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What Made Me Reconsider the Anthropocene

What Made Me Reconsider the Anthropocene thumbnail
Looming over the new food court of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is one of those creatures so massive and menacing that its mere existence in Earth’s ancient past counsels against time-travel research. It is an accurate, if unbelievable, model of the Megalodon shark—52 feet long, dagger-studded maw agape. These things ate baleen whales and, hovering here above tourists munching on artisanal grain bowls, mindlessly swiping on their phones, Megalodon accuses our modern world of decadence.

“It could have been right here, too,” the NMNH curator and paleontologist Scott Wing told me as we stood at the business end of the shark, peering into the digestive abyss.

“What do you mean?” I said.

“Well, I don’t know what the water depth would have been here, but—”

“Ah,” I understood. He meant that 16 million years ago, when the sea level of planet Earth floated tens of meters higher than today and “Washington, D.C.” was sunk beneath the waves, a Megalodon might have literally occupied the exact same physical space above us. Rumors of this ancient ocean weave under Cleveland Park, in the city’s northwest quadrant, and poke out in unstudied and unloved patches of dirt—thin ribbons of seafloor sediment that themselves sit atop volcanic rocks almost a half-billion years older, with no record of anything that ever happened here in-between.

Wing had reached out to me a few weeks after I wrote an essay that channeled the many conversations I’d had with grumpy geologists and paleontologists in recent years. In it, I was dismissive of the Anthropocene, a proposed new epoch of Earth history that has long since escaped its geoscience origins to become a dimly defined buzzword and, as such (I argued), serves to inflate humanity’s eventual geological legacy to those unfamiliar with deep time.

The past few decades will leave a bizarre boundary in the rocks, I wrote, but the reign of humans will appear as nothing compared with the mountainous stacks of rock that make up the other epochs. Humans are congratulating themselves on an unearned geological legacy before we’ve proved ourselves capable of escaping the next century with our lives. And, besides, most of our proudest creations—whole cities and manufactured landscapes—will be destroyed by the ceaseless destruction of tectonics and erosion.

Similarly, many of the synthetic markers proposed to delineate the Anthropocene, I argued, will not survive the insults of deep time. Human history, though environmentally cataclysmic and sedimentologically interesting, is not usefully described in the terms of a geological epoch on par with a yawning span of time like the Early Cretaceous, an epoch that lasted 600,000 times longer than this newly minted one.

But Wing is on the Anthropocene Working Group, a group of scientists working to define just such an epoch. He hated my essay. In his manner, though, he was extremely nice about it.

It happened that this summer I had joined Wing and his colleagues for a week of camping out in the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming to prospect for tiny teeth and fossil palm fronds, 56 million years old. By day we hiked through rattlesnake country in 100-degree weather. We crawled atop red-clay hillocks on hands and knees looking for relics, and hauled sacks of sediment through the candy-striped badlands to be screenwashed in the Bighorn River—panning for ancient curios. Arrested in this landscape were the remarkable early days of the age of mammals, who were still timorously emerging from under the shadow of vanished giants, amid a world beset by climate chaos. But the record of this age was quickly eroding here. “Someday this will all be the Cretaceous,” one of Wing’s colleagues told me as we surveyed the landscape, referring to the older dinosaur-laden layers hidden beneath us—clays and old bones that would be revealed by erosion in the fullness of time.

In the starlit hours long after fieldwork, when sunburned rockhounds slump deep into camping chairs and beer tastes better than ambrosia, the conversation followed the unhurried pace of the sunset, and shifted languidly like the wind. One night, considering the crumbling rocks before us—which held one of the only fossil records of life on land during a brief 200,000-year-long global-warming spasm—conversation turned to just how little of the globe-spanning artifact of human industrial civilization (amounting to only a few decades of stuff) would remain for geologists of the far future to discover.

All parties, cloaked by now in darkness and entering in and out of the conversation unseen like crickets, generally agreed that one would have to be very lucky indeed to ever find anything like a fossilized city, 100 million years from now. Human activity would more likely pop up in a strange layer of seafloor rock filled with isotopic oddities. After taking another swig of beer I then brazenly proposed that the Anthropocene—in comparison with the epic stacks of sediment that make up the other epochs—was therefore a ridiculous idea. It was subliminally fast in geological terms and, I argued, unless we figured out a way to persist for tens of millions of years, would not leave much in the way of a fossil record at all.

If there had been a record player to scratch, someone would have dutifully scratched it. It was as if I had insulted the very ancestral primates whose teeth we had spent all day plucking from the desert. The reaction to this provocation, especially from Wing, so surprised me that I began to rethink an essay I had just submitted to The Atlantic making similar claims. So, when I got home from Wyoming I sent the piece out to a bunch of geologists and paleontologists to make sure I had my head on straight. When the response came back enthusiastic, I swallowed hard and pressed send on the final draft.

The essay came out. Some geologists loved it. Some hated it. The Anthropocene is an oddball in Earth science. Unlike other settled issues, like climate change, there is no objective data set to point to and say, “Aha, there is an Anthropocene epoch.” It is a stratigraphic unit with minimal stratigraphy, first suggested by an atmospheric chemist, and disliked by many stratigraphers. The Anthropocene is something one can have opinions about—and people do (as I painfully learned on Twitter). Anyway, the article was meant to be provocative. I moved on.

Then the dreaded email from Scott Wing landed in my inbox. He was disappointed. And so I came to the National Museum of Natural History, as if being called into the principal’s office.

In the museum lobby I reunited with Wing, a man who positively exudes kindness and reflection, and nevertheless braced for a chronostratigraphic tongue-lashing. But Wing started on an unexpected note. He wanted to talk about southern Gothic literature.

“For me the essence of a lot of Faulkner is, before you can be something new and different, slavery is always there, the legacy of slavery is not erased, ‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past,’” he said. In Faulkner’s work, memories, the dead, and the inescapable circumstance of ancestry are all as present in the room as the characters who fail to overcome them. Geology similarly destroys this priority of the present moment, and as powerfully as any close reading of Absalom, Absalom! To touch an outcrop of limestone in a highway road cut is to touch a memory, the dead, one’s very heritage, frozen in rock hundreds of millions of years ago—yet still somehow here, present. And because it’s here, it couldn’t have been any other way. This is now our world, whether we like it or not.

The Anthropocene, for Wing, simply states that humans are now a permanent part of this immutable thread of Earth history. What we’ve already done means that there’s no unspoiled Eden to which we could ever return, even if we disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow.

“For me that’s what the Anthropocene means. It means: Let us recognize that we have permanently deflected the course of evolution. We have left this pretty much indelible record in sediments that is very comparable to, say, if you were looking around, 100 years after the [dinosaur’s] asteroid—if you were a decent biologist you would say, ‘You know what? Given the rate at which things are blinking out right now, and the way in which systems have changed, I betcha things are never going to be remotely the way they were before.’”

It’s strange to seemingly disagree with someone with whom you agree about everything. In the particulars—the extent to which humans are destroying and have destroyed the living world, and have dramatically warped the chemistry of the oceans and atmosphere—we agreed. The difference was perspective. In my essay I framed these planetary injuries in the context of our geologically brief human history. Severe, yes, but at 75 years old (according to Wing’s group) far, far, far too fast, and stratigraphically insignificant in the long run, to earn its own epoch.

And I assumed, as many do, that the Anthropocene would end when humans did: when an inevitable Yellowstone-style eruption wipes out the last band of climate refugees huddled around the poles in a thousand years, or when a psychotic, utility-maximizing AI—having long since turned the last human resistance fighter into a paper clip—suffers its own terminal blue screen of death. Even if humanity limps on for thousands of years, our time on this Earth will have been supersonic from a geologic perspective. And when the Earth begins its long, long recovery from this strange, technological blitzkrieg in the millions of years to come—and sediment finally begins to stack up in respectable quantities—I presumed that that would be a new epoch. But for Wing the Anthropocene goes on.

Wing and his colleagues want us to look further. Despite the “Anthropo” in Anthropocene, the new epoch is not, by his lights, synonymous with the reign of humans, or the patina of technological baubles we’ve left on Earth’s surface, or under it. If we wipe ourselves out tomorrow it will still be the Anthropocene a million years from now, even if very little of our works remain.

“I could see the subtext of what you were writing, and I was thinking, ‘Well, I completely agree,’ but that’s not the way to look at this,” he said. In my essay I made hackneyed reference to Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” that evergreen parable about the hubris of civilization. “A sort of Ozymandian vision of the Anthropocene is in my view exactly wrong. It’s exactly the opposite of what the Anthropocene means to me.”

Where, in my essay, I emphasized the potential transience of civilization, Wing and colleagues on the Anthropocene Working Group emphasize the eternal mark left on the biosphere, whether our civilization is transient or not. This, they argue, is the Anthropocene.

“It doesn’t stake out a hopeful future and it doesn’t stake out a catastrophic future,” Wing said.  “It just says that if you want to be a sentient species you have to reckon with the degree to which you have already changed things.”

And that change—whether through tens of thousands of years of human-driven extinctions, our spreading of invasive species across the face of the Earth, converting half of its land surface to farmland, or warming the planet and souring the seas—is undoubtedly profound.

But such dramatic changes don’t always define epochs in the rock record. True, the asteroid at the end of the Cretaceous and the chaotic rocks it left behind mark both the instantaneous end of the age of dinosaurs and the beginning of the 10-million-year-long Paleocene epoch—the beginning of the age of mammals. And it is a decent (if, to this point, still far more devastating) analogue to humanity’s lightning-fast impact on the living world. But consider the disruption inflicted on the planet by the rise of land plants more than 300 million years earlier. In the Paleozoic, land plants conquered the continents and geoengineered the planet, possibly contributing to, or even causing, at least 10 extinction pulses over 25 million years, including one of the worst mass extinctions in Earth history. Land plants profoundly and permanently altered Earth’s geochemical cycles, underwrote the flourishing of all subsequent life on land, and might have sequestered so much carbon dioxide that they kicked off a 90-million-year ice age.

“The evolution and spread of land plants across the Earth was far greater than the human impact ever will be, and I don’t see any drive to define a [stratigraphic] unit based on that,” said Stan Finney, the outgoing chair of the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the governing body decides what is and isn’t an epoch. Finney famously dislikes the idea of the Anthropocene, referring to it as “the few millimeters of sediment deposited since 1945.”

“Isn’t the [Anthropocene] anthropocentric?” he asked at the 2015 Geological Society of America annual meeting, proposing instead that we recognize the term on the same footing as “the Renaissance,” rather than bestow it with the official sanction of geology.

Wing thinks the criticism by Finney and others misses the point. Yes, geology—a field that has developed over centuries, and has accumulated rules, and rules of thumb, as haphazardly as keepsakes in an attic—is inconsistent. There isn’t some Platonic “epoch” out there waiting to be cross-referenced with the various layers of Earth’s rocks. This is because naming units of sediment is a fundamentally human endeavor. We decide what to emphasize, and Earth history gets divided up insofar as such divisions are useful or important to scientists, and to the broader public.

“What motivates me, I confess, is not my concern for future geologists but my belief that this is philosophically a good thing to do because it makes people think about something that they otherwise wouldn’t think about,” Wing said. “I hear this idea from some of my colleagues that science is just supposed to keep its nose to the grindstone. But … like it or not, we are a pimple on the butt of society that’s supposed to do the thinking in some areas. And that places an obligation on us. If you back away from that obligation you’re not being a better scientist; you’re being a worse scientist.”

Ten million years from now, humans went extinct—give or take a few thousand years—10 million years ago. Huge grazing herbivores and cursorial predators move carbon and nitrogen around the landscape. These unfamiliar creatures evolved from survivor lineages that timidly emerged from some long-forgotten disaster now deep in their evolutionary past. A herd of grazers moves to the next patch of grass. A rainstorm comes and goes. Monsoons wobble about the equator, as the planet does so around the sun. A million more years go by. The waves beat against the shore. Humanity has as little to do with this world as Megalodon does with ours, and nothing remains of us at the surface. Though no one is alive to tell us what epoch it is, these creatures have nevertheless inherited a planet forever diverted by our legacy—as surely, in Faulkner’s words, “as Noah’s grandchildren had inherited the Flood although they had not been there to see the deluge.”

the atlantic



28 Comments on "What Made Me Reconsider the Anthropocene"

  1. Duncan Idaho on Fri, 18th Oct 2019 6:10 pm 

    Excellent!

  2. Davy on Fri, 18th Oct 2019 6:18 pm 

    It is truly amazing how one evil woman has destroyed the credibility of the left and the Democratic party. Lately we are hearing murmurs she might run again…Man will these dumbasses never learn??

    “Twitter War Breaks Out Between “Russian Asset” Tulsi Gabbard And “Warmongering Queen” Hillary Clinton”
    https://tinyurl.com/y42tu3fz zero hedge

    “Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard – who like Trump was quickly put in the crosshairs of the military industrial complex, the deep state and the pro-war Atlantic Council for her de-interventionist policy proposals – fired back at Hillary Clinton, accusing her of being behind a “concerted campaign” to destroy her reputation and challenged her to stop hiding and enter the 2020 presidential race. Earlier in the day, Hillary Clinton floated a conspiracy theory that the Russians are “grooming” the Hawaii congresswoman to be a third-party candidate in 2020, while claiming 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein is “also” a Russian asset. “Great! Thank you Hillary Clinton,” Gabbard tweeted late on Friday afternoon. “You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain.” “From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose.” Gabbard added.”

  3. Davy on Fri, 18th Oct 2019 6:32 pm 

    That zero hedge shit keeps getting nuttier by the day.

    LOL!

  4. Sissyfuss on Fri, 18th Oct 2019 7:13 pm 

    The corporate Dems will not allow a renegade to escape the DNC reservation. I’d join the Greens but their national pacifism is unrealistic in a world with weapons of mass destruction throughout. Nobody represents me now just as in my childhood. Basically I’ve been on my own since the age of 4. Some people are lucky that way.

  5. supremacist muzzies jerk on Fri, 18th Oct 2019 7:14 pm 

    supertard sis
    62 muzzies got 72 virgins each in kabul today.
    this is not a rare occasion, worldwide about 100 are “peacefully” seeing 72 virgins everyday.

  6. Duncan Idaho on Fri, 18th Oct 2019 7:27 pm 

    Q3 GDP Forecasts: Under 2%
    https://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2019/10/q3-gdp-forecasts-under-2.html

    3 quarters of sub 2% and we are in a “recession” .
    We shall see if the Fat Boy can prevent this through his lying.

  7. Theedrich on Sat, 19th Oct 2019 2:00 am 

    A 𝖉𝖊𝖈𝖎𝖘𝖎𝖔𝖓 by a “calculus of propositions” made us.  This, according to astrophysicists Charles W. Misner, Kip S. Thorne and John Archibald Wheeler in chapter 44, “Beyond the End of Time” of their massive logico-mathematical tome on relativity and quantum mechanics, Gravitation, (S.F.: W.H. Freeman & Co., 1970-71).  The reason this infinite logic system chose to make our cosmos, and therefore us, was, according to these scientists, was “ Because only so can man be here!”  It should be added that MTW wrote this decades before dark matter and dark energy (constituting ~95% of the universe) were discovered, and before the number of galaxies within our event horizon (never mind outside it) was estimated to be (or to have been) perhaps a trillion;  thus today they would likely amend the word “man” in that sentence to something like “intelligent life incarnate in matter.”)

    Thus life itself is the overpowering dynamic behind the very existence of the cosmos.  A small demonstration of the creative power of this cosmogonic dynamic can be seen in the odd but universally attested and verified phenomenon of hauntings.  These normally occur in places where life itself has been destroyed in traumatic events, such as murders, horrific accidents and, especially, battlefields.  For an example, look up the strange phenomena at the Gettysburg National Military Park, where tens of thousands of men died in battle over three days, July 1–3, 1863.  The intensity of emotion due to the slaughter actually modified the physical structure of the environment, something not usually recognized or admitted.  That modification “imprinted” a memory of the sounds and sights of the battle on the blood-soaked turf.

    In other words, the exact same power of “materialization,” though vastly weaker, as occurred in the generation of the universe, is also evident in the so-called “ghosts” which are constantly perceived at Gettysburg.

    Given this fact (sorry, all you atheists and agnostics), it is clear that the existence of intelligent life on this planet (and quite likely on many others in the trillion or more galaxies within our event horizon) is of transcendent importance.  Either we follow the indicated direction of correcting the current life-destroying and planeticidal ways (overpopulation, massive pollution, and other devastation), or the planet will turn into a dead orb, its past recalled only by massive hauntings on a once living earth.

  8. Dredd on Sat, 19th Oct 2019 5:50 am 

    The Analproscene is a subunit of the Anthropocene. It’s the final layer in the rubble (Bull).

  9. shortonoil on Sat, 19th Oct 2019 10:42 am 

    “Oh, to be caged in a limited mind like a Chinese cricket”, sayeth the dragon.

    Like Megalodon, or even the common house fly the age of man on Earth will be a wafer thin deposit of undecipherable fossils left to be decoded by evolution’s next random appearance of intelligence. Unlike Megalodon man’s legacy will not to found on Earth. If it is found at all, it will be located next to a rock on the back side of the moon, or it will be the remains of one its machine creations on some other far distant celestial body. Man’s legacy is unique. Of all the world’s creatures for the last 3 billion years, it has been the only one that has been able to dig itself out from under the planets crushing gravity well. Why, and how man kind came to its end will hardly to more than a speculation found in some distant future ledger.

    If it is discovered during some far distant future that the creature man sought to name its era in its own image it will only be testimony to the creature’s innate unbounded hubris.

  10. Duncan Idaho on Sat, 19th Oct 2019 11:54 am 

    1998 — US: Global Warming?? Earth Liberation Front (ELF), committed to “economic sabotage & guerrilla warfare to stop the exploitation & destruction of the natural environment,” torches the Vail Mountain ski resort in Colorado, causing $12 million in damage.

  11. jeannick on Sat, 19th Oct 2019 6:53 pm 

    Because of its Very brief duration by geological time measure it should not be called the Anthropocene , a rather better name would be the Anthropic boundary

  12. Antius on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 3:44 am 

    Having been largely absent from this board for months until last week, I see that the Davy freak show continues to account for most of the comments. The moron talks a lot but says virtually nothing.

  13. JuanP ID theft on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 4:23 am 

    Antius on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 3:44 am

    Having been largely absent from this board for months until last week, I see that the Davy freak show continues to account for most of the comments. The moron talks a lot but says virtually nothing.

  14. Davy approves this message on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 4:23 am 

    This analysis courtesy of a failed crank and fantasy farmer, DavySkum. A spoiled brat who has never worked a day in his life thanks to the family trust fund and takes to the family Learjet anytime the old lady is suffering from hot flashes while on summer holiday in Europe, and whose predictions have been proven universally dead wrong.

    DavySkum is a PERFECT negative barometer of expected outcomes.

  15. JuanP bullshit on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 4:25 am 

    Davy approves this message said This analysis courtesy of a failed crank and fanta…

  16. peakyeast on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 5:15 am 

    @antius: I do not believe they are humans – they are a failed experiment with chat bots.

    Imagine what kind of insanity it takes to keep up this level of stupidity every day for years on end. Just not possible.

  17. Cloggie on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 5:57 am 

    @peakyeast – you are not willing to entertain the possibility that the incessant spamming is the political labour of antifa types like I AM THE MOB, rather than the rants of fifty year olds, who stopped developing at an age of 12?

    Can’t prove anything but my intuition tells me that I AM THE MOB is responsible for this kind of political activism.

  18. Davy on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 6:07 am 

    “@antius: I do not believe they are humans – they are a failed experiment with chat bots. Imagine what kind of insanity it takes to keep up this level of stupidity every day for years on end. Just not possible.”

    Well, peakie, so you agree with censorship by trolling? JuanP is a troll and he finds satisfaction by trolling which is a social media activity not meant for an intellectual forum. In JuanP’s case his social media efforts are a nasty destructive one. People come here for intelligent conversation and he pollutes it with social media trolling. He is the one primarily responsible for ID theft, fake ID’s, and bazar comments from his lunatic ID’s. BTW, peakie, Antius comment is not from Antius it is from JuanP. All you need to do is know how each comment and check the timing. This combines with other ID theft and socks from JuanP last night and this morning. IMA, why are you here today and what do you contribute? Your comment above didn’t help the situation and really didn’t say anything constructive. When is the last time you said anything worthwhile? When you do comment many times, it is anti-American with your own ad-hom attacks. You are one of those hypocritical creatures that point fingers but really have nothing to offer.

  19. Davy on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 6:21 am 

    “@peakyeast – you are not willing to entertain the possibility that the incessant spamming is the political labour of antifa types like I AM THE MOB, rather than the rants of fifty year olds, who stopped developing at an age of 12?”

    Then there is the cloggo who is mr 20/7 spammer of his personal agenda of anti-Americanism and white racism. He runs cover for JuanP by claiming it is not JuanP but the MOBster. Cloggo has no proof of this. Most of JuanP’s activity is directed to me because I stood up to his trolling. MOBster is mostly after cloggo but most of this ID theft and hostile socks are against Davy. See my point! JuanP told me to leave 18 months ago and I said no and I insulted him in the process. He now stalks and attacks me daily and hence all the junk that ends up on this forum chasing away intelligent guests. I fight back and use an offensive as a defense so don’t expect me to be driven off. I have many notes to back this up but the cloggo has none that prove it is the MOBster who BTW is not around much anymore. Cloggo likes JuanP because he is an enemy of my enemy. He whines about the nasty social media activity polluting this forum but likes the cover it gives him by using up my time responding to JuanP attacks. JuanP is a psychopath who really has no position in particular but generally he comes out with extremist liberal trash. Cloggo does not like this trash but likes JuanP attacking me. The reason for this is because I moderate and neuter the cloggo chauvinistic Eurotard and white racist message so a JuanP attack gives the cloggo message a smoke screen. Cloggo, you are one of the most dishonest persons on this forum. You warp meaning by using anything you can to further your personal agenda including enabling JuanP destructive activity. You are disgusting but, on a side, note you do engage in debate and do contribute knowledge. Compared to JuanP that makes you a positive.

  20. Davy on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 6:43 am 

    I approve this message. Just asked the troll JuanP if he approaves it:

    “https://browserspy.dk/webserver.php
    and fill in peakoil.com, you get that the server is hosted by Cloudflare:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloudflare
    Cloudflare is one of the last bastions of free speech. It is very sad that the admin of this site doesn’t seem to want to take the trouble to log in to his server dashboard and active a few presets, enforcing posters to post under a unique username/password combination. That doesn’t eliminate garbage under fake identities, but at least it stops identity theft and that would make a hell of a difference. If possible, you could also enforce that one IP-address can only post under a single identity. Please admin, invest an hour of your time to get this right.”

  21. Cloggie on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 7:25 am 

    It’s official! Solar Team Eindhoven won the World Solar Challenge in Australia in the “cruiser class” (family car) for a fourth time in a row:

    https://www.ed.nl/eindhoven/solar-team-eindhoven-wint-voor-vierde-keer-op-rij-world-solar-challange~ab4c13b2/

    The innovation as compared to 2017 was the autonomous driving aspect:

    https://youtu.be/tQAq3_M0LY0

    Over the past few years the student team managed to set up a new startup called Lightyear One [*] and develop a “solar car” with up to 12k autonomous miles:

    https://youtu.be/bSbWwn_YCr8

    [*] – the total amount of kilometers driven annually by all humans amounts to roughly one lightyear. Lightyear One has the frivolous ambition to replace the fossil-based cars with their solar ones. We can only wish them good luck.

  22. Davy on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 7:44 am 

    cloggo, remind the forum of the cost of this car and the fact that it will never scale up to the normal end user contributing to an affordable transport alternative. This is little more than a university toy. This dovetails with many of your other comments that are theoretical but dubiously scalable. Many of your comments are also chauvinistic IOW they serve your eurotard and white racist agenda.

  23. Cloggie on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 8:10 am 

    “the fact that it will never scale up to the normal end user contributing to an affordable transport alternative”

    You and your “facts”.

    The price of the first 100 cars, 130k or so, is irrelevant for the true price potential of the “university toy”. Solar cells that now cost one dollar per piece, costed thousands of dollars when first used by NASA in the sixties. Solar cells have become inherently cheap. Five m2 used in the car, that is a few hundred dollars. Take a factor of 2-3 to account for multilayer 40% efficiency cells. This function is not a toy but a natural add-on for the e-vehicles of the future, greatly relieving the grid and reducing irritating battles for available charging stations.

    But then again, you may have a white ass, but internally you are a third worlder, just like your stalking shoeshine boy from Toronto. You can’t stand it when Europeans invent something, only to remind you and shoeshine of hour own inadequacy, so you have to talk it down.

    That’s ok, as long as you talk yourself in the grave.

  24. Davy on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 8:50 am 

    “You and your “facts”. The price of the first 100 cars, 130k or so, is irrelevant for the true price potential of the “university toy”

    Cloggo, first on price alone this is dead in the water. 100 cars or 100,000 cars is not going to change this equation much not to mention the capabilities of this car are nothing special. This is a University toy but one we can learn from. The surface area that is solar is not going to make that big a difference overall but I do think putting solar on some transport is a good idea in some applications. This might be more with buses than cars. It is also true if they can be made robust enough to endure long term use. The problem with cars is their useful life is low compared to normal mounted solar panels so these cars would ideally need second lives. This means a more expensive car that has components that can be switched out. I think this car is really more about efficiency than solar panels anyway. The rest of the car should be highlighted for uses in other mass-produced EV versions in production currently to improve on performance where the cost benefits can be realized. We already know EV’s and their variants are pricey. Most EV’s are sold at a premium to ICE vehicles and this is still with subsidies by the car producers and governments. Grids are still significantly fossil fuel supplied not renewable (solar and wind). So, the marketing of this vehicle is really just a techno-optimistic cheerleading activity. You are trying to sell a way of life with no future and failing badly when real and honest science dissects your arguments. The REAL Green effort would be finding ways to reduce travel and stay local in the first place not FAKE Green efforts that are glamorizing driving and technology.

    “. Solar cells that now cost one dollar per piece, costed thousands of dollars when first used by NASA in the sixties. Solar cells have become inherently cheap. Five m2 used in the car, that is a few hundred dollars. Take a factor of 2-3 to account for multilayer 40% efficiency cells.”

    Bullshit cloggo, solar cells are nearing their maximum of cost reduction in a holistic sense. They still require enormous amounts of fossil fuel energy to mine, transport, produce, and often, not mentioned, opportunity costs of other behaviors. Yes, the greenest you can get is outside the tech culture. Solar panels may be innovated some more but not much. We are reaching the physical capabilities of the technology and diminishing returns is kicking in. IOW the REAL cost is not going to come down much but the FAKE Green cost will be shown to be very low through FAKE Green marketing like you do (cherry-picking, embellishing, and technical deception). You act like solar panels can be made to be virtually no cost when much of the cost is the result of a very costly globalization supply line of multiple corporations linked in an elaborately expensive globalization

    “ This function is not a toy but a natural add-on for the e-vehicles of the future, greatly relieving the grid and reducing irritating battles for available charging stations.”

    Cloggo, car roof mounted panels due to the expense that needs to be built in and the fact that cars have a shorter life than normal mounted panels means this is not “greatly relieving the grid”. There will never be enough cars produced to make a significant grid effect. Nor is there enough surface area on these panels that re mounted to a car to charge EV batteries economically to call this a game changer. You are again cheerleading something this is not reality.

  25. makati1 on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 5:51 pm 

    The Davy and Cloggie competition for the ‘Most Delusional Town Idiot’ award goes on and on. Very similar to the current clown show called the US election. Neither one worth paying attention to as neither one matters in the least.

  26. Davy on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 6:12 pm 

    typical uninformed and unexplained makato? What are you talking about stupid? Is the comment between cloggo and I too technically deep for you? Is that why you default to your ad-hom?

  27. makati1 on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 6:36 pm 

    Davy, I said what I said in plain English. That you choose to misinterpret it is your problem. Denial is your routine, and is usually followed by unsupported lies and bullshit.

  28. Davy on Sun, 20th Oct 2019 6:40 pm 

    You said nothing in plain English which means you don’t have a clue what we are talking about. Again, is 80 becoming such a big issue for you?

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