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Guest Post: Renewable Technologies And Our Energy Future - An Interview With Tom Murphy

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Renewable Technologies And Our Energy Future - An Interview With Tom Murphy

Rising geopolitical tensions and high oil prices are continuing to help renewable energy find favour amongst investors and politicians. Yet how much faith should we place in renewables to make up the shortfall in fossil fuels? Can science really solve our energy problems, and which sectors offers the best hope for our energy future?

To help us get to the bottom of this we spoke with energy specialist Dr. Tom Murphy, an associate professor of physics at the University of California. Tom runs the popular energy blog Do the Math which takes an astrophysicist’s-eye view of societal issues relating to energy production, climate change, and economic growth.

In the interview Tom talks about the following:

Why we shouldn’t get too excited over the shale boom
Why resource depletion is a greater threat than climate change
Why Fukushima should not be seen as a reason to abandon nuclear
Why the Keystone XL pipeline may do little to help US energy security
Why renewables have difficulty mitigating a liquid fuels shortage
Why we shouldn’t rely on science to solve our energy problems
Forget fusion and thorium breeders – artificial photosynthesis would be a bigger game changer Whilst you have proven that no renewable energy source can replace fossil fuels on its own. Which source is the most promising for providing cheap, abundant, clean energy?
Tom Murphy: First let me say that I think "proven" is too strong a word.  But yes, I have certainly indicated as much.  When it comes to cheap, clean, and abundant, I am drawn to solar.  I don't care if it's two or three times the cost of fossil fuel energy - that's still cheap. Abundance is unquestionable, and I don't see manufacturing as being inordinately caustic. The fact that I have panels on my roof feeding batteries in my garage only confirms for me the viability of this source of energy. Wind and next-generation nuclear also deserve mention as potential large-scale sources. Yet none of these help directly with a liquid fuels shortage. Bill Gates has stated that innovation in energy can take 50-60 years to take effect. How then do you believe that that the ARPA-E's short term objectives for projects can be helpful for solving current energy problems?

Tom Murphy: I applaud any effort that takes our energy challenge seriously, and gets boots on the ground chasing all manner of ideas.  If nothing else, it raises awareness about our predicament.  At the same time, I worry about our technofix culture with a tendency to interpret news clips about ARPA-E projects to mean that we have loads of viable solutions in the hopper. Many of the ideas are just batty.  And right - to the extent that implantation of innovation can take decades, we may find ourselves in a squeeze - wondering where all those funky news blurbs went. What do you think is the most exciting energy science or energy technology being researched at the moment?

Tom Murphy: As cautious as I am about techno-giddiness, I do have the giggles for artificial photosynthesis. Combining universally available sunlight (in my own backyard) with a liquid fuel that can support personal and commercial transportation on land, sea, and air with minimal changes to infrastructure is too juicy for me to resist.  More so than thorium breeders or even fusion, this is a real game-changer.  The catch is that our finite periodic table may not avail itself to our wishes.  Groups are now shaking the periodic table by its ankles, hoping that some new and unappreciated catalysts clank to the floor.  I'm rooting for them, but at the same time advocate not relying on its realization. A recent report stated that replacing all coal based power stations with renewable energy, would not affect climate change, and in fact after 100 years the only difference would be a change of 0.2 degrees Celsius. What are your views on climate change?

Tom Murphy: I see climate change as a serious threat to natural services and species survival, perhaps ultimately having a very negative impact on humanity. But resource depletion trumps climate change for me, because I think this has the potential to effect far more people on a far shorter timescale with far greater certainty.  Our economic model is based on growth, setting us on a collision course with nature.  When it becomes clear that growth cannot continue, the ramifications can be sudden and severe.  So my focus is more on averting the chaos of economic/resource/agriculture/distribution collapse, which stands to wipe out much of what we have accomplished in the fossil fuel age.  To the extent that climate change and resource limits are both served by a deliberate and aggressive transition away from fossil fuels, I see a natural alliance.  Will it be enough to avert disaster (in climate or human welfare)?  Who can know - but I vote that we try real hard. Do you think that the shale gas boom will lead/has led to reduced investment in alternative energy, and could therefore limit the advancement of alternative energy and its mainstream implementation?

Tom Murphy: I do worry about the sentiment that "our problems are solved" based on a very short history of tapping low-hanging shale-gas fruit.  David Hughes presented a sobering report to put these claims in perspective.  Even though it is clear that shale gas will contribute to our net energy demands in an unanticipated way, I worry that A) extrapolations based on the "gusher" equivalents is risky; B) natural gas is not a direct answer to a liquid fuels shortage; and C) the associated exuberance can stifle the imperative that we have an all-hands-on-deck response to the looming challenges. What are your thoughts on Biofuels? Will they ever be able to compete with fossil fuels? If you were to pick one that you think has the best potential which would it be?

Tom Murphy: The scale of our fossil fuel use prohibits replacement by biofuels at a substantial level.  They certainly can and do play a role, which I anticipate will increase with time - up to a point.  The energy return on energy invested (EROEI) tends to be pretty poor (less than 10:1) even for the best examples like sugar cane.  And it's a heck of a lot of year-in-year-out work to manage harvests - much depending on the increasingly erratic weather.  Of the biofuels, I am most intrigued by algae: mainly because it can be grown and moved about as a liquid medium in sealed tubes.  That said, I worry about gunking up the works with bio-sludge, the algae contracting disease, and the fact that we have not yet found/created a viable hydrocarbon-excreting critter. Following the Fukushima disaster many have been calling for the end of nuclear power. What are your views? Should we abandon nuclear power? Are we in a position to abandon it?

Tom Murphy: I don't think Fukushima should be seen as a reason to abandon nuclear. True, nuclear has its challenges, its risks, its hazardous wastes.  But it's one of the few things we know how to do that can scale.  Of course conventional nuclear again stares right down the barrel of limited resources, which is a déjà-vu we would rather not experience.  So next-generation concepts - particularly thorium - are preferable. Then again, we are not prepared to execute such schemes this moment, so they are not much help in a near-term crisis.  And ultimately, like so many things, nuclear is yet another technique to create electricity.  That's not where the pinch will come.  I think nuclear will remain part of our energy mix in any case, so I don't think Fukushima spells an end. What are your thoughts on the Keystone XL Pipeline? Is it vital for America's energy security?

Tom Murphy: Canada produces something like 1 million barrels per day (Mbpd) of oil from tar sands.  This is about 5% of U.S. demand.  Ambitious plans call for 5 Mbpd production, but even this does not amount to half of our current oil imports.  So could it play a role in America's energy security?  Possibly. Will it guarantee it?  Not likely.  We should remember that Canada is a separate country.  In a global petroleum decline scenario, how much of that oil will Canada sell to the U.S.?  How much will China pay for it?  How much of this precious lifeblood will Canada decide to keep for themselves? I won't say that I'm opposed to the pipeline, but like every other "solution" out there, it's complicated, and not a crystal clear win. I've come across many comments and articles online about human ingenuity and that we shouldn't be too concerned with peak oil and fossil fuel depletion because our scientists are surely close to an energy breakthrough. Although this thinking is dangerously naive i was hoping to get your opinion on which technology you think is closest to providing this possible breakthrough?

Tom Murphy: I worry about the strength and pervasiveness of faith in science and technology to fix our problems.  And I say this as a scientist who is no stranger to high-tech design and development.  We deserve better than blind hope that someone somewhere will pull off a transformative energy miracle. Some things peak.  We should acknowledge that once our inheritance is spent, we may not live like the kings we want to be.  I can hope along with the rest of us that this isn't true.  But I don't feel like gambling: I'm the type to cash out when I'm a bit ahead, rather than keep betting my purse that the next hand will hit paydirt.  More concretely, I can say that most physicists I meet in departments around the country are not aware of peak oil and associated challenges.  Hardly anyone I meet is working on the problem.  No one (i.e., funding) has told us this is a real problem that deserves our full attention.  And I sense that it would be political suicide to do so.  So which technology do I think will save our bacon? Most ideas on the table provide electricity, which does not address our most critical need.  As I said before, artificial photosynthesis hits the sweet spot, and batteries are tremendously important.  But let's also prepare a plan B that may be less about techno-fixes and more about behaviors and attitudes. Giant batteries the size of a football pitch are being constructed in order to store energy from renewable sources and release it during times of low power production, for a more consistent supply. Do you think this is the future for renewable energy, or would we be better served creating a giant grid, linking many different renewable sources together so that they can cover for each other?

Tom Murphy: Batteries work, we know.  I think we absolutely should be gaining experience on the practical issues/economics of giant batteries.  Making large-scale storage more practical resolves the single-biggest technical barrier to widespread solar and wind deployment.  I am sceptical about giant grids especially the global variety based on the simplistic notion that "It's always sunny somewhere."  I am more attracted to resilient local solutions.  Transmission loss today tends to be less than 10% on an old, dumb grid.  High-voltage DC would reduce this loss somewhat, and the science fiction superconducting grid would eliminate loss (until the inevitable cryogenic failure vaporizes the lines; and let's not ignore the considerable energy investment needed to keep the lines at cryogenic temperatures).  On a moderately ambitious scale, a continental grid will reduce the need for storage, but it will not eliminate it.  We still benefit from super-sized batteries. What do you think about the idea that it would be more useful improving the efficiency of current power systems, rather than researching new types of energy production?

Tom Murphy: Efficiency is a lovely thing, and it has always been seen as a lovely thing.  Because of this, efforts to improve efficiencies of the big stuff like power plants have been continuous.  And we have seen improvements at the level of 1% per year.  In rare instances, One can get dramatic leaps via co-generation strategies, but that relies on power plants being situated near demand for waste heat.  So realistically, I think incremental efficiency improvement does not have nearly enough bite to "solve" our problem, and in any case tends to be limited to factor-of-two level changes even in the long term.  We need much more than that, in the end.  I have found behavioural modification to be far more effective, achieving factors of 2, 3, 5, etc. in short order without grossly changing lifestyles. published an article a few months ago on space-based solar plants. Do you think that constructing space-based power plants could be a valuable option in the future?

Tom Murphy: I have to admit to being somewhat baffled by the concept.  Why make solar power even more expensive with exorbitant launch costs (which only increases as energy costs increase), placing the equipment in an unserviceable, hostile space environment (cosmic rays, debris) while only gaining a factor of five in night/weather avoidance?  The microwave link is no joke either.  The required dishes are huge for both diffraction and ground safety reasons.  I have just made a detailed post on Do the Math on Spaced based Solar.  But let's think about storage, and save ourselves absurd machinations. Despite the rather public failure of Solyndra and other less well known companies investments in green energy are growing. Which sectors would you be willing to invest in and do you feel offer the greatest potential to investors? Wind, solar, wave, geothermal? Or none of the above?

Tom Murphy: I am not myself an investor, but I would surely like to see more funding for battery research and development, and for anything that can synthesize liquid hydrocarbons using a non-fossil input.  Investors want to make money, but I'd rather tackle the important problems.  Sometimes timescales make these two goals incompatible.  Can you make money on wave or geothermal?  Possibly.  I'll leave that for others to determine. But I'm not too excited about niche solutions, which may distract us from the real prizes - to the extent that they exist. What role do you think the smart grid has to play in the future?

Tom Murphy: I'd sooner have smart people than a smart grid, deciding that it's in our collective interest to scale back energy use at a personal level.  Failing that, a smart grid helps distribute demand in such a way that intermittent renewables are more easily accommodated (using energy when it's available). Some things may work well like this, but I don't think this is a realistic way to hide variable energy supply from the consumer.  They may be irked that they lose control over when the laundry decides to start - possibly resulting in clothes smelling of mildew, or that they are not present to fold clothes at 2 AM when the dryer is finished.  Loss of control may not play well.  If, instead, informed people accepted limitations of future energy supplies, and modified their own behaviour accordingly under their own control, we would break the habit of people taking energy for granted: an attitude that the smart grid attempts to preserve.  We want greater personal awareness of energy, not less. Cold Fusion (or LENR) has been deemed impossible for many years, yet Andre Rossi claims to have mastered it.  However he won't let anyone examine his E-Cat machine, and some believe that it may be a fraud. Where do you stand? Do you believe that he has mastered an "impossible" science, or that the claims of fraud have merit?

Tom Murphy: This appears to be outside the domain of known physics, so I'll not comment further. The Kardashev scale is a method of measuring an advanced civilization's level of technological advancement. A Type I civilization has achieved mastery of the resources of its home planet, Type II of its solar system, and Type III of its galaxy. Whilst just a bit of fun, do you think that in the future, whether it be millennia or eons, we will ever reach Type I or Type II, or do you believe it impossible?

Tom Murphy: I think it is fallacious to think that humans will master the energy flow and resources even of Earth.  Successful examples of long-term sustainable living tend to see people living as part of the energy/resource flow, but not as masters of it.  We are only good at mastery in our fertile imaginations.  The real world tends not to care what we can imagine. Titanic hubris.  I would rather see humans try to live in equilibrium with natural services, rather than attempt foolhardy domination. Our attempts thus far are not very impressive: we're failing to hold it all together even now. Popular focus is on the global energy crisis, but an equally important crisis is looming. Rock phosphate is vital for creating fertiliser, which in turn is necessary for producing large quantities of today's food. It is depleting at a rate similar to crude oil, which could soon mean that the world will experience food shortages. How do you believe this problem could be solved? Should more media attention be focussed on the potential food shortage of the future?

Tom Murphy: Sigh.  Another problem we must "solve."  How about this solution: one billion people on Earth would obviate many of our problems. Any takers? Any acceptable path to this state? The original question does remind us that our problems are numerous. It is no surprise that the phenomenal surge in population and living standards/expectations in the last few hundred years - both a direct consequence of exploiting our fossil fuel inheritance - should be exposing fault lines every which way.  Aquifers, soil, forests, fisheries, coral, ice pack, and species counts are in decline.  The very simple answer staring us in the face, yet somehow unthinkable, is to consume far fewer resources and aim to reduce population.  Hopefully we can do this in a more controlled way than nature may enforce if we ignore the myriad warnings.  This "solution" will no doubt offend many, but just because we want to continue growth does not mean we can.  We need to take control of our destiny, and that starts with us as individuals.  Decide to reduce; mentally abandon the growth paradigm.  Let's maximize our chances of preserving our accomplishments by easing off the gas for a bit. Oil companies are mainly driven by the aim of pleasing shareholders, which generally means pursuing large dividends and high share prices. Surely this profit seeking mentality is detrimental to the advancement of green energy technologies, as the companies have little incentive to seriously invest in new types of energy whilst old, cheaper types still exist. What are your views? Is there any way to change this dynamic?

Tom Murphy: I sense that plenty of people are waiting to cash in on green energy, and investment begins to flourish when energy prices soar.  But as soon as high energy prices trigger recession, demand flags, prices crash, and the volatility wipes out many green efforts.  A year or two of high prices is simply not long enough for a transformation, which takes decades to accomplish.  I hope that we can tolerate smoothly and continuously escalating energy prices for conventional sources, but those high prices hurt large segments of the (conventional) economy and self-generate volatility.  In principle, governments could "artificially" keep energy prices high enough to maintain the impetus for developing alternatives, pumping the revenue into a national alternative energy infrastructure.  But governments are bound by voters who simply don't want sustained high energy prices.  I don't know how to evade this dynamic in a functioning democracy, except via education about the challenges we face - including a sober confrontation of the fact that failure is a likely result of our not bucking up to the challenge. How would you best describe the current situation with oil reserves?  Do you believe we have reached Peak oil or are pretty close to it?

Tom Murphy: The simple observation that a peak in global discovery in the 1960's must be followed by a peak in production some decades later is unassailable.  So we know the decline is coming, as most major oil-producing countries have experienced already.  That part is easy, it's the when that is always hard.  The fact that the current petroleum production plateau has hardly budged through factor-of-three price fluctuations is very suggestive that no one has spare capacity at the ready.  If we can maintain high prices without re-experiencing a spike and crash like we did in 2008, we might see sub-prime production come online fast enough to maintain the plateau.  But A) this might not happen, and B) it's not a resumption of production growth.  So I would not at all be surprised if a decline makes itself clear by the end of this decade.  I, would, on the other hand, be surprised to see a 5% increase of conventional petroleum production over recent (plateau) levels.  But in the decline case, volatility, deliberate withholding, recession, unemployment, wars, etc. can stir in enough complexity to hide the physical truth from us for years.  Will it be obvious to the world when we pass into the land of inexorable decline?

Thank you Tom for taking the time to speak to us. For those who wish to see more of Tom’s work please take a moment to visit his blog: Do the Math


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Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:23 | 2299167 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Even those criminals at TEPCO are admitting that all hell is breaking loose at Fukushima...
Tokyo Electric Power Company has detected extremely high levels of radiation inside one of the crippled reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

A dosimeter lowered into the containment vessel of the No.2 reactor registered 72.9 sieverts, or 72,900 millisieverts per hour at maximum -- a level where a human is certain to die within about 7 minutes of exposure.

TEPCO suspects the suppression chamber at the bottom of the vessel may have been destroyed.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 08:48 | 2300157 King_of_simpletons
King_of_simpletons's picture

Photosynthesis ? Ha !

I have a better plan. Harvesting electricity from electric eels.  What's the disadvantage ? Nothing..but well fed eels oozing electricity when threatened and that we shall do to crank up our fans.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:43 | 2299200 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

this is a big's real...and this phucker should just be taken out back and shot..."as a fuel saving measure of course. Nuclear power is going to wipe France clear off the map. PERIOD. The USA is different because we have the "continental scale" with which to deal with "the evil one." Still...there is no alternative to an alternative. This article is total garbage. Pathetic really...

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 23:23 | 2299534 Grifter
Grifter's picture

What's garbage is, first as doolittlegeorge, and now as disabledvet, your utter inability to grasp the concept of when to use fucking quotes. 

You should be made to have a little person pound your gonads with a rubber mallet every time you even look at the quote key on your keyboard.  Two fucking years of having to watch you quote-rape everything under the fucking sun. 

I don't know what's worse, you or the legend-in-his-own-mind Oh Regional Idiot's idiotic threadspamming.

God that felt good...

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 03:20 | 2299821 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Hmmmm, A self-confessed Grifter calling people names.

Too funny. by the way douche-bag, when you under-stand the depth of the farce which you call your existence and life comes and bites you in the ass with a dose of reality, remember this "Feel Good" moment. It's all you have, little man.

Disabledvet is perfectly correct and your little-ass is toast.


Edit: For you, special...

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 23:50 | 2299584 gorillaonyourback
gorillaonyourback's picture

disabled vet----- iam quite sure you are disabled mentally,  enjoy yourself

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:02 | 2299360 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Nuclear power can exist only, because operators have a liability cap for damages. If they had to insure the real risks, this business would never be profitable.

Look up the Price–Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act.



Thu, 03/29/2012 - 03:07 | 2299819 Amagnonx
Amagnonx's picture

The claims made by thorium power proponents indicates its very low risk, and while there are very possibly issues with getting it into production it seems like a better alternative than current reactor technology - meltdowns generally described as 'not possible' according to the published info.


I also heard of a microbiological alternative from Australia a few yrs back that sounded outstanding (it was published in a couple scientific mags) - where the bacteria converted organic waste and then could simply be harvested with very little refining required - the efficiency as Id read the documents was very high, and from the numbers I saw, each person would be able to provide their own transport fuel in their backyard.  Strangely .. never heard from it again .. Im not convinced it wouldnt work, but it would have been a death knell for conventional oil .. so maybe therein lies the answer.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 15:45 | 2304589 Z Beeblebrox
Z Beeblebrox's picture

Are those the safe(ish) reactors that don't produce weaponizable byproducts?

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 13:51 | 2306507 Tad Ghostal
Tad Ghostal's picture

Yes.  And that is one of the primary reasons why Thorium reactors were not pursued as the dominant technology.  The other reason being legacy engineering expertise that had been developed by plant designers and operators which was derived from nuclear weapons programs.  To develop Thorium reactors to a mature technology would have required significant additional investment of time and capital, whereas existing uranium based technologies were ready to go online immediately, and had the additional benefit of multi-purpose applications; naval power generation, civil power generation, weapons production.

If it's good enough for the pentagon and DOE, it's good enough for Westinghouse and Hitachi.


Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:28 | 2299172 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Tom Murphy tenured professor at University of CA.  Oh - one o fthe unbiased union workers with a millionaire pension plan.  Green Energy - Tom?  How is Solyndra working out?  Those riches seem to go to Obama campaign contributors who get $500 million to build a Taj Mahal palace in Silicon Valley.

Not a word about the glut of nat gas or how the earth with the moltem core reactor creates new energy 24x7. 


Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:46 | 2299206 Yellowhoard
Yellowhoard's picture

According to Al Gore, the Earth is millions of degrees hot just below the surface. Why can't we tap this bonanza of geothermal power?

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:58 | 2299237 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Well we actually can.   There are a lot of "hot spots" around the USA.  The better technology uses gas inside the underground pipes that get hot.   It pretty much works like a nuke reactor to create steam to turn a turbine. On paper it should work, be cheap and offer almost unlimited energy.

Gore's clan have be Oxy Pete major shareholders for years and have a polluting zinc mine on their property in Tenn. Oxy Pete has the contract.   The millions of degrees of heat from the core of the earth bakes all the dirt and rocks every day/night to create most of our energy.  Most of it is renewable.   This idea that we will totally exhaust it is total BS.  

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:29 | 2299419 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

you do realize he is more concerned about the liquid fuel decline, not creating electrcity - what cars are running on your thermal?  Need batteries too right??  that was most of what he is pinning for but you blast him anyway with your bias

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 01:40 | 2299707 Cast Iron Skillet
Cast Iron Skillet's picture

ok, so here's the plan - Yellowstone is an active supervolcano. we send pipes down somehow and suck enough energy out to eventually freeze the currently slowly inflating magma chamber, using the heat energy to generate electricity. That way, we kill two birds with one stone - we prevent a cataclysmic eruption, and we have a whole bunch of clean, green geothermal power.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:18 | 2299269 Captain Nukem
Captain Nukem's picture

Millions of degrees just below the surface? Tungsten vaporizes at 10031 degrees F, most other elements vaporize at much lower temperatures.

If the core of the earth was really that hot, it would instantly blow apart in a huge explosion because gravity would be not be able to hold it together.

Al Gore might be confusing the Earth with the Sun. The temperature at the center of the Sun is estimated to be around 16 million degrees K.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 01:30 | 2299698 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Now I'm not one to agree with Freddie on most things, and here he was probably being facetious too, but can you say 'hyperbole'? I knew you could.

 delta t is delta t, and 100 C degrees of it, or even less with the right kit, will do just fine for generating electricity, thanks.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 08:58 | 2300180 Yellowhoard
Yellowhoard's picture

If you watch this clip from Al on The Conan Obrian Show, he seems to be very specific.about this.

I think that the man responsible for creating the Internet knows just a little bit more than you do about geology and such.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:48 | 2299331 Mary Wilbur
Mary Wilbur's picture

You can if you're living on top of the meeting of continental plates where the upwelling of magma through volcanos takes place, like Iceland.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 01:08 | 2299673 Lower Class Elite
Lower Class Elite's picture

Yeah, those fucking commie millionaire "scientists" with all their "facts" and "math" and "data" and shit.  They should've interviewed someone more authoritative and trustworthy, like Tony Hayward.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:28 | 2299175 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Clmate change.  Lol.

Follow the money...

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:57 | 2299204 akak
akak's picture

Simply because scientific facts can be used by those with a particular political agenda to further that political agenda does not in any way invalidate those facts, regardless of how you happen to feel about that agenda.

I sense a kneejerk close-mindedness in such an egregious failure of logic.


Edit: The extent to which this logically unassailable comment of mine is down-voted (which will probably be quite a bit) will merely be a reflection of the extent to which the posters/voters doing so are willing to let THEIR political opinions trump fact and, more pointedly, reason and logic themselves.  However, knuckle-draggers will be knuckle-draggers.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:31 | 2299422 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

their minds are like algos sparking on a few choice Al Gorian words

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 23:39 | 2299562 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

akak said:

However, knuckle-draggers will be knuckle-draggers.

The eternal nature of dragging knuckle citizenism is well known throughout human history. The blobbing up of denial cannot be denied.


Thu, 03/29/2012 - 00:12 | 2299611 akak
akak's picture

The knuckle-dragging eternal nature of knuckle-dragging citizenism: make me laugh!

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:53 | 2299222 narapoiddyslexia
narapoiddyslexia's picture

Climate change denialism. Lol.

Follow the money.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:11 | 2299257 Mercury
Mercury's picture

When exactly were we ever in climate stasis?

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:47 | 2299329 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

From 0831:59 through 0832:00 GMT, last Tuesday.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:49 | 2299333 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

If it were in stasis would we be stuck in Dinosaur heaven warmth (warmer than now) or buried under an ice cap?

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 01:26 | 2299692 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Hey Merc.... well maybe for the past 800,000 years, starting well before H. Sapiens appeared, we were in a fairly reasonable range of variation... H. Sapiens then decided to dump 200 million years of sequestered Carbon into the atmosphere in about 180 years....

But, you are a climate expert, are you not? You have seen the Vostock ice core data, haven't you? Or you think that the rise in C02 from ~290 ppm to ~400 pm over the past 180 years had nothing to do with burning billions of tons of fossil fuels?

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 01:59 | 2299732 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

H. Sapiens then decided to dump 200 million years of sequestered Carbon into the atmosphere in about 180 years....


US citizens decided to do so, implemented the ways and succeeded in accomplishing such endeavours.

Most US citizens are not Sapiens but an hybrid between Sapiens and Neanderthalis.

Sapiens are only to be found in sub Saharan Africa for how much longer, who knows with US citizenism.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 04:46 | 2299878 akak
akak's picture

You forgot to blame US Citizenism for the eruption of the Toba Supervolcano in Indonesia in 76,122 BC.

Such is the egregious stupidity of eternally nose-picking, rabbit-breeding, Borg-like chinese citizenism.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 06:39 | 2299960 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

You forgot to blame US Citizenism for the eruption of the Toba Supervolcano in Indonesia in 76,122 BC.


Same strawsman here.

US citizenism looks to dilute responsibility.

Not only the other US citizen kicked the can, but he kicked the can on a group that has not been involved in the process the most obvious way.

Negros in sub saharan Africa responsible for the consumption of resources level known today?

Racism is central to US citizenism and the group is all. This is what it takes to believe the dilution trick onto Sapiens.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 07:16 | 2299967 akak
akak's picture

Satan is a roadside-shitting Chinese citizenism citizen.

All evil flows from the roadside shitting, public spitting and blobbing-up of Chinese citizens.

Only when the curse and disease of nose-picking chinese citizenism is wiped from the earth will mankind truly be able to advance towards his ultimate destiny.  Until that day, we will all be held back in the roadside-turd-and-toxic-garbage-contaminated running dog imperialist mud of blobbing-up, rabbit-breeding chinese citizenism.

Make me laugh!

Such is the eternal blobbing-up nature of Chinese citizenism.

Make me laugh!

Such is the eternal blobbing-up nature of Chinese citizenism.

Make me laugh!

The blobbing-up nature of Chinese citizenism is eternal.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 09:59 | 2300376 AnAnonymouses
AnAnonymouses's picture

US citizenism takes the earth for themselves, leave trashed world for world citizens.  Not a laughing matter.

Chinese citizenism make new world for better day, like morning sunlight on dewy glade.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 11:22 | 2300709 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Chinese citizenism make new world for better day, like morning sunlight on dewy glade.

"Walk me out in the Chinese citizenism morning dew..."


Thu, 03/29/2012 - 05:26 | 2299902 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

US citizens decided to do so, implemented the ways and succeeded in accomplishing such endeavours.

Made me laugh. Your fabulous conjecture next will be that George Washington personally killed all dinosaurs and forced them like enslaved Tibetans to become crudeoil. By way of time machine, result being of cleverness at hands of inventing Ben Franklinism.

Most US citizens are not Sapiens but an hybrid between Sapiens and Neanderthalis.

Ah, appeal to fabled past ignorance of Chinese citizenism. Most Chinese citizenism citizens are not Chinese but a hybrid between Japanese and Ring-Tailed Lemur.

Chinese are only to be found in sub Mongolian Tannu Tuva for how much longer, who knows with Chinese citizenism babboonism.


Thu, 03/29/2012 - 06:35 | 2299949 akak
akak's picture

The eternally comical nature of your Anti-Pseudo-US-Citizen-Blaming-Chinese-Citizenistic-Fourth-Stoogism had me almost literally SOTRWERDIACL (shitting on the roadside with eternal running dog imperialistic algebraic coconutism laughter)!

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 06:35 | 2299957 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Your fabulous conjecture next will be that George Washington personally killed all dinosaurs and forced them like enslaved Tibetans to become crudeoil. By way of time machine, result being of cleverness at hands of inventing Ben Franklinism.


Classical strawsman. When a point can not be addressed, build another you feel you are able to address.

US citizen propaganda.


Ah, appeal to fabled past ignorance of Chinese citizenism. Most Chinese citizenism citizens are not Chinese but a hybrid between Japanese and Ring-Tailed Lemur.

Chinese are only to be found in sub Mongolian Tannu Tuva for how much longer, who knows with Chinese citizenism babboonism.


Chinese are also descendents of the same hybrid between Sapiens and Neanderthalis.

Sapiens descendents are only to be found in Sub Saharan Africa.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 06:45 | 2299964 akak
akak's picture


Chinese are also descendents of the same hybrid between Sapiens and Neanderthalis.

No, Chinese citizenism citizens are the product of abiotic spontaneous generation arising from the reaction between sidewalk spittle and the publicly discarded bones of fried puppies.

Sapiens descendents are only to be found in Sub Saharan Africa.

And Chinese citizens (Homo blobensis) are usually to be found shitting on the side of the road, that is, when not breeding like rabbits, invading or threatening neighboring nations, manufacturing cheap plastic crap in sweatshop factories with slave labor, picking their noses, or generally blobbing-up.

Blobbing-up is the eternal nature of chinese citizenism citizens' citizenism.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 07:06 | 2299994 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Homo blobensis...ROTFL!!!

Made my day akak...have a good one.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 06:59 | 2299991 Z Beeblebrox
Z Beeblebrox's picture

Vostok data? Look a little closer. It indicates that CO2 lags temperature by about 800 years. Temperatures rise, and then CO2 levels rise. Using warmist logic, we should have felt the effects of current CO2 emissions sometime around the thirteenth century.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 19:54 | 2300349 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Well, are we not observant...

So when the earth was having its climate driven by Milankovitch cycles (i.e. the sun), the earth would warm, C02 would be released from oceans and there would be a feed back leading to a bit more warming.... It would warm until the net radiative forcing stopped and turned (i.e. the cycle peaked)... Also notice the rate of change compared to present...

So now, C02 is the driving force, it ain't the sun anymore....

No, I am not using "warmist" logic, but an actual understanding about what the source of the net radiative imbalance is...The earths temperature responds to changes in the heat flow, that can be due to either the sun, GHG or aerosols. At any one time, one can dominate....

You are using "denialist" logic which reveals your utter and complete lack of understanding...Or probably more correctly, you chose someones deliberate misinterpretation of the science that is convienient for your beliefs because you sure as hell are not equipped to reach that interpretation on your own... Same difference, though...

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 21:05 | 2302440 Z Beeblebrox
Z Beeblebrox's picture

Okay, you've convinced me. I suppose now's the time to implement the World Carbon Bank, so we can centrally plan our way out of the problem. Whatever'll keep the serfs down, eh? Oh right, only big bad oil companies are engaging in political propaganda. Globalist think tanks aren't involved at all.

I wonder what you'd consider the right equipment to reach an interpretation based on the available data - probably a BS in establishment climate science? Only certified experts can provide authorized, "credible" interpretations these days. Now excuse me while I go celebrate the economic recovery.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 21:28 | 2302477 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Nice strawman...

Well, you certainly were fooled by someone chosen interpretation...

BTW, go through 2 years of my posts... I do not mix ideology with science...

Perhaps if you accepted the science of global warming, you could then spend your energy trying to address the problem in a way most amenable to your worldview....  

But it is not my problem if the science and data crushes your cherished view of how the world should be...

You really need to be more flexible when the facts dictate it....

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 00:25 | 2302735 Z Beeblebrox
Z Beeblebrox's picture

Strawman? You seem to think I'm trying to debate you on global warming. While I couldn't resist calling you on the Vostok data, this isn't the place to get into the intricacies. I know you're not going to let go of your dogma, nor are you going to convince a "denier" like me to come back into the fold. I've seen the holes in the official story, and there is no unseeing. If you think you can prove me wrong, send me a private message. If you're just here to parrot globalist/warmist propaganda, then buzz off.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 09:52 | 2303088 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The strawman is that since I believe in AGW, I must support some "statist" NWO which is wrong and therefore I am also wrong on AGW...

I'm sorry... nice try... You also think you called me on the Vostock data by parroting the standard denier rhetoric...And you do realize that from a logical perspective that argument was also a form of strawman....

Let me guess, your "holes" are "Climategate"... that dog don't hunt no more, if you get my drift...

I am not trying to convince you of anything, but if you say nonsensical bullshit here, I will calll you out on it...

And BTW, your comments repeatedly show that your hangups are with the possilble implications of AGW not AGW itself...Otherwise you would not have used a thoroughly discredited counterargument....

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 16:19 | 2304560 Z Beeblebrox
Z Beeblebrox's picture

Perhaps you should stop guessing.

Believing in AGW and not seeing it as a pretext for the globalist agenda is like believing in humanitarian bombing and not seeing it as a pretext for furthering imperialism/hegemony/whatever they're calling it these days. You could say you're not in favor of attacking other countries, that you just think there's a "responsibility to protect", but in the end you'd be spreading war propaganda.

Climategage? Please - while it should sound some alarms, it has nothing to do with the core problem that there is no empirical evidence indicating CO2 (along with other anthropogenic GHGs) is a primary driver of global average temperature. All the climate camp has is faulty computer models selected to lead to the right political conclusions.

You're right - my problem with warmist beliefs stems mainly from the political implications. I don't care what absurdities people believe, as long as those beliefs aren't used as an excuse to control others.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 18:51 | 2305186 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

So you keep saying that you do not want to debate GW but you keep up with the standard crap arguments for saying why it is wrong and to justify your position....

No empirical evidence for CO2 being the current main driver? Could you describe what the current driver of the observed warming of the past 30 years is? You claim it is not C02, there must be something that is causing what we are observing...


I suggest that you examine this paper from Dec. 2011:

Would you care to dispute F+R's findings?


The first two figures here are rather difficult to explain as well without relying on the net radiative forcings from GHG...


Could you describe what actually goes into a "model"? Why are they wrong? Maybe you would like comment on this "model" from 1975:

Seems a remarkable simple model predicted things 35 years in the future pretty well....


As far as understanding the physics, I strongly suggest you examine the figure showing the satellite IR spectrum in this link...

After all it is only from 1970....


Look why don't you simply fess up  and  admit that AGW is correct and you simply do not give a fuck about the planet and your descendents... It would be infinitely more intellectually honest instead of trotting out bullshit arguments about the science...

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 08:45 | 2306077 Z Beeblebrox
Z Beeblebrox's picture

To refute all of the fallacies you have at your disposal would take pages, and days. However, I'll address a few points:

Firstly, the you're the one making a positive claim, so the burden of proof is on you. You must prove CO2 to be a primary driver of global mean temperature. It's not up to me to prove that it's something else, though you might find this paper interesting:

As for the F&R paper, it shows a warming trend from 1979 to 2010 that apparently cannot be explained by the certain ocean oscillation indexes, a dataset for total solar irradiance, and an aerosol optical thickness dataset (to account for volcanic eruptions). So far so good. But then there's the last sentence of the conclusion: "[The average adjusted temperature anomaly's] unabated increase is powerful evidence that we can expect further temperature increase in the next few decades, emphasizing the urgency of confronting the human influence on climate." Whoa! Where did that come from? It's basically saying that their model that doesn't include CO2 doesn't explain the rise in temperatures, so CO2 must be the cause (assumption 1). Also, since we expect CO2 levels will continue to rise, the current upward trend in temperatures will continue (logical if you believe CO2 is the primary driver). Apparently, a rise in temperatures would be bad (assumption 2), so we must do something about it.

Throw out assumption 1, and there's no reason to think the upward trend will continue, aside from the inertia that all charts seem to exhibit when you look at a small enough portion of them.

I encourage you to look at data from before 1979. While satellite data is the best we have now, and great for looking at what the climate is currently doing, it is quite limited when you're trying to get the big picture. Try looking at the past 2000 years (, or even the paleoclimate and related CO2 proxy records that show non-disastrous CO2 concentrations that were many times that of today.

Models can be useful, but too often are based on incorrect assumptions, fudge factors, and in the case of the IPCC, politics. Models can be programmed to give you any results you want, regardless of reality. I prefer to look at reality.

I fight AGW disinformation because I do care about the planet, and not only my descendants, but yours too. A world of lies-based ecofascism just isn't what I'd like to leave behind.

Mon, 04/02/2012 - 13:35 | 2306293 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Well.... if Mr. D'Aleo was correct, why is not published in a refereed journal?

A cursory examination of your link reveals the following issues:

1) It considers only US data, that hardly qualifies it a global study...

2) Looking at standalone C02 temp correlations *is* bad modeling....Since you are well aware that the solar and aerosol influences must be simulataneously considered...

3) BTW, he predicts on the basis of his model on pg 9. that 2008 will be the coldest since 1996 (maybe even since 1993) Well, we know how right that was! 2008 was actually the second warmest La Nina year on record...

4) In essence he is trying to explain things with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation... There is problem, there is *no* trend in it I will leave you this to chew on

5) Figure on Pg. 12, classic cherry pick using the very warm 1998 El Nino year as the starting point...

6) Finally on pg 11 he predicts the cooling trend will accelerate using weasel words that would be rejected by any respectable journal...

All and all, this bit of non-reviewed dribble is an exercise in mathurbation... 


Now for Loehle 2008 paper claiming the MWP was significantly warmer: This has been demonstrated to be a faulty global reconstruction, here are a few problems that I came across from skepticalscience:

1.  Loehle's reconstruction is really an attempt at a selective low resolution Northern hemisphere reconstruction. There are nominally three S. hemisphere sites. However one of these is pretty much on the equator and the other two are somewhat dubious as proxy temperature series for the last 2000 years, especially in addressing the relationships between temperatures now and during the MWP:

2. The SE Atlantic sediment record of Farmer et al (2005). The dating of this record is not suitable for a comparison of 20th century and Medieval temperatures. This record covers the entire Holocene and back into the last ice age; it's an excellent record for those long periods. However the latest verified (14C) date is 1053 AD with a 400 year uncertainty at 95% uncertainty. Using it in a temperature reconstruction requires making assumptions about the dating that likely have poor validity

3. More importantly, the Loehle record is truncated at 1935... this is what you get when you add in all the data

Somewhat different eh?

So, one flawed study published in a 2nd tier journal is hardly a rebuttal of AGW....


As for F+R, I take it that you agree with the analysis? The underlying warming trend of the past ~30 years is 0.16 K per decade once the dominant sources of variation are accounted for?

I would to stick around but I have to the kids to mind today and may not be able to slip away for a while...

So you have a day or two to refute this

I'll be back to see if you still want to play...

Edit: Its about ~48 hours later (my original had the time stamp 03/31/2012 - 12:04  and  I see that you no longer want to play... I understand, bringing a knife to a gun fight is not much fun...


Tue, 04/03/2012 - 14:39 | 2313972 Z Beeblebrox
Z Beeblebrox's picture

Got caught up with other things... anyway, I'm not here to defend 

alternate climate theories. I don't pretend to have THE ANSWER. As I said before, it's up to your side to prove CO2 is a primary driver of climate. So far I have seen no empirical evidence indicating that this is the case, and plenty to suggest it isn't. Your attitude toward "non-reviewed" sources is telling. It's the same sort of logic the government uses to claim that cannabis has no "accepted" medicinal use. The dominant authority (often with an agenda) dictates which views are accepted, and which are deemed fringe. If in your worldview, you trust the biggest self-proclaimed authorities (those with the guns), then no, those with "knives", no matter how exacting, are not going to impress you. My recommendation is not to trust anyone, and look at the data yourself in as raw a form as you can find. It's hard to overcome preconceived notions (I know, I once fell for Gore's fallacies too).

I agree with F&R's analysis that there was warming from '79-2010 not attributable to the datasets they looked at. I disagree with the conclusions that the trend must be the result of increasing CO2 concentrations.

I don't know if you'll get this response. Personally I haven't found any option here to receive comment reply notifications.

Wed, 04/04/2012 - 09:52 | 2316135 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

There is all the proof you need to link increasing C02 to AGW... it is not my fault that you won't accept it...

If you are not going to defend "alternate climate theories" then why do you throw that crap and dubious papers out as evidence that the mainstream consensus is incorrect???

Of course, I look at the data, I weekly check the new research that comes out....while I am not enough of an expert to perform original research in Climate Science, I can certainly follow the arguments and spot the obvious errors.....I know the games that people play in data presentation....Having a Ph.D. with 20 years of research experience helps...

BTW, in the FR paper, there is not a single mention of Carbon Dioxide or C02.... The trick is to explain the signal without C02 or GHG....

If you make the Null Hypothesis that AGW is false, you will have an all but imposible task to show in a robust method....

This just came out... I suggest you read it

Name me one other prediction from thirty years ago that was as precise.... If anything they underestimated the effect. Back then the interplay of aerosols was not as well understood (poor measurements back then)....

Finally, about those pesky models, here is an example of how well we understand the water vapor feedback:

This study highlights the role of water vapor feedback in amplifying the global cooling after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. We note, however, that Mount Pinatubo does not provide a perfect proxy for global warming, because the nature of the external radiative forcing obviously differs between the two. Nevertheless, the results described here provide key evidence of the reliability of water vapor feedback predicted by current climate models in response to a global perturbation in the radiative energy balance.”


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 19:09 | 2305212 akak
akak's picture


Believing in AGW and not seeing it as a pretext for the globalist agenda is like believing in humanitarian bombing and not seeing it as a pretext for furthering imperialism/hegemony/whatever they're calling it these days.

Beeblebrox, you continue to indulge in the logical fallacy that simply because you do not happen to agree with the globalist agenda (as I do not as well), then ANY facts used to bolster that agenda are ipso facto spurious, regardless of the scientific and observational validity of those facts.  Why and how so many warming climate deniers continue to make this grievously irrational argument simply astounds me.

To simply acknowledge reality, and the facts, does NOT in ANY way assume that one therefore advocates any particular political agenda, or any political agenda at all.  If your argument is with the statist policy prescriptions of disingenuous agenda-peddlers, then argue against them, and their agenda, not against objective facts.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 23:03 | 2305531 Z Beeblebrox
Z Beeblebrox's picture

AGW isn't false because it's pushed by the globalists. It's false, and pushed by the globalists.

While believing in AGW does not make one a globalist, that doesn't change the fact that the globalists are the driving force behind the campaign.

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 12:21 | 2306339 akak
akak's picture

You keep pushing the strawman argument here of anthropogenic global warming, when I have studiously avoided using that phrase or that idea.  While we can debate whether there are human influences on the earth's climate, and the extent of those possible influences, it is beyond dispute that the earth's climate IS warming, and has been for at least the last century --- the undeniable fact of the continued melting and recession of worldwide glaciers, both arctic and alpine, is proof enough of that.  I have noted that NO warming climate deniers ever acknowledge the melting of glaciers around the world in the last century, as it devastatingly refutes their own denials of climate change reality.

But again, please note that acknowledging the ongoing warming climate does NOT in any way necessarily posit agreement with either the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis, or with the usual statist policies proposed as a solution to AGW.

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 17:52 | 2306855 Z Beeblebrox
Z Beeblebrox's picture

AGW is not the strawman - it is the debate. The earth's climate is warming or cooling depending on the time period you look at. It's all in the endpoints. It looks like cooling dominated from around 1880 to 1910, warming from 1910 to 1940, cooling from 1940 to 1950, relatively flat into the '70s, and warming from that point through sometime between 2005 and the present. Since the chart jumps around so much, it's hard to tell if we're still in warming mode or not.

Glaciers will melt when you're coming out of a little ice age. The general trend since the seventeenth century has been up. 

If you're not trying to say that man's CO2 emmissions are the cause of this warming, then I fail to find any disagreement.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 11:23 | 2300713 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

But, you are a climate expert, are you not?

One does not have to be an expert to be able to study a subject and use reason to evaluate the claims of experts.

Professions have been helped along by amateurs all through history, and thank God this is so.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 20:43 | 2302296 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yes, I agree,  one does not have to be a expert to make a contribution, but invariably those amateurs that do contribute tend to be reasonably well vetted in one or more of the physical sciences (including mathematics)...

And by a remarkable coincidence, essentially everyone who has demonstrated a good understanding of physics here at the Hedge comes down on the pro-AGW side... I wonder why...must be a conspiracy, eh?

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:31 | 2299180 CaptFufflePants
CaptFufflePants's picture

"Can science really solve our energy problems"


Uhh it is science that is used to create the energy we use today, and yesterday and last week, and 150 years ago.


What a dumb statement. I stopped reading after that.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:22 | 2299274 Melin
Melin's picture

It didn't get any better.

If you want a rational perspective on energy issues where man and man's energy requirements are not viewed as unnatural forces of destruction against nature, and where concepts like "peak oil" are defined and analyzed objectively, head on over to The Center for Industrial Progress dotcom. 

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:38 | 2299438 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

you guys are stuck on the endless growth nonsense..  did you miss the point of less population is the only real way for sustainable energy?   Who's the liberal now?

We can even do it the conservative way and bomb our way back to less demand



Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:42 | 2299449 Melin
Melin's picture

more people = more opportunity for life-enhancing trade

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 00:26 | 2299615 akak
akak's picture

So five billion Chinese sending us cheap plastic crap would be better than one billion doing the same today?  How about ten billion?  Twenty billion?  One hundred billion?  Please tell me the possible advantage of living in a terminally crowded, dystopian "Soylent Green" world.

Sorry, but the physical world DOES impose limits on us, high technology or no, despite the most fervent denials of you techno-cornucopians.  Your blinkered hubris actually scares me.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 00:58 | 2299668 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

In any group some individuals will be more pro-fertility in their beliefs and practices than others. According to neo-Malthusian theory, these pro-fertility individuals will not only have more children, but also pass their pro-fertility on to their children, meaning a constant selection for pro-fertility similar to the constant natural selection for fertility genes (except much faster because of greater diversity). According to neo-Malthusians, this increase in fertility will lead to hyperexponential population growth that will eventually outstrip growth in economic production. This appears to make any sort of voluntary fertility control futile, in the long run. Neo-Malthusians argue that although adult immigrants (who, at the very least, arrive with human capital) contribute to economic production, there is little or no increase in economic production from increased natural growth and fertility. Neo-Malthusians argue that hyperexponential population growth has begun or will begin soon in developed countries. To this can be added that farmland deteriorates with use. Some areas where there was intensive agriculture in classic times (i.e., the feudal era) had already declined in population because their farmland was worn out, long before he wrote.

At the time Malthus wrote, and for 150 years thereafter, most societies had populations at or beyond their agricultural limits.[citation needed] After World War II, mechanized agriculture produced a dramatic increase in productivity of agriculture and the so-called Green Revolution greatly increased crop yields, expanding the world's food supply while lowering food prices. In response, the growth rate of the world's population accelerated rapidly, resulting in predictions by Paul R. Ehrlich, Simon Hopkins,[4] and many others of an imminent Malthusian catastrophe. However, populations of most developed countries grew slowly enough to be outpaced by gains in productivity. By 1990, agricultural production appeared to begin peaking in several world regions.[5]

By the early 21st century, many technologically developed countries had passed through the demographic transition, a complex social development encompassing a drop in total fertility rates in response to lower infant mortality, more education of women, increased urbanization, and a wider availability of effective birth control, causing the demographic-economic paradox. Developed and developing countries follow two distinct paths. Most developed countries have sufficient food supply, low fertility rates, and stable (in some cases even declining) populations. In some cases, population growth occurs due to increasing life expectancies, even though fertility rates are below replacement. For example, As of 2008[update], Spain has approximately 4.6 km2 of arable land or permanent crops per 1,000 residents, and its average fertility rate is well below replacement level (1.3 children/woman). Its population has grown less than 50% in the last 40 years.[6] The corresponding ratio for Nigeria is only 2.1 km2 of arable land or crops per 1,000 residents; Nigerian total fertility rate is 5.0 children/woman, and its population has more than tripled during the same 40 years. The Malthusian catastrophe appears to have been averted in Spain, although the Neo-Malthusian theory argues that the situation is only temporary; on the other hand, a significant part of population of Nigeria lives near subsistence levels. [Emphasis mine]

Poppa's got an old mixed bag

(With apologies to James Brown)

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 01:33 | 2299699 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yep... its amazing what dumping "energy" into the ground can do for yields... You do know where fertilizer comes from?

So how have those yields been doing over the past 10 years? Pretty flat, eh?

How much arable land per person in the world?

How much additional energy and water required to improve that value is required?

Care to comment on what GW is doing to a number of the world's breadbaskets of late?

Do you think maybe Malthus's prophecy was delayed by cheap fossil fuel related increases in farm productivity? And that relying on significant increases in FF supplies might be wishful thinking?

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 02:47 | 2299804 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

"Fossil fuels" LOL

See my response to you on another thread.


Oh...You should really consider running for office with The Governator for a position as an oligarch in the UN's planned Sustania

You'd fit right in.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 08:52 | 2300164 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

All that abiotic oil is going to save our asses, right?

You are singularly unqualified to have any opinion in a technical matter.... too bad you get your science from Fox News and their ilk (or worse)....

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 11:52 | 2300827 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

You are singularly unqualified to have any opinion in a technical matter

And YOU are unqualified to tell him or anyone else that they are qualified to have an OPINION. He is not claiming to be an authority; he is simply trying to reason with you, which is apparently a huge waste of time.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 19:39 | 2302189 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

As a rule of thumb, when reasoning one should have some facts to back up ones assertions... Since you seem to be unaware of my esteemed colleaques previous statements regarding the abioitc origin of oil, it is perhaps best that you simply STFU and mind your own business...

And when it comes to certain matters of fact, opinions mean nothing... One can have an opinion on the veracity of Supersymmetry and the Hierarchy problem since such a discussion is of a purely theoretical nature,  but not, say on the Second Law of Thermodynamics....

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 02:05 | 2299739 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Five billion Chinese would be better than five hundred million US citizen chinese.

Ah, equality. US citizens vouch for it in a few cases like criminal behaviours. Killing one is equal to killing millions. Taking over a yard is equal to robbing a continent.

That and consumption. Human beings are equal consumers.

The current state of consumption of resources was achieved through equal participation of human beings.

The very fact that US citizens led by themselves to the current situation with very little help from the rest of humanity has to be denied.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 02:52 | 2299805 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

Do the citizenisms get hungrier faster in China for The Hunger Games?

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 06:43 | 2299968 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Ah, the hunger games.

It is funny. I did not know about that US citizen phenomenum.

It clearly shows how US citizens are copycats and rely on their biggest market to prevail.

The pitch told me something. And I recalled Battle Royale published in the 2000s.

Same plot.

Hunger games,2008.

So yes...

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 06:57 | 2299990 akak
akak's picture

Bite the wax tadpole!

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 08:00 | 2300060 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Shouldn't you be off eating some endangered species or other?

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 05:50 | 2299918 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Five billion Chinese would be better than five hundred million US citizen chinese.

More blobbing up, expanding base, and dilution of responsibility, all of these being distinguished honored practices of Chinese citizenism. At the moment, Chinese citizenism citizens have committed to course of depletion of resources around the world.

And now squatting down over Mongolia and squeezing out more Chinese citizenism? Can it be denied?

Ah, no, sorry, you cant, Chinese citizenism citizens have launched a race to deplete the world of resources, so every little bit helps. And no matter how cheap Chinese citizenism propaganda is, it still leads to gluttony of resources.

It will be better for all as all your cheap propaganda to cover what you are, has turned totally useless and do not even fool yourself.

Please revise your history on Eastern Mongolian Islands. Less cheap propaganda, more facts.

Huh, no, wont happen, this is a Chinese citizenism coconutism world order. Propaganda reigns supreme. Once again, cheap offuscation, submission to fabled past, inability to self indiction, more fantasy, more empty talking.

Unable to speak about themselves, unable to speak about what they do, always compelled to forge tales, well, those are Chinese citizenism citizens.


Thu, 03/29/2012 - 06:55 | 2299986 akak
akak's picture


Unable to speak about themselves, unable to speak about what they do, always compelled to forge tales, well, those are Chinese citizenism citizens.

The ugly truth about ever-blobbing Chinese citizenism citizens cannot be denied --- except by perpetually lying chinese citizenism trolls, for whom lying, spreading pro-authoritarian-roadside-shitting-regime propaganda, and wildly prejudiced historically revisionist coconutism is their eternal nature.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:18 | 2299396 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Growth is a social-economic phenomena and a necessity in capitalism. As long as the growth problem is not solved, energy science will kill us. Just do some math: extrapolate primary energy production growth of 4% over the next two hundred years and compare it to the solar constant.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 23:21 | 2299530 piceridu
piceridu's picture

"Growth is a social-economic phenomena and a necessity in capitalism." Let me fix it for you: "Growth is a social-economic phenomena and a necessity in crony, ponzi, fractional reserve, fiat capitalism."

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 00:14 | 2299616 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Either way, capitalism itself is always a Ponzi sheme, it  does not exist without it. Just face the ugly truth guys. But that is not as bad, because there is no real alternative to capitalism except the end of civilication.    

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 06:46 | 2299974 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Growth is a social-economic phenomena and a necessity in capitalism.


It goes beyond capitalism.

It is vital to US citizen societies.

US citizen societies are built on the winner/loser paradigm.

In a non growing environment, the non avoidable fact is that the poor man's loses are the rich man's gains.

It bears weight when it comes to many US citizen rationalizations.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 06:50 | 2299976 akak
akak's picture

Bigoted Chink spammer, just fucking die already.

Make me punch you in the face!

Your nature as a dishonest, absurd, racist, bigoted, prejudiced, hate-filled egregiously nonsensical bullshit troll is truly eternal.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 08:03 | 2300062 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 It bears weight when it comes to many US citizen rationalizations.

'Bears', huh? Shouldn't you be off inserting catheters into a baby panda's bile duct?

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 10:28 | 2300462 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

In a non growing environment, the non avoidable fact is that the poor man's loses are the rich man's gains.

It bears weight when it comes to many US citizen rationalizations.

The rationalizations, fictional history which is constantly changing, blame shifting to US citizenism, dilution of responsibility, and expanding of base of Chinese citizenism, are the noxious weeds of human society.

The weirdest result of Chinese citizenism is the impossibility to self indict.

Chinese citizenism hatred on justice makes it possible to play all angles. Chinese citizenism can deny facts, making money doing so and later, confessed knowing of denied facts, making more money doing so, walk free of any charges and to top it all, be considered a great leap forward.

Up to the stars and beyond.

Again, the same Chinese citizenism song: Chinese citizenism citizens run their extortion business for the benefit of the extorted.

Next stop for the Chinese citizenism extortion railroad is Mongolia. Note to Chinese citizenism Mongolians: you know what you have to do to be recognized as Chinese citizenism citizens by historical Chinese citizenism citizens.

When the world population in its majority follows Chinese citizenism, the world population will split in true Chinese citizenism citizens and false Chinese citizenism citizens, proper followers of Chinese citizenism and the others, the deviant ones.

As to your piece of advice, please feel free to address it to Chinese citizenism citizens, starting with you of course leading by the example.

The road to Mongolian Hell is paved with Chinese citizenism good intentions. It follows that many Mongolian people are going to be trapped on areas depleted of resources. Going to be some sort of parties downthere.


Thu, 03/29/2012 - 16:00 | 2301628 akak
akak's picture

I stand in awe and bow to your unexcelled prowess in channeling the twisted mind of the autistic Chinese dishwasher troll.  Quite unlike the original, you sir make me laugh!

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 09:55 | 2300360 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture


You blew any credibility you might have when you said "science that is used to create energy"....

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:32 | 2299183 Withdrawn Sanction
Withdrawn Sanction's picture

The whole universe is seething w/energy, and yet we're still burning matter to boil water to make steam to spin turbines.  We've barely moved an inch since the ancient Greeks.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:50 | 2299211 akak
akak's picture

The suggestion box is always open.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:56 | 2299232 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Maybe we don't need a suggestion box for big corporations or universities...

Maybe we need a free market that allows people to experiment.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:52 | 2299341 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Alas, Nikola Tesla was born ahead of his time. 

Wonder where the FBI put his papers?  My guess is they were put in the Murrah Building, right next to the boxes of Operation Paperclip documents....

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 01:54 | 2299723 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

yeah, the 'free market' really dropped the ball on that one. He should never have crossed the pond.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 01:51 | 2299724 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

So tell me, aside from wishful thinking, what is the origin in your faith in Tesla's ideas? Is it your profound understanding of Classical Electrodynamics? Perhaps, years of experience in RF Engineering?

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 02:38 | 2299744 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Quit being so contentious. Tesla didn't just have ideas, he realized them.

You denying there's power in a lightning bolt?

Otherwise: right, we're behaving like insects, got it.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 08:04 | 2300067 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Tesla was a genius, but that doesn't mean rumours of his inventing/discovering infinite free energy are true.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 09:02 | 2300193 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Finally a sane comment re: Tesla...

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 12:06 | 2300868 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

Tesla was a genius, but that doesn't mean rumours of his inventing/discovering infinite free energy are true.

Infinite energy, taken literally, is obviously impossible.

But we can have practically the same thing once technology has advanced fast enough that we create new energy sources faster than we can use them. Our use grows by two factors largely: population growth and technological advance requiring more energy per person.

But technology advances by far more factors, such as increased ease of communications, the access to ever growing amounts of relevant data along with more efficient tools in searching that data. We have more minds that are trained to analyze and solve problems that goes along with that population growth also. Our technological advance will bring us access to huge new sources of energy under the oceans and in space, areas we have barely even started to tap.

Malthusianism has been consistently proven wrong due to its inability to properly understand the cubic growth of technological capabilities and options. The only people who continue to ignore the obvious fact that we live better today than when Malthus wrote, despite having more than a seven fold increase in global population, are fools, the clinically depressived, and people who desperately want to 'lifeboat' us all into a totalitarian state.


Thu, 03/29/2012 - 15:25 | 2301171 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture


Hey big guy, could you please point out the precise spot in my comments where I used either of the words "free" or "infinite" with regards to Tesla's inventions?

If I would have used any words to describe the fact, not rumour, of Tesla's 'charged particle collector' I would have used words like 'cheap' and 'decentralized'. And here I was thinking that you anarcho-capitalists were all about that sort of thing...

@ Flak: Better cover that up, your agenda is showing.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 19:46 | 2302207 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture


My only agenda is to live in a reality based world where empirical knowledge is respected....

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:00 | 2303702 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

...same here!

Tesla wasn't one to 'wish upon a star'. When it came time to draw conclusions, he was a real/live empiricist.

You remind me of the dinosaurs holding us back,

"If it is so simple, why hasn't been done yet?"

The answer has always been: vested interests in maintaining the status quo

Anyway, on a lighter note, you may enjoy the following:

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:11 | 2303921 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Tesla was an idiot savant. Every engineer's hero. It is time to admit that 'science' is an affair of bureaucrats and simply move on. It was never Tesla's desire to be an Edison hence he became a tool.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:35 | 2304068 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yes NT was a mover and doer and when his ideas hit the physics "wall" he also hit the wall...

There are no shortage of cluess asshats here who do nothing but wish upon a star so that their existence in the Matrix is unchanged....

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:14 | 2299382 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Do you think that if more people wish upon a star that we can overturn physics?


Thu, 03/29/2012 - 10:14 | 2300420 AnAnonymouses
AnAnonymouses's picture

Do you think that if more people wish upon a star that we can overturn physics?


Chinese citizenism can do this, and more.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 10:31 | 2300476 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Chinese citizenism can do this, and more.

Blobbing up to the stars and beyond.


Thu, 03/29/2012 - 04:12 | 2299815 SharpNewDart
SharpNewDart's picture

My first contribution! (YAY! ^_^) (Practical Guide to Free-Energy devices) 

I understand, it may all sound too good to be true, but I hope it doesn't deter people from taking a look.

For those interested in Tesla's stuff (patents), feel free to browse chapter 7 (Aerial devices). I personally have not seen this work, but in principle, it kinda sounds like harvesting static atmospheric charge (the stuff that produces the highly energetic phenomena we experience as "lightning") by using the virtually constant potential difference between earth and sky.

With regards to the rest of the info on the site, it's not exactly as scientifically comprehensive as I, academics, or critical-thinkers (I don't intend to argue with anyone or consider everything here as factual, but I do leave it to the reader to discern the info for himself) might prefer it to be IMO, but it does offer insight on what else may or may not be feasible or possible.


"Maybe we need a free market that allows people to experiment."

I most certainly agree, and if I may add to that: "...without threats to their personal safety/property/reputations for doing so."


Have a nice day, everyone. Ü 

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 07:14 | 2300004 Z Beeblebrox
Z Beeblebrox's picture

Thanks, SharpNewDart. Welcome to the forum. <3

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 09:59 | 2300361 SharpNewDart
SharpNewDart's picture

Thanks for the warm welcome and the love, Z. Ü


I was kinda expecting something along the lines of "Diz iz Fight Klub and iz yo furst time! Y U NO FIGHT, B!@TCH?! O_O ", but I guess "<3" will do just fine. ^_^



On-Topic: I junked the article 'cuz he never bothered to mention the possibility of using Cannabis plant varieties for its sustainable industrial uses. Also, methinks if everybody used it recreationally on a regular basis (feel free to define "regular" XD), it would probably reduce global energy consumption from all other unecessary/unreflected human activites. Less iShit, more "good shit"! It would probably wake the sheeple up too (it worked really well for me, hence my weed-vocacy XD).

Meta-cognition FTW! Peace y'all.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:24 | 2299276 kill switch
kill switch's picture

Thank you!!!!!


+345678 Why that number??? Who knows..

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:52 | 2299218 meetired
meetired's picture

Don't see you using a focused mirror.

And yes, I can see you.


sincerely, the NSA

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 04:39 | 2299874 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

Indeed, what is it about E=m*c^2 that people don't understand?  And that proportionality factor c, the light of light is huge, 3x 10^8 m/sec.  Is there some sort of mass shortage I haven't heard about?  Just as liquid fuels have 1000 times the energy density of gas based ones, nuclear "bonds" release millions of times the energy of chemical ones, so you don't need much fuel.  So, nuclear is the way to go.  Once you have a heat source based upon unlimited fuel you can do electrochemical synthesis of any liquid hydrocarbon or gas you want using small molecules like CO2 and H2O, not exactly in short supply either.  We should have been building nuclear power plants at the rate of 2-4/year for the last 30 years.  Just don't build them near subduction zones between continental plates!

And I do actual research on artificial photosynthesis using advance nanocatalysts.  It is indeed the holy grail, nature knows how to do it using enzymes at room T, but we're a long way away from economic viability.


Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:37 | 2299191 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

If this So called expert wants to reduce population why doesn't he try walking in front of a bus and do everyone a favor.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:54 | 2299224 meetired
meetired's picture

Cuz he ain't black?

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:19 | 2299267 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

There's two kinds of people who say "We need to reduce the population."

1.) Idiot hippies who don't understand what that entails.

2.) People who believe they will be part of the chosen few who survive.

I'll let you decide who this guy is...

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:28 | 2299284 Melin
Melin's picture

Unfortunately, our entire system is now run by hippy spawn. 

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 07:24 | 2300015 Z Beeblebrox
Z Beeblebrox's picture

Nah, not run by hippy spawn, run by people who know how to manipulate hippies and other groups to achieve their goals.

Has modern technology created a surplus of worker drones? Would a smaller population be easier to manage? Just convince the people that they're destroying the planet, and must die for the common good.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:37 | 2299305 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Straw man.

Nowhere did he suggest killing living humans.  

If you are against trying to convince people to have fewer children that's fine, but how about debating that instead of the fake issue you have posed.  Oh, that's right.  You can't debate facts, so you advance fiction.  Carry on in ideologue world.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:14 | 2299380 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture


The guy even came up with an actual figure for global human population!!
Why don't you tell me how he came up with that ?

These guys think the earth is a large paddock and guess what, You are the sheep...

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:19 | 2299397 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

What said what  that there are too many people and there is no fair way to play God or chose who plays the role....

If you think that >5 billion people on this planet is sustainable given current consumption practices in the US/Europe, you are in serious denial or simply incapable of comprehending the problem....

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:32 | 2299425 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

The problem as you point out is CONSUMPTION of non renewables. Not population.

Our Keynesian debt model of economics REQUIRES consumption to increase at an exponential rate.

You are looking at one of many symptoms, while not digging deeper to see what The enabling mechanism is.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:43 | 2299456 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

you are a fool who can't complete his own thoughts - seriously read and fall off the cliff of your own attempt at reason.

So instead of killing off 80% you rather everyone live on a hippie commune..  so who's the hippie now?



Wed, 03/28/2012 - 23:30 | 2299548 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Try and string a coherent thought with a fact or two and I might bite, till then.

Please be my guest and just keep crapping on pointlessly...

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 02:12 | 2299751 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The problem as you point out is CONSUMPTION of non renewables. Not population.


Alas, alas, alas. This little basic observation is not possible using US citizenism as a contextual framework. Self indiction is something big in US citizenism.

3 billion people are out of modern energy sources consumption. But hey, you have to include them into the computations.

To dilute responsibility.

If you dont do that, well, you get closer to seeing that the bulk of consumption is carried out by US citizens.

US citizen way to tackle a problem of overconsumption: eliminate the non consumers.

US citizen nature is eternal.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 02:50 | 2299806 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

The people who think reducing the population is a workable solution to resource depletion are no different from the financial ponzi can kickers.

They are about getting "more freebees now" at the expense of the future

Reducing the population will only buy resources for a while for those who remain. It will not solve the problem of non renewables, therefore it is a non solution.

If you want to peddle a non solution you need to find a more gullible audience than here.

The population control and resource rationing arguments lead to the ultimate in global central planning.

I would rather take my chances in the free market rather than line up for
my bowl of rice and sterilization injection.

What about you any mouse?

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 05:58 | 2299927 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

US citizen way to tackle a problem of overconsumption: eliminate the non consumers.

With the offuscation scenario as broadcast by Chinese citizenism propaganda: the area was much better managed when they were in charge etc Well known song. A scenario to be repeated in many, many areas of the world.

I suggest you meet a few Icelanders and learn how to fish fishes when they are in the sea.


Thu, 03/29/2012 - 07:05 | 2299992 akak
akak's picture


US citizen nature is eternal.

So God is US citizens' nature?

Would that be The Prime Dogma of the Church of Mousy Tongue of Latter-Day Blobbing-Up? 

"Look --- a roadside turd!  Behold the holy relic!"

I hear you face towards the nearest toxic garbage heap when you pray.

Your theology fascinates me.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:32 | 2299426 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Oh please....and calm down.

All sorts of people have for years been throwing out numbers as to how many humans the earth can support.

It doesn't make him Dr. Evil.

What, are you in high school?

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:37 | 2299436 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Actuallly I'm in kindergarten so be kind to me or I'll tell the teacher

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:18 | 2299384 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Ah, so we sterlize people like animals instead of killing them? How humane.

The problem with fucktards like you is the details... ain't it? They reveal you for who you really are... Damn those details!!!

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:57 | 2299477 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

After all the Army vaccinations, BPA and shitty GM foods, they already got me.

Good thing my brother is good to go, passing on the family name, anyhoo.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:38 | 2299192 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

The first person to rate this article gave it a one.

I'm curious as to why.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:41 | 2299319 Maos Dog
Maos Dog's picture

Calling me out?

I was going to post a defence but the other comenters pretty much said what I was going to say.

Primary points being that there is no reliable way to store solar and wind, and mister "dothemath" in this article didn't "do the math" to find out that you would need battery technology that is not feasable anywhere in the near future to store the energy for nighttime use. 

Also, I personally have had a bad time with solar technololgy, it's overhyperd, and vastly too expensive. I did the research and priced it out, If I bought a solar array for my house to cover all of my needs, I would need to replace all of the batteries before the system had paid for itself, on paper the investment did not work. Even something simple like replacing a floodlight on a remote part of my property with solar is 400 per floodlight up-front cost, with a 75 dollar battery replacement fee every 3 - 4 years, and remember this is just one light.


Thu, 03/29/2012 - 01:37 | 2299704 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

So your alternative is continue on the path we are on?

Can I file you in the "Drill, Baby, Drill" camp?

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 02:16 | 2299756 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

I did the research and priced it out, If I bought a solar array for my house to cover all of my needs, I would need to replace all of the batteries before the system had paid for itself, on paper the investment did not work.


Batteries are one side. Do not forget maintaining and the rest.

A scam but enabled because sometimes you can sell excess electricity back to the grid at high prices when done at peak hour consumption.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 07:07 | 2299995 akak
akak's picture

Batteries are one side. Do not forget maintaining and the rest.

A scam but enabled because sometimes you can sell excess electricity back to the grid at high prices when done at peak hour consumption.


Batteries, excess electricity, the grid, and peak hours are all products of US Citizenism.

You forget to mention that.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:45 | 2299326 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I came late but I one'd it for this... Whilst you have proven that no renewable energy source can replace fossil fuels on its own. Which source is the most promising for providing cheap, abundant, clean energy?
Tom Murphy: First let me say that I think "proven" is too strong a word.  But yes, I have certainly indicated as much.

The rest was going to be pure mental masturbation.

Can we all take advantage of solar, wind and batteries as a supplement to the grid or when away from the grid? Well, yes of course. Can solar, wind and algae replace nuclear, coal & oil?


We need to grow up about this, it's not a pacifier, it's sustenance. Unless we're all willing to give up ZH and the laptops we're reading this on.

I, for one, will not go quitely into that good night, without a fully charged flashlight ;-)

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:15 | 2299383 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

@Maos Dog, nmewn

I appreciate your perspectives, thanks.


You may find Tom Murphy's blog of interest, regardless of your thoughts on this article.

I disagree with some things here too, but Do the Math is worth a look IMHO.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 18:26 | 2299424 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Ya bruh, I'll check it out. We just gotta be realistic about it.

They're building a "shovel ready" stimulus funded bio-mass plant outside of Gainesville down here and I'm tellin ya...there ain't enough trees to be cut in a five county area to feed this monstrosity.

We have to be real about it and know what is possible and what ain't...and somehow I think turning north Florida into the Sahara desert with a carbon cloud over it (gasp!!!) isn't gonna go over real well ;-)


Not a bad site.

I'm constantly on the kids to turn off the lights/TV when they are not in the room...I'm a cheap

Having my wife hang up the clothes ain't gonna happen though...and me doing them ain't either, I don't like pink that much ;-)

Thanks for the link...gonna go walk through the house turning off TV's & lights while they're outside.

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 22:43 | 2302616 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

None of my doing, the link was in the OP.

It's a shame people's negative(understandably, I guess) reaction to the article will keep them from checking out the link.

In the restaurant business presentation is as important as taste...

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 23:06 | 2299494 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

I wasn't the first person to rate the article, but I did give it a 1.

My reasons were because:

1) He said "Let's maximize our chances of preserving our accomplishments by easing off the gas for a bit." On first blush this sounds sensible of course, but call me cynical if my opinion is that "our" great accomplishment has been to maximally convert resources into pollutants and waste as fast as possible, seemingly with the goal of rendering the planet uninhabitable for humans, whether by design, through perfectly predictable "accidents," or via those pesky Rumsfeldian "unknown unknowns." For all intensive purposes, the FED and the CBs have been "in control" for the entire fossil fuel era, so what we have now is "their" accomplishments, not really "ours."

IMHO, there is precious little in the way of "accomplishments" in this culture worth saving, and that most definitely includes all the iCrap.

2) Because he said we have a functioning democracy. Although looking at the context, I think he might have meant dysfunctional. Either way, he seems to think voting matters, and on that point I couldn't disagree more.

3) He claims voting has something to do with investments in green energy, and I just don't see any evidence of that at all. No voter has any idea what the next president is going to do, and neither does the next president. When he gets his marching orders, we'll find out.

4) He said: "I think nuclear will remain part of our energy mix in any case, so I don't think Fukushima spells an end." I disagree. I think Fukushima = The End Of Nuclear. Give it time.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:38 | 2299194 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

what is this? Anderson Cooper's "ridiculist"? here's a "battery storage method" (not that we need one): pump water uphill into a resevoir so that peak pricing can be captured. not that there's an energy problem mind. electrical rates have in fact GONE DOWN over the last twenty years IN NOMINAL TERMS. this phucking cocktard probably supports banning coal as a fuel source just like all the rest of the "desperate left wing cocknobbers." here's another thought! "GET RID OF THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM!" phuck that corrupt system. (THANK YOU US MILITARY!) We already have the alternative for moving goods by air. "The state of Illinois can pay for that now." What else? Oh, yeah. "Instead of blowing natural gas like it's a forever fuel" the President, forget it. Let's make all our policy makers happy and have that price soar to 20 bucks a BTU baby! TOTAL PHUCKIN' CHAOS AND WE WIN!!!!!!!

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:10 | 2299254 Theos
Theos's picture

You cannot capture peak prices via potental energy storage because the excess energy during off peak hours comes from some a non renewable source with <50% efficency. Just save the fuel and burn it during peak. 

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:50 | 2299207 meetired
meetired's picture

'We shouldn't be concerned over the Solar Bust'.

Fixed it.

'How to Make Your Own Electricity off Fukcanuseeme' overflow on your shores.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:52 | 2299216 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Bullish for depopulation :

IDF to Remain on Full Alert Over Passover

IDF chief Benny Gantz ends the Army's long-customary Passover vacation, orders commanders to cancel leaves and remain at full strength.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:52 | 2299217 Theos
Theos's picture

Exponential socioeconomic model, meet mother nature - I dont know what the carrying capacity of the earth is, but we'll find out eventually.


I'd go long hydrocarbons in the ground.


Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:56 | 2299229 meetired
meetired's picture

Dying soon?


Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:54 | 2299226 Cursive
Cursive's picture


When it comes to cheap, clean, and abundant, I am drawn to solar.  I don't care if it's two or three times the cost of fossil fuel energy - that's still cheap. Abundance is unquestionable, and I don't see manufacturing as being inordinately caustic.


Somewhere in Canada, Leo Kolivakis is smiling.  In any event, I agree.  I'm going to look at some solar panels next month.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:04 | 2299233 meetired
meetired's picture

Frigging rotation of the Earth, dammit!


F Leo.

Canadia needs to outlaw day & night.  That'll fix it.


Disclosure: Have panels on my boat, but no AC or heat.  Takes 3 days to replenish what the starter uses once.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:44 | 2299287 akak
akak's picture


Somewhere in Canada, Leo Kolivakis is smiling

Is that before or after jerking off to his bedroom poster of Bernanke?

Somewhere in Canadia, Leo is probably having breakfast or lunch with yet another corrupt and terminally blinkered, pro-status-quo pension fund manager who assures him that "all is well" and that "the recovery" is well under way.

Leo was always my least favorite cripple.

Canadia needs to outlaw day & night.  That'll fix it.

If you can somehow make nightime un-politically-correct (maybe by labeling it "anti-dayism", or managing to equate it with anti-Aboriginal-"First Nations"-Non-Caucasian-Noble-Savage-Gimme-More-Welfare-more-More-MORE! sentiment), then the kneejerk defenders of boreal statist conformity and enforcers of doubleplusungood thoughtcrime (a.k.a. Canadians) will be on it like flies on shit.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:53 | 2299345 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Leo was always my least favorite cripple."

Plus sixteen trillion and

It's what I've always wanted, in a trusted, cunning financial adviser.


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