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The Next 20 Years Will Not Be Like the Last 20 Years - Here's Why

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith from Of TwoMinds blog,

The Status Quo is not sustainable. Here are some resources on the many reasons why.

Coming to the understanding that the Status Quo is not sustainable is often a crooked path of overcoming programming, propaganda, denial and fear. My colleagues at (where I am a contributing writer) have summarized why the Status Quo is not sustainable in an engaging one-hour video program:

Why The Next 20 Years Will Be Completely Unlike The Last 20the 'Accelerated' Crash Course (56 minutes).

The Accelerated Crash Course from Peak Prosperity on Vimeo.


The program's roots are in Chris Martenson's original video presentation, The Crash Course, a series that went viral around the time of the Global Financial Meltdown. The entire series has been completely reworked, and this one-hour summary introduces the key dynamics in a way that is accessible to those to whom these concepts and realities are new.

This program is free. If you've been looking for one program that would help those who are new to the topics of unsustainability, this is it.

One of my jobs (to use the term loosely) is to curate the vast trove of information the global correspondents of this site submit to further my own education. Another is to attempt to keep track of new books and what's being published in influential journals.

Here is a limited selection of recent books that speak to the topic The Next 20 Years Will Not Be Like the Last 20 Years--Here's Why. This is by no means authoritative or complete--but it is an interesting taste of the significant work being published.

The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust

Makers: The New Industrial Revolution

Why Don't Students Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom

The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia

Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets

The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor

Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit

Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield

Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry

You may also find my list of hundreds of Books/Films of interest.


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Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:03 | 4881166 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Yep instead of two Bushes and a Clinton, we will have two Clintons and a Bush

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:08 | 4881173 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

fantastic work, chris!


Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:12 | 4881186 Manthong
Manthong's picture

yikes..  Bush 3.0 is in the works.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:29 | 4881215 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

Obama bin Bush...whatever.  It's the Generals names that you should be memorizing.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:55 | 4881225 Manthong
Manthong's picture

? maybe the dozens that have been fired in the last couple of years?


One of the nifty concepts here might be that the very thing the Fed is doing to us is the inverse of compound growth. what point does dis-equilibrium occur?

well, hit me in the head with a hockey stick.. I have pulled most of my tertiary out.


Sat, 06/21/2014 - 18:04 | 4881265 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

"Yep instead of two Bushes and a Clinton, we will have two Clintons and a Bush"


Are we putting odds on the fetus or Chelsea? 

Yeah, yeah.....Article 2, section 1:

"No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

We all know know how that worked out.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 18:12 | 4881279 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

Uh... no way we make it another 20 years!

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 20:03 | 4881514 Not Too Important
Not Too Important's picture

Forget the books. Just read Enenews and all will be made clear.

The beginning of the end of all life on this planet, in real time.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 08:03 | 4882324 JoeSoMD
JoeSoMD's picture

Thanks for the link... was not aware of it.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 18:15 | 4881285 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

We really have not "gotten" the Hillary, yet.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 18:25 | 4881294 Manthong
Manthong's picture

..thanks to Nancy, who should see the rest of her days in a cage with a big dude named Bubba (oh gee, she would probably relish the experience).

and.. Chris should get a Pulitzer or something like it from this.   

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:16 | 4881314 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

@ MANTHONG:  My point was that the stooges who reside (temporarily) at 1600 Penn Ave are nothing but pawns, actors, frontmen.  The military industrial complex is runnin the show.  And most have no idea who they intended.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:36 | 4881442 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Yes, I agree.. but the great thing about the stooges is that they are bringing tens of millions up from Central America to sustain the debt bubble. 

There is really no downside risk if you don't count the massive deaths, welfare payments and health care expense.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 21:04 | 4881628 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

At the end of the day, it's all about preserving the 'Empire'.  Americans, or shall we say...current inhabitants,  disgruntled with the so called elected leaders?  Just replace them. The current inhabitants that is.  Let MS13 'vote' instead of Donna Reed, and wholla!....problem solved for now....let the next administration sort them out. 

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 22:47 | 4881687 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture


Sat, 06/21/2014 - 21:55 | 4881692 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

It's gubmit.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 21:39 | 4881699 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

I used to think the banks ran everything. Then I was pretty sure it was the MIC. Now I realize that big dogs only tolerate other dogs if they aren't a threat.
It's a relatively closed ecosystem. You've got government, bankers, MIC, the church(?), 'the populace', and ____(?). What else - I don't know, but I can't think of it so it's probably a small dog.
You can run down virtually any checklist you choose to evaluate the power and threat level of the actors, and one consistently comes out on top. The rest are all co-conspirators/enablers. Not top dog.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 21:48 | 4881722 mikebowen55
mikebowen55's picture

Government, bankers, MIC... nebulous terms that don't tell us much of anything. Let's just be real here... It's the jews.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 22:43 | 4881820 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

Literally: unless you want and can recreate something akin to what Hitler did to them, best forget the jew business. Whether or not the ARE in control, you'll still be called a kook and marginalized, and may experience unwanted pushback. But much more importantly, if you think you're going to go from PC Planet to people rising up against the jews because they finally understand _______ or their suffering can finally be laid at the jews' feet, you're dreaming. We're not going to last that long the way things are going. It would be like trying to convince everyone that we're in the boat we're in now because of the weather.

If you want something beyond mental masturbation, take another look at the ecosystem. We're one of the actors in it, and two of the actors are outgrowths of relatively normal human activity, as opposed to being specialized parasites. The system has one source (us) two organic actors (govt. and church) and a host of specialized parasites that exist to serve the government, and secondarily the church. Because the church and govt. are outgrowths of the people, we still have dejure control over those institutions if we choose to exercise it. Only one institution will make much difference in the short run.
Because duplicity, corruption, and naked bribery have been the weapons of choice of those who now hold the levers of power, they should be considered a hostile foreign force. Presently, only the semblance of order and their need to maintain an illusion of the rule of law keeps these people from incarcerating or murdering their opponents. How do we know this? Because we choose not to be blind to history.
What do we do about it? What would our great-grandparents have done, if they had the information we do, and the capacities we have? They would have mounted an unrelenting invasion on the government, and on every institution
that provides it with critical support. Once they wrested control and power away from the psychopaths, they would have had to decide what to do with it. A good problem to have, relative to where we are now. I do mean a peaceful invasion, because until the government starts murdering people in large numbers, the great mass of people will not see them for what they are, and a direct violent assault would fail and empower government further.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:17 | 4881882 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

make the distinction between jews and zionists.  that way you have an admittedly more limited but still enormously compelling argument, don't involve people by way of their birth (kind of prejudiced) but by way of their voluntary beliefs, and rope in some significant christians (current gentile members of the two national parties' leadership for example).


Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:04 | 4881170 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Because vuvuzuelas.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:25 | 4881211 Chief Wonder Bread
Chief Wonder Bread's picture

Vuvuzuelans breed way faster than metrosexuals.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 02:08 | 4882124 Theosebes Goodfellow
Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Metrosexuals don't breed. They dry-hump.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:15 | 4881191 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Movies are already stinkin' horrible. Feeling nauseated thinking about the quality of movies and teevee shows twenty years from now.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:48 | 4881224 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

Stuck in their pods in the proto-matrix, whole crops were lost to bad programming.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:28 | 4882589 what's that smell
what's that smell's picture

the next 20 years will not be like the last 20 years cause most of the baby boomers will be dead.

thank god!

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 21:41 | 4881707 NoPension
NoPension's picture


Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:31 | 4881221 BovespaBroker
BovespaBroker's picture

its gonna be much betta,


at least here in brazil.



Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:38 | 4881463 centerline
centerline's picture

Because it couldn't get any worse (unless your in the top 1%) - lol.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:48 | 4881238 toady
toady's picture

No time to watch, the crops are planted, but I have two vacant rentals to rehab now. Still, sustainable is one of my favorite words lately. I guess I'll book mark it for later.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:57 | 4881250 Not Too Important
Not Too Important's picture

20 years. Hmm.

The US will be dying from Japanese radiation, if we don't lose some US NPPs along the way. Most of the Gulf Coast will be dead from radiation and Corexit.

The banking system will be non-existent.

All our food and water will be contaminated with radiation and fracking chemicals. GMO foods resulting in tens of millions of people with softball-sized tumors.

No healthcare, except for the super rich.

Millions and millions of mutated children, with no one to care for them.

Rampant cannibalism.

And most of this will happen in far less than 20 years.


Sat, 06/21/2014 - 18:09 | 4881274 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

you left out hillary's ankles...

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:28 | 4881438 LostPolarBear
LostPolarBear's picture


Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:16 | 4881395 SilverIsMoney
SilverIsMoney's picture

People have been predicting the end forever. It never happens. We could get a revolution and some serious change in the world but humanity is not going back to the stoneages.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 20:06 | 4881523 Not Too Important
Not Too Important's picture

If you have a fix for four totally blown nuclear reactors, four blown Spent Fuel Pools, one blown Common Spent Fuel Pool, no ozone layer, and radiation killing that which is responsible for over 60% of the Earth's oxygen, I'm all ears.

I'm not predicting anything. I am simply extrapolating existing failures out 20 years. If there's a solution, now's the time to say something.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 21:54 | 4881734 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

" It never happens."

never? how do you know?

did you live to the end of days, and then travel back in time to tell us about it?

i think you suffer from what's called "normalcy bias", friend: everything was ok yesterday (well, mostly), and ok today, therefore it will always be ok.

instant gratification culture in america is a sad thing, people don't really know how to plan for the future, there's only what i want now, now, NOW! and if it's not happening now, fuhgettaboutit!

usa's self-indulgence and lack of planning for the future, while the chinese plan long-term, for decades ahead of time, is one reason the chinese will kick our asses.


Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:59 | 4882045 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

I'm sure people in the Roman Empire had been predicting the end for quite a while too.  When it finally did end, we got the dark ages.  We are nearing the end of our current way of life and the change is going to be bumpy.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 07:38 | 4882300 infinity8
infinity8's picture

lol -"the change" - is the planet entering menopause? probably.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 11:09 | 4882678 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

There will be definately be "hot flashes" in our future...

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 12:41 | 4882913 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Says it like he has been there... You are such a fucking tool.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:54 | 4882645 JoeSoMD
JoeSoMD's picture

It took around 900 years or so.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 21:44 | 4881709 NoPension
NoPension's picture

Do you Soylent Green will come in different flavors, like B-B-Q and Cool Ranch?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 07:52 | 4882312 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Depends on the person.  :>D

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 02:32 | 4882150 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

I believe you omitted that people will commute in flying cars like the Jetsons in 20 years.  That's got to come true eventually.  Oh, and they won't be powered by batteries (sorry Tesla)!

Personally, I make only one firm prediction.  Entropy will increase which is just another way to say time will continue to advance in only one direction so not really much of a prediction.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 17:57 | 4881251 kurt
kurt's picture

As a matter of fact I am writing this from the year 2024. Its called the schlockback influenz-o-mat. It's an app on my IdPhone. Well actually there is no physical phone like in your time. I recline into a clamshell recliner and all media and computation is beamed into my braincase. I pee and poop in place they are compressed into little pellets, called Cheney Pills in honor of the Dick of your own time. These provide all the energy for the machine and the entire dwelling. Since we have been able to communicate with you, in the past, our scientists are measuring what difference it makes to us in the future. We have detected zero effect. This supports the "multi-verse" theory that there is influence in a parallel universe but never the one I'm in. For example, If I tell you the largest false flag in history is about to be launched on this coming Sunday thru Tuesday, June 22-24, as predicted on your "Simpsons" show, I will detect no reverberations locally in my "now". History will lumber on as always and you stupid, soon to be dead, victims of a giant eugenics population reduction experiment. Oddly, if you had gone ahead and released the Cheney Pill it would have never been needed nor desired by the powerful elite.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:19 | 4881411 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

Oops I think you just disrupted your own past.

Now back to this:

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:10 | 4882064 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

This comment is yet another reaffirmation of why I attend ZHU.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 07:40 | 4882303 infinity8
infinity8's picture

fucking awesome!

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 18:01 | 4881262 Bioscale
Bioscale's picture

Thanks for the book references.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 18:06 | 4881267 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Everyone will believe in the dollar until they don't. There's no reason to make it sound esoteric. That dollar is still backed by a lot of things. "Economic things."

My guess is that the Fed feels the capital markets are more than deep and liquid enough to handle another massive inflation hit. I would argue "some yes, some no." The yen has taken a hit...but to me nothing says dollar collapse better than the strength of the yen.

We've already had a huge spike in lead prices as well as nickel.
"Hold on to those used cars." These ain't "plowshares" anymore.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:01 | 4882048 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

The dollar is backed by oil, debt and the use of force.  The dollar system is coercive. 

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 18:43 | 4881326 honestann
honestann's picture

This is a basically reasonable video presentation...


It grossly overemphasizes oil specifically, and hydrocarbon energy generally.  And almost assumes no potentially viable alternatives have been identified, much less verified.  This is not true.

However, because the predators-DBA-government and predators-DBA-centralbanks have almost complete domination over the fiat, fake, fraud, fiction, fantasy, fractional-reserve financial-system, and because they also have created an ever increasingly brutal and inflexible police-state living environment at this point, the potential solutions to the problems identified might not be developed.

Why?  First, all investment will be directed towards their cronies who control monster corporations.  Any upstart with promising technology will be squashed... and if that doesn't work, it will be regulated out of existence.  In this case, none of the solutions will be implemented [in time] and the world will indeed spiral down the toilet.

And the result?  Mass death, disease, disaster and horrific living conditions for the 99.999% who are not part of the elite.  In one way, shape or form life will become much like that portrayed in the recent movie Elysium (not sure about spelling).


However.  What if creative individuals were left free?  Answer: problems solved.  But most importantly... problems solved faster than current systems (like oil) fall apart.

Energy is indeed important, but we already know how to solve energy.  And that's not by more efficient ways of squeezing extra drops out of the ground via fracking or similar techniques.  No, the already identified and tested solutions to energy include at least: solar-collectors, wind-turbines and geothermal.  At least.  No need for nuclear, which given the utter and complete irresponsibility of modern corporations and government begins to look like a bad idea despite the obvious theoretical promise.

This video paints such a dismal picture.  And indeed, if the vast majority of human beings continue to act like such banal, idiotic, insane sheeple-chimps, dismal results are assured.  And indeed, almost every sign today points that direction.  However, think about it.  For the price of that "second SUV", a family can install a large enough solar energy system to power their home.  And if they don't live too far from work, that system can also charge their electric car, completely eliminating their need for ANY hydrocarbon fuel for their own personal transportation, electricity, heating, cooling and electronic gizmos.

Which means, any family that is willing to give up a bunch of junk they absolutely, positively don't need... escapes most of the energy problems this video describes.  Of course, if nobody but them "gets real", products they buy will be more expensive due to transportation with more costly hydrocarbon powered vehicles.  But seriously, especially in the central and western USSA and many other places on the globe, the sun shines enough to power other forms of transportation with electric power.  True, this requires redesign of vehicles (trucks, trains, etc), but... well... the technology to do this already exists.  No new rocket science or breakthroughs are required.

In my opinion, the biggest problem is this.  Any inventor, creator, technology and produce creator-developer today has to be CRAZY to start up a new endeavor that requires more resources (investment) than he can muster on his own.  Virtually the entire financial system is utterly and completely devoted to funneling fiat investment into the pockets of cronies who control existing mega-corporations.  The laws were created and implemented by predators-DBA-corporations to assure "small-fry" cannot get substantial investment... unless it comes through THEM, with egregious strings attached (and egregious equity stolen as part of the investment deal).

Sure, crowdfunding exists.  Barely.  Small donations.  Trivial compared to what is needed to solve substantial problems... which is why 99.9% of crowdfunding projects are just "cool gizmos" that nobody really needs.  Every positive sign is so tiny compared with what is needed, any hope generated is mostly illusion... though of course we all hope an exception or two eventually arise and break through without being thwarted by the predators-that-be.

I'm a life-long scientist, engineer, inventor, product developer... and I work with a few others much like me.  I know what's possible.  A great many great advances are possible... just not in the world we have today.  The best we can hope for is a couple "breakthroughs out of nowhere".  Which is sad, because without the artificial constraints imposed by the predators-that-be, dozens of major breakthroughs would emerge every year.  And I mean practical ones.  We hear about dozens of supposed major breakthroughs every year... but they never pan out.  Why?  For the reasons I stated (plus, some were nothing but BS right from the start).

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:07 | 4881369 SmallerGovNow2
SmallerGovNow2's picture

Ann, love you but...

"we already know how to solve energy"....

REALLY?  wind, solar, geothermal will NEVER replace petroleum!  let us see a plane fly on any of the above?  when the wind doesn't blow, when the sun doesnt shine, none of these alternatives can do shit.  Come on.  you are a smart woman.  i have been following your comments here for years....

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:17 | 4881397 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

A Few Magnet Motors

"Electric power is everywhere present in unlimited quantities and can drive the world’s machinery without the need for coal, oil, or gas." - Nikola Tesla

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:26 | 4881427 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

Tesla was a nutccase and none of his energy-from-air ideas amounted to anything.

So he came up with alternating current. Well we have AC now, and so what?

You are still bound by the laws of thermodynamics, as ancient and messy and confusing as they may be.There's an easy expression for them, however:


Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:55 | 4881491 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

Marconi is the father of radio? Oh really? (6:10)

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 20:11 | 4881535 Not Too Important
Not Too Important's picture

Tesla was a genius, and a massive threat to the status quo.

The US military is still working on his weapons designs. That were stolen after he was killed and no family has any patent claim to.

Particle physics matters, until it doesn't. Quantum physics proves it.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 20:59 | 4881629 The_Prisoner
The_Prisoner's picture

Your statement is correct if you consider the Earth as a closed system. However, remember Earth is part os a much bigger system, there is plenty of energy going around to make Tesla's energy from space hold water.

It's an electric universe, after all.


Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:26 | 4882002 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Ah, been wondering when an "Electric Universe" Hedgetard would appear...

Learn some real science, it is so much more intereresting with the added bonus that it is based on real obervation....

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 07:51 | 4882310 The_Prisoner
The_Prisoner's picture

Hedgetard? Nice, and I thought we were friends.

Here we have one of ZH's foremost death-worshiping fascists who would like to see the majority of world's population wiped out, but isn't man enough to spouse the notion himself. So he hides behind "climate change" scare with other paragons of humanity such as Al-Gore, Prince Philip, and Barrack Obama.

Why don'r you just come out and say that because of the paradigm of fractional reserve and democraticy, humanity has screwed the pooch, and it will no be possible to sustain a high standard of living for as many people on the planet. At least one would respect you for being forthcoming and telling the truth. But you hing behind subterfuge, hoping to get a grant, or a place at the master's table and watch the cull.

You fancy yourself a scientist and talk about real observation, and yet your discipline of physics and cimate science is one of the most blatant example of theorised-to-fit-the-political-agenda drivel there is. The fact your climate models have been consistently wrong or the last twenty years does not seem to phase you, "if only we had some more money and power" we are sure we will be proven right.

I am sure that under you breath, you and your peers are as afraid as the central banking "elites" that if the people finds out what you've been up to your head will be on a noose as quick as Mussolini, so you avail yourself of the same weapons of name-calling, and vilifying, which in itself should be a tell. So you are fully commited to it, because there is no turning back. Honesty, compassion, morals, empathy be damned.

You must have you panties in a twist about the Kirchoff Law of Thermal Radiation been proven wrong so there goes your greenhouse effect. And while we're at it, your idea of a gaseous sun is just getting demolished as well.

So keep going around on your environmentalist high horse pretending to be some ubermensch. You are not fooling everyone. 

Observe that.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 09:32 | 4882476 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

A fine mish-mash of posturing and blathering on your part...

Oh boy, could you point me to exactly where and where the terrestial greenhouse effect was "disproven" and Kirchoff's Law shown to be wrong. After that we can talk about the sun...

It would appear that the only thing being demolished is your credibility, you stupid asshat...

So why don;t you keep your ignorant, misinformed opinions to yourself Hedgetard, the world will be a much better place... 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 12:43 | 4882918 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

The Greenhouse effect has never been proven, so why worry about disproving it.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 13:33 | 4883077 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Ah, it's a shit-for-brains Hedgetard....

Here is the proof of the planetary level GH effect, in 1970 no less:

taken from

Somebody should slip a cunt over your head and fuck some sense into you....

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 18:29 | 4883843 MEAN BUSINESS

OUCH ee Mama! Flak, I'm stealing that.


"What one really has to appreciate is that this is based on a huge scientific work. Actually, if you think about it, this is the biggest scientific assessment in the whole history of scientific disciplines EVER ... So many scientists have participated, and I want to thank them for their contribution. This is, really,  the most solid evidence you can get in any scientific disciplines. There is a huge increase in the amount of information available which was assessed by this although we recognize that even more has to be done. More studies, more assessments from (differring ?) countries. So when we say it's the most solid it doesn't mean that this is the end of the road. Everytime, we the IPCC try to do better and provide more solid information. So I hope you realize that now we are at the point where we have so much evidence, so much information we can no longer plead ignorance. Thirty years ago the previous generation was maybe damaging our atmosphere, the Earth, out of ignorance. Now ignorance is no longer a good excuse... we know. Therefore we have the information to make decisions and to act on this information. There may be still a few question marks, this should not be an excuse not to act. The next two years will be absolutely critical..." 

Dr. M. Jarraud, Sec-Gen WMO, IPCC AR5 WG2 press release 31MAR14


Sun, 06/22/2014 - 20:53 | 4884183 honestann
honestann's picture

In the 1970s, the current science advisor to el presidente authored a book that screamed from the rooftops that we must fund government to fight... global freezing and the coming ice age.  I'm serious, go read his book.

He wanted to cover the polar caps with carbon black (or something like that) so make the earth absorb more heat, to avoid "global freezing".

This is the SAME GUY who now promotes "global warming" and says we need to enslave mankind and tax-them-to-death to fight this terrible problem of "global warming".

Anyone who can't see through these scams with a little first hand investigation is BLIND.

This whole topic is so full of BS and lies, the only practical way for an honest individual to proceed is to completely ignore ALL OF THEM, and look for ways to understand what is happening (and/or what are the likely consequences of any possibility), and go from there.

The fact is, global warming would be a GOOD THING.  The fact is, there are still copies of books written in the MWP (Medieval Warm Period), which prove two things.  Warmer temperatures happen naturally, independent of industrialization, and second, life is better when the average temperature or earth is higher.

More can be figured-out and understood too.  But the most obvious fact of reality is... the predators-that-be are on a hunt for foolish human prey like never before in the history of mankind.  If you believe ANYTHING the predators-that-be say or promote, you are an absolute, completely, utter, total moron.

HINT:  And in case you doubt the malevolent motives of the predators-that-be, note that at least a few ways exist to counter the claimed quantity of global warming at tiny fractions of the expense to follow the human-destroying plans of the predators-that-be.  That alone proves their motives are NOT benevolent in any way, shape or form.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 23:16 | 4884525 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

What is your point?

Did 97% percent of active scientists agree with him at the time?

Sorry, that don't cut it...

Please don't be a Hedgetard by repeating refuted memes about the MWP. Your claim is only as good as the evidence and there is little to none for it...

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 01:33 | 4884714 honestann
honestann's picture


... written in that period.

They had no agenda, they were simply descriptive.

PS:  97% of global warming scientists agree with global warming... because they know their job and paycheck will vanish if they claim otherwise.  And that's yet another fact.  The other 3% care more about honesty than paychecks.

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 02:05 | 4884742 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You are being a hedgetard...

They agree because it is the only logical conclusion to draw from the data. And we have a lot more data now than we did in the 1970s...

Their funding is independent of whether AGW is true. There has always been and always will be research about how the climate works...

Here is an accurate prediction from 1975

Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?

summarized here

PS Here is some serious reading from American Insitiute of Physics, if you want to talk books.

So stop making shit up..

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 04:52 | 4884812 honestann
honestann's picture

I'll bet you one thousand ounces of gold that AGW of any serious magnitude is bogus.  The winner is to be paid in 20 years based upon global temperature and global temperature trends, with all reporting stations with significantly changed conditions being excluded (like new asphault parking lots where there were grass fields before).

You're completely captured by some agenda or idea, and completely irrational and uninterested in facts.  I don't know what exactly, but you're utterly captured, and incapable of honest thought on this topic.

Experts have been full of crap throughout the history of science, and today more than ever, they are also massively captured.  And please, don't offend us by saying that you don't believe that "industry capture" and "regulator capture" and "government capture" and other forms of capture are fiction.  Give us a freaking break!  Such capture is one utterly real, utterly obvious, and utterly enormous part of modern life.

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 09:24 | 4885178 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

Greenhouse warming is a real effect. But it is a smallish one, as H2O is able to scatter more infrared than CO2.The CO2 merely adds an increment to the greenhouse effect already present.

But it will probably be enough to melt Greenland, because what happens to ice when the temperature goes from 32° to 33°? And that will have some knock-on effects ...

But you'd think with all the central-planners' hysteria about GW, that they'd also be concerned about all the nuclear spew from Fukushima, and the now-known likelihood of more meltdowns. How far do we want to go in the direction of eliminating most multicellular life as a result of radionuclide pollution?

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 10:48 | 4885215 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Give it rest, you are relying discredited nonsense

Here are all the recent studies looking at the contributions...

So you are saying they are wrong just because? 

You don't get to pick and choose your science facts....


Every decade since the 1950s has been warmer than the previous

9 of the 10 warmest years have occured since 2002 despite a weak solar cycle and prevailing La Nina conditions...

Sorry, you are being a hedgetard...

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 00:27 | 4884631 MEAN BUSINESS

'complete',,, Moron, not that it matters... 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:40 | 4882019 JohnG
JohnG's picture

Imma start build my spaceship NOW!

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 05:14 | 4884162 honestann
honestann's picture

Thank you!  I mean, I don't have an opinion on Tesla, but to call earth a closed system is so transparently INSANE that... well... any awake, rational mind boggles.  The fact that so many humans accept such assumptions without a peep simply shows how utterly insane human beings are.

I like this quote from a friend of mine (the smartest dude I know):

Sanity is seeing what's in front of your face, and not seeing what isn't.

You need to read that carefully several times and think about it, because it has at least three meanings, and all three are valid.


Think about the "earth closed system" notion.  Seriously!

First of all, let's forget about a big part of what actually IS the sorta semi-closed part of that system, namely all the heat energy below the skin of the earth.  I mean, seriously!  You don't need to go very many miles down before the temperature is incredibly hot... vastly hotter than required to vaporize water and drive steam turbines.  And the further down you go from there... hotter yet.

So... even before we look outside the sorta semi-closed part of the earth system, we find oodles of available energy!

But now, let's look elsewhere.

How about that unshielded nuclear fusion reactor call "the sun".  Even though only a tiny percentage of the output impacts the earth, that's still a LOT of energy every second of every day.

But, that's not all.  How much energy do people imagine exists in the form of the rotation of the earth on its axis (what creates day and night)?  Run the numbers.  The earth is pretty massive, and the surface speed at the equator is 1000 miles per hour.  Figure out how to extract that energy, and... well... add a few thousand years before you even start to screw up the length of the day.

But, that's not all.  How much energy do people imagine is locked up in the revolution of earth around the sun.  Run the numbers for that too.

Now, having exhausted the easy and obvious forms of non-closed-energy sitting right in front of our faces, well, now we can worry.  Maybe.

Gads, people have such extreme cases of normalcy bias, the mind boggles.

PS:  I'm not saying I know how to extract energy efficiently from the rotation or revolution of earth... but they are sitting there waiting to be tapped.  In contrast, I do know how to extract energy efficiently enough from that unshielded nuclear fusion reactor.  And other folks know how to extract energy efficiently from the heat below the very top skin of earth.  Or move back to my former stomping grounds (Hawaii), and you find magma flowing up out of the ground and flowing several miles down into the ocean for the past 25 years.  No need to even dig to find enormous loads of heat energy!  And that's not the only place, either.

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 09:34 | 4885214 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

We are already recovering a tiny part of that enegy.

That energy is found in the tides. Any project to harvest tidal energy is deriving its input from the rotation of the earth.


Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:11 | 4882541 KansasCrude
KansasCrude's picture

Well that Tesla AC deal isn't looking to be the best decision now do it!  With most of the alt energy generating DC and thus having to take a nasty haircut on net energy into our AC world,  AC isn't looking too brilliant.

I love the cornies and their abundant energy thru techno meme's.   Always a magic bullet that doesn't scale....followed by crash and burn.   I trust Mr. Martensons analysis quite comprehensive but this is only a one hour topline representation. 


HOLD EVERYTHING THIS JUST IN.....we are all saved!

How about the new suppository that all humans, bovines, and equines  will have fitted in their rear ends filled with a medium material that absorbs all the methane we pass!  They vibrate at maximun absorbtion and we then recycle them for additional supplies of high octane fuel like dried beans...... A  HOLE new industry  has been created.  Understand the new technology SHOULD BE tested in New York City and DC!  All our cars will be converted and the happy motoring public grinning for always Ear to Rear FOREVER!.....IT WILL HAPPEN trust me I am omnipotent....uh and omniscient.  Or was that impotent and confused?


Sat, 06/21/2014 - 20:13 | 4881525 gdogus erectus
gdogus erectus's picture

The trolls really work hard on the energy discussion on this you get attacked so quickly for talking about alternate energy

Mentioning that Malthus was wrong or that the Peak Oil meme is used to help justify higher prices or fracking and you will get two down arrows quickly. Then others will pile on. Then you get four and no one reads your post.

People need to wake up and read up on Tesla's energy production by tapping the voltage differential in our atmosphere, resonant frequency power distribution, etc. Fuck me- even HHO works! Read up on what happens to people like Stanley Meyers when they try to productize cars that run on water. Is it really that hard for people to realize that water molecules can be split. That the electric energy needed to split a water molecules into Hydeogen and oxygen is assisted by something outside our complete bullshit physics teachings and equations. Then this "fact" is thrown in our face why it doesn't work.

Just realize that energy is just like 9/11, manipulated markets of all kinds, GMO, the Bilderbergers, chemtrail spraying and on and on and on. Just one more massive conspiracy that everyone will eventually figure out.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 20:13 | 4881539 Not Too Important
Not Too Important's picture

Most will be dying of radiation poisoning before they figure it out. Tesla wanted nothing to do with anything radioactive.

Too late now.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:34 | 4882011 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Look Tesla was a really, really sharp guy in the lab. Hell, they named the Unit of magnetic field strength after him. But he got a lot of shit wrong, just like Einstein in his post Relativity years...

There is no free lunch....

And not every thing is a conspiracy theory...

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 03:16 | 4882174 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

That is true, not everything is a conspiracy.  Normally it is just a distortion of the marketplace caused by  improper flows of capital.  Like how far too much research money goes to those willing to toe the line on global warming and none goes to their critics. No money, blocked from peer review and crying in the wilderness, ergo, they are wrong.  So is it a conspiracy or just people smart enough to know which side ther .gov bread is buttered on?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 09:36 | 4882482 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I'm sorry, but you are so fucking blind to the reality of how science and research works that it is pointless to even discuss how badly wrong you are...

Just keep lying to yourself as it does appear to make you feel better... 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 12:44 | 4882919 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

The guy pushing the Big Bang saying Einstein got a lot wrong post relativity.... You are so transparent.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 13:36 | 4883089 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Sad, so sad....

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:47 | 4881467 honestann
honestann's picture

The following is a commercially available electric aircraft:

The following describes a 4-seat electric aircraft (prototype):

The following describes a soon-to-be available 4-seat electric aircraft:

Note that the above airplane exists and is being tested and optimized as we speak.  Down below you see the performance characteristics of the gasoline, hybrid and all electric versions. 

And there is more, and more recent activity.

HOWEVER... I'm not much of an enthusiast for electric aircraft at the current state of technologies.

HOWEVER... Commerically available cars already exist (for about 3 or 4 years) that run on hydrogen (see Honda).  Electric power can split water into H2 and O2, and the H2 can be liquified and power a very-close-to-conventional car engines.  This to me is a better approach, and only requires we don't run out of WATER.  Somehow, I think there's more water than oil.

I don't claim the solar and wind and geothermal will replace ALL applications of oil.  For example, you can't make plastic out of electricity.  However, a huge percentage of the applications for oil can be replaced with solar, wind, geothermal.

Also, the technology has existed for a LONG TIME to create synthetic oil (from non-oil starting materials).  So... where we DO and WILL need oil, we can create it with electric power and other materials given reasonably cheap electric power.

Also, you seem to miss the MAIN POINT of my message.  My ENTIRE article is about what we CAN and WOULD develop... if the jack-booted thugs took their boots off our necks.  Nowhere did I say or imply we can stop consuming oil next Thursday, or anything else like what you imply.  You are missing my point, completely.  Why?

BTW, I own and fly a 2-seat pipistrel aircraft, a virus 100 sw with rotax 912iS engine.  When I fly at "greatest economy speed" (about 240kph), I get 60mpg to 80mpg.  Which means, flying to where I go is much cheaper than driving.  I no longer have a car, but my last car (a dinky little Honda Fit economy car) got about 27~30 mpg.  Now I get double to triple the mileage, I travel 2~3 times as fast, and actually the reality is better than that, because I can fly straight-line between where I am and where I want to go, and not follow inefficient zig-zag roads.

Again, we are supposed to be discussing what we CAN DO in a matter of a decade or three... not what you can go and buy at your neighborhood car dealer or walmart.

PS:  In case you didn't notice, you asked me to show a plane that can fly on electricity.  I did.  So maybe you should keep up with what is already possible, and even available as commercial products.  Sure, they're not 787s with 300 passengers, but that's not what you asked.  And in case you don't know it, jet engines have been tested that work on liquid H2 (plus atmospheric O2, like normal jet engines).  They are more efficient than current jet engines, but liquid H2 is slightly more expensive, and thus no infrastructure exists.  That can change, and is another case where the technology already exists.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:47 | 4881475 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

And btw, how many ppl of IQ < 100 will pass the pilot's exam?

That is 1/2 the population, you know.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:51 | 4881483 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Roughly the same in China, who will buy 22 million cars this year, and next and next and next and pretty much none of them will be electric.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 20:23 | 4881567 UselessEater
UselessEater's picture

Grow a 3rd world style middle class to buy cars and other consumer goods and a western middle class is unnecessary. (sorry a little OT just a thought that came to mind)

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:57 | 4881495 honestann
honestann's picture

MASSIVELY short-sighted comment!

Apparently you are not aware of computer guided and controlled aircraft?  It is already quite easy to create computer controlled aircraft, especially ones that take-off, land and fly at relatively low speeds.

My airplane is not computer controlled, but has GPS and 3-axis autopilot, so except for takeoff, landing and collision avoidance, it is already capable of flying itself.  And my airplane is a dirt cheap airplane (albeit high tech).

Also note that my airplane can take-off with only 80 meters of runway (which can be a dinky road, grass field, dirt road, whatever).  It can land in about 20 meters of runway, and can fly as slow as 45mph.  So the difficulty of creating a computer control system to fly a simple aircraft like mine is... pretty much a piece of cake.

To be sure, this would require a little extra equipment to assure no collisions occurs.  That's hardly necessary now, but if everyone was flying around in small aircraft, there would be enough traffic to require short-range communication between aircraft (?perhaps WIFI based?) and trajectory corrections to avoid collision.  Easy stuff.

In other words, no need for pilot license for most people.  Only if you want to control your aircraft manually would you need such training.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 20:02 | 4881511 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

"so except for takeoff, landing and collision avoidance, it is already capable of flying itself."

Except for breathing, thinking and heartbeat, scarecrows are already capable of walking around planting corn, too.

Tell you what.  Go get your 3 year old baby and put it in your airplane, start the engine, push the throttle forward and walk away. 

Let me know when you're comfy with that.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 20:31 | 4881536 honestann
honestann's picture

What's your point?  Is your point that designing and implementing electronics to take-off and land is not feasible?  If not, what are you talking about?

This entire conversation is about what can be done fairly easily with known technology, but even more so about what new approaches can be developed and implemented in ten or twenty years if the jack-booted thugs take their boots off our throats.

There are ALREADY lots of amateur-designed and built drones that:

- take-off on their own
- fly to destination on their own
- avoid collisions with fixed objects on their own
- land on their own

If I remember correctly, a few even detect moving objects and avoid them.

If you don't fly yourself, you probably have no freaking idea how much empty space there is above the ground.  To begin with, we fly in a 3D space, not a 2D space.  Plus that 2D space you grounders travel on isn't even a 2D space, because you can't just point your car in any direction and go.  No, you have to navigate that huge maze called the "highway system".

The fact of the matter is, once you take-off in a small plane and set the autopilot, you can take a nap for a few hours, and that would be perfectly safe (statistically speaking, assuming you weren't stupid enough to set a route that passes into busy airport areas).  Not that I do that, and not that I suggest that, but that's the way it is.

If you have a 3-year old baby, the fact is, there are already drones vehicles that you could program to take your baby to grandmas house.  That is, if any of them have a carrying capacity sufficient for your 3-year-old baby, which they probably don't (except the military versions, of course).

But that's not the point.  The point is, what you ask for is already available at the level of amateur-level toy and hobby aircraft.

So why be so pessimistic?  Seriously?

I admit I'm too terrified to have a baby of my own!  But to put one into a computer-controlled aircraft and send it back to sender... no problemo.

Oh, and by the way, when I fly, I am about 100 times safer per mile than you grouders are driving on the roads.  Frankly, I'm probably more like 10,000 times safer, because my airplane has a full-aircraft emergency parachute.  How does that work?  If anything goes wrong, pull the handle and a parachute shoots out the top and slowly lowers the entire aircraft to a soft landing on its wheels on the ground.

If you want to fear flying, I suggest you take up wingsuit proximity flying.  No fuel required.

BTW, my 2-seat airplane only weighs about 250kg (650 pounds) dry (before fuel and passengers and luggage), and the engine is 100HP.  It holds about 50 gallons of fuel in the wings, and I have fuel-blatters that I can carry in the cabin and hook into the fuel system to double that total when needed.

I have flown all around and across the south pacific ocean (in hops of course, the longest of which is about 4000km).  This is current technology.  Just imagine what ten to thirty years development would bring if the central-banksters and their jack-booted thugs weren't holding everyone down.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 20:43 | 4881604 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

Ann, will you marry me!  :-)

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 20:54 | 4881622 honestann
honestann's picture

Hahaha.  Would that get me an up-arrow?  Sorry, but "marry" is a religious notion, and I'm atheist.  I also don't buy into government fictions either, so the civil version is out too.  But thanks for the thought.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 21:03 | 4881635 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Marriage is completely off-putting to me.

It's too much like being someone's property.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 20:56 | 4881627 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

You almost had me with the parachute. Does it have a reserve chute?

Rigid Airship fan

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 22:26 | 4881789 honestann
honestann's picture

On the pipistrel virus aircraft they call this a "parachute rescue system", not a "reserve chute".  I should probably be more familiar with other terminology, but I'm not.  So I'll just say how it works.

Basically, just behind the side-by-side passenger seats near the roof there is a handle you can pull to deploy the "parachute rescue system".  A tiny rocket shoots the parachute straight up, which then opens up, and literally the whole airplane hangs beneath the canopy and drifts to the ground.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:41 | 4882612 magnetosphere
magnetosphere's picture

you can prove from first principles that an electric plane cannot and will not ever have a range more than a few hundred kilometers

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 17:46 | 4883726 honestann
honestann's picture

No, I can't.
And neither can you!
Do you know why?

Because electric airplanes are being flown today that... keep flying for days, weeks, even months!  That's right, solar cells on their wings recharge the batteries during the daytime, and that power is sufficient to keep the airplane flying all night.

So, let's turn this around.

You show us a hydrocarbon airplane than can keep flying for days, weeks, months, years at a time.  Good luck with that.

By the way, I am a scientist and engineer, but I cannot prove from first principles that an electric plane cannot and will not ever have a range more than a few hundred kilometers... even if that plane has no solar cells to recharge during daytime.

If you can prove that, please be my guest and prove that below for all to see.  I will appreciate that, because I'll definitely learn something.


Having said all that (just responding to your exact message), I continue to say that I am not much jazzed or impressed with electric airplanes.  I said that before (above), and I say it again.  But I refuse to pretend electric airplanes are worse than they are, or pretend that I know they will never get much better.

PS:  You should probably say "battery powered airplane" rather than "electric airplane", because I'm quite sure you would agree that an "electric airplane" powered by a lightweight nuclear reactor would fly a long, long, long, long, long way on a fresh set of nuclear pellets or rods.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 20:36 | 4884145 magnetosphere
magnetosphere's picture

i am talking about range for one trip.  the range is simply the specific energy of the fuel divided by the acceleration due to gravity.  lithium ion batteries are limited to a few hundred kilometers, and the specific energy of all batteries is limited by the large masses of the molecules in the electrolyte.  see equation C.33

there are most definitely hydrocarbon vehicles that fly in perpetuity.  satellites

the air force tried nuclear airplanes in the 1950's, but steam engines have too low power / weight ratio to be practical.

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 01:49 | 4884726 honestann
honestann's picture

Two observations.  Try to more carefully qualify your assertions the first time, so we can avoid arguments about what neither of us or anyone else claims.

You comments about hydrocarbon vehicles that fly in perpetuity is so silly as to be... well... I can't even think of anything so absurd.

Why?  Because so do electric satellites.  So do nuclear satellites.  So do plain old rocks fly in perpetuity in endless orbits around earth, moons, sun, and so forth.  So if we take that comment seriously, you just proved the range of electric vehicles is... infinite!

Not a very good way to prove the range of electric vehicles suck.

As for those nuclear airplanes... a lot of technologies have improved since the 1950s, so much so that I'd be willing to bet nuclear airplanes would work just fine today.  However, I would not propose them, for obvious reason (the irresponsibility of corporations and governments... see Fukashima for just one example).

Finally, I repeat yet again, as I did every other time, battery powered airplanes DO work, but they don't impress me... for much the same reasons they don't impress you.

But airplanes are both a very special and very tiny case in the realm of devices that need power, and the original conversation was more about ALL devices that need power, with the observation that most are powered by oil today.

No single "silver bullet" for every power application exists.  Which is why reducing the need for hydrocarbon power where efficient (not airplanes) is very helpful, because it gives us years if not decades longer to find more advanced and more practical solutions to power devices that currently REQUIRE oil of some kind.

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 09:51 | 4885289 magnetosphere
magnetosphere's picture

my original statement needs absolutely no qualification whatsoever.

you are the one pumping solar powered airplanes... 

ALL satellites are lifted into orbit using FOSSIL ENERGY.  not nuclear, not electricity, NEVER.

a hint for you about "technology".  we use the exact same methods of transport as in the 1950's precisely because technology has NOT improved, computers excepted. 

another hint for you.  quit talking about airplanes and start talking about trains and cargo ships

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 00:41 | 4888304 honestann
honestann's picture

Okay, let's talk a bit about cargo ships... with the understanding that any "solution" will only be partial, and will have its own drawbacks.  I do not disagree that oil is convenient... no way, no how do I dispute that.  But that's not the topic.  The topic is how we can move forward as oil becomes more expensive and more difficult to exact in current (or larger quantities).

Okay, cargo ships.  Have you seen that huge kite arrays are now available for cargo ships?  When the winds anywhere up to several thousand feet are moving in roughly the direction the cargo ship wants to go, those huge kite arrays can pull the cargo ships.

Currently, cargo ships typically have schedules they are supposed to meet, so they don't usually travel entirely under kite-array power, but simply throttle back their engines however much the kite-array lets them.

However, certain kinds of ships have been overbuilt.  And especially if the world economy continues down the crapper, a great surplus of certain kinds of cargo ships will be available.  If they switched their policies so the ships could move slower... at whatever speed the winds and kite-arrays would support, they could perhaps eliminate the majority of fuel consumption, rather than just 10% or 20%.

So... there's one idea.  I'm far from an expert on cargo ships or schemes to reduce energy consumption across oceans (or extract energy from oceans), but my general theme is only this.  BECAUSE oil has been so cheap and convenient for so long, people tend to fall into the ERRONEOUS notion that the only way to power most things is with oil.  I know better, and of course the world already contains endless examples, including hydroelectric, coal, cleaner-coal burning technologies, coal-to-synthetic-liquid-fuel, geothermal, solar, wind, ocean currents, tides and so forth.

My whole point is that with additional focus, many of these technologies can be further enhanced or their application expanded, and by simple inference, at least a few new approaches can be discovered.  While I'm skeptical about short [or medium] term applications of so-called "cold-fusion" and some other rather esoteric or over-hyped ideas, I am not as skeptical about other short and medium term approaches based upon more-or-less understood technologies.

While I think the following was made to sound simpler and better than it would ultimately prove to be, nonetheless approaches like the Gerald O'Neill L5 Society "solar power satellites" can be optimized, modernized, and made practical.  Having said this, I am not as starry-eyed as many about these projects, because they do involve very substantial efforts and some (but not many) technological risks (and perhaps near-infinite political risks).  But from a purely scientific, engineering and technical perspective, I believe an improved, modernized, reconfigured implementation of that idea... and various other ideas... ARE feasible.

BUT ONLY IF the predators-that-be and their jack-booted-thugs take their freaking boots off our necks... where "our" means EVERYONE who might dedicate their time, effort, thought, creativity and resources to inventing, designing, developing and implementing new ideas, new technologies, new approaches, new systems to solve these problems.

And that will not happen... at least not until after the predators-that-be have exterminated the vast majority of human beings from planet earth.  At which point, there will be plenty of oil and other easily available resources right here on planet earth (in the massively smaller quantities they need with only 0.1% of the current human population still alive).

I don't know much about trains except the obvious.  They are inherently efficient, and therefore a great technology even without improvement!  But what else is obvious?  Well, we know adding weight to a train is not as negative as adding weight to vehicles that lose more percentage of energy to friction.  And so, we know it is possible to add megatons of batteries to trains and the result WILL WORK.  Sure, not as cheap as cheap oil... but WORKS.

But what else is obvious to everyone?  Answer.  Except in cities, especially in the central and western states, there are ENORMOUS quantities of [near] empty land alongside railroad tracks.  Rather than adopt the most obvious techniques (like megatons of batteries ON trains to power the train, why not fill that empty space with... what?

Solar panels?  Maybe, but probably much less efficient than other approaches.

Solar concentrators that generate super-high temperatures that perhaps drive steam engines [or modern sterling engines]... and then find a way to funnel that steam power directly into the train in an almost continuous fashion to drive the steam engine that pulls the train?  Maybe... and this sounds like a promising starting idea to develop.

Or maybe take the above starting point, but instead of trying to invest some scheme to efficiently and reliably funnel super-hot steam onto or into the train [engine], maybe a better idea is to have those concentrating solar-collectors power periodic steam engines that spin up large flywheels... so when the train (or each train car) passes, some wheels or gears or something on the engine or each car couples with the flywheels to deliver the flywheel power into the train motion.

This is totally off the top of my head.  I can already see that vastly more practical specific implementations of this idea are just on the edge of popping into my consciousness.  And so, while what I mentioned seems rather Rupe Goldberg to me (and certainly you too), I am confident we can improve on this radically and easily.

Or... maybe I was on the right track with the previous idea.  Have those solar-collectors heat up chunks of metal (or encased liquid sodium or who knows what), and when the train passes, these super heated chunks of whatever material gets dropped into the "fuel car" behind the/each engine.  The energy in this super-heated material then fuels the steam engine (or whatever kind of engine runs most efficiently given a super-hot energy source).  And when any of these super-heated fuel chunks cools off significantly, it gets ejected off the train at the next set of track-side solar-concentrators, and replaced with a new super-heated fuel chunk.

The advantage of this is... no need to carry useless fuel.  You only carry as much fuel as you need for the next mile or 10 miles or 100 miles or whatever is best... at which time you trade the cooled-off fuel chunks for super-heated fuel chunks at the next solar-concentrator, and that solar-concentrator then heats it up again.

This way every solar-concentrator always has a roughly fixed quantity of fuel chunks, and so does the train.  And so the train carries little extra fuel, and also, some of that enormous quantity of empty space along-side tracks gets put to good use, collecting solar energy.  And since the cost and efficiency per megawatt of solar concentration is at least 3 to 5 times better than solar-cells, less area is required for the same results.  Plus, no "fancy silicon" is required... just "heat up chunks of metal".

Like I said, this is all off the top of my head, without previous experience in trains or cargo ships.  Yet... I can see I am already on the way to figuring out a viable approach.  Surely not the best approach... I'm not that stupid or arrogant!... but a viable one nonetheless.  Which means, with many great minds put on these problems, solutions exist.

If I couldn't think up ANY idea that has ANY chance of working, I might be as pessimistic about being able to replace oil for many applications as everyone else.  But I do see viable approaches given only a few minutes of reflection (and basic knowledge of energy and material science and engineering).

My point remains the same.  Leave us smart, creative folks alone and free, and don't steal our earnings, and don't make it near impossible for us to get investment, and don't steal our results, and don't enslave us

... in which case, I can assure everyone, we can solve the problems.

Will our solutions be utopia?  No.  No more than oil is utopia.  But viable?  Yes.  And perhaps better in many ways?  Yes.  But effortless and perfect and free?  No.


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 14:03 | 4889975 magnetosphere
magnetosphere's picture

didn't read all that but trains and cargo ships are so efficient we don't really need to wean them off oil anytime soon.  if you seriously want to learn about alternative energy problems you should read two works.  the optimistic view by david mackay: and the pessimistic view by tom murphy: .  these are in my opinion by far the two best works on the subject

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 21:01 | 4881631 Stanley Lord
Stanley Lord's picture

You are very smart, but why do you like gold?

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 22:03 | 4881747 percyklein
percyklein's picture

You're killin' me here!

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 17:50 | 4883740 honestann
honestann's picture

I like gold and silver as savings or money because... they hold value and they are real (have intrinsic value).

However, I like productive equipment more, because that asset creates additional wealth (better even than "interest" on some paper asset), and I like other physical assets too.

For example, I traded and sold most of my gold for materials to build my self-sufficient digs in the extreme boonies, and I am happier living here in my self-sufficient digs than I was living in the police-state USSA with a bunch of gold and silver.

Is that answer satisfactory?

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 22:52 | 4881833 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

You know, ann, I love your ideas, and there are many others who share similar views.

... scuse me while I stop the 'Crash Course' tape ... I have heard Martenson's schtick before ...

The problem is, we have known about these problems since 1970 at least. Remember the Club of Rome and Limits to Growth? And you are correct, the pigmen are in the way.

But the time to do something about this was when Jimmy Carter was starting up the NREL and giving talks in his cardigan sweater. By now it's too late to avoid a major crash. We are just too dependent on oil, and it takes decades to replace our transportation fleet.

One thing that could be done now is to put money behind our passenger rail system. That runs on hydrocarbons, but it is much more efficient than individual cars. And the rails are already in place and the engines can be converted to run off grid power. But we aren't doing that, are we?

For what it's worth, most of the road surface is made of hydrocarbons as well. Essentially like the tar sands they're mining in Canada. Not that we are about to run out of tar sands, but road asphalt has gotten much more expensive lately.

I am just very pessimistic that anything meaningful will be done. What if Obma gave a "sweater speech" now? For that matter, when he mentioned infrastructure projects to stiulate the economy, how was that received? What if a Republican won the election and gave a "sweater speech"? Same thing. I think you'll find ZH readers among your stoutest obstructionists.

The sad reality is that we will continue until the bridges collapse and the roads are full of potholes, and probably "privatize" a bunch of them, which will only increase the rate of collapse, though it might fix a handful of bridges here and there. The energy crisis is merely adding to a long business cycle that culminates in collapse after a hard bout of bankrubptcy and deflation, the natural result of malinvestment, corruption, and what amounts to kleptocracy.

Try to hang on for ten or twenty years, OK?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 07:52 | 4882313 infinity8
infinity8's picture

Thanks for saying it out loud. Nothing meaningful will be done and hasn't been done for a long time. The rails are in place and they're falling apart. Crash much? Maintainance. That's not sexy so, fuckit. Nothing is being MAINTAINED anymore. Common sense -- gone. Not valued. Where does that road go?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 18:09 | 4883766 honestann
honestann's picture

I hope you don't expect me to disagree with you!  Because I don't.  I claim we can solve energy (and other) problems, and we can solve them fast enough given an absolute complete removal of resistance and obstacles from predators-that-be... but I do not claim there is any chance that much will be done "in time".

So I am just as pessimistic as you are.  Nearly 3 years ago I moved to the extreme boonies, set up a little self-sufficient place to live with solar-panels, water-systems, greenhouses and everything else I need.  While that was just as much to escape the predators-that-be and police-state as escape the SHTF or [pseudo] "end times", part of the reason was to assure I can live a comfortable life no matter what happens to the rest of the world.  Well, except for the case of extreme global nuclear fallout, which would require I never go outside again for the rest of my life, which is not a prospect I will accept (besides, I'd eventually starve to death without being able to grow food any more).

My comment to you will be this.  Since we agree the predators-that-be have assured this disaster, and the bulk of mankind has sanctioned those results by being brainless sheeple-chimps... why worry about it?  They asked for it.

My point is this.  Some of us are able to create self-sufficient systems, and if we create them in the extreme boonies where nobody will come steal from us (in my case partly because nobody can even see my place, or get there by ground vehicle).  So why not just forget what [almost certainly] will not be changed, and collaborate with a few rational folks to create a viable life for yourself and a few other good folks?

I've done that, and I'm in the process of trying to help a few others collaborate to create another self-sufficient place in the boonies.  That is much more emotionally satisfying than pointing out the fact that somewhere between 98% and 99.999% are royally screwed.  We already know that.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:49 | 4889261 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

OK, you have piqued my interest. So I did a little search on your ZH name. You have a pretty low web profile, ...

Do you care to share in which quadrant of the planet you have set up shop?

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 01:29 | 4901209 honestann
honestann's picture

I gather you've read in past ZH messages that about 3 years ago I moved from the USSA to somewhere in the southern hemisphere, where I spent most of my life savings to create a virtually self-sufficient home in the extreme boonies, about 125km from the nearest human beings.

I never say where I live in more detail because that gives me the freedom to say what I think on ZH (pretty much my only contact with the mainstream world).  But you can assume I'm somewhere between the eastern portion of south America and the western portion of Australia.

So... I guess that almost narrows it down to a "quadrant of the planet".

My two forms of "relaxation" or "mental breaks" are: wandering around at night beneath the Milky Way... freaking awesome at night now, pointing my telescope at sky objects and taking CCD photos (mostly for fun, and not as often as I'd like), and posting in ZH and very rarely in some sci-fi movie site.  Now that I have my self-sufficient digs running smoothly, I spend almost all my time working on a breakthrough technology with a few other very smart scientists, engineers, programmers.  It won't save humanity, but it will save a few of us... permanently.

Sat, 06/28/2014 - 18:32 | 4905998 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I am responding to another post about your escape. Sounds like an idyllic setting ...

New moon tonight, should be nice and dark.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 22:58 | 4881845 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

Oh, and take me for a ride in your plane!

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 08:12 | 4882329 inky
inky's picture


Exellent comments thankyou :) +100

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:41 | 4882587 KansasCrude
KansasCrude's picture

Ann hun mostly love your stuff but a big hole in your work on this subject.  How does that hydrogen production work on an EROEI  basis?   Have seen work that shows it would take about 6 hydrogen tankers for every one oil tanker in the energy delivery game.  Do you have better data?  I don't think most would argue that technology exists to mimic alot of energy consumption like a solar plane, car etc.  The issue is NET ENERGY and scale.  Thats where the rubber don't meet the road......

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 18:43 | 4883868 honestann
honestann's picture

How do you compute EROEI in this situation, anyway?  I am being completely serious.  We were talking about hydrogen as a replacement for electric airplanes... right?  Because airplanes are a different case than other vehicles.

In the case of ground vehicles, straight electric is probably more efficient... with the possible exception of vehicles that need to go a long, long way without recharging (say, long haul trucks).

So the conversation (and challenge) turned to the most difficult case, namely airplanes --- assuming nobody proposes non-nuclear electric spacecraft.  SO that's the context.

But my main question for you is this.

How do you compute the EROEI for... nearly free energy?

What I'm saying here, in practical terms, is that many of us have an astronomically huge unshielded nuclear fusion reactor to tap into... one that will not "burn out" for billions of years.  I refer to the sun, of course.

We don't need to mine ANY material from the ground (coal, oil, NG, etc).  None.  We do have to mine silicon, but there is a LOT of silicon easily available on planet earth (SiO2 is "sand", for example).  And silicon is not the only material that solar-panels can be made from either (just in case).

And the silicon is not consumed in the power-generation process like oil is.  The silicon in solar-panels generates electricity for decades... and can then be recycled!

So I think the issue isn't EROEI exactly, or at least you can't apply one EROEI calculation to all forms of transportation (much less other needs for power).  The airplane is an oddball case, which is why some people threw that at me.

But frankly... ALL these kinds of conversations are absurd without a thorough analysis of how long we could extend the current supply of hydrocarbons... IF... we switched away from hydrocarbons for those applications that such a switch is reasonably efficient.

But still.  If you want to take the whole question to the limit, which is a different but also valid question, then... okay, go ahead.  Do so.  But then you better pull out your calculator and redo your computations with concentrated solar.  I hope you know what that is.  Essentially, you create a strong but lightweight framework in the shape of a radar dish (or large DirecTV dish), attach pieces of super-cheap aluminized mylar to that parabolic dishes, and point them at the sun.  For very small quantities of materials, you get an enormous quantity of energy at the focus.

This can be done in many ways... 2D versions are simply little troughs.  But the point is, all of these systems consume ZERO resources to generate power (except for what material is required to build the systems, which last for years or decades).

You see, I had never even imagined "hydrogen tankers".  Why do you automatically assume a medium or even large-scale "hydrogen energy infrastructure" would necessarily parallel the existing oil infrastructure?

Seriously!  Let's start with the most basic fact.  Oil is... whereever oil is.  And obviously it is only available in a few places on the planet (in large volumes).

Is that true for water (to create hydrogen)?  No.  So why do you immediately create a model in which objects like "hydrogen tankers" even exist?  Seriously?  What is your answer to that.

To you, and to everyone out there, listen up.  If you want to consider different ways of doing things, you must... absolutely must... start with a clean slate, then design a couple dozen approaches you could accomplish your requirements.  You will notice that some are very inefficient, some are more efficient but too complex, some are more efficient but too dangerous in some respect, and so forth.  Only after you have developed a couple dozen separate approaches from a clean slate will you be able to grasp all the factors involved, and all the interactions of those factors with each other, at which point you will probably "see the light"... recognize what is the best approach.

THEN you can start comparing to existing technologies.  OTOH, if the existing technology is inherently doomed (like running out of easy-to-get oil), then actually you need to compare against what WILL BE the case in five or ten or twenty years.  If you can compare well against that, you have a winner... or at least one viable approach that may be the winner (after your competition with everyone else trying to solve the same problems).

You can't even compute what you call "scale" properly when... the replacement systems and infrastructure are radically different.  For example, if the replacement infrastructure doesn't need to haul crap all around planet earth, you have a very different set of tradeoffs.

But also, we cannot assume ONE replacement for oil.  The best solution for 20 to 50 years from now might look massively different.  In my view, the best solution for 20 to 50 years will almost certainly look massively different.

Hell, just look at the solution I chose for my own personal place to live!  Look how different that is... and I'm working with 5 to 10 year old technology, not the best technology 20 to 50 years from now (assuming the jack-booted thugs remove their boot from our throat).  Seriously.  I supply my own power with solar-panels.  I don't have a car, I have a plane... which gets 2 to 3 times better mileage than my last economy car did... not even counting the fact that I travel several times faster, and I can travel straight to my destinations (without turns, without stop lights, without traffic).  I have my own water supply (which I can't describe without providing hints about where I live).

Maybe the bottom line is this.  So many people believe they can answer questions like these right off the top of their heads... perhaps by reference to some simple number like "available energy per volume or mass".  But you can't.  Or at least, you can't if you want to have any kind of chance of success, or vision of what will happen when less narrow-minded scientists and engineers and inventors and developers start from blank slates, blank pieces of paper, then brainstorm what can be done... and keep at it until they find viable, practical answers.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:36 | 4881455 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Fortunately for . . . whomever, no one reads a comment more than 3 short paras long.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:40 | 4881918 Serenity Now
Serenity Now's picture

Or the ones that are condescending, self-aggrandizing, and obnoxious like Ann always is.  Half of my friends are pilots, and they'd be the first to call BS on her screed.

The other half of my friends (as well as myself) are sailboat owners.  

For those of you interested in solar and wind "saving" the planet, spend the day with a sailor out on the water.  See how much energy (solar, wind generator, water generator, or diesel generator) it takes to run your own systems on a boat.  And that's going maybe 7 or 8 knots, transporting people and not goods, or even at anchor.  

If you don't have the ability to do that, spend $100 and get a solar charger (such as Goal Zero) + battery pack.  Use this to keep your phones and tablets charged all the time.  No cheating.  It is the absolute BEST way to teach yourself that (1) solar is not as abundant as you think; (2) battery storage is not as easy as you think; and (3) the technology is not nearly as cheap as you think.  

It's a great experiment to try at home and learn something about solar power that's real world and not in a controlled academic environment.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 20:24 | 4884108 honestann
honestann's picture

Call BS on what I fly?  I fly it, you know.  And I identified the exact model of what I fly.  Go find out for yourself what this airplane does.  It is commercially available.

The one thing you might find is a factor of two APPARENT exaggeration in my claims of fuel economy.  Others say 30mpg to 40mpg, while I say twice that.  Actually, we do not disagree.  They're talking about cruise speed, which indeed is about 30mpg to 40mpg with the new rotax 912iS engine.  However, if you speed up the airplane just 15kph faster (to top speed), mileage drops to around 20mpg, because efficiency drops at higher speeds.

But the mileage I quote is at "economy speed", which takes that phenomenon in the opposite direction.  Fly slower (but only about 40kph slower), and the efficiency climbs, and you can indeed reproducably get 60mpg and better (average 72~75 in my experience).

Hey, I learned to fly on Cessnas and equivalents... like all your other pilot friends.  And you bet, they get nowhere near 30mpg.  They SUCK.  They are also much less sleek, much heavier, have less efficient engines, and are generally much less efficient.  They are chunks of metal.  My airplane is about 98% carbon fibre (not counting the engine).

So... get them to go run the same tests on the same airplane.  And have them do so at economy speed (about 240kph) versus cruise speed (about 287kph) versus top speed (about 302kph).  And have them report their results.  Then we'll talk again.

As for solar.  I live on solar.  That's my only power source (except for my airplane), because I avoided wind-turbine where I located myself for various reasons.  And I have plenty of solar power to run my freezer, my refrigerator, my several high-end computers including power-sucking GPUs, and everything else I need.  The cost was about $35,000 though... I bought components and saved maybe 50% on costs by not paying others to assemble the parts for me.  Frankly, I have plenty of power for several people, and I live here alone.

So I can tell you first-hand that solar is efficient, and no more expensive than paying electric company for power generated from coal or oil or even hydroelectric (thieves).

HOWEVER, solar doesn't work as well if you're a debt slave.  If you buy everything with a loan (rather than savings), you ultimately pay through the nose when you include interest and other financial rip-offs.  I ended up having way more power than I need, so in my case, $20,000 would have been plenty, it turns out.  That's $20,000 for 20, 30, 50 years of power.  Assume 20 years.  That's $1000 per year, and everything in my place is electric (except my airplane).

Do you pay less than $1000 per year for electricity?  If not, your claims don't agree with the facts of your life and mine.

PS:  My environment is as far from "academic" as you can get.  I live alone in the extreme boonies, 125km from the nearest human beings (a town of well under 100 people), and there is no access to my property via land vehicle.  So... if you call that a "controlled academic environment", how do you describe the alternative?

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 05:52 | 4884848 Serenity Now
Serenity Now's picture

I would ordinarily enjoy discussing this topic with someone like you (seemingly intelligent), but you are so over the top obnoxious that I just won't.  You are a know-it-all, so what is the fucking point?  You've already figured out my pilot friends' objections to your position (they didn't learn on Cessnas, by the way), you've figured solar out, you've got it all figured out.  

I pay zero for electricity, and I'll leave it at that.

Intelligent people who want to persuade and add something to the conversation don't need to be know-it-all jerks.  As it is, you seem to want to be a jerk, so have at it.

This is my one and only reply to you.  

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 09:00 | 4885117 honestann
honestann's picture

Good plan.  The reason I may sound like a know-it-all is... I typically don't respond to topics I don't know much about.  Why?  Because I figure I probably don't have much to add.  Sorry if you dislike that policy.  I don't intend to sound rude or obnoxious, but maybe it seems that way to some.  Who knows.

If you wanted to add any position from your flying friends... pray tell why did not not do that in your previous message.  Note that all you did was say I am full of crap because your pilot friends would say so.  So how is that more polite than me?

I clearly know more about serenity (and probably Serenity too) than you ever will.  But enjoy, and tell Mal that honestann says hi.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 08:21 | 4882340 inky
inky's picture


"Fortunately for . . . whomever, no one reads a comment more than 3 short paras long."

Well i do ... muppet.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 21:45 | 4881713 Kprime
Kprime's picture

energy for travel is only a tiny part of the problem. 

What about all the products we need to make the car, grow the food, make most of the technological products we use.  All of this comes from oil.  workable substitutes are few.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 19:05 | 4883952 yt75
yt75's picture

Non fuel usage of oil (for all plastics and the rest pesticide etc), represents in fact not that much, around 5% I think, sometimes you read 3

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 22:01 | 4881743 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture

I logged in

To say

I love you

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 22:04 | 4881750 NoPension
NoPension's picture

It's impossible to overstate the benefits of oil. You could scream about it every day, and peeps still wouldn't get it. Even the smart ones. We are so used to putting gas in our cars,lawn mower,weedwackers,pressure washers ,airplanes, trains,, ships........
We are so accustomed to the luxury of utilizing MILLIONS of YEARS of concentrated sunlight at a whim.
Get a reel type push mower, cut an acre grass. Put a gallon of gas in your car ( 2-4000lbs,as a reminder) drive it til it stops,and push that fucker back to your stating point.
Electric plane? With our battery technology!? Maybe if you use lithium crystals, captain. Oil.oil. Oil.. Oil has made the last 125 years possible. Without it, we would still be living like 1875.
Want to hear a miracle. The internal combustion engine, in its present form, is over 100 years old. And still being used. What else, so important to our daily lives, has lasted that long? Light bulb-nope. Telephone?, don't think so.
If,when, we run out of oil, or it gets to costly to extract, we're pooched. Not using today's alternate sources. I have no doubt there is something in the offing. We always seem to come through. But oil was a gift.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 22:42 | 4881819 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture

Oil is a relic. And the dependence to it will be too.

I know its hard to imagine.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 04:41 | 4882231 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

The dead don't depend on oil.

There will be a lot of those, soon.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:23 | 4882087 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

RE: The internal combustion engine.


Oddly enough, it's looking like the old idea of the steam engine when combined with the old idea of radial engines plus modern engineering has a shot at being more efficient than internal combustion engines:


How It's Made


No transmission needed due to the torque curve and I guarantee that thing is lighter than my 4.0l IL6.  Engineer a good throttle control with a selectable locking differential instead of a transfer case and i'd throw one of those in my Jeep.


Steampunk BITCHEZ!

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 20:03 | 4884077 honestann
honestann's picture

Thanks for pointing that out to us.

That is very, very cool... or should I say HOT.

That does appear to be an incremental advance.  But I don't know enough about the chemistry of those lower-pressure combusion systems to be sure there aren't unstated negatives that I can't identify.  For example, maybe it lowers CO2 emission (which I don't care about) at the expense of increasing the emission of other pollutants (which I do care about).  Or maybe not, I just don't know. What is more interesting is... generating the heat in other ways.  Off hand they don't appear overly promising, but... more thought is required.  Example:  Sunlight is roughly 1KW per square meter, which is just over 1HP.  I can imagine a car-size vehicle might collect 1 or 2 square meters of sunlight, but... that's only 1 or 2 horsepower.  That is barely workable. Nonetheless, very cool, and worth looking into further.  Thanks.
Sun, 06/22/2014 - 03:02 | 4882169 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

Oil has the best energy density (joules out/unit volumn) and that's why the energy cost of producing things like PV panels or wind turbins means you can't get out as much energy as you used to make and maintain them.  This is conveniently hidden by their advocates but the prices/watt tell the story.  Without massive government subsidies, no one would even consider producing electricity from either PV panels or wind generation.  Even H2 has poor energy density compared to oil, so using electrolysis to make H2 and then burn it in a fuel cell to recover the electricity is the costliest way to create more energy.  But there's one and only source with much higher energy density (hint:  E = m*c^2), and just think how big the speed of light, c is to understand this.  All solar energy comes from this mass conversion in the sun, so we should just cut out the "middle man" and produce it directly.  There's a reason French electric power is the cheapest in europe by a huge margin and the Germans buy it to subsidize their joke of a  solar power "industry".

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 04:10 | 4882212 ClassicalLib17
ClassicalLib17's picture

Liquid Fluoide Thorium Reactor.  Alvin Weinberg.  Molten Salt Reactor  You fucking people are idiots.  I acknowledge that I am not a genius but what happened to the members of this site from 5 years ago? This would have been a much more interesting comment thread.  I used to look forward to reading ZH everyday.  If the shit hits the fan I will eat what ever I can kill that poses a threat to my neighborhood if need be.  That includes most of you.   

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 09:38 | 4882489 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Oh goodie, a concept with no working commercial design that will require massive state intervention and subsidy is going to save us....

Do you really think about what you post before hitting the save button?

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 05:10 | 4884060 honestann
honestann's picture

Sorry, you're just wrong.  But I'm too tired of correcting silly assertions to go into detail.  Let me just say this...

What is the energy density of an entirely free and unlimited energy source?

Seriously?  You tell me.

Because... while the sun is not literally an unlimited energy source, for practical purposes, the sun is one.

You make some assertions about solar-cells.  You are simply FLAT WRONG.

And the likely reason you are flat out wrong is... because you forgot to notice that the energy does NOT come from consuming the silicon (which can easily be recycled when the solar cell efficiency drops 10% or 20% after 30 to 50 years).  No, the energy of a solar-panel comes from... drum roll please... the sun.

And that source is UNLIMITED and ETERNAL for all practical purposes in the discussion at hand.

Furthermore, unlike oil, it is available in reasonable quantity in most locations on planet earth, so no need to drill it up, float it across oceans, haul or pipe it around, refine it, distributed it, and so forth (all wasteful operations).

If you can make your own viable and efficient matter to energy converter, or merely your own safe nuclear fusion reactor... then go for it.  I'm all for that.  And I don't doubt that can be done.  However, to depend upon that is way, way, way too risky given the current location on the peak-oil curve --- or is that called the Hubbart curve?

Solar power is cheap enough to be worthwhile now... IF... you aren't a debt slave.  And solar is getting cheaper all the time, and they haven't even begun to realize the efficiencies possible given concentration approaches.

Yes, for some purposes, liquid fuels are great.  And they can be synthesized today (and for many years now, in fact) from non-oil source material.  Cheap enough?  Almost.  Will be cheap enough?  Yes.  And especially when mankind works himself further down the backside of the peak oil curve.

PS:  You really do need to go look up energy density for all known sources of energy.  Refined oil isn't bad, but it is hardly the only material with good energy density.

Let me give you one example:
 - hydrogen == 142 MJ/kg
 - gasoline  ==   46 MJ/kg

You need to be careful to understand everything about concepts and numbers you read and think about.  For example, if you compare compressed hydrogen gas to liquid gasoline... well... of course energy per volume greatly favors gasoline or just about any liquid fuel.  But comparing ANY gas to ANY liquid by VOLUME is a classic form of comparing apples to oranges, or worse.

Compare the same MASS of "liquid hydrogen" to "liquid gasoline" to make sense.  As you can see from the above two numbers, when you compare the same mass of liquid hydrogen and liquid gasoline, LH2 is over 3 times more energy per gram or kilogram or pound or whatever unit of mass/weight you choose to adopt.

PS:  There's a good reason they fueled SaturnV rockets with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, not liquid gasoline and liquid oxygen (which would have been cheaper and easier in many ways).  The reason is, liquid hydrogen has more energy per kilogram than liquid gasoline.  And THAT IS A FACT.

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 02:17 | 4884751 malek
malek's picture

 Oil has the best energy density (joules out/unit volumn)

What kind of bullshit statement is that.
You think for example Nitroglycerine has a lower energy density than oil?

Oil is simply the chemical decomposition result in anaerobic environment with a certain hydrogen ratio.
And it turned out to be relatively stable in an aerobic environment (our air) within our temperature range too, and thereful quite safe to use, plus some other helpful features such as being liquid.

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 02:53 | 4884815 honestann
honestann's picture

!!!!!  OMG  !!!!!    +1024

I didn't even think of nitro!

LATER:  Hmmm.  Is nitro really only 5MJ/kg?  Maybe nitro only seems powerful because energy is released so fast.  Hmmm.  Surprising.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 16:12 | 4883496 FrustratedLogician
FrustratedLogician's picture

If you believe in black projects research that sucked tons of cash from people like you and me and obviously has been going on for decades, maybe, just maybe, our elite has something in store. Just like that 3d printing stuff, just came out of nowhere.  Also, I don't see panic from any governments. It seems like they know something that we are unaware of. Firsly, I believe that there might be possibility that we had other energy sources developed for some time. Trillions were extracted from economies of the world and poored into something. Some people believe it's elite that hoars cash and resources but I don't believe that those people are stupid. In fact, I think they are exponentially smarter than any of us here. Especially with access to classified material and stats all over the world. There has been something brewing since the end of WW2 and those trillion dollar bond scandals amount to something hidden in economy. Those trillions were not sucked from economy to live lavish life. You need only billions for that. It was poured into research, development and production of something and if I have any faith in top elite and their mental abilities, I think that those assholes knew that demise for them is near if something new will not be developed. This is where money went and this is where I would put the money to save my ass and long-term plans. Real advancements are being made in closed labs in private sector and if by any chance, new stuff has any way of proliferation nightmare scenario, are you surprised that alternative developments and people in the garage who come to same prototypes on their own are being crushed? It would be like giving powerful toys that can blast things to the apes that we are. If you dig very deep into history, you will find tha elite knew about the New World, or North America for 200 years and then Columbus "found" it. It was time for people to discover it too because the apes that we are finally were indoctrinated culturally and excited about new lands and everybody were okay with that. If, and ony IF, the new tech has been developed and somehow have little doubt on that(I don't believe that UFOs are not our inventions and I don't subscribe to aliens agenda) then we are going to be accustomed to new toys for a long time before it will become mainstream. The problem is: I see that there is a plan to get rid of many people on Earth because there are really just too many of us and then work from there to more sustainable world. I only see future as being more open in all terms: energy, finance etc because finance is closely related to physics and if we believe Tesla's stories, the guy had invented prototypes for sustainable society for a long time already. To believe that power hungry assholes that run the world did not continue researching is silly. This is where money went and also this is why QE did not crash economy yet.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 21:07 | 4884048 honestann
honestann's picture

Also, I don't see panic from any governments. It seems like they know something that we are unaware of.

Yes, you are correct.  But unfortunately, what they know that you don't is... that they intend to exterminate the vast majority of human beings on this planet.  Those at the top of the pyramid have said this openly, many times.

And yes, endless trillions of wealth have been extracted from regular folks.  What you don't seem to understand is, the predators-that-be are predators.

NONE of what the predators-that-be do is for you, for regular folks, for good folks, or for "the majority".  They are bleeding their prey dry, just as all predators do.

So you better get over the idea they will come to save you.


They do plan to save themselves, however.

As I said, a few of us can escape their grasp, but we must avoid their diabolical systems, and take [what are normally considered] strange and extreme steps to evade and separate ourselves from the masses.  Otherwise, you will soon go down with the ship, like somewhere between 98% and 99.9% of other human beings (depending on how they implement their mass exterminations).

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 19:35 | 4884039 honestann
honestann's picture

True, but since that gig will soon be up, don't you think you should move on (intellectually speaking) and invest your time and effort in identifying and understanding what will be viable in the future?  At least as far as your own life goes?

As I pointed out elsewhere, electric airplanes already exist.  Commerically available ones.  Yes, not 787s, but hey, we're just as the stage of the Wright Brothers when it comes to electric powered aircraft.  Personally, I think electric airplanes will never be efficient, but who cares.  Take that electricity and create synthetic oil and fuels, or create LH2 and run your jet engines on that (has been proven, but is currently modestly more expensive than common jet fuel, and requires different infrastructure).

Yes, humans ARE pooched... overall.  But I'm not.  And you don't have to be if you get off your butt and set up your life to prepare for that day.  You'll be glad you did.  I already am, in spades.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:11 | 4882065 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

So, ah, how you gonna convert that wind, solar and geothermal energy to LIQUID fuels?  (While the technology doesn't exist to do it en-masse, there is a basis for said technology, but it should have been developed and we should have begun putting in place a decade ago.)  Or how are you going to store that electrical energy in non-liquid fuel form for the purpose transport?  Lithium ion batteries?  There's what, one, maybe two major lithium mines in the entire world?  Or some not yet invented storage form?  Wind, solar and geothermal are only as renewable as the equipment used to harvest them, and that shit does wear out. 


Liquid fuels are where it is at.  They are what allow our modern Just In Time transport system.  Do you know where your last meal was produced, where it was processed and where it was packaged?  Unless you sourced it locally, it certainly relied on LIQUID fuels to get to your plate.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 19:30 | 4884031 honestann
honestann's picture

I sorta answered this question elsewhere.  The reason we need huge transportation systems for oil is because... oil is found only a few places on the planet in huge volumes.

To create LH2 only requires sunlight and water, which is available in at least modest quantity just about everywhere.  And ditto for making synthetic oil and fuels.  So the short answer is... a new energy infrastructure will almost certainly look massively different than the existing oil system.

Just to provide one obvious example of how different systems have different dynamics and infrastructures.  Look at nuclear (which I don't favor, though only because existing governments and corporations are vastly too corrupt to trust with these technologies).  The transportation of nuclear material is... well... so easy and cheap that it almost renders that consideration irrelevant (due to its energy density).

The same kind of differences exist in just about every energy alternative.

For example, geothermal (like oil) is only easy and cheap in a few locations on the planet at this point (until better deep technologies are developed, which they can be).  However, if the power generated by geothermal is consumed within hundreds of miles of the source, distribution is easy, efficient, and already in place (electricity systems).

The situation with LH2 is also very different, since sunlight and water are available just about everywhere.  So it is crazy to ship LH2 any substantial distance... just create the LH2 where you need it (where you distribute it).

Each and every form of energy has different dynamics and different infrastructure to optimize efficiency and viability.  So we must look at each separately, or we're fools.

The current temptation is to think in the conventional way, the status-quo way, which is pretty much the "oil is everything" way.  Even now that's not literally true (given hydroelectric and nuclear for example), but still, oil is indeed very dominant today.

The point being... don't assume the efficient energy system of the future looks much like the efficient energy system of tomorrow.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 03:44 | 4882196 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

I have seen the dire Malthusian and "We will run out of resources!" junk my whole life. The great opposing forces will be ingenuity versus government control and central planning. The leftist anal-retentive, obsessive-compulsive, micromanaging control freaks will not leave anything alone. All of life must be bent to their central plan.

The choice will not be whether the familly trades off a second SUV for a solar power system. There will be no choice as everyone is impoverished and become rent seekers of some sort in a government controlled game. The game does include favored large corporations. I am a total free market guy but I do not think they exist in any major areas. You are either GE skipping out on taxes but supporting the power structure or you are GM getting public money to keep you going or you are a Solyndra taking the investment money and running. The best is to be government itself a gigantic powerful parasite on the free entrepreneurial sector.

I agree that you will have to sell out to the favored friends of the State and they may quash the innovation for their own benefit.

Government is not really about solving any problem unless the problem solving either directly affects government or empowers it. That is why you can cry all you want about Global Warming. Whether it is true or not, government/s will not solve it. They will hire a million new well paid bureaucrats, create three new agencies who don't work together, enrich Sachs and carbon credit traders, pay for expensive UN junkets to the S. Pacific and...we will get the same temperatures we would have had all along. Only now, about 2/3 of the world economy will be government instead of 50%.

Free people solve problems because it not only pays but there are people who have the passion and vision to do it, whether it is a better cup of coffee or commercial space flight. It is not an accident or statistical anomaly that the free-est countries are the most prosperous over time.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 21:05 | 4884004 honestann
honestann's picture

The choice will not be whether the familly trades off a second SUV for a solar power system. There will be no choice as everyone is impoverished and become rent seekers of some sort in a government controlled game. 

Perhaps I was not clear, but to be clear, I completely agree with you about this... for the vast majority of human beings.

But not for every individual.  The proof of that is me (and others), who moved from the USSA about 3 years ago, and established my self-sufficient digs in the extreme boonies with no access by ground vehicle.  Electric power via solar-panels.  My own source of pure water.  My two little greenhouses to grow food.  My zero automobiles, but one 2-seater airplane that gets 60 to 80 miles per gallon on unleaded gasoline, and can fly over 4000km without refueling.

This is not science-fiction, this is my home and my life.

HOWEVER... you are correct.

Why could I do this in the first place?  One answer is, I always lived a very frugal life.  I never owned a television, a stereo, a radio, a wristwatch, a cell phone, an iPad, an iAnything... not even high heels or fancy clothes.  But perhaps most important, I never borrowed any money.  And because I understood the nature of fiat, fake, fraud, fiction, fantasy, fractional-reserve insanity... I saved my meager wealth mostly in gold and silver.

So... only by avoiding the overwhelmingly pervasive schemes pushed by the predators-that-be (especially central banks), I was able to do this.

So I agree with FreedomGuy, on both counts.  The problems will not be solved by government or the mainstream.  NOT GONNA HAPPEN, because the predators-that-be are overwhelmingly powerful at this point in history.

And so the only hope is... individuals and small private collaborations who can, and hopefully will, pull off some stunning advances.

But I must warn all you out there who plan to wait to be saved by this phenomenon.  You won't be.  The only ones who have a chance to escape the disaster before mankind now are... the very few individuals who are PART of those breakthroughs.  Not because they're greedy, and not because they are not benevolent, but because they know for sure they would be SQUASHED the moment their advances became known.

Given the royally screwed state of affairs mankind finds itself in, the only positive hope is for those small collaborations to escape the system.  And while this isn't the only option, I believe the best (and certainly most permanent option) is to "truly get outta dodge", which means get into outer space and become self-sufficient.

Our chances?  Difficult to say, and probably zero without some breakthrough technology.  But I am part of one such endeavor, and perhaps a few others exist out there somewhere.  And luckily, we may be able to take advantage of a few remaining private entities that are not yet completely corrupt (like SpaceX, hopefully) to do some of the work we're not very competent at ourselves.

The point remains.  We can do.  But the predators are overwhelmingly dominant, and will not make this easy.  Fortunately, the predators-that-be focus most of their efforts on "normal people", because that's where they get BY FAR the most bang for their malevolence.  So let's hope a few of the best, bravest and brightest can make the breakthroughs required to become independent of earth, and then live long and prosper while the vast majority of mankind goes down the tubes.  Sadly, that last part is assured at this point.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 05:24 | 4882259 Captain Obvious.
Captain Obvious.'s picture

Make yourself aware of what the Japanese are doing.

(please, no knee-jerk reactions.)

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 08:08 | 4882322 barre-de-rire
barre-de-rire's picture

oh, cold fusion, for the guys who decided to freeze the ground with a wall of water that do not have the own energy to freeze the water they used. to  locke they lame nuclear fiasco, with, btw, 3 years later,  slowly kill all the fish & water living of the whole pacific...




for sure, we are saved, japs are there...


man, all you show is a jap pointer lasrer on powerpoint screen go try to sell a non yet exisitng technology,


when i see pic with " futur"  written & kids playong & all happy ends like in 80'movies, all i think about is another fizer commercials.




Sun, 06/22/2014 - 09:03 | 4882407 Captain Obvious.
Captain Obvious.'s picture

No knee jerk Barry.

Forget the lazer pointer,

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 21:00 | 4883932 honestann
honestann's picture

I'm the optimist here, but... until I see a real, working device that I and others can carefully scrutinize to assure there is no fakery involved, I must remain skeptical about cold fusion reactors.

I'm not saying they will forever be impossible, I'm just saying that potential is not the same as actual, and I remain unconvinced any net-positive cold fusion process exists today, even a prototype.

But of course, I hope I'm wrong.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 07:58 | 4882317 barre-de-rire
barre-de-rire's picture

you full of shit anna..


show me a380 getting 800ppl running with solar panel...




do you know how amount of algae u need to make a long process of making bio fuel for such a plane ? amount of L that take a a380 ?


the price of such bio oil ?


the time to make that in place ? they say about 40-50 years.



you think we can stay this fucking way 50 years ?


if you do not receive your iphone 785548 from china freshly made by apple firm on the fall each year for writting your shit articles you the 1st to cry & whine, you not realistic.


this all gonna end BAD.


why ? just BECAUSE it is going mad, russia facin usa since cold war... nobody use his brain ?


fight for energy can no longer be hidden.  the shit sorm is  CLOSE.



Sun, 06/22/2014 - 20:59 | 4883920 honestann
honestann's picture

Can you read?

I said this was going to end bad.

You, like several others, obviously cannot separate "the way it is today", already living in a predatory Orwellian technological police-state... from "the way it would be"... if the jack-booted thugs and regulators and predators-that-be left us alone.

Why do you ignore what my message actually says?

But also, like I've said elsewhere, the situations are very different for some cases than for others.  The most obvious and extreme one is... airplanes.  Others raised that point, and we had a discussion about that below.  The only honest way to figure out what could be (what is practical), is to start with a clean slate, and work out entirely new systems and infrastructure... for each different problem area.

You ignore even the most obvious and straightforward facts.  Like if the world switched from burning oil and coal to generate electric power for homes and businesses, and instead powered homes and businesses with solar, wind and geothermal... the remaining oil would last much, much longer, and thus give us more time to find additional solutions.

Yes, it will end badly.

But not because it had to end badly.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:07 | 4881375 menlobear
menlobear's picture

The issue with the video above will be resolved in about 15 minutes. Those looking to watch it right now can do so here:

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 19:17 | 4881401 stuman
stuman's picture

Those with the guns will ensure that "human labor" will be the energy supplement as more costly/finite resources dwindle.

Unless those in power decide to un-suppress energy alternatives (fusion?) before the system collapses. (if there truly are any that are viable)

But power & greed creates it's own situational bias, just as ignorance and denial creates it's own. 

Basically those who hold all the cards will continue holding as tightly as possible till the bitter end.

I don't see the world leaders all pitching in for the greater good of humanity and it's continued prosperity.

I see a hard reset.

I wish I saw it otherwise... 

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