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

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Submitted by James Stafford of OilPrice.com

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

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: Oilprice.com 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.
  
Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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.

Oilprice.com: 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...

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/20120328_14.html
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 deal...it'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.

ori

Edit: For you, special... http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/and-weirder-still/

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.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bNk7zCI8E_8

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..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se8OmYL5br0

 

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:

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022

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...

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Breaking_News_The_Earth_is_Warming_Still_A_LOT.html

--

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

http://www.skepticalscience.com/lessons-from-past-climate-predictions-broecker.html

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...

http://www.skepticalscience.com/basics_one.html

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...

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