December 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm #8410
Artwork: Ilargi The UK is set to embark on its second dash for gas. The first, beginning in the early 1990s, occurred when gas was first permitted to
[See the full post at: The Second UK Dash for Gas – A Faustian Bargain]December 22, 2012 at 3:05 am #6652
Thank you in particular for the link to the NY Times page that, in turn, links to documents and articles demonstrating that shale gas is a bubble and a Ponzi scheme. In New York State we’ve been fighting fracking and pipelines for four exhausting and terrifying years. While it is heartening to realize that the bubble will burst and the Ponzi collapse, we can see in neighboring Pennsylvania how much grievous harm the drillers can do while waiting for the inevitable bust. So, alas, we cannot let up on our efforts to stop the atrocity of fracking.
GDecember 22, 2012 at 4:09 am #6653
I am thoroughly fed up with the regular articles in the “Daily Reckoning” from down-under which exalt the wonders of shale gas.
The shares of an Australian company that has some sort of permission to drill in the UK have gone up by 60% this past week. It is totally insane.
The FT also had a recent one in which most comments were very positive and dismissive of “greens”
The whole thing looks like another “pump and dump” operation.December 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm #6654
Daily Reckoning certainly come up with some weird stuff at times, some of it is definitely in the pump n dump category. I subscibed to their newsletter and got mostly spam really. Today I was thinking that it was damaging disinformation. Humanities lost paradigm, clutching at straws in desperation as it plunges into the yawning chasm. Must remember not to feed the goblins.
Just logged in to say hi really and that, as the world ended yesterday, I’m quite amazed at how similar this limbo we are living in now is to the previous dimension.
Merry Christmas, but not too merry, to all.December 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm #6659
Thanks again for another erudite article. Of course what few outside (and many inside) the UK will know is that recent planning changes (read total restructure of UK planning regs – the new ‘LDF’ Local Development Framework in England replaces the previous Unitary Development Plan) mean that all ‘major’ infrastructure projects (airports, roads and ‘mining’) go through Whitehall for approval and not the local authority. Also it should come as no surprise that the first ‘permissions’ for fracking are given in tory (conservative) areas with majority tory councils, as that’s where there will be least resistance.
Jane Jacob’s once commented that England was little more than a fuedal state, and in her last book “Dark Age Ahead” (2004, Random House), she talks about the demise of culture and the rise of “credentialling”:
A vigorous culture capable of making corrective, stabilizing changes depends heavily on its educated people, and especially upon their critical capacities and depth of understanding.”(p.63)
Very partial understanding combined with typical scientific overconfidence emboldens us to accept mistakes we would not otherwise accept.” (p.99)
Ironically the internet and the blog and twit-o-spheres have helped to fuel this problem, most sites (including this one) have meters on them that allow prolific users to attain ‘credentials’ of rank such as ‘master’ or ‘senior’ or ‘expert’ in some supposed subject matter. Sometimes this is a genuine reflection of knowledge in that area, but often it is just down to shear volume of posts and time spent at a computer screen – an ironic twist in forums devoted to non- computer oriented skill sets.
Such endeavours as ‘fracking’ and windfarm (another hopeless case) developments are typical symptoms of this cultural demise, and not just an attempt at BAU. Coupled with the final thrust of the neo-liberal the ‘market knows best’ agenda and one can see that the road ahead is indeed ‘liberally’ adorned with neo-good intentions and bad ideas and is leading straight to hell.
Though to be honest, when was it ever different?
Case Study: Bawtry Gas Works proves gas production and the environment in the UK have never been great bedfellows…
Perhaps we do indeed forget what we have forgotten.
Sid.December 24, 2012 at 7:16 am #6660
Ain’t Central Planning grand? It always seems to meet the needs of the “connected!”December 24, 2012 at 7:33 pm #6662
Q. When you first moved to Toronto from New York, were there elements in Toronto, because it was a smaller city, that made you more optimistic that you could make more of a difference there compared to New York, where everything had become so politicized, so big?
A. No. I thought it was an adventure, how nice and so on. And then we heard about this expressway that was coming through right where we lived, and my husband said, “Oh my God, another expressway.” And we had to get into that. There are responsibilities you can’t evade if you find yourself in an expressway path. You have to do something about it. But, you know, I’m like most people in this. I have other things to do. I don’t like getting in these fights. I hate the government making my life absurd. I don’t want the government to set an agenda for what I have to be doing by it being so stupid that I have to devote myself to that. I have other things to do. And this is true of most people. It is really an outrage when you come to think of it. Here are all these people who get paid for government jobs, and we the taxpayers are paying them. And how are they spending their time? Making life miserable for us so we can hardly earn the money to pay their wages because we are so busy fighting them. That’s what I mean by making our lives absurd.
Q. When you start talking about the big role of government and that it messes around too much in people’s lives sometimes, is there a danger that one can become too free-enterprise, that one is forgetting the social network that government can provide?
[b]A[/b]. You are putting words in my mouth. I never said that government was messing around too much in our lives. I said it was doing stupid things. That’s not the same thing at all. It may be doing too little in our lives and still be doing stupid things. It’s not an ideological thing.
SidDecember 26, 2012 at 4:28 am #6666
I keep thinking about mitigation, and I’m often led back to the idea of very warm garment, which are still comfortable, and can be worn in house or bed, when temperatures are cold, by skinny-old-ladies.
I just don’t have any fresh ideas.
Things can be done with Peltier junctions as heat-pumps, and there are some special fibers which might be used as heat transfer channels, by these things are pretty speculative, compared to wool and goose-down.
Jimmy Carter was very unpopular when he appeared on TV in a sweater, urging Americans to turn down their thermostats that winter.
Ronald Reagan borrowed from the future, sold out Social Security, “proved deficits don’t matter”, and claimed that “happy days were here again”. He was a “good president”.
Maybe warm, comfortable and inexpensive clothes can be a policy priority.
Some kind of warmers for wrists and ankles could just be thermal mass, heated on the stove, to keep hands and feet warm, but that seems cumbersome.December 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm #6667
Today, I drove past the “National Wool Museum” (of Australia):
and the nearby “Wool Exchange”:
Of course, it used to be a huge business – before cheap coal, town gas, natural gas and electricity made house-warming affordable for almost everyone. I was thinking that maybe its time will come back.
Apparently, 4-5 million people in the UK are now classified as “fuel poor”. This total is expected to rise to 8-9 million by 2016 – 10% of the population.
I suspect that wool will return to favour in a big way in Europe, and cotton will lose its shine. People will have to dress warmly indoors.December 26, 2012 at 12:08 pm #6668
Some motorcyclists wear electrically-heated clothing. I am not sure how practical it would be to do something like that for people indoors. Many elderly people don’t move about much. In any case, it would only need to be 20-30 Watts rather than the 100 Watts that riders require – an enormous energy saving compared to heating the house to a similar temperature. Also, there are substances that release a lot of heat as they solidify (e.g. wax)December 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm #6669
We need gas now and drinking water can always be purified after the fact…
Optimism bias in action I suppose.December 31, 2012 at 2:21 am #6676
Our Fucked Up Fiscal Fate https://chartistfriendfrompittsburgh.blogspot.com/2012/12/our-fucked-up-fiscal-fate.htmlDecember 31, 2012 at 7:53 am #6680
After slowly reading the article and some comments I am more and more believing people are not being overly optimistic but incredibly unprepared.
History has already written the books and we don’t get to alter it that much. Yes people will live under the standards we hope for with modern societies but its a little worse than that. People need to bend their minds around the idea that without heat and with less food society will move towards 3rd world standards. Expect a larger gap between the upper class and poverty class and a nearly non existent middle class. Most shocking to me is the currant absence of the death toll this will take.
Many will die if the numbers are correct in this article. The only solution that has had any success historically for mankind is to form protective societies. In a world of the kind of scarcity that will eliminate masses expect capitalism and the greed system to fail significantly.December 31, 2012 at 8:03 pm #6681
@william – From what I see of the people that I know, if they believed that we are moving towards 3rd world standards, they would do some kind of preparing. But they don’t believe that our standards will decline. Therefore, they are not preparing. I’ve even had people tell me they don’t believe it. What they have now, is normal. They are unable to see anything get worse, only that things are going to get better. Technology will save us!January 1, 2013 at 1:27 am #6684
Seems to me, a good solution to the energy deficit is to encourage population shifts from the extremes of the North and East, to the milder regions of the South and West. Wasn’t it, after all, cheap energy that enabled growth in frigid northern climes in the first place?
In Europe, maybe more Mediterranean climes should be considered?
Has anyone ever studied the difference between the carbon footprint/monetary cost of structure heating and cooling in San Diego as opposed to Toronto? Detroit as opposed to San Francisco? Orlando/Salt Lake City? London/Rome? Stockholm/Cypress?
I would certainly prefer (and in fact now enjoy) life in mild climates rather than end up sitting in a cold house under an electric blanket every winter.
I would think one could get a bit closer to energy “sustainability” by locating in a place where achieving the comfort zone only requires 10 degrees of heat from outside temperature to inside, as opposed to 60 degrees.
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