Thursday, April 27, 2017

Melting permafrost shows that #heat will undo all our #emissions efforts

arctic.ru : ""If current underwater permafrost melting trends, accompanied by large-scale methane emissions into the atmosphere, persist, this may cause even more substantial emissions. These emissions could cause hard-to-predict climatic consequences, including a hypothetical climate disaster," said Oleg Dudarev, a leading research associate with the Laboratory of Arctic Research at the Pacific Oceanological Institute of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences."

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Don't be fooled by oil 'glut,' #peakoil is real

Cheap oil peaked in 2005. Since then, a re-definition of oil to 'liquid fuel' magically increased world production by 10 million bpd. Then massive debt-fueled investment raised "production" a little bit more. Now, we are in the falling net-energy trap for oil. Every day it costs more joules to get a joule. If all the externalities of oil are included net-energy is likely negative, especially in tarsands.

Negative net-energy means that it costs more than 1 joule to get 1 joule. How is that economic? Well, it's not. But transportation, and hence the developed economy, needs liquid fuel. So debt and oilwars will increase.

Currently there is a glut because of three things.
  • price war for market share
  • debt-fueled production in difficult areas
  • weak economies in developed countries
The industry is stuck in the fallacy of composition. Each producer must maximize to keep cash flow and avoid default, or to avoid losing market share. All the agreements to cut back have failed and will continue to fail. 

Oil industry bullish on demand - electric cars no threat

ABO: "Forty years of social and political efforts to recycle packaging, for example, have only succeeded in eliminating one year of average global plastics demand growth. The growth in petrochemical demand alone is bigger than the reduction we expect to see from adding more electric cars. Taken together, this explains why, under current policies,  the outlook still sees robust oil demand growth for several years to come."

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Et tu, Kos?

dailykos: "That alone would have created a big splash, but Musk was not done.  He followed up with a tweet stating that Tesla would be unveiling a pick-up truck in 18 to 24 months.  Since this has become an ever more important segment of vehicle sales and auto industry profits and is a segment currently devoid of production electric vehicles, this could have a huge impact and would, once again, place Tesla far ahead of the competition."
Autosprawl is collapsing because of falling net energy in oil. It costs more joules to extract and produce liquid fuel than joules gained. One way to extend the life of sprawl is to generate electricity from natural gas and run cars on electricity. This will keep sprawl going a few more years -- years that we desperately need to reduce sprawl and growth. Electric vehicles simply make more certain the arrival of heat disaster.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Once elected, Trump turns against #publictransit, standard US operating procedure

TheHill: "But somewhere between the campaign trail and the White House, President Trump’s understanding of the importance of public transportation got lost. 

Rather than investing in public transit, his proposed 2018 budget slashes support for transit projects in communities across the country."

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Oil still in the driver's seat

Oil is still the blood of capitalism. Though you are being flooded with news of "alternatives" and "renewables," there is really nothing else that can keep the trillions of dollars of infrastructure going. 

It might have been possible to make a gradual change if we started 30 years ago, but now affordable oil is running out (yes, running out) and the current system is already unsustainable. 

Americans are living in a dream world where they can have both cars and democracy.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Americans are confused, angry

The rise of the internet and social media has not reduced the power of corporate propaganda in the US.

Too many Americans cannot make the connection between the traffic jams in their town and the bombing in the towns of others.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Are you ready for panic selling over sea-level rise?

The New York Times: "she was paying nearly $6,000 in flood premiums on top of her mortgage every year, nearly always more than she could make in rent. “I decided to cut my losses and get out,” she said. “The flood insurance kept going up, and I was drowning in it.” A real estate agent she consulted told her that she’d be lucky to sell the house for $180,000, barely more than half of what she paid for it and significantly less than what she still owed on the mortgage. Everyone looking at places near the river, the agent said, asked about flood insurance first. It wasn’t the risk of high waters that spooked buyers; it was the certainty of high premiums."

Monday, April 17, 2017

Biggest threat to humans is wishful thinking

The current economic system is racing us toward biosphere destruction and mass death. Those who profit from this system are still exuding optimism and easy solutions.

We humans would like to believe that there is a technology solution to global warming. We are being fooled, and we are going to pay a heavy price.

Thermodynamics tells us there is a limit to how much heat can be released into space. Currently we are generating heat faster than that. Negative CO2 emissions would help, BUT NOT SOLVE, the problem of heat.

What is worse, many people accept renewable energy as the way to reduce CO2 emissions. But renewables promote economic growth. Growth means more heat. Heat means more natural release of carbon. So renewables actually lead to more emissions.

Only by reducing human activity -- degrowth -- can we reduce heat. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sumatra -- 6.5M acres of peat and wildlife in danger. #methane

Alternet : "The Leuser Ecosystem (pronounced low-sir) is a vast tropical landscape on the island of Sumatra. Spanning over 6.5 million acres of lowland jungle, montane rainforests and teeming peat swamps, Leuser’s forests are among the most ancient on earth. This is a realm where volcanic eruptions, fluctuating sea levels and species migrations over uninterrupted millennia have enabled one of the most biodiverse landscapes ever documented to evolve.

... But today, Leuser’s forests are under constant and escalating threat. Despite being protected by Indonesian law, the Leuser Ecosystem is under siege for short-term profits. Corporate interests such as industrial pulp and palm oil plantations, mining and logging operations, energy projects, and all the roads and infrastructure that are built to support them, are eating away at every corner of the Ecosystem."