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Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XIII

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XIII

Electrifying everything has become a rallying cry for many people concerned with the ecological/environmental impact of humanity. But do such attempts to mitigate/solve such problems/dilemmas actually do what they claim to? I would argue no. They are simply substituting one set of problems for another set of problems and completely avoiding the underlying causes. They are primarily about creating the idea that they are a solution, not that they truly are. They are a marketing scheme to sell products and gloss over using language the problematic issues they prolong or create. It is fundamentally about propaganda, not addressing the plight that human expansion is.

In this vein, here is my comment on an article that looks at substituting electric long-haul trucks for internal combustion engine ones.

We really do need to stop using language that does not reflect reality. Electric vehicles are neither ‘green’ nor ‘clean’. A shift to them is not in any way, shape, or form helping us to address the various ecological/environmental dilemmas humanity has created in its endless expansion and exploitation of the planet’s limited resources (and that go far beyond carbon emissions).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Clean energy minerals shortage: Who knew it could happen?

Clean energy minerals shortage: Who knew it could happen?

The race for so-called green energy has spawned another race, one for the minerals needed to make the devices such as solar panels and batteries that produce, store and transmit that energy. A hitherto largely unchallenged economic idea—that we will always have supplies of everything we need at the time we need it at prices we can afford—is in the process of being tested.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the world will need to produce six times more of these critical metals than we are producing now to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, a target widely held out as an essential goal for avoiding catastrophic effects from climate change. The need for lithium—the key component in lithium batteries that are prized for light weight and the ability to charge quickly—will grow 70 times over the next 20 years, the IEA predicts.

One wonders what the price trajectories of the minerals IEA mentions will look like in the coming years. The long-term charts are concerning for nickellithiumcobalt and others since this appears to be just the beginning of the run-up.

The world is experiencing shortages already of many key commodities and manufactured items (such as computer chips). This is, in part, due to lack of investment over the last decade after a general slump in commodity prices following the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 and a broad moderation in worldwide economic growth. Certainly, we can expect increased investment in these critical metals. But will it be sufficient to match our dreams for a green technology future?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Wrong Direction: Bright Green Lies

The Wrong Direction: Bright Green Lies

THE RECENTLY RELEASED book Bright Green Lies: How the Environmental Movement Lost Its Way and What We Can Do About It is designed to disabuse a well-meaning public of the notion that Teslas and wind farms will save the planet. They won’t, say the three coauthors, Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, and Max Wilbert; at best, they’ll slow our inevitable self-destruction. The only thing that can save us is serious lifestyle change. What would that look like? From Thacker Pass in Humboldt County, Nevada, where he’s camped out with other activists protesting a pending lithium mine, Wilbert explains.

What’s the premise of Bright Green Lies?
“Bright green” environmentalists believe that technological changes can make our culture sustainable, and there’s not actually very good evidence to support this. In fact, the opposite is true. So, our book critiques technological solutions from an environmental perspective. We’re not just saying that solar panels and wind turbines are destructive. We’re saying that they’re actively misleading our movements and pulling us in the wrong direction.

So, I drive an electric car based on the belief I’m helping the planet. In your view, what should I be doing instead?
Cars themselves are the problem and some environmentalists have been pointing this out for decades. Car culture, urban sprawl, parking lots — these things don’t depend on the fuel that powers the car; they’re consequences of the car itself. People need to recognize that we’re not going to buy our way out of the ecological problems we face. In fact, the opposite is true. As long as we continue to invest in the mindset that produces this culture, that comes out of the idea that factories will save the planet, then we’re going to be led deeper into this mass extinction event.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Book and Film Expose the Illusion of “Green” Technology: “Bright Green Lies”

Book and Film Expose the Illusion of “Green” Technology: “Bright Green Lies”

Technology can be and has been beneficial in many ways.  Unfortunately, it’s been disastrous in others.  For example, utility “Smart” Meters have been nothing but trouble for people and the environment in numerous ways including fires and explosions (see 12345).  Ditto on 5G (see 12345).

Book and film, Bright Green Lies expose more examples of unsafe technology that are still audaciously but inaccurately being lauded as “green.”

From Bright Green Lies:

The book Bright Green Lies dismantles the illusion of ‘green’ technology in breathtaking, comprehensive detail, revealing a fantasy that must perish if there is to be any hope of preserving what remains of life on Earth. From solar panels to wind turbines, from LED light bulbs to electric cars, no green fantasy escapes Jensen, Keith, and Wilbert’s revealing peak behind the green curtain. Bright Green Lies is a must-read for all who cherish life on Earth.” —Jeff Gibbs, writer, director, and producer of the film Planet of the Humans.

The film Bright Green Lies investigates the change in focus of the mainstream environmental movement, from its original concern with protecting nature, to its current obsession with powering an unsustainable way of life. The film exposes the lies and fantastical thinking behind the notion that solar, wind, hydro, biomass, or green consumerism will save us from climate change. Tackling the most pressing issues of our time will require us to look beyond the mainstream technological solutions and ask deeper questions about what needs to change.

Bright Green Lies – Trailer from Julia Barnes on Vimeo.

 

Investing For The Greenwash Bubble

Update: Ironically, this post has been censored by Facebook and other social media co’s, despite it containing no factual errors.

Greenwashing, in case you don’t know, is the “disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image”.

You know, this sort of thing:

This is taken from the time of the now infamous Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal. Since then, other large car companies have faced similar controversy — jumping on the green band wagon. It’s because these days, it pays to be “green” (for more information, see Elon Musk).

But here’s the thing that otherwise intelligent people seem to fail to comprehend: Greenwashing extends way beyond false advertising in consumer goods. It’s made its way into politics, investment products, journalism, and now mainstream opinion in “the West”.

Greenwashing is actually now the norm, which we’re now going to get into after I fire off an early warning trigger alert:

This warning is if you’re a current believer in the generic clean energy revolution. You know the one — it goes something like this: Unless we “decarbonize” and move from fossil fuels to so called “clean” energy, within the next decade or so the world suffers irreversible and catastrophic changes that will:

  • Lead to increasingly warmer temperatures
  • Kill off swathes of wildlife, causing mass extinctions
  • Cause untold starvation and hardship for us bipeds
  • Increase inequality
  • And so on…

Well, today we’re dissecting this popular narrative that has virtuous intentions, but — like many things our governments have been mandating these days — are doomed to fail and actually make things worse than if nothing was done at all.

“That’s a little hyperbolic,” I hear you say.

Well, let’s see…

Here are some cold, hard facts, regardless of how controversial they might seem by today’s standards.:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

GREEN ENERGY DOUBLE-TALK BEGINS: First Major Oil Producer Announces Deadline to End Oil Extraction, But There’s A Catch

GREEN ENERGY DOUBLE-TALK BEGINS: First Major Oil Producer Announces Deadline to End Oil Extraction, But There’s A Catch

According to the Washington Post article published yesterday, Denmark was the first major oil-producing country to announce a deadline to end oil extraction. While this may sound like a “Victory” for the Green Energy Movement, there’s a catch. While Denmark announced that it would end all oil extraction by 2050, the country will likely run out of oil reserves well before that date.

I find this quite hilarious because all anyone has to do is look at a bit of data, and you can find out that Denmark’s oil-producing days are quickly coming to an end… WITH OR WITHOUT GREEN ENERGY.

The Washington Post article titled, Denmark becomes first major oil-producing nation to set deadline to end extraction, stated the following:

The decision was applauded by some environmental activists, with Greenpeace celebrating it as a “watershed moment,” although other groups had hoped for a faster timeline.

Denmark’s new rules mean companies will be barred from receiving new licenses to search for and extract oil and gas resources. Previously issued licenses will remain valid until 2050.

Denmark is the top oil producer in the European Union, but it has come under mounting pressure as the E.U. aims to become carbon-neutral within the next 30 years.

“It’s a historic decision for Denmark,” Dan Jørgensen, the Danish climate and energy minister, told The Washington Post in an interview Friday.

Please note the BOLDED text in the quote from the article above. What a laugh indeed. “The decision was applauded by some environmental activists??” Are you kidding me?? Even Greenpeace celebrated it as a “WATERSHED MOMENT.” Listen, I really admire some of the work being done by Greenpeace, but this is pure BOLLOCKS.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Sustainable End of History?

Why California’s 100% renewable energy plan is not a blueprint for our sustainable future.

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The Sustainable End of History?

Recently, I was a panelist at a forum titled “Tough Talks” which was to eliminate the cozy complacency and tiptoeing of panelists and instead talk die-hard solutions. The topic: Ecological Destruction and strategies for a sustainable future. I was hot. I was excited. I was prepared. And I ended up rather puzzled. I’ll tell you why:

Midway through the discussion — after one panelist had made an amusingly sarcastic allusion to the Beatles’ song “Let it be” by saying that we should simply let all efforts be and accept whichever faith we have brought upon ourselves — the host asked me about my views on the Californian 100% renewable energy plan. She asked whether I agree, with so many others, that the plan serves as a role model for communities around the world and a blueprint for transitioning into a sustainable future (not even energy system; no, FUTURE).

At first, I was shocked. Was this an equally sarcastic allusion as the Beatles’ song? If so, then to what? Fukuyama’s ancient End of History piece? I didn’t get it. Also, this was the host. Would she really ask a question in this sarcastic spirit? I gambled that it was a serious question which demanded a serious answer. However, I believe my face and body language were expressing my sheer disbelief to the audience, and the fact that I had to gather my thoughts for a moment amplified this effect. At last, I made my point:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If Trudeau Suddenly Looks Green, Here’s Why

If Trudeau Suddenly Looks Green, Here’s Why

Fossil fuels flagging, the economy demands reinvention. Expect a bold gamble of a throne speech.

Justin Trudeau’s imminent green gamble, casting the dice with long odds against rolling lucky eleven, is a risky move.

On Sept. 23, Trudeau will put his government, and his legacy, on the line with a throne speech. It faces a confidence vote. If the Liberals should lose that vote, the government would fall.

Then Canadians would be plunged into their first national campaign held during a pandemic, left to scratch their heads over myriad questions.

Who would the citizenry blame for sending them to the polls with COVID-19 still very much on the prowl?

How would newly minted CPC leader Erin O’Toole, a Harper retread, have a chance of winning? It doesn’t help that the convention that crowned him on national television looked like it was run by Curly, Larry, and Moe. Then there was that disingenuous victory handshake with Peter MacKay, the leadership rival O’Toole asked the RCMP to investigate as a thief. Worst of all, O’Toole is the invisible man of politics. Most voters wouldn’t recognize the new CPC leader if he were standing beside them at the bus-stop wearing an Erin O’Toole t-shirt.

Despite denials from party stalwarts, the NDP don’t have enough chips to even sit at the high-stakes poker table of a national election. How could Jagmeet Singh be competitive if the party can’t afford to lease a plane for their national leader, as was the case in 2019?

In that election, the NDP plunged from 44 seats in 2015 to a mere 24 in 2019, making them the fourth party in parliament behind the Liberals, Conservatives, and Bloc Québécois.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Rolling blackouts in California show how reliance on solar and wind power can backfire

Image: Rolling blackouts in California show how reliance on solar and wind power can backfire
(Natural News) California issued its first rolling blackouts in nearly 20 years last week as the state’s grid operator tried to keep the power system from complete collapse in the midst of a heat wave, and some are pointing out that the situation demonstrates the failures of green energy.

The rolling blackouts affected upwards of 2 million Californians. Many of the outages took place in the afternoon, when power demand peaked as people starting turning up their air conditioning at the same time that solar power supplies started slowing down as the sun set.

The state’s three biggest utilities – Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, and San Diego Gas & Electric – cut off power to homes and businesses for roughly an hour at a time until the close of an emergency declaration, and this was followed by a second outage.

On top of that, erratic output from the state’s wind farms failed to make up the gap. Around a third of the state’s electricity comes from renewable sources thanks to state law mandates, and these alternatives proved incapable of keeping up during peak power usage. In the past, utilities and grid operators in the state bought extra electricity from other states when it fell short, but the vast size of the heat wave meant that other states were also reaching their limits and had none to spare.

Governor Gavin Newsom ordered an investigation into the outages seen in the state over the weekend, vowing to uncover the cause. However, Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno, who serves as the Committee on Utilities and Energy’s Vice Chair, said that the problem can be traced to California’s reduced dependence on natural gas.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why a Great Reset Based on Green Energy Isn’t Possible

Why a Great Reset Based on Green Energy Isn’t Possible

It seems like a reset of an economy should work like a reset of your computer: Turn it off and turn it back on again; most problems should be fixed. However, it doesn’t really work that way. Let’s look at a few of the misunderstandings that lead people to believe that the world economy can move to a Green Energy future.

[1] The economy isn’t really like a computer that can be switched on and off; it is more comparable to a human body that is dead, once it is switched off.

A computer is something that is made by humans. There is a beginning and an end to the process of making it. The computer works because energy in the form of electrical current flows through it. We can turn the electricity off and back on again. Somehow, almost like magic, software issues are resolved, and the system works better after the reset than before.

Even though the economy looks like something made by humans, it really is extremely different. In physics terms, it is a “dissipative structure.” It is able to “grow” only because of energy consumption, such as oil to power trucks and electricity to power machines.

The system is self-organizing in the sense that new businesses are formed based on the resources available and the apparent market for products made using these resources. Old businesses disappear when their products are no longer needed. Customers make decisions regarding what to buy based on their incomes, the amount of debt available to them, and the choice of goods available in the marketplace.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

THE GREEN ELECTRIC CAR MYTH: 772 Pounds Of Petro-Chemical Plastics In Each Vehicle

THE GREEN ELECTRIC CAR MYTH: 772 Pounds Of Petro-Chemical Plastics In Each Vehicle

How can an electric car be called “Green” when it contains more than 700 pounds of plastic??  Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are using more plastic to lower the weight of the car due to the massive battery used, weighing more than 1,000 pounds.  Unfortunately, plastic is still made from petrochemicals, the so-called “Dirty Fossil-fuel Industry.”

So, without petrochemicals, the manufacture of electric cars would be extremely difficult without plastic.  And the primary feedstock for plastic is natural gas liquids (NGLs).  Due to the rapid rise in NGLs production, especially in the United States, plastic production has surged.  We can see in the chart below, that the United States accounted for nearly 90% of global NGLs production growth since 2007.

So, with all this extra NGLs production, the United States has a monopoly on the Global NGLs Feedstock for going GREEN.  Of the 3.8 million barrels per day (mbd) of NGLs global production growth since 2007, the United States added 3.4 mbd of that total.

In tearing apart the “Green Electric Vehicle Myth,” I will focus this article only on the plastic component.

There seems to be this notion that cars manufactured 50 years ago were much heavier than vehicles today due to a higher percentage of metals used.  This turns out to be false when we look at the data.  According to an Autoweek article by Murliee Martin titled, 50 years of car weight gain: from the Chevelle to the Sonic, the Fairlane to the Focus, a 1967 mid-sized Chevy Chevelle weighed in at 2,915 pounds versus a 2,955 pounds for a 2017 Chevy Sonic subcompact car:

(image courtesy of Autoweek.com, General Motors & Pinterest)

Looks are deceiving… eh?  If you read the article linked above, the 1967 Chevy Chevelle with all that metal and very little plastic actually weighed 40 pounds less than the subcompact 2017 Chevy Sonic.  Go figure…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Green Energy Delusion – We Can Never Get to Zero CO2

Green Energy Delusion – We Can Never Get to Zero CO2

This interesting documentary exposes the falsehood about green energy and the outright lies we are told that somehow this will save the planet. They call it BioMass energy which is cutting down forests and burning trees that consume CO2. The carbon dioxide released when burning wood (about 1900g CO2 for each 1000g of wood burnt) they then claim is balanced by the fact that this carbon was taken up by the tree from the air when it grew. So this part of the emissions is carbon-neutral. What they are saying is that they are releasing the CO2 the trees took out of the system rather than adding to the present level.

Coal is an important source of energy in the United States, and the nation’s reliance on this fossil fuel for generating electricity is growing. The combustion of coal, however, adds a significant amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere per unit of heat energy, more so than the combustion of other fossil fuels. Coal is formed when dead plant matter decays into peat and is converted into coal by the heat and pressure after being deeply buried over millions of years. In other words, coal is also carbon-neutral under this same BioMass theory that coal represents plants that simply consume CO2, and it is not being released back into the atmosphere. Burning coal does not create CO2, it is also just releasing it as they burn trees.

Destroying forests to burn trees under the claim that BioMass energy is renewable because they can just grow more trees is pretty absurd. The only REAL energy that does not produce direct Co2 is nuclear. Nuclear power reactors do not produce direct carbon dioxide emissions. Unlike fossil fuel-fired power plants, nuclear reactors do not produce air pollution or carbon dioxide while operating.

THE RENEWABLE GREEN ENERGY MYTH: 50,000 Tons Of Non-Recyclable Wind Turbine Blades Dumped In The Landfill

THE RENEWABLE GREEN ENERGY MYTH: 50,000 Tons Of Non-Recyclable Wind Turbine Blades Dumped In The Landfill

Funny, no one seemed to consider what to do with the massive amount of wind turbine blades once they reached the end of their lifespan.  Thus, the irony of the present-day Green Energy Movement is the dumping of thousands of tons of “non-recyclable” supposedly renewable wind turbine blades in the country’s landfills.

Who would have thought? What’s even worse, is that the amount of wind turbine blades slated for waste disposal is forecasted to quadruple over the next fifteen years as a great deal more blades reach their 15-20 year lifespan.  Furthermore, the size and length of the newly installed wind turbine blades are now twice as large as they were 20-30 years ago.

(graphic courtesy of Ahlstrom-Munksjo.com)

Honestly, I hadn’t considered the tremendous amount of waste generated by the so-called “Renewable” wind power industry until a long-term reader sent me the link to the following article, Landfill begins burying non-recyclable Wind Turbine Blades:

Hundreds of giant windmill blades are being shipped to a landfill in Wyoming to be buried because they simply can’t be recycled.  Local media reports several wind farms in the state are sending over 900 un-reusable blades to the Casper Regional Landfill to be buried. While nearly 90 percent of old or decommissioned wind turbines, like the motor housing, can be refurbished or at least crushed, fiberglass windmill blades present a problem due to their size and strength.

“Our crushing equipment is not big enough to crush them,” a landfill representative told NPR.

Prior to burying the cumbersome, sometimes nearly 300-foot long blades, the landfill has to cut them up into smaller pieces onsite and stack them in order to save space during transportation.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Getting Real About Green Energy: An honest analysis of what it CAN’T promise

Getting Real About Green Energy: An honest analysis of what it CAN’T promise

I want to be optimistic about the future. I really do.

But there’s virtually no chance of the world transitioning gently to an alternative energy-powered future.

These Are The ‘Good Old Days’

I’m often asked where I stand on wind, solar and other alternative energy sources.

My answer is: I love them. But they’re incapable of enabling our society to smoothly slip over to powering itself by other means.

They’re not going to “save us”.

Some people are convinced otherwise. If we can just fight off the evil oil companies, get our act together, and install a national alternative energy system infrastructure, we’ll be just fine.  Meaning that we”ll be able to continue to live as we do today, but powered fully by clean renewable energy.

That’s just not going to happen. At least, not without a lot of painful disruption and sacrifice.

The top three reasons why are:

  1. Math
  2. Human behavior
  3. Time, scale, & cost

I walk through the detail below. I’m doing so to debunk the magical thinking behind the current “Green Revolution” because I fear it offers a false promise.

Look, I’m a huge fan of renewable energy. And I’m 1,000% in favor of weaning the world off of its toxic addiction to fossil fuels.

But we have to be eyes wide open about our future prospects. Deluding ourselves with “feel good” but unrealistic expectations about green energy will result in the same sort of poor decisions, malinvestment, and crushed dreams as fossil-based system has.

As we constantly repeat here at Peak Prosperity: Energy is everything.  

Without as much available, the future is going to be exceptionally difficult compared to the present. Which is why I call the time we’re living in now The Good Old Days.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

March 28, 2019 Book review of Bryce’s “Power hungry: the myths of green energy and the real fuels of the future”

March 28, 2019 Book review of Bryce’s “Power hungry: the myths of green energy and the real fuels of the future”

Preface.  This is a book review of: Robert Bryce. 2009. Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future.

This is a brilliant book, very funny at times, a great way to sharpen your critical thinking skills, and complex ideas and principles expressed so enough anyone can understand them.

I have two main quibbles with his book.  I’ve written quite a bit about energy and resources in “When trucks stop running” and this website about why nuclear power and natural gas cannot get us out of the peak oil crisis (after all, natural gas and uranium are finite also).

This book came out in 2009. As far as his liking for nuclear power, perhaps Bryce would have been less enthusiastic if he’d read the 2013 “Too Hot to Touch: The Problem of High-Level Nuclear Waste” by W. A. Alley et al., Cambridge University Press.  And also the 2016 National Research Council “Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety and Security of U.S. Nuclear Plants: Phase 2”.  As a result of this study, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Science Magazine concluded that a nuclear spent fuel fire at Peach Bottom in Pennsylvania could force up to 18 million people to evacuate. This is because the spent fuel is not stored under the containment vessel where the reactor is, which would keep the radioactivity from escaping, so if electric power were out for 12 to 31 days (depending on how hot the stored fuel was), the fuel from the reactor core cooling down in a nearby nuclear spent fuel pool could catch on fire and cause millions of flee from thousands of square miles of contaminated land.

Bryce on why the green economy won’t work:

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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