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Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today)

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Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today)

Unread postby ennui2 » Sun 31 Jul 2016, 21:09:59

I've observed that doomer attitudes towards green-tech have shifted in a big way from 10 years ago vs. today..and I think I know why.

10 years ago we were still living in the G W Bush administration. Doomers were talking about Iraq as a resource-war and spinning tales of how Chevron (and the automakers) conspired to retard the adoption of electric cars (Cobasys patent on NiMh).

Meanwhile, the alternate scenario was offered, symbolized by the Hirsch Report, one in which we aggressively decarbonize. Even during the 2008 election, spurred on by high oil prices, the GOP candidate, John McCain, despite bringing in Sarah "Drill Baby Drill" Palin, offered up some surprisingly progressive measures, many of which have come to pass under Obama, only to be attacked by Tea Party Republicans in a way that only makes sense because of the subsequent oil price crash.

Anyway, 10 years is a long time and the world has changed. That's why there are so few doomers left chattering about doom on hangouts like this. Those who ARE still chattering have had to change their tune, but since this happened gradually, they may not be aware that they HAVE in fact changed their tune.

10 years ago most doomers were strong proponents of EVs. This was back when a lot of the derision was reserved for things like corn ethanol and hydrogen fuel cells. And again, it helped that they could cling to mustache-twirling narratives, namely the evils of GM, Cobasys, etc... The narrative was this:

"Our salvation from being slaves to oil is being denied by corporate interests and corrupt government."

But now what kind of world are we living in?

There's nothing that magical about getting an EV. The availability of minimum viable people-movers to get people to work and back without gasoline is a done deal. CAFE standards, a grudging admission of AGW, and catalysts like Tesla are pushing the industry where doomers said they wanted us to go 10 years ago.

So that SHOULD make doomers happy, right?

Wrong.

A doomer can't be a doomer unless the world can be separated into two buckets, the red pillers and the blue pillers, and the world must collectively commit suicide through its addiction to fossil fuels, otherwise the doomer's role as judge and jury of modern culture would be threatened.

So now, ironically enough, doomers seem to be more interested in naysaying companies like Tesla in a way that, on the surface, sound no different from paid big-oil shills that would like to discourage people from buying into them.

How do you reconcile this shift?

A doomer must hold onto the central tenets of the cynicism, which is that nothing good can ever happen in the world. If there's a glimmer of hope, find some way to KILLJOY it so that people see the glass as half-empty.

So the funny thing is that the same doomers who, 10 years ago, said they wanted all this green tech, now that it's starting to happen, don't seem very happy. So what that tells me is that they NEVER wanted these things to happen even back then. They just wanted to paint the world in a negative light.

So now the new narrative goes something like this:

"The world sucks because BAU is still standing and I hate the decadence and immorality of 1st world culture."

It's kind of a hellfire and brimstone attitude, like Sodom and Gomorrah, the end will come because people's lifestyles are too wasteful and decadent. When or how is anyone's guess, but people will get what's coming to them, because...doom.

And this is the visual for it:

Image

So there you go. Doomerism, circa 2016.

This is kind of an update of the psycho-analysis done by JD way back when here:

http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com/200 ... edlot.html
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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 31 Jul 2016, 21:36:10

So everything is hunky dory and I can give up worrying about climate change and global financial collapse?
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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 31 Jul 2016, 21:53:35

+1 ennui2. You said it better than I could have, but you certainly captured my sentiment on this.

Maybe some folks just are constitutionally incapable of saying "Wow. I was just wrong. I wouldn't have believed it until the world changed and the facts were in my face, but here we are."

...

As we age and the world changes faster, I have to admit to being in the "Wow. I was just wrong." position more often than I'd like.

I have to fess up to shifting from "wait and see and learn more" on AGW like the Bjorn Lomborg position to AGW activist "hurry up, we have to get serious NOW, even if it's expensive". And the PHEV as a viable, practical transition vehicle now has changed my mind on the whole EV practicality thing. Well that and what we've seen from Tesla. (And if they go bankrupt, better bankrolled hands will finish the job).
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: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 31 Jul 2016, 22:01:18

Newfie wrote:So everything is hunky dory and I can give up worrying about climate change and global financial collapse?

And what good has being completely wrong about "global financial collapse" each and every year for decades now done for the doomer crowd? Has keeping them away from investments like the stock market's returns made them better prepared for retirement?

If on the off chance it happens and it can't be fixed, do you REALLY think having a doomstead will matter more than a month or so? Or if it's a normal cycle like 2007-2009 that the doomstead matters at all, except being a financial drain?

...

Yeah, we all should worry about AGW. However, trying to actually help mitigate it by our personal lifestyle decisions and our investments seems a whole lot more effective than the usual reaction of people to either:

1). Pretend it doesn't exist.
2). Ignore it and double down on consumption TODAY, to "get what's yours". Or
3). Rant and rave about it, blame everyone else, but do nothing.
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: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby ennui2 » Sun 31 Jul 2016, 22:27:51

Denialists? PStarr, you're right on the cusp of being an AGW denier due to how much you downplay it. So you don't have a leg to stand on as far as denialism goes.
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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 01 Aug 2016, 00:24:30

ennui2 wrote: doomers seem to be more interested in naysaying companies like Tesla .....


Tesla is currently being investigated by the SEC for securities fraud, and by the NHTSA and the NTSB over concerns about the safety of their cars. Your suggestion that three separate government regulatory agencies--- the SEC, NHTSA and NTSB agencies of the obama administration---- are "naysaying" Tesla because the regulators in the Obama administration are doomers is silly. These government investigations are being done because the regulators have legitimate concerns over Teslsa's business and engineering practices.

ennui2 wrote: the funny thing is that the same doomers who, 10 years ago, said they wanted all this green tech, now that it's starting to happen, don't seem very happy.......So what that tells me is that they NEVER wanted these things to happen even back then.


Your reading comprehension is just as bad now as it was 10 years ago. Your idea that scientists and other people concerned about peak oil don't want green tech to succeed is nutty.

There was a legitimate concern 10 years ago was that what you call "green tech" wouldn't be enough to solve the problems caused by peak oil. Peak oil has been postponed because the successful tapping of shale oil through the use of fracking, but peak oil is still going to occur. Whether or not "green tech" can replace the missing oil when global oil production starts to drop is still a real concern.

ennui2 wrote:"The world sucks because BAU is still standing and I hate the decadence and immorality of 1st world culture."
It's kind of a hellfire and brimstone attitude, like Sodom and Gomorrah, the end will come because people's lifestyles are too wasteful and decadent. When or how is anyone's guess, but people will get what's coming to them, because...doom.


Again, you don't understand the scientific and economic basis of the peak oil theory. It has nothing to do with your ideas about hatred of first world culture and lifestyles you don't approve of----Peak Oil is purely a matter of the fact that we live on a finite planet.

CHEERS!

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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby Loki » Mon 01 Aug 2016, 02:39:26

ennui2 wrote:
10 years ago most doomers were strong proponents of EVs. This was back when a lot of the derision was reserved for things like corn ethanol and hydrogen fuel cells. And again, it helped that they could cling to mustache-twirling narratives, namely the evils of GM, Cobasys, etc... The narrative was this:

"Our salvation from being slaves to oil is being denied by corporate interests and corrupt government."

But now what kind of world are we living in?

There's nothing that magical about getting an EV. The availability of minimum viable people-movers to get people to work and back without gasoline is a done deal. CAFE standards, a grudging admission of AGW, and catalysts like Tesla are pushing the industry where doomers said they wanted us to go 10 years ago.

So that SHOULD make doomers happy, right?

Wrong.

I love how these straw man rants never have any links or actual quotes from these stupid doomers. You seem to be arguing with yourself and why you were wrong 10 years ago.

Anyhoo...I've never thought electric cars would be more than a small part of the US fleet. I'm not against EVs, I just don't see them as THE solution. They're probably better than IC passenger vehicles, I suppose. But I don't think they'll ever be the dominant passenger vehicle in my lifetime, and they most certainly won't replace heavy diesel equipment, long-haul trucks, etc.

As of Q2 2015 (last data I could find) plug-ins represented a whopping 0.6% of registered passenger vehicles in the US. New sales of plug-ins last month were 1% (link). These are not impressive numbers, especially when you consider that about half of these vehicles are in California.

Kunstler has also been very consistent over the years re. EVs, as has John Greer. The main argument I remember from the PO heyday is that we couldn't scale EV production up fast enough to deal with peak oil. Kunstler has also argued on quite a few occasions that we don't have the wealth (real as opposed to paper) as a nation to replace our entire fleet with EVs.

Come to think of it, I can't think of any peak oilers who were gung ho about EVs. Maybe Heinberg?

As for Tesla....yeah....

Critics observe that Tesla loses over $15,000 on every car it sells and could not exist without government subsidies. The share price, they assert, is grossly overvalued, giving Tesla an inflated market value of $34 billion, a figure nearly four times bigger than Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s FCAU, +0.47% $9 billion. For comparison, Fiat Chrysler produced 4.7 million cars and light trucks in 2015 versus 50,000 for Tesla.

Ford Motor Co.’s F, -0.39% market value is $55 billion, and General Motors Co.’s GM, +1.77% is $50 billion. GM’s stock trades at a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 4.1, while Ford trades at a P/E of 6.2. Tesla’s P/E is a large “N/A,” as it has no profits.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-i ... 2016-07-28


Seems less like the savior of mankind, more like a very expensive vanity project for Elon Musk. Or, if he's as smart as everyone says he is, a pump and dump scheme that will make him richer than God.
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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 01 Aug 2016, 04:34:02

The problem with EVs is that if we did miraculously replace all or most fuel burner vehicles with BEVs, we would STILL have a massive FF problem, and would actually be burning a lot more coal for the power grid during night hours. Eventually the overnight charging of BEVs would represent the true "peak" power usage, and daylight hours the off-peak load.

We often forget that BEVs only store energy generated by whatever the grid power plants are. Using the EIA figures for 2015 grid energy sources:
Coal = 33%
Natural gas = 33%
Nuclear = 20%
Hydro-power = 6%
Other renewables = 7%
Biomass = 1.6%
Geothermal = 0.4%
Solar = 0.6%
Wind = 4.7%
Petroleum = 1%
Other gases = <1%

So for 2015 that would be about 4 Trillion Kwh's, about 67% from fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil). If say over 20 years we replaced 80% of the fuel burners with BEVs (It'll never happen), the grid would go from 4 Trillion Kwh's to approximately 7 Trillion Kwh's, and most of the new energy would necessarily be produced by burning coal. Carbon Dioxide emissions go way up, for all you AGW fanboys.

We would reduce our present 20M barrels/day oil consumption to about 5M barrels/day in the process - but with higher overall carbon dioxide emissions.

That's not counting all the energy needed to scrap and recycle millions of gas and diesel vehicles or the energy for new production of BEVs, or the energy to convert our infrastructure (oil wells to refineries to gas retail stations) to BEV chargers.

Bottom line is that Elon Musk is not saving us. He's not even gonna soften the blow when the oil gets too expensive to burn.

How many of you could survive NOW if food represented 60% of your wages rather than the present 6%? That is coming, and when it happens, you better own the place you are living, and have no debt to speak of.

Don't even worry about having a car. You can't afford one if you want to continue eating. Consider a nice under-$1000 electric bicycle.
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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby radon1 » Mon 01 Aug 2016, 07:36:26

Newfie wrote:So everything is hunky dory and I can give up worrying about climate change and global financial collapse?


Has it come to mind that the global financial problems might not be necessarily solely resource-driven at this moment in time?
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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby ennui2 » Mon 01 Aug 2016, 09:25:45

Loki wrote:I just don't see them as THE solution.


Neither do I, but do we have to expend so much effort FUDing and pooh-poohing this stuff?

Loki wrote:Come to think of it, I can't think of any peak oilers who were gung ho about EVs.


I'm looking at the broad tapestry in which documentaries like End of Suburbia and Who Killed the Electric Car were part of the standard PO curriculum.

Loki wrote:As for Tesla....yeah....
Seems less like the savior of mankind, more like a very expensive vanity project for Elon Musk. Or, if he's as smart as everyone says he is, a pump and dump scheme that will make him richer than God.


This is exhibit A for what I'm talking about. This falling back to casual internet-style dismissals with a whiff of rich-man scamming conspiracy to it, ala Starving Lion.

Did it ever occur to you people that considering that the captains of industry control the cards that it might actually be a good thing if some of them directed their efforts at trying to help matters? Elon Musk throwing up charts and graphs about CO2 is not an insignificant development vs, let's say, Bob Lutz making the Volt while simultaneously calling AGW "a crock". No, we're going to kind of perpetuate a narrative of the rich only being interested in gaming the system for personal gain.

Bottom's up change (i.e. Transition/Permaculture) hasn't happened. The closest we'll probably see with any positive movement is top-down, within the framework (and yes, limitations) of BAU, whether people like it or not. That's where the capital and power is located.

The woo woo stuff ala Zeitgeist project with people rushing out of their offices and throwing money into a bonfire ain't gonna happen.
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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 01 Aug 2016, 10:24:19

Jumping off the EV chariot and broadening the spectrum for conversation sake.

I was one of the early Moderates around here, all the way back to 2005. Yes I have had bad weeks and months when I thought doom was right around the corner, but for the most part I have been somewhere betwixt and between the cornucopians and the fast crash doomers.

Cornucopians don't care what problem you point out, every cloud has a silver lining and the are going to get the silver.

Fast crash doomers don't care what solution you point to because every solution is either a total failure, or a solution in isolation.

It doesn't matter what topic you pick, EV's, solar roofs, additional hydroelectricity projects, nuclear reactors, coal to oil, natural gas to oil, permaculture farming, terra preta biochar soil remediation. Pick any topic and around here these days you don't get 20 opinions, you get at most three. Opinion 1) It won't solve all our problems overnight so why bother trying? 2) Other solutions work better so why go to the trouble of doing X? 3) Lets give it a shot, it might help and can't hurt too much.

1) Doomer, 2) Corny, 3) Moderate.

Because the old time members around here have become so inflexible in their responses to every topic it makes it difficult to have a productive conversation. No matter what the topic is related to energy I know Pstarr will discount every proposed step that can be taken. For copious abundance every difficulty pointed out is not a sign of trouble because the solution is already here see! For Kaiser Jeep, energy problems are a huge issue but global warming is a non problem and we can send an elite few to orbit to continue the species. Some people see every issue as left/right as in the government will either fix everything by taking over the current mess, or get the government out of the way so individuals and corporations can deal with it.

All that being said doomers are grasping any news that sounds gloomy, like the ETP model if they are an energy doomer, or the political party they hate will win if they are unable to stop the evil so and so from the other party from winning the next election cycle wherever they live. It is a personality type much more than a position reached via logic and rational thought. There is a storm cloud on every horizon and we will never see the sun again. Some doomers make Ee-orr from Winnie the Pooh sound like a blazing optimist in comparison.
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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby ennui2 » Mon 01 Aug 2016, 11:25:44

Well said.

I think the difference then and now is that back then it seemed that people were still actively researching the situation. It was about information-gathering. I know that's what I was doing. Now it's not about intellectual curiosity. It's about cherry-picking the news to reinforce a firmly entrenched position. And some of those positions were formed in an earlier era which is fast falling out of sync with the facts on the ground.

There was a time when every blog post I read was new information. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Tragedy of the Commons and Overshoot and Ishmael were new all new. I'd say I reached the point of diminishing returns on all that studying around 2009 or so. But that doesn't mean things are the same as 2009. Things have changed and it makes sense to keep factoring in this change. Cid's insistence that it's game-over for the planet within just a few years due to the methane bomb is something to seriously consider, for instance. By itself it seems alarmist, but then look at all of the reports of Siberian methane craters, etc... and all of the recent global weirding patterns and it starts to fall into place. On the flipside, despite the current mix of the car fleet, developments in EVs indicates a coming inflection point that could impact energy-security if it hits before global oil supply enters terminal decline. These kinds of things were more in the hypothetical realm as soon as 2009 or so (think Earth 2100). We're now moving our way THROUGH history, THROUGH Homgren's Future Scenarios.

But I am finding a resistance to comparing where we are today from where we thought we'd be 10 years ago and what that difference means. We can't have a civil debate about it because some people have invested so much of their ego identities in constructing a very precise narrative of our downfall, so they're more concerned with personal validation than an objective quest for knowledge. The only way to really know what's going on is to let go of personal biases, those wishes, fears, and ideological axes to grind, and look at it dispassionately. There's a severe lacking of that clinical perspective here. Call it strawman all you want, but I can detect an agenda a mile away. It's simply not possible to read hundreds of hundreds of posts from someone and not tease out the poster's axe he's grinding. But point that out and all you get is being accused of unfairly psychoanalyzing or straw-manning. To me that is simply a form of evasion. If you want your argument to carry any weight to it you must first convince the other party that you aren't just propagandizing.

So before it really felt like more of a roundtable discussion with each person contributing some useful information and now it's just a small group of closed-minded zealots who are talking past each other. This is what Timo listed as his reason for leaving the site, for instance. So I'm not making this up out of thin air.
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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 01 Aug 2016, 13:03:43

Don't forget that I am a fan of EVs - and a real believer in EV technology. I have the means and I simply need to know where I am living next to know what range I need on the vehicle. Meanwhile every tool and appliance I have is electrical, including my lawn mower. I do have a standby generator and a chainsaw that burn gasoline, but I have those for Doomer reasons, and not because I use them.

My main message in my prior post was that if we attempt to replace 15M barrels of oil per day using BEV tech, it is a huge undertaking. It will never happen, and it would be a disaster if we tried. But if I grant you the possibility, however slim, that we can avoid wide-scale ecosystem collapse on this planet for a few more decades, then this is one scenario where we could also have a semblance of our former lifestyle:

1) Pack all the senior citizens - everybody over 60 including me - into the cities, and put them into Federal and State housing, using communal kitchens, armed guards, police dogs, paid informers, and whatever else is required. Hunt down and confront all the Doomers, and offer them the simple choice of life in the old people pen, or death. Seize their Doomsteads, recycle their homes, turning all the arable land into what much of it is already - corporate large scale farms.

2) Devote all of the remaining 4-5M barrels of oil and most of the gas to agriculture and essential food transport. Feed everyone from communal kitchens. Call it Total Welfare.

3) Export from the cities the human sewage and liquid waste (after appropriate composting) to the farms. Re-process the oldster's bodies into fertilizer when the time comes. (If you have a sense of humor, call the bagged fertilizer "Soylent Green".)

4) Those who manage to hang onto enough wealth to be outside the system will still have access to FF's, as will the Armed Forces and the prison - I mean retirement community - guards. The making and clinging to of money is a proven survival trait, after all.

5) Those PO.com members are dangerous. Put them all in "the hole", and don't let them communicate outside of the PO.com subnet.

6) Introduce hormones to suppress fertility to the younger folks in those same communal kitchens. Volunteers who agree to work the farms and who meet standards can have clean food, and reproduce with one birthright per adult.

7) Start removing content from the Internet websites, until only approved history, approved science, approved politics remains. Call anybody who resists a Denier, a Republican, a Fascist, or any number of labels.

8 ) Tell everyone the truth - this plan has been underway for decades, and you can't see the forest for the trees. Think about it.

There, you see, one can construct "what if" scenarios where we can keep all 330M US citizens alive. Some of them - like me - will probably resist.

More fertilizer.

Was that different enough from my "usual narrative"?
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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 01 Aug 2016, 13:23:43

ennui2 wrote: I am finding a resistance to comparing where we are today from where we thought we'd be 10 years ago and what that difference means.


?????

I've discussed this with you several times, including just above in this same thread. Its not that complicated. (1) oil production didn't peak in 2005 because US oil production unexpectedly jumped by 5 million bbls/day as shale oil fracking became widely used. (2) That means that peak oil has been postponed.

Get it now?

ennui2 wrote: now it's just a small group of closed-minded zealots who are talking past each other.


The number of people posting here has certainly shrunk dramatically, but there are still some people with expertise, some people who are closed-minded zealots, some people just out for a chat, and some trolls. You might think there are no experts here now, but I still get useful information on CO2 from Tanada, useful information on climate change from Dohboi, useful insights on how conservatives see American politics from Cog, useful information on European stuff from dolanbaker and a wide variety of posters who live there, useful informantion on philosophy and latin america from Ibon, and cool stuff from newfie and kaiserjeep about EVs, sailing, electronics, mass transit, US war practices etc etc. and straight dope on the oil biz from Rockman. Sorry if I left anyone out. Even Peter has mellowed way out and posts some thoughtful things.

Everything changes, you know. PeakOil.com definitely has become more of a small tribal gathering then the giant raucous stadium of doomerish people it used to be. Its different, but its still pretty interesting IMHO.

Cheers!

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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 01 Aug 2016, 14:07:41

Loki - "They're probably better than IC passenger vehicles, I suppose. But I don't think they'll ever be the dominant passenger vehicle in my lifetime". As emphasized by a stat I saw this morning: in 2015 the average new vehicle sold for the highest ever...$30k+. And the reason: 61% of those sales were the more expensive trucks. So once again one cure for low oil prices is low oil prices.
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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby ennui2 » Mon 01 Aug 2016, 14:14:54

pstarr wrote:Folks have much more nuanced opinions on things, they just react angrily and grossly to over-generalizations. Like yours. It stinks and I hate it lol


Some folks may have a more nuanced opinion. You wouldn't be one of those. But as you say, you're just here for the yuks.
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Re: Doomer Attitudes towards Green-Tech (Yesterday and Today

Unread postby AdamB » Mon 01 Aug 2016, 14:26:54

ennui2 wrote:
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So there you go. Doomerism, circa 2016.

This is kind of an update of the psycho-analysis done by JD way back when here:

http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com/200 ... edlot.html


I must add Mr JD to the collection of notable posters who knew even back during the heyday of fear that groveling at the church of Malthus does nothing but get ones clothes dirty.
Mustang19 says: Mods, I am just here to troll the trolls. I mean no harm.

StarvingPuutyTat says: I'm so confident in my TOTAL COLLAPSE is IMMINENT prediction that I stake my entire reputation on it. It will happen this year. - Aug 3-2020
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