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Messages - SATire

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Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 11, 2015, 04:29:05 PM »
If you don't like electric vehicles, fine -- don't buy one.  But please explain how we will eliminate the 13% of global emissions from the transport sector, yet still get supplies to businesses... and goods, including food, to people... and people to their jobs... without relocating a majority of the population -- by, say, 2050 -- without them. 
(For the sake of this experiment, let's say "Curl up and die" is not an option.) ;)
In my case: I like electric cars because the drive so nice. But they produce more CO2 using Germanys' power grid than my current combustion car (<100 g/km). So EV's are not the best way to cut emission in case you need a car for something.

So the green BAU path here is: If you really believe to need a car (yes, it is mainly a matter of believing) go with an efficient <100 g/km car.

For short distance go with car sharing. E.g. Cambio has a lot of EV's for small distances and if used by many people the battery pays off fast. Furthermore, in our city they have a 100% renewables contract.
For larger distances go with the fast trains - faster than a car and cheaper than private car total cost of ownership. And way less CO2, of course.

Do not use a car. Cars are not made as something that is needed to get somewhere but as something you wish to impress someone else with. So it is not really needed.

Let me cite a very nice book from Marcel Hänggi:

In former days we were looking for "progress" (towards something desirable, e.g. could be a healthy planet) but today we are satisfied with "innovation". E.g. it is good enough for us if something is new and different but not necessary better or good at all. We are satisfied by wasting time, money, the planet and such....
And he includes also a nice chapter about cars: Cars (especially individual combustion) were not made to be of use from the beginning. E.g. when Benz wanted to export the first cars to Swizerland that was refused because the cars were not considered to be reliable. Benz explained them, that that is not the reason to buy a car. Instead he was selling the feeling of the power, the possibiliy to proudly repair the car and to show up late at the party with oil on the hands... It is sold to impress the people and especially the girls. That is what German car manufacturers are selling: Good feelings and image.  So: You do not _need_ that.

Unfortunately that car virus did spread and the infrastructure was build around the cars and though it looks like you need it. But today the cities are pedestrian area in the center (people friendly "red-flag act" area), there is a good public transportation and a railway station just in the center. So it is changing back since the Eighties.

You may think you need the car still to buy the beer crates. But actually you want the beer and someone else should bring it to you in such a SDV:  That would be innovation which is also progress. Tesla' cars and BMW i8 or i3 are innovations just without any measurable progress, I think.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 10, 2015, 03:06:11 PM »
Concerning Tesla and other electrical cars I would like to point to the posts #201-#203 on page 5 in this thread:

Most electrical cars today are not more CO2 efficient than modern combustion cars. Unless you have a nearly 100% renewable electricity source like in Norway _And_ use the car and its battery long enough to pay of the extra effort in production.

In countries with less than 50% renewables in the grid the efficient injection-diesel cars are still the best choice - unless you have poor quality of that fuel like in some states of the USA. For such reasons e.g. Mercedes gives no waranty for the diesel engine in such countries so you can actually not get them there... Maybe buy a smaller car and clean your diesel fuel first, since that is green BAU state of the art.

So I think that Tesla-concept is just live-style Green-Washing and not even green BAU, since that is defined by the more efficient and smaller cars. Also the scaling is no good argument, since that works in general in the car industry. Furthermore the "first the expensive and later the cheap models" is also a general trend in the car industry - compare that with BMW i8->i3 or that Porsche 918 spyder -> Audi -> VW chain. No - those are all nice life-style accessoires made to impress the neighbours or the girls. None of them safes the world a bit, but a BMW i3 makes you look nice at the tennis court with its "sustainability from the ground"-marketing. That is all about EV today: feelings without reason.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse marches on
« on: August 05, 2015, 07:29:43 PM »
Puerto Rico!  Our own little collapse right here in the US.   We should ask the Germans for advise don't you think?

Course since they are not 'real' 'mericans we should just give them independence and take away their passports - it's what Schäuble would do.
No, Schäuble was suggesting to give Puerto Rico the Euro if USA would give Greece the Dollar

But he mentioned that he was just kidding in case one would not recognize that.

If the Germans would suggest something (what they surely will not do unlike some others) it would probably be to give them 1-2 hair-cuts (cutting the dept by some factor) and some suggestions for reforms to do. Like happened in Greece. And if everything fails to work they pay anothertime the bill and make new suggestions for reforms. And probably repeat that same procedure next time again. No matter if it works or not...

But remember - the last result in Greece was not Schäuble's suggestion (he proposed to stop that programs) nor the suggestion of the Greece people (they voted to stop that, too) nor the suggestion of the majority of the Euro-countries (most countries wanted to stop that). But for some reasons they proceeded to talk about programs, more money and reforms nevertheless. That outcome was a miracle to a lot of people here. I doubt that that was only because of France and 2-3 more countries. Maybe Obama phoning some people had some effect... Since that time Merkel and Schäuble have different opinions on the matter - both probably bad for Greece and bad for Germany, too.

Another sign of doom of EU is, that it is now much more likely that UK will exit the EU after the planned referendum: Several UK people dislike the programs and the lack of solidarity and thus the EU at all. Other EU countries dislike the lack of solidarity of UK with Greece: the little risk (0.5 bn) of UK must be backed 100% by the other countries. Such feelings will make it very difficult for EU countries to pay UK-bonus in future again - so future of EU looks pretty dark. An EU without UK is way worse than a Greece without Euro (but still in EU)... But Obama again did make use of his telephone. So there is some kind of hope.

I agree - it is not looking well here. Also the different writing in different countries is extreme today. E.g. news in USA/UK are much different from Germany, northern, middle and eastern Europe. And then we have e.g. Russia or China with a totaly different kind of language (even after translation). How can we come to international agreements under such situations? I agree with you that we are on the way to some kind of collaps and that we are accelerating on that path.

And politics still is discussing that Greece thing most of the time - and ignore the real problems like the ever increasing number of refugees. It is clear that what we today call a big wave is only the beginning of what will happen while AGW and population increase are proceeding. We will have to build much more tent camps and houses and have to be solidaric to many more poeple. Probably we will continue to fail as usual...

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: June 10, 2015, 03:24:01 PM »
Isn't there a  lot of ice flowing through the Fram? Could an increase further north be causing the uptick?

the tiny "up-tick" of the black line could be explained by the increase further north as you mentioned. But the difference between the purple line and the black line Wipneus explained by different resolution (10 km grid vs. 3.125 km grid). Both measurements investigate the same area and come to different results - so the reason must be the sensor...

Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« on: June 07, 2015, 08:41:00 PM »
“Paris 2015” is now being referred to as the "Universal Climate Agreement."  Certainly puts a different spin on it....
May need to change the name of this thread.  :)


Green Climate Fund ready to help developing nations fight climate change
Once again, climate negotiators have gathered in Bonn to discuss the fate of the Universal Climate Agreement (UCA). The spiritual grandchild of the Earth Summit Rio agreement of 23 years ago, the UCA is the world's best chance to limit global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.

They could universally agree, that someone should do something against climate change. Probably not us and not now - but you'll never know ;-) Just paving the way for the next conference...

Sorry - I have seen to many conferences with zero results since Rio & Kyoto. The big ones will not agree on anything that could hurt. Therefore, there will be no effect. Some even did not announce any promise (despite it is promised, that such promise will never be controlled...). But an agreement will be found - just to please the host.

Policy and solutions / Re: Change your mind - Build - Share - Evolve
« on: April 12, 2015, 03:57:34 PM »
Some literature on "grow?  prosper! (I hope I translated "gedeihen" good enough...)" suggested here:

* Pierre Rabhi, "La sobrietà felice (Glückliche Genügsamkeit)"

* Marcel Hänggi,

* Alberto Acosta, "Buen vivir"

Grandmother told us and now we know that she was right. As always such simple insights take extra long time - just because we did not like that and preferred to play Nintendo and did not enjoy listening to old people...
We do not need brown or green BAU but "Grandmothers BAU" - which is becoming cool mainstream today.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: March 27, 2015, 01:42:36 PM »

I was reading through some of the above posts and came across this which I sort of missed originally.

...While I have been working on specific structural solutions to climate change I have also been looking at the current science and recognize that the only solution we have left is a total societal mobilization, and very soon we will not even have that....

I completely agree with this assessment.  That conviction of mine is why I argue so strongly that the BAU approaches are no different than suicide. 

Others also mention in their posts the desire for a total societal mobilization.  A great amount of the writing I do is to focus on our weaknesses and also some of our strengths in trying to do this.  There are limitations to what are possible paths towards such mobilizations.  Some things are possible and some are not.  But it is not impossible and the alternatives are dire.
Full agreement to that. I see some chance, that we might get an other strong ally soon: Production industry here is quite anoyed by low emissions costs (rendering previous investments in energy saving useless), subsidies for energy intensive companies (unfair competition from large consumers) and all the rescuing of banks (after US housing bubble, European public spending bubble and very soon the coal/oil bubble collapse...) with taxpayers (so also industries) money. In Germany such production industries employ most people - so they could kick the politicians in the right direction together with 50% of the people.

Also companies are head by normal people knowing, that in the long run all business must be sustainable. And there are a lot of good examples just like the private examples already today.
But again also in the economy we have this nasty 1% of super powerfull companies (>100,000 employes) moving like oil-tankers and leading the pack and the politics in the wrong direction. That must be changed, too.

So maybe we just have to force the top 1% (persons, companies) each year and we'll solve the problem? I know that this is unrealistic, just because people believe that it is unrealistic and because they only want to do serious action if all the neighbors do the same. That has a long tradition here...

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: March 23, 2015, 09:45:44 AM »
Here's how the recent total eclipse affected Germany's power output.
Dear all,

just to put one thing clear: The eclipse never was seen as a threat to the German grid and power system but as a chance to test the infrastructure under future conditions: Just like in Italy they could also have shut down solar to avoid the steep power gradients. But they decided to take the chance and to test the current system under future conditions (at larger installation in the future morning/evening gradients will be similar) and the test passed. The situation was not a big deal after proper preparation, which must be standard in the years to come.

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: March 16, 2015, 12:23:40 PM »
JimD - that was a good reading. If USA would have teamed up with Germany in WW1 we surely would have seen a different world and in terms of AGW we probably would be far more advanced than we are now - maybe at 1000 ppm CO2 allready ;-)
But today we have a very different Germany than 4 radical destructions (1918, 1933, 1945, 1990) before.

BTW the main Naked Capitalism personage, Yves, is considered in between conservative and liberal and both sides take shots at her.
I do not mind her to be liberal or conservative (I suffer ideological burn-out, you know. So I don't care about such things). But I mind wrong or guessed claims written in a way as if they would be facts. But she did not write that but posted something from Mathew D. Rose.

I really prefer to rely on the facts we can get directly from the acting politicians than such claims from biased persons not seeing the whole picture. I have seen quite a few news in USA whith very strange headlines about Greece and a picture of Schäuble looking grimly as a neo-con. He is not looking like a nice and smart guy. But he acts very differently compared to a McCain on rampage in Iran or Ukrajina. It is far from sure if there would be still any help for Greece from European countries without all his work.
Of course I am far from sure if that help was really helpful for Greece people - it was allways only help for Greece government... Probably a bankrupcy would have been better some years ago and leaving the Euro probably, too.

It can be done and it is clear how

Who is going to head this dictatorship you envision?
Bob, here we tried dictatorship, democracy and socialism recently. It looks like democracy is most efficient in most aspects. So it became clear that we need to concentrate on the aspects and not on the type of the system. Education and practise are needed and reasonable regulations may do the rest do guide also the unreasonable people to life in a harmless way. So we need 50% of the people convinced or at least tolerating the necessary effort. The number of such communities is increasing and the groups are getting larger and getting more influence - just because that makes sense.

You may say again that it is an illusion to rely on reason and doing what makes sense. But that must not stop us. Probably we will not come to an agreement in Paris sufficient to stop AGW soon. But anyway we have to stop AGW. So it is worth to continue. It is better than waiting for miracles or self regulation not backed up by peoples will. You know for example the prices for PV & wind went down because people did that. In such way we can do much more. The reduction of consumption is also proven possible in smaller groups. To enlarge the number of people quiting BAU we surely need better marketing to compete with the very efficient BAU-marketing. I think "virulent marketing" is the way to go here together with the good practice and the feeling of such life with sense. Other tested ideas are welcome.

Bob, I surely do not want to speak for Neven. But everybody here in the Forum can read about all the things he did and does to reduce his carbon footprint. That is the best plan: Do good things and talk about it. Talking about not done things is nothing.

There is nothing good unless you do it. So please forget all plans if its basis can not be done.

And if you need a plan I could suggest, that we choose Neven's CO2 budget as the max. for all people in the world. It can be done and it is clear how - so what is the problem with that real existing solution? A bit less freedom? Who cares if that helps you survive?

And next year we will find another guy with even lower footprint and get the max CO2 emission down accordingly - until we got zero one day.

I assume you and I disagree or have different perspectives on the high–end of the danger within the climate change scenarios. War much more dangerous than AGW? I think not. Civilisation loves war, and banks and businesses make bigger profits.

However, I agree with everything you say about forcing people when not absolutely necessary, for instance to push your dietary choices onto other people (they do that in 'ideological spaces' here in Oslo, too).
viddaloo, I grew up in the eighties with nuclear war the biggest threat. I still assume that nuclear winter will be worse than AGW. Personally I would rate AGW a big threat. But not bigger than nuclear war or other possible ways to significantly reduce the world population.

The second point: I think without significantly reduced freedom AGW can not be prevented. We need to agree to limit resources consumption and CO2 emission per person significantly. A vegy-day would be the smallest intervention into personal freedom. It must also include other means to get CO2 emission down close to zero soon - everything resulting in CO2 emission would be a crime if we would take AGW seriously. People will not like that but must accept it. That is not ideological but that is a fact.

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: March 14, 2015, 06:42:58 PM »

Schauble would fall into the neo-con camp in the US.  He is certainly not a liberal.  And I do understand that what he is doing is what most Germans want done.  That is the problem I am trying to point out...national cultural blindness.  As Europeans are quick to point out to us Americans we have plenty of such blindness ourselves.  It kind of pricks a bit when it is on other foot I guess.
JimD - if you say it than it will be like that. In Germany he is surely not liberal but also not neo-liberal (as these strange naked capitalist commenter called him without any reason).

But can you find any "neo-con thing" in the letter from Greece linked above, which was "forced" by Schäuble (and all other 18 countries)? What is the problem with such "forcing" of normal things? And what do you think could be the "German myth"?

(And of course it does prick me very hard when you say Germans are as ignorant as Americans, that was hard ;-) . Again, I do not see it from inside.).

Right. Scientist are also only people (I know by hard). After decades of fighting to get green mainstream finally it is blamed "green BAU".  I seriously suffer ideological burn-out.
I think we all suffer ideological fatigues of this form or another, SATire. In my case, it means I do not care if the people promoting a solution "worked hard and long" or "did their best" or "are very well–meaning". The green BAU people are not a kindergarten child that we have to comfort and encourage when it's made a new drawing. If they're promoting a prolonged industrial adventure that's essentially "kicking the can further down the road" — meaning "we deal with this later" — then it's a non–solution that they are suggesting. Or a slightly different path to (essential) extinction.

Green BAU took a lot of hard work getting where it is today. And it will be immensely hard in the coming decades. But should we all just settle for green BAU even though we know it won't solve our problems, only delay them somewhat?

viaddaloo, such ideological burn-out is also a good starting point to see things clearer, thus is not only bad.

E.g. in my private life I am close to a lot of anthroposophists people (but probably less hardcore than the people Neven found in Austria - I am living in a city...). Such life-style is not consumption oriented, very "Green" but also some kind of BAU: In the respect that there is a holistic "business" (agriculture concepts like demeter, shops, drugstores like dm, schools, a bank like GLS and now even camera producers like Leica) and in the respect that it is "as usual" since the concept is already 100 years old and a lot of people are part of it. But there is also some ideology in it I do not like but I have to accept, since the whole thing is working (e.g. sometimes religious fundamentalism or esoteric homoeopathy...). At my place it is easy to accept different opinions concerning such "ideological" issues, especially after one is in the age of "ideological burn-out" - and a lot of people are in that state and that is making life liveable.

There are a lot of other "Green BAU" (I really have problems with this term - personally I do not like to be put in that context of "Green-washing" and other negative issues I read in this term) concepts working for a while - Bioland BAU, permaculture and others.

I have to admit that all those concepts have in common that people life together in civilized societies and enjoy at least some if not all industrial benefits and thus are less carbon efficient than the few individual hardcore drop-out people managing to get around with about zero emission. But for me and my family this kind of hermit life is not suitable - we are lacking the land necessary for that, the skill and also the will.

But next to zero emission there are also other numbers/targets worth to work for while still enjoying some kind of technologies - and I am really tired for being blamed for that. I am sure that collapse will not be caused by such work and also economic issues/troubles are not a big problem, since the necessary consumption is lower. Such groups at least work in the right direction in practise - I do not know more CO2-efficient groups like such "real Green BAU" groups in densely populated areas (200 people per km2).   

Of course it would be much better if the life of Green BAU groups would become common law - see imperative from Kant. But that was not possible up to now. E.g. during the last election campaign Green party discussed a vegetarian Thursday in all lunch-rooms of companies and such. People really did not like such intervention into their private life... This is the dilemma of freedom and the integrity of others and if the "others" are nameless children they loose normally. To much force to make the people act as you like will not help and probably end in a war, which would be much more dangerous than AGW. Trying to force people is never a good idea anyway, since people will push back with even more pressure. The same is even more true if you want to force other countries - that will not work even if you are big and the other country is small.

So we are left with work in private life until we are the majority, if we want to stay in a democracy. And we want to do that for sure.

The next step is to bring the Kant categorical imperative to business life. E.g. in my case (engineering science) this is the most CO2 producing activity of my life (flights to conferences, purchase of big machines and such). To do that it was helpful to found a company to be able to do the decision making. If I would be a farmer that would be a straight-forward task. But as an engineer in high-tech production machines that is tough thing. However - 3D printing and production 4.0 and such things make a lot new things possible. So we can improve efficiency in production dramatically - but by increasing the built-in complexity just another time (JimD will not like that for sure). But I think we can manage that easily by education (which is virtual CO2 free) and software and we will be judged in future anyway.
Anyway - at this place (densely populated, democracy, high-tech & high wages) this could be reasonable and not everybody can/should be a farmer.

Right. Scientist are also only people (I know by hard). After decades of fighting to get green mainstream finally it is blamed "green BAU".  I seriously suffer ideological burn-out.

Our results indicate that before performing some form of quantitative optimization, the sustainable management of the Earth system may require decisions of a more discrete type that come in the form of several dilemmata, e.g., choosing between eventual safety and uninterrupted desirability, or between uninterrupted safety and increasing flexibility."
What? Scientific delirium madness (to say it with The Birds...)

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: March 12, 2015, 07:58:09 PM »
They fully intend to funnel arms into Ukraine and keep the war going there.  Not to mention we are almost certainly heading towards putting troops on the ground in the Middle East again (polls say that over 70% of Americans are in favor of that).
The last time such military intervention by USA went well was WW2 - together with a Russia doing 90% of the work. Every intervention later was a mess or turned the concerned region into far more trouble than before. So I kindly ask the USA not to do anything in middle east nor Ukraine - you can not win and it would make it worse anyway. It is a great success if weapons are not in use today. Everything else needs a lot of time and the will of the local people and some humanitarian help - but no biased help for only one cherry-picked party...

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: March 12, 2015, 07:32:58 PM »

..In USA you would call Schäuble an extreme liberal left-wing politician.....

I'm sorry but that Schauble stuff is completely wrong.  I realize that you are totally wedded to what we would call the party line about German positions and responsibilities in the mess in Europe.  We have gone over it many times and I think there is not much more to say. 
JimD - you could not be more wrong with that. My own political opinion is far away from "the party line". However - in the EU/Greece-mess Schäuble is acting pretty close to the majority of Germans. I would like to ask you to stay with the facts and not with that US-biased intervention mode. Please read the official letter I linked above - maybe we can discuss if you forget your personal bias for a while. Here a quote to motivate you (original from here: ):

Yanis Varoufakis

Minister of Finance

Hellenic Republic

I. Fiscal structural policies

Tax policies - Greece commits to:

    Reform VAT policy, administration and enforcement. Robust efforts will be made to improve collection and fight evasion making full use of electronic means and other technological innovations. VAT policy will be rationalized in relation to rates that will be streamlined in a manner that maximizes actual revenues without a negative impact on social justice, and with a view to limiting exemptions while eliminating unreasonable discounts.

    Modify the taxation of collective investment and income tax expenditures which will be integrated in the income tax code.

    Broaden definition of tax fraud and evasion while disbanding tax immunity.

    Modernizing the income tax code and eliminating from it tax code exemptions and replacing them, when necessary, with social justice enhancing measures.

    Resolutely enforce and improve legislation on transfer pricing.

    Work toward creating a new culture of tax compliance to ensure that all sections of society, and especially the well-off, contribute fairly to the financing of public policies. In this context, establish with the assistance of European and international partners, a wealth database that assists the tax authorities in gauging the veracity of previous income tax returns.

Public Finance Management - Greece will:

    Adopt amendments to the Organic Budget Law and take steps to improve public finance management. Budget implementation will be improved and clarified as will control and reporting responsibilities. Payment procedures will be modernized and accelerated while providing a higher degree of financial and budgetary flexibility and accountability for independent and/or regulatory entities.

    Devise and implement a strategy on the clearance of arrears, tax refunds and pension claims.
    Turn the already established (though hitherto dormant) Fiscal Council into a fully operational entity.

Revenue administration - Greece will modernize the tax and custom administrations benefiting from available technical assistance. To this end Greece will:

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: March 12, 2015, 12:34:45 PM »
johnm33 (and JimD): There is so much nonsense and BS written about Greece and Germany and EU in the news and the internet. Please take care and think about what you read - e.g. Troika is not Germany. 1/3 of Troika is instead headed by USA - especially that IMF is insisting on paying back the money first - so please ignore official voices from USA speaking about debt cancelation but not doing it. 1/3 is the ECB (like Fed) and 1/3 is Eurogroup (finance seceretaries of all nations with Euro currency - since only governments are able to make any contracts with Greece government).
Most partners in Europe are not insisting on the paying back of money but are insisting on the respect of contracts. If we loose that basis in Europe not only the Euro (the currency) but also it EU is doomed, since EU is a set of contracts between nations. Thus Schäuble (and all others!) are insisting on "pacta sunt servanda" and not on saving money in the first place. Most people are well aware, that an exit of Greece from the Euro currency would be more expensive, since payments will surely increase in such case. Nevertheless - contracts are the single basis and we must not kill that, if we like the EU at all.

And if you think the terms of the rescue are to hard - please read the terms in the letter from Varoufakis, which was accepted by Eurozone a few weeks ago: . Most would consider the "terms" mentioned in his letter as natural requirements to enter the Euro...
The main problem with Greece is, that very probably the promises and pact will not be fullfilled nor even started to be implemented. If not, it would be for the first time that Greece does what it says... This consequent ignorance of own contracts will sooner or later kick Greece out of Eurozone and maybe even EU, since the contracts are the basis of the EU, which has still no constitution (which once was rejected by a significant portion of European population). Just my 2c and I am truly not a capitalist or nationalist or such. In USA you would call Schäuble an extreme liberal left-wing politician...

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: March 11, 2015, 08:33:14 PM »
This is a surprise - to me anyway.

...Mega-bank Société Générale’s strategist Albert Edwards notes:

“Core Inflation in the US would be just as low as in the eurozone if measured on the same basis, despite the US having enjoyed much stronger growth!”...

So measured the same way the two areas have similar inflation rates (though the EU being in actual deflation is much worse) and the Fed is planning on increasing interest rates and the EU is  implementing QE.  Hmmm...  Someone is messing up I expect.
JimD, the EU is more complex - so either comparison (measurement in EU way or US way) is wrong principally. Eurozone (a part of EU) is not in deflation, only some countries in the south are after large previous inflation there. E.g. in Germany wages are currently increasing by 3-4% and inflation is low because of reduced oil price. Such situation is not deflation, which is considered starting after "second round" effects kicking in (e.g. lower prices result in lower wages later).

Low inflation is answered by ECB (by copying the QE US did before) is to help southern EU. So ECB is not right in total but right from southern perspective. People elsewhere just loose money due to that. 

In my opinion such efforts are futile attempts to prolong the growth of the past into the de-growth future. Japan tried that for more than a decade in vain. We should start to accept de-growth in our ageing de-populating countries and turn to grow other things than consumption and such. As you all now.

Naomi Klein is just wrong in my opinion: It is not the capitalist but it is just all of us consuming useless stuff. Some people stepped out of that growth-imperative. That results in an economical picture looking like deflation or "bad shape", but is just the beginning of a long needed transition. We should boost such transitions instead of trying to stop that by rendering all saved money useless and by encouraging ever more debt for consumption killing our planet for nothing. Just my stupid 2c. It is not the economy, stupid. It is about everything else.

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: February 16, 2015, 09:51:38 PM »
SATire this is primarily for you.

This link explains the problems in Europe extremely well.  Everyone in Europe needs to sit down and read this...and reconsider what they are doing.

JimD - I am sitting and reading. However, I am just coming back from a business trip to California where I have seen both larger suffering than in Greece and greater wealth than in Italy, I am a bit tired about this kind of anglo-american perspective:

Greece today has not to pay any interest and does not have to pay back the debt - so why should they default as Wall-Street and London want to tell us? The only reason could be needs for new credits... They want us to feed the beast once again. They want us to guarantee the banks the profits for new credits at no risks. And the low wealth high tax countries in the north once again should do this - because that money is easy money while taxing the wealthy is not desired. No - this game is to simple. We need to start to tax the wealthy - with the same 50% (rate of tax and social insurances) as the less wealthy but high tax northern countries.

And now Greece asked Europe to play the chicken game. Germany used to be the chicken frequently enough. But to play against Europe is a different thing. Risk is high that the one or the other country will not be the chicken - and one will be enough to die since the unanimity rule and in some countries the contract must be approved by the parliaments. So either Greece will be the chicken or no one and Europe will see the first divorce. In the latter case we will see a different Europe in future. But by now way it makes any sense to follow that Wall-street ideas again and play the debt-spiral further with virtual growth leading nowhere...

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: February 05, 2015, 06:43:30 PM »

Some private investors did receive a haircut as you say, but the banks were bailed out.  The people in the other European countries which now hold those bonds you speak of will take the loss when they cannot be paid.  But the bankers, the Troika, the ECB and so on always knew the conditions on these loans were not going to be met.  The idea is to extract as much wealth as they can and then put the losses on the public. 

The bankers get rich when they bet right and the public pays when they bet wrong.  It is like a hidden tax. 
That is so true! Wall street saved >500 billions because EU did the "Greece rescue" as it was done. Without that the 500 billion CDS would have turned to real losses.

Our problem is, that we can not control the banks anymore. The bank are acting from abroad and we can not stop them. So our only chance to control the debt problem is to control the governments. One of the 2 parties (the borrower or the bank) must be under control. In former days the were putting the bankers to prison and the king was rid of his debt ;-)
Today we play vice-versa for some good and a lot of other not so good reasons.

Greece must default.  If it is not allowed to then the EU (and Germany especially) need to stop this nonsense and treat Greece like the US would treat Mississippi.  You are either a union of states or separate countries.  You can not be both.  In either case the money is lost and will not be repaid.
I wish you were right. But it is not the case: EU is a contract between independent countries. The Euro is a multiple broken contract between independent countries. There is no will in EU to have same taxes and such in all countries - so it makes no sense to compensate for subsidies.

Inside Germany we have this kind of transfer of money from rich countries (e.g. Baden-Würtemberg) to poor countries (e.g. Berlin or Nordrhein-Westfalen). That is generally accepted by the people because the laws are similar. But if the laws are not similar - how can you suggest to transfer money from one country with taxation to another country, which is poor because they do not tax their rich people at all? Every country would adjust the tax to zero and would hope for others to pay...

Austerity means more than one thing.  Economic austerity as defined by the IMF, ECB, and the Federal Reserve  has little to do with the type of austerity needed to deal with collapse and climate change.  I agree with your interpretation of what it means, but the bankers do not.
Right - the banks must feel the austerity at first. E.g. all "rescued banks" could be owned by the people instead of the share-holders now. Next step could be to disposses the rich.
Federal reserve is just a tool - they can actually do nothing. But politics must do that and is responsible for everything. So the austerity is allways defined by the government. This "Troika" was only implemented to check the numbers (because the numbers were allways wrong in Greece - they had no    book keeping) and to teach taxation and such (e.g. there was no land register in Greece - how to tax the rich owners?). But all decisions are allways done by the governments of the countries. Even all contracts are made between the countries - because only the governments of the different countries are democratically elected. And by no means Greek elections can effect the responsibility of the German government or vice-versa...

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: February 05, 2015, 06:20:30 PM »

A little bit of history not much remembered any more.

On February 27, 1953 the London Debt Agreement was signed.  The signatories of this agreement were the various powers who fought each other in WWII.

This agreement forgave 50% of Germany's pre and post WWII debt.  This agreement was made because it was recognized that rebuilding the German economy was not going to go well if they were forced to pay those debts as they could not afford both the investment needed to build their economy and debt payments.  This agreement contributed greatly to Germany's post war economic miracle.

There was clearly no emotional or moral compulsion which led to this action by the Allied powers.  Germany did not "deserve" such treatment.  You can bet that people like my father and mother who both served in WWII were not consulted on such an action.  Nor was the public of many other countries.

But it was the right thing to do for a host of very pragmatic reasons.

JimD - this fact is in the newspaper here every day with a lot of discussions.

Indeed, there are some similarities today: A bit similar to the way Germany was treated we treated Greece some years ago: 50% of the debt was cut and the interest rate was reduced (1.5%) and the payback was delayed far into the future.

But there are also differences: Germany achieved that special treatment mainly due to 2 reasons: Because it accepted the debt from "Deutsche Reich" (which was a different country than the smaller western Germany) and because it was very careful to be recognized as a reliable defaulter. The word "fault" is for a very good reason in "defaulter" - in German that is actually the same word for "debt" and "fault". If you do not take that simple fact seriously nobody else will take you seriously anymore. Never ever again.

Finaly in 1953 Germany took advantage of first effects of cold war and by sending diplomtic people from foreign ministry instead of finances - diplomatic words are crucial in such discussions. Greece tried something similar playing with "orthodox brotherhood" with Russia - but that was just another diplomatic desaster of the last 10 days.

Most importantly Greece is not acting as it could be a reliable defaulter any time soon - even their own poeple are now running to the banks to take the money. Nobody will ever give Greece any money as debt - only as present as described above. And in the same time Greece is looking for pride it is destroying all the basis for its own reliability. And the track-record of the former governments (ND and PASOK) of cheating every partner, braking every promise, increasing the load for the small people but letting go the rich untouched (information from finance office: "there are no people in Greece earning more than 100,000€/year" - lol! What about all the nice houses and nice boats? How was all that stuff paid?). No - without any little bit of reliability it makes no sense to get to a new agreement. One first could stay with at least one of the old agreements... You see - I do not have much hope for the future. Of course - nobody here really expects the money back from Greece. But at least we need to see, that people are working to get their society reliable as a seed for a common future. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: February 01, 2015, 05:46:27 PM »
JimD - I agree with you that we have to stop all kind of BAU (e.g. black, green or the socialists red).

I disagree to a lot of the points you are talking about German-Greek relationship.

First - it is an EU-Greek relationship and Germany is only one of a lot of countries and all decisions in EU are made at least by majority.

Second - the debt of Greece was taken and spend by the Greek government and not by banks or such. Naturally the bonds where bought by private people, pension funds and other and given to banks as "security" to get credits - normal thing.
All private savers where already "haircut" by 50% and lost that money.

3. To rescue the European bank system and to avoid Greek bankruptcy and "infection" of other countries the bonds where bought by a European fund - and thus actually by the other countries. Similarly that was done in Ireland and Portugal. This "rescue" came across with control. And this control was in the best interest of the people since it was to fight tax fraud, nepotism and other problems resulting in low tax income and the political motivated high spendings without any sense (e.g. hospitals employing 12 gardeners while having 0 garden - just because they were in a special party...).   

Those are just simple facts and none of this facts were dictated by Germany. All decision were made by all countries including Greece.

But you are right - it would perhaps have been better to let Greece go bankrupt those days in 2011. That clever Papandreou had made a bet with wall street in such a way, that Wall street would have paid a large amount of that losses anyway (edit adding the sources for that (in German): ). But for some reasons not so clear to me that did not happen... So now the debt (which was in fact spent by the Greek government once) happens to become the debt of the other countries and must be paid by the workers elsewhere. And it is not only Germany but all other countries wanting the Greek people to pay that back one day (with close to 0 interest rate and starting slowly after 2020) - especially countries like Portugal and Ireland could not understand a "special treatment". So some fairness must be considered and also the motivation of governments to make any debt must be reduced (e.g. to get sustainable once). The "will" to pay one day would be sufficient for most people to maintain solidarity with the Greek people - but there is no need for solidarity with the rich ship owners, cleptrocray and nepotism. Those things must be corrected by the Greek people now without the help of the "Troika". 

But to get back to topic: Austerity is the thing to learn. Reduced consumption and long term investments in things that make sense must be done - in Greek, in Europe and everywhere else. Every spending of money for consumption or "creation" of money for silly purposes like "increased GDP" are steps in the proceeding BAU direction and thus just wrong.

Consequences / Re: We're Totally F**ked: Albert Bates' Year in Review 2014
« on: February 01, 2015, 02:03:11 PM »
Wich country is at risk of climate change ?

They are a bit too optimistic for Australia, for France I hope they are right...but here again I think a bit too optmistic.
Laurent, they are totally off. E.g. risk for Denmark is low? The hole country is low land and it is composed of a lot of islands. That will be a hard work to build all those very long dikes. OK - people there work hard and maybe can afford that effort, but it will surely not "survive" inside today’s borders.
Also Netherlands and Northern Germany will face some problems - it is not clear if we can deal with e.g. >2m sea level rise at all coasts. If the sea level rise will be larger than about 5 m all people in Netherlands would have to move somewhere else - so would you call that "survival"?

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: February 01, 2015, 01:15:27 PM »
I'm quite sure that if a vote was put forward in most of the Northern EU countries that it would go against the Euro at this point.  Or maybe not if the weaker countries were removed.  But that was certainly not the case when it was implemented.
JimD - your observation is not correct. We have seen different trends for acceptance of European integration in Germany (large in the beginning and smaller confidence since the debt/trust crisis since 2010). But for the currency Euro the acceptance was low in the beginning and then it increased as people got used to it. Only recently (ECB now plans to buy bonds and such) trust is getting lower again.

I agree to your observation, that we a bit followed that US-type of market liberalization - but much less than in US. E.g. TTIP is on ice now and probably will not be accepted, since it would prohibit any increase of regulation standards/consumer protection/ecology protection. All that would be a step back to the dirty sixties which must be avoided by any means. But you are right that we have seen significant transfers from lower & middle class in Germany both towards southern Europe people (this trend did stop a bit since 2010) and towards upper class people.

For your other points (e.g. wealth transfer from EU to US, colony ideas and such) I can not see any observations. That looks to me like some radical left propaganda/ideology without hard facts. Wall street people gained a lot but also lost a lot (e.g. John Taylor) - not the most of that money was from EU but from US or elsewhere. My main problem with this left ideology is that it is most unsustainable - that is proceeding BAU in our social economy and must be stopped and replaced by an low-consumption austerity politics as soon and as wide-spread as possible to reduce AGW. Of course that austerity should concentrate on the rich people first - a point that still is not started to be addressed e.g. in Greece... Maybe Syriza will start at least that one thing now - if not, Greece will be terribly screwed again.

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: January 31, 2015, 09:17:55 PM »
Greece cannot pay it's debts and debts that cannot be paid will not be paid, and since it was perfectly obvious that this was the case in 2010 the Greeks could perfectly reasonably declare the debts odious , indeed they approach this gently in the Tsipras letter in my first link above. When the fire sale of Greek assets begins in earnest they are not going to accept that peacefully, nor allow the new owners much pleasure in their acquisitions. Then the rot spreads to Italy? Spain? Portugal? France? where then will be the markets for German manufactured goods? 
  But of course JimDs right it's bau all the way down.
Johnm33 - there will be no fire sales. All the bonds are owned by the other governments and thus the tax payer of the other countries. The former Greek loans are already Germans/Netherlands/France/... loans. The only thing the taxpayer has is the promise, that after 2020 Greek people will start to pay that back that loan about without any interest rate. So a default today will not hit any bank - it will only hit trust since that would be another broken promise.

JimD - if the German people would have been asked if they wanted the Euro they would have voted "no". For the good reason that German people paid a lot since the introduction. We are told every day here in Germany that we profit from the € - but the people did not. It is not really clear who did profit. Probably the small countries with some tax tricks and at least in the first years the Southern countries had an incredible growth while Germany was the "sick old man in Europe".

And today export still soars - but since the money is the same the working people can not profit from the hard money, so they have to work more and more and get less than in former days. And the extra money from export left the country for other targets (American houses, Southern bonds, internet bubbles, tiger states and such once good investment ideas...). No - the work was in vain and now the average German person is poorer than e.g. the average Italian so AfD cries for Germany to leave the Euro...

Someone is really fooling all of us.

But anyway to get sustainable we have to learn austerity. Merkel is doing a good job to prepare our ageing society for that. The budget is balanced now and we can start to reduce the debt to meet the 60% again and to prepare for the final conversion of our share of the Greek debt to become German debt. What the other countries do is there thing - there is no "dictate" in Europe since a majority and sometimes even all votes are necessary for any decision taken. So please try to ignore such kind of "dictator propaganda" if you read that.

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: January 31, 2015, 02:19:02 PM »
Most of the 'money' 'loaned' to greece was to save French German and others banks
my suggestion of 25,000 euros credit would apply to all citizens of the Eurozone, and would simultaneously save the banks, without saddling the taxpayer with more debt,

Creating an extra 25000 euro loan to each member of the population doesn't create more debt ????
CRandles, I think John was talking about some kind of "quantitative easing" for the privates - so that money would just be "printed" by ECB. So that would be the same transfer of "real money" from savers/pensions to debtors like the QE thing. Since the things to buy will not come from nothing the net effect will be zero. But some numbers like GDP could rise, if you are interested in that. The risk is, that people could be mislead to increase consumption instead of doing investments that make sense. So it would worsen the AGW problem and bost any kind of crashes again. Silly thing I think.

I would suggest to invest in wind and PV e.g. especially in Greece - so people there could do something that makes sense and other people could be convinced to spend the money for that. In general there is no way to go but austerity, deflation or any other kind of de-growth to get sustainable one day.

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: January 30, 2015, 09:26:34 PM »
In the  EU [eurozone] since they haven't yet wasted billions buying up non performing worthless 'assets'  from their idiotic bankers in an insane QE program, perhaps 25,000 Euros would do the trick. Though I think it should be set at a level that would secure the welfare of the poorest in Europe for about 3 years whilst the economies recover.
The Eurozone "wasted" already 240 billions in worthless Greece "assets", all that debt is now owned by European tax payers and is to pay in the far future with close to zero interest rates - just in case it will be paid at all.

Within the next 30 days we will learn, if some countries will leave the Euro or perhaps even will leave the EU or if all the dancing elephants will stop that dancing in the China shop. And since we have learned the hard way to judge the doings and not the words we will have to wait even longer...

But one thing is clear: No sane private person will ever lend the Greek any money. But gifts could make some sense - "forced gifts" or charity or maybe also some bribery from Putin. Strange trend this socialist-nationalist alliance - last time we had such constellation (N-S)  in Germany it was good for the pride for a short time but terrible on the long run. Now the Greek are also in search for pride...

Edit: For some strange reasons the existing 240 billions divided by the 10 million Greek persons result in a number quite close to your 25.000 € per person. So we are done with that already? Unfortunately that money was not given to all the Greek people but to a few of them as usual in cleptocracies like the ones kicked out of government now.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 23, 2015, 03:20:08 PM »

Crazy shit! If that article is right, they would act in opposition to economics:

Is it crazy opposition to economics though?
It is the insanity of a debt-based economy rating cash-flow over profit. And some people wondered, why Saudi Arabia would not reduce output in the same situation, when US drillers increased it to maintain cash-flow. It is totally clear who will win this competition in the medium term. In the long term we have to drive oil consumption to zero anyway - regardless of the price... So either there will be no other producers but the very cheap ones in future or there will be no future to worry about. We need to start with a deflation economy and degrowth to get on road towards sustainability. No debt anymore, no rising prices but reduction of consumption. The economy could concentrate on maximizing quality instead of throughput to survive.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 23, 2015, 09:43:28 AM »

An excellent description of a disaster.

The washout in the energy business is going to be huge.
Crazy shit! If that article is right, they would act in opposition to economics: Prices are falling so they increase production. Since the oil market is not very elastic that should result in lower prices.  So they maximize losses. OK, the money flood must go somewhere. But instead of paying more taxes voluntarily they prefer to pay more and more private subsidies resulting in a destroyed planet instead of better infrastructure/education. And I thought that insane housing debt bubble was insane - they can do much better now. That kind of "economy" is just BS.

Now in Europe ECB starts something similar: It buys safe government bonds to make the people buy more BS. Instead of increasing the prices/inflation by increased taxes (the normal way to trigger investments for the future) we do the silly thing, too. Let's see, which kind of bubble we will blow here. Tulips maybe, like in the very first bubble in Netherlands? Or probably something more destructive to speed up the things...

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: January 09, 2015, 12:17:07 PM »
German carbon emissions 745 million tonnes CO2e. That's 645 million tonnes more than Greece. At a mere 100 euros a tonne that's 65 trillion euros in carbon fines - per year.

Should Germany be handing over half the difference to Greece? i.e. 32 trillion euros a year.
No - not to Greece. Per person (11 million in Greece instead of 80 million in Germany) Greece people are not emitting much less even at significantly lower GDP. People in Greece allready got a lot money from EU taxpayers (even from poorer ones in eastern Europe). That money should better be handed over to poeple not emitting CO2, e.g. in Africa... But please give it to the individual persons and not to the cleptocrates in governments. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: January 09, 2015, 09:54:01 AM »
If you are German this will be a tough read so you might want to skip it unless you are interested in what others are thinking about your country's international actions.  It is harsh. 
Hi JimD. Such text is not that unfamilar in Germany - and it is not really "from others" since the author seems to be sitting in Berlin. However, before (or instead of) going into details of the message and the wording of the text I would like to propose to dig into the background of such texts. I do not know this author but usually it may be interesting to aks such person, if he/she would propose to help e.g. Ukraine people (that country is also close to default) in similar way as we helped Greece nation. If not, then "helping people" might not be the main purpose of his/her work but something else. You know, there are quite a few "old-fashioned socialists" here with a very different agenda and not all "left-people" are really "nice people"...

Maybe it is to long/complicated to discuss all the issues about Euro and Greece and such at this place. My personal opinion are just 2 points here: Also the economy of a nation should be sustainable so it should not spend more than it earns - at least on average and in medium-term. Second point is, that each nation is responsible for the way it spends its money and how it earns its money. So if Greek people prefer to elect cleptocratic politicians, who are bleeding the 90% to death with the goal to avoid any taxes for the 10%, then that is their responsibility. Maybe in the next election they could change that.

And keep in mind that this "Troika" is not forcing the Greek government to bleed its poeple. The reason for Troika was to supervise the actions of the government, since those politicians repeatingly cheated both other partners and especially their own poeple in each and every aspect. There is the risk, that blaming "Nazi-Germany" responsible for the suffering may be just some kind of cheating of their own poeple to deflect the eligible anger. We can read such words frequently in German media and if readers here would take that seriously, that would result in frustration and the wish to "let them go". But that would not be fair to the Greece poeple, since it is their corrupt government that needs to be controlled. The difficulty is, that their government must actually be controlled by their own poeple but it is prooven multiple times, that this control did not work properly... So any help and suggestions would be appreciated to solve this dilemma.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 07, 2015, 09:43:55 AM »
Is Saudi Arabia attempting to kill US shale gas industry and delay breakthrough in electrical car/ electrical battery autonomy?
bluesky, Naimi explained us (link above), that they like to kill not only US shale gas but all inefficient producers (also tar sand, deep water and/or arctic drilling). That seems to be the typical behaviour of any market player to get more market share of the rest of the oil market left due to future global warming restrictions.

I guess the electrical battery breakthrough is independend of the oil price since that depends on political will and regulations like in CA or Norway or actions in China - I do not think that people in Arabia see any chance to change politics elsewhere. Sometimes US leader may have such dreams but that never worked anywhere as you know.

To cite Saudi Arabia's Oil minister again: "Naimi replied: "The best thing for everybody is to let the most efficient producers produce""

Sure, guys.

Now tell us how we make those things happen.  You have a hidden army of super warriors you're going to bring to the fight?  Gulags for compulsive shoppers?

You're going to need a pretty strong dictatorship to bring all that off.  Perhaps model your new world government after Stalin's solution?

Can you take some of your goals (wonderful, some are) and work out practical ways they might be achieved?
Not a big deal Bob and no need for Gulag/dictatorship or such. We put it into the EC regulations and in TTIP: Earth protection instead of investors protection. Such are just some helpful regulations and as long as people understand it, it is not a big thing. Better than collapse I guess. So please, let us spin this forward and not backwards.

You are so cool!

A quick addition from here, since party time is soon despite all the trouble:

15  Immediate stop of lignite burning - and coal later, as you mentioned.

16  Manufacturers of machines and goods must guarantee proper functionality for 5 years - increasing to >20 years until 2030. Any repair of low-quality parts must be done free of charge. Planned obsolescence or use of life-time limiting parts is a criminal act.

17  The (energy & ressources) efficiency of the best product in a category is minimum requirement 5 years later.

18  Buyers of things must explain before the purchase, how long they will use it and where to recycle it after use. Without proper proof of recycling a new product of the same category is not allowed.

A nice New Year!

The Cure wrote a book about climate change ???

I hear you, but I think we are talking past each other. I am of the opinion that neither you or I can choose what decade would be the latest possible for turning this ship around to avoid disaster. It's not up for vote. And even if we did have a vote, which would be real silly, the 'world wouldn't listen', to quote the Smiths, meaning physical world climate systems wouldn't even care. I'm not making a moral judgement here, while you seem to say it's our moral 'responsibility'.
Viddaloo, maybe we are talking past each other - I do similar things with Bob on a regular basis, too. So please ignore my comment about his opinion and replace that words by his own (however, for me those feel quite similar, however less black&white - that was my fault).

To come back to the obvious points - maybe those are so trivial that it is easy to assume something more behind it. No, it is that simple and trivial:

"physical world climate systems" care about what we do. We all know, that the systems care about each ton of CO2 we dump in the atmosphere. So the systems care if we proceed doing so and maybe would "forgive" a bit after we stop doing so.

Probably you are right assuming "you seem to say it's our moral 'responsibility'". But that is a very simple "moral" and not worth any meaningful philosophical discussion. What I was talking about is the same kind of "moral" even animals do perform: The same kind of responsibility mama bear would show if you are approaching her children. That is just the basic responsibility to survive. I can not see how anybody would not keep such basic "moral" responsibility seriously.

To get a bit more black&white again discussing the "fault" of our ancestors in the Eighties: They fought a problem, which seemed way more serious than global warming those days. And I think they would be right even today. To put it cynical: If we consider global warming to big a threat we can easily go back to the Eighties threat any time. It is just a push of a few buttons to substitute the warming by nuclear winter.

My simple conclusion is, that we have to fight the CO2 emission now. Just because our ancestors were fighting other threats and our children will also fight other threats (in case we are successful). I am tired of the ideological discussions how we can do that so I would leave that "how" to the different societies out there: Some rate liberty/freedom over justice/equity and others vice-versa. So I would suggest to ask for 1t/person/year "in average per society". If some societies like some of its individuals to go to work by private helicopters they will have to convince the others maybe to live in "dorms next to work" - just as they like. The only important thing is, that it will be done. The way - by forcing with money or jail or by education and effort may be the free choice. It is just my personal opinion that we could do it together with the 80% of people via our politics, producing the laws to limit CO2 emission and forcing the typical 20% of the stubborn people the hard way. In some kleptocracy it might be vice-versa - that is their free choice, if they accept that.

But as I said, those changes would have had to be made at the latest in the eighties. Not a half–century later, which is too late. Do I make myself clear?
Would have been nice if the necessary changes would have been done in the Eighties. They weren't. So they have to be done now. The effort is larger now, sure. But it is now the time for my generation to fix it or we are lost. Do I make myself clear, too?

That is strange, that so many people explain me here, that the problem should be solved some decades from now - you say some decades prior today and Bob tells me, that we have some decades left so we may sit back and let the market do some magic things. No - the time is now and the people to do it are we. Not our parents and not our children. Sorry.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 31, 2014, 01:13:37 AM »
I might have to build it myself one day.
Neven, exactly that is the purpose this car was developed for. It can be produced by mid-sized companies in the one or the other individualized way. The "Work"-version is already in production for Post/DHL. The compact SDV (short distance vehicle) is about to be produced, as far as I know. It is just a matter of will since it is cost effective also in small quantities - the university people here in Aachen are experts in such individualized production in high wage countries. But the hope is, that some car manufacturer (e.g. from China?) jumps on this band wagon to build such <10k € electric car without any unnecessary life-style stuff. Our traditional German car industries still prefer to produce profitable image-cars instead...

I understand your sentiment, but the splendid idea of Cap & Jail (!) should have been implemented in the 1980s — while we were watching Dallas, Dynasty and the Royal Wedding in England — IMO to avoid the collapse that now seems inevitable.
viddaloo, in the eighties our favourite collapse & doom scenario was nuclear war - fighting the Pershings the doom felt like less than a decade away those days. Furthermore, we concentrated on acid rain (with very familiar discussions like denial of scientific background / doom scenarios for our cars industry vs. our nature) and later very successful fighting FCKW. Our parents did quite a good job since they won both fights. Now it is our time to win this fight.

And please remember: Technological solutions were not the bottle neck those times. As today it was very clear what to do and what to do not. We do not need any future technology or scaling or market miracles. All it needs is to ban CO2 fast enough - with the velocity determined by sciences. We may or may not have economic loss due to that transition - that does not matter much. So it is our job today to decrease CO2 emission by all means. Everything else is not of comparable importance. Let the people whine about austerity or de-growth or deflation or other effects of reduced consumption, we have to do it now. Help the poor people / the poor countries if you think the suffering is to large. But in our developed countries e.g. in Europe/USA/Japan such whining is just a bad joke and we all know that.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: December 30, 2014, 11:06:41 PM »
The IEA has greatly underestimated the growth of renewables for some years now.  Why?
That is a typical "not invented here"-blindness. The renewables were boosted in Europe and then in China and now slowly in USA. It was already quite mature somewhere else when it started to grow in USA.

If you are ideologically opposed to wealth redistribution and heavily regulated industries/markets, you have an almost 100% likelihood to disbelieve the science of climate change.

You could be heavily invested in renewable energy and be opposed wealth redistribution.  Lots of people are greedy.

I would suggest that there are many wealthy people who understand climate change ("believe") but still fight to maintain their profits from dirty energy.  Just because one understands that their behavior harms others does not mean that they automatically change their behavior.

Lots of people are greedy.
Bob - things are not that simple. Not all people making money with renewables want to reduce CO2 - some just want to continue BAU and thus are not aiming for 1 t/CO2/person/year and thus are not working against climate change.

And not all people promoting wealth distribution are greedy. Some people are really angry. E.g. I read about wall-street people getting money just as much as before the crash - and they get the money for doing things I would not spend my money for. OK - that is some kind of robbery and I should not bother. Unfortunately they do not behave like normal criminals: Instead of spending that money for drugs and girls they spend it for flying with private helicopters from their house in the hamptons to work - rendering the CO2-reduction effort of 1,000 serious people useless.

Maybe cap&trade are not enough. We should consider also cap&jail: After being responsible for 100 t CO2 in the air people should go to jail with vegetarian food only... After producing more CO2 than the average person in the world (e.g. 1 t/year ~ 100 t/life) it should be "game over" with emission or personal consumption of anything not 100% sustainable. It is not greediness: Those people eat away the earth of my children! That behaviour is criminal like robbery or maybe even like a suicide terrorist!

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 30, 2014, 01:04:16 PM »
First "real electric car":

For my feeling most commercial electric cars today are just "normal" cars with a substituted engine. Some are "life-style" cars (e.g. Tesla, Porsche 918 Spyder, BMW i) or marketing things (hybrides and such) to demonstrate political correct "pseudo-sustainability" without any heard. But missing was a new concept of cars concentrating on the advantage of electrical motors and optimizing sustainability.

Streetscouter is different: Cheap battery, 130 km range at max. 80 km/h - perfect for use in cities, which are the natural the habitat of electrical cars. Reduced to the important things to safe costs and resources (e.g. no expensive fast loading - people sleep at night anyway).

Now Post/DHL did invest in that: Delivery of parcels can be done perfectly with this car at lowest price. So this university spin-off company starts flying.

What I think is missing is something like the following vision: This car is for the cities. But there is no chance to travel to other cities with this. Possible solutions:
1. Car sharing: You want to visit other cities but your car doesn't. So leave it in you home city and take another one elsewhere.
2. No 1 is not practicable if you want to go on holiday with your family e.g. in a house in Sweden - you have to carry a lot of stuff for your children and maybe you want to go there with your own property to avoid the cleaning of other peoples car after your children did what they do in cars...
Vision to address this: We have a railway station in the centre of each city and these stations are connected with 300 km/h trains. So why not enter with your electric car such fast train in your home town and leave the train in the centre of the city you want to be? Would be just perfect to start your holiday in the city centre with full powered battery... but that is just a nice dream today. What about your dreams?

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: December 28, 2014, 04:07:04 PM »
I do not see much need for utility companies in future: Mainly hydro and off-shore wind are left after exit fossils and nuclear. But all other renewables are mainly run by "normal" people here -  roof-top solar, farmers with bio-gas, communities with wind parks and such.

What you are really saying is that there will be a lot more utility companies in the future and some of them will be fairly small.  Some, home owners with some extra solar to sell, will be micro-companies.

We need some terms that differentiate between "utility companies" that produce power and "utility companies" that distribute power.  Probably a third term for the companies that do both.  We'll keep the large and very large companies that distribute power / operate the grids.
What I am really saying is, that today we have 4 big utility companies (running nuclear, coal, lignite, wind off-shore and big hydro) and 4 big network operators (e.g. running the 400 kV grid). Furthermore we have now about 1,4 million producers of electricity - most of them very small, e.g. <40 kW peak roof-top solar and others are e.g. cooperative wind farmers or private bio gas farmers. And then we have plenty of local distributors running the low voltage grid (the last mile) and selling the electricity to private end users - they are often owned by the cities. Finally we have some dealers which love to make a one year contract selling electricity produced by someone else through other parties grid - I do not know how you name such "companies", since they actually do nothing but marketing and selling ;-) But they call them self "utility", too. Like this one:

So that is the situation today. For the future I assume that renewables will increase further - so the number of electricity producers will rise, since there are still plenty of roofs without PV. And the 4 big utilities will shut down nuclear soon and than lignite and coal. So they will be left with hydro, wind off-shore (that is for really tough guys here in North sea...), the fossil backup (we will never risk to be without electricity during 3 windless weeks in winter - even if the risk is only 10%. Germans do not like such risks and I think we are right not to risk our life just to safe some money.) and maybe power-to-gas.

So please make your suggestion how you would name all those parties. Here we are fine with explaining the situation after understanding the "marketing tricks" ;-)

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: December 28, 2014, 01:28:30 AM »
Here's a thought.  (Brace yourself. ::))

As renewables with "zero cost electricity" increase, we need a completely new pricing model for providing power.  Consider if:  everyone pays an electricity "tax", based on your tier of use (minimal, average residential, moderate business, heavy industrial, etc.), and your power is supplied at no charge -- sort of like universal health care.  Utilities are paid from the taxes according to the power they provide: renewable sources are worth more, and the remaining carbon emitters actually have to "pay to play."

I suppose even folks off the grid might need to pay (a minimal tax) until a new paradigm (micro-grids, self-powered buildings) emerges.
Sigmetnow, it is a good thing to open the mind for new market ideas. However, I do not like your idea of an electricity "flat rate": At no costs there would be no need for a sustainable way of living. It is way easier for people to reduce energy consumption if there is an increasing price tag on it. The not used kWh is the best kWh and the best way to get sustainable one day.

While it makes some sense to pay the grid from taxes - like e.g. streets or internet cables - it should cost a lot if you need something resulting in holes in the earth or CO2 in the atmosphere. E.g. at my place government/cities pay poor people an  A+++ fridge with 120 kWh/year instead of helping them to pay the electricity bill. 

Furthermore I do not see much need for utility companies in future: Mainly hydro and off-shore wind are left after exit fossils and nuclear. But all other renewables are mainly run by "normal" people here -  roof-top solar, farmers with bio-gas, communities with wind parks and such. It makes not much sense to pay all those people by taxes - that would result in squandering of resources.

Another point is, that subsidies will also be needed in future here - less than today but still significant (the 6,24 ct/kWh EEG in Germany in 2014 are about 23 billion Euro this year - if Bob is right then one year of subsidies here equals total cumulated subsidies in the US. (Before blaming stupid Germans now please consider, that the EEG is more efficient than the other models out there - that payment is a present to our children and yours, too).

I think we need way more charge for CO2 (strangely that would directly result in lower subsidies for renewables here...) and also taxes on all things depending on holes in the earth - thus any resource consumption. That could lead us to an economy with increasing efficiency and decreasing consumption. We need much less consumption of resources than today (e.g. 10% of today) to get independent from the holes. Then recycling could satisfy our needs and sustainability could be reached. After we have reached sustainability I would be open for ideas for increasing life-style again. But before that time such ideas would guide us in the wrong direction.

So any flat-rate for consumption is not helpful. Consumption must rise in price every year to teach us sustainability in the soft way. If we can not do that we perhaps will be taught the hard way to stop consumption at all. That is the thing to avoid and that is really worth some effort, I think.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: December 27, 2014, 03:12:39 PM »
So we may continue to pay some fee for the grid as today, but the electricity bill will decrease in future, since the maximum of subsidies cost happens to be about today. And even with our large subsidies paid via the electricity bill our average bill is smaller than yours - efficiency is already better here and still improving. To resume: We can do it. We do not need any help from market, scaling, technology or something else - but we may appreciate any such help nevertheless. Renewables tipped, because the people want it that way - more is not needed.

Do you have some data or reference for that 'the maximum of subsidies cost happens to be about today'? What country(s) does that apply to?
CRandles, I am talking about Germany, since that is the place where I life. Here I want to give some evidence, that "maximum subsidies happen about today":
1. EEG increased every year since introduction in 2000 - but next year  it will be lower than this year (6.17 ct/kWh for non-privileged customers):

2. Some prognosis here: (page 3)

3. Politics is telling us, that the EEG subsidies shall not rise further. 6 ct/kWh seems to be a value at which more and more people feel that it is expensive. And as I described above the peoples intention is driving the transition. A too fast and too expensive transition could put the whole project at risk.

EEG started in year 2000 with >50 ct/kWh paid for PV - for 15-20 years. So some first and most expensive systems will drop off in the next years. Furthermore, new installations are less expensive and growth of installations is not necessary any more - we are already in the linear range capacity wise (and that results in decreasing investments every year, since costs go down). So the biggest work concerning installations and scaling is clearly done. But you know the other critical tasks I did talk about previously... There is always something left to do until we are about 100% sustainable in perhaps 2050.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: December 27, 2014, 12:06:48 PM »
Please reconsider the idea, that the market could solve our problem by itself - any market never solved a problem

Renewables are making fossil fuels unprofitable in Germany.
Installation of new renewables is achieved by subsidies - thus peoples intention dominates the market successfully.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: December 27, 2014, 01:38:25 AM »
Bob, they did some regulation here some years ago: We have 4 big utility companies with the big power plants (RWE, E.ON, Vattenfall and EnBW). Those companies once also used to own the grid, but that part was separated to 4 new network operators (Amprion, 50 Hertz, Tennet and TransnetBW) to open the network to the millions of new electricity producers driving the renewables installation (roof-top, farmers, communities and other companies). But the electricity bill comes from the local distributors or the company you have the contract with - very similar to the telecom market you may choose from whom you buy which kind of electricity (e.g. renewables only or such). So people have the choice of their hook. And of course most people prefer to be on the grid to sell & buy their electricity - and maybe in future just share it...

The fact that renewables are not competitive in a market like ours today and most probably will not be in future I did try to explain you above in a lot of posts. You may ignore that point - it does not matter much anyway since the success of renewables will not depend on that competition. That success depends on the peoples will - that was my main point, in case you missed that. Please reconsider the idea, that the market could solve our problem by itself - any market never solved a problem. Instead a market may be a tool or a problem by itself. And if such market is not properly regulated the best it can do is producing one bubble after the other... So dream the renewables bubble but here we will work to avoid such kind of performances.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 26, 2014, 02:17:19 PM »
Csnavywx, Terry and others,

to cite Saudi Arabia s Oil minister: "Naimi replied: "The best thing for everybody is to let the most efficient producers produce"".

And to conclude: They are teaching us reason and how the market goes. We should realize, that it is very stupid to destroy our nature and our water sources by extremely expensive and dirty sources like tar sands and shale gas/oil. So we are taught the hard way to keep the dirty expensive stuff where it is and to use the easy cheap oil for the rest of the "oil-age". How much oil are we allowed to burn to reach e.g. the 2°C limit? Do we need more than the easy oil for that? So we should appreciate Saudis lesson and stop wasting our planet for nothing.

Stop let us stop blowing bubble after bubble and concentrate on the real things.

And I do not think that a "Sino-Russian century begins" but the oil-century will end. And most regions will increase their share on cost of the few regions, which took a to big share in the past. No problem to learn de-growth in the most developed countries first - we will not starve.

But the big risk is, that the cheap oil will boost some bubble-growth again: If people spend the saved money to consume more things and thus drive us in more problems. That money must be spend for lasting goods and not in bubble-consumption again.

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