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New EROEI research

Discuss research and forecasts regarding hydrocarbon depletion.

Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby TomWayburn » Sun 20 Sep 2020, 16:08:21

I wrote: Energy isn't just one thing out of many. Energy is everything. I hope I am forgiven this figure of speech, because no matter how important we think energy is, it is probably more important than that.

You answered: You make grandiose statements that simply aren't true

That is what I thought was argumentative. I said it was a figure of speech.

In ERoEI practice, we do not charge the process for the energy from Nature which is the third meaning of free energy. If we did, I agree we could not hope to get as much out as went in. The reason it was called renewable in the first place is that we expect the Sun to rise again tomorrow and for many days into the future.
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 20 Sep 2020, 16:32:21

TomWayburn wrote:In ERoEI practice, we do not charge the process for the energy from Nature which is the third meaning of free energy.


I presume this means that everyone completely ignores what might possibly be the single largest energy input into the system? Without that barrel of oil (energy input) you can't make all those cool petrochemicals (outputs).

I presume that you are identifying exactly the tremendous amount of input energy excluded, and this then lead to the ability to create eroei=>1.

TomWayburn wrote: If we did, I agree we could not hope to get as much out as went in.


Sounds reasonable to me as well. Can you speculate on any reason why this strikes the net energy folks as a reasonable thing to do?

TomWayburn wrote: The reason it was called renewable in the first place is that we expect the Sun to rise again tomorrow and for many days into the future.


Many days sure, but not forever. But skip the time component, have you any knowledge on a specific formula used in creating eroei numbers as to which energy to exclude? For example, drilling rigs are required to drill for the oil. Even if we ignore the oil itself, the energy that went into building and moving the drilling rig to the location, as well as all attendant personnel and electrics and fluids and whatnot, Is this all just more energy left out of the equation because someone felt like it? Or are there rules to make sure this kind of arbitrary inclusion/exclusion allows apples to apples comparisons between eroei calculations?
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 20 Sep 2020, 20:44:55

I have seen one problem with EROEI calculations that has never been addressed. This problem makes comparing estimates from different people or organizations impossible.

The one problem is, nobody has set up a standard of what gets counted as in and out leaving the variables entirely at the discretion of the person/organization doing the calculations.

That is not sound science, it is opinion dressed up with a lot of numbers and arithmetic manipulations of that set of numbers. GIGO, Garbage In=Garbage Out. Until you define all the inputs you can never have a rational justification for the estimated output.
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby TomWayburn » Sun 20 Sep 2020, 22:03:40

Subjectivist,

Yes,; that is precisely the problem I intend to solve at first by simply listing what should be included. Simple but difficult and subject to mistakes. The second way requires the operator to think harder:

Let us indulge ourselves in a little thought experiment: Suppose a very special community occupies a portion of the Earth's surface where repositories of every element needed for the manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance, and moth-balling of an alternative energy installation. In addition, it has whatever additional repositories are needed to feed, clothe, shelter, keep healthy, preserve from drudgery, entertain, and elevate spiritually. These are finite repositories although most of them are extremely large. Out of each repository a reasonably sized storehouse is kept at steady state, making up for such deficiencies of recycling as are bound to occur by drawing from the surrounding repository sufficiently slowly that the repositories will not reach the analogy to Peak Oil for some agreed upon length of time in excess of 1000 years certainly and maybe much longer under NO GROWTH.
The people of the community possess all of the expertise necessary to keep the energy flowing and to manage precisely whatever else is needed to support the people who manage the energy technology, although they needn't be specialists.
The sun shines on the community and the junk heat radiates to deep space. Other than this nothing crosses the boundary of the community (thought of now as a region) except possibly energy that is exported free of charge to the neighboring regions. If ERoEI is greater than 1.0, there is some net energy available for export. (The reason it is free of charge in this thought experiment is that I don't want to be concerned with anything coming back.)
The entire community produces energy and nothing but energy; therefore, everything consumed and everything produced (except the net energy) within the community is overhead for producing energy and belongs in the energy-invested term. In this figment of our imaginations, we have no control over what the members of the community produce and consume.

Now, here comes the punch line: If we should run into an engineering study in which an ERoEI is computed by a methodology that can be applied to our thought experiment, we may take the results of the study seriously. If the methodology is lacking in any important respect, it is probably not trustworthy.

I'll give an example of an omission of a component of sustainability that can be left out with only a slight concern. Suppose the analyst does not include the energy costs of restoring the plant site to its pristine natural beauty in case the plant is shut down or moved for one reason or another. The operators of the plant can apologize for this in a number of ways. In any case, we might open up a category of near-sustainability. Of course, we wouldn't put up with the mess frackers leave behind for two minutes let alone two years.
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby TomWayburn » Mon 21 Sep 2020, 08:15:53

Subjectivist:

Your problem is solved, is it not? Use photovoltaic energy as an example of a candidate for renewable energy. Just set up the partly isolated Autonomous Alternative Energy District with sunlight entering and infrared radiation to deep space leaving. The life cycle energy of the equipment, environmental protection energy costs, recycle system energy costs, living expenses of energy workers, and indirect energy expense tallied with support of free-loaders taken to be part of net energy. You will have to think to be sure you have included everything especially living expenses of community. Just make a list that intends to cover everything. Knowing what the object is will nearly get you there. The AAED has one product, namely, net energy, even if quantity is infinitesimal.

Test of system under investigation to determine if ERoEI* is a measure of sustainability: Will the same methodology fit the AAED thought experiment? You don't have to consider what others have done. You will know if the system under investigation is renewable or not.
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 14 Feb 2021, 12:24:47

Where energy modeling goes wrong.

There are a huge number of people doing energy modeling. In my opinion, nearly all of them are going astray in their modeling because they don’t understand how the economy really operates.
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 14 Feb 2021, 12:31:09

May I congratulate Gail for being an actuary, herself associated with the energy modelers of TOD that called global peak oil in 2008 (oops!), claiming that others don't understand economics, is downright riotous.

Gail "high oil prices are bad" versus "low oil prices are bad" is itself an interesting question into her transactional psychology on this topic. She has demonstrated she knows nothing about oil ( I once corrected her edited discovery charts at TOD, but telling her the truth didn't work), she has no experience with economics other than saying so, she is as random in her causation/correlation claims as Short was, but..it is those OTHER folks who don't understand economics.

Fascinated by the duplicitous nature of folks who claim to be researchers, yet seem to know nothing about how research, or science, works.
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 14 Feb 2021, 13:33:37

AdamB wrote:May I congratulate Gail for being an actuary, herself associated with the energy modelers of TOD that called global peak oil in 2008 (oops!), claiming that others don't understand economics, is downright riotous.

Gail "high oil prices are bad" versus "low oil prices are bad" is itself an interesting question into her transactional psychology on this topic. She has demonstrated she knows nothing about oil ( I once corrected her edited discovery charts at TOD, but telling her the truth didn't work), she has no experience with economics other than saying so, she is as random in her causation/correlation claims as Short was, but..it is those OTHER folks who don't understand economics.

Fascinated by the duplicitous nature of folks who claim to be researchers, yet seem to know nothing about how research, or science, works.

+1

One thing about knowing nothing, is to be able to lie passionately, even convincingly (to the ignorant) and with a straight face, as knowing nothing lets one believe in whatever shiny object seems most attractive.

Whether it's Bible thumpers, climate deniers, economics deniers, science deniers, anti-vaxxers, Covid-deniers, flat earthers, and on and on, the overall pattern is the same. And intransigence doesn't begin to describe how dug-in those folks are re their nonsense. So yeah, getting them to listen to reason or accede to facts is going to be a slim to none outcome.

The amount of tragedy this causes gets exponentially worse as society becomes more complex. It's going to do some serious ass-kicking in the next century if TPTB can't force the idiots to comply with science based policies, overall.
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: New EROEI research

Unread postby StarvingLion » Sun 14 Feb 2021, 19:16:59

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
AdamB wrote:May I congratulate Gail for being an actuary, herself associated with the energy modelers of TOD that called global peak oil in 2008 (oops!), claiming that others don't understand economics, is downright riotous.

Gail "high oil prices are bad" versus "low oil prices are bad" is itself an interesting question into her transactional psychology on this topic. She has demonstrated she knows nothing about oil ( I once corrected her edited discovery charts at TOD, but telling her the truth didn't work), she has no experience with economics other than saying so, she is as random in her causation/correlation claims as Short was, but..it is those OTHER folks who don't understand economics.

Fascinated by the duplicitous nature of folks who claim to be researchers, yet seem to know nothing about how research, or science, works.

+1

One thing about knowing nothing, is to be able to lie passionately, even convincingly (to the ignorant) and with a straight face, as knowing nothing lets one believe in whatever shiny object seems most attractive.

Whether it's Bible thumpers, climate deniers, economics deniers, science deniers, anti-vaxxers, Covid-deniers, flat earthers, and on and on, the overall pattern is the same. And intransigence doesn't begin to describe how dug-in those folks are re their nonsense. So yeah, getting them to listen to reason or accede to facts is going to be a slim to none outcome.

The amount of tragedy this causes gets exponentially worse as society becomes more complex. It's going to do some serious ass-kicking in the next century if TPTB can't force the idiots to comply with science based policies, overall.


-1

Here is my Head Scientist:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Michael-Brenner-13

He says *****EVERYTHING***** TPTB taught me about Physics and History in K-12 and university is a GIGANTIC FRAUD....EVERYTHING!!!

He says Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, Feynmann, Darwin are 100% FRAUDS. He says TITANIC, MOON LANDINGS, 9/11, ISS, etc are 100% HOAXES.

His latest words:

"I have shown in many recent posts how “reason” as a faculty and “logic” as a discipline have been erased from what we call hard sciences like physics and mechanics, ...."

'I have argued that Newtonian physics is - as Leibniz perfectly well understood - a cult, it is, in Leibniz’ words, “physical theology” and the above Mark quote combined with hundreds of comments posted by “nuclear physicist” Torsten Hehl here on Quora proves that: he tells us in no uncertain terms, that the “physics of projectile trajectories” as taught in schools is nonsense “flat earth physics” intended for toddlers only because they don’t understand better, but once you are accepted into the “cult training camp” called university, you will be taught the right stuff, and that stuff is opposite to what the simpletons outside are taught. Problem with this is, that the real world as perceived by “outsiders” works the way they are taught in toddler-class, and nobody so far has shown the “advanced way” actually takes or has taken place. Point in case, nobody has ever shown that the almighty gravity actually can change the direction of the velocity vector of a projectile."
Outcast_Searcher is a fraud.
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby Pops » Mon 15 Feb 2021, 12:29:55

When a person models how the system works, it becomes apparent that as increasing complexity is added to the system, the portion of the economic output that can be returned to non-elite workers as goods and services drops dramatically. This leads to rising wage disparity as increasing complexity is added to the economy. As the economy approaches limits, rising wage disparity indirectly leads to a tendency toward low prices for oil and other commodities because a growing number of non-elite workers are unable to afford homes, cars and even proper nutrition.

LOL, limits to growth is the reason for wealth inequality.
Yeah, that's the ticket!

Gail took over where short left off with the whole low oil price armageddon bit. At least she is able to make a buck off it.

It's physics I tells ya!
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 15 Feb 2021, 16:19:25

StarvingLion wrote:Here is my Head Scientist:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Michael-Brenner-13

He says *****EVERYTHING***** TPTB taught me about Physics and History in K-12 and university is a GIGANTIC FRAUD....EVERYTHING!!!

He says Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, Feynmann, Darwin are 100% FRAUDS. He says TITANIC, MOON LANDINGS, 9/11, ISS, etc are 100% HOAXES.

His latest words:

"I have shown in many recent posts how “reason” as a faculty and “logic” as a discipline have been erased from what we call hard sciences like physics and mechanics, ...."

'I have argued that Newtonian physics is - as Leibniz perfectly well understood - a cult, it is, in Leibniz’ words, “physical theology” and the above Mark quote combined with hundreds of comments posted by “nuclear physicist” Torsten Hehl here on Quora proves that: he tells us in no uncertain terms, that the “physics of projectile trajectories” as taught in schools is nonsense “flat earth physics” intended for toddlers only because they don’t understand better, but once you are accepted into the “cult training camp” called university, you will be taught the right stuff."

Yeah. Using quora for a cite. Why not use your own clear dementia? 8O

Seek medical help. Seriously. But hey, claiming flat earth "science" is convincing is nothing new in modern internet nonsense, sad as that is.
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: New EROEI research

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 21 Feb 2021, 23:10:59

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
StarvingLion wrote:Here is my Head Scientist:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Michael-Brenner-13

He says *****EVERYTHING***** TPTB taught me about Physics and History in K-12 and university is a GIGANTIC FRAUD....EVERYTHING!!!

He says Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, Feynmann, Darwin are 100% FRAUDS. He says TITANIC, MOON LANDINGS, 9/11, ISS, etc are 100% HOAXES.

His latest words:

"I have shown in many recent posts how “reason” as a faculty and “logic” as a discipline have been erased from what we call hard sciences like physics and mechanics, ...."

'I have argued that Newtonian physics is - as Leibniz perfectly well understood - a cult, it is, in Leibniz’ words, “physical theology” and the above Mark quote combined with hundreds of comments posted by “nuclear physicist” Torsten Hehl here on Quora proves that: he tells us in no uncertain terms, that the “physics of projectile trajectories” as taught in schools is nonsense “flat earth physics” intended for toddlers only because they don’t understand better, but once you are accepted into the “cult training camp” called university, you will be taught the right stuff."

Yeah. Using quora for a cite. Why not use your own clear dementia? 8O

Seek medical help. Seriously. But hey, claiming flat earth "science" is convincing is nothing new in modern internet nonsense, sad as that is.


Quora is like Wikipedia with multiple choice answers. If you listen to the ones which are well written and give citations they are usually pretty reliable as pointers to source material. If you just choose to ignore the sound answers because someone says what you already believe then that is selection bias at its very worst and pretty useless. But I don't think you should just write off a whole resource because it can be abused, look at Wikipedia. For its first decade of existence it was put down and denigrated, but today it is considered as accurate and useful as many of the old paper encyclopedias of the past.
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 23 Jan 2022, 19:01:52

Shell uses plastic waste to produce resin feedstocks

Shell says that it has successfully made “high-end” chemicals using a liquid feedstock made from plastic waste using a pyrolysis process that is considered a breakthrough for hard-to-recycle plastics. The initiative advances Shell’s ambition to use one million tonnes of plastic waste a year in its global chemical plants by 2025.

Atlanta-based Nexus Fuels LLC recently supplied its first cargo of pyrolysis liquid to Shell’s chemical plant in Norco, LA, where it was made into chemicals that are the raw materials for everyday items. Shell Chemicals manufactures ethylene, propylene, and butadiene at the site.

According to a Nexus Fuels company spokesperson, “Our process uses HDPE, LDPE, PP, and PS. Our sources for material are primarily post-industrial and post-retail. At present, we are not taking post-consumer due to high contamination levels.”

he Nexus process is operational at a commercial scale and scalable—50-tonnes/day at the plant in Atlanta, GA. Nexus claims five times better EROEI (energy returned over energy invested) and 25% more liquid per tonne of waste with less char. It is less than one-quarter the cost per tonne compared with other pyrolysis systems.

“This [move] makes sense for the environment and our business,” said Thomas Casparie, Executive Vice President of Shell’s global chemicals business. “We want to take waste plastics that are tough to recycle by traditional methods and turn them back into chemicals – creating a circle. These chemicals will meet our customers’ growing demands for high quality and sustainable products.”

Shell is working with multiple companies who collect and transform plastic waste in order to scale this solution to industrial and profitable quantities across its chemical plants in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Shell is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW). This not-for-profit organization is bringing together top minds from across the plastics value chain (chemicals and plastics manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters and waste management companies) and partnering with the financial community, governments and civil society. The AEPW has committed $1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment.

Shell is also working with its retail, business fuels and lubricants customers to help reduce, reuse and recycle plastic packaging.

Pyrolysis is a chemical recycling process of heating plastic waste without oxygen, such that it breaks down the longer chain polymers into shorter chain materials. These products can then be further processed into chemical feedstocks or fuels. Pyrolysis can be more effective than the traditional mechanical recycling process of melting as it does not degrade the quality of the final plastic and requires less intensive sorting of the initial waste.
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 23 Jan 2022, 19:05:55

Carrots and sticks: why energy prices won't fall for a long time | MoneyWeek

Energy is going to be more expensive for a long time before it gets both cleaner and cheaper.

We often write here about the global economy being at an inflection point. Many of the great trends that have shaped the last few decades are coming to an end. The age of cheap labour is ending as politics restricts easy migration and the world’s population ages. The easy growth, productivity gains and deflationary impulses from the integration of China into our economic systems are all fading. At the same time companies and countries are changing the way they think about supply chains (just in case rather than just in time). All this is disruptive and inflationary in itself. But there is one more factor to add into the mix – the price of energy is rising and going to keep rising. This matters.

In 2013, in his book Life After Growth, Tim Morgan noted that the real economy is at heart nothing but an energy equation. Without a steady supply of cheap energy (to provide everything from our fuel to our chemicals and fertiliser) there is nothing to drive long-term growth. What matters then is how much energy costs to produce.

There was a time when we didn’t need to worry about this much: when we could use “rudimentary wellhead equipment to access billions of barrels of energy in the sands of Arabia”, we got “at least 100 units of energy for each unit invested in the infrastructure” (the energy return on energy invested – EROEI – was 100:1). It didn’t last long. In 1990, the global energy EROEI was about 37:1. When Morgan was writing it was 14:1. Today there is much debate on EROEI – you will find endless papers online claiming that fossil-fuel numbers are lower than once thought (once refining and transport are taken into account) and that renewable numbers are higher than they first look (it depends on the life of each project, for example).

But however you cut it, one thing that is coming out of the COP26 meetings in Glasgow is a promise that energy is going to be more expensive for a long time before it gets both cleaner and cheaper.

Carrot and stick will both play a role. The global financial sector seems set on defunding the fossil-fuel industry and we should expect to see rising carbon prices layered on top of the supply crunch that may cause. We should also probably expect to pay higher taxes to finance the subsidies government will keep offering to low-carbon energy production. As renewables scale up, notes Arthur Kroeber of Gavekal, we should expect the end price of electricity to rise too – the intermittency of solar and wind means we must invest more in spare-capacity storage and grid upgrades. Other problems will come in the sharp rise in demand for the metals renewables need – lithium, cobalt and nickel in particular – and in the waste created by replacement cycles for solar panels and turbine blades. None of this is insurmountable. But it is disruptive (and the more serious anyone is about net zero, the more disruptive it is) and it is almost certainly quite inflationary. We might (in many decades) end up with a clean energy system. But getting there is going to be an inflationary journey into “the unknown and the unpredictable”.

This might all seem a bit long-term, but it should add to the list of things making investors feel a little uneasy about valuations. Market corrections are impossible to forecast. But it really does feel like our next one is a tad overdue.
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby Doly » Mon 24 Jan 2022, 16:05:00

LOL, limits to growth is the reason for wealth inequality.
Yeah, that's the ticket!


Clearly, you haven't read any of the research by Peter Turchin. Or even Thomas Malthus (as opposed to somebody making a commentary on Thomas Malthus).

In a nutshell, when resources are limited there is increased competition for resources. In this increased competition, there are winners and losers. The winners tend to accumulate more and more while the losers tend to have less and less. So yes, limited resources is a cause of wealth inequality.

This process continues till inequality causes enough social disintegration that, either with an internal revolution in the name of justice, or an external war, the playing field is flattened again. Though in some cases a society manages to flatten without too much violence.
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby Pops » Mon 24 Jan 2022, 20:20:56

Doly wrote:In a nutshell, when resources are limited there is increased competition for resources.

We use vast amounts of energy, and we pay less as a proportion of our individual discretionary spending than at any time ever. The same goes for food and most durable goods when there is not a global pandemic. Increased resource competition is exactly the opposite of what has created worldwide inequality today.

Picketty showed that typically, the return on capitol is greater than GDP growth, so inequality naturally increases as long as nothing interferes— like governments or depressions or wars or presumably resource scarcity. Inequality comes about when growth is slow and steady, not when there is scarcity and competition.

Tainter's point was that declining returns on complexity lead to collapse when the solutions become more expensive than the problems. No doubt we're headed that way eventually. But the reason for inequality today is simply that in the battle between capitol and labor, the rich won.

Thanks in no small part to Raygun/Thatcher's assault on the middle class. Labor arbitrage, automated control systems and containerization along with the flood of two-income families killed any leverage left on the side of labor. Notice the panic over the Great Resignation, that's capitol seeing its leverage slipping.

“There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. [Warren] Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby Doly » Wed 26 Jan 2022, 17:37:43

Inequality comes about when growth is slow and steady, not when there is scarcity and competition.


I agree that inequality tends to come about naturally and seems to be part of normal human behaviour. What is missing from your picture is what happens when a period of growth inevitably comes to an end. People don't suddenly realise that growth is ending and reduce their expectations accordingly. Rather the opposite. They tend not to realise that growth is ending, they don't reduce their expectations, competition increases, and inequality increases further. During a period of growth, growth itself helps keep the growth in inequality moderate. It's easy to be generous when there is plenty for everyone. It's when the period of growth ends that you see the biggest increases in inequality.

But the reason for inequality today is simply that in the battle between capitol and labor, the rich won.


If you read Peter Turchin, you would see that in the battle between the elites and labor, the common pattern is that the elites win initially. This is nothing new.

Labor arbitrage, automated control systems and containerization along with the flood of two-income families killed any leverage left on the side of labor.


Labor arbitrage is a symptom of inequality, rather than a cause. Why are companies the ones that get to pick and choose, rather than workers?

As for automatization, machinery is nothing new. Why is machinery a problem for employment today and not in the sixties? Why haven't workers displaced by machines found other jobs? There is never a shortage of things that people would like done for them. But there may be a shortage of money to pay for those jobs. Why is that?

And why are there two-income families in the first place? Because at one point there were so many jobs that needed to be done, that females were encouraged to work. Why is that no longer the case?

Notice the panic over the Great Resignation, that's capitol seeing its leverage slipping.


Or, from Peter Turchin's perspective, we are moving to the next phase, when the elites are losing control of the situation. Buckle up, because from now on it's when it gets interesting.
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby Pops » Wed 26 Jan 2022, 22:19:34

Doly wrote:What is missing from your picture is what happens when a period of growth inevitably comes to an end.

Are you saying that growth is over? If so when do you think it ended?

It's easy to be generous when there is plenty for everyone. It's when the period of growth ends that you see the biggest increases in inequality.

First, generosity has nothing to do with capitalism, in fact self-interest is what motivates Adam Smiths Invisible Hand. To be a capitalist you must at heart be ungenerous, after all you are asking people to work for less than their worth so that you can mine the difference. Ask the Walton kids, gramps was a miser.
Second, the gilded age was not the end of anything, it was the beginning of modern industry, yet it featured fantastic inequality.
Third, the third industrial revolution period we are now in features productivity growth similar to the proceeding 70 years, the only thing different is wages.

Image

Now, had you said that in 1972 OPEC broke capitalism I might have at least granted the possibility, but you didn't, you just quoted Trupin. But turns out that embargoes and the resulting push to efficiency that lowered industrial and commercial fossil consumption post-OPEC didn't put a dent in the owners pre-tax haul in the least, in fact it skyrocketed from there:

Image

If you read Peter Turchin, you would see that in the battle between the elites and labor, the common pattern is that the elites win initially.

Initially? You implied above that growth already ended.
Yet inequality has been rising for 50 years and is accelerating.

Image

Labor arbitrage is a symptom of inequality, rather than a cause. Why are companies the ones that get to pick and choose, rather than workers?

I can't tell if you're joking or we're talking about different things. Prior to the acceleration of globalization in the '70s, wealth inequality in the US was quite low for half a century after the Depression. But playing one labor force against another is as old as capitalism.

The northeast US was initially an exporter of textiles to Europe in the 1800s because labor was cheaper here, then later after the civil war the mills moved to the south, because of cheaper labor, then finally the mills went overseas because of... cheaper labor.

Offshoring jobs to undeveloped third world countries with few jobs and zero wages effectively made US workers obsolete and gave capital a huge boost. Not only wages at a fraction of the US level but no pesky unions, no pensions, no benefits, no regulations, no OSHA. The hollowing of the middle class is obvious, the cause is loss of skilled jobs, mostly manufacturing. And it took place at the outset of the latest plague of inequality.

Why do companies get to choose employees? Usually it is because they have the jobs. Especially when they go into a poor country where there are no jobs. This is not new.

As for automatization, machinery is nothing new. Why is machinery a problem for employment today and not in the sixties? Why haven't workers displaced by machines found other jobs?


Not just machines. But remote control machines! By automated control I'm talking about the computers and networks, initially proprietary but then migrating to the internet that allowed real time oversight of production anywhere in the world. No more pith helmets and quinine, typed reports air-mailed in CC triplicate. But near instant oversight anywhere. Remote control. But wait there's more...

Numeric controlled equipment that reduced the need for skilled human precision. Any untrained, unschooled child could do the loading and sorting and dexterous work the machine couldn't do. And last but most...

Containerization. Although it seems trivial and mundane, standardized containers eliminated the need for longshoremen and haulers to handle each unique cargo package individually—basically it standardized everything to the size of a ConEx box. Eventually after ISO standards were adopted in 1970 and trucking and rail deregulated, also in the '70s, containerized transmodal became shipping:
producer >trucks >trains >Ships >trains >trucks >customer
All in one standard interlocking box, all moved by machine, never touched by hand. All for a fraction of the old cost. This one innovation singlehandedly enabled globalization. And killed American manufacturing...
In the mid 1970s.

And why are there two-income families in the first place? Because at one point there were so many jobs that needed to be done, that females were encouraged to work. Why is that no longer the case?

Surprised to have to point out that in the 60s women earned half that of a man. And today women still earn 16% less than men even though they are now better educated! The stories I've heard from women in my own generation harassed at work and paid half of mens wage doesn't sound like encouragement to me.

Why were there so many jobs? Because why wouldn't an employer hire two women for the price of one man?

And just between you and me, this picture explains a lot of the current "burn it down" attitude of certain demographics.

Image

Peter Turchin's perspective...

LOL, you need a new guru. Hari Seldon he ain't
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The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves -- in their separate, and individual capacities.
-- Abraham Lincoln, Fragment on Government (July 1, 1854)
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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 29 Jan 2022, 14:47:16

Pops wrote: To be a capitalist you must at heart be ungenerous, after all you are asking people to work for less than their worth so that you can mine the difference.


Not really. Under capitalism individuals are free to quit one job and shift to a better paying one if they re being underpaid. IN contrast, under communism people are forced to work at government jobs for almost no pay, because every other job is also a movement job and they all pay the same crappy wages. The absolute poverty I saw during trips through the USSR and in communist China and Cuba is shocking and it doesn't make it any better that everyone is equally poor. It wasn't until China re-introduced some private capitalism into their system that they became wealthy......thus providing that capitalism raises the affluence level of the entire population.

Pops wrote: Ask the Walton kids, gramps was a miser.


Wal-mart was one of the first companies to offer stock incentives to their own employees. As a result of the generous subsidy folks who work spend their careers working even low-skill jobs at Wal Mart can build up a healthy stock position in a rapidly growing company by the time they retire. Thats pretty unique these days in the USA.

retirement-investing-a-married-couple-working-for-walmart-can-retire-and-live-very-comfortably

Pops wrote:
Offshoring jobs to undeveloped third world countries with few jobs and zero wages effectively made US workers obsolete and gave capital a huge boost.


Not really. US workers are far from obsolete. Stop watching the loons on MSNBC TV and take a drive around and you'll see plenty of American workers out there working at Wal-Mart, working in factories and working in offices and working on farms.

Pops wrote: today women still earn 16% less than men even though they are now better educated!


That is a very misleading statistic. Women actually earn the same as men when they work the same jobs. But many women choose to work low-skill jobs like housecleaners or waitresses, and they naturally have lower wages. Men working those same crappy jobs earn the same crappy wages. It isn't hard to understand if you just know the facts.

Pops wrote: ....And just between you and me, this picture explains a lot of the current "burn it down" attitude of certain demographics.


You're exactly right there. The constant whining and promulgation of economic falsehoods like those you are repeating by the Ds and their minions in the MSM is designed to create anger and disaffection amoung "certain demographics". Who will ever forget Joe Biden threatening black people with a return to "being in chains".....its just nutty stuff but some people still believe it.

Image

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Re: New EROEI research

Unread postby Doly » Mon 31 Jan 2022, 17:28:26

Are you saying that growth is over? If so when do you think it ended?


Yes, real wages became stagnant around the seventies. That's the sort of growth that counts for the average person.

Second, the gilded age was not the end of anything, it was the beginning of modern industry, yet it featured fantastic inequality.


The gilded age happened at the end of a period of crisis with very high inequality that had its peak at the Civil War, so it still retained a lot of that inequality. The beginning of a period of prosperity still has a lot of the carry-overs of the recent past of scarcity.

Third, the third industrial revolution period we are now in features productivity growth similar to the proceeding 70 years, the only thing different is wages.


Productivity growth isn't a useful metric for what we are discussing.

Initially? You implied above that growth already ended.


For the average wage-earner, yes. According to Turchin, stagnant wages match the period of elites doing exceptionally well.

Why do companies get to choose employees? Usually it is because they have the jobs. Especially when they go into a poor country where there are no jobs. This is not new.


True. But you never answered the question I was trying to ask: how come that companies don't always have the upper hand?

Not just machines. But remote control machines!


And before that, it was not just machines, but machines controlled by computers, and before that, it was not just machines, but electrical machines. Every innovation has been "special". How come that some new machines are job-killers but not others, in spite that just about every new machine is built to reduce the need for human labor?

The stories I've heard from women in my own generation harassed at work and paid half of mens wage doesn't sound like encouragement to me.


They didn't quit working, did they? I'm not saying the situation was fair, I'm saying that there was pressure for women to take on jobs and stay on them.

Why were there so many jobs? Because why wouldn't an employer hire two women for the price of one man?


But employers weren't hiring women instead of men, they were hiring women as well as men.

Hari Seldon he ain't


No, Hari Seldon is a fictional character written by an author whose knowledge of history was mostly limited to the history of science, and of sociology seems to have been little to non-existent. While Peter Turchin has done some real work.
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