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Energy vs DNA

Energy vs DNA

Rembrandt van Rijn Landscape With the Rest on the Flight into Egypt 1647

Hmm, energy. Is it a good idea I be drawn back into the subject? We used to do so much on the topic, Nicole Foss and I, in the first years of The Automatic Earth, and before that at the brilliant Oil Drum, where we had all those equally brilliant oil professionals to guide us on. So why revisit it? Well, for one thing, because a friend asked.

And for another because things -may have – changed over the past 15 years or so. Not that I think the peak oil idea, which is that we reached the peak in 2005 or so, changed. Yeah, unconventional oil, shale, fracking etc., came about, but that has nothing to do with peak oil. Just look at the EROEI (energy return) you get from shale. You go from 100:1 to, if you’re lucky, 5:1. You can’t build a complex society on that.

It’s not an accident that shale oil firms are going broke all over; even ultra low interest rates can’t save them. But all that still doesn’t come close to scratching the surface of our energy -or oil, for that matter.- conundrum.

I’ve never understood what the idea behind the Extinction Rebellion is. Or, you know, that they know what they’re talking about. Do they know the physics?

The general idea, yeah, but not how they aim to reach their goals. Far as I can tell, it’s about less CO2 -and methane, supposedly- emissions, but I don’t get how they want to achieve that. I’ve read some but not all of their theories, and it’s not obvious. It feels like they want less of various things, only to replace them with something else. Like they think once oil is gone, you can put wind and solar in its staid, and off we go. Tell me how wrong I am. Please do.

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

The Winds are Shifting

The Winds are Shifting

Odilon Redon The Birth of Venus II c.1910

How do you define terror? Perhaps, because of the way the term has evolved in the English language, one wouldn’t call the west ‘terrorists’ per se, but ‘we’ are certainly spreading terror and terrorizing very large groups of people. Yeah, bring on the tanks and parade them around town. Add a marching band that plays some war tunes.

The ‘official’ storyline : at the request of the US, Gibraltar police and UK marines have seized an oil tanker in Gibraltar. The super-tanker, 1000 feet (330 meters) long, carrying 2 million barrels, had stopped there after sailing all around the Cape of Good Hope instead of taking the Suez canal on its way, ostensibly, from Iran to Syria.

And, according to the storyline as presented to and in the western press, because the EU still has sanctions on Iran, the British seized the ship. Another little detail I really appreciate is that Spain’s acting foreign minister, Josep Borrell, said Madrid was looking into the seizure and how it may affect Spanish sovereignty since Spain does not recognize the waters around Gibraltar as British.

That Borrell guy is the newly picked EU foreign policy czar, and according to some sources he’s supportive of Iran and critical of Israel. Them’s the webs we weave. He’s certainly in favor of Palestinian statehood. But we’re wandering…

Why did the tanker take that giant detour along the African coastline? Because potential problems were anticipated in the Suez canal. But also: why dock in Gibraltar? Because no problems were anticipated there. However, the US had been following the ship all along, and set this up.

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

Renewables Are Dead

Renewables Are Dead

Gustave Courbet The man made mad by fear 1844

If I’ve said once that those among us who tout renewable energy should pay more attention to the 2nd law of Thermodynamics, I must have said it a hundred times. But I hardly ever get the impression that people understand why. And it seems so obvious. A quote I often use from Herman Daly and Ken Townsend, when I talk about energy, really says it all:

“Erwin Schrodinger (1945) has described life as a system in steady-state thermodynamic disequilibrium that maintains its constant distance from equilibrium (death) by feeding on low entropy from its environment – that is, by exchanging high-entropy outputs for low-entropy inputs. The same statement would hold verbatium as a physical description of our economic process. A corollary of this statement is that an organism cannot live in a medium of its own waste products.”

Using energy produces waste. Using more energy produces more waste. It doesn’t matter -much- what kind of energy is used, or what kind of waste is produced. The energy WE use produces waste, in a medium of which WE cannot survive. The only way to escape this is to use less energy. And because we have used such an enormous amount of energy the past 100 years, we must use a whole lot less in the next 100.

We use about 100 times more energy per person, and a whole lot more in the west, than our own labor can produce. We use the equivalent of what 500 billion people can produce without the aid of fossil fuel-powered machines. We won’t solve this problem with wind turbines or solar panels. There really is one way only: cut down on energy use.

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

Which SHTF situation is most likely to actually happen?

Which SHTF situation is most likely to actually happen?

Image: Which SHTF situation is most likely to actually happen?

(Natural News) The prepping lifestyle can be overwhelming for most people but at its core, preppers prioritize readiness in all aspects of their lives. But amid all the talk about prepping skills, survival gear, and food supplies, how do you know which disaster event has the highest chance of occurring within your lifetime? (h/t to TheSurvivalistBlog.net)

How to prepare for possible SHTF events

For this article, an “SHTF” event is defined as “any event that upends your life” after it occurs, such as flooding in a major city. These events would be classified as major disasters or catastrophes, not personal emergencies.

On the extreme end of prepping are those who will do whatever it takes to get ready for apocalyptic events like EMP attacks or nuclear world war. However, more realistic preppers are concerned about events that may likely occur in their lifetimes, such as hurricanes or tornadoes.

No matter where you land on the prepping scale of SHTF-readiness, the important thing is to get ready for disasters that happen yearly worldwide.

Take note that the events detailed below are more or less likely to occur depending on your location. According to the U.N.’s Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the single most likely natural disaster to occur anywhere in the world is flooding.

Flood preparedness

Rising water is “the most likely disaster to befall you anywhere in the developed world,” with about 30 percent of all disasters categorized as flooding. This coincides with data gathered by U.S.-based disaster response agencies and insurers.

Regardless of what causes flooding, it is a deadly and destructive event that occurs yearly. In most cases, a local major body of water will overrun its banks due to several days of heavy rain. However, other factors like dam failure, ice or snow melting, or tsunamis can also create severe flooding. 

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

How To Protect Your Skin From Wind, Cold, And Sun During Winter

How To Protect Your Skin From Wind, Cold, And Sun During Winter

These crisp cool winter months are beautiful. The fresh snow lingers on the ground as you wake up to a lovely frost coating what used to be vibrantly colored trees just a few weeks ago. But now that winter is here, many still have to be outside to care for animals or land, and because of that, we’ve designed this helpful guide with natural alternatives to help keep your skin perfectly beautiful and healthy even in the icy cold and dry winter wind.

Winter presents some seriously interesting problems for those with already problematic skin.  Have no worries! There are some things that can be done to minimize the effects of the harsh cold and dry weather on your skin. Here they are:

DRINK MORE WATER

During winter months, the body is going to need more water. According to a previous Ready Nutrition article by Jerimiah Johnson, getting enough water could even end up being crucial to your own survival. As Johnson puts it:

During the winter, you’ll need about a quarter to a half extra water than your body normally requires, and this increases further if you are working hard physically or exerting yourself.  Remember what is happening in the cold weather.  Your body is burning up calories and extra sugar and carbohydrates to heat your muscle tissue.  This requires a tremendous amount of metabolic energy, down to the cellular level.  Water is fuelnever forget that.  With the increased cold temperatures, your metabolism works harder to stay warm.  Food intake is critical, and so is water. –Ready Nutrition

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

The Dynamics of Depletion

Paul Klee Ghost of a Genius 1922
The Automatic Earth has written many articles on the topic of EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested) through the years, there’s a whole chapter on it in the Automatic Earth Primer Guide 2017 that Nicole assembled recently, which contains 17 different articles.

Still, since EROEI is the most important energy issue there is at present, and not the price of oil or some new gas find or a set of windmills or solar panels or thorium, it can’t hurt to repeat it once again, in someone else’s words and from someone else’s angle. This one comes from Brian Davey on his site CredoEconomics, part of his book “Credo”.

It can’t hurt to repeat it because not nearly enough people understand that in the end everything, the survival of our world, our way of life, is all about the ‘quality’ of energy, about what we get in return when we drill and pump and build infrastructure, what remains when we subtract all the energy used to ‘generate’ energy, from (or at) the bottom line.

Anno 2017, our overall ‘net energy’ is nowhere near where it was for the first 100 years or so after we started using oil. And there’s no energy source that comes close to -conventional- oil (and gas) when it comes to what we are left with once our efforts are discounted, in calories or Joules.

The upshot of this is that even if we can ‘gain’ 10 times more than we put in, in energy terms, that won’t save our complex societies. To achieve that, we would need at least a 15:1 ratio, a number straight from our friend Charlie Hall, which is probably still quite optimistic. And we simply don’t have it. Not anymore.

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

 

Heal the Planet for Profit


Parisians duck down to evade German sniper fire following Nazi surrender of Paris, 1945
If you ever wondered what the odds are of mankind surviving, let alone ‘defeating’, climate change, look no further than the essay the Guardian published this week, written by Michael Bloomberg and Mark Carney. It proves beyond a moonlight shadow of a doubt that the odds are infinitesimally close to absolute zero (Kelvin, no Hobbes).

Yes, Bloomberg is the media tycoon and former mayor of New York (which he famously turned into a 100% clean and recyclable city). And since central bankers are as we all know without exception experts on climate change, as much as they are on full-contact crochet, it makes perfect sense that Bank of England governor Carney adds his two -trillion- cents.

Conveniently, you don’t even have to read the piece, the headline tells you all you need and then some: “How To Make A Profit From Defeating Climate Change” really nails it. The entire mindset on display in just a few words. If that’s what they went for, kudo’s are due.

These fine gents probably actually believe that this is perfectly in line with our knowledge of, say, human history, of evolution, of the laws of physics, and of -mass- psychology. All of which undoubtedly indicate to them that we can and will defeat the problems we have created -and still are-, literally with the same tools and ideas -money and profit- that we use to create them with. Nothing ever made more sense.

That these problems originated in the same relentless quest for profit that they now claim will help us get rid of them, is likely a step too far for them; must have been a class they missed. “We destroyed it for profit” apparently does not in their eyes contradict “we’ll fix it for profit too”. Not one bit. It does, though. It’s indeed the very core of what is going wrong.

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

Clean Energy Finance Corporation: Tony Abbott defends decision to axe wind, solar from renewables spending

Clean Energy Finance Corporation: Tony Abbott defends decision to axe wind, solar from renewables spending

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says it is “no secret” he wants the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) abolished, but while it is still in place it should be as useful as possible.

The Opposition and the Greens have accused the Government of trying to get rid of the taxpayer-funded authority by stealth, by issuing a new directive to stop the CEFC from investing in wind farms and household rooftop solar projects.

“The Parliament set up this corporation with a very expert board and very expert staff to make these decisions free of political interference,” Opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler said.

“What we see now is Tony Abbott trying to nobble this corporation for his own ideological purposes.”

But Mr Abbott says it is not useful for the CEFC to invest in established technologies that can easily attract private funding.

“The best thing that the Clean Energy Finance Corporation can do is invest in new and emerging technologies, the things that might not otherwise get finance,” he said.

“That’s why we’ve got this draft direction there.”

The Government has twice tried and failed to win parliamentary support to shut down the statutory authority, and Mr Abbott has previously described the wind turbines as “visually awful”.

The directive on wind and solar stems from the deal the Government struck with crossbench senators earlier this year to reduce the Renewable Energy Target.

Part of that agreement said the Government would write to the CEFC to ensure “significantly” increased uptake of large-scale solar, emerging renewable technologies and energy efficiency.

 

…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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