Monday, January 16, 2017

Even emission-free, growth will burn our living space

Solar advocates like to say that the energy from the sun is plentiful and free. That's true. But what should we be doing with it? Is it dangerous? Could we burn ourselves? Is there a lab to test in?

Yes, we are in the lab, and have a big experiment already with concentrated sunlight. We have been burning old sunlight that was concentrated into coal, oil, and gas. We have increased the amount of heat on earth's surface, both land and water.

Fossil fuel has allowed us to become over 7 billion in number.  We have over 350ppm of gases in the air that are trapping more energy every day and will continue for a long time. We have a complex way of living that demands energy use to double about every 30 years. These three things generate heat faster than the earth's infrared radiation can dissipate it into space.

Even if we stop adding heat trapping gases to the air, our activities will turn incoming solar energy to heat, and yes, we will burn ourselves.

Said another way, even if we convert to emission-free energy, we will still cook the biosphere.

What to do? The sunlight coming in must be stored, not used in heat-generating activity. We must reduce our numbers. We must simplify our complexity.  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2nd Law of Thermodynamics prevents decoupling

Why economics is just a physics problem: "Stepping back to see the world economy as a simple physical object, one where people are only part of a larger whole, would be a stretch for a traditional economist hung up on the idea that wealth must be restricted to physical capital. But, crucially, unlike traditional models, it is an idea that can be rigorously tested and potentially disproved. It is a hypothesis that is falsifiable. If the above is correct then we should expect to see that summing up the inflation-adjusted of GDP all nations, over the entirety of history, this very general expression of inflation-adjusted global economic wealth is tied to global primary energy consumption through a numerical constant, independent of the year that is considered. "

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Brave candidate calls out false eco "leaders"

The neoliberals are moving heaven and earth to keep the lid on the eco activists who are trying to stop climate change and save the biosphere. They provide "leaders" who misdirect the energy of honest activists. Why do so few eco organizations openly call for free transit? The answer is because they get that phone call from their "funders" re-directing them to a goal that does not threaten growth.

Here a candidate in Scotland openly calls for free public transport and calls out the "green" party to stop misleading.

Natural carbon-capture in peat. 100's of millions of tons of carbon in danger of being released

While we scramble to discover ways to capture and store carbon, development, growth, and climate change are threatening to release billions of tons of naturally stored carbon. Growth and development must stop.
Carbon Brief: "Peat soils are susceptible to climatic changes if they cause the peat to dry out, which starts the decomposition process again, releasing the stored carbon back into the atmosphere. Protecting peat soils – along with other ecosystems that store carbon – is an important part of the global effort to cut carbon emissions. And the first step in peatland protection is knowing where they are."

Friday, January 13, 2017

Here are the numbers on how #autosprawl has bankrupted America

Strong Towns : "The median household income in Lafayette is $41,000. With the wealth that has been created by all this infrastructure investment, a median family living in the median house would need to have their city taxes go from $1,500 per year to $9,200 per year. To just take care of what they now have, one out of every five dollars this family makes would need to go to fixing roads, ditches and pipes. That will never happen.

Thus, Lafayette has a predicament. Infrastructure was supposed to serve them. Now they serve it."

Climate deniers have morphed into "decouplers"

When the term climate "denier" came to be, it would have been better named climate "delayer." Because their purpose was to delay action that might hurt corporate profit. So it should have been expected that as they lost one argument they would morph into something slightly different. They sound like a boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar, making up lies. Here are their stages.

  • there is no global warming
  • ok, there is, but it's not man-made
  • ok, there is, and it's man-made, but it's not a problem
  • ok, it's a problem, but we can decouple!

Decoupling means separating carbon emissions from economics so growth can continue while emissions go down.

Now we will be delayed another 10 years while we expose this canard.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Writer runs the numbers on the decoupling hoax

Resilience : "Central in the ecomodernist gospel is the claim that the economy can be “decoupled” from nature, from resource demands and ecological impacts. That is, technical advance can enable output and consumption to go on growing, presumably for ever, while resource demands and ecological impacts are reduced way down to tolerable levels. The previous critiques of Phillips and ecomodernists in general that I have seen (e.g., by Hopkins 2015, Caradonna et al., 2015, Crist, 2015 and Smaje, 2015a, 2015b) have not focused on this numerical issue, i.e., on the evidence indicating what the rate of “decoupling” is and might be in future. A glance at this realm makes ecomodernism, to be polite, extremely implausible."

Neoliberalism means growth, and the end of the biosphere

Resource Insights: To confront power, one must first name it: Neoliberalism and the sustainability crisis: "This message is inconvenient for both right and left in that it suggests that we must dispense with the growth economy and structure our economic lives based on other principles, say, sustainability above all and solidarity through shared sacrifice. These principles have the possibility to be inspiring, but they simply do not fit into the neoliberal vision of perpetual growth and concentration of wealth in the hands of the few."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Neoliberalism, left and right, is destroying the biosphere, know your enemy

Resource Insights : "Scott Walker may be an egregious example on the right. But politicians on the left should not be let off lightly. The insistence, for instance, that the deployment of renewable energy will solve the climate change problem is disingenuous at best. It should be obvious to those who understand climate science that only drastic reductions in overall energy use and major changes in our infrastructure and in our daily routines can hope to bring down greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to avoid catastrophic climate outcomes. And again, the marketplace alone isn't going to do these things for us."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Another hard punch coming from #peakoil

via @NafeezAhmed
Brace for the oil, food and financial crash of 2018 – INSURGE intelligence – Medium: "A report by HSBC shows that contrary to industry mythology, even amidst the glut of unconventional oil and gas, the vast bulk of the world’s oil production has already peaked and is now in decline; while European government scientists show that the value of energy produced by oil has declined by half within just the first 15 years of the 21st century."
The US has $Trillions in auto and sprawl infrastructure, and is investing more every day for maintenance, repair, and new construction. Plans for undeveloped areas of the world are mainly road-building. Something has to break. Cheap oil peaked in 2005.