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Messages - etienne

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Arctic sea ice / Re: 2019 sea ice area and extent data
« on: May 20, 2019, 07:50:02 PM »
I am JAXA addicted, so I usually cannot go to bed without looking the new data.
I understand now how it is possible that we have these datas so early in the morning.  Thanks a lot, in this season, I enjoy it almost everyday.

Walking the walk / Re: Pat yourself on the back
« on: May 04, 2019, 07:19:50 PM »
Well I've been only by bicycle to work for two weeks now. It's really nice, but my body hurts everywhere. Transition is not so easy, good that there are week-ends to get some rest. I know times will make everything better, but improvement time is longer than expected. I only drive around 12 km per day.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 20, 2019, 09:04:51 PM »
For the DEUTZ-FAHR 11.440 TTV buit in 2015, I find 401 hp, 13.5 t (13500 kg), so this is about 34 kg per horsepower, much less than a horse.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 19, 2019, 07:55:20 PM »

Here's my missing number: What is the energy density (weight/power ratio) of an oxen compared to  modern machinery?

Well, according to the "Power to the People" book, a horse has 1 horse power, an Ox only 0.75, a mule 0.7, a cow 0.4 and a donkey 0.4.

Don't know how heavy is the ox.

Animals would have 15% efficiency, transforming fodder into work (heat is not considered).

I also don't believe that kids have been instrumentalized. As teenagers, we were protesting mainly for human rights (apartheid...) and nobody was making pressure on us. My parents didn't really want us on the streets.

Of course, one day out of school might sometimes be a motivation.

I remember stories where a journalist said that all the people in the protest had a new hat, it was is some Asian country, don't remeber which one, but here it is clearly not the case.

Teenagers are often able to put common interest before their own. This is mainly true as long as their parents are taking care of all the material aspects of life.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 28, 2018, 06:26:00 PM »
There is a book that has just been transalted that should be quite good on the subject :
Oil, Power, and War: A Dark History from Mathieu Auzanneau.
To have a french book translated in English, it must be quite good. I asked the french version to Santa Claus (well, somebody will help him).
The guy has a blog in french :

Peeking at Peak Oil from Kjell Aleklett must also be good. Didn't get it yet.

Here is also a video of Mathieu Auzanneau.

Climate change acceptance and action?
I am very concerned by the developments in France. Finally some government tries to put measures to fight climate change, and the public is going out on the streets with short-sighted protest. Other governments and future politicians will probably remember this hint very well.
These are not climate change protests but taxes protests. Most of the protesting people are working poor that have difficulties to live until the end of the month, while taxes are reduced on the richer people and companies.
France has much more social protection than the US, but when the fridge and the purse is empty, the medical program won't help you.
The main actions to try to stop the move are an increase of 100 EUR of the minimal salary, a reduction of the taxes on work that is done in an overtime scheme and for poor retiered people.
The taxes on fuel are not "ecotaxes" because incomes are only partially planned for the energy transition, and mainly for normal business of the state.
Sometimes people having nothing are in a better situation because they have nothing to loose.  If you have a very low salary, a little house you were able to buy 30 years ago, an old car that might not comply with the technical control, but that you need to go to work, you're really in deep s..t.
The crazy thing with taxes is that major companies are able to avoid income taxes, but small local ones can't. If you want income tax free furniture, IT, or shoes, I guess you know where to go, and it really is unfair compared to smaller companies.

Walking the walk / Fuel sensitive driving
« on: November 14, 2018, 06:20:56 AM »
I just wrote an article about fuel sensitive driving for the Klima Pact campain in Luxembourg. Here is an English translation. If anybody has any comment (also regarding gramatics, I'm always happy to learn), they are welcome.  It is to be published in the county paper, so I tried to avoid direct confrontation regarding motor size and car weight.
If you would want to publish it in your area, please ask me. I'm quite open on the subject, but I'd like to be the first publisher in the Luxembourgish area, if it's accepted, it will be published in January of February.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: November 03, 2018, 10:28:14 PM »
The problem for a rebellion is that clear objectives are needed. Gandhi wanted India to be independent, King and Mandela wanted equal rights...
Here we want to reduce CO2 emissions, but that's difficult to translate in a political requirement. If we only consider sub-objectives, maybe me miss important points. And how do we know that the objective has been reached ?
Non cooperation objective are easier to achieve, we can boycot companies or countries that don't agree to act like required. We can refuse to use some technologies...

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: October 22, 2018, 09:00:00 PM »
Vertical turbine is also interesting in areas where the wind turns all the time. There are places in the mountains with such issues.

Policy and solutions / Re: Who owns the North Pole?
« on: October 12, 2018, 08:20:58 PM »
I hope we agree that the north pole should be a sanctuary like Antartica is. And I guess this is not the right time to make stupid jokes related to WWII ideology now that so many people are triing to push us in the same mental configuration, just maybe not with the same enemy. Even if you just share that we were wrong about them, they are good people, but other type of people are not, you activate behaviors that I hope never to see again.
Could you expand on the bolded?
I think I'm fully in agreement, but having it spelled out would help.

I do think we're a little late for an Arctic Sanctuary. Too much development in place by some. Too much political baggage devoted to "ownership" by others.
I can't even imagine where or how it could begin.
Germany has many issues with the AFD, which has many things in common with right extremist groups. There are many similitudes with speaches that are done right now and what has been done in the 1930'. The US also have issues with the alt right, democracy isn't working so well in many democratic countries.
When there was that comment that the bears own the north pole, possibly a religious group, but he thinks the bears, I wanted to stress that creating connections between religious groups, racial groups, whatever kind of group brings us back to a speach were people are not considered as people anymore, but are classified according to whatever parameter can be selected for a specific purpose.
That type of comments creates as first reaction, not that religious group, but other ones, and that's what right extremists want, lets get together to fight the devil which can clearly be indentified as people carrying this specific parameter.
People are catch in a system, just like we all are, that is disrupting climate, I believe that only respect and solidarity could help, and avoiding stupid jokes is the first step. Maybe we can laugh of everything, but not everywhere, and Internet is the first place where we have to be careful.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: October 10, 2018, 08:00:00 AM »
Just an idea for Juan C.Garcia's table. I like it very much, and would find interesting, specially this year, to have one extra column showing the difference between curent value and yearly minimum.  This would allow to see what is the freezing trend.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: October 04, 2018, 07:23:05 PM »
Well, high prices are probably a sign of peak oil. At the current price, I'm pretty sure that producing countries produce as much as they can. High prices mean :
- new cars have smaller motors or are EV, and they will stay on the road for 10 years
- people will prefer an heat pump to an oil heating, and it stays for 20 years
- some business go bankrupt because of the high oil prices, and they don't come back
- companies get used to video conferences instead of air flight (can you imagine that Nestle already had factories in the US and in Australia before WWII ? I wonder how they could manage that without internet, without fax, without air travel...)
- people insulate their houses, and insulation will stay for 20 years
and so on.

There was a comment that the 1974 oil crisis delayed the peak oil because it was a start for energy efficiency and countries diversified their energy sources.

Tar sand and shale oil is another delay stuff, but it require so much energy, water... that it can't grow as fast as conventional oil will sometimes go down. Maybe you heard of the Seneca Cliff, it's the idea that it takes much more time to build something than to look it go down. Typical example are Kodak, Panam... Peak oil could work the same way. The sad thing with tar sand and shale oil is that there is enough oil to support climate change, but coal also does the job.

Many people believe in peak demand, not me because of Jevons paradox. Oil is such a dense energy source that it will be used until the last drop. The only way to fight Jevons paradox is to have prices growing faster than efficiency.

There was a comment that production and consumption grow very close to one another. This is very normal because storage is complicated. Overproduction reduces prices which increases consumption, underproduction increases prices which reduces consumption. If you make a graph to compare prices and production, you really see that extra production comes to late to enjoy high prices.

Walking the walk / Well done but it's not over.
« on: September 08, 2018, 07:36:49 AM »
For my t-shirt hobby (it's far away from a business, I was looking for ideas to create a T-shirt about non violence.

I first arrived on the web site of the King Center that have an interesting glossary where I kept 2 key words :
  • Ahisma, which means more or less non violence (« a » for non and « hisma » for violence)
  • Satyagraha which is best defined by a quote “Satyagraha is literally holding on to Truth and it means, therefore, Truth-force. Truth is soul or spirit. It is, therefore, known as soul-force.” M. K. Gandhi

When googling both words, I followed different links and had the feeling that in Gandhi’s concept, holding on to the truth seems more important than non violence. Non violence would be to be the way to act, but holding the truth is the corner stone that is required if non violence is to be used.

About satyagraha, I found 2 interesting links,

Here are some quotes

"Gandhi believed in the scientific method of:
  • accumulation and presentation of evidence;
  • review of the logical processes employed for arriving at a conclusion;
  • joint examination of these processes and evidence;
  • replaying that tape by which one has arrived at a conclusion so that one may detect the point where divergence commenced;
  • investigating whether the refusal to see evidence and logic is the result of ego-centric attitudes and perceptions and if it is found that this is what leads to intransigence, then
    divesting oneself of ego-based considerations that have only a limited place within the unalterable paradigm of interdependence that rules humanity;
  • reassuring the “adversary” that the effort is not to deny his needs and interests, while promoting introspection in the adversary through love and the readiness to suffer (voluntary suffering).

In spite of all these efforts on one’s part, one may not be able to dissolve intransigence on the other side. Such a situation where all efforts of persuasion seem to have failed would demand Direct Action."

"Nonviolent non-cooperation and Civil Disobedience can be effective only if operational conditions are controlled to prevent the outbreak of violence, and loss of control by the leadership of a struggle. Gandhi firmly believed that two antagonistic forces could not work to supplement each other. »

I just wanted to say that it looks like we are doing a good job, that it is important to go forward. I feel that always more people are aware that things have to change. I believe that we are right, that we have to hold to it and that, walking the walk, we are somehow doing a direct action to change the game. Let's continue.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: August 17, 2018, 07:10:56 AM »

I'm happy to have this thread polluted with calls for action. 

Please don't.  This is "2018 sea ice area and extent data."  There are other places in the forum for such topics.  Please don't disrespect the community here.

Yikes. You tell me I'm off-thread in "Policy & Solutions" too. Maybe it is the message that's upsetting you. (on-topic: extent average relative to previous decade. shape of ice, very different.)

"Walking the walk" would be the right place to call for action. But I agree that it is not the most active part of the forum. I do believe that discussing without action afterward is somehow a waste of time, but I think and hope that most of us are active in their local community.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: August 12, 2018, 07:49:03 AM »
Didn't find the max extent evolution graph, so I decide to check and publish. Extent maximum values don't go down as fast as minimum values, but Extent doesn't provide an idea of the quality of the ice.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: August 10, 2018, 09:56:44 PM »
I updated my 1 year trailing average extent graph using these nsidc data
It was first posted in the wrong thread, it will be better here.

It is a little bit out of topic at this time of the year, but I find interesting that even if we don't break absolute records right now, on yearly average we are quite low, the record being for the time frame 2016 03 29 to 2017 03 28 at 10.11361.

Values are in 10^6 sq km.

Maybe it doesn't look like that, but the graph goes all the way to the 8th of August 2018.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: August 10, 2018, 05:21:00 PM »
I updated my 1 year average extent graph using these nsidc data

It is a little bit out of topic at this time of the year, but I find interesting that even if we don't break absolute records right now, on yearly average we are quite low, the record being for the time frame 2016 03 29 to 2017 03 28 at 10.11361.

Values are in 10^6 sq km.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: August 10, 2018, 06:47:01 AM »
Today's Jaxa's value is 5'744'590, a drop of 79'824. Still in the fifth position.
On the graph, for older values, when there was no data available, I used next day data.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: July 07, 2018, 11:06:15 AM »
Last year, I had too many Brussels sprouts, looks like this year it will be pumpkins.
It is this one

The rest / Re: I'm a fool
« on: July 05, 2018, 11:51:27 PM »
I'm a fool because sometimes I tell my boss what he should do, because I don't believe that the president is a king, because I believe in democracy and human rights... but sometimes miracles happen, and some people resign : thank you for leaving Mr Pruitt.


Here is more or less how I would write such a letter :

Dear Members of the Arctic Council,

We, some members of the Arctic Sea Ice Forum, have decide to write you an open letter that anybody sharing our worries for this part of the world can sign in order to publicly inform you. We love and find the Arctic so beautiful, we believe the Arctic is strategical for the climate of the earth, so we really want that things change.

The Arctic is a very sensitive area that becomes every year more accessible because of climate change. We would like to remind you of the Exxon Valdes and Deep Horizon catastrophes. We believe that you are one of the places with a natural authority to make rules that would avoid similar issues in the Arctic. Doesn't matter if petrol, chemicals, manufactured goods... would be spread in the nature, it would take years, maybe a half century to be able to go back to the previous situation. Climate change making weather pattern less predictable and more extreme, the presence of industries and transport activities in the Arctic will present a greater risk in the future.

We also believe that you are in a very good position to inform the States and organizations with an observer status in your council of the evolution of the Arctic, to ask them to act in order to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, to limit air and water pollution.

We have noted for example ...

The Arctic is a limited area with limited resources due to extreme weather conditions. Protection of nature has to include protection of the different form of life in order to insure that each species can keep its living areas.

In this context, examples would be...

Finally, we would like to stress the right of the native population to have the right to be integrated in the world economy in a sustainable way. History is full of stories where nature and native populations were abused. We believe that you could be a place to discuss and define an economy that would be fair for humans and nature in the Arctic.

We thank you very much for your attention and would be greatly thankful if you could help  us and the other organization trying to protect the Arctic.

Best regards,

In the "The EU and the Arctic Council",2316.0.html
There was a discussion about the fact that the EU would like to become an observer. There were many comments saying that the Arctic Council didn't do as much as it could to protect the Arctic, that it looks sometimes more like a business club if I may say it that way (this is a provocative way to turn it). So I suggested to write a petition.

I believe that the best way to write a petition is to express concerns and point out issues that require solutions, but that solutions should not be suggested otherwise many people might not participate because they don't agree with at least one of the solutions.

I also believe that it should not be an ASIF petition, but a petition of members that get together. I think that the ASIF has to stay neutral.

If you are interested in the concept of a petition to some or all members of the Arctic Council, please add a comment to say what you would like to see as main topics in such a petition, who you would want to receive it, how we should write it...

Inside the topic, I suggested different points to be put in the petition :
    CO2 emission and climate change
    Pollution from ships crossing the Artic
    Pollution from natural ressources mining
    Pollution from rivers entering in the Artic

But I really am not a specialist, last time I was in the Arctic was in 2003 in Greenland, just for holidays. Somebody else would have to write the letter because I don't have the scientific knowledge for that.

Don't know if opening markets to native products should be discussed, there was a comment about the seal products ban in the EU, which destroyed a good part of the Nunavut economy. If yes, this has to be clearly in a sustainable manner otherwise this would stop many people from signing the petition. I don’t want to support moves to reopen hunting of endangered species, but I bought seals gloves in 2003 and still have them,it was a very good quality. My wife wasn’t so happy when I bought these.

Here is also the website of the Arctic Council :


Well Roosevelt did a better job than Stalin. No problem with Marx, but Stalin was a monster. If we want to change the world, I prefer Martin Luther King Junior or Gandhi. If Gaza could continue without violence like it did the last Fridays, they would probably get more success than with the Intifada technique. A crazy man that makes a nice speach makes propagada, always look at the fruits to see if the guy is good or bad.

I agree with Neven that capitalism is not the problem, but the sharing of revenues is the issue. My Grand-Father used to say about food "a little bit of everything, but without excess", I believe that this is also valid for the way the world works. We need public companies, we need private companies, we need social security... but I don't understand why a french company takes care of Luxembourgish trashes and of public transportations in the Netherlands, why a US company has hospitals in Switzerland and homes for elderly people in Luxembourg, why a Swiss company makes cheese in the US ... ok for technological products, but not for everyday businesses.

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: May 12, 2018, 11:36:41 PM »
there is only one real democracy in the world and that's switzerland and even that system got dents and flaws recently.

What's very interesting in the Swiss model is that Ministers are elected as person and not as member of a political party. It means that Switzerland lives all the time with a governement that is a coalition of different parties that didn't decide to work together, but that have been elected together.  On National level, Ministers are elected by the Parliament, and on state/county level, directly by the people. The good side of the system is that no Minister has a majority, so he has to discuss with everybody to get is projects through the legislative process, and if a project fails, it doesn't create a crisis, nobody has to resign, you just have to rewrite the project. The weak point of the system is that it take a lot of time to change things.
Like in any democracy, you have the problem that people who speak better get more votes, doesn't matter how good they are. I always say that in politics, you have stairs to go up in the middle, and there are elevators on the right and on the left end. Fortunately, elevators are most of the time out of order.

good analysis including the downside while to be hones, when we started to discuss the slow speed of the system between us we found as many examples when bad decisions were reversed in time because they were not yet implemented like the other way around.

or in other terms, if something is generally good, not improving it fast if it seems appropriate keeps us from making it worse fast as well ;) nevertheless i agree with your point.

to be fair i have to add that the judicature, law enforcement and a few key details of that system are much better in other countries. each county found it's means to get people more or less under control if the feel fit to do so. in switzerland they can put you into custody for quite some time without a lawyer and prolonging without big effort for example and i know quite a few guys who were convicted for things they did not do just because the mistakes they really did were not heavy weight enough to bring them "In-Line" Not saying those were angels, there certainly were mistakes made but not of the kind they were convicted for. but that's a long story, the greatest police force in switzerland is the average citiczen, exactly like every male citizen is a soldier and at a far higher percentage than enywhere else in democratic countries, they're proud to be in the army. basically the opposite of spain where people live and let live and no spaniard would call the police because one is a bit too fast or drives a few meters on a banned road section while under guarantee in switzerland someone will denounce you and you'll get an invitation from the police a few days later when you drive 10 meters into a banned road section to park (for example)  LOL
There is another important thing I forgot about the Swiss model. Since Ministers are elected individually instead of choosen by the president, the president has no real power on them and he is seen more as a coordinator. On the National level, President is a rotating job, each Minister has his or her turn. Locally, it is often the best elected who does the work.

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