Archive for the Energy Category

Lawyers And E-con-omists v. Physicists And . . . Physicists (December 19, 2022)

Posted in E-con-omists, Economics, Energy, Law, Lawyers on December 19, 2022 by

. . .

K          “de Tocqueville noted the outsized influence of lawyers in the young country.  At the time, e-con-omists were just transmogrifying on the world stage.” 

J          “Today, lawyers and e-con-omists are the high priests ranging the American political and economic landscape . . . and wrecking our land and lives.  We as a society need to disregard the lawyers and the e-con-omists and regard the physicists and the physicists.”

K          “How do we do it today?  I ‘upvote’ you.”

J          “You are agreeing with me again.  That is positive.”

. . .

K         “I shared a story that I reflect on frequently.  An old experienced law professor who taught comparative law in American and European law schools for over two score years shared his settled observations about the fundamental difference in training and perspective between American-trained lawyers and European-trained lawyers.  With some exceptions, an American-trained lawyer first asks:  ‘Can we get away with it?’  With some exceptions, an European-trained lawyer first asks:  ‘Is it lawful?’.”

J          “Lawyers never fail to please.  I read that about $1,400,000,000.00 in now forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans were distributed to some of the largest law and accounting firms in the country.  About 126 law firms in the Top 300 took $809,000,000.00 in forgiven PPP loans.  About 236 accounting firms in the Top 300 took $635,000,000.00 in forgiven PPP loans.  Greed never rests; greed never sleeps.”

. . .

K          “Me neither.”

. . .

J          “Most successful e-con-omists are celebrity con artists assisting those in power to get away with unlawful activities.  By contrast, physics is reality.  Physics is truth. However, even the most recent announcements about fusion fail to reveal the true Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROEI) and the limits of current technology. The physical world is stern and unbending and does not yield to our hopes and dreams.

K          Physics may be the true dismal science.”

J          “True enough. I refer to ‘physicists and physicists’ to get one thinking.  Maybe.  Is anyone thinking?  How about the biologists?  Physicists . . . and biologists . . . need to be the new high priests.”

. . .  

[See “The economy is moving from a tailwind pushing it along to a headwind holding it back” by Gail Tverberg at Our Finite World dated December 16, 2022; a discussion of the limits of renewable energy at “‘The New Energy Economy’: An Exercise In Magical Thinking” by Mark P. Mills at the Manhattan Institute dated March 26, 2019 and some perspective on the recent fusion breakthrough at “Scientists Have Made a Breakthrough in Fusion — but Don’t Get Carried Awayby Mark P. Mills at the Manhattan Institute dated dated December 13, 2022.] 

Bumper stickers of the week:

Many live humans; Few dead dinosaurs.

Disregard the e-con-omists; Regard the physicists.

Change your attitude; Change your latitude.

Pay your bills; Develop your skills.

So many challenges; So little time.

Disregard the lawyers and the e-con-omists; regard the physicists and the biologists. 

“Cacashow”: The 2020 Word Of The Year (December 7, 2020)

Posted in Carbon Surcharge & Dividend, Energy, Writing on December 7, 2020 by

. . .

K          “‘Pandemic’ is an anemic choice.”

J          “Words are not their strong suit.”

. . .

K          “Usually with an exclamation point, it is in the ‘Subject’ line or the first sentence of sooo many e-mails on Covid-19(84).”

J          “On the election.”

K          “On the Vaccine.”

J          “On Trumpi.”

K          “On Fauci.”

J          “On the CDC.”

K          “On the NIH.”

J          “On the WHO.”

K          “On the NHS.”

J          “On the FDA.”

K          “On the MSM.”

J          “On the MIC (Medical Industrial Complex).”

K          “On and on and on.”

. . .

J          “On Dasher.”

K          “On Dancer”

J          “On Prancer.”

K          “On Vixen.”

J          “On Comet.”

K          “On Cupid.”

J          “On Donner.”

K          “On Blitzen.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Carbon Fee And Dividend Imagined.  Oh, And Happy Saint Nicholas Day! (December 3, 2018)” and “Coal (December 2, 2013)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Carry on

Darkness . . . And Light.  Oh, And Happy Winter Solstice! (December 17, 2018)

Posted in Economics, Education, Energy, Environment, Politics, Society on December 17, 2018 by

. . .

J          “There is far too much darkness.  I know what needs to be known and I know what needs to be done.  And I know what needs to be known because I rejected so much of what I was told I needed to know.  And yet what needs to be done cannot be done.  The whole system is laced with so many checks and balances that keep a concerned citizen in check and everything out of balance.”

K          “And there is far too little light.  I understand so much, yet I do not understand why I do not have the good sense and the maturity to quit caring.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The Power Of Small Thinking (March 12, 2018)” and “On Standards & Quality (July 20, 2015)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Think big!

I think big, therefore I am

Happy Winter Solstice!

Carbon Fee And Dividend Imagined.  Oh, And Happy Saint Nicholas Day! (December 3, 2018)

Posted in Carbon Surcharge & Dividend, Climate, Coal, Energy, Environment, Global Climate Change, Global Warming on December 3, 2018 by

. . .

K          “In the last few days, a few congressmen introduced a bill to price carbon just a few days before St. Nicholas decides whether to put coal or candy in one’s sabot.”

J          “If the price of coal goes up, St. Nick may modify his behavior and give candy to the kids at the margin of the Naughty-Nice Scale.”

K          “If the bill passes, we all get candy in our shoes.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Coal (December 2, 2013)”, “Happy Birthday Earth Day (April 23, 2012)”, “One Hundred Year Storms.  Biennially? (October 29, 2012)”, “Energy Manhattan Project:  The Carbon Tax And Dividend (March 25, 2013)”, “Global Climate Craziness (GCC) And Taxation (March 23, 2015)”, Stealing Resources . . . Through Time . . . and Across Space (February 20, 2017)” and “Save The Planet; Save The People?  Oh, And Happy Earth Day! (April 23, 2018)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

H.R. 7173 – Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018

Price carbon

Alaska Shaker – November 30, 8:29 a.m.

The Promise Of AI (Artificial Intelligence) (August 20, 2018)

Posted in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Book Reference, Collapse, Energy, Environment, Movie Reference, Society on August 20, 2018 by

. . .

K          “The inevitable consequence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the greatest science fiction cautionary tale of our time . . . and of all time.”

J          “We will know we have truly created Artificial Intelligence when AI either eliminates Homo sapiens from the planet or culls almost all but a few select Homo sapiens who are then kept on a very short and easily retracted leash.”

K          “Clearly that is the definition of Big ‘I’ Intelligence.”

J          “In the interim, we should try to create Big ‘R’ Intelligence.  Real Intelligence.”

K          “When you think about it, Real Ignorance has not been all it is cracked up to be.”

. . .

[See the movie “Colossus:  The Forbin Project” and the novel “Colossus” by Dennis Feltham Jones (as D. F. Jones) for a more benign vision that involves a supercomputer preventing us from killing each other directly through war rather than indirectly but very effectively through our current life styles.]

[See the e-commentary at “Save The Planet; Save The People?  Oh, And Happy Earth Day! (April 23, 2018)” and the many other e-commentary linked there.]

Bumper stickers of the week: 

There is no PLANet B

Today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science fact.

Lights Out: Renegade Nuclear Plants (September 21, 2015)

Posted in Collapse, Community, Energy, Internet, Nuclear Power, Society on September 21, 2015 by

. . .

1          “A friend wrote ‘electricity’ on the board and then wrote an equal sign (=) and then wrote ‘civilization.’  After discussing the precariousness of the electric grid, she drew a slash through ‘electricity’ and then described the consequences of life without electricity.  And then she punctuated the presentation by drawing a slash through ‘civilization.’  The most existential threat is not a loss of the ability to play video games or chill beer, it is all the nuclear power plants that will not be cooled in a systemic power failure resulting in nuclear winter.  Lights out.”

2          “And radiation favors and savors aviation.”

. . .

1          “My hypothesis is that some consequences are so certain and so grave that we cannot even think about them let alone talk about them.”

2          “Everyone is struggling just to get through the day.  Putting an existential catastrophe on one’s psychological plate is too overwhelming and thus not done.”

1          “Anther hypothesis I entertain is that dark video screens and tepid beer lead to misbehavior.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at Girding For The Going Grid (October 11, 2010).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Electricity = Civilization; No Electricity = No Civilization

Is the grid going or is the grid going?

National Preparedness Month Weekly Themes:
• Week 1: September 1-5 Flood
• Week 2: September 6-12 Wildfire
• Week 3: September 13-19 Hurricane
• Week 4: September 20-26 Power Outage
• Week 5: September 27-30 Lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day (September 30th )

“In my view, nuclear power represents an unjustified faith in the power of human societies to control extremely complex technologies over the very long term.  Any activity requiring a great deal of complex and cooperative control will do badly in difficult economic times.”  Stoneleigh / Nichole Foss

Over Over-Population: 10 Billion Little Miracles (And Counting) (And Costing) (January 26, 2015)

Posted in Bush, Energy, Environment, Global Climate Change, Population on January 26, 2015 by

. . .

1          “If one assumes a reasonable and sustainable quality of life for each person, the carrying capacity of the Earth is about 500 million human beings.  At almost 7.3 billion little miracles and counting, we as a people are more than 14 times over gross.  Even if the carrying capacity is a quantum level higher at 5 billion souls, the population exceeds capacity.  With deficit spending, we are effectively spending and consuming today for 10 billion consumers or twice the most expansive gross carrying capacity of the Earth.  All of Mother Nature’s resources are pledged and committed which leaves us with nothing more to sacrifice and consume.”

0          “That is gross.  They say we are spending the kids’ and the grandkids’ money.  We are actually consuming their resources without permission or reflection.  Too many of us are devouring resources for two.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

7.3+ billion persons + deficit consumption = 10 billion ‘consumption person’ units

7.3+ billion persons x 1.33 deficit consumption multiplier = circa 10 billion ‘consumption person’ units

“I don’t believe in global climate change, but personally I do believe that the climate is changing quickly and I now believe that man may be partly responsible.”

“The American way of life is not up for negotiations.  Period.”  George H. W. Bush.  “Correct.  I do not negotiate, son.  I impose.  Exclamation point!”  Mother Nature

World’s Reserve Currency War I = Cold War 2.0 = WW III (?) (September 8, 2014)

Posted in China, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Energy, Fracking, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Market Solutions, Peak Oil, Russia on September 8, 2014 by

. . .

7          “Someday someone will realize that the attacks on Saddam Hussein in Iraq and on Muammar Gaddafi in Libya were motivated in part by their efforts to undertake oil sales in something other than American dollars.  If the American dollar is no longer the world’s petro dollar and reserve currency, America will not be able to dictate and drive world economic affairs.  America wants Europe to be dependent on America and American gas and on the American dollar, not on Russia and Russian gas and on some financial measure and medium other than the American dollar.  And along comes Putin who is peddling oil and gas using something other than the American dollar.”

8          “That makes Putin ‘Public Enemy No. 1.’  So the U.S. is imposing economic sanctions on the Russians which are also economic sanctions on the Europeans and others.  The only way for the U.S. to compel continued use of the petro dollar is to be the empire providing, controlling and protecting the petro supply.  Now the U.S. is trying to provide rather than just control and protect the supply.  For decades, the U.S. imported oil and gas from countries that disregarded environmental standards and now the U.S. is disregarding environmental standards and seeking to export gas produced using fluids and processes that are destructive to the land and water here in the good old U.S. of A.  What are we doing?”

7          “America is on the retrograde in overdrive.  Until recently, America ‘imported’ oil and ‘exported’ the pollution necessary to produce it.  Now America seeks to ‘export’ gas and ‘import’ the pollution and degradation necessary to produce it.  Pollution and degradation are externalities that are not paid by the oil and gas companies.  If the oil and gas companies internalized the costs of the pollution and degradation, they could pass the costs on to the consumer and allow the consumer to decide how much oil and gas should be produced.”

8          “And look at those we call our allies.  Among other countries, Britain, France, Poland and Bulgaria are refusing to embrace fracking and the resulting environmental damage.  U.S. interests are interested in obtaining access to the gas reserves in the Ukraine and using fracking techniques to extract the gas.  The lawyers and the lobbyists have been deployed.  The sons of the Ruling Class like Kerry-Heinz and Biden are positioned and poised to make a killing.”

7          “Only after many others get killed.  America cannot secure and dictate the distribution of the gas to Europe and others as quickly as Russia and Europe will be required to respond to the economic sanctions.  Russia and Russians are much more resilient and resourceful than America and Americans.  The Russians won World War II for the West.  Starting World War III with them is not likely to end well.  The Russians will develop workarounds to circumvent the economic sanctions and may dislodge the almighty dollar from the world stage.”

8          “The Europeans also need to learn to accommodate, but they could balk this winter at freezing to fuel the U.S. dollar.”

7          “They could sew American dollars together to make a shawl.  Americans devised ‘Hoover blankets’ from newspapers and Europeans could craft ‘Benjamin blankets’ from American bucks.  No one will strenuously dispute that it is or soon will be ‘Cold War 2.0’.”

8          “The Chinese may break the tie.  China and Russia and other countries could work together to circumvent the sanctions and develop a competing and competitive international economy devoid of the dollar.  Russia could provide China with access to the Arctic and allow them to proceed in the South China Sea.”

7          “Then America would boycott all Chinese goods.  See how they like that.”

8          “A friend is convinced that all the gold in Ft. Knox and all of Germany’s gold in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was transferred to the Chinese to stave off a sale of Treasury bonds.  They may be prepared.  The economic sanctions are seen as exercises of ‘soft power,’ yet they may expose how soft the American economy really is today.”

7          “That is why so many powerful interests are lobbying so aggressively for the U.S. to use ‘hard power.’  Wars are big business; wars are good for business.  Look at all the misinformation involving the attack on the aircraft flying on flight MH17 that is bandied about to justify military action.  False Flag capers are the easiest way to get the populace to rally ‘round the flag.”

8          “Here there be dragons.”

. . .

8          “Here there be no angels.  The Russian oligarchs who control the gas fields are as corrupt as the U.S. bankers who control oil and gas prices.  Look at the shenanigans and manipulations during the summer of 2008.  No one does anything.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Strategy: Cut off your face to spit your face

Dollar slaves; Dollar serfs

‘Mericanize: Monetize, Mechanize And Militarize (December 30, 2013)

Posted in Economics, Energy, Kleptocracy, Markets, Military, Pogo Plight, Society on December 30, 2013 by

. . .

C1        “America makes nothing but monetizes everything.”

C2        “And makes things up.” 

C1        “We make up fake money, but we cannot make up fake energy.  We need to energize not monetize.  We need to measure the energy inputs and environmental outputs before we do or make or consume anything.  Money is not the measure and sends the wrong signals.”

C2        “Even by their own terms, money and markets are far too broken to work either efficiently or equitably today.”

C1        “We aid and abet the rich players taking money electronically from the poor and middle class.”

C2        “Everything is an accounting hijink and a legal mirage concocted by the accountants and the lawyers.”

C1        “And the e-con-omists.  Everything is virtual; nothing is real.”

. . .

C1        “Now they are proclaiming that the great American heartland will be saved by the construction of new factories and a renaissance in manufacturing.  However, the typical factory does not actually employ more than two employees who turn on and monitor the machine.”

C2        “And billions are spent to keep those two employees from receiving a slightly higher minimum wage.”

C1        “Economic slaves make unprofitable consumers.”

. . .

C1        “The response in Boston is another display of the militarization of society.  The town was invaded by American storm troopers who dressed and acted like they were invading Fallujah or Kandahar.”

C2        “We lost the race years ago.  The camo armored personnel carrier replaced the black and white Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.  The .308 replaced the .38.  Kevlar® replaced khaki.”

C1        “The old saw says it all:  ‘A YouTube video is worth ten thousand words.’  The vignettes told the most harrowing stories as the militarized police broke into houses and pulled citizens out of their homes.  A few folks were shocked, a few were outraged, and a few were disgusted, yet there was an undertone of acceptance and obeisance.”

C2        “We are lost.  We are neutered and anesthetized.”

. . .

C1        “We are the Etch-A-Sketch® society.  Nothing is real or permanent.”

C2        “We are the Play-Doh® people.  No spine and no substance.  Malleable as clay.  There is no there there.” 

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” titled Minimum Wage and Maximum Earners (July 31, 2006), Racing Backwards; Moving Forward? (July 27, 2009), Occupy America: The “Bonus March/Chicago Police Riot/Kent State” Of 2011? (October 17, 2011) and Men In Pink: Today’s Sensitive New SWAT Togs (August 20, 2012).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Too much information, too little insight

Everything is virtual; nothing is real

Energize don’t marginalize

We need fewer folks chasing fewer flora and far fewer fauna

The cup is one sixteenth full

In the end, the physicists always triumph over the e-con-omists

TEDx: THEODORAx or DOROTHEAx or . . . DOROTHyx? (April 8, 2013)

Posted in Economics, Energy, Environment, Society on April 8, 2013 by

. . .

1          “TED is a clever acronym.  Technology, Engineering and Design.  Three universes and infinite possibilities.  ‘Ideas worth spreading,’ they allege.”

2          “On first hearing, it sounds like a program named after your favorite smallmouth bass fishing buddy.”

1          “That is part of what reels them in.  Our friend TED covers the usual 3E programs – energy, economics, and the environment – and everything in between and on all sides.  Local programs are identified by the small letter ‘x’ and then the community such as ‘TEDx Gotham City’ or ‘TEDx Dodge.’”

2          “I thought the ‘x’ stands for the second ‘x’ chromosome.  By design, the speakers are from diverse backgrounds, yet they still tend toward more males than females.  However, the local organizers and more than 53 percent of the attendees are double ‘xx’ers.  But that is not why the local programs are not called ‘TEDy Shangri-La.’”

1          “That was my first thought.  Just because the ‘y’ chromosome so often correlates with goonery and buffoonery does not mean that all males are goons and buffoons.  Really.”

2          “Not all of them.  But the local programs may need to be called ‘THEODORAx’ or ‘DOROTHEAx.’”

1          “Or keep the males in the loop and call the local programs ‘DOROTHyx.’”

. . .

2          “Women undertake most of the jobs in non-profit entities.”

1          “Yet the White boys still hold most of the positions of power in for-profit entities.”

2          “But one can say with a high degree of confidence that it is not because of talent.  The White boys are there because of market distortions.”

. . .

1          “With women surpassing males in high school and college, the emerging civil rights issue is whether a less talented cohort of males can be admitted in the interest of maintaining roughly equal numbers of males and females in a class.”

2          “Instead of a young woman going to college to get an MRS. degree, today’s young man goes to college to get an MR. degree.”

1          “If he gets in.”           

. . .

[See the website]

Bumper stickers of the week

TED:  Ideas worth spreading

Ideas:  Good, especially good ones.