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Where we're heading: my thoughts


#environment #climate #energy #socialism

first most probably we'll hit +2°C in 2030. Large parts of Middle East and Mediterranean will become nigh uninhabitable around then, and at the very least will see their agricultural output crash, while at the same time oil and gas production will collapse in several of these countries. Water availability is already extremely concerning in Jordan, Algeria, Iran, etc.

Therefore there will be very large wars (see Syria) everywhere, but with hundreds million of people concerned. There will be mass migration of unprecedented scale; tens and tens of millions of refugees will run towards Europe whatever it takes.

Of course European populations won't accept this situation, so most probable outcome is the rise of fascistic, militarised and racist societies all across Europe (it's already well under way).

In the meanwhile absolutely nothing effective will be done for climate, peace and democracy. Effective things: cut out drastically our hydrocarbons imports whatever it takes (it probably takes lots of nukes, BTW, if we want to be realistic). Some things are pretty simple, for instance get rid of oil and gas in housing and heating; that requires MUCH LESS money than the money that have been thrown away into windmills, and would save Europe globally tens of billions ANNUALLY so it would pay itself back in a few years. Of course, that requires HEAVY LONG-TERM GOVERNMENT PLANNING which is absolutely against EU delirious dogmas about "free markets" and other neoliberal ideological nonsense.

This shit should have been done in the past 20 years, it could have been, very easily. Now, it's too late. Of course late is better than never, but we're hosed: heavily dependent upon the Russians, and largely investing in shit that should be decommissioned RIGHT NOW.

Reduced energy availability in Europe (already happening, have been going on for years now) will mean lower economic output. So Europe as a whole will be getting poorer and poorer, while becoming more violent and more depending on other hostile powers. I'm pretty sure we'll see large emigration from Europe towards China and the US.

Of course the only way out would be a concerted, clear, explicit, explained to the public degrowth policy. But this flies right in the face of everything that makes the world going nowadays; people imagine the end of the world more easily than the end of capitalism.

Regarding capitalism, its time is getting to an end. Remember Kropotkin: in rich, abundant environment (tropical islands, etc) competition drives evolution. There are many different species occupying many different niches. In poor, difficult environment (Siberian steppe, deserts etc) cooperation is much more important; there are only a few different species that occupy that space and tend to be less competitive than cooperative.

Capitalism was the competitive way of managing human societies as long as we were in an ever-expanding world of ever-expanding markets (started right about 1492). As it has soared for 500 years, most people naively believe that it can go on forever. But we've reached the end of always-increasing energy and resource availability and are entering in a world of increasing scarcity. In this world, capitalism and competition are poisonous. Socialism and cooperation are the only way to go. If we don't switch rapidly enough, we humans will be wiped out of this planet, simple as that.
 

Where we're heading: my thoughts


#environment #climate #energy #socialism

first most probably we'll hit +2°C in 2030. Large parts of Middle East and Mediterranean will become nigh uninhabitable around then, and at the very least will see their agricultural output crash, while at the same time oil and gas production will collapse in several of these countries. Water availability is already extremely concerning in Jordan, Algeria, Iran, etc.

Therefore there will be very large wars (see Syria) everywhere, but with hundreds million of people concerned. There will be mass migration of unprecedented scale; tens and tens of millions of refugees will run towards Europe whatever it takes.

Of course European populations won't accept this situation, so most probable outcome is the rise of fascistic, militarised and racist societies all across Europe (it's already well under way).

In the meanwhile absolutely nothing effective will be done for climate, peace and democracy. Effective things: cut out drastically our hydrocarbons imports whatever it takes (it probably takes lots of nukes, BTW, if we want to be realistic). Some things are pretty simple, for instance get rid of oil and gas in housing and heating; that requires MUCH LESS money than the money that have been thrown away into windmills, and would save Europe globally tens of billions ANNUALLY so it would pay itself back in a few years. Of course, that requires HEAVY LONG-TERM GOVERNMENT PLANNING which is absolutely against EU delirious dogmas about "free markets" and other neoliberal ideological nonsense.

This shit should have been done in the past 20 years, it could have been, very easily. Now, it's too late. Of course late is better than never, but we're hosed: heavily dependent upon the Russians, and largely investing in shit that should be decommissioned RIGHT NOW.

Reduced energy availability in Europe (already happening, have been going on for years now) will mean lower economic output. So Europe as a whole will be getting poorer and poorer, while becoming more violent and more depending on other hostile powers. I'm pretty sure we'll see large emigration from Europe towards China and the US.

Of course the only way out would be a concerted, clear, explicit, explained to the public degrowth policy. But this flies right in the face of everything that makes the world going nowadays; people imagine the end of the world more easily than the end of capitalism.

Regarding capitalism, its time is getting to an end. Remember Kropotkin: in rich, abundant environment (tropical islands, etc) competition drives evolution. There are many different species occupying many different niches. In poor, difficult environment (Siberian steppe, deserts etc) cooperation is much more important; there are only a few different species that occupy that space and tend to be less competitive than cooperative.

Capitalism was the competitive way of managing human societies as long as we were in an ever-expanding world of ever-expanding markets (started right about 1492). As it has soared for 500 years, most people naively believe that it can go on forever. But we've reached the end of always-increasing energy and resource availability and are entering in a world of increasing scarcity. In this world, capitalism and competition are poisonous. Socialism and cooperation are the only way to go. If we don't switch rapidly enough, we humans will be wiped out of this planet, simple as that.
 

University of California Professor Develops Technology That Cools People Down – Without Electricity or AC


A UCLA scientist reasoned that if a certain spectrum of warming rays is radiated out to the atmosphere during the day, it would cool whatever it left, potentially offering an alternative to traditional air conditioning.

An estimated 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions are generated through cooling systems, both for homes and transport, but as global temperatures continue to climb, the use of cooling systems for homes and businesses is expected to triple over the coming years.

SkyCool’s radiative panels can absorb all the heat-producing light from the sun, and rather than sending it back into the swirling cauldron of gasses that are heating the planet, expels it out into space.

If placed on the hood of a car, the film would not only reflect any light from the sun, but radiate away some of the heat from the engine; if placed above where water pipes run through a building, it would cool the water therein, reducing the load on air-conditioning systems.

See Professor Develops Technology That Cools People Down – Without Electricity or AC

#environment #cooling #energy #airconditioning


A radiative cooling film developed by a UCLA scientist can cool the air around it by 10°F by reflective infrared radiation from the sun.

https://gadgeteer.co.za/university-california-professor-develops-technology-cools-people-down-without-electricity-or-ac
Professor Develops Technology That Cools People Down – Without Electricity or AC
 

University of California Professor Develops Technology That Cools People Down – Without Electricity or AC


A UCLA scientist reasoned that if a certain spectrum of warming rays is radiated out to the atmosphere during the day, it would cool whatever it left, potentially offering an alternative to traditional air conditioning.

An estimated 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions are generated through cooling systems, both for homes and transport, but as global temperatures continue to climb, the use of cooling systems for homes and businesses is expected to triple over the coming years.

SkyCool’s radiative panels can absorb all the heat-producing light from the sun, and rather than sending it back into the swirling cauldron of gasses that are heating the planet, expels it out into space.

If placed on the hood of a car, the film would not only reflect any light from the sun, but radiate away some of the heat from the engine; if placed above where water pipes run through a building, it would cool the water therein, reducing the load on air-conditioning systems.

See Professor Develops Technology That Cools People Down – Without Electricity or AC

#environment #cooling #energy #airconditioning


A radiative cooling film developed by a UCLA scientist can cool the air around it by 10°F by reflective infrared radiation from the sun.

https://gadgeteer.co.za/university-california-professor-develops-technology-cools-people-down-without-electricity-or-ac
Professor Develops Technology That Cools People Down – Without Electricity or AC
 
Image/Photo

Energy Usage -- Comparisons: What's 100 quadrillion BTUs?


There's an annual release of an "energy flow diagram" showing usage of energy within the US. For 2020, that totaled about 93 quadrillion BTUs (British Thermal Units, a/k/a "quads"), which ... is frankly kind of hard to envision.

Let's round that up for the sake of simplicity to 100 quads.

A BTU is the energy it takes to raise 1 pound of water by 1 degree Farenheit (about 1/2 litre by about 1/2 degree C for the Rest Of The World).

So a quadrillion BTUs is the energy it would take to raise the temperature of 1 quadrillion pounds of water by 1 degree F. Or, say, to boil a somewhat smaller quantity of water.

If the US decided that its singular national goal was to boil water, how much could it boil?

It turns out: 46.7 billion tonnes. or 46.7 km^3^ . A cube 3.6 km on a side. If you wanted to make the height a bit more reasonable, say, 100m (330 ft), it would measure 21 km * 21 km * 100m. (21 km is about 13 miles) Or about 18 million olympic swimming pools (2,500 m^3^ or 660,000 gallons, or 2 acre-feet each) of water.

For each of the 330 million residents of the US, there's abut 300 million BTUs available. That works out to the energy to boil off 1/20th of an olympic sized swimming pool's worth of water per person.

That's the energy driving the Most Powerful Nation on Earth.

Calculations using #GnuUnits

Chart from LLNL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/

#energy #resources
 

2021 BP Statistical Review of World Energy


For those into that sort of thing, BP dropped its 70th annual survey of global energy usage three days ago. This is probably the most comprehensive annual report on global energy trends. This year's edition runs about a month later than in recent years.

The meat here is in the PDF downloads, particularly the full report: https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/business-sites/en/global/corporate/pdfs/energy-economics/statistical-review/bp-stats-review-2021-full-report.pdf

The headline summary: the biggest reduction in global energy demand since 1945, of 4.5%, led by oil but also in coal and natural gas. Renewable energy grew despite the overall decline. The US and Russia lead in national energy use decline, China's energy consumption grew 2.1%.

https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

#Energy #BP #AnnualStatisticalReview #GlobalEnergy #EnergyUse #CovidImpacts
 

218,000 UK households face an average £280 rise in their energy bills | TechRadar

Unless they switch now, those affected will be rolled onto their supplier's more expensive default tariff in May
#lifestyle #UK #utilities #energy
 
Start Doing This RIGHT NOW! "You can use it in any situation"



#Tesla #sound #energy #knowledge
 

There’s a Name for the Blah You’re #Feeling: It’s Called #Languishing


source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html
At first, I didn’t recognize the symptoms that we all had in common. Friends mentioned that they were having trouble concentrating. Colleagues reported that even with vaccines on the horizon, they weren’t excited about 2021. A family member was staying up late to watch “National Treasure” again even though she knows the movie by heart. And instead of bouncing out of bed at 6 a.m., I was lying there until 7, playing Words with Friends. It wasn’t #burnout — we still had #energy. It wasn’t #depression — we didn’t feel hopeless. We just felt somewhat #joyless and #aimless. It turns out there’s a name for that: languishing.
#corona #health #news #science #concentration
 

There’s a Name for the Blah You’re #Feeling: It’s Called #Languishing


source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html
At first, I didn’t recognize the symptoms that we all had in common. Friends mentioned that they were having trouble concentrating. Colleagues reported that even with vaccines on the horizon, they weren’t excited about 2021. A family member was staying up late to watch “National Treasure” again even though she knows the movie by heart. And instead of bouncing out of bed at 6 a.m., I was lying there until 7, playing Words with Friends. It wasn’t #burnout — we still had #energy. It wasn’t #depression — we didn’t feel hopeless. We just felt somewhat #joyless and #aimless. It turns out there’s a name for that: languishing.
#corona #health #news #science #concentration
 

The ‘Green Energy’ That Might Be Ruining the Planet - POLITICO


#environment #energy #climate
 

The ‘Green Energy’ That Might Be Ruining the Planet - POLITICO


#environment #energy #climate
 
while the EIA tells us that coal power plants retain a capacity factor of 80 percent for the entirety of their 40-year technical lifetime through to 2060, in reality it is far lower, according to the new study. In the US, the average capacity factor for coal power plants in 2010 was 67 percent. Ten years later it plummeted further to 40 percent—this is half as much as the official LCOE assessment. This means that the real cost of electricity produced by these plants is ridiculously high—as high as 32.4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) when corrected, which is more than four times the EIA’s figure of 7.6 cents.

The same patterns of overinflation can be found across conventional plants. For natural gas, the official EIA estimate of an 87 percent capacity factor throughout a 20-year lifetime is contradicted by the fact that in 2020 the real figure was 58 percent. This means the cost of electricity from these gas plants is 60 percent higher than the EIA’s estimate. And for hydro power, the official estimate of 70 percent capacity flies in the face of the real figure for US hydro plants which reached just 42 percent in 2020. Which means that hydro’s real cost is three times higher than conventionally believed.

This is a big problem, because it means that the trillions of dollars of investment (not to mention government subsidies) being sunk into these conventional energy industries are based on vast overvaluations rooted in systematic overinflations of their actual energy generating power. These estimates, the report points out, are being upheld by the most authoritative sources of energy information in the world, including the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The outlook for renewables, then, could be a lot brighter than many assume—especially given the think tank’s estimate that the cost to build a 100 percent solar, wind and battery system in the US would be less than $2 trillion over the course of the 2020s (just 1 percent of GDP), due to exponentially declining cost curves which most forecasters overlook.

Dorsheimer cautioned that there is a need to account for the “embodied energy” required to produce renewable power which can still come from carbon emitting sources, and argued that the report’s criticisms of the LCOE of conventional power should not be used to wrongly inflate the value of renewables. #energy #economics
 
while the EIA tells us that coal power plants retain a capacity factor of 80 percent for the entirety of their 40-year technical lifetime through to 2060, in reality it is far lower, according to the new study. In the US, the average capacity factor for coal power plants in 2010 was 67 percent. Ten years later it plummeted further to 40 percent—this is half as much as the official LCOE assessment. This means that the real cost of electricity produced by these plants is ridiculously high—as high as 32.4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) when corrected, which is more than four times the EIA’s figure of 7.6 cents.

The same patterns of overinflation can be found across conventional plants. For natural gas, the official EIA estimate of an 87 percent capacity factor throughout a 20-year lifetime is contradicted by the fact that in 2020 the real figure was 58 percent. This means the cost of electricity from these gas plants is 60 percent higher than the EIA’s estimate. And for hydro power, the official estimate of 70 percent capacity flies in the face of the real figure for US hydro plants which reached just 42 percent in 2020. Which means that hydro’s real cost is three times higher than conventionally believed.

This is a big problem, because it means that the trillions of dollars of investment (not to mention government subsidies) being sunk into these conventional energy industries are based on vast overvaluations rooted in systematic overinflations of their actual energy generating power. These estimates, the report points out, are being upheld by the most authoritative sources of energy information in the world, including the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The outlook for renewables, then, could be a lot brighter than many assume—especially given the think tank’s estimate that the cost to build a 100 percent solar, wind and battery system in the US would be less than $2 trillion over the course of the 2020s (just 1 percent of GDP), due to exponentially declining cost curves which most forecasters overlook.

Dorsheimer cautioned that there is a need to account for the “embodied energy” required to produce renewable power which can still come from carbon emitting sources, and argued that the report’s criticisms of the LCOE of conventional power should not be used to wrongly inflate the value of renewables. #energy #economics
 
while the EIA tells us that coal power plants retain a capacity factor of 80 percent for the entirety of their 40-year technical lifetime through to 2060, in reality it is far lower, according to the new study. In the US, the average capacity factor for coal power plants in 2010 was 67 percent. Ten years later it plummeted further to 40 percent—this is half as much as the official LCOE assessment. This means that the real cost of electricity produced by these plants is ridiculously high—as high as 32.4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) when corrected, which is more than four times the EIA’s figure of 7.6 cents.

The same patterns of overinflation can be found across conventional plants. For natural gas, the official EIA estimate of an 87 percent capacity factor throughout a 20-year lifetime is contradicted by the fact that in 2020 the real figure was 58 percent. This means the cost of electricity from these gas plants is 60 percent higher than the EIA’s estimate. And for hydro power, the official estimate of 70 percent capacity flies in the face of the real figure for US hydro plants which reached just 42 percent in 2020. Which means that hydro’s real cost is three times higher than conventionally believed.

This is a big problem, because it means that the trillions of dollars of investment (not to mention government subsidies) being sunk into these conventional energy industries are based on vast overvaluations rooted in systematic overinflations of their actual energy generating power. These estimates, the report points out, are being upheld by the most authoritative sources of energy information in the world, including the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The outlook for renewables, then, could be a lot brighter than many assume—especially given the think tank’s estimate that the cost to build a 100 percent solar, wind and battery system in the US would be less than $2 trillion over the course of the 2020s (just 1 percent of GDP), due to exponentially declining cost curves which most forecasters overlook.

Dorsheimer cautioned that there is a need to account for the “embodied energy” required to produce renewable power which can still come from carbon emitting sources, and argued that the report’s criticisms of the LCOE of conventional power should not be used to wrongly inflate the value of renewables. #energy #economics
 
● NEWS ● #NewYorkTimes #Energy ☞ #Texas , Land of Wind and Lies

The New York Times: Opinion | Texas, Land of Wind and Lies (By Paul Krugman)

 

Windfarms in Great Britain break record for clean power generation


Forty per cent of Friday’s electricity was generated in windfarms thanks to blustery winter weather
Blustery winter weather helped Great Britain’s windfarms set a record for clean power generation, which made up more than 40% of its electricity on Friday.
Wind turbines generated 17.3GW on Friday afternoon, according to figures from the electricity system operator, narrowly beating the previous record set in early January this year.
Continue reading...
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/19/windfarms-in-great-britain-break-record-for-clear-power-generation
#news, #Environment, #UK, #power, #energy, #Renewable, #Wind, #Business, #Energy

 

Windfarms in Great Britain break record for clean power generation


Forty per cent of Friday’s electricity was generated in windfarms thanks to blustery winter weather
Blustery winter weather helped Great Britain’s windfarms set a record for clean power generation, which made up more than 40% of its electricity on Friday.
Wind turbines generated 17.3GW on Friday afternoon, according to figures from the electricity system operator, narrowly beating the previous record set in early January this year.
Continue reading...
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/19/windfarms-in-great-britain-break-record-for-clear-power-generation
#news, #Environment, #UK, #power, #energy, #Renewable, #Wind, #Business, #Energy

 

History through the lens of energy: a bibliography


Some years back I was asked if there were any books addressing history through the perspective of energy. And so I discovered Vaclav Smil's excellent Energy in World History, delivering just that, updated two years ago under a new title. The catalogue's expanded, and following a discussion with @Emmanuel Florac (here), I'm expanding my list.

Emmanuel adds Auzenneau. I've read Weissenbacher and known of Rodes, and have both Smil's books. The others are new to me.

Searching Worldcat for books on history and energy:#energy #history #EnergyInHistory #VaclavSmil #MatthieuAuzanneau #RichardRhodes #books #bibliography
 
Image/Photo
#plant #energy #force... stronger than annieding on diz planet...
 

Degrowth: A response to Branko Milanovic — Jason Hickel


#politics #environment #energy #climate

Degrowth is not about reducing GDP; it’s about resources and energy
 

Degrowth: A response to Branko Milanovic — Jason Hickel


#politics #environment #energy #climate

Degrowth is not about reducing GDP; it’s about resources and energy
 
● NEWS ● #thecorrespondent #Energy ☞ Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing
 

#Nuclear and #renewables don't mix. Only the latter can deliver truly low #carbon #energy, says new study


If countries want to lower #emissions as substantially, rapidly and cost-effectively as possible, they should prioritize support for renewables, rather than nuclear power.

That’s the finding of new analysis of 123 countries over 25 years by the University of Sussex Business School and the ISM International School of Management which reveals that nuclear energy programmes around the world tend not to deliver sufficient carbon emission reductions and so should not be considered an effective low carbon energy source.

Researchers found that unlike renewables, countries around the world with larger scale national nuclear attachments do not tend to show significantly lower carbon emissions - and in poorer countries nuclear programmes actually tend to associate with relatively higher emissions.

Published today in Nature Energy, the study reveals that nuclear and renewable energy programmes do not tend to co-exist well together in national low-carbon energy systems but instead crowd each other out and limit effectiveness.

Full story here

Paper abstract:
Two of the most widely emphasized contenders for carbon emissions reduction in the electricity sector are nuclear power and renewable energy. While scenarios regularly question the potential impacts of adoption of various technology mixes in the future, it is less clear which technology has been associated with greater historical emission reductions. Here, we use multiple regression analyses on global datasets of national carbon emissions and renewable and nuclear electricity production across 123 countries over 25 years to examine systematically patterns in how countries variously using nuclear power and renewables contrastingly show higher or lower carbon emissions. We find that larger-scale national nuclear attachments do not tend to associate with significantly lower carbon emissions while renewables do. We also find a negative association between the scales of national nuclear and renewables attachments. This suggests nuclear and renewables attachments tend to crowd each other out.
 
● NEWS ● #CommonDreams #Energy ☞ What 2020 Politicians and Pundits Get Wrong About #Fracking
 
● NEWS ● #CommonDreams #Energy ☞ What 2020 Politicians and Pundits Get Wrong About #Fracking
 
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