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Messages - rboyd

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Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: June 17, 2019, 02:28:18 AM »
Germany.  As the German grid has become greener Germany has enjoyed a decrease in CO2 per capita.  In 1985 German electricity emitted 2.0 million tonnes of CO2 per TWh of electricity generated.  By 2017 that had fallen to 1.2 million tonnes.

German emissions were greatly reduced when East and West Germany merged, as the extremely dirty and inefficient East German electrical generating units and manufacturing plants were closed down en masse. Since then, slow GDP growth (and resulting low/no growth in energy demand) together with the usual yearly reductions in energy intensity of 1-2% a year have been the predominant drivers of emission reductions. Actual fossil fuel usage for electricity has hardly moved since 2003 (368 to 328 terawatt hours).The change in mix to natural gas from coal also understates emissions as it does not count methane (CH4) emissions.

Overall emissions fell for the first time in four years in 2018, but with exceptionally warm weather being the main reason. Germany is certain to miss its 2020 emission targets. If they were not shutting down their in place nuclear industry, German emissions would be significantly lower.

I tend to agree with respect to building new nuclear plants, but closing down fully operational and well engineered ones in a country with little risk of major natural disasters is quite ridiculous when our focus should be on GHG emissions.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: June 13, 2019, 10:45:53 PM »
A year ago, China’s electric vehicle sales grew 126%. Now they’re at 2%

Misleading headline, as in May 2018 EV sales spiked over 100% y-o-y, then the growth level fell back the following months. There may well be a spike in sales this year in June as there is a big cut in EV subsidies at the end of the month. In May 2019 EV's had a 5.45% share of the Chinese light vehicle market.

The Chinese government is making it easier to get licenses for EV's versus ICE's, a big deal in most major cities where there are severe restrictions on new licenses to limit congestion. This may help offset some of the cut in subsidies from the end of June

Jia Xinguang, executive director of China Automobile Dealers Association, a government-based industry group, thinks the same. He told Chinese financial publication Yicai (link in Chinese) that rather than canceling the restrictions of all purchase limits, cities like Beijing could allocate more of the total quota available to NEVs. This year the city is giving (link in Chinese) 60,000 license plates to NEVs and 40,000 to traditional fuel cars.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 13, 2019, 09:53:41 PM »
Its in China's interests to reduce its level of oil and gas imports from countries that are not "friendly" and through means that are easily stopped by its enemies (i.e. the sea routes from the Middle East to China), given the rapidly escalating conflict between it and the USA.

They can do this in multiple ways:
- Increase the amount of oil and gas imported through pipeline from Russia, Central Asia and Iran. Building such pipelines takes many years, but some will be coming on line in the next year or two. They could also use oil trains as an emergency option, running through the interiors of Russia and China.
- Rapidly accelerate the move to EV's, targeting the highest mileage drivers (i.e. taxi drivers, delivery people, buses) first. I don't have stats but mileage may follow the 80/20 rule, which may be even more true of China where private drivers tend not to drive long distances (there are high speed trains for that).
- Increase taxes and other negative incentives for people to use ICE vehicles, also put a "no more ICE sales" date relatively soon, such as 2025 and force the scrapping of cars that don't meet a given mpg level.
- Target long-haul truck delivery for movement to trains, and heavily fund research and production of electric heavy trucks.

In a truly conflictual situation, such as the US attacking Iran or the US sanctioning oil and gas imports to China, all of the above plus more (e.g. the banning of non-essential car trips) could be done at a more rapid pace. Add in rapidly expanding wind, solar and nuclear capacity.

The end result will be a China self sufficient in energy (great for the trade balance) when Russia is included and many, many years ahead of the US in EV's and the related technologies (e.g. batteries). China is also expanding its coal production enough to become self sufficient (no more coal imports from Australia), imports are relatively small compared to overall consumption.

The other result once the conflictual fallout has been dealt with will be a structural reduction in oil demand, as other countries (India?) can copy China's model of moving away from the dependence on oil imports (an increasing issue for India). That will be devastating for the Tar Sands, Deep Sea Oil, Fracking and many of the MENA governments. Also, a huge headache for Russia as demand for its oil may stay stable but the price will fall substantially. Its Natural Gas exports should not be negatively impacted.

This reality is coming, outright hostilities will just bring it along quicker - with a last hurrah for the oil producers as prices spike during the hostilities and the clean up period. Very much like what happened after the 1970's price spikes, the industrialized countries ramped up energy efficiency and looked for domestic/non OPEC supplies of energy. The 1980's and 1990's were not kind to the oil producers.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: June 11, 2019, 09:57:55 PM »
For those that have mortgaged their houses to invest in Tesla, it may be time to sell and pay back the mortgage. For the more aggressive types a little short position may be interesting. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: June 11, 2019, 09:52:39 PM »
Hydrogen station explodes, Toyota halts sales of fuel cell cars, is this the end?
Jun. 11th 2019 9:28 am ET
A hydrogen refueling station exploded in Norway on Monday and the company operating the station has suspended operation at its other locations following the explosion.

Now, Toyota and Hyundai are both halting sales of fuel cell vehicles in the country. ...

There was this big airship called the Hindenburg that was full of hydrogen ... never a very safe gas to play with. This is like watching the Betamax producers trying to keep an idea alive after VHS has already taken over the market (millennials may need to google this). The problem for Toyota and Hyundai is that they kept investing in hydrogen fuel cells and got left behind in the EV space. Think what Toyota could have done if they had poured more investment in the Prius etc. Seems they have started to get the message .... but ...

Toyota unveils images of upcoming all-electric cars, accelerates EV plans by 5 years

Toyota announced that it is accelerating its electric vehicle plans by 5 years and partnering with new battery makers to secure supply as it unveiled images of upcoming all-electric cars.

However, the automaker’s electrification plan is still heavily focused on hybrids instead of all-electric vehicles.
During a briefing with the press this week, Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi said that the automaker plans for half of its global sales to be electrified vehicles by 2025 – 5 years ahead of previous plans.

Some automakers refer to “electrified vehicles” when talking about electric vehicle plans and they are generally using the term to talk about the mix of hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and all-electric (BEV) vehicles.

Historically, Toyota has looked down on all-electric vehicles and been focusing on hybrids.

Terashi’s talk was titled “Aiming to Popularize BEVs”, but it was clear that the Japanese automaker is still focused on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: June 07, 2019, 06:54:08 PM »
I am moving my guidance from 'buy' to 'mortgage your house and buy tsla right now"!!!

in a few months we will be back up to $400 and it is going to $2400 by 2030.

Since I posted my guidance on TSLA its stock has risen 19%.  Didn't realize I had so much pull on Wall St.   ;D

Classic bounce back toward its moving average (at $240) after very oversold readings, if it doesn't break that the downtrend will resume very quickly - and new lows.
I think it's a bit more than classic. When you correctly identified oversold conditions 3 days ago, you considered likely a retest of $188 from below and continued slide afterward.
Anyway, for me it was too quick and too high, so my perfectly-timed long position is now gone.

Looks like that bounce is getting a bit tired, without reaching the moving average. Looks like you did a great trade! Closing out the position at the right time is always the hardest ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 07, 2019, 06:37:02 PM »
Coal India, that produces 80% of India's coal, plans an 8% production increase for the new fiscal year

Coal India targets more than 8 per cent growth in production at 660 million tonnes in 2019-20 compared to 607 million tonnes in the last fiscal and plans a capital expenditure of Rs 10,000 crore in the current fiscal, according to sources.

Renewable Energy Growth Unlikely To Keep Up With India Coal Imports, Says Fitch

India is expected to maintain the current level of thermal coal imports as the country’s energy demand is likely to increase, ratings agency Fitch Ratings Inc. said in a report. Growth in renewable energy capacity may not be able to keep pace, it said.

"Fitch expects India to maintain its level of thermal coal imports," the ratings agency said. Domestic output of dry fuel and logistics bottlenecks in coal transportation will also affect supply of coal to the market, it said.

“Indian coal imports increased by about 2 percent year-on-year in the nine months to March 2019,” it added. India’s thermal power plant utilisation increased in the second half of 2018 “driven by higher electricity demand and lower capacity addition,” it said.

State-owned power utilities led the growth in thermal electricity generation, Fitch said adding that the utilisation of the central government-owned and private sector plants increased slightly.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 07, 2019, 06:32:54 PM »
Comments of Euan's figures:

  • He finds a small number of very short periods (3/4 in a year, lasting around a day) when wind is low across all of the countries he is looking at. This is the kind of shortfall that batteries, interconnectors and demand management are very good at covering. We even have (I think I've mentioned this before) plenty of underused natural gas plants if all else fails.
  • His figures are from 2013. Since then, wind power has increased massively, which all things being equal will tend to reduce fluctuations.
  • Almost all wind power was onshore in 2013, whereas now a significant proportion is offshore. Offshore has a much higher capacity factor, and hence fewer periods of very low generation.
  • Italy, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Poland and all other countries in eastern/south-eastern Europe were not included in his analysis. Greater geographical spread will generally reduce fluctuations. Italy had decent wind on the day he focuses on: As did Portugal.
  • We're facing a climate emergency. If in the worst case scenario we had to do without all non-essential electricity use for 3 days a year, that wouldn't be the end of the world.

Check out the Nature Climate Change paper that I referenced, much more thorough (and peer reviewed of course) and concludes that only the Balkans and part of the Mediterranean could provide the balancing required.

I wish that there was the sense of urgency required for people to accept that electricity would not automatically be there when required. The last time that was the case in the UK was the miners strike at the beginning of the 1970s and that was with only multi-hour rolling blackouts. The government was kicked out of office as a result. If only one country (or even the EU28) did this they would also suffer a severe economic penalty versus the non-complying countries, such as the US.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 06, 2019, 10:10:34 PM »
There are other ways of dealing with intermittent power. My brother owns a cabin on 30 acres in rural Wisconsin. He has a contract with the utility that allows them to cut off his power for up to 8 hours when demand requires it. He pays slightly less for his electricity in this contract.

Absolutely, there should be much, much more work done with respect to demand management. Part of a systemic way at looking at the problem which seems to be lacking at the moment. We need renewables + demand management + demand reduction all together to get off fossil fuels. It would need a lot of "socializing" though, such an assumption of unlimited energy supply especially in North America.

Reminds me of the "kettle (and now perhaps microwave) problem" in the UK, where multiple power plants have to be on standby for when the commercial break would arrive in the middle of a highly-viewed television program. Millions of people leap up to "put the kettle on", probably microwave a quick snack and "take a pee".

I have a Japanese water heater that keeps the water hot enough for tea, perhaps if everyone had one of those the kettle problem would go away - or perhaps the internet has killed the problem? Then again "Game of Thrones" seems to have a very large viewership when it first airs, as do sporting events.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 06, 2019, 09:54:46 PM »
that has nothing to do with climate denial

As if marketing against renewables and climate change denial would be paid from different entities.
Are you so naive that you seriously believe that?

I do not engage in personal attacks, and do not countenance them against myself, and therefore will be ignoring your posts from now on.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: June 06, 2019, 09:35:27 PM »
Germany would not allow their car manufacturers to go bust, too great an economic loss for the country. It may become educational how fast Germany will forget about "European Competition Rules" when required. Porsche/VW seem to be moving relatively fast now into the EV area, with Mercedes following and BMW further behind. Given the share of BMW sales that are to China (40%+) this looks especially short-sighted. I own a BMW, but my next car will be an EV and quite possibly not a BMW.

Many of the car makers will go bust/be rescued etc., as EV adoption really takes off. After the 2008 rescue (and the 1980s one after the Japanese market share gains) the US may not provide that much support - especially to Chrysler which is now an Italian company. Definitely not to Tesla it would seem, unless there is a change in President. GM makes a lot of its profit in China (Ford doesn't seem to make that much money there), so their lack of EV movement may be especially painful.

The point is though, that in the short-term the other car manufacturers are not as heavily cash-flow negative and may have significant financial reserves to draw upon. Tesla does not, hence its recent cash raise. If Tesla is not profitable, and cash-flow positive, at the end of the year its ability to raise more cash will be much more limited. A lower share price will make any cash raise much more dilutive (a greater percentage of market valuation which is #of shares * price). It also certainly does not seem to have any friends in the White House.

And I do have a business degree - an MBA in Finance.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 06, 2019, 09:23:10 PM »
BTW, rboyd. You clearly violated the forum rules. Here are no links allowed to climate change denier.

Really? I explicitly noted that he was a climate denier, and that I am not a fan, and referenced technical work that has nothing to do with climate denial. You can read the Nature Climate Change (certainly not a denier source) paper I referenced in my next comment that agrees with the analysis.

The message may not be to your liking, but attacking the messenger is simply another form of denial.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 06, 2019, 09:16:29 PM »
I am no fan of climate-changer denier Euan Mearns, but he is very thorough in doing the math to validate claims like the one above.

Seriously? The dude is completely delusional. Every denier is inherently delusional. But when it comes to calculating this, he is not at all biased? Whom are you trying to kid here??

You have stats to disprove his analysis, rather than just shooting the messenger? Actual research papers back up his analysis (which was based on publicly available data) for the chosen countries. From the paper below it looks like South East Europe and parts of the Mediterranean would be the best place to provide balancing wind capacity - but the scale of capacity and inter-connector lines required would be incredibly expensive and politically difficult to put in place.

Retrofitting houses and other spaces to need less energy for heating would make a big dent in natural gas demand, for example most houses in Germany are significantly energy inefficient. A much quicker payoff than constructing Europe-wide electricity grids to reduce the times when NG backup plants will be required.

Balancing Europe’s wind power output through spatial deployment informed by weather regimes - 2017 Nature Climate Change

Atlantic-European weather regimes cause important wind electricity surpluses and deficits in European sub-regions lasting several days to weeks, which are more difficult to address than local short-term fluctuations. Peripheral regions of Europe in Northern Scandinavia, Iberia, and the Balkans exhibit a high potential for enhanced wind electricity generation during severe lulls in the North Sea region. In addition, these lulls come along with prevailing cold conditions and therefore high demand

The energy transition will not work without a heating transition

So, in the absence of a massively expensive and politically challenging Euro-grid connecting very large-scale wind farms in the Balkans and the Mediterranean with Northern Europe (for which there are no plans for) a large amount of NG capacity will be required as backup - until we get large enough scale battery capacity sometime in the 2030's perhaps. As this horse has now been thoroughly beaten to death I will desist from further comment.

Consequences / Re: Limits To Growth Predicts Collapse in 2015
« on: June 06, 2019, 08:34:51 PM »
The metaphor of walking off a cliff captures the possible abruptness of changes in natural systems once a limit has been breached. The second before you put that last step forward you are fine, the next second you are done for and there is nothing you can do about it. If you survive it will also take a very long time for you to fully recover, if ever.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 06, 2019, 08:23:13 PM »
If there is no/very little wind and sun then multiplying the capacity does not solve the backup problem.

The energy mix is becoming increasingly green, as the shares of wind and solar power are rapidly rising. Depending on the weather, they can now provide a significant portion of the electricity supply. But what happens when there is no wind to blow away the clouds?

Thick clouds cover the winter skies over huge swathes of Germany. And there’s nearly no wind to blow them away. This dreary time of year weighs on some people’s mood. But for renewables, it’s like a knock-out punch.

That’s exactly what happened in January 2017: from 17 to 25 January, thick clouds allowed almost no sunlight to get through to solar panels in Southern Germany. At the same time, extended lulls were registered in the North. As a result, electricity generation from the wind and sun almost came to a standstill. This phenomenon is referred to as the ‘dark doldrums’ and it once again highlighted how dependent the energy transition is on the weather. According to experts, such dark doldrums can occur several times a year.

The larger the area in question, the higher the likelihood that enough sun and wind will always be available for electricity generation somewhere. Energy from one region can then be used to cover shortfalls in other regions. Accordingly, a very high level of supply security could be achieved with a pan-European power distribution system.

I am no fan of climate-changer denier Euan Mearns, but he is very thorough in doing the math to validate claims like the one above. The attached link is for his analysis of Spain+Germany+UK+France+Denmark+Ireland+Belgium+Finland+Czech Republic for wind speeds. Even with all these countries attached, there are periods of little or no wind energy availability (plus cloudy and/or nighttime). If anyone has an analysis that includes more southern countries (perhaps Portugal facing the Atlantic Ocean) it would be much appreciated.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: June 06, 2019, 08:06:02 PM »
Can China rapidly leapfrog the US in electronics?, with an EV being as much about electronics than traditional car stuff this is a worrying question

These documentaries really show the intensity of the entrepreneurial spirit and the way in which China has built an incredibly flexible and quick to market technology ecosystem that could blast right past the West (with knowledge being shared, rather than locked up in patents, driving intense competition to outdate previous knowledge). The sheer optimism parallels the US in the 1950s.

The book "AI Superpowers" by Kai-Fu Lee, although being a bit too techno-utopian gets across how fast China has switched over to being a leader in innovation. He covers the AI "silicon valley" in Beijing.

BYD (23% market share of Chinese EV's in 2019) is headquartered in Shenzen. BAIC (9%) is in Beijing.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: June 06, 2019, 07:48:59 PM »
Tesla Director Antonio Gracias Has Now Dumped Almost All Of His Personal Stock

One less seller ....

Despite no real formal updated delivery guidance for Q2 and yesterday's conveniently leaked article to electrek claiming "new record 'sales numbers'", Tesla board member and long time friend of Elon Musk, Antonio Gracias, hasn't stopped spraying the open market with his personal stock holdings.

A Form 4 filed on 6/5/2019 shows that Gracias again blew out stock between $177.70 and $185.70 after exercising options. As some noted, this Form 4 says that Gracias now has just 466 shares left personally, and that his remaining shares are held in funds.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 06, 2019, 07:42:19 PM »
Totally agree, b_lum, I'm not arguing with you, I'm just challenging rboyd's assertion that if renewable generation doesn't reduce the number of (potentially) operational gas-fired power stations, it somehow doesn't count or isn't doing any good.

I did not assert this, I asserted that the capacity required for NG plants may not decrease given that there will periods with no/very low wind and no solar production - debunking the assertion that the need for such plants was a myth (except in countries like Canada which have a large % of hydro available). I am very happy that the average usage of coal and natural gas in the UK is falling, as it reduces GHG emissions.

I am very much for increases in renewables, as I am also very much for accuracy and validation of statements made about the level of complexity and scope/scale of actions required to remove fossil fuels completely. The higher percentage share of solar and pv, the harder things get - in the absence of large scale hydro or batteries (at least a decade if not more away), or the ability to borrow from bigger neighbours (as with Denmark).

There are also the socio-economic issues, e.g. the coal miners in Germany. In this respect, Margaret Thatcher's politically-driven destruction of the UK coal mining industry very much facilitated the rapid phasing out of coal in the UK. There will also be the ongoing issue of how to keep the NG plants in place as their average utilization rates continue to decrease.

I will continue to be a "royal pain in the arse" to anyone making statements that are not backed up by reality, and am more than happy to be proven wrong (as I have been on this forum).

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: June 06, 2019, 07:27:19 PM »
I am moving my guidance from 'buy' to 'mortgage your house and buy tsla right now"!!!

in a few months we will be back up to $400 and it is going to $2400 by 2030.

Since I posted my guidance on TSLA its stock has risen 19%.  Didn't realize I had so much pull on Wall St.   ;D

Classic bounce back toward its moving average (at $240) after very oversold readings, if it doesn't break that the downtrend will resume very quickly - and new lows.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 04, 2019, 07:52:36 PM »
The numbers show a decrease in gas plants while more renewables are added to the grid.

The numbers are for output, not number of gas plants. Utilization can fall - with the same number of plants producing less overall electricity. This is quite possible with increases in renewables, as the increase in volatility of demand will reduce overall natural gas demand - BUT not reduce the peak requirement (i.e. no solar or wind production). Its the PEAK required output, not the average, that drives the required natural gas capacity. Show me actual numbers for UK natural gas electricity production capacity that have fallen and I will reconsider.

There is still some room to increase inter-country connectivity for the UK, even with possible cables to Iceland to utilize their geothermal energy. There was some talk of Germany connecting more to Scandinavia to use their pumped hydro as a "battery".

With respect to foreign solar+wind, there are periods when there is no solar (night time and the usual cloudy northern european winters) and very little wind across large areas - not just the UK. So you may end up importing someone elses fossil fuel backup production and/or nuclear.

There are other options, such as reducing electricity demand. The UK has done this through a mixture of deindustrialization and more efficient appliances and light bulbs, but could do a lot more. Also, making demand patterns more responsive to wind+solar variability - such as a greater use of storage heaters and washing machines that switch on when renewables are producing more of the power (within limits).

The required capacity for NG peaker plants will remain for much longer than we would like, the actual utilization of them will fall over time but dealing with the 2-3 day periods of little or no solar+wind over Northern Europe will still require them. Interconnectors are very expensive to build, and most definitely wont be able to replace the gas peaker plants for the foreseeable future, as with batteries.

I wish it were better, bit thats just the reality rather than a "myth".

Policy and solutions / Re: Australian politics and climate
« on: June 03, 2019, 11:48:48 PM »
In October Canada (election time and the conservatives are leading) will most probably join Australia and the USA in the climate denial asylum.

The three monkeys: see no climate change, hear no climate change, speak no climate change.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: June 03, 2019, 11:43:09 PM »
I am tending towards the "they are f**ked" analytical viewpoint. Their (and Musk's) reputation is now in tatters and the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) brigade is rapidly being replaced with the FOLS (Fear of Looking Stupid) brigade. Nobody wants to be that guy that bought a DeLorean, or the company's stock (unless short-term speculation), when you can sign up for the EV Porsche, etc...

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 03, 2019, 11:36:38 PM »
These are interesting numbers. Showing that the 'gas is needed as peaker plant myth' is a myth pretty nicely.

No it doesn't, these are yearly generation numbers. Says nothing about the pattern of generation during the year. It could easily be that there is a large capacity that is used intermittently to the full when there is little or no wind and sun (plus the dispatchable biomass [wood pellets], and the on-demand imports from the Netherlands sand France).

The site that I linked to below shows the UK electricity mix, including hourly for the last month. The need for dispatchable gas (CCGT) is very obvious, with recurring periods of hardly any solar or wind generation. Without enough storage (only hydro will be able to provide the scale required for at least a decade if not longer) reliable dispatchable backup (e.g. natural gas) will be required.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: June 03, 2019, 11:22:02 PM »
And hopefully, in yet another theory, low fuel prices makes expensive oil unrecoverable. It's even better than low fuel prices. Its volatile fuel prices.

Why I think that the Tar Sands will end up as a huge unplanned outdoor museum, with the cost too great to "reclaim" it for nature (leaked govt estimate of C$230 billion, outside parties think more like C$300 billion+). Ultra Deep Sea oil will just be left there, with the massively expensive rigs scrapped. Probably all the tight oil as well, while the groundwater and air continue to be poisoned for decades to come.

Even at US$10 a barrel though, the low cost producers such as the Middle East and Russia will keep pumping, as they desperately need whatever oil rents they can get their hands on to keep running / controlling their societies.

Such low cost oil could provide a speed bump for EV adoption, but shouldn't slow things down too much. Once the average person internalizes that gas stations will soon start to disappear and the second-hand value of that newly purchased ICE-vehicle could be approaching $0 (let alone the banks financing the vehicle loans) ICE sales will vaporize (as will the arms and luxury sales to the Middle East).

The Middle East leaders back to riding camels, if they manage to survive the wrath of their citizens. Couldn't happen to a "nicer" bunch of jerks, and no more Saudi funding for fundamentalist religious brainwashing.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: June 03, 2019, 11:10:47 PM »
$TSLA broke support at $188 (from January 2015), next stop could be the $150 support level (from October 2013). If it breaks that the next level is $38! (from January 2013). Feels a lot like Nortel or Blackberry during their crashes - a round trip to the starting valuation or less.

There is an increasing gap with the moving average, and quite oversold, so it could still bounce (test $188 from below before turning south again?). Then again, I have seen stocks stay oversold and just keep going down. The overall market is looking very soft, so not helping.

The media flow has also gone from unquestioning worship of Musk to extremely negative and questioning, the drop into the "hype cycle" trough of disillusionment.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: May 31, 2019, 12:56:42 AM »
The US copying the Canadians? We rebranded the Tar Sands muck as "Ethical Oil" years ago!

Science / Re: ECS is 2.5
« on: May 30, 2019, 12:10:12 AM »
We wont be cutting emissions significantly any time soon given the rapid growth in China, India and the Rest of the World (e.g. Indonesia and South East Asia etc.), together with the US administrations rejection of climate change science. The China-US struggle only makes things worse, as they will focus even more on growth as a security issue (the relative economic size tends to drive relative geopolitical power).

So attempted geo-engineering and increasing climate chaos will be in our futures. If ECS is really 5 it may be pretty much game over. Lets hope that the negative feedbacks in the Arctic (e.g. increased cloud cover during the summer months) hold off a BOE otherwise it will be game over.

Policy and solutions / Re: The Boring Company
« on: May 30, 2019, 12:00:59 AM »
Its Moore's law right, or is that just for computers?

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: May 29, 2019, 11:46:23 PM »
British Bullshit on Coal Reductions and Emissions

1. Replace coal with natural gas which is fine if you only count the carbon dioxide emissions. If you count the fugitive methane, reductions in climate dimming aerosols, and costs of liquefaction (for LNG) no better than coal.

2. Replace coal with wood pellets which is fine if you just lie and state that wood pellets are carbon neutral. Much research has shown them to be quite possibly worse than coal.

Wood pellets: Renewable, but not carbon neutral

Most wood energy schemes are a 'disaster' for climate change

3. Import electricity from countries that burn coal - thats counted as their emissions not yours (unless you are using a consumption basis for emissions)

The UK also has a 1GW link to the Netherlands and a 0.5GW cable to Ireland. A 1GW link to Belgium is to open early this year.

4. Carry out policies such as austerity that keep economic growth stagnant since 2008 and do not support local electricity-intensive industry that gets closed down due to offshoring and import competition.

When the UK joined the EU we had a 45 million tonnes a year steel industry. Today we are battling to save an 11 million tonnes industry.

When we joined the EU we had a 400,000 tonnes a year aluminium industry. Today we have just 43,000 tonnes of capacity left.

When we joined the EU we had 20 million tonnes of cement capacity. Today we have 12 million tonnes

Manufacturing accounted for 17% of the UK economy in 1990, but this fell to 11% by 2005, with services picking up the slack

The reduction in the UK’s per-capita electricity generation has saved 103 terawatt hours (TWh) since 2005, slightly more than the 95TWh increase in renewable output over the same period.

6. Include financial services in GDP, when in fact they are rent-seeking not output-generating activities. The fastest growing sector of the UK economy.

Finance is Not the Economy

Offshore wind has increased substantially, and the UK plans to replace its nuclear reactors (at an incredibly high cost) ... so some things for the Brits to be proud of. The political banning of onshore wind due to conservative NIMBYs is not such a proud thing though.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: May 29, 2019, 12:46:17 AM »
Maybe it should say "There will be massive holes in our portfolio ...."

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: May 29, 2019, 12:45:00 AM »
The good news is we have probably hit peak coal consumption as coal has not increased over the last 5 years.

I would disagree, and think that coal will increase at a slow rate as the continuing increases in India, Indonesia and Rest of the World cannot be offset by static China consumption and Europe+North America reductions (the US has already substituted NG for a large amount of coal, and places like the UK have nearly no coal left to cut). Unless we have a good recession, which is an increasing possibility ....

If China EV sales really take off, their coal consumption may actually increase as coal is 60% of electricity production (still good for emissions as the reduction in ICE emissions will be greater than the increased coal emissions at any coal electricity share below 80%).

Science / Re: Exiting The Anthropocene
« on: May 27, 2019, 07:35:08 PM »
We noticed the ozone hole pretty much by accident, so there are so many ways the complex Earth System can be flipped into a state that could end human civilization without us noticing until it is too late. We are currently hammering our supportive ecology from so many directions, a collapse from the cumulative effects is possible.

The bottleneck can be caused intentionally (nuclear war) or unintentionally (destroying the supportive ecology), the problem is the sheer scale and energy/ecology throughput of societies using modern technologies. We become promethean without the processes to save us from our own power.

Policy and solutions / Re: The Boring Company
« on: May 27, 2019, 07:22:28 PM »
Maybe like this...

Elon Musk Says ‘Hyperloop’ Tunnel Is Now Just a Normal Car Tunnel Because ‘This Is Simple and Just Works’

Back in 2017, Elon Musk had grand visions for the test track built by The Boring Company, his tunneling firm, in Los Angeles. The Boring Company’s tunneling work was closely linked to Musk’s Hyperloop idea, which would require hundreds of miles of tunneling to be viable, although the actual test track in California bore none of the traits of an air vacuum-based transportation system. It would have proprietary vehicles with varying capacities for private travel, public transport, or freight. They would travel along electrified skates for frictionless movement. It would be fast and efficient, but more importantly, it would be different, because he’s a genius.

Six months ago, the first demonstration of that track didn’t quite match that vision: it was a Tesla Model X on a sled going down a very bumpy tunnel at roughly 50 mph.

The video’s marketing conceit is that the car in the tunnel beats a car trying to go the same distance on roads. You’ll never believe this, but the car that has a dedicated right of way wins. Congratulations to The Boring Company for proving dedicated rights of way are important for speedy transportation, something transportation planners figured out roughly two centuries ago. I’m afraid for how many tunnels they’ll have to dig before they likewise acknowledge the validity of induced demand.

To recap: Musk’s company spent two years developing a very narrow car tunnel. To anyone who ever believed Elon Musk’s bullshit: you’ve been had.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: May 26, 2019, 11:21:41 PM »
Desperate times.

Fiat Chrysler and Renault are in advanced talks to merge the automakers   

An Italian/US/French conglomerate sprawled across a colossally complex set of brands and production facilities - what a brilliant idea! While they are spending the years attempting to make this behemoth work others will eat their lunch. Maybe they are trying to optimize the amount of government cash they can rely upon when they hit the wall? Its like the ice-makers consolidating to take on the competition from fridges.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: May 26, 2019, 11:14:24 PM »
$TESLA broke through the $200 barrier to close at $190. Two points of price support just below the current price and at $150. With a big gap between the moving average and a quite oversold level, there could be a bounce back to $200 (or the moving average) from anywhere between here and $150. Then again, sometimes share prices just keep getting more and more oversold as they drop like a rock.

Longer-term the chart looks awful, so if it just rallies back to $200 (or perhaps higher to the moving average) that will just be getting ready for the next big plunge below $150 and much, much lower. At least Blackberry was profitable for quite a while, this one will go down in the history books to mark the ridiculousness of the bubble (with Uber and Lyft probably). I see that the press is now starting to fully turn on the company (lots of negative stories about the hyperloop bullshit and the implosion of the solar company and the sudden cost cutting measures), so this could get very bad, very fast - accelerated by any Musk equity-backed loan unwinds.

It possibly gets bought out for a few dollars a share for the technology - although the Chinese manufacturers and others will be rapidly reducing the value of that technology.

Very sad for the US, as they have given away the EV leadership completely to the Chinese (helped by the stubborn Germans).

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars Part Deux
« on: May 26, 2019, 11:00:57 PM »

Policy and solutions / Re: Australian politics and climate
« on: May 21, 2019, 11:56:22 PM »
The denialists are sweeping Canada as well, with a probable win in the general election this fall. Only New Zealand among the white settler ex-colonies seems to not be in the denier category, and their climate change policies are still deemed "insufficient" by climate action tracker. If you had told me that this would be the case 10-20 years ago I would certainly not have believed you!

Seems that Adani may now get their Australian coal mine go ahead!

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: May 21, 2019, 11:32:07 PM »
The modern day Technological system all needs energy, plastics, transportation, healthcare, education and food. All those things in turn have the potential for CO2 emissions.

That is a wicked problem because it can ONLY be solved with political campaigns, economic policy or cultural shifts. The problem must be solved by using Politics, economics and social culture to drive rational actions using the tools of science, engineering and technology.

There, fixed your typos and thinking all at the same time. ;D

I agree that the use of technology is a political decision, and therefore changes to it require political changes. My concerns are the following:

- The sheer scale of energy use of the top 10% (i.e. all of us in the "western" nations), and the current atmospheric level of GHGs, is so high that required reductions in GHG emissions will require substantial and absolute reductions in energy use that will reduce social welfare (hopefully weighted toward the richest, which is opposite to what the richest would prefer). This is not touched on by ER.

   - Kevin Anderson is one of the few who is ready to voice this reality

- Such a rapid reduction would cause a financial and economic crash, which could only be contained through a "war-like" economic planning setup that distributed losses in a way that did not destitute a significant part of the population.

- Asking the poor of the world (e.g. India) to substantially reduce their emissions - i.e. stay poor - is a losing proposition short of military enforcement.

If this was 1990 things would be a lot easier, but we are now three decades of increasing emissions later and with 1.3 billion Indians wanting to join the middle income level, and 1.4 billion Chinese wanting to be at least as rich as Italy.

The other possibility is of course vast (and in the end most probably failed) attempts at geo-engineering so that the above realities do not have to be dealt with. That would be the result of technology use with no real political changes, with the Greta's of the world used as a marketing ploy (not intentionally by them) to facilitate a rapid move to geo-engineering without significant GHG emission cuts, through the construction of an international emergency. Just like the highly photogenic Kuwaiti ambassador's daughter lying about Iraqi soldiers emptying babies from incubators to produce support for the first Iraqi war.

"Letting the days go by ... same as it ever was" Talking Heads. We need a revolution not an easily co-opted rebellion.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: May 21, 2019, 11:10:18 PM »
Doesn't look like Adani is very screwed, given its ability to service its debts and with its close government ties that allow the company to get licenses for stuff that they nothing about.

At first glance, the net debt to equity ratio of 1 at Adani Enterprises, the flagship company, may appear high to some. Moreover net profit last year plunged to 5.94 billion rupees from 92.53 billion rupees. But interest cover at two times earnings is considered acceptable by analysts, and implies it can comfortably meet its debt obligations. Total gross debt is around 171 billion rupees.

Adani has no experience in the airport sector and the only thing that is known to all is that he knows [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi quite well

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: May 21, 2019, 10:45:41 PM »
Tata will not be constructing any more coal-fired power plants because there has been massive over-building in the past few years resulting in low utilization rates. That does not mean that Tata (and others) will not increase the utilization of their current plants as electricity demand increases (or write off the most loss making to increase the utilization of the rest of the fleet, especially if the debt is held at the divisional rather than the corporate level). This real problem is:

- The marginal cost of burning an incremental tonne of coal in a current coal-fired power station is still very low and the quickest and simplest way to meet fast growing Indian demand is to burn extra coal in the currently under-utilized coal plants
- Coal plants provide reliable base load energy irrespective of the weather / time of day, which increases the worth of the electricity produced (electricity plus premium for reliability) - so straight renewables vs coal price comparisons are not relevant.

Unless the growth in renewables output is greater than the growth in electricity demand the burning of coal will increase for many years to come - as has been pointed out by energy analysts. If India growth slows down then this will be much easier to do.

In India wind is growing very slowly (forecast for 6.5% growth in total capacity this year), and hydro even slower. So its all up to solar and in the first quarter of this year solar delivered 3.4% of all electricity, in a quarter that is usually the best time for solar (clear skies). For the full 2018-2019 fiscal year it generated 2.8% of all electricity (up from 2% the previous year). In 2018 electricity demand grew by 5.6% - twice the overall output of solar.

Even at a continued rate of 50% growth per year, solar would take 5 years (2023) for its growth to offset the overall growth in electricity demand. Government plans envisage a slower growth rate (38GW in 2019 to 100 GW in 2022 capacity), so the crossover point will be hit about 2025. India, short of a very painful growth slowdown/recession, will be increasing its use of coal for a good few years to come.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: May 21, 2019, 10:28:21 PM »
A reality that Extinction Rebellion need to face squarely up to, otherwise they will simply facilitate further concentration of wealth while not really fixing the climate (and ecology generally) issue.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars Part Deux
« on: May 21, 2019, 10:26:13 PM »
Norway is like one of those plutocrats that gives some of their fortune to good causes (EV's)  - offsetting only a little of the damage that they do continuing to amassing their fortune (selling lots of oil and gas).

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: May 21, 2019, 10:23:06 PM »
I am moving my guidance from 'buy' to 'mortgage your house and buy tsla right now"!!!

in a few months we will be back up to $400 and it is going to $2400 by 2030.

I would rather buy bitcoin right now, a much safer bet. The Tesla stock may get a bounce to close the gap with its moving average, but its going down. Resistance is at 200, then 150, then a huge pocket of air all the way down to 40.

The US just declared full out economic war on China, trying to destroy Huawei, so I think that Tesla can kiss whatever meagre sales it was looking at in China goodbye (and Apple, Google etc.) unless a truce is soon declared. Its also obvious that it has a demand problem after selling out all the early adopters.

It still has a market cap of over 35 billion US dollars while still not reaching profitability. In addition, Musk has been caught too many times bullshitting to be believed anymore - remember the very recent "we don't need to raise cash" statements. It will go down hard then maybe bought out by someone else for the technology.

In the interim the Chinese manufacturers are growing gangbusters!

Science / Re: NOAA ESRL Global CO2 Increase Accelerating
« on: May 21, 2019, 09:47:03 PM »
NOAA updated their total greenhouse gas index for 2018 - an increase of 3ppm to 496ppm CO2 equivalent. Probably hitting 500ppm next year! The CO2 only number is just part of the problem.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: May 11, 2019, 11:32:04 PM »
Thankyou Sebastian - the Canadian Conservatives have certainly dropped all pretensions to being progressive in any way!

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: May 10, 2019, 07:19:33 PM »
We will most probably soon have a non-hypocritical government in Canada, given the current polls. The "Progressive" Conservatives. The PC are already in power in Alberta (kicking out the super-hypocritical NDP that supported the expansion of the Tar Sands), Manitoba, Ontario (Liberals embedded with the nuclear industry), PEI, and New Brunswick. Plus a different, but very conservative, party in Saskatchewan.

Plus a rightish-wing government in Quebec, but at least they are not climate deniers. Quebec has huge amounts of hydro electricity, plus huge possibilities for wind - so not in its interests to be climate deniers. They have shut down the only nuclear plant. Hopefully they don't open the floodgates to fracking.

Half of Canadian coal production, mostly for export, comes from British Columbia. A place where fracking for natural gas is also being rapidly expanded. The "progressive" NDP/Green government there does not seem to be bothered by that.

Pretty Boy (Trudeau) stopped the NDP wave last election by making lots of promises he then reneged on, including climate change policies (and the NDP leader royally screwed up big to help him). Job done, so now back to the PC ... A Harper redux.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: May 10, 2019, 07:01:44 PM »
Tim, thanks for the kind words and information.

t is depressing to "take the red pill" on the big environmental NGO's and their interlinking with big corporations and foundations (and many other NGOs). I was a very enthusiastic member of until one day I "woke up" and realized all we did was march and have feel-good sessions but achieved nothing significant. For example, fighting to stop Keystone XL which only led to increased oil traffic on the railways (and more profit for Berkshire Hathaway).

I understand the dynamic as its really hard to fight year after year with little or no resources, including the money to pay the mortgage - especially as one gets older. The way our economy and society are set up makes sure that true protest groups are starved of cash and access to the media, and possibly vilified as "extremists" (non-conforming environmental activists are being identified by the state and media more and more as "terrorists"). There is also the possibility of companies not hiring due to online media searches throwing up examples of a person's activism.

Then along comes a foundation that offers an alluring mix of increased leverage and personal stability from really nice, reasonable and empathetic people. Splitting the "extremists" from the "pragmatists" then becomes straight-forward to highly skilled and experienced operators. Its a classic "bad cop/good cop" setup.

Then to add to that we have the undercover police/security services embedded in environmental groups that aids in splitting such groups (I don't think that the Guardian story below is a "one-off").

Any form of degrowth and/or having the wealthier bear the costs of climate change directly threatens the wealth and position of the elites, and they will work very hard to stop that happening. Either through co-option or outright subjugation, as with Occupy.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: May 10, 2019, 05:17:50 AM »


1. Tell The Truth:
Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

Governments are excellent at "declaring" something, then not doing much about it - just like the motion passed in the UK parliament

2. Act Now:
Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Utterly unrealistic, strange that they would pick a goal that is so unrealistic - x% per year reductions would be a better one, perhaps

3. Beyond Politics:
Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

Seems very polite (British?) for an extinction rebellion.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: May 09, 2019, 09:27:44 PM »

I have to do some further research on the writers/researchers, and don't agree with everything they say, but their research does appear to be very thorough and points out many worrying aspects within the "Environmental NGO Industrial Complex" (a very apt description!). One of the main things to watch for is if the NGO is more "neoliberal eco-modernist" than seeing any issues with "business as usual" rescued by the miracles of technology and markets (with a little tweaking by governments though carbon pricing, cap and trade, the pricing of nature [e.g. "A New Deal for Nature"] etc.).

The first link is an another reporter's summary of the series, then the rest are the series.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: May 09, 2019, 09:00:15 PM »
Manufacture and co-option of Protest Groups

Extinction Rebellion really worries me, as it fits the most likely scenario for how the elite will manage/screw-up the response to climate change - and thats just part of the ongoing anthropogenic destruction of our habitat.

Stage 1 (1979-1990): THE HOPEFUL DECADE:

Scientists raise the issue (first World Climate Conference in 1979) and slowly bring it to the attention of policy makers/politicians. Calls for significant cuts in GHG's from the mid-1980's onwards (yep, from the mid 1980's!).

Stage 2 (1990-2000): HOPE LOST:

Policy makers / politicians say very nice words and have hopeful conferences (1992 Rio Earth Summit) then spend the rest of the decade killing real action with political realpolitik and bureaucratic bullshit. We end up with Kyoto, with pathetically small commitments (and none for Chindia etc.)."Eco-modernism", "Green Capitalism" etc. become the academic and business vogue.

Stage 3 (2000-2010): ALL HOPE LOST:

The US rejects the pathetic Kyoto Accord, China massively increases coal use and places like the EU reduce emissions at a rate that does not endanger their low growth rates (i.e. slowly and benefitting from the collapse of dirty industries in the ex Soviet Bloc that make the 1990 comparisons look pretty good).

Stage 4 (2010-Now): THE BULLSHIT DECADE:

The UN IPCC scenario builders realize that even with all the devices already used to spin a positive message (e.g. 66% and 50% probability levels rather than the usual 95% for risk management), atmospheric concentrations and emissions are just too high so they use a "plug factor" called BECCS (Bio Energy Carbon Capture and Storage) to allow for future growth while cutting NET emissions (I talked with fellow academics who confirmed this view). Then we have the Paris agreement with voluntary commitments which are not being backed up in many cases by government policies (including my own Canada).

Stage 5: NOW

The only way to keep the "we can grow and deal with climate change" charade on the road is the massive use of negative emissions technologies to offset emissions (BECCS, Direct Air Capture and Storage, Enhanced Rock Weathering) and Solar Radiation Management. There will be massive resistance to this, especially when it will be structured as a huge profit-making activity for big corporations and finance (e.g. the commodification of nature and integration into the market - i.e. extreme ecological modernization). Both the eco-modernists and the fossil fuel interests will be supportive, with the latter seeing it as a way to put off their own extinction.

So, we need a crisis with a "grassroots" organization that makes extremely high-level demands (e.g. "carbon neutral by 2025") that does not preclude the above policy options. That "grassroots" driven crisis can then be used to ram through the negative emissions technologies and SRM.

Endless growth and the concentration of wealth get to roll on for one or more decades - with the risk that the proposed technologies are bullshit (they are completely unproven at scale, with BECCS already having been taken apart by many academics) and/or the climate delivers a nasty surprise (e.g. an Arctic Blue Ocean).

Why are the very corporations and interests that are the cause of the problem so supportive of ER? Because it is an opportunity not a threat? Why did the police allow the disabling of major transport arteries in London for days, when they would usually remove these within hours? What usually happens with groups that truly challenge the status quo in a meaningful and possibly successful way:

"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that, is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America" Union leader Nicholas Klein in 1914. (p.s. Gandhi never said anything like this, its the most well know misattribution).

I didn't notice the "ignore, ridicule, attack and burn" parts with ER, seems they started past that point already. If they were a real threat, rather than an opportunity, they would be getting the treatment that Occupy got once it was established that it could not be co-opted.

"Its easier to imagine the end of humanity than the end of capitalism"

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