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The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby REAL Green » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 07:42:20

kublikhan wrote:And I say adding resilience to the current system as a whole is a better approach than beefing up resilience in your locale. Covid19 is showing how fragil our JIT system is. Some are already starting to move to add more resilience to it:


I am saying your view of resilience is brittle and is concentrating dispersed risk even more. You are saying more delocalization is better because of raw efficiency. I am saying your thinking is just more of the trap narrative. The trap narrative is fixing problems with more problem called dubiously “fixes”. It may sound odd when I say concentrating dispersed risk. That is one of those incongruous juxtapositions. What I mean by this is you are advocating dispersing more delocalization by saying localization efforts need to be reduced.

I say let’s recognize your industrial way is the default way unless we want a die off. Permaculture localism will not even support a local at this point becuase so much delocalization has occurred in the last century. What I am saying is beef up localism let’s say 30% so it is a buffer. I go even further by saying we need to take rural locals and make them both food and energy buffers. These areas could embrace seasonality, intermittency, and be a source of both passive and active backup. Many locals could be raising food and energy. They could be tuned into intermittency and shift to a low energy consumption state and export their energy to the grid as needed where 24/7 life cannot take disruption.

With food I am saying everyone that can should be raising food instead of playing with expensive big boy toys and games like needless spectator sports or bass fishing with a 200hp merc bass boat. I am saying instead of increasing the already very dangerous delocalization I am saying boost localism as a policy instead of rewarding Walmart’s and Amazons. You say reward these big box stores becuase they are our only hope. I am looking at this holistically saying value is more than raw theoretical numbers.

I am living it and you are not. You talk and I live and talk, big difference. I admit to many of your numbers just not your conclusions or your rational. My REAL Green embraces failure becuase of your numbers and the obvious honest science of limits that techno optimist like yourself reject except around the edges. You think substitution and efficiency will save us. Normally a techno optimist takes the economy for granted at a long-term average growth rate of 2-3 percent. This all could go into abrupt change just like the climate is now. Then the seeds don’t get in the ground and the trucks don’t run then what? I am saying while we have a chance lets repair some of the dangerous delocalization that has occurred if only at a few locals of enlightened individuals. Something is better than nothing or worse your way of further destruction of our basic support system.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 08:00:20

Sounds like the same tired doomestead drivel that was popular all the way back to soviet era bomb shelters. Except this time ramped up to the local level. "Me and my enlightened friends will get through the apocalypse ok so I did my part." No thanks.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby REAL Green » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 08:04:35

kublikhan wrote:Sounds like the same tired doomestead drivel that was popular all the way back to soviet era bomb shelters. Except this time ramped up to the local level. "Me and my enlightened friends will get through the apocalypse ok so I did my part." No thanks.


An easy translation for that is you are too invested in your narrative to bend even a little. That is a sure sign of deceptive logic mixed with an emotional stance. I am glad I am above that with honesty and integrity.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 08:07:07

Says the guy who uses Zerohedge as his source.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby REAL Green » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 08:08:29

kublikhan wrote:Says the guy who uses Zerohedge as his source.


Says the guy who uses the woke MSM as his source
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby mousepad » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 08:59:24

Ok, let’s dig a little deeper.

There’s different kind of efficiency and different kind of crops.
There’s energy efficiency, meaning how much can I produce per unit energy input. And there’s time efficiency, how much can I produce per labor hour.

With energy prices practically free compared to labor costs, the first step a business does is automate to eliminate labor hours, even if that means added energy use. This works especially well for row crops, as I can buy a bigger bader tractor to harvest my field in half the time (but certainly not half the fuel). Combine this with location (soil/climate etc) and you have prime spots of growing wheat and corn. More over, the harvest is not time critical and can be shipped in bulk carrier at a leasurly rate.
That’s why even the old Romans used to grow their wheat in north africa, because the yield advantage of egyptian fields was more than enough to offset the added transportation cost to get the crop to Rome.

Now let’s take tomatoes. I buy my tomatoes from a farm 20 miles away. So worst case I travel 40 miles round trip to get tomatoes. Sometimes the farmer can deliver by integrating my house into his delivery route, cutting down the energy cost of the tomatoes transport.
I compare that to the tomatoes I can by at Costco which have been transported in refrigerated trucks from mexico (2000 miles away). Are you serious that the ENERGY cost of my local tomatoes are worse than the ones transported 2000 miles?
The only reason for this transport to have happened is because energy is practically free.

Once energy (transportation) cost go up, localization will come back.

cost_at_user = cost_of_production + cost_of transportation


asg70 wrote:I've come to realize that BAU, unsustainable as it may be, is the way it is, for a reason.

yes, and one of the big reason is ridiculously cheap transportation which makes centralization cost effective.

Kub’s answer to increased energy cost is more centralization and more automation (in the hopes of increasing efficiency). My answer is removing costly transport altogether by keeping it as local as possible, even if the growing is not hyper efficient.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby mousepad » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 09:24:01

I have to add that we have to be careful not to mix cost with energy input in our discussions. Those are 2 different things.
A business' interest is to reduce cost, not energy use.

When I grow a tomatoe in my garden, the energy input is practically 0, but the amount of time I spend makes the tomateo as valuable as gold. A business on the other hand tries to minimize labor input, even at the cost of increased (practically free) energy input.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 09:58:57

mousepad wrote:Now let’s take tomatoes. I buy my tomatoes from a farm 20 miles away. So worst case I travel 40 miles round trip to get tomatoes. Sometimes the farmer can deliver by integrating my house into his delivery route, cutting down the energy cost of the tomatoes transport.
I compare that to the tomatoes I can by at Costco which have been transported in refrigerated trucks from mexico (2000 miles away). Are you serious that the ENERGY cost of my local tomatoes are worse than the ones transported 2000 miles?
Let's look at the numbers for the transportation:
40 miles round trip, divided by 20 mpg = 2 gallons of fuel. 2 gallons / 1 pound of tomatoes = 2 gallons per pound. Or if you bought 20 pounds of tomatoes it would be 2 gallons / 20 pounds = .1 gallons per pound.
2000 miles / 5mpg = 400 gallons of fuel. 400 gallons / 40,000 pounds of goods = .01 gallons per pound.
Even if you bought 20 pounds of tomatoes, you still used 10 times as much fuel per pound to transport those tomatoes. The numbers look better the more goods are transported. If your local tomato farmer is delivering 200 pounds of tomatoes per trip, he would break even with the mexican tomatoes, assuming it's the same 40 mile round trip.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby mousepad » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 10:04:57

kublikhan wrote:
mousepad wrote:Now let’s take tomatoes. I buy my tomatoes from a farm 20 miles away. So worst case I travel 40 miles round trip to get tomatoes. Sometimes the farmer can deliver by integrating my house into his delivery route, cutting down the energy cost of the tomatoes transport.
I compare that to the tomatoes I can by at Costco which have been transported in refrigerated trucks from mexico (2000 miles away). Are you serious that the ENERGY cost of my local tomatoes are worse than the ones transported 2000 miles?
Let's look at the numbers for the transportation:
40 miles round trip, divided by 20 mpg = 2 gallons of fuel. 2 gallons / 1 pound of tomatoes = 2 gallons per pound. Or if you bought 20 pounds of tomatoes it would be 2 gallons / 20 pounds = .1 gallons per pound.
2000 miles / 5mpg = 400 gallons of fuel. 400 gallons / 40,000 pounds of goods = .01 gallons per pound.
Even if you bought 20 pounds of tomatoes, you still used 10 times as much fuel per pound to transport those tomatoes. The numbers look better the more goods are transported. If your local tomato farmer is delivering 200 pounds of tomatoes per trip, he would break even with the mexican tomatoes, assuming it's the same 40 mile round trip.


Kub, with the 2000 miles transport, the 1st and last mile is not eliminated.
The farmer in mexico STILL has to drive the tomatoes 20 miles to the semi hub.
I still have to drive 20 miles to Costco to pick them up. The semi DOESN'T stop in front of my house.

If I pick them up locally, I eliminate the the long haul, AND I can combine the 1st mile with the last.

(and on a side note, I pick up 100 to 200 lbs of tomatoes and other vegetables I need on the same trip).
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 10:25:24

mousepad wrote:The farmer in mexico STILL has to drive the tomatoes 20 miles to the semi hub.
Yes, but don't those tomato trucks have the same huge capacity? So instead of 2000 miles it's 2020 miles? That does not significantly alter the numbers.

Image
How much does a tomato truck hold?
A typical tomato truck holds 50,000 pounds of tomatoes, which is about 300,000 tomatoes.
Facts About Tomatoes

mousepad wrote:I still have to drive 20 miles to Costco to pick them up. The semi DOESN'T stop in front of my house.

If I pick them up locally, I eliminate the the long haul, AND I can combine the 1st mile with the last.

(and on a side note, I pick up 100 to 200 lbs of tomatoes and other vegetables I need on the same trip).
Your Costco is 20 miles away? Also I assume when you go there you buy more than one thing as well, just as you do when you make a trip to the tomato farm.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby mousepad » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 10:43:15

kublikhan wrote:Yes, but don't those tomato trucks have the same huge capacity? So instead of 2000 miles it's 2020 miles? That does not significantly alter the numbers.


The field truck crawling at 1 mile/h, only at capacity at the end is not the same truck as the long haul truck and has a significantly different fuel expenditure per tomato. It saves labor, not fuel. E.g if you have a 1 mile by 1 mile field, you have more than 1000 rows of tomatoes. Your field truck crawls several 100 miles (probably with AC on) to take tomatoes to the semi hub.

Your Costco is 20 miles away? Also I assume when you go there you buy more than one thing as well, just as you do when you make a trip to the tomato farm.

Yes, it's actually 25 miles away. And yes, I buy the truck full of stuff when I go there, same as when going to the farmer. Truck full. And I sometimes go to have a cup of coffee with the farmer, so combining pleasurable social contact at no additional fuel cost. Keep it efficient. :-)
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby asg70 » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 11:23:40

REAL Green wrote:What about when the trucks stop and you are facing hunger?


I think there are serious holes in that narrative. Outline a scenario for when the "trucks stop". What would the world look like at that time and how would local food production somehow save the day? If it's a temporary disturbance, stocking up on canned and dry goods is all you need. If it's the "big one", well, I'll address that in more detail after your response.

REAL Green wrote:There is no way with the populations in the world today industrial agriculture can be replaced by local food permaculture.


You seem to be arguing against your own case here.

I would argue that the only thing that matters in the end is individual doomer prep, not community or regional. Community makeup will change radically in a doomer scenario for the sole reason that people will lose their income and with that lose access to land as their houses enter foreclosure. So that's the irony, that those who are the most economically vulnerable will wind up with the least access to land.

LAND is the limiting factor and MONEY is what you need to own LAND. And MONEY is a function of JOBS. This is exactly why collapsing civilizations fall back to feudal lords and serfdom.

It may be technically possible to live a homesteader lifestyle on the cheap but you're talking living but not thriving in the sense that without a nestegg you're talking about no health insurance at the very least, and difficulty paying property taxes.

Interfacing with the larger capitalist economy is a necessary evil at which point most will just try to cling to the best paying jobs they can rather than redirecting all their energy towards survival/hobby farming.

You see what I mean? Like Thanos, BAU in some shape or form is...inevitable. If it gets to the point where it's not then the world will be so post-apocalyptic that personal security will become the #1 concern rather than food.

REAL Green wrote:Local food can't compete with industrial food on price and raw efficiency but that does not mean it shouldn't be embraced. We are talking increased community and care for the planet


Which are abstractions that have shown little progress in over a decade of messaging/outreach.

I mean, you're talking about kumbaya while the country is still reeling from mass riots.

The way to look at all this is at the individual household level only. You do your own very narrow cost/benefit assessment. What makes sense for one household won't make sense for another. Trying to evangelize is wrong-headed because it assumes one-size-fits-all. That's not to say I wouldn't like to see every patch of dirt converted to editables, highway median strips and the like. Sure. But that just isn't going to happen. It's just not. A few pilot programs here and there but it won't amount to a hill of beans in the end.

BOLD PREDICTIONS
-Billions are on the verge of starvation as the lockdown continues. (yoshua, 5/20/20)

HALL OF SHAME:
-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby jedrider » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 12:50:15

asg70 wrote:
REAL Green wrote:Local food can't compete with industrial food on price and raw efficiency but that does not mean it shouldn't be embraced. We are talking increased community and care for the planet


Which are abstractions that have shown little progress in over a decade of messaging/outreach.

I mean, you're talking about kumbaya while the country is still reeling from mass riots.

The way to look at all this is at the individual household level only. You do your own very narrow cost/benefit assessment. What makes sense for one household won't make sense for another. Trying to evangelize is wrong-headed because it assumes one-size-fits-all. That's not to say I wouldn't like to see every patch of dirt converted to editables, highway median strips and the like. Sure. But that just isn't going to happen. It's just not. A few pilot programs here and there but it won't amount to a hill of beans in the end.


What we do is increase migration to the Cities when farmers cannot compete with mass produced (and often inferior) food. We need a plan for resiliency.

Resiliency is having something to fall back on. The engine of capitalism doesn't account for resiliency, especially on the level of subsistence farming.

If mass produced food fails, of course, many will die. It's still nice to have some backup plan rather than no backup plan.

Imagine subsistent farmers becoming rich because mass production failed.

I guess that's a fantasy because the Cities would just take control of their lands and spread fertilizers wide and far.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 12:58:01

kublikhan wrote:Let's look at the numbers for the transportation:
40 miles round trip, divided by 20 mpg = 2 gallons of fuel. 2 gallons / 1 pound of tomatoes = 2 gallons per pound. Or if you bought 20 pounds of tomatoes it would be 2 gallons / 20 pounds = .1 gallons per pound.
2000 miles / 5mpg = 400 gallons of fuel. 400 gallons / 40,000 pounds of goods = .01 gallons per pound.
Even if you bought 20 pounds of tomatoes, you still used 10 times as much fuel per pound to transport those tomatoes. The numbers look better the more goods are transported. If your local tomato farmer is delivering 200 pounds of tomatoes per trip, he would break even with the mexican tomatoes, assuming it's the same 40 mile round trip.

+1

This is an example of how things are getting better, re efficiency, even as the "let's return to the days of mom and pop shops" folks who IGNORE math, spew.

Another obvious, more pervasive example, re lots of people participating:

Even vs. big box stores, having one Amazon electric truck, or even inefficient old style UPS van, deliver many hundreds of packages to a chunk of a city is a couple orders of magnitude or so more efficient than everyone driving BOTH ways to the big box store (or worse, several mom and pop stores) to pick up those goods.

And that's just fuel. Then you have wear and tear on the vehicles, pollution, and time wasted by hundreds of people, vs. efficiently used by ONE UPS or Amazon driver.

But I know, it's against the doomer religion to point out that progress and technology can often improve things, vs. just make them worse.

But of course, doomers will keep blaming technology on the problems caused by overpopulation, because, naturally, EVERTHING is DOOM, ALL THE TIME. :roll:
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby mousepad » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 14:50:05

Outcast_Searcher wrote:+1

This is an example of how things are getting better, re efficiency, even as the "let's return to the days of mom and pop shops" folks who IGNORE math, spew.


Another one who thinks 1st mile + long haul + last mile is better than 1st mile + last mile.
Are you for real?

BTW, specialty shops are making a comeback at the expense of big box stores (at least in europe). I think people figured out that the customer service and consultation you get when ordering from amazon is pretty miserable.

EVERTHING is DOOM, ALL THE TIME. :roll:


That's not the case, don't be so pessimistic. But I have to agree. A super-hyper-efficient world sounds pretty scary to me. Once a process is 100% efficient, there' no room anymore for any fun. 100% efficiency pretty much sucks life and fun out of anything.

When I was a child in a small town, the mailman every once-in-a-while took a break during his tour at our house to have a coffee and a shot of liquor. We would have a chat and gossip about the town. Pure quality of life. A hyper efficient fedex delivery guy can't do that anymore. But, hey, you got your socks 5 cents cheaper. I'm sure that makes it worthwhile.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 15:29:24

mousepad wrote:Another one who thinks 1st mile + long haul + last mile is better than 1st mile + last mile.
Are you for real?
Yours is a very unique case. Most people don't shop directly on the farm. Nor do they purchase 200 pounds of produce each shopping trip. So the rest of us don't get to see such excellent numbers. But hey congrats, looks like you managed to find quite an efficient little niche there.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby mousepad » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 15:44:40

kublikhan wrote:
mousepad wrote:Another one who thinks 1st mile + long haul + last mile is better than 1st mile + last mile.
Are you for real?
Yours is a very unique case. Most people don't shop directly on the farm. Nor do they purchase 200 pounds of produce each shopping trip.


Maybe. But that is to show that local can be competitive. I could easily pick up 500 lbs and then distribute the tomatoes in my neighborhood. Why don't I do that? Because people prefer individualism. They want to pick up the tomato when they want where they want, how they want. Even if it cost more energy. But once transportation cost becomes a significant part of the cost of the product, you will see change. It's all a matter of planing and organization. Currently last mile distribution is driven by convenience above all, not by minimizing energy cost.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 16:07:18

mousepad wrote:Maybe. But that is to show that local can be competitive. I could easily pick up 500 lbs and then distribute the tomatoes in my neighborhood. Why don't I do that? Because people prefer individualism. They want to pick up the tomato when they want where they want, how they want. Even if it cost more energy. But once transportation cost becomes a significant part of the cost of the product, you will see change. It's all a matter of planing and organization. Currently last mile distribution is driven by convenience above all, not by minimizing energy cost.
Not even $150 oil ushered in those changes. Food skyrocketed in price along with oil because industrial agriculture is so heavily fossil fuel based. Not so much the distribution, that is a small part of the total energy cost. But the production. The fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, equipment fuel, etc. We did see some behavioral changes from consumers. Switching to a smaller car, being more frugal with when we decide to drive, etc. However it did not usher in the kind of changes you are talking about. And it didn't last very long either. As soon as oil prices plummeted, many went right back to their more wasteful ways.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby mousepad » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 16:21:25

kublikhan wrote:Not even $150 oil ushered in those changes.


yes. $150 I is still like free, considering how much utility I get from a gas chainsaw.
Let's wait till oil is expensive.

Luckily for us we don't have to do anything. If energy gets expensive the change comes automatically. If it stays cheap? Well then I guess we don't have to change.
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Re: The Green New Deal and the Growth of Renewables

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 18:12:08

Somehow I get the feeling the discussion is really about population. In order to feed 7.5 billion you need massive scale and those efficiencies. But no matter how good those efficiencies are we are still massively over using available resources; water, soil, fuel, CO2 absorption.

If you could bring the population down to about 1/3 of now and retain those efficiencies that would be good. But what happens when the population drops that much? Do those efficiencies go away? If they do then you are left only with local, and likely another population loss.

I don’t think any of us really know that answer, but it seems clear to me that a population defrosts or 2/3rds is the minimum required.
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