October 23, 2013 at 10:13 am #9101
Lately, after I’ve written yet another article that focuses on Britain, I pledge to myself that it’ll be the last one for a long while. Only to find t
[See the full post at: Energy Is A Power Game – 1]October 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm #8904John dMember
Ho Ho ilargi fracture me with another one. Replacing what is left of old fashioned $20 oil with frac oil is like feeding all new low caloric plastic cheese to a rat while replacing it’s high energy Camembert feed. Plays merry hell in a constipated rat’s ass.October 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm #8905Jason HeppenstallMember
Ilargi – as a UK resident I’m all too aware of the madness of our ‘leaders’ of late – especially with regard to energy.
Following the nuclear decision and Monbiot’s subsequent article, I engaged him in a bit of online discussion. Here’s how it went:
Me: No George, we do not need nuclear power. What we need to do is get used to the idea of having some locally appropriate generation rather than a massive inefficient grid powered by a few lumbering power stations – nuclear or not.
There is no safe way to deal with nuclear waste, and it will be around for several hundred thousand years. I can’t think of a more lethal and poisonous gift to leave our descendants just for the sake of a few years of cheap electricity.
GM: This is something I don’t get. The mercury etc from coal plants has an infinite half life. It will be around for ever. So why are we concerned only about toxins with half lives?
Me: I am also concerned with that. I am not getting into the argument of nuclear vs coal. I’m saying we have to abandon BOTH.
In any case, due to a peaking of available resources for both, neither will be a viable proposition in just a few decades. Put simply, we will have to get used to living with less. Politically unacceptable you say? Yes, but the laws of physics and basic geology don’t care much for humankind’s ambitions.
It’s a dangerous game to insist that a potentially deadly technology is necessary, because then you are ruling out much safer alternatives.
Edward Rice (joins conversation): It astonishes me to see people fretting about continuing leaks at Fukushima, which present a tiny health risk even to the Japanese
Risky Repair of Fukushima Could Spill 15,000 Times the Radiation of Hiroshima, Create 85 Chernobyls
”… spent fuel rods (and about 200 “fully loaded” unspent rods — remember that “reactor 4 had been de-fueled” prior to the accident) are stored in a water-containing chamber high off the ground in a crumbling room and building without a roof.”
Yes, nothing to worry about there.
GM: Blimey, the complete cobblers people will dredge up rather than have a reasoned debate about nuclear power. What is it about this subject that a. attracts such a formidable array of junk science and b. encourages so many people to repeat it? Is there some kind of global competition to see who can come up with the craziest apocalyptic scenario?
I have to conclude that George Monbiot is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Anyway I penned this short diatribe the other day in a fit of angst – after all, some of us actually have to live here:October 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm #8906PorkpieParticipant
I am a little confused by your statement that where fuel goes, housing will follow.
My thought was, if fuel drops, that frees up money for the Greater Fools to spend more on houses, which would raise the costs. Fuel down, housing up.
But, I am thinking you are saying a reduction in spending power means both drop, whereas my scenario requires spending power to stay the same.
Have I got it right?October 23, 2013 at 10:34 pm #8907
I am a little confused by your statement that where fuel goes, housing will follow.
Where and when did I say that?October 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm #8908PorkpieParticipant
“The reason I bring Holland into the picture is that what happens in housing also happens in energy.”
And the longer quote for context and easy finding…
“Dutch house prices fall 4% in September
House prices were down 4.1% in September compared with a year ago, which takes them back to the level of early 2003, Holland’s national statistics office CBS said on Monday. Compared with August 2008, when the market was at its height, house prices have fallen 20% …
The reason I bring Holland into the picture is that what happens in housing also happens in energy. In Holland, energy prices are set to drop, largely due to lower transportation costs (for gas and electricity) for infrastructure owners/managers:
Lower energy rates from 2014 to 2016 will save Dutch consumers and industries €2.1 billion. Energy bills for consumers will fall by 4-5%.”October 23, 2013 at 11:38 pm #8909John dMember
Porkpie. Oil is trading within a narrow range, this due to the cost of production against the price the consumer is able to pay. Considering the demand for fuel, for it’s price to drop below the lower bound, would indicate to me that the ability of the consumer ‘to afford’ would be falling ( for housing as well as fuel). Moving oil price towards the upper bound would indicate an improving economy and your increase in housing prices. Moving price beyond either upper or lower bounds of the price range one enters the land of economic instability. Within the bounds those price changes could be subject to other forces and could move independently. Incidentally as oil becomes a more and more depleted resource, those boundaries will come closer and closer together until at some time they will meet and that is when all the shit becomes unstable due to the ‘hitting the fan’ effect. I doubt we will reach that point as in all likelihood a black swan or some malicious white one will take all down before then.October 24, 2013 at 11:42 am #8910
So you have Chinese and French companies build – and own! – Britain’s future energy supplies (the expertise is no longer domestically available). How does that make you feel? Think it’s a good idea to hand over control of your energy needs to anyone but your own people? How about your drinking water? Or the air you breathe?
Well where did you expect the neo-liberal deregulation privatise everything experiment to end? In an equitable socialist nibbana? As for Monibot losing his marbles, have you ever read “Heat”? Talk about techno-narcism and too much magic George is obviously an alumni of the Hogwarts ‘green’ school. Still at least he has a plan, unlike any UK government for oh about the last forty years… :dry:
You see its all about right wing divine wrath against the unions, epitomised in the ‘Dagenham Girls’ who brought production at the then Ford Dagenham plant to a halt in 1968. That and the entrenchment of the left/right union/free market ideologies through the seventies and eighties that has seen a devastating evisceration of the heart of British manufacturing. The latest is the Grangemouth refinery closure closed on the back of a so called ‘union dispute’. Not to even mention the outright ‘theft’ of the Post Office – watch them sack all the workers and then [strike]re-employ[/strike] create double the number of zero contract unsecured no pension jobs – no doubt using poor Chinese immigrants who lost their own livelihood when the local mandarins built a ‘ghost town’ on their land. The so called ‘elite’ in this so called country decided a long time ago that the British worker was not worth even the slightest consideration. Foreign workers were to be invited in to show the ‘British working class’ how it should be done (as it had been in the colonies aka slaves). It was and still is the final ‘act of enclosure’ the taking away of common rights to a decent livelihood. All are now slaves, foreign and indigenous, slaves often in every way the brutish reality of that word relates to, but also their ‘owners’ as well slaves to debt and to energy. It would not surprise me if there is indeed soon a tax on ‘air’ as well.
As for houses, from an Englishman’s home is his castle to castles in the sky:
.. well its up in the air anyway 😆
Housing ‘dream’ programs are back with a vengeance, with Sarah Beeny’s (a UK property developer who cashed in big time in the boom years pre-2008 with a tv series called ‘property ladder’, and the less popular Property Snakes and Ladders – wonder why that was?) currently starring in Double your house for Half the Money which in one program a couple bought an old doctors surgery in urban semi detached land, went mad with a rebuild and are now thinking its worth £2.5 million – thinking mind you as I doubt anyone would pay that for the monstrosity. At least the BBC is more in tune with the times with its House that £100k Built. But the ubiquitous ‘Grand Designs’ is everywhere, with a new series on designer sheds (well its all the rage don’t yew know). Though Reality is setting in:
Leah Hyslop in the Telegraph:
‘Grand Designs’ converted water tower has £2m knocked off price
A Grade II-listed water tower which appeared on Grand Designs is on sale for £4.5m, nearly £2m less than its original asking price.
Lets hope shed or castle they are well insulated, lest we get a cold winter – Global Sea ice didn’t get the memo about ‘warming’:
Anarctic Sea ice stobbornly refuses to stop setting new records for Maxima:
While current Arctic sea ice is well within the ‘average’ range:
Which might cause a delay in Cameron’s growth in the Arctic ploy… :unsure:
Grangemouth Update- Wages frozen and pensions cut and no strike for three years:
(By Simon Falush and Alexander Winning for Reuters) – A rescue of the Grangemouth refinery and petrochemical plant in Scotland was secured on Friday as the union and the company reached a deal, saving 1,400 jobs and preventing a heavy blow to Scotland’s economy.
The Unite union, the largest in Britain, agreed to a freeze in pay and a cut in pension benefits and pledged it would not strike for three years.
Operator Ineos had said losses would force it to close the petrochemical plant and could also force the closure of the 210,000 barrel-per-day refinery.
A closure of the refinery, which provides power for a major oil pipeline, could also have reduced supplies of the major North Sea crude that underpins the Brent oil benchmark, used as a basis for setting oil prices around the world.
Threatened closure comes form excessive EU capacity, and ‘shrinking demand’ (see: ‘A Barrel Full’ blog). But as regards China’s interest in UK energy (from ‘killajoules’, a Barrel Full sub-site):
PetroChina Company Limited (PetroChina) and INEOS Group Holdings plc (INEOS) announce that on 10 January 2011, PetroChina International Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PetroChina, has entered into a framework agreement with INEOS European Holdings Limited and INEOS Investments International Limited, each a wholly-owned subsidiary of INEOS.
The Framework Agreement sets out the main principles pursuant to which the parties will work towards forming joint ventures related to trading and refining activities at the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland and the Lavéra refinery in France.
The signing of these agreements is to be witnessed by Nick Clegg, the British Deputy Prime Minister, and Li Ke Qiang, the Chinese Vice Premier.
Next it might be new Chinese built coal plants, as the ‘large reserves of UK coal’ were discussed on BBC’s Question Time as debate raged about the whole ‘nuke thing… :whistle:
Sid.October 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm #8911
I see why that could be misconstrued. What I meant to say is simply that while in Holland prices for both houses and energy are falling, in Britain they’re both going up.
Perhaps a good moment to check M2/M3 numbers, or even just household debt.October 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm #8912sensatoParticipant
Providing a counterpoint to sea ice extents which do not appear to be reducing by much are sea ice volumes:October 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm #8913
Yes, you mean this:
This one is interesting as it has the 1950s sub records in it:
Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Extent Anomalies, 1979-2012: Arctic sea ice extent underwent a strong decline from 1979 to 2012, but Antarctic sea ice underwent a slight increase, although some regions of the Antarctic experienced strong declining trends in sea ice extent. Thick lines indicate 12-month running means, and thin lines indicate monthly anomalies. See the Arctic Sea Ice FAQ for more information. Image provided by National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder.
In the first Daily Arctic Sea Ice Extent graph in your link, trending on the green 2013 line seemed to have stopped on 7/7/13, but its ‘volumetrically’ albeit marginally more than 2012. Maybe the earth has given us a last minute reprieve to turn things around. :unsure:
Sid.October 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm #8914
Ah ha, so this is how you ‘clean up’ a nuke site:
Tetsuya Hayashi went to Fukushima to take a job at ground zero of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. He lasted less than two weeks.
Hayashi, 41, says he was recruited for a job monitoring the radiation exposure of workers leaving the plant in the summer of 2012. Instead, when he turned up for work, he was handed off through a web of contractors and assigned, to his surprise, to one of Fukushima’s hottest radiation zones.
But the real insight is the use of ‘debt slaves’:
…In extreme cases, brokers have been known to “buy” workers by paying off their debts. The workers are then forced to work until they pay off their new bosses for sharply reduced wages and under conditions that make it hard for them to speak out against abuses, labour activists and workers in Fukushima said.
Soon there could be plenty of opportunity in the UK as interest rates could rise sooner than ‘expected’. Debt peonage in a nuclear age… :dry:
Sid.October 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm #8917
Interesting goings on in the halls of ‘power’:
Will Heaven of the Telegraph:
Nuclear power vs wind farms: the infographic the Government doesn’t want you to see
Hat-tip to our Energy Correspondent Emily Gosden for this Department of Energy & Climate Change infographic. It was deleted from Gov.uk this week “because of sensitivities”, according to a DECC press officer. “Hmmm,” says Emily. Quite.
It turns out that the Renewable Energy Association called it “unhelpful” in a press release, pleading that “as Ed Davey stressed… it is not an either/or choice”.
Of course if the nuke plant were to ‘malfunction’ there is the (no doubt remote) possibility that a large part of the west country real estate might not be as desirable as it was… :dry:
Dilemmas dilemmas dilemmas, of course using less is not an option…
Via Press Association:
Fuel poverty campaigners have written to Prime Minister David Cameron demanding that party leaders act on the “national crisis” of cold homes.
The UK is second only to Estonia among European nations for the number of people who are struggling to pay their energy bills, according to research by the fuel poverty alliance Energy Bill Revolution found.
The alliance, which includes Age UK, Barnardo’s, Consumer Futures and National Energy Action, has told leaders that investment in “super insulation” for the nation’s homes is the only way to end the “scourge” of fuel poverty and the best way to bring down energy bills.
Sid.October 29, 2013 at 1:52 am #8921steve from virginiaParticipant
Certainly, the 21st century will leave a lot of exotic ruins all over the place … empty concrete shells of reactor containments, rusting turbine masts looming hundreds of feet in the air, gas pipelines to nowhere, derelict oil drilling platforms … along with the crumbling and useless freeways, bridges, tunnels, car parks, towers … and the millions of rusting hulks that used to be the precious cars.
Funny thing is that Britons lived within their solar budget for thousands of years. They forgot … now = madness.October 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm #8923
On energy/food budgets, this UN report attempts to address the issues
One of the contributers, Gunnar Rundgren sums it up here:
“The world needs a paradigm shift in agricultural development: from a “green revolution” to an “ecological intensification” approach. This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high- external-input-dependent industrial production towards mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers. We need to recognize that a farmer is not only a producer of agricultural goods, but also a manager of an agro-ecological system that provides quite a number of public goods and services (e.g. water, soil, landscape, energy, biodiversity, and recreation).”
This is one of the key messages of a new report from United Nations Conference of Trade and Development, UNCTAD. The Trade and Environment Report 2013, subtitled Wake up before it is too late: Make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate, warns that continuing rural poverty, persistent hunger around the world, growing populations, and mounting environmental concerns must be treated as a collective crisis. It says that urgent and far-reaching action is needed before climate change begins to cause major disruptions to agriculture, especially in developing countries.
Hey at least they’re recognising that the current system doesn’t exactly work very well… 🙂
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