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Messages - SATire

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The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: July 24, 2016, 12:22:41 AM »
JimD - I guess you did not understand what I tried to explain. Maybe I am bad in explaining what I think the problems in Europe are. And I used the articles you refered to as basis to show the misleading ideas which I think are part of the problems not only here but also elsewhere.

I want to give some background so you may understand some of my earlier comments better -  just in case you would like to know.

The European Union is not a democratic set-up and can not be democratic legitimated. Junckers is right in that point cited in above link. The attempt to give the EU a democratic legitimation was defaeted in the referendum in France and the Netherlands against the constitution. Therefore, the European Union is "only" a set of treaties between countries and can not be democratic legitimated anymore. But the countries are legitimated democraticly. Since Lisboa treaty Germany has more weight than other countries in some matters because some decisions need a certain percentage of population. Since Germany has larger population the weight of the German government is sometimes more important than that of other governments. That is it with the power of Germany.

The German populations benefit from European Union is that people inside EU may move to other places EU and live there with equal right. This benefit is the same for all the population in EU. Also we have no control at any boarders between the Schengen countries - no real borders anymore - that is convenient. The common currency Euro is similarely convenient for the people. Furtehrmore, we profit from EU laws by better laws to protect the environment, the human rights and also consumer protection. Such standards are pretty high inside EU and that is a benefit for the people. Of course such standars are a big barrier for new countries - e.g. Turkey can not come in due to that, but they do not want anyway such kind of standards.

About the Greek issue adressed in you link we discussed in previous posts a lot. That referendum was ignored by the Greek government only. The post you linked above blamed missing democracy in EU wring, since it was a pure Greek decision to ignore that referendum. Most people e.g. in Germany are not happy about that ignorance and people know they will have to pay for that. Since in EU no country can be forced to leave it was only the decision of the countries government to stay or go. Just like now with Britain - exit negotioations will start after Britain governments triggers arcticle 50. Same thing for every country here, since all countries signed the same treaties (but not all countries signed all treaties, e.g. no Schengen nor Euro currency in Britain). Similarly most other "facts" in the linked post are just wrong due to misunderstandings. EU is not a united staates and probably will never be. E.g. the French can not give up their nation as easy as the Germans did give up their currency.

All this kind of discussions I feel distract us from the more important problems we face in Europe and also elsewhere:

Lack of democracy: In EU that can only be a lack of democracy in countries with governments. In Hungary we see some problems arising. In Turkey we today see the clash between Europe and Arabia just at the Bosphorus. In Russia and Belarus we see succesfull autocratic governments - Putin made Russia great again... The democracy here is indeed challenged by sucessfull autocratic governments in the neighborhood. That success of autocrats and the difficulties to explain/understand the set-up of European Union help the international left-right-wing reactionist here.

The social questions (as it is called here - better maybe: The issues related to unfairly distributed wealth from the common fruits of the work of the people) is pushing people from the far left wing to the far right wing quickly: The "International Solidarity" means of course that solidarity with the poorest people means solidarity with poor people abroad. Not only political refugees (which have a right for asylum here) but also "economical refugees". That is a competition for poor people inside the country, because suddenly they are middle class in comparison and fear to loose their privileges for good reasons. Since our left wing parties still are also preaching internation solidarity our working class is driven towards the right wing reactionists - just like the "white trash" in USA easily walks from Sanders to Trump. So what could be a basis for international answers to the social question? I would say international treaties like European Union but not restricted to a single continent...

Economical issues: I think one can ignore them at this point. Of cours big money profited from European Union a lot - at cost of the people also in Germany. That business will become more and more difficult in the close future since with Britain the neoliberalism starts leaving Europe. Next thing to do is to fire all those former Goldman-Sachs (and other Wall street banks like Deutsche) people from political positions... Banks not only in London will be hurt. So let us ignore economics here - it is not that real anymore today.

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: July 22, 2016, 04:38:39 PM »
An article very pertinent to some of the earlier discussions in this topic.  Specifically my contention that the EU is not a democratic union but rather an autocracy.

... In 2002, the EU Constitution was rejected by 54.9 per cent of French voters and 61.5 per cent of Dutch voters, but these results were simply ignored and the Lisbon Treaty was put in place. [...].[/b]......

[...] What Europe and the world require are more internationalist alternatives based on popular sovereignty, solidarity, the improvement of workers’ conditions and the rights of citizens. Sadly, at this time there are only very few voices making such demands.
What an opinion-driven bullshit can be found again on this nakedcapitalism blog?!?

Just two examples picked: The constitution was rejected and thus there is no constitution in EU. There are treatys between countries like Lisboa Treaty.
Jim, how can such set of treaties be a democracy or autocraty? Could NATO be a democracy? Or TTIP? And if EU would be an autocracy who would be the autocrat? Junkers?? He can not do anything against the governments of the countries (the council) - even less than a president in USA, since the latter can e.g. press an important button (but can not close a jail or increase a tax...).

And then we find this conclusion: "What Europe and the world require are more internationalist alternatives based on popular sovereignty, solidarity, the improvement of workers’ conditions and the rights of citizens." What the hell is ment by this??? Like Pegida or other international aggressive reactionists? Alternatives like from the Putin-Le-Pen-axis, Erdogan concepts or more like the things Trump suggests? Or similar suggestions we hear from Italian 5 stars and also sometimes from the newly united far left-right-wing-international in Europe?

I think the blog-poster confuses democracy with plebiszites. In Swiss that may be ok to put those things together - including very precise information long before the plebiszite and open discussions in the public. But elsewhere a plebiszite is often the opposite of democracy: It is frequently used as a tool for individual policians to enforce somethings against the own or other parties - and most often it is some populistic idea which turns the plebiszite into something completely different: Just ask the French people if they think that they once voted against an European constitution. Most of the public discussions were about somethings else...

To conclude: I think I will start to ignore blog posts from nakedcaptialism from now on, since those crazy arguments and distorted propaganda drive my blood pressure and could make me write for hours, risking to do something similar to the reader of my words. I am sorry - this polarization is so wrong and keeps me&you from doing the real things.

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: July 19, 2016, 07:23:26 PM »
Yes, history was never a linear sequence of events. Not everything in the past was worse than today and "good old times" rarely were better than todays life.
However, there is always a good possibility to learn from past times and to learn from errors other people made. Unfortunately some are even not able to learn from their own recent mistakes even in case friends tell them about it (e.g. like this ).

Looking at history it seems easy to blame religion for most cruel events. But that is to short minded: It was never the religion doing something, things were done allways by the people and sometimes they used religion to motivate something. Today also other things may be used in a similar way, e.g. "its the economy, stupid", e.g. using xenophobia to motivate a Brexit, e.g. talking against globalisation to motivate french people to vote against a European constitution.

One should not blame the people to lead people into wrong directions, since they just take their chance and they can justify anything by the "good goal". Blame the people following so willingly and thoughtlessly. That is were the evil lies.

People thinking globally have a really tough time today. We were just thinking about the implications of the Brexit and how we could live together in peace and friendship. We had a very short time for that until we had to turn our head to Nice and then rapidly to Turkey, where we see another aggressive reactionist following his old plan to transform a nation into an islamic republic to become a sultan (is he really religious or does he just follow the easy way?). The internet makes the things so fast and plentyful so it is hard to stay on track - seducing people to search for simple categories (this religion, that extreme left/right wing, those rich, these refugees...) which are wrong by nature and result always in hurting other people and provoking similar harsh reactions.

It is too fast, too simple, too brutal. So let us try some de-growth of categories. Evil is who evil does.

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: July 18, 2016, 07:31:33 PM »
Quite long but well worth it.  Raises some interesting historical points as well as current issues.
Nice read. But why is such story in "America's most influential journal of religion and public life"? The 1. empire history is not explained precisely and its mixture with lord of rings and with more modern history is very odd. One could even get the impression that the battle at Lech field could have some similarity to todays difficulities between Pegida (partiotic europeans against the islamization of the Occident) and the refugees, but not much things could be more wrong... 

Only common thing I could see: More than 1000 years ago some clever people used religion to motivate people to do cruel things together (and to make Otto the emperor of the previoulsy not-so-united German nations) and similar things are happening until today. In those times people usually had only the choice between baptism with water or blood (cutting the head off). If you look what christians did to each other 1618-48 (about 1/3 of people killed in this land - larger percentage than in any WW) todays islamists of various type could be considered moderate and liberal.

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: July 06, 2016, 06:24:22 PM »
A few years ago a Turkish friend of mine suggested that the North Pole (escaping sea ice cap) will join the European Union rather than Turkey (whose EU membership negotiations had been progressing at glacial space). It rather seems - now - that the breaking polar vortex and changing jet streams are blowing the Britain towards North Pole instead. What does NSIDC models say about this outcome?  :P
Your Turkish friend seems to be a master in understatement. Since Erdogan startet to orient towards Arabia and to islamic state the EU negotiations "progressed" like the calving front of Jakobshavn isbrae. In recent times that negotiations have been collapsing like the ice in that famous movie. "To be solved issues" increase every day (freedom of press, Turkey is now part of the international civil war in the near and middle east).

Regarding "blowing Britain towards the North Pole" I do not know what NSIDC computes. The Euro (ECMWF) model shows rapidly alternating rain/hail/sun but no storm all over Europe in the near future. Long term predictions remain unstable: Mixed sun (for working people) and rain (for banks and big business) perhaps. But no storm and Britain will stay where it is since good neighborhood is, what everybody here wants.
So let us calm down, wait and we'll see. Maybe ignoring the economics wasn't a bad decision by most of the Brexetiers. The non-wealthy people did not benefit too much from the union anyway and getting a passport is not that much of a problem.

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: June 27, 2016, 10:17:28 AM »
[...]   I've been thinking about how Brexit will impact any efforts to curb AGW/CC.  In the short term, the governments of Europe are going to be forced to focus on managing Britain's exit from the EU rather than focus on Climate Change.  In the long term, a weakened EU with growing social unrest and the rise of right wing nationalist movements will not be cohesive enough to take the necessary and painful steps to address the looming threat of Climate Change.
In the short term you are surely right - everybody here is now busy with internal matters of EU. But on the long run there is a nice chance:
Now for everyone it is pretty clear, that the BS the aggressive reactionists are talking about could become a reality. And what then? What are the plans of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage now? Today it seems as if they started thinking about that right now. E.g. using a time-machine and disappear into the past?

Starting with last Friday every populist in EU will have to give complex answers on the complex questions: What are your plans if you win the BS you suggest? They are in serious trouble.

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: June 26, 2016, 05:20:46 PM »
SATire in trying to define the EU as any real democratic system one has to dance around what democratic means pretty fast.  There is next to zero accountability in Brussels and the various countries are played off each other and only select ones have much say in matters and not in a particularly democratic way at that.  Guess we will just not agree on this issue.
JimD, I did not try to define something. I tried to explain it. To make "my dance" easier to understand also for people in USA: The EU is not a state. Thus it does not matter if the EU itself is democratic. All accountability is in the governments of the states, which are the 28 democratic legitimated members and which all agreed to the treaties.

I am really tired of reading that the EU is to be blamed for this or that. Blame the governments, which made the treaties. Blame the people who elected thoose government. Blame todays government that they are not able to allow any progress. Blame todays people that they did not start the "grass root canal therapy" of the EU yet (cited words stolen from 2 Swiss authors here: ).

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: June 26, 2016, 11:10:52 AM »
I am faintly surprised that no one has brought up the possibility that Europe might be better off without Britain.  There used to be very old phrasing most recently reincarnated in Maoist literature referring to "running dogs of  capitalism." It is hard to deny that the UK has functioned as one such for the capitalists in NY and DC in efforts to weaken the European Union, most lately observed in reaction against financial and privacy controls.


Sir Humphrey Appleby: "Yes, and current policy. We had to break the whole thing [the EEC] up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn't work. Now that we're inside we can make a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch. The Foreign Office is terribly pleased, it's just like old times."

As the EU is a win-win situation the Brexit clearly is a loose-loose. EU will be left with a smaller common market and UK without any but the absolute loose is about the same. In rest EU it is just devided over more partners and thus easier to carry.

To comment about your "Britain messing up EU": Some things like that happened (e.g. blaming the German austerity the reason for Greek crisis while UK rejecting any solidarity). But others in EU acted similar quite often, too. We know each other quite well in our family. It is better to do such "messing up" in a common house, since then all have to remove the shit together after the party with some educational effects. If we are sitting all in our own houses again it is to risky that some of the houses might catch fire for some reason... 

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: June 25, 2016, 10:21:04 PM »
There is still the strange possibility, that the British parliament decides not to leave the EU just by not pressing the button of article 50. The referendum is not binding.

I have no clue what the British people would do in such case... But remember Tsipras did something like that after the referendum in Greece.

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: June 25, 2016, 09:08:34 PM »
There are nascent leave referendum campaigns in several EU states. Yes? OK, so lets look at two scenarios. 1) The EU offers the UK generous terms of access without commitment, in which case the rest of Europe's leave tendencies may be increased and the entire EU unravels. 2) The EU offers 'punitive' terms, say the 3.7% import duty (IIRC) applied to any non-EU importer from a state without an explicit agreement.

In the case of 1 you set about the destruction of the EU. In the case of 2 you set about a process that drains industry from the UK and relocates it in the EU, whilst providing a solid example that deters people from voting to leave.

Which of the two options are in the interests of the EU?

Chris, I think you can be very sure that there will be fair negotiations. Merkel and co. and even more the people want to be in good neighbourhood. So expect something similar like the deals with Norway, Swiss or Island. But of course not much better, since that would not be fair to them.

So if UK wants to participate on the common market with same rules like Norway, then UK must follow the EU regulations and continue to send money to Brussels. It is not clear to me if the English people would except that, since all the things the populists promised will not happen in that case: Polish people will stay, European people will come, all regulations will stay active (but without any chance to prevent a regulation). So negotiations will become "interesting" and I can understand that Cameron does not want to start that. Someone with "nuts" is needed.

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: June 25, 2016, 08:27:08 PM »
1.  I really liked SATire's response and would emphasize for the non-EU readers (and maybe for some of them as well I guess) is that the EU structure is not a democratic institution but rather a form of an autocracy or authoritarian political structure.  In other words the voters have lost their sovereignty to make their own decisions and this generates serious opposition even under good circumstances.  Trying to compare the EU political structure to an almost US one is way off base as they are very different animals.  Not that the US is truly democratic, but compared to the EU it is.
Thanks for the flowers. But I do not agree with with your words like "EU structure is not a democratic institution but rather a form of an autocracy or authoritarian political structure". That does not fit.

The democratically legitimated structures in Europe are the nations and only the nations. The individual governments in Europe decided to give some competences to some central bodies via a treaty between nations (e.g. Maastricht treaty). There is no European constitution and thus the European parliament can not set up the government. There was a plan to create a constitution but that was cancelled by elections in some countries.

Thus the European executive is the "European Commission" (which consists of people send from the governments of the nations) and the "Council of the European Union" (which are the prime ministers of the nations). The governments of the nations are of course democratically legitimated and the European executive is in this way, too. More details here:

You see there is no reason to blame "Brussels" or "the EU" for any European laws or flaws: Every law existing in the European Union was agreed by all governments of all the member states. If you do not like a law or regulation blame your government and elect an other one.

The problem is of course that there are 28 (soon 27) governments which tried hard to find compromises and quite often make "dirty deals" to applease some local people. E.g. we have some strange regulations about cars (worked out by the German car industry lobby and forced to law by German government)  or strange regulations about banana (to help French over-see plantages) and the "British discount". Such things are annoing but compromises are a political basis and most of the time more democratic than a simple yes/no referendum about a complex matter - such only helps populist since only they have the simple (and very wrong) answers.

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: June 25, 2016, 02:56:20 PM »
I don't know about all the intricacies involved with Brexit, but as soon as extreme right-wing folks, including climate risk deniers, who can only destroy and not build up, are all for it, I know there's a 99% chance I'm against it.

It has been found a better term describing such folks, since they are not only "extreme right-wing". Here they are called "aggressive reactional Internationale" to put them all in a bowl:

that term could also fit to Farage, Putin, Le Pen, Trump, Gauland...   

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: June 25, 2016, 01:57:05 PM »
Is that Brexit good or bad for EU, the still united K., AGW issues, and some "collapse" dynamics?

Just some thoughts without any final conclusions - such need much more time for observations:

(1) Firstly that Brexit is a great win for freedom: The existence of freedom is most clearly prooved by the possibility to decide utterly wrong e.g. against practical constraints.

(2) The Brexit is a proove, that politics still has all the power and poeple (like e.g. Merkel) stating "European unification is irreversible and without alternative" were wrong: Politicians (e.g. Cameron) did achieve that "reversion" even if they actually didn't want to do it. It is good to know that we still have all the chances and thus all responsibilities for what we do.

(3) I think the real economy will not be hit very hard by that Brexit. Of course the Banks in London and elsewhere are hit hard, the letterbox companies in Gibraltar are rendered useless and other "non-real just money stealing business models" will starve. This could be a good thing for most poeple and a bad thing for the ugly few. Other economies will win/loose a bit here and there since the pound gets cheaper but may/may not rise later - just BAU.     

(4) The freedom of people to move will be limited a bit more - not by much since UK was allready outside Schengen, thus the "flow of refugees" argument was similar BS as the "350 million pound/week"-lie. But students have more problems without Erasmus, other people will have to do the work the Polish poeple did so far, English people living at the Mediterranean may have to go back... Similarly the freedom of the people to move their money arround will be limited a bit more - which is a good thing because it is a fair consequence.

(5) For the environment on the British island the Brexit could be a giant step back - just remember how dirty England was before the European regulations kicked in. Most EU-regulations make a lot of sense since they also protect most people from the power of the few rich people. For AGW it probably could be a tie between win/loose: The benefit of a smaller economic growth could be compensated by more pollution on the island.

(6) The really bad thing for British politics: In future there is no Brussels to blame for own mistakes. They are blamed themselfes.

(7) later more from me or you...

Now there is a second electric car company in Aachen, Germany, producing SDV (small distance vehicles):
After streetscooter ( ) was bought by Post/DHL and skipping the small personal car while concentrating on the "Work" version - perfect for stop&go delivery vehicles, the people from RWTH Aachen University decided to start a new company for the small cars.

They follow the German way of cars but with pure electric fun and emotions: e.GO
Products: the small car " e.GO life" (for 2 persons, 100 km range, up to 90 km/h, 12,500 €, available autumn this year)

and the e.GO kart :-) - just take a look at the video in case you remember the go-kart:

Green BAU at its best.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: March 24, 2016, 09:59:52 PM »
hm - for me it makes no sens to discuss nuclear versus renewables. Renewables will be necessary in future anyway - with or without nuclear.

If one wants to follow Hansen (this is the subject here), then it is his opinion that fossils are faster to be reduced by using nuclear as much as possible today. Differences in opinion are obvious: Some rate the cost of nuclear waste storage and the risk of nuclear accidents higher than others. Why? I am sure it is not because of "anti science, anti nuclear political misinformation" such kind of "denial-like" propaganda wording. There must be real reasons for the differences in opinions.

I want to try to find them to clear the view here a bit:

1. The risk of an accident and its rating. The probability for accidents is low and the effect is large. Thus the "real" evaluation is difficult, also for science. So personal opinion may be valid here as basis for the rating and such ratings should be respected from both sides. It is a tie.

2. The costs of long-term storage. This is a fact everywhere in the world - the costs are very close to infinity on the long run, since the waste must be kept for geological time-frames and there is no safe permanent storage place existent. One must watch all day and take it from here to there every now and then. So why do we have different opinions about this point? Some neglect it and some take it very seriously. E.g. in France waste from nuclear power plants is considered a minor thing while in Germany it is considered a major cost effect and thread. Why?

Simple answer: Because in France nuclear waste from nuclear power plants is in fact a minor task - compared e.g. with waste from military nuclear use. Same in USA, Russia, North Korea... Nuclear waste from power plants is a small (single digit) percentage of total nuclear waste in case a nation developed the nuclear bomb.
This is obviously not the case in countries without nuclear weapons. E.g. in Germany most nuclear waste is from nuclear power plants (and a bit from medicine or research). Thus the nuclear waste problem can be reduced significantly in such countries by stepping out of nuclear. That is why the people want it so in such countries. And since a lot of countries are democracies it must be done so.

In democracies with nuclear weapons it makes not much of a difference for the local people to step out of nuclear - so they are also right in staying with nuclear. I would not call them politically misinformed (like I would say if someone in Germany says so), if they ask for more nuclear power. 

I hope that helps a bit to get over the "walls in the minds" here. In Germany nuclear just does not make sense anymore: Nuclear here was mainly usefull for "base load" (this word was invented because nuclear power plants came up). There was no real need for base load and in future there will be even less, since the "base" is energy consumption minus generation from renewables: Fluctuating extremely. All German nuclear power plants are not designed to follow load and thus they are useless - no matter how much electricity they produce. Btw - same is true (at least 50%, since it follow a bit between 50-100%) also for lignite burning and RWE is in deep trouble allready. This is the next thing to step out after nuclear, therefore.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 10, 2016, 10:42:13 PM »
Isn't lack of oil consumption from demand destruction the reason we are experiencing these price drops in the first place?
No, there is no sign of a long term decline in demand. Demand was rising the last decade and is about constant these days. So it is increasing supply especially from USA and Russia, which was not compensated by reduced supply from OPEC, which results in todays reduction of prices. I was talking about future possibilities - if (and that is a big if) nations take their promises from Paris a few weeks ago seriously, then we would see decrising oil prices for a long time. If we will only burn 50% of the oil we know of today, than prices must drop to close to the costs to pump those easiest 50% of oil. All more expensive producers just pump oil for cash flow but not for sustainable profits... Stupid thing both for AGW and for the investors, I think.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 10, 2016, 08:18:16 PM »
Oil price needed to balance budget Iran: $138 Venezuela: $120 Iraq: $114 Russia: $100 Saudi: $92 Current: $33.5

Don't know if it is valid or not, just impressive. They do not count the price to put them back in earth... !?
As the oil price drops countries like Russia and USA are just pumping more to trying to cancel that effect a bit. Strange economic behaviour but such it is. At which oil price the budget would ballanced in USA or importing countries like France or EU? Maybe the effect of oil-price is overrated if compared to the budget alone.
Let us just hope for high prices because it maybe could lower consumption. On the other hand, if all countries do what they promised in Paris some weeks ago and reduce consumption regardless of the price of oil, then oil price must go down forever... 
So I would conclude the price of oil does not matter at all in respect to AGW or GDP or such in general. The profits/losses of the producers are just cancelled by the inverted effect of the others.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 10, 2016, 08:04:23 PM »
I find this forum very refreshing as it largely has people using facts, numbers and data.  Opinions are generally stated as such.

A Tesla that replaced a 18mpg Mustang in California reduced GHG contributions by a whole lot more than a Leaf replacing a Prius in California.

Is it enough of a reduction, perhaps not, but it is a lot more than doing nothing.
Zythryn, I think JimD is quite right and if you read some of the previous pages in this thread you are able to understand that. E.g replacing a Mustang by a Tesla is not helping much. Replacing it by a Leaf would help - even a standard 75 mpg combustion car would help. Actually not the "replacing" would help but only the "buying instead". Since the scrapping of the Mustang would also be a waste of energy while selling it as a used car would not end the problems it causes.

A Tesla or such is not reasonable for driving but for sex (sports car) and crime (SUV), just like a Porsche, BMW, Mustang or actually most cars out there. If the car business would be driven by facts and reason it would be dead since the Ford T... Unfortunately it is not about driving but about emotions.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 10, 2016, 01:14:18 PM »
It is very hard to say what the best comparison is to judge the uptake rate of EVs. Some suggest we should look at the way cell phones and then smartphones took off and are now omni-present.

Here's an interesting comparison between Tesla sales growth and Porsche sales growth. I'd have never thought of this one since I thought Porsche has been around forever (but what do I know)

This may or may not be a valid comparison but it is worth noting at least.
ghoti, I think this comparison is far from valid. Porsche now is in the process of being transfered to the 4th generation of the family with interesting changes on the way (including e.g. designers and an anthroposophic educator Daniell Porsche) - but held closely behind the scenes today. In the time-frame talked about in the linked article Porsche was very profitable and able to buy Volkswagen while Tesla is succesfull in burning money. Once Tusk would rule also GM you could start thinking about similarities. Porsche and now also Volkswagen is ruled like a monarchy by the family - a big international company ruled like a medium-sized company. So the comparison you cited is just extremely cherry-picked data. You will find mainly differences between those two companies/clans if you take a bit closer look.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: December 28, 2015, 12:13:07 PM »
I really know nothing of the subject, but do this numbers include the entire decommissioning of nuclear power plants? How much energy/CO2 does it take to tear down, transport and bury 2.7 million m3 of concrete and other materials? Is this included in the 40 g/kWh number?
Neven, nobody can tell this for sure today. We do not have scientific data because the first    retreating working (? proper translation for "Rückbau", deconstruction?) is still in the work since 1995 (plant Greifswald). It is safe to say that the deconstruction takes longer and is more expensive than the construction . For the larger power plants no experience exists.

Here in Germany the operators of the nuclear power plants were forced to accumulate reserves (money) for the deconstruction. It is not clear if the money will be enough (40 billions) and if the operators will survive, since the same operators loose money everyday by burning lignite.

The storage of the radioactive materials is of course the matter of the people and their children (by law, that promise was to convince the industry to get into the nuclear boat in former days). It is likely, that we will have to take care for that waste for ever. Just take a closer look at the "ultimate disposal place" for low/medium radioactive material "Asse II" which collapsed allready and everthing has to be removed from there .

(Attached picture: nuclear waste "stored" 750 below surface, source: )

No - we do not have any scientific data for the treatment of relicts of nuclear power plants. It is just trial and error. With a lot of errors...

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 27, 2015, 06:24:01 PM »

Don't forget energy storage.   ;)

Used car batteries are tested for storage:
But personally I think that is to small scale for a country like Germany. Power-2-gas would fit better or the high power grids to Scandinavia and abroad. You know - grid is more efficient than storage in any case. We have to learn to match production and demand and it is sure it will be possible. Finally we will see what worked best at which place. But be prepared that we will not have a simple answer fitting every needs everwhere. Good answers are local actions derived from global thinking.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 27, 2015, 05:48:02 PM »
I am  in the Hansen camp and reluctantly concede that nuclear is a needed transitional technology.
It could be better to stay open for various pathways than to sit reluctantly in any camp. The transitional technology here is PV & wind & back-up with coal & gas just for practical reasons: If you would want to build a new load-following nuclear power plant in Germany it would take some decades to complete it and it most probably would never get operational. The time for nuclear is definitly over here. And soon also the time for continous coal will be over, since it just burns money.

The new coal plants will be heaviliy subsidised because they are build to wait for the times with low sun/wind. It is an enomous investion with guaranteed economic suicide because it is build as a reserve.

I think the "transition technology" window for nuclear was 1980-2000. Now it is the time for renewables + load-following fossils until we learn to match our energy demands to the variable energy production. But anyway you have to start with the technologies installed in your region and to transit from the point where you are today. We just can not change German history to the French one. And do not forget to get the people in your boat - any transition will not work if it is not desired by the people, which have to do it. And in Germany any transition with nuclear will be doomed because people will just not do it.

In France or in Belgium this is very different. For some reasons people there have no problems to run the trash-reactors like Tihange or Doel while in nearby German city Aachen people plan to store iodine in private houses because another accident is foreseeable. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 27, 2015, 12:27:07 PM »
Pity they are phasing out non carbon nuclear power due to anti science political ideology they could have aimed for the same low electricity emissions as France of just 40g/kWh.
Tombond, your wording "anti science political ideology" sounds to me like old fashioned manipulative language. This manipulation did not work and will not work here.
To make it work pro-nuclear ideological politicians first must elect a different populace agreeing to nuclear ;-)
If you want to prevent Germany from exiting coal just let them choose between nuclear and coal. No - we have to exit both technologies producing waste which must kept for geological timeframes, since neither for CO2 nor for radioactive waste we have a working storage solution today. Even France, which has the advantage of "dual use" for nuclear, is going to reduce nuclear in the near future.

Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« on: December 04, 2015, 05:47:53 PM »
Maybe this "German"-post is also a bit off-topic, since the German "Energiewende" is not only related to CO2 emissions.
Please keep in mind while judging the transition in Germany, that the first goal here is to get out of nuclear. Hansen does not like it and maybe you do not like it for good reasons, too - but the German people want it that way and German people pay the electricity bill. Without the nuclear-exit people would not have paid for the initial ramp-up of renewables.

Today people are pretty aware that coal (especially lignite - which is extremly CO2 intense compared to black coal) is the next thing to exit. Vattenfall wants to sell its lignite in Germany (but unfortunately not to Greenpeace - they really bidded about 0€ for it). RWE lost 80% of its previous value and is about to split the lignite & nuclear business as E.on did last year. Lignite is the next to die after nuclear. But politics (and communal owners of RWE) try to delay that for various local reasons.

Furthermore keep in mind that we do not need "base load" power stations (basically nuclear and lignite here) anymore. There is not such a thing like "base-load" in a grid with renewables. Consumption minus production from renewables floats between zero and 40 GW - thus only tunable dynamic power plants are necessary. Last comment: High power grids are much more efficient than storage. So an European answer is needed to address fluctuations just because that is easier and cheaper than any local national answers to problems (as allways...).   

Back to Paris: I hope we could start to do what we promised in Rio & Kyoto allready. That was much more than we can hope for this time. Sorry - but it did not work well the last decades for any international agreements.   

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: September 27, 2015, 08:48:49 PM »
Switzerland already forbid the sale of VW diesels, and Germany will ban the sale and use of diesel VWs if a very good answer is not received by October 7 2015:

People like the top management of VW is really hurting the capitalist ideology in a big way, Karl Marx must be spinning in his grave!!!!
It is looking like we will get that answer in time next week:

A recall campaign is in preparation to fix the emission-issue free of monetary cost. But probably power will be reduced and fuel consumption will be increased. Using the same engine improvement in emissions must result in worsening of the other two goals...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: September 24, 2015, 01:40:47 PM »
I happened upon a discussion of the VW story on the financial channel CNBC yesterday.  After they noted all major automobile stocks were taking a hit, they turned to what stocks could benefit, and two analysts surprised each other by saying, "Tesla" (a company which is habitually denigrated by most stock traders).
Analysts should mention some Chinese car manufacturers. The future electric vehicle will be made in China - but perhaps the marketing/branding will come from Apple or other "pure image companies". It is safe to ignore Tesla, I think. Maybe Tesla can overtake Porsche one day but maybe even not that.

edit: In future maybe the software for automatic driving will still come from Germany. Todays "assistance systems" and control software are very sophisticated and able to cheat also a lot of other things short of emissions...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: September 24, 2015, 10:20:28 AM »
Ugh, that's not necessarily a good thing. Diesel engines are considerably more efficient than petrol (and last considerably longer). True, I'd like to see them all replaced by electric, but the infrastructure and price just aren't quite there yet.

And if you read the original test BMW achieved lower emissions even without cheating.
And if you read further in the study ordered by the German ICCT last year ( ) and also the sources from VW (Volkswagen) then you see, that VW safed 200 € per car (for the additional catalysator) using that cheating software instead to get the permission from EPA.

So: It is not the diesel technology to blame but the _very_ stupid decisions and the marketing of VW USA. They safed 200 $ and payed 22 billion share loss, surely a significant fine, expensive repair of a lot of cars and a broken image...

This desaster may well be a turning point of the car industry. Expect news from other companies in the next week since they will measure real world emissions in other diesel and petrol cars soon. Winterkorn (head of VW, the world largest car manufacturer in 1st half of 2015) left allready and other things will change, too.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: September 21, 2015, 12:48:18 PM »
The Volkswagen-scandal is a giant one. Today it is not clear if Volkswagen USA will survive this - it could be better to close the business there and to stay away from this niche market for small efficient (but obviously not so clean) cars. 18 billion fine and only 30 billion turnover last year and sureley less in future - that does not make any sense anymore. Say good by to the "peoples car" in USA.

It will be in the interest of the company to put the responsibles in jail. The bad thing is the damage to the efficient diesel injection technology in general - it is dead in USA now because of that scandal. Sorry for the other car manufactures and for the planet...

So jail for the responsible persons is a necessity for all parties.

Policy and solutions / Re: Can We Save Capitalism?
« on: August 26, 2015, 03:33:37 PM »
Loving to take the opportunity for free will (look at Martin above) please let me point to some major flaws of current economy in capitalism:

We need "return-on-invest", thus the "invested money" has to "earn its wage". Otherwise you do not want to invest that money but rather consume it just today and everything would be fine. This is not the flaw but the principle of capitalism (therefore, I do not even mind if I like that or not...).

Now to the first flaw of the concept: You all are aware that a local investment has global effects (e.g. CO2...). These effects are not acounted for in the bussines tables (RoI calculations) and thus are consequently ignored by the people with money and by the people with ideas. That tables have to be extended by including externalized costs. Laws could be made to convert that to internal costs directly. But a reasonable person should do the calculation anyway to recognize that extra profit the society gives him today for free - since he does not want to get default once that flaw is fixed.

The major flaw is the ignorance of the time scale. In "normal times" a healthy human person wants to build something for the children (and a king wants a pyramid or megalithic grave for "eternity"). So "human nature" would naturaly look at a time scale of the order of 100 years for such return-on-invest before he builds that new house or makes this new business.
Today people look at shorter time-scales like 5 years or even only a quarter of a year. Why? Under which situation is it "human nature" to look short term? Answer: In a crisis. If you do not know if you have enough to eat next winter then you are not looking at the future of your children anymore, since they would be dead if you failed to manage next winter.

So what is the second flaw? Somehow wealthy people in a capitalist system think that they are in a crisis situation and thus can not think for any later consequences. I would love to point my finger to the precise causes for this common misinterpretation. But I am just guessing possible causes: "unemployment" or potential competition looking so dangerous or putting it with Steve Jobs: "Only the paranoid survive". People feel existential risk even if it is actually not existential in any way und thus behave like psychopaths ... 

And what is missing? The "sustainable" look: Calculation of return-on-invest and risk management on a time-scale of >1000 years. You may say that no human ever would look at such time-scale and that by no means you can establish any laws to be valid that long. You are wrong: Quite a few people today are relying on rules written in a book more than 1000 years old and e.g. Aborigine people were able to lock an Uranium source on an even longer time. The "human nature" has well prooven tools for that time-scale: Culture, taboo, religion, saga...     

Those things are all not specific for capitalism. But here we have capitalism so we must transform the old prooven tools and put them in todays tools like business plans, return-on-invest calculations and risc accessment. Not a big deal actually.

Policy and solutions / Re: Can We Save Capitalism?
« on: August 26, 2015, 01:08:12 PM »
But what if there's a cap on wealth and property? Wouldn't that take away the stimulus to strive for ever more wealth?
Neven, I would love such kind of cap on wealth and property. However as things are usually done these days such thing would just be a stimulus to accumulate the property and wealth at a remote place with different law e.g. like London or Singapura or some caribbean islands. Even powerful "communist" were able to do such things...

I think capitalist systems with constitutional state law could prohibit "robbery from future people" and "robbery from people in other countries" in just the same way as they prohibit "robbery from people in same system" today. This kind of "human nature" can be regulated easily in any society and is not a problem specific to capitalism.

Policy and solutions / Re: Can We Save Capitalism?
« on: August 25, 2015, 03:54:52 PM »
Hm... Since I have the "ideological burn-out" syndrome and see no reason to seak for a cure for that syndrome I wish that your question was "Can We Make Capitalism Save?" instead of "Can We Save Capitalism?"

Why? Because there is so much "capitalism" in the world and because the "capitalist systems" produce most of the green house gases it is necessary that this is changed asap.

I do not think that transforming groups with capitalism to "communism" or "socialism" would help. It is evident, that such transformation would increase the emission of green hous gases instead. E.g. lots of the efficiency gains and CO2 reductions obtained in Germany since 1990 resulted from transformation of a the "socialism part" to capitalism. Capitalism is obviously quite good in avoiding waste of ressources in comparison. However, there are many "not so capitalistic" groups beeing much more efficient.   

Thus it should be feasible to make a "quite efficient" system more efficient e.g. to make capitalism save or sustainable.

I see large potential to make capitalism save by looking at the two big problems capitalism produces today and I think that must be changed. Actually that is only one problem: Capital is a means of production and thus it must create profit, which someone has to work for somewhere else. For the case that this "somewhere else" is meaning another person somewhere else Marx wrote a good piece about that which is still accepted to fit well with all the consequences.
But actually that is "climate neutral" in the sense, that wealth is just transfered from the poor to the rich wich does not result in more emission of e.g. CO2. Maybe it even results in less emission because e.g. 1 very rich cruising a big yacht would emitt less than 1000 people driving a middle class car. But anyway that emission is not related to capitalism directly. Instead you could make "CO2 content in atmosphere" a limited ressource with a fix limit and capitalism could make use of markets to efficiently "respect the natural limit" at least on average or in the sum of all people (with some kind of uneven distribution according to the specific set-up of the system).

But there is a second aspect for the case that the person who has to work for the profit of the capital is not apart in space but in time (so space was the first addressed above)! I think that is the major flaw ignored today. A lot of leverage tricks are used in "financial products" to steal money or employee's wages not only from people somewhere else but from people living in the future. So the rich man is not only stealing from the poor man but also from his own and other peoples children! Evidence for such things happening in reality are manifold: E.g. accumulation of "government debt" (future tax payer shall pay that), use of energy systems were electricity is produced and used today but wast storage must be maintained for 100.000 years (e.g. nuclear power), emission of CO2 by burning coal, which was stored savely in the ground and future generations shall get that out of atmosphere and store in safely again, use of antibiotics in farming to get cheap meat today but rendering medicine against infections useless in future (antibiotic resistant pathogenic organisms)...

To demonstrate the illness of todays exaggeration I want to refer to some discussions we had in the cars-thread recently: While cars got more and more efficient by adding complexity people decide to use the efficiency margin to get bigger and faster cars with the main objective to enhance the chance for reproduction (biological). At the same time (if succesfull) they reduce the chances of the results of that reproduction to survive... This problem is probably not inherent to capitalism but typical.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse marches on
« on: August 23, 2015, 07:17:15 PM »

The internal link was clearly oriented towards 'machines' in the hardware sense.  But 'machines' can also be referring to all kinds of structures in the markets, financial systems, mechanisms for governing, banking, politics and such.  This is the types of complex mechanisms I was orienting towards.  These systems are very complex and as our civilizational structures have become more 'advanced', if you will, all of these types of non-mechanical mechanisms have had to also become increasingly complex to deal with the additional failure modes each level of complexity brings weith it.  Management and administrative overhead grows faster with increasing complexity than the benefits which are delivered by that additional complexity. 

An example from my own experience.  I spent many years as one of the USG's 'soldiers' in the fight against various terrorist entities.  There was a system in place, budgets, personnel, many organizations, a complex web of contacts, arrangements with a host of non-US actors and so on.  Just what you would expect.  A significant, but not existential, problem was being dealt with.

From Yves post

how complex systems are prone to catastrophic failure, how that possibility is held at bay through a combination of redundancies and ongoing vigilance, but how, due to the impractical cost of keeping all possible points of failure fully (and even identifying them all) protected, complex systems “always run in degraded mode”.

So this is where we were at on the morning of Sept 11, 2001.  And the system failed anyway.  Yes we were running in degraded mode, but like Yves says the cost of having total security is impractically high. 

What was the response on a global civilizational level?  We added in a HUGE number of additional levels of redundant security systems.  Added complexity, huge costs, very small additional benefits.  Think the dept of Homeland Security, militarizing police forces, the stupid stuff at the airports and dozens of other measures.  Then we also engaged in a couple of wars which lasted 10-13 years and ended up in inconclusive states, but were the genesis for the rise of ISIS.  And the creation of additional civilizational failure modes which are far worse than the ones all this added effort since 9-11 was intended to deal with.  Our reaction to a failure was to beggar ourselves and destroy a vast amount of wealth - to no effect other than to make ourselves weaker and more fragile.

So I would posit that, No, adding additional much more complex layers of mechanisms on top of the vast number of civilizational structures we have now will NOT make our civilization more stable.  Just the opposite.  Civilization is not analogous to ecosystems.  Complexity works in opposite directions in their respective worlds.  An ecosystem which is complex is clearly where you want to be.  A civlization which is complex (especially extremely complex) is very fragile.

Globally we are in a position of declining per capita wealth and our ability to pay for the many levels of mechanisms is becoming more constrained every day.  That 'degraded' mode which Yves referred to is getting more degraded all the time.  This means we are hanging on the edge of complex system failures all over the place.

Some are going to happen and they will have big effects.  We are at the point where dealing with further shocks like this means we will have to let go of other layers of redundancy elsewhere in order to pay for the new ones.  If Bin Laden were alive today and you could ask him who won the confrontation between Al Queada and the US he would not hesitate to say that he won.  I happen to think that as well.

So in my frame of reference we not only have the Black Swans which have the possibility to stair step us down the collapse slope we have the above types of complex systems failures to think about and maybe plan for dealing with as they will take us down that slope also.
Yes, JimD - in my first answer to your link I referred to that internal article, which I understood is dealing with machines and plants and such. That article is not right in my opinion as I described. Thus I tried to use the same systematics for other complex systems (I choose ecology and human civilization) because I thought you (JimD) were doing something similar.

But now it is clear you ment something different from machines but also different from the systems I have in mind. You are actually talking about some kind of "war system" or "terror fighting system" while I was silly enough to think it was about a tower not designed stable enough to survive a plane crash (which is ridiculous).

Now I have to admitt that for that special system (war system) increasing complexity is indeed the road to collapse. Of course - because war is not a part in nature so all of the things I were talking about are not appropriate. And you are right - that "war system" answered 9/11 with wars (what else) letting the complete region collapse (e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Lybia and others indirectly affected). That war system in US is truely too complex and results in collapse.

For all other "natural" systems complexity is beneficial. And I would also include mechanical systems, machines and plants into that systematics as well as political systems, culture and just everything usefull or necessary for interactions between humans and other living things. All such systems should be complex in the sense that a multitude of different versions should exist at different places and times and also complex enough also on its own so that each system is highly efficient and not harming humans or other living things. Actually that is just natural sense and nothing strange. Some few civilizations just forgot some important aspects and thus we have a problem now.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse marches on
« on: August 23, 2015, 01:12:58 AM »
I believe JimD is referring to Joseph Tainter's theory on collapsing civilisations. Complexity increases energy use, and because complexity keeps growing (because it has to solve problems growing out of complexity) energy use keeps growing too. At some point there's not enough energy available to further or even maintain complexity, and collapse ensues.

And this is where your analogy, SATire (which is good BTW, I had never thought of it that way), is off. Ecosystems respect limits - like available energy through photosynthesis - and so complexity has a limit too. Humans don't respect limits, have massively increased energy use by digging up stored energy, and thus massively increased complexity and consequent problems.

There is an overshoot of complexity, but like you say complexity is not the problem, it's the energy required to maintain it that is the problem.
Neven, we should try to hit the nail and not everything else, too.

You say, complexity requires energy. That is true - like in entropy. But that energy is not the problem. You could also blame momentum, mass or any other physical quantity. Actually complexity needs not only energy but also time. Time is important to set up complex things, e.g. a very rich culture based on music, art, literature... is complex but would not harm the planet. 

Respecting limits is close to the point. Respecting all other life-forms as much as oneself is maybe a bit closer. Respecting the complexity of nature (which includes oneself) and increase it instead of steamroll it is what I believe would hit the nail.

Reading sites like "naked capitalism" and ignoring the often very strange comments there it looks like the complex financial system / political system may be the problem. But the financial system is not complex anymore - it is the same stupid thing nearly all over the planet and it is very easy (maybe too simple) to move the money arround the planet and to do harmful things. A more complex financial system consisting of various different machanisms e.g. not all based on easy money would probably help. And I can not see why energy is the problem behind the financial system - I think our monocultural financial system is just exploiting the "free energy stored in history" to make profit. Therefore, not the complexity needs energy but the simple system we established world-wide results in extensive energy use. Just exchange it by a more complex financial system (which looks not only for the financial year but for longer time scale) could help. Making it more simple would make it just easier to do stupid things while looking good.

Political systems are actually systems created by the people - so actually not energy based. But today those systems have to play under the rules of above simple financial system.

Maybe in the next days I could explain the idea what I mean by "a more complex financial system".  But today I want to close that the problem is not the complexity, not the technology nor somethings else. The problem is what we do with all our abilities. No ideology and no fighting any other ideology will help us.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse marches on
« on: August 22, 2015, 05:57:45 PM »
In the post from JimD above failure of a complex system was discussed. So I would like to ask if complexity is the problem and if complexity could result in any kind of collapse related to AGW or such things discussed here. I think the opposite is the case: Increasing complexity would reduce the risk for such collapse and help us to learn to live with changes like consequences from AGW.

In ecology it is well known, that a complex ecosystem with large diversification with a multitude of interdependencies between species is a very stable ecosystem. In very simple ecosystems instead the death of a single species may have dramatic effects on the others resulting in unstabilities and high risk for collapses. E.g. arctic ecosystems are much more vulnerable than natural ecosystems in temperate regions. Nature grows to as high complexity as possible and that should be proove enough, that complexity is not a problem but a natural goal.

For example in agriculture: A monoculture on a dead soil is a very unstable system. Small changes in precipitation, the wrong herbicide or a transfer of a resistance-gene to a weed and the system collapses. This kind of simple but unstable modern agriculture can not last for longer than some decades and kills also more complex agricultures in the neighborhood. Collapse of such simple systems is imanent and the next simple system must be in development to sell it in that case. On the other hand an organic agriculture with intact complex ecology is stable and can be done sustainable (that means: for ever).

I think the same is true for human civilizations: The human brain is asking for complexity - no one wants to live the simple life in a jail. If you think about collapse and how to deal with the consequences of AGW then what could help us best is increasing complexity of our civilizations. At least we must prevent that the diversification of our civilizations is reduced further. That is actually our main problem: More and more people are doing the same things in the same way and we are at risk to becoming like a very simple monoculture of only one human civilzation - that is of course very dangerous and unstable. Instead we should continue to have different civilizations and different ways to do things and the eat things and to do different religions, economics and techniques and such.

For example we should skip the word "developed nation" or "undeveloped country" at all. Because "developing other civilizations" includes the risk that at other places things are done in the same way and thus most probably wrong way. Instead we should learn from other civilizations alternative way of living and learn cultural recieps for living in peace with nature or even to learn, that we are just part of the nature and thus the "living in peace with nature" is actually non-sense. In this context let me refer to Alberto Acosta, since he describes the wealth of a multitude of civilizations from a perspective of people, who managed for allready 500 years to survive the attempts for colonisation/development ("Buen vivir" - at least a spanish version should exist, too. Otherwise, maybe look here for the baiscs: )

To conclude: We need as much complex human systems as possible. We are different and do different things and that is the best way to stay tuned for any changes. Any reduction of complexity and any simplifications/generalizations expose us to great risks - since that standardized way of living will surely be the wrong way at other places or at other future circumstances.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse marches on
« on: August 22, 2015, 03:12:15 PM »
This seems like a good place to drop this item.

Below is a good primer on how complex systems fail.  We are not talking about Black Swan types of failure but rather failure in complex systems which are known to be at failure risk and where we have already taken extensive precautions to prevent it.  But it happens anyway.  Why?  Think here of airplane accidents, space craft crashes, 9-11, stock market crashes, nuclear accidents and the like.

The highly complex technological civilization we are running is easily the peak of human generated complexity. 


because you drop this link here in the context with "collapse" and "AGW in general" I want to take a chance and drop some of my thoughts.

After reading that pdf-arcticle in the link you provided I am quite sure, that the authors are talking about machines and plants and such when they are talking about complex systems: Most of the points they address would probably be wrong if such complex system would be some kind of ecological sytem or human cultural system.

So I believe you overstrech the message of that article when you claim "The highly complex technological civilization we are running is easily the peak of human generated complexity." by a wide margin.

Personally (a person building machines many others would consider "complex", e.g. 3D printers not for plastics but for real things) I am sure that each proper designed complex system is expected to fail some day and the complete risc assessment is an important part of the manual and the training of the customer.
To get a bit nearer to collapse I have to think about complex systems, which may harm a lot of people in case of failure. Think e.g. a nuclear power plant in an area with possible tsunami or the release of a genetically modified life-form in an area, from which it might spread out of any control. The use of such systems must be decided by all people concerned and not only "the buyer".
In case your law is "follow-up care" (e.g. you may do anything what is not forbidden by actual law) instead of "precaution" (e.g. you have to get a permission before you do such dangerous things), then there could be some useful information in that linked article: It could motivate reasonable laws.

But for really complex systems (human generated complexity or such) I am sure the points in that article are not working. Perhaps I will try to explain that below.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse marches on
« on: August 21, 2015, 12:02:14 PM »
Illegal immigrants into Europe (counting Greece as part of Europe for arguments sake)

What is happening at Calais is chump change.
Just to make it clear: A lot of immigrants in EU are from Syria. Those are clearly not illegal but have a right for asylum (they are bombed by their own people and additionaly from abroad - e.g. Assads Christians are bombed by IS from Iraq, IS people are bombed by US and Kurds are bombed by Turkey). We have to take them all and to spread them homogenously over EU countries (short of Hungaria or UK, which have problems with that...). In Germany we expect 800.000 this year - we will have to learn to live with that since we should expect more problems as AGW gets more severe...

This is a much more important problem than all the financial issues or debt discussions we are wasting our time and power for in EU.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 17, 2015, 06:34:23 PM »
"The great diesel car deception"
That is true only without catalyst and particulate filter:
You can not get a new car without that. Without catalyst and particulate filter also old diesel cars are not allowed to be used in several European cities.

Please remember: It is not the technology to blame. It is the way you use any technology, which may be bad or good. Using a Diesel engine without filter is "bad".

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 17, 2015, 05:40:56 PM »
(Also, perhaps, electronic devices are replacing the entertainment and social benefits they used to get from cruising???)
Such observation is also possible here (I have children in that age): A lot of young people do not even make a driver licence - that was a no-go in may generation, since that was considered abstinence from freedom. Furthermore younger people are using car sharing more often and I do not see them washing or repairing cars at all- somehow cars do not have the same sex-appeal any more. Instead social nets seem to be much wider and much more important. Maybe people with big cars are looking quite old now...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 16, 2015, 05:11:04 PM »
Is the Model XXL comparable to a Humvee, because that's what I need to make sure the eggs from the supermarket don't break.
:o  --  ;D

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 16, 2015, 02:39:24 PM »
Sorry, SATire, I misunderstood your comment.  (And honestly, this wasn't the first time that has happened, so I've learned my lesson.)

We need to make the inefficient cars "socially unacceptable" as Neven suggested and we need politics to ban the big cars from our cities. The cars consume to much of our space and air and limit our freedom to walk at the places we want to life and work.
That all sounds good -- until you hear from the mom who needs to drive six of the neighbors' kids to day-care every day.  Or the volunteer who takes groups of senior citizens to museums and movies, or to mall for the air conditioning on extreme heat days. Or the hobby farmer who needs to get a big load of produce to a city market.  Or the supplier delivering equipment to the hospital.  A big car can be more efficient than a truck in many situations.

Before banning all big cars, we need to be sure adequate alternatives are in place.  Perhaps in the future that will be the case, but it is not so today. 

If you don't like my idea of a surcharge on less efficient / less sustainable vehicles, please explain how you would make big cars "socially unacceptable."
no problem. Misunderstandings are normal in international discussions so we need to explain a bit more than at home.

The alternative to big cars, sportscars and SUV are small efficient cars, which are well in place.

I like your idea of surcharge of less efficient cars - e.g. higher tax on gasoline and electricity proportional to CO2 emission. But I have learned that this is "impossible" in USA because the government is so weak it can not tune taxes. Strange for me but I try to accept.

So a work arround would be some kind of a "environmental badge":
But of course not only for particle emission but for CO2 emission, too. E.g. with following example for future banning:
If your car produces < 100 g/km or <160 g/mile (EV or combustion does not matter), you get a green badge and you may enter every place with that car.

For 100 g/km - 150 g/km (average new car here), you get an yellow badge and you are not allowed to enter areas with high population e.g. city centers.

With a red badge (>150 g/km or >240 g/mile) you may not enter any city. Such cars are for working in the forrest or in rural areas only. If you find any electric SUV with less than 240 g/mile, you are welcome ;-)

Let me cite from Bob's post #202 here: "Electricity EV U.S. Mix..........333" (g/mile) -> pretty red badge...

The other not so legal way to demonstrate "social unacceptance" is cut the tire. In former days e.g. the red color on fury worked fine to get the attention of the people. Just for the case your government is too lame such action could be a work arround.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 16, 2015, 12:26:53 AM »
Yes, you are right with that citations. If the electric energy is produced from renewables, EVs are less carbon emitting than efficient 100 g CO2/km combustion cars. So in Norway that is the case today. In Germany it is not yet. In USA that it is not in 10 years.

If you buy a EV today and use it for 10 years in your country - what do you think is the CO2 emission per km? Compare that with that 100 g/km. Add the extra that is used to produce the battery - will it be better over the life-time of that car?

And now consider that you buy an electric sportscar or SUV or such - you are out and people will cut the tires of your car and they are right doing so. It is not about which technology you use but it is about how you use the existing technologies. Do the right thing. Blame the people doing the wrong things. That's all. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 15, 2015, 11:10:59 PM »
Because the electric SUV produces (to make that electricty and the battery) double as much CO2 than an efficient combustion car. ...

SATire, please state your source for this claim.  The only study I find that has not been debunked is this one by Renault, which found that the EV's production+use footprint became less than the gasoline or diesel versions over time:
Sigmetnow - I presented the links and calculation on page 5 in this thread. In case you think that those Renault cars are working for US people I would be very happy and a bit surprised...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 15, 2015, 10:20:51 PM »
[...] People buy these vehicles substantially due to the effects of consumer marketing (whose purpose is just to increase profits for car companies).  They also buy them for the perverted reasons of safety.  There are so many huge vehicles on the road that they feel in danger in a small car - legitimately.  So it is like an arms race.  The real solution of course is to get rid of the excess big vehicles and go towards smaller not bigger. 

JimD - I see I was way too implicit above. To make it clear also for U.S. people reading here: The reason to buy a premium car or a big SUV or sportscar is just: Sex. No reason. Sex. Look at the commercial I mentioned above, it is not about sustainable or reason or such:

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 15, 2015, 07:42:30 PM »
I'm missing something here - possibly because I've never driven an SUV.

Why is an SUV socially unacceptable if it is electrically powered? I concede that a larger vehicle uses more road space and contains more raw material than a much smaller one, but is this what the fuss is about?

Because the electric SUV produces (to make that electricty and the battery) double as much CO2 than an efficient combustion car. And that is not healthy for arctic sea ice, the planet and us people. And all that without any reason if used in the city... If you need it to carry treas in the forrest, that would be acceptable, I think.

No - those inefficient cars are burning also my last pice of carbon. Therefore burning more carbon than necessary is an insult for other people. And the necessary amount is that produced by the most efficient cars and thus well below 100g/km today. Most electric cars can not do that and electric SUV would double that easily...

edit: Maybe compare that issue with SUV and other inefficient cars with smoking again: One reason to ban smoking was the danger of passive smoking. So the smoker does not harm only himself but also other people. The same is true with CO2 emission: Producing CO2 is not only dangerous for my children but for all other peoples children as well. So maybe in a few years people will not spray colour on furry but cut the tires of SUV - just to render them nonhazardous for a while...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 15, 2015, 01:30:47 PM »
Hey, SATire, the BMW i3 is a fantastic car!  I never said it wasn't.  And the thousands of U.S. owners would no doubt agree.  I also didn't say the Model S is the best.  (But oh-so-many car experts did!  ;D )

Anyway, the Nissan LEAF beats all models for global sales, which may indicate that it is currently closest to the "sweet spot" for price versus capability. Over 170,000 sold world-wide, the Nissan LEAF is the best-selling electric vehicle in history.
Sigmetnow - I think it could be that the marketing experts catched you. Please reconsider your rating of cars by thinking about it with your brain and not feelings/image/or other parts of your body. The i3 may be better than Model S and others, but it is far away from good or even fantastic! "Better" means just a little bit less bad. Of course the Leaf is better than the i3 by reason. The i3/i8/Model S are not made for reasonable driving but for other things. For some other things than driving such cars work "fantastic", indeed. Please take a look at that i8 film - it demonstrates very clear what these kind of cars are made for and that is not driving or sustainability...

As to the idea of car-shaming SUVs and sports car owners, I'll just say that most technological advancements are first developed for high-end, very expensive cars, and the technology "trickles down" to mundane, everyday vehicles.  This includes safety improvements as well as efficiency.  Pretty sure we don't want to stop that.

Maybe we develop a rating that uses sustainable construction and energy efficiency to determine a surcharge.  If a car company develops a large car that is just as earth-friendly as a small sedan, that is a good thing for people who need a bigger car on a daily basis.  (Otherwise, rent one when needed!)
Funny, that you call the difference between costly premium cars and more efficient cheap cars technological advancements. All the things included in the high-end cars are not "good new sustainable technologies" but "innovations" invented to increase profit or to convince people to buy something that is actually useless. As explained in my previous post it is all about "innovations" and not about "progress" nor "advancements" in the car business.

I want to give one real example of progress in the car business:
But only the business-world is buying some cars with reason - so only the "work" version is now commercially available and a success. The really efficient SDV (small distance vehicle) did not attract enough people to start production, yet. Even in this forum Neven was the only one interested in that car... So: We need to make the inefficient cars "socially unacceptable" as Neven suggested and we need politics to ban the big cars from our cities. The cars consume to much of our space and air and limit our freedom to walk at the places we want to life and work.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: August 13, 2015, 06:52:49 PM »
Nice. So they have found a direct way around that strange U.S. tax issue to fix the problem... Just assuming that "beyond petroleum" is also spilling fracking oil and now cancelling the oil price drop on its own...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 13, 2015, 06:13:28 PM »
Not only SUV. Take a look at the video on that page (scroll down a bit):

If anybody thinks he wants to buy that car because of sustainability then I'd wonder with which part of his body he is thinking. Surely not the brain...

I think it should be quite easy to supress such marketing just like smoking commercials.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 13, 2015, 04:25:00 PM »
Sigmetnow, you are right that people buy the car they want and not the car that is "good". Same is true in Germany - but here "premium" is prefered while in USA it is "size". That is just a matter of taste and both are bad in terms of CO2. EV does not help in a SUV just like common rail does not help, if it must be 200PS...

So in USA they hype EV for silly reasons (and pay subsidies to get it on the road) while here they have clean diesel fuel (with lower tax than lighter gasoline...), so the diesel injection is possible and that is more CO2-efficient than EV. Furthermore the tast is different: In USA you may use automatic cars - which is a no-go for a real German man (unless it is tiptronic like in Formular 1). Similarily the noise is important - a turbo diesel sounds just different then an EV.

But then you have that 10% of rich Green BAU'ers / hipster / "young creative urban professionals" and the marketing experts find that nice "sustainability niche market". That is adressed nicely e.g. by BMW i3. You see, the "German premium car manufacturers" do not have to worry about Tesla - that Musk-company will probably never have any economic success. What they worry about is an Apple starting to build a car - because that company understands very well how you can make money with "premium image"...

If you think now all my words sound silly and strange: You are totally right. All the car business is about image, life-style and feeling. There is not a tiny little bit of reason inside. Same for Tesla EV and even for the way more sustainable BMW i3.

I have to point to that again, because I know that it is difficult to discuss critical about the home-countries' cars - you know, that is the feelings thing. So maybe if you look at the marketing of the BMW i3, then you could be able to think more clearly about EV's and why they are not really good today. So please take a look and find the lies in the other country:

As in most technologies EV's are not bad because the EV-technology is bad. They all just make bad cars today. Same is true for all other technologies out there. We do not need any new technology anymore to rescue the world (but we may progress the technologies with fun - but that is not condition to stop AGW, I say). We just need to stop doing wrong things and start doing right things with the technolgy. And if people do not want to stop "bad things" then educate and force them. Just like in case of similar feeling/image issues people may have: Smoking, throwing briks in windows of banks, stealing other peoples property/wife/... or things written in that bible.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: August 12, 2015, 06:34:26 PM »
A couple posts up there is a link about how the Saudi's are doubling down on their effort to gain market share and crush the high cost producers.

Well it looks like the US fracking industry is also doubling down.  With money getting tighter and tighter now we are seeing the big oil field service companies becoming the lender of last resort. 

Deep desperation.  This could go so wrong.  The phrase "Don't try to catch a falling knife." comes to mind.

...The “frack now pay later” model that Reuters described consists of companies like Halliburton or Schlumberger covering the cost of drilling a well in exchange for a portion of the well’s production....

This concept is making me so angry. They leverage everything multiple times into the future or to other poor people far away. There are way to many ill financial concepts today:
* drill now and pay later
* debt results in the need for cash flow. The cheaper the oil the more you spill out. Could that really help to bring prices up again or any benefit?
* then they'll go default and the lunch must be paid by other people (e.g. rescue a bank or two...)
* Since the people do not want to spend the money, the nation makes some debt

So a few people are now running away with a lot of money they did not work for and your children will have to
* pay back the stolen money 3 fold plus some fantasy interest rate
* life in an AGW world a bit earlier
* not burn any oil/carbon/... anymore
* produce char coal but can not use it because they must bury it to remove the CO2 from sea/atmosphere...

Shouldn't we change some rules today? Since in USA actually most of the produced oil is also consumed in the same nation there should be zero effect of any changing oil price. The current loss of the oil-producers is the gain of the consumers - so you may cancel all effects by adjusting 2 tax rates. If there only were no "financial industry" sucking like mosquito from real working people...

edit: Please understand me right - I am not a fracking fan-boy. Instead I am on the side of the Saudis: The last few tons of oil we may burn should be high EROEI (energy return on energy invested) to minimize CO2. So they should kick out all the dirty oil producers now, spill their easy stuff some more time and then it shall be "oil over" for everybody in the world (just dreaming...).

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 11, 2015, 06:17:53 PM »
Example: rooomy seating for 4 by facing the front seats backwards, once automomous cars no longer have steering wheels, or transmission floor humps.
like that one: ? A first class seat with table in the train is way faster and better. But that Mercedes "solution" would actually compare to an old luxury car with own driver...

No - Tesla is not needed. Its cars are way worse (in terms of sustainability) than the products of conventional car manufacturers and even their cars are not efficient enough for green BAU. The cars are optimized for feeling and image - just like your SUV's but including that "green image" without real sustainability. But they claim that sustainability image - they are closer to the truth than Musk but still far enough to call them liars. Look at that by yourself and compare:
(edit: Found the english version)

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