A. G. Gelbert

How to Survive When, NOT IF, Catastrophic Climate Change Makes Earth’s Climate Unsuitable For Humans

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 30, 2018


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How to Survive When, NOT IF, Catastrophic Climate Change Makes Earth's Climate Unsuitable For Humans

By Anthony G. Gelbert

During many periods in human history, some were doing just fine and others lived on the edge of starvation in a constant state of collapse. Abrupt changes in climate, such as that caused in France by a massive Laki volcanic eruption in Iceland in 1783, have resulted in famine induced starvation. In that case, starvation was followed by social upheaval and revolution, instead of collapse. Civilization in Iceland was nearly wiped out with that eruption (over one third of the population was killed), but did not collapse.

For a collapse to occur, the society destroying pressure must last longer than a decade or so. For example, natural climate alterations that produced lengthy droughts caused some ancient starving civilizations to eventually collapse. 

SNIPPET From the March 21, 2016 article, "Ten Civilizations or Nations That Collapsed From Drought", by Jeff Masters:

Drought is the great enemy of human civilization. Drought deprives us of the two things necessary to sustain life–food and water. When the rains stop and the soil dries up, cities die and civilizations collapse, as people abandon lands no longer able to supply them with the food and water they need to live. While the fall of a great empire is usually due to a complex set of causes, drought has often been identified as the primary culprit or a significant contributing factor in a surprising number of such collapses. Drought experts Justin Sheffield and Eric Wood of Princeton, in their 2011 book, Drought, identify more than ten civilizations, cultures and nations that probably collapsed, in part, because of drought. As we mark World Water Day on March 22, we should not grow overconfident that our current global civilization is immune from our old nemesis–particularly in light of the fact that a hotter climate due to global warming will make droughts more intense and impacts more severe. So, presented here is a "top ten" list of drought's great power over some of the mightiest civilizations in world history–presented chronologically.

Collapse #1. The Akkadian Empire in Syria, 2334 BC – 2193 BC.
Collapse #2. The Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt, 4200 years ago.

Collapse #3. The Late Bronze Age (LBA) civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean. About 3200 years ago, the Eastern Mediterranean hosted some of the world’s most advanced civilizations.

Collapse #4. The Maya civilization of 250 – 900 AD in Mexico. Severe drought killed millions of Maya people due to famine and lack of water, and initiated a cascade of internal collapses that destroyed their civilization at the peak of their cultural development, between 750 – 900 AD.

Collapse #5. The Tang Dynasty in China, 700 – 907 AD. At the same time as the Mayan collapse, China was also experiencing the collapse of its ruling empire, the Tang Dynasty. Dynastic changes in China often occurred because of popular uprisings during crop failure and famine associated with drought.

Collapse #6. The Tiwanaku Empire of Bolivia's Lake Titicaca region, 300 – 1000 AD. The Tiwanaku Empire was one of the most important South American civilizations prior to the Inca Empire. After dominating the region for 500 years, the Tiwanaku Empire ended abruptly between 1000 – 1100 AD, following a drying of the region, as measured by ice accumulation in the Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru.

Collapse #7. The Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) culture in the Southwest U.S. in the 11th – 12th centuries AD. Beginning in 1150 AD, North America experienced a 300-year drought called the Great Drought.

Collapse #8. The Khmer Empire based in Angkor, Cambodia, 802 – 1431 AD. The Khmer Empire ruled Southeast Asia for over 600 years, but was done in by a series of intense decades-long droughts interspersed with intense monsoons in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that, in combination with other factors, contributed to the empire's demise.

Collapse #9. The Ming Dynasty in China, 1368 – 1644 AD. China's Ming Dynasty–one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history–collapsed at a time when the most severe drought in the region in over 4000 years was occurring, according to sediments from Lake Huguang Maar analyzed in a 2007 article in Nature by Yancheva et al.

In this image, we see Kurdish Syrian girls among destroyed buildings in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane on March 22, 2015. Image credit: Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images.

Collapse #10. Modern Syria. Syria's devastating civil war that began in March 2011 has killed over 300,000 people, displaced at least 7.6 million, and created an additional 4.2 million refugees. While the causes of the war are complex, a key contributing factor was the nation's devastating drought that began in 1998. The drought brought Syria's most severe set of crop failures in recorded history, which forced millions of people to migrate from rural areas into cities, where conflict erupted. This drought was almost certainly Syria's worst in the past 500 years (98% chance), and likely the worst for at least the past 900 years (89% chance), according to a 2016 tree ring study by Cook et al., "Spatiotemporal drought variability in the Mediterranean over the last 900 years." Human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases were "a key attributable factor" in the drying up of wintertime precipitation in the Mediterranean region, including Syria, in recent decades, as discussed in a NOAA press release that accompanied a 2011 paper by Hoerling et al., On the Increased Frequency of Mediterranean Drought.

A 2016 paper by drought expert Colin Kelley showed that the influence of human greenhouse gas emissions had made recent drought in the region 2 – 3 times more likely.

Full article with lots of great pictures: https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/ten-civilizations-or-nations-that-collapsed-from-drought.html

As Dr. Jeff Masters evidenced above, extended drought, sometimes alternating with other harsh climate conditions like intense rains, can lead to starvation. Long wars exacerbate the situation, leading directly to collapse.

In addition to the above, there is another climate change based collapse level attack on human civilization, one that is 100% unavoidable now, that has wreaked havoc in the past.

SNIPPET from the March 23, 2018 article, "Humanity has contended with rising seas before — and it didn’t go well for us", by Alxandru Micu:

The Neolithic revolution was the first major transformation humanity had paused — the transition foraging to farming. Spreading out from the Middle East, this wave of change took peoples used to hunt and forage wherever they pleased and tied them down, hoe in hand, to sedentary — but oh so lucrative — farms and fields.

Around 7,600 years ago, however, the revolution paused — no new agricultural settlements seemed to pop up in Southeastern Europe around the time, existing communities declined, and the progress of civilization as a whole came to a standstill. Up until now, we didn’t have any inkling as to why this happened, but new research from the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, the Goethe University in Frankfurt, and the University of Toronto sheds some light on this mysterious period.

According to their findings, this lull in progress was due to an abrupt rise in sea levels in the northern Aegean Sea. Evidence of this event was calcified in the fossils of tiny marine algae preserved in seafloor sediments.

The impact this event had on societal dynamics and overall development during the time highlights the potential economic and social threats posed by sea level rise in the future, the team says. Given that climate-change-associated changes in sea level are virtually unavoidable, the team hopes their findings will help us better prepare for the flooding ahead.

“Approximately 7,600 years ago, the sea level must have risen abruptly in the Mediterranean regions bordering Southeastern Europe. The northern Aegean, the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea recorded an increase of more than one meter. This led to the flooding of low-lying coastal areas that would have been ideal areas for settlement,” says lead author Professor Dr. Jens Herrle.

The evidence supports a link between the two timeouts in the Neolithic revolution and the flooding events. The event 8,400 years ago coincides with archaeological findings suggesting that settlements in low-lying areas were under significant hardship from encroaching seas and other associated climatic changes. The renewed rise just 800 years later likely amplified these communities’ woes, keeping them from making the transition to agriculture.

“The source of this may have been Lake Agassiz in North America. This glacial meltwater lake was enclosed in ice and experienced a massive breach during this period, which emptied an enormous volume of water into the ocean.”

Past fluctuations in sea levels have already had a significant effect on human history during the early days of agriculture, the authors note, warning that it would be unwise to dismiss the challenges it will place in our path in the future.


The article goes on to repeat the overly conservative estimate from the IPCC of a rise by up to "one meter over the next 100 years". That is the same IPCC that predicted the amount of ice depletion we have at present at the poles would not occur until 2070. That is the same IPCC that has NOT figured in the contribution of ice loss from Greenland to global sea level rise in any of the models.

So, if you are a logical person, I recommend you count on 3 to 6 meters, at least, of sea level rise several decades before the end of the century. As Peter Ward says (The Flooded Earth: Our Future In a World Without Ice Caps by Peter D. Ward]) ,over 25% of the world's arable land is near sea level and will be flooded. Most major airports along coastlines will be flooded. Every harbor facility in the world will require a staggering amount of land fill to raise them as the sea level goes up. Most coastal real estate, currently highly assessed in value, will be flooded and become worthless.     

By the way, the latest science indicates that rapid sea level rise will be accompanied by a large increase in volcanic eruptions (which might slow down the heating due to a temporary increase in aerosols), and and increase in earthquaqe activity. The volcanic aerosols, at most, will be a minor speed bump on the way to intolerable climate caos. So, please don't count on volcanic eruptions to 'save us' from global warming hell. That is wishful thinking.

I am not a voice "crying in the wilderness" on this issue. I will provide you some screenshots from the video of a scientist who recently wrote the book, "Waking the Climate Giant". He predicts a continued increase in volcanic activity, now observed in the data, due to terrain bounce from melting land ice and increased pressure on the surrounding seabed, as the the global average temperature increases. It's not the volcanoes that are increasing the heat, it's the greenhouse gases that are causing massive ice melt that, in turn, triggers earthquages and volcanic eruptions. Read his book if you disagree. I just watched the video but I think he is spot on.

On Earth, destructive climate change was not catastrophic before. The difference now it that the entire globe will be impacted. Humans have never lived on a planet with an average temperature of 3° C above pre-industrial. We will pass that mark up a half century before 2100 and continue towards PLUS 4° C and beyond, with no available technological or natural negative feedback mechanism to stop the continued acceleration, not slowing, of the rate of increase in temperature.

Already our atmosphere is being distorted by global warming to the point of pushing the dry subtropical bands on either side of the tropics towards their respective pole, thereby increasind drought conditions in highly populated areas and a large percentage of hitherto arable terrain.

SNIPPET from the February 2, 2016 article, "The mystery of the expanding tropics", by Olive Heffernan

As Earth's dry zones shift rapidly polewards, researchers are scrambling to figure out the cause — and consequences.

One spring day in 2004, Qiang Fu was poring over atmospheric data collected from satellites when he noticed an unusual and seemingly inexplicable pattern. In two belts on either side of the equator, the lower atmosphere was warming more than anywhere else on Earth. Fu, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle, was puzzled.

It wasn't until a year later that he realized what he had discovered: evidence of a rapid expansion of the tropics, the region that encircles Earth's waist like a green belt. The heart of the tropics is lush, but the northern and southern edges are dry. And these parched borders are growing — expanding into the subtropics and pushing them towards the poles.

Tropical forest losses outpace UN estimates

Cities that currently sit just outside the tropics could soon be smack in the middle of the dry tropical edge. That's bad news for places like San Diego, California. “A shift of just one degree of latitude in southern California — that's enough to have a huge impact on those communities in terms of how much rain they will get,” explains climate modeller Thomas Reichler of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Elsewhere, there is evidence that tropical expansion is affecting the ocean. Where the Hadley cell descends, bringing cool air downward, it energizes the ocean and whips up currents to high speeds. This energy powers the upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich waters towards the surface, which feeds some of the world's most productive fisheries. But there are hints that some of these regions are suffering because of shifts in the Hadley cell.

These upwelling zones could move south over time, or get weaker or stronger, depending on what happens to the Hadley cell, says Cook. In any case, it means that fishing communities that rely on these resources will not be able to count on traditional patterns.

On land, biodiversity is also potentially at risk. This is especially true for the climate zones just below the subtropics in South Africa and Australia, on the southern rim of both continents. In southwestern Australia, renowned as one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, flowers bloom during September, when tourists come to marvel at some of the region's 4,000 endemic plant species. But since the late 1970s, rainfall there has dropped by one-quarter. The same is true at South Africa's Cape Floristic Province, another frontier known for its floral beauty. “This is the most concrete evidence we have of tropical expansion,” says Steve Turton, an environmental geographer at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia.

Turton worries that the rate of change will be too rapid for these ecosystems to adapt. “We're talking about rapid expansion that's within half or a third of a human lifetime,” he says. In the worst-case scenario, the subtropics will overtake these ecologically rich outposts and the hotter, drier conditions will take a major toll.


Vermont is already experiencing the economy harming effects of climate change. A Vermonter, concerned about this, wrote about it. He has a right to be.

Watching Nature Collapse March 24th, 2018 by George Harvey

Sometimes it seems the best of everything is passing away.


A few years ago, someone threw a peach pit into shrubbery on the front yard of the house where I live. The tree that sprouted from the peach pit is now bearing fruit. Neighbors have paw-paw trees growing in their yards. But Vermont’s maple sugar industry, and the apple orchards, and the blueberry fields are all suffering. Vermont is fast becoming a place unlike what it has ever been, and it is not an improvement.


Don't look at what he wrote as the "new normal" and just think we can 'adapt' to climate change by growing different crops and so on. This is the leading edge of climate that will soon, much sooner than many think, become intolerable for crop growing. We are not just on a treadmill moving in the wrong direction; our velocity on that deadly treadmill is increasing. Please keep that in mind so you are not lulled into thinking it would be 'nice' to grow palm trees in Burlington. Yes, the fossil fuel industry 🦖 does continue to try to pitch the 'warmer weather good' out of context propaganda happy talk. They'll do anything to keep their profit over people and planet suicide machine going. Stupid is as stupid does.

All these deleterious effects of Catastrophic Climate Change will continually get worse, not for a decade or so, but for over a century.

Temperatures unsuitable for human life are baked in for at least a couple of centuries, even if we stopped the insanity of constantly making things even worse by going on a crash program to stop burning fossil fuels. Yeah, we have to do that. Yeah, if we don't, we are all dead. But, regardless of what we do, it will take a while to catch up to all of us. I write this for those who, though sadly unable to stop the insane suicidal "business model" of the biosphere killing fossil fuel fascists, wish to survive as long as possible.

I wish to stress that, though many confused voices out there do not wish to face this, the one unifying aspect of the present threat to human civilization is Catastrophic Climate Change, NOT lack of fossil fuel based energy.

Have I got your attention? Good.

Then, look at this graphic from the Video, "Waking the Climate Giant", and ask yourself if it reflects our current situation:

The above graphic is already correct in its prediciton. In 2017 (the emissions data was for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016) the greenhouse gas emissions INCREASED. Consequently, there is a very, very high probability that the collapse of our civilization will occur much sooner than we think.

Some humans in different parts of the globe are already well acquainted with living on the edge of collapse. I am absolutely certain that many jungle tribes in Brazil, Ecuador and Peru, RIGHT NOW, live on the edge of starvation in a constant state of collapse, while most of the city dwellers nearby live not much better, but still avoid starvation.

My point in this quixotic exercise in hard truth logic is that the lack of food in the past has eventually triggered revolutions, not collapse of the civilization. It is after the social upheaval, when no solution to the lack of food problem is found, such as is in LONG WARS of aggression or extended harsh climate conditions, that collapse ensues.

People tend to fear other people more than deleterious climate. People can certainly be a threat to your life and stuff, but Catastrophic Climate Change is a much greater threat to everything you hold dear, past, present and future.

Catastrophic Climate Change is worse than a long war of aggression because it will last much longer than a human lifetime.

The climate change problem is intractable, but I believe some WILL beat it for maybe a century or so. For example, there are places near the equator with very high mountains. A world heated plus 4° C by around 2060, despite happy talk by certain wishful thinkers, will kill off most humans. BUT, in high mountains, the tree line will move way up while the temperature becomes temperate, even at the Equator. I stress the equator, though RE will vigorously disagree, because human civilization in a low food environment with over acidified seas (no easy fish or whales or seals to catch = NO ESKIMOS) with poor available sunlight is not a recipe for long term survival, even if the temperature is mild enough to grow crops.

There is a mountain in Ecuador (Chimborazo) about 20,000 feet high that will, because of the horrendously altered atmosphere, get plenty of rain even at high altitudes. There are several other candidates in the HIGH tropics around the world. This will enable the folks living there to grow enough food, thanks to an ABUNDANCE of sunlight all year round, with low tech methods. They just might be able to ride out the fossil fuel burning stupidity that dooms most of human civilization.

The tree line, the highest point on a mountain that trees will grow, varies between 5,000 feet and up to 13,000 feet above sea level. It varies so much mainly because of wind chill, though the length of the summer growing season is important as well. A tree in relatively mild wind conditions can grow all the way up to the maximum recorded tree line altitude at temperature well below freezing (down to minus 40° F =- 40° C  ;D), provided its roots can get enough water.

Trees can have liquid water in their tracheal elements at such low temperatures because of a wonderful combination of two factors. The first is that the 'pumping' mechanism of a tree is more a sucking mechanism than a pumping mechanism. The transpiration of water vapor into the atmosphere at the branch leaf pores creates negative pressure on the water molecules inside the tree (as long as the tracheal elements vacuum is not breached by air intrusion).

Water molecules, as they travel up the inside of tree, aided by capillary action as well as transpiration, can be stretched by as much as negative 25 atmospheres! That is how those Giant Sequoias can move up to a 130 gallons of water a day over a 100 feet vertically.

The second factor is that the water in the tracheal elements, in addition to being thoroughly stretched, is extremely pure. This prevents the crystalization of water around non-water substances that would normally trigger freezing at 0° C. But, when the wind is howling during below freezing temperatures, the wind chill can cause the water in the tree to freeze and eventually kill the tree.

The closer to the equator a high mountain tree is located, the longer it's growing season will be. If the growing season is too short, like in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the tree line is only about 4,500 feet.

SNIPPET from an article about the Tree line:

The elevational limit of such suitable summer conditions varies by latitude. In Mexico, for example, treeline occurs somewhere around 13,000 feet, whereas farther north, in the Tetons, for instance, it occurs lower, at approximately 10,000 feet. Again, it’s a ragged line that may vary by hundreds of feet on any mountain, depending largely on shelter and exposure.

Because the elevational treeline is so closely tied to temperature, many suggest that it could be a particularly sensitive indicator of global climate change. Presumably, rising temperatures would increase the elevation of treeline in any locale, altering forest distribution and potentially ousting rare plant communities – and their inhabitants – that now exist above treeline. Although the specific physiological mechanism of treeline formation is not fully understood, there is growing photographic and other evidence of upward shifts in treelines worldwide.


A PLUS 4° C (and still going up) atmosphere by around 2060 will enable trees to grow at much higher altitudes. For every degree increase in average global temperature, a corresponding increase in humidity of at least 7% to 13% will take place. We will have an atmosphere expanding vertically, but also with increased humidity. This will accelerate warming because water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas, but the good news is that high mountain areas will, in some areas, experience more rain higher up.

As noted at the beginning of this article, humans need water and other adequate growing conditions in order to have a viable civilization.

The Catastrophic Climate Changed world of 2060 will be a stormy place. The over acidified, mostly dead oceans, will be full of giant waves. The winds during storms will be off the charts in comparison to what we experience now. High up in the mountains, some type of barrier will need to be erected to keep the fierce winds from destroying the crops.

Finally, those hardy folks who carve out a life in year-round sunny high mountains will have to deal with UV radiation. It is a fact that, at present, the UV levels at around 10,000 ft. and above are particularly hazardous to humans.

However, with the expanded atmosphere in an overheated planet, this is the one area I see as hopeful for humans and animals living on very high mountains. You see, in said expanded atmosphere of plus 4° C and above, the massive increase in humidity will inhibit UV radiaiton.

Nevertheless. Since the equator alpine areas are infamous for high UV radiation, it would be prudent to plan to plant crops that have high UV tolerant foliage, like tubers. Hopefully, the greatly increased humidity will help protect the High Mountain Human Heroes.


Everyone is exposed to UV radiation from the sun and an increasing number of people are exposed to artificial sources used in industry, commerce and recreation. Emissions from the sun include visible light, heat and UV radiation.

The UV region covers the wavelength range 100-400 nm and is divided into three bands:

UVA (315-400 nm)
UVB (280-315 nm)
UVC (100-280 nm).

As sunlight passes through the atmosphere, all UVC and approximately 90% of UVB radiation is absorbed by ozone, water vapour, oxygen and carbon dioxide. UVA radiation is less affected by the atmosphere. Therefore, the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface is largely composed of UVA with a small UVB component.

Environmental factors that influence the UV level

Sun height—the higher the sun in the sky, the higher the UV radiation level. Thus UV radiation varies with time of day and time of year, with maximum levels occurring when the sun is at its maximum elevation, at around midday (solar noon) during the summer months.

Latitude—the closer the equator, the higher the UV radiation levels.  :(

Cloud cover— UV radiation levels are highest under cloudless skies. Even with cloud cover, UV radiation levels can be high due to the scattering of UV radiation by water molecules and fine particles in the atmosphere. :(

Altitude—at higher altitudes, a thinner atmosphere filters less UV radiation. With every 1000 metres increase in altitude, UV levels increase by 10% to 12%.


What do you think are the chances of human civilization achieving what the following graph says we HAVE TO DO?

There is NO WAY in God's (formerly good) Earth that we can avoid a climate that is almost entirely unsuitable for human life. The above graphic illustrates that. Anyone who thinks that we can do what needs to be done to avoid a PLUS 4° C (and above!) climate that will kill most humans and cause the extinction of thousands of other vertebrate species is engaging in magical thinking.  >:( 

ALL the people near the surface in the tropics will die as crispy critters, period. Those in temperate zones will perish too. Those near the poles who live near the surface will last as long as the food they have lasts. Unless they can maintain some geothermally heated and powered high tech greenhouse CITY that includes PLENTY of crop growing quality light and plenty of water, they will die too.

I might add that those greenhouse giant domes, both near the poles ond on high equatorial mountains, had better be MASSIVELY strong. The storms that will visit them and the wind speeds they will face in a PLUS 4 ° C planet  will make any recent hurricane look like a gentle breeze.

The giant greenhouse domes situated in the high equatorial mountains would have to be something like the U.K. Eden Project Domes, but way up high on a mountain. In England they have an enclosed rainforest in these domes. They need to be ten or twenty times bigger for an equatorial alpine community. If the post collapse alpine community could control the atmospheric pressure in the giant domes, more UV protection is guaranteed and more comfortable living for humans too.



For those still worried about fellow humans trying to kill you for your stuff, remember that high mountains are a natural defense against warlike humans during the initial phases of the Climate Change Caused Collapse. The heat lower down will eliminate any human threat after a couple of decades. 

STOP thinking you are going to live on planet that has the remotest resemblance to the one you have lived in all your life. THAT is WISHFUL THINKING! The LEAST of your problems is going to be worrying about the "zombie" humans getting your stuff.

NOTE: I pose these issues for your discussion. I will not argue the merits of them beyond this comment. If you disagree with anything I said, then you are entitled to be as wrong as you like.  ;D  :D 

Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 1, 2015


Whatever is finally determined by scientists as the exact combination of factors that forms these monster waves, it is well known that wave height and ferocity is a function of the ferocity and duration of the winds.

ΔT = plus 2C or greater guarantees ferocious winds of long during over wide areas in a consistent direction.

We are already experiencing the beginning of the abrupt climate change that is bringing these destructive winds due to the increase in frequency and severity of cyclonic movements over the oceans.

Hurricanes and typhoons are the DIRECT result of overheated ocean surface water. As heat increases, so will they continue to increase in frequency and severity, setting new records. As soon as the surface temperature of the ocean is at or above 27.8C (82F), they can form.

Sea surface temperatures must be 82 degrees F (27.8C) or warmer for tropical cyclone formation and sustenance.    

Recipe for a Hurricane


The higher the ocean surface temperature, the more often they will form to wreak havoc with ships and coasts.

Patricia the Fastest-Intensifying Western Hemisphere Hurricane on Record


Susan Casey gives us an eye opening look at giant waves.

The book titled, "The Wave" is the overall scope; Casey links how the Earth's weather is changing to how waves are growing, and there's no denying the stats: there is a clear correlation. She visits various scientists and marine salvage folks and shares their stories; they all agree that we're seeing the oceans get nuttier, and it's only just beginning.

The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean by Susan Casey

Susan Casey, National Post · Monday, Sept. 20, 2010


The clock read midnight when the 100-foot wave hit the ship, rising from the North Atlantic out of the darkness. Among the ocean's terrors a wave this size was the most feared and the least understood, more myth than reality — or so people had thought. This giant was certainly real. As the RRS Discovery plunged down into the wave's deep trough, it heeled 28 degrees to port,

The above graphic is a scale simulation of 295 ft. ship heeling 28 degrees to port in the trough of a 100 ft. wave by yours truly.

rolled 30 degrees back to starboard, then recovered to face the incoming seas. What chance did they have, the 47 scientists and crew aboard this research cruise gone horribly wrong? A series of storms had trapped them in the black void east of Rockall, a volcanic island nicknamed Waveland for the nastiness of its surrounding waters. More than 1,000 wrecked ships lay on the seafloor below.

Captain Keith Avery steered his vessel directly into the onslaught, just as he'd been doing for the past five days. While weather like this was common in the cranky North Atlantic, these giant waves were unlike anything he'd encountered in his 30 years of experience.

And worse, they kept rearing up from different directions. Flanking all sides of the 295-foot ship, the crew kept a constant watch to make sure they weren't about to be sucker punched by a wave that was sneaking up from behind, or from the sides.

No one wanted to be out here right now, but Avery knew their only hope was to remain where they were, with their bow pointed into the waves. Turning around was too risky; if one of these waves caught Discovery broadside, there would be long odds on survival. It takes 30 tons per square metre of force to dent a ship.

A breaking 100-foot wave packs 100 tons of force per square metre and can tear a ship in half. Above all, Avery had to position Discovery so that it rode over these crests and wasn't crushed beneath them.

He stood barefoot at the helm, the only way he could maintain traction after a refrigerator toppled over, splashing out a slick of milk, juice and broken glass (no time to clean it up–the waves just kept coming).

Up on the bridge everything was amplified, all the night noises and motions, the slamming and the crashing, the elevator-shaft plunges into the troughs, the frantic wind, the swaying and groaning of the ship; and now, as the waves suddenly grew even bigger and meaner and steeper, Avery heard a loud bang coming from Discovery's foredeck. He squinted in the dark to see that the 50-man lifeboat had partially ripped from its 2-inch-thick steel cleats and was pounding against the hull.

Below deck, computers and furniture had been smashed into pieces. The scientists huddled in their cabins nursing bruises, black eyes and broken ribs. Attempts at rest were pointless. They heard the noises too; they rode the free falls and the sickening barrel rolls; and they worried about the fact that a 6-foot-long window next to their lab had already shattered from the twisting. Discovery was almost 40 years old, and recently she'd undergone major surgery. The ship had been cut in half, lengthened by 33 feet, and then welded back together. Would the joints hold? No one really knew. No one had ever been in conditions like these.

One of the two chief scientists, Penny Holliday, watched as a chair skidded out from under her desk, swung into the air and crashed onto her bunk. Holliday, fine boned, porcelain-doll pretty and as tough as any man on board the ship, had sent an e-mail to her boyfriend, Craig Harris, earlier in the day. "This isn't funny anymore," she wrote. "The ocean just looks completely out of control." So much white spray was whipping off the waves that she had the strange impression of being in a blizzard. This was Waveland all right, an otherworldly place of constant motion that took you nowhere but up and down; where there was no sleep, no comfort, no connection to land, and where human eyes and stomachs struggled to adapt, and failed.

Ten days ago Discovery had left port in Southampton, England, on what Holliday had hoped would be a typical 3-week trip to Iceland and back (punctuated by a little seasickness perhaps, but nothing major).

RRS Discovery in calm seas

Along the way they'd stop and sample the water for salinity, temperature, oxygen and other nutrients. From these tests the scientists would draw a picture of what was happening out there, how the ocean's basic characteristics were shifting, and why.

These are not small questions on a planet that is 71% covered in salt water. As the Earth's climate changes — as the inner atmosphere becomes warmer, as the winds increase, as the oceans heat up — what does all this mean for us?

Trouble, most likely, and Holliday and her colleagues were in the business of finding out how much and what kind. It was deeply frustrating for them to be lashed to their bunks rather than out on the deck lowering their instruments. No one was thinking about Iceland anymore.

The trip was far from a loss, however. During the endless trains of massive waves, Discovery itself was collecting data that would lead to a chilling revelation. The ship was ringed with instruments; everything that happened out there was being precisely measured, the sea's fury captured in tight graphs and unassailable numbers.

Months later, long after Avery had returned everyone safely to the Southampton docks, when Holliday began to analyze these figures, she would discover that the waves they had experienced were the largest ever scientifically recorded in the open ocean. The significant wave height, an average of the largest 33% of the waves, was 61 feet, with frequent spikes far beyond that.

At the same time, none of the state-of-the-art weather forecasts and wave models– the information upon which all ships, oil rigs, fisheries and passenger boats rely — had predicted these behemoths. In other words, under this particular set of weather conditions, waves this size should not have existed. And yet they did.



You could call them whatever you wanted — rogues, freaks, giants — but the bottom line was that no one had accounted for them. The engineers who'd built the Draupner rig had calculated that once every 10,000 years the North Sea might throw them a 64-foot curveball in 38-foot seas. That would be the maximum. Eighty-five-foot waves were not part of the equation, not in this universe anyway.

But the rules had changed. Now scientists had a set of numbers that pointed to an unsettling truth: Some of these waves make their own rules. Suddenly the emphasis shifted from explaining why giant waves couldn't simply leap out of the ocean to figuring out how it was that they did.

This was a matter of much brow sweat for the oil industry, which would prefer that its multimillion-dollar rigs not be swept away. It had happened before. In 1982 the Ocean Ranger, a 400-foot-long, 337-foot-high oil platform located 170 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, was struck by an outsize wave in heavy weather. We'll never know how big the wave was exactly, for there were no survivors. Approved for "unrestricted ocean operations," built to withstand 110-foot seas and 115-mile-per-hour winds, considered "indestructible" by its engineers, the Ocean Ranger had capsized and sank close to instantly, killing all 84 people on board.

In the nautical world things were even more troubling. Across the global seas ships were meeting these waves, from megaton vessels like the Munchen — oceangoing freighters and tankers and bulk carriers — down to recreational sailboats.

At best, the encounters resulted in damage; at worst, the boat vanished, taking all hands with it. "Two large ships sink every week on average [worldwide], but the cause is never studied to the same detail as an air crash. It simply gets put down to 'bad weather,' " said Dr. Wolfgang Rosenthal, senior scientist for the MaxWave Project, a consortium of European scientists that convened in 2000 to investigate the disappearing ships.


MS München

December 12, 1978: Considered unsinkable, the Munchen was a cutting-edge craft, the flagship of the German Merchant Navy. At 3:25 a.m. fragments of a Morse code Mayday, emanating from 450 miles north of the Azores, signaled that the vessel had suffered grave damage from a wave.


Artist's conception of MS München facing a giant wave.

But even after 110 ships and 13 aircraft were deployed — the most comprehensive search in the history of shipping — the ship and its 27 crew were never seen again.

A haunting clue was left behind: Searchers found one of the Munchen's lifeboats, usually stowed 65 feet above the water, floating empty. Its twisted metal fittings indicated that it had been torn away. "Something extraordinary" had destroyed the ship, concluded the official report. *

The Munchen's disappearance points to the main problem with proving the existence of a giant wave: If you run into that kind of nightmare, it's likely to be the last one you'll have.

The force of waves is hard to overstate. An 18-inch wave can topple a wall built to withstand 125-mile-per-hour winds, for instance, and coastal advisories are issued for even five-foot-tall surf, which regularly kills people caught in the wrong places.

The number of people who have witnessed a 100-foot wave at close range and made it back home to describe the experience is a very small one.


 *Agelbert NOTE: The container ship El Faro sank during Hurricane Juaquin on October 1, 2015. All 33 crewmembers perished. The lifeboats on El Faro were also 65 feet above the water line. From the condition of the lifeboat that was recovered, the evidence indicates a giant wave sank the El Faro. The authorities have not admitted this as of yet. But I am not the only one that strongly suspects that the condition of the lifeboat is evidence that a giant wave sank El Faro (Spanish for "Lighthouse").


"A heavily damaged lifeboat from the El Faro was discovered, with no one …"

Coast Guard Investigates El Faro Life Boat

Published on Oct 5, 2015

A Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew investigates a life boat Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, that was found from the missing ship El Faro. El Faro lost propulsion and communications prior to Hurricane Joaquin passing directly over it. U.S. Coast Guard video.



Warming oceans are with us now and increasing the violence of the oceans. By chance, I recorded the SST (Sea Surface Temperature) off the East Coast of the USA the day before Hurricane Juaquin sank the El Faro container ship. Here's the September 30, 2015 (8 day average – proof that it was really consistently hot out there!) screenshot:

Here's two days later (one day after the El Faro Container ship sank). I superimposed the hurricane location. It is a one day average SST so the conditions when the El Faro sank are displayed. I was not aware that the El Faro had been lost at the time I made these screenshots. Notice the cooler spot on the ocean precisely where Hurricane Juaquin is lashing El Faro. A hurricane transfers several degrees of water temperature directly to the atmosphere, which, in turn, increases the ferocity of the winds. Ferocious winds produce ferocious waves.

El Faro departed Jacksonville en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico.



The El Faro was one of TWO cargo ships that went down because of Hurricane Juaquin (the 215 ft. MV Minouche that went down didn't make national headlines, because people, perhaps, might start to get "unnecessarily alarmed" about the increasing shipping losses from our increasingly violent oceans). All 12 crew of the MV Minouche were rescued.

MV Minouche:

The Coast Guard pilot's voice shakes as he describes conditions they have never before experienced in rescue attempts when they were searching for the El Faro and rescuing the crew of the MV Minouche.



US Coast Guard search for El Faro; 12 rescued from MV Minouche


Published on Oct 5, 2015

A US Coast Guard C-130 pilot describes a flight through Hurricane Joaquin in 100 knot winds and over 40-foot waves in search of the cargo ship El Faro, which has been reported sunk after debris was found. Part two of this video features footage from an Oct. 1 rescue of 12 people from the MV Minouche near the Bahamas.


The El Faro, that went down with a crew of 33, all lost, 294 cars, trailers and trucks, along with hundreds of containers, had a type of lifeboat that is a death boat in stormy seas.

Here's a comment by a fellow who's handle is deckofficer:

Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decision-making…

I guess the only point I would like to make is some owners don't seem to value the lives of their crews. Schedules are tight and safety equipment is in many cases the bare minimum for certification. In the case of SS El Faro (it is my understanding this is a steam ship, not diesel) the open life boats as high on the super structure as they were meets requirements but certainly doesn't offer the all sea state conditions of deployment as free fall enclosed life boat capsules. If these souls are lost at sea, it is maddening that the simple added investment of better emergency egress would have saved their lives. I have done more lifeboat drills than I can remember, and for the older style gravity systems there was a good reason these drills only occurred on calm days.

When sea state is overwhelming and you have lost propulsion and need to abandon ship, do you want this….

Bridge of the El Faro with an open lifeboat on the port side

Or this…



USCG Unlimited Tonnage Open Ocean (CMA)



Free fall enclosed life boat capsules are a great idea. They should be mandatory. The fact that they aren't is mute evidence of the neoliberal Empathy Deficit disordered "cost/benefit analysis" that values goods more than lives. As long as people continue to line up to crew the ships, management will cut corners on life support.

And the Libertarians will cheer them on demanding all those "government regulations" be eliminated so the shippers can make more money without "government interference". devil


But the greedball shippers are increasingly going to have a bit more to worry about than whether they have a labor force or not. Thanks to the fossil fuel industry socialized cost of CO2 pollution (even though Big Oil is getting a bit of payback from the oceans with oil rig difficulties and tanker losses), this is no longer going to be about whether the "demand" for products "justifies" cargo shipping.

I am grateful to Paul Beckwith of the University of Ottawa for alerting me to the threat from violent oceans that mankind faces.

Paul Beckwith is a part time professor at the University of Ottawa and a post graduate studying and researching abrupt climate change, with a focus on the arctic.

An Ocean Full of 30 meter Tall Waves

by Paul Beckwith

Published on Jul 23, 2015

"Near the end of the previous warm period (Late-Eemian) when the sea level was +5 to +9 meters higher than today, persistent long period long wavelength waves 30 meters high battered the Bahamas coastline. Will we see these massive storm generated waves soon? No ship could survive this…"



If the ships cannot handle the seas (NO ship is designed, or can cost effectively be designed, to handle anywhere near 100 tons per square meter of force on her hull), shipping itself will no longer be cost effective unless cargo ships morph into cargo submarines. The cost of doing that is staggering. Even if they designed them to ride just beneath the wave turbulence, they still would have to submerge to one half the wavelength of ocean waves.

Deep-Water Waves

If the water depth (d) is greater then the wave base (equal to one-half the wavelength, or L/2), the waves are called deep-water waves. Deep-water waves have no interference with the ocean bottom, so they include all wind-generated waves in the open ocean. Submarines can avoid large ocean waves by submerging below the wave base.



The wave that hit the Draupner platform in 1995 was over 90 ft. high and had a wavelength of 231 meters (which it covered in only 12 seconds! – 45 mph). To avoid these waves, a submerged cargo vessel or tanker would have to withstand pressures at a minimum of 116 meters below sea level.

That may be a piece of cake for a normal submarine but it would cost multiples of what cargo and tanker vessels cost now to make cargo submarines and tankers capable of routinely submerging to 400 or 500 feet.

And in water that is too shallow to get under the wave action, they will not avoid being damaged or sunk. Those waves Paul Beckwith mentions will be visiting the coastlines regularly in a ΔT = plus 2C (and beyond) world.

During WW2 the Germans actually made submarine tankers. They nicknamed them "Milk Cows". The German type XIV U-Boat could resupply other boats with 432 t (425 long tons) of fuel. I'm sure ExxonMobil will look into it when the going gets REALLY rough on the oceans, instead of doing the right thing and giving up fossil fuels. They aren't known for their ability to consider the wider consequences of their greed based, short term profit motive stupidity. But I digress. wink 

Besides the large increase in sea level, the wave action predicted makes every hull design of modern shipping inadequate. It will be very hard to sustain our level of civilization without the benefits of modern shipping.

Redesigning hulls will not work for the simple reason that the waves, now called "rogue" waves, of those oceans will be routine. 30 to 35 meter tall waves exert forces on a hull of about 100 tons per square meter. No modern hull design exceeds 30 tons per square meter.

Hellespont Alhambra (now TI Asia), a ULCC TI class supertanker, which are the largest ocean-going oil tankers in the world

To give you a better idea of the huge threat a giant wave or three is to a large tanker or cargo vessel, I took some screenshots from a video of a wave laboratory testing the effects of 72 ft. waves on a modern supertanker. I'm sure Big Oil is paying attention, regardless of what they say in public.


















The tanker completely capsized. In a real world situation, this is a death blow to the crew because it happens too fast to get survival gear on or reach the lifeboats, even if they are the emergency egress sealed type you saw earlier. That is why both tanker and cargo ships do everything they can to avoid being broadsided. In the real world, when the engines are lost in these types of seas, the only way to survive is to immediately abandon ship on a free fall enclosed life boat capsule.

If the above series of screen shots are not convincing enough to the reader of the threat shipping faces from giant waves, the following video series will leave no doubt in your mind that world shipping is incapable of handling the routine 30 to 35 meter waves that the Hansen et al June 2015 paper predicts for a ΔT = plus 2C (and beyond) world.

The following video series is the first of an excellent BBC series that describes the difficulties that shipping faces with giant waves. Some of the material I have covered is presented with some added background provided. You will learn much from these videos. You will learn that absolutely nothing I have told you is exaggeration or hyperbole.

The threat is real and it is getting worse. I urge you to set aside some time to view them because this concerns our future as a civilization. We are not prepared for a ΔT = plus 2C world (and beyond).



Global Civilization is threatened within 25 years or less by the scientifically predicted ocean surface wave activity in the Hansen et al June 2015 study * and the Dutton et al July 2015 study ** evidencing a 6 to 25 meter (19 to 82 feet!) sea level increase in the geological record when the CO2 parts per million (PPM) atmospheric concentration was between 300 and 400PPM. As of October of 2015, the CO2 concentration is at 400PPM. It is increasing at over 3PPM per year.

*Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 15, 20059–20179, 2015 doi:10.5194/acpd-15-20059-2015 © Author(s) 2015. CC Attribution 3.0 License.

Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 C global warming is highly dangerous

J. Hansen1, M. Sato1, P. Hearty2, R. Ruedy3,4, M. Kelley3,4, V. Masson-Delmotte5, G. Russell4, G. Tselioudis4, J. Cao6, E. Rignot7,8, I. Velicogna8,7, E. Kandiano9, K. von Schuckmann10, P. Kharecha1,4, A. N. Legrande4, M. Bauer11, and K.-W. Lo3,4



** Science 10 July 2015:  Vol. 349 no. 6244 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4019

Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods

A. Dutton1,*, A. E. Carlson2, A. J. Long3, G. A. Milne4, P. U. Clark2, R. DeConto5, B. P. Horton6,7, S. Rahmstorf8, M. E. Raymo9


Furthermore, the rate of increase is also rising, evidencing, not only the lack of concerted action by the governments of the industrialized nations of the world to stop using fossil fuels, but an increase in their use, along with the incredibly destructive policies of subsidizing the exploration for fossil fuels.

If drastic action is not taken to avert this violent oceans catastrophe for human civilization, our global civilization will collapse into "sea-locked" regions unable to conduct trade across the oceans except via air transportation, a method that is not economically feasible to use for bulk cargo.

Port facilities and coastal airport facilities will become unusable. In addition, the salt water fishing industry would also collapse, both from the violent oceans and the increasing rate of marine extinctions, creating joblessness, food shortages and widespread hunger.

At least 25 percent of the world's arable land, all of which is low lying and near sea coasts, will be lost due to salt water invasion of the water table, even several miles from the coasts.



To prevent a collapse of global civilization into a group of "sea locked" areas, we must act now to prevent the oceans from being too stormy for shipping.

This requires the following:

1. The manufacture of internal combustion engines, and spare parts, used to power utility scale power plants, land, sea and air vehicles and emergency generators for public or private use, be they large or small, is to be outlawed, unless they are designed to run exclusively (low temperature alloys ONLY – 2/3 lighter engine blocks – they break down due to high waste heat if run on fossil fuels) on ethanol or some other biofuel. All aircraft must be powered by biofuels until electrically powered or hydrogen powered aircraft replace current jet engines. All ocean going oil tankers are to be recycled for low cost EV metals. All remaining ships of all sizes must be electrically powered as well, unless they can be modified to run on biofuels. Biofuels must be used to bridge the gap while phasing out the internal combustion engine in industry, the military and transportation by air, land or sea.

2. All ships must have enclosed egress lifeboats capable of surviving 35 meter waves.

3. Small engines, like those used for lawn mowers. leaf blowers or weed whackers are to be outlawed. All ordinances requiring lawns are to be outlawed. All lawn, gardening or snow removal power equipment not running on E100 is to be electrically powered without any exceptions or grace period.

4. A program to phase out of all uses of fossil fuels within one year must begin immediately. All gasoline stations are to have at least two E100 pumps. A gasoline tax of one dollar per gallon is to be levied to existing gasoline or other distillate fuels tax. The tax is to be increased by one additional dollar per gallon every month.

5. All governments must provide an EV for gas guzzlers consumer trade program at no cost to the owner until all on road and off road vehicles that are not fueled exclusively with E100 (100% ethanol) have been recycled.

6. All public and private buildings (including the military) are to be modified to have 100% renewable energy for heating and cooling. Zero percent financing and a 30 year amortization period is to be provided to all private households and landlords for the purchase and installation of Renewable Energy infrastructure. No household is entitled to heat and cool more than 500 square feet per occupant. No exceptions. Monitoring devices are to placed on all large houses in general and mansions in particular with heavy fines for violations.

7. After all buildings are heated and cooled with renewable energy, the remaining energy needs, plus a surplus, are to be generated by renewable energy in order to begin the process of returning to less than 350PPM of CO2. Carbon will be sequestered with renewable energy machines.

8.The manufacture, sale or use of fossil fuel based pesticides or chemical fertilizers for agriculture is to be outlawed with a six month phase out grace period.

9. The manufacture and sale of any product, including, but not limited to, pharmaceuticals and plastics, using fossil fuels as a feed stock is to be prohibited by law. A one year grace period will be allowed for transition to the use of plant based carbohydrates as feed stock.

10. Water use is to be heavily regulated.

11. Military budgets are to be limited to no more than 5% of tax receipts.

12. All subsidies for fossil fuels are be declared null and void in every country in the world. All rigs, refineries, tanker trucks, pipelines and other fossil fuel industry plant and equipment are to be recycled within a five year period. The fossil fuel industry stock holders are to shoulder the cost of this. Corporate bankruptcies of fossil fuel corporations will not limit the liability of the corporation stock holders sccording to a worldwide proclamation of Force Majeure. Executives, board members and all other stock holders will be liable for all recycling costs according to ownership records over the last 50 years.


And that is just the start. Massive conservation efforts must be undertaken to preserve and protect all animals now threatened with extinction. All governments must put these efforts on the level of war time demands simply because our survival as a civilization and possibly as a species is threatened.

We cannot function without the use of the oceans. We will not be able to use those oceans if we don't lower the CO2 atmospheric content to at least 350 PPM.

And even then, with the 6 meter or more (over 19 feet!) rise in sea level locked into the ΔT = plus 2C world, we will lose the use of all port facilities, coastal cities and arable land near sea level within a decade or, optimistically speaking in regard to the IPCC RPC-8.5 "Business as Usual" scenario, by 2050. Our civilization does not have the money to rebuild and replant and relocate millions of people as the seas go up and fly all cargo when the seas can't be used, PERIOD.

It is only possible to avoid a collapse of global civilization by the drastic measures I listed, and only if those measures are undertaken within a decade.

If not, then mankind will be split into several "sea locked" groups watching the oceans acidify and the temperature increase to the point when the methane bursts from the thawed clathrates in the Arctic ocean bottom. Then the ΔT = plus 2C world will be a distant mild memory in comparison to the ΔT = plus 4C and beyond runaway GHG hell.

Sadly, I do not see any of evidence that any government is championing drastic action.


Oil Tanker named "Prestige" sinks. Is this the Writing on the Oil Tanker Hull Wall for Big Oil?

It is small consolation to me that these oil tankers will not survive the coming oceans. But there is a certain logic to it.

If you find this article of importance to our survival as a species or the survival of civilization, please pass it on with or without attribution. People need to properly understand the nature of our climate problem in general, and the fossil fuel industry's blame for profiting from it in particular, in order to embrace the outlawing of the burning of fossil fuels.






They must be held accountable and they must NOT be allowed to influence energy policy ever again. They will try to sabotage or water down all the reforms proposed at the December 2015 COP21 Climate Conference, as they have done at all the other global climate conferences through corruption or threats. Our survival and the welfare of the children of the world depends on stopping these criminals NOW.



Please help the children.

"We call on you to take immediate action to protect COP21 and all future negotiations from the influence of big polluters. Given the fossil fuel industry’s years of interference intended to block progress, push false solutions, and continue the disastrous status quo, the time has come to stop treating big polluters as legitimate “stakeholders” and to remove them from climate policymaking."

Today, we are facing the prospect of the destruction of life as we know it and irreversible damage to our planet due to climate change. Scientists are telling us with ever more urgency that we must act quickly to stop extracting fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But the world’s largest polluters have prevented progress on bold climate action for far too long.

We call on the Parties to the UNFCCC to protect the UN climate talks and climate policymaking around the world from the influence of big polluters. The world is looking to the next round of negotiations – in Paris this December – for decisive action on climate. This is a pivotal moment to create real solutions. We need a strong outcome from the Paris talks in order to seize the momentum of a growing global movement, and to urge leaders to take bolder action to address the climate crisis.

But the fossil fuel industry and other transnational corporations that have a vested interest in stopping progress continue to delay, weaken, and block climate policy at every level. From the World Coal Association hosting a summit on "clean coal" around COP19 to Shell aggressively lobbying in the European Union for weak renewable energy goals while promoting gas – these big polluters are peddling false solutions to protect their profits while driving the climate crisis closer to the brink.

A decade ago, the international community took on another behemoth industry – Big Tobacco – and created a precedent-setting treaty mechanism that removed the tobacco industry from public health policy. This can happen again here.

Corporate Accountability International will deliver this message and the list of signatures at the climate talks in Bonn, Germany, the first week of June. We will do another delivery by the end of COP21 in Paris this December.

Participating organizations:


Amazon Watch

Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Climate Action Network International

Corporate Accountability International

CREDO Action

Daily Kos

Environmental Action

Food & Water Watch

Federation of Young European Greens

Forecast the Facts

Greenpeace USA

League of Conservation Voters

Oil Change International

People for the American Way

Rainforest Action Network

RH Reality Check


The Natural History Museum

CC: UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Outgoing COP20 President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal

Incoming COP21 President Laurent Fabius 

Many will read this and scoff. They do not accept the FACT that Business as usual is a death sentence for global civilization. They do not accept the FACT that nature does not negotiate. They do not accept the FACT that Incremental/half measures are like being half pregnant with Rosemary's baby.

They will say that there is absolutely no way that the governments of the world will undertake even a tiny portion of the recommendations I list as sine qua non for our survival as a global civilization.

Perhaps they are right about the governments. If they are, then perhaps we will, because of the successful degrading of democracy and the biosphere by the fossil fuel industry over the course of about a century, experience the roaring oceans and the collapse of all of civilization, not just global civilization.

If so, then the ocean violence, now predicted by science, was prophesied about a long time ago.

And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Luke 21:25-26 English Standard Version

But whether you believe the above prophesy is valid or not, I think it safe to assume that our future ocean surface will be very unsafe.

For more background, read these articles:

The Real Sea Monsters: On the Hunt for Rogue Waves

By Lynne Peeples | September 2, 2009


Rogue waves are no fish tale

Once regarded as extremely rare, satellite photos and radar imagery have documented the existence of numerous rogue waves, and it turns out that they are far more common than previously thought.



If you missed the first two parts of this article, you may read them at the following links:

PART ONE: Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity

Part TWO: Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity


Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity

Off the keyboard of A. G. Gelbert

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 28, 2015


On top of the disaster for civilization that a rise in seal level of 6 meters (over 19 FEET!) represents from the loss of coastal arable land, coastal cities, shipping ports and airports, there is the problem of wave activity.

Which brings us back to shipping and the ocean surface. Of particular concern to ocean shipping in a ΔT = plus 2C (and greater) atmosphere are the following facts about waves.


Because that world will have more energy both in the oceans and in the atmosphere. That world will have, not just greater average wind speeds, particularly over unobstructed surfaces like the oceans, but a greater duration of higher wind velocities (speed in a relatively constant direction) over thousands of miles. High wind velocity and duration over hundreds or thousands of miles is a recipe for giant waves.

Here's a very brief primer on waves so you can grasp the impact of giant wave characteristics on shipping.

First, the high points of the waves are called "crests" and the low points of the waves are called "troughs". The crest is the part that starts to curl over and turn foamy when waves hit the beach. The difference in height between the crest and the trough is called the wave height.

The "amplitude" is one half the wave height. So if you have "50-foot seas", you have wave crests 25 feet above calm sea level and troughs 25 feet below it. The amplitude of 50-foot seas is 25 feet.

In the ocean, the trough of a wave is just as far below sea level as the crest is above sea level.

Energy, not water, moves across the ocean's surface. Water particles only travel in a small circle as a wave passes.


How are waves energy?

The best way to understand waves as energy is to think of a long rope laid on the ground. If you pick up one end and give it a good snap –there's a ripple effect all the way to the other end — just like the waves on the ocean! That means that energy is applied at one end and it moves to the other end.

What provides the energy?

In the case of ocean waves, wind provides the energy. Wind causes waves that travel in the ocean. The energy is released on shorelines. Some of the energy of waves is also released against the hulls of ships at sea. The larger the vessel surface being impacted by the wave, the more force is exerted against that surface. Being hit by a single giant wave from the front of the bow or the rear of the stern is normally within the structural design limits of a large vessel. But being broadsided can either sink a ship or severely damage it.

1973: A rogue wave off the coast of Durban, South Africa, strikes the 12,000-ton cargo ship Bencrauchan. The ship is towed into port, barely floating.


What determines the size of the wave?

The size of a wave depends on:

1. the distance the wind blows (over open water) which is known as the "fetch",

2. the length of time the wind blows, and

3. the speed of the wind.

The greater these three, the larger the wave.

The distance waves are apart is called the "wavelength". Wavelength is typically measured between the crests of two adjacent waves, but it could be measured from trough to trough or from any point on one wave to the same point on the next wave. You will get the same distance no matter where you measure.

Finally, the "frequency" of the wave specifies how many wave wavelengths go by in a set amount of time. So this is dependent not only on the speed of the waves, but on their wavelength.


The "period" of a wave must also be considered. The period of a wave is the amount of time it takes for one wavelength to occur.

Frequency and period are distinctly different, yet related, quantities. The frequency of a wave is how many wavelengths occur in a given amount of time.


Ship hulls are designed to withstand about 15 to 20 tons per square meter. They can handle up to 30 tons per square meter only if they bend to take the blow.

Rogue Wave Is Suspected in Mideast Tanker Blast

When a wave with a height of 30 meters (100 ft.) is spoken of, only half that much of it is what is above the sea level. That doesn't do a ship much good because the ship will ride down the 15 meter trough before it gets hit by the 30 meter monster. And "riding" down the trough is somewhat of a misnomer.

Large ships, because of the combined weight of the ship and the cargo, have a lot of inertia. If the ship is moving forward at about 13 kts (15 mph) and a giant wave is approaching it a 45 mph (this has been documented and is routine), you have a relative speed of the wave to the ship of 60 mph. The wavelength of a 30 meter wave is about 230 meters (this has also been documented).

Even if the combined speed against such a wave is just 45 mph because the captain has slowed his ship to reduce hull stress, the ship experiences a drop of ocean beneath it of 50 feet in 6 seconds, followed by the a rise of 100 feet in another six seconds.

Initially the ship just dives bow first and everybody on it feels like they are in free fall. When the ship hits the trough bottom, its inertia is still driving the bow down as the seas rise 100 feet. The bridge superstructure is impacted and often the windows are blown in and the bridge, with all its electronics, is flooded.

If that causes the engines to fail, the ship will probably sink. That is because the waves and wind will then turn the ship broadside to the waves. When a ship is broadside to the waves, it will either get rolled and sink or get holed by the force of a giant wave. Whether it sinks or not depends on how long the severe sea state continues. This ship was hit broadside by a "rogue" wave, but survived.

Thirty meter waves have a force of about 100 tons per square meter, depending on the frequency and period of the wave. Waves of the same height with a higher frequency and shorter period are traveling faster, so they have much more force.

1976: The oil tanker Cretan Star in Indian Ocean off Bombay radios for help: “Vessel was struck by a huge wave that went over the deck.” The ship is never heard from again. The only sign of the vessel's fate was 6 km oil slick.



1980: A huge wave was reported to have slammed into the oil tanker Esso Languedoc off the east coast of South Africa. First mate Philippe Lijour, aboard the supertanker Esso Languedoc, took this rare photo.




1981: A giant wave seemed to want to teach a crude oil tanker named "Energy Endurance" (Gross tonnage, 97,005 tons. DWT, 205,808 tons) what REAL energy endurance is all about.


 There is no amount of cargo that a large vessel can safely carry under these conditions, regardless of the design claims about "safe" DWT tonnage for cargo and tanker ships you read about earlier in this article.


Where are the largest waves found?

The largest waves are found in the open ocean. Waves continue to get larger as they move and absorb energy from the wind.



Waves at Sea

Waves at sea are created by winds blowing across the water surface and transferring energy to the water by the impact of the air. Small ripples develop first, and frictional drag on their windward side causes then to grow larger, or to collapse and contribute part of their expended energy to larger waves.

Consequently, large waves capture increasing amounts of energy and continue to develop as long as the wind maintains sufficient strength and constant direction.

As more and more energy is transferred to the water surface. waves become higher and longer, and travel with increasing velocities; 50-foot waves are not uncommon in the open ocean, and waves more than 100 feet high have been reported.


2002: December 15, 2002, MS Hanseatic of the Radisson Seven Seas was struck by a large rogue wave while on a coastal cruise of New Zealand.



Above you see a scale simulation of two small vessels in 50 ft. seas. The wavelength is fairly large, so these vessels are handling a very dangerous sea state okay. The wave is 50 feet from crest to trough. The danger increases when the wind gets stronger. That is because the wind increases the wave height and the wave frequency while the wavelength gets shorter.

When large waves are present, the shorter the wavelength, the steeper and more dangerous the wave. And, as mentioned earlier, a higher frequency of large waves makes them even more dangerous because they have much more energy to be delivered as a force against the hull of a ship. It is simple physics that getting hit with a wall of water at 44 mph is potentially far, far more than twice as damaging as the same wall of water hitting you at 22 mph.

Larger vessels, while generally more sea worthy, have weaknesses that small vessels do not have. A small vessel with properly battened hatches can bob like a cork in a storm. In the above situation, the sail boat would probably have the sails reefed (taken in). It will survive as long as it isn't smashed against a reef or a rock.

But a large vessel, because it is much longer than it is wide, is weakest in the middle and along the sides from bow to stern. The bow and stern act as giant levers moved by the wave crests and troughs with the fulcrum located somewhere in the middle.

The middle either sags or it "hogs" (bends up instead of down). There is no ship that can be made strong enough to handle the massive metal fatigue inducing stresses of repeated sagging and hogging that would occur in seas populated with 30 meter waves. Here is an example of a container ship that hit a reef. It did not sink right away. But you can see that it buckled and cracked on the side from the up down and sideways wave movement of the ends of the ship.


Individual "rogue waves" (also called "freak waves", "monster waves", "killer waves", and "king waves") much higher than the other waves in the sea state can occur.

NOAA ship Delaware II in bad weather on Georges Bank.


… the largest ever recorded wind waves are common — not rogue — waves in extreme sea states.


For example: 29.1 m (95 ft) high waves have been recorded on the RRS Discovery in a sea with 18.5 m (61 ft) significant wave height, so the highest wave is only 1.6 times the significant wave height.

The biggest recorded by a buoy (as of 2011) was 32.3 m (106 ft) high during the 2007 typhoon Krosa near Taiwan.



Giants of the Oceans

Naval architects have always worked on the assumption that their vessels are extremely unlikely to encounter a rogue. Almost everything on the sea is sailing under the false assumption that rogue waves are, at worst, vanishingly rare events. The new research suggest that’s wrong, and has cost lives. Between 1969 and 1994 twenty-two super carriers were lost or severely damaged due to the occurrence of sudden rogue waves; a total of 542 lives were lost as a result.

G. Lawton. Monsters of the deep. New Scientist, 170(2297):28–32, 2001.

Freak, rogue or giant waves correspond to large-amplitude waves surprisingly appearing on the sea surface. Such waves can be accompanied by deep troughs (holes), which occur before and/or after the largest crest.

There are several definitions for such surprisingly huge waves, but the one that is more popular now is the amplitude criterion of freak waves, which define them as waves with heights that exceed at least twice the significant wave height. The significant height is the height of at least one third of the largest waves in a given area being traversed by a ship.


According to orthodox oceanography, rogue waves are so rare that no ship or oil platform should ever expect to encounter one. But as the shipping lanes fill with supercarriers and the oil and gas industry explores ever-deeper parts of the ocean, rogue waves are being reported far more often than they should.

The most spectacular sighting of recent years is probably the so-called New Year Wave, which hit Statoil’s Draupner gas platforms in the North Sea on New Year’s Day 1995. The significant wave height at the time was around 12 metres. But in the middle of the afternoon the platform was struck by something much bigger. According to measurements made with a laser, it was 26 metres from trough to crest.

Hundreds of waves been recorded by now that are at least twice the significant wave height, and several waves at larger than three times the significant wave height. Waves with an "Abnormality index" (Ai) larger than three (Ai > 3) are known.

Alexey Slunyaev Christin Kharif, Efim Pelinovsky. Rogue Waves in the Ocean. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2009.


The New Year Wave is an example of a wave with an Ai = 3.19.


Christian Kharif and Efim Pelinovsky. Physical mechanisms of the rogue wave phenomenon. European Journal of Mechanics – B/Fluids, 22(6):603 – 634, 2003.

I obtained the above information from a paper submitted to the mathematics department of the University of Arizona. Here is a summary:

"In this project, the rogue wave phenomenon is introduced along with its importance. The main equations governing both linear and nonlinear theory are presented. The three main linear theories proposed to explain the rogue rave phenomenon are presented and a linear model reproducing rogue waves due to dispersion is shown. A nonlinear model for rogue waves in shallow water is also exhibited."

I have skipped the math. The information is state of the art and the references are impeccable.


[1] Alexey Slunyaev Christin Kharif, Efim Pelinovsky. Rogue Waves in the Ocean. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2009.

[2] K.B. Dysthe, HE Krogstad, H. Socquet-Juglard, and K. Trulsen. Freak waves, rogue waves, extreme waves and ocean wave climate. Mathematics Departments in Bergen and Oslo, Norway. Available at: www. math. uio. no/-karstent/waves/index_ en. html, July, 2007.

[3] R.S. Johnson. A modern introduction to the mathematical theory of water waves. Cambridge Univ Pr, 997.

[4] Christian Kharif and Efim Pelinovsky. Physical mechanisms of the rogue wave phenomenon. European Journal of Mechanics – B/Fluids, 22(6):603 – 634, 2003.

[5] G. Lawton. Monsters of the deep. New Scientist, 170(2297):28–32, 2001.

[6] Pengzhi Lin. Numerical Modeling of Water Waves. Taylor and Francis, 2008. 13

And that is why the conclusions are so unsettling.


1. Precise physical mechanisms causing the rogue waves phenomenon remain unknown.

2. Rogue waves should be considered when designing ships and marine platforms to reduce the number of vessels sunk worldwide.


Ocean Ranger severely listing in a storm after being hit by a "rogue" wave.

Ironically, the first industry that started to feel the effects of an angrier ocean was the fossil fuel industry. You've already read about some oil tanker damage and losses. They continue to this day despite alleged vessel "design improvements".

But the 120 million dollar "unsinkable" Ocean Ranger, a giant ocean going oil platform damaged from a "rogue" wave, really got their attention. All hands perished. This was a wake up call to the scientists that studied waves and was of much concern to the fossil fuel industry.

The wave hit too high and damaged some electronics. The platform began to list. The operator made the right moves but the valves that should have closed, opened more. The last that was heard from them was that they were listing at about 15 degrees and going to the lifeboat stations.

Ocean Ranger reported experiencing storm seas of 55 feet (17 m), with the odd wave up to 65 feet (20 m), thus leaving the unprotected portlight at 28 feet (8.5 m) above mean sea level vulnerable to wave damage. Some time after 21:00, radio conversations originating on Ocean Ranger were heard on the Sedco 706 and Zapata Ugland, noting that valves on Ocean Ranger's ballast control panel appeared to be opening and closing of their own accord. The radio conversations also discussed the 100-knot (190 km/h) winds and waves up to 65 feet (20 m) high. Through the remainder of the evening, routine radio traffic passed between Ocean Ranger, its neighbouring rigs and their individual support boats. Nothing out of the ordinary was noted.

At 00:52 local time, on 15 February, 1982, a Mayday call was sent out from Ocean Ranger, noting a severe list to the port side of the rig and requesting immediate assistance. This was the first communication from Ocean Ranger identifying a major problem. The standby vessel, the M/V Seaforth Highlander, was requested to come in close as countermeasures against the 10–15-degree list were proving ineffective.

The onshore MOCAN supervisor was notified of the situation, and the Canadian Forces and Mobil-operated helicopters were alerted just after 1:00 local time. The M/V Boltentor and the M/V Nordertor, the standby boats of the Sedco 706 and the Zapata Ugland respectively, were also dispatched to Ocean Ranger to provide assistance.

At 1:30 local time, Ocean Ranger transmitted its last message: "There will be no further radio communications from Ocean Ranger. We are going to lifeboat stations." Shortly thereafter, in the middle of the night and in the midst of severe winter weather, the crew abandoned the rig. The rig remained afloat for another ninety minutes, sinking between 3:07 and 3:13 local time.

All of Ocean Ranger sank beneath the Atlantic: by the next morning all that remained was a few buoys. Her entire complement of 84 workers – 46 Mobil employees and 38 contractors from various service companies – were killed.


It turns out that the math formulas for wave action were incorrect. But it took over a decade to get some proof that they were incorrect. The fossil fuel industry apparently filed the tragedy away as a freak incident. They certainly did not seem that concerned, considering they did everything possible to keep from having to build more sturdy (i.e. double hulled) tankers with the help of the Reagan and the first Bush Administration.

Scientists, up until the 1980's, had believed that it was impossible for an ocean wave on this planet to be higher than 80 feet. This, despite eye witness accounts from mariners to the contrary. As usual, the non-credentialed folks could not convince the scientists that there were waves out there that exceeded 100 feet.

AND that those waves appeared in seas that were only half as high (or less) as the giant wave(s) (sometimes they came in a group of three – they call them the three sisters – the women always get the blame – lol!). Impossible, proclaimed the scientist worthies. Fish tales!


But in 1995, a laser wave height measuring device on an oil platform provided the first concrete evidence that the happy math was wishful thinking.   You saw the graph of the 1995 New Year Wave earlier in this article. In this video it is modelled in 3D.


As you all know, when the fossil fuel industry wants action, it gets action. And it gets government funded action that you and I pay for and they don't pay a penny for. But I digress. wink Faster that you can say fossil fuel profits are threatened, a three week satellite survey of the oceans was undertaken. Four giant waves were observed and measured in just three weeks!

Not only was the math wrong, but, as referenced earlier in this article, "rogue" waves were not really "rogue" at all!

Of course, at that time, no connection to wave activity and global warming had been established.

Snark alert.   Yes, it's true that scientists are taught, like all the rest of us that cook every now and then, that warmer waters can be a bit more turbulent, but it's a big ocean out there, right?

Well, the attitude of the scientific community is changing, at least in regard to these giant waves.

The cause of rogue waves is still an area of active research. One theory under investigation cites “constructive interference,” which is a result of several smaller waves overlapping in phase, combining to produce one massive wave. Another working hypothesis is based on the “non-linear Schrödinger effect," in which energy is "soaked up" from neighboring waves to create a monster wave. Still other researchers are looking into the possibility that wave energy is being focused by the surrounding environments, or that wind action on the surface is amplifying existing effects.



Suggested mechanisms for the formation of freak waves include the following:



End of PART TWO.

PART THREE will be published on or before November 1, 2015. If you missed PART ONE, you may read it HERE.

Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity

Off the keyboard of A. G. Gelbert

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 26, 2015


In this three part article I explain what the scientific community defines as the "Business as Usual" scenario in regard to atmospheric pollutants fueling Global Warming. A brief review of the existential threat to marine life that this scenario represents will follow.

Subsequently, I discuss global shipping. I provide a summary of the tremendous importance of blue water (deep ocean) cargo shipping to global civilization. You will be surprised at how vital to global civilization blue water cargo shipping is. All the military vessels, all the pleasure yachts and even all the fishing fleets are insignificant in tonnage compared to that of ocean going cargo and tanker vessels.

I then leave the subject of shipping and the types of cargo vessels, which I return to at the end, to provide the reader with a graphic climate history of the Northern Hemisphere, from the last Glacial Maximum to the present, followed by the, scientifically based, predicted sea level and land vegetation changes in the "Business as Usual" scenario within the next 85 years.

The discussion then returns to cargo ships and their behavior in rough seas. I provide graphics to explain what has been learned about ocean waves in the last 40 years that shocked the scientific community and caused them to go back to the drawing board on the science and math formulas of hydrodynamics in regard to maximum wave heights. Some tragic cargo vessel losses from "rogue" waves (that turned out not to be as "rogue" as science had thought) are presented as evidence that the oceans are becoming increasingly dangerous to shipping.

Finally, the Hansen et al paper, published in June of 2015, is referenced as evidence of a coming abrupt sea state change that will make modern blue water surface cargo shipping either too costly or impossible. The reason for this will be explained in detail with graphics showing ocean wave action and modern shipping design limitations.

Included in the last section that ties all the others together is a reference to another scientific paper just published that provides evidence that the worst case scenario ("Business as Usual") modeled by the scientific community severely understates the amount of sea level rise in the next 85 years.

I conclude with recommendations on what the governments of the industrialized countries of the world need to do within the next decade in order to prevent a collapse of civilization (or worse) within the next 25 years.

Let us begin with these nuggets of climate science from NASA:

Carbon Dioxide Controls Earth's Temperature

Water vapor and clouds are the major contributors to Earth's greenhouse effect, but a new atmosphere-ocean climate modeling study shows that the planet's temperature ultimately depends on the atmospheric level of carbon dioxide.

Without non-condensing greenhouse gases, water vapor and clouds would be unable to provide the feedback mechanisms that amplify the greenhouse effect.

The study ties in to the geologic record in which carbon dioxide levels have oscillated between approximately 180 parts per million during ice ages, and about 280 parts per million during warmer interglacial periods. To provide perspective to the nearly 1 C (1.8 F) increase in global temperature over the past century, it is estimated that the global mean temperature difference between the extremes of the ice age and interglacial periods is only about 5 C (9 F).

"When carbon dioxide increases, more water vapor returns to the atmosphere. This is what helped to melt the glaciers that once covered New York City," said co-author David Rind, of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "Today we are in uncharted territory as carbon dioxide approaches 390 parts per million in what has been referred to as the 'superinterglacial'."

"The bottom line is that atmospheric carbon dioxide acts as a thermostat in regulating the temperature of Earth," Lacis said.

"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has fully documented the fact that industrial activity is responsible for the rapidly increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

It is not surprising then that global warming can be linked directly to the observed increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and to human industrial activity in general."


So, if you read some happy talk from the fossil fuel industry that it's the "water vapor" that is causing global warming, be sure and reference the above study (and the companion study also mentioned at the link) just before you call them on their ignorance, or worse, their duplicity. 

You just read about the huge difference a mere 5 degrees C (Centigrade) can make. Here's a graphic to give you an idea about how effective our greenhouse gas (GHG) shell is at keeping us from turning into a ball of ice.


Green house gases are vital to regulating Earth's temperature. But there is a goldilocks band of these gases that must be adhered to in order to provide a viable biosphere.

In addition, GHG changes in concentration within that band must proceed, down or up, at or slower than a certain rate in order to allow the organisms that live in that biosphere to adapt to the changes or they will go extinct.

Industrial civilization has BOTH exceeded the upper margin of the GHG band by a huge margin AND has done it at a rate far above the ability of most complex non-microscopic organisms to adapt to these violent changes. Mammalian vertebrates, among the complex organisms on Earth, are the least able to adapt to rapid GHG concentration changes.


There is no precedent in the geological record for the increase in CO2 caused by the burning of fossil fuels over the last century. And the rate those fossil fuels are being burned is increasing, not slowing down or ceasing.

Non-self aware mammalian vertebrates, unlike us, cannot use technology to adapt. This is the part the CEO of ExxonMobil (RexTillerson) forgot accidentally on purpose when he said, "We will adapt to that". Mr. Tillerson is an idiot or a liar (possibly both). Those "qualities" seem to be a job requirement for those that work in the fossil fuel industry.

Mr. Tillerson's optimistic happy talk is not based on climate science or the geological record.

"Mass extinctions due to rapidly escalating levels of CO2 are recorded since as long as 580 million years ago."


Whether we humans want to admit it or not, we need the 75% of all of Earth's species in danger of extinction from climate change. I know it is really hard for the fossil fuel industry predators 'R' US crowd to wrap their greedy heads around this, but it's hard to live on a diet of hydrocarbons. And if we don't stop burning them, both our plant and animal food supply, along with thousands of other species of other earthlings that make this planet viable, will go extinct.

This is not hyperbole. Mass extinctions are part of the geological record. In all but one of those mass extinctions, the rapid rise in GHG was the cause of the extinctions. Furthermore, in all the former mass extinctions, the RATE of rise in GHG was much slower than today.

"As our anthropogenic global emissions of CO2 are rising at a rate for which no precedence is known from the geological record with the exception of asteroid impacts, another wave of extinctions is unfolding."


According to the latest scientific studies on Global Warming, "Business as Usual", touted as the basis for the continued health of global civilization, is actually the greatest threat to global civilization and our species that we have ever faced.

Before we get to what exactly is meant by, "Business as Usual", let us first review the human caused pollution effects on ocean physical chemistry and temperature and marine species biochemistry.

The following review references an analysis of oceans that totally omits a growing problem for worldwide shipping. Although the review is mostly very bad news, it may turn out to be, in terms of what deals the collapse triggering blow to human civilization as we know it, the "good" news.

The World Ocean Review

The ocean may be buffering the most severe consequences of climate change for now. But in the long run we can only hope to avoid these if we strictly curb GHG emissions today.

Experts are concerned that hundreds of thousands of tonnes of methane hydrate could break down due to the warming of seawater – gas masses that are lying inertly in solid, frozen form in the sea floor sediments today. A portion of the methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas, could then rise into the atmosphere and further accelerate the process of climate change – a vicious circle.

The oceans absorb many millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. They are the largest “sink” for anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The excess carbon dioxide, however, upsets the chemical equilibrium of the ocean. It leads to acidification of the oceans, the consequences of which are unpredictable. Acidic water disrupts the sense of smell in fish larvae, carbonate formation by snails, and the growth rates of starfish. The phytoplankton, tiny algae in the ocean and vital nutrient basis for higher organisms, are also affected by acidification.

The coastal environment is still being damaged by effluent and toxic discharges, and especially by nutrients conveyed to the ocean by rivers. Thousands of tonnes of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds flow into the ocean around the world, causing an explosion in algal reproduction. In many coastal regions the catastrophe begins with the death of the algae. Bacteria feed on the algal remains and consume oxygen in the water. In these oxygen-depleted zones all higher life forms die off. Efforts to reduce nutrient levels have been successful in Western Europe.

Worldwide, however, the input of nutrients is becoming increasingly problematical. People are, without a doubt, abusing the oceans in many respects, and this is increasing the stress on marine organisms. Through over-fertilization and acidification of the water, rapid changes in water temperature or salinity, biological diversity in the ocean could drop worldwide at increasing rates. With the combination of all these factors, the disruption of habitats is so severe that species will continue to disappear.

Clearly the oceans continue to be the “last stop” for the dregs of our civilization, not only for the persistent chemicals, but also our everyday garbage. Six million tonnes of rubbish end up in the ocean worldwide every year. The trash is a fatal trap for dolphins, turtles and birds. Plastic is especially long-lived and, driven by ocean currents, it collects in the central oceans in gyres of garbage covering hundreds of square kilometres. A new problem has been identified in the microscopically small breakdown products of plastics, which are concentrated in the bodies of marine organisms.


That World Ocean Review I just quoted from, after laying out the hard facts, incredibly goes on to happily discuss ocean mining opportunities and methane hydrate harvesting plans for "energy products" for "energy independence". The only caveat they supply is more of an epitaph for human willful denial of facts than a precautionary warning. Please file the following in the WTF!? category.

Energy from burning ice

In addition to abundant minerals, there are large amounts of methane hydrate beneath the sea floor. Some countries hope to become independent of energy imports by exploiting marine gas hydrate deposits near their own coasts. The technology for production, however, is not yet available. Furthermore, the risks to climate stability and hazards to marine habitats associated with extraction of the methane hydrates must first be clarified.


Yes, it seems the DANGER of extracting methane hydrates has not been "CLARIFIED" enough. Neither the Permian Extinction geological record nor the PETM (Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum) geological record has "clarified" the methane issue enough.

Hello? Is this, a more recent pre-human epoch, CLARIFICATION enough for you fellows providing your business friendly "World Ocean Review ", claiming, among other wonders of optimistic prose, that the sea level is only going to rise about 180 cm by century's end?


The following alarming, but still too conservative, MIT study EXCLUDES the ABRUPT climate change positive feedback loop effects we are now beginning to experience.

Do they think this MIT study needs "clarification"?


And the DANGER of an acidified ocean to most marine species, which will clearly be exacerbated by the methane bomb, has not been clarified? Didn't Professor Gerardo Ceballos, lead author of a study published in June of 2015 on the Sixth Mass Extinction we are now entering, with particular emphasis on marine mammal extinction threats, get the word?

I think he and his fellow scientists CLARIFIED the methane issue AND the CO2 pollution issue rather well. For those that do not get it, the CO2 pollution, now baked in, is already threatening marine mammals with extinction. When methane hydrates are added to the mix from a warmed ocean, acidification will accelerate and trigger anoxic conditions throughout the ocean water column, thereby destroying the food chain. That is a death sentence for most non-microscopic marine life and a large portion of the microscopic oxygen producing microscopic phytoplankton as well.


These scientifically challenged, insultingly naive, business friendly, bland statements sold as "sober advice" are precisely the kind of double talk that has placed humanity in the polluted situation it finds itself.

Some have blamed the scientific community.




They forget that scientists are mostly employees. They forget that businesses gag their reports or keep their published, peer reviewed papers from the public on a regular basis. So the criminally negligent here are business leaders, not scientists.



My experience with reading these big picture reviews of our terribly polluted situation is that they seem to feel obligated to give some peppy, optimistic, happy talk at the end.

Do these people understand what "business as usual" means? It appears that either they don't or willfully avoid doing so.

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has a scientific name for "Business as Usual". They have modeled it. They have a number for it. It's called the RCP-8.5. RCP stands for Representative Concentration Pathway.

Business as usual is a death sentence for over 75% (or more) of life on Earth.

The people that defend business as usual are deluded. There is evidence, which I will present, that even the RCP-8.5 scenario is too conservative. And yet the methane issue needs "clarification"?




Dr. Scott Goetz (Deputy Director and Senior Scientist of the Woods Hole Research Center) has that thousand yard stare for a reason.






Friends, there is a crime being committed. But the guiltiest parties do not want to pay for their share of the damage. And that is why these reviews lack the urgency that they need to have in order to successfully convince government policy makers to alter our destructive trajectory.

But I have discussed that in my recent article,  Dianoia is sine qua non to a viable biosphere. So, I will move on to other matters of concern to humanity.

Global shipping

Human civilization has come to rely on the relatively inexpensive movement of millions of tons of cargo over the oceans.

It is difficult or impossible to avoid a collapse without the use of the oceans.

To underline the importance of cargo shipping as the lifeblood of civilization, you need to look at the massive amount of tonnage these ships move globally on a daily basis.

Tankers, bulk carriers and container ships are the most important means of transportation of our time. Each year they carry billions of tonnes of goods along a few principal trade routes.



Containerization has revolutionized global cargo shipping, bringing vast improvements in efficiency. Throughout history the oceans have been important to people around the world as a means of transportation. Unlike a few decades ago, however, ships are now carrying goods rather than people.







Deadweight tonnage (abbreviated to dwt) or tons deadweight (TDW) is a measure of how much mass a ship is carrying or can safely carry; it does not include the weight of the ship.

Agelbert NOTE: Please take note of the caveat, "safely carry". More on what that means later.

In terms of carrying capacity in dwt,







tankers account for 35 per cent,







bulk carriers account for 35 per cent,












container ships 14 per cent,











general cargo ships 9 per cent




and passenger liners less than 1 per cent.



In all, the global merchant fleet has a capacity of just under 1192 million dwt.


Shipping Activity of Tankers, Cargo and Cruise Ships on October 12, 2015:


The growth of the global merchant fleet according to type of vessel (as at 1 January [sic]) 2009.


There is a LOT of shipping out there and a LOT of ships. If the above graphics have not brought home to you how much shipping is going on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, take a look at this:

In summary, this is what is out there going hither and yon across the oceans on a regular basis:

Singapore anchorage

Most of those affordable products in our homes are a direct result of a the uninterrupted global lifeblood of efficient blue ocean shipping. If that shipping was no longer possible, global civilization would be impossible because it would be unaffordable. It is, therefore, extremely important to ensure that human civilization can use those oceans for routine cargo transportation.

The oceans, as was pointed out earlier in this article, are a giant heat sink. The more CO2 we pump into the air, the hotter the oceans get. When the oceans get hotter, they become more active. This means trouble for shipping.

Insurance companies do not like that. They analyze the risks of blue water shipping and track any trends that might increase those risks. They have actuaries that pay a lot of attention to losses of insured ships.

All commercial shipping is insured. You and I are billed for insuring, not just the merchant fleets, but the military ships too! That's what the "defense budgets" lobbied for by all those welfare queen corporations, constantly whining about that "dangerous world out there", are all about.

Well, it looks like all shipping is going to find out how DANGEROUS the oceans, not some invented threat about bellicose humans, can be. The insurance actuaries already know that the "terrorist" or piracy threat on the high seas is insignificant compared to the threat of sinking from rough seas.

Of course you haven't read that in the papers. But you will read it here. And I will provide evidence for it.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. To understand what is happening in the oceans today, we need to go back in time about 20,000 years. We need to go back to the Last Glacial Maximum.

WHY? Because the sea state, as well as the sea level, is a function of the average global temperature. In addition, the vegetation changes that accompany changes in the average global temperature can have deleterious effects on the sea state, totally separate from the dire extinction threat these temperature changes represent to marine organisms.

The Environmental Change Model (ECM)

The following series of graphics deals with accurately modeled representations of the climate in a large part of the Northern Hemisphere centered on the Arctic. A link to the science and the source is provided. The average global temperature and pertinent data on the ice cover and types of vegetation is provided. Of particular importance to the reader is the different types of Tundra coverage. The legend has color codes for the graphical representations.

NOTE: The Greek letter "DELTA" ="Δ". It is used in science to mean, "Change in". The referenced average global temperature is what we have today (about 15 degrees Centigrade = T).

So, ΔT = – 6C is a change in average temperature of minus 6 degrees centigrade from today. THAT was when there was a two mile high glacier sheet edge near what is now New York City. That was also when the oceans were 120 meters = 394 feet lower than they are today.


Notice how much dry and moist Tundra there was. Notice the range and size of the types of forests and the polar desert coverage too. At a glance you can see that this was a very dry world in comparison to our world.


Fast forward to ΔT = – 0.5C. This was the Little Ice Age of 1850. That was just before the industrial pollution revolution had gotten up to full biosphere trashing speed.

Sea level is close to the present level. Notice how the forest cover has changed. Notice how the Tundra moved north as the ice retreated. Notice how the forests and the forest Tundra transition changed.

Tundra responds in one of two ways when it goes above freezing. It has to do with the available oxygen. If there isn't enough in the soil, the microbes resort to anaerobic metabolism and make lots of methane. This is NOT methane locked in the Tundra. This is NEW methane. This is unrelated to the methane hydrates frozen on the ocean bottom, but it is still an additional feedback mechanism that increases the RATE of atmospheric heating. So these mechanisms are, by definition, not linear. They can become self reinforcing. That means they can go exponential.

Below, please find, the world we all grew up in (ΔT = 0C.). I have labeled some areas for clarity. The Tundra continues to shrink, as does the ice coverage. The forest transition area creeps north and the forests grow along with the prairie grass covered areas. There is less ice.

Which brings us the IPCC RCP-8.5 scenario labeled "Business as Usual".

This scenario is considered "worst case". It does not expect us to hit ΔT = plus 2C until 2050. The boundless optimism of the IPCC sounds a lot like those fellows doing the "World Ocean Review" that mentioned the methane "issue" needed "clarification" right after they admitted that the PRESENT conditions were causing the extinction of most marine animals.

Please look at this graph:

The line with the number "1" is the IPCC RCP-8.5 scenario. The temperature increases in lines 2 and 3 ARE NOT in the IPCC RCP-8.5 scenario.





ΔT = plus 2C is considered extremely dangerous.


The IPCC projects a mere 0.5 meters sea level increase by 2050. But the study just released that I reference in the graphic claims a sea level rise greater or equal to 6 meters (over 19 feet!) is evidenced in the geologic record for this type of temperature rise.

The IPCC projected sea ice decline will give you more context to understand why it is unrealistic to believe that we will not hit the ΔT = plus 2C until 2050.


But nevertheless, the IPCC RCP-8.5 scenario for ΔT = plus 2C is instructive because the Tundra is disappearing. You know what that means for increased methane release, don't you?

A note about the word, "Equilibrium" on the graphic: The word "Equilibrium" means that the full effects of the temperature change are being felt throughout the planet. Glaciologists had previously thought that "equilibrium" effects on ice sheets took centuries or millennia.

Now, because of empirical observations on the Greenland ice sheet, Antarctica and various glaciers in the world, they have come to accept that equilibrium is reached in decades or in years, depending on the temperature anomaly increase. As you know, or should know, the polar regions have warmed over 3C MORE than the rest of the planet in the last 50 years.

The huge differential was not plugged in to the IPCC models so they are too conservative on ice retreat and sea level rise. So, if somebody tells you that all this is a long way off, they are uninformed or working for the fossil fuel industry.

I will return to the dangers of the ΔT = plus 2C (and beyond) world in a moment.

For now, I wish to show you the rest of the IPCC RCP-8.5 scenario projections. Please remember that they are conservative projections and the effects portrayed will most likely arrive 25 years or more earlier than predicted. Also please remember that the actual sea level increase (see graphic below),

Science 10 July 2015: Vol. 349 no. 6244 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4019

Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods

according to the July 2015 paper referenced previously, will be several METERS, not feet, above the predictions.

ΔT = plus 3C

Sometime after the loss of the ice cap, all the Tundra will have thawed. ALL the trapped gases, be they CO2 or CH4, will be released. Added grasses absorbing CO2 will not be enough to counteract the warming acceleration.

There are those who expect a negative feedback from the stopping of the thermohaline oceanic current circulation (stopped by all the cold fresh water melted off the Greenland ice cap into the oceans). Perhaps that will help slow the heating (north of about 45 degrees latitude – below that they will roast even more!) for a decade or so. But it will do nothing to calm the ocean surface.

ΔT = plus 4C

The worst effect is that Arctic ocean bottom frozen clathrates will thaw and the methane will be released. The planet will continue warming increasingly faster past ΔT = plus 4C.

That will exacerbate ocean conditions even more. With more and more heat energy present, the ocean surface will get increasingly more turbulent. And we will already be well past the ΔT = plus 2C mark.

As evidenced by the two referenced scientific studies, both published recently this year (2015), and the woefully conservative IPCC predictions on the rate of the North Polar Ice Cap retreat, Antarctic and Greenland ice cap melt rates, and temperature rise rate, sea level will most likely rise a minimum of 6 meters within 10 years, not 35 years.

We are talking about 2025, not 2050, for a ΔT = plus 2C world. We are not preparing adequately for that.

For those who will point to the increase in size of the floating ice around Antarctica as evidence that the Earth is not really warming, I beg to differ.

The fact that the Antarctic land mass IS losing ice has been measured with satellites. It is losing ice because of global warming. It is true that the floating ice around Antarctica has increased and will continue to increase as long as the Antarctic land mass is shedding melt water.

This is because of two factors. The first one is that there are very high winds around Antarctica, unimpeded by any land mass. The second factor is that fresh water freezes more rapidly on the ocean surface than salty water.

That's why salt is spread on roads in winter. On the ocean, the water molecules must rid themselves of the sodium and chloride ions dissolved in them before they can freeze. All the ice floating on the oceans is water ice. It has no salt in it.

And as long as that floating ice is the product of melt water from the Antarctic land mass, it will ADD to sea level.

And when the sea level goes up just 6 feet, never mind the 19 feet or more increase expected with CURRENT CO2 levels, all shipping port facilities (and most coastal airport facilities too!) in the world are no longer usable without gargantuan and heroic efforts requiring trillions of dollars in costs for every foot the land and port infrastructure must be raised.

It seems that the countries (see every industrialized country on the planet) dragging their feet on CO2 reduction actions do not understand this. There are, as of this writing, over 140 countries investing trillions of dollars in port facilities.

No, they aren't raising the level of the port facilities to prepare for rapidly rising sea levels. They are trying to cash in on container shipping by building more container shipping infrastructure.


Don't these governments listen to their climate scientists?


End of PART ONE.

PART TWO of "Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity" will be published by October 29, 2015. 


Thank you for reading this article. Have a good day.

Star Date 344,757.093821: Gardener Commander Zarkploof Report 747:

Off the keyboard of A. G. Gelbert

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 25, 2015

Late naked ape tool makers date: 2066

The last of the naked ape tool makers ceased biochemical activity in the most recent revolution of the blue planet around its sun. It fell in a nuclear waste pool while being chased at night by a pack of large canines. The canines left at dawn.

The ape swam, then crawled, out but lapsed into unconsciousness from treading water for so long. It was then bitten by several large rodents and bled to death while trying to fend them off. The rodents, the canines and a nearby ant colony disposed of the remains. All of those creatures subsequently died of radionuclide poisoning.

The radionuclide pollution is extensive. We have sent probes to aid existing species in maintaining some vitality. We are doing this in order to provide the biochemical substrate for reseeding efforts so we won't have to start from microscopic autotrophs in rebuilding the biological energy absorption pyramid.

It is estimated that 245,000 local years will be required for the nuclear contaminants (Mostly the one the naked apes called Plutonium but there are several others) to cease degrading the biosphere with harmful mutations.

Our DNA bank has 157% of the species populating the planetary biosphere prior to the naked ape polluting millennium that destroyed the naked apes. NOTE: We will file a detailed report on the extinct species such as the giant reptiles and mammals in regard to the reseeding timeline.

For the next 100,000 years we will seed various fungi to absorb radionuclides for the purpose of collecting them and depositing them in the local sun. Perhaps, because of this activity, the time for active reseeding can take place somewhat earlier than 245,000 years. But we must bear in mind what happened on the Zeta 382, which required an increase in wait time, instead of a decrease.

As was the case at Zeta 382, there are chemicals the naked killer apes produced in their ignorance that, though not radioactive, are deleterious to life and even more difficult to eliminate than the radioactive elements. The glyphosate poison is one of many that are ubiquitous in this thoroughly degraded biosphere. So caution is advised.

As to the naked killer ape tool makers, we recommend the DNA of this species be modified to prevent self awareness.

It seems that self awareness, though it does help them develop primitive cause and effect horizon logic, does not aid them in avoiding the manufacture of tools which they then use to wantonly exploit the biosphere that they require for life.

These beings always seem to fail through the "fool with a tool" axiom of degenerate self aware species development postulated by the philosopher Glado the Putzenko in his "Beings that Don't Understand Being" treatise. They cannot seem to grasp the idea that defecating where one obtains nourishment is suicidal when the product of defecation is an industrial pollutant.

This planet is a very depressing and sad place to visit at the moment. Speaking for myself and all of the crew, I request home leave equivalent to 20 local planet years on our home planets.

One of the factors creating stress in our crew is the fact that the naked killer ape tool makers looked so much like us.


Tho Observers




Gardener Commander Zarkploof

Human Population Growth: How Human Activity Threatens Our Survival

gc2smOff the keyboard of A. G. Gelbert

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 9, 2015

Discuss this article at the Environment Table inside the Diner
“Human Population Growth: The Truth About How Human Activity Threatens
The Condicio Sine Qua Non For Our Survival.”


What Is the Greatest Number of Children Born to One Woman?

As of 2014, the greatest number of children born to one woman was 69. Birth records from the 1700s show that the wife of a Russian peasant named Feodor Vassilyev gave birth 27 times — to four sets of quadruplets, seven sets of triplets and 16 pairs of twins. It was reported that 67 of the 69 children survived past infancy. Vassilyev’s second wife reportedly gave birth to 18 children, which would make him the father of 87 children, with all but three surviving infancy. It has not been proved that the records are true, and some people believe that the numbers might be inaccurate. 

More about child birth rates:

Niger is the country with the most births per woman, at an average of 6.16, with more than half of all Nigerian mothers giving birth before age 18.

The greatest number of surviving children born to one woman at one time was eight in 2009 in the United States.

The United Kingdom has the highest rate of childless women older than 45, at more than 20%.

Why Sterilizing the Poorest 50% of Homo Sapdom Won't Solve ANYTHING! 
The "Human Population Must Be Reduced" Propaganda Myth. Why it is a divide and conquer tactic and why it has absolutely no basis in scientific fact. 

The total biomass of all the ants on Earth is roughly equal to the total biomass of all the people on Earth.

"How can this be?! Ants are so tiny, and we are so big! But scientists estimate there are at least 1.5 million ants on the planet for every human being. Over 12,000 species of ants are known to exist, on every continent except Antarctica. Most live in tropical regions. A single acre of Amazon rainforest may house 3.5 million ants."

The Human biomass is tiny compared with thousands of species from insects to spiders to rodents, along with many marine creatures. 

See for yourself the Evidence:

I will provide for you a couple of links for you to research but let me give you a brief introduction to earth's biomass pyramid. 

You have different trophic levels (life forms that eat other life forms to survive). 

The lower you are on the pyramid, the more collective mass you have as a segment of the biosphere. 

Here's a quote so you can see where I'm going with this: 

"An ecological pyramid is a graphical representation that shows, for a given ecosystem, the relationship between biomass or biological productivity and trophic levels.

A biomass pyramid shows the amount of biomass at each trophic level.

A productivity pyramid shows the production or turn-over in biomass at each trophic level.

An ecological pyramid provides a snapshot in time of an ecological community.

The bottom of the pyramid represents the primary producers (autotrophs). The primary producers take energy from the environment in the form of sunlight or inorganic chemicals and use it to create energy-rich molecules such as carbohydrates. This mechanism is called primary production. The pyramid then proceeds through the various trophic levels to the apex predators at the top.

When energy is transferred from one trophic level to the next, typically only ten percent is used to build new biomass. ]The remaining ninety percent goes to metabolic processes or is dissipated as heat. This energy loss means that productivity pyramids are never inverted, and generally limits food chains to about six levels. However, in oceans, biomass pyramids can be wholly or partially inverted, with more biomass at higher levels."


Take insects as one example of the Laws of Thermodynamics as applied to life forms in the Biosphere trophic (food chain) pyramids. 

In order for insects to BE food for spiders as well as many other creatures, the biomass of insects has to be much, much greater because of the heat energy losses in transferring energy from the insect to the spider (about 90% is lost in heat). The predators (that's what we are, by the way) are at the top of the pyramid and have the least total biomass of all the life forms. 

Lions, tigers, sharks, whales, bears, wolves, etc. have a tiny planetary biosphere biomass in comparison with ants, earthworms, rodents, and krill (those tiny shrimp like creatures that whales eat). And the krill eat tiny nearly microscopic phytoplankton (that have more biomass than the ubiquitous krill). 

Mollusks, as well as ants and several thousand other species have a larger biomass than humans. I bring up the mollusks because they have a HUGE biomass. I studied them in depth in college Zoology. 

The phylum Mollusca: 

"The phylum Mollusca is the second most diverse phylum after Arthropoda with over 110,000 described species. Mollusks may be primitively segmented, but all but the monoplacophorans characteristically lack segmentation and have bodies that are to some degree spirally twisted (e.g. torsion). 

The Phylum Mollusca consist of 8 classes: 
1. the Monoplacophora discovered in 1977; 
2. the worm-like Aplacophora or solenogasters of the deep sea;  
3. the also worm-like Caudofoveata;  
4. the Polyplacophora, or chitons;  
5. the Pelecypoda or bivalves; 
6. the Gastropoda or snails; 
7. the Scaphopoda, or tusk shells; and 
8. the Cephalopoda that include among others squid and the octopus." 

Agelbert Note:  The biomass pyramid in the oceans in regard to mollusks and fish is NOT inverted. The oceanic "confusion" is due to the fact that some mollusks are apex predators like giant squid and the smaller mollusk predators like Octopodes that eat fish. Most mollusks are small to very small and are food for fish. They are the ones (bivalves near Fukushima) that concentrate radionuclides in their tissues that then get in the fish that eat them.  

The smaller mollusks (most of them are less than a foot long) are FOOD for fish. That means there HAS TO BE much more of them than there are fish. And I'm sure you don't believe the human biomass is greater than that of all the fish species, right?  If you do believe that, you have trophic pyramid understanding difficulties.

Now for some biomass weights:

"Human population = 335,000,000,000 kg. This figure is based on an average human weight of more than 100lbs, though (50kg, to be exact).  I don't know how accurate this estimate is, especially considering that about 1/3 of us are children. There are supposedly around 1.3 billion cattle in the world, and, put together, they may weigh almost twice as much as our species.

Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba =  379,000,000,000 kg.

There are more ants than krill. Also, metabolism plays a role along with biomass. A million ruby-throated hummingbirds will consume much more food than one African Elephant, even though both have about the same biomass (3,000kg, or 3.3 US tons).

Thus, ants, as a group, may actually consume more resources per year than Antarctic krill, even though both may have roughly the same biomass, because ants tend to be smaller, and live in warmer environments. Although there may be about 10-15 times the biomass of termites than cows in the world, studies have suggested that termites might produce almost 30,000 times as much methane per year because of their faster metabolism." 


So how come nobody is hollering about reducing the termite population?  

As the article in the quotes above points out, humans are a huge problem, not because of our biomass, but because of our carbon footprint (I.E. the use of fossil fuels!).
And guess what portion of our population does over 80% of the Fossil Fuel consumption? You guessed it! The upper 20%! 

Who Done it? The Global Compact: 20% using 80% of the Resources

To ACTUALLY address, confront and STOP the biosphere damage that Homo Sapdom is doing, we must face the scientifically confirmed REALITY that,  if you get rid of the bottom 50% of the human population (the most poor among us), you will, I'm sorry to say, not even dent the pollution and biosphere destruction. 

AS pointed out in the biomass numbers, the amount of people eating and defecating is not the problem, CARBON FOOTPRINT is the threat to a viable biosphere. We must attack that problem by reducing the carbon footprint of the most powerful people on this planet. 

NOTHING ELSE WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM. The solution, in addition to a 100% transition to Renewable energy, involves eliminating corporate energy welfare queen subsidies for both fossil fuels and nuclear poison. 

Democracy and our responsibility to preserve and protect a viable biosphere requires it from all of us.

The "let's reduce the human population"  baloney is a divide and conquer tactic to avoid billing the top human pigs  for the damage they do, while attempting to give the rest of us a totally unwarranted, with ZERO empirical basis ( but VERY clever), guilt trip. 

It's a lie. Don't buy it. 

What we need to do is transition to 100% renewable energy as within YEARS, not decades. That will give our future generations a chance to live in a viable biosphere. 

If you agree please pass it on. Also, feel free to visit my forum and post on any subject you wish. Thank you. 

Renewable Revolution

A. G. Gelbert (agelbert) is a contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He writes peppy posts about Renewable Energy when he is in a good mood. Because of his numerous efforts in that area, he is quite sure that Elon Musk should give him a Tesla. The problem is that Elon Musk remains unconvinced. He is the author of numerous rants, articles and spittle-flecked invective on this site (he copies text from Surly too!), never stops barking about profit over people and planet polluters and dirty energy, but refuses to engage in violence to stop the insane greed driving our human civilization to collapse and possible species extinction. He will be judged by many for not taking up arms in this struggle. But he firmly believes God will support his decision. He shares a manufactured (i.e. he's trailer treasure – be nice) home in Colchester, Vermont with his bride of 23 years, and is grateful that his spirit still finds his body's biochemistry to be a suitable habitat.

Consolidated Responsibility & Dianoia

earth sunrisegc2smOff the keyboard of A. G. Gelbert

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 29, 2015






Dianoia is sine qua non to a viable biosphere.- A. G. Gelbert

Discuss this article at the Environment Table inside the Diner


The following article  makes a case for the premise that ignoring, deriding or mocking the high probability of the existential threat we face from anthropogenic climate change is irresponsible. Anyone who is alive after around 2040 will pay for their present irresponsible, egocentric, empathy deficit disordered behavior.

Unfortunately, the innocent will suffer equally along with the criminally negligent reprobates who support incremental measures to deal with this existential threat. Have a nice day.

The essay, "What it Means to be Responsible – Reflections on Our Responsibility for the Future" by Theresa Morris, State University of New York at New Paltz references the work of Fitzpatrick, Jonas, Aristotle and others. I have summarized the essay to save the readers time.


FitzPatrick, W.J. 2007. Climate Change and the Rights of Future Generations: Social Justice Beyond Mutual Advantage. Environmental Ethics. 29(4): 369-388.

The author discusses the moral responsibilities that current generations have to future generations, and how arguing for protecting the rights of future generations is an effective answer to political arguments against taking mandatory measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions when these are unpopular with a democratic populace.

Climate Change, Engineered Systems, & Society Bibliography


Theoretical & Applied Ethics Vol. 1, Issue 42 2, Spring 2011

What it Means to be Responsible
Reflections on Our Responsibility for the Future

Theresa Morris, State University of New York at New Paltz

The concept of responsibility is a central one in ethics but it seems to require rethinking when we consider the fact that oftentimes the consequences of actions in contemporary, technological society extend far into the future. To whom or what are we responsible, and how far into the future do our obligations extend?

In this essay, I consider the question of our possible responsibility for the future, specifically the future state of our planet, and the well-being of future people and other beings. I argue that we do have responsibilities to future people and an obligation to try to preserve and protect the planet and its living beings for the future, and I present a new concept of responsibility, one that provides a way of understanding our actions in light of concern for the future.

The central problem with an argument that considers the effects of present actions on the future world lies in the fact that those acting today will not exist in the world they are affecting with their actions.

Why should people, now living, care about the consequences of their actions on a future world whose inhabitants are currently non-existent? Even if held accountable by those future generations, no price for wrongful actions can be extracted from the dead. We lack the usual motivations for acting ethically in situations that might impact future generations, and though we may imagine angry voices condemning us for our lack of forethought and care some several generations into the future, we will never hear those words of contempt.

Despite this, Attfield (1998) argues that "intergenerational justice remains a serious possibility, as actual future generations which come into being, and find that they have been deprived by earlier generations of opportunities for satisfying some of their most basic needs, could reasonably criticize their ancestors for failing to facilitate the satisfaction of foreseeable vital interests" (p.211).

Ethical arguments struggle, however, when lack of proximity is a factor, for it is difficult to take into consideration the impact of our actions on those spatially distant from us.

This problem arises whenever we are asked to take into consideration or contribute to the welfare of those who live in distant places, those who do not share our community, and those whose suffering we do not directly experience.

Without the presence of the other face-to-face, without a real relation to the other person, it is difficult to remain aware of and concerned about his or her need.

How much more difficult then, to take into consideration those who do not yet exist, those others we will never know and can only imagine.

The difficulty is further complicated by the fact that often the choices we make today, choices that involve use of finite resources, for instance, or the use of technology that may have deleterious aftereffects, may seem at the time to be valuable for the comfort, health or well-being of the contemporaneous human population. Indeed, most of our ethical deliberation is concerned with present actions.

In what way and how can it be argued that sacrifices or restrictions on some very useful and beneficial activities and technologies must be made in order to benefit future peoples who do not yet exist?


Responsibility in Aristotle

For Aristotle, the capacity human beings have to think about what they will do is what lies at the root of our responsibility for our actions. We are free to act, within certain necessary limits, and we have the capacity to think about our choices, therefore responsibility accompanies actions when, as Aristotle says, the "source is in oneself."

Rational beings with the capacity to choose among actions and bring about ends cannot escape from the notion of responsibility. It is a given, provided one is free from coercion in one's actions. Here responsibility is not responsiveness to the Other, not responding to another's need or want, as in Levinas. Rather, it is that since we are free to make choices and commit acts, we must accept responsibility for the consequences of those choices.

For Aristotle, to act responsibly is to act beautifully, because when a person does so he or she engages the greatest capacity available to human beings; that is "thinking things through," dianoia . What differentiates ethical choice from willing, desiring, and wishing, for Aristotle, is that it involves deliberation (NE 1112a 15).

To think things through is to look ahead and estimate consequences using imagination and forethought and to make judgments about possible actions based on experience and memory; this is the kind of reasoning that responsibility requires.

Aristotle says, "We deliberate about things that are up to us and are matters of action" (NE 1112a32). Choice is not something that is shared by irrational beings, it is the mark of a being with self-control (NE 1111b15).

Thus choice is firmly in the realm of practical, ethical action. With his emphasis on dianoia, Aristotle offers one way to think about responsibility to the future; it is the lack of "thinking things through," in preference for shortsightedness regarding means and ends, that results in acts of harm, both to the environment and to future people.

If we fail to think things through to the consequences of our actions we are not acting responsibly.

And ignorance is no justification for poor choices, for Aristotle points out that we can be ignorant and still responsible. If we deliberately become irrational, as when we become drunk, or when we ought to know something and yet fail to, we are still held responsible, "on the grounds that it is up to people themselves not to be ignorant, since they are in control of how much care they take" (NE 1114a).

Aristotle is rigorous in his insistence that human beings, because they are rational and have the capacity to "think things through," are responsible for their actions.

But perhaps, Aristotle says, "one is not the sort of person who takes any care" (NE 1114a5). Perhaps here we have the crux of it; that there are people who don't care, who are careless.

We must act on Global Warming: Climate Change has already made the world three times more dangerous.

Aristotle says such people, despite their lack of care, are still responsible because it was always in the beginning up to them to use their intelligence to make good choices and the fact that they don't care is the result of a long line of deliberations that denigrated the value of their own beautiful actions, the concerns of others, and the consequences of their actions on themselves and others.



On Aristotle's view, we always become who we are through a series of choices over time, and those choices form our moral character.

The Problem of Responsibility Today



That ignorance is no excuse for Aristotle seems to indicate that those of us who fail to acknowledge scientifically based warnings about climate change, or who acknowledge the warnings and refuse to heed them, are responsible for our failure.


To think things through would be to take into account in deliberating about our choices the realities that face us, the sure consequences of some of our actions, those that we have experience and knowledge enough to foresee.  If the consequences of our actions today extend far into the future, this would require that we take that far future into consideration in our actions.

It is just because of this farther extension of consequences into the future that Jonas argues that human action today differs radically from human action in Aristotle's time. As he says, "modern technology has introduced actions of such novel scale, objects, and consequences that the framework of former ethics can no longer contain them" (Jonas, 1984, p. 6). Powerful technologies in use today have effects that extend far into the future, and this includes harms that arise directly from their manufacture and use, such as resource depletion and pollution from hazardous waste, as well as harms that occur because of the scope their reach, as in climate change. The negative effects are not limited to the earth and its ecosystems but include effects on communities of people whose livelihoods are harmed and whose basic goods, such as water and air, are polluted and rendered unusable.

These consequences affect living beings over their lifetimes, threaten the health of the planet, and are passed down to future generations as the integrity of the global ecosystem is damaged over time.


For Jonas, technology has enabled us to greatly extend the scope of our actions and magnified their repercussions, and yet our concept of responsibility has not grown to encompass the new range of action.


Particularly, Jonas has in mind the repercussions of genetic engineering, nuclear technologies, and other technologies that have the capacity to impact the future in highly significant ways: "more specifically, it will be my contention that with certain developments of our powers the nature of human action has changed, and since ethics is concerned with action, it should follow that the changed nature of human action calls for a change in ethics as well, in the more radical sense that the qualitatively novel nature of certain of our actions has opened up a whole new dimension of ethical relevance for which there is no precedent in the standards and canons of traditional ethics" (1984, p. 1).

For example, the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf had consequences that extend far into the future, affecting marine and coastal ecosystems, the livelihood of human beings dependent on a healthy environment for sustenance, and marine life far from the origin of the spill.

Ecosystems are by nature interconnected and interdependent, and the reach of the spill was extensive. Its impact is not limited in space or time. As well, we might ask who exactly is responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf? Is it the technicians and engineers, the government regulations that allow drilling to be done in extreme conditions, the companies making a profit, or the consumers whose desire for cheap fossil fuel drives the market?

This kind of diffusion of responsibility, a diffuse collective responsibility that Stephen Gardiner refers to as a "fragmentation of agency," means that it is difficult to assign responsibility.

As Gardiner points out, "climate change is caused not by a single agent but by a vast number of individuals and institutions not unified by a comprehensive structure of agency. This is important because it poses a challenge to humanity's ability to respond" (2010, p. 88).

How much is up to us then, to use Aristotle's term, in today's technological, global world? The notion of collective responsibility is pertinent because in a democratic society responsibility for collective actions like oil drilling would seem to rest with all citizens.

How we are to understand democratic responsibility, diffused among many, is a significant problem given the altered nature of human action and the extended reach of the consequences of our actions. And because the consequences will fall primarily on future generations, there is a disincentive to alter our behavior, particularly if that might make current lives more difficult.








While there have been past periods in Earth's history when temperatures were warmer than they are now, the rate of change that is currently taking place is faster than most of the climate shifts that have occurred in the past, and therefore it will likely be more difficult to adapt to.
The Last Time CO2 Was This High, Humans Didn’t Exist








Without a Trace ‘The Sixth Extinction,’ by Elizabeth Kolbert

New York Times Sunday Book Review Snippet:

In the same way, and for many of the same reasons, many today find it inconceivable that we could possibly be responsible for destroying the integrity of our planet’s ecology.

There are psychological barriers to even imagining that what we love so much could be lost — could be destroyed forever.

As a result, many of us refuse to contemplate it. Like an audience entertained by a magician, we allow ourselves to be deceived by those with a stake in persuading us to ignore reality. …

… we continue to use the world’s atmosphere as an open sewer for the daily dumping of more than 90 million tons of gaseous waste. …

… The resulting rapid warming of both the atmosphere and the ocean, which Kolbert notes has absorbed about one-third of the carbon dioxide we have produced, is wreaking havoc on earth’s delicately balanced ecosystems.

It threatens both the web of living species with which we share the planet  and the future viability of civilization. “By disrupting these systems,” Kolbert writes, "we’re putting our own survival in danger.”


While a new ethical understanding that takes into consideration the extended consequences of our actions in a technological society seems necessary, another question arises: where do our obligations end if we begin to think of extending them to future beings and the future existence of a livable planet?

How might such seemingly open-ended obligations be argued for? And if, to be responsible, as Aristotle claims, is to "think things through," are there limits to our capacity to be responsible?

Rethinking Responsibility

Here I think it is a good moment to turn to Jonas, who argues in The Imperative of Responsibility that, difficult as it may seem, we do have a responsibility for the future.

He presents an argument for responsibility based on the presence of an objectively existing good, and he claims that fulfillment of the human good results from taking the effects of our actions on the future into account (Jonas, 1984, pp. 80-82).

When we are not able to predict the long-term consequences of our actions he argues that we should proceed with prudence, even to the extent of being guided by fear, in order to ensure that we do not create extensive future harms.

For Jonas, the human being occupies a special place in the lifeworld. Jonas sees the human being as that being which is uniquely capable of responsibility, and the presence of this capacity entails that it must be acted on if a one is to fully become the being one is capable of becoming.

The capacity for responsibility contributes to the "what it is to be" a human being and as such, informs the telos of human being. Jonas says that


"every living thing has its own end which needs no further justification. In this, man has nothing over other living beings, except that he alone can have responsibility also for them, that is, for guarding their self-purpose" (Jonas, 1984, p. 98).


For Jonas, the fact that each organism desires and pursues the continuance of its own life points to the fact that life is a value for each being. Life is a good and as such it presents the being with the capacity to take responsibility with an imperative to protect and preserve it, to recognize the value it is for all living beings. The particular human good lies in the capacity of the human being to recognize and respond to the imperative of responsibility.


The practice of taking responsibility for our choices, of taking the well-being and future of the planet and its beings into consideration, draws out the higher capabilities of the rational animal.


For Jonas, the imperative of responsibility commands us to respond ethically for the sake of the good that is evidenced in Being, a good that reveals itself in each living beings' pursuit of its own continuance, its desire for life.

As well, responsibility includes protecting the possibility for the continued existence of human freedom and ethical responsiveness.

As Jonas says, "the secret or paradox of morality is that the self forgets itself over the pursuit of the object, so that a higher self (which indeed is also a good in itself) might come into being.


The good man is not he who made himself good but rather he who did the good for its own sake.


As Jonas tries to show, the good of the human and the good in the world are not separate but the same.



Taking responsibility for the future becomes necessary as soon as we recognize our potential to harmfully impact the future and, as Aristotle argues, once this recognition registers, ignorance is no longer an acceptable plea.



Rights and Responsibility

Another means of arguing for responsibilities to future generations, one that is less metaphysical and more supportive of political action, is to consider the question of the rights of future people. A proponent of this view is Hiskes (2009), who argues that "global warming and climate change have made it abundantly clear that the human impact on the environment is an emergent one, the product of uncounted individual decisions and choices on one hand, and public policies and political omissions on the other, which make every one of us responsible for putting all the rest of us in a new situation of risk, and not only "all of us" but those who come after us as well" (p.146).

Hiskes goes on to explain that "rights are necessarily the legal response to harms, real or potential. The fact that they are new and collective harms that do not fit within the traditional individualist language of either rights or responsibility do not alter the equation of rights as a response to harm.

New harms demand new rights. Because they are emergent harms, the rights that they begat will share their emergent ontological nature" (p. 146).


This argument supports the contention that we cannot disregard responsibilities to the future simply because future people do not now exist.


Future people are continually coming into existence, even as the effects of our actions emerge over long periods of time. There is a synchrony in terms of the emergence of future beings and the emergence of harms.

Both are initiated in the present, in the actions of present day beings, and both concern a time after present day actors are gone.

Future needs are predictable and future beings are coming into being all the time. It is not as if the future exists at some point far into the distance, with no connection to the present. The future is always coming into being, it follows closely on the heels of the present, and while we see changes in each generation, physical human beings will always need clean air to breathe and water to drink, as well as fire to stay warm.


The realities of life for future beings are being established now through our contemporary actions and this is a fact we cannot deny. If we refuse to take responsibility for the impact of our actions on future generations, we must admit that we are willfully disregarding this fundamental reality and its ethical implications.


In a similar vein, Fitzpatrick (2007) argues that a conception of justice based upon a notion of "mutual advantage among cooperating parties of roughly equal power and vulnerability" is too restrictive (p. 377).

Justice, insofar as it relates to rights and obligations, is a concept not limited to those sharing space and time. He says that, "attribution of rights to future generations will therefore be legitimate if we can speak of an earlier generation's wronging future generations by spoiling the environment the former was given and has relied upon for its flourishing in the same way that future generations depend upon it for theirs" (Fitzpatrick, 2007, p. 377).



Fitzpatrick turns to a notion of stewardship to frame the question of responsibilities to future generations; contemporary inhabitants of the Earth do not own it, they have merely inherited it and should care for it sustainably in order to pass a flourishing environment down to future generations.


Future generations have a right to inherit a healthy ecosystem, just as we did, and this right entails an obligation on the part of the living to pass down a viable planet. The responsibility to do so is centered in the right future generations have to be protected from harms caused by others, as well as the right to inherit and enjoy what previous generations have inherited and enjoyed.

That people depend upon a healthy environment to flourish, and that a diminished environment is harmful to people is at the basis of Fitzpatrick's argument.


"The core responsibility assigned to governments in democracies is the public welfare, protecting the human birthright to basic needs: clean air, water, land, and a place to live, under equitable rules of access to all common property resources.

It is astonishing to discover that major political efforts in democracies can be turned to undermining the core purpose of government, destroying the factual basis for fair and effective protection of essential common property resources of all to feed the financial interests of a few.

These efforts, limiting scientific research on environment, denying the validity of settled facts and natural laws, are a shameful dance, far below acceptable or reputable political behavior. It can be treated not as a reasoned alternative, but scorned for what it is – simple thievery." —George M. Woodwell, Woods Hole Research Center founder


He considers future people to be the moral equals of presently living people, and therefore claims we cannot disregard their rights or turn aside from our responsibility not to cause them harm.

He argues that "if we fail to conserve limited natural resources, or to control dangerous waste, or to curb greenhouse gas emissions, then we will be causing people harm, not merely failing to benefit them" (Fitzpatrick, 2007, p. 377).



The currently prevailing “law of the jungle”, causing the atmosphere to be overused in terms of the deposition of carbon ad infinitum, is thus de-legitimized by the Pope.



The fact that these people do not exist simultaneously with us is not a reason to fail to take them into ethical consideration. Fitzpatrick concludes by arguing that we need to reconsider the meaning of justice rights in order to include responsibilities to future generations in our consideration because there is simply no justification possible for disregarding the effects of our actions on the future.



There is no doubt that accepting responsibility for the future will require a great deal of effort and even sacrifice on the part of those of us living today.


In the next and final section, I take a brief look at the way in which an ethic of care might provide the needed motivation for the difficult changes that taking future generations into ethical consideration might require.


Motivation and Care

To accept the burden of responsibility for what is up to us, difficult as it is where our technological reach is so extended and agency is so fragmented, is to strive to fulfill the capacity we have to respond to the good and protect and preserve it.

This task, however, is difficult, not only because of the extent of effects in time and space, fragmentation of agency, and the difficulty of predicting harms, but also because in many cases we may benefit now from actions that result in harms to future generations.

What could motivate us to make the necessary sacrifices required by responsibility of this scope and nature?

Jonas turns to the human capacity for care for an answer to this question. He uses the analogy of the parent and child to demonstrate that we are attuned to caring in a fundamental way (Jonas, 1984, pp. 98-108).

 Jonas sees that caring is a mode of being for the human being, one that is demonstrated naturally in the attention and love parents give to their children as they nourish these beings who will exist in the future.

It can be argued that the care of children is ultimately selfish, a way to project particular and individual genetic material forward. Yet, at the same time, most stable societies demonstrate their concern and care about the future through the fostering of all children in the society and through their concern with passing down cultural and physical artifacts to posterity.


If selfish instincts were at issue here, individuals would not bequeath to unknown future others the endowments and monuments and institutions they have.


Jonas’ example of the statesman as a paradigm of responsibility toward the future reflects the important role of democratic social institutions and governments in responsibility. Established to foster and preserve culture and enable the orderly transfer of power from generation to generation, governments, at their best, are concerned with bettering the conditions of the people and ensuring that opportunities, values, artifacts, inventions, techniques, and other "objects" cultivated and produced by society are preserved and passed down.

This example illustrates the presence, in social institutions, of a fundamental care and concern with the future and future peoples that can serve as an example and guide for a practical ethic of responsibility for the future.

It is only through care of the future that we can extend the reach of our grasp on life through bequeathing a planet that is livable and viable, one that preserves and protects the cycle of life for the beings who will inhabit it.

The natural drive toward transcendence of finitude through leaving behind works, objects or beings of lasting value can be engaged as a motivating force in an ethics that is concerned with extending its reach to future generations.



There is, finally, another way to think of the role of care as a motivating force for assuming responsibility; not necessarily care or love for future persons unknown to us, but love for the Earth and for life itself.


Perhaps we should reframe the question of an ethics of responsibility for the future, because it can be argued that we are motivated to moderate and measure our actions toward nature and to care about the health and continued viability of the Earth because of our love for it, and for the life it offers.

We are capable of caring not only about those potential beings of the future who will inherit this planet but also about the planet itself as a living being we will pass down.[1] Inspired by the beauty of existence, fleeting though it is, we desire its continuance even though we will not be here to enjoy its pleasures forever, and this too is reflective of our ethical capacity.


In the preceding I've shown what I see is a need for a reconsidered understanding of the meaning and extent of responsibility today, and I've talked about some of the difficulties facing us in attempting to accept responsibility for the future, as well as some of the motivational forces that might help us overcome those difficulties.

To begin to take responsibility for the Earth and future generations we can consider ourselves as caretakers, trustees or stewards. We can pursue sustainable practices that conserve resources and other basic goods for future generations to benefit from and enjoy.

Recognizing the presence of the good in existence, we can protect it by considering the long-term effects of our choices and actions on the future. The damage we've done has been done collectively, as Fitzpatrick points out, and the only way to prevent further damage and protect the future is through collective action.

Taking responsibility will require thinking about ourselves differently, as well. We must develop a new self understanding, one that reflects our increasing knowledge concerning the extent of the effects of our actions on the Earth and the future. The human capacity for responsibility is a reflection of what Jonas calls "the higher self," a good-in-itself that comes into being when we recognize the value of life, reflect on the consequences of our choices, and take responsibility for the harms we cause.

Thus, a significant aspect of the good of the human being is the human capacity to bear responsibility.

The continued existence of the good for all beings rests on humans assuming that responsibility, and the time for us to recognize that is now.

If we fail to take responsibility it will be a failure of justice and of love, towards both future beings and the planet.



1. "When men act for the sake of a future they will not live to see, it is for the most part out of love for persons, places and forms of activity, a cherishing of them, nothing more grandiose. It is indeed self-contradictory to say: 'I love him or her or that place or that institution or that activity, but I don't care what happens to it after my death.' To love is, amongst other things, to care about the future of what we love" (Passmore, 1980, p. 53


Adam, G. (2011). Futures Tended: Care and Future-Oriented Responsibility. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society,
31, 1, 17-27.

Aristotle. (2002). Nicomachean Ethics, J. Sachs (trans). Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishing.

Attfield, R. (1998). Environmental Ethics and Intergenerational Equity. Inquiry, 41, 2, 207-222.

Fitzpatrick, W. J. (2007). Climate Change and the Rights of Future Generations: Social Justice Beyond Mutual Advantage.

Environmental Ethics, 29, 4, 369-388.

Gardiner, S. M. (2010). A Perfect Moral Storm. In Climate Ethics. NY: Oxford University Press.

Hiskes, R. P. (2009). The Human Right to a Green Future. NY: Cambridge University Press.

Jonas, H. (1984). The Imperative of Responsibility. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Passmore, J. (1980). Conservation. In Responsibilities to Future Generations. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books..


Agelbert NOTE: The mens rea of the fossil fuel industry and almost half of the world’s 100 largest companies, including Procter & Gamble and Duke Energy, has been recently exposed. They all funded lobbyists and propagandists in order to obstruct climate change legislation.

I use the Latin legal expression, "mens rea", because the above obstructionists of climate change legislation were knowledgeable over 40 years ago of the damage that burning fossil fuels causes to the biosphere in general and humans in particular.

As Theresa  Morris made quite clear in her essay, these corporations made the wrong choice. And they made that choice because they refused to think things through.

Theresa  Morris said,


This task, however, is difficult, not only because of the extent of effects in time and space, fragmentation of agency, and the difficulty of predicting harms, but also because in many cases we may benefit now from actions that result in harms to future generations.


Ethical considerations aside for a moment, the people in these powerful corporations are not stupid. They love their own children.
So, if they knew, because over 40 years ago ExxonMobil scientists laid out the facts to oil executives, who then secretly joined with several other corporations to fund denial of climate change and obstruct climate change legislation, why did they, with malice and aforethought, engage in disguising the fact that they were, and are, getting an F in viable biosphere math?

Some will say that it's a no brainer that they did it for profit. While that is partially true, it ignores the fact that big oil corporations DO believe their own scientists. It also ignores the fact that fossil fuel corporations DO NOT believe the happy talk propaganda that they fund.

They plan ahead. They plan to take advantage of the 'Fragmentation of Agency' mentioned by  Stephen Gardiner. The corporations did not get limited liability laws passed because they wanted to be socially responsible. I believe they will use the 'Fragmentation of Agency', in regard to biosphere damage claims, to unjustly limit their liability in a typically unethical "damage control" exercise.

One of the themes about human history that I have tried to communicate to readers over and over is that predatory capitalist corporations, while deliberately profiting from knowingly doing something that causes pollution damage to the populace, always plan AHEAD to socialize the costs of that damage when they can no longer deny SOME liability for it. Their conscience free lackey lawyers will always work the system to limit even PROVEN 100% liability.

When 100% liability is blatantly obvious, as in the Exxon Valdes oil spill, they will shamelessly use legalese to limit the liability. ExxonMobil pulled a fast one on the plaintiffs by getting "punitive", rather than "compensatory" damages. See what the learned counselor said, "The purpose of punitive awards is to punish, not to destroy, according to the law". Ethics free Exxon and its ethics free lawyers KNOW how the Court System "works". JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW [Vol. 18:151] The purpose of this comment is to describe the history of the Exxon Valdez litigation and analyze whether the courts and corresponding laws are equipped to effectively handle mass environmental litigation..

While the profits are rolling in, they will claim they are "just loyal public servants, selflessly providing a service that the public is demanding", while they laugh all the way to the bank. When the damage is exposed, they will claim we are "all equally to blame" (i.e. DISTORTED Fragmentation of Agency).

This is clearly false because polluting corporations, in virtually all cases, AREN'T non-profit organizations. If they were NOT PROFITING, THEN, and only then, could they make the claim that "we all benefited equally so we all are equally responsible to pay equally for the cost."

Those who presently benefit economically from the burning of fossil fuels, despite the scientific certainty that this is ushering in a Permian level mass extinction, will probably be quick to grab on to a severely distorted and duplicitous version of the 'Fragmentation of Agency' meme, in regard to assigning the proportionate blame for the existential threat our species is visiting on future generations.

Privatizing the profits and socializing the costs is what they have done for over a century in the USA. They have always gotten away with it. That is why, despite having prior knowledge that their children would be negatively impacted by their decisions, they decided to dispense with ethical considerations.

They assumed that, with all the profits they would accumulate over the last 40 years (or as long as the populace can be blinded to the truth of the existential threat), they could protect their offspring when things got "difficult".

They know that millions to billions of people, in all probability, will die. But they think their wealth can enable them to survive and thrive.  

As for the rest of us, who obtained a pittance in benefits in comparison to the giant profits the polluters raked (and still continue to rake) in, we can expect an army of corporate lawyers descending on our government(s) demanding that all humans, in equal portions, foot the bill for ameliorating climate change.

The lawyer speak will probably take the form of crocodile tears about the "injustice of punitive measures" or, some double talk legalese limiting "punitive damage claims" based on Environmental LAW fun and games (see: "punitive" versus "compensatory" damage claims).

This grossly unjust application of the 'Fragmentation of Agency' is happening as we speak. The poorest humans are paying the most with their health for the damage done by the richest. The richest have avoided most, or all, of the deleterious effects of climate change.

When the governments of the world finally get serious about the funding needed to try to clean this mess up (present incremental measures ARE NOT sufficient), the rich plan to continue literally getting away with ecocide, and making sure they don't pay their share of the damages for it. 

As Kevin Anderson (after showing the alarming rate of increase in CO2 emissions) put it in the graphic below, the 1% bear about 50% of the blame.

Since, according to the U.N., the richest 20% of the world's population uses 80% of the resources, the 'Fragmentation of Agency' pie chart for the damage done to the biosphere should look like this:

The way the fossil fuel industry, and almost half of the world’s 100 largest companies, will want that 'Fragmentation of Agency' pie chart to look like is as follows:

The world of business has made many Empathy Deficit Disordered, unethical choices. We are all paying for their rejection of  their responsibility to use dianoia in their decision making process.

But they are relatively few in number. Their chicanery would cease from a huge public outcry if they did not have so many people aiding and abetting their unethical biosphere destroying modus operandi.

Those are the comfortable millions who have swallowed the corporate happy talk propaganda.

Those are the people that continue to delay progress on the implementation of the drastic government action we must demand, which is desperately needed to stem, or eliminate, the length and breadth of the climate change damage existential threat.

The people who think that this climate change horror can be addressed by incremental measures are, as Aristotle said, deliberately becoming irrational.


Thus choice is firmly in the realm of practical, ethical action. With his emphasis on dianoia , Aristotle offers one way to think about responsibility to the future;

it is the lack of "thinking things through," in preference for shortsightedness regarding means and ends, that results in acts of harm, both to the environment and to future people.

If we fail to think things through to the consequences of our actions we are not acting responsibly.

And ignorance is no justification for poor choices, for Aristotle points out that we can be ignorant and still responsible.

If we deliberately become irrational, as when we become drunk, or when we ought to know something and yet fail to, we are still held responsible, "on the grounds that it is up to people themselves not to be ignorant, since they are in control of how much care they take" (NE 1114a).


Dianoia is sine qua non to a viable biosphere.

Please pass this on with attribution to Theresa Morris, State University of New York at New Paltz. I just summarized her essay and added images to enhance the gravity and importance of her message. We are in a world of trouble. 

A. G. Gelbert
Colchester, Vermont

The 1783-84 Laki Eruption: A Catastrophic Volcanic Eruption that Changed the Course of Human History

gc2smOff the keyboard of A.G. Gelbert

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 16, 2015

On June 10th wrote Sæmundur Magnusson Holm at the University of Copenhagen, falling ash coloured black the deck and sails of ships travelling to Denmark.

Discuss this article at the History Table inside the Diner

Most people are propagandized by the leaders of the societies they live in to believe that history is simply a collection of facts strung in chronological order. The truth is far more nuanced.

Historians interpret the importance of events as if they are the only ones qualified to do so, or just leave them out all together, for allegedly "objective" scholarly reasons. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Human history is rife with key pivotal events that don't make it into the flag waving, hero worshipping, designated bad guy demonizing, condensed narrative.

The fact that these key events are deemed "not credible" as key events by the academic community, despite the fact that said "scholars" (see lock step lackeys) accept that the event occurred, should be a red flag to anyone that still retains the ability to think critcally.

I have written about the Piri Reis maps in an article titled Evidence that Demands a Verdict: The Consensus Historical View that Piri Reis used South American Coastline maps made by Columbus . I have pointed out how they do not "fit" the world view of the "scholars" of history. But that is an extreme example of the capacity, willingness and bulheadedness of historians to engage in agnotology (i.e. culturally induced ignorance or doubt) to avoid admitting even the possibility that their narrative is, not just flawed due to innocent mistakes, but a product of status quo defending mens rea.

So what else is new? Humans lie to puff themselves up. We all know that, right? Or do we?

Here, on this forum, among highly educated, intelligent people. I occasionally run into assumptions about our history that are the product of agnotology propaganda. Individuals who are properly cynical of government motives for doing this, that, or the other in our time are blissfully accepting of all the mendacious double talk that infects our history books.

Conspiracy is the norm, not the exception, among powerful and influential humans now, is it not? WHAT makes you think it hasn't been the history twisting norm as long as we have been human?

I wish historians were more open to criticism of their interpretaton(s) of history. I wish they would NOT leave stuff out just because they decided a certain event was not key.

No, I'm not here to tell you that George Washingon's wooden false teeth were really made from Native American pelvic Indian "Ivory" (I'm kidding!) and he was a Sith Lord. It's true that walking sticks made from the femur bones of the "savages" were all the rage among the white well-to-do in our great and grand cities for over a century after the USA got started, but that's not what I want to discuss either.

What I am about to discuss is NOT, as the walking sticks and other bits of European empathy deficit disorderd cruelty, a conspiracy theory, as many claim (but I don't).

The events I will discuss have all been accepted by modern historians as factual. What they have not accepted is their cause and effect relationship.

The case I wish to make is for the tremendous effects, in subsequent history from 1783 to 1825, of the Laki Volcanic Eruption.

Natural historical events that coincide in time with human historical events are rarely given the importance they merit by the "scholars" that populate the academic institutions. Their convenient NON-interpretation of, or ignoring of, natural disasters as key causes of subsequent human historical events evidences a bias that exaggerates the power of human ideas and thought over the power of nature.

Our behavior as individuals and as a society is strongly influenced by any natural disaster that we happen to witness due to the massive pointless suffering and death involved. We are generally stunned by such events. This the way it is for most of us.

But for the elites of powerful, warlike countries, and conversely among the leaders of the downtrodden of said countries, natural disasters cause plans to do this or that to be postponed by the former, and conversely, accelerated by the latter.

Since the survivors of disasters and/or the victors of wars write the history books, this cause and effect sequence rarely makes it to the flag waving masses. 

1755 Lisbon Earthquake and Tsunami

It's a side issue that I mention only briefly now, but Voltaire was deeply affected by the 1755 earthquake and tsunami which caused massive human suffering and death. He wrote some biting satire about the "Best of All Possible Worlds" did he not? TRY to find how that fits (and believe me, not the historians, it DOES!) in the historical narrative from that time period AND how that has affected human society and thinking to this day! You won't find it. Had the 1755 earthquake and tsunami not occurred, it is not a stretch to assume that no GIGANTIC society affecting satire would have been written.

QUOTE: The earthquake and its fallout strongly influenced the intelligentsia of the European Age of Enlightenment. The noted writer-philosopher Voltaire used the earthquake in Candide and in his Poème sur le désastre de Lisbonne ("Poem on the Lisbon disaster"). Voltaire's Candide attacks the notion that all is for the best in this, "the best of all possible worlds", a world closely supervised by a benevolent deity. UNQUOTE

If Voltaire wasn't an atheist before that 1755, I would wager that the huge loss of life convinced him to eschew theism. I am not defending his decision. I don't agree with it. I simply understand where he was coming from. The corrupt church in those days wasn't exactly a source of inspiration for intellectuals, or anybody else.

As a Christian, I find it perfectly appropriate for a Just God to destroy all the churches in Lisbon, along with killing the Grand Inquisitor of the Catholic Church there, while sparing all the brothels. Lisbon's "pious" society, all of them claiming to be Christians, would gather routinely to cheer the burning at the stake of "heretics" and "those engaging in witchcraft".

Lisbon was one of the richest cities in Europe because of it's lucrative slave trade and it's lucrative influx of gold. That gold was mined in South America. That gold was obtained by cruel forced labor exploitation of South American natives and African slaves. A portion of that gold found its way into the spectacular amounts of gold gilding in Lisbon's churches. Lisbon's churches were the envy of Europe at the time because of their copious amounts of gold gliding. The Portuguese were Empathy Deficit Disordered human predators.

So, if God did it, why isn't He more consistent in His wrath? I don't know. However, what happened in Lisbon seems like a great example of Divine Justice visited on a particularly blatant example of egregious religious hypocrisy in the service of greed and rampant cruelty. People claiming to be Christians are, according to the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, far more likely to get Da Business from God than other humans. Google ""Judgement begins in the house of God"" for details.

But perhaps Voltaire, a product of his time, didn't see it that way. Voltaire's conclusion was that a Just God would not destroy Lisbon, so there must not be a God, period. The selective application of justice was not acceptable for God, according to Voltaire. That seems logical to me. ;D

However, for humans like Voltaire, selective application of "Enlightenment" justice, was, though hypocritical in the extreme, quite acceptable  :P.  As you will learn in the final part of this three part article, despite his atheist "Enlightenment" rhetoric, born of the suffering he observed in Lisbon (and later in France), Voltaire did not seem to believe his  ideas applied to African slaves.

If you think that earthquake did not change human history all the way TO THIS EMPATHY DEFICIT DISORDERED, ATHEISM DEFENDING DAY, you are wrong. But that's another, rather sore, subject.  I KNOW there are WAY TOO MANY cheerleaders for the "Enlightenment" (see Orwell) here for me to make a dent in their mechanistic reductionist, cause and effect comfort zones. The flexibility of those fine fellows in those matters is akin to that of one year old cured concrete.

So, for the moment, forget I mentioned Voltaire and implied that the "God is Dead" fun and games that begat Darwin and Empathy Deficit Disordered profit over planet began with an earthquake in 1755.
Travel with me back  in time to England in the year of our Lord 1783.

English two-decker ship of the line

Ships are, compared with today, small. Even the majestic clipper ships of the late 19th century have not been invented yet. It takes over a month to cross the Atlantic from England to the American Colonies that just successfully revolted. It cost the crown a lot of money to move a fleet with weapons and soldiers from England to the American Colonies and prosecute the, now failed, war effort, thanks to the well timed arrival of a rather impressive French fleet.

Jamaica is still in the English fold, however. I mention it now because of the role it played in some Simon Bolivar history (mentioned in part 3 of this article). I also mention it now because, unlike the American Colonies, it continued to be exploited in order to provide commodities for the English Empire.

As of 1783, the commodities flow coming from the American Colonies has been severely curtailed for several years and the English are not happy campers.

England is a Maritime Empire. Testament to that is the fact that the English language is populated with sailing terms. Ships are the vessels through which the life blood of this warlike island nation flows. Ships need to know where they are when they are at sea. They navigate by compass, some pretty accurate clocks and sightings of the sun at noon and/or the 'moons of Jupiter positions' (ephemeris).

Moving ships from here to there profitably is a matter of life and death for the British Empire. Any interruption in profitable shipping activity hurts the empire. Warships are profitable only if they can secure rebellious colonies and protect the commodities flow from the colonies and the finished goods (the English colonial "business model") to them.

British America's most valuable exports in the early 1770s, in order of total value: sugar, tobacco, wheat, rice.

Value of annual British imports to the North American colonies in the 1770s: nearly £885,000.


Let us compare "Now" (1783) to the British national debt about 19 years ago (about ten years before the American Colonies revolted):

British national debt in 1764: £129,586,789 (this was money that the British government borrowed from banks and investors, and it would be the equivalent of tens of trillions of dollars today).


The war against the American colonies had finished only in 1782 during Rockingham's second ministry and the wars against most of the rest of Europe had been concluded by Shelburne's ministry in 1783.


Total British casualties from battle and disease in the Revolutionary War: around 24,000.


The Rebellious American Colonies avoided the cost of sending a fleet across the Atlantic. They did a little better than the English in the war.

Total American battle casualties in the Revolutionary War: 6,824 (estimates range between this figure and 4,435; some 90% of them came from the Continental Army).

Total Americans wounded in the Revolutionary War: 8,445.

Total American deaths from disease in the Revolutionary War: 10,000 (approximation).

Total Americans who died in British prisons in the Revolutionary War: 8,500.

Total Americans captured in the Revolutionary War: 18,152.


The  British forces under Cornwallis at Yorktown had surrendered in October of 1781. In March of 1782, the British Government authorised peace negotiations.

But before the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783  (formally ending the Revolutionary War), a very big volcanic eruption began in Iceland. The eruption immediately affected history by delaying the ratification of the treaty.

Official ratification of the peace accord was delayed for months by a mix of political logistics and persistent bad weather. The makeshift U.S. capital in Annapolis, Maryland, was snowbound, preventing assembly of congressional delegates to ratify the treaty, while storms and ice across the Atlantic slowed communications between the two governments. At last, on May 13, 1784, Benjamin Franklin, wrangling matters in Paris, was able to send the treaty, signed by King George himself, to the Congress.



June 8, 1783 the Laki Eruption began. It lasted EIGHT MONTHS. It killed about 22% of the human population of Iceland and sixty percent of their grazing animals.

The Laki eruptions had a staggering effect on Iceland itself, in large part due to the volcanic gases released in the eruption and not the lava flows themselves.

Sulfur dioxide released by the lava flows stayed close to the ground (within 5 km) in Iceland, creating acid rains that were strong enough to burn holes in leaves, kill trees and shrubs and irritate skin.

The eruption released 8 Mt of fluorine, so as that fluorine settled out and was incorporated into grasses, grazing livestock got fluorinosis. Sixty percent of all grazing livestock died due to the effects of the Laki eruptions. The “Haze Famine” as it is called in Iceland killed over 10,000 people (~22% of the population) from famine and disease.


But that was only the beginning.

Of the 122 Mt of sulfur dioxide released in the eruption, 95 Mt made it to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, so it entered the jet stream and was circulated around the entire northern hemisphere (see right). The haze quickly reached Europe and by July 1, 1783, the haze was noticed in China.

There are not many historical records from North America that mention the arrival of the Laki haze, but tree ring records from northern Alaska suggest that July and August 1783 were very cold. The mean temperature in northern Alaska is 11.3ºC, but the mean temperature recorded in May-August 1783 was only 7.2ºC. Russian traders in Alaska noted a population decrease in the years after the eruption while Inuit oral histories do refer to a “Summer that did not come” that could correlate with the Laki eruption as well.

Globally, those 95 Mt of sulfuric dioxide reacted with atmospheric water to form 200 Mt of sulfuric acid aerosols. Almost 90% of that sulfuric acid was removed in the form of acid rain or fogs, while 10% stayed aloft for over a year. This might explain why northern hemisphere temperatures were 1.3ºC below normal for 2-3 years after the eruion.

Thordarson and Self (2003) created an excellent figure to show how the sulfur aerosols were dispersed during the eruion (see below), where 80% was part of the explosive phase of the eruion and launched 10-15 km, producing distant haze across the world while 20% came directly from cooling lava flows, so it stayed close to the ground to produce the local haze in Iceland. The sulfuric acid was even damaging to crops in Europe, where noxious dews and frosts (sulfur precipitates) formed. Ash from the eruion was noted as far away as Venice, Italy and many places in between.

Here's a graphic of the aerosol spread from the Laki Eruion:

NOBODY outside of Iceland knew what was causing the haze which killed people, animals and crops and then made it real, real cold.


The Laki Eruption effects on England

"When an Icelandic volcano erupted in 1783,  many feared it was the end of the world…"

By June 22 it was above Le Havre in Normandy, and a day later arrived in Britain.

Reports at the time stated that the fog was so thick boats stayed in port, unable to navigate. The skies became unrecognisable, with 'the sun at noon as blank as a clouded moon, but lurid and blood- coloured at rising and setting'.

According to an article in Gentleman's Magazine in July 1783, a visitor to Lincoln reported: 'A thick hot vapour had for several days before filled up the valley, so that both the Sun and Moon appeared like heated brick-bars.'

Another account, by Gilbert White in his Naturalist's Journal, spoke of: 'The peculiar haze or smoky fog that prevailed in this island and even beyond its limits was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike anything known within the memory of man.'

But it was perhaps the observations of the travelling evangelist and founder of Methodism, the Reverend John Wesley, which put the drama in its most illuminating context.

When he visited Witney in Oxfordshire in 1783 he witnessed a combination of summer thunderstorms and thick fog which left inhabitants convinced the end of the world was nigh.

Yet at the time, in the summer of 1783, no one knew why so many farm labourers and outdoor workers were succumbing to fever and dying. Nor could they explain the strange, nauseating fog that had descended on the island, or the peculiar pall it cast over the sun.

In fact the deadly cloud that shrouded Britain was a toxic mix of volcanic gases and particles sweeping south from the eruptions of the Laki Craters in southern Iceland.

The sulphur dioxide and sulphuric rain it contained was destroying the lungs of its human and animal victims. Just as devastatingly, crops withered and died leading to famine, corruption and ugly riots.
This week we have seen the crippling effects of another volcanic eruption in Iceland. But air-traffic chaos, stranded passengers and economic fallout pale into insignificance when compared with the catastrophic events of 1783.

The series of eruptions then – which were severe for five months and lasted eight months in total – were 100 times stronger than those we have seen this month (April 2010). They propelled 120 million tonnes of toxic gases into the atmosphere.
Without the benefits of modern science and accurate meteorological predictions our ancestors had no comprehension of what was happening to them.

In some parts of eastern and central England entire families of farm workers (and it was typically the rural workers who toiled each day outdoors, breathing in great lungfuls of polluted air) were virtually wiped out.

Families lost their father figures, their breadwinners and their fit young men, as the shortage of manpower left vast swathes of produce unpicked.

Farmers had not enough hands to gather their harvest as the sight of grown men being carried out of the field – many of whom would die where they were lain – became commonplace. Towns and villages used to burying only a handful of people each season, suddenly had to deal with four times the usual number of deaths.

As quickly as the grave- diggers could excavate the plots, men fell to fill them. Little wonder then that many assumed the apocalypse was fast approaching.

Describing the unrelenting thunder and lightning, he wrote that: 'Those that were asleep in the town were waked and many thought the day of judgment had come.'

Throughout the day the panic intensified. 'Men, women and children flocked out of their houses and kneeled down together in the streets.' At Sunday service Wesley reported a full church, 'a sight never seen before'.

Such was the mounting anxiety that many became afraid even to go to bed – convinced an earthquake or worse would befall them. Others begged their clergy to carry out exorcisms to rid the land of this evil.

The poet William Cowper told his friend the fog was wreaking havoc. 'We never see the sun but shorn of his beams, the trees are scarce discernable at a mile's distance, he sets with the face of a hot salamander and rises with the same complexion.'

And Gilbert White, who lived in the Hampshire village of Selborne, noted: 'There was reason for the most enlightened person to be apprehensive.' 
The effects of the choking ash cloud were compounded by the abnormally hot summer, combining to frighten even the most rational of inhabitants.

At some points the heat was so intense that butchers' meat was rendered inedible just a day after it had been killed and the flies it attracted irritated the horses, making them treacherous to ride.
As time wore on, the masking of the sun led to a severe drop in temperature and frost and ice were reported in many places in late summer. All vegetation was affected.

Leaves withered, crops failed, insects died in their millions, preventing the pollination of fruit and flowers. Fruit simply fell from the trees for lack of nourishment.

Then the effect spread to animals. The first impact was on their food supply, as reported in a Cambridge newspaper. 'The grazing land, which only the day before was full of juice and had upon it the most delightful verdure, did, immediately after this uncommon event, look as if it had dried up by the sun, and was to walk on like hay.

'The beans were turned to a whitish colour, the leaf and blade appearing as if dead.'
At the same time sores and bare patches began appearing on the skin of the livestock. Little wonder then that this rural chaos led to disruption of food supplies and prices.

By the autumn of 1783 shortages meant grain was being sold at 30 per cent more than its pre-fog price, sparking protests and riots.

At Halifax market, men gathered from the surrounding weaving villages and formed into a mob to force merchants to sell their wheat and oats at the old prices.

All across the country similar scenes were being played out, and at ports many even formed blockades to stop producers exporting grain in order to achieve higher prices.

At the same time the fog was continuing to claim thousands of human lives. Tragically, it was often the younger and fitter members of the community as they were typically the agricultural workers who spent most of their time outdoors in the fields, breathing in the deadly particles falling from the sky.

Recent analysis of climate detail and burial records shows eastern and central England saw their death tolls rise most. And even when the fog finally began to dissipate, the gases in the atmosphere continued to divert the sun's rays, precipitating a period of global cooling and the abnormally cold winter of 1783/4 which saw temperatures hit their lowest level for centuries.

Mercury levels were typically two degrees celsius below the norm and Selborne in Hampshire experienced 28 continuous days of frost.

For many, the twin catastrophes of the extremely hot then extremely cold weather coupled with the choking dry fog were attributed to God, but as this was the age of the European Enlightenment, other theories, not dependent on religion, began to emerge.

In the days before global communication and mass media, it was several months before word of the Laki explosions filtered through to the rest of the world.

Even with that knowledge no one could prove the connection (a feat achieved only relatively recently). Anyway, by that time the effects of the fog were beginning to decline and Britain had new worries to contend with.

The last quarter of the 18th century was dominated by the aftermath of American Independence and the looming French Revolution. Consumed by these events, historians lost interest in the dry fog. 

It is only now, as we once again face the cataclysmic effects of Mother Nature, that the true significance of those distant events can be put into perspective.
• Adapted from Britain's Rottenest Years by Derek Wilson, published by Short Books, £12.99. To order a copy at £11.70 (p&p free), call 0845 155 0720.


Increase in Mortality in England directly caused by the Laki Eruption

Through analysis of monthly burial data we have revealedthat two periods of mortality crisis occurred in Englandduring the Laki Craters eruption. The first mortality crisis peak occurred in August and September 1783, nearly two months after the start of the eruption and the first reported appearance of haze in England, and the second peak occurred in January and February 1784, with mortality re-maining above normal in the following two months. If the parish data are assumed to be representative of England as a whole, then the peaks represent ~19,700 extra deaths in the country during this period.

Below please find an example of historical facts that completely ignore the deleterious effects of the Laki Eruption on British coffers. Nevertheless, anybody that can add and subtract, if they compare things as they ARE in 1784 to the way they were a mere 20 years earlier (British national debt in 1764: £129,586,789), understands that England was in no position to wage war for several years to come:

… Britain's economic condition in 1784 apparently bordered on catastrophe.

the National Debt stood at £250 million. That was twenty times the annual revenue of £12.5 million from taxes

the annual interest on government borrowing, which stood at about £8.3 million, automatically produced a deficit which was funded by further borrowing resulting in increased interest and an even greater deficit.

National bankruptcy was a strong possibility.


Profound effects of eight-month eruption in 1783 caused chaos from US to Egypt,


Then, as now, there were more wide-ranging impacts. In Norway, the Netherlands, the British Isles, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, in North America and even Egypt, the Laki eruption had its consequences, as the haze of dust and sulphur particles thrown up by the volcano was carried over much of the northern hemisphere.

Ships moored up in many ports, effectively fogbound. Crops were affected as the fall-out from the continuing eruption coincided with an abnormally hot summer. A clergyman, the Rev Sir John Cullum, wrote to the Royal Society that barley crops "became brown and withered … as did the leaves of the oats; the rye had the appearance of being mildewed".

"The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust-coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting. At the same time the heat was so intense that butchers' meat could hardly be eaten on the day after it was killed; and the flies swarmed so in the lanes and hedges that they rendered the horses half frantic

… the country people began to look with a superstitious awe, at the red, louring aspect of the sun."
Across the Atlantic, Benjamin Franklin wrote of "a constant fog over all Europe, and a great part of North America".
The disruption to weather patterns meant the ensuing winter was unusually harsh, with consequent spring flooding claiming more lives. In America the Mississippi reportedly froze at New Orleans.  :o


The wretched state of the British economy kept the Brits licking their wounds while the Laki Eruption caused crop failures and famines in France that served as triggers for the French Revolution in 1789. 

As usual, the historians list all the social problems festering at the time as primary causes. I believe they contributed, but were not the primary causes. Despotism wasn't exactly a new fad in Europe, was it?  Historians also give a lot of credit to the "Enlightenment" for said Revolution. Of course, those factors are real. But without the crop failures and the famines, THAT Revolution would probably have occurred much later than 1789. 

The Haitians took a keen interest in the French Revolution.

Here's the "scholarly" Cliffs Notes type boilerplate for the French Revolution. NOTICE (i.e. LACK of bold font  ;)) how the lack of available food is low balled in comparison to the "Enlightenment" and the "American Revolution". LOL!

HELLO? WHERE is the Laki Eruption that caused the crop failures that caused the famines that caused the high food prices and bread riots that were, ADMITTEDLY (by academia) a sine qua non factor in the French Revolution?

Richard Saul Wurman knows his history. And he is not happy about how we are not taught the historical cause and effect FACTS of history in general, and the MAIN cause of the French Revolution in particular.

He has been awarded several honorary doctorates, Graham Fellowships, a Guggenheim and numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Wurman has also been awarded the Annual Gold Medal from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, a Gold Medal from AIGA and will receive the Boston Science Museum’s 50th Annual Bradford Washburn Award in October, 2014. He is also a Fellow of the AIA and in the Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame.

PLEASE, take 3 minutes of your time and watch this Richard Saul Wurman  video (start at the one minute mark):

The Volcano That Caused the French Revolution

TED founder Richard Saul Wurman believes knowledge of history is crucial to understanding our present and future. On today's EPIPHANY Wurman shares a now obscure story about a volcano that altered the course of history.
Conservative estimates are that 5 MILLION people died from the THREE YEAR EFFECTS (1783- 1786) of the Laki Eruption.

21 Sept 1792 – In France, The Republic is declared, abolishing the monarchy. In January of the following year Louis XVI is beheaded.
Upheavals in France and Saint-Domingue 1792–1796

Ideas don't move people to Revolution if they are well fed. How is it possible that historians don't know that? Downtrodden people resist change (see long train of abuses) unless they lose all hope of a reasonable existence. Losing all hope is what famines do to people when the Empathy Deficit Disordered "Enlightened" elite that rule their country turn a blind eye to the starvation of the masses. "Enlightenment", my ass! Most of the people in France couldn't even read!

The ones sucking up Voltaire were part of the OPPRESSOR class. They loved all his pretty words about equality and justice, as long as the rabble never read them. Yeah, the church (that pretended to be Christian, while in truth it had eschewed all Christian ethics and embraced elite cruelty) was part of that same corrupt and cruel class too. But the very definition of ethical behavior was (and is) RELATIVE for the "enlightenment". You call THAT an improvement? Yeah, most readers here do.  :(

It really torques me that historians try to cast "Enlightenment" ideas as some sort of "hunger and thirst for justice" magic wand that produced the French Revolution.  Such stuffed shirt, idea glorifying arrogance is breathtaking! But, it is expected from insulated ivory tower types that have never missed a meal.

Or perhaps they know better and, in order to not miss any meals and retain their tenure job security, are just toeing the lock step line dictated to them by the history "sanitizing" propagandists.

Ashvin, a scholar and a lawyer, said the following hard truth that modern academics refuse to accept:


Secular ideologies can be abused and cause just as much harm as religious ones, and if there was ever any doubt about this fact, they should have been stripped away by the events of the 20th century.



At any rate , for those who have their eyes open, you can SEE the results of the "Enlightenment" ALL AROUND YOU in the year 2015.  :P

But for now, we are in Haiti in 1790. The French Revolution is a green light for the ever opportunistic English to see what they can conquer in France. France has a dictator in the wings called Napoleon, who was working his way up the ranks at the time. I'm sure he had lots of enlightened ideas about equality, fraternity and so on…

Here's a timeline of all the "fun and games" going on back then:
Principal Dates and Time Line of the French Revolution

Any historian will acknowledge that the opportunistic English aggression against the French was directly connected with French weakness from the Revolution. But for some reason, they fail to make the SAME connection with the motivation of the slaves in Haiti to cast off the slavery yoke.

The French sent some dudes down to Haiti to tell them all about equality, fraternity and so on. The slave owners were nervous about that even though, of course, they knew that equality stuff (probably) did not apply to the slaves. Nevertheless, the slave plantation owners were not amused. The Haitians were.

Both groups thought it was happy talk propaganda. History has proven them right.

But at the time, the slaves decided to do a little liberty, equality and fraternity of their own.  Which brings us to August 22, 1791.


How the French Revolution triggered the Revolution in Haiti


One must emphasize the struggles that had been occurring for decades prior to the 1791 outbreak of full-scale rebellion. Yet the French Revolution was also crucially important, for the conflicts between whites about what exactly its ideals meant triggered an opportunity for blacks.

In the following video, the historical importance of the Haitian Revolution in concert with the American Revolution and French Revolution is clearly established. It is a historically accurate video about Haiti.
Somehow Voltaire never managed to voice any defense of the Haitian Revolution. Perhaps the FACT that Haiti provided two fifths of French overseas trade had something to do with that hypocrisy by Voltaire and his "enlightened" luminaries  ;).

Haiti was known as the Pearl of the Antilles. Haiti, little bigger than Maryland, was the richest colony in the new world, producing HALF of the word's sugar.


General Toussaint Louverture

February 1793 – Rebel leaders, including Toussaint Louverture, join Spanish forces to fight against the French. France declares war on England and Holland
Agelbert NOTE: The forces of the North or the South, as referred to below, are in regard to Haitian geography.

Early June 1793 – Louverture offers to aid French General Laveaux, Chief Commander of the republican forces in the North. Louverture offers his support and 5,000-6,000 troops in exchange for full amnesty and general emancipation. Laveaux refuses and Louverture continues to aid the Spanish for another full year.

20 September 1793 – British troops sever ties between the North and South, isolating the provinces from each other as the Europeans, planters and rebels all fight for control. The British intend to restore order, make Saint-Domingue a British colony, and reinstate slavery.

Benoit Joseph André Rigaud (1761 – 18 September 1811) was the leading mulatto military leader during the Haïtian Revolution. Among his protégés were Alexandre Pétion and Jean-Pierre Boyer, both future presidents of Haïti.

Land ownership in Saint-Domingue was a critical issue before, during, and after the Haitian Revolution. Land ownership granted access to power and prosperity and was sought after by all of the colony’s social classes.

During the build up to the revolution whites were increasingly threatened by the mulattoes and free blacks who were becoming powerful landowners. At the beginning of the revolution, one of the slaves’ central demands was to have small plots of land and an additional free day during the week to cultivate them. Later on, during Louverture’s reign, laborers objected to his adherence to a plantation-based economy which required blacks to work land that was not theirs.  

Through the course of the revolution, and in the years following, former slaves felt owning land was critical in order to truly claim their freedom. To that end they fought for the colonists – and even their own leaders – for land rights, never giving up their goal to own the fields they worked in.

29 August 1793 – Sonthonax issues a General Emancipation decree abolishing slavery in the North. More slaves in the colony have their freedom than ever before. Monsieur Artaud, one of the colony’s wealthiest planters with more than 1,000 slaves, tells Sonthonax that “only universal freedom could spare the whites from being totally annihilated.”

Agelbert NOTE: The "issue" of potential annihilation is often presented in historical narratives involving the decision by European whites to agree to reforms that provide African slaves with freedom. But, as you will see, these reforms are mostly on paper.

What you are seeing here is a precursor to a similar white reaction to freed slaves in the US in the South after the Civil war. And even before that, in the American Revolutionary war, both sides offered freedom to African slaves in return for becoming cannon fodder. As soon as the war was over, most of the promised freedoms were arrogantly discarded. It's all documented in "The Unsteady March", a truthful, hard hitting, thoroughly referenced, scholarly work on African American history from the first colonies in North America to the present.

Returning to Haiti in 1793:

Following decrees further restrict punishments and grant minimal pay to slaves – now called “laborers” – in the colony. Skilled laborers are legally allowed on administrative councils. However, the declarations of freedom are bound solely to theoretical property rights. Slaves are still regulated by the government, legally bound to the same plantations and masters. Their daily lives change little. In protest, many slaves go on strike, arriving to the fields late, leaving early, and doing little work. Disarmed, many former rebels turn to vagrancy as their main form of resistance. Notably, women demand that they are granted equal pay and rights as men. Under the current system women are held to the same rules and punishments but paid only two thirds of men's wages.
Upheavals in France and Saint-Domingue 1792–1796
CLEARLY, the African-Haitians wanted exactly the same things that American and French Revolutionaries wanted. African-Haitians were not stupid, backward or unable to grasp. or take responsibility for, Liberty. Even the women were far more progressive than American, English or French women of that time period!

The Haitians, despite a brief period of working with France against the British and Spanish, decided to get rid of the "liberty, equality, fraternity " rhetoric spouting French once and for all. WHY? Because the Haitians discovered that the French had no intention of treating African-Haitians as anything but commodities to exploit, PERIOD.

For those who don't get that, a cursory look at  all the post French Revolution rhetoric coming from France (i.e. proclamations and laws about this, that and the other in regard to ending slavery and codifying freedom for the Haitian blacks) will reveal that Napoleon reversed ALL of it in short order.

The Haitians got the message. They sent their own message to the French troops. This was VERY expensive for France. Over fifty Thousand French soldiers had died by 1803. France, with its new emperor Napoleon, had tried to reinstate slavery. France lost many soldiers, ships and stopped getting sugar from the Pearl of the Antilles.
Casualty Facts Haitian Revolution

Napoleon needed money to keep his war machine up to snuff. As you know, he had plans for expanding his "empire" to the east, as well as war with England. He had a racist friend in the USA (always happy to do anything he could to give England a hard time) named Thomas Jefferson who helped him get it.  It was called the Louisiana Purchase.

The back story to the Louisiana Purchase, not taught to most Americans, is that France only got "title" to that massive amount of land from Spain in 1800!

On October 1, 1800, Spain ceded the Louisiana Territory to France in the Treaty of San Ildefonso. The territory was equal in size to the entire United States at the time. Napoleon Bonaparte envisioned a Caribbean empire, with the Louisiana Territory providing the resources to support the center of the empire on the island of Santo Domingo (now Haiti). At the time the Treaty of San Ildefonso was signed, Santo Domingo was controlled by former slaves, under Toussaint L'Ouverture, who had driven their masters from the island. Napoleon dispatched the French army to regain control of the island, but the islanders met the troops with fierce resistance. Faced with this resistance, and many troops suffering from yellow fever, the French retreated in defeat. Napoleon gave up on his plan for a Caribbean empire.

By 1802, France had still not taken control of the Louisiana Territory, leaving it in the hands of the Spanish despite the fact that the land belonged to France. In October 1802, the Spanish colonial administrator in New Orleans prohibited American crops from being deposited at the port of New Orleans before being shipped to other nations. This severely constricted US commerce in the southwest, and many Americans believed, incorrectly, that the order had actually come from Napoleon. Fears of French control of the Louisiana Territory, and especially of New Orleans, loomed large. Jefferson began efforts to ingratiate himself to the British in preparation for enlisting their aid against the French. 

Jefferson sent James Monroe and Robert Livingston to France with the intention of negotiating the purchase of the port of New Orleans, in an attempt to end, at long last, American difficulties there.
He also instructed them to negotiate the purchase, if possible, of as much of Florida as possible. However, the envoy found Napoleon had given up on his plan for a Caribbean empire in order to focus on the war in Europe.

Agelbert NOTE: You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand why no French defeat in Haiti would have meant no Louisiana Purchase!

Napoleon figured if he could get a quick influx of money from a deal with the United States, he could curry some favor with his own people as he geared up for more war with  England. The $15 million deal was broken down as such:

The French received $2 million cash up front.

France received 60 million francs ($11.25 million) over the 20-year loan.

The French debt of 20 million francs ($3.75 million) to the United States was forgiven.

Napoleon was also already slugging it out with England when the Haitians kicked the French out.

1801 Battle of Aboukir 8 March – British-Turkish army under Sir Ralph Abernathy defeats French Army of Egypt under Jacques de Menou

1801 First Battle of Algeciras 6 July – English naval defeat by French

1802 Battle of Delhi 11 September – British forces under Gerard Lake defeat Maratha forces led by French officer Louis Bourquin Battle of Assaye

1802 18 November – Haitians defeat French in last battle of war of independence


The Englsh had gradually bounced back from the dark days in 1783 to a robust economy that could finance predatory capitalist wars.
Pitt the Younger became PM in December 1783 at the age of 22. The effects of Pitt's economic policies were a substantial increase in Britain's trade and an upturn in the economy. Confidence was restored in the £.  Worries, especially over the National Debt, ended and more people were prepared and able to lend to Government at guaranteed rates of interest.

Anglo-American trade quadrupled, providing an example of the effectiveness of free trade.
Pitt rebuilt the financial foundations of Britain, which later enabled him to subsidise European armies to fight France in the French wars.

As 1804 begins, Thomas Jefferson, having digested the news of the French defeat in Haiti, is in a panic (and high dungeon) over the very idea that African slaves are running their own country. ALL the despotic colonial powers were in full agreement to DO what they DO to "uppity" Africans. That is, if it was too hard to defeat them in combat, then white=civilized countries would agree to not give them loans of any sort, allow their ships to engage in commerce with "civilized" nations or buy their export commodities.  It is right and proper for "civilized" folks to treat "uncivilized" blacks in an uncivilized manner, right? Ah, the smell of Orwellian enlightenment in 1803.

Not much changed for well over a century. And when it did change, it was when American military forces INVADED Haiti and set up a puppet government to start the predatory capitalist "business model" shafting the Haitians all over again. Whitey just loves to have fun, don't he? THAT is why Haiti has not done better.
When France finally recognized Haiti in 1825, something Haiti sorely needed to trade internationally, the massive "reparations" Haiti was forced to pay kept the nation without working capital to improve its infrastructure and economy for OVER a century. The "debt" (with lots of usurious interest, of course) was not paid of until 1947! French Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and the "Enlightenment"? I don't think so. Hypocrisy and empty rhetoric is more like it.

But l digress. The English took note of the Louisiana Purchase. Tell me, dear readers, how do you think the English received the news that the "traitor" Jefferson was helping Napoleon spruce up his war machine? Napoleon wasn't going to use that money for spreading Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, was he?

I do believe the English Maritime Empire, now with a healthy economy, was thinking that:

1) France was weakened BY THE LOSS OF HAITI.

2) The Rebellious American Colonies were giving money to an enemy of England.

3) Said American Colonies could still count on French help as long as Napoleon was a threat to England.

4) When, not if, France was eliminated as a threat to England, the Rebellious American Colonies were in line for a good thrashing (and good, properly dictated, trade deals!).

SO, the British Empire, in 1803, continued to kick French ass whenever and wherever they could. The Americans would be dealt with by English maritime "policies" until France was out of the picture. Then a military visit  to the American Colonies would be in order.

1803 British war song against the French

The amazing amount of hero worshipping glorification of Thomas Jefferson's OBVIOUS unconstitutional embrace of the Louisiana Purchase by historians is breathtaking, if not downright Orwellian.
They go to great lengths to call Jefferson a "strict constructionist" (because of all his high flying Constitutional rhetoric, still liberally quoted to this day). They want us to picture him as being involved in soul searching and hand wringing about whether to make the deal with Napoleon or not. They say he considered "making it legal"  by getting an Amendment to the Constitution passed that would authorize the purchase of FOREIGN lands.

He didn't need to bother. The US Congress, despite some hemming and hawing from Federalists, went for the Louisiana Purchase like bees to honey.

As usual in the USA, when expansion is in play, the Constitution is just a piece of paper to be amended at oligarchic will. The historians are then tasked with burying all the bodies and providing sainthood for the oligarchs. So it is with Jefferson. The historians even try to portray Jefferson as a big enemy of Napoleon. That too is Orwellian. Jefferson admired, then feared Napoleon.   

An objective analysis of history at that time shows that Jefferson's concern for English agression against the USA was his main worry. Historians today try to paint Jefferson as trying to "ingratiate" the USA with England. That is simply NOT TRUE. Jefferson understood England quite well. He KNEW they would be back to the the US mainland in high dungeon as soon as they could. The Brits, especially from the Revolution on up to 1806, were NOT the forgiving sort.

The American Revolution, followed by the Laki Eruption, almost destroyed England. Were in the hell do historians get the idea that the Brits were not extremely angry with the Rebellious Colonies all the way up to the War of 1812 and a few decades after? 

Moving right along, we now arrive at 1806. Napoleon rattles his saber at England.

A chain of cause and effect events, begun by the Laki Eruption, followed by the French Revolution, followed by the Revolution in Haiti, followed by the French defeat in Haiti, followed by Napoleon's new plan to focus on Europe instead of the Caribbean, followed by the Louisiana purchase, followed by Napoleon getting funds to build up his war machine, now brings about the conditions for the War of 1812.
In 1806 France prohibited all neutral trade with Great Britain and in 1807 Great Britain banned trade between France, her allies, and the Americas. The US Congress passed an embargo act in 1807 in retaliation, prohibiting U.S. vessels from trading with European nations, and later the Non-Intercourse Acts, aimed solely at France and Britain.

The embargo and non-intercourse act proved ineffective and in 1810 the United States reopened trade with France and Great Britain provided they ceased their blockades against neutral trading.

Great Britain continued to stop American merchant ships to search for Royal Navy deserters, to impress American seamen on the high seas into the Royal Navy, and to enforce its blockade of neutral commerce. Madison made the issue of impressment from ships under the American flag a matter of national sovereignty—even after the British agreed to end the practice   —and asked Congress for a declaration of War on Great Britain on June 1, 1812. Many who supported the call to arms saw British and Spanish territory in North America as potential prizes to be won by battle or negotiations after a successful war.

Pro-British Federalists in Washington were outraged by what they considered Republican favoritism toward France. The leading Republican, Thomas Jefferson responded, that “the English being equally tyrannical at sea as he [Napoleon] is on land, and that tyranny bearing on us in every point of either honor or interest, I say ‘down with England.’”

The United States declared the war on Britain.

Agelbert NOTE: If you don't think the Brits, (as soon as they had a strong economy post 1803) weren't deliberately goading the USA to war, you are a history challenged historian. We learned that Modus Operandi from the Brits! It works every time! 

The Brits were giving France (and Argentina) a hard time and winning. The British Empire was on the move.

1811 – Battle of Paraguarí 19 January – Revolutionary Argentinian forces are defeated by Royalist troops

Battle of Barrosa 5 March – Minor British victory during Peninsular War

Battle of Tacuarí 9 March – Revolutionary Argentinian forces are defeated by Royalist troops

Battle of Lissa 13 March – British fleet defeats French fleet


And then the WINDOW England had been waiting for to enable her to give the Rebellious Colonies a thrashing, opened up.

After Napoleon’s disastrous Russian campaign of 1812, the British concentrated on the American continent, enacting a crippling blockading of the east coast, attacking Washington and burning the White House and other Government buildings, and acquiring territory in Maine and the Great Lakes region. American forces, however, won important naval and military victories at sea, on Lake Champlain, and at Baltimore and Detroit. Canadians defeated an American invasion of Lower Canada. By 1814 neither side could claim a clear victory and both war weary combatants looked to a peaceful settlement.

Under the mediation of the Czar of Russia, Great Britain and the United States came together in the summer of 1814 to negotiate the terms of peace.

Meanwhile, Haiti was isolated and embargoed by all the maritime powers. Finally, France recognized Haiti in 1825 in return for onerous payments plus interest that keep that nation in dire straights. The "debt" was not paid until 1947. Consider what NAZI Germany did to the planet. THEIR DEBT was mosty reduced to peanuts within TEN YEARS of WWII!

But let us go back to the year 1815.

Haiti, unlike the European powers and the USA, actually tried to live up to the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity, at least for a while, until they were forced by cruel, racist embargoes into poverty, which opened the door to massive, foreign imposed, corruption.

In 1815, they were a shining beacon of hope for freedom for enslaved people in general and enslaved Africans in particular. That is why Thomas Jefferson hated them. That is why historians downplay the following event. If they gave it the importance it deserves, the European powers and the USA would look like the despotic, racist oligarchies that they were.

Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (known to gringos as Simon Bolivar  ;D)

Simon Bolivar is famous for leading a successful campaign to liberate a large part of South America from the Spanish. But he would have failed in this noble effort if Haiti had not granted him sanctuary at a crucial time. This is a key historical event of  incalcualble importance. Despite this key help by Haiti, Bolivar was a bit of ingrate.  

In 1815, after a number of political and military disputes with the government of Cartagena, Bolívar fled to Jamaica, where he was denied support and an attempt was made on his life,[14] after which he fled to Haiti, where he was granted sanctuary and protection. He befriended Alexandre Pétion, the leader of the newly independent country, and petitioned him for aid.[13]

In 1816, with Haitian soldiers and vital material support, Bolívar landed in Venezuela and fulfilled his promise to Alexandre Pétion to free Spanish America's slaves on 2 June 1816.[8]:186

Simón Bolívar received help from the Haitian goverment under Alexandre Pétion for his military campaigns. Pétion secretly supplied Bolívar with 4,000 muskets, 15,000 pounds of powder, flints, lead and a printing press and asked in return for South America’s slaves to be freed. (Heinl p. 158 – See also footnote 430 of The Struggle for the Recognition of Haiti…).

Bolívar left Haiti on April 10, 1816 for Venezuela, but returned in mid September of that year to Les Cayes after lost battles in South America. Resupplied by Pétion he sailed again from Haiti on December 28, 1816, this time to successfully conclude his struggle for South American liberation from colonialism. The Haitian help was given because he promised to free slaves, Bolívar landed in Venezuela and captured Angostura.

Despite the crucial logistical support from Haiti, Bolívar never recognized the independence of the former French colony Saint-Domingue.

Latin America’s Debt to Haiti: The Untold Story

As I told Surly before, in so many words, the people of this world, who actually WALK the "liberty, equality fratenity" TALK, owe Haiti a giant debt of gratitude for all they have done in the service of freedom.

Alas, Haiti has instead been treated with cruelty, disdain and 'blame the victim' vicious propaganda born of Racism and Empathy Deficit Disorder.

Human power structures are infested and dominated by aquisitive, opportunistic, aggressive, greedy, oligarchic, tyrannical but, oh so polished, educated and erudite humans that dress up Empathy Deficit Disordered.

MH17 Downing: Background Context & Cause Hypothesis

Off the keyboard of A. G. Gelbert

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 25, 2013


Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

This article was Originally Published inside the Diner Forum as a Post from Diner Agelbert.Agelbert is a former Air Traffic Controller and Vietnam War Intelligence Operations Specialist & Aerial Reconnaisance Photo Analyst.Included in his post is a Flight Simulator analysis as well as speculation on the Context & Causes surrounding the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Aircraft Downing.RE

JD, K, and Ashvin,
Thanks for your input and intelligent comments. I have looked over my screed and updated it with a few added observations. I even made a few flight simulator screen shots.  :evil4:

I’m posting it at Surly’s channel because I think I can get more views that way. As long as I’m sticking my neck out, I might as well go for the gusto, so to speak. 

K, the ONLY WAY these people get away with this shit is because the world mostly believes the bullshit narrative that most of us here believed most of our lives. IF they were convinced that they could NOT get people to believe it, they WOULD NOT DO IT. THAT is the goal of old farts like me that flat refuse to take up arms in a violent revolution.  8)

Ashvin, I have conflicting views on what happens next but I’ll think on it some more and offer you my 2 cents in a couple of days or sooner.

UPDATED MH17 Downing background Context and Cause Hypothesis
(several typos fixed too!  ;D)


I do think most armies would have radar systems that were sophisticated enough to tell the difference furthermore I think it is quite likely the intelligence of most nations could track the movements of the head of state particularly if they were in a state of semi-war with the said nation. I feel whatever happened it is likely this plane was shot down intentionally and it is just a question of figuring out what the motive behind the attack was.

As a former air traffic controller I can tell you EXACTLY how the big ones paint on the screen of RAW radar versus the small ones. Now, of course, most airliners have mode S transponders. That means they CAN’T TURN OFF THE ALTITUDE READOUT along with the ground speed and aircraft ID like they used to be able to do before Mode S. Of course Putin’s plane is going to stand out like a sore thumb versus a civilian airliner for reasons I won’t go into.  8)

My theory is that Samantha Power and her war loving neocon friends are delivering a message (on behalf of the “DEFEND THE DOLLAR AT ALL COSTS” fossil fuel/bank oligarchy) to ANYONE planning to join the BRIC plan to shit can the almighty dollar as the reserve currency.

As JD pointed out in so many words,  ;D , I have a tremendous capacity for the obvious. 

Question AG,
How could the MH-17 crew have known there was an aircraft approaching from underneath unless ATC told them it was there?  I know that large aircraft have a radar in their nose to see out into the dark and avoid objects in front of them.  I know this because I got to ride in the jump seat of an MD-80 that belonged to the US GOV and that little radar screen was right in the middle of their instrument panel.  Also, what is the flight data recorder going to tell the investigators other than everything went to shit in a hurry?

My understanding of what you have said on this topic is that Kiev ATC knew which aircraft was which and that the question now is who authorized the attack and what was used?   R-60 (I think that is the AA-12) missile from an SU-25 or the ground based SA-11?  The fact that the MH-17 was rerouted and told to descend to 31,000 feet suggests that there intention was to line them up for a kill by the SU-25.

Now, if, we were all so lucky that identifiable missile parts were recovered at the crash site, then one would have their answer.  As to who ordered it, the government in Kiev is on the hook regardless as the “separatists” don’t have any aircraft and don’t have a radar unit to support the SA-11 missile.  Since Moscow is off the hook, there are fewer people to blame…

Okay, let’s take it from the top.

1) Yeah a Malaysian Airliner with a bunch of people in it was shot down. What do inquiring minds with a lick of sense do first?

2) DUH, there is war going on in Ukraine, right?  ::) RIGHT! And the US fascist proxies that STARTED that war have ZERO communication (i.e. command and control instructions) with DA BOYZ in our “intelligence” neocon network, right? WRONG! Rest assured that 24/7, both Russian and US ASSETS are TASKED with FULL chain of command 24/7 consultation and weapons inventory condition (position at x, y, z locations, etc. and READY OR NOT for release as well as capabilities). Fog of war, my ass! This is BASIC SHIT in a proxy war with the PRESENT SURVEILLANCE capabilities of both (except ours are better than Russia’s) countries.

I had to make flip/strip chart maps a pilot strapped to his knee for fighter and bomber pilots flying into a war zone (Viet Nam) to deliver ordinance. I had to mark all the missile sites, triple A (Anti Aircraft Artillery), troop concentrations as well as radar signatures (the shape they form on SLIR, FLIR and or plain radar) of populated/industrial targets for ease of id and destruction.

I DID THIS from satellite and drone RECON (Yeah ,we HAD those in Viet Nam – they were carried on B-52s, dropped and flown around by RC, flown out and then recovered with lots of good photos  ). I had to go over them on “Light” tables with stereo goggles running two rolls of negatives. I could SEE the ground in 3D and I had a neato little device that looks like a jewelers eye piece with measurement line references inscribed on them. I could measure anything down there within one foot (wing spans, fuel tanks, missiles, artillery, buildings, etc.).

I could, since I knew the Lat Long and exact time the photos were taken, measure a building shadow and know the height of said building, bridge or whatever. WE KNEW from day to day WTF was going on down there over 50 years ago!

We KNOW EXACTLY what is going on in places like the Ukraine with FAR MORE PRECISION NOW, PERIOD. And our GOONS have a LOVE affair with the fascists there going. They get MONEY from us to DESTABILIZE the country to keep Russia on the defensive. That’s the overall SCORE. Anybody claiming otherwise is FULL OF SHIT. Russia is no saint but they aren’t deliberately fomenting a revolution in MEXICO to install a government HOSTILE to the USA. And fuck anybody that claims the analogy doesn’t hold. It does.

3) When a deliberate confrontation such as the Ukraine is executed, mistakes are made, of course. But the overall plan is run through thousands of computer simulations with variables inputted along the way. The results that give the right plausible deniability and further our predatory “destroy Russia because they don’t want to kiss our ass” policy are “gamed”. ALL THIS HAPPENS BEFORE the top dogs HERE even START to generate a “colored” revolution in the Ukraine. Get it? YEARS ago this was gamed. The airliner was PART of that “simulation”. It’s an excellent flash point to get people to LOOK in the “right” direction for the goal here. The computer said all the destabilizing stuff would work. Now people blogging here can hem an haw about what the agenda is (Fuck BRIC or not, Fuck Putin or not, CNN credibility or not, fog of war or not, SAVE fossil fueldom or not by wasting people form a nation leading in renewable energy or not, Pay Back or not for the FOUNDER of Malaysian Airlines having participated on the war crimes tribunal that found the USA and Israeli TOP LEADERS guilty or a combination of the above) but the downing of the airliner WAS NOT A MISTAKE.

4) WHY? Because of the CONTEXT. This destabilization was planned, as was the Syrian destabilization. The Syrian destabilization was stymied. WHY? They asked the computer. BECAUSE, the elements that WERE present in operations like 9/11 were ABSENT in Syria (destroyed airliner – works every time – claims the computer…). Plausible deniability can be engendered by emulating the Korean Airlines operation (except our goons have to shoot it down this time rather than suckering Russia into downing it – they won’t fall for it because their radar is far too accurate to mistake an airliner for a bomber or combat aircraft, PERIOD).

5) SO, they watched as the Ukrainian operation started to peter out. They asked for a GO on  operation down a big bird to keep the operation from being stymied like Syria. They provided a list of airlines that flew the route and the top ones on the SHIT list (Malaysian for BRIC support and War Crimes Tribunal – A TWO-FER bit of payback!).

6) The top dogs made a list ditch effort to stop the new currency effort with a few veiled threats made privately to Putin. Putin gave them the finger. The operation was approved. The rest is history.

7) Putin knows the score. He does not want WWIII. WE are the crazy uncle here, not Russia. WE  WANT WWIII, no matter the COST! Don’t believe me? Reagan said, after watching the movie “The Day After” that the military assured him we could win the war with only 150 million American casualties. He wrote in his diary that “Those people are CRAZY”. GUESS WHO “those people ” WERE/ARE? Yep, their representatives are STILL THERE.

8) Now I don’t care if you think our country is rational and reasonable. You are just plain wrong. So, how could these “crazies” be so calculating, analytical and careful to do this “flawless” demonizing of Russia for allegedly downing a Malaysia Airliner? Doesn’t a crazy psycho make mistakes in the “fog” of war? Actually, they don’t. WHY? because they PLAN this shit.

9) It will get worse after a brief pause to see how many more cowards they have gotten to tow the fossil fuel/bank oligarchy running the USA and SOME of Europe. The target is RUSSIA BECAUSE they are HURTING the DOLLAR. That is not going to change any time soon. That is the correct context. Several years into the future, thousands of scenarios are IN THE CAN, including nuclear winter. Our goons WILL NOT accept the defeat that comes with a multi-polar, renewable energy, more democratic world with no mad dog USA shitting wherever and whenever we like. That ends my rant on context. Now for the Down a Big Bird Operation hypothesis (I hope this isn’t a “Three Days of the Condor” thing because this may be my last post if I got it exactly right…).

10) CAS is Collision Avoidance Radar. All airliners have it.  Also all air traffic control systems have a program called Conflict Alert. It blinks the data blocks of two targets that will have less than minimum separation standards with AMPLE TIME (a few minutes or so) for the air traffic controller to warn at least one of the aircraft. On board the aircraft CAS goes off and collision avoidance instructions are shouted at the crew. BUT, an airliner cannot escape a missile. The aircraft has just nose radar BUT it has a data link to atc radar and CAN receive conflict alert data to activate CAS (aircraft overtaking or in conflict  due to projected crossing trajectories by heading or altitude).

11) Missile targeting: There are several ways to do this. When a missile is released, it mostly does its own thing BECAUSE it flies so fast that the delay in reaction from an RC signal could cause a flight path error resulting in a miss.

12) The heat seeking capability (a no brainer for a HUGE IR signal like Airliner engines) is NOT exclusive in flight path targeting. An on board computer also has trajectory computation of the target. The target is LOCKED or it isn’t. If it’s NOT LOCKED, the missile does not explode. Yes, they have proximity destruction mechanisms that explode the missile before it hits. The reason for that is that missiles are delicate devices and they might NOT explode if the hit the target before they explode.

The downing of the airliner was NO MISTAKE.

The air traffic controllers SAW IT HAPPEN with conflict alert going off a minute or so before it happened. The new vector given to the flight could have been a “vector for traffic: 12:00 o’clock altitude unknown” (a LIE). ATC is COMPLICIT here JUST AS IT WAS on 9/11. The pilot would turn to the new heading – he has no choice unless he claims the new heading will send him into bad weather and asks for another heading.

UPDATE: I checked the flight path on MH17 and heT MUST have been vectored for some other reason tha “traffic” because it’s a LARGE deviation and a constant one. If they told him it was for weather and he didn’t see it on his radar, they would have difficulties getting him to obey. The pilot  knew damned good and well where the war is going on and would question it. SO, the best way to get him to “deviate” is to calim CAT (clear air turbulence reports) on is planned rout. You can’t see that on radar and it CAN tear an airplaner apart so the pilot WOULD comply. Those atc tapes make the atc person look like he was just doing his job, rather than setting up the bird for a plausible deniability kill operation.

The Crew had a warning, (NOT when the fighter was beneath them as long as the trajectory of the fighter was not angled at the big bird – but the instant the fighter locked on to the big bird, the CAS went off) and MIGHT have said something BUT they had only seconds to react because from lock on to missile launch to impact at a few kilometers is a few seconds.

All this is OBVIOUS SHIT that the press WIL NOT GO INTO and talks about ridiculous idiodic stuff like the paint job of Putin’s plane versus Malaysia Airlines. GOOD GRIEF! Eyesight doesn’t have SHIT to do with downing an airliner at 33,000 feet!

13) The Flight Data Recording on the aircraft is NOT the important one. It will have a CAS or a conflict alert warning but may not have the id or trajectory of the object in conflict. The ATC facility tape of the PVD (plan view display with digitized data blocks of all the aircraft) which is saved for two weeks NORMALLY is where the true evidence is.

Consequently, the Ukranianis have a nice adulterated copy. BUT, the goons that ran this operation could not keep several other nations (like Russia, China and Malaysiai) that routinely monitor the ATC digitized feed from having the whole enchilada. Why doesn’t Putin put it all out there? LOL! That’s not how this “game” is played. Most people here KNOW that. Our news media KNOWS that. That’s why they ask that dumb fucking, innocent sounding question! Patience is, as you can see, not my strong forte. There is a lot of very clever duplicity being propagated on the downing of this Big Bird. ANYBODY that claims there isn’t is INSTANTLY suspect of pushing propaganda, in my view.

You have just heard an EXPERT opinion by a former Intelligence Operations Specialist and Air Traffic Controller. You are free to believe it or not. Still, most people won’t believe it unless it’s written in the New York Times or they watch it on CNN. Only puny secrets need protection; big secrets are protected by public incredulity. I know how this works. God help us.

A Rebuttal of Gail Tverberg’s 10 Reasons Renewable Energy is a Problem

Off the keyboard of A. G. Gelbert

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 Published on the Doomstead Diner on January 29, 2014

Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner

Gail is Wrong

An Agelbert Response to Gail Tverberg article Ten Reasons Intermittent Renewables (Wind and Solar PV) are a Problem

Haniel called bollocks on it (I agree) and Monsta, defender of Charles Hall’s disingenuous (i.e. LOWER than fossil fuel and nuke EROI) data on EROI for Renewable Energy technology (which has been conclusively shown to be MUCH higher than fossil fuels or nuclear when all the MASSIVE mining costs that Renewables DON’T have in comparison, regardless of what Charles Hall or Gail Tverberg say, are computed).

And then there are those giant elephants in the room, dirty energy subsidies, that Gail flat refuses to call a premium we are all forced to pay on those dirty pigs.

She lists TEN reasons for the “problem” of Renewable Energy technologies.

Reason number ELEVEN: Centralized energy production and monopoly cost control is “mother’s milk” to actuarial “energy experts”.   It means speaking fees and paid publishing. It means participation in “studies” by the fossil nukers about “energy for the future”.

In a distributed energy world, people like her will have to hump a lot harder to make ends meet. The average Joe or Jane is not going to pay her to pontificate about “energy, energy, energy”. To us, she may have a tremendous capacity for the obvious, (LOL!) but I’m not going to pay her to explain the laws of thermodynamics to me.

Reason number ELEVEN is the MAIN reason she came up with the other TEN!
She’s just talking her book.

But just to be consistent, let’s wade into these tired arguments.


Intermittent renewables–wind and solar photovoltaic panels–have been hailed as an answer to all our energy problems. Certainly, politicians need something to provide hope, especially in countries that are obviously losing their supply of oil, such as the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the more I look into the situation, the less intermittent renewables have to offer.

1. It is doubtful that intermittent renewables actually reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

KEY WORDS: Intermittent,  Unfortunately, less … to offer, doubtful.

WHY? Let’s consider how the above paragraph changes in meaning and context WITHOUT those words:

Renewables–wind and solar photovoltaic panels–have been hailed as an answer to all our energy problems. Certainly, politicians need something to provide hope, especially in countries that are obviously losing their supply of oil, such as the United Kingdom. The more I look into the situation, the more it appears that renewables cannot make good on their vaunted promise.

1. Renewables actually do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

As you see, it doesn’t have as much punch in it. Moreover, she can be challenged for publishing false information. SO, she is careful to talk about wind and solar as if they were EXCLUSIVELY INTERMITTENT technologies. And AS LONG AS THEY ARE intermittent, SOME of them will NOT reduce carbon dioxide BECAUSE  a part of the energy process will ALWAYS HAVE TO BE SOURCED FROM DIRTY ENERGY.

She has covered her actuarial energy expert posterior AND undermined the efficacy of ALL renewables by tacking on the “intermittent” handle to get to the CO2 generating business. Only a skilled propagandist can wordsmith this mendacity so well. It’s really quite clever because it has a lot of truth in it.

And she didn’t stop there; She REPEATED herself (a basic tenet of all successful Bullshit  propaganda techniques) with the last bit of mendacity on her list:


10. Wind and Solar PV come nowhere near fulfilling the promises made for them.

As I showed you in the paragraph minus her disingenuous adjectives, she makes it sound like Renewable energy is BY DEFINITION, INTERMITTENT. Renewables ARE intermittent if you DON’T provide redundant systems. That is a rather blatently obvious condition in the material world due to those pesky laws of thermodynamics.

She quite deliberately left out the fact that, in practice, there is NO SUCH THING as NON-INTERMITTENT energy, whether from fossil fuels, nuclear power or renewables.

I have spent long hours explaining the fact that power plants have down times for various reasons and the KWHs they pump out lose as much as 80 to 90% of their energy value from power plant parasite loads, start up. peak shaving, base load overshoot, transmission losses and weather problems. Gail NEVER will admit they are intermittent.

How was the intermittency of fossil fuel power plants dealt with so you could get power the instant you wanted it?

They built lots of them so when one is down the others fill the gap. The exact same principle applies to Renewable Energy with the ADDED ADVANTAGES, despite being partially reliant on wind and sun, that

1) they are closer to the consumer (a KWH gives 80% or more value from harvest to use!)

2) there are a LOT more of them so they have more redundancy in bad weather and

3) they are NOT subject to fuel price hikes due to profit over planet resource wars

4) they have STORAGE technology that makes them LESS intermittent than fossil fuels or nukes (see new CSP MOLTEN SALT POWER TOWERS, massive Li Fe batteries in homes put in by Solar City and GE’s energy storing turbines, to name just a few).

And last but EXTREMELY IMPORTANT because it eliminates the need for quick start natural gas power plants for rapid second by second load demand response (Nukes and Coal Plants don’t ramp up power quickly–  nukes and coal plants need several minutes to a half hour to respond to increased demand):

5) Renewable Energy smart grid plus storage technologies provide second by second demand response which save millions of dollars by allowing a lower baseload (no shunting – throwing energy away into a resistance because nobody needs it that second or minute – it’s getting used or stored by the split second!).

Gail KNOWS there is just NO CONTEST between Renewable Energy and dirty energy.

A few years ago the talk was that Renewable Energy was “too costly”. Now it’s a “problem”.

Gail does what she can but I have known for some time that she is not objective. She is firmly in the CENTRALIZED ENERGY camp so she flat refuses to show the massive waste that goes on in electrical centralized grids due to the fact that fossil fuels and nuclear power are used.

You and I are PAYING, say 15 cents a KWH on our bill but ya know WHAT? The utility is LOSING about 85% of EVERY KWH they are manufacturing at a centralized power plant!

They are making US pay for 100 KWH worth of REAL generated juice at the power plant (putting CO2 into the air out the ying yang) for every 15 KWH we are actually using!  They make a “PROFIT” throwing AWAY 85 KWH that YOU and I are PAYING for in MONEY and ENVIRONMENTAL COSTS! I don’t like that, to put it mildly. Gail LOVES THAT!

To those wagging their heads and staring open mouthed, I will provide a plethora of accurate power plant to user loss details. It’s the sad truth. THAT is why when Roamer talked about how many barrels of oil we USE for electricity, I told him WE CAN shit can fossil fuels with renewable energy through distributed power.

The fossil fuel corporations ARE NOT up front about the enormous use of energy for extraction and transport. They are using a lot more than they claim they are using. We-the-people are paying for this waste in money and health costs. We do not need to do this.

For example, WHY doesn’t Gail address THIS gem from the government data available for mining the alleged “cheapest” form of fossil fuel (coal)?


Due to a lack of current information on the energy requirements on mining and beneficiation, the “SHERPA Mine Cost Estimating Model” along with the “Mine and Mill Equipment Cost, An Estimators Guide” from Western Mine Engineering, Inc., were used to calculate the energy requirements on mining and beneficiation coal in the eastern, interior and western U.S.


At the above link you will find HYPOTTHETICAL tables built with the “SHERPA Mine Cost Estimating Model” showing the term “Withheld” on electrical energy used to mine coal (the last date with some energy unit figures that appears to be almost complete on the table is from 1992).

Now why would they do that? Because if the world KNEW conclusively how much energy it takes to extract the cheapest coal (surface = 60% of current mining –  Underground = 40% and more costly), never mind the horrendous ash slag build up and pollution, there would be total outrage.

They DO admit they use coal at the site to produce energy to mine the coal. They also admit to using a smorgasbord of other fossil fuels (and dynamite – that takes a LOT of energy to make too!) in the process.

I would be grateful if an impartial party with math skills would dig into the above pdf and come up with a KWH per pound figure to mine coal. That is a real energy and pollution cost not on the EROI books of the fossil fuelers.



• Five million pounds of explosives a day are used by the coal mining companies in Appalachia.

• More than 1,500 miles of streams.


After mining, this VERY heavy stuff has to be transported to the power plant for burning. Then only 40% of the coal thermal energy is, when everything goes just right, extracted from the thermal energy of combustion. At last the FIRST KWH emerges from the steam powered generator and begins getting scaled down from inefficiencies before it reaches the consumer.

This is INSANE! But it has “worked” quite well for the centralized power corporations because they have been using the environment as a huge “rug” to attempt to hide, with government complicity, the pollution AND energy costs we-the-people are forced to pay in addition to the electrical tiny percentage we get at the tail end.

MKing says “pull the plug on the power company and STOP USING POWER”. Well, that is what people are starting to do. But there is another solution. It’s called Distributed Renewable Energy. That’s the way electrical use BEGAN in the USA!

Check out this nice ad from 1897!

Electric Power Generating Windmill system advertisement 1897

We were convinced to go the centralized power route. It was ALWAYS a bad idea. It was ALWAYS grossly energy inefficient. But it’s the world that Gail is defending without pointing out the FACT that when most of this energy is distributed close to or at the harvest point, we can get the SAME amount of energy buck from a global reduction in centralized energy of over 80%!

So when they say we just CAN’T pump up to the 18 TWs or so we need a year on this planet, tell them to stuff it because we need, at most, about 25% of that with distributed renewable energy.


• In the Southeast 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity requires approximately 1 pound of coal.


The above is AFTER the coal is mined and transported to the power plant. What percentage of a KWH of electricity was required to pull the pound of coal out of the ground and move it to the power plant INCLUDING the pollution remediation and human health care costs in energy units. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts it’s MORE than 100% (MUCH MORE). We are being USED!

Bill McKibben has written about the FACT that not all KWHs are created equal. He goes to great pains and much detail to track energy use from the mine to the power plant to the user in the centralized dirty power paradigm.

That’s why he can claim that we can make a go of our civilization with an 80 to 95% reduction in ACTUAL energy consumption. He wrote about it in his book “Eaarth”. I  learned of this watching a debate he particpated in.

Get it? For electrical energy, we will use ONLY about 15% of what people like Gail claim we have to have or we will all freeze to death!

More on fossil fuel lies and scare mongering as well as Renewable energy solution at the links below:

Don’t Believe the Dirty Lie

NO FOSSIL FUELS REQUIRED FOR NEW WHOLE HOME ENERGY SOLUTION from SolarCity:  Voltage and frequency regulation. Black-start capability after macro- or microgrid outages. Using batteries as a less expensive alternative to peaking plants during high-demand periods. Demand charge reductions via peak shaving. Shifting load profiles with batteries to take better advantage of time-of-use electricity pricing. And the list goes on

While Abengoa’s parabolic concentrating plant in Arizona is more than twice the size, Solana can only store energy for six hours. Chili’s plant will be able to produce energy without sunshine for a very impressive 17.5 hours.


2. Wind and Solar PV do not fix our oil problem.

Well, I might agree with Gail here if she admitted that our REAL “oil” problem is corruption, fascism, wars for profit and the “make the rubes pay for your pollution” mentality fostered by the fossil fuelers.  This is a HUGE problem that a new energy technology cannot fix simply because it requires a struggle between mindsets (predatory versus biosphere stewardship).

My hope is that as energy is democratized by distributed renewable energy, the conscience free centralized power monopoly pigs will lose their strangle hold over politics but it will be a long fight. Gail is on the wrong side of it.

As to the alleged “oil” problem, there isn’t one. We require energy. That isn’t a problem. that’s a fact of life in this universe. We get that, Gail.

Read my article on ocean currents. Your concentration on wind and solar MINUS the storage features they NOW HAVE without all the other Renewable Energy technologies like undersea turbine and tide, to just name two, along with SEVERAL storage technologies that ramp up instantly for peak loads including pumped hydro floating in the ocean, is disingenuous.

Renewable Energy Technology, unlike your beloved fossil fuels, is not a one trick DIRTY pony and can supply us multiples of what we need in energy NOW. In the future it will be even better. Trying to narrow our choices for energy is what monopolies do, Gail. We are a little tired of that SHIT.

Ocean Current Reliable, cheap, Low Maintenance, Immune to Surface Storms, 24/7 Energy for the Entire Planet

THIS is just a SWEET TASTE of our future energy choices:

IT’S ABOUT TIME Homo SAP started using and storing energy like the biosphere does (i.e. releasing all electron charges stored in the sugar solution slowly step-by-step by using an enzyme cascade)!


3. The high cost of wind and solar PV doubles our energy problems, rather than solving them.

Renewable Energy from wind and solar is much cheaper, including the TOTAL manufacturing life cycle from mining to recycling, than for fossil fuel power plants. How you can keep catapulting this noisome propaganda is absolutely despicable. Shame on you.


Renewable Energy Now Cheaper Than Fossil Fuel
posted by M Caulfield September 24, 2013



4. Even if wind is “renewable,” it isn’t necessarily long lived.

Manufacturers of wind turbines claim lives of 20 to 25 years. This compares to life spans of 40 years or more for coal, gas, and nuclear.

NO IT DOESN’T! The “life span” of a coal, gas, and nuclear is ZERO years without FUEL!

The initial cost of those pigs is wildly more expensive than a wind turbines. If Gail was honest, she would discuss the gargantuan maintenance costs of those pigs NOT present in wind turbines!

In addition, wind turbines can be 100% recycled. That is not possible for fossil fuel or nuke power plants due to severe pollution poisons (although I am certain a lot of that polluted metal scrap ends up poisoning people in third world countries right now – See the link to Areva and Uranium mining in Niger later on in this article.).

The literature is available and I will supply it on request. Such a bold faced lie is shameful!

Wind turbines, PRECISELY because they were challenged as not being cost effective from the start, received extensive cradle to grave cost benefit analysis by engineers. Otherwise they would have never been produced in such massive quantities. Even Charles Hall admitted their EROI was above 18:1 and got higher with larger capacity.

NO fossil fuel or nuclear power plant has EVER been subjected to the detailed study of where every single part came from and how much energy to manufacture it was required.

And then there is that MINOR DETAIL of 40 YEARS of fuel for a fossil fuel power plant and nuclear poisoned pig versus ZERO years of fuel costs for wind turbines that DOES compare but YOU don’t mention it.  WTF is going on here, Gail?

Wind turbines are IN! They have proven their worth as superior replacements to fossil fuel energy power plants many times over.

They were in the path of the tsunami in Japan that knocked out EVERYTHING including the Fukushima Daichi nuclear white elephant. They were UNSCATHED by the tsunami and provided needed power in the absolute worse case scenario!

The offshore ones are baseload power quality! The UK is building an ENTIRE PORT facility to manufacture them and ship them to their position out at sea!

You are beginning to sound ridiculously quixotic in your crusade to undermine the worth of wind turbines. This is pathetic!


5. Wind and solar PV don’t ramp up quickly.

After many years of trying to ramp up wind and solar PV, in 2012, wind amounted to a bit under 1% of world energy supply. Solar amounted to even less than that–about 0.2% of world energy supply. It would take huge effort to ramp up production to even 5% of the world’s energy supply.

After over forty years of the fossil fuel industry doing everything possible to hinder the growth of renewable energy, it is PAR FOR THE COURSE for a fossil fueler to wail and moan about how “slow PV and wind are to ramp up”.  ::) It’s like Bush asking “Why do they hate us?”. It’s like asking the Native Americans why they are so “lazy, disgruntled, suicidal and drug addicted” in those nice Reservations we put them in. It’s like Southerners complaining about those “lazy  thieving negroes.”

The exact same line was taken by the Exxon CEO over a year ago and Bloomberg News told him he was full of shit. Why? Because the growth rate of Renewable in THIS decade is MUCH FASTER than that of fossil fuels when they were growing in the beginning of the 20th century.

The percentages that Gail is quoting hide the FACT that a large part of renewable energy DOES NOT SHOW on the fossil fuel utility radar because it appears as a DROP in demand. So they don’t “see” it. But let’s say it is JUST 10% when all is added up and we need to ramp up production 8 or ten fold, something Gail claims cannot be done.

She is dead wrong. Consider the number of cars made each year. Our manufacturing capacity and that of the rest of the world can EASILY pump out all the renewable energy machinery we need in less than a decade. I wrote a long article comparing this effort to the Liberty Ships of WWII.

Tesla is pumping out almost 500 cars A WEEK. Each one is a huge battery storage bank for homes as well as transportation. Of course we could ramp up wind turbine manufacture ten fold! Fossil fuelers, while claiming it can’t be done, are doing everything they can to make damned sure the financing isn’t there because they KNOW the industrial capacity IS THERE!

At present the growth is exponential. There is no stopping it but people like Gail are doing all they can to hinder its growth, as they have done for the last 40 years. Google the George C. Marshall Institute for info on this nefarious MO. A pox on them.

Here’s some nice reading from the World Wind Energy Association.

Worldwide Wind Capacity close to 300 Gigawatts

The worldwide wind capacity reached 296’255 MW by the end of June 2013.

However, in terms of new capacity, USA and Spain played hardly a role, as they represent less
than 1 % of the market, so that the share of the Big Five in new capacity dropped down to only 57 %.

For the first time, the United Kingdom has entered the top markets by becoming the second largest market for new wind turbines.

In total, four countries installed more than 1 GW in the first half of 2013: China (5,5 GW of new capacity), the UK (1,3 GW), India (1,2 GW) and Germany (1,1 GW). In 2012, only three countries had a market volume of more than 1 GW.

Dynamic Markets to be found on all Continents

It is important to notice that for the first time, the most dynamic markets can be found on all continents: The ten largest markets for new wind turbines included next to China, UK, India, and Germany: Sweden (526 MW), Australia (475 MW), Denmark (416 MW), Romania (384 MW), and Canada (377 MW). Brazil as the 10th largest market added 281 MW, being the biggest Latin American wind country.

– 14 GW of new installations in the first half of 2013, after 16,5 GW in 2012

– Worldwide wind capacity has reached 296 GW, 318 GW expected for full year
– Dramatic slump in US leads to global decrease, partly compensated by new markets

– China has reached total capacity of 80 GW


Big Oil in the USA is flexing their muscles to slow wind power DOWN. This is about fossil fuel corruption, not the “ramping up” power of wind turbine production. The rest of the world is NOT going start being STUPID just because our oil pigs force us to.


6. Wind and solar PV create serious pollution problems.

As compared to WHAT, exactly, eh Gail? We are going to get 80% of every KWH they collect without paying for fossil fuels while we are getting 15% of every KWH your beloved fossil fuel power plants are pumping out.

Do the math, Gail. It’s OVER for fossil fuels. The “rare earth mining” reason   ;) doesn’t fly because there are thousands of OTHER applications to rare earths that you don’t say WORD ONE about used in modern civilization (Your big oil pals use a LOT of them in the many electric motors they have on their rigs!  ;D).

Every oil rig, tanker and cancer patient from Chevron oil spills in Ecuador or some other part of the world is going to GO AWAY because they COST TOO MUCH to the biosphere in general and Homo SAP in particular.

You know, I have never seen you write THIS: Fossil Fuel and Nuclear Power Plants create serious pollution problems.

I’ve never read articles from you about uranium dust cancer to Navajo miners or the hundreds of thousands of disabilities and deaths from coal mining related diseases as well as the pollution from oil spills and all the wildlife deaths cause by big oil in their quest to drill all over the planet.

And why aren’t you all over Areva for THIS?

World’s Poorest Suffer From Radioactive Sickness as Areva Mines for Uranium
Brandon Baker | January 24, 2014

More than 60 percent of Niger’s population lives on less than $1 per day, and even more have no electricity.

Still, French company Areva keeps contaminating those residents and their environment while mining away for uranium—one of the few resources the world’s poorest country still has.


Two hundred and fifty METERS down into the earth (the last time I checked, it tales a LOT of energy to mine that way, DOESN’T IT?) to extract a total of about 250 thousand tons of Uranium since the start of operations several decades ago! Poisons, poisons and more poisons and you are silent as a tomb about this horror.

But now you are “so concerned for our welfare” because of rare earth mining pollution that supplies wind turbines? Excuse my French, dear, but that is FECAL COLIFORMS on steroids.


7. There is a danger that wind and solar PV will make the electric grid less long-lived, rather than more long-lived. This tends to happen because current laws overcompensate owners of intermittent renewables relative to the value they provide to the grid.

I hate to do this, but I have to agree with MKing here. You are woefully uninformed about how the electrical grid(s) in the USA actually function.

Current laws OVERprotect utilities from liability in natural disasters. We-the-people end up footing the bill for downed power lines or the insurance premium the power company pays to cover losses. Don’t tell me you don’t know which way that “playing field” is tilted.  The consumer is just now getting an opportunity to somewhat even the score. The consumer is NOT being overcompensated. That’s hyperbole.

Read this article from the Rocky Mountain institute. They really do understand energy and our electrical grid. They have the exact opposite view. Renewable energy actually makes the  grid stronger by providing more redundancy! But that is only part of what Renewable energy does to make all of us more energy secure:

That is battery power handling the peak, NOT NATURAL GAS!


If current trends are any indication, soon batteries may become a common part of solar PV systems, including residential. “This will be a whole-home energy solution,” according to Guccione. “That’s where the next frontier is, and we hope to see SolarCity and Tesla go there.”

And pretty soon it won’t just be for those in the higher-income bracket. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that battery storage costs will fall 57 percent by 2020. And Lux Research sees the global market for PV systems combined with battery storage growing from the current $200 million dollars a year to $2.8 billion in 2018.

“We look at economics as the thing that will bring the critical mass to the tipping point,” says Guccione. “There has to be a whole wave of first movers—but the increasingly favorable economics will evolve solar-plus-battery systems from early adopters to a mainstream solution.” And that’s why it is so exciting that more companies are starting to offer battery storage. Solar installers will start to get asked if they offer battery storage options more often, and with more demand and more players entering the field, the price will go down, utility companies will come up with innovative business models, and a solar system without battery storage will seem so last decade.

New business models will make it easy for customers to add storage to existing systems or build storage into new systems, through leasing and third-party financing models similar to what has made rooftop PV so accessible. And solar-plus-battery systems will be available to the masses, not just to off-grid pot farmers who can pay in cash. All good news for people wanting clean, reliable electricity.

NO FOSSIL FUELS REQUIRED FOR NEW WHOLE HOME ENERGY SOLUTION from SolarCity:  Voltage and frequency regulation. Black-start capability after macro- or microgrid outages. Using batteries as a less expensive alternative to peaking plants during high-demand periods. Demand charge reductions via peak shaving. Shifting load profiles with batteries to take better advantage of time-of-use electricity pricing. And the list goes on


8. Adding more wind and solar PV tends to make government finances less sound, rather than more sound.

Well, if you DEFINE “government” as the Big Oil bought and paid for politicians, I certainly agree with you. And it’s not going to do any good for YOUR finances, Gail. I can tell.


9. My analysis indicates that the bottleneck we are reaching is not simply oil. Instead, a major problem is inadequate investment capital and too much debt. Ramping up wind and solar PV tends to make those problems worse, not better.

Of course, all these billions of dollars in “misdirected” capital going into electric vehicles, wind turbines, green pension funds and the current call by people high up in the U.N. for pension funds to divest from fossil fuels is a HUGE “PROBLEM” for fossil fuelers.  And yeah, it’s going to get a WHOLE LOT WORSE!  Good!

I understand your position. That is why there is no need for me to bring up your reason number 10 again. After all, I think this article is based on REASON NUMBER 11: Centralized energy production and monopoly energy cost control is “mother’s milk” to actuarial “energy experts”. 

We can’t afford your beloved dirty energy, Gail. We use WAY TOO MUCH ENERGY just to GET that dirty energy. And you are soon going to be in actuarial outer space because distributed energy is NOT being “seen” by the utilities that prepare all those charts and statistics you love to quote.  Renewable Energy is an ongoing sneak attack on dirty energy.

People know the dirty energy companies lied about pollution and continue to do so. They are tired of it. It’s about time.  We trusted you big centralized energy corporations once. NEVER AGAIN!

A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables
Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world’s energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. Here’s how


Aglebert’s Aerobatic Adventure

Off the keyboard of A.G. Gelbert

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 3, 2013


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Agelbert’s Aerobatic Adventure – In A NON-Aerobatic Aircraft 

Once upon a time, I was young and a newly licensed Private Pilot. I had racked up about 53 hours of flying time, passed my 4 hour written test and my one hour flight test so I fugured I had most of this flying stuff all figured out. I was now starting my commercail pilot training which required a total of 160 hours. A lot of this time was solo flying practicing advanced maneuvers such as chandelles, lazy eights, pivotal altitude hold while circling a ground reference point, several kinds of stalls, engine out procedures, emergency landing procedures and some extended cross country flights.

But most of that was in the future. I had already flown my mother as my mandatory first passenger now that I was a bona fide licensed pilot and could legally carry passengers (without charging for it, of course).

I modified the last part of the tail number on the cherokee 140 above. It’s not the one I flew but is identical in appearance and paint job.

This bright sunny day I boarded Zero Nine Whisky (N–09W tail number) Cherokee 140 trainer aircraft to accumulate some flying time towards my minimum required for a commercial pilot license. Zero Nine Whiskey was my favorite of the aircraft. It had a pretty paint job and was the plane I had soloed in. It was an old friend to me by now. I didn’t have any particular plan except to go out over the everglades practice area and repeat some of the maneuvers I already knew.

Of course, being young, curious, over confident and foolish, I wanted to expand my knowledge of how the aircraft responded in somewhat, shall we say, higher pitch attitudes than the every day dull training fare.

If you have ever heard the expression, “pushing the envelope”, let me tell you that it is originally and aviatior’s expression stolen from us by you ground pounders to make your dull lives seem more exciting!

Yes, dear readers, Agelbert was fixin’ to push the envelope.

The flight “envelope” is the airspeed range and pitch attitude (angle above or below the horizon) as well as bank angle range of the wings that the aircraft is designed to fly at. If you leave the envelope when you are in the air, you are entering the danger zone. WHY? Because the aircraft can suffer catastrophic structural damage, engine, failure or a combination thereof. If this happpens near the ground, you are done. If it happens 4 to 5 thousand feet up, you MIGHT be able to recover and live through it. You have a little more time but your survival usually depends more on luck than skill.

Recently licensed Private Pilots are not too long on skill…

I taxied out, took off and flew northwest about 10 miles to the practice area. This area over the Floraida Everglades was (in 1966) in the middle of nowhere. There were a few roads near some farms that had bounndaries by the glades but otherwise it was all swamp and you were alligater food if you went down there.

Cherokee in cruise flight at about 115 mph over Ohio, not the Everglades.

On the plus side for a designated practice area, it was flat, far away from people or cows (our flight school had been told to NOT allow the student pilots to practice low approaches to emergency landings near cows because it caused abortions), and arrival and departure aircraft traffic to Opa Locka or Miami International Airports. Besides, it was within radio range of several ATC towers so if you had an emergency, you could set 121.5 on your radio and call for help before you made a forced landing even if you were at a low altitude.

Out over the practice area at 2,000 feet, I practiced a few engine out procedures and checked the area for potential landing sites that I could reach with the power off. It didn’t look all that great but I would pick a spot and pretend I had to put it down right there. At about 300 feet I would apply full power and climb away looking down at the spot to see what sort of a mess I would have made if I had actually landed there.

I then decided to try something new. I knew I might have some “difficulties” so I climbed to 5,000 feet (the recommended altitude for stall and spin practice). I may write about an exciting and humorous adventure with spins someday but that was still in the future for me then. For this adventure, I must explain to you what a “stall” is before I explain my imaginative variation of it.

An aircraft flies because a low pressure area forms over the upper surface of the wing in direct proportion to the velocity of said wing and the angle of the wing to the air movement (relative wind). The point is that the wings are sucked up and the aircraft flies.

Straight and level flight (arrow) —-> produces enough lift to not go up or down. When you pull back on the control point the aircraft nose higher, you are increasing the pitch attitude. A Cherokee 140 normally flies at a pitch attitude of a few degrees (positive pitch).

A stall has nothing to do with the engine. A stall is what happens when the low pressure area over the wing surface gets distured (burble point) by too high a pitch attitude and the wings no longer produce lift. The maneuver is performed by gradually increasing the pitch attitude with a certain designated power on or power off conditon (or something in between) until the nose shakes a little and noses down as the wings hit the burble point.

Stall recovery is performed by establishing a negative pitch (nose below normal glide pitch) to pick up flying speed whil applying full power simultaneously. Panicky student pilots have a tendency to point the nose down steeply and upset their flight instructors. After some practice, students learn that the secret of stall recovery is just to put that nose down to a few degrees below glide pitch and, of course, keep the plane from banking with the rudder so you don’t get into an inadvertent stall-spin.

The most challenging stall recovery is a power on stall because the nose is pitched about 40 degrees up (much higher than for a power off stall) and the burble point stall break is snappy. It’s also harder to keep the plane straight to avoit a spin entry due to one wing stalling before the other.

Well, I knew all that. I had that down! Let us see, I said to myself, what happens when we REALLY pick up the nose with full power?  

I pushed the throttle all the way and pulled the nose as far back as I could about 60 degrees). The effect was a much more violent stall (imagine a bucking bronco) break and the plane trying to spin this way and that. But I recovered within a few hundred feet of altitude loss which was well within limits for a power on stall.

I thought about that for a while. I wanted a 90 degree pitch up nose position (straight up!) but, even with full power, I couldn’t get there before the plane stalled. Bummer.
So, I applied full power again and lowered the nose to pick up maneuvering speed (129 mph designated aircraft speed where structural damage could not occur from control movements). ZOOM!

At 129 mph I gradually lifted the nose all the way to 90 degrees! Yippee! There I was, going straight up like a fighter pilot!

I then waited for the stall break and the nose to pitch forward. And I waited. And I waited. The airspeed went down past 60, which was no flaps stalling speed, and kept going down. Fifty, forty, THIRTY (WTF!), TWENTY!!! (I pulled the power off and tried to nose the aircraft over – no response – I was going too slow to ahve ANY EFFECT on the fight controls – I was basically a rock tossed in the air at this point approaching the peak of a ballistic trajectory), TEN, ZERO!

Now it gets really good. The cherokee 140 is a utility trainer aircraft. That means it is capable of withstanding 4.4  G forces plus and 2.2 G minus. Aerobatic aircraft can handle 6.6 both ways with out structural issues. I knew this. I knew I was not in a Citabria or Steaarman that could do whip stalls and tail slides and hammer head stalls at air shows just for fun. Cherokees have a stabilator (instead of an elevator) on the tail that is quite easy to break. If that breaks, you are dead, period.

You DO NOT want to stress the stabilator, EVER.

I went weightless. My pilot briefcase began floating in the air next to me. The wind noise was picking up rapidly and the airspeed still read ZERO!

Panic time! I decided to release the controls because ANYTHING I did would translate BACKWARDS because the aircraft was “flying” backwards. I did NOT want to bust that stabilator. I wanted to get that nose DOWN somehow. As a kid I had thown gliders in the air and watched them tail slide and whip stall to a nose down pitch and recover. I was counting on that but my confidence level was measurable in fractions of an inch at the moment.

Hanging by my seatbelt, I experienced the most violent forward whip stall forward you can imagine. That is probably what save my life. Had the stabilator caused a BACKWARD whip stall, it would probably have broken off. Without the ability to control the pitch attitude, even with engine power, a small aircraft will nose hard into the ground destroying the airframe and killing the pilot.

I watched the blue sky instantly change to brown everglades. It was weird. The nose did not just go from straight up to straight down; it went from straight up to a pendulum movement. I still hadn’t touched the controls. The airspeed had, of course, been increasing all along but it didn’t show because aircraft measure airspeed with a pitot tube that faces the relative wind. Planes don’t generally fly backwards. LOL!

The moment the plane whipped over to the glades facing pendulous rocking movement, the airspeed went from zero to ABOVE VNE (Never Exceed Velocity – about 160). The airspeed indicator was PEGGED!

That was another fright. I realized the flip had occurred above maneuvering speed and was sweating the possibility I had lost my stabilator.

I  reached for the controls and, ever so gradually, applied back pressure to get out of the dive without tearing the wings off. Also, if I pull back too hard and too quick, that was another chance to over stress the stabilator (if I still had one) that I didn’t want to risk.

It worked. I hadn’t lost my stabilator! Gravity returned and I got the airspeed back to 115 mph normal cruise. I had lost about 3,500 feet. I applied power. Nothing. Engine failure. Shit.
I turned on the electric fuel pump (this aircraft has a manual fuel pump but uses the electric fuel pump to aid starting and engine restart in the air) and set 121.5 emergency frequency on my radio and looked for a place to put Zero Nine Whiskey down.

At 800 feet the best place loocked like a dirt embankment in the evergaldes. I began a final approach and had the mike in my hand to begin transmitting mayday when the engine sputtered on. Beleive it or not. My greatest relief at the moment was not having to embarrass myself by radioing an enmergency. Such is the foolish pride of the young.

I hooked the mike back on to the panel and changed to tower frequency, radioed that I was inbound about 15 miles northwest and brought her home (without turning the electric fuel pump off until I was safely on the runway).

I taxied to the grass parking area at the fight school and shut own the aircraft.

Then I noticed something that needed to be taken care of. The cowling above the panel was full of dirt! The whip stall had been so violent that every speck of dirt on the floor had been thown up and then forward and down onto the cowling as I applied gradual back pressure to pull the aircraft out of the dive. The floor looked like someone had done a great vacuuming job on it. LOL!

I called a line boy and said there was a lot of dirt on the cowling that should be cleaned up. He looked at it  and asked, How did that get there?”. I said, “I don’t know.” and quickly walked into the office to sign out…”.

NOTE: Zero Nine Whisky was NOT damaged. I flew over 50 hours in that aircraft subsequently along with hundreds of hours by other pilots and flight instructors.
I preflighted VERY closely the aircraft a day later and, had I seen the least bit of evidence of stabilator stress, would have reported it.

I know, I should have reported it anyway but I was foolishly and pridefully afraid to besmirch my pilot record because it would reduce my chances of getting hired by the airlines.

All I can say is the Piper Cherokee 140 is an excellent trainer aircraft.

So that is how a foolish young man happened to cheat death in 1966.

If you liked this true story by Agelbert published by RE, be nice and register at the Doomstead Diner AND on Agelbert’s Renewable Revolution Forum.

Agelbert giving his first lecture on Renewable Energy.  :icon_mrgreen:

Have a pleasant day.   ;D

Renewable Revolution

Open Letter to Nicole Foss

Off the keyboard of A. G, Gelbert

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Published in the Comments on The Automatic Earth on August, 2013


Discuss this article at the News Table inside the Diner


Commentary on video by Nicole Foss on farming and energy saving

Fossil fuels and renewable energy discussion with Nicole Foss including the importance of climate science data to energy resoures.

Historic proof that manufacturing all the renewable energy machines and infrastructure needed to transition to a 100% Renewable Energy world economy can be achieved in two decades or less: The mass produced Liberty Ships of WWII

Three different future scenarios

Nicole Foss shares the story of how she has reduced her energy needs by 90%.

I watched and listened to the above video from a 2011 Sustainability Conference. You said you felt the energy resource poor England, with 60 million people, convinced you to sell your townhouse and buy a 40 acre farm in Ottawa with 7 barn outbuildings.

You went about reducing your energy needs by 90%, have some sheep, chickens and other farm animals, a dog sled team for winter transportation, rent out some of the land, make your own hay, grow vegetables and have extended the growing season with a greenhouse.

Your plan for making use of renewable energy was based on power with less moving parts so you avoided wind power and obtained 3 kW of PV non-tracking panels for an off grid system.
You didn’t hook up to the grid for feed in tariff (FIT) extra money because you don’t want your power going to “public uses”, don’t believe FIT will last 20 years and, in the event the grid went down, you wouldn’t have the benefit of power because a grid tied system did not allow you to store energy in batteries.

There was an easy way around that. You buy your battery bank and keep it charged from the grid, not the PV panels. You have an electrician set up a switch from the inverter to the grid so that if grid power is lost, you just isolate yourself from the grid and the PV panels will then be able to keep your batteries charged and you are supplied with power until grid power comes back.

But from your comment about “public use” of your PV electricity and your feelings about the imminent collapse of feed in tariffs (FIT), it appears that you were more influenced by Libertarian ideology than pure logic.

After all, the community that you are fostering and the responsible, low carbon footprint behavior that you are engaging in by keeping your energy sources nearby and renewable (except for the gasoline, diesel and grid tie for your electric range and other high power demand appliances) energy wood fired heating system for the house and the greenhouse (when temperatures are below freezing) is really about survival of Homo sapiens, is it not?

I don’t agree with drawing a line at the grid connection and thinking you have no responsiblility to share your power with the larger community. But, I’m grateful to you for trying to live within your means and your sound advice to your children to avoid debt like the plague.

I too believe in being debt free and have been so for over a decade even though I do have to pay for the 1/3 acre of land I rent where my manufactured home sits.

I assume, because of your belief in some type of imminent civilizational collapse, that you are designing your lifestyle to be independent of industrial civilization. You are convinced that it is all going to go away.

I don’t think so but I’ll discuss that later. If a collapse is imminent, your actions are logical. If it isn’t, you are doing yourself and humanity a favor by living closer to the land and within your means. That is most prudent of you even though 80% or more of the human species does not have the option of owning one acre to farm, let alone 40.

Considering how most people with a townhouse in England (like most of the rich EVERYWHERE that own the mining corporations, factories and are the major corrupting influence that spurs goverments to fight resource wars) ignore the huge carbon footprint that the population of the developed countries have, I admire what you have done to break the mold of that unsustainable lifestyle by setting a sustainable, boots on the ground, example to lead the way in what all of us MUST do if humanity is to survive.

I was particularly gratified that you seriously considered walling off a section of your house in the winter to keep the heating costs down. I am of the opinion that if the human population was limited to only being able to heat, cool and plumb 500 square feet per capita, a sustainable renewable energy based world would be easily achievable. Of course that would entail a commensurate restructuring of industrial capacity and a 90% downsizing of large fuel hogs like the U.S. military and “security” state bureaucracies.

You mentioned that your geothermal system goes down 140 feet. Are you aware of the advances in passive geothermal systems that use geofoam above a large open land area to keep the land from very low temperatures?

The most common uses of Geofoam are as a lightweight fill and as insulation. Some specific applications of Geofoam are outlined below.

Unstable Soil Substitute

Roadbeds & Runways (pavement insulation)


IOW, the land above the frost line is insulated too so, for all practical puposes, there is no frost line. Since you make your own hay, it is conceivable to use hay bales instead of geofoam.

Any passive geothermal loops placed down to the 140 feet below insulated soli with no frost line, but in a much larger area than a home footprint, will keep you quite comfortable. Also, the fact that your house is old means that it must be very poorly insulated compared with modern thermal mass based structures like the earthships.

I’m sure you are familiar with them. Old houses may have historical, traditional and sentimental value but they have next to zero value as low energy use living structures due to their draftiness unless you want to be bundled up with warm clothing all winter like our ancestors were.

Another “automatic” way to provide heating when you most need it is a wind turbine. When wind speed increases in the winter, that’s when you lose most of your heat from conduction. If you have a wind turbine that, like your PV array, is not only stand alone, but additionally does NOT go through an inverter but just sends DC into a resistance heating coil in some important part of your house, you will automatically get more heat in direct proportion to the strength of the wind.

I bring that up as something to think about. I don’t think you need to be overly concerned with the reliability and longevity of wind turbine moving parts. The reliability of the rotating parts of these machines has been proven by the fact that the old windmills in Texas and the midwest are still being made (now many converted to generating electricity).

They have 40 to 50 year life spans and no wind storm is going tear them apart unles it tears your house apart too. As you know, windmills, prior to the fossil fuel age, were used to pump water, mill crops and several other tasks that, without these pre-industrial Renewable Energy devices, would have been onerous.

In the United States it may be said that the conestoga, or covered wagon, settled the west and the colt 45 tamed the west. I will add that the windmill was the major
force in developing the western United States.

[/size=10pt]The covered wagon is no longer used as a means of transportation. The Colt 45 is no longer worn as a side arm and known as ‘the peace keeper.’ However, the windmill, that other great symbol of the nineteenth century American West, is now becoming the twenty-first century symbol of renewable energy.

Now that is staying power! [/size]


I am certain that John D. Rockefeller did not like windmills at all. I believe he was that fine fellow that said, “Competition is a sin”. He also said THIS:

“Try to turn every disaster into an opportunity. ”

Attributed in The Rockefellers (1976) by Peter Collier and David Horowitz

Measured in today’s dollars, Rockefeller is the richest person in the history of mankind.


Considering the mindset of this fine fellow and his descendents in the fossil fuel industry, it is not far fetched to believe than when an opportunity wasn’t “presenting itself” due some competitive nuisance (like ethanol), they would contrive a “disaster” for said competition that they could then turn into an OPPORTUNITY (I.E. PROFIT). More on that below.

It seems that we can see where the modern, consciense free expression,” Never waste a crisis” originated. I don’t think Karl Rove and the Bush family invented the idea of deliberately creating a crisis in order to obtain a profit or stifle competiton, do you?


Fossil fuels and renewable energy discussion with Nicole Foss including the importance of climate science data to energy resources.

At any rate, with all that wood you have, you should do all right if the winds don’t get too high from global climate change. Humans, according to science, cannot function when average wind speeds are 50 mph or greater. Let us hope that global climate change doesn’t produce such average wind speeds.

I heard this information and a lot more about the massive threat to humanity that global climate change represents and the absolutely vital requirement that we stop burning fossil fuels now, not 50 or a hundred years from now, from a panel of scientists including James Hansen. The climate catastrophe is upon us and is baked in for up to a thousand years. This is not hyperbole.Video here:

I will refer to this a few more times in this document.

The ten indicators that climate scientists are monitoring are all going into uncharted territory promising a climate that humans have never, ever been subjected to. See the article I posted on my channel (written nearly three years ago) with some recent charts I added at the top.


Please ignore the snark I included in that post. I am just a bit tired of having the data I present here being viewed as questionable, debatable, or some tree hugger’s hysterical opinion.

Did you know one of the founders of a Disinformation Think Tank (The George C. Marshal Institute) created to defend the Reagan SDI star wars boondoggle (when 6,500 of the top scientists signed a document refusing to work in it) and, after the cold war ended, switched to adopt the “Tobacco Strategy” of sowing doubt about the global warming science, had been previously president of Rockefeller University?

What does propaganda fostered by the fossil fuel industry for the purpose of denying Global Climate Change have to do with the subject of this letter to you?

A lot. I’ll get to that but now I wish to remind you of a response you wrote to me in a comment forum about a year ago when I complained that you had not figured in the cost of poisoned aquifers from fracking gas drilling in the EROEI of fracked gas. I further said that, given the fact that Renewable Energy does not pollute, it actually is more cost effective than fossil fuels.

Why wait a year to answer you? Because I ran into exactly the same talking points in several other comment forums when the subject of fossil fuels versus renewable energy came up. So I set about to research your claims and predictions.

I have answered the statements and predictions you made. Nearly 100% of your predictions have not come about. In fact, in some cases the exact reverse of what you predicted has happened.

Also, some of your statements were factually incorrect at the time you made them, not just a year after you made them. Please read them and tell me if you have revised your views in these matters.

I have included your statements in exactly the same sequence as you made them without any alterations whatsoever.

Your statements are in brown color

My response in blue

Renewables represent a drop in the bucket of global supply.

(Phase 1)

Energy from renewable resources—wind, water, the sun, biomass and geothermal energy—is inexhaustible and clean. Renewable energy currently constitutes 15% of the global energy mix.


They are having no effect whatsoever on fossil fuel prices.


(Phase 2) So the huge demand destruction in fossil fuels this past year was ONLY related to the depression we have been in since 2008!!? Why then, didn’t said demand destruction occur THEN? Why did that demand destruction DOVETAIL with the explosive growth of energy and wind in the USA in 2011 and 2012?

Charts: The Smart Money Is on Renewable Energy
—By Tim McDonnell
Mon Apr. 22, 2013


IEA Predicts Wind to Double and Solar Solar to Triple in 6 Years


The European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s largest public financial institution, has announced that, effective immediately, it will no longer finance most coal-, lignite- and oil-fired power stations in an effort to help Europe meet its climate targets.


They are more expensive than fossil fuels

(phase 3)

When you account for the effects which are not reflected in the market price of fossil fuels, like air pollution and health impacts, the true cost of coal and other fossil fuels is higher than the cost of most renewable energy technologies.


In the July 2011 PE magazine article “Why We Need Rational Selection of Energy Projects,” the author stated that “photovoltaic electricity generation cannot be an energy source for the future” because photovoltaics require more energy than they produce
(during their lifetime), thus their “Energy Return Ratio (ERR) is less than 1:1.”Statements to this effect were not uncommon in the 1980s, based on some early PV prototypes. However, today’s PVs return far more energy than that embodied in the life cycle of a solar system (see Figure 1).Their energy payback times (EPBT)—the time it takes to produce all the energy used in their life cycles—currently are between six months to two years, depending on the location/solar irradiation and the technology. And with expected life times of 30 years, their ERRs are in the range of 60:1 to 15:1, depending on the location and the technology, thus returning 15 to 60 times more energy than the energy they use. Here is a basic tutorial on the subject.


because of their very low EROEI


(phase 3) See above. The EROEI of fossil fuels is lower than Renewable energy EROEI.


However, today’s PVs return far more energy than that embodied in the life cycle of a solar system (see Figure 1).

Their energy payback times (EPBT)—the time it takes to produce all the energy used in their life cycles—currently are between six months to two years, depending on the location/solar irradiation and the technology. And with expected life times of 30 years, their ERRs are in the range of 60:1 to 15:1, depending on the location and the technology, thus returning 15 to 60 times more energy than the energy they use. Here is a basic tutorial on the subject.

Energy Payback Time = (Emat+Emanuf+Etrans+Einst+EEOL) / (Eagen–Eaoper)
Emat: Primary energy demand to produce materials comprising PV system
Emanuf: Primary energy demand to manufacture PV system
Etrans: Primary energy demand to transport materials used during the life cycle
Einst: Primary energy demand to install the system
EEOL: Primary energy demand for end-of-life management
Eagen: Annual electricity generation in primary energy terms
Eaoper: Annual energy demand for operation and maintenance in primary energy termsThe traditional way of calculating the EROI of PV is EROI = lifetime/EPBT, thus an EPBT of one year and life expectancy of 30 years corresponds to an EROI of 1:30..


Scientific Investigations of Alcohol Fuels 1890 – 1920

Studies of alcohol as an internal combustion engine fuel began in the U.S. with the Edison Electric Testing Laboratory and Columbia University in 1906. Elihu Thomson reported that despite a smaller heat or B.T.U. value, “a gallon of alcohol will develop substantially the same power in an internal combustion engine as a gallon of gasoline. This is owing to the superior efficiency of operation…”62 Other researchers confirmed the same phenomena around the same time.

USDA tests in 1906 also demonstrated the efficiency of alcohol in engines and described how gasoline engines could be modified for higher power with pure alcohol fuel or for equivalent fuel consumption, depending on the need.63

The U.S. Geological Service and the U.S. Navy performed 2000 tests on alcohol and gasoline engines in 1907 and 1908 in Norfolk, Va. and St. Louis, Mo. They found that much higher engine compression ratios could be achieved with alcohol than with gasoline. When the compression ratios were adjusted for each fuel, fuel economy was virtually equal despite the greater B.T.U. value of gasoline. “In regard to general cleanliness, such as absence of smoke and disagreeable odors, alcohol has many advantages over gasoline or kerosene as a fuel,” .[/b]the report said. “The exhaust from an alcohol engine is never clouded with a black or grayish smoke.”64

USGS continued the comparative tests and later noted that alcohol was “a more ideal fuel than gasoline” with better efficiency despite the high cost.65

The French War Office tested gasoline, benzene and an alcohol-benzene blend in road tests in 1909, and the results showed that benzene gave higher mileage than gasoline or the alcohol blend in existing French trucks.66

The British Fuel Research Board also tested alcohol and benzene mixtures around the turn of the century and just before World War I, finding that alcohol blends had better thermal efficiency than gasoline but that engines developed less brake horsepower at low rpm.67
On the other hand, a British researcher named Watson found that thermal efficiencies for alcohol, benzene and gasoline were very nearly equal.68

These experiments are representative of work underway before and during World War I. The conclusions were so definitive that Scientific American concluded in 1918: “It is now definitely established that alcohol can be blended with gasoline to produce a suitable motor fuel …”69 By 1920, the consensus, Scientific American said, was “a universal assumption that [ethyl] alcohol in some form will be a constituent of the motor fuel of the future.”

Alcohol met all possible technical objections, and although it was more expensive than gasoline, it was not prohibitively expensive in blends with gasoline. “Every chemist knows [alcohol and gasoline] will mix, and every engineer knows [they] will drive an internal combustion engine.”70

And then along came Prohibition and saved the day for gasoline.
So a ‘Prohibition law “disaster” for ethanol was a rather convenient profit opportunity, was it not? It is quite conceivable that a “disaster” was CREATED (Rockefeller “donated” millons to the Temperance movement.) for ethanol in order to “Try to turn every disaster into an opportunity. “.

After all, competition was a “sin” for the Rockefellers and big oil. It may be “real politik” but it certainly isn’t cricket. The terms “free market” and “level playing field of energy resources” ring rather hollow in the “real world” of big oil market rigging and lawmaker bribing, blackmailing or bullying.

I dare say not much has changed.

Alcohol from grain and potatoes, at about 25 to 30 cents per gallon, was far too expensive to compete with petroleum, but alcohol from Cuban molasses, at 10 cents per gallon, was thought to be competitive.

Some observers suspected a conspiracy in the fact that Standard Oil of New Jersey had financial ties to the Caribbean alcohol market. The influence of an oil company over the alcohol industry was “a combination which many will regard as sinister,” said Tweedy.59

In 1942, Senate committees began looking into the extent to which the oil industry had controlled other industries, including the alcohol industry and the rubber industry. Attorney General Thurmond Arnold testified that anti-trust investigations had taken place into the oil industry’s influence in the alcohol industry in the 1913-1920 period, in the early 1920s, and between 1927 and 1936. “Renewed complaints in 1939 were brought to the anti-trust division but because of funds no action was taken,” Arnold said.60

Then the investigation of 1941 which exposed a “marriage” between Standard Oil Co. and the German chemical company I.G. Farben also brought new evidence concerning complex price and marketing agreements between du Pont Corp., a major investor in and producer of leaded gasoline, U.S. Industrial Alcohol Co. and their subsidiary, Cuba Distilling Co.

The investigation was eventually dropped, like dozens of others in many different kinds of industries, due to the need to enlist industry support in the war effort.

However, the top directors of many oil companies agreed to resign and oil industry stocks in molasses companies were sold off as part of a compromise worked out with Arnold.


Ethanol WAS ALWAYS a superior fuel to gasoline even WITHOUT the horrendous pollutants that an ICE burning gasoline produces. And ethanol requires NO CATALYTIC CONVERTER.

Every nasty, negative naysaying thing you have heard about ethanol from it using up food crops to having a “low” EROEI to corroding engines from increased water vapor to it being less economical than gasoline is DISINFORMATION and I can prove it point by point.

**”The gasoline engine became the preferred engine for the automobile because gasoline was cheaper than alcohol, not because it was a better fuel. And, because alcohol was not available at any price from 1920 to 1933, a period during which the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol was banned nationally as mandated in the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The amendment was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment on December 5, 1933. In time to produce alcohol fuels during World War II.

By the time World War II ended, the gasoline engine had become “entrenched” because gasoline remained cheaper than Alcohol, and widely distributed – gas stations were everywhere.”

and very large fossil fuel dependency.


(phase 3) Maybe that was true in 1980 but NOW it is only partially true. Norway has about 100% penetration of renewable energy in their electric grid. Other highly industrialized countries have high penetration as well. This mean the electric arc furnaces for smelting steel and other high temperature thermal processes dependent on electricity are using very little fossil fuels to make renewable energy machines in these places.

Also Nuclear power plants, something neither you nor I favor, have always been made with fossil fuels but that never stopped our government from making or heavily subsidizing that new energy technology. Why should it be different for renewable energy machines?
Observe below the Renewable Energy penetration of the electric grid in various industrialized countries

Electric Grid Renewable energy Penetration in Selected Markets

Although we technically do not have PV manufacturing plants or Wind turbine manufacturers driving EV trucks or mining with EV machines as well as powering their factories with wind and PV or some other renewable energy, it’s just a matter of time.

WHY? Because of the HIGH EROEI of Renewable Energy devices. They pay for themselves in a few years and then, as long as they are properly maintained, last a number of decades while using ZERO fossil fuels throughout the entire period.

The fossil fuel powered internal combustion machine is not competitive with Renewable Energy technolgies UNLESS fossil fuels retain their massive subsidies and continue to limit the market penetration of renewable energy systems in the USA and elseware with the threadbare excuse, and untrue allegation, that they are “too intermittent”.

The Great Transition, Part I: From Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy
Lester R. Brown


In fact renewables is a minomer. The sun will continue to shine and the wind to blow, but steel is not renewable and neither are many other essential components.

Six Terrawat hours a year of energy is expended each year in the USA just to make the internal combustion engines and spare parts. How come you never complained of this massive amount of energy involving “non-renewable” steel used in manufacturing internal combustion machines?

Renewable Energy devices terminology refers to the FACT, that once they are constructed, they don’t USE fossil fuels to output energy. And the metal used in Renewables is not high temperature alloy metal like that required for internal combustion engines which makes it recyclable with LESS energy than that required for internal combustion engine metals.

In fact, we need far less steel and other metals to replace the entire internal combustion independent infrastructure with renewable energy WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL MINING by just cannibalizing the internal combustion machines for Renewable Energy machine metals as we make the transition.

Yes, I know about the rare earth metals mining pollution. I can only remind you of that phrase, “drop in the bucket” compared with the benefits of doing away with fossil fuels altogether.


For As Long As The Sun Shines: The Non-Crisis of PV Module Reliability


The demand and price collapse will kill much of renewable development,

Prices have gone up for fossil fuels even as demand has gone down. This has actually spurred the switch to renewables , not dampened it.

Retail Prices (Dollars per Gallon) 2012-2013


Volatile fossil fuel prices make renewable energy more attractive


especially at a large scale.

(phase 3)

To date, we’ve committed over $1 billion to renewable energy project investments, signed … It may also be more feasible to build larger power installations …. and match their demand with utility-scale solution


You cannot run an industrial society on intermittent energy sources with low EROEI.

The Renewable energy blend eliminates intermittency and the low EROEI claim has been proven, not just inaccurate, but the exact reverse.


CSP technology can also be coupled with energy storage, one of the hottest topics in the renewable energy industry this year. Plants that include energy storage with molten salt can store solar power and dispatch it in the early evening and into the night. Tex Wilkins from the CSP Alliance thinks this application could make PV, which is often viewed as a threat to CSP, a complimentary technology. “The ability of CSP with storage to dispatch its power to the grid in the early morning and evening can combine with daytime PV to spread out the use of solar power from the time people get up early in the morning until they go to bed late at night,” he explained. Wilkins said that in five years most CSP plants will include energy storage. Van Scoter from eSolar said in five years he expects that most CSP projects will include molten salt or ISCC technology. “There is also a high potential for projects involving industrial process heat, EOR and desalination,” he said.
All CSP experts said that utilities are just beginning to recognize CSP’s value – a renewable energy able to provide base load, dispatchable power. According to SkyFuel’s Mason, “This attribute of CSP is its main differentiator from PV and wind, and will ensure its increasing uptake in the power market.”
Intermittency Of Renewables?… Not So Much


For As Long As The Sun Shines: The Non-Crisis of PV Module Reliability


Feed in tariffs are already being cut worldwide, and without them renewable power is not competitive.

This is a generalization and is inaccurate as well.
It is also a faulty comparison. The MASSIVE subsidies fossil and nuclear fules get dwarf any feed in tariff “advantage” for Renewable energy.

If all fossil and nuclear fuel subsidies were removed, the ridiculously tiny Renewable Energy subsidies in the form of feed in tariffs and other paltry incentives would be even less significant than they are now.

I know you are adverse to feed in tariffs. It is not logical for you to be adverse to FIT and not ALSO be adverse to fossil fuel subsidies like THESE:

Expensing of Intangible Drilling Costs

Percentage Depletion Allowance

Deduction for Tertiary Injectants

Geological and Geophysical Expenditures

Exception for passive loss limitations for oil and gas

Enhanced oil recovery credit

Marginal oil well credit

You eliminate ALL THE ABOVE and the pittance that FIT represents can be eliminated quite easily, thank you very much. Just google fossil fuel and nuclear power subsidies to date in the USA alone and then look at the tiny sliver of a percentage of subsidies for renewables to date.

Of course, fossil fuel industries want renewable enrgy to go away and are doing everything possible to make that happen. Eliminating FIT would be one step to that goal while keeping fossil fuel subsidies intact.

Said Brian Jennings, ACE executive vice president, in a release, “If oil companies cannot stand on their own two feet after 100 years of clinging to certain taxpayer subsidies, Congress shouldn’t hurt American consumers by repealing the RFS, a policy that helps level the playing field with oil a little bit by giving people affordable and renewable fuel choices.”


Since we cannot run this society on renewables, our society will have to change.

A logical conclusion based on the low EROEI incorrect premise and the intermittency incorrect premise.

With an incorrect premise, you will always come to the wrong conclusion.

The fact that renewable energy has grown in leaps and bounds for over three years now is proof that it is a more profitable energy source, as well as being non-polluting after manufacture, than the poisonous fossil fuels.

The renewable energy percentage use targets are INCREASING, not decreasing as you incorrectly believe. Here’s just one example:

Vermont may have more foresight than other states it its ambitious 90% renewable energy target by 2050, but it’s really the sign of a paradigm shift in energy, says Dave.


Prepare For Disruptive Solar Technology
In 2013, the landscape is drastically different. Solar power is here to stay, and the major manufacturers should be motivated to make big moves.


We will have to learn to live within our means.

Most people in the world already do. It’s people with giant carbon footprints that don’t.

I think what you are doing in lowering your carbon footprint is laudable but be aware that every time you board an aircraft, you have just used up about 6 months worth of the carbon footprint of a person in the third world. That doesn’t help.

This article was not about poisoned aquifers. I have written about that before though. I cannot cover everything in every article or there would be no focus. Of course fracking is obscene, the environmental risks are huge and a few well connected individuals are making a killing from the ponzi scheme. The price collapse will eventually prevent it, just not right now when there is still money to be made.

Yes, the environmental risks, and damages as well, are already huge. Fracking adds insult to injury. It’s time to stop supporting this biosphere killing technology, regardless of the fossil fuel industry’s stranglehold on governments and policy.

The country is in the midst of an unprecedented oil and gas drilling rush—brought on by a controversial technology called hydraulic fracturing or fracking.
Along with this fracking-enabled oil and gas rush have come troubling reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, mysterious animal deaths, industrial disasters and explosions. We call them Fraccidents.


The numbers are bad even with externalities excluded, and are of course much worse with them. Some of these things are very difficult to quantify, and over-quantification doesn’t really help anyway.

Well, it DOES HELP the frackers in attracting investment capital to have energy experts publish EROEI numbers above 1:1, does it not? A real world EROEI woud remind these planet poisoners of the repercussions of their actions AND make it HARDER for them to get investment capital.

The less happy the EROEI numbers, the less inclined they will be to engage in criminal and toxic activity. If energy experts don’t do it, who is, besides the scientific community which is getting drowned out by the bought and paid for media?

I can show you a Buffalo University study about three years old (not the snow job that came later falsely claiming it was peer reviewed and forced to recant) that proved conclusively that Uranium traces would come up in the process of fracking and invade the aquifers, not at radiactive dose danger levels but as heavy metal pollutants.

There’s a LOT more bad stuff going on out there. If you don’t know about it, you should.

Gas fracking corruption posts:


‘Fracking’ Mobilizes Uranium in Marcellus Shale, UB Research Finds


This is real politik – the way the world really works.

You mean that’s the way the POLITICAL WORLD works.
The planet and the biosphere, according to serious, objective, proven environmental science, will become uninhabitable if we do not stop burning fossil fuels within a couple of decades (See video above in this document of panel of scientists where one British Scientist actually says that the REAL, “real world” is about to overwhelm the perception managed “real politik, real world” the fossil fuel industry and most of mankind falsely believe they live in. Note: Part 2 of that video is extremely informative as well.).

The intransigence of the fossil fuel industry in this matter is a given. They wish to avoid liability for the damage they have casued so they have, for several decades, (See the George C. Marshal Institute) launched a campaign of disinformation to claim there is NO climate threat whatsoever.

The disinformation has used the scare tactic that we are running out of fossil fuels. Sure, according to latest estimates, we have about 37 years left of oil and slightly over 100 years of coal.

I certainly think those numbers don’t translate into an imminent collapse UNLESS the fossil fuel fascists (that isn’t hyperbole) engineer one as an additional scare tactic.

Don’t tell me the industry famous for contrived price shocks and oil resource wars is not capable of that.

Here’s a PRIME example of what the fossil fuel industry has done to the USA and the world:

A quote from the following Peer Reviewed book:

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 399-400). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

“As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, It AMOUNTED TO $468 PER BARREL, or 18 TIMES the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself.

In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in ONE YEAR at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, THEY COULD HAVE ELIMINATED THE NEED TO IMPORT OIL from the Middle East.

So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists. ”

Note: I added the bold caps emphasis on the barrel of oil price, money spent in one year and the need to import oil from the Middle East.

Consequently, all extrapolated future scenarios the Peak Oil people come up with must have their premises scrutinized to see how much of that is fossil fuel propaganda.

I have. The collapse scenario does not add up.

In that video above, the scientific community makes it crystal clear that there is easily another 100 years of coal, a much more polluting fossil fuel than oil, available regardless of the state of petroleum depletion.

So it is not realistic to say everything is just going stop one day from a chain of collapses in economies. The available fossil fuels are still TOO available.

The worsening weather will be the ONLY thing that will spur change unless the 1% performs a coup d’état on the fossil fuel world power structure and even then we already passed the point a couple of decades ago when bioremediation was going to be fairly straight forward.

So the Peak Oil people and preppers, like you, are doing themselves a world of good by preparing for a lower carbon footprint and learning many low tech survival skills because, even in the best of the three scenarios I envisioned (no die off), we will still have to reduce our carbon footprint until we get all the bugs out of the 100% renewable energy PLUS 20-40% carbon sequestering economy implemented to GET BACK to below 350 ppm.

You are wrong to think it will all collapse but you are right to prepare for hard times and horrible weather. Hansen said the atmospheric and oceanic inertia is nearly 100 years. I had thought it was only about 30 years.

That means we are experiencing NOW the effects of our generated pollutants (if you say the incubation inertia is 50 years or so) as of 1963!

Consider all the pollutants that have poured in to the biosphere since then and you start to understand why brilliant people like Guy McPherson are so despondent. There is NO WAY we can stop the pollution/bad weather clock from CONTINUING to deteriorate for another 50 years (or 100 if Hansen is right) even if we STOPPED using all fossil fuels today.

I’m not in charge and neither are you. But clinging to this fossil fuel fantasyland of cheap power and all we “owe” it for our civilization is not going to do anything but make things deteriorate faster.

If enough people reach the 1%, maybe they will wake up. It’s all we can do in addition to trying to foster community.

The system, as defined by the fossil fuel fascist dystopia that currently runs most of the human affairs among the 1 billion population in the developed world that are saddling the other 6 billion, who are totally free of guilt for causing it, with this climate horror we are beginning to experience, IS quite stubborn and does not wish to change the status quo.

Mother nature will force it to do so.

Whether it is done within the next two decades or not (i.e. a swtch to 100% PLUS bioremediation Renewable Energy steady state economy) will dictate the size of the die off, not only of humans but thousands of other species as well.

We are now in a climate cake that has been baked for about 1,000 years according to atmospheric, objective, proven with experimental data, science.

My somewhat quixotic hope as fleshed out in the following article is that the 1% will respond to the crisis with a crash program to bioremediate the biosphere as a matter of enlightened self interest.


If the crash program to switch to renewable energy is to begin soon, I expect the trigger for the crash program will be the first ice free arctic summer (according to my estimates :icon_mrgreen:) in 2017.

So I would use that future melting now as a rallying point to wake people up and join in the effort to ban fossil fuels from planet earth. Expect the fossil fuelers to counter that polar ice melting catastrophic reality with propaganda about what a “wonderful” thing it is to have a new ocean to shorten ship traveling (i.e. TANKERS) distances. So it goes.

But if things go well for humanity and the 1% galvanize to save the biosphere and their stuff :icon_mrgreen:, we will witness the dismantelling of the centralized fossil fuel infrastructure, it’s use and, more importantly, the relinquishing of political power worldwide by big oil.

15 April 2013
James Hansen1. Exaggeration? I have been told of specific well-respected people who have asserted that “Jim Hansen exaggerates” the magnitude and imminence of the climate threat. If only that were true, I would be happy.
[b]“Magnitude and imminence” compose most of the climate story.[b]


It’s about money and power.

Correct. It has ALWAYS been about POWER (which always brings easy money).

It has NEVER been about ENERGY beyond CONTROLLING the spigot to we-the-people.

That’s why the fossil fuel industry simply didn’t switch to the much more profitable and economical renewable energy technologies long ago (they certainly have the money to do so); they simply could not figure out a way to retain POWER and CONTROL with a distributed, rather than a centralized energy system.

The expansion phase of the bubble concealed that for a while by floating many boats temporarily.

No comment except that the forces of nature will overwhelm any bubble mechanics that corrupt central bankers or Wall Street can come up with.

The importance of financial activity pales in the face of climate change.

I wish that wasn’t the way it worked, but it does, whether we like it or not. All we can do is to understand our situation and make the best of it.

Renewable Energy is making life and profits more and more difficult for the fossil fuel corporations.

But you are right that they run the corrupt system and do not want to cede their power (even if it kills all of us).

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: In the next decade there will be an epic battle for survival for humanity against the forces of ignorance and greed. It’s going to be Armageddon, represented by the oil industry on one side, versus the renewable industry on the other.

And people are going to have to choose sides – including politically. They will have to choose sides because oil and coal, they will not be able to survive – they are not going to be able to burn their proven reserves.

If they do, then we are all dead. And they are quite willing to burn it. We’re all going to be part of that battle. We are going to watch governments being buffeted by the whims of money and greed on one side, and idealism and hope on the other.


This ends my response and rebuttal of your statements and predicitons.

Do you now recognize that what you told me, wittingly or unwittingly, was fossil fuel anti-renewable energy propaganda?

I have shown the error in your statements and request you reconsider your position on everything you said to me.

The fossil fuel industry and those who side with it, regardless of appearing to take a pro-environment position in their personal lives, are hurting our chances for a viable biosphere.

Those who, instead, simply stand their ground on the settled climate science and state unequivocally that fossil fuels must be BANNED from human use forever and the fossil fuel industries dismantled while a massive transition to a lower carbon footprint and 100% plus renewable energy economy takes place, are the only hope Homo sapiens has.

The question is, which side are you on?

Typical phases of resistance to renewable energy, as descriped by Dr. Herman Scheer are as follows:

Phase 1 – Belittle & Deny the Renewable Energy Option

Phase 2 – Denounce & Mobilize Against the Renewable Energy Option

Phase 3 – Spread Doubt & Misrepresent the Challenges in the Disguise of General Support

(Note: reaching Phase 3 doesn’t mean that Phase 1 & 2 will disappear.)


Historic proof that manufacturing all the renewable energy machines and infrastructure needed to transition to a 100% Renewable Energy world ecnomy can be achieved in two decades or less: The mass produced Liberty Ships of WWII.
The other day, a knowledgable mechanical engineer I know stated this concern about the colossal challenge and, in his opinion, impossibility of switching to renewable energy machines in time to avoid a collapse from an energy to manufacture and global industrial capacity limitation in our civilizational infrastructure.

He said:

I admire your enthusiasm, and I agree with many of the points you make. Yes ICE waste high EROEI consistently, yes fossil fuels and conventional engineering has a warped distorted perspective because of the ICE, and yes we have an oil oligarchy protecting its turf.

However say we hypothetically made all the oil companies dissappear tommorow and where able to suspend the laws of time and implement our favorite renewables of choice and then where tasked with making certain all of societies critical needs were met we’d have a tall order. The devil is in the details and quantities.

Its the magnitudes, its 21 million barallels per day we are dependent on. Its created massive structural centralization that can only be sustained by incredible energetic inputs. Not enough wind, and not enough rare earth material for PV’s to scale and replace. We have to structurally rearrange society to solve the problem. Distributed solar powered villaged, not bit cities and surely not suburbia. I fear we’ll sink very useful resources and capital towards these energy sources (as we arguably have with wind) when the real answer is structural change.

I have shown evidence that there are several multiples of the energy we now consume available just from wind power. This data came from a recent study by Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Scientists.

He thinks we CAN’T do it even if we had enough wind because of the colossal challenge and, in his opinion, impossibility of switching to renewable enrgy machines in time to avoid a collapse from an energy required to manufacture and global industrial capacity limitation in our civilizational infrastructure.

His solution is to survive the coming collapse with small distributed energy systems and a radically scaled down carbon footprint. Sadly, that option will not be available to a large percentage of humanity.

Hoping for a more positive future scenario, I analyzed his concerns to see if they are valid and we have no other option but to face a collapse and a die off with the surviving population living at much lower energy use levels.

I’m happy to report that, although the mechanical engineer has just cause to be concerned, we can, in reality, transition to 100% Renewable Energy without overtaxing our civilizational resources.

This a slim hope but a real one based on history and the word’s present manufacturing might. Read on.

I give you the logistics aiding marvel of WWII, the Liberty Ship. It was THE JIT (just in time), SIT (sometimes in time) and sometimes NIT (never in time because it was torpedoed) cargo delivery system that helped us win the war.

This was a mass produced ship. These ships are a testament to the ability to build an enormous quantity of machines on a global scale that the U.S. was capable of over half a century ago.

The Liberty ship model used two oil boilers and was propelled by a single-screw steam engine, which gave the liberty ship a cruise speed of 11 to 11.5 knots. The ships were 441.5 feet long, with a 57 foot beam and a 28 foot draft.
The ships were designed to minimize labor and material costs; this was done in part by replacing many rivets with welds. This was a new technique, so workers were inexperienced and engineers had little data to go on. Additionally, much of the shipyards’ labor force had been replaced with women as men joined the armed forces. Because of this, early ships took quite a long time to build – the Patrick Henry taking 244 days –
but the average building time eventually came down to just 42 days.
A total of 2,710 Liberty ships were built, with an expected lifespan of just five years. A little more than 2,400 made it through the war, and 835 of these entered the US cargo fleet. Many others entered Greek and Italian fleets. Many of these ships were destroyed by leftover mines, which had been forgotten or inadequately cleared. Two ships survive today, both operating as museum ships. They are still seaworthy, and one (the Jeremiah O’Brien) sailed from San Francisco to England in 1994.

These ships had a design flaw. The grade of steel used to build them suffered from embrittlement. Cracks would propagate and in 3 cases caused the ships to split in half and sink. It was discovered and remediated.

Ships operating in the North Atlantic were often exposed to temperatures below a critical temperature, which changed the failure mechanism from ductile to brittle. Because the hulls were welded together, the cracks could propagate across very large distances; this would not have been possible in riveted ships.

A crack stress concentrator contributed to many of the failures. Many of the cracks were nucleated at an edge where a weld was positioned next to a hatch; the edge of the crack and the weld itself both acted as crack concentrators. Also contributing to failures was heavy overloading of the ships, which increased the stress on the hull. Engineers applied several reinforcements to the ship hulls to arrest crack propagation and initiation problems.

Heavily loaded ship


http://www.skylighters.org/troopships/libertyship-hi-new.jpgToday, several countries have, as do we, a much greater industrial capacity. It is inaccurate to claim that we cannot produce sufficient renewable energy devices in a decade or so to replace the internal combustion engine everywhere in our civilization. The industrial capacity is there and is easily provable by asking some simple questions about the fossil fuel powered ICE status quo:

[size=10pt]How long do ICE powered machines last?

How much energy does it require to mine the raw materials and manufacture the millions of engines wearing out and being replaced day in and day out?

What happens if ALL THAT INDUSTRIAL CAPACITY is, instead, dedicated to manufacturing Renewable Energy machines?

IOW, if there is a ten to twenty year turnover NOW in our present civilization involving manufacture and replacement of the ICEs we use, why can’t we retool and convert the entire ICE fossil fuel dependent civilization to a Renewable Energy Machine dependent civilization?

1) The industrial capacity is certainly there to do it EASILY in two decades and maybe just ten years with a concerted push.

2) Since Renewable Energy machines use LESS metal and do not require high temperature alloys, a cash for clunkers worldwide program could obtain more than enough metal raw material without ANY ADDITIONAL MINING (except for rare earth minerals – a drop in the bucket – :icon_mrgreen: LOL- compared to all the mining presently done for metals to build the ICE) by just recycling the ICE parts into Renewable Energy machines.

3) Just as in WWII, but on a worldwide scale, the recession/depression would end as millions of people were put to work on the colossal transition to Renewable Energy.

[size=14pt]HOWEVER, despite our ABILITY to TRANSITION TO 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY, we “CAN’T DO IT” ??? because the fossil fuel industry has tremendous influence on the worldwide political power structure from the USA to Middle East to Russia to China.


IOW, it was NEVER

1. An energy problem,

2. A “laws of thermodynamics” problem,

3. A mining waste and pollution problem,

4. A lack of wind or sun problem,

5. An environmental problem,

6. An industrial capacity problem or

7. A technology problem.

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE ABOVE excuses for claiming Renewable Energy cannot replace Fossil Fuels are STRAWMEN presented to the public for the express purpose of convincing us of the half truth that without fossil fuels, civilization will collapse.

It was ALWAYS a POLITICAL PROBLEM of the fossil fuel industry not wanting to relinquish their stranglehold on the world’s geopolitical make up.

It drives them insane to think that Arizona and New Mexico can provide more power than all the oil in the Middle East. Their leverage over lawmakers and laws to avoid environmental liability is directly proportional to their market share of global energy supplies.

They are treatened by Renewable Energy and have mobilized to hamper its growth as much as possible through various propaganda techniques using all the above strawmen.

It is TRUE that civilization will collapse and a huge die off will occur without fossil fuels IF, and ONLY IF, Renewable Energy does not replace fossil fuels. It is blatantly obvious that we need energy to run our civilization.

It is ALSO TRUE that if we continue to burn fossil fuels in ICEs, Homo sapiens will become extinct. This is not hyperbole. We ALREADY have baked in conditions, that take about three decades to fully develop, that have placed us in a climate like the one that existed over 3 million years ago.

We DID NOT thrive in those conditions or multiply. This is a fact. We barely survived until a couple of hundred thousand years ago when the weather became friendlier and even then we didn’t really start to populate the planet until about 10,000 years ago.

The climate 3 million years ago was, basically, mostly lethal to Homo Sapiens. To say that we have technology and can handle it is a massive dodge of our responsibility for causing this climate crisis (and ANOTHER strawman from Exxon “We will adapt to that” :evil4: CEO).

Fossil fuel corporations DO NOT want to be held liable for the damage they have caused, so, even as they allow Renewable Energy to have a niche in the global energy picture, will use that VERY NICHE (see rare earth mining and energy to build PV and wind turbines) to blame Renewables for environmental damage.

In summary, the example of the Liberty ships is proof we CAN TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGY in, at most, a couple of decades if we decide to do it but WON’T do it because of the fossil fuel industry’s stranglehold on political power, financing and laws along with the powerful propaganda machine they control.

Three different future scenarios

What can we expect from the somewhat dismal prospects for Homo sapiens?

1) Terrible weather and melted polar ice caps with an increase in average wind velocity in turn causing more beach erosion from gradually rising sea level and wave action. The oceans will become more difficult to traverse because of high wave action and more turbulent seas. The acidification will increase the dead zones and reduce aquatic life diversity. But you’ve heard all this before so I won’t dwell on the biosphere problems that promise to do us in.

2) As Renewable Energy devices continue to make inroads in fossil fuel profits, expect an engineered :evil4: partial civilizational collapse in a large city to underline the “you are all going to die without fossil fuels” propaganda pushed to avoid liability for the increasingly “in your face” climate extremes.

3) Less democracy and less freedom of expression from some governments and more democracy and freedom of expression from other governments in

direct proportion to the percent penetration of Renewable energy machines in powering their countries (more RE, more freedom)

and an inverse proportion to the power of their “real politik” Fossil Fuel lobbies in countries. (more FF power, less freedom).

The bottom line, as Guy McPherson says, is that NATURE BATS LAST. Nature has millions of “bats”. Homo SAP has a putrid fascist parasite bleeding it to death and poisoning it at the same time. The parasite cannot survive without us so it is allowing us to get a tiny IV to keep us alive a little longer (a small percentage of renewable energy machines). It won’t work.

But the parasite has a plan. The IV will be labelled a “parasite” (the villain and guilty party) when Homo SAP finally figures out he is going to DIE if he doesn’t fix this “bleeding and poison” problem. Then the real parasite will try to morph into a partially symbiotic organism and Homo SAP will muddle through somehow.

I think that the parasite doesn’t truly appreciate the severity of Mother Nature’s “bat”.

Three future Scenarios:

1. If the parasite (as a metaphor for a fossil fuel powered civilization) does not DIE TOTALLY, I don’t think any of us will make it. :emthdown:

2. If the the parasite takes MORE than 20 years to die, some of us will make it but most of us won’t. :emthdown:

3. If, in 2017, when the north pole has the first ice free summer, all the governments of the Earth join in a crash program to deep six the use of fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine within a ten year period, most of us will make it. :emthup: :sunny:

A word about political power and real politik living in a fossil fuel fascist dystopia.

IT simply DOES NOT MATTER what the ‘real world”, “real politik” geopolitical power structure mankind has now is. IT DOES NOT MATTER how powerful the fossil fuel industry is in human affairs. The ICE and fossil fuels have to go or Mother Nature will kill us, PERIOD.

Pass it on. You never know when somebody on the wrong side of the Darwininan fence will read it and join the effort to save humanity.

Save as many as you can!


Waste Based Society: A Renewable Future

Off the keyboard of A. G. Gelbert

Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 3, 2013


Discuss this article at the Waste Based Economy Table inside the Diner


I actually hope my views on this are off.  I want to find some positive good news to rally on.  I’m hoping you have a more nuanced positive spin on this for me to examine.

Well sir, as a matter of fact, I am a bit more hopeful, but not on the horrendous weather coming our way that will destroy crops and infrastructure, bake the shit out of part of the planet, flood the shit out of the other part and kill a large part of aquatic life as well. That weather is pretty much baked in.  :emthdown:

However, I have a different, and very positive, view of the energy capturing and using devices in our civilization.

First, I agree that EROEI is declining in FOSSIL FUELS and NUCLEAR POWER. The reason is that the EROEI numbers were tricked up in the beginning to subtracting including environmental and infrastructure AND ADDING government subsidy FREEBIES on the taxpayer dime.

If you think the EROEI numbers Professor Hall from the SUNY energy study have jack shit to do with real world energy use and the laws of thermodynamics, I have a time share in a black hole at the center of the Milky Way to sell you. :icon_mrgreen: I won’t go into details here but, as an engineer, you understand what enthalpy is. It is a convenient method of BOILING WATER (NOT IN THE COMBUSTION CHAMBER OF AN ICE) to measure the energy density of a fuel. THIS IS INFANTILE. But it is the industry standard BULLSHIT that enables people from Exxon to say that gasoline has a higher EROEI than ethanol.


The energy density per mole in a high octane gasoline is assumed to be lower due to the higher energy of activation. This is a half truth. This half truth is used by the EROI experts to claim ethanol, which has a high octane rating, has a lower EROI than gasoline. Simply changing the compression ratio in an engine to a high compression makes ethanol equivalent in MJ/L to gasoline. But, of course, the Hall study arbitrarily stopped at the octane rating “energy of activation” differences between gasoline and ethanol with zero discussion of high compression engines. That was very convenient for gasoline EROI and very inconvenient for ethanol EROI.


Roamer, it’s a LIE. But let’s get past ICE fuels for a second. WHY? Because they are only about 20% efficient. Yes, I know the big steam engines in power plants can get up to 60% through capture of second stage energy but the POINT is that the ICE is a ridiculously inefficient way to get mechanical energy. It’s STUPID. It ALWAYS WAS STUPID.

And NOW that the poisoned chickens are coming home to roost in the form of atmospheric heat, higher manufacturing and maintenance costs for high temperature alloys AND 400 ppm CO2, OF COURSE the gamed EROEI numbers for fossil fuels AND nuclear energy are starting to look like the bullshit they always were.

ENERGY means absolutely nothing until it makes some work happen, right? I am telling you right here and now that you were taught to deny the enormous inefficiencies downstream from combustion because it suites the fossil fuel pigs for engineers to do so. Your world view as an engineer includes the FALSE belief that the ICE is an efficient way to convert the energy in a fossil fuel to mechanical energy. It isn’t. It never was.

Did you know that in 1940, ONE THIRD of all the electricity in the USA came from about 1,500 hydroelectric power plants? Did you know you can make a hydroelectric power plant WITHOUT damming up a bunch of water? Oh, I’m sure you have looked at the ‘horrendously weak” energy potential in stored water and what a “poor” substitute for “high energy density” CRAP like fossil fuels that gravity power is. Look again. Look here.


The technology is there. It involves a giant piston head (no connecting rod or link to a crank shaft) inside a cylindrical shaft that goes deep into the ground. The piston requires some type of giant O-rings so it can take about 10 bar pressures. Excess power from wind and or PV during the day causes water to be pumped UNDER the piston (which is EXTREMELY HEAVY).  When not enough wind or sun can service the grid, valves open for instant power as the piston descends. The quickness of this response FAR EXCEEDS the quickest thing available now which is natural gas fired power plants.

What’s the efficiency? It’s INCREDIBLY HIGH and has little or no thermal waste ANYWHERE in the energy distribution chain. If all vehicles are EVs (including ships), a  MASSIVE amount of heat energy never hits the atmosphere. See the video above for details.  :emthup: :icon_sunny:

Can civilization make a million of these gizmos all over the earth? Sure. This is OLD technology! We know all about hydraulic forces. Will it be done? Maybe not. But not because of thermodynamic law limitations and the energy required to run the planet.

Did you know there is a SUCCESSFUL CSP power plant that is THIRTY YEARS OLD!!?

Solar Energy Generating Systems solar power plants III-VII at Mojave Desert, California.
Image & Caption Credit: Alan Radecki Akradecki


The longest running concentrated solar power plant in the US is about to reach its 30th birthday , and the end of its power purchase agreement – but its owners are not about to pack it up and take it home. They are now looking at the next 30 years, and storage is likely to form a major part of the equation.

CSP (also known as solar thermal) is often branded an emerging technology,  :evil4: but the first plants have been around for decades.  :o The 14MW SEGS I and 30MW SEGS II plants near Daggett in the Mojave Desert in California were built in 1985. (SEGS stands for Solar Energy Generating System).

Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/07/02/30-year-old-concentrating-solar-power-plant-looking-to-upgrade-add-storage/#Fh7fvrvi1MpPGJE4.99

CSP is MUCH MORE EFFICIENT than ICE power plants. CSP has a very high EROEI DUE TO THE FACT THAT IT USES zero fossil fuels.

Tell me, do you think our government and scientists DIDN’T KNOW THIS IN 1985!!? Just like using gravity in more efficient ways, CSP uses the sun more efficiently. Today, with sophisticated Fresnel lens CSP and super heated salts, they run for 24/7 (i.e. the new ones in Spain among others). Granted, these DO put out a lot of waste heat but MUCH LESS than an ICE power plant.

A 100% Renewable Energy civilization was DOABLE IN THE 1970S! It hasn’t been done because the fossil fuel fucks didn’t want it to happen. They are still at it doing THIS:


Phase 1 – Belittle & Deny the Renewable Energy Option

Phase 2 – Denounce & Mobilize Against the Renewable Energy Option

Phase 3 – Spread Doubt & Misrepresent the Challenges in the Disguise of General Support

(Note: reaching Phase 3 doesn’t mean that Phase 1 & 2 will disappear.)
Full Enlightening Article covering modern day sophisticated mendacious propaganda techniques geared to simultaneously defend nuclear power and attack renewable energy HERE:[/i

Roamer, we have a political problem caused by the oil oligarchy. We do not have an energy problem, a technology problem or the inability to transition to 100% or better (for bioremediation) Renewable energy.

There are other technologies that can harvest MASSIVE  amounts of energy 24/7 from underwater turbines just a few miles from the majority of the largest cities on the planet along ocean coasts. There goes the “unacceptable transmission losses from long distances” argument against renewables from the fossil fuel lackeys for the big cities.

And as to EROEI, even with the gamed formula, PV is INCREASING it’s EROEI as the efficiency has gone from 10-15% early on to 33-44% now. Wind turbine EROEI is also going UP because they now are replacing (on a ONE giant new turbine for every THREE old ones upgrade) old wind turbines for new, taller ones. One turbine generating the power of three with ONLY the maintenance costs of a single turbine UPS the EROEI. :emthup:

ALL the renewable energy technologies (including hydro with the piston!) are increasing their EROEI with innovation. That’s just not possible for fossil fuels.

And increasingly efficient electric motors are multiplying the efficiency of captured renewable energy.

The Solar Revolution is being enhanced by a revolution in Electric Motor Efficiency

Electric motors, already over 70% efficient, are now being made with cast copper rotors (instead of Aluminum) using a new process. Billions of electric motors in thousands of applications from EVs to household appliances to manufacturing will now benefit from a radical INCREASE in efficiency accompanied by a DECREASE in thermal waste. This means, for a given amount of energy output, the motors will last more than twice as long and weigh less as well as previous electric motors. This amounts to massive energy savings worldwide and another step in eliminating the internal combustion engine (ICE) pollution and heat scourge from civilization.

All the above said, I agree that the corrupt authorities are doing an awful lot to keep renewable energy in the starting gate. It won’t work this time.


Because the horrendous weather will persuade them renewable energy AND a return to 350 MAXIMUM ppm of CO2 is NOT OPTIONAL. :icon_mrgreen:

Listen to me. Solar City is going to eat a lot of utilities alive with their business model. If TSHTF scenario from nuclear war or some other insanity doesn’t happen, working on a corporation like Solar City, Tesla or any CSP power plant will keep you in the cutting edge of new technology as well as keep you fed, housed and clothed.

Think about it. Mechanical Engineers are not a dime a dozen. You have skills. Market them in renewables. California, Arizona or Texas seem like the hottest growth areas now.

If we have a future, renewable energy will play a prominent role in it. Think about it. ;)

Ugo Bardi and the Seneca Cliff

Off the keyboard of A. G, Gelbert

Published on the Doomstead Diner on May 25, 2013

Discuss this article at the Newz Table inside the Diner

This essay is a response to the article entitled, Leverage points in energy storage. by Ugo Bardi.

To summarise the article, Ugo makes a case against too much storage capacity in an energy infrastructure. He unfortunately does not differentiate the supply and demand dynamics of fossil fuel driven power grids from those of renewable energy driven power grids. His arguments seem well suited for fossil fuel driven infrastructure but, in my opinion, do not apply to renewable energy infrastructure even though I can see his basic assertions are well meaning given the environmental harm the excess use of fossil fuels cause, as highlighted here:

Ugo Bardi wrote:

… natural resources are limited, so that we should strive to consume less resources, not more. 

The premise that natural resources are limited is accurate ONLY if the definition of natural resources excludes renewable energy directly or indirectly obtained for the sun, which considering we still have around another 5 billion years of sunlight must be considered a source of abundant energy. Therefore his premise CANNOT apply to solar energy because he bases his conclusion on scarcity, not a 5 billion year supply of abundant energy from the sun. More on this later.

This is not to say he is wrong in advocating LESS consumption. I agree with him. I just base a maximum consumption quota on the demands of the biosphere living systems that humanity depends on for a healthy environment and can be harmed by our excess consumption, not on excess storage capacity creating system instability.

Ugo proceeds from this conclusion of excessive storage to suggest we must consume less explaining in some technical jargon, how having energy storage capacity at various levels from very low to very high affects consumption in a capitalist economy. He goes into this concept further discussing the various business models, thermodynamic effects and other effects like the Seneca Effect that occurs both in politics and in energy systems.

In these systems and effects he shows a clear correlation between high storage capacity and exponentially increasing consumption which leads to a Seneca Effect cliff collapse. In other words, greater storage capacity feeds system INSECURITY and INSTABILITY, the exact opposite of the motive for installing higher storage capacity in the first place.

NOTE:He has some drawings of valves, available resources, and demand use and so on. You can look them over in the link if you like. I have not included them here because of my disagreement with the author’s assumption that just because you have some “use it or lose it” energy, you MUST lower the price so you won’t “lose” it.

He argues that at low levels of storage capacity, adding more improves system stability but once a certain threshold is reached increasing storage capacity further creates a phenomenon called a “leverage point”. This leverage point tips the system in the wrong way with too much storage capacity and starts a runaway increase in consumption. The metaphor for the leverage point is a valve that can open the right way or the wrong way.

Ugo gets into the leverage points with the valves demonstrating how the levers that open the valves can work in the wrong direction. Even with fossil fuels being the natural resource, I have some problems with his logic. The pressure to consume more in his model is NOT coming from the consumer!

In the capitalist model, he assumes that it is prudent, profitable and just good business practice to drastically lower the kWh price when you have some excess in the system that you wouldn’t make a nickel on if you didn’t lower the price. If the purpose of the power utility is MAINLY to make a profit and NOT to provide sufficient energy to run civilization, then his logic would be applicable; immoral, but still, in the predatory capitalist view, logical.

My view is that a power utility’s MAIN purpose is to provide power at the amounts the government approves along with a government approved profit margin. Ugo thinks a kWh is just another capitalist widget sold by the power utility and the more “widgets” it sells the better. It is disturbing to me that he sees no other option for the power utility but to maximize the use of any and all kWh laying around due to excess storage capacity as an unavoidable path to a Seneca Effect type collapse. That’s bad logic because there ARE other options. However, he NEEDS that flawed assumption to reach his final conclusion.

His final conclusion is that, in order to avoid system instability, storage capacity must be limited and kwh power be demand priced so poorer consumers are forced to reduce consumption due lack of ability to pay for power. Those who can pay the higher rates will guarantee a nice profit to the power utility so said power utility won’t feel “tempted” to increase storage capacity for increased revenue and profits. A nice fat, happy and profitable utility with a stable power grid results (supposedly). Through this “business model”, the leverage point that flips the “valve” the wrong way towards an exponential increase in consumption and, after increased instability, a Seneca Effect type collapse, will never be reached.

It’s pretty clear from the outset that Ugo’s heart is with the power company, not with the needs of society while he pretends to be concerned about environment damaging excess consumption. That is the pretence he uses because what he wants to prevent is power grid price volatility, energy instability and grid collapse, not environmental collapse.

First, as I said earlier, he mixes the oil type energy with renewable type energy in regard to storage. Big problem there. I’ll get to that. Second, he mentions the “need” to dispense with excess solar or wind energy quickly because it can’t be stored causing kwh rates to wildly fluctuating contingent on the sun or wind being there or not (feast or famine). Thirdly, he goes to the other extreme where the storage capacity is maxed out with still more power is coming in so they really have to go nuts lowering the price during said periods (glut).

Finally he uses this logical construct and justifies a happy medium of storage capacity. He didn’t talk about the power mix we have now where base load is the “always on” with coal and nuclear power and the “get it quick” power spikes come from natural gas, hydro and even battery banks. This is important because the storage regimen is radically different in a fossil fuel energy grid. You ALWAYS need to go fight wars someplace or get those resources stored in a tank. They just aren’t there on site except for hydro.

The reason that you have cheap and expensive kWh rates with fossil coal and nuclear are inflexible due to the fact they are hard to instantly power down or up. It’s a function of the fuel they use and how the power plants run, not the storage capacity.

The leverage points certainly would apply to the fossil fuel natural gas with its instant on or off power availability but that is why natural gas power plants are not used for base load at the moment. The natural gas is not free nor is the coal or the uranium fuel rods so they do not want those things putting out energy when it can’t be sold.

The economics and thermodynamics of solar and wind are a different ball game. Wind and solar are, for all practical purposes, going to have a guaranteed availability during, to be extremely conservative,  one day out of every four or five days for as long as the sun exists (another 5 billion years or so). If the sun stops cold we turn into a dead ball of ice so it is unthinkable to exclude the sun from our energy calculus. So, in the ACTUAL Earth weather system, we already have a gigantic “storage capacity” of future solar and wind to draw on without worrying about running out.
Take this paragraph:

Ugo Bardi wrote:

If we want to reduce price volatility we should do exactly the opposite; we should reduce storage instead of increasing it. Of course, don’t make me say that we don’t need storage at all. We do need energy on demand for many practical purposes and for essential services, say for hospitals and the like. We need to be able to turn lights on even in a windless night. What we don’t really need is a system that aims to provide energy at any moment, at constant prices. It would be atrociously expensive and we would have big troubles in keeping it stable.

Yes, IF and when you turn on your power plant, it is using fuel that you mined for or drilled for and refined because you want a certain amount of money for every pound of coal, uranium, gallon of oil or cubic centimeter of natural gas.

His premise logically leads him to this conclusion:

Ugo Bardi wrote:

Instead, the best compromise in terms of cost would be a system with limited storage that uses prices as a way to manage demand. With such a system you can have as much energy as you want, at any moment, but you must be prepared to pay for it. That may be seen as a problem, but also as an opportunity. You may have to pay a lot for energy at some moments, but you may also have it very cheap in other periods – that’s an opportunity if you can be flexible.

It is certainly possible to set it up that way but I certainly don’t agree that it MUST be that way simply because of the way renewables function as opposed to fossil fuel run power plants. I also hate the idea of using price to manage demand because the poor will get the short end of the stick. You would then have to introduce subsidies for poor people through some kind of means testing bureaucratic nightmare. I’m against that. I favor one price for all and make it reasonable without encouraging overuse (possibly a quota system or smart grid control of excesses).

The economy run on fossil fuel creates the consumerist problem he mentions here:

Ugo Bardi wrote:

We can see the economy as a machine that stores energy in the form of “capital” and gradually releases it in the form of waste (or “pollution” if you like). The interesting point is that here, too, Forrester’s law applies; that is, we tend to pull the levers in the wrong direction. One of these wrong ways would be opening up too much the valve that connects the capital stock to the waste stock. It is what we call “consumerism.” Of course, consuming something means to destroy it and I have this feeling that maybe we are doing that really too fast, don’t you agree with me?

Sure we have to consume less energy but the point is not to base the decision on storage and leverage points but on biosphere bio-mimicry. Renewables have a built in rapid switch off capability for both wind and solar. Just because the wind IS blowing and the sun IS shining does not mean you HAVE to sell that energy. You turn it off or use it to pump water into a dam. The sun and wind aren’t going away. Fossil fuels ARE going away.

As long as you’ve got enough storage to tide you over for 4 days MAX, that is all you need as long as the sun exists. It’s a whole different ball game than worrying about where you are going to get your oil from tomorrow.

To show you how radically different the energy storage picture is with fossil fuels, how long do you think that “strategic national oil reserve” we have would last if the oil stopped? A year? I doubt it. That’s NOT a lot of Capital preservation or accumulation in my book compared to solar and wind renewable.

Ugo Bardi wrote:

The other possible way to operate the valve in the wrong way is that sometimes we accumulate so much capital – that is, so much potential – that we lose control of how it is dissipated. We may pass some threshold that makes dissipation very fast, actually disastrously fast. We call this kind of phenomenon “war,” which is, by the way, another example of how politics normally manages so often to take the wrong decisions.

That’s fear based and scarcity based pseudo capital accumulation. If you fight a war it’s because you think you don’t have enough, not because you’ve got too much. Some will say, NO, the big bully will beat up on the little guys but that has nothing to do with thermodynamics or energy storage; that’s empire politics and is a separate issue.

This quote from a peer reviewed scholarly book makes it crystal clear what the MAIN driver of fossil fuel costs is:

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (page 399-400). Cambridge University Press – Kindle Edition:

“As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, It AMOUNTED TO $468 PER BARREL, or 18 TIMES the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself.

In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in ONE YEAR at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, THEY COULD HAVE ELIMINATED THE NEED TO IMPORT OIL from the Middle East.

So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists. “

Mind you, the above referenced war was short, unlike the ruinously expensive post 911 Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I shudder to think what the trillion or so dollars spent on those wars (FOR OIL) did to the actual price of oil per barrel now.

Ugo claims we have a high “accumulation of capital” when we have high fossil fuel reserves and that will tempt us to go to war to get more in an endless Seneca Effect cycle to perpetually increase our reserves. We ARE NOT “accumulating” capital because the power plants that put out electrical energy always need more and more fossil fuel. We have to project power to get those resources which in no way can be considered capital preservation or energy storage. Excess storage capacity is a joke in fossil fuels because they are finite, not to mention that they are poisonous to the environment.

Ugo Bardi wrote:

So, you see that there is something as too much storage and I think that you are gaining some idea of how system dynamics coupled with thermodynamics gives to you a wide ranging view of many kinds of phenomena; most of them very relevant for our life.

I certainly agree that you can have too much storage but the criterion for renewables, as opposed to fossil fuelled machinery, is not based on avoiding uneconomical price fluctuations. The proper criterion is a hard look at base load (what you want 24/7). THEN you say: we need X for the noon spike or the 5 P.M. spike when people are cooking at home or the summer months 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. air conditioning spike, etc.

You look at what you can count on from the sun and wind (studies in Spain have proven the energy is FAR more reliable than the naysayers had predicted) and you build your storage capacity from giant batteries, hydro, geothermal or some other renewable technology. You use a smart grid in case a super spike goes above capacity to prioritize the shutdown of nonessential power demands.

The bottom line is that WE CANNOT POLLUTE, PERIOD! Everything HAS to go full circle. THAT is the leverage point we passed in the WRONG direction when we went for fossil fuels. Capital? Is this guy kidding? WE are in debt up to our Global climate change ears and the bill with raging storms and seas is heading our way. I am quite willing to have the power turned off 12 hours a day RIGHT NOW so we can go 100% renewable and everybody get rationed the max kWh per person that any family can have. But that’s just me. Most people can’t handle that.

In summary, we have a lot of “valves” in our economic system already open in the wrong direction because we use polluting fuels. When we finally “get it” that we cannot afford to consume more energy than we can generate in an absolutely clean way, the least of our worries will be too much storage.

I do agree that, in the future, the use of renewable energy infrastructure that could destroy some biome or habitat just to get more energy may certainly become an issue. But the urgency now is to stop using fossil fuel of any kind and get ALL our hydrocarbons, be they fuels, oils and lubricants from biofuels or algae.

Our electrical grid should be designed to use renewable energy exclusively. That is the only prudent course of action! 

But don’t worry; the weather will do wonders to get the politicians to FINALLY begin to deal seriously with this problem within three or four years. The weather is going to get really bad and we should prepare as best we can. But when it comes, it will be a pleasure to see the fatheads in governments all over the globe get with the 100% renewables program.

Machiavelli, Freud & Bernays

Off the keyboard of A. G. Gelbert

Published inside the Diner on May 7, 2013


Discuss this article at the Newz Desk inside the Diner

You have to wonder how it got to this. I don’t think most people are naturally greedy. It’s all fear based, scarcity consciousness taken to the extreme end of the spectrum. We need to rediscover that we can create abundance….real abundance, not the kind we erroneously perceive based on media input.

We need less stuff and more time to breathe the outside air. Less driving and more time spent at family meals. Less advertising and more art. Less TV watching and more meditation. It’s simple really, but far from easy.

That’s the Diner Quote of the day, IMO.

Eddie and Surly,
Well and truly said.
As to how it got this way and how the greed meme took hold when most people are naturally not greedy, let me take a stab at answering that.  :icon_mrgreen:

Machiavelli, the author of an early version of today’s Wall Street game theory religion, taught that palace intrigue, double crossing your oponent, competitor or friend, murder, mayhem, slavery, boundless greed and a ruthless grip on power were REQUIRED to be a successful leader with one very important caveat.

The ruler MUST always present a guise of piety and appear “burdened” by the “weighty load” of his “vast God appointed responsibility” to “take care of the people” and “guide them in all things for a better life”. The ruler must always publicly frown on and condemn greed and selfishness while celebrating altruism.All this was to ensure the peasants celebrated altruism simply because the peasants HAD TO BE ALTRUISTIC for society to function. Even Machiavelli knew that.  :icon_mrgreen: The hypocrisy of the elite was a well kept secret that must never be leaked. :evil6:Machiavelli was a greedball but he was smart. The whole Noblesse Oblige bullshit was part of the elite scam to make the peasants respect the arrogant greedballs. I think he was wrong. Had respect for the golden rule been more than a guise, civilization would have marched forward with less wars and more CFS. 8)Anyway, the elites, in the 20th century, with the help of some golden rule averse erudite twisted Darwinist double talking idiots like Freud, became convinced that altruism was pathological and greed and selfishness were the true path to uninhibited personal happiness, freedom and guilt free living. That was a BIG mistake.  :emthdown:

Why? Because, with the aid of the propaganda machine under the guidance of Freud’s nephew Bernays, the MASSES became convinced that greed is good. Yes, I know the goal was to increase consumption for business profits but it couldn’t be done without the societal poison pill called worship of the self. This set off the inevitable severely antisocial dynamic of people turning their backs on community while becoming mesmerized with what they saw in the mirror.

The elite, breaking Machiavelli’s rule of maintaining a guise of piety and Noblesse Oblige, began to flaunt openly their celebration of greed. They made the mistake of believing their own psychological claptrap.  :iamwithstupid:

And now that a critical mass of the people believe greed is good, society is coming apart at the seams.
:argue: :thefinger: :whip::13344-6:

The century of self has brought only serfdom and a lower quality of life.  :emthdown:

The solution is NOT for the elite to get back into the piety closet; it’s for all of us to accept the CFS that altruism is the lubricant that makes societies run smoothly, greed is bad and prudent behavior geared towards self preservation with a community orientated focus, not to be confused with greed, is the only viable alternative for mankind.

Freud and Bernays must be condemned, along with all their egotistical flights of fancy, to infamy. It would be fitting revenge for all the mindfuck those two psychos got into print that twisted so many minds to feel justified in cheating the poor if the books were used to power furnaces in the third world.
Just sayin’ :icon_mrgreen:

A Diner’s Eye View of 9-11

Off the keyboard of A.G. Gelbert

Discuss this article inside the Diner

This being 9/11, I’ve decided to let the Diners in on some knowledge I have as a former air traffic controller that convinced me it was an inside job within a day or so of the event. The tip-off for me was the Pentagon.

I aired this knowledge on the Huffington Post years later (I think it was in 2005) when she finally couldn’t censor comments on it because an article was written on the subject by some movie star or writer (AFTER Arianna had denied Jesse Ventura the freedom to write on 9/11 at hufpo). An army of Hasbara assholes were out in force (you could tell they were A. not Americans by their writing and B. They had all these cartoon character avatars). I took one of them apart piece by piece and he ended up asking me where I lived.  :evil4:   :evil7:
I got a little more aggressive in my comments and, of course, they were censored.

So what do I know? Washington D.C. is wall to wall radar AND is a prohibited area. That means you fly in and out of Reagan International on a VERY specific route along the Potomac (River route). The “excuse” that the Tracon (tower radar approach control) was  “out of communication” with the “outside world” was the most outlandish piece of bullshit I have ever heard. Remember, THAT was the reason given for them not communicating with the Air Force to scramble jets (in this case jets were ALREADY in the air being sent to the wrong areas).

Potomac Tracon (terminal radar approach control) controls the approach of all aircraft coming into Reagan International and several other area major airports. Potomac Tracon is 33 miles west southwest of Reagan and the Pentagon. There is no way in God’s good Earth that ANY lack of communications occurred between them and Reagan Tower. There are about SIX levels of redundancy in communications from several transmitters on dedicated frequencies, back up transmitters and receivers on each frequency to fiber optic land lines that provide voice and remote radar data from the overlaying artcc (enroute radar traffic control center 10,000 feet and above) to satellite feed backups for everything. There are multiple lines to various Air Force Bases around with INDEPENDENT systems for a fail safe operation in case of nuclear missile attack.

Washington Center was tracking the aircraft headed for the DC area. The false generated targets from NORAD exercises is total bullshit because NORAD doesn’t work airplanes! Air traffic controllers work airplanes! And we know damned good and well what a computer generated false target looks like. I trained people and ran the target generator scenarios myself as a training department instructor during the late 70s. Now they’ve got LCD displays and then we had CRT (cathode ray tube) round scopes but the radar and computer operation to translate a primary (no transponder to give altitude data) target to a data bock with speed and direction has not changed. I could NOT, as an instructor generating targets to make my students sweat, generate those targets onto an active display. All training targets have a “T” on the data block anyway. NO ONE in atc was confused due to “exercises”.

Back to 9/11, the twin towers had been hit and every atc facility and their mothers knew that aircraft had hit (at the management level within minutes – less than 15). At the controller level, you can be sure the people in Washington Center were told by controllers from Boston center and New York center that some hijackings were in progress BEFORE the planes hit the towers. Next you have this primary target (no transponder to give altitude data – just some moving object that provides a radar return above 50 mph) headed towards the DC prohibited area. Immediately Washington Center tells Potomac Tracon who, in turn, tells Reagan Tower. This must be done because no altitude info is available so you don’t know who’s airspace this NORDO (NO RADIO) potential hijack is going to violate in the capital.

But here’s the kicker. We HAD TO routinely save two weeks of radar tracking data with a 100% accurate record of air traffic movements in case a loss of separation standards had occurred (known in atc parlance as a “deal” that you could get disciplined and possibly fired for). Controllers don’t report “deals” unless they can’t avoid it unless it was a near mid-air collision, the pilots saw each other and are screaming bloody murder. Again, the guy/gal on position normally is not being monitored by a sup so they cross their fingers. The pilots land and call the facility or wait a few days to do it. Sometimes they don’t bother. If they do, your  sup tells the training department to pull the voice tapes (also saved for two weeks) and the radar data to see if you went below minimum separation standards. You, the controller, are required to write up a statement summarizing the events. The controller knows his goose is cooked here so he doesn’t dare lie.

When the “aircraft” that hit the pentagon performed it’s impossible maneuver of a descending 360 degree spiraling turn at around 500 mph the tower radar recorded the track and the speed, Potomac Tracon recorded the track and the  speed and Washington center recorded the track and the speed. The paltry visuals the Pentagon released of a MISSLE striking the pentagon was blatantly obvious to me. I’m very experienced in seeing planes fly near buildings; they move MUCH slower than that. It was a missile. All they had to to in ATC was look at those radar tracking tapes. A missile has 1,000 mph or greater velocity. The thing that hit the Pentagon was moving a lot faster than 500 mph. It’s on the radar data. If the data from THREE INDEPENDENT ATC FACILITIES was destroyed, that is undeniable proof that Donald Rumsfeld and Cheney ran an inside job, PERIOD. Guess what? When I mentioned the radar data on hufpo the Hasbara dude asked where I lived.

But there is more. A B767 is, as you know, is an airplane. Airplanes have a limitation in flight. The turning radius is a function of the bank angle and speed. That means that the faster you go, the steeper you need to bank the airplane in order to keep your turn radius, as in a 500 mph jet, from being several miles in radius (if you are turning 360 degrees as was the case on 9/11). Missles are not airplanes and don’t have this problem because they use vectored thrust, not bank angle, to control turning radius.  The 360 degree banked turn the alleged B767 executed in a descending spiral to smack the Pentagon was NOT possible for a B767 at that speed due to the stresses the required bank angle would have on the aircraft (look ma, no wings!).

Aircraft in a 30 degree banked angle turn

In any aircraft from a piper cub to a B747, when you exceed 60 degrees of banked turn, you are oulling 2 Gs plus on the entire aircraft structure. Above 60 degrees, the Gs increase exponentially. Aerobatic aircraft require plus or minus 6 G strength for FAA certification. Commercial jet liners lose their wings (B767 max allowed plus 2.5 Gs and minus 1.0 G to avoid structural damage) trying to keep a 70 or 80 degree bank angle at 500 mph in a descending spiral needed to cover the track the government says was traversed  to smack the Pentagon. Only a missile or a fighter aircraft with a missile ready to fire could do that.

As a matter of fact you COULD beef up the wings of a B767  DRONE to do this maneuver (the only possible scenario in the second twin tower strike due to speed and turn rate). However, at the Pentagon, the hole was too small. It was a missile.

High Energy Love; The Shortcut To Entropy Hell

Off the Keyboard of A.G. Gelbert

Discuss this article inside the Diner

This article is about scientific bullshit and how it is used to distort our view of sustainable energy transfer mechanisms in the biosphere by wrongly relegating them to a position of lesser importance than the vaunted rapid oxidation of hydrocarbons.

Humans are, the last time I checked, living organisms governed by biochemical reactions involving complex energy transfer mechanisms. Life, like the machines man has invented, requires energy in order to function. Life, as opposed to an ICE (internal combustion engine) or a nuclear reactor, operates in a Goldilocks energy transfer zone; too little and death results; too much and death results. Homeostasis is the name commonly given to this phenomenon.

Some creatures with less sophisticated energy transfer biochemistry, like reptiles, need to position themselves in or out off a photon shower to assist their energy transfer biochemistry but, regardless of the method, rapid oxidation is never used to preserve, prolong and protect life. There are some beetles out there than can perform rapid oxidation (small explosions) to defend themselves or propel themselves a short distance but that is rare and is not favored by evolution for reasons I will get into later.

Electricity used by eels is not rapid oxidation so no one can point to that as a high energy use process in nature. However, the process by which an electric eel can generate 500 watts to kill prey is an excellent example of what 19th century scientists missed in their zeal to measure energy transfer. More on that later.

Neurotoxins and various other life terminating, as well as protein denaturing (digestive enzymes), chemicals in nature are prevalent because they are a defense and a tool for capturing and digesting prey. For some reason, evolution didn’t design humans with brick fireplaces or nuclear reactors in our stomachs to achieve energy transfer (i.e. digestion) through rapid and explosive oxidation or fission. Why not? Because nature is geared toward the most efficient method of energy transfer to preserve, prolong and protect life WITHOUT destroying the environment that provides a supply of more energy (prey). This is important. This is math. This is nature’s Homeostatic logic at the biosphere level. This is the Goldilocks energy transfer mechanism that the scientific priesthood that worships at the enthalpy altar of “more = better” NEVER understood.

Without the sun’s energy, the Earth would be a frozen planet. Any life on it would probably be some version of microscopic extremophiles such as cryophiles (extreme cold loving) and/or endoliths (underground rock dwelling). While the sun’s energy is absolutely essential for most life on this planet, the biosphere can only “handle” an extremely small percentage (.000000045%1) of the sun’s total radiant energy output. The Earth is in a Goldilocks orbit with the moon keeping the winds on earth from being routinely in excess of 200 mph and Jupiter has blocked untold meteors from slamming us. Those are facts. But the “scientific” mind has a fascination with gobs of power like those the sun possesses that could burn us to a cinder with one well aimed burp.

This is where I am convinced the “science” of physical chemistry went off the deep end into masturbatory exercises in calculus jabberwokky to define energy in search of more methods of transferring energy at faster and faster rates, consequences be damned. The bias of physical science towards measurement “admiration” of massive, lifeless energy transfer mechanisms like those in stars and planetary cores on some glorified number line with positive values as “better” while “low” values on the energy number line from natural physical forces like capillary action, evaporation and counterintuitive energy miracles like frozen water occupying more space than liquid water (no miracle, they say, just a random chance – that life would be impossible without) are given little notice as a potential power source. Negative value substances (endothermic) are a curiosity good for this and that industrial process but not worthy of the worship due the ill defined “powerful” energetic processes.

Spiders don’t die from eating something they killed with their venom because eating the venom is harmless outside the bloodstream in the digestive tract. Spiders deposit digestive enzymes that help denature proteins (remember that denaturing a protein requires ENERGY) along with the venom but that’s just fine tuning the energy transfer mechanism. Cats have a pH of aound 1 (VERY high acidity) in their stomachs to aid digestion and kill most disease causing bacteria in the food they eat. Acid is another way that nature facilitates energy transfer.

Scientists say, yeah, sure, anabolism and catabolism in metabolism is important and all that. It’s wonderful that water floats when it freezes and evaporation is nice too. Learning about that helped us design air conditioners!  But hey, those are puny energy transfer mechanisms. We need to power jets, tanks, cars and make bombs and provide electricity to millions of homes, etc.

How in the hell do you expect us get that kind of power from this puny shit you are talking about here? As for the moon, it’s really cool the way the lunar orbit keeps the winds down and provides tides but hey, that’s a given! The energy the moon is using to keep those winds down and promote ocean life through tidal activity is just a big math equation we don’t use much; it’s not centralized enough but, don’t worry, we are looking into some tidal power mechanisms just as soon as we can figure a way to SCALE UP tidal power generation.

I say they are wrong on all counts. I say they have a bias towards death WORSE than the entropic processes that lead to absolute zero on the negative part of their number line that they fear and work to avoid by going in the other extreme. They say energy is energy. Nineteenth century scientists took care of all that with the work on enthalpy. I say the only RIGHT use of energy in a closed system is to be in the ZONE, not reaching for more raw extremes in energy transfer.

So where do we begin? The Homeostatic biosphere energy transfer Goldilocks model doesn’t sound too scientific, now does it?
So lets get down to the brass tacks of energy transfer. The sun shines, a plant grows, something eats it and you eat the plant and/or the animal, transfer energy from the food to your body with the indispensable help of your gut microbes and then YOU provide FOOD for the plants and tiny microbes by depositing your nitrogen rich plant food known to us as urine and feces back onto plants. It’s not race car sexy but it ain’t optional.

Before I get to the neanderthal and primitive pig poison spewing invention known as the ICE, lets talk about how biologists figure out the “efficiency” of a life form in transferring energy (i.e. getting it out of food). They take an identical portion of food being fed to an animal, weigh it and burn it. Hello, enthalpy! They measure the energy of rapid oxidation as best they can. They weigh the droppings in a continual cycle making sure the droppings correspond to the measure of food eaten. They burn the droppings. Hello enthalpy again. Now they get real scientific and anal about all this because carbohydrates, fats and proteins burn differently. Mineral content is studied to see what is no longer there.

The point is that there is an ASSUMPTION made that doesn’t have beans to do with the energy transfer process known as digestion. WE DO NOT BURN OUR FOOD! All that CRAP you and I learned about caloric content is based on physical chemistry leaps of faith (not math) about enthalpy and the “lets burn it and see how much energy it has” boys. Of course this stuff is only partial bullshit in nonliving energy transfer processes so they were quite objective in determining MJ of energy transferred in burning hydrocarbons and many other substances but catalysts messed with their results so they invented a fudge factor called “energy of activation”. More on that later.

What is it that living systems DO if they don’t BURN the food? Something similar to what they do to move muscles; they use catalysts (substances that affect a chemical reaction BUT do not gain or lose energy or are degraded in a chemical reaction) to keep HEAT and pH from getting out of the Goldilocks zone of life. How do they do that with those enzymes (biochemical catalysts)?

The physical scientists with their knowledge of molecules and the different kinds of chemical bonds will tell you that enzymes DO NOT rig a chemical reaction so it uses less energy. They say it can’t be done. They say the enzyme just lowers the “energy of activation” so the reaction can proceed at lower temperatures. They claim the reaction itself will ALWAYS produce a certain amount of heat once it begins. I disagree. I believe the enzymes affect the speed of the reaction AFTER it has been initiated to keep the heat emitted below the normal reaction rate of the chemicals involved. I believe they do this by temporarily distorting the shape of the reactants during the reaction. This is physical chemistry heresy!

This the scientific concensus: Question: Do enzymes lower the energy of the overall reaction? Answer: Enthalpy, entropy, and Gibbs free energy are all state functions. This means they depend only on the initial state and the final state. Anything that happens between those states is irrelevant. So no, enzymes have no effect on the enthalpy of a reaction.

I see enthalpy is back right there with the word enzyme. I see that really fascinating term “state function” as a rationale for the “no effect”. This is all quite valid and true in nonliving energy transfer mechanisms. This is bullshit in living systems. Why? Because the biochemical reaction DOES NOT release the same amount of HEAT that it would in the absence of the enzyme. That HEAT that wasn’t emitted is an amount of energy that is CONSERVED! That means that the figures for caloric content based on brute force rapid oxidation are WRONG. Enzymes (BILLIONS OF THEM!) are constantly operating at an efficiency level no ICE could ever approach. It’s not just sweat that keeps you from overheating, folks.2Furthermore, they have a “slight” problem you probably were never told about in measuring enthalpy (Especially if you work with hydrocarbons).


Although enthalpy is commonly used in engineering and science, it is impossible to measure directly, as enthalpy has no datum (reference point). Therefore enthalpy can only accurately be used in a closed system. However, few real-world applications exist in closed isolation, and it is for this reason that two or more closed systems cannot be compared using enthalpy as a basis, although sometimes this is done erroneously. 3

So, as you can see, “scientists” can have a ball with fudge factors and tell YOU they are doing science.
Even now the myriad chemical reactions in the human body are not fully understood. Scientists can write these calculus formulas for “work” done in a reaction that include the different state functions along the way and dazzle us with numbers and “empirical” evidence OUTSIDE living systems. Inside living systems, they still do not understand how gamma radiation can upregulate (cause them to accelerate activity) Tyrosine Kinase enzymes that, as a consequence of upregulation, tell cells to divide like crazy and simultaneously turn off apoptosis (cell death clock) so the newly multiplied cells don’t die. It’s called cancer (Almost all kinds have this same trigger – radiation just does it faster than other toxins out there).  Cancer, boys and girls, is caused by too much energy slamming a tyrosine kinase enzyme. This is what happens when you depart the Goldilocks zone towards higher energy.


Plant foods contain many of the same enzymes that humans use to metabolize different kinds of macronutrients. Proteases and peptidases, which help digest protein; lipases, which help digest fat; and cellulases and saccharidases, which help digest starches and sugars are examples of the kind of digestive enzymes that would normally be secreted in our digestive tract or in nearby organs like the pancreas or liver. However, these same digestive enzymes can be found in the plant foods that we eat. 4

How do the enthalpy boys deal with the above reality? You were lacking some of those enzymes that help you transfer energy and you ate some vegetables. How EXACTLY does that translate to “state functions”, enthalpy and WORK that you can quantify as MJ of energy? It doesn’t! They BURN that stuff to see what the caloric content is. That’s mechanistic reductionist science at its most neanderthal. Sure, it works “great” (not really but it looks that way from a distance) for engines and rockets but it’s a FAIRY TALE as far as humans are concerned. Consider that the enthalpy of a human body with all its carbon, nitrogen oxygen, hydrogen, potassium, sodium, sulfur compounds and all the rest of the trace elements that make up what it is one second before it dies and 10 minutes later is, according to the enthalpy measurers, the same. Do you believe a dead body has the same energy content as a live one? You’d better if you believe the published stats on caloric food content.

Let’s compare an electric eel with a human manufactured battery.


When the eel locates its prey, the brain sends a signal through the nervous system to the electric cells. This opens the ion channel, allowing positively-charged sodium to flow through, reversing the charges momentarily. By causing a sudden difference in voltage, it generates a current. The electric eel generates its characteristic electrical pulse in a manner similar to a battery, in which stacked plates produce an electrical charge. In the electric eel, some 5,000 to 6,000 stacked electroplaques are capable of producing a shock at up to 500 volts and 1 ampere of current (500 watts). 5

The electric eel is really not an eel but a type of catfish. It lives, eats, mates, lays eggs and dies. It serves a viable and useful function in the biosphere in life and in death. It’s in the Goldilocks zone.
Now for a 20th century product of our “vast” understanding of energy transfer mechanisms, chemical reactions and, of course, enthalpy.


Used Lead Acid Battery Recycling
Lead acid batteries are rechargeable batteries made of lead plates situated in a ‘bath’ of sulfuric acid within a plastic casing. They are used in every country in world, and can commonly be recognized as “car batteries”. The batteries can be charged many times, but after numerous cycles of recharging, lead plates eventually deteriorate causing the battery to lose its ability to hold stored energy for any period of time.1 Once the lead acid battery ceases to be effective, it is unusable and deemed a used lead acid battery (ULAB), which is classified as a hazardous waste under the Basel Convention.6


Exposure Pathways
Throughout the informal recycling process, there are opportunities for exposure. Most often the battery acid, which contains lead particulates, is haphazardly dumped on the ground, waste pile or into the nearest water body. As the lead plates are melted, lead ash falls into the surrounding environment, collects on clothing, or is directly inhaled by people in close proximity. Soil containing lead compounds can turn to dust and become airborne, enabling the lead compounds to be easily inhaled or ingested in a variety of ways. Lead can also leach into water supplies. Children, in particular are often exposed to lead when playing on the waste furnace slag and handling rocks or dirt containing lead, while engaging in typical hand-to-mouth activity, as well as by bringing objects covered with lead dust back into the home. The most common route of exposure for children is ingestion, as lead dust often covers clothing, food, soil and toys.
Health Effects

Acute lead poisoning can occur when people are directly exposed to large amounts of lead through inhaling dust, fumes or vapors dispersed in the air. However, chronic poisoning from absorbing low amounts of lead over long periods of time is a much more common and pervasive problem. Lead can enter the body through the lungs or the mouth, and over long periods can accumulate in the bones. Health risks include impaired physical growth, kidney damage, retardation, and in extreme cases even death. Lead poisoning can lead to tiredness, headache, aching bones and muscles, forgetfulness, loss of appetite and sleep disturbance.

This is often followed by constipation and attacks of intense pain in the abdomen, called lead colic.5 Extreme cases of lead poisoning, can cause convulsions, coma, delirium and possibly death. Children are more susceptible to lead poisoning than adults and may suffer permanent neurological damage. Women that are pregnant and become exposed to lead can result in damage to the fetus and birth defects.6

I’m just curious, but what “state function” in physical chemistry applies to the above? How about the enthalpy, entropy or energy of a stack of battery casings? What’s the “energy of activation” needed to brain damage a kid? Where are the “elegant” calculus equations to show the “energy” used to make, use, discard and poison the biosphere, HUH!!? Anyone? How about someone from The Oil Drum? Can you explain the superiority of the car battery over the electric eel? I can’t. BUT, if you worship DEATH; if you worship energetic processes above the Goldilocks zone, then it is fucking OBVIOUS why the battery is head and shoulders above the electric eel!

Which brings us back to the BANKRUPTCY of the physical sciences in describing energetic processes in living systems. The cells in an electric eel function as a group of many, many individuals, each producing a tiny change in electric potential. In order to have an energetic process that doesn’t harm the people using it (e.g. humans) you are SUPPOSED to keep each individual process tiny so as to maximize efficiency and minimize or totally avoid biosphere damage. The moment you exit that zone into “bigger is better explosive energy output”, for every single MJ/L of energy you extract above the Goldilocks zone of life, you are generating life destroying entropy with waste heat and poisonous chemicals. The blind, greedy fuckers that built the ICE refused to see that. Most people today STILL refuse to see that.

THIS is what the IDIOTS in science never get. For many decades they were scratching there moronic heads about why a dolphin can swim as fast as it does (Gray’s paradox). The dolphin didn’t match their equations so they went TILT. The arrogance is breathtaking. The same thing is going on today with the slavish devotion to oil and nuclear as some great and glorious energy process. LOOK AROUND! Look what all this “cheap” energy has produced. Don’t you get it? There was NO WAY you could exit the Goldilocks zone in energy output and NOT produce untold garbage, poison and waste. The two things go in opposite directions in equal vector strength! The “externalized” effects of oil and nuclear CAN be quantified in NEGATIVE MJ/L of entropy and poisons.  THAT is what the early scientists studying energy failed to see. The blindness just accelerated from then. For every bomb, car, truck, tractor, tank, plane, train, ship or powerplant high energy transfer device the Industrial Revolution IDIOCY of brain dead mechanistic reductionism worshippers brought us, we received a corresponding  equal and opposite reaction in the biosphere.

For a viable society, absolutely every energetic process must be measured in the total cycle. Every ICE out there NOW, if the TOTAL enthalpy, entropy and poison generating math was done, would never have been built because NONE of them were EVER cost effective compared to living system energy transfer mechanisms, PERIOD! Everybody that likes cars should lock themselves in their garage with one and start the engine. After an hour or so, you will experience the part oil EROI worshippers and the scientists like those at The Oil Drum fail to mention. The fact that these oil energy loving FUCKS that call themselves scientists can believe it’s wrong to run your car in a garage but a mark of “advanced civilization” to do it outside is proof that they are SERIOUSLY math challenged idiots. The killer combination for mankind is a love of science and a lack of consideration about its place in the world. Have a nice day.

“In our mechanistic greco roman western reductionist linear fragmented compartmentalized disconnected democratized individualized parts oriented thought process, we never think about the whole.”    Alex Hillman
“Whether one views the modern world as insane or not may even be a criterion of one’s own sanity.”   Masanobu Fukuoka
1.  http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_Percent_of_suns_energy_reaches_earth
2.  http://www.healthline.com/galecontent/thermoregulation
3.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthalpy
4.  http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=120
5.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_eel
6.  http://www.worstpolluted.org/projects_reports/display/65
Renewables, why they work and fossil and nuclear fuels never did
Gas fracking corruption posts

Sexual Dimorphism, PowerStructures and Environmental Consequences of Human Behaviors

Off the Keyboard of A.G. Gelbert

Why the 1% is responsible for more than 80% of humanity’s carbon footprint and why Homo sapiens is doomed unless the 1% lead the way in a sustainable life style.

Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink of the Diner

Today humanity faces the fact that the parasitic relationship of Homo sapiens with the biosphere is depleting the resources hitherto relied on to maintain a standard of living somewhere above that of other earthly hominids like the chimps or gorillas that are, unlike us,  engaged in a symbiotic relationship with the biosphere. The chimps engage in rather brutal wars with other chimp tribes where the victors set about to kill and eat very young chimps of the vanquished tribe. This is clearly a strategy to gain some evolutionary advantage by killing off the offspring of the competition. It cannot be, in and of itself, considered morally wrong or evil behavior. Dominance behavior and territoriality between same sex and opposite sexes also can be filed under the category of “successful behavior characteristics” from an evolutionary standpoint.

Behavior that appears on the surface to have no evolutionary purpose (like male chimps humping less dominant males or sexually mature adolescent seals, locked out of mating by bulls with huge harems, violently thrashing, and often killing, small seal pups that stray into their area) are a function of hormone biochemistry, not good or evil. Scientists might say this is just Darwinian behavior to winnow out the less flexible, less intelligent or weaker members of a species. I don’t agree. I believe it is a downside of hormones that distracts species from more productive behavior but unfortunately cannot be avoided if you are going to guarantee the survival of a species by having strong sex drives. I repeat, excessive aggression or same sex sexual activity as a dominance display is a downside to the “strong sex drive” successful evolutionary characteristic.

This “downside”, when combined with a large brain capable of advanced tool making, can cause the destruction of other species through rampant predation and poisoning of life form resources in the biosphere. The Darwinian mindset accepts competition among species in the biosphere, where species routinely engage in fighting and killing each other for a piece of the resource pie, as a requirement for the survival of the fittest. Based on this assumption, all species alive today are the pinnacle of evolution. Really? How does a meteor impact fit into this “survival of the fittest” meme? It doesn’t. Why? Because any multicellular organism can easily be wiped out by random, brute force, natural catastrophes like a meteor impact or extensive volcanism. Darwinists are quite willing to accept the random nature of the initial creation of single celled life on earth but refuse to accept that the present multispecies survival is just as random. It’s more like “survival of the luckiest” than “survival of the fittest”.

From a strictly Darwinian perspective, the extremophiles are the real pinnacle of evolution because of their ability to survive just about anything that is thrown at them. There is a type of Archaebacteria that can live in an almost 32% salt concentration called halophiles. Halophiles can be found anywhere with a concentration of salt five times greater than the salt concentration of the ocean, such as the Great Salt Lake in Utah, Owens Lake in California, the Dead Sea, and in evaporation ponds.

If you want to talk about survival of the fittest, look at this humble organism: Halococcus is able to survive in its high-saline habitat by preventing the dehydration of its cytoplasm. To do this they use a solute which is either found in their cell structure or is drawn from the external environment. Special chlorine pumps allow the organisms to retain chloride to maintain osmotic balance with the salinity of their habitat. The cells are cocci, 0.6-1.5 micrometres long with sulfated polysaccharide walls. Carbon assimilation by Halococcus salifodinae, an archaebacterial The cells are organtrophic, using amino acids, organic acids, or carbohydrates for energy. In some cases they are also able to photosynthesize.

Halococcus archaea
This primitive life form is organtrophic AND, not or, in some cases, photosynthetic!Now that’s what I call a life form able to handle just about any catastrophe thrown at it. The more complex a life form becomes, the less flexible, adaptable and the more fragile it becomes. That is why I think the Darwinian approach to species interaction in the biosphere severely understates the fragility of “higher” organisms. Just as a type of fungus can infect the brain of an ant species to climb before it dies and thereby aid in fungal sporulation, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the symbiotic bacteria that constitute a high percentage of the human genes  (we cannot metabolize our food without them so they are an inseparable part of being a human)  actually drove our evolution to simply to aid in the spread of the bacteria.

Laugh if you want, but which is a higher organism, the fungus or the ant? A recent article in “The Scientist” explored the possibility that human evolution (evolution, in my view, includes advanced tool making for war, transportation and food resource exploitation) can be explained as bacteria driven. We may be a mobile expression of symbiotic bacteria trying to spread all over the biosphere by ensuring their human hosts do whatever it takes to blanket the planet for God and bacteria (not necessarily in that order  :icon_mrgreen:)!


It is estimated that there are 100 times as many microbial genes as human genes associated with our bodies. Taken together, these microbial communities are known as the human microbiome.


These findings have the potential to change the landscape of medicine. And they also have important philosophical and ethical implications. A key premise of some microbiome researchers is that the human genome coevolved with the genomes of countless microbial species. If this is the case, it raises deep questions about our understanding of what it really means to be human.


If the microbiome, on a species level, coevolved with the human genome and, on an individual level, is a unique and enduring component of biological identity, then the microbiome may need to be thought of more as “a part of us” than as a part of the environment.


More important in the context of ethical considerations is the possibility that if the adult microbiome is indeed relatively stable, then such early childhood manipulations of the microbiome may be used to engineer permanent changes that will be with the child throughout life. There is thus the potential that an infant’s microbiome may be “programmable” for optimal health and other traits.2


The article assumes WE are the ones that could engage in the “programming”. It doesn’t mention WHO EXACTLY was doing all that “programming” during evolution. There is a greater quantity of microbial genes than what are considered “human” genes but it’s really just one package. Genes drive genetics and evolutionary traits, do they not? I made a big joke about it in the comments:


Perhaps the scientific nomenclature for “us versus them” organism energy transfer relationships need to be expanded upon; terms such as parasitic, commensal, symbiotic, etc. don’t address the fact that the ‘them’ is really a part of “us”. Pregnant women don’t think of their future children as parasites (which is what they technically are – even the beefed up immune system the future moms get is a function of that short lived organism, the placenta).  Perhaps we are just some giant “pre-frontal cortex” type of ambulatory appendage which exists for the purpose of spreading bacterial colonies. Oh, the irony of self-awareness and tool making intelligence being an evolutionary device in the service of getting that bacterial colony to vault over the edge of the giant petri dish called Earth. Can you picture the scientific community awarding Escherichia coli a PhD? Dr. E Coli, you are the best part of us!  :>)

We must now bow and scrape to the pinnacle of evolution, the reigning king of Darwinian evolutionary competition, that fine fecal fellow, Dr. Escherichia coli. ;D Now some folks out there on Wall Street might take offense to being outcompeted by Dr. E. coli. They might even say it’s a shitty deal! :icon_mrgreen:Others will have no problem relegating Wall Streeters and the rest of the 1% to the category of “lower life forms” in comparison to gut bacteria even if the other 99% of Homo sap are included. A commenter named, Lee Davis was not amused by the implications of research in the direction the article was pointing:


Absolutely. “Manage” the Earth’s biodiversity at your own peril. Destroy the rainforests at your own peril. Acidify the ocean with CO2 at your own peril. I read “Science and Survival” by Barry Commoner in 1964. Since then, human “management” of the planet has continued apace, with little regard for long term consequences. The only thing he called attention to that was actually changed was the halt in atmospheric nuclear testing, but we’ve managed to replace that pollution with the exhaust from nuclear power plant meltdowns. Half-assed demigods we certainly are, not playing with a full deck and with little understanding of how the game is played. Of course, we Think we know it All now…and if we don’t, our computing machines certainly do.

Leaving bacterial driven evolution, which stands the concept of the purpose of intelligence and toolmaking on its head for a moment, consider human society and sexual dimorphism. Female and male pheasant Male Orgyia recens  moth is bigger Female Argiope appensa spider is bigger Mallard ducks – The male has the green colored head

 Dimorphism just means that, when there are two sexes in a species, they are different in some way. The difference can be size, color, etc. In humans, as we well know, “mars” and “venus” differences are not just about physical characteristics like body strength and pelvic size. Those hormones affect behavior far removed from mating rituals. Freud thought EVERYTHING was about sex but most would agree today that we aren’t that mindless. Is the aggressive, testosterone driven male human responsible for the mess we have made of things or are both sexes equally culpable? I think both sexes share the blame equally.Are women superior to men? Would women have, whether driven by their microbial genes or not, somehow avoided pushing the biosphere to the point that doomed themselves and many other species had they been “in charge” instead of men? Of course not! Who, exactly, raised human male children since we’ve been around? Who trained them in most activities prior to reaching adolescence? The roles women had in primitive societies were many and varied including some where they ran the show. Women have been just as capable of mass slaughter when leading armies as men, though this has never been the norm. The relationship of mankind to the biosphere has been parasitic but the relationship of the two sexes to each other has been, although certainly asymmetrical in regard to power, strength and dominance, unquestioningly symbiotic. There are those who equate historical female submission to a form of slavery. This is not now, or ever was, true.

 Consider that Homo sapiens would have died out long ago if both sexes had equal strength. A female bodybuilder injects testosterone into her body to build up muscle. Nature has selected women to be, on the average, physically weaker. And mind you, for most of our existence, it has been ALL ABOUT who is bigger and stronger. Why hasn’t that changed now that, with industrialization and modern weapons, women have the physical ability to assume leadership roles in society that would, theoretically, save us from ourselves due to women’s less aggressive nature? Because they aren’t “cursed” with testosterone! Women are every bit as smart as men. The default setting of a human embryo is female. That is the basic template. It’s the hormonal changes triggered by the male chromosome that modifies the default female setting. All males are initially females that receive a hormone bath and become males. The fetus itself, regardless of the fact that it starts out as a female, is a “take no prisoners” parasitic invader. The placenta fools the mother’s immune system into not rejecting the foreign body (sometimes that doesn’t work and the fetus dies – RH factor problems) even as it strengthens the mother’s immune system to protect the fetus and the mother during gestation. Through the placenta, the fetus sends waste into the mother’s bloodstream and takes oxygen and nutrients that it needs, regardless of whether the mother does or doesn’t have enough of them. Pregnant women can become anemic or lose too much calcium and be in danger of breaking bones because when the fetus needs something, it just TAKES IT. If the fetus is male, aggression and territoriality come with the testosterone during and after he grows to manhood. So, the idea that if we could just put all the women in charge and we would have peace and harmony is never going to fly because, as long as testosterone is around, men will prevent it.

 The enemy is not “HE”. The enemy is failure by BOTH sexes in the human power structure to envision environmental collapse from rampant resource extraction. So, are we doing all this because our microbial DNA just wants to spread and spread and we are really just gut bacteria robots? I don’t think so.  Mankind got into trouble with the biosphere when he got carried away with his tool making. We’ve discussed this here at length. To a degree, we appear to be an evolutionary dead end because we quite literally cannot stop (industrially, not physically speaking) “shitting” where we “eat”. The biomass of humans is smaller than that of all the ant species on the Earth yet they don’t have a carbon footprint problem. We have a serious carbon footprint problem coupled with a lot of biosphere poisoning. The media love to remind us of this. But here is where the “shit where you eat” metaphor breaks down. Carbon footprint is about poison, not feces. Seven billion humans could quite conceivably make excellent use of their humanure to eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers and much of the wasted water used in sewage treatment. It ‘s a very convenient dodge to claim the solution to our problem is to reduce the population. The false claim is made that then all those cars and trucks wouldn’t ruin the planet and the biosphere could have a chance. That is a “solution” that only solves about 20% of the pollution problem and leaves the real heavyweights (about 80% of the pollution), industry and military operated of, by and for the 1% elite, out. That is where the major carbon footprint is.

For those who are shaking their heads, go look at those U.N. stats on how many people out there are living on 2 dollars a day and tell me THEY are the problem. They aren’t, no matter what Bill Gates says. The combined feces of all the ants and every other life form out there, far, far exceeds how much we defecate. As RE, myself and many others here have correctly pointed out, the people at the top refuse to accept responsibility for their horrendous attack on the biosphere and are trying to shift the blame on the rest of us. Those of us little piggies in the USA and Europe are the favorite whipping BOYS of those who say we 55k or less (median income in the USA at present) share almost as much as the 1% in the pollution blame. They hasten to add that depopulation, especially in the piggy countries like ours, is rational. I would support it if it was rational but it is irrational because it fails to deal with, and make an example of, the worst offenders FIRST. People will not give up their pickup trucks until Warren Buffett gives up his jets and multiple houses. The fact that a few of us have reduced our carbon footprint voluntarily as an act of conscience does not mean that most aren’t still Bernays brainwashed.   What we need is a detailed map like this one of UK for the USA:


Experian have found a direct link between wealth and willingness to embrace a green agenda; those most concerned about climate change tend to live in the wealthiest parts of the country.
Poorer and greener But here’s the rub. The company has also found that the richest constituencies… are also the most polluting.2

And that’s just the homes. Try adding the carbon footprint piggery these rich have added to their homes with stock portfolios, ownership of retail space, factories, ships, office buildings, jets, etc.The 55K or less crowd have none of these things. At any rate wages don’t even begin to tell the real carbon footprint piggery story; the real story is in who owns what. More on this later. Here’s a breakdown of carbon footprint by income decile in Sweden, a country with far less extremes in wealth dstribution than the USA. Notice that the top decile have nearly 6 times the carbon footprint of the lower decile. 3


The figure illustrates three types of emissions presented by adult equivalents. The direct emissions come from the household’s consumption (the private consumption) of fuel and heating. The indirect emissions come from the production of goods and services in the Swedish private consumption. International indirect emissions come from the production of goods and services consumed in Swedish households, before being imported. All three types of emissions above sum up to the total emissions from private consumption in Sweden.3

In the USA, the per capita CO2emissions of about 21 metric tonnes is VERY misleading. (This data is about 5 years ol and. as of 2012, is much lower) This paper studies the differences in emissions from state to state without addressing income levels.


If U.S. per capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were equal to those of its most populous state, California, global CO2 emissions would fall by 8 percent. If, instead, U.S. per capita emissions equaled those of Texas, the state with the second-largest population, global emissions would increase by 7 percent.
What makes Californians’ emissions so different from those of Texans, and from U.S. average emissions? And are the factors that explain these differences amenable to replication as policy solutions?4

If you live in any one of the following states (or D.C), your per capita CO2 emissions are less than 10 metric tonnes:NY, DC, OR, CA, RI, WA, VT, NH, AZ, CT. In Vermont, direct residential of about 3 tons is an average. Just one mansion here can equal 4 or five 2,000 sq. ft. houses and the small homes like mine with less than 1,000 sq. ft. are much lower. People like myself, and there are lots of them here, are probably not running a carbon footprint above 3 metric tons due, in addition to having less house to heat, to driving less than 2,000 miles a year. But what is published is the national 21 metric tons. NY’s per capita footprint appears the lowest in the nation at around 7. That’s obviously not taking into account the Wall Street Banks and investors in NY that own stock in retail space and just about every other high carbon footprint venture in the USA including weapons contractors. I’ll wager NY’s would be double AK’s 34, the  state with maximum per capita footprint,  if the real estate throughout the country that the banks owned (Bernie Sanders said it was 60% of the country’s wealth) was figured in. Since the study just looks at homes and not the money the rich spend to “green up” their homes with geothermal (remember Bush’s ranch?) or PV while they own stock in and support weapons contractors and dirty industries elsewhere, it is expected that the study would come up with this gem:


The lack of correlation between income per capita and transportation and electricity emission per capita demonstrates that, at least among states of the U.S., there is no rigid relationship between affluence and emissions.10 Similar incomes can be associated with very different levels of emissions. It is possible — as evidenced by the contrast between California and Texas — to enjoy the typical American lifestyle with per capita emissions that are widely divergent from the U.S. mean.4

The above statement is an excellent example of scientific blinders in the service of raw wealth. The hypermobility alone of these rich would skew their footprint up (lots of vehicles of all sizes) if those engaged in this study had bothered to count boats, cars, airplanes, etc. They do, however, provide a sensible explanation of why states like Vermont keep their carbon footprint relatively low:


Information about policies that have succeeded in reducing emissions in some states should be circulated to the rest of the country. How have some states managed to reduce their emissions well below the national average? In broad strokes, states with low per capita emissions: ” Drive less per person and have, on average, better fuel economy; ” Use less electricity per person in their homes; ” Have higher gasoline and electricity prices; ” Rely more on public transportation; and ” Use less oil for heating and less coal for electricity generation. What does our analysis say about the difference between per capita emissions in California and Texas? Transportation emissions are almost one and a half times as great in Texas asin California.4

WHY don’t these carbon footprint researchers look at this kind of data?


FAA statistics show the number of U.S. business jet flights grew 11 percent in 2010, after plunging 20 percent in 2009. And providers of private jet services are expanding: In March 2011, NetJets (owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway) placed a $2.8 billion order for 50 new Global business jets from Bombardier, with options for 70 more; last fall, it ordered up to 125 Phenom 300s from Embraer—and it bought Marquis Jet, a marketer of private jet cards. Also in March, CitationAir by Cessna added six 604-mph Citation Xs—which it calls the fastest business jet in the sky—to its fleet of 81 jets, targeting “busy executives and business travelers who often need to be in multiple cities within a compressed timeframe,” a spokesman says. XOJET has added to its fleet as well and has hired 45 new pilots.5

Does anybody want to take a stab at what umpteen executive jets used EXCLUSIVELY by the 1% do to the USA carbon footprint? I know a little something about airplanes. I never flew a jet for hire but I flew Piper Navajos for a year or so. Each engine used 18 gallons per HOUR. Now when people start talking about all those J6P pickup trucks out there while ignoring executive jets, I sigh. The carbon footprint of those jets is massive.


How much greater are the emissions from executive jets? I am indebted to HalogenGuides Jets, “the insider’s guide to private aviation”, for doing the stats. They reviewed 10 popular private jets using emissions stats provided by TerraPass, the offset company used by Chief Executive Air. The planes ranged from the Gulfstream 400, which burns up 32l of fuel a minute and can carry up to 19 passengers, to the Learjet 40XR, which burns more than 13l a minute to carry a maximum of five passengers. HeliumReport converts this fuel burn into carbon dioxide emissions per hour. If we assume the plane is fully loaded with passengers, they mostly come in at between 200-300kg of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere per passenger per hour. But of course, the purpose of having your own jet is that you are not stuck with silly cost-cutting exercises like filling every seat on the plane. I know of no analysis of how full private jets normally fly, but let’s assume they are mostly half full. That gives emissions per passenger-hour of 400-600kg of carbon dioxide. That’s about half a tonne. How does that compare with a regular commercial flight? For one from London to Paris, which is roughly an hour, TerraPass reckons 59kg per passenger per hour, or little more more than a 10th as much as flying your own, half full, Learjet. If you are interested in carbon emissions, these numbers are scary. An hour’s flight on a private jet will emit more carbon dioxide than most African do in a whole year.6

The  African CO2footprint referred to is about one metric ton but let’s compare it with our “rich” Americans making anywhere from 55k a year on down that only see executive jets in movies.  In 20 hours of of flying, an afterthought for the jet set 1% of the USA, they use up one yearly quota of J6P’s  “greedy irresponsible pig” footprint. Now count the executive jets and count the total hours they fly each year and you will absolutely gasp at the carbon footprint the 1% is happily spewing into our biosphere. There are over 10,000 private jets in the USA as of 2008.


How private jet travel is straining the system, warming the planet, and costing you money.7

And this is JUST THE EXECUTIVE JETS part of their piggery! And Buffett thinks it’s A-FUCKING-OKAY to add more.
China’s per capita carbon footprint, in the meantime, has become greater than that of several U.S. states, including Vermont.


The latest report shows that in 2011 China’s per capita emissions increased 9%, rising to 7.2 metric tons per person. 8

I am certain, as is the case in the USA, that the Chinese 1%’s carbon footprint is orders of magnitude above the Chinese version of  our “J6P”.  Those who love to point at J6P piggery in the USA should drop that broad brush and start looking at per capita carbon footprint and, when available, decile breakdown of that per capita carbon footprint. Please observe in this table that the per capita carbon footprint in the USA has been going steadily down over the last decade (as of 2012, it is down to 17.3 metric tons 9) and that there are 11 countries with a higher per capita carbon footprint than the USA.

9 USA highlighted in yellow. Click here for a closeup: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita
J6P makes a real convenient whipping boy but that does not reflect the facts on the ground even before you account for 1% piggery. What matters is not data points like how much retail space there is in the USA (a huge amount is now empty anyway since 2008) but who OWNS that retail space and all the other large carbon footprint piggery. The wealth breakdown in the USA (as of 2007 – it’s even more concentrated at the top now according to senator Bernie Sanders) shows that 1% own 42.7%, the next 19% own 53.7% and the BOTTOM 80% own 7%.10

I am using the financial wealth stats rather than the “net” worth stats because that reflects the sad reality that the 15% attributed to the bottom 80% is now about 7% and the “net” worth of the top 20% matches 2007 financial wealth percentages (The top 20%, but mostly the top 0.5%, have exponentially increased their ownership of everything in the USA since the Greater Depression began in 2007). The last time I checked, when you OWN something, you are responsible for it’s carbon footprint. The fact that the predatory capitalist “drug pushers” are out there pushing the consumerist “drug” does not justify blaming the addicts. The addicts must be treated but the priority is to get the pushers off the street. Every addict can go cold turkey and the pushers will adjust by giving the “drug” away really cheap until they hook a new set of addicts. Focusing on the addicts while giving lip service to the evils of the 1% to the point that the addicts are given a 40/60% (99% carbon footprint vs 1% carbon footprint) responsibility ratio in biosphere degradation when it is more like a  20/80% ratio is  just plain wrong and doomed to failure. Of course the 1% love this kind of “blame the victim” illogic. We need a REAL deciles breakdown like they did in Sweden of the CO2 footprint of our population. Here is a look at carbon footprint in cities across the USA. Most of the heavy polluters are east of the Mississippi.11.

That’s a start but we still need to zero in on stock, high tech toys  and real estate ownership as a function of carbon footprint. Maybe then people would get a clearer picture of who the responsible parties for the biosphere degradation are. It is little wonder that no data of this nature is published in the USA. This is the reality that side issues like blaming gender or psychopathy for humanity’s biosphere degradation fail to address. It’s really an Occam’s razor type problem (a principle urging one to select from among competing hypotheses that which makes the fewest assumptions). The 1% aren’t just pigs, they are leaders. Evolution, regardless of whether Homo sapiens is an evolutionary dead end due to parasitic behavior and excessive tool making, allowed these members of the human family to be our leaders. The issue is not about gender or the criminal insanity endemic to psychopaths in the 1%; psychopaths are unfortunately represented at all income levels even if they are concentrated at the top.

Whether this super aggressive behavior destroying the biosphere is caused by microbes willing us to spread, testosterone in the male of the species or the inability of our big, but still brutish, brains to react to threats on a multigenerational time horizon, the fact remains that the main authors of the rampant biosphere damage are these humans in the 1%. It’s not the 99%’s biomass (e.g. ants have more than humans) that is destroying the biosphere; it’s the 1%’s carbon footprint by a huge margin despite their tiny biomass. A detailed study of per capita footprint which includes resource ownership by wealth would conclusively prove that. And as to males of the species being the culprit, the statement, “We have met the enemy, an he is us, and he is “HE”, is barking up the wrong tree! Perhaps a world where humans were all females and reproduction was by cloning would be less parasitic and become symbiotic with the biosphere but most women on Earth, not to mention G. I. Joe Testosterone and friends, would take offense to that notion (to put it mildly  :evil4:).

Putting women in charge, as long as there are men around, will not change our suicidal trajectory. Because the 1% are our leaders, the masses of humanity always attempt to imitate what the 1% do, period. When the 1% stop their massive piggery, the small scale piggery of the masses will stop as well. Claiming that the 1% only “do what they do” because the 99% are a bunch of sheep is a half truth. The 1% ARE mostly PARASITIC. But this is “blame the victim” illogic. What, exactly, do you expect from sheep? The 1% pushed, connived, lied and killed anything in their way to BE the 1%. They’ve got RE’s “Will To Power” on steroids. If all of us had the aggressiveness of the 1%, Homo sapiens would have self destructed long ago.

Sexual dimorphism and hormones dictate different levels of strength, aggressivity and dominance in human beings for real and valid evolutionary purposes. Nature cares not about egalitarian relationships among opposite sexes or societies (see the moths, ants, spiders, bees, ducks, lions, chimps, etc.); it “cares” about what works to promote the reproduction of a species. Asymmetric power relationships in societies and among the sexes in species aren’t democratic but they have more evolutionary staying power than horizontal relationships. That’s just the way it is. If you want to “improve” on that model, you’d better but your “God” outfit on and pack a lot of sandwiches because you are bucking up against millions of years of evolution. The ones who hold the power are ALWAYS in the driver’s seat. If they don’t adequately react to a threat to the species, it’s curtains.  The 1% enjoy their RHIP which provide them many privileges but they cannot evade their responsibility. This is not “Murder on the Orient Express”; this is the train engineer driving the train off a cliff. The 1% don’t have to lose their “better to reign in hell than serve in heaven” attitude for mankind to survive; they just have stop believing their own PR. If they bite the reality bullet and lead the way into sustainable living, we might make it. Otherwise, the fungi, extremophiles and the humble descendants of human microbial bacterial colonies will inherit the Earth. The planet will become hot as hell and only the simplest and toughest life forms will live here. Send this to someone in the 1% if you know any. Who knows? They might even read it and think about it.

1.   http://the-scientist.com/2012/03/01/who-are-we-really/#comment-464838811 2.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8393081.stm
3.   http://www.scb.se/Pages/TableAndChart____104319.aspx 4.  http://www.e3network.org/papers/Why_do_state_emissions_differ_so_widely.pdf 5.  http://www.executivetravelmagazine.com/articles/flying-on-private-jets 6.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/oct/29/private-jets-green 7.  http://www.ips-dc.org/reports/high_flyers 8.   http://www.greendrinkschina.org/news/chinas-per-capita-carbon-emissions-solidly-reach-developed-nation-levels/ 9.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita 10. http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html 11. http://green.wikia.com/wiki/Carbon_Footprint_of_American_Cities

Save Thisaphone Sothiphakhak from Deportation

Off the Keyboard of A.G. Gelbert


Discuss this post at the Kitchen Sink of the Diner 

I just signed a petition for a DJ that ICE wants to deport for no valid reason. The kid was raised the U.S. This guy’s dad fought the  Khmer Rouge and the kid got here when he was two. Help this kid that is now 36 by signing the petition to stop ICE from their fascist crap.

Quote from RE: “It is a Good Cause worthy to promote.”  How about it Diners?

(Note from RE:  Damn right it’s a Good Cause.  This is beyond STUPID stuff.   WHD, this fellow is ALSO from MINNEAPOLIS.  You are Designated Point Man  for the Diners on this one.  BRAZOS Diners!

Save as Many As You Can! )

video in the following news release:


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A popular disk jockey in the Twin Cities fears he’ll lose one of the things he cherishes most in life – his American citizenship. “I can’t think of anything more American than fighting to be an American,” Thisaphone Sothiphakhak said. “It really hurts you when the country you love has denied you, like a stake to the heart.”


Sothiphakhak says if he was deported he doesn’t know where he would go, because Thailand would have no record of him either. He was just a baby when his family left the refugee camp

. http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/07/27/local-dj-battles-bureaucracy-for-his-citizenship/


Target: Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Al Franken Sponsored by: Chris Strouth Thisaphone Sothiphakhak is a man without a country. Born in Thailand , he has resided in the US since the age of two, when our government welcomed his family to the US in recognition of his father’s efforts against the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Unfortunately, his father apparently never quite completed the citizenship process–a fact Teace was unaware of until three years ago, when he hit a bizarre bureaucratic glitch in the course of securing a promotion at Wells Fargo. He was 30.Never mind that he’d grown up American, that he has a Social Security number and has always paid his taxes, that he’s one of Minneapolis’s all-time greatest DJs: In the course of a few days, he went from from being a gainfully employed, upwardly mobile worker to an unemployable resident alien subject to ICE lockdowns and threats of deportation to a country that doesn’t have any records on him, doesn’t recognize his existence, and all but guarantees a dismal future for an an American artist who speaks on… more

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Hope for a Viable Biosphere of Renewables

Off the keyboard of A.G. Gelbert

Why They Work and Fossil & Nuclear Fuels Never Did

Discuss this article at the Energy Table of the Diner


The biosphere is the global sum of all ecosystems. It can also be called the zone of life on Earth, a closed (apart from solar and cosmic radiation) and self-regulating system.[1]


File:Seawifs global biosphere.jpg

This is a “Big Picture” article about energy resources and use by humanity. In the article I question the most basic assumptions that have become “common wisdom” in our culture in regard to the celebrated “cost effectiveness” of fossil and nuclear energy products and the view that renewables are not a suitable replacement due to alleged “low” EROI (Energy Return on Energy Invested – sometimes shown as EROEI in the literature). I even question the assumptions used in the EROI methodolgy for quantifying exothermic chemical processes (how much energy is released when rapid oxidation, otherwise known as an explosion, occurs in a given energy product). I will prove that the EROI methodology is, not simply flawed, but unscientifically skewed to narrowly define energy input and output boundaries so as to favor fossil and nuclear fuels and simultaneously delegitimize renewable energy product cost effectiveness. It is most telling that the EROI documents and discussions at The Oil Drum web site are the ones that first show up when you do an EROI google search for fossil fuels and/or renewables. The claim of scientific objectivity in regard to fossil fuels at a web site called The Oil Drum can only be considered acceptable in a country like ours where the oil and nuclear lobbies control much of the narrative and just about all of the governmental policies energywise. Tell me, dear readers, would you consider taking advice on the efficacy of a vegan diet from the owners of a steak house? Do you think they would celebrate the fact that rice and beans provide a balanced protein intake that covers all essential amino acids? Do you think they would, after you provided evidence of the facts, offer chickpeas, which are equivalent in protein density to meat without the fat, as a replacement for the kiddy burgers?


Chickpeas have 361 calories per 100g, and are a good source of protein containing about 20 percent in content, which is equivalent to meat.


Rice and beans are both nutritious yet inexpensive foods that, when combined, form a complete protein.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/351077-the-protein-in-rice-beans/#ixzz20d8EofWj
Somehow, I think you will agree that the steak house owners are just a tiny bit biased in favor of meat and will attempt to undermine the vegan diet by the following reactions: 1) Ignore it. 2) Ridicule it. 3) Attack it with false propaganda. Provided enough people can be kept in the dark about the benefits to the body and the pocketbook of a vegan diet, the steak house owners and the entire chain of profit generating meat production facilities from raising cattle, hogs and chickens to every fast food burger joint in the country can continue to enjoy the status quo and their profits. I am not a vegetarian. I bring this example to you (remember the time Oprah had to back down on her claim that red meat was bad for you because of the cattle rancher outcry? – She was referring to scientifc studies but the beef industry prevailed anyway – truth be damned when profits are threatened is the predatory capitalist motto) simply because it shows how mendacity is used to defend a bias, regardless of the truth. I will prove here that the same mechanism has corrupted, not only our government energy use, subsidy and research and development grant allocation policies, but the very mathematics used by scientists to define energetic exothermic processes. The Procrustean Bed gaming of the boundaries for the EROI methodology is where we begin. I am not a mathematician but I can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Regardless of the calculus formulas or other advanced mathematics and statistical tools used by the scientists doing the EROI math, I will show that every energy cost they leave out favors the fossil fuel and nuclear energy industries in their flawed EROI comparison with renewables.  At the end of the article, after having  presented the case which, not simply justifies, but requires a switch to 100% renewables in order to guarantee a viable biosphere, I will point you to some excellent videos from Germany (you have to go to the German web site to see them – they are free but they sell the DVDs of the videos for those who wish to spread the word) where renewables providing power to industrial processes, as well as consumer energy demands, are paving the way to an energy future free of disruptions,  price gouging from contrived fuel shortages and price shocks/hikes from wars (mostly contrived as well) and/or speculators. Parts of this article may be a bit boring. Please try to remember that your thorough understanding and use for dissemination of the data here to others out there may enable you, after you verify it’s veracity, to effectively counter some status quo victim of brainwashing in the “follow the herd” school of “that’s how the world works and we just have to live with it” tradition. Your efforts to wade through this and digest it’s contents will, I firmly believe, help attain a sustainable future. An unsustainable world is a world that  isn’t “working”. What I want is for it to work.

Procrustean bed is an arbitrary standard to which exact conformity is forced.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrustes Measuring the EROEI of a single physical process is unambiguous, but there is no agreed standard on which activities should be included in measuring the EROEI of an economic process. In addition, the form of energy of the input can be completely different from the output. For example, energy in the form of coal could be used in the production of ethanol. This might have an EROEI of less than one, but could still be desirable due to the benefits of liquid fuels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_returned_on_energy_investedThis is the general formula: EROEI = Usable Acquired Energy (output) DIVIDED BY Energy Expended (input) The formula appears pretty straightforward, does it not? If you get less energy out than you put in then you will get a number below “1” (i.e. 1/2 = 0.5 EROI not good, 10/1 = 10.0 EROI good). Since the units in this formula are energy units, let’s define those:


Because energy is defined via work, the SI unit for energy is the same as the unit of work – the joule (J), named in honour of James Prescott Joule and his experiments on the mechanical equivalent of heat. In slightly more fundamental terms, 1 joule is equal to 1 newton-metre and, in terms of SI base units:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Units_of_energy What’s a newton-metre? What are SI units? Don’t worry about it. Anybody that wants to do an in depth discussion in the comments of how scientists came up with the units from observing the heat effect of lots of energetic molecules in a measured volume of some gas, liquid or solid is free to do so. In the meantime, readers only need to remember that more Joules (J) = more energy.
So taken with the “fabulous fossil fuels” are some people out there that they have the audacity to start using “barrel of oil equivalent” and “ton of oil equivalent” to measure energy rather than sticking with Joules (J).


In discussions of energy production and consumption, the units barrel of oil equivalent and ton of oil equivalent are often used.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Units_of_energyTo the credentialed scientists in the EROI study published at The Oil Drum’s credit, they appear to have used Joules and MegaJoules(MJ) in their energy units. Use your own imagination as to how objective it would have looked to claim EROI in ethanol and other renewables is too low in terms of “barrel of oil equivalent” units. Okay, so we’ve decided to use “J” units as the input and output energy units in the EROI formula. How do we know how much energy is in a given measure of gasoline? For you oldy goldies here, do you remember leaded gasoline? Gasoline was goosed (increased octane rating) by adding tetra-ethyl lead. Lead hurt the environment and caused serious health issues and developmental disorders for humans (and surely a lot of animals that were never considered in the studies) so unleaded gasoline became the norm with the lower octane rating. The reason I bring this up is because changes in octane rating change the activation energy needed to start the chemical reaction/explosion. A low octane gasoline technically has more energy than a high octane gasoline does because a lower octane rating requires less energy (lower energy of activation) for the reaction to begin. The energy density per mole in a high octane gasoline is assumed to be lower due to the higher energy of activation. This is a half truth. This half truth is used by the EROI experts to claim ethanol, which has a high octane rating, has a lower EROI than gasolene. Simply changing the compression ratio in an engine to a high compression makes ethanol equivalent in MJ/L to gasoline. But, of course, the Hall study arbitrarily stopped at the octane rating “energy of activation” differences between gasoline and ethanol with zero discussion of high compression engines. That was very convenient for gasoline EROI and very inconvenient for ethanol EROI. Furthermore the Hall study studied oil and “conventional” natural gas together in computing EROI:


Oil and conventional natural gas are usually studied together because they often occur in the same fields, have overlapping production operations and data archiving.



.. authors also estimated through linear extrapolation that the EROI for global oil and conventional natural gas could reach 1:1 as soon as about 2022 given alternative input measurement methods


Sustainability 2011, 3, 1796-1809; doi:10.3390/su3101796 www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability The authors of the above study made a reasoned assumption that the energy density per mole of global oil and conventional gas is, for all practical purposes, identical. Though one is a gas and the other a liquid, after processing inputs and putputs with similar infrastructure costs, that appears to be a logical approach. The problem with this approach is that the petroleum industry energy density numbers which predictably apply quite well to hydrocarbons result in bad data (low EROI) when applied to a renewable like ethanol. There was a study done at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory: “BIOMASS AS FEEDSTOCK FOR A BIOENERGY AND BIOPRODUCTS INDUSTRY: THE TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY OF A BILLION-TON ANNUAL SUPPLY”, Perlack, Wright, Turhollow, Graham, Stokes and Erbach – 2005. The conclusion of the Oak Ridge study was that the U.S. could meet at least 30% of its transportation fuel needs from biomass sources by 2030 “…with relatively modest changes in land use and agricultural and forestry practices.”. But the Oak Ridge Laboratory study, assumed, in error, that biofuels (specifically, ethanol) should be compared to petroleum fuels (specifically, gasoline) on a heat content basis (e.g. British Thermal Units) when estimating fuel efficiency. The Heat Value of ethanol is 65% of that of gasoline. Almost all researchers on this subject assume that ethanol’s fuel efficiency is 65% of that of gasoline. Even the U.S. Dept. of Energy thinks this is a valid assumption. Perhaps this is because so many of the studies pertaining to biofuels feasibility are done by individuals with economics backgrounds. The property of fuels known as the Octane rating indicates a fuels capacity for being combusted under pressure without pre-igniting. This is of great importance because fuels with higher octane ratings can be burned at higher combustion chamber pressures and produce more power which results in more work output (i.e. miles per gallon) than a fuel  with a lower octane rating that cannot be consumed at higher combustion chamber pressures. Ethanol has an octane rating of 115. Gasoline‘s is 93-95 for high test gasoline. This means that ethanol can be burned in a higher compression engine or an engine with combustion chamber pressures boosted using turbocharging or supercharging. The Department of Energy continues to base its estimates of fuel efficiency (and greenhouse gas emissions) for ethanol based on the Heat Value of ethanol relative to gasoline. This is entirely in error as it does not recognize the importance of octane rating and the characteristics of the engine the fuel in question is used in. The fact is, ethanol’s higher octane rating than gasoline enables it to be consumed in a higher pressure combustion chamber and obtain comparable (or better) fuel efficiency than that obtained with gasoline. This also means that the estimates of how much of the fuel supply we can meet using ethanol are significantly low. The estimate of the Oak Ridge study assumes ethanol can only achieve fuel efficiency relative to gasoline that is equivalent to ethanol’s “heat value” relative to gasoline’s or 65% of gasoline’s. But in actuality, ethanol used in an engine that takes full advantage of ethanol’s higher octane achieves comparable fuel efficiency to gasoline’s and thus the amount of the fuel supply that can be met with ethanol is not 30% but 46% (1/.65). So, returning to the EROI numbers published by the SUNY ESF study at The Oil Drum, you can see that they are way too low (from 1.29–1.70 )  because they low balled the OUTPUT in Joules of ethanol. Output is the top number on the EROI equation. I refuse to believe that these math wizards over there did not know that ethanol’s higher octane rating would result in equal or greater energy output than gasoline given a proper engine combustion chamber. This was a deliberate attempt to undermine the EROI of the corn ethanol renewable in the service of fossil fuels. The EROI number for sugar cane ethanol (8.0) that Brazil has achieved would be even higher if the output energy was corrected to the level of gasoline in the EROI formula. Furthermore, corn is a really poor choice for biomass because it requires so much energy to prepare the ground, fertilize chemically and harvest. This biomass crop may not have been deliberately set up to fail as a bonafide competitor to gasoline, but it has certainly worked out that way. The precise point where The Oil Drum continues to have it wrong on ethanolis this assumption which totaly ignores the FACT that gasoline ONLY has more useable energy than ethanol if you use it to boil water in a lab! In an internal combustion engine the effective MJ/L difference used to transform heat energy to mechanical energy is NEGLIGIBLE:


“New Perspectives on the Energy Return on (Energy) Investment (EROI) of Corn Ethanol,” Adjusting for the lower energy content of ethanol (21.46 MJ/L etoh vs. 34.56 MJ/L gasoline = 0.62), we calculated that the net energy from ethanol is roughly 0.99 billion ‘‘gasoline-equivalent’’ liters.

http://www.countercurrents.org/murphy100810.htm The actual figure, since ethanol’s high octane rating makes it equivalent to gasoline in an easy to obtain higher pressure combustion chamber in internal combustion engines, should be 34.56 MJ/L as a minimum. I say this because ethanol burns much cleaner than gasoline and reduced costs in simpler catalytic converters (or none at all) for cars would, in a sane world, increase EROI for ethanol from cleaner burning and increased mileage per liter. Now add to this the other biomass crops out there like Lemna minor (Duckweed) that grow 8 times faster than corn with no tilling and cheap harvesting as well as many perennial grasses that can be converted to ethanol and you have an irrefutable argument for replacing gasoline with ethanol. But there’s more. Scientific assumptions about energy release during rapid oxidation are surface or substrate dependent as well as temperature dependent. We all know that when you strike a match, the chemicals on the match head increase to what is called kindling temperature. At the molecular level, what is occurring is that the Oxygen molecules floating around the match head combine with the match head chemicals as soon as they are all expanded (that’s what heat does to them) sufficently to combine. Once the “energy of activation” is achieved, the chemical reaction proceeds at a previously, scientifically measured and predictable rate. Think of it as pushing a boulder off a cliff. You need some exertion (small amount of heat) to get the boulder to begin falling and accelerating at 32 feet per second squared until terminal velocity (air friction prevents further acceleration) is achieved (a lot of heat is produced until it reaches a self sustaining oxidation which then proceeds until all the reactants are oxidized). The “cliff” can be a vertical drop (very explosive) or a gentle slope (slow oxidation with a gradual heat release). Rust is an example of slow oxidation. What I ‘m trying to get across to you is that the fossil and nuclear fuel industry never want to talk about is that the reaction can be slowed down or speeded up by controllling the distance from each other and distribution of more molecules of the fuel and oxygen. You can also introduce a catalyst which reduces the energy needed to “push” the “boulder” off the “cliff”. This means you need less heat to get the reaction going. In this case you end up with a higher energy output for a given amount of input. Surely you see how this can affect the EROI formula. But once again zero attention is paid to any renewables using catalysts to increase the energy output by these EROI studies. No, the standard everything must be measured from some thermodynamic straight jacket for a given simple exothermic rapid oxydation. This is ridiculous. But it makes criticizing the current fossil fuel and nuclear paradigm difficult because the numbers are quite accurate for hydrocarbons and also nuclear fission heat release. If a more scientifically broad view of thermodynamics in exothermic processes was embraced, the EROI formulation would have to be modified to favor the separate, but slower energy producing processes of e.g. biomass products from crops that are presently considered waste. The added energy input from using all of the crop for, not just ethanol, but heat from “waste” would raise the EROI. The mono mania with a long hydrocarbon chain like petroleum has pushed the “experts” into always attempting to discard multiprocess approaches to determining EROI for one crop. I don’t think it’s because they can’t count to two or three; I think it is because of fossil and nuclear fuel bias. These people are not stupid; they are compromised by the EROI Procrustean Bed that arbitrarily has excluded inputs that lower fossil and nuclear fuel EROI and included outputs that raise it. I have mentioned only fossil fuels in regard to the gaming of the EROI but nuclear fuel is a far more blatent example.



The SUNY ESF study summarized the EROI of nuclear power from previous studies [26]. The review concludes that the most reliable information is still from Hall et al.’s [7] summary of an EROI of about 5–8:1 (with a large part of the variability depending upon whether the electricity is corrected for quality), and that the newer studies appear either too optimistic or pessimistic with reported EROIs of up to almost 60:1, to as low as even less than 1:1.


Sustainability 2011, 3, 1796-1809; doi:10.3390/su3101796 www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability
Since nuclear fuel has a foot in the grave and another on a banana peel, I won’t spend much time on it except to say that the EROI is a blatent falsehood. That nuclear fuel EROI can be 1.0 or higher is pure fantasy. In order to run a nuclear reactor, you need to build and insure it. These costs can certainly be  converted to energy inputs but are excluded from nuclear EROI. The energy required to store used nuclear fuel rod waste and other nuclear waste generated at the plant and keep it from overheating or contaminating the environment for centuries is not included in the EROI either. Then there’s the energy to mine, concentrate and mill the uranium followed by manufacturing the fuel assemblies with multiple rods and the uranium pellets in them. Nope, not included. The day to day operation of the nuclear plant is included, period. This is ridiculous. Add to that the energy used in cleaning up nuclear pollution and you have an energy black hole combined with a horror story in negative health impact to the population. Finally, there are many studies that have clearly proven that the uranium fuel cycle is not carbon neutral so any attempt to claim nuclear power plants are “green” and CO2 free energy sources is a pure fiction.


A big 1,250 megawatt plant produces the equivalent of 250,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year during its life.


What about gas fracking energy costs?  I ask you all reading this who just watched the above video, how do the EROI  experts, like the one I had some trouble with when I complained (Stoneleigh – this means you) that she left out aquifer poisoning in her EROI calculations, separate the science from the emotion?  How can these people fall back on a formula that so narrowly defines energy inputs and outputs that they can blithely ignore the energy costs of cleaning up aquifers and dispensing health care to cancer victims?  WTF is wrong with these people? The article I complained about on unconventional fuels not being a game changer was an insult to the intelligence of any thinking human being that knows anything about gas fracking. Don’t let anyone tell you that gas fracking has an EROI of 1.0 or better. It’s another Procrustean Bed fabrication. Gas fracking is an obsenity.


Alongside the growth in drilling, reports of fouled water, bad odors and health complaints also have increased. In the few places where basic environmental sampling has been done, the results confirm that water and air pollution are present in the same regions where residents say they are getting sick. Last spring, the EPA doubled its estimates of methane gas leaked from drilling equipment and said the amount of methane pollution that billows from fracking operations was 9,000 times higher than researchers had previously thought.


In Colorado, the ATSDR sampled air for pollutants at 14 sites for a 2008 report, including on Susan Wallace-Babb’s property. Fifteen contaminants were detected at levels the federal government considers above normal. Among them were the carcinogens benzene, tetrachloroethene and 1,4-dichlorobenzene. The contamination fell below the thresholds for unacceptable cancer risk, but the agency called it cause for concern and suggested that as drilling continued, it could present a possible cancer risk in the future. Even at the time of the sampling, the agency reported, residents could be exposed to large doses of contaminants for brief “peak” periods.

http://www.propublica.org/article/science-lags-as-health-problems-emerge-near-gas-fieldsHow did we get this fracking nightmare besides the spineless lackeys that do happy EROI calculations for gas fracking? In the video above these frontmen for predatory capitalism were mentioned: Hill & Knowlton. They are famous for the Tabacco commercials in the 50s. Nothing has changed. Fracking and the Gas & Oil Industry


In 2009, members of ANGA (America’s Natural Gas Alliance), a lobbying organization for the gas industry, spread $80 million in funds across several agencies that included Hill & Knowlton to try to influence decisions on the process of gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing[15] Similar to the strategy used for the pro-cigarette campaigns run in the 50s and 60s, the tactic the company is using for the issue is to simply raise doubt in the public’s mind about the dangers of the fracking process.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_%26_KnowltonDo any of these EROI experts figure what the following does to EROI numbers for fossil fuels or is this more stuff that doesn’t fit in the Procrustean Bed?


Duke Energy CEO Bill Johnson resigns after one day, gets $44 million in severance For his eight-hour tenure as top dog at Duke, Bill Johnson made a cool $44.4 million.


http://grist.org/news/duke-ceo-bill-johnson-resigns-after-one-day-gets-44-million-in-severance/I haven’t mentioned the tar sands EROI but these “unconventional oil resources” are estimated by Professor Charles Hall to be abot 5.0 or less. Try a lot less, professor; less than 1.0 when all the energy costs in cleaning up the horrible mess they are creating in Canada come due. Oh yeah, you don’t include that in the formula, do you? What about those huge EROI numbers (up to 100.0!) that the EROI experts claim were the norm in fossil fuels when oil was easy to get out of the ground and you didn’t have to destroy so much land and lop off mountain tops to get to the coal? Yeah, the EROI experts lament all these added MJ/L of energy inputs needed these days and celebrate the good old days. Those were the days before automobiles when Rockefeller would flush his waste (gasoline, among other refinery poisons) products from refining into the rivers at night. Those were the days well into the early 20th century when coal miners worked for slave wages and suffered from myriad lung diseases. Those were the days when miners got shot for wanting to work in decent conditions with decent pay. Those were the days that the heat energy overload on the biosphere began and the CO2 pollution began in earnest. I firmly believe that the huge EROI numbers for early fossil fuel of nearly 100 are inaccurate because many energy input costs, energy extracted from the public in form of subsidies and handed to oil corporations, energy to build infrastructure and energy to care for an increasingly sickened population from fossil fuel pollution as well as energy to clean polluted lands was, right from the start, offloaded from the fossil fuel balance sheets and on to we-the-people. Fossil fuels were never cost effective. The captains of industry stifled renewables in their infancy in the late 19th century. Writers, even back then, were discussing the possiblity of clean and renewable energy from electrolysis of water to use hydrogen as fuel. Sure, the technology needed to be refined and developed but the subsidy money went to oil. There was a real interest in electrification through renewables. Cleveland had wind generators in the late 19th century. Scranton, the town incorporated as a city of 35,000 in 1866 that is now facing bankruptcy from financial shenanigans of predatory capitalism, became known as the electric city in 1880. Electric trolleys were all the rage in many U.S. cities. Had these avenues been pursued, we would not be saddled with this polluted world. Now, despite the flawed EROI methodolgy which produces numbers above 1.0 for fossil and nuclear fuels, some people in the engineering field are waking up to the fact that the writing is on the EROI wall for them and renewables are the future.


Our society faces the colossal challenge of rapidly developing alternative energy sources that generate sufficient surplus energy to replace fossil fuels. Otherwise, material standards of living will decline – beginning with those of poorer people – as ever more resources have to be devoted to generating useful energy rather than to producing other goods and services. EROI figures indicate that the future lies in renewables like wind and solar, not unconventional hydrocarbons.


http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/energy-return-on-energy-invested-2012-06-15 So, to summarize all the above, the following “Energy Expended” inputs (the bottom part of the EROI formula*) have been arbitrarily left out by those EROI experts like Professor Charles Hall and the people from The Oil Scum (sorry, I meant the Oil Drum – really) web site: 1) Energy required to bioremediate pollution impacts from energy resource extraction. 2) Energy required to ameliorate negative health effects due to dangerous working conditions. 3) Energy required to counter negative effects on national GDP from slave wages. 4) Energy expended in wars to defend fossil fuel resources in foreign countries. 5) Energy equivalent in government subsidies taken from the populace and given to fossil and nuclear fuel producers. * If you get less energy out (top of the formula) the than you use to get the finished product (bottom of the formula) then you will get a number below “1” (i.e. 1/2 = 0.5 EROI not good). Procrustean bed is an arbitrary standard to which exact conformity is forced.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrustes The Procrustean bed “real world” of these experts is, and always was, a predatory capitalist, destructive and inhuman contrived “world” that they and all the lackeys that have benefited at the expense of the overwhelming majority of the human race and the biosphere cling desperately too by claiming it’s “the way the world works and we just have to live with it”. No, (Ashvin, Stoneleigh and Ilargi: pay attention) that is not “the way the world works”; That is “how a predatory capitalist con works”.  Any mathematician worth his salt can, given a standard upstream and downstream time frame from energy extraction of e.g. ten years before and ten years after, quantify all the above Energy Expended Inputs in Mega Joules per Liter. But because that would shrink the EROI numbers for all fossil and nuclear fuels to a fraction of 1, well below any justification there ever was for making use of these poisons, they won’t do it.  Furthermore the improper use and interpretation of thermodynamics by arbitrarily assuming that things that go boom (rapid explosive oxidation) are the gold standard in defining energy per se, they have made important “energy of activation” and “reaction velocity” variables seem irrelevant. The science of hydrocarbon chemistry and nuclear fission benefits from this flawed view that the more HEAT density in an exothermic process, the greater the potential EROI. That’s certainly true with hydrocarbons and nuclear fuels. That is NOT true with renewables. The best example I can think of is the internal combustion engine. The purpose of this machine is to use the energy of the explosions in the combustion chambers to drive a piston and produce mechanical energy. An electric motor produces mechanical enegy without wasting over 80% of the energy input on useless heat. The internal combustion engine, not only loses massive amounts of heat energy in the burning of fuel, but also must use part of the mechanical energy from the combustion to cool the engine. The EROI experts will certainly acknowledge that an internal combustion engine is only about 20% efficient but they flat refuse to see that the electric motor, because it doesn’t produce all that useless heat energy, can do the SAME AMOUNT OF WORK FOR LESS ENERGY. They may counter that I’m playing thermodynamic games here and the electricity to power the electric motor is coming from a fossil fuel or nuclear power plant so I’m just passing the energy buck, so to speak. Again, that shows the prejudice of these EROI experts to polluting fuel sources. In the subsequent paragraphs I will show how world electrification complete with electric motors being the motive force in industry and transportation, can achieve exactly the same amount of “useful work” (at a minimum) now produced by fossil fuels with less energy inputs because the resource is PV, geothermal, wind and wave. You would NOT have all the useless heat energy now contributing to an overheated planet. Along with all the CO2 and other greenhouse gases, we sure don’t need billions of engines spewing 80% useless heat energy into the biosphere. Combustion has it’s place with the use of ethanol in furnaces to provide heat in winter where ALL the heat energy output is made use of. Biomass ethanol used as fuel in high compression engines should be seen as a step in weening us away from gasoline but the whole approach to energy systems that is married to the “more heat is is better forever!”  view is scientifically bankrupt because it refuses to address the damage to the biosphere that waste heat imposes. As I said in a previous article, nature paces living energy systems with enzymes that lower the energy of activation and control the biochemical reactions to avoid overheating living tissue. It’s high time the EROI experts accepted that the future lies in an  energy extraction paradigm that does not go boom (explosive, rapid oxidation). We need, for our very survival, to use direct and indirect solar and geothermal energy in a manner so fine tuned that there is zero waste heat. We need to electrify all mechanical energy systems and provide them with electricity from renewable and truly efficient, non explosive energy processes.
Let us now see what our global  energy requirements are and how renewables can satisfy them. Remember that our new paradigm has a huge energy debt from all the pollution caused by fossil and nuclear fuels,  the chemical industry pollution and many dirty industrial processes. Even as we begin to power the world cleanly, we will need to be expending a LOT of Mega Joules per Liter to bioremediate the mess the dirty fuel industries have left us with. Note: The EROI reference below is stated as EROEI but it is the same thing. The “10:1” number convention is a way of stating an EROI of 10.0 with a reference value of “1” as signifying that  1.0 EROI equals equivalent inputs and outputs.  All the EROI numbers I have mentioned previously have the “:1” implied after the number so I have simply left them out.


Given the strong dependence of current technologically advanced economies on oil, Peak Oil may be a distress for entire economic sectors (Hamilton, 2009) if no alternative primary energy is made available during the next decades to take the place of fossil fuels (Hirsch et al., 2005). In a recent report, Heinberg (2009) defined four conditions that a future primary energy source substitute should satisfy: i. must be able to provide a substantial amount of energy— perhaps a quarter of all the energy          currently used nationally or globally; ii. must have an Energy Return on Energy Investment (EROEI) of 10:1 or above (see Appendix A); iii. cannot have unacceptable environmental (including climate), social or geopolitical impacts; iv. must be renewable. Moreover, as discussed in this manuscript, an additional requirement must be also considered: v. Must not depend on the exploitation and use of scarce materials.

The above authors are being too conservative. As of this writing, renewables already are at 19% of the global energy pie and that information is probaly somewhat dated due to the several month lag on data collection. Because renewable use and their technical efficiency is constantly increasing through added infrastructure and research and development, while fossil and nuclear fuels are in a state where their EROI numbers, even by the gamed formula standards, are heading below 1.0, the renewable percentage of the energy pie will probably increase exponentially, rather than linearly. The fact that renewables, in the early studies nearly a decade ago, had a mere 1% of the global energy pie is strong evidence that the growth is exponential. For those pathetic, parochial clingers to the status quo ante who arrogantly dismiss renewables and their 10.0 PLUS EROIs with the claim that renewables  are a mere drop in the world energy bucket, I suggest you get some metaphorical floatation gear because there is a renewable tsunami coming.  Let us now return to the world energy requirements study and how renewables can fill the gap:



All combined, these authors assume that only 11.5 TW (the 68% of the total mean power) should be produced by the renewable mix to satisfy the 2030 demand of an electrified society. This is close to the 2010 production of 12.5 TW. Current electric generation is only 2 TW, so a six-fold increase is required.

Snippet 2:


The potential primary power sources that remain after this first screening process are wind and concentrating solar thermal (CSP) devices. Besides, the engineering of both technologies is well known and understood and do not actually depend on rare earth elements (REE) and/or scarce materials.

Snippet 3:


2.1. Wind, water and solar proven technologies Windmills of 3–5 MW are being currently built and installed; this is a proven technology in expansion.The EROEI of wind turbines has been estimated in the range 15:1–40:1 (Kubiszewski and Cleveland, 2007). The capacity factor (CF, i.e. the ratio of the power actually produced to the theoretical maximum) of commercial turbines has improved overtime, from 0.22 for units built before 1998, to 0.30 for units in 2000–2001, and 0.36 for those operating after 2004–2005 (US DOE, 2008, p.27). The EROEI of CSP stations is close to 20:1 (Vant-Hull, 1985). Parabolic trough stations are more extended and proven CSP technology.


Snippet 4:


From now to 2030, plausible technology developments would permit colonising continental shelves up to 225 m depth with both founded and floating offshore windmills. In addition, two hybrid wind-wave systems could enhance the yield and power stability of offshore wind turbines: (i)attaching attenuator floaters at the base of windmills and (ii)deploying floating platforms with attenuators at the base and wind turbines above. An example of this technology is the Green Ocean Energy Ltd. prototype of 0.5MW (see: http://www.greenoceanenergy.com/index.php/wave-treader). Another example of attenuators is the Pelamis floaters, from Ocean Power Delivery Ltd. (Drewetal., 2009), which generate 0.75 MW with a 120 m long device. An example of the second approach is the Floating Power Plant prototype (see: http://www.floatingpowerplant.com/), designed to produce 10 MW, 56% from waves and 44% from three windmills.


Notice the use of hybrid energy systems to increase efficiency of energy collection. This is a giant paradigm shift from the mono mania that the fossil and nuclear fuel industries pursue with their   “one size fits all” approach to the detriment of the environment (this inefficient approach to energy extraction also simplifies EROI math.  ;D). Fossil and nuclear fuel advocates hate hybrid energy extraction techniques. I guess it confuses them or perhaps their predatory capitalist mindset is too consumed by monopolising one energy source in order to achieve price control and then squelch competitors. Whatever their flawed rationale, their modus operandi is unsustainable. Snippet 5;


The three main advantages of hybrid installations are: increased energy return per square kilometre; reduction of maintenance costs of equipments and undersea transmission cables; and compensation of wind generation intermittency, as wind and waves are not necessarily correlated (with the exception of storms).


Fig. 2. Annual average (July 1983–June 2005) of incident insolation on a horizontal surface in kWh/m2/day. Data downloaded from the NASA Surface Meteorology and Solar Energy site (SSE, http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/sse/, release 6.0). Grey and blue dots have twice the real areas occupied by the CSP stations to improve the readability of the figure (see text for details). White lines represent main distribution grid lines. The length scale corresponds to latitude 45°N. (For interpretation of the references to colour in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)

The above jpg shows where we will get much of our energy from renewables. As you all know, the sun, directly or indirectly, is our energy power source. We now have the technology, even in it’s infancy as to achievable levels of efficiency, that is proven, durable and being installed in the high renewable energy extraction potential points throughout the globe. This is no pipe dream; this is real, practical and happening, unfortunately, for financial reasons (cheap reliable energy free of price shocks) rather than our desperate global climate situation killing various lifeforms in our biosphere at an increasing rate. But even if it’s just being done for profit, my attitutde is, “Any Port In The Environmental Collapse Storm”. If the profit motive is needed to have a sane energy extraction standard, so be it.  This is a table of the proposed Energy infrastructure: Snippet 6:

Type Power fraction(%) Capacity factor Rated power (MW) Units
wind turbines 47.5-51 0.31 4.66-5 3,837,000
Stirling plants/air cooled CSP 28 0.25 300 50,460
Parabolic Stations, 12 h storage 12 0.4-0.75 300 9800
Hydroelectricity 9 0.88 1300 900
Attenuators 0-3.5 0.4 0.75 0-1,123,000

Table 1-Energy production mix proposed

I have, in a previous article, mentioned the roaring forties (area of the earth in the 40 degrees south latitudes with powerful winds and constantly turbulent seas). Take a look at the huge amount of wind power available sustainably there (there’s a lot in the North Atlantic too):

Fig. 1. Annual average of wind speed at 50 m above the surface of the Earth in m/s. Data downloaded from the NASA Surface Meteorology and Solar Energy site (SSE, http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/sse/, release 5.0). Light blue, blue and dark blue correspond to regions where the wind speeds are in the ranges 6–8 m/s, 8–10 m/s and >10 m/s, respectively. The red line delineates the 200 m isobath, representing the continental shelf.(For interpretation of the references to colour in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.) A. Garcı´a-Olivares etal./EnergyPolicy41(2012)561–574 563

Snippet 7:


In addition to hybrid systems, other techniques are being proposed for power consistency: 2.4. Intermittency constraints The unwelcome power variability associated with renewable sources may be mitigated by: (i)   geographical interconnection (Zhou, 2009); (ii)  use of hydroelectric power to smooth out supply (Czisch and Giebel, 2006); (iii) using reversible Electrical Vehicle (EV) recharging as grid storage (Kempton and Tomic, 2005); (iv) using other electric storage systems, as for example, water pumping, air compression, batteries, hydrogen production and storage and (v)  using smart demand-response management and weather prediction to better match inflexible loads to the power supply (Delucchi and Jacobson,2011).

http://www.imedea.uib-csic.es/master/cambioglobal/Modulo_1_03/Ballabrera_Diciembre_2011/Articulos/Garcia-Olivares.2011.pdfThe study referenced above is thorough. So thorough that it lists every metal used in the energy infrastructure today as well as their uses in wind turbines, PV and CSP to list a few. They even project when these metals will be exhausted at current extraction rates. They warn that the renewable solution requires a steady state economy and not the continuous growth paradigm of capitalism and energy extraction corporations. In other words, it’s time to stop being pigs. We live in a finite world and pretending otherwise for environmental rape and predatory capitalist profits threatens human society and the biosphere. Yes, we can go full renewable and meet today’s total energy demands. Full electrification will reduce the unusable heat polluting the atmosphere from inefficient internal combustion engines that must go the way of the Dodo bird. The savings from newfound efficiencies with renewables will provide some limited room for growth in addition to a lower overall energy load for exactly the same mechanical energy previously used to run civilization because renewables don’t produce massive wastes in heat energy at all steps of the extraction and use process that fossil fuel and nuclear energy products do. Where I disagree with the authors is on their insistence that the renewable energy sources must be scalable. I believe that scalabilty of an energy source, unless it is a government utility (i.e. fully socialized and non-profit), will lead to unscrupulous short cuts and new externalized costs for the populace for the benefit of private power corporations. The promise of renewables must go hand in hand with decentralized power sources. The authors recognized PV panels could make a huge contribution but did not consider them cheap enough yet and voiced concerns with the future availability of the somewhat rare metals used to make them. This issue is being addressed and overcome so I believe the authors will be pleasantly surprised with the massive contribution PV will make to the total picture. The authors discarded alleged low EROI renewables for consideration because of their scalability bias. As I stated early in this article, biomass ethanol, if properly used, has an EROI of at least that of gasoline without the environmental baggage of gasoline. And other biomass products like Lemna minor (Duckweed), that grow eight times faster than corn without heavy industrial chemical fertilization or pesticides will certainly produce EROI numbers far above 10.0. Passive geothermal (also discarded by the authors because it isn’t scalable) and other renewable heat sources such as e.g. placing mirrors a short distance from the north side of house in winter to reflect sun onto the north facing wall to  drastically lower heating costs will play a very important role in the picture of total sustainability. In addition, decentralized renewable energy infrastructure provides jobs, not in the feast or famine pattern of ethics free, dog eat dog, vicious predatory capitalist “business” model, but in a sustainable, predictable and humane way. While we are busy bioremediating all the damage Rockefeller and the nuclear nuts have saddled us with, we will be dealing with violent and unpredictable weather for a century or more. Decentralized renewable energy infrastructure has the added bonus that it provides resiliency to communities in the event of a disaster because “something” is always going to be working and neighbors with some working renewable energy infrastructure will be able to help those without access to energy. Embracing sustainability is embracing a caring society and rejecting the mindless and destructive wars and erosion of trust that is destroying our civilization from the evil wrought by corporations and the psychopaths that run them. We must reject these human predators who constantly pit everyone against their neighbor for profit. There are still so many goodhearted, thinking people out there that take the stewardship of this planet seriously. We can do so much to live in harmony with the biosphere if we could only constrain the insanely greedy psychopaths among us. Just look at the beauty and harmony with nature we are capable of:

Overpass for Animals, Highway A50 in the Netherlands




Germany is the world leader in turning the dream of a world 100% powered by renewable energy sources into a reality. I invite you now to proceed to this German web site and watch the following free videos. These videos are not about proof of concept or pilot programs. These videos are about nuts and bolts applications going on today. To show you how fast things are changing, the largest wind turbine available that is referenced in the above study about a year old has already been increased by over 1MW in energy generating capacity. The switch to renewables is really happening and these videos prove it: There are five videos.  They are all immensely enjoyable and filled with details of interest about several renewable energy technologies but if you are rushed for time, the last one on Wind Energy does a good job of putting them all together. Those new Wind turbines are BIG! When you click on the link below, scroll to the following sentence:


Watch the film online! If you are interested in watching the Spanish or French version please change the language-option of this website.


Below that sentence you can click and watch each video, one at a time. I recommend you watch them in sequence from top to bottom as they are listed. You won’t be disappointed.


Solar energy Hydropower Geothermal energy Bioenergy Wind energy


I hope you have enjoyed this article. I am certain there are some people out there clinging to the status quo ante that will not be pleased. What will be the reaction from people with vested interests in the fossil and nuclear fuel bankrupt paradigm be? See the beginning of the article for the reaction of the Steak House restaurant owners to replacing the kiddy burgers with chickpeas. So prepare for the ignore, ridicule and attack sequence. The “Steak House” owners are not about to change their name to “Chickpea Heaven” or something like that. But, if all these people so invested in the horror that is fossil and nuclear fuels would sit down and really think that what they are doing will eventually kill their descendants and much of the biosphere, then “The Oil Drum” web site would morf to “Sustainability From The Sun” web site.  And maybe dear Professor Charles Hall and friends would stop their Procrustean Bed mathematics celebrating things that go boom and denigrating passive sustainable renewable energy processes that don’t. A big thank you to the Doomstead Diner web site and those that work it and comment on it. like Reverse Engineer (alias Josey Wales!) and Peter who designed an outstanding forum and thread architecture. Print this and plaster it everywhere you can. The planet Earth is our home and we need to do everything we can to save it. Challenge the deniers to argue the points made here. Demand proof rather than some huffy dismissal about not understanding the laws of thermodynamics, capitalism or free enterprise. Ask them how many Mega Joules per Liter will we expend in dealing with THEIR “GIFT” TO US of 400 parts per million of CO2, increased cancer rates, excess heat from internal combustion engines that are only about 20% efficient, erosion of democracy through monopoly oil corporation price control and purchase of of our representatives and laws and useless wars that get our children killed for their GOD DAMNED profits (no, I am not swearing; I am certain the creator is not amused by humans trashing his garden or those who, like some poor deluded souls, claim that this is the way the world works and we just have to live with it). And tell them to stuff it when they say we-the-people are responsible because we consumed their products. If they return all the profits and swag from subsidies made by big oil and nuclear, then we’ll consider that possibility but otherwise it was THEY who corralled us into consuming their crap so they could centralize riches and power and turn the USA into a plutocracy ruled by ruthless oligarchs. Call them cowards for drinking the koolaid. Force them to face responsibility for ruining the future for their offspring with ther blindness and greed. When the Biased Bums at The Oil Scum claim you don’t know what you are talking about when you claim that ethanol (otherwise known as ethyl alcohol) is a superior fuel to gasoline because it gets better mileage in high compression engines and burns cleaner translating to a GREATER effective EROI than gasoline, push this into their face and ask them why they never got the memo:


Ethyl alcohol in the early 20th century The following excerpt is from a Paper to the American Society for Environmental History, Annual Conference March 26-30, 2003 By William Kovarik, Ph.D. “Studies of alcohol as an internal combustion engine fuel began in the U.S. with the Edison Electric Testing Laboratory and Columbia University in 1906. Elihu Thomson reported that despite a smaller heat or B.T.U. value, “a gallon of alcohol will develop substantially the same power in an internal combustion engine as a gallon of gasoline. This is owing to the superior efficiency of operation…” (New York Times Aug. 5, 1906) Other researchers confirmed the same phenomena around the same time. “USDA tests in 1906 also demonstrated the efficiency of alcohol in engines and described how gasoline engines could be modified for higher power with pure alcohol fuel or for equivalent fuel consumption, depending on the need. The U.S. Geological Service (USGS) and the U.S. Navy performed 2000 tests on alcohol and gasoline engines in 1907 and 1908 in Norfolk, Va. and St. Louis, Mo. They found that much higher engine compression ratios could be achieved with alcohol than with gasoline. When the compression ratios were adjusted for each fuel, fuel economy was virtually equal despite the greater B.T.U. value of gasoline. “In regard to general cleanliness, such as absence of smoke and disagreeable odors, alcohol has many advantages over gasoline or kerosene as a fuel,” the report said. “The exhaust from an alcohol engine is never clouded with a black or grayish smoke.” USGS continued the comparative tests and later noted that alcohol was “a more ideal fuel than gasoline” with better efficiency despite the high cost.”



Ethanol Engine efficiency exceeds gasoline engines, giving greater miles per gallon (MPG) with ethanol fuel: High Efficiency and Low Emissions from a Port-Injected Engine with Alcohol Fuels— By Matthew Brusstar, Mark Stuhldreher, David Swain and William Pidgeon, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  size: 70 Kb – 7 pages

http://www.epa.gov/otaq/presentations/sae-2002-01-2743-v2.pdfWhen they fall back on the EROI formula Procrustean Bed with the claim that EROI only deals with energy density in fuels and not efficiency coefficients in different engine types, calmly remind them (hopefully, two by fours will be unnecessary to knock some sense into their heads but you never know) that gasoline is not customarily used for furnaces, room lighting, barbeque grills or to boil water; it’s used almost exclusively in the ICE (internal combustion engine). For these fossil fuel lakeys, water carriers and quislings to refuse to measure gasoline’s EFFECTIVE USABLE ENERGY when it is actually used in an ICE to do work is the height of duplicity. But this subterfuge by Rockefeller’s admirers is not new. As I have mentioned before, way back at the end of the 19th century, Rockefeller was flushing his gasoline waste product in the rivers by his refineries at night. He could not avoid producing gasoline in his refinery cracking towers (about 19 gallons of gasoline for every 42 gallon barrel of crude refined)*. When the automobile came out in the early twentieth century, the early car fuel called benzene had to be eliminated because that hydrocarbon is a carcinogenic. As you read above in the 1906 Edison lab study, ethanol was considered competitive energywise with gasoline. What did Rockefeller do? He lowered the price of gasoline (remember his cost was near zero because it had been a waste product of the refining process) so much that ethanol was priced out of the market**. It was a win-win for Rockefeller. It was only a matter of time before his nasty habit of flushing gasoline into rivers at night was going to get him and his refinery employees facing the wrong end of a shotgun from some irate farmer who noticed his horses and cows getting sick or dying when drinking the river water downstream of an oil refinery. So Rockefeller managed to change the flush operation from the rivers to the atmosphere and make a bundle out of it too. But this predatory capitalist wasn’t done killing ethanol yet. He gave millions to a temperance group that ultimately succeeded in Prohibition legislation banning the production and use of ethanol (ethyl alcohol), not just for drinking, but for ICE fuel as well (and you thought Prohibition was just the fundies not wanting you to get high on booze. Rockefeller USED the fundies to block ethanol competition). The reality was that the “cheap” gasoline was far, far more expensive than ethanol due to the atmospheric poisons introduced. It got even worse when tetra-ethyl lead entered the mix in the 1920s. It wasn’t until about 1973 that the severe damage from leaded gasoline was recognized and even so, to this day, unleaded gasoline is not mandatory in off road vehicles. Now that ethanol is out there and available once again as a competitor to gasoline, the fossil fuel enablers return with the familiar FALSE claims that ethanol is not competitive with gasoline and the poppycock that gasoline gets better mileage than ethanol. Call out these overeducated, Procrustean Bed, creative thermodynamics “geniuses” carrying water for the fossil fuel industry on their lies and distortions. Accuse them of being well aware of the above and deliberately distorting the fuel facts when they are actually applied to their use in engines. Tell them their Procrustean Bed EROI Bullshit isn’t going to fly anymore.


*On average, about 19.5 US gallons (16.2 imp gal; 74 L) of gasoline are available from a 42-US-gallon (35 imp gal; 160 L) barrel of crude oil (about 46% by volume), varying due to quality of crude and grade of gasoline. The remaining residue comes off as products ranging from tar to naptha.[4]



**The gasoline engine became the preferred engine for the automobile because gasoline was cheaper than alcohol, not because it was a better fuel. And, because alcohol was not available at any price from 1920 to 1933, a period during which the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol was banned nationally as mandated in the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The amendment was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment on December 5, 1933. In time to produce alcohol fuels during World War II. By the time World War II ended, the gasoline engine had become “entrenched” because gasoline remained cheaper than Alcohol, and widely distributed – gas stations were everywhere.

http://www.americanenergyindependence.com/alcoholengines.aspx Tell anybody with fried logic circuits that claims this is “the way the world works” that the REAL WORLD, not the predatory capitalist hell hole they so love, is the BIOSPHERE. That world has a set of rules and, for most of our human existence on this planet, we followed them. For over a century and a half, a level of insanity not seen in human history has produced a greed fest so blind, so stupid and so incorrigible that it can only be labelled what it is: EVIL. Fossil and nuclear fuel advocates and their pseudo scientific Procrustean Bed EROI happy number formulations NEVER WORKED. The backers of these poisoned energy sources lied about absolutely everything related to their extraction and use from day one and they are lying through their teeth now to sabotage the truth about renewable energy sources.
Renewable energy sources are practical, sustainable and healthy for the planet and humans. Fossil and nuclear fuels have brought us pollution, wars and corrupted democracy.

Renewable energy sources WORK!  Fossil and Nuclear Fuels NEVER DID.


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