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08/08/2013

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Adam Noel

You know the person is a an unabashed techno-optimist when they say "I'm considering open-sourcing it". It's actually a great litmus test... we just need a list of marketing jargon commonly used by techno-optimists, add a filter to google news to remove all news that contains such words and well, we will discover we have no news left.

Andy

It should have been a better shot and got him in the head. He knows he is a lying sack of shit and doesn't care.

Jim

Guys, guys, love, not hate. Mr. Musk is just being a 'good human'. He offers hope and light to the world. Ha ha. By the way, that photo is fascinating. Look at his body language - classic signs of insecurity.

Good luck, New Mexico. It's a beautiful state, really. Like the Caribbean, see it now.

Mike

From the LA Times regarding the drought - "In one spot, a photograph dating to the 1960s shows a lush grassy square. As the group of scientists flips through the pictures, over time the plot becomes stripped of vegetation. The photographs depict inexorable change."

Reminds me of Robert Crumb's classic "A Brief History of America" poster depicting the destruction of nature.

Thinking of human development as a baseball game - Humans may have taken the lead over the last millienia, but Mother Nature bats last and it's only about the seventh inning stretch.

Oliver

Why doesn't the boy wonder cut the crap and just call all his "ideas" a Loop of Hype. Maybe he gets to screw lots of attractive women (assuming he prefers the opposite sex) because his smarmy grandstanding has brought him bucket-fulls of other people's dollars. In that case, he is behaving true to type. Homo Asswipiens are rather good at bigging themselves up to make their penises seem more reproductive. And legions of brain-dead sexual partners keep falling for the same old Darwinian gene play.

Gaianne

Thanks for the map.

I hadn't seen it.

--Gaianne

Mike Roberts

Good point about not seeing coverage of the ongoing droughts. Talk about head in sand. I did see a piece on heavy rainfall in Tennessee on the "news" here in New Zealand, but I haven't seen anything about the droughts for many months, maybe not even this year. Not even a mention of it in an item about one of the forest fires in California.

There is also no mention of the ongoing disaster at Fukushima:

http://rt.com/op-edge/tepco-fukushima-sea-water-reactor-194/

Oliver

Changing the subject of my vent, I am sitting here devastated at the terrible injustice of Oprah Winfrey being refused the opportunity to purchase a $35,000 handbag in Switzerland.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23626340

How awful for a self-aggrandizing denizen of Americana Hopium to be denied ownership of a piece of animal hide for a sum that would provide at least three square meals for 35,000 people in the poorer quadrants of the world. I am vomiting with the unfairness of it all and look forward to as many overstuffed sociopaths as possible choking on their own ego before The Fall.

Dave Cohen

It's official -- I am not a member of Homo sapiens. I am in stuck in some weird, nightmarish sort of limbo on a planet where I don't belong.

Here's the proof.

------------------------------------------

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/billionaire-found-one-greatest-inventions-ecology-world-shark-141323446.html#more-id

'Shark Tank' -- not to be confused with 'Shark Week' or 'Sharknado' or 'Sharknado 2: The Second One' -- has a new guest shark this upcoming season. It's billionaire entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria.

JP, as he's known to many, is the man behind Paul Mitchell salon products and the co-founder of Patron Spirits. He says he turned down an offer to be on the show a couple years ago, but reversed course after a conversation with reality show king Mark Burnett.

"I talked to Mark Burnett, who is producer of the show, and he said, 'JP, what we're doing is really real. And you can probably help some people out and come across maybe with some positive thoughts with each person on and perhaps save a business or two.'"

That was immensely appealing to a self-made billionaire like DeJoria, who once lived out of his car in LA. He turned $700 into what is today "the largest privately held salon hair care line, producing over 100 products, available in over 80 countries worldwide," according to his bio.

Sounds like a perfect guest shark right? ABC -- owned by The Walt Disney Company (DIS) -- is ramping up for its fifth season of 'Shark Tank' which debuts Sept. 20.

The reality show gives entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their idea and product to a panel of investors, or sharks, to secure start-up financing. That money comes straight from the pockets of the investors.

DeJoria confirmed to The Daily Ticker that it's "our real money. In fact I can't say right now... but there was one thing I picked while I was on there as a guest shark that I thought was one of the greatest inventions for ecology in the world and it was my real money that I dealt out to the guy."

If that isn't a great tease for the show... we don't know what is. We do know that DeJoria has long been a champion of "sustainable business practices" and products. He also passed along some free advice to entrepreneurs, telling The Daily Ticker that "enthusiasm" is the secret to success.

Tell Us What You Think!

Send an email to: thedailyticker@yahoo.com.

------------------------------------------
Send them an e-mail!

Tell Them What You Think!

-- Dave

Oliver

JP: "It is so real."
Oliver: "JP, let me tell you what is real, and sustainable. Projectile vomiting in response to your coke-eyed folksy wisdom about greedy capitalism."

Ben

ROFLMAO! @ Dave

I'll send them an email, just gotta be careful to use words the NSA isn't mining for lol

Mike Roberts

A champion of sustainable business practices and products? This is a man who make hair care products for salons. Self delusion is rife.

J. Drew

Sounds like Elon's presentation on monday is going to be an "Onion Talk" Come to life; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkGMY63FF3Q

Mike Roberts

Fantastic Onion video, J. Drew, and so appropriate. Thanks!

Dave Cohen

Climate change is already wreaking havoc in California according to a new report.

http://www.advocate-news.com/ci_23836313/report-global-warming-already-having-dramatic-impacts-calif?source=most_viewed

A UCLA economist responded to the Bad News.

”A report like this is Paul Revere. It provides an early warning, an early indicator of the challenges we face,” said Matthew Kahn, a UCLA economics professor.

Kahn said that just as in past eras when Americans rose to meet threats, entrepreneurs in California will see opportunities to help reduce the impacts of climate change while making money, through industries such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, ocean desalination projects, better air conditioning systems and denser housing in coastal areas, which will remain cooler than inland areas as both warm in the decades to come.

”It's not like the Titanic where we just collide with the iceberg,” Kahn said. “Most people want their children and grandchildren to have a great quality of life.

We are going to get future Amazons, Apples and Facebooks out of this that will address the challenges.”

Oh, my!

-- Dave

Oliver

Delusion, Redux.

Some crazy fuck has already jumped the gun:

http://www.delusionstore.com/blog/

Jim

@Dave re: Kahn - Whenever I read something like that, I always imagine the person quoted with a bit of blood dribbling down the side of their mouth.

Here's Kahn's book:
http://www.amazon.com/Climatopolis-Cities-Thrive-Hotter-Future/dp/B004LQ0FVS

And a video with him:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQkTQXKgeas

Kahn is a University of Chicago trained economist. These are the high priests of the status quo. Their basic job function is to rationalize free market capitalism, and thereby protect those who most benefit from it. Any argument outside that parameter is never entertained. Any problem, no matter how big, can be solved by the market. Externalities are just another way to make a buck, and the solution is to just get wealthier. The idea that truly free markets could not continuously grow isn't a possibility to them. Growth just enables more growth.

I forced myself to listen to Kahn's speech out of morbid curiosity, so thanks a lot. Some notes:

Kahn doesn't think mitigation will happen, largely because it's not in the individual's or any nation's immediate self interest. Hard to argue that.

He thinks adaptation can happen, though. He talks about how cities are doing studies to determine how many people will die in heat waves - thus, they can work to adapt in advance of it. He thinks there will be innovators offering more efficient A/C units and any number of technological wonders, as it's in their interest to get rich from doing so. So, basically, people will have to buy more stuff to protect themselves. If that doesn't work to a sufficient level, people can always move to Fargo.

He thinks the developing world is pretty much screwed, as they won't have the resources to adapt. He thinks their only solution is rapid economic development. Kahn says to this part, "My editor said, we need more optimism! But I don't got optimism for this stuff."

He says he knows rapid economic development greatly increases carbon emissions, but he still thinks it's the best method of adapting to climate change.

He wants to sell his book, but he doesn't want the "lulling hypothesis" - that him saying we can just adapt will further prevent any efforts towards mitigation. Seriously - he says it.

He thinks other species will have a harder time adapting than us, so he's curious how voters will respond to that.

He responds to a questions about what if the optimistic viewpoint is wrong? Well then, Kahn says, such a person could become very rich! But, one can't just blog about it. They'd have to build the next Prius or something. Seriously - he says it.

These are sort of people chosen to comment on issues like climate change in the media. Don't feel bad about not being a part of the club. I'm not sure it's an honor.

Alexander Ač

Some dose of doomerism on ever uberoptimistic TED from anthropologist Louise Leakey asking:

"Is The Human Race In Danger Of Becoming Extinct Soon?"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/louise-leakey/human-extinction_b_3543036.html

Alex

Oliver

@Alex - Thanks for the reference.

In the comments section, I spotted another oh-so-clever human suffering from Elon's Disease, which is characterized by uncontrollable insane and inane babbling, with no cure.

I quote this terminal twerp by the name of Al Schrader:

We are not going extinct same as I told you the world wasn't going to end on 12/21/12.
Instead we are entering an age of incredible prosperity. It was technology that brought us out of the caves and gave us light and warmth, and more food. Improvements in technology occur on a rapidly upsloping curve. 500 years ago new ideas took months as they crossed the oceans on sailing ships.
Then days in print, and now on the internet in seconds.
Right now there are people working on finding the answers to the atom. How do I know ? I'm one of them.
The promise and potential in store with this work is hard to believe.

I rest my case, your honor. Motion to prepare padded cells.

Alexander Ač

Oliver,

good catch from the comments. Well sure, while hundreds years ago technology was "less advanced" - so was our race to destroy our own resource base and long-term prospects for viable survival. Who knew. Of course, little bit of change to technology is the only solution (I am asking, why?), otherwise we are great species!

Alex

Adam Noel

My personal thoughts in regards to human extinction are the following:
Our social structure is largely the same as that of eusocial insects and so I suspect we will survive any collapse due to the incredible resilience such a social structure gives us.

Doomers and optimists are always wrong. Dave has said before optimists forget to subtract and doomers forget to add. What will cause human extinction? Who knows and no-one will ever know. Nobody will ever know because we'll be extinct.

Ben

@Adam

How resilient would humans be post nuclear war?

Dave Cohen

I love this kind of stuff.

http://www.opb.org/artsandlife/article/npr-when-power-goes-to-your-head-it-may-shut-out-your-heart/

"Even the smallest dose of power can change a person. You’ve probably seen it. Someone gets a promotion or a bit of fame and then, suddenly, they’re a little less friendly to the people beneath them.

So here’s a question that may seem too simple: Why?"

Yes! Almost invariably, give people a little power and they become complete assholes!

To find out why, according to this study, follow the link. My general remarks include --

Monkey Business.

Science Marches On.

There's no such thing as Human Nature?

Etc.

-- Dave

Dave Cohen

I thought Stuart Staniford had a functioning Brain.

Apparently I was wrong.

http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2010/05/singularity-climate-change-peak-oil.html

-- Dave

Dave Cohen

On a positive note, I can not recommend this book highly enough.

Stung! -- On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Oceans

http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/S/bo15220175.html

-- Dave

Jim

Good links, Dave. I couldn't help but notice the obligatory hope at the end of the NPR article. I had seen the Staniford post a while back, although I've forgotten where. I don't follow his blog. It starts out decent enough, then it takes a full detour into Wuhtdafukistan. The very worst thing that could happen is that we all lose our jobs to machines? Staniford pretty much reveals his background here. A technologist will always overrate technological solutions and underrate barriers.

Here's an example of how our 'problem solving' just manages to increase the size of our problems:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/10235916/Rise-in-urban-beekeeping-a-threat-to-bees.html

The possible result? We'll fight to keep the honey bee, because we value them, and lose native species:
http://science.time.com/2013/08/09/the-trouble-with-beekeeping-in-the-anthropocene/

On wild bees:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/feb/28/wild-bees-pollinators-crop-yields

Jim

Another 'unintended consequence':
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/11/texas-tragedy-ample-oil-no-water

Andy

I was equally surprised by Stuart Stanford, didn't realise he was living in flatland.

Nice to see that climate change is just another chance to make some money. Economists have absolutely no idea when it comes to the how the real world actually works. I'm sure the future facebooks and apples will really save us, and make a lot of money doing it. Exxon could take a leaf out of Monsanto's book, sell you the stuff to that stuffs up your soil, then sell you stuff to keep things growing. Too bad most people are too broke to even pay attention, let alone buy all this uninvented stuff that is going to save us.

MP

Many people reading DOTE will enjoy a recent mockumentary called "Propaganda" It's about how humans are brainwashed.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-life/9022359/Christchurch-mockumentary-wins-Grand-Prize

Here it is on youtube, 98 minutes long:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKnS-Adc_2E

Oliver

@MP - Thanks for this reference. Strong stuff - not for casual viewing.

If we think of the narrator of 'Propaganda' as an alien prosecutor in a Universal Court of Justice, we earthlings are surely destined for the death penalty.

Dave Cohen

I want to offer congratulations to Euan Mearns at The Oil Drum.

Euan has thrown in the "peak oil" towel.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/10093

Here is the single most important thing Euan said.

All scientists should update their views and theories when new facts come to light.

And I might add, all non-scientists should do the same. Unfortunately, humans by and large are not capable of updating their belief systems, which are founded on other, more fundamental factors (e.g. social instincts like group membership & cohesion, etc.)

I haven't talked to Euan for years, but I might get in touch with him now. I've gotten to the point where if some dumb fucker brings up "peak oil" on DOTE as something we all need to worry about -- the economy will collapse any day now! -- it pisses me off.

See my post --

http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2013/03/us-oil-production-tops-7-million-barrels-per-day.html

-- Dave

Oliver

@Dave - While we can consign 'peak oil catastrophic thinking' to the margins, based on new facts, one can come to the conclusion that the reducing worldwide availability of fossil fuel at a reasonable EROI will be a constant brake on "economic recovery" for decades and probably indefinitely. Of course, you've said as much over the years, but what I find fascinating is the continuing lack of discussion among the chattering classes that we must be nuts to expect to repeat the continuous growth from c.1800 to the 1960s that was fueled by billions of years of solar power trapped in coal, oil and gas that was then frittered away with no thought to judicious use or conservation or protection of the biosphere. Are these people plain stupid, in self-obsessed denial or drugged on hopium that magical technology will ride to the rescue? All three, eh?

After viewing 'Propaganda' (see above), I'm more sure that it would be crazy to participate in furthering the substandard human species. When the innocent good are dispossessed/crushed and the greedy bad are rewarded/feted - the entirety of human misery fits into this pathetic Darwinian continuum - all a rational person can do is try to minimize the pain of living in this nightmare world. For whoever he/she can. Sigh.

Dave Cohen

@Oliver

I don't worry much about "a reasonable EROI" for crude oil. The return is certainly high enough to justify producing it for some time to come. Oil prices will always be high, and that is a weak brake on economic growth. EROI has some influence on prices, but is only one small factor among many others.

So no, I never said that a reasonable EROI will be a constant brake on the "economic recovery" for decades to come. In fact, I always omitted statements like that from my energy posts because I didn't believe it, and still don't.

Lots of other people took that line in comments on this blog, comments which generally I tried to ignore because I didn't want to argue with people who are not as knowledgeable as I am about the subject.

Lots of people were fed a line of bullshit about EROI (started by some academics -- I know who they are) and went for it hook, line & sinker.

EROI is a problem for 1) most biofuels and 2) non-conventionals like tar sands "oil" (not including shale oil).

And that's it. I am trying to be gentle here, replying to your comment.

-- Dave

Oliver

Thanks for the clarification Dave - and the measured response. I guess I am lost in the science of thermodynamics and have believed scientists/academics I've read, having had no training in spotting their misstatements. I'll stick to moaning about greed. :)

Jim

I don't really see the Mearns article as a 180 split from peak oil - more like a 45 degree split. The fundamentals are the same. I don't really think the Mad Max stuff is an essential element of the theory, as I have gathered it was in the 1998-2009 period of discussion on the topic (I wasn't a part of the discussion then, as I was too busy being a good little drone).

The questions are:

1) Will conventional continue its plateau, or rise, or fall, and at what point? Mearns shows only one very small example of EOR reversing peak, but worldwide or even in the U.S. this isn't the case (I'm not talking just EOR, not shale). At some point, conventional is likely to start falling from the plateau, and then the unconventionals plus shale will have to replace the falling conventional supply. Virtually every industry forecast just assumes the conventional plateau will last 2-3 decades. Is that assumption correct?

2) How much added supply will the unconventionals plus shale really bring? Will they have their own peak, and when? We're just at the very beginning of them, and so any forecast about them is likely to be wrong. Many industry analysts just take the current growth rate and indefinitely project the same rates several decades into the future.

On EROI, Mearns brings up something that I've thought for a while. EROI can be worked around using proxy resources - which is really what is happening. We're using water, land, natural gas, and oil and converting them into oil. It's not just using oil to create oil - which in its most simplistic form was the main thrust of the EROI argument. Mearns says that can happen for many more decades, but I'm not convinced that's the case.

That brings up, when do these proxy resources see their own limits? There was one article about it a few days ago:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/11/texas-tragedy-ample-oil-no-water

3) Even without a true peak yet, the growth rate in total liquid fuels has visibly slowed. With the rise of Chindia and the other developing nations and their own demand, how will this affect oil price and GDP growth rates around the world?

In general, I think the Mearns article is a reasonable response to the data at hand. But I have a couple of issues with it. He seems to think the 'drill, baby, drill' response of the U.S. is the way to go. That approach gives us a bit of temporary room for continued growth, but the unintended consequences from doing so are significant. The real question is global net energy, and at some point there is either a real replacement for fossil fuels or there isn't. At least trying to build an alternative energy (renewables and or nuclear as of now) infrastructure while growth still exists seems the only really rational response (as Germany is trying to do). Business as usual, or more of it, just delays and increases the problems.

The second is his prediction that we'll stay in the $125 +- 25 range for several decades. This is seriously shaky prognostication. The system is way too complex and interdependent to make such a statement, and I think it's reliant on a 'best case' scenario of little international turmoil, no national debt troubles, no banking failures, low inflation, no drop from the plateau of conventional supply, steady growth in unconventional supply, and limited rise in demand from the developing countries.

Anyway, my two cents.

Dave Cohen

@Jim

Well, you threw in everything but the kitchen sink.

If you really want to worry about shit, we can always throw in climate change, destruction of marine ecosystems, species loss, global loss of top soil, future water shortages, desertification, etc. Hell, I do it all the time, but only to illustrate how Homo sapiens is fucking up its own habitat.

If you like, how about an asteroid strike? That's always a popular one.

And my point is -- nobody is saying the future's so bright you gotta wear shades.

I prefer not to speculate (as you just did) about the future oil markets. That seems like a waste of time to me. We'll just see how it goes. I'm certainly not going to worry about it, what with all the other shit happening on Planet Stupid.

Your 2 cents, and change.

-- Dave

Jim

Yeah, it's pretty much, "we'll see". Time will tell. And I agree that the world faces far greater challenges than peak oil.

Honestly, I'm not worrying about any of these topics any more, although I was very concerned when I first started seriously learning about them. I've come to the conclusion that we're just flotsam and jetsam, dust on the wind. We can try our best, and we can give our best to those around us, and that's it. There's very little we can really do except just be good people - which has been true at every moment and situation in our existence.

I'm just curious and can't help it. I like thinking about these things. Anyway, your blog has always provided extremely high stimulus for my curiosity, and thanks again.

Dave Cohen

@Jim

I hope you didn't think I came down a little hard on you -- that was not my intention.

I'm so tired of this "peak oil" shit that if I never heard the term again, I'd die a happy man.

Years ago, I made a small living speculating about future oil markets. But I was wrong about what would happen, simply because I underestimated human cleverness born of desperation regarding future oil production.

But I understand the human world much better than I did even 3 or 4 years ago. Future oil production is one of those things it is very hard to predict. On the other hand, that humans will continue to fuck up the planet is easy to predict.

In the post I cited earlier on this page, I confessed my sins (see above).

You will never read about "peak oil" on DOTE ever again. And alert readers know I talked less and less about the oil supply as time went on.

So, I'm done speculating about the future of the oil markets, now and forever. Fuck that nonsense, life's way too short.

best,

-- Dave

Jim

@ Dave: All good, and I understand. There's not a whole lot to meaningfully say about that subject right now, anyway, and I find the deeper subjects discussed here more important, too.

Alexander Ač

Naaaah, that is bad for climate change and MANY other things, or, could it be even worse? :-(

Long has passed my small hope, that peak oil will save us from dangerous climate change and consequently, fucking up the planet. But as you say, we will always find a way:

"A Song of Flood and Fire: One Million Square Kilometers of Burning Siberia Doused by Immense Deluge"

http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/a-song-of-flood-and-fire-one-million-square-kilometers-of-burning-siberia-doused-by-immense-deluge/

thanks for open thread again!

Alex


Ian Random

I think you're being a hair hard on Mr. BillMeLater. I actually wish him lots of non-government supported luck, just like I would anybody. I do question the viability of any large scale infrastructure that doesn't allow for freight.

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