12

    VeganDB12

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 18 2008

    Posts: 114

    sigh

    The youth in my family are toughened up to handle this kind of thing. Thank heavens. My crazy family member who raised them for this kind of outcome ain't so crazy. 

    I am not so tough.  I will not survive in an igloo. The premise  for cannibalism in Soylent Green, the horror futuristic scifi movie from the 70's (probably based on principles from The Population Bomb), was phytoplankton in the oceans dying off. I have been reading about depletiing aquifers since I was a college student in the 70's and it was one of the motivations for my going vegetarian years later.

    Good luck Chris and thank you for your work. Those with a seat at (or at least near smiley )  the table can often do most and you are maximizing your opportunity here to help everyone in future generations.  You are taking a smarter approach and it will have a bigger impact. I will continue my little part as I can.

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 11:33am

    Reply to #29
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 367

    Thanks Sand Puppy

    Thanks Sand Puppy,

    That actually looks quite beautiful, and practical. I was thinking it would need to be built with a new construction anyway as you are quite right – modding an existing home would be very difficult. Especially the hypocaust, can't really retrofit that 🙂

    LesPhelps,

    We don't get much sunlight in the north of England so I think we'd have to combine wood usage with other forms of energy – I imagine diets and lifestyles will have to adapt to suit. I see forest management as being critical otherwise, as you rightly point out, we'll destroy all of the trees.

    mntnhousepermi,

    I was only suggesting the methods I'd heard of and did ask for alternatives 🙂

     

     

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 11:52am

    Reply to #11

    blackeagle

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 16 2013

    Posts: 228

    Copper

    Richcabot,

    The grid do not use copper anymore. All distribution cables and transformers use aluminum (because of weight and cost). Copper is mostly used inside buildings and equipment (motors, etc…). Not to use copper is also a way to prevent stealing of grid infrastructure components.  wink

    Aluminum is an option with the following inconvenient that are not insurmountable:

    – Larger wire (copper is more conductive than Alu) which implies larger equipment.

    – A bit harder to make junctions using marettes.

    Technically, there is a way to use Alu instead of copper. So, I think when copper will become a real issue, the industry will switch to Alu relative.ease.

    JM

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 12:53pm

    Reply to #33

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4767

    About those wind turbines

    [quote=Quercus bicolor]

    But to contain global warming to a figure less than 2°C nations would have to ramp up renewable investment by 2028 to the annual equivalent of 485,000 such wind turbines.

    That's about 2.5 million megawatts total or 2.5 terawatts (trillion watts or TW) per year of capacity.  Assuming turbines operate at about 30% of capacity on average, that's an increase in power generated of about 0.8 TW every year.  The only problem is that one study that has actually looked at how many turbines we could have concluded that we'll be limited to 1-3 TW total energy production.  At that rate of installation, we're at the limit in a few years.

    [/quote]

    That's some good math right there that we need to examine.  The truth is that there are only so many useful places for wind turbines to go as you point out, and as other people have mentioned it's not like once a wind tower goes up your troubles are over.

    The gearboxes wear down, they have a relatively short lifespan and then they need to be recycled and replaced.

    So eventually, you have to hit a steady state where the energy from the wind towers is sufficient to maintain the entire fleet of them…and then we get to use whatever is left over.

    At least if 'sustainable' is going to mean anything as a word.

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 1:44pm

    Reply to #30
    DurangoDan

    DurangoDan

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 14 2015

    Posts: 3

    AGW Gatekeepers

    Weogo, I'm familiar with the SkepticalScience website and I'd guess that you are familiar with http://wattsupwiththat.com/ .  Like the Democrat/Republican illusion of choice, these two sites appear to be polar opposites. What isn't well known is that both sites are "gatekeepers" whose real mission (in addition to keeping the cash flow coming from ads) is to keep the AGW debate going.  As such neither site will allow the falsity of the radiative greenhouse effect to be revealed.  Since the radiative GHE is the foundation of AGW, the climate swindle would immediately come to an abrupt end.  Gary Novak, Mushroom Physiologist and independent scientist does an absolutely masterful job of debunking the climate nonsense.  He is a joy to read.  "Climate Science" is without a doubt an oxymoron.  Happy reading!

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 1:52pm

    #36
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 892

    We're leaving...

    yep…we're leaving this century. Headed back to the 19th century. I'm taking basic medicine with me but O/W can't see much need for the rest of this.

    Kelsey has a foal kicking around in her, it is gonna be fun.

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 2:37pm

    Reply to #33

    ckessel

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 12 2008

    Posts: 170

    Sustainability Question

    And of course the same goes for hydro and solar PV. An interesting question posed to me was why the solar PV manufacturing companies don't run their plants on PV generated electricity? While I have not personally investigated such a plant, I presume it is due to the quantity of energy needed.

    I am very familiar with hydropower in that the Hetch Hetchy system owned by the City and County of San Francisco in in my backyard. The amount of fossil fuels needed to maintain the dams, power lines, ditches tunnels and reservoirs not to mention the huge turbines that run 24/7 is no small quantity. If that system had to be maintained with electricity only, I question how that might work out. I doubt anyone has considered it but it would be an interesting discussion!

    Coop

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 3:21pm

    #37
    Zefra

    Zefra

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 01 2016

    Posts: 7

    The Elephant in the Room

    Hi all.

    In all the discussions of sustainability, I never see anyone talking about population control.

    China has done a brilliant job in lowering their population numbers for the next generation — since couples were limited to one child, many more chose to have a boy, so now males outnumber females.

    Our planet can't sustain unlimited human population growth.  At some point, several things will happen:

    When any species population gets too crowded:
          a.  Opportunistic disease wipes out a large chunk
          b.  Fights over dwindling resources
          c.  Starvation

    Whatever the outcome, nature has a way of resetting the population to sustainable levels.  Technology will only get us so far. 

    Going to other planets could be possible, but I don't think that would ever happen before critical mass is reached.

    The world could agree to one child per female.  After the one child is born, the female is "fixed". 

    I know people would hollar about reproductive rights.  I'm a female .. I know to some people having a big family is important life experience.  But, we're talking about survival of the human race, we're talking about creating a decent quality of life for people in the future. 

    In wealthier countries you could tax additional children (instead of giving tax breaks — encouraging more children).  But what to do in poorer countries with little birth control and the desire to procreate a lot of children?

    If we don't stem population growth, no matter what we do "green" — we eventually will run out of resources. 

     

     

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 4:12pm

    #38

    newsbuoy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 169

    In reply to Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story

    In reply to Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story email: (see below)

    Once upon a time, about three years ago, Stanley, a skeptic and a mathematician, was convinced that it would take the oceans “at least” 100 years to rise three meters. He was quite arrogant about it with his friends most of whom put up with his wife just to hear his rational arguments about the universe they all happen to be born into. Well, one fine sunny day Stanley was standing on a corner with his calculator when he realized with horror that he had made a mistake. He was very upset, being unaccustomed to making mistakes, that is, ever since his mother sent him off to military academy to fix him. What was the mistake which made him so upset? That would take quite some time and at least a MS in Climatology to understand. What mattered was the “new” data appeared to suggest an inevitability that the beach house he had always wanted would be under water in his life time, if not sooner, like 10 years or so . He immediately began to negotiate with the universe (he happened to be born into). Perhaps we could build windmills instead of chasing them? Surely rearranging the chairs on the Titanic saved some lives (can’t proved it didn’t). What about putting some solar panels on the roof and recycling a little more? and on and on he thought of ways to negotiate with the data that seemed to imply if not directly point out that extinction was on the way. Of course, we all knew that it was inevitable but in 10-30 years? What about my dentist appointment! he thought.

    And, with that, our cheery little story, fueled by planet killing coffee, comes to it’s enlightened conclusion but first, a message from our sponsor, an honorable and legitimate gasoline manufacturing conglomerate. Please stay tuned.

    Apologies to Mr.’s Hitchcock and Beckett not to mention Mr. Benjamin, my high school english teacher.

    On Mar 31, 2016, at 2:20 AM, ________s wrote:

    *Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

    *Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

    *Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

    *Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.

    *Start as close to the end as possible.

    *Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

    *Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

    *Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense.

    Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 5:59pm

    #39
    Zefra

    Zefra

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 01 2016

    Posts: 7

    The Elephant in the Room

    What I don't see in any discussions is the topic of global population control.

    The US gives incentives for more children (tax break).  The US wants more bodies to tax, to fund the government.  Religions and cultures encourage large families.  It made sense when there was high infant mortality, but not now.

    As some point, no matter what "green" technologies are implemented, with unchecked human population growth, we will run out of resources.  The "haves" will be fine, the masses — not so fine. 

    Nature will correct the problem, if we don't (ie, limit of 1 child per female for a generation or two).

    – Starvation
    – Opportunistic Disease (ie plague)
    – Fighting over limited resources

     

     

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 6:12pm

    #40

    thebrewer

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 07 2012

    Posts: 35

    Biggest Hinderance

    I am a Field Energy Consultant for SolarCity and I meet with 3 or 4 homeowners a day and educate them on the benefits of going solar and I can tell you this much, for most people, about 90%, the environmental and sustainability benefits of solar take a backseat to savings. Bottom line, what am I going to save.

    I go in offering a way for them to move from dirty energy to clean energy and even save 10-18% and it will cost them nothing to get installed, no maintenance or repair concerns, etc and half will pass. Even the ones that do move forward require a lot of convincing. Most people just don't care about the environment, I think it's just too abstract in their mind, the electric bill that comes every month takes priority. 99% of the people I meet with have little to know idea of the long term cost of their energy choices. Only about 1 in 20 people I meet have the environment as their primary motivator and most of them wouldn't move forward unless they were at least saving a little.

    Making the kind of big sweeping change Chris referenced above is truly going to be an uphill battle on a sand dune of nearly infinite height. Most people are so self absorbed in their own little microcosms that they won't look up until it's too late. 

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 6:25pm

    #41
    RoseHip

    RoseHip

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 05 2013

    Posts: 144

    Thebrewer speaks some truth

    I also see/share your observations about people.

    The way I would communicate the same thought is by saying, The public really doesn't listen, they are being told straight forward facts. They'd rather except what some charismatic character tells them rather think about what the truth really might be. 

    or

    People don't believe what they think is right or real. They believe what they perceive they need to believe. 

    Which leads us down the path of whom ever is leading the most popular social delusion. Which is where a vulnerability exist. 

    R

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  • Thu, Mar 31, 2016 - 7:20pm

    #42
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 527

    And now, let the education begin

    If you have the time, I think we all should listen to the Energy Transition Show podcast, hosted by Chris Nelder. In his discussion with Mason Inman, they outline the peak oil subject, marvelously. History can teach us a lot, especially, if we take the time to listen.

    http://energytransitionshow.com/

    A good fellow to have on one of your Featured Interviews.

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 2:03am

    #43

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4767

    Now *this* is what I’m talking about!

    When I keep saying we need a humongous, enormous energy project to truly tackle the scale and the scope of the energy predicament, I say it needs to be like the Manhattan Project (times) The Apollo Project (times) some whole number like 10.

    And I noted that China is way ahead of the thinking and leadership on alternative energy as represented at the UN gig I was just at.

    Well, here are those two observations wrapped into one gigantic proposal.

    China Unveils Proposal for $50 Trillion Global Electricity Network

    MAR 31, 2016

    BEIJING — China has unveiled a proposal for a $50 trillion global electricity network that would help fight pollution and the effects of climate change.

    The plan envisions linking existing and future solar farms, wind turbines and electricity plants in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas, according to the head of State Grid Corporation of China.

    The proposal is in its initial stages and would require huge investment from around the world. If it goes ahead, it would be the world's largest infrastructure project. It could be operational by 2050, according to backers.

    The planet faces "three major challenges" of energy scarcity, environmental pollution and climate change, state-run news agency Xinhua News Agency quoted the firm's chairman Liu Zhenya as saying at an international energy conference on Wednesday.

    The State Grid Corporation of China envisions a future "global village" of efficient transmission lines to tap and distribute electricity from giant solar farms around the equator and wind stations in the Arctic, according to its website. Liu estimated that the global network could mean clean energy comprising 80 percent of global consumption, displacing fossil fuels as Earth's principal energy source.

    Not *that’s * what I am talking about!

    I know this is just a proposal, and getting it off the ground would be a major political achievement, but it’s in the ball park of what’s needed.

    $50 trillion. Good start and roughly correct. I like it.

    Way to go China!

    Awesome way to get the conversation started with realistic numbers in terms of investment scope.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 6:12am

    Reply to #30

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 828

    Tilting at Windmills (Durango Dan)

    Durango Dan,

    If you convolute climate science as being connected to political ideology and go to a 'Mushroom Physiologist' for your best take on AGW I'm guessing that you aren't really open to physics but if you truly think there is any "falsity of the radiative greenhouse effect" you are going to have to explain why we have life on this planet. Average temperatures of the entire planet would be well below freezing without those radiative gases. Sad but true but the greenhouse effect of those radiative gases traps enough heat to keep the average temperature of the Earth 33 C (59 F) warmer than it would be based solely on the strength of the sunlight that we receive. Of course that was before AGW ever got started when we began adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and jacked it up another degree or so (celsius).

    This isn't exactly new science. Joseph Fourier figured the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere out and published his findings in 1824 "General Remarks on the Temperature of the Terrestrial Globe and the Planetary Spaces". If you are interested, you can read a translation of his work at this link (Fourier 1824).

    In 1859, John Tyndall began studying the radiative properties of individual gases.

    He published his findings proving that carbon dioxide, ozone and water vapor were all radiative gases in 1861, titled "On the Absorption and Radiation of Heat by Gases and Vapours, and on the Physical Connexion of Radiation, Absorption, and Conduction", linked for your reading pleasure.

    Based on the findings of Fourier and Tyndall, Svante Arrhenius was the first scientist to calculate how changes in the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would increase global temperatures through the greenhouse effect. He published his findings in 1896 "On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground".

    In well over 100 years now no one has been able to prove Arrhenius wrong and it hasn't been for a lack of trying. Tyndall's science has stood for over 150 years, Fourier's has been solid for over 190 years. So, to be clear, you are trying to peddle the story that there has been some sort of conspiracy or hoax being played on people by the entire scientific community to stop using fossil fuel use since 35 years before the first commercial oil well was even drilled? Why exactly?

    Happy reading to you.

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 6:32am

    #44

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 828

    Let's hope for action on the Chinese proposal

    It sounds like the Chinese are trying to put meat on the bones of at least a portion of what Lester Brown has been cajoling for in his books and talks of various incarnations over the years (Plan B 4.0 Mobilizing to Save Civilization). It wouldn't be enough to solve the issues we face but it would be a huge step in the right direction and a sign that we can globally coordinate actions on a massive scale. There would be tremendous technological and resource challenges but implementing this global energy plan would finally put human imagination and global-QE-to-infinity to work on something potentially useful for future generations.

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 7:13am

    #45
    dryam2000

    dryam2000

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 06 2009

    Posts: 269

    Exponential Polpulation Growth

    Somewhat related…..

    Even though the basic math of exponential growth isn't too difficult from a computational standpoint, it's very difficult for most people from a conceptual standpoint.  As has been mentioned, the exponential growing demand for energy in the future makes it exceedingly difficult to create sufficient alternative energy sources. The last topic you will ever hear anyone talk about in the MSM is the overpopulation of this planet.  Chris has talked repeatedly about our very sick oceans around the world.  I read something the other day that is somewhat related & extremely alarming.  I had trouble sleeping the night after I read it.  Apparently India & several other third world countries have no regulations on feeding antibiotics to chickens.  Throughout India chicken farmers are feeding chickens a  cocktail of 3 antibiotics to maximize the number of chickens that survive until arriving at the processing factory.  All 3 antibiotics are important in regards to humans and healthcare, but colistin is a last resort antibiotic for some of the so-called "super-bugs" that have become resistant to all other antibiotics.  It's almost predictable that this process of giving antibiotics to millions & millions of chickens will undoubtedly cause many highly resistant bacteria to be selected out in very rapid fashion. These bacteria will then infect humans and infections that used to be fairly routine in treating & will be potentially life threatening.  Many peripheral aspects of healthcare will be anything but routine & possibly deadly:  chemotherapy for many very treatable cancers (high infection risk when the immune system is temporarily weakened), routine surgeries & associated infectious complications (think any procedure that cuts through any skin on any part of the body), etc.  Many advances in medicine could be neutralized by this widespread antibiotic resistance.  IMO, this problem ranks right up there with all the other problems associated with the limits of growth in this world.  

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/antibiotic-apocalypse-fear-stoked-by-india%e2%80%99s-drugged-chickens/ar-BBr6h6j?li=BBnbfcN

    It is true that it's only a matter of time before bacteria become resistant to each antibiotic.  However, with prudence this is typically a very slow process, and as old antibiotics lose some of of their efficacy new antibiotics are created.  Giving antibiotics throughout chicken farms in a country the size of India puts this process into warp speed.

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 10:15am

    Reply to #30

    -Casey-

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 75

    It's a question of trust

    As far as "A" in AGW goes I have never been able to shake the feeling that if it were so obviously true its advocates would not have to selectively manipulate data to support it as Mann did by eliminating the medieval warming period from his hockey stick.  I recall such manipulation also being revealed in the email scandal. 

    Ever since The Creature I have been forced against my will to view our entire monetary and political systems as frauds designed to force collectivism on us and otherwise control our behavior.  Fraud in the AGW scientific community, which is funded in large part by political systems, would be small beer in comparison and dovetail nicely with these efforts. I do not believe there to be freedom even of inquiry in this area, certainly not in academe.  Personally I find the peak oil argument for reducing fossil fuel consumption far more convincing and am pining for off-grid solar but that day is a ways away right now. 

     

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 11:10am

    #46
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 892

    Pascal summed up my take, CCWesq.

    I'ld rather live, as I do, with respect for AGW and be wrong. Than live with out.

    get your are settled folks, better yet teach your children well

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 1:26pm

    Reply to #44

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 230

    Two alternatives

    Work together to build something like the Chinese propose to adapt as best we can

    or

    Fight it out over the last remaining fossil fuel resources, risking global war and other mayhem.

    Hmmm.

    I would add that the global grid would require lots of efficiency, learning how to live with less and serious efforts to address population growth as well.

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 1:36pm

    Reply to #30

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 230

    ccwesq wrote:As far as "A"

    [quote=ccwesq]

    As far as "A" in AGW goes I have never been able to shake the feeling that if it were so obviously true its advocates would not have to selectively manipulate data to support it as Mann did by eliminating the medieval warming period from his hockey stick.  I recall such manipulation also being revealed in the email scandal. 

    Ever since The Creature I have been forced against my will to view our entire monetary and political systems as frauds designed to force collectivism on us and otherwise control our behavior.  Fraud in the AGW scientific community, which is funded in large part by political systems, would be small beer in comparison and dovetail nicely with these efforts. I do not believe there to be freedom even of inquiry in this area, certainly not in academe.  Personally I find the peak oil argument for reducing fossil fuel consumption far more convincing and am pining for off-grid solar but that day is a ways away right now. 

    [/quote]

    So who do you trust?  Mann or the people who portrayed his hockey stick as a fraud?  There are obvious possible motives on the part of moneyed interests to discredit him.  If you really want to identify the most likely truth, it's essential to do your own due diligence and sift through the research yourself. 

    Even more important, it's essential to identify and let go of beliefs and attachments to stories or agendas that protect us from our own unique psychological weaknesses whatever they may be (and we all have them). I'm talking about things like victim mentality, tendency to attach to conspiracy theories whether the evidence supports them or not – which goes hand in hand with distrust of authority.  I'm not saying distrust of authority is a bad thing, but it is not in itself proof that anything an authority figure claims is an attempt at deception.

    Have you really looked at AGW in this way?

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 2:45pm

    Reply to #30

    -Casey-

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 12 2013

    Posts: 75

    trust

    If as you did not deny Mann in fact removed the medieval warming period from his hockey stick to artificially create the impression that global warming was precipitated somewhere around the industrial revolution and hence attributable to human activity as opposed to something else I don't understand why anyone would or should trust him or why it would even be a close question.  That is my understanding of what he did. If I'm wrong then I'm wrong.

    I will reluctantly concede that just because an authority figure's lips move doesn't automatically mean he's telling a hideous lie, but that's precisely where trust comes in.  As much as any of us would love to there's not enough time in the day to sift through the research on each and every topic which may spark one's interest.  For example, although I do my best to personally sift through the research as to economic issues, I do not have the spare time to personally sift through the research on the energy and environmental issues discussed at PP.  I trust Chris and Adam to do that for me because I have to trust someone and they have never given me a reason not to trust them.  Given my understanding of what Mann did, he has.  That's all I mean.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 3:33pm

    #47

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Online)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1971

    For Me, Trust is not the Issue

    For me personally, I wouldn't phrase this as an issue of "trust."   I view this as more realistically perceiving a speakers relationship to honesty and lying.

    Evaluating the climate literature is way above my pay-grade.  So, as an INFP, I look for a guide.  Someone who repeatedly passes my assessment for honesty, clarity, intelligence, motivation and moral developmental level.

    With the information available to me, at this point in time, I'm going with his assessment.

    And thanks, Mark Cochrane.

     

     

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 3:33pm

    Reply to #44

    Jim H

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2009

    Posts: 1798

    Well said Mark Cochrane...

    Where else but PP.com would you see a sentence juxtaposing action on AGW with the harnessing of, "global-QE-to-infinity".  Should we be building more ghost cities, or should we building out wind power and carbon capture for power plants?          

      There would be tremendous technological and resource challenges but implementing this global energy plan would finally put human imagination and global-QE-to-infinity to work on something potentially useful for future generations.

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 3:42pm

    #48

    pyranablade

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 08 2010

    Posts: 213

    ccwesq

    For a long time – since the time of Chrismartenson.com – this site has consciously chosen not to focus on climate change, not to allow it to be a wedge issue that keeps people away.

    By and large though, people on this site have seen enough data to be convinced of climate change. But I know, it isn't about numbers of people. It is, however, about expertise and Mark Cochrane is a real expert. I'm not saying you should adopt Mark Cochrane's positions on anything and neither was he. But if I was you, I'd click on the links he gave you, instead of sticking to your complaint that somebody at some point published some deceptive research in an attempt to convince skeptics like yourself.

    I don't think that anybody wants climate change to be a reality. But we confront harsh truths on this site. Think what you want, or don't think about it if you prefer, but to be dismissive about a large body of knowledge just because somebody tried to deceive you at some point….I think you should let that go.

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 6:10pm

    #49

    KugsCheese

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 01 2010

    Posts: 844

    Engineered Population Reduction?

    What if TPTB engineer a population reduction program, say 30% over 4 years.   Maybe the vector would be nano suicide bomb introduced in the yearly vaccination…

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 6:31pm

    Reply to #30

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 828

    This has been rehashed infinitum

    First – I think if the discussion is going to go off into the AGW wilderness then to avoid hijacking a very good thread we should move these matters over to the appropriate venue (https://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/definitive-global-climate-change-aka-global-warming-thread-general-discussion-and-questions/71).

    As for the endless maligning Michael Mann and other climate scientists caught up in the Climategate propaganda attack, please stop. This has been examined endless times and all have been cleared of any wrongdoing. Consider the obvious, the only ones lying to you and misleading you are ones who are feeding you disinformation against anything that would threaten a certain political ideology.

    Investigations Clear Scientists of Wrongdoing

    Six official investigations have cleared scientists of accusations of wrongdoing.

    Other agencies and media outlets have investigated the substance of the emails.

    Background Information

    Press Releases and Factchecks

    UCS Analysis
    UCS's analysis of the emails and the debate surrounding them aims to correct popular misconceptions about what the emails say, put them in scientific context and explain the importance of scientific integrity.

    Additional Resources

    As for the endless nonsense claiming that Mann's so-called hockey stick is any way tainted science, please refer to the actual science, not opinions spouted by people who wouldn't know the first thing about paleoclimate records if they tripped over them. The way 'science' works is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof to be accepted. Even once published, your results will be tested by many others. Do Mann's findings seem like outliers from these?

    In 2013, 78 research scientists from 24 countries published the most comprehensive study yet, based on seven years of painstaking work pulling together 511 climate archives from around the world (Pages 2k Consortium, Nature Geosciences 2013). Mann et al. 1999 original data in blue, instrument record in red, Pages 2k data in green.  Mann's published incertainty range in shading.

    Does anyone see any major problem with Mann's data? For this he receives death threats?

    If you want to learn how climate science really works or how funding of the research actually happens, come over to the climate thread linked above.

    For now, let's get this thread Chris started back on track for the critical matters he addressing.

    Mark

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 7:33pm

    Reply to #30

    -Casey-

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 12 2013

    Posts: 75

    trust

    See, that's exactly what I mean.  The chances of me having enough spare time to read all that approach negative territory while the preponderance of citations listed are from sources I am inclined not to trust.

    Briefly glancing at it they start with Penn State itself, of which it is an understatement to say it has covered up far, far worse scandals than this would be.  They continue with EPA and other agency inaction, by which logic we would all be comforted there is no fraud or wrongdoing in the banking/financial sector because clearly the DOJ and SEC would be all over it if there were.  Then they end with Mann himself, who I assume is not going to fall on the nearest sword that happens to be lying around.

    I am not personally invested in the issue whatsoever beyond being instinctively inclined towards trusting those with biases and outlooks more similar to mine than less.  Maybe though someday I'll read all that and agree with you 100% that my suspicion of Mann was misplaced, in which case I'll be the first to say so.  Heck, with increasing murmurs of criminal and civil litigation over the climate change issue maybe I'll get paid to become expert on it before too much longer.  🙂

     

     

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 8:48pm

    #50
    climber99

    climber99

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    Joined: Mar 12 2013

    Posts: 184

    Keeping AGW and Scarcity questions seperate.

    It is important to keep climate change and the end of the fossil fuel age as separate discussions in my view.  Best to focus the discussion to just one variable.   So lets just look at the end of the fossil fuel age in this comment.

    1. Fossil fuels are a finite resource,  therefore they will run out.  Mathematically certain.

    2. Without fossil fuels, Humanity returns to wood burning society (circa 1600's) and only able to feed a vastly reduced current world population.

    3. All fossil fuels (that can be extracted at an energy profit) will be burnt by the end of THIS Century.  ie.  within the lifetime of those being born today.

    THIS IS THE MESSAGE WE NEED TO HAMMER INTO GENERAL PUBLIC AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY.

    Humanity might get serious then and we may be able to build out and sustain a long term 1800's standard of living and population size instead of a 1600's one that we are currently heading towards.

     

     

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 10:42pm

    #51

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 828

    trust issues

    Ccwesq,

    I have been down this path before in posted discussions. None of us can check up and do 'due diligence' on every element of every subject. The question for you and for all of us then becomes "who do you trust"?

    I understand your cynicism. I feel it too about everything that I do not have personal knowledge of. The world has suffered a systematic destruction of trust in this era of fraud. Who are we going to believe, politicians (!), bankers (!!!), governments, journalists, churches, any organization, doctors, scientists? It seems that all have been tarnished by one scandal after another in this get rich quick, screw your brother, I've got mine-get yours free for all (but it isn't free for all is it?) period of greed is good and damn the costs.

    Some portion of this is due to these freewheeling times, but a good portion of it is fabricated by those who profit from the corrupted parody of societies that we have today. If no entity is trustworthy then there is no group credible enough to question the powers that be and rally any sort of sentiment against them. There are no facts anymore, there are only political points of view.

    You've been played as we all have. In destroying our trust in everything and everyone, those in power have left each of us isolated. If anyone or any group rises to some level of threat then they will be summarily demolished using smear campaigns or worse.

    To counter this, we need to rebuild our own personal networks of trust and this site has been an excellent place to do so, in my opinion. People from all stripes post here and I have learned tremendous amounts from wide ranging discussions whether or not I agree with all expressed viewpoints or understand every technical nuance. Too much of society has been manipulated into a 'divide and conquer' situation these days wherein we fight each other instead of focusing on the real issues and common adversaries we face.

    We talk a lot about the need for community on this site but the reality of any community is that there will be a multitude of outlooks and priorities. We do not need to agree on every point but we do need to respect each other enough to discuss matters civilly or agree to disagree on some matters without necessarily ostracizing each other from all further communications. Community means learning to live constructively together, warts and all.

    Mark

     

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 10:44pm

    Reply to #30
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 367

    Observations

    Number 80 and number 81 – the length and breadth of the discussion right here;

    [quote=ccwesq]

    I am not personally invested in the issue whatsoever beyond being instinctively inclined towards trusting those with biases and outlooks more similar to mine than less.  

    [/quote]

    [quote=climber99]

    3. All fossil fuels (that can be extracted at an energy profit) will be burnt by the end of THIS Century.  ie.  within the lifetime of those being born today.

    THIS IS THE MESSAGE WE NEED TO HAMMER INTO GENERAL PUBLIC AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY.

    [/quote]

    I think that sums up the task. In a nut shell, are you invested?

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 11:13pm

    Reply to #51

    -Casey-

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 12 2013

    Posts: 75

    Mark

    You have captured in a nutshell with 100% accuracy not only where I am psychologically in the trust department but also why I have been here lurking around PP for a while as a way of finding some community beyond what you can have with those who do not share the general view of the site. So thanks for that, it was affirming.

    Luke – I did not mean I wasn't invested in peak oil and the need for weaning off fossil fuels, just the A part of AGW.  Internalizing the message of The Creature and discovering I'd been lied to my whole life and that everything we've ever worked for is likely to go down the drain, that was traumatizing.  Finding out the A part of AGW has some validity?  That would be a walk in the park.

    Casey

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  • Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - 11:13pm

    Reply to #50

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 828

    If only that were true

    Climber99,

    I agree that it would be much simpler to let peak oil/coal/NG do the heavy lifting and avoid the albatross of discussing AGW. I certainly would like this thread's discussion to go back to practical approaches to energy efficiency (a no brainer) and possible alternatives to fossil fuels. I am amazed at just how much many of the people posting here have already accomplished!

    The reason I provide this caution is that there is yet another fossil fuel of much greater energy potential and danger than any yet mined in commercial quantities. I am talking of methane hydrates (aka clathrates) which lie throughout many parts of the World's oceans. The only reason that they have not been actively exploited to date is that they are exceedingly unstable and hard to mine without setting off catastrophic events.

    There are numerous efforts underway to profitably and 'perhaps' safely tap this new bounty of fossil energy. As you can see from the graphic, the carbon pools from these new resources are vastly larger than anything we've been able to tap so far from coal, natural gas and oil. Worse yet, each molecule of methane is over 20 times as powerful as a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide (over the next 100 years). If we think that we have climate problems now just imagine what happens if we try to keep the fossil fuel energy bonanza going for the next century by mining these fuels.

    AGW should not be a political question, it is one of practical safety. The physics and math behind the subject don't care which way we vote but everyone and everything on the planet has to live with the consequences of our actions. The fact remains though that a lot of people stand to make a lot of money from extracting and distributing fossil fuels, and we all gain a lot of comfort from them. Myself included, as I sit here in my heated home having arrived in my gasoline powered car.

    I can only aspire to making the many changes that have been discussed on this thread! I am truly inspired by the people here who have taken action on embodying the change that is needed to move forward.

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  • Sat, Apr 02, 2016 - 12:28am

    #52

    blackeagle

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 16 2013

    Posts: 228

    Critical thinking

    In reading this thread, I was surfing to understand some concepts, and found this.

    The site (http://www.freecriticalthinking.org/) talks also about the three E's.

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  • Sat, Apr 02, 2016 - 1:16am

    #53

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 487

    AGW

    I've read books, articles and reports on both sides of the fence.  It can get frustrating.

    Take aways.  I am not a fan of the IPCC.  AGW advocates are many and some of them are going to get over zealous with claims and possibly have trouble keeping their preconceptions from affecting their science.

    But, the long and the short of it is this.  The accuracy of AGW science has no bearing on whether the globe is warming, or whether causation is anthropogenic.  AGW is either real or it's not, entirely independent of science.

    I personally have a sample with one data point..  The small neck of the woods I live in is noticeably warmer, relatively consistently and over an extended period of time.  Long enough in fact that the USDA plant hardiness zone map has changed.  The zones in my neck of the woods have shifted North 100-150 miles.

    It's hard to completely discount AGW, when you can notice what appears to be a changing trend.

    The really cool thing about believing completely and wholeheartedly in Peak Energy, is that I can change my lifestyle to minimize energy consumption to address Peak Energy.  My carbon footprint is reduced as a consequence, so I don't have to fret over whether I need to make a change because of AGW.

    Simplifies the equation, if not the decision.  Either way, you still have to think of parting with your F150.

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  • Sat, Apr 02, 2016 - 1:57am

    #54

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 198

    Great Thread

    Overall, I think the points of the thread are great, especially those who mention that within our life times, fossil fuels will be a thing of the past.  This point is pretty much undebatable, the math behind the use of a finite resource just doesn't add up.

    My own personal experience with this has been somewhat painful.  When we moved a year and a half ago, I was lucky enough to be 6 miles away from work.  I somewhat arrogantly assumed that I would be able to bike to work a good amount of the time.  Err….my 40 year old body rebelled against the idea pretty quickly.  I was able to get in 4 straight days of riding to and from work each day, but after that….I had to acknowledge that I should have spent some time building up to the physical amount of work involved.  I am slowly trying to increase my physical fitness as the spring gets warmer…so I can start biking again.  Using less fossil fuels (and saving money) are important.  Might as well start now.  Nobody knows when the shocks will arrive.

    I have said this on the climate change thread and will just mention it again here….I used to be rabidly in the camp of the deniers.  In my 20s when I was politically involved in Vermont government, the idea of rapid climate change was offensive, and anyone who bought into the idea was naive.  The press, scientists…..it was all a plot.

    I'm only speaking for myself, but thank god for life experience.  Memory is delicate thing, but the torrential down pours that hit the north east now are much stronger than when I was a kid.   And things based on memory, rainfall totals per storm, etc…FACTs…those all indicate weather is changing rapidly.  Monthly averages are swinging and varying at an unexplainable rate.  March was just the 11th warmest up here in Vermont, on top of the 7th warmest and 8th wettest February.  Warmest December and September on record last year.  October and November were well above average. 

    As Chris and others attempt to get the mainstream thinking about long term energy use/availability, I don't have a problem supporting education on climate change topics.

    By definition….just look at the numbers….the climate is shifting.  I am hoping for some "average" months soon.  Crossing my fingers.

    Jason

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  • Sat, Apr 02, 2016 - 3:11am

    #55
    pat the rat

    pat the rat

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    Posts: 115

    closed

    Two more stores in  the Buffalo N.Y. closed for good, both stores are Macy's. The middle class get smaller!

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  • Sat, Apr 02, 2016 - 4:08am

    #56

    scribe

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 19 2011

    Posts: 25

    Fantastic that Chris is addressing this directly

    I used to be a critic of CM's on the grounds that he was avoiding the climate issue, but this article shows he is tackling it head on, so kudos for that.

    I like the hopefulness in CM's approach. I saw a quote on the net today that shows how many people are starting to think, and it's dangerous:

    And as far as reducing emissions now to reduce future climate change, that is an utter joke, we are way past doing anything to stop the planet going "Venus". The planet has set up the perfect storm, with 55 million years of stored carbon, CH4 etc, just below the current melt line, @ 406 ppm CO2 and 1840 ppb CH4 we have leapfrogged over any chance of reversing what is set in motion. The ice is guaranteed to go, that was locked in @ at least 350 ppm CO2, since then it has only been a matter of time …. TIMES UP, sorry. It's a bit like seeing the flash of a nuclear bomb, the only thing you can do is take your glasses off, bend over and place your head between your legs, and kiss your a*s goodbye

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  • Sat, Apr 02, 2016 - 4:12am

    #57
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 553

    bread and butter of PP

    Ah, the topic near and dear to all our hearts.  As has been said many times here before, mother nature bats last.  The question is not, "will we get there?", but how.

    Once practical pressures are brought to bear, lets hope it will drive rapid transformation. As thebrewer stated, 90% of people installing solar are doing so because of financial reasons, but that is OK. As resources of all types become scarce, as climate destabilization makes long range resource transport difficult, we will have a choice, eat local or don't eat at all. Put on a sweater if you're cold or just be cold.

    Here is to hoping 7 billion busy human beings set off on the "right course" due to simple necessity will turn into a very good thing.  If we continue to behave very badly, then perhaps it will be only 3.5 billion. Ideological debate will be left to cold winter evenings when there is little else to do. As we are sitting in the cold and dark with our teeth chattering, AGW debate will finally have some use, the hot air may keep us a little warmer on those cold winter evenings.  Pity on those further south, in my twisted imagination, I can't come up with any rational.

    I think that too many people had a taste of the good life due to the fossil fuel bonanza to go quietly into the night to become surfs for TPTB. Time will tell.  Being flippant, of course is just a defense mechanism. As one of the guest speakers noted, survivalist are preparing themselves to fight armed and "evil" marauders, are they prepared to shoot starving women and children. And that of course begs another question.  Are those bent on acquiring financial acuity, assuming they are successful, ready to directly or indirectly do the same.

    And to my most fervent prayer, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  In our time of need, may we put all our enmity and conflict aside and learn to embrace one another, if not in love, at least with a goal of forgiveness and compassion. For alone we are truly lost.  A world divided against itself will truly fall.

     

     

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  • Sat, Apr 02, 2016 - 12:00pm

    #58

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Stephan Moleneux discusses the causes of Collapse.

    Stephan and I agree. Morals are not an optional extra. https://youtu.be/zD34oMW0crA

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  • Sat, Apr 02, 2016 - 2:28pm

    #59
    djmccartney

    djmccartney

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2008

    Posts: 1

    Now *that’s * what I am talking about!

    I am always dumbfounded to read comments which try so desperately to keep business as usual moving forward utilizing improbable means. It is difficult to near impossible to assess and address our predicament unless we shatter the cultural and personal narratives which mask our reality.

    Fortunately,  someone has assumed the distasteful task of cracking that shell by compiling and coalescing the interdisciplinary truths of evolution theory, biology, anthropology, archeology, economics, environmental science and history in one concise volume.

    Do read, "Too Smart for our Own Good: The Ecological Predicament of Humankind" by Craig Dilworth with highlighter in hand. When done, read it again. (If the term 'vicious' in his proposed "Vicious Circle Principle" is too distasteful,  substitute the word 'unfortunate').

    Reviews here and here; generous excerpt here.

    Good reading to all…

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  • Sun, Apr 03, 2016 - 9:00pm

    Reply to #50
    climber99

    climber99

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    Posts: 184

    Can methane hydrates be exacted at an energy profit?

    At the moment there is no evidence that methane hydrates can be, or will ever be, exacted at an energy profit.  Never say never of course but let us not deal with hypothetical situations just yet;  we have more than enough on our plates as it is ! 

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  • Sun, Apr 03, 2016 - 11:57pm

    #60

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 828

    Some sure think methane hydrates can be net-positive resources

    I wouldn't be so sanguine about the desire and potential of many industries and countries for mining methane hydrates. The rush is on to try to tap these massive fossil fuel energy stores. Desperation for energy, while hard to see in the current oil glut, is on the minds of many countries (link). As peak oil bites and should costs rise again, more and more will try to go after these unconventional energy sources.

    Research into commercial development began in earnest around the year 2000 with programs in a number of countries. The US has been a leader in the research, but Asian countries, particularly Japan, China, India and South Korea have the most to gain because they lack conventional gas resources and pay the highest price for imported natural gas. Canada and the EU also have research programs.

    Japan is probably at the forefront of those desperately in need of harvesting this dangerous resource.

    Methane hydrate extracted from Sea of Japan

    The government has succeeded in extracting samples of a next-generation resource called methane hydrate from the bottom of the Sea of Japan, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy said Thursday.

    Researchers conducted drilling surveys and were able to obtain samples of the “fiery ice” under the ocean floor off Niigata, Akita and Yamagata prefectures. The samples collected were up to a meter thick.

    The agency, an arm of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, will continue its three-year survey on methane hydrate — a frozen substance consisting of methane and water — through fiscal 2015 and aims to assess the amount extant in the Sea of Japan.

    —-

    It is estimated that there is enough methane hydrate beneath coastal waters to meet the nation’s natural gas needs for 100 years.

    I have personally met researchers actively engaged in trying to solve the access, safety and cost issues surrounding the commercial mining of methane hydrates. I remember one self describing her work as being a part of the 'dark side' which was in jest as we were at an environmental science conference. Here is what the Department of Energy in the United States is involved in:

    The U.S. Department of Energy methane hydrate program aims to develop the tools and technologies to allow environmentally safe methane production from arctic and domestic offshore hydrates. The program includes R&D in:

    • Production Feasibility: Methane hydrates occur in large quantities beneath the permafrost and offshore, on and below the seafloor. DOE R&D is focused on determining the potential and environmental implications of production of natural gas from hydrates.
    • Research and Modeling: DOE is studying innovative ways to predict the location and concentration of subsurface methane hydrate before drilling. DOE is also conducting studies to understand the physical properties of gas hydrate-bearing strata and to model this understanding at reservoir scale to predict future behavior and production.
    • Climate Change: DOE is studying the role of methane hydrate formation and dissociation in the global carbon cycle. Another aspect of this research is incorporating GH science into climate models to understand the relationship between global warming and methane hydrates.
    • International Collaboration: International collaboration continues to be a vital part of the program since gas hydrates represent research challenges and resource potential that are important on a global scale.

    Then there is Germany's SUGAR program (link)

    SUGAR project

    The German gas hydrate initiative “SUGAR – Submarine Gas Hydrate Reservoirs” is a collaborative R&D project with 20 partners from SMEs, industry and research institutions. The project is coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR). SUGAR was launched in 2008 and is now successfully continuing in its 2nd phase, running from 2011 to 2014.

    For more information about the 1st SUGAR phaseclick here.

    The 2nd SUGAR phase is structured in the following sub-projects:

    A1 – Detection and Monitoring of Gas Hydrate Deposits
    A2 – Exploration and Characterization of Gas Hydrate Deposits
    A3 – Simulation of Gas Hydrate Accumulations
    B1 – Simulation of Gas Hydrate Exploitation
    B2 – Optimization of Gas Hydrate Production Technologies
    B3 – Drilling Technologies for Marine Gas Hydrate Deposits

    The SUGAR project has set out to develop marine methane hydrates as a new, unconventional resource of natural gas and to combine its production with the safe sequestration of carbon dioxide from power plants and other industrial sources in CO2 hydrates below the seafloor. This large-scale national project is funded by two federal ministries and the German industry.

    So no, it is not commercial yet but there is a lot of effort going into bringing it into the market. Humanity will not go quietly into the night of peak-energy without doing everything possible to continue supporting the energy-intensive lifestyles we have become dependent upon. When have we, as a society, ever willingly learned to live with less of anything? As I see it, our best possibility would be for Gail Tverberg's Deflationary Collapse scenario to play out taking the economic possibility of supporting methane hydrate mining off the table with it until such time as we develop the ability to factor longer term concerns into our planning.

     

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  • Mon, Apr 04, 2016 - 1:52am

    #61
    Old Jarhead

    Old Jarhead

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 01 2016

    Posts: 1

    The UN

    One of the few groups that has more liars, thieves, and charlatans than the US government. What a complete waste of time and money, both to prop up their existence, and to travel to one of their worthless meetings.

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  • Mon, Apr 04, 2016 - 2:13am

    Reply to #9
    DanielK

    DanielK

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 21 2008

    Posts: 1

    summer help

    Hi Vilbas, if you and your girlfriend are planning on being in Virginia this summer and want to spend some time helping out on a small permaculture-oriented farm, contact us.  We have a small cabin for use by interns/guests and live in a breath-takingly beautiful location in the mountains, near the WV border.  [email protected].

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  • Mon, Apr 04, 2016 - 4:04am

    Reply to #9

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 877

    Daniel K, where are you?

    Daniel, I grew up in the Harrisonburg area, and my family is still there. I delivered ice for Cassco in the late 80s, early 90s, so I know much of the region from DC to Covington, over to Charlottesville.
    What town are you located in? Keezletown?

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  • Mon, Apr 04, 2016 - 4:42am

    Reply to #61
    Time2help

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2272

    The UN

    [quote=Old Jarhead]

    One of the few groups that has more liars, thieves, and charlatans than the US government.

    [/quote]

    Sad to say, this is where I'm at as well. Wish it were otherwise.

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  • Mon, Apr 04, 2016 - 3:15pm

    Reply to #60

    thebrewer

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 07 2012

    Posts: 35

    Natural Gas Boom

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

    Desperation for energy, while hard to see in the current oil glut, is on the minds of many countries. 

    [/quote]

    Although Methane Hydrates do constitute a future risk, a more immediate risk is happening with the natural gas boom. The public has been sold on the idea that NG is the panacea for our future energy needs here in the US. Word from the top is that we have enough NG to power our economy for another 100+ years conservatively. The part of this narrative that is being left out is the fact that only a small portion of the NG extracted in the US stays in the US.

    The fact is that the idea of further damaging our environment through the very invasive extraction technique known as fracking was justified by TPTB for the greater good. The reality is what the reality has always been, profit before people! The majority of NG is extracted and then exported for the simple fact that it's worth 2 to 3 times more in countries like Japan and others who have no fossil fuel deposits of their own. 

    We are sacrificing our water, our air and our sovereignty for the profits of a few.

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  • Mon, Apr 04, 2016 - 8:28pm

    #62

    Richbecks

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 04 2010

    Posts: 4

    How Al Bartlett and Chris Martenson Changed My Life

    Years ago I was lucky enough to hear Al Bartlett speak, then stumbled across a grainy YouTube video of Chris speaking at Yahoo. The course of my life changed at that moment. While still plugging away as an executive in various high tech and software jobs I bought an organic farm and started to prepare for the future Chris is struggling to convey to the UN.

    This is my first post despite being a member for many years because going on record that the "End is Near" never makes you very welcome at parties. So I decided to lead by example and let others learn from it if they wish. We created a Research and Development Farm dedicated to the principles of re-booting agriculture by rebuilding soil, creating closed loop food systems and using Industrial Hemp to finance the research. Here is a glimpse of what we are working on. Google Chimney Rock Farms to learn more.

     Chimney Rock Hemp Passive Solar Greenhouses

     

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  • Mon, Apr 04, 2016 - 8:43pm

    Reply to #60
    climber99

    climber99

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 12 2013

    Posts: 184

    Cornucopean world view, right here.

    "Word from the top is that we have enough NG to power our economy for another 100+ years conservatively"

    This is what we are up against.  Denial and misinformation.  "Word from the top" LOL. 

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  • Mon, Apr 04, 2016 - 8:54pm

    Reply to #62

    -Casey-

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 12 2013

    Posts: 75

    That is a true

    That is a true inspiration.

    Casey

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  • Mon, Apr 04, 2016 - 8:57pm

    Reply to #62

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1540

    I'm glad

    … you've quit holding out on us richbecks!  Stay in touch.

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  • Mon, Apr 04, 2016 - 11:45pm

    Reply to #62

    pinecarr

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2008

    Posts: 1091

    Great post

    …and great website, Richbecks!  Very inspirational; thanks for sharing!

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  • Tue, Apr 05, 2016 - 1:41am

    Reply to #62

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4767

    Very nice!

    [quote=Richbecks]

    This is my first post despite being a member for many years because going on record that the "End is Near" never makes you very welcome at parties. So I decided to lead by example and let others learn from it if they wish. We created a Research and Development Farm dedicated to the principles of re-booting agriculture by rebuilding soil, creating closed loop food systems and using Industrial Hemp to finance the research. Here is a glimpse of what we are working on. Google Chimney Rock Farms to learn more.

    [/quote]

    Wow.  That's a beautiful set up.  I'd love to hear more about how it's all working commercially for you.

    Thank you for doing the work you are doing, and letting us know about it.

    (Meeting Al in CO was a high point for me…actually he came to one of my talks.  Very intimidating, in a good way..  Were you in that audience perhaps?)

     

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  • Tue, Apr 05, 2016 - 1:44pm

    #63

    kaimu

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 20 2013

    Posts: 161

    THE REALITY OF REALITY!

    Aloha! Anyone check the back end of this "alternative energy" crisis? Anyone ever seen a mining operation before? Much of what we make the wind power generators and solar panels out of come from digging huge holes in the Earth. Go visit a copper mine.

    Here is the process to develop one part of a solar panel from a report on alternative power waste by Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition …

    Now here is part of a page of toxic elements used to produce solar panels. This is part of a list of five more pages.

    What I am trying to point out should be obvious. What we think is "green" is a different color entirely. If we have to increase the manufacturing cycle 3700% like Chris mentions then you also get 3700% more toxins. Granted some is recycled but a 3700% increase means more mining operations and more recycle centers and toxic e-dumps.

    We have done a phenomenal job of exporting our manufacturing jobs to China and other Third World countries. Along with those exported jobs are our exported toxic waste. Congratulations Apple not only have you made child labor a fiscal bottom line but you have poisoned the Chinese people. Which brings me to the next graphic that sums up the PC crowd and the UN general assembly. Please note the podium the man is lecturing from … So many of the UN participants have a lot to lose if "real change" took place in the world, most especially the USA.

    As for me I do not believe there is a verifiable forboding climate change disaster that we can mitigate unless we can control the Sun. Notice how you hardly hear the original term "global warming". I just saw on TV John Kerry tell MSNBC reporters that if we had started the alternative energy movement sooner there would not be so many storms now. He was addressing the cost of storm damage. Wow … did a sitting US Sec of State just say we can "control storms"? Maybe we need to reinstate Enron and start trading weather futures more vigorously!! They used to be "the smartest guys in the room" until they went bankrupt!!

    Let me explain corruption again …

    POLITICS CORRUPTS PERIOD!

    When it comes to politicians … follow the money! When it comes to career politicians follow the money to Panama! 

    What am I doing? I own a farm in Hawaii where food grows without heating and cooling and without fertilizing and without constant labor. I do not even water. It's called a tropical jungle! It is how Hawaiians survived for a thousand years before Capt Cook. Now they go to McDonalds then stop off at the DaVita factory.

    Never mind just the energy part of human existence here is the entire picture …

    Good luck Chris!!

     

     

     

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  • Tue, Apr 05, 2016 - 2:32pm

    Reply to #62

    Richbecks

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 04 2010

    Posts: 4

    Chimney Rock Hemp

    Now that I am a full time Farmer and Researcher I can safely say that Restorative Agriculture works and can be profitable if you choose the right crop. We were the first large scale commercial aquaponics operation in Colorado and learned how difficult it is to compete against Big Ag. You can make a living but it is difficult to pay other a living wage to scale up. The greenhouses proved to be very successful and can easily feed 50 people. We would be willing to share the design with anyone interested in building community resilience that is a non-commercial venture.

    Then we discovered Hemp and everything changed. We now grow hemp high in CBD for companies making body lotions, tinctures, wine, and oils. We are experimenting with hemp biodiesel and animal forage. Hemp sequesters 4 times the amount of CO2 as a tree… Hemp is a gift to humanity.

    Go to our Chimney Rock Hemp website or Facebook page to learn all about it. We are open source and happy to share.  

    (I attended CU and took Al's population course. As a mathematician Al believed the Prime problem was overpopulation.)

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  • Tue, Apr 05, 2016 - 6:44pm

    Reply to #10

    gnltabor

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 21 2010

    Posts: 25

    Ditto!

    I share your frustration, Tall.  Though I still have a long way to go in my own footprint reduction, I've been working on it since 2011.  My journey has been largely about reducing carbon footprint without significantly degrading quality of life.  I drive through surrounding neighborhoods and see only a few other homes sporting solar panels on them out of hundreds.  I drive my leaf around town and see an occasional sister ship passing on the roads or the even rarer Tesla or other brands of PEV's, but the vast majority are not electric vehicles in spite of tax incentives. 

    The states with high energy costs like HI, and CA or high percentages of sunny days like in the deserts of the Southwest or steady winds through the plains are adopting fastest.  Next come the states with tax incentives, while many other states with less than ideal sun or wind profiles and few incentives are languishing far behind.  Ultimately, the issue is an economic one and if we're already running massive deficits, simply increasing government incentives won't be a solution either… we must actually bring the costs down for renewables and/or raise the prices of fossil fuels enough to encourage broader adoption and conservation.  It's this latter option, raising prices, that seems like the most appropriate option.  Unfortunately, with oil prices tanking recently, the incentives have gone the other way… buy bigger vehicles!  Our road infrastructure has been given a grade of "D", meaning we have many substandard bridges and roadways that are in need of repair or even replacement.  We haven't had an increase in the gasoline tax since Ronald Reagan, yet fuel efficiencies have risen considerably in the last 30+ years.  Instead of proposing a gas tax increase, our politicians ponder whether we should sell some of our strategic oil reserves to fund the current shortfall…. where's the sense in that?  If you look at utility incentives for upgrading to more efficient appliances, insulation, windows, ultra efficient furnaces, water heaters, and A/C units, etc, the paybacks are decades long, so unless you have an altruistic mindset, payback will not justify the most energy efficient improvement options.  What is needed is to increase taxes on the things we want to reduce and do it aggressively enough to create the desired change we need.  That's what's been happening in Germany, where the incentives to invest in green energy are being funded through utility rate increases that are paid by the energy consumers.  Unfortunately, the disadvantaged are negatively impacted by such policies, creating real hardships for the poor and those living on fixed incomes.  I believe the government can find ways through tax policy to give relief to these groups as a way to lessen but not eliminate the burden.  Possibly using some of the new tax revenues to offset these negative factors would be a way to make the whole process more acceptable to the general populace.  The additional benefits from reducing our dependence on foreign oil and decreasing our carbon footprint will help affluent western economies do our part in creating the needed changes.  The less affluent economies can benefit from production efficiencies as advanced nations continue to drive the efficiency curve for the benefit of us all.

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  • Tue, Apr 05, 2016 - 7:24pm

    Reply to #63

    gnltabor

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 21 2010

    Posts: 25

    Earthships anyone?

    Kaimu,  Great post on the complications of thinking Green.  Unfortunately, we've built a great many inefficient mcmansions across our country that won't be easily replaced any time soon if ever.  And while you live in the tropics and have abundant rainfall, there are many places with more hostile conditions that people will need successful models to follow if we're going to come up with the end game.  I'm pretty sure you're not advocating that we mainlanders all move to the islands, but I can appreciate that you've got a good thing going there smiley

    There is someone advocating for highly efficient systems.  That person is an architect named Michael Reynolds out of Taos, NM.  Michael and his company, Earthship Biotecture, have been advocating for a new style of home which captures rainwater and re-uses it 4 times, making it possible to live off rainfall in a high desert area that averages only 7" of rainfall a year.  His homes are made of earth rammed tires covered with cob or adobe mud, which serve as the storage mechanism for passive solar heat gain.  Temperatures are controlled with venting and underground cooling tubes, use of ultra efficient lighting and appliances, and recycling bottles and cans in creative ways which provide artistic flair.  These homes use solar hot water heating, to melt snow in the winter for water collection and for domestic use.   The water is captured in cisterns and filtered at various stages for domestic use, including drinking water. 2 of the water use cycles are for growing plants in an internal greenhouse using grey water from sinks, baths, and showers.  That water flows through the internal greenhouse planters before being pumped to flush toilets.  Toilet water flows into an external septic basin, which leaches black water into a lined drainage field to water outside plants.  The greenhouse area is capable of growing tropical plants and producing food in an environment where temps of -30F are possible in winter.  Nothing like picking fresh banannas and pineapples in the midst of a winter wonderland.

    Michael's history of exploration over more than 30 years has led to some evolutionary improvements based on practical experiences with various innovations along the way.  What Michael Reynolds calls the "Global Model" offers 2 bedrooms and plenty of living space for a family of four or five.  This model will use somewhere between 750 and 1200 waste tires in its construction, in effect recycling the waste product.  The unit is completely off grid, usually powered by 6 or more 24 volt, 60-cell solar panels and two thermal hot water panels.  They've also designed a reliable windmill that can be used for additional power generation.  Modern Earthships use both AC and DC power to minimize the demand on an inverter and increase reliability and efficiency as much as possible.

    Earthships are being build around the globe, but the process is labor intensive.  Michael and his teams of "disciples" have traveled the globe to teach people in areas devastated by tsunamis, hurricanes, and other natural disasters how to build basic, low cost housing structures using the principles they've developed through experimentation.

    The biggest challenge with these homes is meeting modern building codes.  In many remote portions of our country, building codes are not stringent and the complete system can be employed.  In other locales, such as where I live in Colorado, water rights issues prevent the capture and re-use of water as proposed in the standard Earthship systems.  Getting building codes changed to accommodate these unusual methods, are problems in most larger metropolitan areas. 

    I'd love to see Chris engage with Michael Reynolds in one of his podcasts.  If anyone is interested in learning more about these amazing machines, search Earthships on Youtube and you'll find more than you can imagine on the topic..

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  • Wed, Apr 06, 2016 - 2:48am

    Reply to #21

    gnltabor

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    Posts: 25

    The Case for a pending Solar Minimum and Global Cooling

    Interesting article DurangoDan, thanks for sharing the link.  I hadn't read much on this side of the argument before, but find it to parallel the area I've spent more time researching; Global Warming or rather Global Cooling. There are an increasing number of scientists coming out saying that global warming is a big hoax.   If you accept Chris's position that any risk with a potential for a high negative impact, even if it has a relatively low probability, is worth preparing for, I would encourage you to take the time to give the case I'm about to outline some serious consideration.

    This documentary called The Great Global Warming Swindle explains how the global warming position developed and why it's false here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52Mx0_8YEtg  A couple of the scientists with cameos in that documentary are featured in this one called the Svensmark: The Cloud Mystery  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANMTPF1blpQ This documentary explains a decade of research by a Danish Physicist team on the relationship between cloud formation and the earth's atmospheric bombardment by cosmic rays, which create ions in the atmosphere, which in turn attract water molecules, that form into clouds.  The shading of clouds play a much more significant role in affecting the earth's temperature than CO2. 

    In addition, CO2's light wavelength is within the same ultraviolet wavelength filtered by water vapor (clouds).  The relationship to CO2 is explained in this scientific analysis of the Carbon Cycle which does a nice job of tying in why continually increasing CO2 alone can't move the global temperature more than a couple of degrees C over an amazing increase in CO2 concentrations.  The author references four scientific journals which estimated the potential impacts of increasing CO2 and then makes his case for why the lower two potential estimates are likely the most accurate.  Titled The Real Inconvenient Truth  the article can be found here:  http://junksciencearchive.com/Greenhouse/index.html   This article was published on Junk Science in response to Al Gore's movie.  It was this article that I encountered in 2008 that initially caused me to begin questioning Al Gore's widely accepted thesis.  

    Svensmark's research indicates that cosmic ray bombardment increases when the sun's solar wind declines, reducing the protection it provides the earth's atmosphere from cosmic ray penetration.  This happens during what are known as solar minimums such as the Dalton and Maunder Minimums.  In 2007, a retired NASA engineer, John L. Casey, Came out with a press release declaring that global warming had ended and we were entering a period of global cooling, based on what he called his RC theory of solar cycles.  His subsequent books Cold Sun (a more technical analysis of the subject) and Dark Winter, (a version for consumption by a less technical audience), explains that we are heading into a global cooling period that will last into the 2030's.  While Dark Winter was an easy read with 55 pages of material and over 150 pages of supporting documentation, the easiest way to digest this material is by viewing the 6 segments of the documentary found on Youtube. The first segment is here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0W7m6_CwNw   The remaining 5 will be displayed in the right margin when you view this first one.  Each segment is between 6 and 10 minutes long, shorter if you move on when they begin to advertise the next segment.   Casey further links the solar minimum cycle to higher incidents of seismic activity; major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.  Casey points out that 1816 was known as the year without a Summer due to the prior year's cataclysmic eruption of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia, which was 100x more powerful than Mt. St.Helens in 1980.  The volcanic aerosols blown into the atmosphere reduced the sun's ability to heat the surface of the earth, contributing to the unusual cold weather in the summer of 1816.  Casey predicts we may see something similar in the coming decades with major crop failures in the primary food growing bands of the earth.  While the cause may be different, the outcome would be no less devastating. 

    Another Youtube channel which provides interesting information on unusual weather and seismic activity is Adapt 2030.  Check out a recent example talking about volcanic activity here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewXpV-vwcy0  Postings are not daily, but have documented unusual cold weather events happening in regions closer to the equator where snow and hail are extremely rare.  This site also features news regarding volcanic eruptions. The post talks about how the number of volcanic eruptions as of March 7, 2016 were already at 42 while the long tern annual average is 52 per year.  He notes that the last two years posted 80 and 87 per year, so the trend is statistically significant and increasing.  He also mentions the Landscheit models which document when planetary alignments in various quadrants of the Sun create stronger magnetic influences that appear to affect the levels of activity on the side of the sun facing the Earth, and therefore, affecting our weather.  I suspect this would correlate well with Casey's Relational Cycle (RC) Theory. 

    This next segment is an explanation from the American Astronomical Society's solar observations in 2011, concluding that we are in fact heading into a solar minimum with great technical analysis and explanation of the changes developing in the Sun's activity levels at that time which confirm what Casey and many others are claiming, that we are headed into a solar minimum as part of the Sun's normal cycles.  Others are saying that the alignment of the orbiting planets relative to each other and the sun affects the level of activity experienced by us on Earth.  Here's the link to the ASA presentation on a range of sun studies which cumulatively point to a solar minimum emerging at this time as evidenced from the declining number and magnetic strength of sun spots based on scientific telescope observations from a range of astronomers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s5c-JfGibc

    On the topic of how the Sun impacts earth seismicity, Suspicious 0bservers has a Youtube channel with daily blogs where they explain how solar magnetic storms emanating from coronal holes on the sun's surface can trigger seismic activity when it bombards the earth's surface over known fault lines.  The Youtube channel corresponds to the website http://www.spaceweathernews.com   The authors have documented where their predictions of major seismic activity (Magnitude 6.0 or greater) correlate with the sun's surface map and how storms projecting hits the surface of the earth using generally available solar mapping provided from government websites.  This post documents one such prediction and the resulting 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred in Sumatra following their prediction:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqzfAfVVF5w  The author Ben Davidson, has been collaborating with Dr. Kongpop U-Yen from the Ohio State University and a frequent collaborator with NASA on space research, in developing their predictive models.  S0 publishes a daily post on their Youtube channel explaining what's occurring with related graphics and earth maps of weather patterns.  Their predictive capacity is high enough that they recently completed a highly successful kick starter campaign to notify people of high risk areas for earthquakes and potential tsunamis.  The subscriptions far exceed the goal and the application is forecasted to be available by the end of calendar 2016 or early 2017 on iphone and android devices.

    Finally, here's an International History Channel documentary called Little Ice Age, Big Chill explaining how the Little Ice Age impacted world history:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwuO4cXghBo  If we have the potential to experience crop failures as described with today's world population, the levels of death and despair could be great indeed.

    Please understand that I'm not saying the earth is not being impacted by anthropogenic activity, but I do find the evidence provided sufficient to make me doubt the legitimacy of the climate scientists claiming that CO2 is the greatest contributing factor deserving of our utmost attention and treasure.  As the author of The Real Inconvenient Truth points out, deforestation, methane production, concrete jungles, chlorofluorocarbon emissions damaging the ozone layer, and a wide range of manmade pollutants have been devastating to our environment and are having an impact that is a contributing factor to the geometric growth curves that Chris documents in the Crash Course.  A continually growing population coupled with the emergence of third world economies have the potential to vastly outstrip any emissions reducing initiatives we may take in the developed and emerging world.  I'm not saying it isn't worth addressing, but I am saying we need to take the most appropriate actions to reduce our environmental impacts and advance the technologies needed to improve the global situation, but it's possible that CO2 is far from the worst offender for us to concentrate our efforts and investments on.

    All that said, I've been following Chris's site since 2008 and began to take action in 2011 as soon as we were able to complete our move into our new home and sell our prior one.  I bought a Nissan Leaf in 2013, have invested in high efficiency appliances, LED lighting, new windows, insulation improvements, and installed enough solar panels to cover our annual consumption. I ride a bicycle to work when weather and schedule permits.  We've also planted fruit trees, berry bushes, raised garden beds, and have a laundry list of other initiatives planned as time and funds are available to continue reducing our carbon footprint and prepare for the eventual economic collapse we all know is coming.

    There are literally thousands of posts you could review on Youtube and thousands of additional websites and sources regarding the topics I've outlined above.  However, I've tried to provide a sampling of the ones I found to be most compelling, educational, and entertaining.  While I've provided hours of content in the links above, I've easliy reviewed well over 100x that content in the last 8 years on both sides of the arguments.  I look forward to seeing the responses to this post.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 06, 2016 - 2:54am

    Reply to #40
    David Allan

    David Allan

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    Posts: 27

    Trapped

    thebrewer wrote

    'Most people just don't care about the environment, I think it's just too abstract in their mind, the electric bill that comes every month takes priority. 99% of the people I meet with have little to know idea of the long term cost of their energy choices. Only about 1 in 20 people I meet have the environment as their primary motivator and most of them wouldn't move forward unless they were at least saving a little.

    Making the kind of big sweeping change Chris referenced above is truly going to be an uphill battle on a sand dune of nearly infinite height. Most people are so self absorbed in their own little microcosms that they won't look up until it's too late.'

     

    You just hit the nail on the head. The 'centre of gravity' of our popular culture is miles away from a position where these issues can be seriously and urgently addressed.

    Some days I feel like I'm trapped in a car with a bunch of idiots.The car is heading towards a cliff; it's getting really close, it's going really fast and the driver is asleep at the wheel.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 06, 2016 - 4:46pm

    Reply to #24

    gnltabor

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    Posts: 25

    Check out Rocket Mass Heaters

    Luke,

    Not familiar with Hypocaust's but there's much work going on to figure out how to make wood fired mass heaters that will likely provide what you're looking for.  They are extremely clean burning, and transfer the majority of the heat generated into a cob bench formed around the exhaust pipe, which stores and then releases the heat generated over an 18-24 hour period.  Closing the flue after the fire is out does in fact prevent the continued exhausting of warm air from the home and improves the efficient use of the heat.  Check out http://www.rocketstoves.com to familiarize yourself with the subject.  Check out the Case Studies tab for information on some of the leading inventors/researchers on the application of this technology.   You can order the definitive text on the subject, 3rd Edition, and other books on related wood fired ovens from this site.  There's also a technical blog where you can learn a great deal about the experimentation and best practices associated with this concept at http://donkey32.proboards.com/  The experts advising others are some of the people featured in the Case Studies who've advanced the science and techniques involved.

    Greg

     

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  • Wed, Apr 06, 2016 - 4:51pm

    Reply to #21

    gnltabor

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    Posts: 25

    Detailed Post explaining Sun/Earthquake Correlations

    Interesting that Suspicious 0bservers posted an overview of their research and its correllation of magnetic storms emanating from the sun with major earthquakes on April 5, just as I was including one of their more recent events, the Sumatran quake in March, in my post yesterday.   This is a great recap of their research and a plea for someone to engage to advance the work with a scientific paper on the subject:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlWopdjMrBE

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  • Wed, Apr 06, 2016 - 6:08pm

    Reply to #24
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

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    Posts: 367

    Thanks Greg

    Thanks Greg,

    Just had a quick scan – definitely worth further reading.

    Cheers,

    Luke

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  • Thu, Apr 07, 2016 - 2:29am

    #64

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 828

    Sigh...Cosmic rays etc.

    My apologies if I come across unsympathetically but this stuff is like a combination of whack-a-mole and the zombie apocalypse. Debunk one thing and another is presented, wait a week and the whole slate of stuff gets trotted out again as if it had never been shown to be completely wrong, again and again. Facts never get in the way of any mish-mash of back of the envelope calculations and hand waving by people who think that because they just thought of something that it is a 'new' idea no one ever considered. Do they ever actually check? No, they just knock up some 'theory' and post it on YouTube. Why bother actually having your calculations checked by independent scientists? They would just reject the work, conspiracy I tell you! Then again maybe it could just be that the material being peddled was crap wrapped up in flashy confident sounding nonsense. In this brave new world where the information age will bring you anything you think you want to hear, combined with an era of almost no critical thinking capacity being taught in schools, we get instant discounting of the life's works of hundreds of scientists who actually had to work to have credibility by someone who has none him/herself. While an 'an easy read with 55 pages' sounds much more pleasant than slogging through 3,000+ pages of dense work condensing and synthesizing tens of thousands of publications of scientific works on climate change subjects (freely available right here!), you could just read the 32 page summary (link).

    The cosmic ray theory has been tested and found wanting many times. Please go here for detailed explanations of why together with many links to the several papers by scientists who examined and tested the ideas. Cosmic rays exist but they simply don't enough of what has been postulated to make any significant difference for the climate.

    While the link between cosmic rays and cloud cover is yet to be confirmed, more importantly, there has been no correlation between cosmic rays and global temperatures over the last 30 years of global warming.  In fact, in recent years when cosmic rays should have been having their largest cooling effect on record, temperatures have been at their highest on record.

    Global cooling? In what alternate universe is this being considered? There is no ground-swell of maverick scientists pushing this as a near-term possibility. If anyone says differently, please trot out some names and the papers they've published on the subject. Assuming there are any, has anyone ever cited them?

    The Earth was actually slowly cooling for approximately 5,000 years before we totally canceled out all that cooling in a single century (see Marcott et al. 2013).

    The whole bit about volcanoes is alluding to sulfur dioxide emissions which can brighten the atmosphere, reflecting much of the sunlight reaching the Earth for 2-3 years if it is injected in large enough quantities high enough into the atmosphere at the right points of the planet. Basically you need to eject materials at least 10km up and at locations near the equator so that they are spread globally. The big eruption in Iceland a few years back messed up Europe's air traffic but did nothing to the global climate. Mount Pinatubo (Philippines) in 1991 was the last climatically significant eruption, dropping temperatures by 0.5 C for a couple of years. It does not matter how many eruptions happen on the Earth unless they are the right types and in the right locations. Using sulfur dioxide to try to reduce global temperatures is one of the geoengineering ideas being batted around these days, never mind all of the problems that it would cause.

    The Little Ice Age was very real and was a whopping 0.5 C cooler than before its onset globally. It lasted a long time though and had very significant effects on human populations. I suggest reading "The Little Ice Age" by Brian Fagan for a good overview. Now consider the fact that we have managed to warm the planet by 1.0 C already (twice as much!) and are almost certain to shoot past 2.0 C long before the end of the century. If we get the return of the Maunder Minimum as was postulated (though is unsupported) the Earth would cool by 0.3-0.4 C (Shindell et al. 2001), putting a dent in current warming. A few locations would experience greater localized cooling but the planet would not suddenly experience 'global cooling', just a speed bump on the way to much higher temperatures.

    As I keep saying, discussions of Global Climate Change have a well populated thread of their own "The Definitive Global Climate Change (aka Global Warming) Thread", come on over. If anyone is interested, you can also check out the my podcast with Chris "The Scientific Argument for Climate Change" that I did right here on Peak Prosperity.

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  • Thu, Apr 07, 2016 - 2:38am

    Reply to #62

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 828

    Rich Becks

    Just another belated shout out to Richbecks for his very inspiring Chimney Rocks Farms post. I sincerely hope that we will be hearing more from you in the future!

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  • Thu, Apr 07, 2016 - 1:41pm

    Reply to #64
    DennisC

    DennisC

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    Posts: 101

    Cosmic Rays

    I hadn't seen that before.  All I remember is we blamed cosmic rays as the cause for any unusual or unexpected results/data when on the job (more PC than BTFOOM).

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  • Fri, Apr 08, 2016 - 1:31pm

    #65
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    sustainable transportation

    CM, #16: "The advisory panel I am on is charged with sifting through a pile of grant applications for a $1M pile with the intent of delivering a very short list to a senior group which will make the final call based on our recommendations. The theme this year is "sustainable transportation." I noted that I would be heavily favoring truly ground and mold breaking ideas that are both aspirational and have a strong means of shifting the narrative, because the time for nibbling around the edges has passed us by."

    Cool!

    To shift the narrative, consider elevated bike lanes, cycling skyways, either covered or uncovered:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20110209083756/http://cooltubes.com/

    http://www.biketrans.com

    http://www.thepurehands.org/cycleways/

    https://web.archive.org/web/20101213031135/http://www.velo-city.ca/files/06-04-16_Velo-city_Toronto%20Star_Jennifer%20Wells.pdf

    https://web.archive.org/web/20101213031049/http://www.velo-city.ca/files/velo-city%20-%20National%20Post%20-%20January%2012,%202006.pdf

    https://web.archive.org/web/20140305201952/http://www.gardenvisit.com/blog/2009/11/23/commuter_cycling_tube_elevated/

    And, related: human-powered monorails:

    Homepage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skytran

    http://shweeb.com/index.php?m=transport

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  • Fri, Apr 08, 2016 - 3:13pm

    Reply to #25
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    renewables

    Climber99, #28:  "Even if "renewables" were to go through 4 doubling from 4.5 to 9 to 18 to 36 to 72 kWh/day per person (which is highly unlikely in my view), it would still mean the average American would have to reduce their energy consumption by 71% (from 250 to 72 kWh/day). Forget running an electric car!  However it gets worse than this because not all the 72 kWh/day would be available to people. A proportion (perhaps all) of this 72kWh/day will have to be reserved to "renew" the "renewables" as they come to the end of their life spans."

    Each doubling of wind and solar should take at most 4 years at current rates of growth (see below): I am figuring an average of 20% per year, which is a conservative medium between the 17% per year and 37% per year mentioned below for wind and solar, respectively. At 20% per year, doubling takes about 3.5 years. Four years, then, is a conservative estimate. Hence, four doublings should take ~15 years, from now to about 2030. Of course, there will still be room for more doublings, and by then the momentum is likely to be even greater since there are feed-forward effects of high volume, at least to a point (i.e. to a point somewhere shy of complete saturation). Remember the exponential function, a la Al Bartlett.  Solar PV growth has proven to be explosive, exceeding everyone's expectations. Solar is kicking nuclear's ass since it is so cheap and easy to install, and getting cheaper all the time.

    Quite possible that we could be at 100% renewables by mid-century or before, based on conservative current growth rate extrapolation. Also, that assumes the existing subsidy structure, which heavily favors non-renewables, and it also assumes that the fossil fuel industry will continue to put up stiff resistance. Renewables are winning, even though they are charging into that headwind. If the subsidy structure were changed to even things out, or to favor renewables, and if the FF industry could be shut up, then it could happen a lot quicker.

    It is amazing that this growth is happening, and will happen, just on economics alone — i.e. the economic advantages of renewables even in the face of the subsidy headwind. In other words, it is happening mostly because it is a sensible business/financial decision, rather than because of climate concerns or whatnot. Political efforts to speed things up would be nice, but may not be necessary. Saying this goes against my grain: I have a latent dislike for the idea of the world being saved as a business decision — as a side-effect of an ROI calculation. And yet, there it is. That's how things are unfolding, whether I like it or not. And at the end of the day — ideology be damned — I'll take it. And maybe I can learn to LIKE it. wink

    Mark Jacobson seems to think that lack political will is an important impediment, but I am not so sure. It seems that it is happening just on economics alone; the statistics on explosive renewables growth don't lie, even if politicians do. 

    For background see here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100%25_renewable_energy

    Dramatically reduced pollution and CO2 release (with all that those imply for health, cost savings and planetary sustainability) will be "side effects" of the conversion.

    As for "renewing the renewables" (i.e. replacement at end of life-cycle): no problem. Life cycles now appear to be at least 30 years and in most situations a half-century. The problem by then will be OVERcapacity, since vast new production structure will have been built up during the rapid-doubling years; this is happening right now, in fact.  The big renewables build-out will be a one-off thing, with only a trickle thereafter required for maintenance/replacement. We will have cheap energy from super high-EROI renewables requiring little maintenance and only multi-generational replacement (i.e. your grandkids will likely still be getting plenty of cheap energy — minus a half-percent or so attritional annual loss — from the PV panels you installed 40 years earlier).

    The world is a strange darn place.

    ………………………….

    http://www.afp.com/en/news/renewables-posted-record-growth-rate-2015-irena … Renewables posted record growth rate in 2015: IRENA … 07 Apr 2016  … snip …  "Wind power capacity grew by 17 percent, or 63 GW, "driven by declines in onshore turbine prices of up to 45 percent since 2010," said the report. Solar power capacity rose by 37 percent, or 47 GW, after prices of solar modules fell. However, hydropower capacity increased only by three percent, while bioenergy and geothermal energy capacity increased by five percent each."

     

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  • Fri, Apr 08, 2016 - 3:35pm

    #66
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    renewables part II

    Also, China's global UHV grid — an "energy internet" — will be an important part of the global renewables picture mid-term, toward 2050. See below.

    You might object that this is just a PROPOSAL, and that the reality of doing it is a different matter. Well, yes, the reality of doing it IS a different matter. But don't put it past them. To take just one example: China's 13,000km of high-speed rail — rapidly heading for 25,000km by 2020 — was "just a proposal" in the year 2000. Now it is reality.  More generally, consider their long series of largely-successful 5-year plans. They are big-time long-term planners, with a grand vision of global development, and they historically DO what they say they are going to do.

    This particular project is enormous, I grant, but I would not bet against them.

    ………………………….

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2016/03/china-proposes-50-trillion-global-uhv.html
    March 31, 2016
    China proposes $50+ trillion Global UHV grid connecting all power generation including massive wind farm at the North Pole by 2050
    China is proposing a $50+ trillion global energy grid. Global Energy Interconnection (GEI), a vision of a world power grid, was outlined by the State Grid Corporation of China ("State Grid")
    It would be based upon a global network of Ultra High Voltage power lines connecting global power generation including massive wind farm at the North Pole and solar power from equatorial areas to energy users around the world.
    If renewable generation grows at an annual growth rate of 12.4 percent over the world, then by 2050 renewable energy shall increase to 80 percent of total consumption, realizing clean energy supplement forever and completely solving the dilemmas caused by fossil fuels.
    By 2050, the total CO2 emission will be controlled at about 11.5 billion tons, half of emissions in 1990, holding the temperature rise to within 2 degrees.
    The accumulated investment on the global grid will exceed $50 trillion, tremendously boosting the development of new-emerging strategic industries, renewable energy, new materials and electric vehicle.
    end quote

    ………………………………..

    more background:

    http://www.powermag.com/china-rolls-out-proposal-for-worldwide-grid/?pagenum=1
    China Rolls Out Proposal for Worldwide Grid
    02/25/2016

    http://www.zyelec.com/en/Show_news.asp?id=641
    China is building 7 ultra high voltage (UHV) projects
    2015-12-3

    http://grenatec.com/a-100-trillion-global-energy-internet-by-2050/
    A $100 Trillion Global Energy Internet by 2050?
    January 18, 2016

    http://store.elsevier.com/Global-Energy-Interconnection/Zhenya-Liu/isbn-9780128044063/
    Global Energy Interconnection, 1st Edition,
    Author: Zhenya Liu
    Imprint: Academic Press
    eBook ISBN : 9780128044063
    Print Book ISBN : 9780128044056
    Pages: 396
    Proposes a broad concept: global energy interconnection, filling the gap between, discrete technology development and global interconnection, proposing the interdependency of energy systems

     

     

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  • Fri, Apr 08, 2016 - 4:40pm

    Reply to #33
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    running PV plants on PV

    ckessel #59: "An interesting question posed to me was why the solar PV manufacturing companies don't run their plants on PV generated electricity?"

    They will, soon. Conversion of industrial civilization — which had depended mostly on FFs/nuclear for a century previous — does not happen overnight. It takes a few decades. In the same way that the Three Gorges dam was not built in a month, industrial civilization will not convert to renewables in a year.

    We're basically just starting right now, or say 10 years ago. Up until the year 2000, renewables were at a pilot level. Serious renewables production is beginning right now, or as of 2005-2010. Prices are crashing, reflecting the economies of scale.

    Industrial operations are already getting some of their electricity from PV, as part of the generation mix. As the PV fraction grows, then they will get more and more from PV, as well as other renewables (all parts of the mix).

    We will probably never get to 100% renewable — just close. And that is good enough.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 08, 2016 - 5:16pm

    Reply to #33
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    ckessel

    [duplicate post, sorry; thought it had not gone thru]

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  • Tue, Apr 12, 2016 - 6:23pm

    Reply to #9
    Vilbas

    Vilbas

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    Posts: 10

    I would love an introduction

    I would love an introduction to your neck of the woods.  Part of our plan for this trip is to connect with as many people and communities as possible.  If someone offers a place to stay or an introduction to their community, we are going to do our damnedest to take them up on it.  I'd love to come away from the trip with many new friends, connections, and appreciation for beautiful places and communities around the country.

    I wish we had the VW camper but we thought we'd keep the capital investments low at least to start, so we are rolling in the Ford Focus hatchback with bike rack and trailer hitch storage rack.  The Focus only has 27k miles on it so we should be in good shape.

    I'm going to make a standalone post about our trip – I'd love to connect with as many like-minded individuals as possible. 

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  • Wed, Apr 13, 2016 - 2:04am

    #67
    Noah

    Noah

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    Modern Systems Require Enormous Energy

    If I am understanding this all correctly, our complex modern economy, which is based on a huge influx of resources (energy), cannot sustain itself indefinitely. It seems that even to keep our current society running utilizing the electrical grid and accompanying technologies (computers/cell phones,etc), a huge amount of energy is needed. So, significantly slimming down energy use just won't do since there won't be the critical mass energy production to sustain the infrastructure. Sure, we can charge our cell phone with a modest photovoltaic cell, but the infrastructure to keep the cellular system afloat requires enormous energy. Electrical systems including generation with PV may provide an interim measure while we settle into a post electrical system lifestyle. Yes, relying on natural heating systems (the sun), living in/below the ground, utilizing mechanical power through humans / animals and wind / water. Over time, as entropy sets in with the degradation of bicycles and other technologies reused for mechanical power, life will begin to look like it did pre-industrial revolution. The curve looks a lot like the settling back of the economy after a bubble burst. But now, it is a larger energy-industrial era "regression". Can it be any other way?

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  • Wed, Apr 13, 2016 - 2:39am

    Reply to #67
    Time2help

    Time2help

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    Posts: 2272

    Perhaps

    [quote=Noah Grunberg]

    The curve looks a lot like the settling back of the economy after a bubble burst. But now, it is a larger energy-industrial era "regression". Can it be any other way?

    [/quote]

    There's always…

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  • Wed, Apr 13, 2016 - 2:47am

    Reply to #64

    scribe

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 19 2011

    Posts: 25

    Facts never get in the way of

    Facts never get in the way of any mish-mash of back of the envelope calculations and hand waving by people who think that because they just thought of something that it is a ‘new’ idea no one ever considered

    Mark Cochrane, I take my hat off to you for your tireless battle against the misinformation posted here. Please also consider that many people are employed by the big polluters and Big Coal, Big Oil to infest sites like this with astroturfing comments. It’s been proved, so I am not making a far-fetched claim here.

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  • Fri, Apr 15, 2016 - 5:26am

    #68
    yolobaba

    yolobaba

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 15 2016

    Posts: 2

    What No One Tells You About Shopping For Your Wedding Dress

    What No One Tells You About Shopping For Your Wedding Dress
    Armed with lookbooks, magazine tear-outs, my Pinterest app, and the image of my dream dress playing on repeat in my mind, I was ready for my very first wedding dress appointment. I had done the research for weeks, zeroing in on the single Amsale bridal gown I was sure I'd wear down the aisle. Only, after chatting with the bridal salon, I learned it was no longer available, a relic from the Fall '13 collection that had been circulating all over Pinterest. The designer had crafted new renditions in her subsequent collections, but they were all missing the details I'd regrettably fallen in love with. How did I get it so wrong? Well, it's nearly two years later, and I've come out the other side, happily married in a dress I still love. It wasn't a perfect process — I don't know if it ever is — but to help with your own search, I'm sharing what I've learned, namely how to stay emotionally sane and in control of what you want.
    girls party dresses
    1. Do Your Research, but Come Open-Minded
    Being prepared is one thing, but (pardon the pun) being married to a dress you haven't met — or tried on — yet is another. When you call ahead or book online with a bridal boutique, they'll often ask you for a list or links of the dresses you're interested in, and this will help guide the appointment and help your sales associate be most helpful, especially since you'll likely have a limited time frame. On that note, be prepared with designers and silhouettes you like that also fit within your budget. Still, don't rule out a wild card once you're there. Especially early on in your search for the dress, be willing to experiment with an unexpected style. It might not be what you thought it would look like, but you might just fall in love all the same — just make sure it's in your budget before you do.
    long evening dresses
    2. Don't Fight Your Body Type
    Like so many women, I've pored over the wedding pictures of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, her lithe frame carrying off her slip of a wedding dress flawlessly, wishing I might have the same bridal grace, the same elegant silhouette. The truth is, I'm just built differently. I pulled on a slinky satin gown at my second bridal appointment to channel her iconic look. I loved the way it hung on display, a minimalist cut with a sexy draped back, but on me, it looked entirely different. It clung to the wrong places, exposing parts of my body I didn't even know existed but I knew instantly I didn't like — at least not in this dress. No pep talk from Mom (who sat patiently with me in the dressing room) or wedding diet was going to change that. Knowing that was another step toward finding the right dress.
    wholesale wedding dresses
    3. Stay True to Your Style
    No one else is wearing this dress — not your maid of honor, not your mom, your mother-in-law, your dad, or your grandma. So when you seek out the dress, make sure it's one you love. Likewise, don't let the location or the event dictate what you'll wear too much. For instance, just because it's a New Year's wedding doesn't mean the dress should come with tulle and a feathered skirt, unless you want it to. Clear your mind of what you "should" wear, and fill it with images of what makes you happy. And more importantly, be honest with your loved ones — and with the sales associate — about what that is, so you're all on the same page right up front.
    cheap bridesmaid dresses
    4. Crying Is Allowed, but Not Required
    When I finally thought I'd found the dress, my dad joined my mom and my sister and came to see me in it. There I was, standing in front of my family having that bridal moment in a white ballgown; my dad smiled and I remember him saying, "I could dance with you in that dress." I'd seen Say Yes to the Dress so many times, I knew it was my cue to cry, but I didn't. I didn't get emotional at all, in fact. I threw up my hands and said, "This is it then. Let's do it!" Days later I would replay that in my head as a sign that I'd picked the wrong dress. I'd call my mom with doubt; "I didn't even cry," I'd reminded her. To her credit, she put it all in perspective: "It's a dress, Hannah. I think that's OK." And it is — it's OK if you cry, if you lose your sh*t, or if you don't. It's all OK. As long as you're comfortable and happy and you feel like yourself, who really cares if you shed a tear just because TV or movies made you feel like you should? Remember, there are no "shoulds" here.
    wedding dresses online
    5. You Could Search Forever, but Don't
    There are countless dresses, new trends every season, new designers, and a million options out there. You could actually search forever and still not be satisfied, afraid you've missed the next great style or overlooked a dress that might be the one. I was admittedly caught up second-guessing myself long after I'd found my dress that I forgot to enjoy just being done with it. Every time I stopped to remind myself that the search was over, that I didn't have to scour the Internet or call every boutique in NYC for appointments, I could breathe easy again. It doesn't matter what every dress on the market looks like, just the one you're calling your own.

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  • Sat, Apr 16, 2016 - 7:39pm

    #69
    Michael Frome

    Michael Frome

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 20 2011

    Posts: 90

    there's a fire

    under the frying pan…from what I know of methane hydrates, we're probably going to "go there" as an energy-hungry civilization, I'm fully cognizant that while CO2 may or may not be a "big deal" in terms of an anthropomorphic component to what I think is reasonable evidence of a global warming cycle underway, methane certainly and without question is a Big Deal.

     

    I'd rather see an addressing of the core issue in my opinion, which is population management (ideally through enlightened self-awareness of everyone, but it won't happen).  Also, Thorium PBRs.  No brainer. Get going, PRC, because the West ain't going to do it. I've got some standing to think that, been in the nuclear industry ten years, am interested in the subject, went to the trouble of getting a degree in it.

     

    Interesting thread, thanks everybody for the read.  I posted this comment when I read Mark C's remarks about the hydrates.  Again, my opinion, it would be a big deal.  There's a considerable downside.

    Mike

     

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  • Wed, Apr 20, 2016 - 11:23pm

    #70
    Joel Regen

    Joel Regen

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 13 2009

    Posts: 3

    LFTR is probably the best mid to long term solution.

    If you have followed any of the information about LFTR (Lithium Fluoride Thorium Reactor) you would realize that this technology holds the key to the next 1000 years of abundant energy for the world.

     

     

     

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  • Thu, Apr 21, 2016 - 12:14am

    Reply to #70
    Joel Regen

    Joel Regen

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    Posts: 3

    more history on LFTR.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIDytUCRtTA

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  • Sat, Apr 23, 2016 - 3:31am

    #71

    Taz Alloway

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 18 2010

    Posts: 461

    Japan in the Edo period

    Perhaps it is time to revisit the model of a society sustainable for over 200 years- Japan in the Edo period

    > Note the remarkable feature of a stable population-.roughly 30 million over 2 centuries

    In recent years, an increasing number of Japanese have begun to realize that during the Edo Period their country had what we now recognize in today's terms as a sustainable society. The population was stable and the society did not rely on material inputs from the outside. Many are now trying to learn more about the social system of that time and apply the "wisdom of the Edo Period" in contemporary society and living.

    Japan’s sustainable society in the Edo period (1603-1867)

     

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  • Sat, Apr 23, 2016 - 8:38am

    Reply to #71
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 367

    Just Enough - Edo Japan

    [quote=Tall]

    Perhaps it is time to revisit the model of a society sustainable for over 200 years- Japan in the Edo period

    > Note the remarkable feature of a stable population-.roughly 30 million over 2 centuries

    In recent years, an increasing number of Japanese have begun to realize that during the Edo Period their country had what we now recognize in today's terms as a sustainable society. The population was stable and the society did not rely on material inputs from the outside. Many are now trying to learn more about the social system of that time and apply the "wisdom of the Edo Period" in contemporary society and living.

    Japan’s sustainable society in the Edo period (1603-1867)

     

    [/quote]

    Tall, so glad you mentioned Edo Japan. I've just started reading a book called Just Enough by Azby Brown which discusses lifestyle, farming and construction practices of that period – I'm only a quarter of the way through and already I consider it a 'must read'. Everything from irrigation techniques, to fertiliser, to forest management and home/farm construction. One of the strict rules enforced to preserve forests was that you could only burn branches that fell onto the ground in order to allow forests to recover – the timber was used almost exclusively for construction. Imagine what the GDP of country would look like fueled only by fallen branches! 🙂

    A theme throughout the book is the ethic of conservation – you only take what is needed as it is a taboo to be seen as greedy given the resource scarcity.

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  • Sat, Apr 23, 2016 - 12:44pm

    Reply to #71

    Mots

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 86

    Edo Japan has lessons for our future

    Luke thank you very much for pointing this out.  I agree completely.

    In large part because of this topic, just recently I have walked away from my own successful law firm on K street to start/renew life in a rural Japanese village.  The values you mention from the Edo period can still be found to some extent and, in my opinion, are good building blocks to a great future.  The  people in rural Japan seem to understand the  significance of what they have and are delightful to work with.  

    We are community building here and welcome queries from others who might consider joining a community that lacks guns and drugs and who are willing to work hard  and humbly respect the old values/customs  that you refer to.  We are "Renaissance" at http://www.yugeshima.com

     

    [quote=Tall]

    Perhaps it is time to revisit the model of a society sustainable for over 200 years- Japan in the Edo period

    > Note the remarkable feature of a stable population-.roughly 30 million over 2 centuries

    In recent years, an increasing number of Japanese have begun to realize that during the Edo Period their country had what we now recognize in today's terms as a sustainable society. The population was stable and the society did not rely on material inputs from the outside. Many are now trying to learn more about the social system of that time and apply the "wisdom of the Edo Period" in contemporary society and living.

    Japan’s sustainable society in the Edo period (1603-1867)

     

    [/quote]

    Tall, so glad you mentioned Edo Japan. I've just started reading a book called Just Enough by Azby Brown which discusses lifestyle, farming and construction practices of that period – I'm only a quarter of the way through and already I consider it a 'must read'. Everything from irrigation techniques, to fertiliser, to forest management and home/farm construction. One of the strict rules enforced to preserve forests was that you could only burn branches that fell onto the ground in order to allow forests to recover – the timber was used almost exclusively for construction. Imagine what the GDP of country would look like fueled only by fallen branches! 🙂

    A theme throughout the book is the ethic of conservation – you only take what is needed as it is a taboo to be seen as greedy given the resource scarcity.

    [/quote]

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  • Sat, Apr 23, 2016 - 12:54pm

    Reply to #71

    Mots

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 86

    (Duplicate post)

    (Duplicate post)

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  • Sat, Apr 23, 2016 - 3:59pm

    #72

    Taz Alloway

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 18 2010

    Posts: 461

    Coppice and pollard another way to sustain firewood production

    With coppicing and pollarding, one collects the wood produced from the previous year's growth, sustaining a living 'firewood tree'.

    http://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/coppicing-firewood

     

    Coppice and Pollard

     

     

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  • Sat, Apr 23, 2016 - 4:31pm

    #73

    CleanEnergyFan

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 29 2012

    Posts: 104

    We’re Not Going To Make It…Is this a new record for comments?

     I just happened to click back on this thread and was amazed to see how many comments it has attracted since I read it when it first came out. Chris I think you might have hit a nerve with this topic as I don't remember any topic attracting this many comments.  Thanks to all the posters for providing so much information…. it will take me a while to get through all of this. 

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  • Mon, May 02, 2016 - 6:00am

    Reply to #30
    Time2help

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2272

    Breathable air is good, right?

    [quote=Weogo]

    The ph of the oceans is changing.

    [/quote]

    The discussion of global warming (or whatever the PC newspeak for that term is) and interruption of the carbon cycle is an interesting one, but I'm more interested in the effects of these two on the carbon/oxygen cycle. What happens to oxygen generation when phytoplankton start dying off in really large numbers?

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  • Tue, May 31, 2016 - 11:35pm

    #74

    gnltabor

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 21 2010

    Posts: 25

    Maybe we are going to make it after all?

    I credit Chris's Crash Course with opening my eyes to the impending collapse of our global economy and many other aspects of how things must change, especially the notion that natural resources are available in limited supply and are heavily dependent on low cost energy for their extraction.  For the past 6 years, I've been a follower of posts and comments on this site, and have found many posts helpful in directing my own personal efforts towards reducing our family's footprint and becoming less of the problem and more of the solution.  I've installed low flush toilets, more energy efficient windows, increased home insulation, planted fruit trees, grape vines, and berry bushes, and have been growing a portion of our vegetables in 3 raised garden beds.  I'm in the process of building a chicken coop and continuing various other initiatives to become more self sufficient and less dependent.  I've shared my insights with those I care about and a few others have taken it to heart along the way.   

    Along the way however, I have become skeptical of the notion that Anthropogenic CO2 is causing global warming and/or climate change.  This week, I was made aware that the Portland (OR) Public School Board has banned text books that may question the absolute legitimacy of Anthropogenic Global Warming and will promotes "Climate Justice" whatever that means.  Here's where I became aware of this development:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs90lqBCHpE

    In this post, the author makes his case for the School Board's reconsidering this position with references to a range of sources who have posited arguments against the impact of Anthropogenic CO2.  I noted a number of names I hadn't been aware of and decided to look into Murry Salby's work on CO2 specifically.  A quick search on Youtube surfaced this presentation:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCya4LilBZ8

    Murry's research is quite comprehensive, concluding that anthropogenic CO2's impact on global temperature cannot contribute anything close to a 2oC increase in global temperature, but we are more likely to run out of resources before such an event will ever occur.  Murry doesn't claim that CO2 isn't rising, but rather that the primary cause for CO2 rising is the earth's warming and not anthropogenic CO2 production.  Incidentally, Murry moved to Australia where his research was funded, but subsequently lost his job when his conclusion didn't uphold the collective thinking and his presentation reflects a certain bitterness over this issue, but nonetheless, he makes a strong case for his findings with extensive analysis and mathematical formulas showing that the IPCC's models are grossly exaggerating the impact of CO2 on climate change (global warming) and that we will have little impact on the outcome, regardless of the degree of success or failure of our attempts to reduce Anthropogenic CO2. 

    Michael Crichton, author of States of Fear, was an articulate intellect, medical professional, author, producer, and critic of global warming/climate change before passing away some years ago.  Here's a presentation he gave on the topic which I believe is worth watching in full.  However, the presentation is 1:34 in length.  If you choose to take a shortcut, I'd encourage you to pick up at the 1:07 mark where, following his speech, the post incorporates a reading of the author's comments on the politicization of the Global Warming issue incorporated into States of Fear, comparing it to Eugenics and other examples of politicized pseudo-science that were subsequently shown to be false with significant negative outcomes.  If anything, we may be over investing in reducing anthropogenic CO2 at the expense of more important ailments of society and global humanity.  Check out Michael's views here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HOP6JnaZgw

    I'm not trying to persuade anyone from personal preparations or reducing their energy footprint, as I myself am fully committed to doing.  We depend on oil for plastics and other chemical compounds that will be missed as much as energy and I believe someday we will come to lament having used Oil for fuel when it's no longer available for its other uses.  I also believe we will need alternatives in addition to all current forms of fossil fuel to recover form the pending economic collapse.  However, as we approach a global economic collapse, you may find some solace in the perspective that we may not have already tipped over the edge on global warming and in fact, we may never tip over that edge.  Good thing, because as Chris so eloquently points out, if they are right, we probably aren't going to make it anyway.

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  • Wed, Jun 29, 2016 - 5:37pm

    #75
    KablyKala2

    KablyKala2

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 29 2016

    Posts: 1

    In addition, you will need some personal

    In addition, you will need some personal guidance foreign travel guide from someone who has been there and done that, learn how to get visibility on the tourist heavyweights like Lonely Planet family travel blog.

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  • Fri, Jul 08, 2016 - 6:32am

    #76
    yolobaba

    yolobaba

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 15 2016

    Posts: 2

    What Men Really Think About Our Clothes?

    When it comes to fashion, most men could care less. Shopping? Same thing. Makeup? Not interested. But when it comes to how sexy a woman looks when she's all done up or just chilling in her sweatpants, men are all ears, or eyes we should say—they're visual creatures, what do you expect? They don't care about the hottest new fashion trends or how much a tank top opportunity cost (well, sort of), as long as it looks good on a woman and hugs her curves in all the right places, it's good enough for them. Common though, where's the fun in that? Men have to have a look they love on a gal, right? Here's what we concluded after careful consideration:
    1. Men Love Women in a T-Shirt and Tight Jeans
    Turns out the casual, au natural look isn't so bad after all. "It's sexy and shows off the curves, but still leaves things to the imagination," says Rafael, an LA based designer. Emma from UK would also have to agree, noting that her husband prefers her most when she's wearing boyfriend jeans, a t-shirt and no makeup.
    2. Men Don't Love Women in Clothes That Look Like They Cost More than Their Car
    What!? Guys don't love Chanel?!?! "Although it may look good," says Dan, a Manhattan based comedian, "it will make most heterosexual, down to earth men run the other way." Hmm, we guess high maintenance isn't really their thing?jeans for men
    3. Different Is Good
    "A different or unique outfit reflects a confident woman who is sure of herself," says Andrew Schrage, Editor of the Money Crashers personal finance blog. "Even if it's not the most physically attractive outfit, the thought behind it can be mentally stimulating," Awesome, we love this! Is this outfit too different?
    4. Body-Con Dresses Are Great
    No surprise here—guys love anything that's form fitting!
    5. Yoga Pants Are Probably the Best
    We kind of have to agree…they do make our tushes look good! "I don't know when they became an acceptable thing to wear out, but I'm just glad they did," says Mike of NC.
    6. Oh, and High Heels Are Super Sexy as Well
    This one goes without saying. Every guy loves a woman in high heels!
    http://www.yolobaba.com

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  • Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - 12:35pm

    #77
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    Time for a few updates.On

    Time for a few updates.
    On the China front (which is to say a large fraction of the total global picture):
    https://thinkprogress.org/with-millions-of-jobs-up-for-grabs-china-seize
     Feb 28, 2017
     China smashes solar energy records, as coal use and CO2 emissions fall once again
     We are witnessing a historic passing of the baton of global leadership on technology and climate from the United States to China.
     snip
     Beijing plans to invest a stunning $360 billion by 2020 in renewable generation alone…. In 2016, Chinese coal consumption fell for the third consecutive year, Beijing reports, while it installed almost twice as many solar panels as it had in 2015, which was also a record-setting year. Beijing projects both trends will continue in 2017. China’s solar installation target for 2020 is likely to be achieved in 2018, which as Greenpeace’s Energy Desk noted in January, is “a pretty impressive feat given that the target was set only a couple of months ago.”
     

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  • Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - 12:37pm

    #78
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    The German energy transition

    The German energy transition is coming along nicely:
    https://www.gtai.de/GTAI/Navigation/EN/Meta/Press/press-releases,t=germanys-energy-transition-progresses,did=1598022.html
    Dec 14, 2016
    Germany’s energy transition progresses
    Berlin (gtai) – The annual report on Germany’s Energiewende (energy transition) has given the process full marks for its progress in 2015. Most notably, renewable energy sources became Germany’s most important source of electricity, with a share of 31.6 percent, even allowing for a slight increase in energy consumption (an increase largely attributed to cooler overall weather).
    Even more pleasing was the overall fall in energy bills, by 1.4 percent for households and 2.1 percent for industrial customers not eligible for tax relief on their energy usage.
    Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel was delighted with the scorecard, saying it confrimed a ‘near complete implementation’ of an ‘ambitious programme’.

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  • Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - 12:41pm

    #79
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    In the U.S., solar PV DOUBLED

    In the U.S., solar PV DOUBLED in ONE YEAR:
    https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/us-solar-market-grows-95-in
     US Solar Market Grows 95% in 2016, Smashes Records
     by Mike Munsell
     February 15, 2017
     In its biggest year to date, the United States solar market nearly doubled its annual record, topping out at 14,626 megawatts of solar PV installed in 2016.
     This represents a 95 percent increase over the previous record of 7,493 megawatts installed in 2015.
    ………………………………
    What does this graph tell us?

     
    … it tells us that the storm is gathering great momentum. The pattern of ~30% annual increases (very fast, and laudable) of the 2011-2015 interval has been smashed to the upside.
    Nice!
    Cheap, high-EROI renewables are a tsunami that cannot be stopped — as I wrote here years ago.
     

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  • Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - 12:43pm

    #80
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    One more thing. This is from

    One more thing. This is from a year ago, but is well worth the read:
    https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-solar-singularity-is-getting-closer
    The Solar Singularity Is Getting Closer
    by Tam Hunt
    January 06, 2016
    One year ago, I wrote a piece here at GTM that argued the solar singularity is nigh. The “solar singularity” is the point where solar becomes so cheap in a majority of countries around the world that it is established as the default new power source. At this point, solar will very likely go vertical in its growth curve.
    snip
    My key assertion is that under current cost trends for solar and wind power, and (less certainly) for other renewables and electric vehicles, we are well on our way down a path to dramatically reduced emissions.
    snip
    I made the solar singularity concept the centerpiece of my 2015 book, Solar: Why Our Energy Future Is So Bright. I offer here an update on the topics covered in my book, showing that we are perhaps even closer to the solar singularity than I previously dared to suggest.
    I’ll cover not only solar, but also battery storage, electric vehicles and automated driving, which are the parallel and intertwined revolutions that are set to transform our energy system worldwide. With these four technologies developing steadily, we can reasonably expect to see, by 2035 to 2040, a world powered predominantly with renewable electricity — not only for homes and businesses, but also for transportation and industrial processes.

     

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  • Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - 3:57pm

    Reply to #79

    Mots

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 86

    PV grows exponentially

    Thank you for the graph Alan.
    This is the most important story in recent years, the replacement of much energy with solar.
    I see that many estimates of EROI for solar have been made, but many of these seem to center around 6 to 6.5 and oil from the ground is about this.  see for example https://www.carbonbrief.org/energy-return-on-investment-which-fuels-win Until recently, I made a living handling solar panel technologies at the patent office and had numerous chances to discuss this topic with inventors and new product managers in the companies that actually produce the wealth and not just talk about finances and bias predictions from old ways of thinking based on old tired-worn out American perspective and old technology, as is often done on this web site.  The real action  and real evolution to an improved future is happening in Asia and other places and the American way of thinking about energy use and lifestyle (blowing 40% of our energy on 150 hp 3000 lb cars for endless driving) is no longer relevant.
      
    some comments to add to yours:
    1. the EROI of solar panels gets steadily BETTER while oil gets worse.  the exponential curve will NOT flatten soon due to technology constraints
    2. already companies have learned to replace silver in solar panels with copper.  solar to electric conversions are a basic phenomena and a nearly infinite variety of chemistries and materials are waiting to be used. the exponential curve will NOT flatten soon due to material constraints
    3. we are living in an ocean of energy, and advances in engineering constantly improve our ability to literally take energy out of the air, from our rooftops, etc.  we are surrounded by energy that can be harvested
    This website promotes the FAKE SCIENCE that “concentrated energy!” such as oil that is gathered from inside cracks and pores of rocks in the ground are inherently superior to “diffuse energy” such as sunlight falling on rooftops.  Solar is available at the level of about 1000 watts (a little over one horsepower) per square meter during direct sunlight.  Cheap solar panels allow harvesting of 200 watts (1/4 hp) per square meter during full sun.  During rain or cloudy days, this directly scales to 200 watts (about 1/4 hp) for 10-20 square meters of cheap solar panels, which works fine with me because the panels are so dirt cheap.  Solar works fine during cloud cover, it is simply a matter of using more of the cheap panels to collect and schedule big loads for high sunlight times.  According to the fake science, this low diffuse level of energy is fundamentally inferior to exploding liquid fuels in internal combustion motors that typically get 10% efficiency and at best 30% efficiency. 
    The conclusion from this website’s fake science that “diffuse” solar is inferior is nonsense.  A great deal of energy, movement, chemical alternation etc is required to concentrate or alter oil into a form that can finally be burned as a mist in a metal chamber to generate a heat gradient.  More importantly, the type of motor that REQUIRES concentration liquid fuels to work (heat engines) are extremely inefficient and UN-NECESSARY and NOT required (this is the main flaw of the Fake Science constantly promoted at this site).  Heat engines  REQUIRE concentrated energy to get their low efficiencies of high temperature heat gradients to work.  The Fake Science promoter on this website overlooks the fact that HIGH EFFICIENCY LOW TEMPERATURE motors (electric motors) are off the shelf, cheap and typically 65% efficient and often 90% efficient when used in well regulated applications.  These are 2-4 TIMES as efficient as the exploding combustion heat energy types that require the concentrated liquids to work and ARE REPLACING those outmoded engines that require explosions of liquid fuel.  Diffuse energy sources such as solar are superior to liquid fuels in many ways for most of the important energy consuming activities (transport by wire instantaneously, dont explode, highly efficient motors etc.)  This topic requires a separate discussion with engineers and not MBA’d financial analysts……

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  • Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - 8:08pm

    Reply to #79
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    Thanks for your reply, Mots.

    Thanks for your reply, Mots. In general I agree with all. But I would not be so hard on the proprietor of this site. The mistake he is making is easy to make; I know, because I’ve been there myself. The peak oil (and net energy shortfall) narrative has a rich history and plenty of good arguments and facts to back it up. The case was strong up to about 10 years ago, maybe even just 5 years ago.  Once one buys-in to that story it has a  momentum, like any idea to which one cleaves, and one finds oneself defending it in increasing desperation because it is so painful to admit being in the wrong.  But really it is not so much a matter of being wrong, as being insufficiently open to new information as it unfolds. In the case of the renewables explosion, the new information came quickly, not all that long ago, and it had (and has) revolutionary implications. This is hard to accept. It is HARD to be open to new info that challenges your ideas, when you’ve done your homework and are quite certain that “I’ve got that thing figured out”.
    Further, there is a certain personality type (more evident at places like automaticearth and doomsteaddiner than here) that has embraced declensionism and the inevitability of collapse of industrial civilization, or at least economic collapse and permanent depression. This kind of person clings to the peak oil and peak net energy stories tenaciously not because of a cool analysis of all relevant facts, but because of the inner conviction that everything is going to hell, inevitably — therefore peak oil and peak net energy ideas MUST be right, because they are consistent with that inner conviction. Facts are marshalled as an afterthought, to maintain intellectual respectability, but they are not the real source of conviction. I’m familiar with this strain because I flirted with it for some years; at times it was more than flirtation. Then, as newer and different information presented itself to me, I was forced to change.
    We are all on a path to greater understanding. It is difficult, sometimes painful.
    Be charitable. No need to scream about “FAKE SCIENCE” and the like. Just state the facts, and keep stating them.
    A few comments:

    MOTS wrote:

    The real action  and real evolution to an improved future is happening in Asia and other places

    VERY true. The Chinese are amazing, building a new modern civilization at breakneck speed, and undertaking the critical infrastructure mega-projects that will turn the whole Eurasian continent into a dynamo. It is breathtaking. We’re going to be left in the dust. Already ARE being.

    MOTS wrote:

    1. the EROI of solar panels gets steadily BETTER while oil gets worse.

    Great point that needs to be made often. This is one among several critical reasons why renewables are unstoppable. The economics are compelling.

    MOTS wrote:

    2. already companies have learned to replace silver in solar panels with copper.

    Yes. I tried to explain this to the people over on doomsteaddiner, but it was hopeless. It is simple economics: as long as silver is cheap, silver will continue to be used, because why bother replacing it? When silver ascends in price, as it will in the next few years, then replacements such as copper will be instituted, because there will be an incentive to do so.

    MOTS wrote:

    3. we are living in an ocean of energy, and advances in engineering constantly improve our ability to literally take energy out of the air, from our rooftops, etc.

    Yes, and this is hard to grasp when you’ve been steeped for years in the peak oil, peak net energy, and related declensionist narratives — as I was.

    MOTS wrote:

    the type of motor that REQUIRES concentration liquid fuels to work (heat engines) are extremely inefficient…. HIGH EFFICIENCY LOW TEMPERATURE motors (electric motors) are off the shelf, cheap and typically 65% efficient and often 90% efficient when used in well regulated applications.  These are 2-4 TIMES as efficient as the exploding combustion heat energy types that require the concentrated liquids to work”

    Yes. And the great efficiency improvements will keep the lid on energy demand as the 2020s and 2030s wear on. All those charts showing unsustainable increases in energy demand (impossible to meet with FFs) as populations become more affluent need to be drastically revised.
     

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  • Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - 8:40pm

    Reply to #79

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3228

    EV: panels + battery

    Mots-
    I totally get the production side of the equation, and for rooftop solar power generation, I think your case is relatively strong.  However, rooftop solar power generation doesn’t provide transport fuel.
    Do you have numbers on the “complete system” energy return for EVs?  That is, ones that include not only the 6:1 power generation EROEI, but the battery costs as well?
    IOW, what’s the EROEI for an EV that includes its battery cost.  If batteries were cheap, we wouldn’t need to factor them in, but at $150/kwh x 60 = $9000, a battery is a lot more expensive compared to an empty fuel tank for a conventional car.
    Just because of the battery and math, I suspect “the singularity” for EV will happen later than “the singularity” for rooftop solar, simply because the “total system” EROEI is lower for EV than it is for rooftop.
    Lastly, the variable that TAE always reminds us about is capital costs.  If we assume our current low cost of capital will remain in place forever (courtesy of our worldwide central bank money printing operation), that will bring the singularity time forward.  If at some point the capital markets blows up because of peak debt, capital will become a lot more expensive (and/or reduce the willingness of people to take on debt in order to fund purchases of solar power generating equipment), and that will push out the time-to-singularity further into the future.
    Its also the case that both the monetary system as well as production bottlenecks will act as a break on the speed of adoption.  The gigafactory is a great example of that problem, and without a well-functioning capital market, that gigafactory would never have been built.
    In some sense its a race.  Will peak debt cause our capital markets to explode before we develop the infrastructure that will create the conditions for the singularity to occur?
    If we have the equivalent of a great depression, which is usually what happens after a massive debt bubble pop, nobody will be building gigafactories.
    If we can avoid disaster, I think the singularity will happen, but we should always remember to compare apples & apples.  You can’t use rooftop/utility power generation charts and then claim this will apply directly to EVs.
     

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  • Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - 10:43pm

    #81

    thatchmo

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2008

    Posts: 330

    Sigh.....

    And on Kauai, as the ocean, and the reefs that support it, perishes, we’ll still be able to turn the lights on to keep the scary night away….Thanks Elon.  Aloha, Steve

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  • Sun, Mar 12, 2017 - 3:38am

    Reply to #79
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    Dave Fairtex:1. Good point

    Dave Fairtex:
    1. Good point about battery cost. Compelling point if cost were static. But battery cost dropped 80% in just the last 6 years. Cost will continue dropping, perhaps at an even faster rate as adoption gains momentum.
    2. Good point about capital cost. Peak debt probably will precipitate a great crisis, probably soon. But the implosion of the old system does not have to mean, and won’t mean, permanent paralysis. See MMT – Modern Monetary Theory, Randall Wray, Warren Mosler, and others.  See also public banking, e.g. Ellen Brown’s work. See monetary reform in general. The old system may be doomed, but that does not mean WE are doomed. If humans were helpless, unthinking automatons, like yeast cells, then we would be doomed. But we are different from yeast cells. Most of us, anyway. cool
    Yes, it will be a bumpy ride. Uncomfortable.  But humans won’t be limited by energy shortfall OR by fictions like money.  We might yet blow ourselves up (nuclear holocaust). Or we might push climate change past critical thresholds that cause collapse and dieoff. There are serious potential existential crises, this century. But energy and money shortfalls won’t be among them, at least not as ongoing crises (i.e. leaving aside choppy waters for short transitional periods).

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  • Sun, Mar 12, 2017 - 6:41am

    #82

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3228

    outcomes & probabilities

    alan-
    You describe a possible outcome that I believe could in fact happen.  We could have just a short, choppy period.  A small burp that stands between us and the singularity.
    However as an engineer, I can’t simply look at outcomes where “all goes well.”  That’s like making system calls without checking return values – its just asking for trouble.  That’s why I like to look at all the reasonably possible outcomes going in.  I also like to attach a probability to each outcome. 
    Outcome 1: debt bubble pops.  Our gang in charge does exactly the right thing – they remove the debt overhang from society, and bring everything back on keel.  Using just the right policies, creditors are (mostly) made whole, savers remain (mostly) intact, debtors have their debts (mostly) cleared out, pensions are (somewhat) intact, and we emerge from the other side with a debt/GDP of about 60% in about two years time.  Lots of one-time inflation occurs (everyone with USD cash-like assets takes a hit to purchasing power), lots of income streams are replaced with cash, but once the period of adjustment is over, everyone remains willing to take risk, invest, etc.  A short burp, and we move on.  [outcome “steve keen”]
    Outcome 2: debt bubble pops.  Our gang in charge does nothing.  Massive deflation ensues.  Debtors default like crazy, pensions are wiped out, property changes hands, creditors take big losses, savers are (mostly) wiped out.  Psychology of risk-taking changes for a generation.  Nobody wants to borrow money anymore.  This cycle takes about 4 years to work itself out initially, and then its another generation before people feel like taking risk again.  [outcome “1929”]
    Outcome 3: debt bubble pops.  After an initial burst of deflation, our gang in charge prints money with wild abandon.  This is the favored scenario here at PP.  It ends up with a hyperinflationary outcome.  Savers and pensions are effectively wiped out, debts are initially wiped out but (may be) re-established at the end of the period.  People spend more time speculating than they do on anything productive during the hyperinflationary period.  Afterwards, with no savings, and no pensions, nobody is investing in anything.  Middle class is more or less wiped out.  Caution is the watchword, and money printing is frowned on for three generations. [outcome “weimar”]
    Outcome 4: the denouement never happens.  Wile E Coyote, surprised, remains suspended in mid-air for the next 10 years.  Capital remains cheap, R&D moves ahead; this is likely the fastest way to get to the singularity.  [outcome “eternal can-kick”]
    Do you see any other likely outcomes?  What’s your assessment for the probability of each outcome?
    Which outcome occurs will end up determining how far off the singularity is in time.

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  • Sun, Mar 12, 2017 - 7:29am

    Reply to #82
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    Dave, very briefly since I

    Dave, very briefly since I have to leave right now and won’t be at a computer until tomorrow: explain what you mean by “singularity”, please.

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  • Sun, Mar 12, 2017 - 11:28am

    #83

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 230

    Questions to answer about solar as the solution

    Alan,
    First, are you talking about PV supporting business as usual or some sort of scaled back conserver society?  Here are some concerns I have about your scenario (assuming you are talking about business as usual).
    So far, battery costs are dropping.  But we’ll need to scale this up by a factor of multiple hundreds or more have global impact.  Can this be done without resource constraints or environmental impacts causing the cost curve to bottom out and begin to climb significantly, even precipitously?  Remember, once solar is scaled up to a substantial fraction of the grid, storage needs will escalate tremendously to provide electricity during cloudy periods and at night.  Do you envision lower cost batteries using common materials for this purpose?  How far along the path is this technology to the goal of being  scalable to the level that would be required?
    This summary comment on Prieto and Hall’s review of photovoltaic performance in Spain shows their conclusion that large scale PV in Spain at an EROEI of 2.45:1.  Almost 70% of the energy invested is not related to the panels themselves, although some of that 70% is related to the area of the plants (gravel roads, security fences, concrete foundations, etc.) and would come down if more efficient panels came along without increasing the embodied energy in the panels.  On the other hand, the small amount of that energy invested reserved for grid integration would probably go up significantly with a higher percentage PV on the grid.  Do you agree with their analysis?  If not, explain where they erred and what the true EROEI is.  Do you see a path to PV significantly improving this EROEI in the future?  If so, give details to support your claim.
    The capital costs for this transition represent real use of current technology and resources to build out the new infrastructure, especially the use of fossil fuels, minerals and skilled labor.  Will sufficient quantities of these resources be available for the build out without starving essential functions of our current system for resources?  How would you perform an analysis to show this?
    A significant use of fossil fuels is for high heat industrial processes (cement manufacture, etc.), heavy equipment for mining, construction and other purposes, air transport and shipping.  All of these would be very difficult to transition to renewables.  Most of them are required input for PV build out and maintenance.  How do you propose to address this?
    Assume you are right and the transition happens.  How could we prevent the unfolding environmental crisis from bringing everything crashing down?  Would the transition make the crash worse by delaying our day of reckoning with resource constraints?

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  • Sun, Mar 12, 2017 - 11:47am

    Reply to #81

    thatchmo

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2008

    Posts: 330

    Old new news...

    Meant to add this link to my above post:
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/10/teslas-kauai-solar-storage-facility-of
    Tesla, and the local politicos, are making this a big deal, but it’s nothing new for us here, really:
    http://www.saftbatteries.com/press/press-releases/saft-supply-li-ion-bat
    All that effort to save 1.6 cents per KWH?  My all-in costs are about .49 per KWH…I always wonder about the true costs of all the production, transport, etc, of the panels and batteries.  I’ve heard there’s not enough raw materials to supply this technology on a global scale….I guess I’m grateful though….Aloha, Steve.

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  • Sun, Mar 12, 2017 - 1:58pm

    #84
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 527

    Start where you can make a difference

    I can only agree with you all! Where should we focus.For me to address the EROI issue with any hope of making a difference to the outcome of humanity, is a bit misguided and, frankly, smacks of hubris. Developed and developing countries are driven by comfort and/or sloth. The rare exceptions live in a minimalist or primitive, sustainable culture. Entropy will ultimately win out over the long run. As L.M. Keynes has stated, ” in the long run we are all going to be dead”. (Thanks T2H)
    The aphorism of, “what have you done for me lately”, is a better guiding sentiment for our current plight than most of comments on this thread. Academically, some very good and cogent thoughts(thanks, contributors). However, after several years of using a programmable thermostat, I was able to reduce my energy bill by approximately 8% over three years. My son, after one year saw a 9% reduction using a “Nest”. Where should our energy management focus be? Does wearing a sweater during a cold winter day or taking a hot water bottle to bed with a night time temp of 65 F (18 C.) qualify as a measurable and environmentally responsible actions. Ultimately, Jevon’s paradox will bite us in the ass, given our human condition. As my grandmother used to tell me (her 2nd law of home economics), “In order to make something clean, you end up making something else dirty. But to make something dirty, you don’t, necessarily have to make something else clean”! 

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  • Sun, Mar 12, 2017 - 9:21pm

    Reply to #82

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3228

    singularity

    alan-
    Well, it was in an article you quoted so I figured this was me speaking your language, not the reverse.

    The “solar singularity” is the point where solar becomes so cheap in a majority of countries around the world that it is established as the default new power source. At this point, solar will very likely go vertical in its growth curve.

    Same holds true for EVs.  Just change the words around.

    The “EV singularity” is the point where EV cars (run by solar energy) become so cheap in a majority of countries around the world that it is established as the default new transportation mode.  At this point, EVs will very likely go vertical in its growth curve.

    But neither of these two things are important.  For this discussion, I’m interested in your assessment of the different economic/monetary outcomes, if I’m missing any that you see as reasonably likely, and furthermore, what’s your assessment of the probability of each outcome.
    As the people at TAE say, the credit markets move much faster than R&D, or energy, and as such, they could be the gating factor.  If we have a credit accident, that means no more R&D, and no movement towards cheaper batteries or cheaper panels until things “get fixed.”  And the time-to-fix can be quite extended if, for instance, we drop into a depression.
     

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  • Tue, Mar 14, 2017 - 9:22am

    Reply to #82
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    Reply to davefairtex

    davefairtex wrote:

      For this discussion, I’m interested in your assessment of the different economic/monetary outcomes, if I’m missing any that you see as reasonably likely, and furthermore, what’s your assessment of the probability of each outcome.

      Dave, might I ask why? Why are you interested in my assessment of probabilities?  I have no special expertise and certainly no crystal ball. I can give you my guesses, but that is all they are — mere guesses.

    davefairtex wrote:

    As the people at TAE say, the credit markets move much faster than R&D, or energy, and as such, they could be the gating factor.  If we have a credit accident, that means no more R&D, and no movement towards cheaper batteries or cheaper panels until things “get fixed.”  And the time-to-fix can be quite extended if, for instance, we drop into a depression.

      “We” is an important word. Time-to-fix might be extended for us here in the U.S., because our structural problems are so huge. Elsewhere, it is different. China won’t be down for long, even in a TAE worst-case crash.  Short rationale: China INVESTED its wealth; we in the U.S. pissed ours away.
     

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  • Tue, Mar 14, 2017 - 9:41am

    Reply to #83
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    Reply to quercus bicolor

    Quercus bicolor:
    I am sorry to report that you are too late. A year ago, as President, General Manager, and Technical Planner of Planet Earth, I had instant fingertip-access to scores of ponderous technical reports answering each  of your questions in exhaustive detail. But now, having left that job, I’m just an average schlub with no special information.
    Kidding aside, look at what I posted: a few cut-and-pastes about soaring renewables installation, and related matters. Facts and unarguable statistics. Except for that last comment about a “tsunami that can’t be stopped”, which may not be unarguable yet, but close, given the facts. And except for Tam Hunt’s speculative thing, which I probably should not have posted, and which you should not pay too much attention to. Pay attention to facts, rather than speculation.
    Anyway, that’s what I posted. And now you ask a bunch of arms-akimbo questions like “how do you propose to address X?” and “what is your detailed plan to solve Y?” — as though I could possibly answer such questions. As though I had super-human expertise. I kept thinking things like: “who the hell does this guy [you] think I am?”
    If you’re seriously interested in answers, you can get them, but not from me. I’m no expert, I’m a dilletante. I read the work of experts, academics, serious students, but I am not one myself. If you want  answers to broad questions with an optimistic spin (as you seemed to expect from me), read the work of intellectuals and pundits like John McCarthy, Matt Ridley, Peter Diamandis, Charles Collis, Julian Simon, David McMullen, Ernst von Weizsacker, Ramez Naam, and the like.
    So now, having said that, I will post specific responses later — for what they are worth, which isn’t much.
     

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  • Tue, Mar 14, 2017 - 3:05pm

    #85
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    reply to dave, continued

    Further thoughts:
    I wrote: “China won’t be down for long, even in a TAE worst-case crash.  Short rationale: China INVESTED its wealth; we in the U.S. pissed ours away.”
    TAE, I’ve noticed over the years, ignores assets, and pays attention only to debts. This is reflected in that recurrent post title on TAE: “DEBT Rattle”. Why no “ASSET Rattle”? Because they are blind to assets; it is as though assets did not exist. And yet, if you can see only debts, when significant assets exist, you will wind up with a distorted picture of the world, and a grossly distorted picture of the aftermath of a credit crash or monetary crisis.
    Further, TAE is (moderately) chauvinistic and racist as regards the West vs. the East. This is no big deal; it is typical in the West. We Westerners cannot believe that those slants and gooks might be beating us, might be smarter than us, might be building a newer and better civilization than ours. And yet that IS precisely what is happening. We’re already beaten and outsmarted. The game is over already, even though most people (like TAE) are just starting to become aware that it began, and even though it will take the remainder of this century to fully play out.
    China has probably amassed in excess of 15,000 tons of gold. This is a fact of enormous significance. This alone would float a new currency and/or generally allow reasonably comfortable recovery from a credit crash or monetary crisis. That is not to mention vast stockpiles of other critical materials and metals as well as mining capacity for much more. Nor is it to mention vast productive capability of almost everything under the sun. And a terrific transport infrastructure featuring 15,000 miles of high speed rail ALREADY LAID with 10,000 more before 2020. And vast urban infrastructure including many “ghost cities” which are filling up; they are wise investments in the future. And a terrific education system now churning out 100X more skilled technicians and engineers and etc. than the West. And much more (energy infrastructure mega-projects, environmental recovery and improvement mega-projects, etc.), but that is all I’m willing to type right now.
    (TAE, you will note, ignores everything I just wrote. Worse than that: they write it all off as a “misallocation”! I’m serious! That’s actually what they say about China! They are not only incapable of seeing assets, but they seem incapable of seeing the building of a great new modern civilization, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty into relative affluence in a short few years, creating infrastructure capable of supporting economic development across the entire continent (with billions of residents), and so on. This is one of the most phenomenal and exciting and laudible things that ever happened. I mean EVER, in the whole flipping history of the world. And TAE dismisses it as a “misallocation”! The word “blindness” fails to express. The phrase “fucking idiots!” springs to mind. Lots of Westerners are in the same boat, not just the TAE people; I dont mean to pick on them. However, since they position themselves as big-picture analysts and prognosticators, they have a lot less excuse than others.)
    Now, contrast all that with the West, and with the U.S. in particular: crumbling central cities, crumbling and neglected infrastructure, educational system churning out sociology and women’s studies majors (etc.), 8,000 tons of gold SUPPOSEDLY in Fort Knox (probably actually either gone completely, or leased/rehypothecated, or something), much productive capacity long gone or rotting, zero miles of high-speed rail and generally neglected and rotting rail system, and on and on and ON.  There’s no comparison.
    SO, THEREFORE, when you ask me these questions about various debt crisis and collapse scenarios, I have to ask you: Where? A critical question. Because those crisis scenarios will mean something entirely different here in the U.S. versus over there in China/Eurasia. There’s not a snowball’s chance, IMO, that China/Eurasia progress will be delayed more than a scant few years by any monetary or debt crisis. (Which means, hence, that the “solar singularity”, or at least rapid solar and general renewables buildout, will not be delayed by more than a scant few years.) Whereas there’s an excellent chance that the U.S. will slide into a depression that lasts a generation or more. We are a spent, decaying and declining empire. They are a continental civilizational network on the rise with unstoppable force, almost as though fulfilling global geopolitical destiny.
    The only fly in this ointment is, as ever, catastrophe possibilities such as strategic nuclear war, and climate change sufficient to disrupt everything. Those are real possibilities which could bring down China and everyone else, I freely admit. Less likely: a killer virus could rampage out of control killing billions, or an asteroid could hit earth, or hostile aliens could invade, or etc. etc. There are a bunch of terrible disaster possibilities. I try not to think about them. Pray for no nuclear war, and pray for manageable climate impacts.
     

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  • Tue, Mar 14, 2017 - 4:24pm

    Reply to #83

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 230

    optimistic spin?

    Actually, Alan, I’m not particularly looking for an optimistic spin, but an assessment that is as realistic, honest and well-documented  as possible.  I asked the questions because I’ve done a bit of research and thinking myself, and have some expertise on one of the big issues (grid integration and hours to days ahead PV production forecasting due to weather). 
    I don’t buy the claim this is at all a done deal.  PV is still tiny especially when you consider all energy use, not just electricity.  It has not yet scaled up which will likely bring up big challenges in the areas of raw material limitations, capital costs, electric grid integration, and extension to uses that are traditionally non-electric (transportation, especially shipping, air and trucking), construction and mining, cement manufacturing and some other mineral refining, etc.  It has gotten to this stage in electricity penetration due to huge subsidies, both explicit and implicit – especially not paying anywhere near the full price of grid integration for an electric source that has a huge, predictable daily cycle and large but not so predictable variability due to clouds. 
    I’m curious where you stand on the claims in your posts whether your own or those you cited.  Do you believe them? Or do you have your doubts.  I was under the impression that you do believe them, but perhaps I was mistaken.  A question, though:  if you do doubt them, why bring them up without mentioning that fact?  Because of that, your posts certainly came across to me as cheerleading for the solar will save the day crowd.
    If you do believe them, I’ll leave it up to you to parse through the sources you refer to (but don’t provide specific links for). as I would assert that it’s your job to support your own claims.  This is just a hunch, but I bet the “experts” (and I put it in quotes because the optimistic spin part raises a red flag for me about the seriousness of their analysis) that you cite have not done their homework on these questions and probably haven’t even considered some or most of them.  The optimistic spin part is my biggest clue.
     

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  • Tue, Mar 14, 2017 - 6:01pm

    Reply to #83
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    reply to quercus

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

    PV is still tiny especially when you consider all energy use, not just electricity.  It has not yet scaled up which will likely bring up big challenges

    Still tiny, and growing at a spectacular rate. As for the challenges of scale-up: yes, some. I say that the challenges will be met and steam-rollered by overwhelming demand for safe, clean, cheap renewable energy. But maybe I’m wrong. We’ll find out. Opinions and speculations don’t really matter, do they? Only the unarguable facts of what has happened. So far the renewables skeptics (like the IEA) have been 100% WRONG. Embarrassingly wrong. But maybe that will change. Maybe they will suddenly start being right! We’ll see, won’t we?
    HEY: Let’s meet here every year for a quick spot-check on the progress of renewables. How about it? I hereby commit to show up right here, on this thread, once per year for at least the next 10 years. (I’ve already done it for the last couple years.) If I am wrong I will publicly EAT CROW and confess to you and the world that I am an idiot. And if you are wrong… well…?

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

    It has gotten to this stage in electricity penetration due to huge subsidies

    True that subsidies have helped a great deal. Too bad that subsidies for FFs and nuclear have greatly exceeded the subsidies for renewables. If the huge subsidies given to dirty, dangerous, expensive energy resources had been given to renewables, then we would be at least 10 years ahead of the curve right now, probably 15-20 years. Ah well. It is what it is.

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

    I’m curious where you stand on the claims in your posts whether your own or those you cited.  Do you believe them?

    You would have to be specific. Do I believe WHAT, specifically?

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

    if you do doubt them, why bring them up without mentioning that fact?

      I doubt everything. But not equally. Some things are much more doubtful than other things. Further, I think it important to read a wide variety of views, including and even especially views that one disagrees with.

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

    your posts certainly came across to me as cheerleading for the solar will save the day crowd.

    Renewables will probably continue growing at a phenomenal rate. Whether or not that will “save the day” depends… for starters on what you mean by “the day”, as well as what you mean by “save”.

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

    If you do believe them, I’ll leave it up to you to parse through the sources you refer to (but don’t provide specific links for). as I would assert that it’s your job to support your own claims.

    True. But my claims were modest. I did not speak of “saving the day”. As for specific links — if you are serious about getting answers to the questions you were asking — do you know about google?  It works really good. It is my job to support my own claims, but it is not my job to do your research for you. Thanks, anyway.

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

      I bet the “experts”…that you cite have not done their homework on these questions and probably haven’t even considered some or most of them.

    They have, between them, done a great deal of homework. Much more than you or me. But you’ll have to find out for yourself. And you will, if you’re serious.
    Oh btw, add Amory Lovins to the list. And Joe Romm. And surely others that I am forgetting at this moment.
    There is a whole world of literature that the typical doomer (and I WAS ONE) ignores and/or does not even know exists. It all begins with opening the mind to things unfamiliar and viscerally repellant — inconsistent with current belief. You don’t need me to guide you; you can do it yourself, if you’re seriously interested in pursuing the truth.
    I am no longer a doomer, and I am not a cornucopian either. I am a doubter of all speculation, especially ideologically-informed speculation, and a believer in unarguable facts, statistics. When the fact is that solar pv installations doubled last year, THAT I BELIEVE. Everything else, I doubt, to varying degrees. Including my own speculations.
    Here’s an easy-listen Joe Romm vid for you: 

    — “What you thought you knew is obsolete”
     

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 3:35am

    Reply to #83

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 877

    Quercus said "PV is still tiny".

    One bit of evidence that PV is still tiny, is that the curve of usage, which should be a logistic function, still looks exponential.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logistic_function
    It isn’t exponential, and won’t be.
    Also, I said “should be logistic”; that isn’t accurate either, because some other energy form may overtake it, causing more of a curve like what you see in peak oil. Or we might have a population crash (or boom) in human terms, which would also affect the curve.
    Granted, a population boom seems highly unlikely to me; but it isn’t impossible.

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 4:32am

    #86
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    Quercus: specifics, part 1

    A few specific responses, as promised:

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

    First, are you talking about PV supporting business as usual or some sort of scaled back conserver society?

    I am not talking about either. I posted a few facts about striking solar PV installation increases. What society chooses to do with the energy is a different thing.

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

    we’ll need to scale this up by a factor of multiple hundreds or more have global impact.  Can this be done without resource constraints or environmental impacts causing the cost curve to bottom out and begin to climb significantly, even precipitously?

    Resource constraints — probably not a problem. Which resources did you have in mind? What are you worried about?
     Environmental impacts (climate change) — a major problem no matter what we do, and could ruin everything if the worst-case scenarios come to pass. But then, if the worst-case scenarios come to pass, all bets are off on ALL fronts, and the hit to the renewables buildout will be the least of our problems.

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

    Remember, once solar is scaled up to a substantial fraction of the grid, storage needs will escalate tremendously to provide electricity during cloudy periods and at night.

    Battery cost will continue to plunge. Pumped hydro will be installed in many utility-level systems. There are other options. Look into it. It is an interesting subject.
    Here’s a couple links to get you started: Ramez Naam on energy storage (and a bunch else; follow the embedded links):
    http://rameznaam.com/2015/04/14/energy-storage-about-to-get-big-and-cheap/
    http://rameznaam.com/2015/10/14/how-cheap-can-energy-storage-get/
    Remember also that solar is just solar; it can’t do everything. Wind is the perfect complement: more power from wind at night and during the winter — the precise opposite of solar. The various battery/storage options are needed for modest smoothing, not for heavy lifting.
    Also, need for storage depends on need for energy, and in the case of motor vehicles this can be drastically reduced by materials technologies that reduce vehicle weight. See Amory Lovins here, start at 13:00: youtube.com/watch?v=7UF0lUcSei0
    You might want to listen to that whole (Lovins) vid, since he describes the efficiency improvements that will drastically reduce the need for energy in general, while maintaining the same functionality/comfort/etc. Most of our energy is wasted, and the correction of most of this waste is not difficult; hence the actual amount that we need to get from renewables is only a modest fraction of current energy use.
    As for your concerns about scalability: those concerns are being addressed right now, on the ground, and will continue to  be addressed as the buildout continues. Do you anticipate the effort hitting a brick wall suddenly? When? Why?
    …to be continued…
     

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 7:53am

    #87

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3228

    ex cathedra

    alan-
    I asked your opinions on these various scenarios because, in other places, you spoke in absolutes.  I felt like I was listening to the Popes of old speaking on matters of faith.  Ex Cathedra, they call it.  “I’m Pope, and what I say is infallible.”  Did you mean to speak this way?  That’s sure how it comes off.
    For instance:

    Battery cost will continue to plunge. Pumped hydro will be installed in many utility-level systems…

    I hear you saying this is a guaranteed outcome, and in a near-term timeframe too.  I’m a pretty smart guy, and I’m thinking, its not guaranteed at all. Lots of unpleasant events could derail this outcome, some for quite a while.
    Yet when I ask you directly for your specific assumptions, you plead ignorance.  “Who me?  I have no special expertise.”   And yet when it comes to the path of tech innovation, you have no problem speaking Ex Cathedra on matters that have these assumptions built into literally everything.
    Now then, regarding assets and liabilities, China, the West, etc.
    First some background about me.  I’ve spent lots of time in Asia, I even speak (one of the) languages, after a fashion, which turns out to be super useful in understanding culture.  Long story short, I’m fairly well plugged in on the realities – both good and bad on the ground.
    My sense is, China has good stuff, and bad stuff.  Lots of awesome trains, that’s for sure – a match for anything I saw in Europe.  Pollution too – and we know pollution kills.  Their pollution is really bad.  Corruption.  And a massive property bubble that’s just guaranteed to end badly.  A huge manufacturing infrastructure that employs a large number of the population, designed to service the West’s desire for consumer products.  As long as the West keeps buying, China will continue to move forward, even with the friction from pollution and corruption.  The whole thing is powered by a constant expansion of private debt.
    That’s my view of China.
    Now then, about assets & debt.  Your claim was that China has invested in stuff.  This implies that all their debt was backed up (more or less) by assets of roughly equal value.  The trains?  Let’s say you get 50% credit on the trains.  They’re great.  How much money was siphoned off through corruption?  I’m guessing, a lot, just based on my knowledge of how Asia (outside of Hong Kong) tends to work.  But still, good trains.  I’m a fan.  I wouldn’t be a holder of debt that was underpinned by those train assets, but even after the (likely inevitable) default, you’ll still have trains left, and that’s a good thing, not a mal-investment.   Likewise, the factories are good stuff, many of them.  All that equipment will still be there if the debt blows up.
    But then there is property.  Do you know about the Minsky Financial Instability hypothesis?  Debt goes through phases: hedged borrowing, speculative borrowing, and ponzi borrowing.
    China is well into the Ponzi borrowing phase when it comes to housing.  Ponzi investment = malinvestment, by definition, since the debt taken on is not being paid back by an economic return from the property.  From all the cases in history, this phase is guaranteed to blow up.  There is NO MYSTERY about what the outcome will be.  Price eventually drops back down to state #1, usually by a lot of defaults and write-downs of property prices to 50% or 75% of what they paid.
    I’ll say it again: ponzi investment = malinvestment.  There might be $1 of “true economic value” for every $3 of debt.  I think TAE is right in this area.  West has a similar situation.  When your rents don’t cover your payments, it never ends well.  The ponzi phase will go on for long enough to convince everyone that “it’s different this time.”  (It isn’t, and never is)
    A likely trigger for this guaranteed ponzi disaster in China is a “problem in the west” that throws all those people in China’s manufacturing industry right out of work.  The combination of massive property losses plus massive unemployment could – very easily – could cause a revolution, if the West gets sick enough, for long enough.  Do you know how that will play out in China?  I’m pretty smart.  I spend a good chunk of my time living in Asia.  I even speak the language, one of them anyway.
    I have no idea how it will turn out.
    I believe there is a disagreeably high chance that, if we get that 30-year depression in the West, the PRC will have an involuntary change in government.  It was apparently close in Tienanmen.
    How will battery tech development cycles fare during a revolution?  My guess: poorly.  What will be the situation after the revolution?  My guess: chaotic.  It’s not the ideal environment for doing R&D.
    How long could it take before the West has its problem?
    Heck, it could happen next year.  Or not.  That can keeps getting kicked down the road.
    My sense: you’re overconfident in your assessments in how things “must” proceed.  Its a recency bias.  Sure, if we remain in the status quo, I agree with you.  I saw Moore’s Law do fantastic work over my lifetime.  I’m conditioned to agree with you.
    But after studying the causes of the 2008 crash, I just don’t think the problems will come from tech.

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 8:34am

    #88
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    Quercus: specifics, part 2

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

    2  This summary comment on Prieto and Hall’s review of photovoltaic performance in Spain shows their conclusion that large scale PV in Spain at an EROEI of 2.45:1.

      Prieto and Hall’s analysis is probably fatally flawed, and in any case is seriously inconsistent with the work of many other scholars who have looked in to this subject.
     This was in reply to Alice Friedemann’s review of Prieto & Hall’s book:
     

    Quote:

      http://www.resilience.org/stories/2015-05-11/how-sustainable-is-pv-solar
     Hi Alice,
     The calculations in that book have serious mistakes which invalidate their conclusions. The authors are wrongly counting energy consumption as energy investments, are not counting the recovery of embedded energy upon recycling materials at the end of plant lifetime, are underestimating the lifespan of PV cells by wrongly assuming that lifetime is exactly equal to the warranty period, are performing incorrect lifetime aggregations, and other problems.
     You can read more about it here:
     http://bountifulenergy.blogspot.com/2015/05/six-errors-in-eroei-calculations.html
     When those errors are corrected, solar PV (including all infrastructure) has an ERoEI higher than 5. That is sufficient. -Tom S
     

    The best and most current analyses put EROI much higher. Bhandari’s meta-analysis, probably the best, puts EROI for solar pv somewhere between 8 and 34.  See my pile of links, below this post, for Bhandari’s paper, first/top of the list.
    And most significantly, as Mots pointed out, EROI of renewables RISES over time, while oil/FFs FALL.
    Below I’ve attached a pile of links and snippets on EROI and energy payback times. I make no claim for comprehensiveness. Just use this list as an aid in your own investigation of this matter.

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

    3  The capital costs for this transition represent real use of current technology and resources to build out the new infrastructure, especially the use of fossil fuels, minerals and skilled labor.  Will sufficient quantities of these resources be available for the build out without starving essential functions of our current system for resources?

    Do you think fossil fuels, minerals and labor will be limiting? Why? We have plenty of all.

    Quercus bicolor wrote:

    How would you perform an analysis to show this?

    How would you perform an analysis to show the opposite?
    I am not qualified to do a formal analysis. But others are. Your own Ugo Bardi (a limits-to-growth guy from way back) just published one. It found the transition ambitious and challenging, but do-able — which seems to me a reasonable conclusion. They complain in the very last sentence of the paper about “deceleration in RE [renewables] deployment”, but apparently they did not yet have access to the striking figures for 2016, which show that things are accelerating, not decelerating.
    here:

    Quote:

    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/9/094009/meta
     The sower’s way: quantifying the narrowing net-energy pathways to a global energy transition
     Sgouris Sgouridis1,3, Denes Csala1 and Ugo Bardi2
     Published 7 September 2016

    ………………………………………………………………..
    My pile of links and snippets on EROI and energy payback
    times:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S136403211500146X
     Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
     Volume 47, July 2015, Pages 133-141
     Energy payback time (EPBT) and energy return on energy invested
     (EROI) of solar photovoltaic systems: A systematic review and meta-analysis
     Khagendra P. Bhandari, Jennifer M. Collier, Randy J. Ellingson, Defne S. Apul
     “The goal of this study was to do a systematic review and a meta-analysis of the embedded energy, energy payback time (EPBT), and energy return on energy invested (EROI) metrics for the crystalline Si and thin film PV technologies published in 2000-2013….
     The mean harmonized EPBT varied from 1.0 to 4.1 years….
     The mean harmonized EROI varied from 8.7 to 34.2.”
    ————————————————————–
    https://www.bnl.gov/pv/files/pdf/236_PE_Magazine_Fthenakis_2_10_12.pdf
     How Long Does it Take for Photovoltaics To Produce the Energy Used?
     By Vasilis Fthenakis
     “energy payback times (EPBT)…currently are between six months to two years, depending on the location/solar irradiation and the technology. And with expected life times of 30 years, their ERRs are in the range of 60:1 to 15:1, depending on the location and the technology, thus returning 15 to 60 times more energy than the energy they use.”
    ————————————————————–
    http://www.clca.columbia.edu/7B_SolarToday%20June12_c.pdf
     [EROEI of 60 for thin film solar in the USA Southwest based on First Solar’s 11.9% efficient panels in 2009. The solar cell level efficiency as of August 2014 is 21% for First Solar, so now it is more like 85 to 1.]
    ————————————————————–
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096014810900055X
    Renewable Energy
    Volume 35, Issue 1, January 2010
    Meta-analysis of net energy return for wind power systems
     “This analysis reviews and synthesizes the literature on the net energy return for electric power generation by wind turbines…. Our survey shows an average EROI for all studies (operational and conceptual) of 25.2 (n = 114; std. dev = 22.3). The average EROI for just the operational studies is 19.8 (n = 60; std. dev = 13.7). This places wind in a favorable position relative to fossil fuels, nuclear, and solar power generation technologies in terms of EROI.”
    ————————————————————–
    http://www.firstsolar.com/en/technologies-and-capabilities/pv-modules/fi….
     [For First Solar, just the cell, mounting, cabling and recycling leaving out the inverter has an energy payback time of about 0.65 years so the EROEI would be about 38.]
    ————————————————————–
    ancient history:
    http://peakoil.com/energy-technology/radical-new-eroei-to-be-expected-fo
    Post subject: Radical new EROEI to be expected for solar PV
    Posted: Mon May 29, 2006
      “Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development and Innovation…says that they expect “energy payback time” for a polycrystalline PV module to be only about one year within as little as two years…. If you assume a conservative lifetime of 25 years (guaranteed by the industry), you automatically get an EROEI of 25. If you are more realistic you can expect a solar pv system to last 30-40 years, giving you an even higher EROEI.”
    ————————————————————–
    does EROI really matter?
    http://bountifulenergy.blogspot.co.at/2010/09/eroi-doesnt-matter.html
     Monday, September 27, 2010
     EROI doesn’t matter
    …to be continued…
     

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 9:09am

    Reply to #87
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    reply to davefairtex, pt 1

    davefairtex wrote:

    alan-  I asked your opinions on these various scenarios because, in other places, you spoke in absolutes.  I felt like I was listening to the Popes of old speaking on matters of faith.  Ex Cathedra, they call it.  “I’m Pope, and what I say is infallible.”  Did you mean to speak this way?  That’s sure how it comes off.
    For instance:

    Battery cost will continue to plunge. Pumped hydro will be installed in many utility-level systems…

    I hear you saying this is a guaranteed outcome, and in a near-term timeframe too.  I’m a pretty smart guy, and I’m thinking, its not guaranteed at all. Lots of unpleasant events could derail this outcome, some for quite a while.
    Yet when I ask you directly for your specific assumptions, you plead ignorance.  “Who me?  I have no special expertise.”   And yet when it comes to the path of tech innovation, you have no problem speaking Ex Cathedra on matters that have these assumptions built into literally everything.

      No, Dave, I am not assuming tech innovation. It takes no innovation for battery prices to keep plunging. All it takes is further production increase. Economy of scale, is the whole thing. It is true that battery technology could improve, and maybe batteries would get still cheaper as a result, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about simple production increase, which is happening, and there is near-100% chance that it will keep happening for a long time.
    Same with pumped hydro: it is a simple, off-the-shelf technology. It works real well in many real-world installations. It is certain that it will be applied more widely, as the renewable build-out continues. Some storage is needed, and pumped hydro is a go-to option in many situations.
    So yes, I am speaking “Ex Cathedra” in the sense of high confidence, but not in the sense you mean, of arrogance, and assumption of superhuman powers of insight and prediction. If I say that it is near-100% certain that the earth will continue revolving, and therefore that the sun will rise tomorrow, that is not an extraordinary claim. Neither is the claim that batteries will continue getting cheaper. It is a no-brainer; there is no controversy about it.
    Would you seriously claim that batteries will NOT continue to get cheaper? If so, then I want to make a large wager with you on that very point. Say, $10000.  We can put our cash in escrow with a third party.
    Actually, I’m joking. I would not make that bet, because I would not want to take advantage of you. It would be like you betting on the sun not rising tomorrow. I would not mind  winning a bet, but it has to be a real bet, not an absurdity.
    Above, I wrote about “near-100% certainty”. Where is the uncertainty? It is in the fact that it is ALWAYS possible that some bizarre thing might happen that changes the outcome. An asteroid could hit the earth. Strategic nuclear war might break out. A once-in-a-century financial crash might bring everything to a halt (temporarily). Etcetera.  Hence we are never 100% certain about anything. And yet, in most common parlance, we speak of being completely certain about things — like the sun rising tomorrow — without burdening ourselves or our listeners with cumbersome provisos about bizarre, one-in-a-zillion possibilities like asteroids hitting the earth. And that is the way I often speak: with complete confidence, not mentioning those one-in-a-zillion possibilities. 
    Batteries will get cheaper, I’m certain, barring invasion of earth by hostile aliens. (Did I really have to include that last part?  Really?)
     

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 9:30am

    Reply to #87
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 367

    Prices and Debt

    alan2102 wrote:

    Would you seriously claim that batteries will NOT continue to get cheaper? If so, then I want to make a large wager with you on that very point. Say, $10000.  We can put our cash in escrow with a third party.

    I’m not sure you’ve understood the point. When the debt bubble pops then everything gets cheaper – including human life. I imagine batteries will become outrageously cheap since credit will become so sparse  that buying batteries will be the least of everyone’s worries. Who wins the bet then?
    One simple truth that I’ve come to learn over the past 3 years is that asset prices are a function of debt. In an era of cheap credit house prices, bond prices and stock prices continue to ascend. Scale back the debt and then we get to see the true price of everything.

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 10:23am

    Reply to #87
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    force majeure

    alan2102 wrote:

      it is ALWAYS possible that some bizarre thing might happen that changes the outcome. An asteroid could hit the earth. Strategic nuclear war might break out. A once-in-a-century financial crash might bring everything to a halt (temporarily). Etcetera.

      I forgot the generic legal term for this kind of thing: FORCE MAJEURE. Wars, revolutions, riots, hurricanes, credit bubble burstings, etc., etc.  This is used in legal documents, not in common parlance.  It is a useful term, however, and highly relevant in this dialog. I should not have forgotten it.

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 10:30am

    Reply to #87
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    Luke

    Luke, I’m not sure you understood my point. My point was that batteries will certainly continue to get cheaper, barring a force majeure (see above). A force majeure is an unpredictable, low-likelihood event. You might be right about batteries getting cheaper after a debt bubble collapse, but it seems to me more likely that they (and every other useful tangible thing) would get a lot more expensive — for a short while, or perhaps a longer while if your country was in such bad shape going in to the crash that recovery takes years or decades.

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 11:07am

    #89
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    An item you might have missed

    http://rameznaam.com/2016/09/21/new-record-low-solar-price-in-abu-dhabi-

    New Record Low Solar Price in Abu Dhabi – Costs Plunging Faster Than Expected

    Future Solar Cost Projections - PPA LCOE
    In fact, if anything, my forecasts were too conservative. The solar prices I expected have been smashed by bids in the Middle East and in Latin America. I will need to update the model above in a future post.
    The latest record is an incredibly low bid of 2.42 cents / kwh solar electricity in Abu Dhabi. That is an unsubsidized price.
    Let me put that in perspective. The cost of electricity from a new natural gas powerplant in the US is now estimated at 5.6 cents / kwh.  (pdf link) That is with historically low natural gas prices in the US, which are far lower than the price of natural gas in the rest of the world.
    This new bid in Abu Dhabi is less than half the price of electricity from a new natural gas plant.
    What’s more, it’s less than the cost of the fuel burned in a natural gas plant to make electricity – without even considering the cost of building the plant in the first place.
    The solar bid in Abu Dhabi is not just the cheapest solar power contract ever signed – it’s the cheapest contract for electricity ever signed, anywhere on planet earth, using any technology.
    Nor is this bid a fluke. Three other bids in Abu Dhabi’s latest power auction came in at less than 3 cents / kwh:
    Bidder
    Bid per MWh (in USD)
    Masdar, EDF, PAL Technology
    25.4
    Tenaga, Phelan Energy
    25.9
    RWE, Belectric
    29.1

    Nor is it limited to just Abu Dhabi.
    In Chile, just a month ago, a new record low price for solar was set, at 2.91 cents / kwh.  That record lasted less than 5 weeks.
    In Mexico, the average price of new solar bids in April was 5.1 cents per kwh, and the cheapest solar bid in Mexico was 3.5 cents per kwh.
    These price improvements are not coming primarily from the price of panels dropping. They’re coming from reductions in the total cost to deploy solar, increases in solar capacity factor, ever-lower operating costs, and fierce competition to win bids in the solar industry.
    The solar industry is learning faster than expected.
    Now, let’s watch and see if energy storage prices can drop as fast as solar.
     

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 1:26pm

    #90

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3228

    force majeure

    alan-
    You seem to believe that a debt bubble pop is some Act of God which cannot possibly be anticipated.  I on the other hand believe it to be a very predictable result of a well-understood process, namely, the third phase in Hyman Minsky’s Financial instability Hypothesis.
    If you are really enthusiastic about placing some sort of bet, I’m fine with that, but you need to be specific on just what it is you’re predicting, and you get no “Act of God” exceptions.  If for whatever reason your endpoint doesn’t happen, you lose.  (I.e. I will not accept you pretending that my central point is some unpredictable Act of God.  Nice try!)
    The specificity is important too.  Nobody cares about cheap battery prices unless they are in electric cars in large enough numbers to move the needle on oil consumption.
    Example:
    “By 2020, electric cars will cost the same as gasoline-powered cars.  They will have 300 mile ranges, they will constitute 50% of the auto production in , there will be enough solar panels deployed to power the fleet of EV cars, and as a result, in 2025, oil consumption in that country will be down by 30%.”
    That’s just an example.  Feel free to design your own prediction.  If it doesn’t move the needle, then I won’t care, and neither will anyone else.

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 3:51pm

    Reply to #90
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    Dear Dave

    davefairtex wrote:

      You seem to believe that a debt bubble pop is some Act of God which cannot possibly be anticipated.

    A debt bubble pop, like a strategic nuclear war, or a revolution, or several other things falling under the heading “force majeure”, is not an act of God; they are acts of humans. They cannot be anticipated in the sense of predicted, though they can sure be speculated about. For example, the hypothesis you cite of Minsky, amongst scores of others. For my whole adult life — over 45 years — people have  predicted meltdowns, collapses, busts, depressions, and so forth. Many of them claim “mathematical certainty” of collapse within X number of years. Further: YOU, AND THEY, MIGHT FINALLY BE RIGHT, one of these years. Maybe some year quite soon! How’s that? YOU MIGHT BE RIGHT. SOON.
    Though it is much more likely, in any given year or decade, that you will be wrong, (and many like you have been wrong for lots of decades), it so happens — IMO — that the current crisis situation might well reach a breaking point over the next 5 years or so, and all the doomers who had been predicting collapse for the last 2, 3, 4 or more decades will have their moment of vindication. Many will howl with righteous delight: “See?! I predicted this!” Yes, they predicted this with laser accuracy — leaving aside the previous ~35 years of failed predictions.
    (I am not counting the GFC of 2008 since, though it was a major crisis, it did not result in collapse worthy of the name. No collapse in the sense that most mean it when they use the word.)

    davefairtex wrote:

    If you are really enthusiastic about placing some sort of bet, I’m fine with that

      I’m not, for the reason I mentioned.

    davefairtex wrote:

      Nobody cares about cheap battery prices unless they are in electric cars

      Why confuse things? To deflect attention from the issue?
    You quoted me (correctly) saying that battery prices would continue to plunge. Then you launched into the “Ex Cathedra” thing — accusing me of being arrogant and overconfident in making such a claim. Well, you’re obviously wrong. My claim was modest, actually a no-brainer which no one would disagree with (not even you!). Cop to it.
    Then,  go find another quote from me that might plausibly be interpreted as reflecting arrogance, an “ex cathedra” attitude. You might find one. LOOK. Then re-accuse me. Accusations are fine, but they have to have a shred of reality, or else they are boring.

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 4:32pm

    Reply to #77
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 367

    Chinese Coal and Solar

    alan2102 wrote:

    Time for a few updates.
    On the China front (which is to say a large fraction of the total global picture):
    https://thinkprogress.org/with-millions-of-jobs-up-for-grabs-china-seize
     Feb 28, 2017
     China smashes solar energy records, as coal use and CO2 emissions fall once again
     We are witnessing a historic passing of the baton of global leadership on technology and climate from the United States to China.
     snip
     Beijing plans to invest a stunning $360 billion by 2020 in renewable generation alone…. In 2016, Chinese coal consumption fell for the third consecutive year, Beijing reports, while it installed almost twice as many solar panels as it had in 2015, which was also a record-setting year. Beijing projects both trends will continue in 2017. China’s solar installation target for 2020 is likely to be achieved in 2018, which as Greenpeace’s Energy Desk noted in January, is “a pretty impressive feat given that the target was set only a couple of months ago.”

    I had to go back to where this all started to get some sense of what was being discussed. Just to point out; consumption does not equate to installation – it’s the whole ‘apples and oranges’ analogy.
    The brazen quote of “Chinese coal consumption fell for the third consecutive year, Beijing reports, while it installed almost twice as many solar panels as it had in 2015, which was also a record-setting year.” gets a shrug of the shoulders from me. Did Chinese consumption of solar power match the fall of coal consumption? Now that would be a headline! Essentially I’m looking for a Watt for Watt comparison. BP release their annual statistical review of world energy in June so i’ll run the numbers then (it’s about the only source that I trust).
    Don’t get me wrong, I would love this to be the case. But I get excited by data and not snappy headlines – it’s a nerd thing 🙂

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 6:03pm

    #91
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    reply to davefairtex, pt 2

    davefairtex wrote:

    I’ve spent lots of time in Asia … Long story short, I’m fairly well plugged in on the realities – both good and bad on the ground.

     That’s fine, Dave. But it has little to do with the macro picture that I was talking about. Being physically present is a great way to learn about indigenous food, clothes, cultural particulars, but not about industrial production, national assets, environmental status, and so forth, in aggregate. I am not impressed with personal on-the-ground experience when we’re talking about the macro stuff.
    It seems nevertheless that you do “get it” to a slight extent about the China macro picture, which is good. Better than most Westerners; better than TAE, though that says little.
    A few comments:
    Corruption: very very bad! Almost as bad as in the West. Doesn’t seem to have hurt development; hell, might even have helped it.
    Backgrounder: this article, and links at bottom:
    http://www.inpraiseofchina.com/trust-and-corruption-in-china/
    Pollution: very very bad! But then, what do you expect? It is a rapidly developing country. The U.S. was the same, at the same stage of development. Further, the Chinese have vastly more environmental remediation efforts underway, including but not limited to the Great Green Wall. They’ll likely clean up their act in ~20 years, rather than the ~60 years that it took us.
    Property bubble: is it a bubble? Maybe. That’s what Western liars say, and they may not be lying in this instance. Hard to say. But, regardless, in an asset-rich context, deflation in that sector would not be nearly as bad as it might and will be elsewhere.

    davefairtex wrote:

    As long as the West keeps buying, China will continue to move forward.

    That was true in 2000, 2005, and perhaps 2010. It is changing rapidly. They now have a vibrant consumer economy, ~$4 trillion in size (annual), and headed higher. They don’t need us like they used to. Western chauvinists (i.e. 99% of Westerners) hate to face that fact.

    davefairtex wrote:

    Your claim was that China has invested in stuff.

    Not a mere “claim”, but a fact.

    davefairtex wrote:

    This implies that all their debt was backed up (more or less)  by assets of roughly equal value.

    No it doesn’t. I don’t know the proportions, the degree of backing. All I know is that in absolute terms, they have a fantastic asset base.

    davefairtex wrote:

      China is well into the Ponzi borrowing phase when it comes to housing. 

    Yeah? This is the kind of thing that China bears say all the time. They say it constantly, literally for decades. And yet, somehow, the “ponzi” never melts down, the “bubble” never bursts. I am not saying there is no bubble, no overheated buying. Maybe there is. But I am skeptical. I also know that there is vast and pervasive anti-chinese racism, and generally Western chauvinism, mixed with toxic American exceptionalism, which all adds up to crazily-undue skepticism about Chinese development and accomplishment, and wild predictions of imminent Chinese collapse — wrong consistently over several decades. It is quite a scene, and you are partaking of it, just like TAE.
    Below I quote Godfree Roberts. He is a very knowledgeable guy, a long-time student and observer of Chinese systems, and proprietor of http://www.inpraiseofchina.com — a great website that will teach you much more about China than you could learn by merely walking around there. Here are a few of his comments on nextbigfuture.com:

    Quote:

    Godfree Roberts
     For 40 years FT, The Economist, WSJ and Western media in general have created their own ‘analyses’ of why China has too much debt or too little income and will therefore crash and burn. Other media, like John Williams’ Shadowstats, do the same for the USA.
     Ignore those propagandists. They have NEVER been right, Ever.
     The trustworthy reports come from from international agencies like the World Bank, the BIS and the OECD — because they compare apples to apples (instead of counting US Social Security, for example, as an ‘unfunded liability’ when it is funded by a tied tax under an Act of Congress) AND they have access to every country’s books. AND their predictions have been far more accurate than the media’s nonsense for 40 years.
    ………………………………
     Godfree Roberts
     Our media tend to overstate China’s debt fragilities. In real life corporate net debt is near zero, private savings are $3 trillion, home ownership at 90% is largely mortgage-free, foreign reserves are $4 trillion. The proof is in the numbers. Not just headline growth, but stable and low inflation, strong wage growth and rising tax revenue.
     According the the World bank, China’s debt to GDP ratio is amongst the lowest in the world. In this chart [Debt to GDP Chart
     http://www.inpraiseofchina.com/2015/09/chinas-debt-is-exaggerated.html ]
     you see the two dimensions plotted. What is not shown is relative rate of growth — which is the principal means for gauging repayment of the debt. If growth rates were included then China’s debt would be negligible.
    ………………………………
    Godfree Roberts
     China has negligible debt: about 108% of GDP according to the World Bank, which is laughable considering its rate of growth (which is the measure of capacity to repay debt) and the profitability of its debt (200%-300%). China’s debt fragilities are over-stated. They don’t threaten the model. In real life, corporate net debt is near zero, private savings are $3 trillion, foreign reserves $4 trillion. The proof is in the numbers. Not just headline growth, but stable and low inflation, strong wage growth and rising tax revenue.
     Debt to GDP Chart
     http://www.inpraiseofchina.com/2015/09/chinas-debt-is-exaggerated.html

    Be sure to go to that link and read carefully:
    http://www.inpraiseofchina.com/2015/09/chinas-debt-is-exaggerated.html
    Further:

    Quote:

    http://www.physorg.com/news168010919.html
     China first out of global financial crisis, says leading expert
     July 28th, 2009
     snip
     — when the financial crisis struck, Chinese financial institutions suffered no significant losses
     — In China, there is no need for de-leveraging since household, financial sector, and government debt is very modest
     — With strong domestic financial institutions, Chinese banks are now expanding lending while banks in other major economies are scrambling to raise additional capital
     — China has accelerated its program to encourage a transition to more consumption led growth.

    Hmmm. Not bad, eh? Surprising that it made it into the Western press (physorg). Well, every now and then they slip up and let something pass that does not support the usual anti-China narrative.
    Dave, you read too much biased, anti-China “news” from lying Western media — just like TAE does. And as a result you have a distorted picture — just like they do.
    You write of a “guaranteed ponzi disaster in China”, but that is a wild speculation, surely based on Western media lies and exaggerations. And you say that I have a problem with Ex Cathedra statements?! Look in the mirror, friend. You are the one who is “overconfident in your assessments in how things “must” proceed [in China]” — assessments based on Western propaganda. “Guaranteed”, my ass!
     

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 6:07pm

    Reply to #77
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 51

    Luke - great news

    Luke Moffat wrote:

      The brazen quote of “Chinese coal consumption fell for the third consecutive year, Beijing reports, while it installed almost twice as many solar panels as it had in 2015, which was also a record-setting year.” gets a shrug of the shoulders from me.

      Not from me. That’s GREAT news. ANY fall of coal consumption is great news, meaning we’re heading in the right direction. Maybe not fast enough — it is NEVER fast enough, is it? — but the right direction.

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 8:27pm

    Reply to #91

    kaimu

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 20 2013

    Posts: 161

    THE DEBT GHOST

    Aloha! I want to point out that I believe a lot of what Dave points out is true. While you cannot walk around Wall Street in 2007 and get that Bear Stearns and Lehmans would collapse you can get other red flags which I believe are indicative of excessive debt and margin. We all recall them in hindsight. The flood into the Tech bubble stocks and janitors getting McMansion loans following the advice of multiple “house flip tv shows”, which have seen a resurgence of late. 
    When I see people quoting expert analysts I cringe! Even Mad Money boy had to go on Oprah to apologize to everyone he advised to buy Bear Stearns stock the Friday before the weekend when Bear Stearns made their Sunday bankruptcy announcement. He ruined a lot of people’s financial future like the “smartest guys in the room” did at Enron! My former CPA was fallout from Enron when he lost his job at Arthur Anderson. Dominoes do happen!
    To site one “expert” in China is ludicrous. How many credit agencies had AAA ratings on the junk that brought down half the financial industry including AIG who “guaranteed” a lot of that worthless paper. Lets not forget that the only thing that saved the US financial industry was that second visit to Congress to threaten the US government with financial Armageddon if they did not get their TARP. They got their TARP! The middle class got mugged and it has never been the same since.
    There were some survivors from the Wall Street 2007 holocaust. One was Hawaii. Why? Because Hawaii does not like the big New York banks. Ever been here? Try to find a Bank America branch. No Chase high rise buildings in the Honolulu skyline. Perhaps that is why China survived the “US banking crisis”! In fact all through the 2007-2009 banking crisis Bank of Hawaii was rated one of the top five strongest US banks.
    Then we get to the smoke and mirrors. These were the hypothecated and re-hypothecated assets that nobody knew who owned them. Some of those “assets” actually turned out to be huge repo liabilities once covered in AAA paper. If you do not know the “H and ReH word” google it!
    I do believe whole-heartedly that Europe will stumble financially. Anytime one of the biggest trading partners falls down there is a ripple effect. There is no “expert” alive who would know the exact repercussions of that event. Even the politics in Europe is changing as it is in the USA. There is uncertainty. That alone causes people and businesses to cut spending and creates less desire for risk. Do not point to the stock market as proof of anything. Even in destitute Germany of the 1920s the stock market soared because people would move their cash into companies for safety as the government debt and its currency was completely discredited. Something that tends to repeat simply due to human nature, which is the only part of the Ponzi puzzle that never changes.
    All in all I do not believe in “experts”. People who claim to be one or claim they swear by one because they have 40 years experience at some bank or credit agency forget that both Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros were 100+ year old institutions filled to the brim with highly paid “experts”! All of them now “non experts”! About the only success any of us can hope for is that we have had more winners than losers in our portfolios when we’re laying in our hospice bed! But even then it would matter not …

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  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 - 8:58pm

    Reply to #90

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3228

    systemic effects, racism, and credit events

    I’ll take that flurry of words you wrote as “no, I can’t/won’t come up with an explicit scenario.”
    Nobody cares about either batteries or solar panels unless they get installed in large enough numbers to move the needle.  They have to affect the system, or nobody cares.
    As for your amusing charges of racism, anyone who knows me and my life would laugh at you.  (In fact, when I read it, I laughed at you).  Nice try!
    I think there is certainty about China’s banking system blowing up.  I do not think the WHEN is certain.  I think the same thing holds true about the west.  Our fortunes are tied together.  I believe China knows this.  They’d love to avoid both Japan’s 1990 fate, as well as the US 1929 fate.  That’s pretty clear from all the statements I read from them.  I’m just not sure how they’ll do this.  Do the same rules not apply to them as they do to us – laws of financial gravity and so on?  We’ll find out – and soon, I think.
    It all comes down to this: if we go the next 10 years with the status quo (roughly) intact, then we’ll probably get to your EV happy point where there is price parity with FF units, shortages will be worked out of the supply chains, and as a result a large number of units are shipped, solar panels will power them all, and as a result oil consumption will drop significantly.
    I put the odds of a near term (next 10 year) very severe credit accident at perhaps 60%.  My definition of that event is, “people stop borrowing money for just about everything, for an extended period of time.”  That’s why I’m willing to bet with you.  That still gives a 40% chance you’ll be right, and we’ll all be picked up and dropped off in auto-driving Tesla robot cars that we’ll all be sharing, powered by ubiquitous solar panels that provide power that’s too cheap to meter.
    To sum it up, I believe we have two differences:
    1) You seem to feel the odds of this credit event are very low and simply not worthy of consideration, I think its > 50%, and TAE thinks it is 110%.
    2) You seem to feel that such an event, even if it happens, will have little impact on our march towards our EV future.  Both TAE and I feel that such an event would have a very large impact on world systems; on supply chains, corporate balance sheets, consumer demand, political system stability, and the desire/ability to execute R&D programs.
    If I got your position on either 1) or 2) wrong, I invite you to clarify.
     

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  • Thu, Mar 16, 2017 - 1:19am

    #92
    Hrunner

    Hrunner

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2010

    Posts: 209

    China Bad Debt, Yuan Devalue overwhelm Solar Panels

    Alan2102- you may have your experts I have my experts.
    Jim Rickards, previous guest of Chris on Featured Voices
    “The thesis on China is independent of the election of Donald Trump. And Trump’s policies.  There are bigger things going on in China that are true regardless of Trump’s policies, even regardlesss of his presidency.”
    “China is going broke.  And when you say that, people roll their eyes, and say what do you mean China is going broke?  It’s the second largest economy in the world, it’s got the largest reserve position in the history of the world, it’s got a big trade surplus, and all those things are true.  When I say China is going broke I don’t mean that China’s going to disappear or their civilization is going to collapse,  What I mean is that they are running out of hard currency.  They are going to get to the point where they don’t have any money, or at least any money that the world wants.”
    Rickards goes on to explain the following:
    End of 2014, China reserve position = $ 4 trillion USD (largest in the history of the world) due to the excess of trade balance
    Today = $2.9 trillion, they have lost $1.1 trillion USD reserve position in a little over 2 years
    Of the $2.9 trillion, about $1 trillion is not liquid- invested in hedge funds, overseas mines in Zambia, etc
    Of the remaining $1.9 trillion, about another $1 trillion will need to be held in reserve to bail out the Chinese banking system.  About 25% of outstanding loans are bad debt, supported by the typical 5-8% reserve capital, so banking capital is completely wiped out if 25% is bad debt.  The Chinese banking system is technically insolvent, even though they cook the books.  So China will have to bail out the banking system (as they have done in the past) with probably $1 trillion.
    $900 billion of liquid assets left
    Reserves are going out the door presently at a rate of $50-100 billion a month.  China will be broke by the end of 2017.  Where did the $1.1 trillion go from 2014 to 2016 and where are the reserves going- the Chinese are getting their money out.  Luxury condos in Sydney.  Scared of the yuan devaluing.
    China is trying to maintaining its currency peg to the dollar (to effectively keep the yuan from weakening), so the central bank is taking its dollars and buying yuan, It cannot work, they will go broke, it always fails.  China has few options, they can close the capital account- which takes them out of the international monetary system, which they can’t do.  They can raise interest rates to 10% to keep yuan from fleeing, but if they raise interest rates, they will go broke faster due to the bad debt issues. 
    So the only choice is to devalue the yuan.  Which will reverse the current policy of strengthening the yuan, the policy since 2014.  China was devaluing from 2000 to 2014.
    On Aug 10, 2015 China devalued the yuan 3% in two days and the U.S. stock market fell immediately 10% from Aug 10-31.  The Fed propped up the stock market with happy talk, didn’t raise rates etc. and the market turned around, what will happen if China devalues 5% or 10%? (end of Mr. Rickards paraphrase).

    Alan2102, you and your in praise of China friend may make some factually correct points, but it’s built on a house of cards and that house of cards is an assumption that China can sail along with a stable banking system, stable currency market, stable trade market, and stable domestic economy.
    You’re assuming a consumer economy that is not sitting on a hair trigger that will flee the yuan and not shut down consumption at the first sign of a crack in the economic growth miracle.  All of those things are false.
    Points in China’s favor:
    Command and control economy- libertarian-minded folk like me hate this but objectively I have to admit that it’s helpful in times of crisis to be able to shut down entire markets, order state controlled industry to do this and that.  I’m sure it’s bad in the long run, but probably useful in times of crisis.
    A growing domestic economy- not as good as you would like to think, since you seem to forget that the $4 trillion is spread across 1.5 billion people (very unevenly, by the way), versus a $16 trillion US economy across 300 million people, but I digress
    An export driven economy with a positive trade balance.  And an economy built on a manufacturing base which is more desirable than an economy built on the base that the US has- services, financial jiggering of worthless bits of digital debt money, over-priced drugs and medical devices, ridiculous lawyer economy, bloated government sector.  However, a lot of that Chinese manufacturing base makes silly stuff like Star Wars light sabers and low quality flashlights, but I digress.
    Points not in China’s favor:
    An export driven economy.  The next global debt and currency crisis will shut down cheap Chinese imports so fast it will make your head spin.  As the American and European consumer get crushed by our unsustainable debt backed system, as pension failures start to roll, and the inevitable recession crushes U.S. Federal tax receipts, and Mr. Trump cashes in on his promise for punishing China for currency manipulation, and corporate and private debt tries to cope with tiny but rising interest rates, this will trigger predictable corporate and personal defaults, slowly at first, then very fast, nobody will be much in the mood to buy Star Wars light sabers at Walmart.  Let’s add to the mix an American cultural civil war that is on full display as Democrats have gone totally bat crazy now and seem to have political policy platform that has devolved into only generating generate government crisis after government crisis.  Chinese citizens will start to panic and get out of yuan denominated assets faster and faster, probably into PM and commodities, hard assets, as inflation due to the devaluing yuan starts to grow.  Then we will see how the Chinese miracle export economy fares.
    An economy not built on innovation but cheapness of labor,and a few natural resources.  Technology and productivity increases are really the only way to stably grow GDP via productivity increases, except for simple growing demographically, and neither China nor especially Japan or EU are doing that.  The U.S. has always greatly excelled in innovation and will continue to do so. But I acknowledge that a full blown banking/ debt/ currency crisis can overwhelm the innovation sector if investment fuel gets cut off.
    Widespread corruption.  This always leads to problems.  No one trusts Chinese economic numbers.  They lie about their gold reserves.  They lie about their bad debt ratios, they lie about their GDP.  This exacerbates economic downturns and currency runs because an underlying foundation of lying plus corruption and fear creates a ‘get out quickly and ask questions later’ mentality, versus a calm patience that everything will work out eventually.  Guess which consumer and national psychology leads to bank runs and economic collapses.
    A huge shadow banking system that is invisible and uncontrollable.  See above re corruption.  The corruption formula applies in an amplified way to the shadow banking system.
    (Sadly the degradation of the American moral fiber and cultural bankrupting in America is leading us to a very China-like state of governmental and national corruption, which will end equally poorly).
    Please count me in on that bet.  I’m way closer to 100% probability than Dave’s 60%.  Normalcy bias and wishful thinking loses out to actual reality every time.
    H
    Edit- And like Dave, I’m not racist.  Please save your demagoguery for someone else.
     
     
     
     
     

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  • Thu, Mar 16, 2017 - 6:00am

    #93

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3228

    mitigating peak oil through AI

    If we ignore alan’s silly charges of racism, I do think there are some important deeper points here.
    After spending the last few years working with AI, I believe there are some technical (technological) fixes that will help us out a lot, but I’m just not sure we have enough time left in this cycle to see them rolled out.  I see a reasonable parallel with his observations about solar and battery tech.
    Take AI.  If you combine self-driving cars and a sharing mechanism (city car share), there is probably a revolution in there.  Saving the capex cost, parking, insurance, repair cost, while keeping the availability of transport for city dwellers would be awesome.
    What’s more, in an emergency, all by itself, AI-equipped cars could double the mileage of our existing fleet.  How?
    Even if they still use gasoline, every AI-equipped car can be a hypermiler.  That’s an instant gas consumption improvement which could be rolled out nationwide in the event of a real fuel shortage.  Software fix = double MPG.  Maybe you don’t go crazy and instead just do a 50% improvement.  Result?  US is now energy independent, for real this time.  Add a “temporary emergency rule” that says only AI cars in hypermiling mode can be on the road for the duration of the emergency.  Never let a crisis go to waste.
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/01/guy-can-get-59-mpg-plain-old-accord-beat-punk
    But if we get a debt bubble pop before the big AI rollout…silicon valley venture funding dries up.  IPOs dry up.  Consumer buying power vanishes.  Nobody borrows money and nobody buys cars.  So even if the pieces of the puzzle are technically in place, nobody has the spare capital to give it a try.
    During such an event, gas also remains really cheap, since the precipitous drop in economic activity from the credit bust decreases demand faster than the oil decline rates can take hold.  So the motivation to execute the rollout is reduced, too.
    So will things hold together long enough for the potentially-energy-saving revolutionary AI to roll out?  I have no clue.  AI will happen eventually, and even without help from EV, AI by itself can greatly aid in mitigating the peak oil transition.  However, the speed of the commercial roll-out will be driven by the availability of capital.  Scarce credit = a very, very slow rollout.  Only the rich will have AI.
    I feel the same way about EVs and solar panels.  Tech isn’t quite there yet; we need another half-decade of dev to get to the point where it makes economic sense all on its own, and then another half-decade to seriously roll it out.  And even that math is subject to “status quo” issues; if we have a credit event and the bottom drops out of the economy, fossil fuel prices go through the floor, and that makes the solar math a lot harder for the duration of the emergency.  Plus, all the current players are structured to provide for an easy-capital economy, and the transition to a hard-capital economy tends to leave a lot of bodies on the floor.  Maybe a whole bunch of solar companies go out of business during that time, taking a whole lot of promising R&D with them.  I saw that happen with solar panel companies in the aftermath of 2008.
    So will we get that development time or not?  That’s the question.  My gut says this current cycle probably tops out before the rollout can happen.
    I hope I’m wrong.  I want my hypermiling-AI/EV car to drive me around town in the style to which I’ve become accustomed.  But as they say, “there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip.”  Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.  And so on.

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  • Fri, Mar 17, 2017 - 2:32am

    Reply to #93

    Eannao

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 28 2015

    Posts: 155

    Bravo Alan & Dave!

    Alan & Dave,
    I just want to say thanks to you guys for your contributions to this thread. I’ve learned a lot from it and I’m sure others have too. Equally, I’ve enjoyed your posts; they’ve been eloquent and entertaining. You are both clearly smart and well-informed, and your contrasting views make for a lively debate and more importantly, prevent PP from becoming an echo-chamber. 
    I look forward to seeing more of this repartee, and I hope it continues in a spirit of mutual respect, learning and seeking the truth.
    E.

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  • Fri, Mar 17, 2017 - 8:18am

    Reply to #93
    MJB

    MJB

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 05 2016

    Posts: 117

    AI?

    Dave what is your definition of AI? You give the example of driverless cars. The way I understand it those cars won’t be driven by intelligence but rather algos that can only respond given a set of circumstances, definitely not able to think for itself (intelligence).

    Agree “expert systems”, “ES” could definitely help with energy consumption.

    The second AI encounters an ‘unknown’ what happens? I’m sure a universal response could be programmed but the software is incapable of learning and adapting in real time unless already programmed with a response.

    Same thing for chat bots right? Humans have interacted with these bots and thought that the response was human! These bots are not AI though because they cannot deal with randomness or the receipt of a non-programmed response. In the grand scheme a computer can only read and execute code, it is not capable of ‘looking ahead’ or skipping steps the way a conscious human could. Agree?

    You are a programmer am I thinking of this the wrong way? Is there actually a system out there that you know of that is capable of learning and adapting and thinking on its own? OR a bigger question, do you think this is possible in the future? Again it depends on the definition of intelligence.

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  • Tue, Feb 06, 2018 - 11:16am

    #94
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    Late reply

    Late reply here!

    davefairtex wrote:

    If we ignore alan’s silly charges of racism

    I think you guys misunderstand what I was saying. I am not accusing anyone of small-scale interpersonal bigotry.  I am talking about pervasive racism built-in to  our culture and our ways of thinking — stuff that is impossible to avoid.  It “rubs off” unconsciously; we all internalize it to some extent, regardless of our conscious behavior.  
     
    Read my two references to racism in context,  with what I just said in mind: “TAE is (moderately) chauvinistic and racist as regards the West vs. the East. This is no big deal; it is typical in the West….   there is vast and pervasive anti-chinese racism, and generally Western chauvinism, mixed with toxic American exceptionalism”.
     
    I stand by those words.  Keep in mind, again, that I am not talking about personal bigotry. I am talking about a meme environment that is pretty much impossible to escape, and of which all of us (myself included!) partake.  The only difference with me is that I have gotten to the point of identifying it and calling it out, and at least trying to disown it (whether or not successfully  is for others to judge).

     

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  • Tue, Feb 06, 2018 - 11:22am

    #95
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

     Update: fine new

     
    Update: fine new presentations by Ramez Naam and Martin Katusa. 
     
    Renewables are a freight train that cannot be stopped.
     
    ‘Is the Electric Vehicle Revolution Real?’ with Marin Katusa of Katusa Research
    [mistitled; it is about renewables in general]
    Cambridge House
    Published on Dec 20, 2017
     
    Exponential Energy | Ramez Naam | SingularityU South Africa
    Singularity University Summits
    Published on Oct 20, 2017
     Wonderful news: at 16:40 — “In January, China canceled 104
    planned coal power plants, including 40 for which ground had
    already been broken… in one month India canceled 14GW of
    planned coal capacity, because solar PV price is in freefall.
    THE WORLD’S COAL PIPELINE IS DRYING UP”.  Thank God!
     

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  • Tue, Feb 06, 2018 - 11:26am

    Reply to #93
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

    Eannao wrote: Alan & Dave, I

    Eannao wrote:

    Alan & Dave,

    I just want to say thanks to you guys for your contributions to this thread. I’ve learned a lot from it and I’m sure others have too. Equally, I’ve enjoyed your posts; they’ve been eloquent and entertaining. You are both clearly smart and well-informed, and your contrasting views make for a lively debate and more importantly, prevent PP from becoming an echo-chamber. 

    I look forward to seeing more of this repartee, and I hope it continues in a spirit of mutual respect, learning and seeking the truth.

    E.

    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed. Did you run out of popcorn?  wink

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  • Thu, Jul 05, 2018 - 10:57am

    #96
    alan2102

    alan2102

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    Posts: 51

     Excellent presentation by

     
    Excellent presentation by Tony Seba, April 2018. Don’t miss the latter portion, starting around 55:00: collapse of demand for new vehicles, and collapse of oil industry, starting ~2020; large decline of CO2 emissions and energy requirements due to runaway electric autonomous vehicle adoption, starting ~2020.  Wow! 
     
     Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation – CWA –
    Boulder, April 9, 2018
     Tony Seba
     Published on Apr 25, 2018
     
    Also, don’t miss the passage after 1:03:00 on solar power: an onrushing locomotive.

     

     

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