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To: miraje who wrote (68545)2/16/2016 8:08:30 AM
From: miraje
2 Recommendations   of 83793
Re-posted from LB's thread..

Is The Sun Setting On Elon Musk’s Solar Empire?
86 The Libertarian Republic by Keith Farrell

By Andrew Follett

Rooftop solar companies, including Elon Musk’s SolarCity, are facing huge financial hurdles as state governments cut back on lucrative green energy subsidies and reform regulatory schemes.

“Is the solar industry’s boom for real, or is it being propped up by hefty government subsidies?” Richard Martin asked in a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Technology Review article published Friday. The article speculates the rooftop solar industry could be a taxpayer-backed bubble on the verge of collapse as states reform net metering rules for rooftop systems.

Martin cites recent solar panel policy changes in Nevada, California and Hawaii as evidence, and 20 other states are considering changing laws that would dramatically alter the economics of rooftop solar. Without net metering and other such subsidies, rooftop solar power is only likely feasible in two states.

Without net metering payments, rooftop solar “makes no financial sense for a consumer,” Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity, admitted to The New York Times last week.

Net metering policies force electrical utilities to buy the electricity produced by rooftop solar panels at retail rates. Rooftop solar companies have pushed these policies as a way to encourage solar power, but utilities argue net metering shifts the costs of maintaining the electrical grid onto households that don’t have solar panels.

Rooftop solar problems really began after Nevada introduced sharp cutbacks to its net metering program when Elon Musk, who is the chairman of the solar company SolarCity, lost a regulatory battle to fellow liberal billionaire Warren Buffett. The policy shift caused Musk’s SolarCity stock to be devalued by roughly $165 million in a single day.

SolarCity once had stock valued at nearly $86 a share. Its share price now sits at $17.38, as of Monday afternoon.

Rooftop solar companies can get a 30 percent federal tax credit for installing panels on roofs. These companies regularly install $10,000 or even more expensive systems at no upfront cost to the consumer, in exchange for simply collecting the profitable tax credits and other subsidies.

A 2015 study by MIT concluded rooftop solar subsides are inefficient and costly, and that rooftop solar companies simply cannot compete without government support.

Solar power receives 326 times more subsidies than conventional energy sources relative to the amount of energy produced, according to Department of Energy data. Green energy sources got $13 billion in subsidies during 2013, compared to $3.4 billion in subsidies for conventional sources and $1.7 billion for nuclear, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Solar power only accounted for 0.4 percent of electricity generated in the U.S. for 2014, according to the EIA .

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From: Brumar892/16/2016 9:59:52 AM
1 Recommendation   of 83793
Green Commie: Down with Steam Power, back to waterwheels and horsecollars

Fossilized Thinking: Back to communal horse and water powered farms to save the climate
Anthony Watts / 19 hours ago February 15, 2016

Guest essay by Robert Bryce

In a simplistic and tedious new book, Andreas Malm argues that full Communism is the only cure for global warming.

Andreas Malm longs for the good old days. In his new book, Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming, Malm, who teaches human ecology at Lund University in Sweden, pines for a time when manufacturing depended on waterwheels instead of steam engines. Indeed, Malm spends more than 300 pages—about 75 percent of the text—discussing why English manufacturers abandoned waterwheels and replaced them with coal-fired steam engines. It’s worthwhile history. But in the hands of an avowed Marxist like Malm, it’s tedious sledding. In Malm’s view, the rise of the steam engine was little more than a ploy by evil capitalists to subjugate workers, and because of that, we are now all going to die from global warming.

Yes, that’s a simplistic analysis, but Malm has written a simplistic book. He quotes an economist, Richard Jones, who, in the 1830s, wrote that water power is “cheap but uncertain. The steam engine is costly but powerful and its action is certain and continuous.” Jones goes on to explain why waterwheels had to go. For some reason, Malm prefers the days of yore, when production had to be shut down because of drought, or flood, or frozen rivers. He attempts to explain the complex world of energetics by marrying Marxism with climate-change catastrophism. By doing so, he puts himself squarely in the camp of the climate doomsayers—a group that includes Canadian author/activist Naomi Klein and U.S. environmental activist Bill McKibben, who have claimed that the solution to climate change is to abandon modern society and organize a socialist, organic-agriculture economy, where we can all, no doubt, have free yoga classes. In a 2011 essay published in The Nation, Klein—who provided a blurb for Malm’s book, calling it “the definitive deep history on how our economic system created the climate crisis”—called for nothing less than “a new civilizational paradigm, one grounded not in dominance over nature but in respect for natural cycles of renewal.”

It’s not Malm’s fellow travelers who are the problem, it’s his blinkered approach to basic physics, and in particular, to the essentiality of power density—that is, the ability to concentrate the flow of energy from a given area, volume, or mass. Ever since humans began walking upright, we have been trying to corral more energy so that we can turn it into more effective power, whether for farming, heating, or computing. Farmers moved from doing all the planting and hauling themselves to using draft animals, which helped increase production. Over centuries, they perfected their harnesses, going from throat-and-girth harnesses to breastbands and finally to collar harnesses, which allowed animals to pull loads as much as ten times heavier than they could pull with the earlier models.

Over the last seven decades or so, we have moved from electricity-hungry computers based on vacuum tubes to ones based on nano circuits millions of times lighter and more efficient. Malm insists that every joule and BTU we use is infected with class struggle. In the first chapter, he writes that “fossil fuels necessitate waged or forced labor—the power to direct the labor of others—as conditions of their very existence.” Yet, he doesn’t provide a single example of any place on the planet where modern workers are being forced to produce oil, coal, or natural gas. Malm decries the steam engine at every turn, but ignores how steam power led to a revolution in transportation that allowed even low-skilled workers to travel and search out better opportunities on railroads and steamships. Malm condemns all hydrocarbons, yet he ignores the creation and perfection of the internal combustion and jet engines. In doing so, he leaves aside discussion of the parallel creation of the global oil and gas sector, which is among the world’s biggest industries. Malm also ignores electrification, though electricity production (the biggest share of which is provided by coal combustion) now accounts for about 40 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Malm spends 13 of his 16 chapters decrying coal and steam. He notes with approval that in medieval England, coal fields were often controlled by the king or local bishops, and that they often imposed “restrictions on output, guaranteeing that the enterprises would be puny.” He continues: “Thriving on sword and cross, they could afford to stay aloof from subterranean riches.” In his fourteenth chapter, “China as Chimney of the World: Fossil Capital Today,” Malm details the rising concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide and denounces “the bourgeois ideology of eco-modernism” because of its belief that technology can help bring more people out of poverty.

In chapter 15, we finally get to Malm’s solution, which is, wait for it . . . central planning. A few paragraphs after quoting Leon Trotsky, Malm notes that the majority of global greenhouse gases are emitted from four places: the U.S., the E.U., China, and India. The way to cut those emissions is simple, says Malm. We merely need to “set up one special ministry in each and we would be on our way.” Ah yes, a special ministry. Welcome, comrades, to Professor Malm’s Climate Gulag. It’s for your own good, after all.

I've been telling Rat he should get out of his fossil fueled truck and go back to horse transportation. Now that there's a book telling him it's the green and progressive thing to do he'll listen.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (68548)2/16/2016 10:05:04 AM
From: Brumar89
1 Recommendation   of 83793
Lessons from the hysteria about peak oil (2005-2013)
Guest Blogger / 14 hours ago February 15, 2016

By Larry Kummer, from the Fabius Maximus website

Summary: The peak oil hysteria provides rich lessons for us today about learning from activists and the value of listening to our major professional institutions. Easy cynicism led people to believe outlandish forecasts, wasting valuable time and resources. Worse, we have had many such barrages by doomsters — aided by their clickbait-seeking enablers in the media — which have left us almost immune to warnings, no matter how well-founded. We can do better.

Where were you during the peak oil hysteria? It began in 2005 and died in 2013, marked by the opening and closing of The Oil Drum website. Despite their analysis and forecasts proving to be mostly wrong, most of their authors are still “experts” publishing elsewhere ( see this bizarre example). That follows the pattern of modern American doomsters, such as those who in the 1970s predicted global catastrophes from pollution and famine. Perhaps the activists predicting a climate catastrophe will add their names to this list in the next decade.

It’s not just historical trivia. We must learn from these bouts of irrationality if we have any hope of regaining the ability to govern ourselves.

Maximum World Oil Production Forecasts

Memories have faded, but a decade ago the predictions of end of oil were hot news. Comment threads overflowed with people terrified of the future. Conferences were held and books sold trumpeting certain disaster as the lifeblood of our industrial civilization dried up. Many of the following names were highlighted in journalists’ Rolodexes as the go-to people for hot quotes. Then as now, the names least often consulted proved to have the more accurate forecasts.

  • 2005 – Pickens, T. Boone (Oil & gas investor).
  • 2007 – Bakhitari, A.M.S. Oil Executive ((Iranian National Oil Co. planner).
  • 2007+ – Groppe, H. (Oil / gas expert & businessman).
  • 2007 – Herrera, R. (Retired BP geologist).
  • 2008+ – Westervelt, E.T. et al (US Army Corps of Engineers).
  • 2009 – Deffeyes, K. (retired Princeton professor & retired Shell geologist).
  • 2009 – Simmons, M.R. (Investment banker; see the posts about his work).
  • 2010 – Goodstein, D. (Vice Provost, Cal Tech).
  • 2010 – Wrobel, S. (Investment fund manager).
  • 2010 – Bentley, R. (University energy analyst).
  • 2010 – Campbell, C. (Retired oil company geologist; see the posts about his work).
  • 2010 – Skrebowski, C. (Editor of Petroleum Review).
  • 2011 – Meling, L.M. (Statoil oil company geologist).
  • 2012 – Koppelaar, R.H.E.M. (Dutch oil analyst).
  • 2012 – Pang Xiongqi (Petroleum Executive, China).
  • 2015 – Husseini, S. (retired Saudi Aramco).
  • 2020 – Laherrere, J. (Oil geologist , France).
  • 2020+ – CERA Energy (consultants).
  • 2020+ – Wood Mackenzie (consultants).
  • 2025+ – Shell.
  • 2030+ – EIA and IEA.
  • No visible peak – Lynch, M.C. (Energy economist).

These predictions were made during 2003 – 2008 (collected by Robert Hirsh; most sources are listed here). Most were given with qualifying language expressing uncertainty about the dates. Some of these people, especially those associated with the Peak Oil movement, had given different dates — moving them out as time passed. Most of these are documented, but details of some have been lost over time.

The forecasts of major energy agencies’ look good a decade later. Much as with climate change, activists disparage (often contemptuously) analysis of the professional institutions — but in hindsight it is clear who we should have listened to.

Let’s look at these predictions in the context oil production history.

Forecasts of Oil Production made in 2008

The following table shows the actual production of crude oil and liquid fuels — and the IEA forecast for production in 2015 from their World Energy Outlook 2008, published as energy prices were on their way to a record high? Eight years later, how accurate was IEA’s forecast? It was eerily accurate — somewhat accidentally, as the IEA did not foresee the 2008-09 global recession and so over-estimated GDP growth.

The IEA and EIA use similar definitions for “liquid fuels”.

World Production vs. the WEO 2008 Forecast
(million barrels/day)

Crude Oil73,86473,47873,16474,06272,87174,65374,73476,16076,24877,833N/A
Liquid Fuels85,09985,13585,13086,51585,70388,09988,53290,46691,01493,20197,900*
WEO 200886,00096,000

Historical data from the EIA website.
* The 2015 total is for Q3.

The bottom line: liquid fuel production increased by 15% during the decade after 2005, so that prices have plunged (exacerbated by the Saudi price war). Prices will remain under pressure unless OPEC reestablishes its control, production coming online from investments in the giant fields of Iran and Iraq, the spread of fracking to other nations, and new tech (e.g., hybrid and electric cars).

Also note the increasing difference between production of crude oil and all liquid fuels. The rise in crude oil and, more broadly, liquid fuels were driven by new sources whose potential was mostly ignored by the Peak Oil doomsters). Crude production rose from deepwater and fracking wells, plus mining bitumen (aka oil sands, which technically does not produce crude oil). Liquid fuels production rose from production of natural gas liquids, biodiesel, ethanol, and those converted from coal and gas. Most numbers you see for “world oil production” are for all liquid fuels.

While in 2008 the IEA accurately estimated liquid fuel production for 2015, they over-estimated demand. As a result, the WEO 2008 price forecast for 2015 was too high.

“The era of cheap oil is over … The average IEA crude oil import price, a proxy for international prices, is assumed in the Reference Scenario to average $100 per barrel in real year-2007 dollars over the period 2008-2015 and then to rise in a broadly linear manner to $122 in 2030.”


As many of us predicted during the peak oil hysteria, high oil prices had three great effects — all predictable…

  • Increased efficiency of energy use — as consumers and businesses invested to increase the efficiency of the more expensive energy (and R&D produced more ways to do this).
  • Increased production of oil (boosted by R&D making more “resources” into usable “reserves”. Today’s $30 oil shows that production growth has exceeded demand.
  • New sources of liquid fuels — including both new hydrocarbon-based supplies (bitumen in Canada and Venezuela), new carbon-based fuels (e.g., coal to oil, although oil prices never rose to make this viable), and new carbohydrate-based supplies (e.g., ethanol from corn).

Only time will tell about the IEA’s forecast for 2030 of $122 oil (in 2007 dollars). But today’s oil glut gives us an opportunity to prepare alternative supplies in an inexpensive and orderly manner, not only reducing the risk of energy price shocks but also reducing pollution and the risk of unpleasant anthropogenic climate change. Let’s make use of the gift.

Equally important is that we learn from this experience with the peak oil movement. Activists and enthusiasts have terrible track records at long-range forecasting, despite their confidently loud predictions of doom — echoed by clickbait-seeking journalists . That does not imply that we should blindly trust major institutions (as the scandal about Flint’s water supply shows), but skepticism pays large dividends and allows more rational preparing for the future.

For More Information

For a deep look at these issues see Exxon’s new report “ The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040“. Also see these…

  1. Important: Recovering lost knowledge about exhaustion of the Earth’s resources (such as Peak Oil).
  2. When will global oil production peak? Here is the answer!
  3. The three forms of Peak Oil (let’s hope for the benign form).
  4. Peak Oil Doomsters debunked, end of civilization called off!
  5. Prepare now, for oil prices will rise again.
To learn about the minerals that power our world, and will for many years more, I recommend reading the IEA report Resources to Reserves 2013. Here is a brief slidedeck of its contents. For a deeper look, see the IIASA’s Global Energy Assessment (a widely cited source document, including by the IPCC’s AR%). Here is a 113 page summary.

catweazle666 says:
February 15, 2016 at 2:52 pm
The first reference to “Peak Oil” I ever came across came from the mid-19th century, when the shale oil industry made Scotland the World’s biggest petroleum producer and exporter.

I have a WWII engineering textbook which asserts that the World’s oil would run out by the 1960s.

Some things never change.

ConTrari says:
February 15, 2016 at 3:22 pm
There is Hubbert’s theory form 1956, and even older predictions:

“The idea that the rate of oil production would peak and irreversibly decline is an old one. In 1919, David White, chief geologist of the United States Geological Survey, wrote of US petroleum: “… the peak of production will soon be passed, possibly within 3 years.””

Phillip Bratby says:
February 15, 2016 at 10:54 pm
My Children’s Encyclopedia from the 50s predicted that the world would run out of coal by 2000.

JimB says:
February 15, 2016 at 5:34 pm
It costs money to prove up reserves. This is a point that the academics missed when I was a senior in Chemical Engineering and was advised to avoid the oil industry as there was only fifty years of proven reserves. That was back in 1952. Who would spend money to prove up reserves more than fifty years in advance?

Similarly, TRR relies on studies that cost money to carry out. My guess is that the estimates fall far short of actuality.

Groty says:
February 15, 2016 at 3:46 pm
I’ve been hearing about Peak Oil all of my life. You are right, though, that the hysteria really started ramping at the turn of this century when the BRICs embraced free enterprise to lift their people out of poverty. I remember reading at article about a decade ago in which Darla Moore talked about how her husband, Richard Rainwater, woke up every day and the first thing he did was see what had been published at the Oil Drum website. So some sophisticated people bought into it at the time. Matt Simmons used to come on CNBC all the time pushing how markets had always failed to properly price oil given its apparent scarcity.

One of the things you fail to mention, though, is that our estimates of reserves keep improving. The Atlantic article I link to below is mostly about the potential of methane hydrate, but one interesting tidbit the author mentions is about the Kern River an oil field 100 miles from Los Angeles that has been pumping oil for over 115 years. In 1949, after they’d been pumping oil from the field for over 50 years, analysts estimated the remaining reserves at 47 million barrels. That was wildly off. Over the next 40 years they pumped 945 million barrels from it and the new estimate in 1989 was that 697 million barrels remained in the ground. Well, over the next 20 years, from 1989-2009, the field produced an additional 1.3 billion barrels. And now with the best technology and knowledge available, they estimate there are still 600 million barrels remaining.

And that is just one field.

David A says:
February 16, 2016 at 12:05 am
Larry, if you have not read these links, I think you will enjoy them a great deal…

I recommend E.M. Smith to anyone interested in the subject of earth’s resources, and how economics relates to resource production.

TomG says:
February 15, 2016 at 5:27 pm
My Dad, who was a chemical engineer (ScDChE from MIT), had an engineering textbook (I forget which) from 1936 that stated we shouldn’t develop an economy based on fossil fuels (in particular oil) as we only had 10 years worth of reserves. Proving that the professorate has long had problems with distinguishing the difference and significance of ‘proven reserves’ and actual oil in the ground and what and how it is accessible.

mikegeo says:
February 15, 2016 at 5:33 pm
The author seems to have left out the really interesting predictions of President Jimmy Carter from the late 1970’s who was a peak oil believer. He gave lots of speeches to urge conservation, and a switch to massive coal and nuclear usage in order to save petroleum.
He was just as deluded then as Obama is now. Is it the office you think that makes them silly? Or were they that way when they moved in?

Editor of the Fabius Maximus website says:
February 15, 2016 at 6:48 pm
Thanks for the reminder! I’ve been in finance for 38 years, and seen people lose fortunes betting on commodity cycles — usually betting that the current move will continue. That works until it fails, usually hard.

The cure for high commodity prices is high prices is high prices. The cure for low prices is low prices. The long-term trends are difficult to see, nor do we know that they’ll continue.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (68549)2/16/2016 1:24:58 PM
From: Brumar89
1 Recommendation   of 83793
Barry shows that Climate Crap doesn't apply to liberals

With nothing better to do with his time, President Obama gases up Air Force One and flew across the country yesterday to attend numerous DNC fund raisers held at private residences in California and then gathered together with his buddy Ellen DeGeneres to gossip and gay dance a little bit and tape an upcoming show.

Diogene's Middle Finger

If they really believed what they say, they would act like it. I don't know that any greens do.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (68550)2/16/2016 5:49:06 PM
From: Alastair McIntosh
   of 83793
If they really believed what they say, they would act like it. I don't know that any greens do.
Here is one who acts like it:

How Far Can We Get Without Flying? When a climate scientist decided to stop flying to cut his carbon emissions, he caught a glimpse of the post-oil future.

I’m a climate scientist who doesn’t fly. I try to avoid burning fossil fuels, because it’s clear that doing so causes real harm to humans and to nonhumans, today and far into the future. I don’t like harming others, so I don’t fly. Back in 2010, though, I was awash in cognitive dissonance. My awareness of global warming had risen to a fever pitch, but I hadn’t yet made real changes to my daily life. This disconnect made me feel panicked and disempowered.

Then one evening in 2011, I gathered my utility bills and did some Internet research. I looked up the amounts of carbon dioxide emitted by burning a gallon of gasoline and a therm (about 100 cubic feet) of natural gas, I found an estimate for emissions from producing the food for a typical American diet and an estimate for generating a kilowatt-hour of electricity in California, and I averaged the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Environmental Protection Agency estimates for CO2 emissions per mile from flying. With these data, I made a basic pie chart of my personal greenhouse gas emissions for 2010.

This picture came as a surprise. I’d assumed that electricity and driving were my largest sources of emissions. Instead, it turned out that the 50,000 miles I’d flown that year (two international and half a dozen domestic flights, typical for postdocs in the sciences who are expected to attend conferences and meetings) utterly dominated my emissions.

Hour for hour, there’s no better way to warm the planet than to fly in a plane. If you fly coach from Los Angeles to Paris and back, you’ve just emitted 3 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, 10 times what an average Kenyan emits in an entire year. Flying first class doubles these numbers.

However, the total climate impact of planes is likely two to three times greater than the impact from the CO2 emissions alone. This is because planes emit mono-nitrogen oxides into the upper troposphere, form contrails, and seed cirrus clouds with aerosols from fuel combustion. These three effects enhance warming in the short term. (Note that the charts in this article exclude these effects.)

Given the high climate impact, why is it that so many environmentalists still choose to fly so much? I know climate activists who fly a hundred thousand miles per year. I know scientists who fly about as much but “just don’t think about it.” I even have a friend who blogged on the importance of bringing reusable water bottles on flights in order to pre-empt the miniature disposable bottles of water the attendants hand out. Although she saved around 0.04 kilograms of CO2 by refusing the disposable bottle, her flight to Asia emitted more than 4,000 kilograms, equivalent to some 100,000 bottles. I suspect that most people simply don’t know the huge impact of their flying—but I also suspect that many of us are addicted to it. We’ve come to see flying as an inalienable right, a benefit of 21st-century living that we take for granted.

The quantitative estimates of my emissions guided me as I set about resolving the dissonance between my principles and my actions. I began to change my daily life. I began to change myself.

My first change was to start bicycling. I began by biking the 6 miles to work, which turned out to be much more fun than driving (and about as fast). It felt like flying. Those extra few pounds melted off. Statistically speaking, I can expect biking to add a year to my life through reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Other moves away from fossil fuels turned out to be satisfying as well. I began growing food, first in the backyard and then in the front, and I discovered that homegrown food tastes far better than anything you can buy. I began composting, an honest and philosophical practice. I tried vegetarianism and found that I prefer it to eating meat; I have more energy, and food somehow tastes better. I began keeping bees and chickens, planting fruit trees, rescuing discarded food, reusing greywater, and helping others in my community do the same.

I stopped taking food, water, air, fuel, electricity, clothing, community, and biodiversity for granted. I became grateful for every moment and more aware of how my thoughts and actions in this moment connect to other moments and to other beings. I began to experience that everyday things are miracles: an avocado, a frame of honeycomb crowded with bees, a conversation with my son. Now, I feel more connected to the world around me, and I see that fossil fuels actually stood in the way of realizing those connections. If you take one idea from this article, let it be this: Life without fossil fuels is fun and satisfying, and this is the best reason to change.

But none of these changes had the quantitative impact of quitting flying. By 2013, my annual emissions had fallen well below the global mean.

I experienced a lot of social pressure to fly, so it took me three years to quit. Not flying for vacations was relatively easy. I live in California, and my wife and I love backpacking. We drive on waste vegetable oil, but even normal cars are better than flying. Four people on a plane produce 10 to 20 times as much CO2 as those same people driving a 25 to 50 mpg car the same distance.

My wife and I drive 2,000 veggie oil miles to Illinois each year to visit our parents. Along the way, we sleep under the stars in the Utah wilderness. This is adventure travel, the opposite of fast travel, and it has deepened my relationship with my parents. After such a journey, I more easily see how precious my time with them is.

Not flying is an ongoing challenge as I progress in my scientific career, but I’m finding that I can thrive by doing good work and making the most of regional conferences and teleconferencing. Not flying does hold back my career to some extent, but I accept this, and I expect the social climate to change as more scientists stop flying.

In today’s world, we’re still socially rewarded for burning fossil fuels. We equate frequent flying with success; we rack up our “miles.” This is backward: Burning fossil fuels does real harm to the biosphere, to our children, and to countless generations—and it should, therefore, be regarded as socially unacceptable.

In the post-carbon future, it’s unlikely that there will be commercial plane travel on today’s scale. Biofuel is currently the only petroleum substitute suitable for commercial flight. In practice, this means waste vegetable oil, but there isn’t enough to go around. In 2010, the world produced 216 million gallons of jet fuel per day but only about half as much vegetable oil, much of which is eaten; leftover oil from fryers is already in high demand. This suggests that even if we were to squander our limited biofuel on planes, only the ultra-rich would be able to afford them.

Instead, chances are that we’ll live nearer to our friends and loved ones, and we won’t be expected to travel so far for work. Those both seem like good things to me.

With the world population approaching 8 billion, my reduction obviously can’t solve global warming. But by changing ourselves in more than merely incremental ways, I believe we contribute to opening social and political space for large-scale change. We tell a new story by changing how we live.

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To: Alastair McIntosh who wrote (68551)2/16/2016 6:14:19 PM
From: Brumar89
   of 83793
Well, that's one out of a million. Interesting that FLYING was the biggest part of his carbon footprint. Not a surprise.

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To: Alastair McIntosh who wrote (68551)2/16/2016 8:31:13 PM
From: Thomas A Watson
   of 83793
Dear Alastair, the problem with all arguments of hypocrite behavior is that all give a tacit buy in to the anti science of CO2 driven AGW.

There is now a well defined alternative model that is falsifiable and it and other analysis show CO2 has no effects on global temperatures. I am an EE and I have extensive experience with FFT's and modeling and all manner of sensors. This model applies science in the same way science is used to create all the electronic devices you use every day. The AGW models are built on slot machine science. Notch-Delay Solar Theory Natural influences explain recent global warming. Global cooling ahead.

Main Message Global temperatures will come off the current plateau into a sustained and significant cooling, beginning 2017 or maybe as late as 2021. The cooling will be about 0.3 °C in the 2020s, taking the planet back to the global temperature that prevailed in the 1980s. This was signaled (though not caused) by a fall in underlying solar radiation starting in 2004, one of the three largest falls since 1610 when records started. There is a delay of one sunspot cycle, currently 13 years (2004+13 = 2017).

(Please note that even if this solar hypothesis and prediction prove to be wrong, the identification of the errors in the conventional climate models and the finding that carbon dioxide is not the main cause of recent global warming are still correct.)

  • Systems, Sinusoids, the Fourier Transform, and Filters. Frequency-domain knowledge behind this work, explained from scratch, including linear invariant systems, sinusoids, the Fourier transform, simple low pass, delay and notch filters, transfer functions, and step responses. [Last updated 19 Aug 2015.]
  • The Optimal Fourier Transform (OFT). The OFT is a low-noise variation of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), essentially the same except the OFT is free to use any frequencies rather than the prescribed grid of frequencies used by the DFT. Slow to calculate, but more useful for analyzing time series containing only a few of the cycles of interest. [Last updated 18 Oct 2015.]
  • Spreadsheet (Excel, 20 MB). Contains the notch-delay solar, all the data, and all the calculations. Programmed in VBA, the BASIC programming language that is part of Microsoft Office. Requires Excel to run the programming. [Last updated 31 Aug 2015.]
New Blog Posts The notch-delay solar theory was introduced in the old blog posts of 2014, but was left incomplete. It has now been extended and updated, and is being rolled out at Joanne's blog in late 2015 and early 2016.

  • New Science 20: Introduction. The series of blog posts continues on from the critique of climate model architecture that showed that carbon dioxide caused less than 20% of the recent global warming. This post begins the solar part of the series, where we search for what did cause the warming.
  • New Science 10: Externally-Driven Albedo (EDA). Albedo is the fraction of incoming radiation reflected back out to space without heating the Earth, about 30%. Externally-driven albedo (EDA) is the albedo other than that due to feedback in response to surface warming—presumably it is caused by external influences. Here we show that EDA has at least twice as much influence on surface warming, and maybe much more than that, as the direct effect of variations in the total solar irradiance (TSI).
  • New Science 21: The Notch. The empirical transfer function from total solar irradiance (TSI) to surface temperature has a notch at 11 years, the frequency of the sunspots. The extra radiation at every sunspot peak is not producing any discernible warming at the Earth's surface, where it should be detectable. Therefore a countervailing cooling influence is present at precisely the times when TSI peaks, is synchronized to the Sun, and is as strong as the direct heating effect of TSI. Furthermore, the transfer function is flat for low frequencies, suggesting that there is exists an indirect solar sensitivity that is ~14 times greater than the direct heating effect of TSI.
  • New Science 22: The Delay. From independent and disparate observations, this post makes a strong case for a delay of ~11 years, or one sunspot cycle, between a change in smoothed or underlying TSI and the corresponding change in surface temperature here on Earth. We mean an actual delay between two discrete events—there is NOT a corresponding gradual surface warming smeared out through time as the effect of the change in TSI builds up over a decade or more. It’s not as if the energy from the Sun is arriving on Earth in eight minutes and then taking 11 years to reach thermometers. TSI is not the cause of global warming, rather it is a leading indicator. The effect due to a change in TSI only begins to act one sunspot cycle later, and quickly affects the surface temperature here on Earth. The flickering signals from total sunlight are a clue that precedes some other change in the solar dynamo, and it is that change that affects Earth’s surface temperature.
Old Blog Posts The theory was initially introduced to the world in a series of blog posts on Joanne's blog in 2014:

  • BIG NEWS Part I: Historic Development — New Solar Climate Model Coming. Introduction.
  • BIG NEWS Part II: Mysterious Notch Filter Found in the Climate. The TSI peaks every 11 years or so, yet there is no detected corresponding peak in the temperature, which is unexpected. This implies there is a natural notch filter that filters out the 11-year hum from the Sun.
  • BIG NEWS Part III: The Notch Means a Delay. Several independent findings of a delay around 11 years between changes in solar radiation and the corresponding effect on surface temperatures exist in the literature, and without a delay it is hard to see how solar changes could have much influence on surface temperature (e.g. Lockwood and Froehlich 2007).
  • BIG NEWS part IV: Understanding the Mysterious 11 Year Solar Delay. The delay is a true delay, not merely a time constant of a dissipative element like a store of ocean heat. The notching suggests that there is a countervailing force that counteracts the TSI peaks in the global surface temperature, which must be synchronized to the Sun.
  • BIG NEWS Part V: Escaping Heat. The Three Pipes Theory and the RATS Multiplier.
  • BIG NEWS part VI: Building a New Solar Climate Model with the Notch Filter. The notch filter, a delay filter, low pass filter and RATS multiplier are arranged in their correct order. The notch and delay filters are shown to modulate the albedo of the Earth — how much solar radiation is let into the climate system after reflections by clouds, ice, snow and so on.
  • BIG NEWS Part VII: Hindcasting with the Solar Model. The notch-delay solar model hindcasts temperatures from 1770 to 2013 reasonably well, getting most of the major turning points about right, including “the pause”. It also reproduces some of the short term jiggles known as “natural variation”, which the CO2 models cannot begin to predict because CO2 rises smoothly.
  • BIG NEWS VIII: New Solar Theory Predicts Imminent Global Cooling. There are three big drops in solar radiation in the 400 years of records. The first, in the 1600s, led to the Maunder Minimum, the coldest time in the last 400 years. The second in Napoleon’s time, led to the Dalton Minimum, the second coldest time in the last 400 years. The third started in 2004, but hasn’t led to cooling...yet. The delay is tied to the solar cycle length, currently 13 years, so the cooling is likely to start in 2004 + 13 = 2017. The cooling will be at least 0.2°C, maybe 0.5°C.
  • BIG NEWS part IX: The Solar Model! The spreadsheet containing all the data, model, and calculations, all in one Microsoft Excel file, now available for download.
  • Possible Physical Mechanism. Stephen Wilde's hypothesis could explain how the Sun is driving the albedo, and appears to fit with the notch-delay theory. It involves the Sun affecting ozone differentially over the poles and equator (possibly via extreme UV and energetic electron precipitation), which affects the height of the tropopause over the poles and equator like a see-saw, causing climate zones to shift towards then away from the equator, moving the jet streams and changing them from more zonal jet streams to more meridonal ones. When more meridonal, the jet streams wander in loops further north and south, resulting in longer lines of air mass mixing at climate zone boundaries, which creates more clouds. Thus the Sun can modulate the Earth's albedo.
Related blog posts:

© Science Speak 2014 - 2016

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (68552)2/17/2016 8:18:03 AM
From: Brumar89
1 Recommendation   of 83793
The detection of gravitational waves – a triumph of science enabled by fossil fuels

LIGO couldn’t operate without a stable power supply, and couldn’t run on a power grid fed primarily on solar or wind, but instead uses the most hated power generation methods of environmentalists; coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro. Try doing this sort of science with intermittent solar and wind power – you can’t.

This need for stable power to run LIGO may have been a factor as to why the Pasadena, CA based California Institute of Technology chose to put observatories outside of California, where the vagaries of wind and sunshine wouldn’t affect the grid, and they wouldn’t have to worry about environmental political issues as much.

Anthony Watts
/ 2 hours ago February 17, 2016

Last week, the science world was abuzz with the news that gravitational waves had been discovered thanks to the LIGO project and the team of international scientists that made it possible. At WUWT, I covered the story here, saying that it was a “triumph of science”. Indeed it was, and still is, and the effects of this discovery on science will ripple into the future for decades and centuries to come.

I woke in the middle of the night as I sometimes do, for no particular reason except that my brain doesn’t always cooperate with my body when it comes time to sleep, and the LIGO project was on my mind, partly due to an email I got from a fellow who wanted to tell me about a colleague in China who was talking about Gravitons and the LIGO announcement here. It got me was thinking about how wonderful it was that we could detect a gravitational wave from the merging of two black holes 1.3 billion years ago:

A computer simulation shows the collision of two black holes, a tremendously powerful event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO. LIGO detected gravitational waves, or ripples in space and time generated as the black holes spiraled in toward each other, collided, and merged. This simulation shows how the merger would appear to our eyes if we could somehow travel in a spaceship for a closer look. It was created by solving equations from Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity using the LIGO data.

The two merging black holes are each roughly 30 times the mass of the sun, with one slightly larger than the other. Time has been slowed down by a factor of about 100. The event took place 1.3 billion years ago.

The stars appear warped due to the incredibly strong gravity of the black holes. The black holes warp space and time, and this causes light from the stars to curve around the black holes in a process called gravitational lensing. The ring around the black holes, known as an Einstein ring, arises from the light of all the stars in a small region behind the holes, where gravitational lensing has smeared their images into a ring.

The gravitational waves themselves would not be seen by a human near the black holes and so do not show in this video, with one important exception. The gravitational waves that are traveling outward toward the small region behind the black holes disturb that region’s stellar images in the Einstein ring, causing them to slosh around, even long after the collision. The gravitational waves traveling in other directions cause weaker, and shorter-lived sloshing, everywhere outside the ring.

Wikipedia’a article on LIGO notes that on 11 February 2016, the LIGO and Virgo collaborations announced the first observation of a gravitational wave.The signal was named GW150914.The waveform showed up on 14 September 2015, within just two days of when the Advanced LIGO detectors started collecting data after their upgrade. It matched the predictions of general relativity for the inward spiral and merger of a pair of black holesand subsequent ‘ringdown’ of the resulting single black hole. The observations demonstrated the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems and the first observation of a binary black hole merger.

Image Credit: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab
These plots show the signals of gravitational waves detected by the twin LIGO observatories at Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. The signals came from two merging black holes, each about 30 times the mass of our sun, lying 1.3 billion light-years away. The top two plots show data received at Livingston and Hanford, along with the predicted shapes for the waveform. These predicted waveforms show what two merging black holes should look like according to the equations of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, along with the instrument’s ever-present noise. Time is plotted on the X-axis and strain on the Y-axis. Strain represents the fractional amount by which distances are distorted. As the plots reveal, the LIGO data very closely match Einstein’s predictions. The final plot compares data from both detectors. The Hanford data have been inverted for comparison, due to the differences in orientation of the detectors at the two sites. The data were also shifted to correct for the travel time of the gravitational-wave signals between Livingston and Hanford (the signal first reached Livingston, and then, traveling at the speed of light, reached Hanford seven thousandths of a second later). As the plot demonstrates, both detectors witnessed the same event, confirming the detection.

This is indeed a wonderful and marvelous thing, as is the dual LIGO observatory itself; one in Hanford, WA and the other in Livingston, LA, two identical observatories separated by 3,002 kilometers (1,865 miles) so that this distance corresponds to a difference in gravitational wave arrival times of up to ten milliseconds, making it possible to do triangulation to determine an approximate location.

LIGO observatories, left, Hanford, WA, right Livingston, LA

Wikipedia also had this note about the facility and it’s history:

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory to detect gravitational waves. Cofounded in 1992 by Kip Thorne and Ronald Drever of Caltechand Rainer Weiss of MIT, LIGO is a joint project between scientists at MIT, Caltech, and many other colleges and universities. Scientists involved in the project and the analysis of the data for gravitational-wave astronomyare organised by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration which includes more than 900 scientists worldwide, as well as 44,000 active Einstein@Home users. LIGO is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), with important contributions from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, the Max Planck Society of Germany, and the Australian Research Council. By mid-September 2015 “the world’s largest gravitational-wave facility” completed a 5-year US$200-million overhaul at a total cost of $620 million.

That’s quite an endeavor, combining global collaboration, two large nearly identical facilities, and decades of research and construction. It struck me that it wasn’t just human energy that went into making LIGO a reality, but scads of real energy, to support design, construction, and operation of LIGO over that time.

Speaking of construction, here’s a photo from 2011, showing what looks to be a vacuum vessel being offloaded from a semi truck by a portable crane truck. Obviously, the vessel was built elsewhere and trucked in, and you can say that about essentially every aspect of the two observatories, as there was nothing but barren land in their place before.

Workers prepare to install equipment at the LIGO facility in Hanford, Washington, in 2011.

It looks like one of these units:

Imagine the energy involved, not just in construction and transportation to the site by truck, but in maintaining a near perfect vacuum in the 4KM dual legs of the observatory, such as the one seen below:

Northern leg of LIGO interferometer at Hanford, WA

The amount of power needed is substantial, and it must be clean and non-intermittent as this internal newsletter for the Livingston site suggests:

One of the challenges of our rural location is the availability of clean and stable electrical power. Initially we found our electrical supply experienced some instabilities. This prevented the proper operation of the air conditioning system and some of the vacuum pumps. As mentioned in Cecil Franklin’s article above, the local power company which supplies the observatory, DEMCO, has completed construction of a separate substation dedicated solely for LIGO use. This feature has dramatically improved the quality of electrical power and all electrical systems are now operational. In addition, this improvement significantly reduced power outages due to thunder and lightning storms. Thank you, DEMCO!

Imagine if the power goes out. How long would it take to re-establish the vacuum in that facility?

A quick look at DEMCO Electrical COOP in Louisiana says they use coal-fired power plants, such as:

The coal-fired Big Cajun Power Plant located in Pointe Coupee Parish was built jointly by Louisiana’s electric cooperatives in the 1970s to provide wholesale electrical power to cooperative members across the state. Today, the facility is owned by Louisiana Generating, a subsidiary of NRG Energy.

And, a plot of power generation sources in Louisiana suggests that fossil fuel (coal and gas) and nuclear power make up the lion’s share of power generation in the state:

For the Hanford LIGO site, the Washington state power generation balance is different, using more hydro than coal or gas:

The point here is that LIGO couldn’t operate without a stable power supply, and couldn’t run on a power grid fed primarily on solar or wind, but instead uses the most hated power generation methods of environmentalists; coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro. Try doing this sort of science with intermittent solar and wind power – you can’t.

This need for stable power to run LIGO may have been a factor as to why the Pasadena, CA based California Institute of Technology chose to put observatories outside of California, where the vagaries of wind and sunshine wouldn’t affect the grid, and they wouldn’t have to worry about environmental political issues as much.

And it seems, the LIGO staff are big fossil fuel enthusiasts themselves, where in Hanford, they have a hot-rod club at the Lab:

Don’t tell the EPA.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (68554)2/17/2016 8:27:42 AM
From: Brumar89
1 Recommendation   of 83793
Offshore Wind Turbine Maintenance Cost Fiasco: “100 Times More Expensive Than A New Turbine Itself”!

A press release by Germany’s Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft reports how offshore North and Baltic Sea wind turbines need to be in operation for 25 years before they become profitable, but that they are prone to shortened lifespans due to rust from the harsh sea environment.

As a result the wind turbine installations need extra and very costly maintenance to ensure that they survive long enough. It’s turning out to be an insurmountable challenge.

Maintenance to turbines cannot be done at a dry dock, rather, because they are permanently fixed out to sea, repair work and maintenance have to be done offshore in raw and windy conditions. Not only is this expensive, but it also puts the lives and limbs of repair personnel at risk.

This is the reason engineers and researchers are trying to find ways to better protect offshore wind power systems from the brutal elements. Protection of vulnerable metal surfaces is planned to be achieved by developing and applying new surface films, but this is still very much in development.

100 times the cost of a new turbine

The figure that is especially astonishing about offshore wind power turbines is that the “maintenance and repair costs of offshore wind turbines over the years add up to be a hundred times the cost of the new turbine itself,” says Peter Plagemann of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Applied Material Science (IFAM) in Bremen. Plagemann adds:

"While a metal coating during the construction of a turbine on land can cost up to 20 to 30 euros per square meter, it can be several thousand euros for offshore turbines.”

This is yet just another huge and costly technical obstacle faced by offshore windparks. It’s going to be an expensive mess come clean-up time.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (68555)2/17/2016 8:31:59 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 83793
Global Warming Fund a Slush Fund for World’s Dictators

Wherever you stand on the subject of global warming, pay close attention to one under-reported aspect of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Paris Agreement. I am referring to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which is a financial mechanism intended "to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change." According to the current estimates, developed countries will be obliged to contribute up to $450 billion a year by 2020 to the GCF, which will then "redistribute" the money to developing countries allegedly suffering from the effects of global warming.

Lo and behold, Zimbabwe's government-run daily "newspaper" The Herald repored that "Southern Africa is already counting the costs of climate change-linked catastrophes… In Zimbabwe, which has seen a succession of droughts since 2012, a fifth of the population is facing hunger… feeding them will cost $1.5 billion or 11 percent of... the Gross Domestic Product."

No doubt Robert Mugabe, the 91-year-old dictator who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, is salivating at the prospect of some global warming cash. Beginning in 2000, Mugabe started to expropriate privately-held agricultural land. The result of what what is euphemistically called "land reform," was a monumental fall in productivity and the second highest bout of hyperinflation in recorded history.

Some three million of Zimbabwe's smartest people, including tens of thousands of doctors and lawyers, have left the country. Most of those who have remained behind are subsistence farmers with very little wealth. There is, in other words, very little loot left for the government to steal.

Thankfully for the Zimbabwean dictator, there are plenty of gullible Westerners willing to believe that the frighteningly vile and comically incompetent government isn't at the root of Zimbabwe's food shortages, but that global warming is to blame. Of course, this is pure nonsense. Botswana and Zimbabwe share a border and their climate and natural resources are exceptionally similar. Yet, since 2004, food production has increased by 29 percent in Botswana, while declining by 9 percent in Zimbabwe. It is not drought but government policies that make nations starve!

As befits an African dictatorship, Zimbabwe is one of the most corrupt places on earth. The notion that GCF funds will be will used for environmental "adaptation and mitigation" is a dangerous fantasy. Like much foreign aid before it, most of the "green aid" money will likely end up in the pockets of some of the cruelest and most corrupt people on earth. The U.S. Congress must stand firm and refuse to appropriate any money for the fund.

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