Understanding Why the Green New Deal Won’t Really Work

The reasons why the Green New Deal won’t really work are fairly subtle. A person really has to look into the details to see what goes wrong. In this post, I try to explain at least a few of the issues involved.

[1] None of the new renewables can easily be relied upon to produce enough energy in winter. 

The world’s energy needs vary, depending on location. In locations near the poles, there will be a significant need for light and heat during the winter months. Energy needs will be relatively more equal throughout the year near the equator.

Solar energy is particularly a problem in winter. In northern latitudes, if utilities want to use solar energy to provide electricity in winter, they will likely need to build several times the amount of solar generation capacity required for summer to have enough electricity available for winter.

Figure 1. US daily average solar production, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

Hydroelectric tends to be a spring-dominated resource. Its quantity tends to vary significantly from year to year, making it difficult to count on.

Figure 2. US daily average hydroelectric production, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

Another issue with hydroelectric is the fact that most suitable locations have already been developed. Even if additional hydroelectric might help with winter energy needs, adding more hydroelectric is often not an option.

Wind energy (Figure 3) comes closest to being suitable for matching the winter consumption needs of the economy. In at least some parts of the world, wind energy seems to continue at a reasonable level during winter.

Figure 3. US daily average wind production, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

Unfortunately, wind tends to be quite variable from year to year and month to month. This makes it difficult to rely on without considerable overbuilding.

Wind energy is also very dependent upon the continuation of our current economy. With many moving parts, wind turbines need frequent replacement of parts. These parts need to be precisely correct, with virtually no tolerance for change. Sometimes, helicopters are needed to install the new parts. Because of the need for continued high-technology maintenance services, wind energy cannot be expected to continue to operate for very long unless the world economy, with all of its globalization, can continue pretty much as today.

[2] Depending upon burned biomass in winter is an option, but we already know that this path is likely to lead to massive deforestation.

Historically, people burned wood and other biomass to provide heat and light in winter. If biomass is burned for heat and light, it is an easy step to using charcoal for smelting metals for goods such as nails and shovels. But with today’s population of 7.7 billion people, the huge demand for biomass would quickly deforest the whole world. There is already a problem with growing deforestation, especially in tropical areas.

It is my understanding that the Green New Deal is focusing primarily on wind, hydroelectric, and solar rather than biomass, because of these issues.

[3] Battery backup for renewables is very expensive. Because of their high cost, batteries tend to be used only for very short time periods. At a 3-day storage level, batteries do nothing to smooth out season-to-season and year-to-year variation.

The cost of batteries is not simply their purchase price. There seem to be several related costs associated with the use of batteries:

  • The initial cost of the batteries
  • The cost of replacements, because batteries are typically not very long-lived compared to, say, solar panels
  • The cost of recycling the battery components rather than simply leaving the batteries to pollute the nearby surroundings
  • The loss of electric charge that occurs as the battery sits idle for a period of time and the loss related to electricity storage and retrieval

We can get some idea of the cost of batteries from an analysis by Roger Andrews of a Tesla/Solar City system installed on the island of Ta’u. The island is in American Samoa, near the equator. This island received a grant that was used to add solar panels, plus 3-day battery backup, to provide electricity for the tiny island. Any outages longer than the battery capacity would continue to be handled by a diesel generator. The goal was to reduce the quantity of diesel used, not to eliminate its use completely.

Based on Andrews’ analysis, adding a 3-day battery backup more than doubled the cost of the PV-alone system. (It added 1.6 times as much as the cost of the installed PV.) The catch, as I pointed out above, is that the cost doesn’t stop with purchasing the initial batteries. At least one set of replacement batteries is likely to be needed during the lifetime of the system. And there are other costs that are more subtle and difficult to evaluate.

Furthermore, this analysis was for a solar system. There seems to be more variation over longer periods for wind. It is not clear that the relative amount of batteries would be enough for 3-day backup of a wind system, or for a combination of wind, hydroelectric and solar. The long-term cost of a solar panel plus battery system might easily come to four times the cost of a wind or solar system alone.

There is also the issue of necessary overbuilding to make the system work. On Ta’u, near the equator, with diesel power backup, the system is set up in such a way that 40% of the solar generation is in excess of the island’s day-to-day electricity consumption. This constitutes another cost of the system, over and above the cost of the 3-day battery backup.

If we also eliminate the diesel backup, then we start adding more costs because the level of overbuilding would need to be even higher. And, if we were to create a similar system in a location with substantial seasonal temperature variation, even more overbuilding would be required if enough capacity is to be made available to provide sufficient generation in winter.

[4] Even in sunny, warm California, it appears that substantial excess capacity needs to be added to avoid the problem of inadequate generation during the winter months, if the electrical system used is based on wind, hydroelectric, solar, and a 3-day backup battery.

Suppose that we want to replace California’s electricity consumption (excluding other energy, including oil products) with a new system using wind, hydro, solar, and 3-day battery backup. Current California renewable generation, compared to current consumption, is as shown on Figure 4, based on EIA data.

Figure 4. California total electricity consumption compared to the sum of California solar, wind, and hydroelectric production, on a monthly average basis. Data used from the US Energy Information Administration through June 30, 2019.

California’s electricity consumption peaks about August, presumably due to all of its air conditioning usage (Figure 5). This is two months after the June peak in the output of solar panels. Also, electricity usage doesn’t drop back nearly as much during winter as solar production does. (Compare Figures 1 and 5.)

Figure 5. California electricity consumption by month, based on US Energy Information Administration data.

We note from Figure 4 that California hydroelectric production is extremely variable. It appears that hydroelectric generation can vary by a factor of five comparing high years to low years. California hydroelectric generation uses all available rivers, so any new energy generation will need to come from wind and solar.

Even with 3-day backup batteries, we need the system to reliably produce enough electricity that it can meet the average electricity generation needs of each separate month. I did a rough estimate of how much wind and solar the system would need to add to bring total generation sufficiently high so as to prevent electricity problems during the winter. In making the analysis, I assumed that the proportion of added wind and solar would be similar to their relative proportions on June 30, 2019.

My analysis suggests that to reliably bridge the gap between production and consumption (see Figure 4), approximately six times as much wind and solar would need to be added (making 7 = 6 +1 times as much generation in total), as was in place on June 30 , 2019. With this arrangement, there would be a huge amount of wind and solar whose production would need to be curtailed during the summer months.

Figure 6. Estimated share of wind and solar production that would need to be curtailed, to provide adequate winter generation. The assumption is made that hydroelectric generation would not be curtailed.

Figure 6 shows the proportion of wind and solar output that would be in excess of the system’s expected consumption. Note that in winter, this drops to close to zero.

[5] None of the researchers studying the usefulness of wind and solar have understood the need for overbuilding, or alternatively, paying backup electricity providers adequately for their services. Instead, they have assumed that the only costs involved relate to the devices themselves, plus the inverters. This approach makes wind and intermittent solar appear far more helpful than they really are.

Wind and solar have been operating in almost a fantasy world. They have been given the subsidy of “going first.” If we change to a renewables-only system, this subsidy of going first disappears. Instead, the system needs to be hugely overbuilt to provide the 24/7/365 generation that backup electricity providers have made possible with either no compensation at all, or with far too little compensation. (This lack of adequate compensation for backup providers is causing problems for the current system, but it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss them here.)

Analysts have not understood that there are substantial costs that are not being reimbursed today, which allow wind and solar to have the subsidy of going first. For example, if natural gas is to be used as backup during winter, there will still need to be underground storage allowing natural gas to be stored for use in winter. There will also need to be pipelines that are not used much of the year. Workers will need to be paid year around if they are to continue to specialize in natural gas work. Annual costs of the natural gas system will not be greatly reduced simply because wind, hydro, and water can replace natural gas usage most months of the year.

Analysts of many types have issued reports indicating that wind and solar have “positive net energy” or other favorable characteristics. These favorable analyses would disappear if either (a) the necessary overbuilding of the system or (b) the real cost of backup services were properly recognized. This problem pervades studies of many types, including Levelized Cost of Energy studies, Energy Returned on Energy Invested studies, and Life Cycle Analyses.

This strange but necessary overbuilding situation also has implications for how much homeowners should be paid for their rooftop solar electricity. Once it is clear that only a small fraction of the electricity provided by the solar panels will actually be used (because it comes in the summer, and the system has been overbuilt in order to produce enough generation in winter), then payments to homeowners for electricity generated by rooftop systems will need to decrease dramatically.

A question arises regarding what to do with all of the electricity production that is in excess of the needs of customers. Many people would suggest using this excess electricity to make liquid fuels. The catch with this approach is that the liquid fuel needs to be very inexpensive to be affordable by consumers. We cannot expect consumers to be able to afford higher prices than they are currently paying for fossil fuel products. Also, the new liquid fuels ideally should power current devices. If consumers need to purchase new devices in order to utilize the new fuels, this further reduces the affordability of a planned changeover to a new fuel.

Alternatively, owners of solar panels might be encouraged to use the summer overproduction themselves. They might set the temperatures of their air conditioners to a lower setting or heat a swimming pool. It is unlikely that the excess could be profitably sold to nearby utilities because they are likely encounter the same problem in summer, if they are using a similar generation mix.

[6] As appealing as an all-electric economy would seem to be, the transition to such an economy can be expected to take 150 years, based on the speed of the transition since 1985.

Clearly, the economy uses a lot of energy products that are not electricity. We are familiar with oil products burned in many vehicles, for example. Oil is also used in many ways that do not require burning (for example, lubricating oils and asphalt). Natural gas and propane are used to heat homes and cook food, among other uses. Coal is sometimes burned in making pig iron and cement in China.

Figure 7. Electricity as a share of total energy use for selected areas, based on BP’s 2019 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Electricity’s share of total energy consumption has gradually been rising (Figure 7).* We can make a rough estimate of how quickly the changeover has been taking place since 1985. For the world as a whole, electricity consumption amounted to 43.4% of energy consumption in 2018, rising from 31.2% in 1985. On average, the increase has been 0.37%, over the 33-year period shown. If we assume this same linear growth pattern holds going forward, it will take 153 years (until 2171) until the world economy can operate using only electricity. This is not a quick change!

[7] While moving away from fossil fuels sounds appealing, pretty much everything in today’s economy is made and transported to its final destination using fossil fuels. If a misstep takes place and leaves the world with too little total energy consumption, the world could be left without an operating financial system and with way too little food. 

Over 80% of today’s energy consumption is from fossil fuels. In fact, the other types of energy shown on Figure 8 would not be possible without the use of fossil fuels.

Figure 8. World Energy Consumption by Fuel, based on data of 2019 BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

With over 80% of energy consumption coming from fossil fuels, pretty much everything we have in our economy today is available thanks to fossil fuels. We wouldn’t have today’s homes, schools or grocery stores without fossil fuels. Even solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and modern hydroelectric dams would not be possible without fossil fuels. In fact, for the foreseeable future, we cannot make any of these devices with electricity alone.

In Figure 8, the little notch in world energy consumption corresponds to the Great Recession of 2008-2009. The connection between low energy consumption and poor economic outcomes goes back to many earlier periods. Energy consumption growth was unusually low about the time of the Great Depression of the 1930s and about the time of the US Civil War. The vulnerability of the financial system and the possibility of major wars are two reasons why a person should be concerned about the possibility of an energy changeover that doesn’t provide the economic system with adequate energy to operate. The laws of physics require energy dissipation for essentially every activity that is part of GDP. Without adequate energy, an economy tends to collapse. Economists are generally not aware of this important point.

Agriculture is dependent upon fossil fuels, particularly oil. Petrochemicals are used directly to make herbicides, pesticides, medications for animals and nitrogen fertilizer. Huge quantities of energy are necessary to make metals of all kinds, such as the steel in agricultural equipment and in irrigation pumps. Refrigerated vehicles transport produce to market, using mostly oil-based fuel. If the transition does not go as favorably as hoped, food supplies could prove to be hopelessly inadequate.

[8] The scale of the transition to hydroelectric, wind, and solar would be unimaginably large.

Today, wind, hydroelectric, and solar amount to about 10% of world energy production. Hydroelectric amounts to about 7% of energy consumption, wind about 2%, and solar about 1%. This can be seen on Figure 8 above. A different way of seeing this same relationship is shown in Figure 9, below.

Figure 9. World hydroelectric, wind and solar production as share of world energy supply, based on BP’s 2019 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Figure 9 shows that hydroelectric power is pretty well maxed out, as a percentage of energy supply. This is especially the case in advanced economies. This means that any increases that are made in the future will likely have to come from wind and solar. If hydroelectric, wind and solar are together to produce 100% of the world’s energy supply, then wind and solar, which today comprise 3% of today’s energy supply, will need to ramp up to 93% of energy supply. This amounts to a 30-fold increase in wind and solar between 2018 and 2030, based on one version of the Green New Deal’s planned timing. We would need to be building wind and solar absolutely everywhere, very quickly, to accomplish this.

[9] Moving to electric vehicles (EVs) for private passenger autos is not likely to be as helpful as many people hope.

One issue is that it is possible to mandate the use of EVs, but if the automobiles cost more than citizens can afford, many citizens will simply stop buying cars at all. At least part of the worldwide reduction in automobile sales seems to be related to changes in rules that are intended to reduce auto emissions. The slowdown in auto sales is part of what is pushing the world into recession.

Another issue is that private passenger autos represent a smaller share of oil consumption than many people would expect. BP data indicate that 26% of worldwide oil consumption is gasoline. Gasoline powers the vast majority of the world’s private passenger automobiles today. While an oil savings of 26% would be good, there would still be a very long way to go.

One study of EV sales in Norway suggests that, with large subsidies, these cars are disproportionately sold to high-income families as a second vehicle. The new second vehicles are often used for commuting to work, when prior to the EV ownership, the owner had been taking public transportation. When this pattern is followed, the savings in oil use from the adoption of EVs becomes very small because building and transporting EVs also requires oil use.

Figure 10. Source: Holtsmark and Skonhoft The Norwegian support and subsidy policy of electric cars. Should it be adopted by other countries?

If one of the goals of the Green New Deal is to level out differences between the rich and the poor, mandating EVs would seem to be a step in the wrong direction. It would make more sense to mandate walking or the use of pedal bicycles, rather than EVs.

[10] Wind, solar, and hydroelectric have pollution problems themselves.

With respect to solar panels, a major concern is that if the panels are broken (for example, by a storm or near the end of their lives), water alone can leach toxic substances into the water supply. Another issue is that recycling needs to be subsidized, to be economic. The price of solar panels needs to be surcharged at the front end, if adequate funds are to be collected to cover recycling costs. This is not being done in the US.

Wind turbines are better in terms of not being made of toxic substances, but they disturb bird, bat, and marine life in their vicinity. Humans also complain about their vibrations, if the devices are close to homes. The fiberglass blades of wind turbines are not recyclable, and many of them are too big to fit into standard crushing machines. They need to be chopped into pieces, in order to fit into landfills.

Adding huge amounts of 3-day battery backup for wind turbines and solar panels will create a new set of recycling issues. The extent of the recycling issues will depend on the battery materials used.

Of course, if we try to ramp up wind and solar by a huge factor, pollution problems will rise accordingly. The chance that raw materials will prove to be scarce will increase as well.

There will also be an increasing problem with finding suitable sites to install all of the devices and batteries. There are limits on how densely wind turbines can be spaced before the output of one wind turbine interferes with the output of other nearby turbines. This problem is not too different from the problem of declining per-well oil production caused by too closely spaced shale wells.  


I could explain further, but that would make this post too long. For example, using an overbuilt renewables system, there is not enough net energy to provide the high salaries almost everyone would like to see.

Also, the new renewable energy systems are likely to be more local than many have hoped. For example, I think it is highly unlikely that the people of North Africa would allow contractors to build a solar system in North Africa for the benefit of Europeans.


*There are two different ways of comparing electricity’s value to that of total energy. Figure 7 uses the more generous approach. In it, the value of electricity is based on the amount of fossil fuels that would need to be burned to produce the electricity amounts shown. In the case of electricity types that do not involve the burning of fossil fuels, these amounts are estimated amounts. The less generous approach compares the heat value of the electricity produced to the total heat value of primary energy sources. Using the less generous approach, electricity corresponds to only about 20% of primary energy supply. The transition to an all-electric economy would be much farther away using the heat value approach.

This entry was posted in Alternatives to Oil, Financial Implications and tagged , , by Gail Tverberg. Bookmark the permalink.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.

1,326 thoughts on “Understanding Why the Green New Deal Won’t Really Work

  1. “The world’s largest oilfield services provider, Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), reported on Friday a net loss of US$11.38 billion for the third quarter…

    “”This quarter’s results reflected a macro environment of slowing production growth rate in North America land as operators maintained capital discipline, reducing drilling and frac activity,” Le Peuch said.”


  2. Remind us where you think the world is in terms of peak oil PRODUCTION, Gail. I know you regard yourself primarily as a peak finance theorist, of course.

    P.S. Changed my handle so as to avoid confusion with Dennis L in future.

    • You are the former Dennis (without an L.)

      At this point, it looks like the peak in world oil production might have been November 2018. In fact, the peak year might have been 2018. The low prices and the tariffs suggest that there are real demand problems. This is a reason why 2018 may have been the peak year.

      But there is a lot of variability. And natural gas liquids (included in total liquids) are growing quite rapidly. On a total liquids basis, it is possible that production will rise some more in 2020, especially if world recession can be put off. This is a chart of recent production, based on EIA data from the International grouping of reports.

        • Looking back at 2019, I regard it as “The Year of Fire”. Firstly, we had all the wildfires, both man-made and natural. Then protesters all around the world are setting fires as part of their violent anger. A commenter here posted a link to an article that showed just how many riots, protests and demos were going on around the world. Many were triggered by the announcement of rises in bus and/or train fares, or increases in the price of petrol/gas , or new taxes on fuel. Here, as Xabier has pointed out elsewhere, we begin to see the deleterious effects of ‘peak oil’.

          Even where those protests do not appear to be about energy costs, e.g. in Hong Kong and Catalonia, energy costs are a hidden factor. Though Catalonia is one of Spain’s most prosperous regions, there are still many Catalans who are low-paid and “just about managing”. When the independence-minded Catalans look for causes and somebody to blame, they imagine the poorer regions of Spain siphoning off the wealth that should rightly belong to Catalonia. In fact, the real causes are those related and analysed by Gail.

          I have read that only around 40% of Catalans favour independence, but that is a very high figure, nonetheless. This splintering of opinion, that sees nations divided, seems to be reflected in the UK, where roughly half the Scots are in favour of independence and roughly half the Brits are in favour of Brexit. Oh, for a bit of unity and consensus. But no. These too are victims of the times we live in.

        • Larry Elliot does have the right idea. In fact, he even mentions diminishing returns with respect to stimulus. If he matched up the diminishing returns to energy, he would be close to the right story.

  3. Lots of Hanky Panky going on out there….
    AT&T customer lawsuit alleges employee-aided SIM swap led to $1.8 million theft of cryptocurrency and more
    The gist of the case is that Shapiro alleges AT&T failed to protect his account from a SIM swap that resulted in a major loss of cryptocurrency. What specifically happened? According to the complaint:

    On at least four occasions between May 16, 2018 and May 18, 2019, AT&T employees obtained unauthorized access to Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless account, viewed his confidential and proprietary personal information, and transferred control over Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless number from Mr. Shapiro’s phone to a phone controlled by third-party hackers in exchange for money.

    As if the preceding allegations weren’t bad enough, the end result was:

    The hackers then utilized their control over Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless number — including control secured through cooperation with AT&T employees — to access his personal and digital finance accounts and steal more than $1.8 million from Mr. Shapiro.

    Even worse, the scheme allegedly involved AT&T employees working on the inside with outside hackers. And, unsurprisingly, there are chat logs:

    At the end of the chat, a group member brags that they “made 1.3 [million]” and they begin plotting about how to route the stolen cryptocurrency through various accounts and currencies in order to cover their trail. They also brag about plans to “buy some Gucci” or a “dream car” with the money they stole from Mr. Shapiro.

    Apparently, Mr. Shapiro was in fact SIM-swapped multiple times, and all of his personal information was taken along with access to other accounts such as Google, and Evernote. Furthermore, Mr. Shapiro’s family was impacted, and he was threatened. It sounds awful. Despite this, after each incident, AT&T allegedly said they followed proper procedures and alerted necessary authorities, but as the complaint states, “Mr. Shapiro’s trust in AT&T was misplaced.”
    AT&T customer lawsuit alleges employee-aided SIM swap led to $1.8 million theft of cryptocurrency and more
    Stephen Palley
    The BlockOctober 19, 2019, 4:29 PM EDT
    Shapiro v. AT & T Mobility, LLC, Case №2:19-cv-8972 (C.D. Cal. filed October 17, 2019)[NMR/SDP]
    Link to Complaint

    SIM swapping is a problem that many in crypto have unfortunately had to face, some multiple times. If you’re at all prominent in the space — and even if you’re not — your phone number is liable to be SIM swapped (ported from your device to another.) This particular case doesn’t necessarily involve someone well known on “crypto twitter”, but it does involve the alleged theft of $1.8 million of money including crypto.

    A large number of SIM swap cases have been resolved in private arbitration, in part because of arbitration clauses that mobile carriers include in their user agreements. This case is one a few that have been publicly filed, and the allegations are alarming — including a claim that AT&T insiders were deeply involved in what sounds like a devastating SIM swapping scheme.

    The plaintiff is Seth Shapiro, a resident of California. The Complaint says that Mr. Shapiro is a “a two-time Emmy Award-winning media and technology expert, author, and adjunct professor at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.” He also was, at the relevant times for the lawsuit, a subscriber of AT&T. AT&T “is the second largest wireless carrier in the United States, with more than 153 million subscribers, earning $71 billion in total operating revenues in 2017 and $71 billion in 2018.”

    The gist of the case is that Shapiro alleges AT&T failed to protect his account from a SIM swap that resulted in a major loss of cryptocurrency. What specifically happened? According to the complaint:

    On at least four occasions between May 16, 2018 and May 18, 2019, AT&T employees obtained unauthorized access to Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless account, viewed his confidential and proprietary personal information, and transferred control over Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless number from Mr. Shapiro’s phone to a phone controlled by third-party hackers in exchange for money.

    As if the preceding allegations weren’t bad enough, the end result was:

    The hackers then utilized their control over Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless number — including control secured through cooperation with AT&T employees — to access his personal and digital finance accounts and steal more than $1.8 million from Mr. Shapiro.

    Even worse, the scheme allegedly involved AT&T employees working on the inside with outside hackers. And, unsurprisingly, there are chat logs:

    At the end of the chat, a group member brags that they “made 1.3 [million]” and they begin plotting about how to route the stolen cryptocurrency through various accounts and currencies in order to cover their trail. They also brag about plans to “buy some Gucci” or a “dream car” with the money they stole from Mr. Shapiro.

    Apparently, Mr. Shapiro was in fact SIM-swapped multiple times, and all of his personal information was taken along with access to other accounts such as Google, and Evernote. Furthermore, Mr. Shapiro’s family was impacted, and he was threatened. It sounds awful. Despite this, after each incident, AT&T allegedly said they followed proper procedures and alerted necessary authorities, but as the complaint states, “Mr. Shapiro’s trust in AT&T was misplaced.”

    So, What is Shapiro actually suing for; in other words, what is the cause of action?

    One header in the lawsuit summarizes the nature of the action: “AT&T’s Repeated Failures to Protect Mr. Shapiro’s Account from Unauthorized Access Are a Violation of Federal Law.” The argument alleges that AT&T is fully aware that the information they hold in trust for their subscribers is highly sensitive and extremely valuable. Mr. Shapiro is arguing that AT&T knows this to be the case, yet the company has failed in a variety of ways to take the necessary steps to protect their subscriber’s information.

    Specifically, Shapiro has alleged violations of federal and state laws, in addition to common law torts. This includes (1) an alleged violation of the Federal Communications act for allegedly failing to protect confidentiality of his account information, (2) an alleged violation of the California state unfair business practices statute, (3) an alleged violation of the California state constitution’s right to privacy, (4) two negligence claims, (5) an alleged violation of California Consumer’s Legal Remedies Act and (6) a violation of the Federal Consumer Fraud and Abuse Act. He seeks actual and punitive damages and injunctive relief.

    These statutory claims are creative. They may be a tactic to try to get around AT&T’s arbitration agreement in its terms of service. The allegations in the complaint, if true, are really awful and seem calculated to give a court good reason to let these claims be litigated openly.

    At the same time, it is somewhat inexplicable that the plaintiff maintained his service with AT&T after multiple hacks, as so many other alleged victims also fail to do. Additionally, he apparently didn’t switch from using his phone for two-factor authentication to apps or change to a new phone number. Those facts may or may not be relevant. We don’t know.

    Anyway, this is obviously a suit between two highly motivated parties. Mr. Shapiro has apparently been through the wringer. AT&T definitely doesn’t want to lose this high profile case given the recent prevalence of the SIM swap + cryptocurrency theft problem. The company will likely face nasty PR and further questions about its employee oversight and practices if the allegations in the lawsuit prove to be true.

    And it would be extremely problematic for AT&T if a court said its customers had a constitutional right of privacy that a telco could violate by allowing unauthorized account transfer.
    Good luck cashing in Bitcoin after the crash folks…🐯

      • No one seems to know who invented Bitcoin, or perhaps I am behind the curve on this one. Were it a government entity, NSA comes to mind, this might be a way to do a reset and get out of the nightmare of the current complex financial instrument maze. Turn off the switch and go home.
        No one knows what is real anymore, inflation, employment, the value of a house today,tomorrow, a college education. Bitcoin requires a few books to even understand what it is, it is on my list of things to read. Stuff keeps getting more and more difficult to understand and everything seems to do less and less.

        Thanks for all your time, some of what you write can actually be used in a relatively simple personal world, the macro world is a mystery to me except socially on a macro scale so many of us are at eachother’s metaphorical throats. Here even when opinions are different there is little to no shouting, people don’t talk over eachother and seem to consider and try and learn from others’ ideas. Nice job.

        Dennis L.

  4. Extinction Rebellion are calling for the UK to become “carbon neutral” by 2025.

    Here Nigel Farage (rhymes with Garage) talks with a representative of the organization about their ambitious plans for saving the British people from themselves in an interview that demonstrates life imitating art—in this case the art being those Monty Python interview skits that brightened up our TV viewing in the early seventies .

    • Moreover there are several YT videos available how the mob was “lynching them” when they occupied trains in the rush hour..

      I guess there is a lot of predictive power in it, as next rounds of GFC_ver_xy events might actually strengthen various such cults, this will spillover on most infrastructure eventually, so it is wise to escape the cities in the midterm if you can, say before ~2030.

      • It is a bit cultish in feel. We had an ER protest here for the first time: they held up commute traffic at the end of the day on a minor road in the historic part of town. One young guy on a megaphone, talking about the end of the world, and some hysterical females shooting ‘Get out of your cars!’ Lots of car horns, then the police arrived and cleared them all away.

        • ER guy outnumbered by a bunch of guys who just want to go to work:

          after this encounter, I think ER might become a bit more cautious about where and when they protest…

    • Farage is an idiot

      But at the same time, if we get rid of IC by 2025 Tesco’s/Walmart shelves will be empty

      No one seems to be able to answer that problem

      • As I have pointed out in the past there are still lots of easily extractable fossil fuels, including a thousand year’s worth of coal just off the coast of the Northeast England. There’s apparently lots of uranium and thorium too.

        Perhaps, as Gail’s data indicates, it is undoable as more and more people become too poor to participate in the system. But people will try to keep things going as long as they can. When people are faced with a choice between using “dirty” or “polluting” fuel sources or ending BAU, they will vote to continue.

        Of course, if the powers decide that the people don’t get a vote or a choice, that’s another matter. If such is the case, then we are all unwilling members or captives of a doomsday cult and we will all eventually have to drink the Koolaid.

        • I don’t quite understand ”easily extractable” in this context, unless you are inserting a thread of irony into this conversation. Hard to tell sometimes on here.

          The North Sea pits were closed years ago. They were not commercially viable

          60 feet beneath my desk here is a seam of coal 6ft thick which would keep me and my descendants going for 1000 years too, but it wouldnt be profitable to extract in commercial terms

          • Norman, you’re thinking too small!!
            North Sea Coal is a gas!!

            Rough estimates of the potential of fracking, as practiced in North-America, are that it can postpone the end of the oil age with perhaps a decade or so.

            However, there never has been any doubt that the remaining quantity of fossil fuel, stored in the earth’s crust, is many times larger than the cumulative amount of fossil fuel consumed so far in the entire history. The problem has always been: can we access that fuel in an economic way and the concept of EROEI is the leading indicator to decide if a fuel can be exploited economically. The decisive factor is technology, a very dynamic factor. There are for instance enormous quantities of frozen methane lying around on the ocean floor and now it is beginning to dawn that unbelievable large quantities of coal are waiting to be exploited beneath the North-Sea floor, that could be harvested in gas form:

            Scientists have discovered vast deposits of coal lying under the North Sea, which could provide enough energy to power Britain for centuries.
            “Experts believe there is between 3 and 23 trillion tonnes of coal buried in the seabed starting from the northeast coast and stretching far out under the sea.
            Data from seismic tests and boreholes shows that the seabed holds up to 20 layers of coal – much of which could be reached with the technology already used to extract oil and gas.”

            In comparison: so far the world extracted ‘merely’ 0.135 trillion ton of oil, a small fraction of the coal reserves located beneath the North-Sea. In other words: peak conventional oil may have happened in 2005, but in hindsight it was a completely irrelevant event.

            If it is wise to exploit these vast reserves is a different matter altogether. But one thing is certain: the original idea we had when we started this blog over three years ago, namely that fossil fuel could become scarce on relatively short notice, that idea needs to be abandoned. Limiting factors will more likely be: finance, geopolitics, war, environment, climate change; not lack of combustible material. It is likely that there is far more fossil fuel around than the atmosphere can ever handle.


        • The quantity of coal in climate change models would not be possible without assuming that the coal under the North Sea is economically extractable. David Rutledge at Cal Tech has done considerable work on coal estimates of IPCC reports. I have heard him speak at ASPO meetings and read some of his reports. He is Tomiyasu Professor of Engineering at Caltech, and a former Chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science there. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a winner of the Teaching Award of the Associated Students at Caltech.


          Judith Curry summarizes some of his work and provides a link to some of his work. This is what Judith Curry says,

          In the IPCC’s business-as-usual scenario, Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5, coal accounts for half of future carbon-dioxide emissions through 2100, and two-thirds of the emissions through 2500. The IPCC’s coal burn is enormous, twice the world reserves by 2100, and seven times reserves by 2500. Coal so dominates that it is not an exaggeration to say that the IPCC and climate-change research programs depend on this massive coal burn for their existence. Without the threat of coal, the IPCC could close up shop and the research program funding would drop to a small fraction of what is spent on research in weather forecasting.

          • It’s also the case that the real fears that activists such as James Hansen and George Monbiot have about runaway greenhouse warming in the decades and centuries ahead are based on this massive coal burn, and this is there reason for advocating a massive increase in nuclear power in order to keep some kind of industrial civilization going.

            The point is that the coal is there and if there are no other better options, people are going to continue to try to burn it regardless of whether it causes warming. At some point they may fail, but it is human nature to try. The ability to make fire was one of the first things that set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Unless our numbers decline steeply in this finite world, we will keep on burning things until there’s nothing left to burn.

            Regarding Catastrophic AGW, I am among the doubters. But among the believers and even among the zealots, I see little evidence of anybody ACTING as if they really believe there is an impending crisis. Harry and Megan have just been on progress around half a dozen African countries with an entourage of dozens. Mick Jagger is still touring. The Hollywood elite are still consuming conspicuously.

            • we consume because we know no other way

              When extinction Rebellion stopped trains they were assaulted by ”consumers”—that sums up what we are and where we are going

              it would apply anywhere

              this why coal will be consumed until we choke on the stuff

    • Slacktivists do as slacktivists do, which means to be on the take from Soros and pretending to care about mankind and the environment by harassing the average Joe Schmuck going about his life. But hey, we all gotta “do” something I suppose.

      The comedic hypocrisy is lovely, though.


    The Fed is now doing repo operations and buying short term treasuries to bring down short term yields after the yield curve inverted.

    • After the GFC the Fed started its QE program to bring long term treasury yields and mortgage rates down by buying long term treasuries and mortgage back securities.

      As the 10 year treasury yield started to fall towards zero and lead to a inverted yield curve, the Fed decided to start selling long term treasuries trough its QT program.

      The QT program worked, but as the 10 year treasury yield started to rise above 3 percent…the markets started to crash last year.

      The Fed had to abandon the QT program and the idea of raising long term yields…and instead starting to buy short term treasuries, to bring down short term yields to fix the inverted yield curve. So far it looks as if it working, the yield curve is steepening again.

      • Thanks for pointing this out. Borrowing short and lending long seems to be the way banks work. If long term interest rates are not higher than short term interest rates, there is a problem.

        • With the T10Y at 1.7 percent the margins are starting to get very thin.

          The Fed will be forced to cut rates and push short term yields close to zero? Then into negative territory?

          JP Morgans CEO just said that he is not going to buy negative yielding debt.

          • my analysis:

            QT won’t work…

            QE won’t work either, but CBs have no choice but to try QE to hold off recession…

            yes, this means the US will be dealing with negative interest rates soon… 2020 or 2021…

            unless the Japan/EU negative rates blow up before the US gets there…

            this is actually quite amazing…

            I seriously think that the CBs have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how this latest stage of negative interest rates is going to resolve itself…

            that’s scary or funny depending on your mood…

            but it’s also kinda cool… it could actually be a big black swan (in disguise) that has just floated in over the banks of the world, and we’re all staring at it, and don’t know what to make of it, but perhaps it’s harmless and will not cause any damage…

            but maybe, just maybe, it’s a sort of slow release black swan which we’ve sort of gotten used to seeing around here, and we’re not realizing that it’s going to blow up the world economy…

            and perhaps we should actually be in a near panic at the sight of all of these negative interest rates…

            interesting times!

            never before, and never again…

            • They do have no idea at all, it’s all spinning out of their control and their ‘stimulus’ theories of the last decade are so much nonsense.

              I remember that a senior civil servant in Britain in the 1970’s, when everything was going wrong, said that the only comforting thing was that the structures and routines of government remained in place, so they sort of felt in control -just.

              But think, we’ve a whole decade of respite of escape from reality. A remarkable fact.

      • Interesting development Russian banks no longer taking EUR deposits.. because of the negative rates policy. The meaning is probably way broader as they likely decided it’s now tactically good time to kick ankle of Europeans as the junior week partner of the global system pecking order.

          • The climate of Russia is too harsh for the survival of the human species. That is why Russia is losing its population and interested in warmer areas like Crimea or Ukraine.

            • You can relocate to Russia, too and enjoy the low wages and the hard life there. But you will not do that from the comfort you live in.

            • Besides just invalidating your previous point by a factual reality check, the context here is not about worshiping Russia. It is about discussing the peculiar situation (lab case if you will) where we have relatively smaller pop vs large resource base empire-country, which underwent massive OFW/Surplus choke point and managed to regroup on slightly different footprint of throughput. From that we can infer the probabilities and or general topics how this process will turn out in other major IC hubs around the world in the “near/midterm” future.

              Lets not forget that from Napoleon to Adolph to Albright they spelled it all out beyond any doubt that Russia doesn’t deserve to keep this high resources leverage for herself. Surplus resource grab or at least control that’s the nature of the overall game, also for other places throughout the history.

            • “Lets not forget that from Napoleon to Adolph to Albright they spelled it all out beyond any doubt that Russia doesn’t deserve to keep this high resources leverage for herself.”

              If there is not enough energy, resources leverage has no value: there is a lot of lower grade ores in warmer areas, but you just need more energy. Just like in cold areas.

              And when the populations stop to grow, the need for mining will be drastically reduced, as a lot can be recycled.

            • There was an old farmer who lived and worked with his wife on a farm that straddled the new border that was drawn between the Soviet Union and Poland following World War II. In fact, the border drawn on the maps went right through the middle of their farmhouse.

              One day a group of officials from the border commission came to visit the couple in order to discuss the situation. “Comrades,” the head official said. “It is unfortunate that the new border divides your land and even divides your kitchen from your sitting room. Most unfortunate,” he lamented.

              At this, the couple bowed their heads and frowned.

              “The border has been logically and fairly designated according to the best principles of demarkation and dialectical materialism and cannot in principle be changed.,” the official continued. “However, as your case involves humanitarian considerations—clearly it would be very inconvenient for you to have to accommodate a customs and immigration post in your ground floor passageway—the commission has decided that it is possible to make an exception and redraw the border so that it runs along the side of your property.”

              At this,the farmer visibly relaxed and his frown faded, while his wife began to wear a hopeful smile.

              “But first of all, comrades, I have to ask you an important question. Would you, all things concerned, prefer to reside in the Democratic Republic of Poland or in the Belorussian Republic of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? Please answer freely and without fear of prejudice.”

              The old farmer thought for a full minute and then answered, as was his custom, on behalf of himself and his wife. “Gentlemen comrades,” he said. “It is a difficult decision indeed to be asked to choose between two nations. But after weighing up the various matters, we feel it would be better for us to reside in Poland.”

              “Very well,” the official pronounced. “We can accommodate your wish. You will both become citizens of Poland and your house will stand on Polish territory. But could you please answer one last question, comrade? Could you tell us what was the reason that most affected your choice. Was it the language, or the culture, or the economic situation, or something else perhaps?”

              “No, actually,” replied the old farmer. “It was none of those things you mentioned. But it is a practical consideration. The fact is at our age I don’t think we could survive another one of those Russian winters……! “

        • The Russian banks should perhaps just have negative rates on Euro deposits?

          What is Rosneft going to do with the Euros when they now have started to sell oil in Euros?

          • That’s a good question, since “recently” Russia boasted about re-balancing to EUR reserves. For some reason, they don’t want to be part of the print fest family though, keeping low/no debt instead, so now joining the negative rate plan would not be compatible with such policy drive.

            So, it rather could be part of larger plan already announced by China, Russia, Iran, + few others not keeping score in USD anymore, also developing their own sanction regime umbrella with independent system of SWIFT, and gradually inviting more countries into it..

            The realignment of “world order” is actually starting to materialize, western factions not able to score easy wins anymore: Syria reanimated, color revolution in Slovakia partly failed, Libya split but recovering, Ukraine project failing, Turkey reasserting, ..

            And now it is seems even possible to debate that some of the UN functions to be removed from the NY HQ to another place.

  6. Okay, on a more positive note:


    Yes, I know hopium, but DOD and Navy pilots have reported craft accelerating at impossible speeds and making impossible turns.

    No one patents the golden egg if they can avoid it, e. g. Coke Cola. To my knowledge we did not patent the atomic bomb or the thermonuclear ones either. We may not be alone in this area, Russia recently experienced a nuclear malfunction on a “missile” fired into the Arctic.

    The technology would make a lot of oil infrastructure redundant.

    Politically, if this technology actually works, it would make sense to begin pulling out of the sand box with a ten year time frame.

    Secondary thought: What if the tertiary economy no longer serves any purpose? What really happens if it is turned off? Is an oil well worth any more or less than it was prior to the reset? Does one have to flip a switch, or can one use a rheostat and slowly dim the lights so to speak?

    As always, I look forward to various thoughts on this.

    Dennis L.

    • Someone sent me a link to this hopium article from early 2018 recently:


      Harvard Researchers Pioneer Photosynthetic Bionic Leaf
      By Amy L. Jia and Sanjana L. Narayanan, Crimson Staff Writers

      Researchers in the Chemistry department and at Harvard Medical School are exploring new applications for a “bionic leaf” that can generate liquid fuel and other valuable resources using only sunlight, air, and water.

      The bionic leaf expands on technology pioneered by Chemistry Professor Daniel G. Nocera. Nocera, formerly a professor at MIT, first created what he called an “artificial leaf” made of silicon. The leaf splits water into hydrogen and oxygen using special catalysts energized by sunlight, producing a chemical fuel that can then be stored and used as an energy source.

      Nocera and his colleague, Harvard Medical School Systems Biology Professor Pamela A. Silver, recently took this technology a step further. Working alongside doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, Nocera and Silver developed a bionic leaf that merges the artificial leaf with a genetically engineered bacterium that consumes only hydrogen.

      We need all of these things yesterday. We also need a way for the system to make use of them in a way that makes finished goods and services more affordable for ordinary citizens and also creates jobs.

      • It’s called ‘desperately seeking the next research grant’: the major activity of scientists, not saving the world at all.

        Destroy -and continue to destroy – a rich and viable ecosphere, and fantasise about bionic leaves producing liquid fuels……

      • « We also need a way for the system to make use of them in a way that makes finished goods and services more affordable …”. Yes.
        We also need this energy “production” to be delivered in a defined time frame. I’m not a physics expert, but I learned in school (long ago) that energy can’t be created but only transformed. So whatever the process, it can only “store” that energy (in the chemical structure of molecules I guess), just as fossile fuels do. The yield will be less than 1 (100%), and you can only capture in 1 day a certain amount of the energy the sun sends in 1 day. This certain amount depends on the surface you’ll use for that purpose. How much surface and how many days will it take to catch the equivalent energy of 100 millions of barrels of oil we extract today ?
        I wish I could believe. Hopium indeed.
        Sincerly yours
        (I’m the former Rufus. Had to create a WordPress Account to reply, with an available alias)

        • “How much surface and how many days will it take to catch the equivalent energy of 100 millions of barrels of oil we extract today?”

          I posted recently an analysis where ground-based solar at $17/MWh would make $44 per bbl synthetic fuel. This took about 100 square km and made 38,000 bbl of fuel a day. It would take ~2600 of these to make 100 million bbls per day. That would mean about 260,000 square km solar farms. That would cover about 1/35th of the Sahara desert or 1/8th of Saudi Arabia.

          Using the capital to power cost ratio of 80,000 to one, the investment in solar power would be $1360 per kW or $1,360,000 per MW. It takes around 2 MWh to make a bbl of synthetic fuel. So a MW of capacity over 24 hours would make the hydrogen for 12 bbls. It would take 38,000/12 or 3.167 GW per plant at a cost of around $4.3 B each. This scales right considering the $12 B costs of a 5 GW power satellite.

          The total cost for 2600 of these plants would be around $13 T. While that’s not pocket change, we have at least a decade to do it and 1.3 T a year is probably doable. The whole set of plants would draw around 8.2 TW — which sounds about right in the context of all human energy using being about 15 TW and oil being about half.

          Interesting that the cost of solar power plants is over 4 times the cost of the F/T plant if the cost can be kept to $1 B like the Sasol plant in Qatar. This also scales to my cost estimate of a capital cost of around $10/bbl in a total cost of $44/bbl.

          This back-of-the-envelope scheme is based on a recent solar power plant bid and an existing F/T plant in Qatar so it should be fairly solid. Intermittency is not a problem and it certainly takes care of seasonal energy storage. There are a couple of items that have been left out, but on the other hand, the builders can hook the electrolysis cells directly to the PV DC ouput. The electrolizer cells might be a cost wash with the inverters. There is also collecting CO2 as feed to a reverse water gas shift unit that makes CO for the F/T plant but this is a small item and we well understand how to do it.

          I don’t know if Gail might find synthetic oil at $44/bbl is low enough to make the economy work. Building the system would generate considerable debt.

          • I can guarantee you that Saudi Arabia would not sell you electricity for $17/MWh, even if it can find someone who will build and operate the solar panels for that price. Saudi Arabia badly needs a source of tax revenue to pay for all of its imported food and other subsidies that it needs to provide in a desert climate. I am sure that Saudi Arabia would charge you at least double the $17/MWh. This would bring your cost up to $88 per barrel.

            Or you could start with solar panels in a less advantageous part of the world. Whoever allows you to put up all of these solar panels will require you to rent the land, or will require some sort of tax revenue related to this endeavor. This again brings the cost up.

            My experience with back-of-the-envelope estimates is that they tend to leave things out. As a result, they tend to be on the low side.

            • “bring your cost up to $88 per barrel.”

              If they did, there would be no synthetic oil sales from Saudia Arabia. That’s not a problem because there are other countries with a big chunk of desert.

            • The other desert countries also need high taxes from anything that they can sell. They don’t have much arable land at all, and have few other resources with which to support their populations.

            • True. And as an idea, this one might not make cheap enough energy.

              What would you say is the price for synthetic oil that would make the future bright? I don’t have a target and that would be very useful.

            • Affordability for oil (and for other energy products) seems to be headed down-down-down. This is a problem.

              By the time all of this can be built, $10 per barrel might be the target.

              Growing “complexity” tends to make the falling energy price problem worse. The installations really need to be set up in such a way that they hire a lot of not-particularly-educated local people at a pretty adequate salary. In this way, the local economy can get revenue to help its economy. (It can then run its economy with less tax revenue, since there is the opportunity to tax local wages.) Not much of the revenue of the project can be skimmed off to pay the owners of the devices, or technical workers, or bond holders.

            • “$10 per barrel might be the target.”

              That’s the capital cost of the synfuel plant without any energy or hydrogen feed. If that is really the price we must produce oil for, then I have no idea how to do it.

              That does not mean the future is totally bleak because there are lots of inventive people in the world. But physics is not going to make it easy.

            • How about a country with lots of desert and a very low population that isn’t addicted to Saudi Arabian living standards? I’m thinking Mongolia, Namibia or Mauritania. Or perhaps Somalia if the factions their can be made to stop fighting each other.

            • The reason the factions are fighting in Somalia and many other places is too little energy consumption per capita. This is the reason that they would very much want to tax any new type of energy source heavily. I have a hard time believing any place would be willing to put in place facilities such as Keith has suggested without placing a high tax on output.

              Regarding your question, Mongolia is eliminated because it is landlocked. It would take a tremendous amount of pipelines to ship all of the oil products to other parts of the world. It would also be difficult to transport all of the materials to Mongolia for building the solar panels and for constructing the facilities for making liquids using the output.

              A country with even days and nights year around is preferred, because the size of the liquids plant can be better sized to the output of the solar panels. If the output of the solar panels is variable, much of the output may be lost, either the solar panels or the liquids plant must be oversized, relative to the other one. For even production, the ideal location would be on the equator. (Mismatched sizing would raise the cost above the calculation Keith made. It would also lead to a storage problem. Energy needs tend to be highest in the local winter. This means December, January and February because so much of the world land mass is north of the equator.)

    • “Yes, I know hopium, but DOD and Navy pilots have reported craft accelerating at impossible speeds and making impossible turns.”

      That’s been the case since at least 1947. I doubt they were controlled by humans at that stage. Read Ivan Sanderson’s book from the early 1970s: “Invisible Residents: The Reality of Underwater yoofoes.” I’ve misspelled the last word deliberately, so that my comment gets through. Sanderson was a zoologist and a naval officer who understood mammal biology and the technology behind ships and aircraft, so he knew what he was talking about. I also have seen a documentary (made in the Noughties) where some Americans were describing seeing such craft enter the water – without making any sound. Some say that is due to technology – whether ours or that of the “entities”. Others maintain that these craft are made of “subtle material”, i,e, matter that vibrates at a faster rate than our bodies and reality, because they belong to a different reality/dimension, along with the entities who control them. And in fact, that is standard Hindu cosmology too, to my knowledge, so maybe they’re ahead of us.

      • “… accelerating at impossible speeds and making impossible turns.”

        extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence…

        I see no evidence at all, just a few references to people talking about what they appeared to be seeing…

        I know you can’t do any better than that…


        but go ahead and try if you want to…

        peace, dude…

        • Dennis L did provide some links, DavidClosedMind. Some highly credible people DID see something:

          Tic tac witnesses – Kevin Day interview


          Go Fast: Official USG Footage of UAP for Public Release


          The question is, who controls these craft? Non-human ‘entities’? Or is this evidence of ultra-hi-tech breakthroughs in physics by humans?

          Keep an open mind. And remember that science does not stand still.

          As for anecdotal evidence, some things we take for granted. We take for granted that we dream most nights. “I had this weird dream last night”. But who has ever seen anybody else’s dream? Who has ever managed to film their own dream? Nobody. So all the evidence for dreams is anecdotal only. But still we believe we know.

          Anyway, Dennis L provided the links, but you didn’t care to investigate.

          This blog is not about yoofoes, tho, so I shall leave the subject now.

          • Actually I have seen this video before but there is nothing to prove that is it not all cgi.
            But hey if the tech exists then we have nothing to worry about other than BAU destroying the planet by pollution, resource extraction, species extinction, etc, etc…..

          • Probably these craft are operated by the Uber Elite, who are so exclusive they don’t even have social security numbers or driving licenses. They whoosh around the world in a jiffy bag while the regular jet-setter crowd get crammed into an aluminum can with wings.

            I could tell you more, but I would likely be dronocided or heart-attackized to death, so my lips shall remain sealed.

    • This is another story floating around:


      Ex-Navy officer turned inventor signs a multi-million deal to produce his electric car battery that will take drivers 1,500 miles without needing to charge

      Imagine the satisfaction of driving your environmentally friendly electric car for 1,500 miles without having to stop to recharge the battery – a distance more than four times as far as the best and most expensive model currently on the road.

      Under the bonnet is a revolutionary new type of battery which, unlike those used in conventional electric cars, can also power buses, huge lorries and even aircraft. What’s more, it’s far simpler and cheaper to make than the batteries currently in use in millions of electric vehicles around the world – and, unlike them, it can easily be recycled.

      This might sound like a science-fiction fantasy. But it’s not. Last Friday, the battery’s inventor, British engineer and former Royal Navy officer Trevor Jackson, signed a multi-million-pound deal to start manufacturing the device on a large scale in the UK.

      The devices are really fuel cells, made of aluminum and other materials. They are reported to be low cost and non-toxic. It seems to be an outgrowth of the following:

      In 2001 he began to investigate the potential of a technology first developed in the 1960s. Scientists had discovered that by dipping aluminium into a chemical solution known as an electrolyte, they could trigger a reaction between the metal and air to produce electricity.

    • Electricity transmission lines need frequent attention, wherever they are. Without it, there are fires and many outages. Perhaps damage to home appliances as well.

      • The energy company proposed the given consumers to use surge protections and back-up power sources.

        That way the batteries have their meaning: protecting the remaning populations when the depopulation is going on.

        • That reminds me–I need to get a new surge protector for my home computer. Batteries don’t age well. The last power outage, it stopped giving backup power very quickly. This plan works if there are lots of surge protectors in use and everyone keeps replacing the batteries on a timely basis. Of course, batteries only work for a few things. For most equipment, generators (usually operated by diesel) are needed. Providing backup power can easily get to be an expensive proposition.

      • Ah, could we still make alcohol so I would have a market for my crops and we could pass in a mellow mood?

        Dennis L.

        • Alcoholic drinks seem to have been around for a very long time. Grape juice cannot be left out at room temperature without fermenting. I expect grain ferments pretty easily too.

          • yep–
            drinking water was quite hazardous for quite a bit of our history.
            Alcohol solved that problem.

          • There are people who think the agricultural revolution was driven by people wanting to get drunk.

            Alcohol has been around long enough to have caused serious genetic selection. The less time a population has been exposed, the more problems with alcohol they have. I have seen somewhere that the native (unselected) state of humans is about 95% alcoholics. One of the native tribes in the US went from around 95% to 70% in a few generations due to failure to reproduce, vehicle accidents and freezing in the snow of the ones most affected by alcohol.

    • here’s the only necessary quote:

      “Now a pair of economists has offered a cogent argument…”

      no, this is a typical misunderstanding of energy by economists whose heads are up their assets…


      I mean, no disrespect intended… sarc…

  7. All together now …BURN MORE COAL…..

    Collapse in Coal Prices Spurs Distress Among Indonesian Miners
    (Bloomberg) — Follow Bloomberg on LINE messenger for all the business news and analysis you need.
    The global collapse in coal prices this year has dealt a particularly heavy blow to miners in Indonesia, the top exporter and one of the largest producers of the fuel.
    Bonds from the country’s financially weak miners have suffered more than peers elsewhere in Asia due to a lack of diversification and state backing that many competitors enjoy. Prices of thermal coal — the kind burned by power plants — have slumped about 30% this year, and at least four U.S. firms have gone bankrupt.
    As some lenders look to stop financing coal power plants and investors are under more pressure to “go green,” companies that mine or use coal are left with fewer funding options.
    “Among the Indonesia coal names, some are facing severe stress,” said Bharat Shettigar, head of Asia ex-China corporate credit research at Standard Chartered Plc. “If prices stay depressed for the next 12 to 18 months, there could be restructuring of some U.S. dollar bonds in the Indonesia coal sector.”
    Bonds sold by Indonesia coal miners Geo Energy Resources Ltd., PT ABM Investama and PT Bumi Resources have slumped in the past six months.

    When the fossil fuel corps go bellie up….GAME OVER BAU

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