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The Great Energy Transition: A Progress Report

Alternative Energy

On Nov. 24 in Stockholm, there was a demonstration of the progress that the Italian, Andrea Rossi, has made in his decades-long effort to develop a new source of energy based on Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR). As Rossi’s last demonstration of an earlier version of his energy-producing device was back in October of 2011, it seems worthwhile to note his progress and compare it to the other new energy-producing technology which may be coming on the market soon.

It should be obvious to all that the world’s leaders are not making a sufficient effort to curtail the use of fossil fuels to at least mitigate what almost certainly will be centuries of climate-induced disasters. These disasters will range from the flooding of the world’s coastal cities; to insufficient food and water to support a growing world population that is now at 7.4 billion; to large portions of the earth becoming uninhabitable. Although some countries, mostly in Europe, are trying to slow the use of fossil fuels, these efforts are being hampered by the imperative that economic growth trumps all other concerns.

The leaders of the nations that burn the bulk of the world’s fossil fuels still are not willing to implement the sacrifices necessary to make a significant reduction in carbon emissions. Even the Chinese who are taking many steps to cut the use of the most polluting types of fuel are more concerned with the effects that polluted air is having on their cities than trying to reverse global warming. While many scientists are warning that mega-disasters are just ahead, most of the world’s population either do not understand the problem or believe that situation will not become serious enough in their lifetimes to justify the sacrifices and increased government regulation necessary to reduce emissions. Even in the U.S., a series of devastating hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, droughts, and fires in the last year have not been enough to convince the nation’s leaders that what might be the most serious threat that the nation has ever faced is only decades away.

Recognizing this, perhaps fatal, human weakness, we must ask if there is a way out of the situation in which mankind finds itself. The answer is a resounding “yes.” We must develop and widely deploy energy producing technologies that are non-polluting and so cheap in comparison with other sources of energy that they will quickly replace fossil fuels for economic reasons alone.

What can be thought of as bursts of economic progress in the last few centuries have come almost entirely from technological innovation – think steam engines, mass production, internal combustion, electricity, electronics, etc. It is almost certain that the advent of extremely cheap energy would be the catalyst for another round of rapid economic growth and prosperity similar to what occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries.

It is for these reasons that tracking the progress in alternative energy technologies is of critical importance to the wellbeing of future generations. We are all familiar with what might be termed “conventional” sources of alternative, non-polluting energy — wind, solar, tides, waves, geothermal, etc. While good progress has been made in reducing the cost of several of these technologies in recent years, there is still a way to go. While these alternative sources of energy can produce heat and electricity, much of our fossil fuel consumption is used for transportation. Solar and wind energy may someday power much of our transportation; however, better and cheaper batteries will be needed before they can fully replace fossil fuels.

At the present, there are two technologies on the horizon that seem to offer the possibility of replacing fossil fuels in the immediate future. These are Rossi’s version of LENR and Randell Mills’ hydrinos. Unfortunately, much of mainstream science backed itself into a corner years ago by declaring prematurely that these technologies could not possibly work. In the last decade however, much solid and verified evidence has emerged to the contrary that has been largely ignored. The lack of a blessing of these technologies by mainstream science has resulted in little significant support from Washington and not much from other governments (that we know of). It is indeed ironic that the very technologies that have the potential to solve global warming and produce a new wave of economic growth are almost universally ignored despite considerable progress in recent years.

Given this situation, it will take obvious and incontrovertible proof – think the Wright brothers flying over Dayton – that these technologies are valid before it they come to public and governmental attention as possible replacements for fossil fuels. Even then there is bound to be a major backlash from those currently dependent on fossil fuels for their economic well-being — think OPEC, Russia, Alberta, and Texas.

Even for those aware of their existence, it may come as surprise that the LENR and hydrino technologies could be quite close to becoming commercially viable. They both have been under development quietly in private laboratories for many years only surfacing now and again to report progress publicly. There now is no question that enough verified experimentation is available to conclude that the underlying science of these technologies is valid in that they are producing more useful energy than they consume and without significant pollution or radiation.

While the demonstration by Andrea Rossi of his latest device was not particularly spectacular (it only warmed up a bowl of water), it was intended to show the attentive public and potential collaborators that he has developed a very small and presumably reliable LENR reactor that can produce considerable heat. The details of the device were not revealed other than its compact size and the claims that it requires a very small power input in comparison to what it can produce. During the demonstration Rossi noted that the small reactors should be able to run for six months or more before needing refueling. His efforts to secure his new device from reverse engineering by potential competitors meant that only snippets of new information as to how his device works were revealed in the November demonstration.

After the demonstration, Rossi reported that he had meetings with people interested in collaborating with him and made “an important agreement” that will make it much faster to start commercial production. However at least one scientist that has been following Rossi’s efforts for many years opined that it would likely take from one to three years to turn the device demonstrated into a useful commercial product.

Back in New Jersey, it has now more than two months since we last heard a progress report on Brilliant Light Power’s efforts to bring its hydrogen-powered SunCell to market. Last spring Mills announced that he was revamping the SunCell project so that he would develop a thermal version of the SunCell, suitable for heating a boiler, before completing a second version that would produce electricity directly. The new electricity-generating version would initially be equipped with cheaper conventional solar cells rather than the more sophisticated and expensive concentrated photovoltaic cell that had been planned. At the time, it was hoped that these changes would shorten the time it would take to bring the SunCell to market.

In mid-September Mills told a gathering in Denver that good progress had been made in automating a prototype device that can run continuously under computer control. He listed nine key engineering challenges that have been overcome in recent months, but he did not indicate when the automated SunCell would be ready for a public demonstration. He did indicate that the “science” required for the SunCell had been completed and that it was now up to sub-contractors doing the engineering of the prototype to complete their work.

Having no known competitors working on his technology, Mills has been quite open in discussing his technology in comparison to Rossi, keeping only a few details of his device confidential. Mills has published the scientific theories behind the SunCell have in great detail.

To an outside observer who has followed the course of the LENR and SunCell technologies for many years, it would seem that Mills and his SunCell have several major advantages over Rossi and his LENR. Mills has well thought out plans for bringing the SunCell technology to market and is already developing a network of manufacturers and distributors waiting for the day when prototypes are ready for testing. While development schedules slip, it looks possible that we will see a working prototype that is close to being a commercial product in the coming year.

If and when it gets into commercial production Mills’ device could take over the market quickly. The Rossi reactor will run on a mixture of metal powders and hydrogen that will have to be replaced at least once a year. Mills’ SunCell would seem to have an advantage as it can make its own hydrogen fuel from water and run for years without maintenance.

Perhaps there is a place for both these technologies in a future world. The LENR technology, for instance has may be able to deactivate radioactive material from power plants. This too is a sorely needed technology.

FCNP



26 Comments on "The Great Energy Transition: A Progress Report"

  1. Cloggie on Mon, 11th Dec 2017 3:49 pm 

    Brooklyn. Bridge.

  2. jh wyoming on Mon, 11th Dec 2017 5:08 pm 

    “While the demonstration by Andrea Rossi of his latest device was not particularly spectacular (it only warmed up a bowl of water), it was intended to show the attentive public and potential collaborators that he has developed a very small and presumably reliable LENR reactor that can produce considerable heat.”

    That paragraph contradicts itself. If states it warmed a bowl of water, then states it produces considerable heat. Who considers warming a bowl of water considerable heat? An ant? Was the device the size of a sugar cube or a briefcase or a car?

    These articles about Rossi and his magical energy making machine have been in circulation for many years and all we get now is a warm bowl of water?! Somebody get Rossi a tea bag.

  3. Outcast_Searcher on Mon, 11th Dec 2017 5:41 pm 

    jh — as a hot tea drinker, merely warm water doesn’t cut it, IMO. LOL

  4. Cloggie on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 4:01 am 

    Offshore wind in Europe now without subsidy. The way it works: give a developer a piece of the North Sea and he will volunteer to build a wind park on it and promises to sell electricity against market prices, currently 4.4 euro cent/kwh.

    http://www.wattisduurzaam.nl/9119/featured/nieuw-record-offshore-wind-zakt-zakt-naar-6-cent-per-kwh/

    Net result: if you as a country own a sizable chunk of the North Sea with shallow water depths (Netherlands, Germany, Britain and Denmark)…

    http://www.hhofstede.nl/modules/conflict1.gif

    …you as a government have to do nothing other than charge the kwh’s coming from the sea onto land. Bingo!

    What is the North Sea potential?

    1600 GW

    Let this sink in, 3 times the energy consumption of the entire EU.

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/the-enormous-energy-potential-of-the-north-sea/

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/01/07/gold-mine-north-sea/

    And then there is the Baltic, Irish Sea and floating wind turbines technology.

    People who think we have an energy problem should get their heads checked.

    Americans do not have so much offshore potential, the ocean is too deep, but they are blessed with less populated lands and empty Canada as a potential giant energy province. China has very windy Mongolia.

    Peak oil, doomerism, one big YAWN.

  5. Cloggie on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 4:23 am 

    Too cheap to meter latest:

    http://www.wattisduurzaam.nl/14070/energie-opwekken/wind/mexico-pakt-ook-prijsrecord-wind-op-land-19-ctkwh/

    Mexican wind tender 2.2 $ cent/kwh by French developer ENEL.

    http://www.wattisduurzaam.nl/5969/energie-opwekken/zonne-energie/zonnestroom-mexico-duikt-4-dollarcent-per-kilowattuur/

    Aaaaand, solar tenders in KSA, Chile and Mexico below 2 $ cent / kwh

    Oil and gas are sooo 20th century!

  6. Cloggie on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 4:31 am 

    Warren Buffett building 2 GW wind park in Iowa.

    http://www.wattisduurzaam.nl/6034/energie-opwekken/wind/warren-buffets-energieconcern-mikt-op-windpark-36-mrd/

    The oil industry could be dead by 2030.

  7. Antius on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 5:46 am 

    Cloggie, We do have an energy problem. More to the point, we have an EROI problem and a pollution problem. Not necessarily a problem without solutions, but a problem none the less.

    The difficulty with your wind power example is that it will substitute fossil fuels, not replace them. It will reduce the fuel consumption in the natural gas power plant that backs it up. That is how it works at present.

    1. Let’s say wind provides half the power and natural gas provides the other.

    2. Let us assume that both produce power at about the same price, before carbon taxes.

    3. Let us assume that fuel cost represents about half the cost of electric power in the NG plant.

    Your wind/NG hybrid will produce power that is 25% more expensive than NG alone, but with roughly half the CO2 emissions. Considering the external costs of CO2, that isn’t too bad a deal for the lifetime of the NG powerplant.

    The problem is that your wind power keeps us tied to natural gas. It cuts the emissions from NG powerplants but keeps us tied to it none the less. We have a perfectly good alternative that replaces the need for natural gas entirely and has no intrinsic CO2 emissions at all, aside from those associated with building the thing.

    As I have demonstrated here before, a 100% renewable energy system with storage, would roughly triple the cost of electric power. And that is before we start trying to build renewable infrastructure using renewable energy. What happens to the cost then?

    As excited as you may be with wind power, the laws of physics are against you. Energy transitions (changing energy from one form to another) are expensive and wasteful.

  8. Davy on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 6:08 am 

    “Offshore wind in Europe now without subsidy. The way it works: give a developer a piece of the North Sea and he will volunteer to build a wind park on it and promises to sell electricity against market prices, currently 4.4 euro cent/kwh.”

    Give something away and not consider that a subsidy???? LOL. Dutchy, Europe is one big subsidy when it comes to renewables. You are just mentioning a direct subsidy but not all the other ancillary support that comes across the board in other areas. The subsidies are going to get worse because the worst part of the process is when you begin to cross over that magic line when alternative storage strategies must become very significant. Let’s see how things go when German leaves coal and your gas fired backup plants are phased out

  9. Davy on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 6:34 am 

    Antius, your contribution to this energy story is huge and vital to what is being talked about. You have single handedly squashed dutchy’s agenda of “energy is not a problem”, “1kw=1kw”, and “party time”. Your sobriety and detail to facts is excellent in the support of the truth. Both of us want to get to the truth. Both of us want to get through this energy trap best we can. We both have good lives and families. What we don’t want is to be peddled snake oil. I do not want to be told everything is fine if it is not.

    Life is not fine in all locations and on multiple fronts. People need to get real about how difficult life is going to get anytime. We are pushing the envelope and have been now for a decade. This is economic, social, environmental, and energy. These are multiple problems converging and positively reinforcing the summation of these problems into one big predicament for mankind. The biggest problem is consumptive behavior and our inability to control procreation. IOW, we cannot control our desires to grow and prosper. Animals do the same and they usually suffer die offs to rebalance. What dies off is food for other species. This reality is circular but for some reason we think we humans are linear and above planetary reality.

    We need draconian policy but what we are getting is more of the same promoting more consumption (good for the economy), more population (good for religion/economy), and more techno development (optimistic solutions). Draconian policy is needed but it is that sort of policy that will also kill the global economy. Draconian policy will be ones that are unfair precisely because they are predicaments that demand sacrifice. Humans always want others to sacrifice before they do. Many palaces and classes of people will be triaged into poverty. Death will become common place where it is not now. Food, water, and shelter will be rationed. Consumerism and mass travel will die.

    The fake greens will tell you we can have what we have today if and only if we follow a carbon free strategy. Fake greens won’t even call it sacrifice they call it opportunity. They want you to believe this will generate jobs and development. These people want their cake and eat it. They follow the science until it comes to the solutions. Fake greens are science deniers when solutions are considered. They are habituated to affluence and the numbing effects of average growth for decades. They no longer think rationally. Fake greens are now in many cases radicalized. If you don’t agree with them they accuse you of this or that. Mostly you are called a Trump supporter. There is always an excuse. The only solutions are part of the predicament from the limits to growth and involve draconian changes that must happen immediately. We cannot wait 20 years. These policies needed to be implemented years ago.

  10. Antius on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 6:40 am 

    The tax situation in the EU is complicated and does vary from country to country. But suffice to say that ‘without subsidy’ does not necessarily mean that it is competing on a LCOE basis. I am not automatically against carbon tax per se, but I do not as things stand, understand the cost structure of electricity reaching the market.

    And who actually pays for the service provided by the back-up plants? This is an expensive service as it involves CCGT or coal plants sitting idle for much of the time and therefore increases the marginal cost of the power they do provide. The perversity of this is that those ignorant of the situation will likely conclude that the NG plant costs are rising and thus it is not competitive against renewable energy. Whereas the truth is that the power plant costs are rising because of the renewable electricity. Intermittent power is dumped onto the grid and given guaranteed market share, which other generators have to give up. This seriously distorts the economics of electricity supply in the EU and gives the public a misleading impression as to what is actually going on.

  11. Cloggie on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 7:19 am 

    http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/emmanuel-macron-als-klimabettler-beim-klimagipfel-in-paris-a-1182866.html

    New climate summit in Paris. A lot of Americans take part, circumventing the Trump administration. On the agenda is among others the inclusion of shipping, responsible for 3% of global emissions.

    #OldCruisers

  12. Davy on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 7:35 am 

    “The tax situation in the EU is complicated and does vary from country to country. But suffice to say that ‘without subsidy’ does not necessarily mean that it is competing on a LCOE basis. I am not automatically against carbon tax per se, but I do not as things stand, understand the cost structure of electricity reaching the market.”
    Correct Antius and I agree I am not against subsidies. I would rather society subsidies these efforts than poor behavior of consumption and unneeded discretionary travel. What I don’t like is people like dutchy telling us there are no subsidies when in fact there are multiple levels of subsidies. Europe is one big subsidy.

    “Whereas the truth is that the power plant costs are rising because of the renewable electricity. Intermittent power is dumped onto the grid and given guaranteed market share, which other generators have to give up. This seriously distorts the economics of electricity supply in the EU and gives the public a misleading impression as to what is actually going on.”

    This points to dysfunctional and irrational narrative of the future. These fake greens are weaving a false story to push their agenda. While I am all for renewable energy properly applied to lessen the dangers of peak oil dynamics and systematic decline I will not acknowledge out right distortion bordering on lies. Nobody minds a white lie. So many here agree with what mad kat agenda because most everyone is anti-American to some degree. They like the storyline even though they know what he is doing. Likewise with dutchy we have a European golden age driven by a move to 100% renewable energy which is currently a fantasy and bordering on a lie because it has not been realized nor is it a sure thing.

  13. Cloggie on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 8:52 am 

    http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/usa-koennen-klimaziele-trotz-donald-trump-erreichen-sagen-kerry-und-bloomerg-a-1182934.html

    Kerry and Bloomberg present in Paris.

    What I don’t like is people like dutchy telling us there are no subsidies when in fact there are multiple levels of subsidies. Europe is one big subsidy.

    Don’t put words in my mouth, Davy. I only said that the government does not have to pay developers to build offshore wind infrastructure AND that they do not have to pay developers a few cent per kwh. All they have to do is handle the kwh’s as as soon as they arrive onshore.

    Give something away and not consider that a subsidy???? LOL.

    Nothing is “given away”, just a permission to build infrastructure on an otherwise useless resource like the sea surface (fishing is still possible, just be aware not to ram a monopile).

    But you are just jealous that America is no longer a front-runner in a vital industry like renewable energy.

  14. fmr-paultard on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 8:56 am 

    guys i consultd wiki and it says dutch people originated modern cutlure of the west. no doubt this was promugated by a dutch loving wikian. don’t forget i just appointed myself a historian just recently. witnessing how eurotard peddle propaganda and falsehood i almost have the urge to convert to islam like linsay lohan would. but i know better and i don’t criticize suepratards because they have to maintain scientific, cultural, and academic fidelity which means they can’t speak out on these political/lies issues. they’re beyond reproach and if i create a relion it would be to worship supertards who give me safe electricity and indoor plumbing and the intardweb that supertards created for me to enjoy before it’s polluted but SENTAPBs extremist islamic idealogies.

    SENTAPBs stands for Supremacist extremist nazi tard antisemtic bumpskied preachers.

    anyways, men and women are never equal but i’m not saying women are always inferior. i’m just a tard and I would lose near 100% to any female gymnasts in fight. I win near 100% otherwise .. but with training women would squeeze those lead rounds and steer them where they need to go.

    http://www.arkansasmatters.com/news/local-news/some-of-the-first-female-combat-military-soldiers-training-at-camp-robinson/877967372

  15. fmr-paultard on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 8:59 am 

    as a former paultard and self appointed historian the idea of dutch people originate culture is laughable. don’t these people have the humility to laugh at themselves? do you see what eurotard is peddling? you know who else don’t laugh? muslims

    supertards don’t laugh much but they build stuff which means i don’t have to walk into a suicide shower everytime i want to take a stupid shower

  16. fmr-paultard on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 9:12 am 

    guys as a former paultard and a born again christian then i lost it again but i will go to midnight mass this year to make mom happy. once a year is enough to fulfill mom’s most cherished wish. i see extremism everywerhe

    i was told god chose me but jews said it’s them. then SENTAPBs said they’re supremacists and Islam say it’s them.

    I’m not going to be full tard atheist but I’m not a supremacist because god chose me. I’m justa tard.

    I like it when he said sell the cloak and buy the bumpski. Yes dear Jesus I would sell everything I have, my lord.

  17. Antius on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 9:59 am 

    Davy wrote: ‘Antius, your contribution to this energy story is huge and vital to what is being talked about. You have single handedly squashed dutchy’s agenda of “energy is not a problem”, “1kw=1kw”, and “party time”. Your sobriety and detail to facts is excellent in the support of the truth. Both of us want to get to the truth. Both of us want to get through this energy trap best we can. We both have good lives and families. What we don’t want is to be peddled snake oil. I do not want to be told everything is fine if it is not.’

    Thanks Davy, I do my best. I by no means have all the answers to the state we are in. I think a problem that we all suffer from in looking for solutions is that we each see bits of the problem and cannot see the whole. Political bias and personal obsessions always distort our thinking.

    I think our problems stem from the fact that we live on a finite ball of rock, some 8000 miles wide, with a fixed surface area, fixed resource base, fixed atmospheric volume and fixed everything. In that circumstance, we cannot achieve a win without someone or something else losing. We cannot solve a problem without creating at least one more. If I grow food for myself and my family, I do so at the expense of other creatures that might have lived on the land and I damage the soil. I cannot exist without depriving something else. If I burn fossil fuels to generate power or keep warm, I am dumping poisons into the environment that will ultimately be a problem for someone else. And of course, stored energy can be used only once – it won’t be there in 50 years if my grandchildren need to burn it. If I build a wind turbine, I am consuming rare metals that won’t be there for the next generation and dumping wastes into the environment. If I provide a super power source that allows economic growth and more prosperity, I am only providing the means to use more resources and damage the ecosystem even more and I am depleting those resources in a way that means I cannot go back to using poorer energy sources. In a finite environment, there simply aren’t any long term solutions that allow better than a Stone Age way of life. Every success that we achieve is a failure by default.

    That is the joke in what we are trying to do in providing ourselves with a growing or even fixed prosperity in a finite environment. I continue to believe that the only ‘solution’ involves leaving this place. In the 21st century, the Earth will cease to be the cradle of mankind and begin to feel more and more like a kind of gravitational prison. Our only hope of a better future revolves around leaving it.

  18. GregT on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 10:23 am 

    “Our only hope of a better future revolves around leaving it.”

    Sad but true. The humans are terminal.

  19. Apneaman on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 10:29 am 

    More reckless insanity.

    Uprooting FDR’s ‘Great Wall of Trees’

    Planted after the Dust Bowl. Cut down in the climate change era.

    “Today, due to improved agricultural technology, a subsidized marketplace that incentivizes fencerow-to-fencerow planting, and a waning conservation ethic among Plains farmers, many if not most of those shelterbelts have been systematically removed: cut, burned, and buried where they stood. In Nebraska alone, 57 percent of the original PSFP plantings have been cut back or lost altogether. To many, “FDR’s trees” are simply no longer necessary.

    Yet many agroforestry officials, noting a bleak climate-change forecast for the Plains and the ongoing conversion of prairie to cropland, worry farmers may be tearing out their last line of defense when they need it most.”

    http://www.circleofblue.org/2017/world/uprooting-fdrs-great-wall-trees/

  20. Apneaman on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 5:13 pm 

    Meanwhile, back in reality land where wildfire season used to end on October 31st……

    California Thomas Fire: No end in sight for week-long wildfire

    “The Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties has consumed 234,000 acres (950 sq km) in just over a week.

    Destroying 900 properties, including 690 homes, it has become the fifth largest wildfire in recorded state history.

    Some 94,000 residents have been displaced in the last week.”

    “Around 7,000 firefighters have been deployed to fight the blaze, but steep slopes and rocky terrain have made it dangerous to tackle the flames.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42331132

    Oh look, a wildfire in Alberta 10 days before the official start of winter.

    Typical CBC soft denial with their expert desperately trying not to mention AGW. Always another excuse/explanation instead of the truth that AGW increases evaporation which dries the fuck out of the vegetation & soils. If you don’t have that you don’t get wildfires on Christmas fucking day. That same evaporation is also responsible for those ever more costly Rain Bombs that keep falling on the human’s heads and infrastructure. Humanity going down with a whimper.


    Unseasonal Kananaskis wildfire under control
    The flames lit up on the weekend, but haven’t gained any ground since Saturday

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/kananaskis-wildfire-under-control-1.4443934

    7,000 firefighters in a rich state that is throwing everything they got at the fires, in mid December Ffs, and they can’t stop it.

    Imagine what it will be like when BIG GOVERNMENT no longer has the resources to come rescue the people?

    Does anyone think that there will always be unlimited resources to bail your fat asses out?

    No and insurance is going too.

    Folks are already getting wiped out in whole or part. As the shit progresses less people will be able to afford insurance and/or it will not be available because the math no longer works because of the increasing frequency and destructiveness AGW consequence.

    Many people, families, will be left with a pile of ash and charred remains or a flooded out soggy, moldy house.

    A significant amount of the destruction and suffering from AGW consequence to date could have been avoided and/or lessened at a fraction of the cost of rescue and clean up and rebuild, but there would need to be some adults in the room.

    Endless, senseless tribal bickering trumps all else. Going down hard & fast in the final act of the great Freak Show.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SkzFL3_HZI

  21. Apneaman on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 5:44 pm 

    US flood risk ‘severely underestimated’

    “Their work reveals 40 million Americans are at risk of having their homes flooded – more than three times as many people as federal flood maps show.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42169462

  22. Apneaman on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 5:54 pm 

    Regression

    A moment of truth arrives for Rick Perry’s widely hated coal bailout
    Federal regulators will decide soon whether to go along with the partisan hackery.

    “Donald Trump campaigned for president with intense support from coal miners and coal mining communities. He promised them the moon: mines would reopen, their jobs would come back, and their communities would thrive.

    Like many of Trump’s promises, these are impossible to keep, but he’s been making a real effort (more than you can say about his other promises). Part of that effort was instructing Rick Perry, head of the Department of Energy, to figure out a way to stop so many coal-fired power plants from closing.

    Perry dutifully came up with a plan (albeit a bonkers plan), but it requires the cooperation of federal regulators. Specifically, Perry asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, to pass a new rule that would bail out coal plants.”

    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/12/9/16745084/rick-perry-coal-bailout-ferc

  23. peakyeast on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 6:15 pm 

    @antius: Or scale back population and consumption until there is a balance – like there was before humans went amok.

    I find it much more unlikely that space transport of billions upon billions of people become a viable solution. The solutions and their time frame is beyond unlikely to happen.

    Besides its much easier and cheaper just to kill people off and pretend they went to another solar system.

    Remember what Bartlet said about the three extra Jars?

  24. Antius on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 6:38 pm 

    ‘Or scale back population and consumption until there is a balance – like there was before humans went amok.
    I find it much more unlikely that space transport of billions upon billions of people become a viable solution. The solutions and their time frame is beyond unlikely to happen.’

    Trouble is, bringing population back into balance involves a lot of lives being cut short. I would have to agree that it is the most likely outcome, but a very undesirable one, especially if yours is one the lives cut short.

    Sending people into Earth orbit has historically been difficult and expensive. Less than a thousand people have ever done it. But with the reusable craft that Musk is developing, it could ultimately achieve economics similar to mass air travel. Still quite expensive,tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. But if you can work up there, a mortgage could cover the cost of transit. In much the same way, early american colonists paid for their transit with 5 years of indentured servitude.

  25. Makati1 on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 6:58 pm 

    All animals, insects, fish, etc, expand their numbers until they reach the limits set by their available resources (food/water/climate) then they die back. It has taken humans until now to hit those limits. The next stage is the die-back. The only question is: Will it be a natural death by starvation or a man made death by radiation? We shall see.

  26. peakyeast on Tue, 12th Dec 2017 7:33 pm 

    @antius: You are talking about a few select and rich people. A little like the movie Elysium.

    While the many and the poor – those who really breed a lot stays down here. The only work up there is high tech stuff. I suspect robots will do the rest.

    How many 1$ a day Africans and Indians (fastest growing nation) do you see in Elysium?

    But its a beautiful dream to leave the plebs and breeders in their own filth?

    The amount of people that can move off-world wont reach billions. But off-world could be a refuge for the coming “master race”. Just like James Bond Moonraker.

    But I find, increasingly, that it wont be lack of natural resources or energy, that will force the great selection. It will be our leaders – through war.

    The selection of food may be severely restricted, the luxuries, but we could survive at a much lower energy intensity and natural habitat exploitation level than now. Much lower – and thus be a bad but stable situation.

    The problem is making everybody accept it. Especially the “master race” over in the USA and here in EU.

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