The Greenstuff File

Posted on November 13, 2009
Posted By: Roger Feldman
 
The Myth of the Greenstuff File

As Snow White grew older, she had more difficulty using all those new fangled labor saving and communications devices around the cottage. She began to give her seven renewable energy dwarfs helpful little hints and gifts so they could grow up and help her with them. Some like Windy and Shiny responded very well. However, one in particular, "Greenstuff," went around shaking its head saying, "I'd like to help you, Snow White but I don't know where to start." Snow White asked Dopey, who was usually very smart, what was going on. He just muttered something about the "volatile green energy spread" and "conflicting objectives of the stockholders" and told Snow White he'd send her a background white paper. Reprinted below is that informative white paper: "The Greenstuff File." Snow White did not know what to do with the Greenstuff File so she sent copies to USDA, DOE, DOC, EPA and Disney. The rest remains to be history.

The Text of the Greenstuff File.

From the standpoint of governmental policy makers--and to the consternation of many biofuels and biomass project developers--the development of biomass as a major contributor for improvement of the national energy situation sits at the junction of intersecting policies regarding natural resources, energy, and environmental objectives (including now carbon reduction). The result is that the prospects for one of the least expensive baseload renewable fuels, currently still a major source of baseload renewable energy, is trapped in a maze of legislative and regulatory requirements which may inhibit project development, and certainly challenges developer and lender ingenuity.

The effective application of the responsive targeted policies of several different government agencies is further complicated by the fact that biomass energy production is clearly one of separate, linked but not necessarily integrated, activities: feedstock, type of refining or processing, and utilization in different end use markets. In each of theses areas there may well be a tension between the commercial interests of the parties currently more heavily engaged in certain aspects of these activities (and the administrative agencies with differing interests in each).

First, feedstock varies among different companies in the bioenergy industry. It encompasses the feedstocks with potential alternative uses, including: wood, pulp, pellet, and agricultural products of various types. Several different Federal agencies have overlapping policies and programs with respect to these feedstocks.

Second, the types of bioenergy outputs being produced by different bioenergy processing sectors: electricity, biogas, thermal energy, as well as different types of biofuels, have not only varying feedstock inputs and customer-marketed outputs, they may be subject to different sources and focuses of regulation.

Third, the interests of end users of these types of energy may vary (based not only on shortrun competitive cost/price considerations, but also on particular value of availability of bioenergy (or its non energy alternative) to different sectors, e.g., manufacturers, utilities, and farms). All of this is played out, among other places, in the interfuel competition of biomass energy with alternative, conventional, and renewable sources.

Moreover, the biomass processes in question are subject both to different regulatory perception and treatment in terms of environmental impact, e.g., carbon balance, relationship to enhanced waste disposal, and air and watershed protections.

One overall consequence of these multiple dimensions of bioenergy is that Congress has seen fit to enact a variety of partial incentives, designed to encourage or palliate different parties affected by biomass and biofuel developments.

An important further dimension is added when the requirements of financing commercial bioenergy development, particularly in some form of non-recourse project financing, is proposed to be used for that purpose.

It is in the finance setting that some formulaic predictability needs to obtain between the sources of feedstock (volume, cost, effect of comparative impact of regulation and incentives against more favored fuels, the spread between the biofuel market price) on the one hand, and the competitive ability of that bioenergy source to obtain long term output contracts on the other i.e., the "Green Energy Spread" analogous to the fossil fuel "spark spread." The Congress has in principle, been a fan of financeability, and has enacted numerous tax credits, loan guarantees, and production incentive supports, as well as certain direct and indirect purchase quotas. For the most part, those related to biomass--more so than biofuels--have been embedded in broader measures to assist all or most of the general class of "renewables." This presents two different problems for biomass project developers.

First, the approach effectively assumes that the requirements for each renewable industry for a particular type of incentive is the same. (This assumption is further complicated as noted above, by the multifaceted character of the genus "Bioenergy.")

Second, each incentive approach is directed at some particular facet or phase of the energy production process. For biomass, this may in fact mean it is principally useful to a particular segment of the non-integrated biomass chain, which are differently equipped to make more or less out of them, and also of different Federal agency administrators who bring to the task of implementation varying policies, execution skills, administrative rules, and even definitions (reflecting their policy bent).

These two problems can produce less than desirable residual results, when the process is reduced to the bottom line business of making the printed words of multiple statutory and regulatory pages fit the facts of specific types of project finance. Experience in dealing with such regulations have shown practical core issues to include matters such as the following:

  • Definitions of extent of eligibility, notably related for example to co-firing, use of whole trees in biomass combustion projects, and de facto impact on size of types of projects which are eligible for incentives
  • Relationship of these incentives to the project development process, e.g., treatment of construction loans, timing of availability of funding for individual projects
  • Suitability of statutorily permitted time horizon of availability in terms of life-cycle of types of projects
  • Availability of incentives in suitable and timely amounts for the phase of the integrated (or in biomass case) frequently the respective non-integrated phases of development
  • Compatibility of use of available incentives from different government programs administered by different units within the same agency or different agencies, or in the context of individual deals
Focus on the "green energy spread" is difficult for the diverse biomass industry rating as a whole. It remains to be seen, for example, whether relative to its renewable energy peers, the two year window for grants in lieu of tax credits, the Stimulus Bill's two year loan guarantee for "shovel-ready" projects, and/or the more-targeted, but smaller Biomass Crop Assistance Program, will in practice be of most value to the bioenergy industry. But if, as could be the case, only some fortunate developers ("green leprechauns" in the original Greenstuff File) will be able to follow the Federal rainbow to the pot of gold.

Therefore the response (starting now) for the biomass investors must be to learn from this experience and advocate (and justify) a more unified governmental incentive approach, which contemplates involvement of all Federal agencies, focused on gaining envelopes of incentives that recognize and reward the natural resource, environmental, social and energy benefits which different types of projects can collectively provide. The Green Energy Spread is more complicated to assist than the traditional spark spread, and the bioenergy industry must undertake to help itself to overcome the inherent barriers to optimal incentive formalization.

Epilogue

There are conflicting reports as to what happened next in the saga The Greenstuff File: Some say it came to pass that Dopey left the cottage, became an organic farmer and was only heard from thereafter in the form of numerous "green" and "climate friendly" products he sold at or through the numerous trade association, NGO, and government study groups which he visited.

Some say it came to pass that recipients of The Greenstuff File took it to heart, and became the most useful aides not only to Snow White but to the entire valley in which she dwelled.

And some say that it came to pass that the File was farmed out to various study groups and that Snow White was left to hire lobbyists, consultants, and lawyers for the rest of her days.

 
 
Authored By:
ROGER FELDMAN heads the Clean and Renewables Energy Group of the international law firm of Andrews Kurth LLP. He combines 35 years of active energy project and corporate finance legal practice with current leadership industry positions as a Director of the American Council on Renewable Energy (and Co-Chair of its Climate Change Markets Group) and Chair of the American Bar Association's Energy and Carbon Trading and Finance Committee. He can
 

Other Posts by: Roger Feldman

A Premise for the Pendulum - January 26, 2010
Stovepiped - July 29, 2009

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Comments

November, 17 2009

bill payne says

Altenergy may not have the HEAT IN available for advertised electrical power out.

Electricity can be converted to HEAT OUT at 3412.14163 BTU/kW, we read.

In conventional fossil fuel electricty generation over 7,000 [2x1 combined cycle natural gas] BTU is required per kWh which is about the most efficient, we have also read.

The apparent most efficient technology still has a second law of thermodynamics heat loss of more than 50%.

And about .47 gallons of water is, on the average we read, consumed for each kWh of electricitity produced, we read too.

So we're looking forward to read about HEAT RATEs of solar, wind, biomass, ... as opposed to more green altenergy hype.

A VP in Albuquerque with one of the major wall street brokerages opined to us that solar is a fraud.

If, of course, less than 3412 BTUs goes into any altenergy scheme per kWh hour out, then we may be inclined to believe that there is fraud.

Or that a thermodyamic equilavent of perpetural motion has been discovered.

November, 17 2009

Robert Bromm says

Beyond the heat rate issue (efficiency), what makes biomass "green"? Is it the vast amounts of CO2 that the burning emits? The general air pollution that results? Many citys have already banned wood burning fireplaces (the original biomass) due to the air pollution they cause.

I can't imagine that the economics are there (without massive government subsidies) if one has to grow crops for fuel. On the other hand, if one has a waste product, you might as well get a little return by burning it and generating some electricity (or process heat), if you can get by the pollution.

November, 17 2009

Bob Houston says

Sent to the USDA, DOE, DOC, EPA and Disney… Ummmm….which one has the best Fantasy Land?

November, 17 2009

bill payne says

Hello Mr Bromm and Huston,

New Mexico senator is

Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (Chairman)

http://home.comcast.net/~bpayne37/concealcarry2009/concealcarry2009.htm#hello

And a lawyer ... like Mr Feldman.

Lawyer Doyle looks to be an exception.

http://home.comcast.net/~bpayne37/pnmelectric/altreport/altreport.htm

November, 17 2009

Fred Linn says

------------"what makes biomass "green"? Is it the vast amounts of CO2 that the burning emits? "------------------

Every single atom of carbon in biomass first had to be removed from the atmosphere by plants. Atmospheric carbon is what all biomass material is composed of. Decomposition of biomass(either by bacterial digestion or burning) only returns the carbon to where it came from to be recycled.

It is impossible to raise atmospheric levels of CO2 with biomass. No atmospheric CO2 = no plant growth = no biofuels. Net gain, 0. You can't get out more than you put in.

---------"A VP in Albuquerque with one of the major wall street brokerages opined to us that solar is a fraud."--------------

Would that be one of the Wall Street firms speculating in energy and petroleum futures? This was recently discussed in Seeking Alpha forum. The article in question points to market manipulation to raise the price of petroleum and maintain the status quo of energy usage. There are over 220 replies(and still going). The majority of respondents(experienced investors) agree that market manipulation is going on. A LARGE majority.

--------"Or that a thermodyamic equilavent of perpetural motion has been discovered. "---------

I guess you could say that renewable energy sources compared to fossils fuels are exactly that. Once you dig up coal or oil and burn it, it is gone. The sun however comes up every morning.

November, 18 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Fred Linn, if 220,000 contributors to Seeking Alpha asserted that the rising oil price of the last few years was called by speculators, I still wouldn't believe it. That oil price is caused by the big producer of oil - OPEC - restricting its production. With that restriction as a background, buying oil futures makes sense - assuming that the macroeconomy does not go into the tank.

Remember, when the price of oil escalated to $147/b, president Bush traveled to Saudi Arabia, and not Wall Street. If OPEC had been in position to flood the world market with oil, and did so, the price of oil would have tumbled regardless of what the speculators did. As it was that price dropped to $32/b because of the macro meltdown, and it would have stayed there if OPEC had not started cutting back production.

As for this business about petroleum futures, I was a part of the discussion that helped to make those more acceptable. They have as a matter of fact increased the efficiency of that market.

November, 18 2009

Fred Linn says

--------"That oil price is caused by the big producer of oil - OPEC - restricting its production. "-------------

That is market manipulation.

--------" That oil price is caused by the big producer of oil - OPEC - restricting its production."--------

In 150 years of oil "production", there has never been one single drop of oil produced, only consumed. Humans do not produce oil. They only use what is already there.

-------" Remember, when the price of oil escalated to $147/b, president Bush traveled to Saudi Arabia, and not Wall Street."--------

And GWB was trying to manipulate the Saudis.

---------" If OPEC had been in position to flood the world market with oil, and did so, the price of oil would have tumbled regardless of what the speculators did. "-----

Why sell what you have for $32/bl when you can run the price up by waiting? OPEC is speculating too. The trick in loading the camel is to not put the last straw on.

--------"As it was that price dropped to $32/b because of the macro meltdown, and it would have stayed there if OPEC had not started cutting back production. "--------

Manipulation to bring the price back up.

-------"As for this business about petroleum futures, I was a part of the discussion that helped to make those more acceptable. They have as a matter of fact increased the efficiency of that market."----------

Efficient for speculators, not consumers.

Petroleum is not a free market system. Freedom means choice. It is not a free market until consumers can either choose to use petroleum, or something else.

It is possible to do that with technology we have right now. If the price of oil goes from $32/bl to $140+/bl again----and consumers can keep right on driving using other options, what will happen to petroleum?

November, 18 2009

Bob Amorosi says

Fred Linn,

I commend your frank analysis of professor Banks comments as refreshingly accurate. They reveal beautifully the arrogance in the points of view he usually takes in most of his writings on this website. In all fairness to professor Banks though, he has been preaching for some time on this website that supply and demand determine oil prices, not the actions of smaller market speculators. What you are cleverly pointing out is that OPEC is the biggest market speculator of all. And since they have learned very well how to speculate successfully, knowing by controlling supply they will usually win at the cash register, they have also become the biggest market manipulator.

It is clear to everyone now that when oil gets too expensive down the road, any other future options for driving are likely to use electricity from the grid as the best way to tap into other energy sources. I would be very interested in what your thoughts are on the future prospects of renewable energy sources for electricity generation, particularly solar PV, solar thermal, and wind. I wonder if they really have any potential to compete successfully in widespread distributed generation on the same scale as large central generation plants using nuclear and fossil fuels.

November, 19 2009

Don Hirschberg says

OPEC was created to fix prices. That’s what cartels do, and no one has ever suggested OPEC is not a cartel. How shocking. I have a stinking notion that we could well have a worse market without OPEC.

Fred Linn, production means exactly what you want it to mean, nothing more, nothing less.

November, 19 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

The comment above of Fred Linn is absurd. Ignorance is the proper word for it.

What he calls OPEC's speculation they callled BUSINESS at the university he attended - unless of course it was the kind of store-front university from which I took my first degree. As for Mr Amprosi's remarks, he knows as much about the oil market as I do about the psychological condition that caused him to interfere in a discussion that is miles over his head.

Incidentally, those nonsensical observations of Mr Linn make it quite clear that he is just talking to hear himself talk. "Efficient for speculators, not consumers." Do you and your advocate Mr A. know how completely loony-tune that sounds?.

November, 19 2009

Bob Amorosi says

We commoners who know nothing about "BUSINESS" are not blind as professor Banks implies. Whether you call it BUSINESS or SPECULATION, the fact remains OPEC is a cartel that manipulates the oil markets to its own benefit financially. We commoners have another name for it too, it's called GREED, plain and simple.

To restate professor Banks in his past articles here, wouldn't you do the same if you were in OPEC's position?

Fred Linn is not making absurd comments for he sees what is going on as does most of the TV audience. See once again the incredible arrogance of professor Banks.

I would be very interested in what professor Banks thinks will happen down the road when oil becomes very expensive to us commoners, and when we gradually switch to driving our cars using grid electricity as a means to tap into other sources of energy. But then answering this is probably far too much for him to handle, or more correctly he will probably hide from doing so by saying yet again he would only answer this if someone paid him to do so.

It's too bad he won't answer it because he normally provides a lot to digest on this website, even if it gives a lot of us massive indigestion in the process.

November, 19 2009

Fred Linn says

Bob A.---------"I would be very interested in what your thoughts are on the future prospects of renewable energy sources for electricity generation, particularly solar PV, solar thermal, and wind. I wonder if they really have any potential to compete successfully in widespread distributed generation on the same scale as large central generation plants using nuclear and fossil fuels. "------------

Bob, we can easily replace coal with natural gas---to retrofit a coal plant, just take out the coal furnaces, and replace with gas burners. Nothing else needs to change. Methane (CH4) is 80% hydrogen by volume. It is clean enough to use to cook on in your home. And since it is a gas, it can have impurities removed before it is used---unlike coal. There would be no need for expensive flue scrubbers, air quality regulations and mountains of flue ash to dispose of(which contain concentrated amounts of toxic substances). It would provide the base power needed for renewable energy options like solar and wind. NG does not lose power in transmission unlike coal generated electricity. It can also be used directly in diesel engines, no long start up wait period before power generation can begin like coal. Natural gas does not come from strip mines. Far less environmental damage to extract and use. We can also make biomethane(CH4-the same stuff as fossil NG) and mix it in any proportion with no loss of performance. Since methane is a much stronger greenhouse effect producing gas than CO2---if we mix biomethane(that would have escaped into the atmosphere anyway---ie: treating sewage)---with just a 6% mix, we can have GHG neutral emissions. Greater than 6% mix, we'd have less GHG effect than using fossil NG alone---and we' have more power, and less than 1/2 the CO2 emissions using fossil NG than we would compared to using coal.

Most NG is now used to heat buildings and water. Solar thermal is ideally suited to these purposes. Solar thermal is cheap to manufacture and install, and thermal energy is easy to store. Solar thermal used as a "helper" to heat buildings and water would free large amounts of NG. We could use this to power our vehicles.

Using diesel/compressed natural gas or flex fuel/CNG bi-fuel engines in our vehicles, we could do everything we do now, with far less emissions, and no need for expensive, complex batteries or electronics. They can be driven using petroleum, a mix of petroleum and biofuels, natural gas, or biofuels----or any combination of all three. If we want, we could drive completely petroleum free. If we are driving using natural gas freed up by using solar thermal to heat buildings and water---we are in effect, driving free on solar energy.

Fiat Siena Tetrafuel can run on four fuel types

http://green.autoblog.com/2007/08/28/fiat-siena-tetrafuel-can-run-on-four-fuel-types/

http://www.whatgreencar.com/us/greencarguide/cng_us.php

Bob------" I wonder if they really have any potential to compete successfully in widespread distributed generation on the same scale as large central generation plants using nuclear and fossil fuels. "------------

Why not? It is cleaner and cheaper to use NG. We use it now. It takes far less handling and infrastructure to use than coal, and causes minimal environmental damage, both to acquire, move and use. It is also cheap and efficient. No one heats their house or water heater with electricity if natural gas is available. We can run our vehicles for about 1/2 the cost or less using natural gas compared to petroleum. The cost savings alone would finance a lot of other renewable options----far less need for taxes spent on environmental regulation, laws and enforcement. Consumers can do the same things they've always done, and have lower energy and tax bills to pay for it.

Don------"Fred Linn, production means exactly what you want it to mean, nothing more, nothing less. "--------

I still say there is no oil being produced(on a human time scale), now or ever. All we have done, and are doing is consuming it.

Aren't you the one who lectured me about just making up numbers or definitions to suit yourself?

November, 19 2009

Fred Linn says

---------" Do you and your advocate Mr A. know how completely loony-tune that sounds?. "----------

Funny, I thought the same thing about you reading your post.

What planet do you live on anyway? Mars?

In the words of Bugs Bunny---"What a maroon."

November, 19 2009

Bob Amorosi says

Well, I must thank professor Banks (Fred) for his long and well thought out answer. I'm very impressed. I admit the solutions he is suggesting are way above my knowledge to comment usefully about, but they do sound doable now and promising in the face of dwindling oil.

I suggest poor energy market regulation design is the main reason we don't see much more of these solutions appearing in greater numbers much sooner rather than later. Regulation is in bad need of reform, and note I never said deregulation, simply different regulation, especially for the electricity grid.

November, 19 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Fred Linn. Saying methane is 80% hydrogen by volume is meaningless. Methane is 100% methane by volume. It is composed of 4/ (4+12) or 25% hydrogen, 75% carbon by weight. Engines don’t care about volume, only about BTU’s. It is convenient to talk about methane having a heating value of about 1000 BTU per /100 cubic feet but that only applies at “standard conditions”, i.e. 60 F and 14.4 psia by Natr Gas Assoc. if my memory serves. But calculations are based on BTU/ pound, a value that does not vary much for hydrocarbons, liquids circa 20,000 BTU/#, with methane at the high end at about 23,000.

I was serious about my OPEC comment but playful (sorry) about the meaning of production. I was paraphrasing Humpty Dumpty. “When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” Lewis Carroll.

November, 19 2009

Jeff Presley says

Let's see, we've heard from Disney, Looney Tunes can Hanna Barbera be far behind? I'm thinking perhaps Atom Ant? Cartoons are fun, the artists get to play god in the 2 dimensional worlds they control. Unfortunately out here in the REAL world of 3 dimensions (and 4 when you consider TIME) things are a bit different. The God drawing OUR world may well be laughing hysterically at our gyrations along with His audience if any, but our discomfiture continues nevertheless.

Both Bob and Fred Linn are fixated on what happens to THEM as consumers, when from the business or economic perspective that is moot. No one is FORCING you to buy oil at any price, it is entirely up to you. In fact Americans are currently voting with their feet (perhaps literally) as our national consumption has dropped from a peak of 21mbbls/day down to about 18 currently. People are intelligently enough putting less miles on their vehicles and opting for more fuel efficient ones as well.

OPEC has had their ups and downs, they were nearly bankrupted in the 80's as the Soviets overproduced to attempt to keep up in the guns or butter campaign against the West. (They lost that game, hence are no more). Like a lot of other cartels, OPEC is only as strong as their cohesion, which can and has been sorely tested over time. Virtually all of them lie about their reserves so they can play games with their production when they need some cold hard cash to buy the latest baubles for their palaces. Some of these countries base 80% or more of their national budget on oil, it is a MAJOR concern to them how much they get for it. They don't really care if they are causing Fred Linn discomfort at the gas pump, they are more concerned about Abdullah coming after them with a rocket launcher if they don't keep him and his ilk reasonably happy. BTW he and his ilk are most likely to be reasonably happy when THEY are in the palaces doing the exact same thing the current dwellers are doing there. Calling it a religion just means their real god is money, same as a lot of other folks.

November, 19 2009

Fred Linn says

-----------"But calculations are based on BTU/ pound, a value that does not vary much for hydrocarbons, liquids circa 20,000 BTU/#, with methane at the high end at about 23,000. "----------------

That makes methane(a gas) a more concentrated(BTU/lb.) fuel than petroleum distillates(liquids).

LOL!!!! Lewis Carroll---I suspect our current system of energy acquisition, distribution and use were based on his works.(Now, I"M the one being playful!---it seems to me that much of our current energy structure is based on premises from "Alice in Wonderland". LMAO)

Bob--------" I admit the solutions he is suggesting are way above my knowledge to comment usefully about, but they do sound doable now and promising in the face of dwindling oil. "-------------

Bob, I (Fred Linn, not Banks) would be happy to explain anything you might have questions about. It is all very doable, right now, with current technology, and inexpensively, easily implemented. The technology involved is all more than 50 years old, well known, well used and predictable. There is nothing about any of it that an average person can not easily understand and see the value of. Changes we would make would benefit us now, and a very long time into the forseeable future.

flwetdog@hotmail.com

--------"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."---------Theodore Roosevelt

November, 19 2009

Fred Linn says

Excellent reasons to get rid of petroleum as the energy basis of our society wouldn't you say Jeff?

November, 19 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Mr Linn, you don't make any decisions about petroleum that anyone with half a brain is interested in. You can sprout whatever nonsense you want abput things that you don't understand, but as far as I know, blogomania won't even get you a Big Mac these days unless you plonk down a dollar too. Let me give you some good advice: there is a nut file at the White House that would love to receive your instructions about what can and can't be done to solve our energy problems. Why don't you drop them a line.

Moreover, I suspect that they would rather hear from you than from me, because in contrast to your good self, II make a point of NEVER talking about things that I don't know anything about. And listen...surprise, surprise...not many people have gotten as much from these forums/sites as Fred (Banks) has. You see, Fred (Banks) knows how to listen, and his radar is NEVER turned off. At the same time, he knows that certain people are running off at the mouth because they don't have anything better to do.

November, 19 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Energy Density. Although measurements expressed as densities are generally used to relate relative to volume (grams per liter, pounds per cubic foot, tons/cubic yard, pounds per bushel, etc. There is no reason a measure per weight cannot be called a “density” if so labeled.

As I mentioned above methane has about 23,000 BTU/ # while liquid hydrocarbons have about 20.000, which is tantamount to saying methane has about 15% better BTU/# than, say, gasoline.

But what is of primary interest here is the volume and weight of fuel tanks for a vehicle to carry – the volume and carrying capacity made unavailable for useful load. If we use the numbers I’ve already given plus the added information that a gallon of LNG (densest condition) weighs 2.5# and gasoline that weighs 6.1#/gal. 6.1 x 20,000/ 2.5 x 23,000 = 2.1. Or in words, we need a LNG tank 2.1 times as voluminous as the gasoline tank to provide the same energy. A 15 gal gasoline tank vs about a 32 gal LNG high pressure vessel. It gets worse. The 15 gal gasoline tank weighs very little and can be of any goofy shape . A 34 gal (4.5 cubic feet, more) LNG vessel of this capacity would weigh several hundred pounds even using high strength steel, and would likely be of manifolded cylinders.. And it gets worse for CNG.

Disclaimer: All the above is off the top of my head (except I looked up the density of liquid methane. Ignore all typos. If anyone works this out with more accurate numbers kindly let me know. Another thing: LNG is cryogenic and the insulated tanks will in time need to off-gas. I don’t know how this is being safely and economically handled – Anyone?

November, 20 2009

Fred Linn says

---------------"The natural gas is stored in a trio of tanks with a combined capacity of 22 kg mounted beneath the boot floor. This is supplemented by a 31-litre tank for conventional petrol. Between the two tanks the Passat Estate TSI EcoFuel is afforded a theoretical range of over 490 miles."----------------

22/5.2 = 423km x .6 = 254 miles on natural gas 490 - 254 = 236 miles on gas.

--------"The result is a non-diesel vehicle that meets the Euro 5 standards, greater economy and lower emissions. In addition, with a top speed of 130 mph and the capability to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 9.7 seconds, the Passat Estate TSI EcoFuel remains viable for everyday use. In normal conditions the vehicle consumes 5.2 kg of natural gas every 100 km."----------------

Geneva '08 Preview: Volkswagen Passat Variant TSI EcoFuel

http://green.autoblog.com/2008/02/28/geneva-08-preview-volkswagen-passat-variant-tsi-ecofuel/

Fiat Siena Tetrafuel can run on four fuel types

http://green.autoblog.com/2007/08/28/fiat-siena-tetrafuel-can-run-on-four-fuel-types/

Ferdinand-------don't hurt your back carrying that huge ego around.

November, 20 2009

Michael Keller says

Fred Linn, If you convert all coal plants to natural gas, the demand for natural gas would skyrocket and so would the price – economics in action. Ditto for using natural gas in vehicles.

While you can take simplistic approaches, the end results are solutions that end up being absurd. For example, using solar to heat all our buildings. Nice in theory, but simply not practical for a whole host of reasons – e.g. nature of existing building structures, night, variable strength of solar energy, etc

As with most complex problems, the solution lies with a practical mix of many elements. In other words, use all of our energy sources, as shaped by economics, availability and technology. Expecting any one source (say renewable energy) to solve the problem is incredibly naive and flat out dangerous to the nation's survival.

November, 20 2009

Fred Linn says

--------"Fred Linn, If you convert all coal plants to natural gas, the demand for natural gas would skyrocket and so would the price – economics in action. "--------

We can make natural gas from sewage, landfills, or animal manure or anything else organic. A rise in price of natural gas will lead to increased production of natural gas, both fossil and biogas. Economics in action.

--------" Ditto for using natural gas in vehicles."--------

You haven't read my posts. Solar thermal is ideally suited to provide cheap to manufacture and install, clean, easy to store solar energy that can replace most current usage of natural gas, building and water heating air conditioning. Replacing petroleum with natural gas in our vehicles would mean running our vehicles on free, solar energy. Biofuels are also solar energy stored in chemical form. Sunshine in a jar. Running our vehicles on a combination of biofuels and methane means no need for petroleum. Petroleum is a finite resource----and renewable energy is not. You are paying to run your car on gasoline----if you use methane that you don't use to heat your house or water, you are driving your car for free on sunshine. You do not have to pay for sunshine.

--------"While you can take simplistic approaches, the end results are solutions that end up being absurd. For example, using solar to heat all our buildings. Nice in theory, but simply not practical for a whole host of reasons – e.g. nature of existing building structures, night, variable strength of solar energy, etc "--------

You don't have to entirely heat a building or water with solar thermal. It is a "helper" system. You still have a furnace or water heater. You simply capture solar heat when it is available and store it in thermal mass of varying types. When circulated to where it is needed, the furnace either does not come on at all, or far less often. When you preheat cold water coming into your water heater, the water heater still functions as it always would coming on when the outflow thermostat detects a temperature that drops below a set level. Result, the water heater only comes on when the preheated inflow drops too low. The water heater will come on far less often or not at all depending on usage. Solar thermal energy can also be used to run air conditioning by the use of refrigerant gases.

--------"While you can take simplistic approaches, the end results are solutions that end up being absurd."--------------

A basic principal of engineering, KISS (keep it simple stupid) Simple solutions are always the best. There is less to go wrong or malfunction.

-------"In other words, use all of our energy sources, as shaped by economics, availability and technology. "---------------

Natural gas is cheap, readily available, easy to extract with minimal environmental damage, abundant, clean to use, and easy to produce from waste materials. Biofuels are too. Methane and biofuels are also versitile and can do anything that coal and petrleum can do without the environmental and economic damage.

----------" Expecting any one source (say renewable energy) to solve the problem is incredibly naive and flat out dangerous to the nation's survival. "----------

Insisting on relying on coal and petroleum is incredibly naive and and flat out dangerous to our nation's survival. We do not need to import renewable energy or destroy the land, water and air to get it.

November, 20 2009

Bob Amorosi says

Fred Linn,

Being a pretty cold climate in Canada, we have as a result earned the reputation for being some of the largest energy users per capita on earth. Canada already has widespread use of NG for home furnace heating in areas where the NG pipeline networks are readily accessible. In some provinces where there is no pipeline network available yet, electric heating using grid power is the default method.

There are also many people in Canada's NG distribution industry who over the years have attempted to get NG more widely used in the automotive industry. Buses and other fleet vehicles have seen much progress over the years, with many urban buses now using NG with great success. Unfortunately attempts to get NG into cars have not been very successful.

Canada's NG distribution companies have made available for many years car engine conversion kits that convert the motor in most cars on the market into a duel fuel system, retaining their gasoline systems while adding pressurized NG tanks in the trunk. But even with large government grants made available to consumers to offset the above $2000 cost for the vehicle conversion kits, the take-up by consumers has been historically miserably low, this in spite of NG fuel costing significantly less than gasoline per mile driven.

Problems cited were to achieve a decent driving range on NG compared with gasoline requires quite large NG tanks installed in the trunk, which eat up so much space that it makes them very undesirable in smaller cars. Also, the lack of NG refilling stations as compared with our widely available gas stations doesn’t help, and most consumers were not prepared to pay for any compressor devices to hook up to their own residential supply to refuel conveniently at home.

If the problem of building more NG refilling stations were addressed, NG prospects might improve someday. They might also be considerably better if car manufacturers made NG a standard option on new cars, which would surely drive down the costs of NG equipment on cars.

November, 20 2009

Fred Linn says

Bob--------"Canada already has widespread use of NG for home furnace heating in areas where the NG pipeline networks are readily accessible. In some provinces where there is no pipeline network available yet, electric heating using grid power is the default method. "--------

Either way Bob, solar thermal heating can reduce costs by using solar power. If the average outside temperature is (let's say for the sake of illustration) -10C and you heat your home to 20C you are using either natural gas or coal(electricity) to raise the heat 30*. If you add solar thermal, and it heats your house to 5C, your furnace only has to provide 15*C heat. Since to maintaining a thermal gradient is geometric progression,(doubling the gradient requires 4 times the energy to maintain)----you will only require 1/4th the energy input to your furnace to maintain your home at 20C. The same situation with the water heater. Increasing insulation will also save energy(in this case---you are reducing the gradient by manipulating the time required for the energy input to diffuse through the gradient). What you do not spend(in $$$) to heat your home or water, can be put directly into vehicle. You are driving you vehicle on free sunlight in effect. The more solar power you use in your home, the more $$$ you have to spend on fuel for your vehicle.

------------"Buses and other fleet vehicles have seen much progress over the years, with many urban buses now using NG with great success."--------

Two reasons. NG is extremely clean---important in congested urban situations. The National Park Service uses NG powered shuttles to relieve traffic congestion and pollution in fragile environments. The other reason is cost. It costs 1/2 or less operate vehicles on NG compared to what petroleum does.

-------" Problems cited were to achieve a decent driving range on NG compared with gasoline requires quite large NG tanks installed in the trunk, which eat up so much space that it makes them very undesirable in smaller cars. "-------------

Factory installed bi-fuel systems avoid this problem. Also safety problems of where to locate tanks suitably for safe use with retrofits.

----------" Also, the lack of NG refilling stations as compared with our widely available gas stations doesn’t help, and most consumers were not prepared to pay for any compressor devices to hook up to their own residential supply to refuel conveniently at home. "-----------

If bi-fuel factory installed vehicles are widely available, then consumers do not have a large initial outlay in order to use NG. Home compressor units would be much more attractive(far quicker pay back than having to invest in both conversion and home fueling compressor). -------------The refueling unit is a small, compact gas compressor capable of providing convenient overnight home refueling for CNG vehicles. The appliance is safe, lightweight, and can deliver 3,000 or 3,600 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) of natural gas.

The home appliance is available through FuelMaker and American Honda. ---------

It is called "Phill".

http://www.aqmd.gov/news1/2005/phillhomerefuelingunitpr.html

------------"If the problem of building more NG refilling stations were addressed, NG prospects might improve someday. "---------------

Most service stations are already hooked up to the NG distribution pipelines through utility hook ups. It would only mean adding a compressor or compressors and storage capacity. If it is an area where NG is not available, a remote location for instance, with a bi-fuel vehicle, drivers would only have to flip a switch to use liquid fuels.

-------" They might also be considerably better if car manufacturers made NG a standard option on new cars, which would surely drive down the costs of NG equipment on cars. "----------

Yes.

November, 20 2009

Len Gould says

Question to Fred: On the suburban street where I live there are about 40 homes leading into a cul-de-sac, all serviced with NG. If eg. 1/2 these homes installed FuelMakers and ran them concurrently, what effect on gas pressure for house at the end of the pipe? Would flow / pressure management be required?

November, 20 2009

Fred Linn says

Len---probably not too much. Phill is advertised as an overnight filling device. I assume it is a low draw device. This should not place undue sress on pipeline capacity. Especially if solar thermal installations have reduced overall demand to a lower level. Just like electrical lines, pipelines have to be made to handle maximum loads. For instance, if your furnace, water heater and kitchen stove all come on at the same time. The pipe diameter has to be large enough to handle the maximum at any given time and pressure. In practice, this would very rarely occur. And the chances that all the demand of an entire subdivision would peak simultaneously would be even less. And also even less if solar thermal, and other things like better insulation were used. I see no reason that the home compressor units would not have an input pressure detection valve that would shut the unit off if it detects too low pressure on the input line----just like any other gas appliance.

Using natural gas is not a new or exotic technology where we need to do a lot of back and forth worrying about what if's. NG has been in use over 100 years. It is a mature technology and well known and understood. We should have no problems in simply expanding the role of natural gas to do what we need done.

November, 21 2009

Bob Amorosi says

Thanks Fred, and Len, very useful comments. I learn something everyday participating on this website.

I agree NG should be exploited more by expanding its uses. Professor Banks has been cautioning however that NG could experience the same nightmares as peak oil in our lifetimes especially if demand grows. I am more optimistic because of all the massive untapped sources of NG, and the fact many biosources to manufacture it are renewable.

November, 21 2009

Fred Linn says

-----------" Professor Banks has been cautioning however that NG could experience the same nightmares as peak oil in our lifetimes especially if demand grows. "------------

And I think that is a very valid consideration. I have given it quite a bit of thought. At first I was not too warm to the idea of using fossil natural gas---until I figured out that we could do that AND do something about global warming at the same time. Methane is not only a fossil fuel, it is also a biofuel---we can make it easily. And when we make it and use it as a biofuel in mixture with fossil methane, we can still lower greenhouse gas effect. We may indeed run out of fossil methane one day(although with present reserves, we have more methane available than coal)---but if we gradually build up our production of methane from bio sources over time, we won't run out of methane. What we would do is increase the % of bio to fossil methane in the mix. It is the same stuff chemically---it would not matter what the % mix is in the way we use it.

Using natural gas also makes the use of other renewable energy sources easier, such as both PV and thermal solar power and wind power.

November, 21 2009

bill payne says

Nuclear Fuel (Uranium) 35,000,000,000 Btu per pound Uranium-235

http://smartenergy.arch.uiuc.edu/html/what_EnergyTerms.html

Right or not?

November, 21 2009

Don Hirschberg says

A few considerations for home charging: Compressing takes significant energy. Most of this energy must be dissipated as heat, maybe furnishing some welcome winter time garage heating. The cost of the electricity used needs to be added to the cost of the low pressure natural gas one buys. Pressure vessels and compressors need relief valves or safety plugs with pipes to safe disposal. (Oil refineries have blow- down systems connected to a flare stacks.) If NG is taken off the household gas supply there has to be a way of paying and enforcing all kinds of taxes we pay on other fuels used in anything used on public roads. Since methane is such a potent GHG it behooves us to minimize leakage from high pressure systems. Is your neighbor or a hundred near neighbors competent to detect and fix a small leak? Perhaps only licensed people, ala licensed plumbers or licensed electricians, could install the equipment. Might this mean inspectors and safety seal and stickers? Areas where high pressure cylinders of flammable gases are stored are fenced off and locked, with signs warning no smoking or open lights etc. One often sees explosion- proof lighting and switches, and telephones in sealed cast iron enclosures. So codes and insurance practices would have to be modified.

November, 21 2009

Fred Linn says

Then call the gas company and have them install it for you Don.

The system is designed for home use.

There are about 8 to 10 million NG vehicles on the road now.

Italy alone has over almost 600,000. When the Fiat Sienna was introduced in Brazil, Fiat planned to sell about 300 per month. Sales are averaging 700 per month, and Fiat is having trouble keeping up with sales.

The VA hospital where I work has a whole fleet of CNG vehicles, and has had for many years. The refueling station is located right next to the main walk connecting the parking lot to the hospital. WalMart uses forklifts and floor scrubbers powered with CNG indoors during business hours, right now. Large indoor skating rinks use Zambonis powered with CNG during events. Service vehicles in tunnels and mines use CNG. I have trained dogs to detect gas leaks for PG&E.

We've been using natural gas for a long time. It is safe.

November, 22 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Fred Linn. Thank you for the information. But I don’t’ think you addressed any of the issues I raised. VA, a federal government agency and Wal-Mart are hardly like the guy next door. I would be interested in Wal-Mart’s assessment. The VA can stiff state and local government on taxes and regulations, and Wal-Mart’s off-road use is exempt.

Yes, we have been using gas for a long time at very low pressures, but the consumer has never dealt with it at 3000 to 6000 psig, vs inches of water. I hope my neighbors never do. I remember when if there was an interruption in gas service (very rare) every user had to be notified by someone knocking on every door before service was restored.

I did not say that the issues I raised did not have answers . But if an American is compressing NG in his garage today he is very likely voiding his insurance, building codes, and is a tax thief.

As to using a two fuel system you tout, NG and gasoline, the reduction in CO2 is not dramatic. Depending on the percentage of each fuel used the reduction in CO2 emitted ranges from 24% to 0%. I looked at the data you posted about the VW. It was consistent with my calcs and which implied an average MPG equivalent of 29 mpg. (I would expect VW to post competent numbers.) I do wonder about the 130 mph figure you have posted before – why? OK, I’m a poop, but anyone driving that fast on a public road ought to lose his license. I'd much prefer to cope with 0.08, or 0.10 drinkers.

Citing safety in Italy brings back memories. I worked vic Mantova in 1958. Of all the places I worked (many countries, all continents except Antarctica) I enjoyed Italians the most. Bit they were not big on safety. I was picked up in Milan and driven in a chauffeured Lancia to Mantova at speeds sometimes over 160 KM/hour on two lane roads. It was sporting to many to maneuver around gates at RR crossings. Next to Vespas (great carnage) the most popular vehicle was the Fiat 500, tough rascals, to be floor boarded in every gear.

November, 22 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Yes, I'm skeptical about natural gas, and intend to remain skeptical, but I am NOT against the use of natural gas when it pays. I am against the use of natural gas in Sweden, because as far as I can tell it doesn't pay. The problem here is a simple one. The people who make the decisions in this country in energy matters are COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY ignorant. where energy matters are concerned, and while I do not expect them to understand engineering and economics, they could at least read and try to interpret some energy history. In a brilliant article in a Swedish newspaper this morning, Fredrik Braconier pointed out something that I have been pointing out for a few years, which is that Sweden constructed 12 reactors in 13 years. I can add that they supplied more than 50% of the Swedish electric energy. If that could be done between (roughly) 1973 and l986, think of what could be done today - in theory that is.

November, 22 2009

Fred Linn says

Don----yes, machismo is a large part of driving in Italy. And Germany. And the United States. And Latvia(where I lived). And UK---(had some pretty wild rides there!) But the undisputed reigning monarchs of road machismo has to be the French in my opinion(I know--purely subjective). Old Formula 1 drivers never die----they just retire and drive taxis in Paris.(although a significant number of their fares may die of coronaries).

----------" I remember when if there was an interruption in gas service (very rare) every user had to be notified by someone knocking on every door before service was restored."--------------

Gas appliances have not used pilot lights that need to be relit before use for many years.(at least 20 years I'm pretty sure.) Even then, in order to relight a pilot you had to reset a line safety shut off valve or you'd get no gas out of the line. The little metal rod that extended into the pilot light flame is a thermocouple. The thermocouple generated an electrical charge when heated. If the pilot light went out, the thermocouple cooled and the safety valve shut off automatically.

-------" But if an American is compressing NG in his garage today he is very likely voiding his insurance, building codes, and is a tax thief."--------

Honda of America is not likely to be marketing cars and accessories that would cause that kind of repercussions.

http://corporate.honda.com/press/article.aspx?id=5007

http://world.honda.com/news/2005/4050506CivicGX/

The South Coast Air Quality Management District(government agency) doesn't seem to worry too much about "tax thieves". They are offering incentives to consumers who want to install CNG compressors to their homes.

Honda Civic GX is a dedicated CNG vehicle. There's nothing wrong with that in my opinion, but I think the freedom afforded by the bi-fuel option to use either liquid or CNG either one is still a better way to go.

November, 22 2009

Fred Linn says

BTW------

-----------"As to using a two fuel system you tout, NG and gasoline, the reduction in CO2 is not dramatic. "---------------

I think we should use a system that affords the most flexibility. That would be a bi-fuel(liquid or natural gas) engine. If we use diesel/natural gas---we can use petroleum in any proportion with biodiesel, up to and including 100% biodiesel/CNG----in which case we'd be using no petroleum at all.

If we use a Flex Fuel capable engine, we can have a number of choices that petroleum, or not. ---------"Down in Brazil, Fiat has a hit with the Siena Tetrafuel, a sedan that can burn four types of fuel. The 1.4 liter engine in the Siena Tetrafuel can handle moisturized alcohol, Brazilian gasoline (made up of 25 percent alcohol), pure gasoline and natural gas, according to Italiaspeed."------------ It can be driven with gasoline, some gasoline, or no gasoline at all.

http://green.autoblog.com/2007/08/28/fiat-siena-tetrafuel-can-run-on-four-fuel-types/

November, 23 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Sorry, I am not amused by machismo driving. I have driven in many countries and was forced off the road in Jordan by the late King. Seems he drove like a maniac (ha ha, what fun) everyone except me knew they were supoosed to get off his road when his car with royal flags hove into sight. Here in the US where high speed are always illegal and our highway death rate is low (deaths per 100 thousand miles) Yet some like the king think they are entitled.

On a day when the big news from the wars might be the death of 3 American soldiers we don't hear about the 50-100 killed and the 2000 injured that very day on US highways.

Our highway are built and maintaned by fuel taxes. Those who use untaxed fuel are cheats whether they are caught or not.

Granted, despite the hype, the public actually cares very little about safery. Some years back when there still was intercity bus service I saw statistics that a bus passenger was twenty times more likely to arrive alive than if he drove, Now we don't have bus service. How much of this was machismo?

The last time I had natural gas service there were no electronic safety devices. The sole safelty feature was the mercaptans added to the gas so it could be smelled. Quite effective.

Recently the media anaounced maybe the tweteth solution to the energy crisis - I.e. shale NG. The solution du jour. Maybe, but for those of us who remember many solutions we await more developemnets. Fifty years ago I had great expectations for fusion. It's still "at least " fifty years off.

Our problem is too amny people. But none will say it.

November, 23 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

I hope that you don't mean "none" Don. The correct expression is many, or very many, or .... Anyway, just about everybody I talk to says that there are too many, but the politicians won't say it because the right to vote has been passed out to many of that too many, and if you say the wrong thing where this topic is concerned you might have to start shopping around for a new job. Of course, after the cognac has gone around the table a couple of times you hear a different tune.

November, 23 2009

Fred Linn says

---------"Our problem is too amny[many] people. But none will say it."--------

---------" Anyway, just about everybody I talk to says that there are too many, but the politicians won't say it because the right to vote has been passed out to many of that too many, "---------------------------

What do you gentlemen suggest? Take away the right to vote?

November, 23 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Professor, you might take exception to a lapse of hyperbole in my deathless prose but I am quite certain we are in strong agreement on the population issue.

The fact is those with the bully pulpits run for cover at the mere mention of population. In politics it is the third rail – touch it and you are gone, or at least that is what politicians believe. The media scrupulously avoids it, even newspaper editors. I am delighted to hear that you frequently encounter those who recognize the problem but how many of these same worthies say so unequivocally in pubic or in print? (In my experience “none” is a pretty good answer.)

The case of Zero Population Growth shows just how strong this taboo is. After many years with that name they relented and changed their name to Population Connection because they could not even get a mention in the media with the old name. (Of course zero population growth used to be an admirable goal; today we need a drastic decrease in population.) God clearly tells us to multiply so how can any Christian openly agree that we have already multiplied far too much. If you want to get elected, want people to buy your product, want people to watch your network or read your paper, and as you say, keep your job it’s best to be firmly on God’s side.

November, 23 2009

Fred Linn says

So, what is your suggestion?

November, 23 2009

Jeff Presley says

Don, contrary to your discussion, some politicians previously had a "solution" to the population problem. The issue of course is they were NAZI's and the world didn't really like their "solution" although it certainly did a major job of reducing the world's numbers. So if you aren't inclined to play the ubermensch game the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany played, including picking out "undesirables" to remove from the world scene, then there is one other choice neatly captured in the image below. Anything else frankly smacks of hypocrisy:

November, 24 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Jeff wrote: “Don, contrary to your discussion, some politicians previously had a "solution" to the population problem.”

Wrong on several accounts. Hitler did not want to decrease population. Quite the contrary he had programs to promote breeding. He was also insane and a mass murderer. There was nothing about a “solution to the population problem.”

Jeff again: “…world didn't really like their "solution" although it certainly did a major job of reducing the world's numbers.”

Wrong. First there wasn’t any population reduction program, or “solution.” Secondly the reduction in population was actually very slight, in no sense “a major job of reducing world numbers.” To put this in perspective let’s consider the number of deaths in the ten years 1935 to 1945 attributed to the holocaust and WWII. Last year world population increased 77million by one account and about 100 million by another account. So we added more people last year than were killed in the ten years of the holocaust plus WWII - together hardly make a blip on the plot. Your use of the word “solution” to falsely associate the population issue with the snide use in the phrase: the “final solution to the Jewish question “is unjustified and rude. I hope accidently.

Hardly anyone grasps the population problem. It’s about numbers. From the Dawn of Man until today, depending on when one considers we became men, is a span of say a million years. For 999,000 of those years world population had never exceeded 0.3 billion. For all that time we were just barely hanging on. Of all the great empires including Rome throughout the world it is almost sure that none ever had as many people say as, Japan, or Mexico have today. (Today I think we have about 2 billion grindingly poor people. That is about seven times as many as world population a mere thousand years ago. Progress?)

Fred Linn asks, “So, what is your suggestion?” When I was born world population was about to tick over to 2 billion. Alas, today it is about to tick over to 7 billion. It is hard to get one’s mind around this fact. For nearly all my life I have been trying to get people interested in the unsustainability of exponential Growth. (Only China took heroic action with their one child per woman policy.) I have failed mightily. I would feel even worse if I hadn’t tried.

With 7 billion now the flywheel effect will carry population likely to billions more. I think we have passed the point of a solution. Population must eventually drastically decrease but not on our terms.

November, 24 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Jeff, Don, the population problem doesn't worry my good self. That's for somebody else to worry about. The problem that worries me is one associated with the population problem, but which - in theory - could be easily solved. It's called immigration. No, I am NOT against immigration. What I am against are the morons in just about every country in the world who deal with this matter at the political level, and who insist on getting everything wrong. For instance in this country there have been cases of small children who needed specialized medical attention hustled out of the country, while certain hustlers experience no difficulty in exploiting what is left of our welfare system.

November, 24 2009

Fred Linn says

----------"Wrong on several accounts. Hitler did not want to decrease population. Quite the contrary he had programs to promote breeding. He was also insane and a mass murderer. There was nothing about a “solution to the population problem.” ______________

You need to read Mien Kampf. Hitler's stated goal in his book was to depopulate the "eastern territories" of Jews, Serbs, Gypsies and other untermensch(less than human) "vermin" as he called them to make room for his Aryan superstate.

Hitler was quite sane and quite rational, and he did not do it by himself. He had legions of minions to do his bidding. And they carried out his wishes to the letter. Willingly. You would have been a very willing and eager minion it sounds to me from what you say Obersturmfueher Hirschberg.

Hitler's minions had a plethora of excuses. Just like yours, "It's not my fault, it is just the way things are, we need to get rid of "them" to make room for "us". --------"(Today I think we have about 2 billion grindingly poor people. That is about seven times as many as world population a mere thousand years ago. Progress?)"----------- If you look at a graph [ http://www.sv.vt.edu/classes/surp/surp96/laughlin/stat/3D_tutor/world_pop.html ]

Most population growth is in developing countries. Developed countries have had, and are expected to have very little growth. In your case, at the same time China was trying to limit growth, Japan is struggling with the demographics of an aging population that was not even replacing itself.

Your mistake is shown in the graph explanation---"The dashed line is a prediction based on available data that assumes finite resources, Ref [1]."-------

Resources need not be finite. We have ways to make resources renewable. Humans are a tiny piece of nature. Even if the human population were to go to 10 or 20 billion individuals there are plenty of resources on this planet. We need to adjust what we use and how we use and distribute it.

There is no need for starvation, or want anywhere. Nature supports and has support vast herds of animals who have survived for thousands of years by conserving renewable resources. Buffalo survived on the prairies of North America by migration over large area allowing time for the grasses to regrow and the prairies to regenerate---and in turn, the grasses evolved to depend on the buffalo to crop down the old growth and fertilize the soil to allow new growth. Man co-existed with the buffalo herds for millennia in a stable, mutually interconnected relationship with the land, the seasons, the buffalo, the grass and the rains. It was man and his "rational" Western Civilization that glorifies greed, destruction, plunder, death that broke the cycle.

We need to change the way we think. The buffalo were the food supply(and almost every other necessity) for the American Indians. The grass was the food supply for the buffalo. They couldn't change that, so they migrated.

Today, we can't migrate as in that model. But we can bring the food to where it is needed. Migration in reverse. What can't be replaced by nature(eg: rare earth elements for batteries) we either need to find a different way of dong the same thing---or develop a way to use something that is replaced by nature instead----methane instead of batteries.

If you want to be rational, and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem-----look at nature and model our systems on natural systems that constantly renew themselves.

If the American Indians, the grasses and the buffalo could co-exist for thousands of years in a stable relationship on the semi arid plains of the North American prairies----we can learn to do the same thing with our resources.

The Sinagua Indians flourished in the desert southwest for hundreds of years over 1,000 years with nothing but stone tools. They built cities and carried on agriculture with a complex system of drainage channels and cisterns to collet water to irrigate their crops. The Sinagua are still around today in their descendants, the Pueblos. They survived and thived in one of the harshest desert climates in the world by protecting and using the resources they had available.

Western civilization needs to take a lesson from the Plains and Sinagua Indians. At Tuzigoot and Desert Spring you can still see the rock lined drainage channels and cisterns they built almost 1,000 years ago.

http://www.desertusa.com/ind1/du_peo_sin.html

November, 24 2009

Bob Amorosi says

Fred Linn,

Very smart words of wisdom, you should have maybe been a professor yourself.

I would like to add to your last comments that capitalism generally does not favor exploiting renewable resources as much as it does consuming exhaustible more readily obtainable ones from the earth. And capitalism is predicated on economic growth, which by nature continually consumes more as time goes on. There are certainly opportunities yet to further develop all our renewable resources as we will need them much more over time.

The problem as I see it is that leaving it all up to capitalism alone is likely to be very painful to average consumers, because not enough money will be invested over time in renewable resource developments until crises set in as prices for exhaustible resources typically begin to skyrocket when demand exceeds ready supplies. This is where regulation, and yes also the taboo of government intervention in market rules with incentives, have a critical role to play - to make sure the investments in renewables happen in a timely manner to minimize the economic pains down the road.

The latter is clearly happening much more now in our electricity industries, but I suspect not enough in others yet.

November, 24 2009

Fred Linn says

Bob---ironically, the answer to government control of renewables lies in the public lands--private ownership of production we now have.

Except in the case we now have of doling out leases for finite resources to in the "good ole boys" system, we do more like the Indian way. Each individual is responsible to provide his own way-------but the source of providing, the land and other natural resources are the belonged to the tribe. The tribe always has trump over the individual. The tribe was responsible to shepherd and manage the resources for the benefit of all.

The individual still has right of ownership so long as it does not interfere with the equal right of all to benefit from the commonly owned resources.

You could hunt and keep all the game you wanted, so long as you did not take so much game that it took away from the needs of others.

November, 24 2009

Jeff Presley says

Don, I was being somewhat tongue in cheek, apparently missing is the :) that I'd meant to have before the picture, that you also seem to have missed the point of. Bottom line, the people MOST in favor of population control, abortion, euthanasia and other measures are generally already here (therefore not aborted), looking ELSEWHERE for population control (so they can keep more of the plunder) and aren't expecting to be euthanized anytime soon. Let's be honest shall we? Does America need to have a smaller population, or China?

Your quote: Your use of the word “solution” to falsely associate the population issue with the snide use in the phrase: the “final solution to the Jewish question “is unjustified and rude. I hope accidently. I did not "accidentally" make that connection, perhaps your conscience did? You throw out some statistics that claim we gained more in a year than were lost in WWII (I wasn't just including "Jews" but was considering all the victims including civilians in the way of the Wehrmacht). Yes Hitler was a nutcase, but he DID publicly proclaim his intention to remove the "undesirables" from the population, then proceeded to do exactly that. Now grab your calculator and figure out how much LARGER the world's population would be if those 100 million who died in that decade had been able to reproduce, as well as their progeny doing the same?

I'm not picking on you personally Don, I might agree with much of what you're saying elsewhere, but am morally concerned by the direction that population "control" usually takes. In Asian societies, having more children is meant to leave you fighting odds that you'll have a child successful enough to take care of you in your dotage. Old folk's homes are unheard of there, the old folks move into their children's homes and the children return the favor of having been raised. More kids is just a better hedge, not to mention the help in an agricultural setting. Already China is experiencing problems because of the cultural bias against daughters (because the SON takes care of the parents, not the daughter). As they've gone to a one child policy, they've created a never before experienced dearth in the carrying capacity of their non-existent Medicare and will see massive numbers of old folks with no safety net. Not to mention that there are something like 7 men for every woman, so there will be issues with vast numbers of shall we say sexually frustrated males who are going to be looking for some kind of outlet, possibly violent.

Numbers sound big, but humans aren't distributed well on this planet at all. For instance there is enough land in Texas alone to give every man woman and child in this country over 1/2 an acre to call home there. The question is not how big a population will the world support, but at what LEVEL will the world support what population. Does everyone get a McMansion with 3 SUV's in the driveway? I think not.

November, 24 2009

Bob Amorosi says

Fred Linn,

I understand and agree with what you're saying, and my point is the answer while it includes the ownership issue must also include reasonable ways to foster investment in the resource's development.

For example, here in Ontario our provincial government has just this summer introduced the most lucrative electricity grid feed-in tariffs in North America for renewable source generation. This provides commercial incentives for private industry to a) build more renewable source generators, and b) foster much more investment spending on research and development for improving their technologies and lowering their costs. Without these incentives the electricity generation business will tend to stick with non-renewable source generation.

Some readers on this website might say Ontario's lucrative grid feed-in tariffs do nothing more than provide a trough for greedy business people wanting to feed on government-backed handouts. But any businesses capable of building or developing electricity generation, greedy or not, are not charities. They simply won't come forward and embark on these projects if they know up-front they will habitually lose money in doing so. The subsidized feed-in tariffs are expected to be taken down after many years where the new generators will be left to fend for themselves, gambling now that their costs will slowly come down in the meantime to enable their future viability.

November, 24 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Fred Linn and Jeff. The Holocaust had nothing to do with world population reduction (anymore than that was Al Capone’s or John Dillinger’s reason for killing.) Demagogues like to have weak enemies to abuse even if they have to invent reasons to abuse them. Hitler had Jews and gypsies, the Japanese had Koreans, and Mussolini had Albanians and Ethiopians.

One very narrow usage for the word insane is in the adjudication a court of law makes as to the competence of an individual. (I don’t think the word is even used clinically anymore?) There is no reason to take me to task because no court found Hitler to be insane. (For example it is perfectly proper use of the word to call one who drives like a Formula driver on public roads insane.)

As I often say, it’s about numbers. I have seen estimates of the pre-Columbian population of everything north of the Rio Grande, an area of over 7 million square miles, in the range of 1 to 2 million people. That’s all they could keep alive at one time. Let me say that again. That’s all they could keep alive at one time. Imagine the birth rate need to off-set the infant and child mortality rate. Children must have suckled until the next child – and longer. No wheel, no alphabet, no beasts of burden, no written history, no cities (I’ve visited Pueblos and they are not cities), no transportation except walking or rarely a canoe. With this vast area for thousands of years and they just barely survived going extinct.

Sure there were millions of bison on the plaines but killing a healthy one without a gun or a horse is not easy, almost impossible alone. And how do you get it to your family? Bring the family to the kill – how about babies, the sick the pregnant and the old? We can marvel at their ability and grit to survive but to extol the lives of these aborigines is absurd.

November, 25 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Don, don't you understand that Mr Linn doesn't know what the ____ he is talking about. He actually said that ten or twenty billion people could fit nicely in his neighborhood, given the resources on earth. That sounds like Julian Simon: he thought that the more people the merrier, because then there would be more brains to solve our problem.

Well, where this issue is concerned, the dumbest human being in that 10-20 billion is smarter than Professor Simon. As for Mr Linn, he has not lived in Germany, nor does he read German, nor is he really interested in that country except during those hours when the mid day soap operas are not on the box. Then he picks up a translation of Mein Kampf or Bild Zeitung and brings his knowledge up to date.

And Jeff, I'm surprised at you. It's possible to say that the earth is overpopulated. which it is, without talking about popuation control. The logical and moral thing is to keep a distance between US and THEM, while at the same time helping them. Of course, if you gave ten percent of your income to them, it might go for weapons and plane tickets, but so what. And let me point out something that was NOT in Mein Kampf. Many German people backed Hitler because he made it clear that their annual vacation would be stretched from five or six days to six months or longer. Just being a charter member of the Herrenvolk meant that you could chill out in Paris every spring, while the factories were keep operating by 'volunteers' from Poland and the Ukraine, and maybe California, since he took the liberty of declaring war on the United States shortly after Pearl Harbor...

November, 25 2009

Fred Linn says

So, what are your suggestions?

November, 25 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Fred Linn. You asked me this question on the 23rd. I answered on the 24th. You ask again on the 25th.

November, 27 2009

Fred Linn says

You gentlemen really should get out more often. It must get very boring looking at nothing but the four walls of your ivory towers all day and all night.

Don---your population estimate for pre-Comlumbian America is off by a factor of 10X.

I suppose I'll just retire from the exchange. There are only two possibilities. Either what I am talking about is so far over your heads and complicated that neither of you can possibly understand what I am saying. The other possibility is that neither of you want to understand---you are only interested in trolling for arguement's sake.

I leave it to the other readers of this forum to read my posts and decide for themselves if what I am saying is so difficult to understand----or if you two are just trolling.

November, 27 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Well Fred (Linn) the sooner you retire from the 'exchange' the better, because it is your kind of know-nothingness that is ruining the lives or tens of millions of people across the world.

"Trolling for an argument for argument's sake". That's not entirely incorrect where I am concerned, but it is mostly incorrect. But one thing is certain: until they shut me out of this forum, which could happen, I am going to do everything I can to make it clear that you don't know what you are talking about.

November, 27 2009

Fred Linn says

------------" I am going to do everything I can to make it clear that you don't know what you are talking about. "----------------

I don't think anyone is going to be blinded by the brilliance.

November, 27 2009

Don Giegler says

Fred Banks,

In my former life, "proof by contradiction" was an admired goal. If you read the works of the good Mr. Linn carefully, as he has invited us to do, what you seek has already been accomplished. In my opinion, he has, consciously or unconsciously, undermined his own arguments with contradictions. Think of it as "disproof by contradiction". So relax and enjoy Mr. Linn's "Ghost Dance".

November, 27 2009

Don Hirschberg says

For those who might be interested estimates of the Pre-Columbian Amerindian populations vary over a wide and uncertain range. Some estimates are wildly high and can be disregarded as being made by those supporting theories of much greater accomplishments than can be supported – the “Noble Savage“ folks and those whose romantic writing about idyllic lives that are utter nonsense.

I think the population I cited was for what is now the US and Canada is as good as any. Estimates for all of North America (which includes Central America) plus South America of course are appreciably higher, maybe 8 million or more total for the two continents.

As I touched on above, lack of suitable food for babies and young children greatly limited the chance for population increase north of the Rio Grande. Children of 5 years old might still be breast feeding and mothers perpetually lactating. Imagine surviving a winter in Minnesota with snow cover from November to March with temperatures sometimes -30 F with children, and no diapers. If Europeans had not come to North America would not these people still be suffering? Suffering malnourished people don’t invent. Survival is everything.

November, 28 2009

Fred Linn says

---------"The population figures for the New World prior to the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus are unknown. Estimates based on archaeological data and written records from European settlers range from as low as 8 million to as many as 112 million indigenous "Native Americans". Contact with the New World led to the European colonization of the Americas, in which millions of emigrants from the "Old World" eventually settled in the New."---------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_history_of_American_indigenous_peoples

November, 29 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Native Americans. I was once told that no Indian would call himself a native american. As it happens, I've got a load of ....Native american ...blood.which might be why I can't force myself to love the 'limo' liberals who coined that expression.

November, 29 2009

Fred Linn says

I am Shawnee. I would question your pedigree however. Pot bellied pigs are not native to North America.

November, 29 2009

Don Giegler says

If you two "Injuns" will quit trying to count coup, more of us might be convinced that William Tecumseh Sherman and, for that matter, Al Capp were mistaken.

November, 29 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Yes, and can any more inappropriate names, “American” and “Indian”, be conceived of for the “New World” than, well - except for New World.

Americus Vespucci has not one but two continents named in his honor. Yet who would even put him on a list of the thousand most important people? And missing India is about as big an error as the earth allows.

If Columbus and Vespucci had paid attention to Eratosthenes who quite accurately determined the size of the earth some 1700 years before their voyages this monumental boner would not have happened.

November, 30 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Fred Linn, you can't question my pedigree because you don't know anything about me. In fact I don't want or need you to know anything about me except the two luckiest things that happened to me in this old world: I failed all my courses except English and history in my first year of engineering school, and was expelled from infantry leadership school in the army. As a result of the first of these, I made it my business to shine when I returned to academic life. As for the second, when Joseph Heller - the author of Catch 22 visited my university - and said that he was uneducated when he left the military, I informed him that I learned everything I ever wanted to know during my six year vacation with Uncle Sam, and I didn't learn it sitting in a classroom.

For what it is worth - which isn't much - I have Cherokee and Choctaw blood somewhere in my polluted bloodstream. This is something that I have never bothered to discuss before, nor am I interested in it, although I have never known any American, no matter how racist he might be, who possessed some indian blood and would deny it. Of course, we can't choose our backgrounds, but if I could I definitely would take Shawnee before what I was dealt, because I dont remember John Wayne ever having any problems with Cherokees and Choctaws. But regardless of your tribe, the important thing is to identify yourself with the "finest light cavalry in the world", even if this identification has to take place in front of your bathroom mirror.

November, 30 2009

Fred Linn says

I served in the US Air Force in VietNam as a medivac crewman and corpsman. I earned several citations and was honorably discharged. I had some college before I went into the service, and studied US history and science. While I was in the Air Force, I decided to make the most of the medical area I was assigned(I would never have even considered a medical career had I not been assigned to it). I became a registered cardiopulmonary technologist and managed to get an assignment to the first Open Heart surgery team. I ran a heart-lung perfussion pump that takes over the function of the heart and lungs during open heart surgery, about half of our surgeries were pediatirics. I also managed circulatory, ventilatory and special lab on the surgery patients while they were in intensive care unit. I was involved in the development and testing of the first infant ventilator and was NCOIC of the first neo-natal intensive care unit set up to test the function of the first neo-natal ventilator that I helped to design and build. Since there was almost nothing designed and available for neonatal pediatrics at the time, I spent a great deal of time and effort adapting, improvising and inventing necessary equipment. FYI, the anatomy and physiology of perinatals in quite different than adults---simply scaling down adult designed equipment does not always work. Since I left the Air Force I continued to be involved in numerous research, development, and application processes for medical equipment and procedures, including ventilators, CPAP, respiratory modalities, extra coporal circulation, lab tests, and procedural applications.

I have always kept my interest in history, and have found that being familiar with older ways of doing things is quite invaluabe to devising new ways of doing things. You can't possibly know where you are going until you know where you've been.

I can ride,(and have done re-enacting in Civil War cavalry, Mountain Man and other frontier arts.) I can knap arrowheads and lock flints. I can make a bow and arrows capable of killing a deer, or I know enough blacksmithing to be able to make a flintlock rifle capable of putting meat on the table. I know enough to be able to make usable gunpowder and lead shot to use in those weapons. I can put meat on the campfire, and I can tell you which roots and berries to eat, and which to avoid. I can show you which flowers to put in a salad, and which flowers to crush up and make a salve to keep fleas and ticks off of you and your horse.

I know a thing or two. And I've had a lot of fun learning.

---------"This is something that I have never bothered to discuss before, nor am I interested in it, although I have never known any American, no matter how racist he might be, who possessed some indian blood and would deny it. Of course, we can't choose our backgrounds, but if I could I definitely would take Shawnee before what I was dealt, because I dont remember John Wayne ever having any problems with Cherokees and Choctaws."------------

Perhaps you should learn a thing or two about your own people. A good place to start would be the "Trail of Tears", Sequoia, and Andrew Jackson. I think you'll find a great deal about survival, cultural, intellectual, and physical. In my opinion, we'd be far better served to celebrate the the accomplishments of Sequoia and put his portrait on the $20 bill than Andrew Jackson.

November, 30 2009

Len Gould says

"In my opinion, we'd be far better served to celebrate the the accomplishments of Sequoia and put his portrait on the $20 bill than Andrew Jackson. " I can certainly agree with that.

November, 30 2009

Jeff Presley says

I haven't been involved in the Cowboys and Indians argument because I've been busy following the debacle at CRU. Len won't like this much because it merely validates EVERY SINGLE THING I'VE SAID ABOUT THIS SCAM! But let's not just trust the Telegraph, we can look at the WSJ as well.

Needless to say, Len won't click on these links although every intellectually honest person will, but scientists caught red-handed doing all the things I've previously accused them of, including falsification of evidence, hiding data, stonewalling and ignoring freedom of information requests, hijacking the entire peer review process (so they can claim dissenters aren't "peer reviewed", seeking vendettas against dissenters or anyone who supports them. The list goes on and on, would make me humiliated to have backed them, but Len has thicker skin than I do I suppose. Good luck with that. BTW I hear there's a bridge for sale in New York, better jump on that quick, or jump off it viz my 11/23/09 post. :_)

November, 30 2009

Don Hirschberg says

This CRU scandal puts me in mind of two other scientific outrages never really adequately presented to the public. Ever since I witnessed the academic community ridicule continental drift proponents and the Alvarez's, father and son, end of the Cretaceous theory via “peer review” assassination I have had a negative reaction to the expression.

Whatever the outcome might be on the current issue I will never give the respect to academe I had hoped for many decades it deserved. Are scientists now in the venal category of, say, athletes?

December, 01 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Fred Linn, I cant do any of those outdoor things you mention, and I am glad that I can't. I'm so happy when I think of not being able to do them that I could jump up and down and shout yippee. That's why you wouldn't have a chance against me in a seminar room , and not just you. Where the present topic is concerned, just about anybody would be given a lesson, because unlike you I NEVER run off at the mouth about things that I don't know anything about. .And unlike you, I understand that accumulating the right kind and quantity of information about a subject as difficult as energy economics take a lot of work. Decades. Yes I would love to reminise about those wonderful days when I was a machine gun and 75 recoilless squad lead, but today I am more concerned with solving some difference equations.

Naturally I respect your military service - assuming of course that you did not vote for that other air force hero, George W. Bush - or for that matter Big Bill Clinton. As for the CRU debacle/scandal, I don't know what that is, but if it involved academics I'm sure that there was something very wrong. And speaking of peer reviewing, I remember something that a dedicated peer reviewer from Harvard once said to me: "When I get a paper to review, the first thing I do is to ask who is this person, and what can he do for me?"

December, 01 2009

Fred Linn says

-----------" .And unlike you, I understand that accumulating the right kind and quantity of information about a subject as difficult as energy economics take a lot of work. Decades."-------------

Too bad it is all about to change. It is changing now. All that work down the drain.

December, 01 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

"All that work down the drain". I'm going to a conference in Stockholm tomorrow, Fred, and if I hear anything...ANYTHING like the kind of things that you specialize in, somebody is going to get a lesson. And listen Fred, reading the business section in your local newspaper, and the (UK) Economist at your local library does NOT...NOT qualify you to do serious work in the dismal science. I will admit though that it's a start, and if you keep it up you might turn out OK. Good luck.

December, 01 2009

Jim Beyer says

You can download the files here:

FOI2009.zip

I just looked at them a tiny bit and I think most all of the e-mails are benign ("This is Joe, I'm going to such and such a conference. Back in three days.") It will take some time to dig through all of this -- not sure I will do it; at least not right now.

I don't know how much of this is truly malevolent and how much is that ugly business of watching sausage being made; lots of legitimate activities look pretty seedy if you check out the nitty gritty (like all of our local, state, and national gov't activities).

I would appreciate that any interesting quotes from the material cite the entire note so one can get some context. Of course I don't see much of that. And just because many or even most academics are pompous, preening, self-absorbed jerks doesn't mean they are wrong. (What the skeptic camp doesn't seem to understand that all the ego could well apply to pushing a counter-argument as well.)

December, 01 2009

Jeff Presley says

Nice try Jim, but you'll see this goes deeper than a few "out of context" emails. Here's a searchable link there are others. BTW they've stopped calling them "alleged" emails and my personal opinion is there was NO hacker involved, this is a whistle-blower who FAR more than ex vice-presidents and other sycophants deserves a Nobel Prize. Now that Phil Jones has stepped down as the chair, we'll get to see how his "peer reviewed" investigation goes.

However, speaking of hackers the count is about 100:1 or more; that is hackers attacking any and all sites that host Climategate discussions, trying to crash them or worse. Climategate of course has passed global warming as a Google searched term, but Google themselves (or partisan acolytes in their employ) have been further gaming the system.

I've said all along this is all about following the money, and all along I've been right. You might call that big ego, I just call it big brain. :_)

December, 01 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Wait a minute Jim. Wait a _____ minute please. Most academics are "pompous, preening, self absorbed jerks....' I'M really terribly sorry, but that is exactly what they are not. They are shrinking violets. The difference between the average academic and the average dentist or mechanic, is that the average academic is strictly dispensible. You see, he's not needed. If they canned ninety percent of the economics faculty at a typical Swedish university, it would take me about 6 months to train their replacements. The engineering school in Bangkok has an international faculty, and when I walked in my classroom about five every afternoon, and looked at the scribbling on the board, my heart fell into my shoes. Hopeless, that's what they are, and the pathetic thing is that they know it.

Of course engineering faculties are sometimes excellent, although I have heard complaints. I had some reasonable teachers at Illinois Institute of Technology, but even so they lacked something. You see, they weren't fanatics, and that is very bad. The only fanatic I remember was Professor DiCicco, or maniac as he was called. That gentleman failed me twice with a smile on his face. .

December, 02 2009

Jeff Presley says

It occurred to me that I wasn't as clear as I might have been about the Google peccadilloes. There are two things going on. If you have a Google search bar, it auto-completes to most searched terms, such as if you type "Tiger", it will suggest "Woods". Immediately after this began, Google would auto-complete "Clima" to climategate since it had been used about 20 million (literally) times. However, this was not to stay and this poster knows why:

Sevenfoot Reply: November 30th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Here is what happened at Google and the cover up of Climategate… Al Gore is a partner of the venture capital firm KPCB. Link here. KPCB, in 1999, “Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital paid $25 million for 20% of Google.” Link here. So… I think it may be easy to conclued… there is strong evidence of possible influence on Google to sink links to FANTASTIC Pro-ClimateGate sites.

Again, as I've said before, just follow the money...

The other Google issue is you can't search for climategate and hit the best (ie most damaging articles) directly since they are clearly being censored by folks at Google. The reason again is contained in the post above. For instance you simply won't find a link to James Delingpole and yet HE is the one who coined the term in the first place! As to the claim in the previously linked article that there was a no spider link on the Telegraph's website, that has been proven completely false.

Is this a SCAM? Of course it is, and what is the nature of every scam? To reach in your pocket and remove money therefrom. Utilities have been playing along with global warming politicians for two reasons. One, they don't want to be on the menu, so if you're not at the table, count on it, you're on the menu. Two, they have been tricked into believing they are somehow going to make money from this. Count on it, smarter and more cunning people than they can possibly imagine are on the other side of the table and there will be NO MONEY to be made for them, their pockets will be fleeced just like the consumers. Al Gore has gone from a net worth when he was VP of $1.4M to $200M and climbing, do you believe he has ANY intention of this gravy train coming to an end? We are witnesses to the Crime of the Century and it isn't just a Supertramp album.

December, 02 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Jeff, your comments about Google hit home. I have hardly ever used Google for the last several years because I always would get the impression they were pushing their own agenda rather than providing a neutral service. So what you say fits my experience very well.

December, 03 2009

Fred Linn says

Jeff, so what? What is the point of all the ranting about CO2? If you want to disagree with global warming, ok, disagree.

The fact remains, we still have LOTS of reasons to get rid of coal and petroleum in our energy base mix. Both coal and petroleum come from strip mines that destroy the earth. Both coal and petroleum are destroying our watersheds. Both coal and petroleum are destroying our air. Petroleum is destroying our economy and causing wars.

There are plenty of good reasons to get rid of coal and petroleum, regardless of global warming.

December, 03 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Miracles do happen, don*t they. The good Fred Linn finally offered a conclusion that - when adjusted slightly - makes sense.

We need to think about getting rid of petroleum, because we might not be able to afford it in another decade or two, and we need to find some affordable way to clean coal, while remembering that it might be a mistake to think that there will be a lot of it left when those great new year's eve parties start on January 30, 2099.

About Google. Without it I would be completely lost, because my computer scientist daughter says that I am the dumbest computer user in the entire world, regardless of age.

December, 03 2009

Jim Beyer says

I guess I agree with Fred and Fred. I am trying to keep an open mind about Climategate, meaning I will not yet dismiss it out of hand. But the fact remains that oil has peaked! It peaked in July, 2008! It's only the economic slowdown that has prevented us from noticing that we've fallen off the cliff already. The implications of less oil are far more immediate and devastating than climate change.

A colleague pointed out to me that the combination of tight oil and the weak dollar might well make gasoline at $5-6 per gallon very soon. So is it that horrible that some automakers have got on the green bandwagon and boosted their efficiency? I don't think so.

As I've said before AGW is really all about coal. That's a big deal, no doubt. It's not really about oil. Unfortunately, the problem of burning oil will take care of itself, as we are running out of it.

And I don't think there's a Googlegate. (That sort of conspiracy-think is close the to WTC 7 conspiracies....) I don't know how Google would be able to respond so quickly. There are ways of teasing the search results externally to google, if you insist on believing that sort of thing. That is far more likely. I agree that it's sad that many young people think that if it's not on the 'net (which is heavily accessed via google) then it doesn't exist.

I'm currently of the belief that this arguing over climate change while we are falling off the oil age cliff is tantamount to complaining about a dirty salad fork whilst dining on the Titanic.

So, how are we going to replace 80 million barrels of oil per day? Or even 40?

December, 03 2009

Jeff Presley says

Jim, I don't blame you for changing your position. Standing on AGW is quickly turning into quicksand. I fondly recall your previous arguments however, now fully sanctioned by the emails, such as refusing to look at anything not peer reviewed (while the primary scientists for AGW were hijacking the peer review process to guarantee there could be no dissenting voices heard). You were almost precisely parroting their argument, as you can see by searching on the link I gave you previously. How does it feel to be such a puppet? Yep, I don't blame you at all. And of course Len is nowhere to be found, wonder if he's looking at that bridge...

Replacing 80mbbls/day of CONVENTIONAL oil will require MASSIVE investments in UNconventional oil, effective immediately if not sooner. Those investments can NOT be hamstrung by bogus "scientific" arguments about AGW, arguments that cannot stand the light of scrutiny as those emails so clearly attest. Any TRUE scientist says, "Here are my results, you are welcome to validate them yourself". Only sniveling weasels like the ones at CRU, "RealClimate" and elsewhere have to hide FROM Freedom of Information requests and destroy data to make sure they ARE NOT scrutinized! Pretty pathetic. I would happily discuss alternatives pipe dreams with you as well, if you'll recall the author of THIS PIECE we are writing in was commenting on that in a very tongue in cheek manner. Will scant amounts of agricultural waste replace 80mbbls/ day? The short answer is NOT ONLY NO BUT HELL NO!

You are wrong about Google too, they have already modified things because of the scrutiny their methods were causing. You can now see climate-gate even though that was NEVER the way it was written previously. Whether they will ever admit to tilting the scales is up for grabs, but like any major corporation, they have their weak points. It is naive to the extreme to doubt that companies have agendas. Politicians too, although in this case their allies in the mainstream media are certainly involved. Maybe if they ignore it, it will all go away? So they hope, puppeteering sheeple is difficult when they start informing themselves.

December, 03 2009

Jim Beyer says

Jeff,

I didn't say I was changing my position. And none of the unpublished papers brought to my attention by you and others have made me doubt the basic premise of AGW. That being said, there is no excuse for not allowing one to see the data that one uses for their research, and whatever happened at the CRU needs to be examined. I don't think it will prove to be that significant, however. The few e-mails that I did read fully (that were purported smoking guns) didn't seem to be too bad in the larger context.

But again, I am willing to keep an open mind. Always have. Always will.

I found myself side with Newt Gingrich when he said "If you believe in Global Warming, then you HAVE to support nuclear power." I do. And I do.

December, 03 2009

Jeff Presley says

The papers I brought to your attention were PUBLISHED. There are certainly others that are unpublished, never to see the light of day while the pogrom continues. However, the AGW side has a weaker hand now, since it is obvious they don't know how to play with a full deck. MSM besides, this is an ugly egg on their face, the obvious reason they destroyed the data is because it didn't support their theory. I don't really care what it takes to convince YOU, you can claim open mind all you want, right up until your brains fall out but it is more than obvious you need a LOT of convincing to change your prejudices, er I mean opinions. Perhaps the whole concept of gaming the system is beyond you? Your mama was right to warn you to say away from carny's.

Nuclear is fine, as you're skipping around I assume you intend nukes to replace petroleum? Good luck with that, I can't wait to see your nuclear powered airplane. Oil is a transport fuel, nuclear is a fuel for electric power plants. There are more than a few steps from electric power to transportation, especially given battery technology and refueling issues (especially TIME to refuel). And again, good luck with that battery powered airplane too. But at least like our professor Banks, you're intellectually honest enough to say WHY you like AGW, because logically it supports nuclear. Len on the other hand... LOL

December, 03 2009

Len Gould says

Jeff: "And of course Len is nowhere to be found, wonder if he's looking at that bridge... " -- Just reading along and chuckling, Jeff.

December, 03 2009

Len Gould says

So now you've come up with the theory that "The fact we cannot get peer reviewed is proof that we're correct" ?? Wow, that's a twist worthy of what's-his-name, the criminal that used to be campaign manager for Bush minor.

December, 03 2009

Jeff Presley says

Len just admit it, you NEVER clicked on a link I posted did you? No, if you did you'd be on that bridge right now wondering how hard you'll splat. This is MUCH more than peer review, this is EVERY thing I've accused your side of, the "scientists" are GUILTY as sin, they've ADMITTED in those emails that they HID the cooling trend by "massaging" the data then hid the data so folks like McIntyre couldn't catch them, and when things got dicey, they just DELETED the data so they wouldn't get caught. You want to call Rove a criminal? What a fool you are. Read the links, grow a pair and grow up. Or just stay in your dreamworld and wonder why no one respects you. You ask for a debate and hide your head in the sand, ask for proof then refuse to look at it. Definition of fool.

December, 03 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

The way to think about nuclear is in terms of the next generation - GEN 4. I don't want to be accused of being a single issue fanatic, but when we get that equipment, and we are going to get it, it will change a lot of things for imaginative decision makers, assuming that any of those remain.

Of course, we arn't going to get Gen 4 as soon as we should for a number of reasons, but we don't need to go into that at the present time.

December, 04 2009

Fred Linn says

Jim B-----------------"I'm currently of the belief that this arguing over climate change while we are falling off the oil age cliff is tantamount to complaining about a dirty salad fork whilst dining on the Titanic. "----------

LMAO!!!!! Exactly!

Jim B------"So, how are we going to replace 80 million barrels of oil per day? Or even 40?"-------------

Bi-fuel engine vehicles. Bi-fuel vehicles can use both liquid and gasseous fuel. There are some advantages and disadvantages to both fuel types. A vehicle that can switch from one to the other has none of the problems a single fuel vehicle has. Here is an example of a car that can be driven indefinitely with no petroleum at all, the Fiat Siena, on sale now in Brazil.

http://green.autoblog.com/2007/08/28/fiat-siena-tetrafuel-can-run-on-four-fuel-types/

2010 Honda Civic GX is a dedicated natural gas vehicle---and can be filled at home with an accessory natural gas compressor. It went into manufacture in May in Honda's Indiana plant and is on sale now.

http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-gx/

VW Passat TSI Ecofuel

http://green.autoblog.com/2008/02/28/geneva-08-preview-volkswagen-passat-variant-tsi-ecofuel/

Natural gas buses

http://www.carsonnaturalgas.com/

As a fuel, there are no problems with CNG----however, liquids are easier to handle and store where pipeline connections are not available. Bi-fuel engine vehicles retain the versatility and availability of liquid, and can also use CNG for economy(CNG costs about 1/2 what petroleum does to go and equal distance).

CNG is abundant, clean, cheaper than both electricity or petroleum, and it can easily be produced from any type of organic matter, including sewage and landfills. Natural gas is already a mature industry and it is widely available.

December, 04 2009

Jim Beyer says

Fred Linn,

I basically agree with you. Maybe add a bit of PHEV if it's economical. Although we use 80 million barrels of oil per day, a good portion of it is economically displaceable with NG and electricity. This would mainly be light vehicles. Planes and trucks will still use gasoline, diesel, and JP-8, though some long haul trucks could conceivably use LNG effectively as well. Light vehicles that are bi-fueled would be a great way to go, as they leverage existing infrastructure and address range concerns of NG vehicles as well. Just need to get the cost down.

Unconventional oil is hopeless. Not in terms of economics, but in terms of capacity. There's simply no way we can spin things up fast enough to make up for worldwide declines in oil production. We have to displace some oil use. It's the only way to get through the next 25 years.

December, 04 2009

Jeff Presley says

Mr. Linn, have you done any kind of calculations as to the quantity of biofuel needed on a per BTU basis to displace a million bbls of oil? Hint, there are roughly 5.8 Million Btu's in a bbl, more if we're talking heavy oil. Ethanol is 3.5M Btu's/bbl. How many acres to displace how many barrels? Hint, there isn't enough arable land.

Jim, you are looking at unconventional oil produced by CONVENTIONAL means. Think like an engineer, think outside the box. Necessity is the mother of invention, time to recognize necessity and not dither about phantom menaces.

December, 04 2009

Jeff Presley says

And Len, you don't have to jump off the bridge just yet, it might not be too late to book a trip to Copengate because I hear they are sweetening the pot. After all, what better place to have a climate meeting where science was prostituted on a political altar than where prostitution is legal?

December, 04 2009

Jim Beyer says

Jeff,

If we go with PHEVs or even hybrids, we have the potential of displacing about 1/3 of our oil use. NG and biomethane could help as well, but as you indicated, fuels from biosources will be limited. At best, we can get a bit of a blip if we convert more waste treatment plants to anaerobic digestion, but that would still be a pittance. The big gain (in terms of displaced BTUs) is the higher miles per fuel used afforded by PHEVs. They still need electrical power, but in that case, we at least have a few more choices. It's not perfect and it's not cheap, but it is doable. We could even do it today with NiMH batteries if we wanted to.

And Jeff, I know you say you have some magical way of getting oil from oil shale deposits up your sleeve. But like the CRU, details never seem to be forthcoming. Kind of reminds me of the GM exec some years back that hinted at how wonderful their fuel cells were, but was unable to say more. I guess they still are....

It would be great if we had wonderful access to unconventional oil, and wonderful if this oil could be spun up at the rate of 5-10 million barrels per day (per year) and save us from this crash. But I don't see it happening.

December, 04 2009

Jeff Presley says

Jim, I will type up an article and see if they will publish it here. I will also point to our patents online. If you gave me your email I could give you the draft version.

December, 04 2009

Don Hirschberg says

This is a debate about who has proposed the best tactics for retreating, though none so say. Avoiding being explicitly expressed it is a question of whether our civilization can hold out longer with scheme A or B or C. None offers sustainability because we have too many people, whether it’s energy or water or CO2 and every day it gets worse. Do the arithmetic.

December, 05 2009

Fred Linn says

Jeff P------------------"How many acres to displace how many barrels? Hint, there isn't enough arable land. "------------

With bi-fuel engine vehicles we do not need to replace petroleum with biofuels. Most drivers will do most of their driving with methane, because it is cheaper to use than either petroleum or electricity. Biofuels would only be needed when CNG is not available. Moreover, methane is also a biofuel, readily producable from any type of organic matter, including sewage and landfills.

Not only that, most natural gas is now used to heat buildings and water. Perfect for solar thermal auxiliary systems. Heating buildings and water with solar thermal is cheap, easy and free to use. Natural gas not used to heat buildings and water can be used in vehicles---in effect, running vehicles on solar energy.

December, 05 2009

Jim Beyer says

jimjhb at aol dot com

Fred,

That also makes sense, at least in theory. If you look at your fuel bill as an individual, most folks in temperate areas burn more fuel in heating than driving. Now if its cold, there's not too much solar can do, but more can be done with insulation.

December, 05 2009

Fred Linn says

Jim-----------"Now if its cold, there's not too much solar can do, but more can be done with insulation. "--------------------

With solar thermal energy---you need not depend on the solar exclusively. What is important is the number of heat/days, or heat/hours your furnance needs to provide. Your furnace would still operate normally, coming on when the temperature goes below the set low, heating until it reachs the set high. With solar thermal, capturing and circulating heat inside, your furnace would come on less often, and run for shorter periods to provide the BTUs necessary to maintain the temperature you want. Obviously, as you point out, conservation(in this case insulation to delay heat loss, or themal storage, as in say in a masonry wall or floor to absorb and moderate the release of the thermal energy would be just as important as the BTU gain). It would be the equivalent for your home of hopping in bed, pulling up the covers and taking a hot water bottle with you.

I had a friend who constructed a very effective solar thermal generator when he built a room on the back of his house. He made a south facing wall of double glazed glass that shone in on a concrete and ceramic tile floor. He added a resevoir filled with small styrofoam beads(salvaged from some old bean bag chairs). He made two openings between the glass on the inside of panes which he connected to an air pump. When the sun was out, he'd turn on the air pump, and the styrofoam beads were pumped out from between the panes which created a clear window for the sun to shine through onto the floor which stored the heat and released it slowly into the house. At night, he'd reverse the pump, filing the space with plastic beads which made a solid wall, that was highly insulated. He captured a great deal of heat that way----and unless it got extremely cold, he'd only evacuate the whole wall about once every two or three days----otherwise, that floor would get too hot. LOL, the cats sure did like that room though!!!! In the summer, it was reversed----beads in the wall in the daytime kept heat out, and letting the beads out at night radiated heat out of the house.

It was REALLY facinating watching those beads fill up the space between the glass too. There were several differently colored bead sizes-------purely accidental from having been salvaged from different bean bag chairs. The result though was when blown in under pressure, it produced all different shapes, swirls and colors by mixing and settling-----really interesting to watch.

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