Final Warning Limits to Growth

24 11 2016

Just when I thought I knew it all regarding Limits to Growth, along comes this one year old little doco produced by DW. What I particularly liked about this one is its historical perspective on the complete lack of action during the past forty years…..

In 1972, the study ‘Limits to Growth’ warned against the impact of capitalism. Did anyone act on it? It shows that Capitalism lies at the root of problems such as overpopulation and environmental pollution, yet few seem to be aware of the connection.

After its publication in 1972, the Club of Rome’s study, “Limits to Growth,” came to epitomize a historical turning point. The book calls into question the fundamental principle of the American economic ideology of capitalism, with its insatiable pursuit of growth. However, the work did not just pillory contemporary practices. It also warned of the extremely diverse and massive consequences for all of humanity. Although there is scarcely any doubt as to the validity of the study and its 1992 successor, “Beyond the Limits,” governments worldwide have done very little to solve the major problems. Topics such as overpopulation, environmental pollution, depletion of resources, and consumption are now familiar to everyone, but few people are aware of the impact they can have in the context of exponential growth on Earth, and therefore on all of humanity. This documentary sheds light on the effect the work has had on public perceptions in the past four decades.

Date 25.11.2015 Duration 42:30 mins.

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51 responses

24 11 2016
Chris Harries

Profoundly interesting. Thanks so much Mike.

24 11 2016
MargfromTassie

I reckon we are screwed – especially with the likes of Donald Chump, soon to be President of the most powerful nation ever known, who has declared that “the environment can take care of itself”.

24 11 2016
foodnstuff

I suppose he’s right though, Marg. It will take care of itself; it just won’t take care of us.

24 11 2016
ejhr2015

No doubt about it we are screwed, all we need is a date. Then, [sarcasm intended] we may take action! Deckchair layout plans anyone?

24 11 2016
MargfromTassie

Lol. We may as well laugh in the time we’ve got…

24 11 2016
Yif

Good one ejhr2015, the next time somone asks me, “how R U ?” I’ll say, “that’s old skool, nowadays U should ask “how’s Ur deckchair ?” ” …

25 11 2016
ejhr2015

Just make sure someone else doesn’t steal yours

25 11 2016
Don

I suppose that we are the only species that has ever been aware of their own impending extinction.

25 11 2016
Eclipse Now

That was a nice documentary about an important group of people. Fortunately, EcoModernist’s are now taking over where the Club of Rome left off.
http://www.ecomodernism.org/manifesto-english/

25 11 2016
ejhr2015

Wishful thinking, that manifesto. We are just so optimistic we gloss over the problems that will trip us up. Optimism bias is not science. Even if our population stabilised today the problems would not stop. The drive to a wealthy lifestyle enjoyed by first world nations is not achievable. It’s not as if our resources will run out but that the energy cost in accessing them will make them uneconomic. There are no longer any low hanging fruits. They will all be difficult to access. Food, contrary to the optimism here, is getting more problematic as fertilizers render soils more sterile, so results will decline. Also grain based foods are implicated in poor health and diabetes, making health services more expensive. 70 % of the US diet is based on 3 crops – wheat corn and soy. We are now financing our civilization with credit, entirely unsustainable. We are so far along the road to a crash we cannot arrest it. It is therefore ordained to collapse. I could say much more but this will do for now.

26 11 2016
Eclipse Now

Hi EJ,
nuclear power has a high enough EROEI to give us all the power we need. What you said about excessive power is simply not true. Also, agriculture 2.0 is on the way. Agriculture is about 12% of the land surface of the earth, with grazing about another 30+%. We can reduce that grazing figure by gradually replacing meat with various alternatives that are becoming tastier and more like meat. Google “the impossible burger”: soy and coconut and a special meat protein that *almost* tastes exactly like a burger patty. Almost there! Add in alternative food arrangements like seawater greenhouses that convert seawater and desert into food, and a growing acceptance of insects for protein in leading restaurants, and we can turn this around. Don’t forget, the more we replace meat, the more that 12% figure goes down because so much of our agriculture grows feed for cattle rather than food for us. We’re also learning to rejuvinate the soil. It’s a big subject, and I’m no expert but I think there are enormous grounds for optimism given soil science is just taking off!

26 11 2016
mikestasse

IF agriculture 2.0 doesn’t include animals, it will never work. That’s why I prefer agriculture 3.0 that includes holistic raising if meat that tastes way better than the fake stuff you describe….. until you’ve tasted organically and holistically raised meat, you haven’t tasted real meat…

And talk of rejuvenating soil…… can’t be done without cows! http://www.agweb.com/article/farmers-turn-to-cattle-grazing-to-improve-soil-bottom-lines-naa-associated-press/

27 11 2016
ejhr2015

Sorry, E N we are doing less with more energy consumption today and we need to do more with less. Our civilization is burning out. It has less and less to gain except around the margins. I am an architect. All I see today is decadence. Extravaganzas passed off as useful. How many more stadiums, how many more towers, more shopping malls, even more highways do we need? We are simply spending on consumption and wasting resources. There are certainly poorer zones requiring decent living standards and MENA nations need rebuilding, but they are not and cannot be self sufficient. We are asset stripping as an unsustainable [and increasingly so] rate. It’s not a recipe for a lasting civilization.

27 11 2016
Eclipse Now

Hi EJ,
I agree with much of what you say about our culture of wasted opportunities in the built infrastructure. My sister-in-law teaches sustainable architecture at Melbourne, and published the book “Designing for Hope”. She dedicated it to Tas who committed suicide after being on the doomer ROEOZ peak oil site too long. Building can save us or destroy us. You probably know the famous 4 minute “Built to last” New Urbanist piece?

But that’s not really what I was objecting to. It was this next bit. “The drive to a wealthy lifestyle enjoyed by first world nations is not achievable. It’s not as if our resources will run out but that the energy cost in accessing them will make them uneconomic.” Sorry, but nuclear power can be built MORE economic than today’s coal, especially when one counts the very high health impacts of coal to society. Soon China will have nukes cheaper than coal’s retail cost: cheaper than coal outright! And it’s sustainble ‘forever’. It will provide us with all the power we need to build attractive New Urban communities, or alienating suburbia. There’s simply that much power available when we split the atomic bond, which is 2 million times stronger than the chemical bonds in oil or gas or coal. What we do with that power is a matter of education and protest and culture.

27 11 2016
ejhr2015

Thanks for the link. Interesting but winding back to sustainable is a pipe dream. We don’t have the will or the drive without a catastrophe first.

I think we can bat this back and forth for a while. I would like to point you to “our Finite World” a blog by Gail Tverberg. You probably know it and know electricity is only a part of the energy production we need to continue this civilization.
Have you heard of the CMO concept? The Cubic Mile of Oil? Right now we use 1 CMO in about 300 days. On top of that is coal and gas and renewables.
To supplant the oil portion with electricity would require 2600 nuclear power stations. 200 dams for Hydro each as big as the Three Gorges dam, 5400 coal fired plants and 4.5 billion solar panels or 1.600,000 wind turbines.
This is an enormous undertaking and we still have nearly another 2 CMO in coal and gas generation to account for.
At 3.5 % exponential growth [forecast by the IMF], the extra energy would be double all this in only 20 years and double again in 40. Can’t you see the impossibility of a solution to this? Our planet is too finite for us to continue with growth, yet our economy cannot function in reverse. We already have a huge debt overhang. That too is a complicating factor.
I think I have good reason to stand by what I said.

27 11 2016
Eclipse Now

Yes, Gail often did dishonest rubbish like take the thermal value of oil and just convert it to equivalent in other mediums. It’s a total sham because it overlooks the fantastic efficiency of electric cars. Only something like 12% of oil energy actually ends up as forward movement. EV’s are so much better. EV’s largely avoid the ‘chicken and egg’ problem. The electricity grid already exists, and already has enough spare capacity to charge over 80% of American family cars! “For the United States as a whole, 84% of US cars, pickup trucks and SUVs could be supported by the existing infrastructure, ”

How? Because about 43% of them are charged at night!
Page 10
https://eclipsenow.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/phev_feasibility_analysis_part1.pdf

Gail’s an actuary that real engineers have taken to pieces. She banned them from The Oil Drum, and then banned them from her blog. She doesn’t like optimism dancing on her doomer parade. Nor facts.

Lastly, if we listen to Dr Hansen on our climate problem, why not the solution? He says we must build 115 reactors a year and that includes population growth and bringing the poor out of poverty.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/03/nuclear-power-paves-the-only-viable-path-forward-on-climate-change

Ecomodernism is about providing a world of 10 billion people with a modern lifestyle, and the sooner we dump expensive, particulate laden oil for cleaner energy carriers like batteries and re-chargabe (actually de-rustable) boron, the better! 115 reactorsa year is SLOWER than the reactor to GDP ratio the French achieved decades ago. In other words, we’ve ALREADY BEAT this level of build out.

The world will move to sustainable long-term energy like nuclear, and renewable materials like wooden skyscrapers, recyclable metal in electric-arc furnaces where hydrogen can replace coking coal, and many other materials recycled from household rubbish by plasma furnaces. We have the technology, but do we have the willpower? Not if half our activists are joining the doomers in a self-congratulatory cult of doom, navel gazing their way to the end of days. That’s just a fulfilling prophecy. And it kills young people who give up hope. I met with the father of the 19 year old kid I mentioned. I really wish Mike had seen his face! November was 10 years since he took his life. That’s 10 years the poor dad has had to wonder what really robbed his son of hope.

I know. The ROEOZ doomers nearly robbed me of hope. It’s some kind of mental illness, and devoid of FACTS. Yes we COULD push the big red button tomorrow, but it’s not inevitable. There’s so much we can do. Just make sure you haven’t been taken in by engineering illiterates like Gail Tverberg, that censorious, myth pushing crank. Don’t take my word for it either, I’m from a humanities background. Try reading the book James Hansen recommends by his friend Tom Blees, then get back to me.
http://www.thesciencecouncil.com/pdfs/P4TP4U.pdf

28 11 2016
mikestasse

I hate to tell you, but when the shit hits the fan and people lose their toys, lots of people will suicide…

The problem is not ‘doomerism’, it’s the media’s incessant propaganda that the future will be hi-tech and green and there are no alternatives. There are better ways to live, and they don’t involve more energy and more stuff…..

28 11 2016
Eclipse Now

I’m confused – did my reply to EJ about the cubic mile of oil myth get deleted? It’s the one where Italk about Gail Tverberg, the CMO, and how most of our car fleet could charge on today’s *existing* grid because half of them could charge overnight. I then linked to the NRELstudy that found that. Did something go wrong when posting that?

27 11 2016
Glenn

Sadly … i would have to agree wth EJ here on this.

IMO we will not voluntarily chose what is most needed … finding our way back to a relationship with the natural world.

“The gods lead those that will and those that dont they drag”

28 11 2016
Eclipse Now

“what is most needed”, according to the EcoModernist’s, is our almost complete decoupling from the natural world! But that isn’t as romantic as saying “finding our way back to a relationship with the natural world”. Really? You’re advocating H&G? Won’t happen, and that wasn’t all that sustainable either. Just ask any Mammoth or large fauna from early aboriginal days.

28 11 2016
Eclipse Now

Hi EJ,
the Cubic Mile of Oil is a myth. Weaning off oil is not impossible, as most EV’s can charge on power already on the grid: see my page here for the NREL quotes on 86% of the fleet charging on today’s American grid, and for James Hansen talking about the potential for burning boron metal as a rechargable (actually de-rustable) energy carrier alternative.
https://eclipsenow.wordpress.com/recharge/

28 11 2016
ejhr2015

Let’s see why you say it’s a myth. It’s not a myth without another better way to understand the enormous quantities of fossil Fuels we burn annually.
I’ll look at your web page later. Of course dust can ignite, but is boron available with easy and cheap extraction? Cement dust is quite a big industry but its carbon intensive to grind.

28 11 2016
Eclipse Now

Hi EJ,
it’s a myth because only 12% of that cubic mile gives forward motion. Other modes of transport are far more efficient with energy, and so we have to compare apples with apples, not with cubic miles of thermal energy when other systems use the electrons directly. When we switch to EV’s, about half the fleet can be charged on SPARE electricity most first world nations have RIGHT NOW, which is overnight off-peak generally wasted electricity. Now, Mike’s getting emotional about trucks, and obviously hasn’t heard about Tesla’s semi line, starting soon.
https://electrek.co/2016/07/20/tesla-semi-truck-business-cargo/

But even if you don’t want an all-electric semi from Tesla, there’s always the other energy carriers like boron, like synfuel, like hydrogen, blah blah blah! Mike *knows* all this. I’m also a big supporter of trucks-to-trains programs that may become more economical as oil starts to become more expensive. The usual doomer condemnation of hydrogen, synfuel, and boron energy carriers is that — of course — they are not energy *sources*. But grow up! Who the on earth cares? They’re viable energy *carriers* — liquid (or powdered metal) batteries, if you will. When you have a high enough EROEI like nuclear’s 75 to start with, then so many other things are possible.

Better yet, they’re talking about the hyperloop shooting shipping containers near the speed of sound. This will be faster than airlines, immune to storms, and of course run on electricity. There are no engineering obstacles to this becoming a reality: only the economics (and probably local politics) will dictate what mix of trucks, trams, trains, or hyperloops will work on what fuels.

28 11 2016
ejhr2015

That’s a non sequitur. The CMO is petroleum consumption and cannot be divided up to delete the portion one doesn’t want to count. The other problem lies in consumption increases while attempting to build the alternative fleets of devices that are more “energy efficient”. It is double dipping and the oil consumption will rise during that period. A lot of this technology, including thorium reactors, are only on paper and little funding is directed their way.

I agree we can do SOMETHING to be more energy efficient, but it is too little and too late. While we “enjoy” rampant consumerism we dig our graves.
I don’t enjoy being pessimistic, but optimism bias is just delusionary.

Funnily enough funding is not a big problem. It seems so because we, most of us that is, have zero understanding of economics as it really exists. They believe the falsehoods touted by mainstream economists. So there is a solution, but it won’t be used – just to make matters worse!

28 11 2016
Eclipse Now

EJ, you don’t get it do you? I’m talking about how deceptive Gail Tverberg is with her ‘cubic mile of oil’ equivalent and the thousands of reactors it takes to generate the equivalent heat. Sorry, but you DO have to count the amazing efficiency of EV’s over the 12% forward motion you get out of oil’s Internal Combustion Engines. You DO have to come to terms with the fact that nearly half the fleet could be charged on SPARE electricity. And you DO have to count the fact that the rest could be charged during the day, according to NREL, and *only* that last 15% of the fleet would require new reactors. So while you sidetrack by talking about “consumption increases” when oil consumption in America declined by 25% during the GFC, and while you sidetrack with philosophical stuff about optimism and obvious statements about thorium reactors, ignoring the fact that I’m talking about mass-producing today’s non-breeder AP1000’s to give us a generation or so to perfect future breeders, the facts remain! EV’s exist and are getting better and growing in sales, and most of the fleet could be charged on today’s grid. These are FACTS that do not simply go away because Gail Tverberg doesn’t like them!

29 11 2016
mikestasse

The amazing efficiency of EVs is counteracted by the amazing inefficiency of distributed electricty…. especially in Australia where it’s distributed over distances nobody in the US or Europe would contemplate, because they don’t need to.

29 11 2016
Max Green (Eclipse)

The amazing efficiency of EV’s is the fact that they eat electrons, which means that cubic-mile of oil is cut in half by the fact that they charge on electricity that would otherwise be wasted, and then most of the rest charge during the day. Yes, eventually we’ll have to build a few extra power plants to mop up the last 15% or whatever. Small price to pay to prevent a complete collapse of civilisation which would probably wipe out the last wildlife in a vast nuclear exchange.

29 11 2016
ejhr2015

NO sorry. I get it.You are still wishful thinking. The CMO concept is from Wiki.
Look it up. Nothing here is related directly to Gail Tverberg’s blog. How about a name for a critic you approve of who discusses her blog?

29 11 2016
Max Green (Eclipse)

EJ,
Wishful thinking, or peer-reviewed research? Think about it this way: do we *have* to generate the *whole cubic mile of oil* equivalent energy when just under half the fleet can charge on *existing* electricity that is currently being wasted? “For the United States as a whole, 84% of US cars, pickup trucks and SUVs could be supported by the existing infrastructure,”

How? Because about 43% of them are charged at night! (Page 10 of the NREL PHEV_Feasibility_Analysis_Part1).
https://eclipsenow.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/phev_feasibility_analysis_part1.pdf

Look up electricity use profiles in any western nation, and you’ll find most of them have massive excesses at night. It’s just sitting there, waiting to be used. The cubic mile of oil is HALVED AUTOMATICALLY the moment we move to EV’s because nearly half the energy is already there. But it gets better. EV’s are far more efficient than oil at turning electrons into forward motion. As the study above says, 84% of the *American* fleet could charge on *today’s* grid without building a single new power plant. Read the paper above.

30 11 2016
ejhr2015

You are concentrating too much on electricity savings. It’s not enough to save our civilization. We need petroleum for many uses not just burning it. Waste is an integral part of any system. One might be able to save some resources there, but not eliminate it. You cannot factor it out.

The continued growth in population and the growth in affluence means the CMO will not be reduced. It will double in 20 years or so. The night charging will help, but you need a massive switch over to EV cars which uses resources as if there were no savings. This is what has to stop. Your 84% figure is not factoring in the total picture. It’s the totality of exponential growth and the uselessness of most of our consumption today that are confounding issues we face. We most certainly don’t have cheap resources to allow half the world’s population access to our decadent western lifestyles. We are an exploitative, locust, species. Your hopes are not going to go far enough.

30 11 2016
Eclipse Now

Hi EJ,
good to hear from you. Why am I concentrating too much on electricity savings? I thought we were discussing why I think the CMO is a myth: yes, we burn that much oil equivalent energy in transport *now*. But it’s a myth that we have to generate that much alternative *extra* energy because we *already* have about half of it available right now in wasted off peak electricity. You cannot factor that out by changing the subject to the other uses of oil.

Now, other uses of oil, like plastics, lubricants, etc? Easy. The oil we use as a feedstock for the petro-chemical industry is a tiny fraction of the oil we use in transport. Household rubbish can substitute for that, making superior lubricants to geological oil! Chuck household rubbish in a plasma burner and the syngas could supply all our petro-chemical needs.
https://eclipsenow.wordpress.com/recycle/

Now, population growth? Dr Hansen says the world should build 115GW reactors a year, which already accounts for it. Specifically.
http://goo.gl/Xx61xU

“For example, a build rate of 61 new reactors per year could entirely replace current fossil fuel electricity generation by 2050. Accounting for increased global electricity demand driven by population growth and development in poorer countries, which would add another 54 reactors per year, this makes a total requirement of 115 reactors per year to 2050 to entirely decarbonise the global electricity system in this illustrative scenario. We know that this is technically achievable because France and Sweden were able to ramp up nuclear power to high levels in just 15-20 years.”

Again, *today’s* grid in *already* developed modern countries has about half the energy needed to wean off oil in overnight spare electricity. It’s already there. And developing countries are already budgeted for in Dr Hansen’s 115GW per year, which is entirely doable because we’ve ALREADY BEATEN this build out rate before! (On a reactor per unit GDP basis, the French already beat this in the 1970’s.) EV’s use just about as much materials and resources to build as ICE’s, and so is already included in the general energy budget of 115GW a year. The lithium is there. The energy is there. We just have to build the systems that will convert climate destroying, oil dependent fossil fuel systems today into the abundant, clean, infinitely recyclable systems of tomorrow.

30 11 2016
ejhr2015

Thanks for taking the time to respond. But I still think you are concentrating excessively on energy savings with electricity. It’s an important part of the total picture but is far from saving us from catastrophe. The “Limits to Growth” means everything we consume and all of the problems involved. WE are unsustainable . That means we are overconsuming the planet’s resources.
Saving electricity doesn’t alter that.

Since 1890 the world economy switched from a production economy to a speculation economy, brought about by a group of banking families like the Rothschilds, Rockefellers etc.. These people have made Capitalism a rampant exploitative system. They have used clever propaganda to convince people that happiness is a consumer society and that neo liberalism is good for them and that the Spectacle, “panem et circenses” anathetises them into acceptance of their lot. Politicians are bought and sold and allow the wealthy to set the agenda.

If we want to save ourselves all this has to change. Well, what signs are there?
None. So it’s good bye to them and goodbye to us.

30 11 2016
Eclipse Now

Hi EJ,
are you aware of the footprint measures and ‘one planet living’? According to this Footprint measure (point 7 below), what is the single greatest impact on the environment? Indeed, let’s go further. What is the ONE single measure we could take that would bring us back under the ‘one planet’ limit; the one measure that is worse than ALL the others combined; the one measure that will save or kill this planet? Point 7.
https://eclipsenow.wordpress.com/reduce/

Secondly, study that graph. What’s the next biggest environmental impact, and does it have anything to do with the entertainment industry or the “panem et circenses”?

1 12 2016
ejhr2015

I have been using the “Ecological Footprint Atlas” from 2010. But you are using avoidance technique by shifting the discussion away from the issues I raise. We are going nowhere doing that.

1 12 2016
Eclipse Now

EJ, as far as I can tell, I’ve addressed all your concerns about population growth and power to the developing world by quoting Dr James Hansen’s 115GW reactors a year. This is self-evidently achievable because we’ve *already done it* (on a GDP / reactor ratio). Other than that, you vaguely appeal to “Limit’s to Growth” without specifically naming what you think the real problem is. This is why I asked you to look at the footprints measure: what is actually having the greatest impact?
From my reading of that graph and if we just clean up our energy supply we’re in one world living, and then will gradually learn to reduce our agricultural impact through all the EcoModernist Agriculture 2.0 measures. (GMO’s, seawater greenhouses, insect-eating, 3d printed meat from veggies, food from algae, etc, all basically getting far more food from far less land and relying far less on limited arable land). Energy, then agriculture. They’re the two biggies that we *can* mitigate over the next generation, even with a world of 10 billion. Then yes, the world is finite, but when materials can be recycled infinitely, we can reduce our impact. We need a worldwide Demographic Transition to stabilise population. That’s when we provide everyone with what they need. Professor Ian Lowe once said everyone could have everything they need with only 5% of the world’s military funding: and that includes education, health care, family planning, adequate housing, adequate fresh water and nutrition, etc. Not McMansion’s for everyone, but adequate. I’m not dictating an economic model, just stating that it’s not impossible economically or ecologically. If you have anything more specific than “the vibe of the thing”, I’m happy to discuss further. Thank you for your polite tone though!

1 12 2016
ejhr2015

I think what I am trying to get across is that without a collapse we cannot get a new paradigm. There can be no gradual decline. We cannot reverse growth except by collapsing it. Unavoidable. The electricity grid is very vulnerable in a collapse scenario. There are in the USA 55 main distribution substations controlling the whole network. Even losing one is major.
Trying to recover after a collapse with zero low hanging fruit and the transport and supply networks failing, is going to be ugly.

1 12 2016
Eclipse Now

Hi EJ,
what makes you think the entire American electricity grid – for 300 million people- with the world’s largest economy – is going to suddenly collapse?

1 12 2016
ejhr2015

It would be a deliberate effort. Already one such substation in California was put out of action that way. Once collapse starts there’s no way of knowing what can go wrong. It’s a vulnerability and hardly the only one. We are a very highly strung system. Resilient up to a point. I don’t know how it will play out but its unavoidable. We are destined to collapse.

1 12 2016
Eclipse Now

EJ, I asked what’s going to cause the collapse. You said the grid going down. I asked why the grid is going down. You said the collapse. Circular, much?

1 12 2016
ejhr2015

That wasn’t deliberate. They both go together. The grid failing is a certainty but the initial trigger could be any one or more of a number of things, even a temporary failure of the grid, due to a storm or something might set off the collapse. Hard to know, but I repeat, It’s a certainty.

1 12 2016
Eclipse Now

“could be any one or more of a number of things, even a temporary failure of the grid, due to a storm or something might set off the collapse.”
Are you ever going to offer something substantive, and stop playing these vague semantic games? More evidence please? South Australia had a really bad grid collapse recently, you might have seen it in the newspapers. Um,…. we rebuilt it. It’s what we do when things break.

1 12 2016
ejhr2015

You and I are both forecasting the unknown future. Se we are square. You have no proof your recipe is a suitable one as you cannot know what confounding elements are around to permit or deny it. My substantive matches your substantive at least. It’s basic in fact, as forecast by Prof Bartlett.

SO, I am 100% certain we cannot continue indefinitely to have exponential growth in a finite world. So, since we are making NO attempt to change direction, we have no chance of avoiding collapse. This I have explained earlier.

You have failed to give a timeline for your solutions. It’s obvious why. You cannot do one. Therefore all your hopes are wishful thinking. There are developments and changes afoot which seem useful, but you cannot say how long it will take to achieve the saving of half a CMO. and how its complicated by continued exponential growth pushing a date off into the future.

Believe me it would be nice to think we can have a good future. I have two teenaged granddaughters and I don’t relish the world we leave for them to inherit.

1 12 2016
Eclipse Now

EJ,
“You and I are both forecasting the unknown future. Se we are square.”
I’m not forecasting the future at all! I’m stating what is technically possible in the present. What we *could* do if we wanted to. For all I know Trump could push the big red button tonight and all our worries will go away in some big white flashes! Or not. As Mike Stasse has learned, predictions are hard, especially about the future.

“You have no proof your recipe is a suitable one as you cannot know what confounding elements are around to permit or deny it.”
I know that I would rather have a world of abundant reliable clean energy, and see where we go from there. I know that abundant CO2 free energy is the first thing most climatologists dream about. How about we agree that would be a good thing? Or is that too hard?

“My substantive matches your substantive at least.”
Hogwash. Yours is some utterly unjustified position that we just CANNOT make it, and that the grid is going down because collapse is inevitable because the grid is going down.

“It’s basic in fact, as forecast by Prof Bartlett.”
I’ve seen the Bartlett presentation many times and he does ask some good questions. But tell me: where is the S curve representing systems whose rate of growth decline over time due to stresses, nutrient deficiencies, poisons, or other factors? He didn’t include that did he? What about the ingredients for the Demographic Transition that could stabilise the world population at around 10 billion?
https://eclipsenow.wordpress.com/reduce/

“SO, I am 100% certain we cannot continue indefinitely to have exponential growth in a finite world.”
Yup. Self-evident. But why are you certain I’m arguing for that? I’ve mentioned the Demographic Transition before.

“So, since we are making NO attempt to change direction….”
Incorrect. First world nations have already experienced the Demographic Transition, and the entire world’s energy can be cleaned up by an easily achievable 115 GW reactors a year.

“we have no chance of avoiding collapse.”
Woah! Big jump there buddy. Something about Prof Bartlett + arithmetic = worldwide collapse. That’s NOT a given! There are simply too many ways we can give everyone clean energy, clean transport, and abundant nutritious food thereby stabilising the world population by giving everyone everything they need. Want to reduce the number of babies a third world girl will grow up and have? Educate and empower her. I know dozens of women’s charities and UN bodies that work towards empowering and educating women. Did you know that’s the single most powerful population control measure there is?

“This I have explained earlier.”
Yeah, Limits to Growth… and… something. No, actually, you’ve just quoted the ‘vibe’ of the thing and not explained why with abundant energy and some women’s rights campaigning we can’t make a sustainable system. Not at all!

“You have failed to give a timeline for your solutions.”
Rubbish: as Dr James Hansen said, 115 GW of reactors a year to 2050 is the BIG ONE, clean energy. That’s the biggest footprint we have! Do that, and the world has a chance. It’s in the footprints paper we looked at earlier: our dirty energy is the single biggest impact we have.

“It’s obvious why. You cannot do one.”
You didn’t read the Dr Hansen link I provided, did you? 115 Gw?

“Therefore all your hopes are wishful thinking.”
So many semantics, so little actually communicated. No, you have not proven anything yet!

“There are developments and changes afoot which seem useful, but you cannot say how long it will take to achieve the saving of half a CMO.”
It seems like the only thing that’s allowed to grow exponentially is BAD in your books. What about the sale of EV’s? Recognise this curve?
http://www.vox.com/2016/6/6/11867894/electric-cars-global-sales

Hint: it’s going up like the Prof Bartlett population curves do, (expect without the S-curve that indicates a growing Demographic Transition. 😉 )

From the link above:
>>”The United States now has 400,000 electric vehicles on the road — a massive increase since 2010, though well short of Obama’s goal of 1 million by 2015. Meanwhile, China has become the world’s largest market, overtaking the US in annual sales last year.

Is 1 million a lot? It depends how you look at it. It’s jaw-dropping growth given that there were only a few hundred electric vehicles on the entire planet back in 2005. And the total number of electric vehicles worldwide has tripled just since 2013.

But to put this in perspective, there are more than 1 billion gasoline- and diesel-powered cars on the world’s roads — and demand will keep soaring in the decades ahead as China and India’s middle classes expand. So we have a long, long way to go before electric cars take over the world.

In order to avoid more than 2°C of global warming, the IEA calculates, we’d likely need to see about 150 million electric cars on the road by 2030 and 1 billion by 2050 as part of a broader climate strategy. The good news, the agency says, is that this ambitious electric vehicle target seems much more feasible than it did just a few years ago.”<<
http://www.vox.com/2016/6/6/11867894/electric-cars-global-sales

"and how its complicated by continued exponential growth pushing a date off into the future"
Look up S curve. Look up Demographic Transition. Explain why Bartlett didn't bother to mention these things?

"Believe me it would be nice to think we can have a good future."
I think we CAN, but don't *know* that we will. I'm not predicting anything! I'm asking why you can't agree that there are some mighty promising technologies out there that can eliminate coal oil and gas forever, and deliver abundant clean electricity and abundant recycled materials to build what we need effectively forever?

"I have two teenaged granddaughters and I don’t relish the world we leave for them to inherit."

This is point 6 on my summary page: it's the closest thing I get to predicting the future.
+++
The Eclipse is now!

My old motto was too melodramatic: “We must eclipse ourselves or be eclipsed.” It was binary: all or nothing; success or failure; life or death.

I now see that there are a thousand ways we might succeed in some areas and fail in others. While we might not “be eclipsed” and collapse back to the stone age, we still risk being stuck in the twilight. Unless we roll out the 10 Rules for Recovery (below) our children will inherit a planet we hardly recognise, with half the biodiversity extinct by 2050 and many billions living in poverty, hunger, and war. There are dangers ahead. What if water stress becomes too much, and existing international tensions boil over into water wars? What if we fight over the remaining oil, water, and farmland? How will we respond when today’s refugee crisis is multiplied tenfold, maybe a hundredfold, due to climate collapse? How do we prepare for mega-droughts, especially when America has almost used up all their fossil water? What other wild-cards are coming our way?

We can and must do better. You can make a difference, and help us emerge out of this gloomy period into a bright green new world! If just one cause below grabs you, take it up as a hobby. Read the pages I link to below, watch some documentaries, and join an online group. Get involved. You can change the way it goes. You’ll make some great new friends along the way.
https://eclipsenow.wordpress.com/eclipse/

6 12 2016
mikestasse

“As Mike Stasse has learned, predictions are hard, especially about the future.”

No, it isn’t. Only the timing is hard to predict. The future is now cast in concrete, it’s just we don’t yet know when the concrete will set.

6 12 2016
ejhr2015

We’ll have to disagree on some of your comments regarding my predictions. I think your hopium is too unrealistic.
If you ask what my “Hobby” is it’s economics. I’ve become interested in what the corporate world has done to stuff up our society our health and our economy. I began my retirement delving into all the misinformation about diet and health “out there” Vested interests have bought the science into some disrepute, so finding out what really goes on is very difficult.
The problems are multiplied however with economics. You will have heard of neo-liberalism, the corporate world’s recipe for control [now fortunately under attack]Well mainstream economics is just a Theology and not grounded in reality. For this you need to go to MMT, which does describe how macroeconomics actually should work [all systems are voluntary] It’s too complex to go into here but if we did get economics onto an accurate footing we would all be in a much safer place. It’s the corporate world accelerating us towards destruction by over use of resources, but few see how we can change that, which is why I am pessimistic.

6 12 2016
Eclipse Now

I’m glad you replied because I wanted to touch bases with you on Bartlett, whom I respect immensely. I did not want to imply anything sinister in asking why he didn’t cover S-curves or the Demographic Transition: I was just highlighting that his lecture is about the power of exponential growth. He was clearly raising the Question! But if you look into the data, the growth in the human population has been decelerating, and should (given certain development goals) plateau mid century. This is called the Demographic Transition, and is a result of educating and empowering women, amongst other things.

Again, I’m not *predicting* anything. I don’t know the future, I just know we have the technology to give a modern lifestyle with abundant food and fresh water to ten billion people. We can do this. Whether we will depends on us. You have offered nothing to contradict any of this: abundant clean energy through nuclear power, existing grids being able to charge half our cars on night time excess power, trends in food production, resource recycling, metal demands topping out in developed countries after the big initial infrastructure build, metals and concrete being replaced in Tall Timbre constructions of wooden skyscrapers, megatons to megawatts programs that have burned 16,000 nuclear bombs worth of electricity in American reactors, solar shield management that cuts insolation under 1% and cancels global warming, etc etc etc!

1 12 2016
mikestasse

Actually, the grid will go down as soon as oil becomes scarce and/or expensive again……. In Tasmania, and also Queensland, the transmission lines are so long and so far from civilisation, they’re inspected by helicopter. Last time I looked, choppers weren’t nuclear powered….

1 12 2016
Eclipse Now

“the grid will go down as soon as oil becomes scarce and/or expensive again”
Again with the “are we there yet?” Dude, you don’t get to play Nostradamus again with your record. According to your prognostications over a decade ago we were meant to be at $200 per barrel, rationing, a Greater Depression, or even Mad Max by now. Remember a young man killed himself over it?

“Last time I looked, choppers weren’t nuclear powered….”
Silly semantic games are simply beneath you now Mike. I expect better. How many times do I have to say nuclear has a high enough EROEI to “recharge” or generate from scratch whatever energy carrier we want? Dude, you guys used to RAVE about the unique energy density of oil. What a load of poppycock! Uranium and thorium, now THERE’S real energy density: as in a MILLION TIMES the energy of oil.

“The U.S. Navy estimates that 100 megawatts of electricity can produce 41,000 gallons of jet fuel per day and shipboard production from nuclear power would cost about $6 per gallon. While that was about twice the petroleum fuel cost in 2010, it is expected to be much less than the market price in less than five years if recent trends continue. Moreover, since the delivery of fuel to a carrier battle group costs about $8 per gallon, shipboard production is already much less expensive.[24]”
http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA539765

Now run along and find yourself a nice incredible doomer ‘study’ that says nuclear’s EROEI is too low. Read that, and have a nice cup of warm milk before bed, and you can forget this ever happened. 😉

28 11 2016
mikestasse

You and your bloody EVs……. what about THE TRUCKS? You know…… those things that restock the supermarket shelves?

5 12 2016
faithfulsceptic

Eclipse Now, your dtic.mil reference above is from 2010. You might want to check out progress over the past 6 years on industrial scale production on shipboard, of jet fuel. When will they have scaled up to the point they can fight a war on any ocean? Do they offer any predictions?

Are you suggesting the US Navy (forget about all the other nuclear and non-nuclear navies) put a reactor on every ship, so that all can run without oil and some can produce hydrocarbon fuel from seawater? I expect not.

Are you suggesting that every fishing fleet that expects to remain operational (in the face of increasing natural hydrocarbon fuel scarcity) will go nuclear?

Perhaps I am suffering from a lack of imagination, but to me it seems unlikely to the point of ridiculous. At best, assuming it is somehow workable within the timeframe set by a warming world, it is an hypothetical first world solution for a first world navy. Perhaps you can modify the proposal to meet the needs of Hungary, Niger, Chad, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Bolivia.

Or perhaps you are suggesting something else?

5 12 2016
Eclipse Now

Hi Sceptic,
the first thing to note about shipping fuel is that if we replace fossil fuels with nuclear, we eliminate about HALF of it! Half of world shipping is to move oil and coal around. That’s a statistic that is easy to believe if you have ever stood and looked at the super-carriers lining up around Newcastle, all waiting for their coal. So, go nuclear, and half of world shipping is put to bed.

Then, the rest *can* go nuclear. Why not? In some cases it is already cheaper than shipping oil. Navy reactor designer Rod Adams explains.
http://atomicinsights.com/commercial-nuclear-ships-a-new-market-for-uranium/

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