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Messages - Bruce Steele

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Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: March 11, 2019, 05:28:04 PM »
The Calif. Sea Lion population is at carrying capacity and we should expect higher mortalities when and if an El Niño arrives here. Current anchovy surveys show a healthy stock with egg and larva analysis of about a million ton biomass. There are several threatened and endangered steelhead and salmon populations suffering from Calif. Sea Lion predation .

"Population: The U.S. population of California sea lions is currently estimated at up to 300,000 animals, all on the Pacific coast. From an estimated population of about 10,000 animals in the 1950s, U.S. California sea lion numbers have grown rapidly since the 1970s and the species is now at “carrying capacity”—near the highest level the environment can sustain—according to wildlife biologists. A population survey conducted in 2006 by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) documented 1,200 California sea lions and 1,000 Steller sea lions near the mouth of the Columbia River alone.
Diet: California sea lions feed on a variety of fish and shellfish, including salmon, steelhead, Pacific whiting, herring, mackerel, eulachon, lamprey, codfish, walleye Pollock, spiny dogfish and squid. In recent years, they have also been observed preying on Columbia River sturgeon. Studies of scat samples collected in coastal waters and the Columbia River estuary indicate that salmon comprise 10 to 30 percent of the animals’ diet. Additional studies have shown that the percentage of salmon and steelhead in sea lions’ diet increases as they move upriver. Each year since 2004, California sea lions have consumed 3,000 to 3,500 salmon and steelhead immediately below Bonneville Dam, according to an ongoing study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Ocean salinity, temperature and waves
« on: February 27, 2019, 08:36:45 PM »
I continue to be amazed by the depth of the Pacific Warm Water layer as evidenced by itp 110. If compared with two completed itp missions itp 78 or itp 85 we can clearly see the difference with current Beaufort conditions. Does anyone have any idea how this extra heat and volume will dissipate ? 

The rest / Re: Algorithms of Hate
« on: February 27, 2019, 02:54:29 AM »
What you don't know
May be more important
Than what you think you do

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 24, 2019, 06:24:22 AM »
Dear all, I cut my teeth on marine mammal politics and I represented fishermen. So if you have any imagination at all I was fighting an uphill battle and one of the best compliments I ever received was from an enviornmental activist . She said I was a " worthy opponent " . So to me it is important how my enemies view me as well as my friends. In politics eventually everyone seems like an enemy if you stick at it long enough. Our social skills are as important as our intellectual abilities as it turns out ,if we are expecting good results for the environment


Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 24, 2019, 03:43:58 AM »
Oren, I realize the numbers I chose were for a new Model S , that the solar array costs for a 10 k system are less than what they were ,and that the power walls will over time fall in cost.  I think however that even the less expensive EV car options and the solar array that makes the EV package renewable are not an option for billions and billions of the 7.7 currently living. Owning and
running a farm operation is outside most people's means here in the West and maybe I'm wrong but I would venture that there are still far more farmers living simple lives than EV owners that own their solar recharging systems.
 We as westerners don't seem to want to live as simple farmers anymore although we may romanticize the concept of a simple life. I am holding onto the past because it still offers an opt out in theory although without young adherents it will be mostly a lost art as time passes. If however we as society put all our eggs in the technology basket and it just never pans out I fear the population drop will be far deeper than it would have been if we hedged our bet with explorations of how we might use technology to supplement agrarian lifestyles rather than casting them into the waste bin of history.
   I think realistic monetary assessments of both agrarian renewable options as well as currently available urban or suburban EV / solar options can and should be fleshed out. Those two options should also include realistic potentials for how agrarian adherents might sink carbon and the costs thereof. We know we are in population and atmospheric CO2 overshoot so putting some value in sinking that carbon and getting paid to do so might help balance the scales and improve the chances of saving the farm and the few farmers left.
  Maybe I am not a good example for offering some hope to youth as I am admittedly rather dark .

IMO hard work is a bit of a salve for anger and if anything is true , farming is hard work. I really enjoy the very wise and kind people I have had the privilege to know here on Nevens blog. I am far better educated than I would have otherwise been without so many well informed commentators . I wish you all well.
 Archimid, life is beautiful and kindness a virtue . I wish I could talk about the wildlife I am so privileged to live with side by side. I have in my life enjoyed people and nature. I wish I could fix that which was broken, ease anger , offer hope . If we don't live by example we are not living up to our potential.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 23, 2019, 10:01:35 PM »
Archimid , We boomers have ridden a one time economic boom that will never be repeated. Although I have been lucky and I have a farm I am not sure most people would settle for the 365 days a year I work or the $30 a day it pays after I write off about everything most people would consider the cost of living expenses like fuel , boots , fences , a solar array,animal feed etc.  I write it off because that's how the US tax code works. 
 If you could please put yourself in a young person shoes who around here needs to pay $1,200 to
$3,000 a month rent, or buy fuel for the commute ,a car and insurance or maybe pay for children. Even if they do make $33,000 a year in wages they are going to be broke, yes the top one percent of income earners are broke, can't save for a house down payment, and can't buy a solar system.
 Now if you think it's silly that I struggle to make my own biodiesel for my tractor or farm or try to maintain some connection to nature because I think those things will be necessary to others as this whole economic system implodes go ahead and think what you will. I will maintain my opinion that servicing the desires of the top .1 percent is a planet suicide pact. I try to avoid being accusatory or angry but when it all comes apart I hope I can somehow show a few people how to feed themselves and their families, probably won't save me.  My chances are likely no better than yours when the rage at the bottom finally bubbles up .

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 23, 2019, 09:29:30 PM »
Sidd, A 5k system or 5,000 watts. System can produce from 350 to 850 kWh per month or in the best of conditions about 25 kWh per day. The electric SUV study showed the best performing SUV used
25 kWh to go 75 miles.
 My 5k system has been running for several years now but it cost me more than $ 20,000. Maybe things have gotten cheaper but Calif. labor and regulations translates into higher costs. I am adding a few more panels this year so when I get the bill I will tell you the current prices.
 I was trying to compare renewable energy consumption of an average house to the solar system it required. Calif. isn't average in solar availability but an average US house consumes about 867 kWh per month. If you used your Tesla SUV you would need another 5k solar system added to service it's needs.
There aren't good examples of average commutes but here in Southern Calif. 75 miles is probably rather average.
 So you would need a 10k system for your house and one Tesla. You would need a house to mount your solar array and if you could afford all that you could probably afford the power walls so your car could charge at night. Around here the whole set-up would set you back about $1,150,000. 
 So even if you were in the worlds top 1% income and earned ~ $33,000 per year you would never ever get close to the set-up necessary to live a renewable lifestyle via the Tesla dream. This renewable lifestyle wouldn't include your food carbon footprint , your recreational carbon footprint, or your air travel footprint .
We are talking about the top .1 percent income earners when we are talking Tesla and a personal solar charging array.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 23, 2019, 05:39:13 PM »
The test of the three SUV electric vehicles showed that even the best of the three used about 25 kWh to travel 120 kilometers ( 75 miles ). So if you devoted something like a daily production of a 5 kWh home solar array to charging your car it wouldn't even get you through a common daily  commute here Southern Calif.  That same solar array is capable of running my small farm for all it's electrical needs both for my home and my water wells. I can feed myself on the food I grow and if hard pressed wouldn't need to travel much at all.
 My point is we are trying to extend current BAU expectations for very large personal vehicles and at the same time ignoring rebuilding our lives in ways that make sense in justifying the purchase of a 5 kWh solar system which costs over $20,000 installed even with rebates. So the frustration exhibited by a number of posters here may be to a degree justified even though I believe it would be more effective if it was delivered constructively . So I am not going to name names but there are long term posters here that are doing damage to the resonable arguement that society should work towards a renewable future by supporting carmakers and technology that isn't anywhere near affordable to a vast swath of society. $ 90,000 cars, $ 40,000 solar arrays, $20,000 power wall arrays and million dollar houses are not answers to solving climate change problems, they will accelerate them. I don't accept an argument that the rich and their purchase of these extremely expensive alternative energy systems are building the technology that will lift the rest of us out of our fossil fuel dependencies. So anger will build and those elitist transportation options will eventually be sabotaged in retaliation. The fact that anger in society is building and has intruded onto our otherwise peaceful blog page should be somehow addressed. Zizek is young and angry, how do we address that anger ?   

Consequences / Re: Black snow falling -Russia
« on: February 18, 2019, 10:52:39 AM »
Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall
Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin'
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin'
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall
And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin'
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin'
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall
Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony
I met a white man who walked a black dog
I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded with hatred
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall
Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin'
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner's face is always well-hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin'
But I'll know my song well before I start singin'
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall
Songwriters: Bob Dylan

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Ocean salinity, temperature and waves
« on: February 18, 2019, 10:35:49 AM »
Yes the temp /salinity contours are not working right now on itp 107 but sometimes the profilers come back. The gyre is certainly cranking compared to last year however. Thanks for all the work uniquorn !

Policy and solutions / Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« on: February 18, 2019, 03:51:00 AM »
Archimid, Maybe your response is the very definition of BAU until they take my cold dead hands off it.
No people and the rest of living creatures on the planet can't wait for technology to deliver rich people's  large  single driver transportation preferences before they begrudgingly change their lifestyles.
No people can't put off food preference changes, their 6,000 sq.ft. housing preferences heated by fossil fuels, their plane flying habits, their annual vacations to exotic locales, the electric demands of their comunication addictions. BAU by definition.
 If you don't believe we could currently feed everyone on the planet with beans, grains, pulses, rice and vegetables and some fish , chickens and small amounts of pork while at the same time vastly reducing our carbon footprint you'd be wrong.
 If you don't think we could transition to buses for transport within ten years you'd be wrong. If we just banned air transport of food and all but emergency transport of people the planet and society would still get through. If people just changed their housing expectations or shut off all but 600 sq. ft. to heating or air conditioning most people would still survive.
 Problem is people aren't willing to do what is necessary to save this planet. There are billions of people however that already live lives very similar to the restraints I have grossly outlined above. I am quite certain however you aren't one of them. It is your expectations and mine that will cost those other humans untold pain and hunger as climate change proceeds apace and you want to complain about the inevitable war or deprivations instant change would precipitate?  I am sure those other humans would have choice words for you and me but they simply don't have a voice.
 I would take the leap tomorrow , I would take the chance we could muddle through . I'd do it for the other living things on the planet, I'd do it for the suffering we are willing to inflict on others, I'd do it for the future generations we are throwing under the bus. If it meant a couple million rich fucks passed away uncomfortable I'd be fine with that too. Now I probably have the NSA on my ass , thanks !

Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: February 17, 2019, 09:24:34 PM »
Sublime, El Niño and ocean kelvin waves push warm , lower pCO2 waters from the western tropical Pacific to the east where they temporarily suppress Eastern  Equatorial Pacific upwelling. So the high pCO2 waters from upwelled waters are not in contact with the atmosphere and you might expect Mauna Loa rates of increase would slow if local ocean conditions were the primary driver. Instead El Niño tends to result in increased rates of atmospheric CO2 although the changes are somewhat a delayed reaction.
 So it is ostensibly drought and reduced uptake by terrestrial sources that are the cause of what we observe and that explains why the atmospheric CO2 increases are a delayed reaction. If we are looking for answers about current conditions we should probably be looking to drought conditions in Australia,South America, and elsewhere in the tropics over the last six months or so. On the other hand drought and potentially other feedback mechanisms are combined contributors.
 I used to be able to access TAO buoys for oceanic pCO2 levels at buoys stretched across the Equatorial Pacific but I can't seem to figure out how to do it anymore. If someone out there can access that data it might help us better understand what is happening right now.   
 I don't think SST is as important as ocean surface pCO2 levels  Surface waters at pCO2 of 410 -600 are going to move ocean CO2 into the atmosphere ( Henry's law ) no matter what the temperature is and ocean surface waters with 280-400 are going to absorb atmospheric CO2. Biological processes and the carbonate pump will help move surface water pCO2 to depth providing a mechanism to create a differential between surface waters and the atmosphere where their pCO2 levels are close to equal but I don't think temperature can overcome large differences. Yes cold water absorbs and holds CO2 better than warm water  but I believe it affects rates of exchange more than absolute levels.
 I can't address CO levels , no idea.
Welcome to the forum !

Policy and solutions / Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« on: February 17, 2019, 06:10:54 PM »
The Sunflower star die-off and heat related disease were posted on the Holocene extinction thread Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 posts # 238 & 239.  This is my world and I have been watching for several decades as things degrade. We had a very similar starfish die-in the 82-83 El Niño and the 97-98 event. The starfish did recover but as the oceans continue to warm they will eventually hit thresholds that remove them from the nearshore ecosystem and their losses will cascade in sad and damaging ways. Heat, rapid ecological transitions, disease ,death, and truncated ecosystems.
 There are terrestrial parallels , insects, birds, reptiles , amphibians, either directly threatened by heat resulting in stress and disease or affected by the loss of their primary food supplies because heat changed when insects bloomed and when the migrations of nesting birds arrived at their nesting sites to late.
 This is my world , the oceans, riparian farmland animals that I have known for my entire life .Vanishing before my eyes. I raise farm animals and I deal with them when they are sick. We don't have the knowledge , ability or skill sets to Doctor our wild environs. Most people are so damn removed from nature they never even see what is happening . They have no empathy for those things they haven't lived with, they feel no pain. The vanishing insect populations are a good example. Even those few people who happen to notice that the bug splats on their windshields have disappeared couldn't really give a crap. Dulled by their fancy machines, the glowing computer screens, their myopic politics, or just their stupidity. Nature will repay us for our vanity , heat and changes in hydrological cycles will deliver old vicious opportunistic scourges upon us too as our synthetic monitory utopia transforms into hell on earth.   
 Technology is death my friends because is removes us as active participants in our living world. Those who survive will know again the stars at night, will know again the terrible tolls of childbirth and childhood disease but the planet will again have a chance at healing from a species emotionally unprepared to deal with their strange sad attempts at taking the reins of gods.
 I am angry too Zizek , no swearing, no personal attacks . Rage against  the machine !  Sadly I am guilty too in my comforts , we all are . It defines tragic but your generation Zizek has been captured more than mine by this computer screen , know that too.

Man, introverted man, having crossed
In passage and but a little with the nature of things this latter
Has begot giants; but being taken up
Like a maniac with self-love and inward conflicts cannot manage
his hybrids.
Being used to deal with edgeless dreams,
Now he's bred knives on nature turns them also inward: they
have thirsty points though.
His mind forebodes his own destruction;
Actaeon who saw the goddess naked among leaves and his hounds
tore him.
A little knowledge, a pebble from the shingle,
A drop from the oceans: who would have dreamed this infinitely
little too much?
Robinson Jeffers

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: February 17, 2019, 06:07:27 PM »
The Sunflower star die-off and heat related disease were posted on the Holocene extinction thread Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 posts # 238 & 239.  This is my world and I have been watching for several decades as things degrade. We had a very similar starfish die-in the 82-83 El Niño and the 97-98 event. The starfish did recover but as the oceans continue to warm they will eventually hit thresholds that remove them from the nearshore ecosystem and their losses will cascade in sad and damaging ways. Heat, rapid ecological transitions, disease ,death, and truncated ecosystems.
 There are terrestrial parallels , insects, birds, reptiles , amphibians, either directly threatened by heat resulting in stress and disease or affected by the loss of their primary food supplies because heat change when insects bloomed and when migrations and nesting of birds arrived at their nesting sites.
 This is my world , the oceans, riparian farmland animals that I have known for my entire life .Vanishing before my eyes. I raise farm animals and I deal with them when they are sick. We don't have the knowledge , ability or skill sets to Doctor our wild environs. Most people are so damn removed from nature they never even see what is happening . They have no empathy for those things they haven't lived with, they feel no pain. The vanishing insect populations are a good example. Even those few people who happen to notice that the bug splats on their windshields have disappeared couldn't really give a crap. Dulled by their fancy machines, the glowing computer screens, their myopic politics, or just their stupidity. Nature will repay us for our vanity , heat and changes in hydrological cycles will deliver old vicious opportunistic scourges upon us too as our synthetic monitory utopia transforms into hell on earth.   
 Technology is death my friends because is removes us as active participants in our living world. Those who survive with know again the stars at night, will know again the terrible tolls of childbirth and childhood disease but the planet will again have a chance at healing from a species emotionally unprepared to deal with their strange sad attempts at taking the reins of gods.
 I am angry too Zizek , no swearing, no personal attacks . Rage against  the machine !  Sadly I am guilty too in my comforts , we all are . It defines tragic but your generation Zizek has been captured more than mine by this computer screen , know that too.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: February 16, 2019, 10:31:01 AM »
Oren, I see five or six Teslas a day here in Southern Calif. when I hit the freeways. They are beautiful , sexy and so tempting. I am sure they will be as common as Volkswagens Beatles once were ,very soon.
A typical commute can easily exceed 60 miles one way around here so in a five year period a typical commuter will exceed the 135,000 miles the Solon article bases its study upon. That is rather typical but some people commute further.
 I can spend weeks sometimes never leaving the farm but there are literally tens of millions of commuters living within 150 miles . Maybe I should leave but I never will. I hope someone might learn something from my rather extreme attempts at simplicity but honestly there are no solutions here anymore. I too consider myself rather pragmatic but I suppose I am just nuts like everyone else around here.
 Neven, please don't take Zizek out. We can handle a few angry voices around here. Zizek, I don't know how to make you smile but think of my position, an old man with a thousand pounds of acorns in the drying shed and lots of very fat happy pigs on a farm inside a swirling mass of humans. I hope you find that humorous , I do.

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: February 16, 2019, 05:50:49 AM »
My power wall supplier says it will be months or maybe even a year until they can deliver, ostensibly due to a battery shortage. Not that I am going to change my mind but it would be interesting to know how well Sonnen can be programmed to deal with Time Of Use electricity plans mandated for all Calif utilities within the next year. That is one of the primary benefits of a power wall system and app.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: February 16, 2019, 05:33:18 AM »
This thread gets kinda crazy sometimes. I am getting some power walls before I get an electric car. They can store about 27 kW of electricity and even if my solar array cranks on a clear day it may have trouble loading the 27 kW -2.7 kW of emergency power on an average day. That is the two walls will only hold 24.3 kW of power they can send into a electric car per day so 85 kW - 24.3 or 60.7 kW would need to come off the grid . If there were some extra solar power available it would need to go to the house/farm. The point is even with over 6 kW in solar panels a substantial portion of the energy needed to charge a 85 kW car is going to come off the grid. Depending on the renewable share of your utility supply some of your energy will be fossil fuel derived.
 In spite of the above points by the time a Tesla gets to 135,000 it will have produced half of the CO2 emissions of a similar sized ICE car according to a salon article. This includes the embodied carbon in manufacture even though the Teslas embodied manufacture costs start about 15% higher than an ICE.

Batteries for the power wall and any Tesla battery replacements , not uncommon at 135,000 miles, would decrease the one half CO2 to something less. Maybe something that means a Tesla only saves ~ one third an ICE cars footprint.
My point is this is a reasonable result but maybe not as good a result as some people seem to believe.
On the other hand these numbers are based on substantial amounts of driving that seems far more than anything really justified for someone really concerned with reducing their carbon footprint.
 I am not sure these results justify the emotional bent on either side of this debate . Teslas glory or failure may be dependent on factors other than it's enviornmental impacts unless technological improvements in batteries can improve some of these numbers. I think there are battery improvements in the pipeline but it will take some time before these numbers change much.


Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 16, 2019, 12:49:07 AM »
Martin, Maybe this version won't address your weight concerns either . That copper extension cord must weigh a bit and cost a pretty penny. It is probably more practical if you want to get rid of the last few farmers and a couple tons of lithium ion batteries proves untenable ? Practical might be a ripe choice of words however.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 15, 2019, 10:25:15 PM »
Here is link to a Brussels Blog post ( Geoff ) on embodied carbon for solar electric lifestyles and efficient housing. It doesn't cover energy costs for food production or transport , airplane travel,
consumer demands , entertainment or communications.

Maybe Geoff could help with updates and some of the missing pieces. I will stand my ground that we need to radically change lifestyle expectations and the addition of billions of Chinese and Indians wanting to join the consumer parade
/ paradise paradigm makes the numbers even more daunting. We are seeing thousands of Chinese on vacation here in the Santa Ynez Valley , Southern Calif. I know those numbers aren't in low carbon lifestyle calculations and plenty of new ICE cars and trucks make things even worse.


Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 15, 2019, 05:21:43 PM »
Lurk, I went back a dredged up an old thread I started back in 2014 dealing with EROI and farming.
The lesson I learned was that it isn't enough to just calculate fuel use but that the embedded costs of metals and batteries need to be considered. When Tesla automobile proponents quote Tesla figures on carbon reductions from driving a Tesla they don't include carbon costs for the manufacture of the component parts. Everything from soil carbon improvements to car manufacture needs to include all input costs. Most everything however ends up being an energy comparison between bad and worse. A Tesla compared to a old Impala or a dairy manure lagoon compared with composted urban waste spread on a field. Yes better but not Zero.
Zero is just some fantasy the IPCC put in their reports to drive us crazy I guess because nobody and I mean nobody has any idea how to get there. I think the carbon sequestration of prairie farmland that is mentioned in the video you linked is maybe as good as anything currently out there for sinking carbon but when the soil has been improved from a 2% carbon to 10-12 % the soil carbon won't continue to represent a place to sink our emissions.
 Now if you lived in a straw bale 600 sq. ft. house ,rode a bike , heated with wood you both grew , split and burned for heat as well as farmed renewably you could get your numbers seriously down to where
you might be able to sink most or all of your carbon emissions back into the soil . I don't live that way so excuse me if I sound self righteous . It is a serious flaw to get righteous when I too live in a glass house but rationalizing some electrified convertion of current lifestyles isn't going to get us moving back to simpler lifestyles anywhere near fast enough.,786.0.html

If a group of people were willing to live simple lives I am quite confident I could feed them without fossil fuels with an old tractor and some pigs. When is it these sorts of communities will develop ?
If we got paid for sinking carbon we might even be able to pay for the property taxes and keep a community solar system running.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 14, 2019, 05:37:46 PM »
Lurk, Hang in there, I enjoy your posts. If I ever get to the complete system of renewable energy, renewable food production , transportation and home heating I would welcome a critical analysis of my efforts.
 I have focused on food first as I believe it is of critical import and largely neglected. Anyone attempting renewables to power their food production requirements will quickly realize they need to change their expectations . We are so dependent upon the food transportation network and enormous numbers of food miles currently built into our diets. Bananas, citrus, tropical fruit on menus thousands of miles separate from their points of production. Even greens and salads available in the Northern parts of the US where we recently saw -35 F.  Renewable and local will require a change in these expectations. Diets should be built around local availability IMO but you don't need to worry about this problem if you don't actually try producing your own renewable energy.
 Renewables are also locally constrained and some currently occupied regions may in fact not support any renewables options that can maintain anything similar to current lifestyle expectations or population densities. Wind works in some areas, solar or hydro in others. Wood as a heat source is in reality not an option in many areas lest we cut down every tree and bush in a vain attempt to heat our ( overly large )homes. 
 Transportation seems to be everyone primary interest because it is critical to maintaining the infrastructure that obviates my first two points. I may be contrary but I believe local should be our primary consideration because any honest assessment of the renewable energy required to maintain the transportation infrastructure will not work in decadal  timeframes . Yes very rich societies that have fossil fuel resources to build out electric trucking and large personal EV vehicles ( Teslas ) may seem at first sustainable but those options will fail as the fossil fuels to create them begin to fail. Self supporting renewable infrastructure requires serious efforts at walking back our expectations of luxury and anyone who try's to put a total support structure together will quickly realize this point. We need to figure out how to live on less energy inputs rather than create an imitation of how we currently live. Yes electric vehicles are part of a renewable future but those vehicles will be small, light and not expected to travel very far.
 Home heating / cooling is also feasible as we move forward but local resources should drive local architecture .
 Lastly we need to figure out how to sink some of the excess carbon we have already emitted which leads me back to food and farming. Farming with renewables and locally sourced energy and biomass needs seems to be a full circle solution but also a very labor intensive one. It requires major changes in current lifestyle expectations. It also can be adapted to further steps down the energy escalator we have become conditioned to expect, the elevators will not always go up. If or when solar, wind, and batteries go through their replacement cycles farming can still go on even if that means we transition back to beasts of burden.
If we put all of our efforts at high expectation transportation networks and fail to maintain our food and farming past/ future the bottleneck will narrow.

Policy and solutions / Re: US Green New Deal
« on: February 13, 2019, 05:29:39 AM »
rboyd, I couldn't agree more. The changes you propose would make a real impact on our collective chances of survival , people and many other life forms. I wish the GND set some priorities regarding food production , energy production and equity in that order of importance. The problem is changing our food production would result in increased food costs. Switching to renewables would also ,with current technology ,result in increased prices and although I know addressing equity is necessary I assume the powers that be would gleefully send us all down the river in retribution for taking away their toys and trinkets.
 After a quick scan of the GND i am mostly disappointed . Politics seems to be the primary driver and although making promises to the disadvantaged might appeal to some people I am less than impressed with how their proposal will pan out with the electoral college ,the 2020 presidency ,or Senate control. I have a bad record on predicting election results however.
 After some thought I would like to try to better explain my concept of governance and equity/ fairness.
If our primary goals are preserving access to food and (renewable)energy I believe it needs to be done in a way people think is fair. So you set your goals and try to achieve them in ways all people feel they have as fair a chance as anyone else. Too much of our current system provides unfair advantage to the rich . It is tearing us apart.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: February 12, 2019, 02:19:21 PM »
I am not sure the power wall is a topic on the Tesla glory / failure page but I think it should be so here is a status update on my power wall project. I have received a confirmation notice that my order has made it through the first part of the approval process. This sets my tier level for the rebates here in the PG&E area of Calif.  My installer says there may be a bit of a waiting period but from my reading of all things Tesla waiting is to be expected. Installer says it may be several months due to power wall availability.
 We did have a power outage with a storm that dropped trees and sheared off a power pole in town last week. I fired up a generator and ran some extension cords for the freezers. No big deal but it  would be if I wasn't home. Vacations aren't really an option so I am usually around anyhow. If I happened to be away it would be a mad race to get home , something I would prefer to insure agains't. The storm last week also shut down the 101 freeway so even getting home in time might get problematic in some cases. Maybe I am rationalizing but I still think the power wall project makes sense for my farm.


Policy and solutions / Re: US Green New Deal
« on: February 12, 2019, 02:18:17 AM »
For me " Green Deal " should consider agriculture. Any ideas from AOC ? It is BTW how Cuba got through the crunch.

Walking the walk / Re: How to resuscitate a dead field
« on: February 12, 2019, 02:04:57 AM »
Native prairie sinks carbon but it was always dependent upon grazing pressure from bison or other species prior to 15,000 years ago to really preform well as a functioning ecosystem. Take away the ruminants , mastodon etc. and I don't believe it would sink carbon as effectively and likely would switch to scrub, or forest or something else. Forests also sink carbon but support a whole different set of animals and in my opinion less animal biomass and less carrying capacity for humans.  So too a healthy farm that can support healthy soils are dependent upon animals or they transform into something closer to the food forests that biodynamics promotes with the same reduction in human food potential.
The current agricultural norms support huge human carrying  capacity at the expense of most other living species and the carbon retention capacity of the soil.
 I have tried to be a vegetable farmer and honestly even with annual cover crops the soil was in decline. Composting from farm sourced feedstocks is very very difficult and energy intensive. It works at a garden scale but scaling it up to acreage isn't really feasible and I can't think of a single example of anyone doing so. Every farm I know uses either fossil fuel fertilizer or purchased organic fertilizer and neither option is energy inefficient.
 Animals offer an alternative and for my farm they help improve the soil and provide a better wage.
Idealists would prefer another option without offering any working examples. Our challenge as farmers is how to run a farm with minimal fossil fuels, sink carbon, maintain native plants and animals , and make some kind of monetary gains( or just stay even ). Vegetable farming is none of the above.
 As an aside I really like animals and for the most part they like me. Humans are a different breed, so hard to satisfy, so hard to please, so demanding, and so out of touch with nature.

Policy and solutions / Re: Biodiesel farm production
« on: February 06, 2019, 11:22:55 AM »
Sidd, I haven't gotten around to putting my leftover glycerin through a still but I can get by with 25-30 gallons of biodiesel for a years worth of tractor time in one batch. I use a reactor called an Appleseed bio reactor that I put together with a hot water heater plumbed with a recirculating pump, an inline thermometer and a view sight. It vents out the top but I will retrofit with a condenser as per your recommendation. I render lard in a pot , ladle it into a jerry can and carry it to the reactor at temp so I don't utilize the water heaters electric heating element.
 I don't need to do any of this except I am interested in zero carbon. I think I can produce methanol from wood gas and if I was hard pressed I could also make lye . It is all kinda mad scientist .
 We can burn wood piles on prescribed burn days but the fire marshal needs to inspect your pile first.
I prefer to chip and compost. Any smoke on days that aren't burn days can result in neighbors calling the fire department and with the fire conditions around here most of the year those concerns are more than warranted.
 I do have a farm insurance policy for my pigs. If one were to get out of the fence and get hit by a car and cause an accident I would get sued . The insurance carrier was worried about food safety issues with pigs and vegetables but they never outright stated as much. My farm is worth a lot of money so no I can't live without insurance either. The farm is the only thing I have worth anything other than a wife who puts up with me.
 The point of my last missive was the regulations to run a biodiesel plant, to collect grease , to run a still, or around here to make bio char far exceed the value of the 25-30 gallons of fuel I need to keep the garden plowed and sink some carbon. There are reasons nobody is zero carbon .
 If you get very small it isn't necessary to put in many road miles , you can feed yourself, sink carbon, and live a resonablely comfortable life. If you go full Amish and live somewhere where it rains you can use animal power but like everything else that option is limited by the growing conditions of where you live.
 Permits, taxes and insurance however require money and therein lies the rub. The system itself makes living small and zero carbon virtually impossible . If however those of us with the knowledge, skill sets,
physical strength , time , money and perseverance to pull together and document what is necessary to live a zero carbon life who will ?
 Risk doesn't scare me away, I am getting old and my body will eventually wear out. No point in getting into the weeds on personal health issues but eventually they get us all. By the way I meant hemp not Cannibus but they are the same thing except for the permits required and the THC content. Six plants with THC are legal around here, no permits, no questions so I guess going small is an option at least with weed.


Abrupt, Any slowdown on the MOC would also reduce the ocean carbon sink. The North Atlantic down welling area sends vast amounts of organic matter and carbonates into the deep ocean where they remain until upwelling brings DIC ( dissolved inorganic carbon ) back into atmospheric contact , a cycle lasting hundreds of years to more than a thousand years .A slowdown with down welling in the Southern end of the MOC and would also result in a reduction in the ocean carbon sink.

Walking the walk / Re: Terra Preta / Biochar - Theory and Practice
« on: February 05, 2019, 11:51:37 PM »
dbarce, I render lard , convert it to biodiesel , and run my tractors on my homemade fuel.
Technically not totally fossil fuel free yet because I buy barley for the pigs and there is embedded fossil fuel in the purchased feed. I am confident however that I could feed the pigs without purchased food if I only kept a few pigs rather than trying to make a living as a pig farmer. Making money is always a trick without fossil fuel consumption.
 Any carbon I might be able to sink on my farm from feedstocks for compost and cover crops I produce without fossil fuel should be potentially negative carbon. Bio char should contribute to long term soil carbon content furthering potential negative carbon goals.
A question for you dbarce, do you know any examples of anyone sinking more carbon than they consume ?

Jai, Just the opinion of a farmer, the terrestrial carbon sink is dependent upon plants and trees to go through an annual growth cycle. With adequate soil moisture plants grow roots and contribute to soil humus buildup. With drying conditions there is less organic matter and carbon sequestration so the terrestrial carbon sink goes into decline and the carbon in the soil oxidizes and goes back into the atmospheric carbon sink , increasing ECS. Also forest health declines , there is more insect damage and more fires.

Walking the walk / Re: Terra Preta / Biochar - Theory and Practice
« on: February 03, 2019, 05:42:57 PM »
Wili, Good to see you survived the deep freeze! 
In order to run a farm you have to carry a farm insurance policy . Mine got cancelled a couple years ago because the insurance carrier found out I was selling both pigs and vegetables from the same farm. It became obvious I wasn't going to get another carrier unless I chose one or the other, pigs or vegetables . I chose pigs . I can still grow vegetables but I can no longer sell them .
 I am pushing what is legal I am sure by producing biofuel or building a bio char plant. Running a still for methanol would undoubtably terrify anyone of authority. Human waste goes into a septic system and nobody seems ready to broach the notion that we should compost the stuff . A bridge too far although humorous.
 I can grow Cannibus as a feedstock for compost but I have to pay over a thousand dollars a year for permits and pay to show it doesn't have any THC in it. I can raise pigs without much oversight but I have to get my wells checked for nitrates if I grow vegetables. I live in an upside down world and trying to do the right thing is the quickest way to irritate the authorities. Sidd could better fill us in on permits and hassles of bio production . If I tried to sell the stuff I'd really be screwed !
 My bio char plant will have to double as some sort of barbecue pit to skate regulation. I have to make my own fat for bio to avoid the nutty regulations it takes to collect resturant grease. I can't sell organic vegetables produced without fossil fuel and have insurance . I can't grow a useless ( not really useless) weed without userous permitting.
 Good morning from the other side. I think I have already polluted the bio char thread.

Walking the walk / Re: Terra Preta / Biochar - Theory and Practice
« on: February 03, 2019, 04:55:44 PM »
Neven, I know bio char doesn't belong on the Mauna Loa CO2 thread. It is so easy to get off subject,my apologies.
 After rereading the old thread I have a few comments.
 I think Wili is correct and collection of feedstock needs to utilize equipment that doesn't negate any positive carbon sequestration effects with more fossil fuel emissions. One of the reasons I am planning on building a little bio char plant is to use the extra heat to render fat for making biodiesel. The biofuel will fuel the tractor for collection of feedstock, distribution and incorporation into the soil, and chipping wood . I am also interested in methanol from wood gas but I need to figure out how to do that without blowing myself up. I would also like to capture exhaust heat to heat a mass of rocks with some sort of radiator to help heat my house.
Another angle for me is to utilize pig waste added to the new bio char to both help age / biologically activate the char before burial and use extra nitrogen in the pig waste so it doesn't leach away unused.
I have sandy soil that tends toward alkali so lowering pH is probably benifitial and easy to monitor. I have land that is natural pasture I don't currently use that needs more nutrients and would make a good place to sink carbon.
 So there are multiple things I am trying to do to utilize extra heat in the pyrolysis process as well as deal with pig waste, improve pasture, and potentially synthesize methanol for biodiesel production.
 I have always put a winter cover crop on the land I use for my gardens and I will probably stick with cover crops and compost additions for that area. Building enough compost to cover more than my garden areas utilizing farm produced feedstocks however is just too difficult. I hope bio char and pig waste can serve multiple purposes but I don't trust or use pig waste in any garden areas. Pastures yes, gardens no.
 The garden is now over two acres with a two foot stand of peas, fava, and oats. I haven't used any fossil fuel there in three years. Not for fertilizer, tractor fuel or irrigation. It is time to plow in the cover crop and get to planting . We got about eight inches of rain over the last couple weeks so I am as happy as a pig in ....

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: February 02, 2019, 09:25:43 PM »
Kassy, The graph that Martenson based his Arctic phytoplankton decline upon is flawed I believe. Due to a decline in Arctic sea ice NOAA shows 20% increase in Arctic phytoplankton rather than the 50% decline Martenson claims.

The Boyce et al 2010 paper is also flawed due to satellite data missing a substantial portion of Southern Hemisphere chlorophyll . If there were anywhere near the phytoplankton decline Boyce claims there would be multiple ecosystem declines that just haven't happened. The ocean carbon sink has increased as the atmospheric CO2 concentration has gone from 280 to 408 otherwise the relative portions of atmosphere 50% ocean 25% and terrestrial 25 % uptake rates would have changed. They haven't.
 I am as worried as anyone here about some of the problems in the Martenson paper but the phytoplankton declines he claims are IMO overstated although long term acidification will be taking a toll on some forms of phytoplankton. Here is a discussion paper on Boyce that also covers some of the longer term issues I alluding to.

Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: February 02, 2019, 06:17:48 PM »
Martin, I have been thinking of you . I am going to build a small bio char plant.
I am afraid I am polluting this thread . Suggest another and I will follow you there.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: February 02, 2019, 06:13:27 PM »
The precipitous declines in insectivore birds and insect populations has me worried. Climate warming and insecticides are undoubtably implicated but it seems to me the declines seem to be intensifying and I wonder if the microwave radiation may be a contributing factor.

The swallows here on my farm have been in decline for several years and this is the first year the local phoebes have disappeared as well as mountain bluebirds that usually overwinter here. I have also noticed a total absence of any butterflies and I have been looking at the radiators of people's vehicles that are completely clean. Nada, zilch .
 Kassy, Thanks I will have some reading to do this morning.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: February 02, 2019, 05:58:34 PM »
Kassy, I would like to see better documentation of the Phytoplankton declines . I do not believe these declines are global and some explanation as to causes of purported local declines would be appreciated.
Sources please.

Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: February 02, 2019, 04:19:28 PM »
Lurk, I read and reread your posts and I appreciate the effort. Yes I botched the numbers ,CO2 not C ,and tried to go fix them but I waited too long. I have a very hard time finding other people willing to look at our current situation  and education doesn't seem to make much difference in facing the facts.
Even honest individual efforts seem to fall short . That is I don't know anyone who has any idea about how we can get to zero or making much of any effort to do so.
 Yes we ( the US ) are a Pariah state and apparently we are proud to be idiots. Dangerous rich idiots.

Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: February 01, 2019, 05:36:57 PM »
Terry, I used to post on the carbon cycle but I haven't kept up reporting. I agree the deep ocean sink of 2 Gt is the only long term carbon sink. It is dependent upon biological processes that are threatened by ocean acidification however. So all the efforts at soil carbon farming or forestation are only stopgap measures. All the terrestrial carbon , or a vast majority of it, moves back into the atmosphere where the ocean can then absorb ~ 25% of it. Of that current 2.5Gt ocean carbon sink only 2 Gt moves into the deep ocean particulate sink, the rest is labile and will over a thousand year timeframe re-enter the atmosphere . We are emitting about 10Gt carbon annually and most of it will cycle back into the atmosphere over the next thousand years whether it goes into terrestrial or oceans sinks.People just have a very hard time with thousand year timescales. If we keep emitting carbon at the current rate nobody will be here to witness what happens in a thousand years anyhow.
 I agree with Lurk that we need to get somewhere close to 100% reduction in carbon emissions. So electrical production, transportation, food production and land use All need to be included in the zero carbon plans. The Tesla /Glory thread is an indication of how most, even very bright people , can't seem to get their brains around zero.  You , Lurk and I are just misfits.
 Sorry to be such a bummer but I have been hanging around the Holocene Extinction thread too long. I realized I haven't even seen a single butterfly for a very long time . I have started to look into other people's automotive grills at their radiators looking for bugs. Not seeing them.
 I realize this is OT but really what point is there in counting numbers on CO2 if we can't admit we are going over the cliff ?

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: February 01, 2019, 06:24:19 AM »
Chris Martenson usually charges for his posts but here is a sobering one that is free for the reading.
You might want to take a strong drink first. Collapse is upon us

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: February 01, 2019, 05:01:32 AM »
Terry, I am no expert on the life cycle of jellyfish. When I refer to jellyfish blooms that is because where I spent the forty years of my fishing career they always showed up during the spring upwelling season when nutrients are at their maximum. Cnidarians have a complex lifecycle with a hydra stage that is connected to the bottom, it asexually produces polyps that then become free swimming jellyfish that sexually reproduce. After the sexual process is completed the jellies expire. So yes the jellies you saw may have completed their lifecycle, or maybe the wind drove them onshore. By early summer most of the jellyfish are gone but some species live several months around here. This is a generalization but there are undoubtably exemptions I wasn't paying attention to. What happens to jellyfish is an example of a life form that we just don't pay enough attention to to recognize population crashes that climate change might precipitate. 
 Many of the jellies in the spring bloom were very small and being in the bloom was kinda like swimming in a soup of them. I had to change my focus to that which was only inches in front of my eyes to see them , many were very beautiful with spinning rainbow colors along their sides. Some swam like little butterflies ,others pulsed like the larger jellies, and others were cylindrical and rotated with cilia . Paying too much attention to all the various life forms that surrounded you resulted in bottom time that wasn't producing sea urchins so you tend to focus on what was paying the bills but there was enough time swimming back to the boat or decompressing to take in the show on occasion .


Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 01, 2019, 12:02:16 AM »
Interstitial , I agree with much of what you are saying re. the costs that a litigious society has imposed on a " public utility " .  I also agree that those costs will be imposed on all electric consumers in the region serviced by PG&E regardless of the comparative risk those users live in. If you choose to live in a forest enviornment and resist trimming trees by your utility company or fail to create a defendable space around your house how is it city residents who don't take those risks should share your liabilities?  if a public utility files bankruptcy and fails to emerge due to liabilities they can't afford I would assume the costs for rate payers would be even greater for whoever decides to assume the service area. I also believe it is relatively affluent customers in high risk urban areas that are shunting their high risk lifestyle costs onto poorer customers .
 Washington is lucky to have vast hydropower resources but I believe many of those dams were funded by federal monies so to some degree Washington also has shunted it's electrical costs onto poorer members of society. It also has resulted in salmon population declines but Calif. is no better in those regards because what hydro and canals we have were also federally funded and also resulted in salmon declines.
Ultimately global warming will exacerbate water shortages and fire issues that threaten current electric costs and dependability. Those issues will probably happen in Calif. before they happen in Washington. I don't think the current law holding utilities responsible regardless of negligence is a good way to address our problems. I don't have much faith that Calif. will figure this out before our electric rates become unbearable and I read that PG&E estimates it's rates would need to quadruple to meet the demands of current liability laws and those proposed by the judge in control of the fire fiasco. That would translate into something like 80 cents a kWh .
 I am working on getting off the grid but that honestly isn't financially feasible for most people and just like the federally funded dams I am using subsidies both federal and state to achieve my goals . Not exactly walking the walk but the system favors a certain portion of the populous and when TSHTF there won't be much protection in having a nice private solar/battery  off grid house. When and if that happens I have other options in walking back modern conveniences. I am however paying costs to try to achieve a carbon free lifestyle and ultimately if the rest of society can't afford the same California figuratively ,will finally fall into the ocean.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: January 31, 2019, 09:11:58 PM »
Terry, The crash in cod is one factor resulting in a relaxation of predatory pressure on lobster. The Atlantic lobsters however have had population declines in the southern end of their range due to hot water and an associated shell disease. Another example of water temperatures associated with disease. I believe the change in water temperatures are forcing the lobster populations north.
 In reading the full paper on the starfish disease it appears the same densovirus killing West Coast starfish is also killing starfish on the East Coast of North America. Not all starfish are equally susceptible and I don't know if starfish are a primary urchin predator on the East Coast but if they are kelp may be threatened there as well. Shipping live seafood around the world and keeping them in seawater tanks that circulate ocean waters is a recipe for more problems .
 Although I have read about blooms in jellyfish around the world we haven't experienced large increases in jellies here in Southern Calif.  I don't know what drives various jellyfish population blooms.

For those interested here is the full paper on the starfish dieoff.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: January 31, 2019, 06:08:45 PM »
Here is an article on some the issues of disease associated with increased ocean heat. The dieoff of starfish that started during the "blob" of 2013 has resulted in a population bloom of purple sea urchins.
The sea urchins have overgrazed the kelp beds resulting in starvation of herbivores like abalone. The abalone fisheries have closed as a result. Disease events for abalone in Southern Calif. started in the 82-83 El Niño and the commercial fishery closed there a couple decades ago. Red abalone have recovered in Southern Calif. and the starfish dieoff hasn't resulted in as large a problem for kelp beds there because there are several other predators for urchins in Southern Calif. compared to Northern Calif. also purple urchins suffer dieoffs 25C and those temperatures aren't reached in Northern Calif. but they are in the south. There are numerous other herbivores in the nearshore reef habitats that are also in steep decline but we don't see numbers on them because to a large degree nobody is keeping track.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: January 29, 2019, 12:55:10 AM »
Kassy, I spent most of my life as a fisherman. The disease issues with the pen shells are IMO directly related to stress caused by the extraordinary heat they are being exposed to. I watched seven species of abalone suffer very large dieoffs starting in the 82-83 and 97-98 El Niño events due to a rickettsial infection. Purple urchins also experienced dieoffs during those two El Niño events and those dieoffs have expanded to Red Sea urchin populations in the 2015-16 El Niño. Heat is the stressor and disease is the opportunistic kill mechanism. Starfish are another example.
 I believe the oyster problems on the US east coast are also being driven by heat stress. Lobster populations are also susceptible to disease in hot water and their east coast populations have moved north as a result. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« on: January 24, 2019, 06:39:09 PM »
Lurk, Thanks for the response. I'm glad to hear you managed to get off the grid, at least for awhile.
I'd like it if you would share some of your experiences , I think other people would like to make the transition. And yes different climate zones, or family demands change the options one can successfully pursue.
 As an explanation to why I am buying the power walls. Our electric utility company PG&E is shifting all of it's rate plans to TOU ( time of use ). They are going to buy my solar production at a low rate and charge very high rates for peak hours 3-9pm. The power wall can be programmed to  unload it's stored power during peak hours and it is that integration with the grid that I find useful. As an understatement I am not tech savvy so electronics that don't require my supervision are a plus. I also think the power wall app can help me better document electric utilization by water pumps, freezer banks, air conditioner , as a tool to help me better manage when I should utilize my available stored power. I expect peak rates to approach 50 cents a kWh fairly soon. Southern Calif. Edison is already charging 42 cents a  kWh and PG&E is going to go way past that if and when they get out of bankruptcy.
 I am a pig farmer and I run my business from here on the farm. The power walls would pay for themselves if they kept my freezers going during a power failure when I wasn't home to fire up the generator. I am almost always home but some spare power is insurance , and peace of mind for when I'm not here.
 Re. Surviving the bottleneck. I am not really a preper , and living in Southern Calif. isn't a good place to wait for that eventuality . I am interested in farming systems that can put carbon back into the soil , support a family or two , and make enough money to keep the farm solvent. I think making money is the part that crushes most want to be farmers. The wife, the kids , and family , the dentist,and  the doctor all have their expectations. If a farmer can get very green and still provide a farm profit I think you might have other people willing to attempt farming. I hope more than 1%. If it's just a matter of survival and we can forget the mortgage, insurance, and people's expectations then I think people's attitude about farming would change. Regardless the bottleneck will be brutal and I would guess planning for the post 2050 world will require truncated expectations. Less of all material wealth and much less comforts. Maybe we just can't get there until we go over the cliff ?

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 23, 2019, 05:14:02 AM »
Lurk, I haven't ever bought or owned a new car. I will never buy a new Tesla either but I can't say I wouldn't buy one used . I do have solar and I am in the process of buying a couple Tesla power walls.
If I did buy a used tesla I would have enough range to cover most of my driving needs and charge at home during off peak hours .  I am also into making my own biodiesel and farming without fossil fuels. Solar pays for water pumping and freezer costs and homemade bio fuels the tractor for plowing etc. I can feed my family without fossil fuel although I go to the store when I feel like it unless I'm trying to make a point.
So if some of the component parts aren't exactly minimal ( like a used Tesla ) what's the harm in trying to get off the grid , off fossil fuel ? Like I said it ain't perfect but putting the whole package together has to have some kind of appeal ?  Can't we improve the component parts as we gain technological skill?  As much as solar looks like a no brainier with peak electric rates up to 42 cents a kWh here in parts of Calif. it wasn't always the obvious choice for reduced electric costs. A power wall also doesn't currently pencil out but I am betting electric rates will continue to climb. The power wall also affords the ability to monitor solar , storage and use , real time. 
 Get off fossil fuels
  a. Off the shelf component parts
  b. Verified ( or verifiable ) results
  c. Energy documentation for imbedded costs
  d. Energy production of completed system ( food calories produced )documented
 Goal -
   Try to make d. greater than c. 
    Produced calories greater than imbedded energy costs
I have a long way to go but I think sometimes it's important to agree to a goal .
If I bought a used tesla I can't imagine ever getting the food calories produced on my farm to overtake the energy costs of infrastructure .  The hard truth is even the most minimal use of steel, or aluminum , or battery production will quickly dwarf the food calories a farmer can produce without fossil fuels.
JimD helped me run some of the numbers . You'd enjoy JimD , you might reread some of his old posts.
  To sum, we won't know unless we run the numbers . It would be good to agree on what we were trying to accomplish.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 20, 2019, 09:58:46 PM »
Terry, Seems some of the responsibility is shared . I watched a couple weeks ago the last space-x launch from my porch. It delivered several iridium satilites into successful orbits and safely landed the first stage back onto it's landing platform in the Pacific. It is the first time I have been able to see  the first stage ignite it's retro rockets shortly after it separated from the second stage. It is amazing it ever works , I would imagine it's success improves over time. If it's any consolation I am sure trump would scotch all the Vandenburg launches if he thought it would hurt Calif. enough.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 20, 2019, 06:19:38 PM »
The oil crisis in Mexico probably should be in a collapse thread.  You tube has lots of video on the pipeline rupture/tap and all the people with very large plastic fuel containers scooping it up. Later there is an explosion followed by hundreds of human torches running across a field in the dark. There is a problem in Mexico that is not getting any coverage on what passes for our main stream media. That rupture /tap on the pipeline isn't a one off and those people scooping it up look like they came prepared , maybe they have been at other events?
 Is it theft and corruption rising to the level of punching holes in gas pipelines that drew all those people to do what they were doing or is it pure desperation ?  Desperation either way I suppose but to me that is also a sign of collapse.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: January 20, 2019, 05:24:34 PM »
Here is a open sourced paper by Sanudo- Wilhelmy

From the paper
"Furthermore, it appears that concentrations of B vitamins are maximal in the upper mesopelagic zone. Hence, climate-driven changes in water-column stratification (34) and ocean circulation (35) could reduce vitamin input from the mesopelagic zone to the surface ocean and cause changes in bacterioplankton biogeography, respectively. This climate shift might disrupt ecosystem function via important vitamin-dependent biological processes, such as primary production and associated carbon export in the ocean."

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 16, 2019, 03:29:57 AM »
Terry, If you wanted to buy a brand new F-250 diesel 4wd truck it would set you back about $80,000.
If you wanted instead a 6.5 K solar system on your roof, a couple power walls, and a fairly nice used
Tesla S 2014 with a ~240 mile range , the whole package would be less than the cost of that new Ford truck.
 The solar system would pay itself back in less than ten years. The power wall probably never would but it would address the intermittency issues and I guess the Tesla is just a way to test the option of living off grid , self sufficient on food and close to zero fossils fuels for transport.
 I see those shiny Ford trucks every day , lots of them. They're everywhere. And how many people might think that Tesla is a luxury, and anyone with solar , a wall, and a Tesla as some kind of elitist.
They wouldn't think for a minute the guy in the big Ford truck was.
 If your _$ 20,000 solar array pays itself back in ten years , you only have about $50,000 into your home energy and transport. Maybe retirement isn't big on my list but if my expenses decrease as I get closer then I am at least headed in the right direction.
 PG&E will emerge from bankruptcy , there will be more fires, and eventually we will change the law that holds the utility company's liable even if there is no malpractice. Trees fall on power lines, power poles fall over . You can't take all the risk out of running power through the grid. People are going to need to accept either the risk of overhead power delivery or pay for buried lines. Suing the power company every time there is a fire started by a utilitiy line is not a sustainable option.
 I am guessing people will figure this out but then I'm buying a power wall because I think it's going to take them awhile . I am also guessing the rebates are going to run out.
 If I had to make a prediction it would be that electric rates here in Calif. are going to get very expensive very soon.
 I do hope Mr. Musk made his power walls resistant to power surges . His rockets land themselves.


Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 14, 2019, 03:36:46 PM »
PG&E , Pacific Gas & Electric a company that services over 16 million Calif. utilities customers files for bankruptcy . 
 Will the state be left on the hook for decommissioning DiabloCanyon Nuclear plant ? Who will be footing the bill for trimming tens of thousands of trees ? How long will our power grid hold ? Lots of issues and the stock dropped by half today.
 I got my deposit in for two power walls on Friday. I predict they will get very popular and the rebate tiers will fill quickly after which the state rebates will disappear although the federal tax rebate will still be there.
 PG&E did file for bankruptcy once before over the Enron debacle and made it through but I wouldn't bet on it this time. 

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