RealClimate logo


Forced variations: Apr 2020

Filed under: — group @ 1 April 2020

Open thread for climate solutions.

669 Responses to “Forced variations: Apr 2020”

  1. 401

    Al Bundy writes @389:

    it shows that with more efficient drivetrains, bodies, and tires/suspensions 200MPG is a reasonable goal for a clean slate design.

    No, it shows what electrification will do.  While I can get trip computer readings cruising back roads at a constant 40 MPH which are the envy of any ICEV driver, the thing that really makes the difference is the battery pack.  Most of my trips, the engine never comes on.  It doesn’t have to be a very long trip to require a fallback to gas power, but I know where all the chargers are.

    More chargers would be pretty easy.  One place I frequent has a pole with several pole pigs right next to the parking lot.  It would be a cinch to hook up a bunch of Chargepoint units and designate those spaces as EV-only.  Unfortunately, that last 25 feet is a bridge too far; I have to park a half-mile away and hike if I want to plug in, and that’s just a handy NEMA outlet.

    nuclear is limited in how much of its output can be utilized as electricity, with higher ratios of electricity to thermal output tracking at least somewhat with higher cost and increased danger.

    Sodium-cooled reactors run hotter than LWRs, but they’re safer because they use unpressurized coolant.  Way back in April 1986, EBR II demonstrated totally passive shutdown from full-power operation due to 2 different loss-of-cooling modes.  (Of course, Chernobyl got all the news that month.)  The PRISM, and derivative VTR design slated for INL, are air-cooled in shutdown.

    My ignorant vision is a sub-critical reactor that utilizes a neutron source to ramp up heat generation as required. During summer it could sleep.

    Waste of money, and accelerators have uptimes of hours; reactors have uptimes of years.  All you need is to have the reactor set up correctly, so that total neutron production exactly maintains the desired power level.  If the reactor core gets any hotter it expands, neutron leakage increases, and power starts ramping down all by itself.  EBR II was designed for that, and it worked 100%.

    Hotter reactors may, ironically, be safer.  A reactor running on molten uranium would have much greater fuel expansion with temperature and a higher negative temperature coefficient.  And with molten uranium at something hotter than 1132 C, you can do thermochemistry directly.  You can also drive an open-cycle gas turbine directly.  Look, Ma, no cooling water!

  2. 402

    (need a break from fisking Joshi)

    BPL writes @391:

    Because the cost of solar power was very high until it started its present precipitous course downward. Duh.

    PV was discovered 59 years before the first controlled chain reaction, so how can that be?  And wind power is hundreds of years old at least.  Why’d we pretty much abandon it before it became a Green favorite?

    You know the answer as well as I do:  they are the fake alternatives to fossil fuels, used to keep us from turning to nuclear energy.  No matter how much they improve they will always be unreliable and have low power density.  They currently look cheap because they’ve been subsidized in various ways, such as massive tax credits and RECs and rolling transmission upgrades into the general rate base.  Green organizations are fronts for fossil interests.  Always have been.

    Denmark was connected to Norway just as much when they were only getting 20% from wind. Now they’re getting 50% from wind.

    They claim to be, you mean.  They’re getting a substantial amount of the rest from “biomass” burned in CHP plants (it used to be coal, which may have been better for the environment).

    You can look at the minute-by-minute flows of Danish connections here at Energinet.dk.  Right now it’s showing 1399 MW imports from Norway, a lot of which is passed onward through the Swedish, German and Netherlands connections.  But these connectors have limited capacities, and Norway itself can only absorb so much imported power even if it shuts down its hydro completely.  This places a cap on just how much excess juice Denmark can make and send to its neighbors, to count against an increaing quota.  I don’t know exactly when Denmark will start running into those limits, but I know they’re there.

    How much are they now getting if all their other electricity is coming from Norway’s hydro?

    Right now the site is showing 617 MW from power plants, 1929 MW from wind, 726 MW from solar (total 3272 MW), and 3142 MW consumption.  Exports are 138 MW, mostly passed on southward as they’re still taking 1399 MW from Norway.

    How much will they be getting from Norway when they’re getting 80% of their electricity from wind?

    That would require much greater peak generation.  It remains to be seen if the system as a whole can handle that.

    E-P, the engineer, can’t do simple arithmetic.

    Says the guy who doesn’t do any himself.  Such irony.

    https://benwehrman.com/planet-of-the-humans-disaster/

    Ye gods, the cluelessness of these greenies:

    According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), wind and solar are both on track to decimate natural gas in new generating capacity over the next three years:

    (Wind, 26,167 MW; Solar, 22,593 MW; Natural Gas, 21,822 MW).

    This doof has either never heard of capacity factor, or is expecting his readers to be deceived.  And indeed, “capacity factor” does not appear in the post.  And that’s all the industrial-strength stupid I can handle right now; Joshi is bad enough.

  3. 403

    #391, BPL–

    For those a tad puzzled–as I was–by the refererence to de Gobineau, here’s the skinny:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_de_Gobineau

    It reminds me that in Nazi propaganda, there was a significant strain of racialization of the “Bolshevik hordes” memes. It’s pretty ironic to find E-P today pillorying the Bolshies for not being sufficiently racist.

  4. 404
    zebra says:

    #400 Ken Fabian,

    “arguing about it at this point looks increasingly pointless”

    Yah think??!! ;-)

    But as I pointed out in my recent comment, what’s going on here is not really “arguing”; it’s basically co-dependent addiction. I refer again to:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2019/08/just-the-facts/

    Each comment serves as an excuse for a “response”, but it is just talking past each other, since there is never a mutual warrant. So, you will never get an answer to your question:

    How can nuclear plants ever get built if the right-wing establishment prevents the acceptance of the need to reduce CO2 emissions?

    And likewise, technological progress like inverters that you mention, and further smart grid/meter solutions that I have proposed, will not be contradicted but responded to with complete non sequiturs.

    It’s not about having a dialogue…it’s about filling up as many column inches as possible, however repetitive and pointless the words are. This is why the nuclear topic has been banned in the past, one suspects.

  5. 405

    In #399 E-P goes a bit Dunning-Kruger:

    The vast bulk of the decarbonization (just like the vast bulk of the total electric generation) came and still comes from 20 CANDU units: at Pickering (construction started 1971), Bruce Point (construction starting 1977), and Darlington (completed 1993).

    More to the point would be the *completion* dates of those units: Bruce’s 8 units (’77-’87); Darlington’s 4 units (’90-’93); and Pickering’s 6 units (’71-’86). (The numerically obsessive will note that this is 18 units, not 20–possibly E-P, or his source, forgot that two earlier units at Pickering were retired.) So, by 1993, Canada’s current reactor fleet was complete.

    Does this mean that Ontario was now “decarbonized?”

    Well, maybe relatively. But certainly not in anything like categorical terms, because:

    Coal went from 25% of Ontario’s supply mix in 2003 to zero in 2014…

    https://www.ontario.ca/page/end-coal

    Gee, that’s during the Premierships of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne–just as I said, although E-P claimed I was “either deluded or lying.”

    Ontario’s 2019 electric mix was 61% nuclear, 25% hydro, 7% wind, and 1-2% other “renewable”. Your gas and wind (man, that makes an OOCQ) are bit players, providing only 13% of net generation. The thing that allowed the closure of Nanticoke and Thunder Bay was mostly the CANDU refurbishments.

    The CANDU refurbishments added 1.5 MW, and they added it from 2012 on. By then, coal generation had already been decreased from ~7.5 GW in 2003 to ~3.3 GW.

    So, how did that happen?

    In part by this:

    Ontario leads Canada in wind capacity. About 5 061 MW of wind capacity was added between 2005 and 2018.

    Also during this period:

    About 98% of solar capacity in Canada is installed in Ontario. In 2018, solar in Ontario had a total capacity of 2 871 MW.

    https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/nrg/ntgrtd/mrkt/nrgsstmprfls/on-eng.html

    And yes, gas peakers were added, too:

    Coal-fired electricity was replaced by a mix of baseload, intermittent and peaking capacity and a strong conservation and demand management approach…

    Natural Gas: +5,500 MW
    The addition of new combined cycle facilities, a peaking plant and combined heat and power facilities.

    (But note that, per the same source, gas overall went from 11% (2003) to 9% (2014).)

    So, the staged end of coal in Ontario was highly intentional, not an “accident.” And the major contribution to the final stage was E-P’s reviled “bit players”, filling the 9% gap nuclear power could not, or at least does not, cost-effectively fill.

    Yes, nuclear is the mainstay of the low-carbon electric economy of Ontario, and yes, nuclear deserves credit for that. However, when the deliberate decision to decarbonize almost completely was made under McGuinty, it wasn’t nuclear that was picked to do the bulk of the then-remaining work.

  6. 406

    Not sure where E-P’s quote about the FERC report showing that most new capacity is RE came from. But it’s quite clear that Kenneth Bossong, at least, knows perfectly well about capacity factor:

    Of note: Capacity is not the same as actual generation. Capacity factors for nuclear power and fossil fuels tend to be higher than those for most renewables. For the first ten months of 2019, EIA reports that renewables accounted for almost 18.2% of the nation’s total electrical generation – that is, somewhat less than their share of installed generating capacity (22.0%) for the same period. Conversely, coal’s share of generating capacity in the first ten months of 2019 was 21.0% while its share of electrical generation was 23.4%.

    In regards to solar generation, FERC generally only reports data for utility-scale facilities (i.e., those rated 1-MW or greater) and therefore its data do not reflect the capacity of distributed renewables, notably rooftop solar PV which – according to the EIA – accounts for nearly a third of the nation’s electrical generation by solar. That would suggest that total distributed and utility-scale solar capacity may be as much as 50% higher than reported by FERC — i.e., more than 5%.

    https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/2020/01/16/new-ferc-report-shows-renewables-were-leading-source-of-new-capacity-in-2019/#gref

    Apparently the FERC report was all about capacity per se, because all the reports speak in the same terms. It may be me, but I think that it’s rather presumptuous to assume that anyone summarizing a press report who fails to add some similar note to Bossong’s must therefore not know about capacity factor.

  7. 407
    Al Bundy says:

    EP,
    hmm, your comment has disappeared. Anyway, yes, I let pass without comment your transition from my 200MPGe on liquid fuel to your good work with your PHEV. But 200MPGe in a midsize car while only using liquid fuel is still my goal.

    BPL,
    I didn’t properly convey how grand your laconic “engineering degree” quip fit EP’s rejection of social and the science behind it. A hat tip to you

    Do you think EP’s grasp of social sciences is better or worse than MrKIA’s grasp of climate science?

  8. 408
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigel,
    This comment is a bit late. You expanded my speculation about voting for elected leaders who choose to live like their constituents to include private industry leaders. Yes, I noticed the erroneous negative vibes “tangent” included but I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to fire up enough neurons to find a better word. Oops, I say, oops!

  9. 409
    nigelj says:

    David B @396

    “nigelj @386 — Desertec has long since been abandoned. Unable to obtain financing.”

    Yes sadly , but not surprising given the huge scale and ambition of the project, and it doesn’t change the potential of the technology.You need carbon taxes or government subsidies to incentivise a scheme like that, and the scaling up nuclear power at speed.

    ——————-

    AB @398

    “KIA is a dweeb. He’s probably not as dumb as he plays and definitely not even remotely as bright as he thinks but instead about as talented as he fears. He might have a fairly intellectual job. If so, he’s in over his head so he needs relief. This is his Romper Room, a place to torment and laugh at alarmists. They get to laugh back so all’s good, eh?”

    Agree KIA is not a dummy and neither is he Albert Einstein, but his motivations for his annoying climate denialism and stupid statements would extend beyond just needing light relief. The reason is his anti big government politics which he has made clear. These small government guys have such a ridiciulous, distorted fear of climate taxes and environmental regulations that they would be happy to live with catastrophic climate change. Idiots.

    “Instead of burning Big Bucks subsidizing EVs, use HEVs and PHEVs…”

    The public never really went for hybrids, probably because they are afraid of the complexity of having two motors, and the manufacturers did little to dispel that foolish fear.

    —————————-

    Ken Fabian @400

    “Commitment to the overarching goal is essential, more so than our choice of technology.”

    Agree totally. I think we have a couple of acceptable default positions. 1) nuclear power is proven. 2) a renewable grid with gas backup is cost effective, and a whole lot better than a big coal powered grid, and would mitigate the worst of the climate problem. Anything we do beyond those options is a bonus.

  10. 410
    Al Bundy says:

    Wiki: As with his mother, Gobineau was never entirely certain if his wife, and hence his two daughters had black ancestors or not, as it was a common practice for French slave masters in the Caribbean to take a slave mistress.[4] Gobineau’s opposition to slavery, which he held always resulted in harmful miscegenation to whites, stemmed from his own personal anxieties that his mother or his wife might have African ancestry.[4]

    AB: Ahh. I had a racist friend in college. I had noticed that the skin on his private part was rather dark. A few days later I casually mentioned how a study had shown that Negroid genetics shows up most frequently via a dark penis.

    I’ll never forget that face. You’d a thought I’d drowned his puppy.

  11. 411

    Mal Adapted point-and-splutters @394 (and IDGAF because I’m old and cynical… maybe even cynical enough):

    (1) That population growth occurs almost exclusively in the turd world. (2) Just stop sending food there and sink the boats coming out; the problem will fix itself. (3) So-called humans who are objectively no smarter than yeast deserve nothing from us.

    I’m quoting the above again, so that there’s no doubt what we’re talking about.

    There’s one little step you forgot.

    You forgot to show where any of it is FALSE.

    (1) is self-evidently true, but subject to a taboo.  (Having taboos on critical truths is a REALLY bad idea, like suicidally-bad.)  (2) Also self-evidently true.  It’s also true that the current situation is unsustainable and WILL collapse because it cannot continue, so the longer we wait the more total human suffering there will be.  And (3) just describes the behaviour of yeast, exhausting its food supply and dying because it doesn’t know any better; we cannot save them from themselves, so we should butt out.

    like slavery, if violent racism isn’t wrong nothing is.

    Slavery and violent racism are WRONG?!  What ARE you, Islamophobic and anti-semitic?  Arabic enshrines slavery in the very language; “abd” (plural “abid”) is a very common word and modifier of names like “Abdullah”.  Malcolm X found slave markets in Mecca when he made the hajj.  And the “semites” have themselves an ethnostate.  You think this is WRONG?

    I’m being semi-sarcastic here, but I had to make a point:  white Europeans are the ONLY race of humans to have abolished slavery both de jure and almost completely de facto and even fought wars (both civil and against Barbary states) to get rid of it.  I wouldn’t accept a slave if you gave me one.  But I wouldn’t mind an ethnostate, because all the endless accusations of “racism” and “privilege” are very annoying.  What’s the “privilege” in people complaining that you exist, learn to read and calculate and not have children starting when you’re 14?  How can it be wrong to declare that I find them as annoying as they find me?  That’s what separate countries are for; it mostly keeps the peace.  Do what they want, learn from their own mistakes, leave others alone.

    Speaking of “white privilege”, it appears to have appeared for the first time in 1971, popped up again in 1980 and 1986, and not really gotten going until 2000.  Obviously a serious tradition in the English-speaking world… NOT!

    In Abrahamic religion, pride as the deadliest of sins

    How DARE you insult JHWH’s Chosen People, the ones with the ethnostate?  ANTI-SEMITE!  ANTI-SEMITE!  (LMAO yet again)

  12. 412

    Al Bundy writes @398:

    EP isn’t a coward. He’s not ignorant. He’s a bigot who has studied tomes such as “The Bell Curve” and has come to harsh conclusions.

    bigot, n. a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.  Self-evidently wrong.  I challenge such beliefs and opinions, and demand that their holders justify them.  I’m perennially disappointed, because they retreat to slurs amounting to “you’re a Badthinker”.  THAT’s bigotry.

    I have indeed read The Bell Curve; I picked it up on a remainder table at the late lamented Borders Books way back when.  I didn’t actually read it until recently, and it mostly shed light on things I already knew from experience.  Most of it is NOT about race, but about things like differential evolution due to associative mating within classes.  I have also purchased and read Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs and Steel”, Cochran and Harpending’s “The 10,000 Year Explosion” and Wade’s “A Troublesome Inheritance” (if you read Cochran and Harpending you won’t get too much extra from reading Wade).  I find Diamond to be a clever liar, no more; the rest seem honest.  It is REALLY hard to go through Cochran and Harpending describing the co-evolution of lactose tolerance in the Proto-Indo-European tribes with their culture of herding and dairying (which multiplied their calorie yield from a herd 4x over meat-eating), followed by their social and military successes across the region, without seeing just how these forces move physical, social and technological evolution along.  It’s breathtaking, and makes me want to go cut a slab of cheddar to munch on.  (Lactose tolerance is the REAL white privilege, or should I say, hard-won inheritance.)

    Instead of burning Big Bucks subsidizing EVs, use HEVs and PHEVs as training wheels by giving enough of a subsidy for utilizing even a tiny battery that all manufacturers will choose to go at least mild-hybrid, which will lead to full-hybrid. This acclimates everyone, from manufacturer to shade tree mechanic, with electrical propulsion and regenerative braking.

    In this period of $1.50/gallon gasoline it is REALLY hard to make a case for more expensive fuel and stricter fuel economy standards, but they won’t last long.  All the pre-COVID surplus came from US shale drillers, and they are almost all going to go bankrupt over the next few months, 2 years at most.  Some downstream businesses with set-price supply contracts will be unable to sell their oil forward, go bankrupt, and break the contracts.  There will be chaos and depression in the oil patch, believe it.

    Halliburton has already made a major pullback on oil services.  Tight-oil wells have steep decline rates, and with drilling falling off a cliff the disappearance of the surplus is guaranteed.  Once the current glut dissipates, it is NOT going to re-appear quickly if at all; even if the workers are eager to get back to things the resources to support them won’t be there.  This means that oil and fuel prices will surge, possibly back to 2008 levels or more.  We could get a double-dip recession as people who bought guzzlers can no longer afford to drive to work, or have to cut back on their consumer spending so much that other businesses die.

    If we derive new policy from this, I’d like it to be a technology-neutral requirement that all LDVs be able to travel a set distance from a refueling/charging stop without burning more than, say, 1 gallon of gasoline-equivalent.  Start this at something like 25 miles and give it regular upward increments.  Mfgrs could make a 20-MPG pickup meet a 25-MPG standard by hybridizing or making it go the first 5 miles on grid power.  When the standard went to 30 miles, a lot more things would either require more efficiency or more electricity.  Just keep going until you get where you need to be.  This is probably somewhere between 60 and 100 miles on the first gallon; the balance between efficiency and grid power can be traded off depending on the specific vehicle type and use-case.

  13. 413

    Reconsidering, even 60 miles on the first gallon may be much more than is necessary to achieve the aggregate liquid fuel economy if sufficiently convenient carbon-free charging is available.  I’m lucky to get 20 miles of electric range out of my car these days, but I’m achieving upwards of 128 average MPG and that number is ticking upwards.  The availability of charging is at least as important as battery capacity; if you can drive from stop to stop on electric power and fully recharge at every stop, liquid fuel economy becomes irrelevant.

    From this, it follows that storage or otherwise on-demand supply outside the vehicle which is deliverable at stops is comparable in importance to storage on board the vehicle.  For the purposes of climate impact, the only thing that matters about this supply is that it be GHG-free.

  14. 414
    sidd says:

    Tesla moving battery storage into utility markets:

    https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/support/autobidder

    sidd

  15. 415
    Al Bundy says:

    EP: Hotter reactors may, ironically, be safer. A reactor running on molten uranium would have much greater fuel expansion with temperature and a higher negative temperature coefficient. And with molten uranium at something hotter than 1132 C, you can do thermochemistry directly. You can also drive an open-cycle gas turbine directly. Look, Ma, no cooling water!

    AB: Yeah, that’s my other ignorant vision, which I seem to share with everyone who’s not got spidey-levels of radiophobia.

    With AmeriNerds, SinoDrones, and all those Indian Programmers that pretty much define “IP” busily whacking away, why on Earth is there no currently-running molten salt reactor??? Last time I perused youtube nuke videos the AmeriNerds were pondering Canada as the place to start the salvation of the planet… yeah, Canada is where AmeriNerds always flee to for sanity.

  16. 416

    E-P misleads: reactors have uptimes of years.

    BPL: Reactors have “unplanned outages” as often as several times per month.

  17. 417

    E-P 402: No matter how much they improve they will always be unreliable and have low power density.

    BPL: The “unreliable” has been addressed over and over again, but E-P will never abandon it. The “low power density” is a complete red herring. Nobody cares that it takes a lot of land to generate solar power; you could generate all Earth’s power with a tiny fraction of the unused land. As for wind, you can do other things in a wind farm, and people do–lots of farmers make extra money by allowing wind turbines on their farms, and keep right on growing crops.

  18. 418
    Killian says:

    Re #381 nigelj said Here’s another critique of M Moores documentary, a really good one

    Apparently “absolute bullshit” equals really good.

    “Michael Moore’s ‘Planet of the Humans’ documentary peddles dangerous climate denial.”

    That’s so obvious a lie. What is most beautiful about the film is how it has forced all the #greenwashing, suicidal technofreaks, neoliberals and regenerative systems fearmongers to remove their foot and leave no doubt. Try to understand this: Cliamte scientists and activists are almost never conversant in the science, the effects, sustainability and regenerative design. Well, they NEVER are. When you add in being conversant with collapse theory, Chaos, resource limits, the exponential function, and on and on, well, that’s a rare duck – and not one climate scientist or “green” activist I know of can have that discussion at that breadth and certainly not with any great depth.

    Literally, not one review I have read gets the theses of the movie. By extention, not one person jumping n=on that bandwagon has a goddamned clue what needs to be done to survive this Perfect Storm.

    You’re don’t know any better than to engage in appeal to authority… Every review you read, ask yourself whether the person has even the slightest possession of the principles of regenerative design. If they don’t, they have literally no idea how to mitigate and adapt to climate, resources and ecosystem collapse beyond the shallowest levels. And they have no clue they don’t know.

    Such people don’t address the film’s theses of exponential growth, unsustainability and the smoke nad mirrors of “renewables.” Waht do they address? The film predates some incremental changes in renewables. That’s it. That is the only thing criticisms get right, and they ignore what the film was saying.

    Guess what? A car that is 50% less polluting/less GHG intensive is *still* an unsustainable pile of useless tech in a regenerative society and a suicidal pipedream. Unsustainable is unsustainable. Period. Something you have never grasped. It IS threshhold, not a scale. Above that threshhold they become more or less efficient and/or productive, but sustainability is a condition that exists or does not.

    You don’t get this, they don’t get this.

    Then what of the risk? Damned foosl completely ignore the risk. Risk is the first thing every conversation about climate should begin with until it becomes so automatic it no longer *needs* to be said.

    And on and on.

    Learn something:

    https://threader.app/thread/1256482195075592193

  19. 419
    Adam Lea says:

    nigelj@395: I was attempting to look from the more extreme opinions, that doesn’t mean I necessarily agree with them.

    My understanding of sustainability is a system that can operate indefinitely, absent any external forcing (e.g. a global catastrophe). This means that what is consumed has to be replaced at the same rate, and the energy input comes from renewable resources. A non-sustainable system is one that is consuming a resource faster than it is replaced, and as such, will have to change or cease. Visualising the problem in advance and making the necessary changes is a lot less painful than doing little to nothing and having those changes enforced, like voluntarily choosing to give up driving is less inconveninent than suddenly losing your car.

    I was just putting out there a what-if the extreme measures are the necessary ones? If they are, the sooner they are implemented the better, because making extreme changes is easier the longer the time period over which they are applied. As it happens I agree with you that making extreme changes will very likely be impossible, because people just won’t cooperate. You can see that now with people breaking COVID lockdown, and that is a pimple in comparison.

    I think it comes down to steering societies as hard as possible towards sustainability, without going so hard to incite rebellion. It is a question of how hard that can be. The problem is there is little evidence of anything other than lip service on a global scale when it comes to tackling anthropogenic climate change and unsustainable reesource consumption. It is all very well pointing to some tiny society which lives off grid and only consumes renewable resources to stimulate fluffy feelings, but where is the pathway to scaling that up to the worlds major cities? The data still shows CO2 emissions increasing year on year, we haven’t even managed to put the brake on never mind getting it down, despite numerous decades of scientists saying we really need to do it.

    To be honest I’m lost as to a solution, and I’m not convinced there will be an implementable solution in time. Even if everyone in the UK converted to hunter-gatherer lifestyles, it still would not be sustainable, because there aren’t enough resources, there are too many people in the country, which has happened because the industrial revolution and technology means we can simply take other countries resources to smash through natural upper limits that would normally cap population.

  20. 420

    Ken Fabian repeats a mistake when he should know better @400:

    When solar and wind crossed under crucial price thresholds

    The price is irrelevant.  The price of wind power has FALLEN BELOW ZERO on a number of occasions in different places.  Yes, that power was literally LESS than worthless.

    Who’d generate power when they had to pay to put it on the grid, when they could easily turn their generators off at a moment’s notice?  People who are getting paid OUTSIDE the wholesale compensation system, that’s who.  When you’re getting a Production Tax Credit and selling Renewable Energy Certificates, you still make money until you’re paying as much to shove power onto the grid as you’re getting from those sources.  In other words, it’s a totally rigged system and the “price” is far less than what it actually costs.

    With nuclear on hold until (in my opinion) the conservative-right Wall of Denial comes down

    It’s far more likely that the left-wing hysterical opposition to nuclear will come down first.  We have a number of left-leaning people and organizations which have (finally!) realized that there is no way to square anti-nuclearism with the need to fight climate change.  It’s far too little much too late, but it’s already happening.

    Solar and wind really do work

    Define “work” in this context.  They have not decarbonized even ONE fossil-based grid anywhere in the world (IOW, they only “work” in combination with hydro, meaning mass-scale storage).  If Germany’s 500 gCO2/kWh grid is “working”, whatever you would label “failure” must be truly horrifying.

    The Australian Electricity Market Operator, that oversees the National Energy Market that runs the electricity grid of Eastern Australia says that with recommended market rule changes the grid can run reliably with solar and wind PEAKS of 75% as soon as 2025.

    (Emphasis of weasel-word added.)  Fine, you can reach 75% PEAKS, presumably on Sundays around noon.  That’s not an average, so it’s nothing even close to decarbonization.

    There is nothing irrational or stupid about climate concerned people being optimistic – now – that … the extraordinary surge in energy storage R&D will deliver significant improvements

    Yes, it IS irrational (or innumerate or just plain ignorant).  We need FAR more than mere “significant improvements”.  When you take the time to pencil out the actual quantities required, the staggering scale of the required improvements (and effort) smacks you in the face.  You might say “it could work” but hope is not a plan.  Despite all the “significant improvements” since the Carter administration, world-wide CO2 emissions continue to rise year after year.  The only things which have even temporarily flattened the Keeling curve are large volcanic eruptions.

    The entire Green movement is devoted to preventing humanity from using the one proven solution.  Damn them all to hell.

  21. 421
    nigelj says:

    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019EF001310?af=R

    Pragmatic take on how to store carbon: “Natural” Climate Solutions Could Speed Up Mitigation, With Risks. Additional Options Are Needed.”

  22. 422
  23. 423
    nigelj says:

    Adam Lea @419, you mention this definition of sustainability ” This means that what is consumed has to be replaced at the same rate, and the energy input comes from renewable resources…”. This is good and is basically the same as the one I quoted, namely that we only consume resources that are able to regenerate, for example forests. This is easy to achieve with things like timber and the fisheries for example, because it means we just define a particular area of forest or a fishery size that we agree is sustainable.

    It would need to be a minimum size that is not at risk of dying out completely, and causing other biosphere problems, and is sufficient for our population, and we then ensure we dont take more from the resource than it can replace naturally. When I say easy, its possible to define this, and harder to actually achieve it! But its already being in some places.

    And I do agree to the extent if we don’t achieve biosphere sustainability,we could get ourselves into huge trouble, for example if basic food production was compromised, so we have to steer society as best we can to this form of sustainability.

    But its difficult to get all of this over and done with quickly, because the sort of farming systems that are sustainable long term tend to have low productivity, and would not feed 7.6 billion people and rising, so we probably do have to phase ‘sustainable’ forms of farming in as population growth slows, and population ultimately falls in absolute size. The good news is this may be happenening, because we do see organic farming gradually taking off. That said, I have no objection to combining this with other strategies like genentic engineering and technology.

    So we have this complex situation where its just not feasible to achieve the plan you mentioned where we say “right lets all become sustainable in a few months or a couple of years, and get the pain over quickly”. Some things we can do right now, others will have to be phased in.

    The trouble is mineral resources don’t regenerate, not on time frames useful for human civilisation even at a very basic level. When we use minerals we erode the base supply a little bit each time, even when we recycle them. With fossil fuels once there gone there gone especially when burned (for all practical purposes), and with rare metals we are at risk of running out eventually even with recycling. Its obviously not really a practical issue with very abundant metals like iron or silicon or sodium etc.

    So we are resigned to using up at least some of the mineral resource base completely, ( for all practical purposes), and its very hard to reconcile this with your posted definition of sustainability, or define quantitatively what an appropriate sustainable rate of use might be. How would you pick a number? One option is to take just enough minerals to survive, but that destroys quality of life and is unlikely to be warmly embraced by many.

    Instead the sustainable use of mineral resources, particularly the scarce ones may be to simply aim to do things like waste as little as possible, recycle, and to not be greedy. “Moderation in all things” is a good guide here. And it would obviously mean using renewable energy in preference to burning fossil fuels, because at least the materials used with renewable energy can be recycled. This all sounds a bit general, but I cant see how its possible to be more precise about the use of minerals, and avoid being arbitrary about it and creating absurd situations.

    I mention these things because none of the definitions I have read of sustainability resolve the issue of mineral resources convincingly. Permaculture has some principles, but it is not easy to apply these to real world situations and thats being generous.

    And we have to consider why we might want to live ‘sustainably’ in the first place? I can see the point of doing this in respect of the biosphere, because if we destroy the biosphere, we really could get ourselves into big trouble in addition to wrecking a beautiful planet.

    When it comes to the mineral resource base, the worst case scenario of business as usual consumption is we run short and have to live a bit more simply. So I can see a case for using mineral resources wisely, but not a case for deliberately making draconian and severe lifestyles changes. Its just a different issue to the biosphere.

    There are other strategies that help sustainability like getting the size of population down that look quite feasible in the longer term.

    In fact I dont think it makes a lot of sense to talk about l’ving sustainably. It makes sense to talk about living “more sustainably” than we are, and being reasonably ambitious about it while maintaining a technological society. It then becomes a negotiation of where you strike the balance.

    “It is all very well pointing to some tiny society which lives off grid and only consumes renewable resources to stimulate fluffy feelings, but where is the pathway to scaling that up to the worlds major cities? ”

    Yes its a real challenge. And we cant force people, because we live in democacies where freedom of choice reigns supreme. We can start by educating people on the issues and the implications of not living sustainably, and hopefully that will help them make the best choices.

  24. 424
    nigelj says:

    Killian @418

    “Apparently “absolute bullshit” ( The M Moore documentary on renewables) equals really good.”

    It’s not bullshit. The so called documentary gets its facts badly wrong, and I cant tolerate that even if it makes some valid point buried underneath. Which is doubtful anyway.

    And its solutions to the climate problem of lower population growth and massively reduced consumption of energy are laughably impractical. As KM pointed out, even if population growth reduced to zero tomorrow (it wont even come close) it cant fix the immediate climate problem of stopping warming getting above 2 degrees. It might help a bit stopping warming getting above 4 degrees. Its magical thinking that we can achieve such massive energy efficiencies in sufficient time, or that people will just stop driving, or using basic appliances in the home.

    “Michael Moore’s ‘Planet of the Humans’ documentary peddles dangerous climate denial.”

    I agree its a bad statement, but beside the point.

    “Cliamte scientists and activists are almost never conversant in the science, the effects, sustainability and regenerative design. Well, they NEVER are. When you add in being conversant with collapse theory, Chaos, resource limits, the exponential function, and on and on, well, that’s a rare duck – and not one climate scientist or “green” activist I know of can have that discussion at that breadth and certainly not with any great depth.”

    Well maybe they dont understand some of that stuff, but I think its just possible scientists at least understand science, and the exponential function and its implications (sarc). For example, scientists have done the numbers on the exponential growth of covid 19.

    “Guess what? A car that is 50% less polluting/less GHG intensive is *still* an unsustainable pile of useless tech in a regenerative society and a suicidal pipedream. “Unsustainable is unsustainable. Period. Something you have never grasped.”

    Read my response to Adam Lea. You can define an automobile as unsustainable if you want, but then you would have to define a bus or train the same by the same principles. This means we have to walk or use a horse and cart. You have created an absurd situation, and for no compelling reason.

    Instead we just have to accept we compromise sustainability. Or we define a sustainable form of transport as something more practical like an automobile that uses recycled parts, and is no larger than needed etc. You might even get quite wide agreememnt on something like that. Its not a simple definition, but this is a case where simple definitions lead to absurdities.

    ” It (Sustainability) IS threshhold, not a scale. Above that threshhold they become more or less efficient and/or productive, but sustainability is a condition that exists or does not.”

    Who says? I prefer a scale.

    “Risk is the first thing every conversation about climate should begin with until it becomes so automatic it no longer *needs* to be said.”

    Agreed. You overstate the risk to humans of of mineral scarcity. Its not going to wipe us out or even come close. You are right to the extent that the problems we are causing the biosphere are very serious.

  25. 425
    Killian says:

    So, about all that time you all seem to think we have.

    I have told you over and over: Rapid simplification or put your heads between your legs and kiss your asses goodbye.

    https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/04/28/1910114117

    Abstract

    All species have an environmental niche, and despite technological advances, humans are unlikely to be an exception. Here, we demonstrate that for millennia, human populations have resided in the same narrow part of the climatic envelope available on the globe, characterized by a major mode around ∼11 °C to 15 °C mean annual temperature (MAT). Supporting the fundamental nature of this temperature niche, current production of crops and livestock is largely limited to the same conditions, and the same optimum has been found for agricultural and nonagricultural economic output of countries through analyses of year-to-year variation. We show that in a business-as-usual climate change scenario, the geographical position of this temperature niche is projected to shift more over the coming 50 y[ears] than it has moved since 6000 BP. Populations will not simply track the shifting climate, as adaptation in situ may address some of the challenges, and many other factors affect decisions to migrate. Nevertheless, in the absence of migration, one third of the global population is projected to experience a MAT >29 °C currently found in only 0.8% of the Earth’s land surface, mostly concentrated in the Sahara. As the potentially most affected regions are among the poorest in the world, where adaptive capacity is low, enhancing human development in those areas should be a priority alongside climate mitigation.

  26. 426
    Killian says:

    Re #419 Adam Lea said My understanding of sustainability is a system that can operate indefinitely, absent any external forcing (e.g. a global catastrophe). This means that what is consumed has to be replaced at the same rate, and the energy input comes from renewable resources.

    How did you come across that definition? It’s what I’ve said for years, but have never seen anyone else say. E,g.: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/07/forced-responses-jul-2018/comment-page-6/#comment-709296

    Another, 2015: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/04/unforced-variations-april-2015/#comment-628234

    Related comment re sustainability and economics, 2011:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/05/unforced-variations-may-2011/comment-page-6/#comment-207335

    Huh… some things don’t change much in 11 years.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/04/hit-the-brakes-hard/comment-page-3/#comment-121263

    Since I’m on a roll here, let’s add some background on what issues one might include in any conversation of sustainability:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/11/science-narrative-and-heresy/comment-page-6/#comment-190684

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/11/science-narrative-and-heresy/comment-page-6/#comment-190687

  27. 427
    Killian says:

    Adam Lea: To be honest I’m lost as to a solution, and I’m not convinced there will be an implementable solution in time.

    Regenerative Governance is that solution.

  28. 428
    Killian says:

    Re 389 Al Bundy said EP: (My car is currently indicating a lifetime average fuel economy in excess of 128 MPG.)

    AB: Good job. And it shows that with more efficient drivetrains, bodies, and tires/suspensions 200MPG is a reasonable goal for a clean slate design. And that’s high enough that bio/synfuels can provide the required liquids.

    And what, pray tell, is the sustainability? Zero. The EROEI? 3? 1? If only all of you wanted to spend any time talking about solving the problem. Because time.

    We show that in a business-as-usual climate change scenario, the geographical position of this temperature niche is projected to shift more over the coming 50 y than it has moved since 6000 BP. Populations will not simply track the shifting climate, as adaptation in situ may address some of the challenges, and many other factors affect decisions to migrate. Nevertheless, in the absence of migration, one third of the global population is projected to experience a MAT >29 °C currently found in only 0.8% of the Earth’s land surface, mostly concentrated in the Sahara.

    As I have said. Over and over. Long-tail. Risk. Solutions that ignore these are not solutions.

  29. 429

    Kevin McKinney quibbles @405:

    However, when the deliberate decision to decarbonize almost completely was made under McGuinty

    … the job was basically a mopping-up operation BECAUSE:

    nuclear is the mainstay of the low-carbon electric economy of Ontario

    And hydro.  Installed nameplate hydro capacity is 9065 MW (only 7478 MW in service as of Dec 31) but as of the latest update hydro only generated 4213 MW over the previous hour (46.5%) and 28454 MWh from midnight to 8:05 AM (38.8%).  Wind sucked; the rated 4486 MW generated just 6773 MWh up to 8:05, or 18.7%.

    it wasn’t nuclear that was picked to do the bulk of the then-remaining work.

    It’s not clear that they could have if they wanted to.  The CANDU design had been sold off at that point, and everyone with expertise building new CANDUs had moved on or retired.  I believe the AP1000 design hadn’t been certified yet.  They probably had no nuclear option unless they wanted to buy Russian, and then they’d be dependent on Russia for fuel.

  30. 430

    BPL deny, deny, denies @418:

    The “unreliable” has been addressed over and over again

    Addressed how?  A cubic mile of batteries?  New CAES reservoirs turning the bedrock into Swiss cheese?  Someone found a magic wand to make the sun shine and wind blow on command?  Tell me just HOW this problem was truly ADDRESSED (meaning fixed), rather than just hand-waved away.

    Don’t throw your back out trying to carry those goalposts somewhere else.

    Unreliability of wind and solar is a FACT.  As I write this, Ontario wind farms generated just 468 MWh in the hour from 8:05 AM to 9:05 AM from 4486 MW of nameplate capacity; that’s a mere 10.4% capacity factor.  Gas and biomass generated 575 MWh between them.

    NREL’s own data shows just how unreliable solar is.  The daily plots for last January show really good sun on the 15th and 19th and next to nothing on the 21st and 27th.  The 1st and 13th show funny holes right around mid-day.

    Nobody cares that it takes a lot of land to generate solar power; you could generate all Earth’s power with a tiny fraction of the unused land.

    “Unused”, meaning “left to nature”?  All the desert tortoises evicted from their burrows and left to starve so Ivanpah could be built would beg to differ, if they weren’t dead.  They were definitely using that land.  About the only areas truly unused are things like the trackless sands of the Sahara.

    Per NREL’s solar irradiance map, an area around 42° N can expect between 4 and 4.5 kWh/m²/day averaged over the year.  Call it 4.25.  Suppose you can intercept 50% of this, with the rest e.g. falling between rows of panels in summer; you’re down to 2.125.  You catch it with hot-shot PV panels which convert 30% to electricity; you’re down to 0.6375 kWh/m²/day of electricity, or 233 kWh/m²/yr over the average year.

    To average 990 MW of electric output over a year (equal to a single AP1000 reactor at 90% capacity factor) would take you 37.3 square kilometers of solar farm.  The reactor could easily be part of a 4-unit plant sited on less than one square km, with the rest of the buffer zone around it left natural.  Do you seriously think you could try to cover almost 60 square miles with PV farms to replace one large nuclear plant, and nobody would care?

    As for wind, you can do other things in a wind farm, and people do

    You can’t leave it natural because you need access roads and rights-of-way.  The access roads break up habitats, which is very damaging for certain species.  It also allows ready access to humans, which disturbs even more.  And you can’t live anywhere near it, because of the risk of thrown ice and blade parts.  The anticollision lights are a nuisance all night, every night.  They’re visible for miles.  One wind farm in Indiana I’ve driven through has them all synchronized, so people living within eyeshot don’t even get the averaging effect that more variable phasing would give you.

    We know wind turbines are literal murder on raptors.  What do the lights and habitat disturbance do to forest species?  To livestock?  About the only place you can really put these things is among grain fields.  You don’t want them near humans.

    All that’s on top of their INHERENT UNRELIABILITY.  (Wind down to 212 MWh over the previous hour, 4.7% capacity factor.)

  31. 431

    While I enjoy the back-and-forth between Killian and nigelj @424, I have to add one little thing here:

    its solutions to the climate problem of lower population growth and massively reduced consumption of energy are laughably impractical.

    It would be seriously practical to just put RU-486 in the food given as aid to countries which haven’t gotten birthrates under control.  It’s considered unethical and maybe even criminal, but it would be practical.  What’s more ethical, preventing births by preventing pregnancies from “taking”, or starving the populations until the women stop ovulating?  That’s how things used to work, but we decided we had to “help”.

    Bill Gates has long been financing work on a vaccine against HCG, again to prevent pregnancies from “taking”.  He might already have it in production, who knows?

    Read up on the Georgia Guidestones.  Those people mean what they say, and I doubt they will stop at anything to achieve it.

  32. 432
    nigelj says:

    Video on why the Moore / Gibbs renewables movies is a pack of lies by omission, distortions, mistakes, cherry picking, and out of date data.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmNjLHRAP2U

  33. 433
    barn E. rubble says:

    RE: 405 Kevin McKinney says:
    “Gee, that’s during the Premierships of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne–just as I said, although E-P claimed I was “either deluded or lying.””

    The McGuinty-Wynne tandem were the worst, most criminally incompetent, provincial governments in history. Just on the energy file (there are other scandals): electricity rates more than doubled under their ‘leadership’. They ignored their own experts on ‘alternatives’ and ploughed ahead with their own ‘alternative to energy’ programs. With the same (lame) vacuous, virtual signalling, spending frenzy that their federal Liberal counterparts have perfected. Apart from their ‘alternative to energy’ policies being a disaster to the environment and ‘real’ local economy, they did absolutely nothing to change regional, provincial or (try not to laugh) global climate change. I’m sure Mr. McKinney is aware the McGuilty government blew >$1billion just to cancel 2 gas fired power plants to save 2 seats for his party. One of which is my electoral riding. That’s over ONE BILLION DOLLARS (albeit Canadian) just to cancel 2 gas fired power plants. (Only 1 snivel servant went to jail for a few months.) Consumers will be paying for that for generations. I suppose from your point of view if does in deed get colder it will all be worth it.

  34. 434
    nigelj says:

    Engineer Poet @411 gives Mal Adapted an ear bashing…

    “That population growth occurs almost exclusively in the turd world. ”

    Its true that population growth is strongest in the third world (ie Africa), but its not generating a huge increase in emissions. That happens with population growth in industrialised countries.

    (2) “Just stop sending food there and sink the boats coming out; the problem will fix itself. ”

    Is this not a bit brutal? What happened to compassion?

    “3) So-called humans who are objectively no smarter than yeast deserve nothing from us.”

    Their IQ is probably not much different to the western world. Definitely higher than yeast. Maybe engineer poet means they don’t use what they have very well. Wouldn’t it make sense for us to help them overcome that, and help with their economic development? At the very least it creates a market for our goods and a source of exports for us.

    I suspect this will fall on deaf ears.

  35. 435

    I said that the most likely conversion on issues would come from the left dropping its anti-nuclearism because it couldn’t square it with anti-climate change.  Well lookee at what I found over on Reddit.

    https://jacobinmag.com/2020/05/planet-of-the-humans-michael-moore-documentary-climate-change

    It’s already happening, folks.  Michael Moore looks like he just kicked off a massive preference cascade.  The energo-political landscape is going to look VERY different a year from now, bet on it.

  36. 436
    David B. Benson says:

    Barton Paul Levenson @416 — Not any more. The fleet average capacity factor is now over 0.9. Here’s a recent summary:
    https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/nuclear/us-nuclear-industry.php

  37. 437
    Killian says:

    Re #424 nigelj bleated Killian @418

    “Apparently “absolute bullshit” ( The M Moore documentary on renewables) equals really good.”

    It’s not bullshit. The so called documentary gets its facts badly wrong, and I cant tolerate that even if it makes some valid point buried underneath. Which is doubtful anyway.

    You serve no use here, you ignorant, bleating, braying fool.

  38. 438
    David B. Benson says:

    Capacity factor of nuclear power plants in the U S. 1975–2019
    T. Wang
    2020 Apr 17
    Statistica
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/191201/capacity-factor-of-nuclear-power-plants-in-the-us-since-1975/

    Average now 0.935.

  39. 439
    Killian says:

    423Adam Leam do yourself a favor and stop talking to this ignorant, lying, braying, barking fool. To wit, he says to you

    Adam Lea @419, you mention this definition of sustainability ” This means that what is consumed has to be replaced at the same rate, and the energy input comes from renewable resources…”. This is good and is basically the same as the one I quoted, namely that we only consume resources that are able to regenerate, for example forests.

    Yes? Yet every time for the last 2.5 years I have said the same, he’s bleated and brayed about how out of touch with reality, how impossible, how caveman, how… just every kind of stupidity WRT sustainability you could imagine. And here we see his character because he and I *recently* had this same conversation with the same bleating and braying.

    Yet, here *you* give the same definition I have used for years, and it’s “good.” He agrees – when he never has before – that we must only use what can be replaced. Yet, he says Planet of the Humans’ “point” is “buried underneath”, which borders on the insane as it was absolutely clear, and is “doubtful anyway.”

    This idjit speaks only out of his ass. You will see him lie outright, use Straw Men, etc., and go in constant logical circles like the above! He agrees with the movie, but it has no valid point?

    He’s a dullard, a wannabe, a pretender, a fool.

    This is easy to achieve with things like timber and the fisheries for example, because it means we just define a particular area of forest or a fishery size that we agree is sustainable.

    No, dumbass, that is not what we do. Sustainability is size? Just stupid.

    It would need to be a minimum size that is not at risk of dying out completely, and causing other biosphere problems, and is sufficient for our population, and we then ensure we dont take more from the resource than it can replace naturally.

    Oh, I see. So we have human, unsustainable places that are sustainable because there’s a “size” of forest or ocean.

    When I say easy, its possible to define this, and harder to actually achieve it! But its already being in some places.

    It exists in zero places outisde of intact aboriginal societies.

    And I do agree to the extent if we don’t achieve biosphere sustainability,we could get ourselves into huge trouble

    We “could” get into trouble? What kind of asshat bloviating is this? COULD? We are well past could and deep into are, but look at this crap coming out of his asshat!

    for example if basic food production was compromised, so we have to steer society as best we can to this form of sustainability.

    Food has been compromised for decades. Virtually no industrial ag is anything close to sustainable, the “food” is nutrient deficient, poisonous and its soils are dead.

    But its difficult to get all of this over and done with quickly, because the sort of farming systems that are sustainable long term tend to have low productivity

    Just stupid, thus even stupider follows:

    and would not feed 7.6 billion people and rising, so we probably do have to phase ‘sustainable’ forms of farming in as population growth slows, and population ultimately falls in absolute size. The good news is this may be happenening, because we do see organic farming gradually taking off.

    So, this asshat thinks we should do regenerative, but it’s shit, so we must drop population to be able to do regenerative? That’s not just completely incorrect, it’s insanely stupid and suicidal. Don’t do regenerative to become regenerative. WTF? So, what? We bring down GHgs by wishing it to be so?

    Then he says organic as if organic = sustainable, which it does not. In fact, organic is industrial ag lite and is what cannot produce the food, nutrients and calories needed. Regenerative ag outperforms all other forms of ag.

    So we have this complex situation where its just not feasible to achieve the plan you mentioned where we say “right lets all become sustainable in a few months or a couple of years, and get the pain over quickly”.

    I doubt you said that, but if you did, you’re incorrect on time frame, but asshat is still clueless after all these years. To his credit he’s stealing everything I’ve told him and pretending they’re his own thoughts. They are not. You can look back through the archives and watch this punk steal idea after idea and slowly change what he says while pretending he has “always” said these things.

    In fact, the entire planet can be regenerative in 5 years, and the only llimit there is time to build soils. Every human on the planet can simplify within that time frame, and most far faster than 5 years.

    True regenerativeness will take some time because you don’t just bulldoze everything; you make make use of the embedded energy, use the bridge tech, use appropriate technology. But we can be largely on the way to regenerative within thise five years. Ten years is longer than needed in a globally committed movement.

    The trouble is mineral resources don’t regenerate

    Oh, REALLY? Cause he’s said all along there are no real resource limits. Huh…

    When we use minerals we erode the base supply a little bit each time, even when we recycle them.

    What a scumbag. He has fought this very concept every time we have discussed it. Do you get my point? He’s one of those idiots who argues the person, not the issues. When I told him every process has loss he said I was full of crap, that many resources are endlessly recyclable.

    With fossil fuels once there gone there gone especially when burned (for all practical purposes), and with rare metals we are at risk of running out eventually even with recycling.

    I guess he had his come-to-Killian moment, but forgot the thank you card.

    Its obviously not really a practical issue with very abundant metals like iron or silicon or sodium etc.

    Then why mention them? It is the Liebig Minimums that matter.

    So we are resigned to using up at least some of the mineral resource base completely, ( for all practical purposes)

    Why? See what I mean? He basically says we just have to keep using stuff till it’s gone just after saying we have to use things sustainably.

    Dumb.

    and its very hard to reconcile this with your posted definition of sustainability

    Why? Because he’s stupid. He doesn’t know, even now, what he’s talking about, so untill he’s been ‘splained to for a couple more years, he’ll keep saying stupid crap like that before starting to pretend he’s said it all along.

    or define quantitatively what an appropriate sustainable rate of use might be. How would you pick a number?

    You do the math. All of this is really simple mathematics. How fast is a resource replenished? That’s your limit. But he can’t figure this out?

    One option is to take just enough minerals to survive, but that destroys quality of life

    It does for idiots for whom quality of life is the shitty way he lives now.

    and is unlikely to be warmly embraced by many.

    Stupid. Bullet fired toward your head, but since you don’t WANNA duck, you don’t HAVE to because the bullet will just pause for you mid-flight.

    Instead the sustainable use of mineral resources, particularly the scarce ones may be to simply aim to do things like waste as little as possible, recycle, and to not be greedy.

    WTF does this mean? He just said they’re not sustainablem then said people won’t live sustainably, but just not being greedy solves the problem? How utterly unable to think can one person be?

    “Moderation in all things” is a good guide here.

    It’s drivel! We can use unsustainable resources unsustainably if we engage in moderation? Dolmori.

    And it would obviously mean using renewable energy in preference to burning fossil fuels, because at least the materials used with renewable energy can be recycled.

    NO IT CAN’T. ONLY SOME OF IT. RENEWABLES ARE NOT RECYCLABLE.

    This all sounds a bit general

    No, it’s flatly stupid, illogical, contradictory, hypocritical asshattery.

    I mention these things because none of the definitions I have read of sustainability resolve the issue of mineral resources convincingly.

    Mind-bogglingly stupid. Definitions will magically make limited resources unlimited? The definition is the problem? The fucking definition is what it is because of resource limits. Buffoon.

    Permaculture has some principles, but it is not easy to apply these to real world situations

    LOL… yet that’s exactly what permaculture does. This monkey-headed dingbat has never studied permaculture, yet constantly criticizes it based on his own made up beliefs. That’s immoral and unethical, yet it’s been going on here since he first started posting – just a step half a step less damaging to this site than when the denialists show up.

    and thats being generous.

    Here’s generous: Your’re a rock-headed fool.

    And we have to consider why we might want to live ‘sustainably’ in the first place? I can see the point of doing this in respect of the biosphere, because if we destroy the biosphere, we really could get ourselves into big trouble in addition to wrecking a beautiful planet.

    When it comes to the mineral resource base, the worst case scenario of business as usual consumption is we run short and have to live a bit more simply. So I can see a case for using mineral resources wisely, but not a case for deliberately making draconian and severe lifestyles changes. Its just a different issue to the biosphere.

    D^%$*(( actually thinks those are two different things. That might be the best example of his utter inability to think.

    There are other strategies that help sustainability like getting the size of population down that look quite feasible in the longer term.

    Sustainability has almost nothing to do with population size except at the long tail of high population. We aren’t there yet. (However, do not the movie he says was full of shit? He’s made all of it’s main points so far – though insanely.) A population of one is still unsustainable if it… lives unsustainably, which is what this d@#%$&* is advocating.

    In fact I dont think it makes a lot of sense to talk about l’ving sustainably. It makes sense to talk about living “more sustainably” than we are, and being reasonably ambitious about it while maintaining a technological society.

    So tech, resources and nature are not connected, so we can live unsustainably till they run out – even though they’re not connected – to save the environment – from which all those resources come and is destroyed by extracting and using them – then live sustainably only because we used all the resources and destroyed the planet?

    It then becomes a negotiation of where you strike the balance.

    Again, Nature doesn’t matter, just people saying, “We want this. We all agree. It’s now sustainable!”

    “It is all very well pointing to some tiny society which lives off grid and only consumes renewable resources to stimulate fluffy feelings, but where is the pathway to scaling that up to the worlds major cities? ”

    Patronizing @^#$. He just described the pathway, said, ewww… too hard! then pretends it doesn’t exist. Because @#@%@#$^ !@@.

  40. 440
    Killian says:

    Re #421 nigelj said
    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019EF001310?af=R

    Pragmatic take on how to store carbon: “Natural” Climate Solutions Could Speed Up Mitigation, With Risks. Additional Options Are Needed.”

    That’s acceptable to you? Why? You have argued against it your entire existence. I have said everytthing in that paper for years while you shit on it.

    6 Staying Below 1.5 °C With Reduced Energy Demand and No‐Regrets Mitigation

    Recent work suggests that it might be possible to keep post‐industrialization warming below 1.5 °C by substantially reducing energy demand, without the need for negative emissions technologies (Grubler et al., 2018), or by invoking a range of aggressive measures, including electrification of energy and reduction of non‐CO2 greenhouse gases, with reduced need for negative emissions technologies, (van Vuuren et al., 2018). With the model I explore scenarios with 7% a−1 and 9% a−1 reductions in fossil fuel emissions (greater than the previously assumed maximum of 5% a−1) to simulate such rapid reduction in energy demand, both with and without “no‐regrets” natural mitigation (as discussed in section 3). If fossil fuel emissions reductions of ~7% a−1 or faster could be achieved, along with no‐regrets natural climate solutions, annual emissions could be reduced to zero

    You do not belong on this site.

    And, as usual, the scientists doesn’t “get” what they are talking about:

    The stakes in climate change mitigation are high, and I end by emphasizing that (1) minimizing the impacts of future climate change will be difficult, but not impossible; (2) natural climate solutions are among the few tools that are currently available at a scale that could help to speed up mitigation compared to what can be achieved with fossil fuel emissions reductions alone. However, many natural mitigation processes are inherently at risk of stopping or reversing.

    Any move to natural sequestration will fail without system change. The same is true of greatly reduced GHG emissions. Thus, the concerns about mitigation ending is unfounded. It’s binary: We change the system, massively reduce emissions and massivley store carbon naturally or we don’t. Halfway equals the same as FAIL.

    Thanks for the link, now shut up, dolmori.

  41. 441
    nigelj says:

    My comment @424, correction: “Apparently “absolute bullshit” ( The critical review of the M Moore documentary on renewables) equals really good.” “The critical review is not bullshit. The so called documentary gets its facts badly wrong,….”

  42. 442

    E-P 411: white Europeans are the ONLY race of humans to have abolished slavery both de jure and almost completely de facto and even fought wars (both civil and against Barbary states) to get rid of it.

    BPL: Slavery has been abolished in every country in the world at this point. Why you think only white countries have abolished it escapes me, but you’re as good at history as your are at biology, which is to say, once again, that you have an engineering degree.

  43. 443

    E-P 412: I have indeed read The Bell Curve; I picked it up on a remainder table at the late lamented Borders Books way back when. I didn’t actually read it until recently, and it mostly shed light on things I already knew from experience. Most of it is NOT about race, but about things like differential evolution due to associative mating within classes.

    BPL: Yep, Al, you called it. E-P read The Bell Curve and thinks it’s a great work of science. Apparently this engineering major never had a stats course, let alone a biology course.

  44. 444

    K 418: the smoke nad [sic] mirrors of “renewables.”

    BPL: Which are still growing by leaps and bounds, despite K’s alliance with E-P on how awful they are.

  45. 445

    E-P 420: The price is irrelevant.

    BPL: And this is one of the reasons I think of E-P as a fascist. He really doesn’t think markets work or matter, and so economies should be organized from the top down. Central command economies, anybody?

  46. 446

    Adam Lea said My understanding of sustainability is a system that can operate indefinitely, absent any external forcing (e.g. a global catastrophe). This means that what is consumed has to be replaced at the same rate, and the energy input comes from renewable resources.

    K 426: How did you come across that definition? It’s what I’ve said for years, but have never seen anyone else say.

    BPL: Except you are absolutely opposed to renewable energy, so saying you embrace “the energy input comes from renewable resources” is a lie, isn’t it?

  47. 447

    #411, E-P–

    The cognitive distortion induced by racist emotional biases laid bare. E-P apparently thinks that “yeast” can build or acquire and then navigate boats for international or intercontinental travel. And this is self-described as “objective.”

    Uh-huh.

  48. 448
  49. 449

    Oh, also, E-P’s idea that only white countries have fought wars to abolish slavery completely ignores the Haitian revolution of 1799, which took place three generations before the American Civil War. E-P’s history is as good as his sociology and his biology.

  50. 450