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Forced Responses: Dec 2018

Filed under: — group @ 2 December 2018

A bimonthly thread for discussions on solutions and responses to climate change. For climate science topics, please comment on the Unforced Variations thread.

697 Responses to “Forced Responses: Dec 2018”

  1. 401

    nigel, #390–

    Who has suggested we stop absolutely all extraction of fossil fuels?

    Well, I have, for one.

    Who has suggested we stop using them for bitumen on the roads, for plastics, for fertilisers and pharmaceuticals?

    Ah, I see what you are thinking. But then they wouldn’t be *fuels*, would they?

  2. 402
    alan2102 says:

    Another angle on the EV discussion: LSEVs — small, low-speed EVs — which are selling like hotcakes in China (and perhaps India as well; I have not looked). Go to the wsj.com link below and scroll down to the chart “Small Success”, showing that LSEVs are far outselling conventional EVs, with total sales of the LSEVs at about 1.7 million in 2017 (vs. conventionals at ~800,000), on a trajectory to exceed 2.5 million in 2018.

    Note that there are over FOUR HUNDRED manufacturers of LSEVs in China (and heaven knows how many in India and elsewhere). They are springing up like mushrooms in a damp pasture. So, I say again: who cares what backward Western corporations and governments are doing, or not doing? The West is history; Eurasia, led by China, is the future… “where the action is”.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-giant-market-for-tiny-cars-1537538585
    snippets:
    Smart cars, which can top 95 miles an hour, sell for about $15,000 and have advanced safety features, whereas the slow-moving mini EV’s start at under $1,000… Jiujiuxing builds a mini-EV for every need. There’s a miniature firetruck, a pint-size police car, and various minuscule passenger models starting at $1,000….
    The tiny cars’ rise has created a tricky dilemma for China’s leaders: how to enforce vehicle standards without pricing ordinary people out of China’s electric-car revolution. “Rich people have all kinds of nice cars to choose from,” said Mr. Zhao, the micro-EV fan from Jinan. “We need options, too.” “This is what ordinary people want,” said Wang Shihong, founder of micro-EV maker Hongdi… That way of thinking makes China’s big auto makers flinch, as they invest billions in real EVs. “We all know the big EV companies are lobbying against us because we’re eating their market,” claimed Mr. Wang. Crushing the plucky micro-EV business would be grossly unfair, he said.

    ……………………..

    to see what LSEVs look like:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kILXXaqspcI
    Big in China: Tiny Electric Cars
    Wall Street Journal
    Published on Sep 26, 2018
    Small, slow and super cheap: China’s low-speed electric vehicles, or LSEVs, are bringing the thrill of driving to the masses—and hampering the government’s efforts to develop an upscale EV industry.

    ………………….

    Shades of the charming little BMW Isetta of ~60 years ago; never caught on, but should have; if introduced today, it would be an EV:
    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bmw+isetta

    ………………….

    Oh btw, 3-D printing might be good option allowing super-rapid scale-up and production:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpYmFlxO-EQ
    World’s first 3D-printed electric car is ready for mass production in China
    South China Morning Post
    Published on Mar 21, 2018
    LSEV, the world’s first mass-produced 3D-printed electric car, will be available in China by the second quarter of 2019. It’s produced by X Electrical Vehicle and Polymaker.

    ………………….

    Oh btw, Elon Musk: “China’s environmental policies are way ahead of the U.S… China is by far the most aggressive [vs. U.S.] on electric vehicles and solar energy”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-7b9RNeIXE
    Elon Musk: China Is Way Ahead of USA Environmentally
    Published on Dec 23, 2018

  3. 403
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @401, yes I should have said oil and coal rather than fossil fuels. A cursed typo. Ah well, you win some you loose some.

  4. 404
    Killian says:

    Re #398 Barton Paul Levenson said None of those things absolutely require fossil fuels.

    But then said, They may be fossil now, that doesn’t mean they have to be fossil forever.

    Well, do they or don’t they? I’m going with the last sentence as it is accurate in it’s first part. The interesting bit is the second clause. That little beauty is magical thinking.

    And I’m gonna leave things right there with the simple note that effective design doesn’t do magical thinking.

  5. 405
    Killian says:

    #399 Barton Paul Levenson said K 383: Let’s see if we can wake some of you up.

    BPL: Way to start out. Let’s see if we can wake some of you pathetic slobs out of your dim, dreamy sleep.

    Straw Man. Ignorance (lack of knowledge, education, or awareness) does not require either characterization.

    Arrogant much?

    Prevaricate much? (BPL’s post is a rather fine example of trolling, nigelj, so please pay attention. There was zero ill intent in my post. There is, in fact, ignorance at play here, and among the vast majority of climate-related discussion across the web, seen from my perspective, so calling it arrogance to want to “wake people up” when our survival depends on it, and intentionally misrepresenting what was said, is a perfect example of trolling.)

  6. 406
    Killian says:

    We must use our best scientific understanding of how environmental problems can be resolved as the basis for implementing scientifically viable economic policies and solutions.

    I know of not one scientist I would be able to trust to create a regenerative… anything, and only three that get somewhat close.

    This is not their bailiwick and wish to god they’d stop acting as if it is. They seem to think that studying climate causes and effects makes them experts at adaptation and mitigation, but there is no evidence of this in what they support and espouse.

    So, uh, no, can’t recommend this fellow.

  7. 407
    Killian says:

    Aaaand epilogue:

    Nigel, the reason you don’t nip others heels (though Mike did recently call you out for some of the same things I do), engage in obvious Straw Man attacks, outright lies with them, etc.,is they don’t say what I say. I represent the exact opposite of your suicidal go slow, non-systems change nonsense. I scare you. The world you wish so badly to hold to will not exist in the future. It’s an existential crisis for you, a source of cognitive dissonance.

    You can’t handle the truth.

    Everything else you said was just more absurdity, incoherence, prevarication, etc. Yes, I skimmed your garbage heaps and left them where you dumped them. They are worth no more effort than this post. Look at this inanity (lack of substance: emptiness; vapid, pointless):

    There is a substantive difference between the hunter gatherer commons of the natural world,and your apparent definition of the modern commons which appears to include farms and industry as well as nature.

    Last first: I offered no definition of a Commons.
    First last: No, there is not. A commons is not defined by what is within it. Not even slightly. This is something 5 minutes or less reading on Commons would make clear, yet, here you are in all your glory spouting… god knows what to even call it.

  8. 408
    Killian says:

    Re #385 Mike said economist!

    I dare nigel to read that article.

    ;-)

    Several well-known mid–19th century scientists told the economists that there was no basis for substituting economic variables for physical variables in the equations of the theory in physics. But the economists did not appreciate how devastating this criticism was and proceeded to claim that they had transformed the study of economics into a scientific discipline comparable to physics. In what is surely one of the strangest chapters in the history of Western thought, the origins of neoclassical economics were forgotten, the claim that neoclassical economic theory is scientific was almost universally accepted, and subsequent generations of economists disguised the existence of the unscientific axiomatic assumptions in this theory under an increasingly complex maze of mathematical formalism…

    …neoclassical economic paradigm is predicated on the following unscientific assumptions:

    * Market systems exist in a domain of reality separate and distinct from other domains.

    * Capital circulates in these systems in a closed circular flow between production and consumption with no inlets or outlets.

    * The lawful dynamics of closed-market systems legislate over the behavior of economic actors, and the actors obey fixed decision-making rules.

    * The dynamics that operate within closed market systems, if they are not interfered with by the external or exogenous agencies such as government, will necessarily result in the growth and expansion of these systems.

    * Market forces will resolve environmental problems via price mechanisms, along with more efficient technologies and production processes.

    * The resources of nature are largely inexhaustible, and those that are not can be replaced by other resources or by technologies that minimize the use of the exhaustible resources or rely on other resources.

    * The environmental costs of economic activities can only be determined by pricing mechanisms that operate within closed market systems.

    * There are no biological or physical limits to the growth and expansion of market systems.

    One does not have to a scientist to realize that these assumptions make no sense at all in scientific terms. In these terms, markets are open systems that exist in embedded and interactive relationship with environmental systems. Natural resources are clearly exhaustible, and our over-reliance on some of these resources, particularly fossil fuels, could soon result in irreversible large-scale changes in the global climate system. The natural environment is not separate from economic processes, and wastes and pollutants from these processes are already at levels that threaten the stability and sustainability of virtually all environmental subsystems. Last but not least, the limits to the growth of the global economy in biophysical terms are real and inescapable, and the assumption that market systems can perpetually expand and consume more scarce and nonrenewable natural resources is utterly false. (3)

    Oh. My.

  9. 409
    zebra says:

    #400 Kevin McKinney,

    “you’ve yet to explain why the kinds of growth rates we are seeing now should flatten out any time soon,”

    But I have, and it is you who has not offered any quantitative analysis of how those 250 million ICE are going to be replaced…”soon”.

    I just saw a comment from some Ford or GM exec– can’t remember exactly– about them coming out with a hybrid truck, and being very vague and dismissive about plug-in or pure battery.

    The growth rates you talk about are not indicative of actual changes in the policies of major players; remember that VW’s “come to Jesus EV conversion” was the result of being caught criminally gaming the system to keep polluting in the interests of profit.

    When you talk about the economic trends, you ignore the fact that the profit margins for ICE trucks and SUV are very high, so lowering prices to keep selling them is always possible. And yes, oil could go lower, because Petro-States don’t have anything else to sell.

    And, the government policies that can actually make a difference, (again as I already pointed out,) are subject to the currently 50/50 chance of fossil fuel interests being completely in control of the US government over periods in the near future. In which case they will do everything in their power to slow down the progress, as we see right now.

    Your final paragraph is indicative of the problem I have been trying to illustrate. I started in on this in response to Killian talking about “design”, and have tried to offer an example of actual design or (societal) engineering. That requires a certain degree of objectivity; if one is caught up in whether one is going to “be there” to feel righteous and vindicated, it distorts the process. Also, as I have said, if one avoids areas that make one uncomfortable for whatever reason, as with the fundamentals of human behavior.

  10. 410
    Killian says:

    Interesting here is that what supposedly is impossible according to some here 1. has always existed and 2. is spreading in the business world.

    The future is in business as commons | Samantha Slade | TEDxGeneva

    What is unfortunate is calling any business a Commons is incorrect in any sensible use of the terms. The proper term is a cooperative or collective ownership, as noted on Wiki:

    Some texts make a distinction in usage between common ownership of the commons and collective ownership among a group of colleagues, such as in a producers’ cooperative. The precision of this distinction is not always maintained.

    This distinction is important because a true Commons has no need of what is commonly called “economics.” There is no need for finance, for profit distribution or even consideration, no need for money as we now use it, lending, etc. A true Commons frees people to do the necessary rather than chase illusory non-need fulfilling goals. A true Commons need only distribute to each what is needed. Abundance simply means either more can be shared or more is put back into the health and maintenance of the system. A cooperative is no more sustainable than current typical business models as the goal is still profit which means growth and means taking from others for you or your group to hoard. They might be less consumptive, but not sustainable.

    That this person speaks as if she understands what is sustainable, and even talks about resource limits, then celebrates a co-op as a Commons and profit is frightening. It is a delusion that is very, very hard to shake people free of.

    All that said, these can be seen as steps toward broader co-op formation and the possibility of morphing into true Commons as community-based co-ops form and end the need or usefulness of these hybrid “Commonses.”

    We keep hearing from certain poorly informed actors here and beyond RC that, well, people won’t. I keep repeating: People will. People are. More all the time. People always have.

  11. 411

    #403, nigel–

    Yeah. Sorry to be the usage Nazi there. Sometimes I just can’t help it.

  12. 412
    Al Bundy says:

    Zebra: Let’s do a little sci-fi.

    AB: OK. BRB…

    ——-

    Hey, BPL, let’s exchange some of our writing, OK? My current book, Quantum Magic part 2 is of a new genre, which I call Weaving. It’s where one tries to write the most fantastical tale using irrefutable physical facts. There can be no physical fiction. Here’s a blurb. The action takes place in a library (the English teacher is a part-time librarian who has just read a few pages):

    For a writer, it’s high praise when an English teacher tries to melt through a counter five feet away. Did my Work instill “the terror of what couldn’t possibly be”? Did I peg the “nutz” meter? Was she afraid of an old one-legged man? Maybe she was in a hurry to get back to collating.

    Her suggestion? Science fiction. I agree. It’s time for you to finally read some SF you can’t put down.

    Doc

    PS to the English teacher: Have you applied your skills as a teacher to the ancient texts by analyzing the characters for motivation? Why would anyone join the losing side on purpose? Well, what if your reality is a story to me, and I’m trying to win the shortest shelf’s writing contest?

    “Faith is ever so fun as long as it stays fiction.”

    —–

    Anyway, Zebra, I don’t make plans, but scenarios. And I rebuild more or less from scratch each time. So you get what happens to spew out today.

    I’ve got several inventions bursting at the door: the engine, suspension, tire, and car body where each component is twice as efficient as current best practice that’s in general use (the body style’s breakthrough is figuring out how to turn a fugly car with a ridiculously long tail into something cool and not-so-long – and the use of a flat-plate condenser instead of a finned radiator helps [tiny engines allow for better solutions]). One of my favorites is the refrigerator. It is huge but it fits in a small apartment’s kitchen. (Almost magic)

    My current issue is the same issue that inventors have always faced: Dunning-Krugers outnumber inventors by orders of magnitude. I’m working on getting famous.

    So, once that’s done I’ll start selling licenses. The result will be a steady flow of cash that continually increases as I add more inventions. What to do with the cash?

    Build an alternative economy, of course. Not from scratch, but from also-rans who have value. Sears comes to mind. Buy Sears along with another large and maybe a smaller specialty or two. Take all of them into a non-profit umbrella.

    Each ex-company will have strong and weak organizational features and employees. But instead of culling and singularizing to streamline into a homogeneity, three or so structures will remain. Personnel are shuffled and the three structures compete against each other, but with total openness. Each shares its proprietary knowledge and helps the others. Collaborative competition combines the best of both worlds. Every so often, “teams” are re-picked to reinforce that all three sub-organizations are one.

    The non-profit will be competing with for-profits. Taxwise, it’s a home run. No property taxes or income taxes. Instead, the organization builds parks and does good works and voluntarily contributes money to the government (instead of advertising).

    Customerwise, well, customers see capitalistic companies as competitors in a zero sum game. You want to buy on sale. But the Girl Scouts sell lots of overpriced and damn-near-fatal cookies. Back when I was in the Rat Maze women would ask others to take the cookies they had just bought.

    Employeewise, well, how many executives would jump at the chance to rebuild the economy? Seriously, the good ones are NOT the ones who are just counting the zeroes in their account. They’re NOT the ones who watch the indexes like some of us watch CO2 levels. The good ones are the opposite, they’re sick and tired of the garbage and ready to chuck it all and go fish because there isn’t a Laborist organization to join yet. How many workers would love to work at a place where their share was the entire share? Remember, there are no stockholders to “repay”.

    It won’t be a fair fight.

  13. 413
    alan2102 says:

    new book, fyi:

    http://chesterenergyandpolicy.com/2019/01/08/a-potential-new-climate-policy-bible-reviewing-designing-climate-solutions-a-policy-guide-for-low-carbon-energy/
    A Potential New Climate Policy Bible: Reviewing ‘Designing Climate Solutions: A Policy Guide for Low-Carbon Energy’
    January 8, 2019
    snip
    “for people steeped in the world of energy and climate policy, this book does not present any new groundbreaking ideas on the direction policymakers should take…
    Rather the value of this book, and the reason I’m thrilled to add it to my collection, is its function as an all-in-one, easy to comprehend explanation of the necessary path forward. Harvey has done his readers an invaluable service.”

  14. 414
    alan2102 says:

    https://insights.jumoreglobal.com/china-is-the-only-player-in-the-game-of-making-electric-buses-taxis-and-trucks/
    China is ‘the Only Player in the Game’ of Making Electric Buses, Taxis, and Trucks
    December 20, 2018
    “Throughout the land of China, the replacement of gasoline-fueled taxis, buses and trucks with new electric models is in full swing. This huge change in China has also boosted a wave of global electric vehicle (EV) revolution. China is undergoing a major revolution in EV replacement, and it may be the only player in this game. Before the end of 2020, all buses and taxis in Shenzhen will be replaced by electric transportation, and a large number of financial subsidies help drive the switch. For per vehicle sold, an e-bus manufacturer will receive a subsidy of $25,900. From 2009 to 2017, the Chinese government has subsidized more than $48 billion on EVs…. According to Shanghai research consulting firm Automotive Foresight, during the three years from 2014 to 2017, Chinese manufacturers produced 358,000 electric buses, almost equivalent to half of China’s urban bus ownership.”

  15. 415
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @411, don’t apologise. You were quite right. I do get sloppy sometimes, and need reminding.

  16. 416
    nigelj says:

    Killian @408

    Regarding the article Mike and you posted with comments such as “neoclassical economic paradigm is predicated on the following unscientific assumptions. Market systems exist in a domain of reality separate and distinct from other domains….” You think I should read it and it will open my eyes.

    Thanks guys, but I had already read that article some months ago somewhere. Neoclassical economics is essentially the same as neoliberalism, and I was critical of this in all my comments above.

    So your point is what exactly? Please, please read what people say.

  17. 417
    nigelj says:

    Killian @407

    “Nigel, the reason you don’t nip others heels (though Mike did recently call you out for some of the same things I do), engage in obvious Straw Man attacks, outright lies with them, etc.,is they don’t say what I say. I represent the exact opposite of your suicidal go slow, non-systems change nonsense. I scare you. The world you wish so badly to hold to will not exist in the future. It’s an existential crisis for you, a source of cognitive dissonance.”

    No. I have sometimes been critical of comments by Zebra, AB, Carrie, Victor, MAR, and numerous other people on this website. So you are just plain wrong, or you are putting words in my mouth, so you tell me which. I repeat you clearly and indisputably have a fundamental perception problem here.

    I treat them respectfully just as I do with you. Mostly anyway. I don’t name call.

    I don’t lie to them, or to you, or to anyone on this website. I have already explained this. I’m not going to repeat it again.

    I have never said we shouldn’t change the system. I’m just proposing a different form of change to you that is admittedly less radical. Accept that, and deal with it but please stop putting words in my mouth that I don’t wish the system to change. There are obviously degrees and different types of change. Yours is one version and well worth thinking about, but it is not the only possibility, obviously.

    You don’t scare me in the slightest, and neither do your ideas, apart from your name calling and bullying accusations, nobody enjoys this. The world will change as it always has and we will eventually be forced to consume less, this is patently obvious. The question is by how much and I don’t think you have analysed this adequately enough.

    The other question is what should this generation do about it? Again I don’t think you have quite the right answers there.

    I agree about regenerative farming and the wisdom of trying to use less mineral resources especially for things of little real value, but your expectations are unrealistic imho. I made specific comments about what I think we should do, quantitative comments, but you ignore then because I think you don’t know how to deal with them.

    “Everything else you said was just more absurdity, incoherence, prevarication, etc. Yes, I skimmed your garbage heaps and left them where you dumped them. They are worth no more effort than this post. Look at this inanity (lack of substance: emptiness; vapid, pointless):”

    More of your bile. You can’t deal with the truth yourself so you just direct bile at it.

    “Last first: I offered no definition of a Commons.”

    Then define it as you see it, because you are setting yourself up as an expert on sustainability. You have most certainly claimed expertise. Also define how you deal with ownership of farms and industry, or your views are unconvincing to me.

    Like I said communal ownership in various forms doesn’t have a great track record and neither do alternative communities. This is the the truth, and I don’t think you can handle that truth :)

    I will watch your video on the business commons. Again its one persons view. Not exactly a consensus view of economists or anyone else

  18. 418
    nigelj says:

    Zebra says

    “When you talk about the economic trends, you ignore the fact that the profit margins for ICE trucks and SUV are very high, so lowering prices to keep selling them is always possible. And yes, oil could go lower, because Petro-States don’t have anything else to sell.’

    Where is your proof of that? Could you please provide a link?

    I see no evidence that car companies are hugely more profitable than other entities. Some have gone or nearly gone bankrupt. Its actually a risky industry subject to public whims about style.

  19. 419
    nigelj says:

    “China is ‘the Only Player in the Game’ of Making Electric Buses, Taxis, and Trucks”

    Not quite:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12007956

    “First electric bus in New Zealand hits the road” Admittedly the engines are from China, but most of the rest is made in New Zealand.

    Remarkable what China is doing with BEV’s. Probably partly to keep smog levels down, but the end result is just the same.

  20. 420
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @412,I think you are right about non profits, but what has the rest about ICE’s and their lifespans and engine wear issues actually got to do with the climate issue?

  21. 421
    Al Bundy says:

    Kevin: It’s tough enough to have any influence even on one’s contemporaries. But you’re probably noticing that yourself.

    AB: Few* have ever lost an argument, but many have lost friends and made enemies through arguing. (*only the most honorable)

    2100 to essentially eliminate fossils as fuels? Maybe, but it will take some serious paradigm changing.

    And “We”? Look at Saudi. The players are rich-as-sin royal leeches, poor-as-heck semi-slave foreign laborers, citizens who are pacified by their small share of the largess, 9th-class Shiites (who happen to live directly over the oil fields – that’s “Iranian” oil in Saudi but the Shiites, who have lived there forever, get nothing but the end of a gun), and religious crazies who are supported by the USA through the royal leeches (If you split Wahhabism into parts it would probably be the #1, #2, and #3 top source for terrorism. Can you say 9/11?). Yeah, turn off the spigots and everything will go ever so smoothly.

    Seriously, what happens to Niger? What happens to Iraq? What happens to Venezuela? Alberta? And, of course, the elephant in the room…

    As if Russia gives two Rubles for what you think or want. Warmer sounds good, even if it might not be. And even if it’s not good, as long as it’s worse for the West than for Russia. then it’s “good”.

    The world might fracture into fossil and renewable economies. Who wants to play war? It’s humanity’s favorite game.

    So, there are inflection points that can’t be predicted. Do we sink deeper into permawar? Do we build walls? Does Offense (military) spending increase? Do we simply ship our fossil-consuming industry to the third world? Seriously, you (generic “you”) gonna sell your SUV to a willing buyer or willingly junk it when you buy an EV or ethanol vehicle? What do you think the Kochs will do when their toys aren’t wanted in the USA anymore?

    I think Zebra would be right except that we’re going to change enough paradigms and destroy enough axioms so as to change the trajectory. But it’s like a ricochet. God only knows which way we’re gonna bounce. Cuz “we” includes everybody, even our so-called enemies. Bombing them back into the fossil fuel age isn’t a wise choice.

    More positively, even though one can’t change significant numbers of minds cohorts change automatically. Within ten years few in the advanced pseudo-democracies other that those with serious conflicts of interest will admit to ever not knowing the obvious. Some deniers will die, some will turn to some other inanity, some will get old and tired. But within ten years climate change denial will not be a viable political stance. Neither you nor I can change minds but a blue Arctic Ocean will be hard to argue with.

  22. 422
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy@421, the middle eastern oil exporting countries and Venezueala have a bad case of “dutch disease” so almost total reliance on a narrow band of exports. In this case fossil fuels.

    Saudi Arabia is actually trying to diversify its economy, which shows they can see the writing on the wall. One thing in their favour is some of these countries are effectively dictatorships so change can happen fast if there is a will.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/25/world/middleeast/saudi-arabias-grand-plan-to-move-beyond-oil-big-goals-bigger-hurdles.html

    They also know oil is a finite resource, and word is the remaining reserves wont last out this century. Fracking is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    Of course its a question of how fast good things might happen both with diversification and combatting climate change. I would guess somewhere between KM’s optimism and Zebras scepticism just by looking at the issues.

    Plenty of deniers will argue with a blue arctic ocean, because there are lots of potential fairy stories left. I think we have a core group of 20% of the population who will never accept agw climate science. But that number would be small enough not to be too much of a problem.

    I kind of wonder if technological change might overtake remaining denialism. But good comments, I like the idea of a richochet, history supports that notion.

  23. 423

    zebra, #

    …it is you who has not offered any quantitative analysis of how those 250 million ICE are going to be replaced…”soon”.

    Actually, I did. Perhaps you missed it?

    When you talk about the economic trends, you ignore the fact that the profit margins for ICE trucks and SUV are very high, so lowering prices to keep selling them is always possible.

    So are BEV trucks, including pickups. Several are in the works now.

    And yes, oil could go lower, because Petro-States don’t have anything else to sell.

    Of course. And as demand falls, prices will tend to follow. It’s a negative feedback that just has to be dealt with at the policy level. No-one said this would be easy, and that’s one dimension of the difficulty. As you said, it will be a long war.

  24. 424
    Killian says:

    A geochemical engineering professor is not the most likely person you expect to hear saying the things this guy does.

    https://un-denial.com/2019/01/08/by-tad-patzek-a-requiem-for-the-beautiful-earth/

    When people talk about ingenuity, “new technology,” and “advancing technology,” I am reminded that human technology has been advancing for two million years. Advancing technology is not new. It is our story…

    Meanwhile, at every step, humanity has become more destructive to Earth’s ecosystems. I see no trend that we are solving more problems than we are creating. When the techno-optimists hail future “solutions,” I’m reminded that all the problems we face today are the results of earlier “solutions,” and all the solutions of today are creating new problems.

    I know you know all this, but it’s worth saying: There are no significant ecological trend lines that are getting better for the ecosystems…

    No, whenever I doubt we are right about collapse, I take stock of this large-scale Earth balance sheet and must conclude again that human enterprise itself is a giant Ponzi scheme, plundering the mother that gave birth to us, high-grading every resource, squandering the riches for idle pleasures, and leaving behind a smoldering, toxic trail. ” [With minor edits and additions by TWP.]

    First, let me remind you that a pessimist is an optimist who shed his delusions and denial, and educated himself. Please keep this in mind… If you don’t… You will remain in your blissful bubble of denial and ignorance, which are the dominant genetic traits of most denizens of the fossil superorganism.

  25. 425
    zebra says:

    #421 Al Bundy,

    Well articulated. So,

    “The world might fracture into fossil and renewable economies. Who wants to play war? It’s humanity’s favorite game.”

    “Might”??

    What you call a ricochet and I call “the error bars go both ways” is why it is necessary to look for a realistically achievable trend line. However brilliantly all the good guys make the energy transition, Russia et al are not going to be putting up massive numbers of China-made solar panels any time soon. Everything else aside, what would they buy them with, other than fossil fuel revenue??

  26. 426
    zebra says:

    #414 Alan 2102,

    Fleets, taxis, buses, local delivery vans… exactly where government policy could provide a great push to accelerate the transition, without creating the problem I described earlier of having manufacturers competing with themselves.

    People love really expensive phones made in China, so what’s the problem? Let’s start placing the orders! (yes, sarcasm)

    Here’s where we could find a kind of policy that is less dramatic, more geared towards a longer-term paradigm shift for a specific market. I think some cities have moved slightly in this direction, but supporting it at a national level might actually be politically palatable.

  27. 427

    K 404: But then said, They may be fossil now, that doesn’t mean they have to be fossil forever.

    Well, do they or don’t they? I’m going with the last sentence as it is accurate in it’s first part. The interesting bit is the second clause. That little beauty is magical thinking.

    BPL: There you have it, folks. Believing fossil fuels can be replaced with something else is “magical thinking.”

  28. 428

    K 405: There was zero ill intent in my post.

    BPL: You are as pure as the driven snow. It’s always the other guy’s fault.

  29. 429
    Al Bundy says:

    Alan, thanks. And Japan has had Kei cars since 1949. They’re currently pegged at 63hp and available in ICE and EV format. Even hybrids are starting to show up.

    Zebra: Russia et al are not going to be putting up massive numbers of China-made solar panels any time soon. Everything else aside, what would they buy them with, other than fossil fuel revenue??

    AB: And with the USA putting sanctions on everyone it’s kind of like, “We don’t like you. We insist that you go create an independent fossil-based economic world”. Bomb them or sanction them, the result is the same: staying in the fossil age.

    ——-

    Nigel, Google says, “According to data from energy industry consultant Rystad Energy, on average it cost Saudi Arabia less than $9 to produce a barrel of oil last year.Mar 19, 2017”

    I figure that somewhere between $20 to $25 per barrel of oil equivalent is about where fossils croak economically. (And remember, CH4 is cheaper than gasoline)

    Nigel: what has the rest about ICE’s and their lifespans and engine wear issues actually got to do with the climate issue?

    AB: The discussion is about vehicles of the future and whether they should be purely EVs or a mixture of EVs and bio-hybrids. One or two folks noted that [given current tech trends] pure EVs will require less maintenance than bio-hybrids. I was explaining how advances in technology and the sharing economy will combine to nullify the EV’s maintenance and lifespan advantage, that the bio-hybrid’s refueling speed will become more relevant, and the whole testosterone-laden performance thingy will go limp. Self-driving means everyone becomes a passenger and passengers generally don’t like g-forces because they don’t have control. This is physical, not mental. Ask any road rally crew which job punishes the body more, the driver or the navigator. The driver is protected because he/she is providing input and can adjust to absorb the forces just before they arrive; the navigator is just getting tossed around.

    Transportation will degrade into transportation. If you want to have fun driving, hit a track.

  30. 430
    Carrie says:

    424 etc. Killian, I think the topics you raise and the knowledge you have would be most suited to the ‘youth’ (under 35s) of this world, and I believe they would be fertile soil to cultivate with the know-how you and your friends possess. I don’t know how best you would go about getting to share your knowledge and values with this huge group of people but I would certainly encourage you to seek out ways to do so. Maybe the people at Extinction Rebellion could be an avenue worth exploring? Up to you. It saddens me to see good people spreading their good seed on rocky ground. Best.

  31. 431
    alan2102 says:

    #426 Zebra: did you read the article? (re electric buses, etc. in China)

    Snippit:
    “Before the end of 2020, all buses and taxis in Shenzhen will be replaced by electric transportation, and a large number of financial subsidies help drive the switch. For per vehicle sold, an e-bus manufacturer will receive a subsidy of $25,900. From 2009 to 2017, the Chinese government has subsidized more than $48 billion on EVs. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, subsidies may continue until 2020.”

    So, yes, “government policy could provide a great push to accelerate the transition”, and IT HAS DONE SO, AND IS DOING SO, in China, the place with smart, science- and engineering-savvy leadership, socialistic and collectivistic values, strong central planning, and a citizenry largely united in support of its leaders.

    Not happening in the U.S.? No, and no surprise. The U.S. is run by psychopaths and crypto-fascists, many of them scientifically illiterate. Unless a great progressive revolution gets traction (Sanders, AOC, etc., etc.) — possible but unlikely — it won’t be happening here. Some of the worst psychopaths of all are in the Democratic Party, and they are dead-set on preventing a Sanders-ian uprising.

    Best thing you can do to accelerate the transition to renewables, vehicle electrification, clean tech development, global UHV grid build-out (hugely important), infrastructure and industrial buildout across Eurasia and Africa (also hugely important), and a host of related essential thrusts, and to accelerate the institution of sane multipolarity and inclusive (social justice-oriented) globalization, is to support Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China. They, and their nation, are now the true leaders, the light unto the world, the city upon a hill. There is a fair-to-good possibility that they will lead us all into a very different and better future. (Barring the usual: climate catastrophe, nuclear war, etc.)

  32. 432
    Killian says:

    To Dear Readers:

    Magical Thinking is planning, setting policy, etc., based on the possibility of something that does not currently exist. This is not the same as, say, futurism or dreaming of possibilites which are normal, legit human behavior. Magical Thinking is basing real actions, in the present, based on non-existent future possibilities and thinking that is good planning.

    I have said repeatedly cars of any type are unsustainable. That is a fact, not an opinion. That alone makes the question of what you fuel them with largely irrelevant in terms of getting to a regenerative future: It doesn’t matter what you fuel them with, they will still be unsustainable.

    However, to the extent ICE cars are currently in wide use and will continue to be, justifying their continued use with the notion it will all be OK because **someday** they **might** be fueled with something else (implying something sustainable) is a perfect example of magical thinking.

    No, under current conditions and technology the only sane response is to end ICE cars ASAP, and all cars ASAP.

    ********************************

    Dear BPHeelnipper, you’re actually the worst poster on these boards. I don’t recall a single response from you to me that had any merit or usefulness, certainly not in the last several years. They are always personal, never germane, never factual, never on the topic.

    That *is* trolling.

    Why you aren’t boreholed for these purely personal posts is a long-running mystery.

    Yes, the comment was magical thinking and was correctly identified as such, but carry on. Troll away.

    Kisses.

  33. 433
    Killian says:

    Re #430 Carrie said 424 etc. Killian, I think the topics you raise and the knowledge you have would be most suited to the ‘youth’ (under 35s) of this world, and I believe they would be fertile soil to cultivate with the know-how you and your friends possess…

    It saddens me to see good people spreading their good seed on rocky ground. Best.

    This is not the only place I interact, and I have been giving this question, in broader terms, some consideration.

    Cheers

  34. 434
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @429, I get what you are saying about bio hybrid cars and engine maintainance, and self drive cars, it makes sense.

    A few petrol heads will want to keep their fast cars, but it will probably be in a minority. I have a moderately high performance car, but I rarely use its power and would rather get a bus or self drive and read a book. I’m willing to bet many are the same. We like the ‘thought’ of speed and power, more than using it very much.

    But I’m just not much of a fan of biofuels, and I didn’t realise you were talking about that. I mean, what is the point of growing things, on scarce land, to create carbon neutral fuel, when we can just build electric and / or hydrogen powered cars? Unless you can show me some real constraint on the development of electric cars.

    The only area where using biofuels makes sense to me is aircraft and large trucks etc, because its hard to electrify these. Yeah I know Elon Musk has an electric truck, but its an expensive beast of a thing!

    The frigging useless government needs to be determining these sorts of issues and applications, because nobody else can.

  35. 435
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @430, are you suggesting some of us are old fossils? Well, you are probably right.

    One thing, if you or anyone else want to convince young people to be better behaved environmentally and to buy less technology, 1) dont expect them to give up their smartphones and 2)dont be arrogantly dismissive of their views, and 3) dont call rich people scum, if you expect to convince young people of anything. But of course I know you would never do those things.

  36. 436
    Killian says:

    ****Moved from Unforced Variations****

    Re #75 nigelj said Yes Killian has his pet theory, and so won’t like any criticism (or stick poking)

    I have no theory whatsoever. Conclusions drawn from extensive analysis and verifiable are not theory. I have told you many times, this is math.

    a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.

    What am I trying to explain? Climate? No. Permaculture? No. Simple living? No. How regenerative systems work? No. All those areas of knowledge already exist.

    It is not a theory that simplicity can lead to a return to sub-300ppm CO2, it’s a fact. It’s not an opinion that world soils can be made regenerative in 5 years, it’s a fact. Etc.

    I am not theorizing, I am analyzing and offering a viable pathway choice.

    So, do you not understand what a theory is or are you intentionally misleading others?

    Second, your use of “pet” here is pejorative. It is intended to diminish the possible value of my “theory.” You don’t use these types of terms with others. You do not outright distort what others say.

    As I said: I scare you. You want nothing but Capitalism. It is why you gaslight, as you do in this post, claiming I am the problem because I don’t like you disagreeing with me. Virtually everybody here disagrees with me. Why is there not the extent of the problem with them that there is with you? They are often rude, disrespectful, dismissive, but none of them are distorting what I say on a regular basis. Even BPL is just being an asshole. (How he doesn’t get boreholed with his 100% personal, contentless insults…) Only you do that. You create the problem then blame the person whose words you have distorted.

    There’s a reason you don’t use your name here.

    So, to be clear: I am never insulted by critique of my positions or ideas. I never complain about your *opinions,* I complain about your dishonesty. It’s scary that you may not be able to tell the difference. Personally, I think you can most of the time. I think you are anything but accidental in all this, though there is some inability at play, a lack of intellectual skill.

    but I think if people cannot stand having their “pet theories” criticised maybe don’t post them on websites that are open for feedback. For goodness sake, criticism is a part of science.

    See above. You don’t have the knowledge or ability to challenge me on facts and analysis. I could care less what you say in that regard. You are almost universally incorrect in your many, many, many words on these fora. But, hey, when it comes to solutions, almost all are. Deep Simplicity is still what we might call fringe. Most do not want to accept it. That doesn’t make it the wrong choice, it means people are yet ignorant and/or in denial and/or foolish enough to risk the planet on magical thinking.

    What kind of ego must you have to think you, of all the people who disagree with me, get my special attention? No, it is that they are not intellectually dishonest, but you are, as with claiming the problem between us is disagreement about the facts. It has never been, never will be.

    It’s not my job to walk on my toes in case I upset someone.

    It is your job to be honest, and you have again failed.

    I did ignore him for months,

    Bull.

    until the relgion issue somehow set things off.

    Somehow? It’s no mystery: You poked your nose into a conversation you had nothing germane to comment on to attack someone who had tried to get the participants to shift to the other forum and acted as if I was the one talking religion.

    Your error. Again.

    I *was* commenting on someone’s bigotry and racism. That was germane then and would be now. You still can’t figure this out, apparently, so stoke the fire with your ignorance or intentional hostility… or both. Hard to tell.

    When you stop lying, we will stop having a problem.

  37. 437
    Mr. Know It All says:

    If we had a really plentiful source of energy that was non-polluting and not too expensive, fusion for example, I’d think we could make fast progress on eliminating most of our need for FFs. And, we would have enough energy to start removing CO2 from the atmosphere on a significant scale. Who agrees?

    If we can’t do that, perhaps Killian’s idea of the simple life is the best alternative – or the only alternative.

    424 – Killian
    Is there a primitive society on earth today that you think is a good model for us to follow? If so, which one and where is it located?

  38. 438
    zebra says:

    #423 Kevin McKinney,

    Your quantitative suggestion was that there would be a doubling of EV sales every year. I pointed out that this was highly unlikely, and that the progress would become linear, and then you made a rather vague reply to the effect that I was correct, and your “exponential” progress was not expected to continue.

    But you gave no timeline. Do you suggest that we will get to 17.5 million EV sold every year “soon”? If not, there will be ICE on the road for a long time.

    There are about 37.5 Million full-size pickup trucks on the road in the US.

    Here’s where we are on replacing them with EV:

    https://www.cars.com/articles/plug-in-pickup-3-things-we-learned-driving-an-electrified-ford-f-150-1420701103098/

    Alan’s reference about China is encouraging, but we tend to forget where they are starting from. They are starting with relatively quite low vehicles per capita, so it is indeed possible for them to establish EV as the norm, for new buyers.

    But as Al points out, we don’t actually melt down ICE vehicles even if they get traded in on an EV, they continue to be on the road for who knows how many years. Perhaps they would get shipped to Russia or Iraq or Venezuela, in fact. Then what?

  39. 439
    Al Bundy says:

    Carrie: It saddens me to see good people spreading their good seed on rocky ground. Best.

    AB: You’re right but backwards. The issue Killian has is the same issue that I’ve spent decades trying to overcome: I was, and to a certain extent still am an ass. Folks do NOT reject Killian’s good thoughts; they don’t swallow them whole and they have questions, as it is supposed to be. Killian rejects others’ points of view and insults pretty much everybody, then uses any response to prove he’s, as BPL said, “as pure as the driven snow. It’s always the other guy’s fault.”.

    Seriously, when folks as diverse as __, ___, ___, and the moderators themselves all have serious beefs, and it isn’t like Victor; folks generally like Victor even though they think he’s adamantly wrong. Folks generally think Killian has good points to contribute but they can’t stand the delivery. Complete opposites.

    The soil is fertile, but a steam jet isn’t the proper way to irrigate.

  40. 440
    nigelj says:

    Killian @436

    You are butting in on a conversation between myself and Al Bundy.

    I said to Al that I wont bother to respond to your comments, so I have no response to your simplicity theory (and that is what it is) and your long list of empty assertions.

    But you need to realise one thing: you don’t just falsely accuse me of lying, you have falsely accused numerous people on this website of lying. So get some councelling man.

    I do have one little comment: You said ” I have no theory whatsoever. Conclusions drawn from extensive analysis and verifiable are not theory. I have told you many times, this is math.”

    And you have told us several times your maths is terrible. So yeah you can perhaps see this is one reason of many why I dont take you seriously.

  41. 441
    nigelj says:

    This is such a good website in many ways, but here it is printing comments @436 accusing BPL of “just being an arsehole” and other ad hominems, followed by a long list of completely empty assertions of a personal nature and totally off topic rhetoric. This is despite the fact that the website actually has a moderation policy that says dont do this.

    This is just so inconsistent and incomprehensible to me, and so damages our efforts to create a friendly environment, and to motivate people to do something about climate change. It risks dragging all of us down to the same level. I could post all the same nastiness if I wanted and how would it be if we all did that? Gavin you are being self defeating here and risk making the website unpleasant, unconstructive and irrelevant.

  42. 442

    zebra, #438–

    Your quantitative suggestion was that there would be a doubling of EV sales every year.

    No, that was not my quantitative model. The comment appeared way back in #318, and it was, as cut and pasted here for everyone’s reading pleasure (or the reverse):

    So illustratively, in 2021, we’ll be seeing above two million units sold globally. In 2025, maybe four. By 2030, eight or more. You can do the math; such a doubling rate would get us to 100% EV market share comfortably before 2050.

    So, doubling rates of ~5 years. Yes, it’s a very simple conceptual model, and yes, it can be seen as optimistic. But given cost curves and incentives already in place in many countries, I don’t think it’s necessarily unrealistic. And it’s not even as optimistic as the ReThinkX scenario, which used actually economic modeling.

    …we don’t actually melt down ICE vehicles even if they get traded in on an EV, they continue to be on the road for who knows how many years.

    Well, they’ll probably melt down mine, by the time I trade it in to buy my BEV, for what that’s worth.

    But this won’t just be a near-equivalent trade; this will also be a change in the ‘vehicular ecosystem.’ At present, BEV drivers plan carefully when going on road trips to route things with charging access in mind. What about the point(s) when ICE drivers have to do the same WRT gas/petrol pumps? When governments around the world say, no, you can’t put that thing on the road? When parts get scarce? When the lifetime ownership differential becomes a matter of “everybody knows?”

    When everyone under 30 looks at holdout ICE drivers as if they dine on roast leg of baby for dinner?

    “When it’s time to railroad, you railroad.” ‘Cause I really think that most of us here will live to see all of the above. And it’s going to take a fair few of those reluctant automotive majors down, as it comes.

    All of which is to say that a lot of ICEs will in fact get melted sooner than current mean lifetimes might suggest.

  43. 443
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @439

    “folks generally like Victor even though they think he’s adamantly wrong. Folks generally think Killian has good points to contribute but they can’t stand the delivery.”

    I would not say that I ‘like’ Victor. He is polite, that is the best I can say. I would have a coffee with him.

    I also dont dislike Killian. What I dislike is his arrogance and offensiveness, especially when I make the effort not to be like that. It annoys me that he is allowed to get away with it so often on a so called moderated website.

    Maybe he has some good points, but his theories have holes in them that you could drive a truck through. Most resource limits problems could be solved with smaller population, and that is a far more realistic approach. The rest can be tidied up with moderately reduced consumption. I see no need to completely abandon the current socio /economic system, radical cuts in consumption, and giving up on most of our high technology. Even if there was a case to do this, I dont see people doing it.

    Tell me why you think I would be wrong, if you disagree.

  44. 444
    nigelj says:

    Not responding to anyone in particular. I would just say “magical thinking” is expecting billions of people to simply walk away from the current socio economic system, and live with very little modern technology, in some semi rural location, and without cars of any type (god knows how emergency services are supposed to work effectively without cars).

  45. 445
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy, what you are doing is trying to atone for your own past sins by being nice and accepting towards a certain person. Being nice and accepting is to be applauded, but you are going too far and letting it cloud your judgement. I’m ultra perceptive.

  46. 446
    zebra says:

    #442 Kevin McKinney,

    Kevin, yes, the one-year number got stuck in my memory because you started out talking about the US and Europe and then went to your global number of 100 million yearly sales. Mea culpa, but that doesn’t make your 5-year number any less overly optimistic. ;-)

    First, as I pointed out in #438, China starts with low numbers of vehicles overall, but is increasing, (with fluctuations due to economic conditions,) and this is true for other countries, so thinking in terms of a percentage of sales using the current figure is incorrect.

    I’ve been talking about the US all along, where the yearly vehicle sales figure is reasonably stable, so let’s use that. And I’ll generously exclude those pesky pickup trucks I mentioned, and say we sell 16 million passenger cars a year. To be generous again, start with sales of 2 million:

    year sales
    1 2.0
    2 2.4
    3 2.8
    4 3.2
    5 4.0
    6 4.8
    7 5.6
    8 6.4
    9 7.2
    10 8.0
    11 9.6

    and so on.

    This is great! We’ve replaced about a fifth of the fleet, and all we have to do is, every year, shift the resources for hundreds of thousands and eventually millions of cars from the still-existing ICE factories to assembling EV, to making electric motors, and hybrid motors, and batteries, and so on, to continue replacing ICE.

    But now we have 50 million EV in the fleet, if I added up correctly. So now we have to start replacing EV with EV, as well, because even though the drivetrain will last, people do trade in for other reasons, and there will be battery swap-out, and so on.

    Maybe there’s something I’m missing here, but even if the car companies weren’t highly motivated to slow down the transition as much as they can, this is simply a very big technological and logistical and economic challenge.

    How do we get to even those beginning numbers?

  47. 447
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigel: Not responding to anyone in particular. I would just say “magical thinking” is expecting billions of people to simply walk away from…

    AB: Nope. Folks are expecting billions to die. Some are thinking that the quicker they die the better. Imagining that if we clear-cut a few continents of humans, things would be better. It wouldn’t be terribly hard. Just don’t mow anyone with nukes. Others are building bug-out resorts. Their concerns are more, “How do we keep the security guards from ousting us and creating a democracy? Should we go with robots?”

    There are lots of variations, but the standard meme, whether Mad Max or Flower Child, is that our end will be their beginning (“their” is not species specific).

    Nigel: I mean, what is the point of growing things, on scarce land, to create carbon neutral fuel, when we can just build electric and / or hydrogen powered cars?

    AB: Absolutely no point at all (for batteries, hydrogen sucks). Biofuel needs to come from waste, not food. One easy example is India’s digesters. Dung and whatnot in, CH4 out. Corn stover (what’s left after the harvest) can be made into ethanol. Wood slash (you know, the stuff that is responsible for so many horrific wildfires) can be made into methanol. Wood slash can also be made into truly cheap non-bleached paper towels that can absorb all of life’s greases and whatnot and then sent to a digester or straight to a power plant. The waste stream is the part of the issue that few climate changers talk about. Since biofuels are all about the waste stream they don’t get the notice they deserve.

    Crops generally take lots of water. Native grasses don’t. So, when you re-wildish the land (as in grow stuff that mimics nature) you can still harvest cellulose even after you’ve drained the aquifer. And then there’s pasture cropping (invented independently by Australians and me). Scientists say rain? Close-mow and/or chemically stun the grass and plant your crop (not killing but dominating the grass). Next year the scientists say drought? Let the grass grow and harvest for biofuel.

    Wind and solar need curtailment or storage. At that point, synfuels make sense. Got extra kilowatts? Liquify them. For transportation purposes there is nothing equal to liquid energy storage and likely won’t be until (if) air-cells come online. Thus, both EV’s and bio/synfueled vehicles are compromises. When all forms have compromises it is highly unlikely that either form should be discarded, especially when neither form has been optimized. Well, at this point I’d say the EV is far more optimized than the ICE (the EV is based on current tech while the ICE is still stuck in Otto and Diesel mode).

    As you noted, non-land vehicles and the heaviest land vehicles are not terribly suited for battery storage. Just try to get a container ship across the ocean. Lots of solar cells, some kite-sails, and plenty of time…

  48. 448

    K 432: Magical Thinking is planning, setting policy, etc., based on the possibility of something that does not currently exist.

    BPL: No, that’s not what “magical thinking” means at all. You need to crack an intro psychology text.

  49. 449

    K 436: Even BPL is just being an asshole.

    BPL: Physician, heal thyself.

  50. 450
    alan2102 says:

    #438 zebra: “[China is] starting with relatively quite low vehicles per capita, so it is indeed possible for them to establish EV as the norm, for new buyers.”

    1. It is indeed possible, and that is far more significant than the lagging behavior of the U.S.

    2. low vehicles per capita, but huge absolute numbers: wikipedia: “The People’s Republic of China has the largest fleet of motor vehicles in the world, with 332 million motor vehicles in 2018 including 235 million cars [1], and in 2009 became the world’s largest new car market as well.[2][3][4]”

    That’s not to mention that per capita ownership will be increasing steadily for decades, not just in China but elsewhere across continents. Electrification of transport in China, and by extension (as will occur) all of Eurasia, as well as Africa, is critical, not just for today, but especially for tomorrow. And it is happening, thank heaven. As I said before, Eurasia/Africa is where the action is, for this century. The West is history; they are the future.

    The U.S. lagging behind is not that big a deal in the big picture. Unless you embrace a McPherson-esque scenario of imminent doom, then you have to assume we have a few decades to make this mega-transition (i.e. the approximate minimum time required for it). If we don’t, then we’re screwed no matter what, so why bother with this conversation?

    It is obvious that transport will be largely electrified in 40 years at the outside max, and possibly as little as 30 years. That will have to be good enough, because that is as fast as it can happen.

    To repeat:

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/07/146699.html
    “Bloomberg is forecasting sales of electric vehicles (EVs) increasing from 1.1 million worldwide in 2017, to 11 million in 2025 and then surging to 30 million in 2030 as they become cheaper to make than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars.”

    … and, though not mentioned, presumably 50-60 million by 2035. Assuming that Bloomberg is not run by idiots, as it probably isn’t, 30 million per year, followed shortly by 50-60 million per year, is plenty fast enough to result in near-complete electrification of the global fleet in 20-30 years, starting from 2030. Yes, it would be very nice to do it in 15 years, but probably not possible.