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  • in reply to: Widely Visible Symbols Of Human Folly #8101

    If the End Polluter Welfare Act ever gets passed, it will ELIMINATE the following fossil fuel WELFARE SWAG:

    OIL and GAS

     Eliminate royalty relief, including for deep gas and deep water production, 43 USC 1337, 42 USC 15904 and 15905 (Sec 3) – $.01 billion (CBO estimate of just the deep gas and deep water royalty relief, from analysis of S. 916 112th Congress) – this provision repeals authority for the Department of Interior to provide discretionary royalty relief, and also repeals special royalty relief for deep water drilling.

     Ultra deep water research program repeal, 42 USC 16371 (Sec 5) – $.100 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – repeals 2005 public-private partnership to increase offshore production of oil and gas.

     Uncap 75 million for spill liability and 350 million for pipeline clean-up for tar sands, 33 USC 2704 (Sec 6) – current law limits economic damages for an individual offshore oil spill to $75 million, this section would make liability unlimited so that corporations are fully responsible for the damage they cause. It would also uncap liability for spill damages, currently at $350 million, for tar sands pipeline operators.

     Eliminate enhanced oil recovery credit, 26 USC 43 (Sec 14) – 15 percent income tax credit for advanced oil recovery investments.

     Eliminate marginal wells credit, 26 USC 45 I (Sec 14) – tax credit for production from marginal and inefficient wells.

     Eliminate deduction for tertiary injectant 26 USC 193 (Sec 14) – $.100 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – allows deduction for advanced oil recovery investments

     Eliminate manufacturing deduction, 26 USC 199(d)(9) (Sec 14, 19) – $11.883 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – This provision, included in a 2004 law, allows oil and gas industry to claim they are ‘manufacturers’ and take huge tax deductions aimed at incentivizing manufacturing in America.

     Eliminate special rule for oil, gas wells, 26 USC 461(i)(2) (Sec 14) – accelerates deductions for oil and gas corporations.

     Eliminate percentage depletion, 26 USC 613(A) (Sec 14) – $11.465 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – allows oil and gas companies to deduct 15 percent of their sales revenues to reflect declining value of their investment, without regard to the actual decline in value of their investment.

     Eliminate passive loss exemption, 26 USC 469(c)(3) (Sec 14) – $.082 billion (President’s FY2013 budget)– lets oil/ gas company owners and investors use losses from fossil fuel investments to shelter other income.

     Eliminate special depreciation for Alaska natural gas pipeline, 26 USC 168(e)(3) (Sec 14) – eliminates special depreciation provision allowing 7 year depreciation for Alaska natural gas pipelines, instead of standard 15 year depreciation.

     Amortization for pollution control, 26 USC 169 (Sec 14) – $1.6 billion (President’s FY2013 budget)

     Eliminate refinery upgrade deduction, 26 USC 179(c) (Sec 14) – $1.6 billion (Joint Committee Taxation for FY13, 14, 15) – eliminates option to expense 50 percent of costs to upgrade refinery.

     Eliminate expensing of capital costs to comply with EPA rules for refineries, 26 USC 179(B) (Sec 14) – would eliminate special deduction for certain oil refineries related to cost of compliance with EPA low-sulfur pollution rules.

     Eliminate environmental remediation expense deduction, 26 USC 198 (Sec 14) – prevents oil/gas industry from taking deduction for certain environmental clean-up costs.
    Key– provision, statutory or tax code reference, section of the Sanders/Ellison bill, cost savings estimate over ten year
    years and source, and description of provision

     Eliminate intangible drilling oil and gas deduction, 26 USC 263 (Sec 14) – $13.902 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – This provision allows oil and gas companies to immediately deduct the cost of things like wages and supplies, lowering their taxes, instead of normal process of deducting these costs over time.

     Eliminate marginal wells production credit 5 year carryback 26 USC 39(a)(3) (Sec 14) – allows 5 year carryback for marginal wells production credit.

     Eliminate oil and gas Arbitrage bonds exemption 26 USC 148(b)(4 )(Sec 14) – $.086 billion (Green Scissors report 2011, with projections) –

     Eliminate alternative fuel credit for natural gas 26 USC 30C(c) (Sec 15) – $.176 billion (Joint Committee Taxation) – currently natural gas qualifies as an alternative fuel eligible for a tax credit, this provision would remove the credit for natural gas.

     7 year amortization, 26 USC 167(h) (Sec 16) – $1.4 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – tax break created in 2005 to allow certain oil and gas corporations to more quickly amortize incidental drilling costs, reducing taxes paid. This proposal would eliminate the current 2 year amortization and extend it to 7 years.

     Natural gas gathering lines 15 year property, 26 USC 168(e)(3) (Sec 17) – $.5 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – eliminates special provision allowing for 7 year depreciation for natural gas pipelines, returning to the standard 15 year depreciation.

     Increase Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund Financing, 26 USC 4611(c)(2), and Apply Oil Spill taxes to tar sands oil, 26 USC 4612(a) (Sec 24 and 25) -$.717 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – this proposal would institute a 1 penny per barrel increase in the tax that funds the oil spill liability trust fund, in response to BP oil spill in Gulf demonstrating the increased need for oil spill funding, and also would extend this tax to tar sands oils which are currently exempt from it.

     Deny deduction for oil spill costs, Part IX, subchapter B chapter 1 IRC (Sec 26) – $6.792 billion (Joint Committee Taxation score of HR 3852) – BP was able to deduct from its tax liability billions of dollars for certain costs related to remediation from the Gulf oil spill. This provision would ensure that corporations responsible for oil spill clean-up and damages do not get a tax break for paying to clean-up their mess.

     Recover lost royalties on offshore drilling through excise tax (Sec 27) – $10.644 billion (Joint Committee Taxation estimate from 2007, likely a conservative estimate today) – In the 1990’s certain offshore leases were provided without requiring royalty payments from industry, as a means of encouraging drilling when prices were very low. These leases did not have a provision to institute royalties when prices moved higher, causing a significant loss of tens of billions to the taxpayer over the life of leases. This excise tax of 13 percent would ensure that corporations not already paying royalties pay their fair share.

     Termination of last in, first out, accounting for fossil fuel companies, 26 USC Section 472 and 473 (Sec 20) – $29.512 billion (President’s FY2013 budget, assumes only 40% of LIFO savings comes from oil and gas companies, per statement from White House)– This provision allows oil and gas companies to minimize the value of their inventories for tax purposes

     Dual Taxpayer Deduction, 26 USC 901 (Sec 23) – $10.724 billion (President’s FY2013 budget, U.S. Chamber of Commerce says “nearly all” dual capacity taxpayers are oil and gas corporations) – allows oil and gas companies that operate overseas to classify royalty payments to foreign governments as taxes, thereby reducing their U.S. taxes because foreign taxes, unlike royalty payments, are fully deductable.

    TOTAL OIL AND GAS – $101.293 billion over ten years

    Key– provision, statutory or tax code reference, section of the Sanders/Ellison bill, cost savings estimate over ten year years and source, and description of provision


     Eliminate mining exploration deduction, 26 USC 617 (sec 14) – $.44 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – allows coal mining companies to deduct certain exploration and development costs.

     Eliminate mining and solid waste costs 26 USC 468 (Sec 14) – $.4 billion (Joint Committee Taxation) – tax deduction for certain costs related to mining and waste site reclamation and closure.

     Eliminate credit for carbon dioxide sequestration 26 USC 45Q (Sec 15) – provides tax credit of between $10 and $20 per metric ton of carbon sequestered by industrial facilities such as coal plants.

     Eliminate advanced coal credits 26 USC 48A and 48B (Sec 14) – $2 billion (Joint Committee Taxation based on projection of 5 year estimate) – tax credits provided for construction of advanced coal plants.

     Repeal domestic manufacturing deduction for mining, 26 USC 199(c)(4) (Sec 18, 19) – $.271 billion (President’s FY2013 budget)– This provision, from a 2004 law, allows coal industry to claim it is a ‘manufacturer’ and claim deductions aimed at incentivizing American manufacturing.

     Termination of capital gains treatment for royalties from coal, 26 USC 631 (Sec 22) – $.422 billion (President’s FY2013 budget)– this provision was enacted in 1951, and allows coal companies to treat income from coal mines as a capital gain, taxed at 15 percent maximum, instead of regular income which could be taxed at a much higher rate.

     Designate Powder River Basin coal-producing region (Sec 28) – would require BLM to designate Powder River Basin a “coal-producing region” giving federal government more impetus and authority to get a fair return on leases, and not to simply provided leases based on industry needs.

     Fair Market value study Powder River Basin (Sec 28) – requires BLM to do a fair market value study of Powder River Basin to determine if taxpayers are getting a fair return for leases.

     Repeal percentage depletion for coal 26 USC 613 (Sec 21) – $1.744 billion (President’s FY2013 budget)– allows coal companies to deduct 10 percent of their sales revenue to reflect declining value of their investment, regardless of actual value of their investment.

     Eliminate DOE loan guarantees for advanced coal projects, 42 USC 16513 (Sec 10) – $.08 billion ($8 billion in loan guarantees with risk to government calculated at .01%, but risk could be much higher)

    TOTAL COAL – $5.357 billion over ten years

    Key– provision, statutory or tax code reference, section of the Sanders/Ellison bill, cost savings estimate over ten year years and source, and description of provision


     Eliminate nonconventional fuel credit, 26 USC 45K (sec 14) – provides a tax credit for nonconventional fuels including produced from coal and other fossil fuels.

     Increase onshore public lands royalty rate to 18.75 percent, 30 USC 207, 223, 226 (Sec 4) – $.625 billion (Bureau Land Management budget justification FY2013) – would bring onshore public lands royalty rates in line with offshore royalty rates.

     Rescission of funds for World Bank Financing (Sec 7) – would rescind existing funding, and impose a future prohibition, on using U.S. taxpayer funds to finance fossil fuel projects through the World Bank. In 2010 the World Bank provided $4.4 billion for coal financing.

     Termination of DOE office of fossil energy R&D, 42 USC 7133 (Sec 8 ) – $3.68 billion (based on FY2012 DOE budget, over ten years, assuming no increase) – would eliminate taxpayer-backed research and development programs for the fossil fuel industry.

     ARPA-E no funding for fossil fuels (Sec 9) – would eliminate taxpayer-backed research and development programs for fossil fuel industry.

     Eliminate USDA loans or guarantees for coal, oil, or gas, 7 USC 931 (Sec 11) – would eliminate USDA loans or loan guarantees for coal plants, as well as other fossil fuel plants or projects.

     Rescission of funds for OPIC and Export-Import Bank (Sec 12) – Would rescind existing funds, and impose a future prohibition, on using U.S. taxpayer funds to finance fossil fuel projects through OPIC and Export-Import Bank. In 2011 the Export-Import Bank helped to finance nearly $5 billion in oil and gas industry projects, and hundreds of millions for coal-related projects.

     No Federal transportation funding for coal, oil, or gas rail or port projects (Sec 13) – would prohibit federal transportation funds for rail or port projects designed to transport and/or export fossil fuels.

     Eliminate Master Limited Partnerships for oil and gas and coal companies, 26 USC 7704(d)(1)(E) (Sec 14) – $2.4 billion (Joint Committee Taxation, based on projection of 5 year estimate) – would eliminate special partnership option for fossil fuel corporations and investors which is currently not available for clean energy companies.

     Additional subsidies (Sec 29) – requires the Treasury Department to identify any additional fossil fuel production subsidies not already eliminated in this bill, and issue a report to Congress quantifying their cost to the taxpayer.

    TOTAL OTHER FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES – $6.705 billion over ten years

    GRAND TOTAL, ALL FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES – $113.355 billion over ten years

    Become a citizen co-sponsor here: :icon_sunny:

    in reply to: Widely Visible Symbols Of Human Folly #8055

    Follow the MONEY to see how Fossil Fuelers preserve Fossil Fuel PROFITS & POISONS and PREVENT CLIMATE CHANGE legislation, DENY climate change EXISTS AND PREVENT SUBSIDIES for RENEWABLE ENERGY


    Ban burning fossil fuels NOW! I don’t CARE how much our living standard drops! Survival beats[color=marroon] slow suicide ANY TIME![.color]

    in reply to: Widely Visible Symbols Of Human Folly #8054

    The nuclear nuts are at it again. Yes those very same people that changed the CORRECT scientific term for CONCENTRATING Uranium to “ENRICH” (I.E. EMPOOR and EMPOISON!”) have the brass to propose SiC as new cladding material for nuclear fuel roads to “solve” the Fukushima “problem” LOL! And the fossil fuelers that wail and moan about ALL THAT ENERGY needed to make PV panels are QUIET AS MICE about using EVEN MORE ENERGY in a high temperature Silicon industrial process (gee, sorta like the high temperature Silicon industrial process for PV!) to package nuclear fuel rods.

    Madison Avenue and scientific boondoggles are joined at the hip in nuclear poison technology.

    New Nuclear Fuel-Rod Cladding Could Lead to Safer Power
    A team of researchers at MIT is developing an alternative that could provide similar protection for nuclear fuel, while reducing the risk of hydrogen production by roughly a thousandfold. Tests of the new cladding material, a ceramic compound called silicon carbide (SiC), are described in a series of papers appearing in the journal Nuclear Technology

    [b]Full pro-nuclear puff piece here[b]–+Alternative+Fuels%29

    in reply to: Widely Visible Symbols Of Human Folly #8053

    Gurursid said,
    More recently I have been active in finding out ways to ‘sustainably’ garden the Earth: see here and herewith such projects as the No Dig allotment experiment with some students in the North of England, and with others helping to set up a local sustainability initiative including sharing land to grow food on.

    I had a house – see here I had adapted to be as sustainable as the circumstances would allow, but I sold this to get out of debt. I now live in a small space (6′ x 8′) in a shared house and out of the back of my camper car which runs on bio-diesel made from old cooking oil (when I can get it). I am in the process of starting up a social enterprise to move LLUTE (Live Lightly Upon The Earth – you heard it first hear!) Projects forwards in my local area, with a ‘franchise’ element to allow others to do the same.
    – See more at:

    Yes am interested. I will watch the video and study your links. Thank you. You are credit to Homo sapiens in general and the biosphere in particular.

    As Ilargi implied, responsible behavior among humans seems to be the “affliction” of a small minority of Homo sapiens. I salute you for giving us hope and being on the side of the angels.

    in reply to: Widely Visible Symbols Of Human Folly #8049

    GURUSID SAID “Can you tell us a little of what you have done yourself on the ground so to speak?”

    Read all about me at the doomstead diner on the Energy, Waste based society thread.

    Since 1996 I have walked the FRUGALITY IS FREEDOM talk. I don’t travel on aircraft, drive less than 2,000 miles a year, shovel my snow. roof rake and push mow. I walk the talk despite having a modest pension. My home is 980 square feet for two people and a cat.

    I wrote this article providing hard data and detailed analysis of our energy situation, the flaws in the EROEI formulation and what we can do about it.

    Hope for viable biosphere of Renewables;
    Why they work and Fossil and nuclear fuels NEVER DID

    Your turn, Sid. :>)

    in reply to: Widely Visible Symbols Of Human Folly #8045


    What’s it going to take to STOP this MADNESS of POISONING AQUIFERS though FRACKING

    in reply to: Widely Visible Symbols Of Human Folly #8044

    US Sues Exxon Fracker in Pennsylvania Over Polluted Drinking Water

    A federal lawsuit claims hydraulic fracking has polluted public drinking waters in Pennsylvania with toxic wastes.

    July 25, 2013 |

    WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (CN) – The United States sued Exxon subsidiary XTO Energy, claiming its hydraulic fracking has polluted public drinking waters in Pennsylvania with toxic wastes.

    The federal lawsuit was filed almost simultaneously with reports from ABC , CBS and The Associated Press that claimed a “landmark federal study” showed “no evidence
    :evil5: :evil6: that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site

    Both the “landmark” study and the federal lawsuit involve fracking in the Marcellus Shale formation.

    The results of the study, done on a contract from the Department of Energy, were called preliminary. It alleged that the toxic chemicals that oil companies injected into the ground to force natural gas or oil out of it stayed below the aquifer from which Pennsylvanians pump drinking water.

    But in the lawsuit, the United States cites XTO’s natural gas well pad and storage facility in Hughesville, Lycoming County, for unauthorized discharges of flowback fluid and produced fluid.

    Fracking is a big issue in energy-producing Pennsylvania, though a complacent Legislature has bent over to muzzle public debate on it.

    One year ago, a physician sued the state , claiming it passed an unconstitutional “Medical Gag Rule” that prohibited him and other doctors from talking about the effects of fracking on public heath.

    Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez called Act 13 of 2012 a gift from the Legislature to polluting energy drillers.

    [Full Story Here:[I][b]

    [move][b][I]What’s it going to take to STOP THIS MADNESS of POISINING AQUIFERS! :angry4: [/move]

    in reply to: Widely Visible Symbols Of Human Folly #8040

    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.

    [move]Save as many as you can! [/move]

    in reply to: Widely Visible Symbols Of Human Folly #8039

    Excellent, informative, logical, well researched and somewhat depressing article, Ilargi.

    “If we would be obliged by our laws, in every decision we make, to take into account what the consequences would be for coming generations, a lot of our decisions would be different from what they are now. So why don’t we?”

    Good question. You seem to believe there is no hope and we are, perhaps, an evolutionary dead end.

    I share Ashvin’s view that there is SOME hope.

    “At the end of the day, though, we DO have a capacity for selfless love, also unique, and how much of that we can muster to reflect in our lives, families and communities is what will count.”

    I don’t think Ashvin is a fool to believe that Homo sapiens may yet find the will to act rationally as a matter of enlightened self interest. I firmly believe this.

    To give up on mankind and claim anyone believing there is a way to successfully address this problem of our waste based society (accumulating so many toxic products that we choke on them and perish) and reach a state of harmony with the biosphere is a FOOL is a bit harsh.

    In the hopes of convincing you and Stoneleigh of the flaws in your logic and propose a probable, reasonable and doable solution with present technology to our present suicidal trajectory, I present this document here because it dovetails with your concern for our future and might give you some hope.

    Granted, as you and Golden Oxen claim, there may not BE any hope and I am a fool.

    We shall see. The point is, whatever you do believe, attacking the status quo of fossil fuel use, as you are down with nuclear power poison, is mandatory if we are to escape extinction. I’m not ready to give up yet.

    Open letter to Nicole Foss

    By A. G. Gelbert

    PART I

    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 terms

    [size=14pt]The 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”.

    [size=10pt] The Great Transition, Part I: From Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy
    Lester R. Brown

    [color=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.

    [b][i]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 Hansen

    1. 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.
    “Magnitude and imminence” compose most of the climate story.[b]

    It’s about money and power.

    [b]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.

    [b]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?[/b]

    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

    Today, 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:

    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.

    [size=12pt]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

    [b]direct proportion to the percent penetration of Renewable energy machin

    in reply to: Renewable Energy: The Vision And A Dose Of Reality #7969

    My, my Nicole! What a propaganda Tour De Force! The Breakthrough Institute or the Heartland institute or The Oil Drum (closing down at the end of July 2013 from lack of interest LOL) must be proud of you for dishing out so many of their pet talking points and using lots of “convincing” graphics too.

    FIRST, this bit of news destroys your argument against wind turbines.

    GE’s Brilliant Wind Turbine — Wind Power Cheaper Than Coal Or Natural Gas

    Here’s something else for you to chew on. Your entire premise on energy is flawed because you base it on Professor Hall’s (thoroughly gamed in favor of fossil fuels and AGAINST renewable energy) EROEI formula.

    I point out the most obvious flaws below. But, as a rather successful pro-fossil fuel propagandists, I’m sure YOU know them all quite well and are very carful to make sure they aren’t mentioned. Have a nice day.

    Professor Charles Hall lecture on EROEI, Fossil Fuels and Industrialized Civilization

    Analysis of Charles Hall’s assumptions about the relationship of EROEI for fossil fuels on human society

    By A. G. Gelbert

    FIRST WRONG ASSUMPTION: We OWE our industrial wealth to fossil fuels BECAUSE they are CHEAP.

    1) Our “wealth” is an illusion that denies massive biosphere COSTS manifested by environmental degradation.

    2) Supposed corollary of this “wealth”, the population explosion, correlates with increased fossil use to industrialize human civilization. He ASSUMES this correlation equates to causation. He ignores the fact that scientific knowledge of germs (UNRELATED TO FOSSIL FUELS) resulted in elimination of the MAIN cause of low life expectancy (death in childbirth and before age 5!) averages in Homo SAP. 😮 ANYBODY that made it past 5 years of age BEFORE the industrial revolution had almost the same life expectancy of around 75 that we have now. GOOGLE IT!

    3) He ASSUMES that the ONLY way the energetic processes in our current civilizational status quo can be maintained is with fossil fuels. He did say, “This is serious business” when showing a slide of a PV array that could provide for a human family’s EROEI but he, interestingly, did not elaborate. Why? Because HE isn’t interested in talking about renewable energy sources. PERIOD.

    SECOND WRONG ASSUMPTION: Without “cheap” oil, mass starvation and civilizational collapse will occur.

    1) Cuba went through that scenario and PROVED HIM WRONG. How did they do it? By going 100% organic so fossil fuel based fertilizers were no longer needed and by planting gardens in the cities so fossil fuel transport of food was minimized. Yes, they lost an average 20 lbs. per cuban but there was no mass starvation, panic, collapse or disease plagues from lack of fossil fuel supported health care. Everything limped along at a slightly lower level. They learned the lesson that fossil fuels are a CRUTCH, not a salvation. consequently they have been moving (slowly, hinderd by “cheap” oil from Venezuela) to renewables. (1)
    Watch his reaction when Cuba is mentioned to him in the above video.

    By the way, Cheetahs (from the discussion in the video) MUST be successful in the hunt 25% of the time in order to survive in the wild. Professor Hall is under the impression that they fail 90% of the time. Not true. They fail an average of 75% of the time. That’s on a video on Cheetahs and a study recently done posted on the Agelbert Newz Channel.
    I guess the prof will have revise his Cheetah EROEI numbers. 😉

    SNIPPETS from a Working Paper entitled “Cuba’s Response to Energy Crisis”.

    3.4. Agriculture Using Less Energy

    [size=14pt][color=red]Responding to severe energy deficit, Cuba has implemented an alternative agriculture.

    Oppenheim (2001) has well summarized their efforts.

    First, to reduce insecticide consumption that required large amount of energy from agro-chemistry, they have introduced biological control agents to protect crops against pests. Species from bacteria, fungi, parasites, ants, and nematodes were deployed.

    Second, Cuban scientists have seen some success to find antagonist microorganism to biologically control plant diseases and Cuban farmers could avoid use of fungicides and other chemicals.

    Third, reduction of pesticides was another imperative to use less energy. Crop rotation was effective. Competitive crops like corn were able to suppress small weeds for one year. The next year, beans could grow without significant threat of weeds.

    Fourth, Cuban farmers used organic soil management to reduce fossil-fuel consuming fertilizer application. Introduction of microbes such as nitrogen-fixing bacteria, bacteria that make more phosphorous available and root-symbiotic fungi micorrhizae was successful. Green manure using a fast-growing legume, inter-cropping, large-scale production of earthworm humus, and sugarcane residue recycling also enriched Cuban soil without chemicals.

    Urban agriculture is one of Cuban people’s efforts to solve energy shortage. Because vehicle fuels are not sufficient, it is not easy for urban residents to buy cheap vegetables from far-away farms. So they started to grow vegetables on their balconies, patios, and rooftops. To help the urban population, the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) has made a department exclusively for the capital city Havana in 1994. Since then, Cuban people made use of every small patch of land in urban area. (Bas, 2006) Thanks to this ‘urban agriculture’, half of the Havana’s vegetable consumption and 60% of the Cuba’s overall vegetable consumption are produced in urban gardens (Pfeiffer, 2006).
    The result is remarkable. While Cuba’s population has increased from 10.7 million in 1990-1992 to 11.3 million in 2001-2003, the number of undernourished people fell from 0.7 million down to 0.2 million. In contrast, its energy-rich neighbor Venezuela’s undernourished population increased from 2.3 million to 4.5 million during the same period. (FAO, 2006)

    4. Cuba’s Sustainable Energy Future – Environmental Concerns

    Cuba’s efforts to reduce energy dependency have been successful in many ways. Air pollution was improved. Emissions of CO2, N2O, NOX, CO, and VOC (volatile organic compounds) have been decreasing or flattened, although the concentrations of SO2, CO, VOC from the electricity generation sector have began to exceed the level before the Special Period. (Pérez, et al., 2003)

    5. Conclusion – Lessons from Cuba

    With the U.S. embargo that has been imposed on Cuba for almost half a century, Cuba has well survived. Although the collapse of U.S.S.R. brought a critical material shortage, Cuba has not lost its economic and political integrity. Especially in its energy sector, Cuba’s achievement is evident. While trying to develop domestic oil and natural gas reserve, the island country also have taken measures to save energy. Renewable energy sources contributed to Cuba’s efforts to make them more energy-independent. Organic agriculture and urban agriculture using much less energy than before were marvelously developed. Although there’re some environmental problems, Cuba’s energy future seems to be sustainable. The promising deep ocean oil and natural gas reserves are additional gift for this country.
    Cuba’s experience can teach lessons for many countries. First, countries in energy famine like North Korea must learn from Cuba its energy savings and organic agriculture. Second, every country should learn how Cuba has changed their way of life in the Special Period. Any country can suffer from energy depletion whether it’s due to political instability in energy exporting countries or it’s due to irreversible global depletion of non-renewable energy resource.

    Working Paper

    Cuba’s Response to Energy Crisis

    Hun Park

    Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, University of Delaware.

    Version: March 2010

    Has Cuba done everything right? Nope. They have a lot of government idiots there as much in love with OIL as we do here. They are now at 70% reliance on fossil fuels and are doing all they can to drill for oil. So a lot of them, like Professor Hall, still don’t get it.

    Cuba’s INCREASE in food production in crop quality and yield when they went full organic proves the fossil fuel fertilizer backed “Green Revolution” is another cooked up fossil fuel LIE. (1)

    Cuba has ENVIABLE solar power resources (PV at around 19 degrees north latitude is far more productive than PV farther north) that mostly remain untapped. They just need more PV and wind power (the prevailing easterlies are constant in the tropics). Then they could go to EVs and dispense with fossil fuels altogether.

    No, I don’t think, as Professor Hall does, that their population will explode if they have enough renewable energy. WHY? Because the very definition of renewable energy links it to biosphere viability.

    Populations of ALL species in the biosphere are a consideration in determining whether an energy source is renewable or not. Sustainability is part of the package that leads to serious appraisal of population issues; something TOTALLY ABSENT in the world of fossil fuel piggery.

    Video on the Cuban energy crisis and how Community Solutions enabled them to survive

    Experience is the best teacher. Professor Hall is about to learn that while he watches slack jawed as renewable energy replaces fossil fuels AND improves the quality of life for Homo SAP WITHOUT leading to population increases or energy collapse. His pals in the petroluem industry won’t like it very much either.

    THIRD WRONG ASSUMPTION: Oil EROEI is inversely proportional to price.

    1) Engineered price hikes from derivatives and futures are unrelated to extraction technology or oil availability (i.e. EROEI). This price riggging has had much more to do with the price than his faulty oil EROEI price relation assumption.

    2) Manipulated or contrived wars and war scares in oil producing countries are also contributing much more to price than the energy necessary to extract said oil. Remember, his EROEI math assumes THAT SUPPLY AND DEMAND is a function of the energy used to extract the oil, PERIOD. This IGNORES competing technologies from renewable energy that are contributing to DEMAND DESTRUCTION of oil.
    The obvious proof that he is wrong is the simple fact that, as DEMAND for oil has dropped, the price has gone UP, not DOWN. ANYONE can look at the total oil storage in tanks in the USA and see that they are far above normal, yet the price is higher this year than last. WHY? Manipulation, NOT EROEI!

    Petroleum reserve stocks in the USA

    3) While claiming seriously that respiration in animals is part of THEIR EROEI (I fully agree! ) energy cost, he TOTALLY IGNORES the fact that the animal called Homo SAP has had his RESPIRATION COMPROMISED by atmospheric pollution from fossil fuels. While he lauds the HIGH EROEI of oil, he turns a blind eye to how oil was LOWERING the EROEI of Homo SAP through pollution related increase in respiratory illnesses, among other toxic effects of fossil fuels. That’s where his “Hey, the population went up so your health IMPROVED” fallacy comes in that totally ignores the actual demographic dynamics resulting from antiseptic procedures for birth and early child care. Our HEALTH was DEGRADED, not improved. Why doesn’t anyone ever asks him how bone cancer from breathing benzene fumes contributed to our population explosion? Benzene was originally favored by automobile engine manufacturers over gasoline (ethanol was/IS superior to both but manipulated out of the market – see Rockefeller funding drive for Prohibition). Gasoline makes us sick too. It just takes longer and is harder to prove as the only irritant. How convenient. :evil4:

    4) After going on and on about how much oil benefits mankind, he flips that on its head by claiming that in order to provide HEALTH CARE to a society (including those workers, that, you know, pull the oil out of the ground), you need to get above the 18:1 EROEI. WTF!!!? If the PURPOSE of using OIL in civilization is to make our life BETTER through a “high” EROEI, how can he ignore the equal and opposite effect fossil fuel pollution has on Homo SAP EROEI? ???

    I mean, this learned professor and former ecologist studied fish and other animals’ EROEI. I’m sure he hasn’t forgotten that we are animals too, RIGHT? The whole point of OUR biochemical existence is to keep OUR EROEI high, not to keep OIL’s EROEI high, is it not? According to Professor Hall, health care is a benny we get when the oil EROEI is above 18:1 or so. Below 18:1 we just have to “go without” so the oil extracting corporate pig can get sufficient profit. What an AMAZING piece of flawed logic for a scientist.

    I’m certain this makes sense to an asshole running a predatory capitalist corporation planning to externalize environmental costs but it is TOTALLY UNSCIENTIFIC for Professot Hall to take this view and then add insult to injury by claiming he is a “scientist” that views cities, people and energy resources as “systems”. BULLSHIT!

    His EROEI formula, in order to be scientifically objective, HAD to include all downstream health effects on Homo SAP. For example, how would Professor Hall figure the change in EROEI of a WHALE if its breeding grounds were covered by an oil spill? Do you get the picture? Well, HE doesn’t seem to want to look in that direction, does he? Too bad for the whales but the oil EROEI has to be kept high, right?

    But we aren’t whales, you might say. Think about the absurdity of a biological organism such as ourselves voicing that thought about a poison that kills other mammals.:iamwithstupid: We CANNOT “extenalize” poisons in the biosphere; we can only limit them by NOT spreading them around for the thrill of running internal combustion emgines. This is not hard.

    I ACCUSE Professor Hall of the geatest sin a scientist can commit, namely, loss of scientific objectivity. His EROEI formulations are heavily slanted in favor of fossil fuels and against renewable energy sources. I have written at length about how patently ridiculous the EROEI of various fuels in his SUNY study are here:

    “Hope For a Viable Biosphere of Renewables; Why they Work and Fossil and Nuclear Fuels Never Did”

    The article is found in the Energy section under “Waste Based Society Series”. There are over 30 pages of comments dealing with many aspects of energy use and waste in our society. I invite all readers to enjoy the many discussions from page 1 to, as of last posting, 37.

    If Professor Hall wishes to regain his objectivity so as to avoid foolish statements like corn ethanol having a low EROEI compared to gasoline (as if ethanol could ONLY be made from the fossil fuel fertilizer, machine plowing and harvesting PIG called corn and not sugar cane – Brazil – or Lemna minor – duckweed(3) – or algae, for that matter), then he should endorse my article and incorporate my suggestions into his EROEI formulation.

    I am willling to provide consultation and will try to remain civil through EROEI discussions. :icon_mrgreen:

    But remember, Professor Hall and Associates, friends colleagues and supporters of fossil fuels, I DON’T DANCE.

    Questions for Professor Charles Hall of SUNY study on EROEI of various energy resources:

    1) Where did he get the rationale of EROEI on a fuel source, given the fact that the fuel source produces zero mechanical energy until it is actually oxidized in an ICE? ALL the inefficiencies of the ICE SHOULD have been subtracted from the EROEI. Stopping at enthalpy is not a practical metric for fuels that must be run in an ICE to get usable energy.

    2) Why did he ignore the inefficiencies of the ICE including the reductions caused by catalytic converters when figuring EROEI for fossil fuels? Stopping at the refinery product is useless. It would have been simple to burn all fuels in a high compression baseline ICE of a given horsepower that was average for the millions of car engines out there. ICE’s of the same size could have been adapted to propane, gasoline or ethanol (after removing the catalytic converter). A study with such wide ranging implications for energy users should NOT have had such happy numbers.

    3) Why did he claim ethanol had a lower EROEI than gasoline when ethanol gets better mileage AND requires no catalytic converter on the ICE as long as you have a high compression ICE burning it.? U.S. Navy labs proved that ethanol was a superior fuel as far back as 1906. Why did he ignore their thorough research and experiments on gasoline and ethanol? (2) (3)

    4) Why did he ignore the abysmal work conditions in coal mines when he made the statement that coal, like petroleum, had a much higher EROEI at first? Competing renewable energy technologies like geothermal and CSP (concentated solar power) can provide just as much power cleanly without compromising workers’ or society’s health yet he gives those technologies a LOW EROEI. (4) (5) WHY?

    5) Why did he ignore the massive freebies in the fossil fuel subsidies and drilling rights when figuring the EROEI? By rights, these boosts unfairly facilitated fossil fuels so he should have REDUCED the EROEI to what extraction costs WITHOUT subsidies would have been.

    6) Why did he not figure in the cost of manufacturing drilling rigs, support vehicles, ocean tankers and environmental impact from the common flushing of tanker oil compartments into the oceans all the way up to the 1990s?

    7) Why did he ignore the cost of our military activity in preserving shipping routes for oil tankers and wars in oil producing countries to “safeguard” U.S. access to petroleum?
    ]NOTE: 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.

    8 ) How does he justify the claim that Renewable energy devices like wind turbines and PV panels have a low EROEI because of the energy required to manufacture them when no such criteria was applied by HIM and his colleagues in the SUNY study of EROEI for fossil fuels?

    9) Why did he not subtract the energy required to safeguard used nuclear fuel rods for a few hundred years when making his high EROEI claims for nuclear power?

    10) Why does he think the environmental damage caused by fossil and nuclear fuels for the last 100 years or so is an acceptable tradeoff for our industrialized civilization? If he says he never said that then I would counter that the instant he concocted an EROEI formula that excluded environmental costs, he was making the “it’s worth it regardless of the environmental costs” case. What’s more, he is acting as if those environmental costs are negligible. (6)

    11) How much should fossil fuel corporations who got fabulously wealthy by ignoring climate externalities pay to bioremediate the atmosphere, oceans and land of the damage they have caused and subsidize health care for the Americans (for starters) with various respiratory illnesses and cancers caused by Volatile Organic compounds? If he says we ALL enjoyed the benefits so we should ALL pay equally, I would counter that ONLY the fossil fuel corporations got rich. They received EXACTLY the same conveniences as the rest of us PLUS the profit along with continuous subsidies paid by we-the-people. So ONLY the fossil fuel corporations should pay for the damage. It’s high time the losses were privatized; not just the profits.

    12) Why does his Momma wear combat boots? Just kidding! :icon_mrgreen:

    [move]But I’M NOT KIDDING with the other 11 questions! Pass this around, people. The planet you save may be your own.[/move]


    (1) The “Green Revolution’ fossil fuel LIE

    (2) **”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.”
    Hope for a viable biosphere
    Renewables, why they work and fossil and nuclear fuels never did

    (3) Duckweed post

    (4) Geothermal post

    (5) CSP post:

    (6) Gas fracking corruption posts


    [move]Yeah, I know that globe LOOKS like it’s rotating the WRONG WAY, But TRUST US, It’s REALLY rotating THE RIGHT WAY for ENERGY PROGRESS…[/move]

    Ladies and gentlemen, I speak before you on a subject of paramount importance! We must stop spending outrageous amounts of totally unjustified GOBS of WASTEFUL energy in making devices that simply DO NOT generate more energy than is used to manufacture them!

    I speak of that wasteful device called a PUSH MOWER! 😮 Have you any idea how much energy it takes to, like, HEAT metal to temperatures necessary to make the blades and bar for a push mower!!? :cwmddd:

    Why is that important? Because we must be careful about building things that don’t run on fossil fuels. 😳 Uh, I mean we don’t want to waste one tiny bit of the energy we have, now do we? ;D

    So how do we find the answer to this energy question scientifically, truthfully, objectively and without any fibs either? :icon_mrgreen:

    Well, first we must take a Systems Approach (very scientific, you see ) to the issue.

    A push mower lasts about 30 years. During that time a lawn is mowed about 6 times a year for a total of 180 times (average for 36.5 varieties of monocotyledon grass species growing at our United States of Texas land exploitation research parcels :evil6: ).

    After carefully computing the number of blade rotations and BTUs generated by a, sniff, tree hugger human during this period, our team of Exxon scientists (:oops: I mean objective systems approach scientific personnel , of course :icon_mrgreen:) determined that the generated BTUs TO CUT THE GRASS ARE ONLY 25% of the BTUs needed to manufacture the push mower!

    This waste is a great grass stain on our society. :sorry: :whip:

    Energy, energy, energy! We can’t go wasting the precious, lovely, cheap, wholesome, high energy density fossil fuels we are running low on to make push mowers. We need that fossil fuel for our power mowers!

    You see, if we don’t make those silly, uneconomical, LOW EROEI push mowers, the ICE (internal combustion engine) powered mowers will do the job with an average of 70% time savings on mowed lawns. Everyone knows that time saved equals a humongous amount of BTUs!

    You can then personally use all that energy to day trade fossil fuel stocks. Say what? Yeah, you can trade other stocks too but we are just trying to be objective here (Charlie, get that wise guy outta here. ;)).

    This research was brought to you out of the kindness of the heart of the

    Institute for the Scientific, Objective, Unbiased, Legal, Apple Pie Study of Accurate Assessments of NON-ICE powered Machines Damaging Our Oil Picture (ISOULAPSAANIMDOP). 8)

    Our Corporate Headquarters are at P.O. Box 666, Cayman Islands.

    [move]Don’t miss the ISOULAPSAANIMDOP research soon to be published on the subject of energy to manufacture the horrendously wasteful Snow Shovels :emthdown:- VERY LOW EROEI – versus Snow throwers/Blowers :emthup:… :evil5: :evil6: :LolLolLolLol: [/move]

    in reply to: Waste Based Society III: Solutions and Alternatives #4514

    This is the story of Oil Tankers and pollution in the world’s oceans. This occurs out out sight of virtually everyone not crewing the tankers and port facilities and out of mind of everyone that isn’t working for or associated with the fossil fuel corporations. With the willing complicity of governments, the environment has consistently been sacrificed to ensure high profit margins for fossil fuel corporations.

    It’s not like the information is secret. I easily obtained the data on the internet. The problem is that the public is deliberately keep uninformed of this unending oil spill trashing the oceans day in and day out by the media that wishes us to believe that accidental oil spills are the biggest problem and operational oil spills (accidental oil spills are a separate category from operational – day to day – oil spills) are to be ignored.

    The media are, of course, defending a status quo that is, in my opinion, unsustainable. These corporate lackeys probably know that if a continuing drumbeat of how much oil is spilled on a daily basis with accumulated monthly and yearly totals from operational procedures was in the public view, renewables would begin to be pursued more assiduously. So that’s why you don’t see any oil pollution tonnage display like the national debt accrual display or the population increase clock. Besides, the media dwells in sensationalism and infantilized (short attention span) news stories, not actual news. In this study I do not address accidental oil spills from tankers, undersea wells or non-tanker ocean going vessels. I mention the Exxon Valdez briefly only in regard to the double bottom tanker construction safety issue.

    If you believe fossil fuels have actually helped mankind, I hope to convince you that the damage they are doing now, regardless of the early advances and conveniences brought to us by them in the 20th century, is killing us and needs to be phased out for our survival and much of the biosphere as well.
    Tankers are ships that are designed to carry bulk liquid cargoes such as crude oil or gasoline without the use of barrels or other small containers.

    Tankers vary in size from 200 ft used in coastal waters to 1/4 mile long supertankers. The cost of transporting oil obviously decreases as the tanker size increases. Huge supertankers have maneuverability problems and can present a hazard to other shipping.

    The first bulk carrier was the brig Elizabeth Watts which in 1861 took the first large consignment of oil, in large wooden barrels, from Pennsylvania to London, England. Owing to the stresses and strains of the long sea voyage, many of the barrels split and leaked oil into the timbers of the ship. By 1869, a new vessel, the Charles, had been fitted with iron tanks. These were rectangular in section to fit the shape of the ship’s hold. Each hold contained a number of containers, but in the following years, the containers grew to fill the entire hold.

    The first custom built ships were the Atlantic and the Valderland. These were both iron-hulled and built in Britain, on the river Tyne, in the early 1880s. The Atlantic was a sailing ship, but the Valderland pointed to the future by adopting steam power. The most successful tankship of the era was the Glucklauf, which could carry 3,500 tons of oil.

    As the amount of oil carried increased, the “free surface effect” from oil sloshing around in the hold tanks began to cause stability problems. A trunk design was developed to limit sloshing.

    Then in the early years of the 20th century, tankers began to change from coal-fired to oil-fired boilers.

    In the 1920s, the trunk deck vessels were superseded by summer tank designs, so called because extra tanks that could be used in the Summer Load Lines zones were fitted alongside the trunk.

    The modern tanker was introduced in the 1930s. The essence of the design were twin longitudinal bulkheads fitted in the tank space. This stopped cargo movement and saved on materials over the summer tank design.

    Except for the new double hulled tankers of today, the main difference between the tankers of the 1930s and today is their size. So, from the 10,000 tons DWT (deadweight) of the 1930s modern ships have grown to 300,000 tonners – VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carriers) – and can be as large as 500,000 tons – ULCCs (Ultra Large Crude Carriers).

    Most ship designers aim to use pumps (four main cargo pumps) which can empty a ship in 12 hours for a 24 hour turnaround time. Various systems come into play in cargo transfer like pumping engine exhaust gases into the holds to limit oxygen so the chances of a ship turning into a large bomb are reduced.

    IMCO (International Maritime Consultative Organization) was created in 1948 in order to produce regulations to increase safety.

    In 1978 the TSPP (Maritime Pollution Protocol on Tanker Safety and Pollution Prevention) made six recommendations on tanker design and modifications to existing tankers.

    New tankers were to have segregated ballast tanks to reduce pollution of the world’s oceans. It was common practice to FILL CARGO TANKS WITH SEA WATER TO ACT AS BALLAST when a tanker was traveling empty; almost without exception, tankers are only laden in one direction of their journey, owing to the geographical distribution of the world’s oilfields and the impossibility of carrying other kinds of cargo. The USE OF SEA WATER FOR BALLAST CAUSED MORE POLLUTION THAN THE HIGHLY PUBLICIZED TANKER DISASTERS.

    To control pollution, regulations have been brought in to design separate ballast tanks, so that sea water brought on board does not become polluted with oil products.

    Pages 2733-2735 of source:
    The New Illustrated Science and Invention Encyclopedia
    H.S. Stuttman Inc. (Publishers) Westport, Connecticut 06880
    It is estimated that 85 percent of all oil outflows from tank vessels results from operational procedures. Segregated ballast tanks, dedicated clean ballast tanks, and crude oil washing systems are aimed at reducing operational oil pollution. The following is a brief discussion on the three causes of operational oil pollution:

    1. Ballasting operations. On a normal tank vessel, water is introduced into cargo tanks that previously carried oil to ballast the vessel so that it can efficiently and safely proceed to a loading port. During this ballast voyage the oil water mixture is generally processed by a
    technique called “load on top.” This technique is simply to let the oil separate from the water naturally. The oil rises to the top to the water which significantly reduces the amount of oil mixed in with the water (oil/water emulsions). The “clean” water is then discharged overboard and the oil is retained on board with the next load of cargo “loaded on top.” As can be expected, some of the oil/water emulsions are discharged overboard, resulting in operational oil pollution.

    2. Tank cleaning. Cargo tanks are cleaned for two primary reasons. The first is to optimize the cargo carrying capacity of the cargo tank. During a normal voyage, sludge settles out of the oil and clings to the tank sides. Over a period of time this builds up to such a thickness that the tank is not carrying its maximum capacity of cargo. The second reason for cleaning cargo tanks is to ensure cargo purity. This is usually more prevalent on product carriers.

    Tank washing with high pressure water jets knocks this residue off the tank sidesand the resulting oily water mixture is processed by “load on top” as described above.

    Normally 25 percent of the vessel’s cargo tanks are cleaned in this manner on each voyage.

    When tank cleaning is conducted to maintain cargo purity, the number of tanks cleaned and the frequency of cleaning will be increased.

    3. Sludge removal prior to shipyard entry. Removing sludge prior to shipyard entry is a somewhat different exercise than the tank cleaning conducted to increase vessel cargo carrying efficiency. Sludge which is not removed during the tank washing settles to the bottom of the tank and becomes a thick dense mass of extremely heavy hydrocarbon and

    Normally, prior to shipyard entry, this sludge must be removed by hand. The sludge is “hand Bucked” and lifted to the deck in barrels or buckets.

    Much of the sludge is ultimately disposed of at sea.

    Page 5 of source:

    During the winter of 1976/1977 several tanker casualties occurred in or near U.S. waters which demonstrated the need for a global effort to improve both the level of safety and degree of pollution prevention from oil tankers. This series of casualties resulted in great public concern within the United States over the risks associated with the marine transportation of oil. Demands for the federal government to take additional steps to improve tanker safety and pollution revention were evident.
    Both the Executive Branch of the federal government and the Congress responded to these demands. An Interagency Oil Pollution Task Force was established to review the problem and make recommendations. As a result, on which 17, 1977, President Carter announced a series of desired federal government actions to deal with the problem of marine oil pollution caused by oil tankers.

    These Presidential Initiatives included a diverse but interrelated group of measures designed to reduce the risks associated with the marine transportation of oil. These measures, both international and
    domestic in nature and scope, were aimed toward achieving a number of objectives. including reform of ship construction and equipment standards for all U. S. oil tankers of 20,000 DWT and above and foreign oil tankers of 20,000 DWT and above that enter U. S. ports.

    Specifically, the Secretary of Transportation was directed to develop new rules within 60 days
    which would include:
    – Double bottoms on all new tankers.
    – Segregated ballast on all tankers.
    – Inert gas systems on all tankers.
    – Backup radar and collision avoidance equipment on all tankers.
    – Improved emergency steering gear standards for all tankers.
    – Where technological improvements and alternative: could be shown to achieve the same
    degree of safety or protection against pollution, the rules could allow their use.

    In response to these Presidential Initiatives the Coast Guard published proposed rules in the May 16, 1977 Issue of the Federal Register (42 CFR 24868) to incorporate the recommended changes to tanker
    construction and equipment standards. Over 200 written comments were received in response to the proposals, most of which indicated support for the more stringent tanker standards.

    Page 3 of source:

    On October 17, 1978 the Port and Tanker Safety Act of 1978 (PTSA) became law, amending the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1973, and mandated, as a minimum, the tanker construction and
    equipment standards developed at the TSPP Conference. The PTSA became the new authority for issuing the regulations which implement the TSPP standards.

    Page 4 of source:
    All the above sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? You don’t know how the fossil fuel lobby works if you believe that. Even as the wording of the new regulations and law were being written, they were busy modifying the language.
    The Coast Guard issued these new proposed regulations in the Federal Register on February 12, 1979 and, at the same time, withdrew the proposals for double bottom:, SET, IGS, and improved steering gear standards which were published in the May 16, 1977 Federal Register.

    Page 4 of source:
    Now then, WHY were the proposals for double bottoms withdrawn and what is the purpose of a double bottom in a tanker?

    Well, right off the bat, if these regulations are implemented, you’ve got to build a fleet of new tankers! That costs a lot of money. Retrofitting a tanker to add a double bottom is probably out of the question so your present fleet of polluting pigs would have to be scrapped with a sunset clause in the law. The fossil fuel lobby was NOT going to allow an attack on their bottom line for the benefit of their “garbage disposal lakes” (the oceans of the world), the creatures there or the rest of the biosphere.

    Double bottoms are a safety measure to reduce the possibility of sinking and oil spills due to grounding or striking an underwater obstacle. However, they are a half measure. A double hull, unlike the double bottom, provides a total double structure including the sides as well as the bottom. Furthermore, the double hull, because it provides more unibody strength to the ship, allows for the elimination of longitudinal bulkheads. Then the tanker has wider tanks and another problem called the “free surface effect” occurs in the oil cargo that can destabilize the tanker. This requires baffles or some other design to keep the oil from sloshing around. Another downside for an ocean going vessel is that the double hull ship is slightly less stable than a single hull because it has a higher center of gravity.

    At any rate, even the double bottom requirement was crushed.
    As usual, the environment was sacrificed (along with the health and lives of several Alaskans) for oil corporation profits on March 24, 1989.
    After the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster, when that ship grounded on Bligh Reef outside the port of Valdez, Alaska, the US Government required all new oil tankers built for use between US ports to be equipped with a full double hull.
    The following caveat placed in the above wikipeda article is pathetic but it shows how far the long arm of the fossil fuel industry reaches to make themselves look blameless:
    However, the damage to the Exxon Valdez penetrated sections of the hull (the slops oil tanks) that were protected by a partial double hull.[2][3]
    The fossil fuel lobby was TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE for the dropping of the double bottom requirement way back in February 12, 1979.
    Regulation reaction to disaster is not my idea of responsible government.
    Now let’s get back the regs that did get written.
    Here are some acronyms you need to reference in this study:
    COW – Crude oil washing system that meets Subpart D of 33 CFR Part 157.
    SBT – Segregated ballast tanks that meet 33 CFR Part 157.
    CDT – Dedicated clean ballast tanks that meet Subpart E of 33 CFR Part 157.
    DWT – Deadweight tonnage in metric tons.
    IGS – Inert gas system that meets ~6 CFR 32.53.

    PL/SBTa – Protectively located segregated ballast tanks that meet Appendix C of 33 CFR Part
    PL/SBTb – Protectively located segregated ballast tanks that meet 33 CFR 157.09(d).
    Page 11 of source:
    What is OST?
    The purpose of an oil spill tanker (OST) is to provide a place
    to store large volumes of recovered crude oil, emulsion and
    free water and to store captured liquid waste streams (treated
    sanitary waste, domestic waste, bilge water, ballast water).

    And now to see how the new oil tanker regs were watered down (Mind you, this is well before Reagan stepped in and began to defund regulatory agencies so tanker inspections would become a joke):
    3. Exemption from the SBT, OST, and COW requirements for U. S. tank vessels in specific trades between U. S. ports that discharge ballast and oily water mixtures to a reception facility. Proposed regulations were issued on May 22, 1980 (45 FR 3L;306). Final regulations were issued on January 15, 1981 (46 FR 3510).

    Page 4 of source:
    I label the following regs below the “Be Nice and Do This But If You Don’t We’ll Make You Say You don’t and nothing more” code of nonpunitive oil tanker regulations.

    h. When a U.S. tank vessel is subject to and complies with the SBT, CBT and COW requirements in 33 CFR 157.l0c, the vessel’s Certificate of Inspection will be endorsed with the following appropriate select wording:

    This tank vessel is equipped with segregated ballast tanks/ dedicated clean ballast tanks/a crude oil washing system and complies with the requirements of 33 CFR Part 157.l0c to operate as a “Crude Oil Carrier” I “Product Carrier” I “Crude Oil/Product Carrier.”

    i. A U.S. tank vessel that is not in compliance with the applicable requirements will be treated within the framework of existing inspection procedures consistent with those of
    enclosure (1).
    According to enclosure (1), the inspector will write “No Evidence Of Apparent Action Towards Compliance on his inspection report, PERIOD. For those who like to watch this silliness in action, just look at enclosure (1); it’s a cheap scanned table placed sideways (and angled a bit crooked) in an otherwise professional document. Do you think, MAYBE, somebody didn’t want us looking at enclosure (1) too closely?

    enclosure (1) is right after page 5 of source:
    Of course there are some alleged “teeth” in these regs. This is the extent of the “punitive” action in the event of non-compliance:
    a. Enclosure (1) is a matrix which provides guidelines regarding Coast -Guard enforcement procedures to ensure that foreign flag tank vessels entering U.S. waters for commercial service comply with the applicable regulations.

    A tank vessel that has completed the required installations and modifications and has on board acceptance documents issued by the government of the vessel ‘s flag state or the Coast Guard will routinely be boarded and examined for verification only.

    Those vessels in partial compliance will be examined as
    recommended in enclosure (1) to ensure they continue to move towards full compliance within a reasonable time.

    Appropriate enforcement action may be taken against tank vessels not in full compliance. Tank vessels making no apparent effort to comply or having deficiencies which would seriously affect safety will normally be refused permission to conduct cargo transfer operations, denied further entry into U. S. waters, and/or subjected to civil penalties of up to $25,000 a day.
    Please consider the significance of a $25,000 a day fine to a tanker with a 300,000 to 500,000 ton DWT and a full load of crude. Uh, let’s see. A VLCC tanker is capable of carrying 2 million barrels of crude (VLCC tanker – you know – that’s the smaller of the supertankers). Crude oil prices are in barrels and at, for example, $80 a barrel, a VLCC tanker has a load worth about 160 million dollars. But lets be real conservative and say the load is worth 100 million dollars. I’m an oil corporation executive faced with multi million dollar retrofits on my tanker fleet oil polluting machinery versus daily fines (when I can’t bribe the port ship inpectors) of 1/40th of 1% per day of my load’s worth (remember I only need a 24 hour turnaround). I can easily pass that “cost of doing busness” on to the consumers.

    In predatory capitalism, a business model that is ethics free, a cost benefit analysis always comes up with the cheapest alternative. The regulatory framework is also attacked with a team of Wall Street lawyer/lobbyists that head to D.C. to stroke, befuddle and, if need be, threaten the politicians so that kid gloves are issued to the enforcement agencies. Some Madison Avenue PR is also put in place to counter public knowledge of environmental degradation.

    Until the public outrage is too great and retrofit is forced from accidental oil spills making the news (e.g. Exxon Valdez), the oil corporations drag their feet while the environment continues to be trashed and the corporate profits and political influence they wield destroys representative government through corruption. This is the Wall Street business model. This has not changed in the fossil fuel (or nuclear) industry one iota (if anything, it’s more brazen) since President Carter tried to rein these monsters in over 30 years ago.

    b. Owners/operators of U. S. flag tank vessels subject to the requirements of 33 CFR 157 and 164 and/or 46 CFR 32.53 should follow the procedures contained in those regulations to ensure compliance. Modifications and alterations made to a tank vessel to bring it into compliance should be treated similar to any other modification in terms of plan submission and approval, inspection scheduling, and the conduct of the inspection. Owners/operators
    are encouraged to contact the cognizant OCMI at their earliest opportunity to arrange for the inspection.

    Page 3 of source:

    j. For a foreign flag tank vessel, 46 USC 3711 requires a Certificate of Compliance to be issued to a vessel found to be in compliance with the applicable requirements. A Tank Vessel Examination Letter (Form GG 8405-1), or in the case of a chemical/product tanker
    a Letter of Compliance, is used as the Certificate of Compliance. When a foreign flag tank vessel is subject to and complies with 33 CFR 157.l0c, the -Certificate of Compliance will be endorsed with the following appropriate select wording:

    This tank vessel is equipped with segregated ballast tanks/ dedicated clean ballast tanks/a crude oil washing system and complies with the requirements of 33 CFR Part 157.l0c to operate as a “Crude Oil Carrier” / “Product Carrier” / “Crude Oil/Product Carrier.”

    k. A foreign flag tank vessel that is not in compliance with the applicable requirements will have the deficiencies listed on the Tank Vessel Examination Letter along with an agreed upon schedule which should provide the vessel with a reasonable time to comply.

    1. The Coast Guard’s computerized Marine safety Information System (MSIS) will be used to record, keep track of, and follow-up on tank vessel examinations. Following an examination, appropriate entries will be made in the MSIS.

    Page 4-5 of source:
    This next paragraph is particularly interesting:
    To prevent tankers from suffering an excessive loss of cargo carrying capacity, reduced draft and propeller immersion standards have been provided for in 33 CFR 157.l0c(d).

    Under this paragraph, a tanker that exceeds either the draft or the propeller immersion requirements of 157.09(b) by more than 10% when “using the tankage necessary” to meet the draft requirement may reduce the amount of SBT or CBT provided it meets 80% of
    both the draft and propeller immersion standards.

    Page 21 of source:
    What you just read means “Go ahead and pollute if your profit margin is threatened”. Draft and propeller immersion requirements are vital to the safety of ocean going vessels. It’s quite dangerous to violate them and can make the vessel unstable. With retrofitted vessels that meet the new regs, you have a heavier tanker. So now the environment, the very reason for the new regs, is made to pay the price so the oil lobby doesn’t. After all, we wouldn’t want to lower oil EROI, now would we? Responsible stewardship of the environment must not be allowed to interfere with profit, RIGHT?
    10. 33 CFR 157.15(b) – Less oily water mixtures will be generated from the use of 53T, CBT, and COW (approved Crude Oil Washing system) and the smooth tank surfaces of combination carriers, therefore, the total capacity of the slop tank ( Slop tank: tank into which residues are pumped and left to settle onboard oil tankers. source: ) should be 3 percent of the total oil carrying capacity of the vessel, except as follows:

    Page 24 of source:
    The “as follows” from the above outlines lesser max slop tank percentages if the new rules are followed as a sort of profit motive. The smaller the percentage in the slop tank, the less tank cleaning you have done. Remember those slop tanks have oil waste that must be disposed of without dumping it in the ocean. The language lacks any punitive wording for failure to implement regulations that reduce oil pollution. The repeated use of the word “should” in all these rules translates to “recommendations” rather than “rules”. This reflects the power of the fossil fuel lobby where maximum profit is always more important than the environment. These “rules” merely reduced the profit margin a a tiny amount and certainly did not make oil tankers unprofitable but even so, real improvements are optional to the detriment of the biosphere.

    These kinds of regulations should be more appropriately called “Swiss Cheese Law Requirements”:
    TANK VESSEL REQUIREMENTS: The regulation: in the November 19, 1979 and June 30, 1980 Federal Registers added standards for SBT, CET, COW, and IGS for domestic tank vessels of 209000 DWT and above, and foreign tank vessels of 20,000 DWT and above that enter U. S. waters In addition, the regulations of November 19 added improved steering gear standards for domestic tank vessels of
    10,000 gross tons and above and foreign tank vessels of 10,000 gross tons and above that enter U. S. waters. The applicability of these equipment and construction standards for each tank vessel is dependent upon three parameters:

    1. The type of trade in which the tank vessel is engaged (crude oil or product).

    2. The size of the tank vessel (deadweight or gross tonnage).

    3. The date the tank vessel was contracted for, the date the keel was laid, or the date the tank vessel was delivered.
    Why should we care about the munitiae of boring regulations and fossil fuel lobby word games and corruption to preserve their profits?

    First of all, because of THIS:
    The leakage of petroleum onto the surface of a large body of water is known as an oil spill. Oil spills are chiefly the result of intensified petroleum exploration on the continental shelf and the use of supertankers. The total annual release of oil spills exceeds 1,000,000 tons. The negligent release of used gasoline solvents and crankcase lubricants by industries and individuals aggravates the problem. The costs of oil spills are considerable in both economic and ecological terms. Oil spills are harmful to birds and many forms of aquatic life, and no thoroughly satisfactory clean-up method has yet been developed. The long-term impact on the ecological systems of an affected area are difficult to assess.

    Secondly, those illicit profits fossil fuel corporations get enable them to buy political influence and disinformation propaganda. This creates a situation where any attempt to give people out there the big picture of this planet killing energy product called fossil fuels is mercilessly attacked, delegitimized and distorted. True EROI numbers for renewables are kept out of the public view along with continuous attempts to prolong the subsidies for the dinosaurs while starving renewable R&D money from governmment out. Yes, private and non-fossil fuel (and non-nuclear) corporation R&D and investment money is increasing rapidly but it is happening in spite of, not because of, government efforts (at least in the U.S.).

    Finally, the figure given above of 1,000,000 plus tons of ocean oil pollution is probably conservative because the continous operational oil pollution that the 1981 regs attempted to address (probably) has not been added to the accidental oil spills; Out of sight and out of the public mind and all that.

    These fossil fuel pigs are not going to stop until we stop using their products, PERIOD. They are now happily planning to increase the strength of the oil tanker hulls. No, it’s not because they are concerned with pollution. It’s because they are planning to navigate them through the partially ice free arctic. Isn’t that just dandy?

    If you are not sufficiently alarmed, I hope the following info on accidental oil spills and how the continously eroding regulatory enforcement goverment attitude is breeding another Exxon Valdez.

    Unfortunately, no mention of the daily operational oil spill pollution is mentioned. This not getting better; it’s getting worse.
    A spill in mid-ocean from the tanker Polar Discovery went unreported for months until an engineroom employee from the company called the Coast Guard. The ship’s log entries required by law were either not made or made in misleading fashion. (See accompanying story.)

    The whistle-blower who reported the spill so feared retaliation that he refused to return to the fleet and, after hiring an attorney, was reassigned to a shipyard. The captain was fired, but insists the company ducked its own responsibility and made him a scapegoat.

    Safety lapses plague oil tankers

    A galley employee on the Polar California claimed in court papers that the captain and crew were drinking, and alcohol had been brought aboard the ship. She said she was then taken off the ship, arrested and involuntarily placed in a mental institution for five days. The P-I found in an independent investigation that, while security in Valdez,
    Alaska, and refinery ports greatly discourages drinking by crew members, some still imbibe heavily at stopover locations such as Port Angeles.

    Another ConocoPhillips tanker, the Endeavour, pulled into Prince William Sound last year with oil stains on its side. Alaska regulators were notified by the ship’s escort vessel after a ConocoPhillips supervisor failed to relay a spill report made by the ship’s captain.
    The same ship later collided with a bulk carrier in the South China Sea. An internal report blamed the accident on failure to slow down in fog.

    In February 2003, the Polar Resolution left San Francisco with a troublesome fuel leak in the engine room. An explosion in a huge electrical breaker shortly afterward sent the ship scurrying back to port. No report of the incident was made, according to the Coast Guard — a likely violation of the law.

    An engine-room officer on the Polar Alaska is under federal investigation after a fellow officer reported him for bypassing equipment that removes oil from engine-room wastes before
    they are pumped overboard.


    Please, reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible. Don’t support anything from the fossil fuel or nuclear corporations. If you have stock, sell it regardless of whether you win or lose money. Your grandchildren are depending on you to stop this senseless pollution. If you aren’t alarmed, it’s because you are uninformed.

    Spread the word so less people are uninformed. I hate reading dry and boring regulations but I have started to do so because I have come to realize that our lives and our future depend on facing this juggernaut of greed and corruption we are saddled with and calling them on it in a grass roots fashion. WE are the consumers. If WE stop consuming, the monsters are starved out, the political fascist power evaporates and we have better than the snowball’s chance in hell we now have of passing a viable biosphere on to our grandchildren.

    I authorize the reposting of any and/or all portions of this post with or without attribution.

    A. G. Gelbert

    in reply to: Waste Based Society III: Solutions and Alternatives #4492

    I don’t know why that happened. I did not print a smiling face. I printed an “8”. Let’s try that again.
    How long did it take to get photovoltaic panels with EROI > 1 from the first working prototype in a lab? We have somewhat of an idea that it took one or two decades for the Brazilians to get reasonable EROI > 1 from using sugar cane for biomass and biofuel production (Brazilian sugar cane grown and processed in Sao Paulo is estimated near EROI = 8 ).

    in reply to: Waste Based Society III: Solutions and Alternatives #4491

    For some reason, the EROI sugar can number for Brasil did not print ou. Here is the full paragraph section:

    How long did it take to get photovoltaic panels with EROI > 1 from the first working prototype in a lab? We have somewhat of an idea that it took one or two decades for the Brazilians to get reasonable EROI > 1 from using sugar cane for biomass and biofuel production (Brazilian sugar cane grown and processed in Sao Paulo is estimated near EROI = 8).

    in reply to: Waste Based Society III: Solutions and Alternatives #4490

    I wish to take this opportunity to thank the people at the Doomstead Diner for their excellent comments on a wide variety of issues including my Waste Based Society III article which appears there as well as Ashvin here at The Automatic Earth for allowing me to post the Waste Based Society III article.

    Recently I was chastised by ilargi for publishing material and comments that are beneath the high standards of truth in The Automatic Earth web site. I believe he mistakenly thought I was attacking stoneleigh (nicole) in regard to a natural gas EROI published by her. I wish to state categorically that my critique was of the EROI methodology, not nicole. I consider her a studious and analytical person that wishes to present the data as objectively as possible within the current EROI methodology. Also, perhaps ilargi believes my severely critical attitude towards fossil fuels and nuclear, being that fossil fuels in particular is the dominant energy paradigm at this time, is “fringe wacko thinking” not “worthy” of TAE. I hope, with this post and others to follow, that he reconsiders his opinion and/or debates my posts on the merits and not on a blanket assumption laced with innuendo and veiled threats to censor me by banning me. Our current energy situation should not descend to tit-for-tat sniping. We have real energy problems and bruised egos reacting in knee jerk fashion does nothing to solve it and certainly reflects badly on the caliber the The Automatic Earth as well. Let us work together to solve our energy problems with reasoned debate.

    So, without further ado, let’s talk EROI:

    The purpose of this post is to discuss a term near and dear to the heart of any investor in energy products. That is the term EROI. It is important because we all need to know how cost effective any energy product technology is. In a sane society, if an energy product is found to have a higher EROI than what is presently popular, subsidised by government or simply enjoys monopoly price control, then it would be a no-brainer that the new energy product should, of course, replace the one with a lower EROI. The natural tendency for energy corporations to try to extract maximum profit by externalizing costs aside for a moment, let’s compare EROI on a few energy products and also explain the concept of EROI:

    [Sustainability 2011, 3, 1796-1809; doi:10.3390/su3101796
    ISSN 2071-1050 ]

    Snippet 1:
    [In the 1970’s ecologist Charles Hall coined the term “Energy Return on Investment” (EROI), with originally a focus on migrating fish (e.g., Hall [1]). In the 1980s, Hall, working with Cutler Cleveland, Robert Kaufmann and others, extended the concept to seeking oil and other fuels. ]

    Snippet 2:
    [The most recent summary of work and data on the EROI of fuels was conducted in the summer of 2007 at SUNY ESF and appeared on The Oil Drum website and in a readable summary by Richard Heinberg. This paper summarizes the findings of that study, and also those preceding and subsequent to it where available. It also summarizes issues raised by some concerning the findings of these studies and with the calculations within.]

    Snippet 3:
    [Oil and conventional natural gas are usually studied together because they often occur in the same fields, have overlapping production operations and data archiving.]

    Snippet 4:
    [.. 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 (Figure 2).]

    Snippet 5:
    [We are not aware of any peer-reviewed published studies available on EROI on non-conventional natural gas to date. ]

    Snippet 6:
    [The authors of this EROI study note that they exclude the interest paid on debts to purchase foreign oil. Including that cost presumably would decrease EROI. As can be expected, the EROI of imported oil to the U.S. is mostly a reflection of the price of oil relative to the price of general goods and services at that time (Figure 3).]

    Snippet 7:
    [Nuclear power is the use of controlled fission reactions for the purpose of producing electricity. There are currently 439 commercial nuclear power plants worldwide generally using variations of the same technology [8]. 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. Clearly with reactors operating for longer periods of time, with the possibility of serious uranium shortages with larger use, and with the new considerations of the Japanese reactor accidents due to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami new calculations are needed.
    The authors note that the differences in EROI can sometimes be attributed to differences in system boundaries and technologies. However, overall there is a lack of empirical information on the subject. ]

    Snippet 8
    [Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable energies in the world today, although it still represents far less than one percent of global or U.S. energy use. Since it is renewable energy, EROI is not calculated the same as for finite resources. The energy cost for such renewable systems is mostly the very large capital cost per unit output and the backup systems needed, for two thirds of the time the wind is not blowing. As a result, the input for the EROI equation is mostly upfront, and the return over the lifetime of the system—which largely is not known well. For renewable resources a slightly different type of EROI is often used, the “energy pay back time” (EPBT). EPBT is the time it takes for the system to generate the same amount of energy that went into creating, maintaining, and disposing of it, and so the boundaries used to define the EPBT are those incorporated into the EROI.
    Although the SUNY ESF study did not calculate EROI for wind they were able to use a recent “meta-analysis” study by Cleveland and Kubiszewski [27]. In this study the authors examined 112 turbines from 41 analyses of both conceptual and operational nature. The system boundaries included the manufacture of components, transportation of components to the construction site, the construction of the facility itself, operation and maintenance over the lifetime of the facility, overhead, possible grid connection costs, and decommissioning where possible, however not all studies include the same scope of analysis. The authors concluded that the average EROI for all systems studied is 24.6:1 and that for all operational studies is 18.1:1. The operational studies provide lower EROIs because the simulations run in conceptual models appear to assume conditions to be more favorable than actually experienced on the ground.
    The authors found that the EROI tends to increase with the size of the turbine. They conclude that there are three reasons for this. First, that smaller turbines are of older design and can be less efficient, so despite a larger initial capital investment larger systems compensate with larger energy outputs; second that larger models have larger rotor diameters so they can operate at lower wind speeds and capture more wind energy at higher efficiencies year round; and finally because of their size, larger models are taller and can take advantage of the higher wind speeds farther above ground. ]

    Snippet 9:
    [The use of Solar photovoltaics (PV) are increasing almost as rapidly as wind systems, although they too represent far less than 1 percent of the energy used by the U.S. or the world. Similarly, they are a renewable source of energy and thus the EROIs are also calculated using the same idea. Although there are very few studies which perform “bottom up” analysis of the PV systems we are familiar with today, we can calculate the EROI by dividing the lifetime of a module by its energy payback time (EPBT). Like wind turbines, PV EPBT can vary depending on the location of production and installation. It can also be affected by the materials used to make the modules, and the efficiency with which it operates – especially under extreme temperatures.
    The SUNY ESF study looked at a number of life cycle analyses from 2000 to 2008 on a range of PV systems to determine system lifetimes and EPBT, and subsequently calculated EROI [28]. The system lifetimes and EPBT are typically modeled as opposed to empirically measured. As a result, EROI is usually presented as a range. Typically the author found most operational systems to have an EROI of approximately 3–10:1. ]

    Snippet 10:
    [The SUNY ESF study also examined passive solar heating and cooling for buildings [31]. A passive solar building is one which captures and optimizes the heat and light available from the sun without the use of any collectors, pumps or mechanical parts, but by design. Unfortunately, passive solar is incredibly site specific and thus calculating an EROI can be very difficult. However, the author does explain how a calculation could be achieved by performing the same operations as those for other renewable forms of energy—lifetime of structure divided by the EPBT. The EROI for a well designed building certainly has the potential to be quite favorable.]

    Snippet 11:
    [The SUNY ESF study calculated the EROI for HDR geothermal systems and reviewed previous studies on hydrothermal resources from 1975–1991 [33]. The EROI for electricity generation from hydrothermal resources was reported with a range of 2–13:1. Corrected for quality as an electricity source, this is recalculated as approximately 6–39:1.]

    Snippet 12:
    [The SUNY ESF study estimated that one wave energy project could have an EROI of approximately 15:1 [34]. ]

    Snippet 13:
    [ 13. Discussion
    There has been a surprisingly small amount of work done in the field of EROI calculation despite its obvious uses and age. From this review it can be inferred that there are only a handful of people seriously working on the issues related to energy return on investment. As such it does not come as a surprise that the information is scarce and unrefined at best–although perhaps not in the case of ethanol. Additionally there is a great deal of rather misleading material presented in the media and very few with the training to cut through the fog or deliberate lies. We have presented what we believe to be virtually all of the data available until this special issue.
    Since the 1980’s the energy information required to make such calculations have become even scarcer, with the possible exception of some European life cycle analyses. This is a terrible state of affairs given the massive changes in our energy situation unfolding daily. We need to make enormously important decisions but do not have the studies, the data or the trained personnel to do so. Thus we are left principally with poorly informed politicians, industry advocacy and a blind but misguided faith in market solutions to make critical decisions about how to invest our quite limited remaining high quality energy resources. Our major scientific funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and even the Department of Energy have been criminally negligent by avoiding any serious programs to undertake proper EROI, environmental effects, or other studies, while our federal energy data collections degrade year by year under misguided cost cutting and free market policies.
    As stated by Murphy and Hall [15], there needs to be a concerted effort to make energy information more transparent to the people so we can better understand what we are doing and where we are going. Given what we do know, it seems that the EROI of the fuels we depend on most are in decline; whereas the EROI for those fuels we hope to replace them with are lower than we have enjoyed in the past. This leads one to believe that the current rates of energy consumption per capita we are experiencing are in no way sustainable in the long run. At best, the renewable energies we look toward may only cushion this decline.]

    Sustainability 2011, 3, 1796-1809; doi:10.3390/su3101796
    What does all the above mean to you and me? It means EROI math has great difficulty measuring renewables and, due to the boundary framework established for upstream and downstream costs including the EXCLUSION of environmental costs, has the potential to produce some fairly happy numbers for fossil fuels and nuclear. Yet even by the present computaton convention, EROI is headed downwards for fossil fuels and nuclear.
    Let’s explore EROI some more:
    Snippet 1:
    [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.]

    Snippet 2:
    [How deep should the probing in the supply chain of the tools being used to generate energy go? For example, if steel is being used to drill for oil or construct a nuclear power plant, should the energy input of the steel be taken into account, should the energy input into building the factory being used to construct the steel be taken into account and amortized? Should the energy input of the roads which are used to ferry the goods be taken into account? What about the energy used to cook the steelworker’s breakfasts? These are complex questions evading simple answers. A full accounting would require considerations of opportunity costs and comparing total energy expenditures in the presence and absence of this economic activity.]

    Snippet 3:
    [Conventional economic analysis has no formal accounting rules for the consideration of waste products that are created in the production of the ultimate output. For example, differing economic and energy values placed on the waste products generated in the production of ethanol makes the calculation of this fuel’s true EROEI extremely difficult.]

    And what about environmental degradation costs? Don’t they matter in the “real world”? Can we so narrowly define a process like EROI that we deliberately exclude costs that aren’t immediately quantifiable? Why are fossil fuel or nuclear energy corporations the first to bray and warn that all new technologies need to have the precautionary principle of science applied to them but get quite huffy when you question EROI numbers for their products? If that’s the “real world’, then we have a rather serious objectivity deficit in play with EROI math.

    Here is an interesting article about a study of algal biocrude EROI. I bring this to your attention because it shows a very serious and responsible approach to determining EROI which I believe is sorely lacking in fossil and nuclear fuels:


    Snippet 1:
    [Over the last year a student (Colin Beal) at the University of Texas, Austin, has been characterizing the experimental set-up at the Center for Electromechanics for testing an algae to bio-oil process. The process stops short of converting the bio-oil into biodiesel, and he presented the results at a recent conference: Beal, Colin M., Hebner, Robert E., Webber, Michael E., Ruoff, Rodney S., and Seibert, A. Frank. THE ENERGY RETURN ON INVESTMENT FOR ALGAL BIOCRUDE: RESULTS FOR A RESEARCH PRODUCTION FACILITY, Proceedings of the ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition IMECE2010 November 12–18, 2010, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, IMECE2010-38244.]

    Snippet 2:
    [the stage of development of the entire technology and process of inventing new energy sources and pathways. It is important that we understand how to interpret findings “from the lab” into real-world or industrial-scale processes. To anticipate the future EROI of an algae to biofuel process, Colin performed two extra analyses to anticipate what might be possible if anticipated advances in technology and processing occur: a Reduced Case and Literature Model calculation.]
    Snippet 3:
    [What Colin discovered was that the EROI of the Reduced Case and Literature Model were 0.13 and 0.57, respectively. This shows that we have much to learn for the potential of making viable liquid fuels. Additionally, Colin’s calculations for the experimental set-up (and Reduced Case analysis) show that 97% of the energy output resides in the biomass, not the bio-oil. For his idealized Literature Model, 82% of the energy output was in the biomass.
    While these results seem discouraging, we do not have much ability to put these results into context of the rate of development of other alternative technologies and biofuels. How long did it take to get photovoltaic panels with EROI > 1 from the first working prototype in a lab? We have somewhat of an idea that it took one or two decades for the Brazilians to get reasonable EROI > 1 from using sugar cane for biomass and biofuel production (Brazilian sugar cane grown and processed in Sao Paulo is estimated near EROI = . ]

    Snippet 4:
    [Let’s hope others join in in trying to assess the EROI of their experimental and anticipated commercial processes for alternative energy technologies.]


    Snippet 1:
    [Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that a tiny aquatic plant can be used to clean up animal waste at industrial hog farms and potentially be part of the answer for the global energy crisis. Their research shows that growing duckweed on hog wastewater can produce five to six times more starch per acre than corn, according to researcher Dr. Jay Cheng. This means that ethanol production using duckweed could be “faster and cheaper than from corn,” says fellow researcher Dr. Anne-Marie Stomp.
    We can kill two birds – biofuel production and wastewater treatment – with one stone – duckweed, Cheng says. Starch from duckweed can be readily converted into ethanol using the same facilities currently used for corn, Cheng adds.]

    Snippet 2:
    [The duckweed system consists of shallow ponds that can be built on land unsuitable for conventional crops, and is so efficient it generates water clean enough for re-use. The technology can utilize any nutrient-rich wastewater, from livestock production to municipal wastewater.]

    Snippet 3:
    [Cheng says, “Duckweed could be an environmentally friendly, economically viable feedstock for ethanol.”
    “There’s a bias in agriculture that all the crops that could be discovered have been discovered,” Stomp says, but duckweed could be the first of the new, 21st century crops. In the spirit of George Washington Carver, who turned peanuts into a major crop, Jay and I are on a mission to turn duckweed into a new industrial crop, providing an innovative approach to alternative fuel production.]

    Duckweed for electricity at 3 CENTS per kwh:

    Snippet 1:
    [It’s a little, water-born plant that doubles in mass every 24 hours. The ducks really like it,” Behrens said. Two pounds of duckweed seed in a 32-foot tank in Philadelphia grew to a depth of 2 inches in 10 days, he said.
    “It’s very easy to harvest,” Behrens said. “That was the undoing of a lot of algae concepts. You can’t spend too much energy removing fuel from water, otherwise on your balance sheet you haven’t made any energy.”
    Duckweed is smaller than a grain of rice, but a million times bigger than an algae cell, he said. The duckweed is harvested with a nylon mesh, similar to screen doors, then dried.
    In many ways, it’s similar to wood-products waste, another type of biomass, which is used to generate electricity in White City and other places around the country.
    “Trees don’t grow fast enough, so we found something that grows faster,” Behrens said. “The key is growing fuel on site, because shipping it in is too costly. We just had to find a fast-growing plant — and there are plenty of those — and then create an artificial environment that optimizes plant growth.”
    The artificial environment — BioEnergy Domes — is where Pacific Domes comes in. There are four sizes of BioEnergy Domes, ranging from a backyard-sized, 5,000-kilowatt version that can supply energy for one home to a commercial-size, 60-foot-diameter unit, such as the initial unit in a Philadelphia industrial park. The generating unit sits outside the dome and runs silently.
    Behrens said it costs about $750,000 to $800,000 to install the largest BioEnergy Domes, and the payback time is only two years.
    “You are able to generate electricity at the cost of 3 cents per kilowatt hour, the same as coal or nuclear plants,” Behrens said. It’s completely controllable, unlike wind or solar power, and generates on demand like a fossil-fuel plant.]
    While I laugh at the idea that the actual cost of coal or nuclear power is just 3 cents per kwh because the EROI numbers on those two poisonous energy products exclude massive subsidies and environmental costs, I see no reason to doubt that the 3 cents per kwh is not bonafide with duckweed. Since nuclear has an official EROI of 10.0 and coal has an offical EROI of 80.0 then duckweed is somewhere in between. Even if it is only in the wind EROI range of 18 it is still a far better alternative than, for example, natural gas as of 2005 which was 10.0 because there are zero pollution costs associated with it and less transportation costs as well becsuse duckweed infrastructure would be decentralized and local.
    EROI figures for nuclear, coal, and natural gas 2005 and wind source:

    Now I bring this low corn ethanol EROI to your attention. I am certain the EROI would be much higher for ethanol if duckweed was the biomass source rather than corn. Of course that would cut chemical fertilizer and pesticide corporations out of the loop. It would also reduce fossil fuel costs in harvesting because duckweed is not a crop requiring tilling and grows several times faster than corn simply with animal feces in stagnant water. A mechanized netting operation for monthly havests (shorter intervals are possible depending on climate) would vastly exceed corn biomass in addition to ultimately cutting out fossil fuels from the farm machinery becasue they would run on ethanol.


    [They found that the EROI range for corn ethanol remained low, from 1.29–1.70 ]

    Furthermore duckweed can be pelletized and used as food for tilapia fish farming or fuel in furnaces.

    What about those that claim that renewables like duckweed, wind, photovoltaic, etc. are just niche energy markets and will never actually replace fossil fuels as number one?

    Snippet 1:
    [4. Clean energy investment has surpassed investments in fossil fuels
    Last year was the first time global investments in renewable energy surpassed investments in fossil fuels.
    The global market for clean energy was worth a whopping $250 billion.
    The United States is currently leading in corporate R&D and venture capital investments in clean energy globally, and last year retook the top spot in overall investment with a 33 percent increase to $55.9 billion.]

    As to the current EROI figures on fossil fuels, please consider that YOU paid for a lot of the R&D for them as well as current and past subsidies BEFORE the EROI figures are calculated.

    Snippet 2:
    [6. Fossil fuels have gotten 75 times more subsidies than clean energy
    To date, the oil-and-gas industry received $446.96 billion (adjusted for inflation) in cumulative energy subsidies from 1994 to 2009, whereas renewable energy sources received just $5.93 billion (adjusted for inflation).
    Renewable energy investments should be put in proper historical perspective. According to the Energy Information Agency, “focusing on a single year’s data does not capture the imbedded effects of subsidies that may have occurred over many years across all energy fuels and technologies.”
    The U.S. government is showing a smaller commitment to renewables than it showed in the early years of the oil-and-gas industries. A study showed that “during the early years of what would become the U.S. oil and gas industries, federal subsidies for producers averaged half a percent of the federal budget. By contrast, the current support for renewables is barely a fifth that size, just one-tenth of 1 percent of federal spending.”]

    Snippet 3:
    [Here are the top six things you really need to know:

    Clean energy is competitive with other types of energy
    Clean energy creates three times more jobs than fossil fuels
    Clean energy improves grid reliability
    Clean energy investment has surpassed investments in fossil fuels
    Investments in clean energy are cost effective
    Fossil fuels have gotten 75 times more subsidies than clean energy]


    Given all these real world facts about the main energy investment trends and the promise of EROI increases from renewables such as wind, photovoltaic and duckweed free of the environmental hazards of fossil and nuclear fuels and the prospect of much reduced government energy subsidies that we-the-people will benefit from, isn’t it folly to cling to the concept that centralized power systems will remain dominant in the energy markets?

    I hope that you find this study sufficiently fact based to consider it a worthy contribution to the Automatic Earth web site. If you disagree with any portion of this post, please do so with point by point objections rather than a banket dismissal. Also I request that you back up your objections with links. Failing to do so will only undermine your position. If I am wrong about anything here , I’ll be the first to admit it. I expect the same from you as well.

    Stoneleigh (nicole),
    I have read some of your work and comments and respect your credentials. Because of this experience you have from The Oil Drum web site, you are in a position to reach millions of people there and here at TAE. As you may have noted from the article above, EROI methodology that evolved from “net energy” methodology has never been scientifically peer reviewed. Furthemore, the current methodology has issues with coming up with comparable numbers in regard to renewables. Have you considered the possiblity that a new formulation that compares all the energy product apples and oranges out there would enable all energy users from private citizens to governments to better select which product to use or subsidize for the benefit of all? You could, for example write a book with a title like The CEROI, an energy measurement stick for all energy products. The “C” would stand for “comprehensive”. Within that formulation would be a “10+ and 10- year upstream and downstream energy and environmental cost calculation that would include expanded boundaries such as the energy used to manufacture the equipment used in mining, drilling, storing and transporting (e.g. oil tanker manufacturing costs and other energy product specific machinery) the product. Of course government subsidies and tax breaks would need to be figured in too. I don’t ask that you go to ridiculous extremes like plugging in campaign contributions by the oil lobby to influential senators and congressmen up to ten years prior to a law that turns the energy “level playing field” into an alpine slope or simply disallow through corruption the termination of fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies, but it is a thought (GRIN). You could make a spread sheet for renewables that have site dependent EROI so local officials could modify ordinances to enable rapid implementation when a high EROI can be achieved as in pelletized duckweed for animal feed or furnace (after a drying process) fuel. You could also discuss how an EROI of exactly the same energy product changes (goes up) when a catalyst is introduced (such as producing hydrogen from ethanol). Catalysts are, by definition, not changed or degraded in a chemical process but lower the activation energy for the reaction so, once the cost of obtaining the catalyst and positioning it in an industrial process is plugged in, you have an easily computable amortization cost in a ten year downstream framework. Also, in order to better compare energy products, the EPBT (energy pay back time) now used for renewables could be incorporated in the CEROI. By writing this book you could introduce some sorely needed standardized methodology for computing the reducton in marginal utility of an energy product. The fact that the current EROI methodolgy has not been peer reviewed translates to way too much latitude for happy talk in regard to the rate of reduction in marginal utility. If, for example, the target date for an energy product EROI to drop below 1.0 is 10 years, rather than 40 years, would that not change investment and allocation of capital? Does it not stand to reason that those with a vested interest in these energy products with decreasing marginal utility would attempt to push the projected point where the EROI drops below 1.0 as far into the future as possible? If all energy producers are forced to abide by a peer reviewed C-EROI manual that you published, everyone would benefit. And, of course, you might make a little money out of it too, notwithstanding the conniption fits from fossil fuel and nuclear energy producers. They might even try to defame you with innuendo and blanket dismissals that you are a fringe wacko but I am sure the scientific concensus would prevail and so would you.

    So why don’t I write the book on the great and glorious Comprehensive EROI?
    Because I really don’t like to getting into calculus derivatives with several inputs modifying the variables in a very complex fashion in order to figure out the rate of reduction in marginal utility just for starters. I believe you are much more at home with high level math than I am. I also don’t have the connections to get the hard, inside data from the fossil fuel and nuclear energy producers and what they REALLY spend. I believe you do. Please think about it. Our future depends on dispassionate decisions free of conflicts of interest by corrupt energy lobbies and politicians as well as being able to discern whether an alleged “renewable” is a blind energy ally or a boon to mankind and the biosphere. Only a scientifically peer reviewed COMPREHENSIVE EROI manual can remove the deliberate clouding of these issues that continues to take place. Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe you can come up with a CEROI, nicole.

    If am allowed to post here in the future, I plan to educate readers about EXACTLY what an oil tanker does from the point of taking on oil to offloading and return to get another load. I also will discuss why the law requiring double hulls in tankers came about. People need to know how all this “works”. The more they know, the less they will like it and the more chance we will have for a sustainable planet.

    ” One can judge from experiment or one can blindly accept authority. To the scientific mind experimental proof is all important and theory is merely a convenience in description to be junked when it no longer fits. To the academic mind authority is everything and facts are junked when they do not fit theory laid down by authority.” Robert Heinlein

    in reply to: Waste Based Society III: Solutions and Alternatives #4464

    Thank you for your input. I will endeavor to be more convincing and methodical in presenting my views in the future. I have no bones to pick with anyone but the corrupt and predatory fossil fuel industry. I do not question Nicole’s knowledge though I do question her assessment of what the “real world” is like. The world is changing.

    For now I suggest you file my rant in the back of your mind as just that, a rant. If future events reveal some truth in it, despite my lack of knowledge, I hope you will reconsider your negative view of my assessment of the energy picture on earth.
    Thanks again

    in reply to: Unconventional Oil is NOT a Game Changer #4458

    Correction: My house is less than 1,000 square feet. Sorry for the typo.

    in reply to: Unconventional Oil is NOT a Game Changer #4457

    Hi Candace,
    Nope. I live on grid in Vermont on rented land (can’t control what I put on the house for solar power) but I support Green Mountain Power’s (local utility) move to renewables from wind farms to replace the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant contracts they are doing away with. My house is small (less than 1,00 sq. ft.) and we keep our carbon footprint tiny with a push mower and less than 2,000 miles driving per year.

    in reply to: Ruminations: Guerrillas by Night #4455

    I agree. JFK gave it the old college try. The office of the presidency, even during his day, was already a position where you did what TPTB wanted as their front man or you were shown the door or a pine box.

    in reply to: Waste Based Society III: Solutions and Alternatives #4445

    in reply to: Unconventional Oil is NOT a Game Changer #4442


    Wind Power Projects

    EDF Energies Nouvelles and Mitsui of Japan have
    announced a 150-MW wind power project in northern
    Morocco. Morocco intends to have 2 GW of wind power and 2 GW of solar power up by 2020.

    Iberdrola has commissioned the 178-MW Messina-Agrigento wind power complex on the island of Sicily in Italy. “This project, developed jointly (50/50) with Italy’s API Nova Energía, part of the API business group, encompasses four wind farms: Nebrodi (64.6 MW), Alcántara (47.6 MW), Lago Arancio (44 MW) and Rocca Ficuzza (22.1 MW).”

    Polish utility Enea has bought a 50-MW wind farm in northwestern Poland from leading wind power company Vestas. The capacity of the wind farm is supposed to expand to 60 MW.

    First Wind “has obtained $76 million in construction financing for its 34 megawatt (MW) Bull Hill Wind project in Hancock County, Maine.”

    Chinese subsidiary Jade Werke is “outsourcing wind production to Germany” — it will begin production of steel fundaments for offshore wind farms at a €50-million production plant in Germany as early as 2013. Construction of the new plant is expected to begin this summer. ”Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power is having profound effects on the wind energy industry. Growth rates in the onshore segment were strong last year, the policy framework has been improved, and the offshore market ready to take off,” said Anne Braeutigam, wind energy expert at Berlin-based Germany Trade & Invest.
    The largest wind farm in the US, the Alta Wind Energy Center (“AWEC”) located in Tehachapi, CA, is projected to reach a capacity of 1,320 MW (wow, that’s big) with $650 million of financing now secured for the 168-MW Alta Wind VII and 132-MW Alta Wind IX projects. Other news related to the project is that “Terra-Gen recently sold the Alta Wind VIII (150 MW) phase to Brookfield and has entered into an agreement to sell the Alta Wind VI phase (150 MW) to Everpower.”

    Wind Power Market Trends
    Asia is expected to drive the global wind market forward in coming years, yet another report finds. “Danish consulting firms BTM and Make have published analyses on global wind power market trends. In 2011, nearly 42 gigawatts – some 23,640 turbines in 50 countries – was installed, bringing the global total up to around 241 gigawatts. Vestas managed to defend its market leadership…. Asia now makes up 52.1 percent of the global wind power pie, growing by 34.1 percent from 63.6 gigawatts in 2010 to 85.3 gigawatts last year.”

    Scottish people love or like wind power, well 7 out of 10 of them do. A recent YouGov survey commissioned by the trade group Scottish Renewables “found that 39 per cent of respondents ‘strongly agreed’ with the statement ‘I support the continuing development of wind power as part of a mix of renewables and conventional forms of electricity generation’, while a further 33 per cent ‘tended to agree’.”
    In the UK as a whole, approximately 66% of people support wind energy and only 8% are against it when asked ”to what extent are you in favour of or opposed to the use of wind power in the UK?” according to a recent Ipsos Mori poll, commissioned by wind trade body RenewableUK.

    The UK’s Guardian has a new, short video on Denmark’s wonderful wind leadership. “[Over] 28% of the country’s energy is now provided by wind, with an aim of 50% by 2020 – and 100% renewable energy provision by 2050.”
    In Ontario, a couple claiming that their home’s value has been devalued from nearby wind turbines has had the claim rejected by MPAC, the Municipal Property Assessment Corp.

    Wind News

    in reply to: Unconventional Oil is NOT a Game Changer #4440

    “Although industry growth in 2010 was slower than the record growth set in 2009, 5,600 MW worth of projects were under construction at the end of the year, laying the foundation for further growth in 2011. In 2010, the U.S. wind industry grew 15%, installing 5,115 MW of generating capacity—enough to power more than 1.2 million homes.

    Wind power represented 25% of all new U.S. electric generation capacity in 2010.
    According to the American Wind Energy Association, 38
    states now have utility scale wind projects. Current wind
    power installations in the United States provide enough
    electricity to avert nearly 62 million tons of greenhouse gas
    emissions, which is equivalent to taking 14 million cars off the road. Fourteen states have installed more than 1,000 MW of wind power.”

    “Enhanced Geothermal Systems
    Naturally occurring geothermal systems,
    known as hydrothermal systems,
    are defined by three key elements:
    heat, fluid, and permeability at depth.
    Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS)
    are manmade reservoirs, created where
    there is hot rock but little to no natural
    permeability or fluid saturation.”

    “EGS offers the opportunity to access
    an enormous, domestic, clean energy
    resource estimated to be in the range
    of 100-500 GWe. A Massachusetts
    Institute of Technology (MIT) study
    released in 2007 predicted that in
    the United States alone, 100 GWe of
    cost-competitive capacity could be
    provided by EGS in the next 50 years.1″


    “Oil provided a growing share of energy for electric generation through the 1960s, but its share declined to less than 1% in 2011 since peaking at 18% in 1973.”


    Now look at world electricity production.


    I believe that although supply and demand have a definite bearing on the reduced price of oil and gas caused partially by more renewable energy coming online and a world recession going on, there is something else going on here that I witnessed in the 1980s as well. The price of fossil fuels was flattened to knock the stuffing out of solar power, wind power and any other renewable that threatened price monopoly by the fossil fuel pigs. After all, how can you have sudden increases in prices from wars, the rumors of wars or some other convenient reason for jacking up the prices to the moon when a wind generator in Texas or a geothermal plant or a 100MW solar panel farm in the California desert is pumping out that power day in and day out in a boring, predictable fashion? Wall Street and fossil fuel pigs HATE “boring and predictable”. It’s hard to scam people when things are “boring and predictable”.

    President Carter managed to convince a lot of people that renewables were a good deal. Since big oil could not attack that head on, they conspired to lower prices to bargain basement levels in order to make renewables “non-competitive”. Then they came up with the LIE that nuclear power was clean and green to blur the obvious advantage for the environment of real renewables like wind, solar and geothermal, etc. It was also during that period that big oil came out with the big lie that fossil fuels, rather than increases in proper hygene and antiseptic procedures, had enabled the population explosion.

    It worked. Don’t fall for it again. We need to push for renewables with all our might if we ever hope to control how much we pay for our energy and make sure we generate it in an environmentally sound manner.

    For those who like wading through data, here’s the whole enchillada about energy source breakdown from 1973-2010 and lots of other spreadsheet data as well.

    in reply to: Unconventional Oil is NOT a Game Changer #4437

    Absent from this article is the increasing amount of energy coming online from renewables all over the world. This surely is putting some burrs under fossil fuel pig saddles.

    I know for a fact that wind power in Texas is now at 3 cents per kwh. I will post the stats in the US after I dig them up at the US Energy Department web site but I know that renewables are forcing fossil fuel prices down and the world recession and more natural gas from fracking are not the only factors.
    I also question any math that excludes the cost of dealing with poisoned aquifers from fracking or ignores the massive subsidies these crooks get.
    I don’t DO excluding “externalites” to make the numbers look good!

    in reply to: Ruminations: Guerrillas by Night #4436

    JFK’s speach is a model for all good governments and the press to follow. Unfortunately, even in 1961 the U.S. was not following it.
    Main article: January 1961
    January 3
    President Dwight Eisenhower announces that the United States has severed diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba.
    At the National Reactor Testing Station near Idaho Falls, Idaho, atomic reactor SL-1 explodes, killing 3 military technicians.]

    As we now know, the Kennedy brothers commenced a “murder incorporated” (LBJ’s characterization of RFK’s hit team) operation in Cuba that Robert continued after JFK’s death. This was all very secret, of course.

    I didn’t know a reactor had blown up that year, did you? Government media control, perhaps? Secrecy about all things that would put nuclear crap in a negative light, perhaps? The Kennedy administration refused to make public the horrors visited on the people of the Marshall islands by the U.S. (1945-1958) creating birth defects (fetuses that looked like a ball of grapes!) and rampant thyroid cancers. It wasn’t until a French study pointed this out many years later that the US vaguely admitted to it.

    “For the sake of comparison, it may be noted that from 1945 to 1988, the U.S. conducted a total of 930 known nuclear tests with a combined yield estimated to be 174 megatons. Approximately 137 megatons of that total was detonated in the atmosphere. In other words, while the number of tests conducted in the Marshall Islands represents only about 14% of all U.S. tests, the yield of the tests in the Marshalls comprised nearly 80% of the atmospheric total detonated by the U.S.”

    THIS is the way the U.S. looked like as to Cesium 137 deposition BEFORE Fukushima. I shudder to think what it looks like now.

    THIS is just from the Nevada tests:

    Also during this period the Navajo communities near Uranium mines were being afflicted with radiation poisoning from inhaled radioactive dust (NOT just the miners but the familes totally uninvolved with mining as well). This was kept secret from the American public, of course.
    Documentary here:

    When JFK was shot, I was presiding over a student council meeting as president in my senior year in high school. I went home and cried. Now I know that there was a LOT more to cry about than the death of a president; The power mad fly wing pullers in the pentagon and the CIA, drunk on the nuclear mushroom cloud, were busy destabilizing countries anywhere in the world that threatened predatory “capitalism” and poisoning the entire planet with fallout. We were in the grips of a criminally insane cabal and nothing has changed since then.

    All the secret conspiratorial activities described by JFK which are deleterious to free expression and responsible government and media are ALL now the zealously defended default position of the American Empire. As Tony Soprano once said in the popular mafia televison show when confronted with the evil of his activities and how he was ruining good people and their families, “THIS IS WHO I AM, THIS IS WHAT I DO!” So it is with our fascist corporatocracy disguised as a representative democracy.

    The wheels came off our government as a representative form of government when the cork was put in the maximum rep count in the House back in the early 20th century. When the republic began, one rep represented 30,000 to 60,000 population. Now it is about 700,000. This change was deliberate. This was to empower corporations and disempower the average voter. There is a very short distance in time from the moment the corporations hijacked the 14th Amendment in order to give big money a voice to the cork placed on the max rep count. This was the big move of the oligarchs at the end of the 19th and the early 20 century (gilded turd age) which included the fed central bank crooks in the package. In order to get the same weight in voting power now that a U.S. citizen had in 1790, you need to get 21 people to vote as you do.

    Consequently the loud braying about how we are a representative democracy and our representatives are elected is repeated over and over again to the populace by the plutocratic media. THAT LIE is the basis of our corporatocracy and must never be brought into question by the lumpen.

    If you can get the numbers in the Senate (even though it was originally set at two senators per state, with an increased House number you would have to increase the number of senators as well or do away with the plutocratic senate altogether) and the House to reflect the year 1790 proportions, there is hope. That means a House of Representatives (no cork on max count EVER) meeting electronically (nobody leaves their state) with about 9,700 representatives where all deliberation could be viewed through the internet.

    You would only achieve that over the dead bodies of the 1%, most of Wall Street and virtually every alphabet agency and “defense” contractor as well as most of the police in this country. IOW, it’s not going to happen even in an environmental collapse. They all might splinter into warlords but the fascism would just be a different flavor.

    The point is, human nature being what it is, the industrial revolution created monster pollution and tyranny as well but the atomic bomb made secrecy and the corruption and cruelty that grows unchecked by it to flourish in the USA.

    The bomb is killing us slowly through radiation and the nuclear poison power plants but the secrecy it engendered killed any vestiges of democracy long before that.

    in reply to: Waste Based Society III: Solutions and Alternatives #4427

    in reply to: Waste Based Society III: Solutions and Alternatives #4426

    Sorry for the typos. Sometimes I don’t proof read enough in my haste to get a post out.

    in reply to: Waste Based Society III: Solutions and Alternatives #4425

    Thank you John Day and Puff for the compliments.

    I too, may not make it through the big squeeze coming because I have a pacemaker. As you all know, changing the battery on that $30,000 computer (original opertion cost) requires a level of civilization that may not be around for a couple of decades or so while things shake out.

    We’ll see. Until then, I’ll keep trying to do what most people here are doing to wake people up.

    Today I learned that Rockefeller, before he got Henry Ford to modify the carburators in cars to run on gasolene, would flush the gasolene in the rivers at night! This was at the ned of the 18th century when his main business was providing lubricants for machinery and lighting oil for houses. Had we switched from benzene straight to alcohol for cars (yes, it can be done), many cancers and respiratory problems in the 20th century would have been avoided. Rockefeller was was so hell bent to get alcohol away from cars as fuel (farmers with stills could compete with hin and he didn’t like that) that he gave about 4 million dollars to temperance groups to get alcohol prohibited by law. Most people don’t know that prohibition made making your own alcohol fuel from crops illegal as well. As you can see, the history we are taught is laced with lies and coverups.

    I learned the above from David Blume.

    in reply to: Cuckoo in the Coal Mine #4400

    We often think the most vulnerable are the poor in the increasingly unstable living conditions we encounter but here you have proof that the the most inflexible group of people because of the egotistical greed love prison they have built for themselves in their mind are the rich.
    The shape of things to come:–abc-news-topstories.html

    in reply to: Cuckoo in the Coal Mine #4397

    Our society has been infantiliized by decades of consumerist propaganda as well as centuries of consistent mendacity about who we are and what we have been doing to our neighbors and the planet in the name of progress. Children can be quite cruel to any other child that wishes to “rain on their parade” by reminding them of responsible behavior and the calamitious consequrnces of irresponsible behaviour..

    Maslow’s hierarchy and the desire for peer group acceptance aside, visionaries always pay the price for seeing what the herd doesn’t want to see.

    When TSHTF, don’t expect gratitude for planting the seed. More likely, you will be accused of helping to bring about this calamity. If people aren’t reasonable now, consider what they will be like in a high stress survival situation.

    One other thought. If you seek vindication, you may be seeking to stroke your bruised ego. That is, of course, only natural because the abysmal state of denial that surrounds us can make us downright angry and vindictive towards the blind. I suggest you remember that you did the right thing in telling them about it. If the price of constant rejection is too high for you, then be silent but don’t be sad. You did the right thing and that is all that matters.

    Being a modern day Noah (without the ark) isn’t a lot of fun, is it? But you didn’t create this reality; you are only trying to deal with it honestly. The brainwashed are unable to do that.

    in reply to: Wait a minute! What day was Friday? #4381

    As long as we have billionaires, things will only get worse.

    in reply to: Wait a minute! What day was Friday? #4378

    Speaking of what day was friday, in one of those amazing coincidences that may point to some sort of synchronicity or historical rhymining rather than repeating, you’ll never guess what day June 29, 2007 fell on.,2007

    Yep, after the last day in February this year, our days have matched 2007 as to day of the week per numerical date. Now you all remember 2007, don’t you? You remember that the fed was doing everything in its power to hide the fact that the “wealth effect” of the housing boom was a lie and the carnage in the housing sector was rapidly eroding banking balance sheets, pension funds hither and yon and any municipality anywhere in the western world that had been stupid enough to fall for the derivative tranching scam courtesy of Wall Street. The non-stop lies on CNBC and the rest of the media about how stress on the economy were contained are now, in 2012, far more IN-YOUR-FACE but still they continue. After 5 years and several trillion dollars of debt added to we-the-people, I can only conclude that things are far worse than they were in 2007, but the pattern of false belief in stock market salvation continues in the media.
    This is the way the stock market looked in June 29,2007 (a large termite mound prior to a flood):

    Shortly thereafter all kinds of “unexpected” lack of profits from corporations (the early days of july 2007) started the reality checks coming.

    Maybe 2012 is not a repeat of 2007 on steroids complete with the numerical calender days falling on the same day of the week but it sure looks ugly.

    in reply to: Rant: On Deception #4339

    I can’t seem to paste the url for The young turks video but for those interested, just go to and you can see it there.

    in reply to: Rant: On Deception #4338

    Well and truly said.
    Here’s a nice video that explains what should be done about it (The Icelandic response to crooked, mendacious bankers and their bought and paid for politicians):

    The Young Turks

    in reply to: Shale Gas Reality Begins to Dawn #4295

    I agree with Golden Oxen.
    I don’t see any problem with Ashvin’s quoting of scripture. Since when is quoting the book that has influenced most of our law and a great deal of literature including Shakespeare’s works as well as the basis for sound morality out of line?
    The fact that many evil people in religions have gamed the wording of the bible to justify divide and conquer tactics, war, racism and genocide does not mean the bible’s overiding message that the OS (operating system) of humans requires observance of the golden rule and to be good stewards of the environment in order for them to be truly happy.

    And after all, Ashvin runs this place and runs it quite well at that.

    in reply to: Shale Gas Reality Begins to Dawn #4272

    Great article on the modern myths that destroy humanity.

    It’s a repeating pattern among the 1% that they add two and two and get whatever answer keeps them in the catbird seat and continues to falsely justify the resource extraction/slave-master bankrupt, illogical and insane world view they firmly believe they are entitled to saddle the 99% and all of nature with.

    As to the Christian golden rule concept, the elites have certainly pulled out all the stops to demonize it. It also follows exactly the same pattern of screwing people into poverty and them blaming them for it to the point of claiming that sustainable living habits involving clothing and eating habits are a mark of poverty, “bad” thinking and “anti-growth” thinking. It’s laughable BS but that is what we are all taught is true.

    If you check out that link on “exposure” I gave you will see how the concept of caring for those with disabilities was championed by Chrstianity until the assholes in the Calvinist movement began to redefine the disabled and poor as the “un-blessed” in order to ignore the golden rule with contrived (and truly anti-Christ) mendacity and cruelty. It is Mens Rea from the word go with these Orwellian bastards seeking to label everything that is good and decent behavior as “counterproductive”, “evil” or whatever. The bright line thread that runs through all this crap from the predators is that, once they have a predatoy system creating havoc among humans, they always blame the victims.

    I do admit they are quite clever even if in the long run they are actually quite stupid and suicidal.

    in reply to: Shale Gas Reality Begins to Dawn #4270

    The con that is “modern civilization” is being exposed. The confluence of several “external costs” making themsevles felt because they can no longer be hidden is accelerating the exposure.
    So we wil have this:

    The word “exposure” has an interesting etymology.
    “Medical Viewpoint: Exposure: To expose meant to leave one out in the weather to die. Exposing young children with severe disabilities was a common practice in ancient Greece.”

    And now the VD (verbal dancer) economists for the banking MAFIA with their constant stream of euphemistic terms for credible snake oil are “exposing” Greece and anyone else that can’t handle the “exposure” (debt slavery) that the banking goons have “exposed” them to.

    It’s time to “expose” (i.e. leave to die on the side of some metaphorical hill) “modern civilization”. Nature is not going to give one inch on this.

    in reply to: Shale Gas Reality Begins to Dawn #4265

    Sorry. I thought Ashvin had written it. I stand corrected. I ask that you consider my comments from a planetary perpective; it is, after all, the only perspective that covers all inputs and outputs.

    in reply to: Shale Gas Reality Begins to Dawn #4263

    I am reposting this from a post I made at the Doomstead Diner to underscore the point I made about the distortion of the prudent use and production of energy to transform it into an income stream fro the 1% at the expense of most people and the environment. Energy doesn’t have anything to do with it and greed has everything to do with it.

    I always get strange looks when I talk about two different, seemingly unrelated, historically important events going on in exactly the same time period. It’s as if the propagandists writing the history books and the news have blunted people’s ability to think. Never mind critical thinking. That’s even more nearly impossible now.

    Some things people do not want to think about:
    1) During the Great Depression the U.S. government spent massive amounts of money to develop the bomb while people were literally starving. This went on for several years. During the 1930s the knowledge of the photoelectric effect was old hat (Einstein described it right after the turn of the century!) but somehow it was only developed when it was needed in space.

    2) During the 1970s the incredibly efficient heat deflecting tiles on the space shuttle were perfected. This technology would have wiped out 70% of heating and cooling costs in the USA if it had been released to the public during the oil shocks of the 70s. From refrigerator/freezer insulation to house insulation to keep heat in or hot weather out, we would have been well on the road to energy independence. I even asked a NASA rep at their public presentation at Cape Kennedy in 1980 before the first shuttle flight (the speaker would torch a six inch tile he was holding which would get red hot inches from his fingers and just as quickly dissipate before reaching them. The part of the ceramic foam tile he held remained cool while he kept the blow torch inches away on the red hot section for at least 5 minutes) why this wasn’t available to the public for energy saving. You guessed it; the old “national security” trick. It was more like the old “big oil runs the USA” trick.

    3) How about those nifty ski lifts and gondolas that have been around forever? The cabling strength needed was old hat towards the end of the 19th century as was the ability to power the gondola from a fixed point with pulleys. Consider how ridiculously easy it would have been to string these things across cities and neighborhoods joining shopping and work areas. Consider the difference in energy use of moving just the people and a gondola versus a 4,000 pound car or public buses that weigh much more; the oil pigs at work again, I suspect.

    4) Since the 1980s the technology to have computer controlled automactic sails providing over 50% of the power for ships has been available. The Japanese even made a sail assisted oil tanker. Now why do you suppose a proven technology like sails married to computers isn’t common?

    Frankly, when you start looking at the USA as an oil oligarchy type dictatorship since around 1913, all foreign policy and most of the technology that has been allowed domestically becomes quite understandable. The pieces begin to fall into place. Those are the dots the media propagandists work overtime to prevent anyone from connecting. That also explains the theft of the elections. The fossil fuel pigs just will not let go of the oil piggery (even if it kills us). Although the blue team is almost as corrupt as the red team, it’s the red team that fields the most BUSHwhackers for oil so that explains the Republican wins.

    And here we are with peak oil and what does NASA do to help convince us to switch to renewables? Whatever big oil tells them to.
    NASA scientists on the mars robot teams acted all surprised when the solar panels lasted several years instead of the “projected six months”. Of course they knew they would last but it wouldn’t look good to celebrate solar panel technology in a harsh martian environment, now would it. So, they claim it’s a fluke. Liars for oil goons is what they are.

    All of this came together for me whe I read “The Tyranny of Oil” by Antonia Juhasz.

    in reply to: Shale Gas Reality Begins to Dawn #4261

    Ashin wrote
    “Money has been thrown at the industry”

    That applies to oil depletion allowances, agricultural subsidies, nuclear power, space exploration, weapons of war, bank bailouts, etc.

    Ashvin, I only ask that you step back and look at the big picture from a planetary perspective. When money is “thrown” at some industry, it is being stolen from many powerless people. The harm all this does to the environment aside for a moment, consider Vandana Shiva’s very accurate description of the fallacy of putting several energy inputs into a process in order to get one energy output and then claiming a profit. You simply cannot weigh these activities on a Return On Investment basis because the “investors” are distorting the source of “capital” for the investment by claiming and clinging to the cognitive illusion that the government subsidies, tax breaks and other wealth transfer schemes governments undertake to make these scams look profitable and cost effective are bonafide.

    As you said, it’s a ponzi scheme but this ‘business model’ is based on the illusion that we are separate from each other and nature. It is an embrace the the wetiku that RE mentioned. It is a lie that covers a LOT of territory including mechanistic reductionism (the basis of the scientific method).

    in reply to: This Is Not America #4250

    More MAFIA activity reports from Max Keiser complete with capo names!

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