Why Keep the Fossil Fuel Industry Alive?

Why Keep the Fossil Fuel Industry Alive?
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It is a simple profit maximization strategy really; DENY< DENY< DENY for as long as possible that your product is harmful, so that your business is kept alive far longer than it ever should have logically existed. This is achieved by playing on the general populations' short-term need for jobs. (and in this case convincing people that climate change is a scare tactic of evil communists)


The Tobacco industry went through this. First stage in accepting new data is denial. How long did it take for the Surgeon General data to sink in and cause society to make meaningful changes?

Granulated Sugar is described by some as the most addictive substance on earth. However, it is taking decades for proper labelling and education to happen! Obesity is at record levels and we have a diabetes epidemic coming our way, as the boomers continue to age. 

Lead in Gasoline took a decade or more to be eliminated after a simple study showed that people living in postal codes with higher incidences of lead in the atmosphere, had shorter life spans. And the examples go on. 


The recent blockage of the COP24 summit’s key climate study by the U.S., Russia, Kuwait, and the Saudis is a great example of the DENY tactic in action. These major oil exporting countries most likely objected to the suggestion that fossil fuels need to be phased out by 2050. So in spite of all logic, they have decided to drag their feet for one simple reason. Think about how insignificant Saudi Arabia will become once the oil revenue drys up!


In Canada we do have a large oil and gas industry, but our current government also supports objective science. I do not agree with building more pipelines and disagree with the notion that we need time to phase out fossil fuels slowly. Our current Liberal government supports the building of some new pipelines. Now I do understand the need for jobs, but can we not do a better job of transitioning to new industries? That starts with being honest with people and telling them their industry is dying. Now whose job is that in our society? Definitely not on a politician’s job description, but certainly should be!


Francisco Flores Added Dec 21, 2018 - 11:00am
Agreed.  But if the hurdle is jobs, then perhaps a Federal Job Gty as part of a Full Employment Fiscal Policy is the ticket to remove this objection.  The Pup bullet points it for folk here:  http://mmt-inbulletpoints.blogspot.com/2017/09/im-just-responding-to-various-economic.html
Dave Volek Added Dec 21, 2018 - 11:13am
Well said
About the pipelines in Canada. All the major pipelines are machines that are 50+ years old. They could be shut down any time. We need one modern pipeline for us to move into the hydrogen economy slowly. West, east, south, it probably doesn't matter that much. But just one major pipeline.
opher goodwin Added Dec 21, 2018 - 11:13am
Stephen - I thoroughly agree. He is denying the pollution and climate change for political reasons and keeping alive old polluting technologies for votes. It is short-term thinking. These technologies are dead. They have been superseded by more advanced, less polluting, technology.
To hang back on the new industries is allowing the competition to get a head start. Very bad for long-term goals.
Dave Volek Added Dec 21, 2018 - 11:14am
And I should also make a plug for my TDG. All the things you have stated will be much better handled by the elected representatives and institutions of the TDG. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 21, 2018 - 11:36am
Dave, thanks for the enlightenment on the Hydrogen use for the pipeline. hmmm 
And go TDG! If it achieves what you claim, seems the only way to go for the people and a slippery slope for Big Business, as they will lose their clout and as they should. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 21, 2018 - 11:39am
Thanks Opher. Yes thinking longer term is a touch concept for the Stock Market companies who live and die by quarterly earnings reports. And for the people who are hungry now, that is the real challenge we must overcome.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 21, 2018 - 11:42am
Thanks Francisco for your thoughts and leading from the above comment I think there is certainly logic in a full employment economy. Believe it was an article by Elon Musk who predicted that this is what will happen in a couple of decades. 
TexasLynn Added Dec 21, 2018 - 11:56am
Why Keep the Fossil Fuel Industry Alive?  Because it is the life blood of civilization.  It has been for well over a century and will continue to be into the foreseeable future.
You leftist have convinced yourselves that your own propaganda is true.
♦ You believe that "renewable" energy sources are produced more efficiently and are economically comparable (or ever better) than fossil fuels.  They're not.  Without the subsidies, they would cost much more, and that cost would fall heavily on the working class.
♦ You think that a switch could be flipped today, and "renewable" energy could easily take the place of fossil fuels and the world would keep on humming.  It can't... and we're nowhere near that point.
Some on the left realize the above, but their "environmental" bias allows them to justify the pain and suffering for the greater good of the earth.  I haven't seen a lot of leftist on WB fall into that category.  Most have faith; most believe...
Me... I'm all in.  I favor all production of all types of energy.  That's with the caveat that none (fossil, renewable or otherwise) receive any subsidy or any law favoring one over another.
The free market will sort it all out.  Let everyone who believes in this technology invest in it.  It it works (as you believe) you'll become rich AND have your "I told you so's".  If not, you'll go broke.
If everything you guys believe about "renewable" energy is true... it will win; despite the conspiracy theories.  If not, it will die on the vine and you can come up with new conspiracy theories.
To date, I've never seen someone who claims to believe this stuff be willing to put their money where their mouth is... Why is that?
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 21, 2018 - 12:05pm
Texas, there is no "you guys". 
There is only us humans here and we are all one, just that most do not understand that. 
Carry on and believe what you will, perhaps you are right, maybe business and technology will figure it all out. 
I am just not willing to risk my children's and grandson's future on it. 
Bill H. Added Dec 21, 2018 - 12:21pm
"You Leftists"?
TL - Can't you do better than labeling people for convenience?
Dave Volek Added Dec 21, 2018 - 12:28pm
I don't think existing pipelines could be converted to hydrogen lines (hydrogen is far more explosive), but I had written about hydrogen pipelines a few years back. You might like this short article.
The TDG will need thousands of volunteers spending about five to 10 hours a month to start it off. There will neither be an elite controlling the strings nor a charismatic figure to lead the charge. This will be a very organic movement from people of many walks of life. AND THIS IS THE WAY THE TDG HAS TO BE BUILT.
Read the book. If you like the ideas, tell your social circle about it. We shall see where it goes from there.
Tubularsock Added Dec 21, 2018 - 12:32pm
What Tubularsock loves is the argument that JOBS and PROFIT are the most important thing.
Even if we risk the health and safety of people WE MUST disregard that because we just have to drive our cars and build our pipelines. It’s a matter of JOBS!
And all that is fine UNLESS that pipeline or refinery happens next to our own house and then we become alarmed.
Fossil Fuels have been proven to be dangerous to the health of people and causes damage to air and water.
Where is the logic in not shifting to energy that is less destructive?
Tubularsock would rather breathe and drink water. It just happens to be the real BOTTOM LINE!
Dave Volek Added Dec 21, 2018 - 12:45pm
Texas Lynn
Can you remember your American history circa 1850-1900, in particular the "Robber Barons"?
The robber barons were the elite of the railroad industry in much of the world. They would convince governments to fund the building of the railroads. The governments agreed to this because they would get all sorts of benefits after the railroads were built.
During the construction with government money, the robber barons found ways to siphon some of that government money to their own bank accounts and the bank accounts of their friends (some of them being elected politicians). The governments were in a bit of a pickle: either accept there would be some corruption because railroad executives were in short supply or just not build a railroad, thus limiting the expansion of the economy.
And if a line was not profitable after it was built, the robber baron would threaten to shut it down if subsidies were not forthcoming. The governments usually complied. If the line was profitable, the robber baron did not share the profits. Railroading in that era was dirty business.
I am bringing this up because in your ideal world, the railroads would never have been built. Thus the economy of the USA would have stagnated and it would not be the superpower it is today.
Like it or not, governments do have to get into "business" occasionally. The trick is to do it for the right reasons and in the right ways. I think the TDG will be much better at finding the right balance.
opher goodwin Added Dec 21, 2018 - 12:51pm
Tub - I think you have put your finger on it - some people believe that jobs and money trump everything. They'll sacrifice health, quality of life and nature for short-term game.
Tex - I don't agree. Alternative energy is now as cheap as polluting fuels.
TexasLynn Added Dec 21, 2018 - 12:57pm
Bill H >> Can't you do better than labeling people for convenience?
You leftist seem to hate the label of "leftists" (and that of "you guys”). :P  But, if the shoe fits...
As I've asked a hundred times, why not argue against my point; not the fact that your panties wadded up because of the way I made it.
I’m not going to stop “labeling” when the label is apt.  The left (in general) believes everything I attributed to them.  If you disagree say that… back it up.
Stephen H >> Texas, there is no "you guys".
Stephen, of course there are "you guys" from both our perspectives.  When you guys complain about labels and divisions, etc... you're really just saying that "us guys" need to concede to your argument and agenda in the name unity.
Why don't you do the same?  As in acquiesce to my world view... in the name of unity and being a happy human family?  Why is it always my side that you guys think needs to do the conceding?
Stephen H >> There is only us humans here and we are all one, just that most do not understand that.
I do agree there is an understanding issue here.  Where it's at seems to be the contention.
Yes... we are all humans.  No, we are not in agreement about a lot of things... thus we are not one, big, huggy, feely world.
Stephen H >> Carry on and believe what you will,
I will... as will you guys. :P
Stephen H >> ...perhaps you are right, maybe business and technology will figure it all out.
If allowed to, it would... until then we'll keep throwing money at the renewable energy alter and offering our prayers and faith.
Stephe H >> I am just not willing to risk my children's and grandson's future on it.
Nor am I willing to do the same concerning what you guys want to do with energy (the supply of it and the cost).  So, pardon my resistance to killing the fossil fuel industry.
If you guys were intellectually honest, you would cut yourself completely off from fossil fuels.  The technology is there and sufficiently efficient to do so... right?  But that's not good enough... the deplorables (us guys) need to be dragged/forced into that ditch with you by whatever means necessary.
Opher >> Tex - I don't agree. Alternative energy is now as cheap as polluting fuels.
Yes, Opher... like I said... you guys do believe that.
But none of you guys seem ready to put your money where your mouth is.  Our money?  Yes... but not yours?
Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 21, 2018 - 1:11pm
I am with texas Lynn,  so what happens if we ended burning of fossil fuels this second.  Well I would have about an hour and this computer would be useless as would my cell phone shortly.  You would say that we can get solar panels, however; the factory that makes those panels is using energy that came from fossil fuels so the factory would not be making any panels.  Turn off the air conditioner and I hop you have a fire place and a wood pile for heat, cooking etc.  The electric or gas stove is not not any good.  The car will also be a fixture in your yard shortly.   
Not if you had a big pile of wood or other things to burn you could make a converter that consist of heating them to a high temperature so they give off a combustible gas.  Vehicles during the WWII did in some areas were converted to this source of fuel.  Not very efficient.  And you can even make liquid fuel is a similar process.  
Your also forgetting that India, China, Africa, and South America will not go along with the ending of burning fossil fuels.  They are under developed and see it is there time to become developed and they are going to take the shortest path, fossil fuels. 
France is one of the biggest users of nuclear power and the government in its infinite socialist wisdom wishes to decommission those plants.   
The food production of the world will drop because the machines and chemicals that have improved efficiency will no longer be running or available.   Famines will occur and we can expect the population of the planet to decrease by a significant amount.  If the production of drugs ends also since those plants run on fossil fuel energy then the population that was stable before the industrial age will become the sustainable world population.  My guess if look at the three people two of them will be gone, the population will be about half of the present.  
Chaos of governments will also occur when famine causes revolutions and the middle class is gone.  The societies of the pre-industrial age will also return which means that slavery will also return.  Muscle power will replace fossil fuel power.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 21, 2018 - 2:08pm
Texas, some say that we will either all become the one big huggy family, or our species will cease to exist. If we allow greed to rule the roost, we will not make it. I though believe we have a good shot at it. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 21, 2018 - 2:13pm
Thomas thanks for expressing your thoughts and perspective. Yes we need to solve the world energy needs. More solar will help and systems are being developed to store solar energy and release it when the sun isn't shining. Just as massive infrastructure was not needed to give most of the population phone service, energy generation will be off the grid and self generated.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 21, 2018 - 2:15pm
Thanks Tubular. I think the issue is that so many hate their jobs anyway so they are definitely not going to seek out training in alternative industries. Until they are out of work and the government pays them to retrain. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 21, 2018 - 2:21pm
Texas, at least you did not call me a libtard. :) I do agree with you though that most people do not like to be labelled left or right, just because they may agree or disagree with public healthcare, for example. 
TexasLynn Added Dec 21, 2018 - 3:19pm
Stephen, others say that if and when we (humanity) become one big huggy family, it will be because some form of collectivist globalism has prevailed, ushering in a new age of human suffering (reminiscent of Stalin and Mao). 
If we allow such evil to persist, woe be to our posterity.  Better for individual cultures to form cohesive nations and work in the best interest of its citizens... then cooperate with other such nations as best they can.
I, once believed our chances of avoiding such tyranny to be 50/50 at best.  Though now, after a year or so on WB, I'm not so optimistic.
Stephen >> Just as massive infrastructure was not needed to give most of the population phone service, energy generation will be off the grid and self generated.
I look forward to that day.  Until then... let's keep the fossil fuel generated lights on.  Shall we?  Let's keep gas in the car.  Let's also refrain from any other foot shooting flights of fancy.
"Why are we here, that is the question? And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come." -- Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot)
Stephen >> Texas, at least you did not call me a libtard. :)
I refrain from such... it's a bit childish for my taste/style.  When I use such labels, I don't mean them as slurs, but rather to convey facts about a general (more than a majority) stance held in common by those of a particular group.
I would not call someone a "fascist" or "communist" for example, unless I thought they literally exhibited enough shared traits with the ideological and historical factions.
Stephen >> I do agree with you though that most people do not like to be labelled left or right
Whoooaaa, where did I say that?  No, I would disagree.  To clarify, most people on the left do not like to be labeled as on the left.  I rarely, if ever, see those of us on the right protest such "labeling".  The label is fine.  I'm on the right.  I'm a conservative.  Now I may disagree with your general assertion concerning the right or conservatives, but in those cases I will refute the assertion... not complain about the label.
That said, do almost all individuals have specific issues where they may shuck off their ideological proclivities?  Sure.  But pretending that the generalizations are not there, are not apt, or that they are meaningless is ludicrous; equivalent to insisting that the butt naked emperor is wearing clothes.
Mogg T >> These,...commenters... are idealistic and naive.
It has actually, IMO, moved well beyond that and into the realm of faith.  This stuff is now more religion than anything else replete with sin, and gods, and devils, and dogma, and heretics... and… green redemption for humanity
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 21, 2018 - 4:34pm
Thank-you for your thoughts Mogg. You ask a lot of GREAT questions at the end! Ones I ponder and shake my head at every day. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 21, 2018 - 4:36pm
Yes Texas let us keep the lights on until then. I may be idealistic in thinking but do try and be practical in execution. 
ChetDude Added Dec 21, 2018 - 4:45pm
Actually Texas - your first post was completely fallacious...(and kind of funny the way you promote strawmen that don't exist in real life)...
"You ("leftists") believe that "renewable" energy sources are produced more efficiently and are economically comparable (or ever better) than fossil fuels."
A) First, those of us interested in science and who recognize the laws of physics and the 2nd law of thermodynamics realize that the extreme EROI that briefly was true of fossil-fuels (but no longer is) cannot be duplicated by any renewable, sustainable, non-Planet Threatening source.
B) One of the most heavily subsidized industries in the history of the world is and has been the fossil-fuel industry and its infrastructure.
I'm afraid you've deluded yourself through an obvious ignorance of history and of human psychology and lack of imagination and can't recognize the horrible wrong turn that humanity took a couple of hundred years ago (primarily for the benefit of a few elites) into a fossil-fueled industrial growth paradigm of consumption over Quality of Life.
"You think that a switch could be flipped today, and "renewable" energy could easily take the place of fossil fuels"
A) NOPE. We don't.
B) We recognize that thanks to the brief heroin fix of the cheap fossil-fuels age, we've grown and are now "supporting" too many humans on our Finite Planet than it can support. Since we've already pretty much consumed the fat of the Planet, we're doing that by consuming the muscle now. This is unsustainable. We reached Earth Overshoot Day on Aug 1st this year -- 3 days earlier than last year. We are over-consuming resources and over-polluting our Planet faster than it can regenerate them and cleanse itself.
C) We will be forced to Power Down and live within our means on a Finite Planet with insurmountable environmental limits. We can either do it by embracing birth control and empower women to lower our population to a sustainable level while ending our practices that pollute our only home. Or we can wait for Mother Nature's backlash to the damage we've done - that will not be pretty.
"The free market will sort it all out" There is not now, nor has there EVER BEEN a "free market" in this context. As I've already said, the fossil-fuel industry is an example of probably the most heavily subsidized, UN-FREE "market" that ever existed...
And of course, in spite of a tiny minority of ignorant (or paid for) deniers, the REALITY is "burn it all and die!"
AGW/Climate Change (not for the better) is REALITY. Our only chance for species survival is use a bit for our transition to a sustainable, right-sized population and leave nearly all of what's left in the ground!
ChetDude Added Dec 21, 2018 - 4:56pm
Good Article, thanks.
An interesting fact is that many of the scientists and executives in the fossil-fuel industry have recognized AGW/Climate Change and the ever-decreasing EROI of fossil-fuels and taken a two-pronged approach to that knowledge.
Their first strategy has been decades of promoting climate change denial through astroturf organizations and paid shills.  Meanwhile, they are quietly preparing to corner the market in renewables if they can.
Sort of like how one of the biggest tobacco corporations in USAmerica is trying to buy a YUGE piece of the newly legalized recreational pot industry in Canada.
ChetDude Added Dec 21, 2018 - 5:00pm
PS, Texas:
I proudly wear the "labels" of Radical, Humanist, Non-Theist, Conservative (old meaning), Anti-War, Anti-Capitalist, Anarcho-Syndicalist, Peace and Social and Economic Justice Activist Citizen of Planet Earth as a badge of honor!
Dino Manalis Added Dec 21, 2018 - 5:07pm
 We should research and develop all energy sources, including fossil fuels, to make them cleaner; save/create jobs; and keep energy costs down.
Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 21, 2018 - 5:21pm
Steven Hunt you just ignorant or you just do not get it.  You only get in 1 KW per square meter which is ~ 1 BTU/sec  ~ 1.3 horsepower or ~ 2.25 tons lifted one foot in a minute.  And that is heat which you will only convert at most 20% into electricity.   So Steven your going to need a hell of a lot of solar panels. 
The point is Steven is that that lump of coal or pint of oil represents one hell of a lot of solar energy hitting some large area of a forest for a long time.  And you can not trivialize that fact and be creatable.  Which this article is NOT CREATABLE.    
The energy produced by wind solar and all the other ecological balanced means is a drop in the bucket.  The kicker is that the energy needed to make these recovery components and upkeep them come mostly from fossil fuels. 
 The sustainable movement is not creatable without telling us we have to eliminate ~ 95% of the things that we get today including a large reduction in food.  The population that this planet will sustain without burning fossil fuels and the chemicals and machinery that results to improve man's efficiency is my guess about half of today's population.  It will be a little higher then the stable population only do to health care knowledge.   So start at the Roman period and go to the 14th century and the population is on average flat.  That Steven Hunter is what will happen if you eliminate fossil fuel power.
Ken Added Dec 21, 2018 - 6:10pm
Without the subsidies, they would cost much more, and that cost would fall heavily on the working class.
With the subsidies the burden still falls heavily on the working class.  It is just "hidden" so while the government is picking winners, the working class don't realize that fuel x is cheaper than electric y because they have already subsidized half of the cost in taxes
Ken Added Dec 21, 2018 - 6:15pm
Thomas - what you are citing is 100% correct.  It is what is known as the "degrowther movement".  There are many here who are part of it.  Bill H.  Opher, others that believe we need to reduce world population.
The degrowther movement is a radical left environmentalist movement that would have us living in caves and hunting with stones and bows for food.  it is an anti-technology movement, wrapped in "environmental principles".
Wholly separate from the transfer of wealth "Global Warming" movement, but happy to use that as an ends to their degrowth ideology as well.
Leroy Added Dec 21, 2018 - 6:39pm
"There is only us humans here and we are all one, just that most do not understand that."
And the ones who don't understand are what, the Deplorables?  You seem to believe that there is a section of the population who is too stupid to reason with.  That symbolizes the progressive movement in my mind.
TexasLynn Added Dec 21, 2018 - 6:40pm
CD >> I proudly wear the "labels" of... Radical, Humanist, Non-Theist, Conservative (old meaning), Anti-War, Anti-Capitalist, Anarcho-Syndicalist, Peace and Social and Economic Justice Activist Citizen of Planet Earth as a badge of honor!
That might be perfectly descriptive and accurate... but also too long... how about "leftist". :P
Or maybe we can come up with an catchy acronym that catches on. :)
Thomas Sutrina Added Dec 21, 2018 - 6:56pm
I like facts so here is one on eliminating just the chemicals and Genetic engineered plants, "A new international study into the impact of agricultural land use on climate change has found organic food production is worse for the climate than conventional farming, due to the fact that it needs greater areas of land to grow produce.  

The new research developed a novel metric for calculating the carbon footprint of specific land use. Called a "carbon benefits index," this calculation measures the agricultural output of a given hectare of land in terms of volume of product and carbon dioxide emissions. Homing in on the differences between organic food production and conventional food production, the study concludes that due to organic farming's inefficient yields, it generally results in a greater environmental impact than conventional farming methods.

"The greater land-use in organic farming leads indirectly to higher carbon dioxide emissions, thanks to deforestation," explains Stefan Wirsenius, a Swedish researcher working on the study. "Our study shows that organic peas, farmed in Sweden, have around a 50 percent bigger climate impact than conventionally farmed peas. For some foodstuffs, there is an even bigger difference – for example, with organic Swedish winter wheat the difference is closer to 70 percent," says Wirsenius.

This isn't the first study to raise questions over the greater environmental cost of organic farming recently. As the world's population rapidly grows many scientists are trying to balance the increasing demand for food with better agricultural production methods. A target="_blank">large study published earlier this year called for more efficient "high-yield" farming to better make use of land already cleared for the purpose.

"Our results suggest that high-yield farming could be harnessed to meet the growing demand for food without destroying more of the natural world," target="_blank">says Andrew Balmford, lead author on this earlier study. "However, if we are to avert mass extinction it is vital that land-efficient agriculture is linked to more wilderness being spared the plough." "  https://newatlas.com/organic-farming-impact-climate-change-environment/57665/   note the address continues for another ~1000 characters.

Eric Reports Added Dec 21, 2018 - 8:00pm
The destruction of the EV1 electric car is proof of why most people are hooked on gas guzzling vehicles.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Dec 21, 2018 - 8:01pm
Seems the bottom line is AFDC (Aid For Dependant Corporations) otherwise known as corruption is finest kind.
As long as the correct people are receiving it. 
FacePalm Added Dec 21, 2018 - 9:10pm
I proudly wear the "labels" of Radical, Humanist, Non-Theist, Conservative (old meaning), Anti-War, Anti-Capitalist, Anarcho-Syndicalist, Peace and Social and Economic Justice Activist Citizen of Planet Earth as a badge of honor!
Beware of pride:
"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
But as long as you do not intend to compel compliance with your agenda on anyone, you're free to keep and express your beliefs; as soon as you attempt to resort to any sort of force to accomplish your ends, you're gonna have trouble.  Maybe terminal trouble.
You should also beware of being used as a "useful idiot" for other ideologies, e.g. that of the Chinese or other foolish socialists.  Historically, everyone who has worked to subvert and overthrow any other country's government in order to welcome a socialist one - well they're the first ones whose heads are on the chopping-block; the REAL socialists, when they arrive to take over, make a list of all those who have betrayed their country, then kill them all - rightly assessing that when the reality of the new socialist paradigm becomes apparent, those who betrayed their country the first time will be counterrevolutionaries once they awaken.  See Laos, Cambodia, Venezuela, Vietnam, Cuba - it happens with depressing regularity.
Flying Junior Added Dec 22, 2018 - 2:30am
Great article Stephen.  My heart goes out to the men in their thirties and forties who are already suffering from black lung disease or other insult to their lungs by silica dust.
Profit over people.  Isn't the point of having government regulation to try to combat and overcome this mentality?
Of course Canada has a huge fossil fuels industry.  The U.S. under President Obama went overboard in authorizing fracking and off-shore drilling.  It's the fucking teat.  The Golden Goose.
But it is important to have a goal to reduce the numbers and without any doubt to completely eliminate coal ASAP.
No Lynn.  Nobody wants to hear about renewable energy standing up on its own two feet.  Intelligent subsidies of new technologies brings out positive change and affordability for everybody.  If we listened to guys like you, there would be no solar, wind or geothermal power at all.
It's our planet that is hanging in the balance.  Catastrophic and extinction-level global warming is closer than you think.
TexasLynn Added Dec 22, 2018 - 8:07am
FJ >> No Lynn.  Nobody wants to hear about renewable energy standing up on its own two feet.  Intelligent subsidies of new technologies brings out positive change and affordability for everybody.
Which is it?  On one hand, wind and solar are so advanced and so efficient that they produce energy cheaper than fossil fuels (as this post and comments imply).  On the other hand they must have subsidies to make the affordable and everybody knows it so they support subsidies.  You guys need to get your talking points on the same page.
And “intelligent subsidies” (if such a thing exists) don’t make anything affordable… it’s just a shell game to hide the actual costs.  It makes it possible for the left to say (and believe) the technology is further along that it is.
Me?  I agree with you... these technologies mush have subsidies to have any hope of competing.  If the only reason is the "save the planet", OK... then say that; but don't pretend they are also economical... that adoption of green energy and "killing fossil fuels" won't raise the price of energy significantly for the common man.
I little intellectual honesty on the side of those who pretend green energy can stand on its own would be appreciated.
FJ >> If we listened to guys like you, there would be no solar, wind or geothermal power at all.
You got that right.  Mark me down as a guy who will always be against the common man subsidizing the conscious soothing pipe dreams of the affluent.
Might the technology eventually reach a stage where it is competitive and economical?  Absolutely.  When that day comes, put it on the market.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 8:56am
ChetDude, thanks for the great insights and especially on the fact that fossil fuels are SUBSIDIZED now! People that think like you, and are passionate about the best kinds of changes, gives me HOPE! 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 8:59am
Dino, hopefully we are researching all types of energy, to analyze the best way forward, taking a 50 year forward view. The problem I see in many industries is that we tend to let the industry leaders do the research, which ends up being self serving.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:03am
Thomas, what is wrong with a flat growth population? We already have twice as many people on the planet as we can sustain without technology. We humans have to stop breeding like rabbits. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:07am
Ken, the de-grother movement is a new one for me. Must be a new leftist magazine I have not subscribed to yet! :) 
Seriously though the planet cannot afford to grow the population any larger, so yes why do people need to have 5 or 6 children?
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:09am
and Ken FYI, if we covered the country of Spain in solar panels we would have enough energy to run the world. 
Imagine if every building on earth's walls and roofs were made of solar panels? We have enough, just need to solve the storage issue and that is coming fast.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:12am
Eric, we are hooked on gasoline because it is convenient and we do not have to change our habits and daily routine. Humans though once they go out and do something different, feel exhilarated. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:14am
Agreed Jeffry. The paid lobbyists and campaign contributors line up at the trough for their share of unfair laws/rules which are totally self serving for these corporations.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:17am
Mogg I think the reason we do not here much about innovation, is that it happens slowly and is non-sensational news. In other words no one pays attention to facts and small victories along the way to creating a world for now and the future. 
Neil Lock Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:22am
“We are all one.” That statement from Stephen is interesting and rather provocative. At one level, humans are anatomically sufficiently similar to qualify – maybe – as a single species. But individuals, even within one culture, are very different from each other in world views, desires, preferences and ways of thinking. And when you add cultural differences, the level of diversity only increases.
For many diverse people to live together in reasonable peace and harmony, there must be agreed ways of resolving disputes. Short of separating groups with differing views from each other, I can see three ways of doing this. Broadly speaking, these are:

Unity, in which decisions are dictated from the centre.
Consensus, in which decisions are agreed upon by all.
An approach in which each individual takes on a set of basic responsibilities to others, and so acquires rights. A philosopher friend calls this approach Property, but I prefer to call it “Live and let live.”

Now Consensus as a means of resolving disputes, I think, can only work when the group is fairly small and homogeneous. It might work for a band of a few hundred, but it certainly can’t work for decisions on a scale of millions or even billions. And the system, where a small group is delegated to reach consensus on behalf of everyone, might perhaps be made to work for a small tribe of people, all of whom trust their elders. But when the opposing views are completely incompatible with each other, resolving the dispute by consensus is a non-starter. We are, therefore left (short of separation of the groups from each other) with only two options: centralized control, and individual freedom with responsibility.
From reading the comments here, it seems that there is zero common ground between the two sides. Stephen, Opher, Tubularsock and Flying Junior, among others, take the side of centralized control. I, along with TexasLynn, Thomas Sutrina and others, take the “Live and let live” side.
To be quite clear, I certainly would not suggest that anyone should be allowed to pollute or to cause damage or serious risk to others, without being held responsible for compensating those they harmed. But nor should anyone be allowed to take political action in the name of avoiding a problem, cause harm to people through that action, and yet be able to evade responsibility if that action turns out to have been unnecessary or even counter-productive.
Here, I think, is the nub of the disagreement. Those of us, who support the live and let live approach, seek to take account of both costs and benefits. Any damage that the use of fossil fuels may cause must be discounted against the (undoubted) benefits of fossil fuels, both to individuals and to human civilization as a whole. Furthermore, individuals must not be expected to pay any more than the damage caused to others by what they, as individuals, do.
Those on the side of central control, on the other hand, seem to see only the costs, and discount the benefits. They want to suppress the use of fossil fuels, even when the cost-benefit case for that action has not been made, or the uncertainties are so great that no good case can be made. (When I looked at UK government figures on this issue back in 2008, there were factors of 7 and 12 between the lower and upper bounds of the estimates! Such figures are useless for making any kind of objective decision). Furthermore, the advocates of central control (and particularly the politicians) don’t care if other people are made to pay through the nose, while they themselves do very nicely out of the game.
If we really want to be “all one” as Stephen suggests, then we first need to get rid of the political system that allows those in or connected to power to escape the consequences of what they do to others. As things stand, activists can spread lies, half-truths and misinformation, and get away with it; not to mention calling their opponents nasty names like “denier.” If the advocates of central control were held personally responsible for the damage caused to innocent people by their policies, they would think “This will be very expensive to me, if I get it wrong!” So, they would need to make a much more objective and accurate assessment of their case, before putting forward any proposal for action. Given such an approach, I think it would be a lot easier to resolve issues such as this one.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:22am
FacePalm I did not interpret ChetDude's comments as suggesting we force compliance on anyone? Yes at some point you will not be allowed to drive a car for example, but that is decades away, so lots of time to prepare! 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:28am
Thanks Junior for weighing in. Change is something many think is bad. However life is change- your body changes every second- cells die, cells are born, however the human species has a proclivity to sit on their ass and feel they need to do nothing. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:33am
Texas, I little intellectual honesty on the side of those who pretend green energy can stand on its own would be appreciated. 
Alternative ENERGY CANNOT stand on its own two feet, at the present moment. However life is a chess game and we have to be thinking 2 or 3 moves ahead. 
Oh and btw, all leftists, meeting at my house tonight to get all of our facts straight! :)
Steel Breeze Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:34am
overpopulation....lol......the whole human race could live in Texas and Oklahoma.....
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:57am
Steel Breeze, I guess they could, if we all lived like they do in places like Japan, with cramped quarters and masses of humanity everywhere.
Steel Breeze Added Dec 22, 2018 - 10:23am
or Chicago,LA,NYC,etc....
Dave Volek Added Dec 22, 2018 - 10:39am
Thank you for your thoughtful response to this article. I realize the time required to craft something this together---and it should be turned into a full WB article (and maybe you already have). 
Under current political structures, consensus is indeed impossible for larger groups. But, as you know, I have solution for that. And this solution will lead to citizens putting their trust into their elected elders. But I acknowledge that it will take time to build this trustworthy culture. 
It seems in your essay that you want to hold the "centralized control" leaders accountable for their actions, yet the "liberty lovers" are not accountable for their actions. For example, removing lead from gasoline has proven to be better for health in many ways. Should we not take the supporters of leaded gasoline to civil court for the damages they have caused by stonewalling this societal change? No, they got off free. If anything, they probably earned a lot of profit by the delay. So one side should be accountable, the other not--is what I'm reading into your response. 
There is no doubt that attempts at centralized planning have failed. But so too have many business decisions. And my 12 years in the petroleum industry saw more than a few mistakes made by big oil companies that reduced their profits. Why did they make these mistakes? Especially when they are so profit driven? Dare I say that it is part of human nature to fail.  
In business, it is hoped that the successful decisions outweigh the failed decisions; hence that is how a profit is maintained. But in government, a failure is seen as an example that the rest of government must also be a failure. Why are business and government treated so differently? 
Failures are not necessary so bad. We can learn from them. And we can fix them. But if we always had an attitude that "heads must roll" for any failure, I doubt we would progress very far in our civilization. 
The objective is, in my opinion, to have a process to put the best available minds on a particular project and have them work in a consensus framework. In that way, failures are less likely and less costly. In both government and business. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 10:58am
LeRoy that is just NOT TRUE. I look at no human beings as deplorable. perhaps their behaviors are at times, but the true human inside is NOT. 
To answer your question, I would describe the rest as "yet to be enlightened". I was there myself, and constantly battle to keep myself in a state of wanting to learn and get better.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 10:59am
Neil I totally agree with Dave- great material for a post! You make so many good and thought provocative points. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 11:01am
Dave, you are certainly on the right path with your thinking on governance. I do need to read your book. 
Dave Volek Added Dec 22, 2018 - 11:01am
This has been an interesting thread. 
I have spent 12 years in the Canadian petroleum industry. I should say that there have been subsidies here and there, but for the most part, the industry has stood mostly on its own two feet, especially when compared to other industries. 
I posted a comment on the subsidization of the early rail industry. It was interesting to see how right-wing thinkers would not challenge this post. Without rail subsidies, the US economy--and the economy of the rest of the world--would not have taken off as it did. By waiting for private investors to pony up all the funds, we would still be traveling by horse-and-carriage. 
Vilifying the petroleum industry does little good to moving the world forward. Rather we should regard the Petroleum Age as a transition from the Industrial Revolution to where we need to be, which has been called "The Hydrogen Economy". Without petroleum, we not have a bridge to make that transition. I, for one, would not want to go back to the Industrial Revolution or any time before. There is no Glorious Age here, especially if we are not of the aristocracy. 
Rather this transition needs to be managed. We should allow the petroleum to flourish as leaving extraction and marketing is best done by business, not government. But government needs to set reasonable rules, and those rules could include taxing the industry. 
And the transition is also includes subsidies and rules for the new industries emerging. Is western democracy doing a good job in all this transition? Well most of you know I have a better way that should be worthy of your inspection. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 11:05am
Dave I agree, blaming is counter productive, let us just move forward, and do what is best for humanity, and not be a slave to profits at any cost. 
Dave Volek Added Dec 22, 2018 - 11:10am
In my town, two elementary schools have recently had new parking lots built. Part of this construction requires two stalls for charging for electrical cars, which I believe was a new building code set up by the previous (and right-wing) provincial government. The cars pull up, plug in, put in their credit card, and 20 minutes later are ready to roll. So my town (which serves a population of 25,000) now has four charging stations. 
These stations probably cost $100,000 each, and we could argue that it is a waste of taxpayer's money. The first parking lot has been in operation for four years. It is probably seldom used. For starters, no car dealership is selling electric cars in my home town. Living in rural area requires long-range vehicles and access to fuel. But with the charging stations in place, one barrier has been removed for local residents to buy electric cars. There will eventually be early adopters. And electric-car-owning visitors from other areas know they have a place to charge in Brooks. These four stations are all part of the pieces to make electric cars more acceptable and affordable. It will never be done without significant government involvement. 
And the schools will get some extra revenue, making them less dependent on taxes. These charging stations have a much lower footprint than any gas station. 
Neil Lock Added Dec 22, 2018 - 11:22am
Dave: Thank you for your kind words. I had, indeed, contemplated making my comment into a full length article, but I thought it would be better to wait for Stephen and others here to respond, and to take those comments into account before I do that. This subject would certainly fit in my planned program of serious articles, but some way down the line (maybe 7 or 8 from now, on current plans).
I certainly didn't mean to imply that only those on one side of a dispute should be held accountable. In my view, every individual is responsible for the effects of his or her actions on others. If one side politically "stonewalled" a particular action that had been proven beyond reasonable doubt to have nett positive effects, then they ought to have to compensate those who suffered extra harm because of the delay they caused.
The really important point I was trying to make - which I probably didn't bring out strongly enough - was that in order to make an objective decision on a contentious matter like this, you have to have extremely good estimates of the costs and benefits on both sides. You also have to have an extreme level of objectivity and impartiality. We don't have those things today, on this subject (or, indeed, on other environmental issues such as air pollution). Why not? Because these matters have been politicized. So, instead of good science and rational, objective, accurate, impartial assessment, we have bad "science," hype and scares. And both sides on such issues become ever more angry and entrenched in their positions. That's no way forward towards making us "all one."
As to why government ought to be held to higher standards than other entities, it's because it has more power. That's why, for example, a higher standard of proof is supposed to be required in criminal law (beyond reasonable doubt) than in civil law (on the balance of the evidence). Also, bad business decisions generally only affect the company and its employees (unless actionable at law by a third party), whereas bad political decisions often affect everyone.
Ryan Messano Added Dec 22, 2018 - 11:45am
Ryan Messano Added Dec 22, 2018 - 12:00pm
Neil: From reading the comments here, it seems that there is zero common ground between the two sides. Stephen, Opher, Tubularsock and Flying Junior, among others, take the side of centralized control. I, along with TexasLynn, Thomas Sutrina and others, take the “Live and let live” side.
Predictable, the liberals - like true Marxists - like big gubmint.  Before Stephen wrote this article anyone could have predicted his, Badloses's, Tuberculosis's, and Flying Jackass's response.  They are mindless drones who will support big gubmint no matter what, believing it's possible we can tax our way to prosperity, though it has never been done in human history.  They are insane. 
If we followed their reasoning, we'd disarm,  end our fossil fuel production, and be sitting ducks when China invades.  When the Chinese soldiers invaded, they'd find a utopia untrammeled by industry.  These leftist environmentalists are a dangerous cancer. 
You can't be deceived by all their talk about helping humanity.  It's like in basketball.  You don't watch the ball to figure out where your opponent is going to go, you watch his hips.  Whatever way his hips open up to, is where he will be driving.  Same with liberals.  You don't listen to their professed care about humanity.  You watch as they murder babies, and have no morals themselves.  They are all about death and destruction. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson talked about liberals over a century ago, "What you do speaks so loudly, that I cannot hear what you say".  And liberals don't know what they don't  know.  Read their words and listen to them. They rarely, if ever, reference the past.  They are nearly totally unaware of the lessons of history.  But, they will wave their money, prestige, and college degrees around as if they are experts, and that all of humanity should worship them. Well, they are worshiping themselves, and if we follow them, we are really in trouble.  Wise people understand they are fools and don't give them the time of day.  When you do that the liberals either change or run away.  This current batch of liberals is in their death throes.  They know their arguments are silly and obtuse, and they will either have to be humble and admit they are wrong, or run away.   My money is on they will run away.  They are too proud, and have been taught all their life that they are gods and whatever they think is right.  Sadly, they don't realize that only by humility comes riches, honor, and life.  Pride goes before destruction. 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 22, 2018 - 12:18pm
Meh. No worries. We will likely get a massive CME in the first half of this century, the resulting loss in the power grid will knock out power in all the major cities ... government estimates put the electrical grid down for two to three years ... but rioting will kill an estimated sixty to a hundred million before then ... if I remember correctly? 
Ryan Messano Added Dec 22, 2018 - 12:42pm
I heard an EMP strike would wipe out 90% of America's population in the first year, Ward.  Makes me tempted to head to the interior of America, Alaska, or Texas, where the chances of living off the land without electricity are much better.
Ward Tipton Added Dec 22, 2018 - 1:05pm
CME is not as devastating as an EMP attack would be, but would still effectively knock out the power grid for a very long time. No problems living off the land here, just getting up enough to get my head above ground. 
Ryan Messano Added Dec 22, 2018 - 1:46pm
Interesting, whereabouts do you make your residence?  I really dislike the sedentary existence of an office job.  I long to be out in the wilderness, moving, among nature, learning to shoot, farming, and being active. 
Even A Broken Clock Added Dec 22, 2018 - 1:55pm
I would like to make an observation that may be related to morality. That is, the moral cost of producing and consuming energy is directly related to the amount of entropy that is created in its production and consumption. You will not find this in any discussion that I've seen to date, but the premise is that if we create excessive entropy, that is imposing a "tax" on the earth. On that scale, mountaintop removal mining for coal is just about the worst source of energy we can use, since it creates so much entropy. As far as sources of organic fuel is concerned, probably the best would be the use of dung since there's no extraction involved in its gathering (but it does make a mess on the combustion side).
On this scale, solar panels does come in as rather low in moral cost, since after the entropy cost of the production of the cells is accounted for, there is no additional entropy resulting from the harvesting of the electrons. Whether it is "economically favorable" is a totally different question, and one that is based upon the human values we apply to fuel creation and use.
Ward, I also agree that a CME would be devastating and would be one of the main risks that we face as a civilization.
Ryan Messano Added Dec 22, 2018 - 2:01pm
Well, entropy is the degradation of matter, and there is NO GREATER DEGRADATION OF MATTER THAN SEX OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE.  Which you liberals are all kind of fond of, and none of you abhors as you ought.  Until you learn to uphold this righteous ideal, which the Founders did, though they weren't perfect, you'll never rise above your bestial understanding, Broke Clock. 
Also, you liberals have a very dangerous misunderstanding of energy, and think if we put nature first, which would cost a fortune and potentially disable the military readiness of our nation, that we will all live happily ever after and sing Hakuna Matata.  Risibly wrong, and very dangerous to our future. 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 22, 2018 - 2:16pm
If you are combusting the dung you are doing it wrong. Methane and other viable resources can be extracted while leaving the means for the creation of viable products and marketable goods in addition to clean, potable water, natural if not organic fertilizers and emulsifiers and other products beneficial to agriculture. 
You wanna talk nasty, check out the lithium mines. Then again, virtually all mining sucks for the environment. 
I worked as a hunting and fishing guide when I got out of the service, weaving my way through the American west ... ended up outside of Reno. I have actually been in the Philippines for about the last twenty years however, unable apparently, to make my return. 
Ryan Messano Added Dec 22, 2018 - 2:25pm
Oh, my, if war breaks out with China, you are at Ground Zero.  China will swarm your area far before they get to America.  They'll do the Philippines just as Japan did after Pearl Harbor.  Sudden massive assault. 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 22, 2018 - 2:36pm
Yeah, I have thought about that.
Ryan Messano Added Dec 22, 2018 - 4:33pm
Note to all posters.  Unfortunately, WB has been infected with a very serious bug and virus.  It is  known as the Michkalattula virus, and is quite toxic to healthy conversations.  If you wish to have reasonable conversations, it is recommended to delete this troublesome virus QUICKLY when it appears on your post, to avoid noisome effects.  Thank you for your consideration, and I apologize about any inconvenience ridding yourself of this virus may cause you.  Either the Michkalattula virus will destroy WB or WB will destroy it.   Long live liberty, freedom, virtue, wisdom and Writer Beat!  Have a Happy Holiday Season!
TexasLynn Added Dec 22, 2018 - 4:42pm
Dave >> I posted a comment on the subsidization of the early rail industry. It was interesting to see how right-wing thinkers would not challenge this post.
Sorry Dave... Sometimes when we let thing pass, it has little to do with the strength of the argument.  When you've got a thousand moles to whack you gotta pick and choose.
As a courtesy, I challenge the premise of your argument.  For railroad subsidies to be comparable to those of green energy... either
1) Green energy would have to be subsidized when no other source of energy was getting the job done.
2) The railroad subsidy would have to be for different, shinier railroads (for the elite) while an existing rail system was working just fine.
When we were done with the railroads what did we have?  Transportation from coast to coast.  A vital national interest.
At the end of the green energy subsidies what will we have.  A pile of junk that still can't produce energy as efficiently as it needs to and continually draining money from public coffers… Oh, AND a slew of Democratic donors that got rich in the process.
Again, I'm absolutely fine with the belief and argument that an earth god is mad at us and will punish us if we don't offer the appropriate sacrifices… as the argument for the green movement.  BUT since it's not working "you guys" have resorted to making other arguments... like, it's efficient and cost effective and this is just technological progress.
It's not.  It's crony capitalism (aka theft) at best.
And for the record.  The government should NEVER subsidize (or bailout) ANYTHING.  (Railroads, General Motors, Banks, etc...)  On the very rare occasions when the public interest dictates it, and public dollars are invested in a private venture, Uncle Sam should expect a healthy literal return in relation to the percentage financed.
Show me the return on investment we got for half a billion dollars thrown at the likes of Solyndra.  Better yet, show me a Solyndra founder/executive who lost his fortune when it all folded…  THAT is the essence of the green energy movement and why your average Joe Working Stiff is pissed.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 6:07pm
Ryan, not that I necessarily trust big 'Gummint' (that is how it is said in the rural and quite conservative area I grew up in) just that I trust them more than big business, as they are at least somewhat accountable to we the people. Perhaps Dave Volek's radical new form of governance deserves some scrutiny. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 6:12pm
Ward that is an interesting point, as our major grids are definitely at risk from external and internal threats. Which is why all the hacking going on causes me concern and not just because election results can be affected by social media. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 6:14pm
Thanks Even, that is great data and a great way to look at energy production.
TexasLynn Added Dec 22, 2018 - 8:20pm
Stephen >> Oh and btw, all leftists, meeting at my house tonight to get all of our facts straight! :)
Oh!  Thank you so much!  That will help a lot. :)
FacePalm Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:26pm
Stephen >> Oh and btw, all leftists, meeting at my house tonight to get all of our facts straight! :)
Oh!  Thank you so much!  That will help a lot. :)
Especially for targeting purposes...
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 22, 2018 - 9:49pm
Hey maybe George Soros will stop by!
FacePalm Added Dec 22, 2018 - 10:01pm
Stephen Hunter-
i agree with your initial premise concerning the fossil-fuel industry.
This is, in essence, 19th century tech.  It works, but it's ancient.
It is relatively well-known that Big Oil, especially, has routinely and even ruthlessly suppressed any and all competing tech, especially superior tech that would severely impact their profit margins.
Everyone from Tesla, to T. Henry Moray, to dozens of magnetic-engine inventors, to Pogue and his carburetor to Stanley Meyer and his water car, and many others (see here), have come up with tremendous alternatives.  They're simply "not allowed."  These and many other inventions/inventors were deliberately shelved/silenced in order to PREVENT a true golden age for humanity.
There once was a website - peswiki - which had an article claiming that over 3 THOUSAND energy-related patents which the US Patent office "classified" as "dangerous to national security"(by which they really meant "dangerous to oil and electric companies and gov't tax revenues"), were thereby suppressed, the inventors themselves slapped with gag orders and forbidden to even SPEAK about their idea or invention to anyone ever again, on pain of serious prison time and huge fines.
Sortof defeats the original purpose of the Patent Office, wouldn't you agree?
Some have taken to "open sourcing" their ideas and inventions in the hope that individuals will take up the fallen flag and do whatever it takes to bring the ideas to market.  One excellent compendium of ideas and inventions is rexresearch.com, a great place to visit if you feel in need of some inspiration.  Take the inventor of the transistor, for example; he routinely scanned new patent applications, noticed that if another leg was added to a diode, it could be turned into a switch, and voila!  Instant multi-millionaire.
Flying Junior Added Dec 22, 2018 - 10:03pm
I've had enough of the name calling.  So do yourself a favor and give it up.
Bill H. Added Dec 22, 2018 - 10:14pm
WTF does sex outside of marriage have to do with and article about fossil fuel?
You are out of your fucking mind!!
FacePalm Added Dec 22, 2018 - 11:58pm
Bill H.-
i think he's projecting.  He did it himself, hates himself for so doing, and wants to dump his guilt on everyone else in a futile attempt to assuage it.
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 4:23am
"It is relatively well-known that Big Oil, especially, has routinely and even ruthlessly suppressed any and all competing tech, especially superior tech that would severely impact their profit margins."
Correction: Our "Dear Leaders", bought and paid for ... even if just temporarily ... by the monied interests bury these techs.
We have a commercial scale Tesla Machine almost ready to go in Australia, but need to secure more funding before it can be finalized. We have two hundred hectares of Outback desert with over forty centimeters of tenable soil. A whole lot more, but most of it will be open source. The helioconverter technologies I referenced earlier, the lead guy is a PITA, and keeps changing the goal posts, and wants to keep the tech proprietary but he is (rightfully?) afraid someone will steal his engineers out from under him and bury the tech. We can convert virtually all Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and Wastewater effluent and while there is a net loss in methane or natural gas, as that is what we used to heat it, there is no combustion so extremely limited exhaust and we can generate numerous marketable goods. About the only thing we cannot process are paints, metals and rocks. 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 4:43am
In regards to the magnetic repulsion techs, the problem there is there is only one kind of magnet that works effectively to date, and it is a rare earth mineral and highly prized by governments making commercial viability unlikely as large scale production would be prohibited by governments controlling the supplies. Also, some of them I have worked with utilize banks of lithium ion batteries which to be honest, scares the hell out of me. Two banks of lithium ion batteries, one wired parallel and one in series, next to each other in an enclosed, very hot space? Once one busts open and catches fire, write off the entire plant. While I like the concept, I am not sure about how viable it is large scale. 
I also like the graphite ground into glass that allows for double-pane windows to be created, with both panes serving as collectors ... but that one is still in the design phase. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:23am
FacePalm you have nailed it! Open Sourcing is the one thing we now have which is a future game changer. A while back I wrote a WB article about the 3rd Industrial Revolution. http://writerbeat.com/articles/20473-Do-You-Embrace-the-3rd-Industrial-Revolution-http://writerbeat.com/articles/20473-Do-You-Embrace-the-3rd-Industrial-Revolution-
(Inspired by this Ted Talk. The millennials will change the game no doubt about it.)
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:29am
Thanks again Ward for your insights. Can you comment on the mechanical energy storage devices I have read about? Whereby a solar generator for example can use excess energy generated to pull a weight into the air. At night that weight is slowly released, generating power. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:33am
IMO ideas like above are not funded because they do not support the infra-structure delivery model. In other words, Big Biz is NOT interested in investing in technology which allows people to get off the grid. 
And same idea with farming. We can grow a lot of our own food, but that is another article.
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:36am
They will be wholly lost when automation takes over. 
Dave Volek Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:41am
Yep, whack-a-mole is a good metaphor for participation on Writer Beat. I just don't have the time for full participation here. Some people need to be ignored. 
Another problem I have is trying to remember all the threads I have already commented on. 
At least you are consistent in your philosophy. The railroad industry circa 1875 is not much different than the green industry of today. For sure, there are executives who are going to abuse the generosity of the tax payers. As many of their lofty ideas are eventually proven unworkable, they will be earning their CEO's pay. Those of us who believe in the transition have to hold our nose, just like the great planners of the railroad days. 
I still think the TDG will be much better at managing such a transition. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:52am
Ward, perhaps, however it could go the other way too. The demand for organic locally grown food is accelerating rapidly and the future generations are growing up with a mindset of resisting mass food production. Individuals growing food, is a way to move towards full employment. Get those 20 somethings who are playing vid games in the parents' basements, working on indoor grow sho operations, and for more than just growing pot! :)
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:56am
Dave I agree with trying to keep up with all of the threads on WB. It can be a full time job for sure and I am totally amazed by the long and thoughtful responses. There is a ton of passion and intelligence on this site. And yes it could be better if some could refrain from the emotional name calling stuff, see Autumn's recent article. 
Steel Breeze Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:58am
just finished reading the history of Chrysler's successful development of the automotive turbine engine in the '60s/70s.the final product was highly successful and burned almost anything for fuel.....and virtually vanished...
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 10:06am
"Can you comment on the mechanical energy storage devices I have read about? Whereby a solar generator for example can use excess energy generated to pull a weight into the air. At night that weight is slowly released, generating power. "
I do not know of such a particular device, at least not among those that I have worked with directly. Our focus has been largely on natural gas and/or methane as it is a byproduct of human waste, both in its definitive sense and in the form of generated municipal waste. 
The forced turbine microsystems are more fully operational now, but not nearly as viable as the methane/natural gas/propane fuel cells, though again those are not ready for production. I have been introduced to a great many different techs, but only intimately familiar with those that have been approved by our lead engineer ... who works underground mostly these days. He was working for a government project tasked with reducing the levels of nuclear isotopes in spent fuel rods and used ancient techs to accomplish that, but the process ended up changing the isotopes within the metal itself. There are certain governments that would like very much to ensure that his tech never sees the light of day ... he is also the one building the commercial scale tesla device. 
As for food, large scale food forests would be where I would start ... in every greenbelt, right of way and public park ... but the government cannot regulate it which is why it will never happen ... at least in the industrialized world. My proposals have upset some there however, as they traditionally seek not to replace existing ecosystems even though the food forests are entirely natural ecosystems ... albeit man-made. What I have proposed is literally thousands of hectares for the introduction of food forests. Additional work is also being conducted with semi-hermetic environments that will allow for accelerated growth even in harsh and hostile climates. Also a great place to dump "excess" Co2 ... currently we try to keep them at about ten percent CO2 ... 100,000 parts per million ... but even that level tends to get people punch drunk due to a lack of oxygen. We are going to be testing higher levels when we can build more secure housing units. 
Hydroponics all too often produces foods devoid of nutritional benefit and consume excessive levels of power for lighting and water, though foot farms integrated with fish farms has shown some promise, with a drip system and a small solar panel and a twelve volt water pump. 
Always options, but the government will fight you every step of the way ... which is why we have been focusing most of our efforts in third world countries and with indigenous tribes ... the indigenous people are ideal as we can implement parallel economic systems as well ... but again, do not expect to win friends when you take such concepts to the proverbial powers that be. 
Dave Volek Added Dec 23, 2018 - 10:17am
Thank you for commenting once again. In my mind, I have another article coming forth, based on our frustration with democracy not coming to the right decision. 
I too like my facts and data to bring into decision-making. Over time, I have learned that many other people are not wired in this way--and they never will be. They are quite comfortable making decisions without as much information I require. And if I'm at a board meeting and proffer a sentence with two numbers in it, I often feel their eyes rolling back into their heads.
One comment that has often come up when I get a little too analytical is that: "The numbers sometimes are wrong." In that I have to agree. But that is not an excuse to make decisions based mostly on emotion or pure principle. We make the best analysis with the data and analytical tools we have at our disposal. Then we let that analysis--along with emotion and principle--guide us to the best decision we can make. And we should acknowledge that whatever decision we do make, it sometimes can be wrong. But it is folly to totally ignore what the numbers are telling us. 
Trying to hold these non-analytical people accountable may prove a futile task. I believe most politicians are, by nature, non-analysts. 
In terms of anthropological climate change, I do not see this issue as an either/or issue, to which proponents of both sides like to portray. Rather it is a probability, and its effects are also a probability. We won't get our full set of data until more time has passed. In the mean time, we still need to make a decision. Keeping the status quo is one of those decisions. 
This is sort of like starting a business. Despite the best planning of business owners, businesses often fail. But waiting until everything is absolutely right means most businesses will never start. 
In this sense, I will concede to the wisdom of the majority of scientists. We have to start something, somewhere. And despite all the bad press and the environmental movement's mismanagement, things are moving forward in terms of implementing green technology.
The post I made earlier about the electrical charging stations at elementary schools is an idea worth trying out. It costs a lot less to install a station while it is being built than later when the need is proven. And it will help prove the need. 
And I will not consider any source that seems to want to keep an energy consuming lifestyle: they just have a strong vested interest in thwarting a change of the economy from petroleum to hydrogen. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 10:32am
Thanks Steel Breeze. One of those things that makes you sit back and go hmmmmmm
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 10:40am
Was it Shelby that introduced the car that ran on corn oil? My Mom actually rode with the guy doing it back in the seventies if I remember correctly. There were water carburetors in the 1920s or 30s if I recall, that used water injectors. Government has a long history of burying both the patents and the techs ... and sometimes the innovators themselves. 
Dave. Have you seen the "Metal Sponges" for the hydrogen? It seems to me I read about that over a decade ago but I cannot remember more exact than that. However, the results showed great promise in maintaining stability with the hydrogen. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 10:40am
Ward, you certainly seem to be what I would call a SME (subject matter expert) in some aspects of alternative energy. I wonder if the gov't or industry pushback will soften as the years and decades fly by and more tech development is open source and transparent. If we truly are moving to a circular no growth economy, will the rules change? 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 10:44am
Dave you are right, we need to have a collective will to change and not stay stuck in the paradigms of the past. And how can we do that as a society when politicians stir up emotions, causing people to behave and react emotionally to things. 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 10:50am
If the rules do not change, we will implode. Simple. Or kill each other off when the next CME hits. Unfortunately however, it seems that there are still a great many people ... even among those I have worked with, who want to keep their techs proprietary. 
I do not see even a value based economic system as being able to survive without at least minimal growth, but the economic and financial systems definitely need to be revamped as well. Automation and the loss of literally millions of jobs is also something that seriously needs to be considered at this point in time. A lot of that also boils down to the educational systems in place also however. 
I am currently working with indigenous tribes in six different nations specifically to attempt to build an alternative system model, in hopes that it will then be introduced on a larger scale, but with the exception of national support for indigenous projects, most national governments ... with a few exceptions, have guaranteed me such a project would "quickly disappear" if it were attempted outside of a sovereign body. The US government people and I have had some very ... interesting conversations. I think they would honestly be content to watch the world devolve into chaos and allow the people to kill each other off in a national crisis ... they honestly believe they will be largely untouched by such catastrophes. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:02am
Ward, the only thing I can point out that may reduce the probability of your projected outcome, is that the next generation may think differently and have different values. Thus a new system of governance and business may evolve over the next few decades.  This video gave me some hope. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX3M8Ka9vUA&feature=share
Steel Breeze Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:03am
back in the '80s i think, i remember reading about a 'nuclear' auto engine being invented. the design was a laser in place of spark plugs that fired on a radioactive chip imbedded in the top of the piston. the chip was the same as popular one on the glow in dark watches. the govt seized it to "further test for public safety" and then......poof!
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:07am
I remember the nuclear cars, but not the details. I will have to look that one up. 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:08am
I think I am devoid of any real hope these days ... I think in all honesty, I just keep working because I am too stupid to realize we have already destroyed ourselves ... faith perhaps, keeps me going more than hope. One thing is for sure though ... and that is that the current system is broken and if we do not fix it, through whatever means may be effectively introduced, we are all buggered. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:13am
Faith is powerful Ward, and in spite of all odds survival somehow wins out. Let us keep it going, and there are many signs that more and more people are awakening to the fact that aggressiveness and bullying only lead to misery and suffering. 
Jim Stoner Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:31am
It's not so much that the fossil fuel industry should die, but it should cut back.  Some things are better left in the ground for now. Like fracking, for example:  it has been proven feasible, but let's hold back (especially around inhabited areas) until it is safer.  Coal--until we can get it without destroying the landscape and can be processed  much more cleanly--should be mined less, rather than more.  And prices should rise, not drop, reflecting the social cost of the wasteful uses.
There are good uses for petroleum products besides transportation.  I have no worries for the Big Oil companies and their employees, but we should not act slavishly to subisdize them (as we have been doing). 
Texas:  You don't get to determine how we call ourselves.  We don't fit, Procrustes-like, into the shoes you have made.  Just as I wouldn't call you (and many of your Texas colleagues), "oil slaves". 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:38am
Thanks Jim for your thoughts. I too agree that we cannot just shut it off, but we do need an exit strategy. 
Steel Breeze Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:43am
startin to wonder if a 'teleporter' has been invented and kept from us for 'public safety'...lol...
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:49am
There are numerous studies from some rather prestigious Nordic and Russian universities that provide strong evidence that oil may be biotic in nature. It may form naturally in the earth. Even if that is the case however, why does the earth produce it? What purpose does it serve? Is it perhaps a lubricant to prevent the tectonic plates from shifting too violently? We do not know ... which is also the problem I have with many of the alarmists who say we must return to the stone age in order to prevent anthropomorphic global climate change. The earth is entirely too complex for our current level of understanding. 
Subsidies? Get rid of all of them! Corporate Welfare does not appear anywhere to be a constitutional or lawful means of supporting trade and industry.
"Let us keep it going, and there are many signs that more and more people are awakening to the fact that aggressiveness and bullying only lead to misery and suffering. "
I am all for that ... but far too many intellectually dismiss me and any and all solutions I present merely because they deem me to be a "science denier" for stating bluntly that ... as SB pointed out, we simply do not know enough about our environment or even the earth itself to start going off half-cocked. Aggressively run me off I may add ... governments not so much. We have had very positive feedback with the Dry Canal project in Costa Rica and with the surrounding Tribal leaders, in French Polynesia, a few West African nations, Philippine Tribal Groups and leaders and even in Oz. Starting off a new system is going to be challenging enough, but starting it off with the indigenous peoples will grant it even a limited sovereignty, and also allow us to bypass some of the outcry from the established powers that be as long as we do not implement our systems in their domains ... read not for public consumption LOL 
Truckin', like the Doo Dah man ... once told me you got to play your hand! Sometimes, it wasn't worth a dime, you just keep truckin' on and on. Sometimes, it gets to wearin' thin, they just won't let you win! Sa Buhay ... such is life. Cowboy up and getcha some. 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:51am
And if anyone, including (especially?) Dave would like a copy of the book, my email address is mwctipton@gmail.com ... Save the twenty bucks and feed a homeless vet with it instead. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 1:16pm
Ward- Grateful Dead?
All obstacles being thrown out to dealy, delay, delay- while the general public is fed Deny<Deny<Deny
It will all end one way or another, I have faith that the goodness of human nature will prevail, over time. 
A. Jones Added Dec 23, 2018 - 3:14pm
We need one modern pipeline for us to move into the hydrogen economy
Hey, Volek, um, precisely WHERE does hydrogen come from for the "hydrogen economy" you fantasize about? HOW, precisely, is it produced?
A. Jones Added Dec 23, 2018 - 3:23pm
and in this case convincing people that climate change is a scare tactic of evil communists
More like a scare tactic of "ignorant Canadians" rather than "evil communists."
I love how you keep harping on the same old string about "climate change" rather than what you really believe is the issue, which is "global warming from man-made sources of carbon dioxide". No one denies that the "climate changes." It has always "changed" since Day One of the Earth's existence, and it always will change. The causes of the change are overwhelmingly from three sources: 1) the sun, 2) southern oscillations in the oceans (El Ninos and La Ninas), and 3) water vapor, mainly in the form of cloud cover. The thin sliver of carbon dioxide — 0.03% of the atmosphere's chemical composition — does next to nothing. CO2 is not even a very efficient "greenhouse gas".
Sorry, O Canada!, but humans don't pollute the atmosphere or influence climate by exhaling.
FacePalm Added Dec 23, 2018 - 4:47pm

Yes, i've heard the theory of "target="_blank">adiabatic" oil previously, but the last time i brought it up it was roundly pooh-poohed as nonsense.
i've also thought it quite unwise to pump all the oil up and out, and especially, to pump water back in so as to fill the empty reservoir(and incidentally lift up any remaining crude that it may be scavenged); from what little i recall of hydraulics, oil does not transmit shock waves, but absorbs them - as opposed to water, which readily conveys them.  In the event of inevitable tectonic plate-shift, oil which has been replaced by water will but amplify any and every earthquake. 
A similar principle could be ascertained from fracking, i.e. that if you fracture the foundation upon which you stand, sooner or later you're going to quite regret having approved the demolition work.
Just curious; are you aware that massive sinkholes have formed all over the planet, and do you have any theories on why this is so?
Also, i recall quite a few people complaining of a loud sound which is affecting the various areas whence reports of it are issuing; some say that the sound resembles that of a horn, as well.  Any clue?  Speculation?
But in re: the adiabatic oil theory, i hope that the earth can indeed restore the balance, especially once the fossil fuels stop being pumped out/mined.
As you're probably more aware than i, Tesla's theory of using the earth's standing wave freq.( a bit less than 8hz, maybe 7.92, if memory serves) as a carrier for heterodyned hi-freq. power transmission was deliberately scuttled by JP Morgan, who had no intention of allowing either the hoi or the polloi to have access to un-metered power for free(once the proper transformer had been purchased); such a thing did not comport itself well with his greedy paradigm, or the world-domination goals of those of his ilk.
Too bad for us; if he'd been allowed to complete the Wardenclyff project, we'd've had free power for close to a hundred years, now, but the hard-hearted would not hear of it.
A. Jones Added Dec 23, 2018 - 6:00pm
"Tesla's Dream
Nikola Tesla, the eccentric genius for whom two modern electric vehicle companies have been named, envisioned a wireless power grid that could transmit electrical energy through the air. Although his idea is technically feasible, it turns out to be highly inefficient over long distances. It's fine for wireless communication, where a massive transmitting antenna pumps out thousands of watts over many kilometers to radio receivers that only need to gather a few milliwatts of the signal - about one one-millionth of the power transmitted. But if you scale that up to an antenna delivering several thousand watts to each home in a city, you can see how insanely powerful the transmitter would have to be, not to mention the unacceptable inefficiency of the whole system."
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 7:42pm
Mr Jones,
You seem to think that the earth is heating up from natural causes and there is nothing we can do about it.
OK, I tend to believe that we have to clean up the shit we have been belching into the air at an ever increasing rate, since the early 1800's. 
And have you ever lived next to a pulp mill or a major freeway?  Even if what you believe is true and there is nothing we can do to stop the earth from warming, breathing the shit just is not good for you. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 23, 2018 - 7:46pm
Mr Jones,
I agree wireless power transmission is not feasible, unless you have an iphone. :)
The key is independent power generation, so a grid is not needed. If everyone had solar/wind and storage capacity, we would no longer be reliant on the grid. 
A. Jones Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:22pm
You seem to think that the earth is heating up from natural causes and there is nothing we can do about it.
Actually, I don't think the earth is heating up at all; neither do many climate scientists. There has been a pause in the early 20th century warming trend occurring for almost two decades now. You're not current with your information. Since proxies show compelling evidence that similar warming trends — actually, even more extreme warming trends — occurred in the distant past long before industrialization, it's clear that humans had nothing to do with the warming noticed at the beginning of the 20th century.
In any case, global shifts in climate — whether warming or cooling — are not caused pipsqueak mankind but by REALLY BIG things like that ball of fusion in the sky called the "sun" and by natural ocean-current cycles called "El Nino" (warming) and "La Nina" (cooling).
Water vapor in the form of clouds is unquestionably the single most efficient and most extensive greenhouse gas on the planet; far more efficient and extensive than CO2.
But the problem is this:
If you tell people the scientific facts, it's rather dull and unexciting, and doesn't get you invited to chic parties where you can practice "virtue signaling" by announcing how concerned and unselfish you are about bees and trees and whales and snails and all living things (except people, of course). To partiers whose minds are unfettered by facts, you might come across as pretty impressive: no narrow concerns for you! "I love ALL living things!" And then you can moralize to them (as you do to us on WB) by condemning convenient scapegoats for your Sky-Is-Falling fairytale, such as the fossil fuel producers, the fossil fuel consumers, industrial farming, consumers of industrially-cultivated produce, etc., etc.
After the party, you can go home, look in the mirror, and hug yourself at what a wonderful guy you are.
I believe that's actually the motivation for rank-and-file scaremongers of "The Sky Is Falling, You Must Completely Change the Way You Produce and Consume To Be More In Line With My Beliefs Lest You Kill The Entire Planet!" scenario.
A. Jones Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:35pm
The key is independent power generation, so a grid is not needed.
Nope. Wrong. "Independent power generation" is already available. Absolutely NOTHING prevents anyone from setting up his own little "small is beautiful" power plant on his roof, or his backyard, or his basement, or anywhere else. The inconvenient fact is this: the majority of people don't want to do that. They don't want the hassle. They don't want the expense of installation. They don't want the expense of maintenance. They don't want the RISK of maintenance (accidental falls from roofs while dusting off one's solar panels, e.g.). 
And just for the record:
Most people — not even Canadians (who are not especially known for their common sense, judging by their posts on this site) — don't want to cultivate their own grains and vegetables or raise their own sources of meat such as chickens and cattle. Most people — even Canadians — LIKE living in a division-of-labor society in which OTHERS provide them with food, clothing, and power by means of various systems of grids: grids for electricity; grids for water; grids for transportation (they're called "roads", "streets", and "highways"), grids for communication (telephones, televisions, faxes, the Internet), etc.
I have a question for you, Hunter:
What the fuck is it with you? Your posts increasingly read like the uninformed drivel of pusillanimous, millennial snowflakes. Surely you outgrew all of that nonsense by the end of the 1970s, no?
I guess not.
FacePalm Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:43pm
A. Jones-
It may indeed be exactly as the author claims concerning wireless transmission of power through the air.
My understanding of Tesla's goal was that he intended to use the earth's frequency of 7.92 hz and superimpose his extremely high frequency power transmissions onto that carrier wave, then on the receiving end, strip away the carrier, transform the extremely high frequency waves at low power into, say, 60 hz waves of sufficient wattage to power whatever was needed on the receiving end.
This is essentially what happens with wireless radio transmissions, as well; a carrier wave is chosen as the transmitting frequency, and the data to be transmitted rides that wave until it hits the receiving unit, which strips away the carrier wave and amplifies the received data.  Tesla won a court battle over who invented wireless radio first, and he won, even though several textbooks still inaccurately ascribe the invention to Marconi; Tesla also invented radio control, he demonstrated the principle on toy boats, and recommended that a fleet of such boats, suitably outfitted with weaponry, to defend the coastlines at no danger whatsoever to any sailors.
So it's my understanding that Tesla did not intend to transmit power through the air, but through the earth itself, using the earth's own "standing wave" frequency as a carrier, a principle partially picked up on by the current submarine communications, who use ELF frequencies to transmit their comm.
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:44pm
And this they do while chugging water out of plastic water bottles they have paid exorbitant amounts to purchase and pollute with. 
A. Jones Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:45pm
we'd've had free power
There's no such thing as "free power", any more than there's such a thing as "free food" or "free shoes" or "free education" or "free medical care".
Anything that's scarce relative to unlimited human wants and needs requires ECONOMIC FACTORS — land, labor, capital, time — to produce. Since "land", "labor", "capital" and "time" have alternative uses and themselves have finite availability, there is always a cost associated with channeling them into Project X rather than Project Y or Project Z. The way to prevent those factors from being diverted into Y and Z rather than X is by requiring consumers of X to bid those factors away from Y and Z. The "bid" process takes the form of requiring consumers of X to pay for it. So "X" — in this case, power — can never be free (i.e., it can never be "costless").
"Free" power? You're living in fantasy-land.
A. Jones Added Dec 23, 2018 - 9:57pm
By the way:
The main source of hydrogen on Earth is water — H2O. In order to dissociate the H2 from the O, an electric current needs to be passed through the water. How, pray tell, do you generate the electricity for that?
Fossil fuels or nuclear energy.
A. Jones Added Dec 23, 2018 - 10:01pm
submarine communications, who use ELF frequencies to transmit their comm
But as the engineer in the linked site observed, there's a big difference between wireless transmission of just enough power for communication to take place, and wireless transmission of lots of power for household power consumption (light, heat, A/C, etc.).
FacePalm Added Dec 23, 2018 - 10:35pm
As to hydrogen/oxygen disassociation, one might gain some insight from investigating the discoveries of one Stanley Meyer; allegedly, he found a way to use multiple frequencies to "tickle" the water into it's constituent components MUCH more efficiently than simple electrolysis; indeed, he purportedly discovered a way to convert water into hydrogen, bleed off the O2, and combust the H at the point of ignition, thus obviating the need for on-board storage of the H, as well.
He has many videos up on youtube; here's one which shows the water literally foaming as his method does its thing.
A. Jones Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:02pm
"Stanley Meyer's water fuel cell
The water fuel cell is a technical design of a "perpetual motion machine" created by American Stanley Allen Meyer (August 24, 1940 – March 20, 1998). Meyer claimed that an automobile retrofitted with the device could use water as fuel instead of gasoline. Meyer's claims about his "Water Fuel Cell" and the car that it powered were found to be fraudulent by an Ohio court in 1996.[1][2] . . .
. . . In 1996 Meyer was sued by two investors to whom he had sold dealerships, offering the right to do business in Water Fuel Cell technology. His car was due to be examined by the expert witness Michael Laughton, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Queen Mary, University of London and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. However, Meyer made what Professor Laughton considered a "lame excuse" on the days of examination and did not allow the test to proceed.[2] According to Meyer, the technology was patent pending and under investigation by the patent office, the Department of Energy and the military.[citation needed] His "water fuel cell" was later examined by three expert witnesses[who?] in court who found that there "was nothing revolutionary about the cell at all and that it was simply using conventional electrolysis." The court found Meyer had committed "gross and egregious fraud" and ordered him to repay the two investors their $25,000.[2]
. . . If the device worked as specified, it would violate both the first and second laws of thermodynamics,[1][3] allowing operation as a perpetual motion machine . . .
In a news report on an Ohio TV station, Meyer demonstrated a dune buggy he claimed was powered by his water fuel cell. He estimated that only 22 US gallons (83 liters) of water were required to travel from Los Angeles to New York.[11] Furthermore, Meyer claimed to have replaced the spark plugs with "injectors" that introduced a hydrogen/oxygen mixture into the engine cylinders. The water was subjected to an electrical resonance that dissociated it into its basic atomic make-up. The water fuel cell would split the water into hydrogen and oxygen gas, which would then be combusted back into water vapor in a conventional internal combustion engine to produce net energy.[2]
Philip Ball, writing in academic journal Nature, characterized Meyer's claims as pseudoscience, noting that "It's not easy to establish how Meyer's car was meant to work, except that it involved a fuel cell that was able to split water using less energy than was released by recombination of the elements ... Crusaders against pseudoscience can rant and rave as much as they like, but in the end they might as well accept that the myth of water as a fuel is never going to go away."[3]
To date, no peer reviewed studies of Meyer's devices have been published in the scientific literature. An article in journal Nature described Meyer's claims as one more "water as fuel" myth.[3]
Meyer's patents have expired.  His inventions are now in the public domain, available for all to use without restriction or royalty payment.[13] No engine or vehicle manufacturer has incorporated Meyer's work.[14][15] . . ."
* * *
[Meyer doesn't exactly inspire confidence. But look: if you want to throw your money away on a perpetual motion engine fueled by water, go right ahead. I also have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell to you. There's a Christmas Sale going on right now for it. Hurry — before the supply runs out!]
FacePalm Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:30pm
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, proof against all arguments, and is guaranteed to keep a man in everlasting ignorance.  That principle is contempt prior to investigation."
~Herbert Spencer
Dave Volek Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:31pm
Metal sponges for H2 sound interesting. I know certain metals can absorb hydrogen, and if configured properly, they may provide an interesting storage possibilities. I will google this term when more time is available. 
The challenge with this technology is developing a certain economy of scale. As a product becomes more mainstream, its costs come down. When the naysayers say green energy is much more expensive than conventional energy, I would have to agree. That is why we need government involvement to try some things to implement both the technology and the commerce behind the technology. 
A. Jones Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:49pm
That principle is contempt prior to investigation.
There's another principle at work here. It's called "Don't waste time and labor reinventing the wheel — someone else already invented it."
Lots of people have already done the investigation on Stanley Meyer's perpetual motion engine. They've all said the same things:
1) it's a fraud;
2) it dissociates hydrogen from oxygen in water by means of ordinary electrolysis (so big deal);
3) if it actually functioned the way Meyer claimed, it would have to violate the 1st and 2nd laws of thermo;
4) the original patents have expired, so the technology is now in the public domain; that no individual or company has pursued the use of water as fuel using Meyer's methods can probably be explained very simply: they think he was a crackpot and his technology fraudulent.
But if you have faith in it, go right ahead and try to develop it.
(That bridge in Brooklyn is still for sale, by the way.)
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:56pm
"That is why we need government involvement to try some things to implement both the technology and the commerce behind the technology. "
This again seems to be where you and I part ways. The answer is the free markets to the extent that they exist, and providing people with the incentive to create such innovative techs. If there is going to be any government involvement, I would limit it merely to a "prize amount" for a conceptual design, though I would prefer to keep government out altogether as we have ample evidence that they will bury any tech that threatens the current economic structure. 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:57pm
And any tech that threatens even an iota of their power and control over the people. 
A. Jones Added Dec 23, 2018 - 11:57pm
That is why we need government involvement to try some things to implement both the technology and the commerce behind the technology.
But the most government can do is simply subsidize part (or all) of the high cost. Sorry, but how does spreading the cost around to the taxpayers do anything actually to LOWER the REAL cost of the technology?
Here's a "challenge problem" you can put in the arithmetic section of your website:
If something ordinarily costs $1 million to produce, and government taxes one million people $1.00 to subsidize the entire production, what is the final cost of production?
(Hint: Multiply "one million people" x "$1.00".)
PS: So even if the subsidy-in-whole allows government to give the technology away for "free" to anyone requesting it — with a price-tag of $0.00 to the end-user — the technology STILL costs $1 million dollars. The subsidy has socialized the cost by spreading it around to lots of people who might not even want it or make use of it, but it hasn't reduced the cost.
FacePalm Added Dec 24, 2018 - 1:24am
Apparently, A. Jones, you are unfamiliar with the fact that multiple inventors and inventions have been suppressed over the years; i made a list of a few of them earlier in this thread, and linked to several more.
IOW, your "experts" are suspect; who paid them?
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his paycheck depends on him not understanding it.”
~Upton Sinclair
A. Jones Added Dec 24, 2018 - 1:49am
Apparently, A. Jones, you are unfamiliar with the fact that multiple inventors and inventions have been suppressed over the years; 
Apparently, FP, you are in denial over the fact that most of your listed inventors have been cranks, quacks, and frauds, who claim to have invented things which defy basic laws of physics. Meyer was one of them.
Interesting quote from Marxist/socialist Upton Sinclair, who fabricated much of what he wrote about the Chicago meatpacking industry in his famous screed, "The Jungle." He also lied about the innocence of bomb-throwing anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti. We know he lied because he admitted he did so in his own diary (discovered about 15 years ago). Of course, Sinclair justified his lying since they were for a "good" cause: the advancement of socialism. So in his view, the ends justified the means.
And you admire the scoundrel enough to quote him on the issue of bias and vested interest? Good for you.
A. Jones Added Dec 24, 2018 - 2:26am
Hey, FacePalm:
Moray's patents were debunked as just another attempt at perpetual motion by harnessing supposedly "free energy". Just a small violation of the 2nd law of thermo.
Pogue's 200-mile-per-gallon carburetor was never seen by anyone or demonstrated to anyone by Pogue himself. He merely made claims that became urban legend.
Your link to a pop conspiracy site on "Suppressed Inventions" is pathetic.
How old are you?
FacePalm Added Dec 24, 2018 - 2:27am
What do you know about the zero point field, A. Jones?
Do you believe that UFO's exist, and if so, how do they make 90 degree turns at speeds that would kill any human pilot?
Have you ever heard of Dr. Steven Greer, and his "Sirius Disclosure"?
Would you dare to concede that the following statement is true?
"There is more in heaven and earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your philosophy"?
A. Jones Added Dec 24, 2018 - 2:58am
What do you know about the target="_blank">zero point field, A. Jones?
I know it made an appearance in "The Incredibles", an entertaining animated feature film. I'm sure the screenwriter based that idea solidly on the debunked notions of perpetual motion proposed by Moray.
Once more:
How old are you?
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 24, 2018 - 8:06am
Mr. Jones. 
Since you asked, I really only became interested in "saving the planet" about 10 or so years ago. I grew up in a rural area, in a conservative, low income family. Moved to Ontario, Toronto area in 1981, where I worked for over 37 years for 4 different organizations, retiring from a multi-national global organization last June, at 60, as a Senior sales Manager, responsible for a Canadian sales team of 30 people. 
I have witnessed first hand the profit at all costs/survival mode of Corporations. The power games played to squeeze out more sales than the market demands. Not all companies are as bad as others, but bottom line is human greed will bring us all down if we allow market forces to rule the roost. 
And no I have never attended a party in my life where saving baby seals was the main topic. 
Now tell me something about you. Why do you feel the need to be such an asshole? What drives you to call others names that you feel are idiots because imo, is is subconsciously because someone may know more than you? Seems like you have a huge ego- why is that- why do you think you know it all? What is your cred? 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 24, 2018 - 8:38am
"Now tell me something about you. Why do you feel the need to be such an asshole? What drives you to call others names that you feel are idiots because imo, is is subconsciously because someone may know more than you?"
My first guess, generally would point to personal psychological insecurities, though I do not believe that to be the case here. His arguments are often well reasoned, so I gather that his ad hominem attacks and more personalized engagements are twofold ... one being a response in kind to similar attacks from other commenters, and the other likely being simple egotism and/or narcissistic behavior. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 24, 2018 - 8:54am
Thanks Ward, seems like a logical assessment. I will be interested to see Mr Jones self analysis. 
I do try my best to not demean anyone, as "there but by the grace of God go I". 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 24, 2018 - 8:59am
I make a concerted effort, though I do believe I have responded in kind on a few occasions. 
Conversely, you are one of the few who has actually entertained any meaningful attention to the proposed means of curing the woes of the world from the likes of me and other "science deniers". 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 24, 2018 - 9:05am
I find delay in response is important, to give some time for the emotions to flow through. In retrospect I should have waited a bit longer above, as I would have been more witty and less abrasive. 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 24, 2018 - 9:29am
It can be difficult to ascertain humor, sarcasm and even flippant responses with the printed word sometimes. So much of the subtle nuance of personal interaction and social intercourse are lost in the art. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 24, 2018 - 10:23am
Well we are genetically wired for fight or flight, however that human feature was designed for a time when we were scurrying about the savannahs, trying to find food and not be food. Some will say that today we are basically doing the same thing though, and they want to bite first and ask questions later. 
FacePalm Added Dec 24, 2018 - 11:25am
Stephen & Ward-
My purpose on this thread is to point out that many, many people have sought answers to the world's problems, FOUND them, then had their dreams of a better world shattered by greedy SOB's who care only for the power to manipulate, control, and either ruin or help the lives of others, though the latter are reserved for their favored ones, the ones aligned with their NWO/OWG goals.
What would i base the latter statement on?  One of their insiders wrote:
"The powers of financial capitalism had (a) far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."
-- Carroll Quigley(1910-1977) Professor of History at Georgetown University, member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), mentor to Bill Clinton
Source: in his book Tragedy and Hope, 1966
This author is by no means my only source for beliefs of this nature; there have been many medical advances, also, which have been ruthlessly suppressed because these advances could have put most doctors(and the health industry, generally) out of business, like with what happened to Royal Raymond Rife.
But i suspect that A. Jones simply fits the profile, as this fella describes:
"All truth passes through 3 stages.  First, it is ridiculed.  Second, it is violently opposed.  Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer(1788-1860) German philosopher
i believe that at present, he's stuck alternating between stage 1 and stage 2...with some ad hominems thrown in for good measure.
i was severely tempted to reply in kind.  i'd even typed out a snarky response, but decided to go with additional questions, instead.  Gee, he resorted to ridicule again, qu'elle suprise.  *yawn*
Personally, i'd prefer history to look at me as a hopeful optimist, as opposed to a meanspirited pessimist, but maybe that's just me.  If/when i have the dough to pursue any of these ideas or theories - following in the footsteps of many who have already accomplished what they set out to do, like T. Henry Moray and Rife - i'd like to ensure that this time, with armed allies and surveillance equipment, our team would be enabled to catch the saboteurs in the act and prosecute the bejabers out of any survivors.
i want to thank you for writing what i was tempted to write; don't beat yourself up for it, though i know exactly what you mean.  In the heat of the moment, it is VERY easy to engage in battle, and return tit-for-tat.  If we are to have even the hope of gaining self-mastery or self-control, we cannot ask for a better option than to be required to type out every letter of every response.
i try to abide by this motto: "never react, always respond," even if the choice of response is silence, for oft-times, silence speaks with an eloquence that Shakespeare himself could only envy.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 24, 2018 - 12:38pm
Thank-you FacePalm for your intelligent comments. It makes me optimistic that there are people out there like you, with a logical and positive approach to getting by in this world.
A. Jones Added Dec 25, 2018 - 12:59am
Since you asked,
I didn't ask. You have a "tin ear" when it comes to figurative speech so let me explain it to you in simple, truck-driver language:
When I previously asked, "What is it with you, Hunter?" That was a rhetorical question: a figure of speech; a slightly more diplomatic way of saying, "You're a schmuck!" It wasn't a request to read your curriculum vitae.
I really only became interested in "saving the planet" about 10 or so years ago.
Yeah, but you see, that's pretentious because the planet doesn't need saving — Earth is doing fine — and your suggestion that we be less specialized in our daily economic activities (such as having to install, maintain, and use "independent power production" rather than paying someone else to do it for us by way of a grid) is a great way to make things worse, not better.
Let me make this as clear as possible because I know you're a few French fries short of a Happy Meal:
Independent power production is a stupid idea. It's a resource-wasteful idea. It's a labor-wasteful idea. It's a time-wasteful idea. You are suggesting that individuals waste their time, their labor, their capital, and the economy's scarce resources — just so you can go to sleep at night and feel better about an imagined decline in "corporate greed."
If it were actually a good idea, then lots of people — including you — would already be opting to install various technologies allowing them to live "off the grid." There's nothing stopping them from doing so right now, yet the great majority of people choose not to do so. Even you have chosen not to do so: you plug into the electrical grid just like the majority. Here's why: Because when it comes time to "walk the walk" rather than just "talk the talk", even a blockhead like you understands that there are more productive, more meaningful, and more enjoyable things to do with your own time and labor than repairing, cleaning, or maintaining your independent "home power plant."
The majority feel the same way about their time and labor.
Why do you feel the need to be such an asshole?
In other words, why do I not suffer fools gladly?
Character flaw, probably. That doesn't change the pretentious claim of your "saving the planet" by means of wanting people to live as they did in the Middle Ages.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 25, 2018 - 3:17pm
Mr. Jones,
But what if we are living in a world where there are just not enough jobs to go around? What's everybody gonna do?
You are right about one thing, I am not going to sacrifice my creature comforts and become a hermit. 
What you seem to have a hard time understanding, is that what I am talking about is evolution and change. And that starts with attitude and acceptance of information, which 97% of the scientific world believe is true. You sir are in the denial phase and you do not want to change one damn thing. 
Ari Silverstein Added Dec 26, 2018 - 4:50am
I’ll answer your question, because that’s the type of fuel that powers our machinery.  Every other type of fuel has proven to be incredibly inefficient when compared to fossil fuels.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 26, 2018 - 10:43am
Yes very true Ari, at this phase of time. Where is it going though, is the question. 
Ken Added Dec 26, 2018 - 1:11pm
I posted a comment on the subsidization of the early rail industry. It was interesting to see how right-wing thinkers would not challenge this post
I found nothing to discuss in the post.  Not only would it have gotten off topic, but it has been discussed many times.  I disagree with your conclusion that they needed government support, however.  Government created the robber barons between the early subsidies of rails, banks, oil, and phone.  In fact, government created the very monopolies they then had to go and create the anti-Trust act to use to then break up.  Nationwide networks can be set up.  Did the feds subsidize the nationwide cellular networks?  Not that I am aware of.  The companies built them out slowly, hcarged the customers roaming charges and various other charges to pay the cost, then continued expanding them.  Now, it has been at least a decade since there has been a "roaming" charge or a "long distance" charge.  Most today don't even know those used to exist.  There is very little that truly needs government support to move forward.  In fact, most simply requires government to get out of the way to efficiently expand.  If the need and the market is there, it will grow.
To claim that these wouldn't exist if the government had not intervened is unprovable.  It may have happened at a slower rate, but ultimately, if it made economic sense, it would have happened.
the same is true for "renewable" energy.  If it becomes something that drives the economy in profitability it will succeed and move forward.  It is not the government's job to pick winners and losers.
It should also be noted that there is some debate in the past decade as to whether fuel is actually a fossil fuel or not.  Due to places where it is being found, it is unlikely that the initial belief that its creation was from old wetlands over millions of years creating it, but rather there are multiple theories that it is a naturally occurring resource that is produced regularly by they earth and these theories believe that oil is also a renewable resource.
ChetDude Added Dec 26, 2018 - 2:23pm
Ken: As usual, you make the mistake of cart before the horse that those in power wish you to make...
Here's a dictionary definition of "Government":
A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state (BUT NOT ALWAYS A "STATE" - Viva Zapatistas!).
A government is like a clan with the purpose to govern the whole family or whole nation with powers of financial, military and civil laws. The main purpose of government is to seek the welfare of the civilians and to fulfill their need for the betterment of the nation.
Your problem is that you are arguing about the color of the oranges while others are trying to describe the taste of apples.
Your "government" is a mysterious cabal of what?  People?  Lizards?  Space Aliens?  Anyway in your universe, this cabal is bound and determined to limit your "rights" to do whatever the hell you wish to do...including burn all the fossil fuels you want, pollute anywhere you feel it necessary to support your "lifestyle" and be "left alone" (Get OFF MY LAWN!).
For some of us idealists, "government" is really Self-Governance -- finding processes for achieving consensus on pro-active, sustainable, humane goals with minimal coercion involved.  I see the next best step toward that goal MY DEFINITION* of Socialism for a Sustainable Future...a 180 degree switch from the unfortunate reality we inhabit.  (*I've posted it elsewhere).
In the REAL world, humans are still experimenting with Dominator Hierarchies -- the domination of the many by the few which was enabled by surpluses created after the invention of agriculture (at first) and has been fossil-fueled over the last 200+ years.  Alas, since thanks to the now ending 200+ year heroin fix of the extreme EROI of fossil-fuels, humans have over-populated, over-exploited and over-polluted our Finite Planet.  We cannot do that much longer.
The actual USAmerican "government" is a tool of USAmerica's dominators -- the point 1 of 1% (as are those of all of the capitalist nations). 
Their employees in local, state and Federal "government" are busy ginning up a new Cold War while continuing GWOT in order to prop up the base of the vulture capitalist economy: the bloated war machine and the MIC.  They are also continuing major subsidies for the dying fossil-fuel industry to preserve/expand their friend's profit stream while blocking any significant attempts to mitigate the obvious results of burning that shyte for 200+ years.
As for your "free market" and its "invisible hand", even Adam Smith knew that it was bullsh*t and deadly in the end without major controls imposed by the Community.
There are some things that are more important than "profits"!
PS: It was "government interference" that CREATED the internet and my day job in the mid/late 90s was in the cell phone industry at the very beginning and yes, the government (at the behest of the point 1 of 1% who own it) heavily subsidized cellphone networks.
Here ya' go, when in doubt about the real flow of power and influence:
HORSE: Point 1 of 1%
CART: "Government"
Love that last paragraph.  I suspect that it originated in the "marketing dept" of Exxon-Mobile.  I'd like to counter with:
A non-renewable resource (also called a finite resource) is a resource that does not renew itself at a sufficient rate for sustainable economic extraction in meaningful human time-frames. An example is carbon-based, organically-derived fuel.
So even if we ignore the obviously deadly side-effects of burning that shyte, it will STILL run out long before it can "support" too many more humans...
ChetDude Added Dec 26, 2018 - 2:26pm
"The main purpose of government is to seek the welfare of the civilians and to fulfill their need for the betterment of the nation."
PS: Alas, the primary goals of the USAmerican government of, by and for the point 1 of 1% are in direct opposition to that definition.
Ari Silverstein Added Dec 26, 2018 - 3:18pm
Seeing that you agree with me that there is an easy one sentence reply to the question posed in your article’s title, why did you ask the question?  If the real question is “Where are fossil fuels going,” that’s the question you should have posed in your title and answered in the body of your article. 
By the way, the answer to your new question is…nowhere.  As seen by all the things which are powered by fossil fuels, fossil fuels are here to stay.   
A. Jones Added Dec 26, 2018 - 4:58pm
But what if we are living in a world where there are just not enough jobs to go around?

Under a system of private property, rule of law, enforcement of contracts, etc., there's no such thing.

So why don't you tell us how such a condition as "not enough jobs to go around" could be possible.
A. Jones Added Dec 26, 2018 - 5:03pm
An example is carbon-based, organically-derived fuel.
Alas, huge reserves of carbon-based, organically-derived fuel — shale oil from fracking; natural gas — are being discovered all the time. Just in the U.S. alone, there's enough fossil fuel to last us — a much of the world — for the next 100 years.
Basic insight of Econ101: A "natural resource" is a relation between some naturally occurring, accessible material on Earth and human knowledge. As human knowledge grows, so do natural resources. Therefore, the actual "amount" of natural resources relating to planet Earth is infinite.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 27, 2018 - 9:34am
Sorry Ari but you are just wrong in your thought patterns. 
I am not for shutting down the fossil fuel industry today, the article was meant to make people think about how the industry cannot be trusted to provide us with the best future solutions. 
Change happens over time and often slowly, but it is happening none the less so why paddle your canoe upstream? If you do not resist, the ride of life is so much more pleasant.  Fighting, blaming and spreading negativity, makes for a bumpy ride. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 27, 2018 - 9:45am
So why don't you tell us how such a condition as "not enough jobs to go around" could be possible
Mr. Jones.
Automation is currently and will displace much of the future need for repetitive human labor jobs. Which is a good thing imo, as so many people live their entire life, hating their jobs and only living for that pension, which will allow them to not have to work the back third of their lives. With Trade Unions being diminished, even the coveted Pension is no longer something people have to look forward to. 
So where will people find something to do that gives them satisfaction? I think that starts with a minimum monthly income for all. With not having to worry about survival, people can explore their true passions.  But that is another article. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 27, 2018 - 9:52am
Good debate ChetDude and Ken. IMO neither Big Business nor Government(in its current form) can be trusted to make the best decisions for the future. Government though at least has elections and can be altered more easily than the huge twisted Big Business conglomerates whose political influence is always tugging at the paid off politicians. 
Phoenix Added Dec 27, 2018 - 12:34pm
When solar, wind, air, hydrogren, etc can deliver the amount of energy that one gallon of gas can as easily, you'll have a replacement. Until then, you won't have one. 
BTW, the biggest polluters in the world are China and India. The pollution in the US has gone down dramatically since the 1970's -- no need for what you propose. 
Phoenix Added Dec 27, 2018 - 12:36pm
And for the people who are thinking 2 or 3 steps ahead, keep thinking and worrying yourselves sick. 
Ari Silverstein Added Dec 27, 2018 - 2:33pm
Actually Stephen, you’re wrong in your thought patterns and you’re the one paddling a canoe upstream.  Now that we’re both done behaving like three year olds, I’ll try to make my adult point again.  The fossil fuels of today (natural gas and oil) are far cleaner than the fossil fuels of the past (coal). In addition, we are finding more and more ways to extract them from the ground cheaply (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking).  In addition, our machines we build are far more efficient than they ever were (take a look at a car from the 1970s versus one of today). 
Thanks to everything I just wrote, solar, wind and the other types of alternative energy are less efficient than they ever were. Perhaps one day someone will develop something that works better than fossil fuels, until then, stop being so negative about our future and resisting what obviously works. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 27, 2018 - 3:17pm
Thank-you Ari for the childlike check- seriously we would learn more if we avoid that state. 
Fracking is the way to go?-I don't know, maybe it is all ok, but creating fractures in the crust of the earth so gas will escape(over simplified perhaps) but the verified stories of gas blowing out water-taps, cannot be a good thing overall. 
Another factor is that in a couple of decades there will be far less automobiles as the ride sharing industry and automated vehicles take over transportation. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 27, 2018 - 3:21pm
One should try not to worry. When you feel the urge to worry, start planning and creating a new reality. 
Planning and creativity happen in the now. Worrying is your mind extrapolating worst case future scenarios into a sort of mind movie, designed to keep one fearful, but ends up causing emotional imbalance. 
FacePalm Added Dec 27, 2018 - 3:43pm
I've seen side-by-side comparisons of the energy produced from several fossil fuels, and pound-for-pound, nothing beats nuclear.  Of course, the radioactivity makes them dangerous as hell, especially the "breeder" reactors the NRC seems to prefer...until the "big one" hits, earthquake, that is...
However, the thorium salt reactors are MUCH safer.  If/when they can be miniaturized - or better yet, ZP field generators can be widely available - fossil fuels can indeed become a thing of the past.
What i've learned, however, is that the fossil fuel industry and the power generation facilities are dead-set against developing any tech which would render them powerless and broke.  Gee, who'd'a thunk it, eh?
TexasLynn Added Dec 27, 2018 - 3:54pm
SH >> Fracking is the way to go?-I don't know, maybe it is all ok, but creating fractures in the crust of the earth so gas will escape (over simplified perhaps)
Very over simplified to the point of being misleading.  We are not "fracturing" the crust of the earth (as if we could).
fracking: (noun) the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc., so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.
SH >> but the verified stories of gas blowing out water-taps, cannot be a good thing overall.
Proven to be overblown and simply an excuse for ambulance chasing lawyers to make a buck.  That, and for the media and left to find another fake fact for their cause.  Natural gas from water wells has happened since the 1800s.
Here is a publication concerning the problem from the Michigan Department of Public Health... Problems Associated with Natural Gas.  The information was made available back in ... 1965 ... a few years before the "fracking" was developed that is supposedly responsible for all these ills.
C'mon guys... I little healthy skepticism goes a long way in exposing this crap (pushed by the main stream media).  The idea that we can kill the fossil fuel industry (as the post did imply) is just emotionalism and fantasy.  It will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Ari Silverstein made some very good, common sense points above.  Too bad such critical analysis is so lacking today.
SH >> Another factor is that in a couple of decades there will be far less automobiles as the ride sharing industry and automated vehicles take over transportation.
That would be great.  I hope you're right; so long as we let the free market solve the problem; and not heavy-handed government.
A. Jones Added Dec 27, 2018 - 5:56pm
Mr. Jones.
Automation is currently and will displace much of the future need for repetitive human labor jobs. 
Automation in the past has always displaced future need for repetitive labor. Yet it has always increased the total number of jobs and thus increased the total demand for labor. Automation today will do the same thing as it did in the past.
A. Jones Added Dec 27, 2018 - 6:00pm
When solar, wind, air, hydrogren, etc can deliver the amount of energy that one gallon of gas can as easily, you'll have a replacement.
Solar and wind can never deliver the amount of energy of fossil fuels. Oil, gas, and coal have higher "energy densities" than wind or sunlight. Wind, especially, is inefficient and unreliable by its nature.
Hydrogen is more efficient but difficult to obtain on Earth without passing electricity through water. The question then becomes, "How do we generate the electricity to pass through water?" Fossil fuels, most likely.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 28, 2018 - 1:16pm
Texas, I think 'kill' is over dramatizing what I am suggesting. Which is let us not impede progress in developing non-polluting energy sources, by following the influence of the 4 major nations(and the Big Corps) who stand to gain from delaying this evolution. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 28, 2018 - 1:19pm
Mr Jones,
Could we not make electricity all day long from millions of solar cells, and that electricity could be used to make hydrogen which can be stored? 
Yes this is not now, but could be very soon if we wanted things to go that way.
A. Jones Added Dec 30, 2018 - 4:04am
Mr Jones,
Could we not make electricity all day long from millions of solar cells,
What happens at night when the sun doesn't shine?
What happens during cloudy days when the sun doesn't shine?
What happens during stormy days when the sun doesn't shine?
How will you manufacture solar panels? Not by solar cells.
How will you recycle old solar panels? Not with other solar cells.
How will you keep solar panels clean from dust, snow, rain, etc.?
Whose real estate will you steal to install millions of panels?
Who will make the decision whether that land is better utilized as a 1)parking lot, 2)housing project, 3)shopping center 4) farm, or 5)solar panel array? On what basis would that decision be made? Political pull, most likely.
A solar panel of 1-square meter can produce 1-kilowatt of electricity assuming the following conditions: 1) perfectly clear day; 2) high noon during summer; 3) solar panel is 100% efficient, meaning there's zero loss as heat from reflection, etc. Conditions #1 and #2 are contingent on chance timing, while condition #3 cannot be achieved by any known physics.
I thought you understood that "land" per se is scarce: there's only so much of it. Why do you want to fuck it up (aesthetically as well as economically) by installing vast solar panel arrays that would produce the equivalent power as one fossil-fuel plant taking up only a few acres?
I don't understand your obsession with WASTING natural resources, because that's what you're doing.
and that electricity could be used to make hydrogen which can be stored? 
Still no. Because the electricity produced from solar panels is expensive: expensive to produce, expensive to store via batteries (which themselves cannot be produced from solar panels but that require fossil fuels, nukes, etc. to produce).
It's one thing for an individual, living off the grid, in some sunny location, to install solar panels on the roof of his home; nothing wrong with that, so long as others don't have to pay for it, and he bears the full cost of his decision. But then, why would he want to produce hydrogen? For what? And how would he store it? At what expense? What are the alternatives that an individual — or a whole society for that matter — could spend left-over wealth on rather than manufacturing and storing hydrogen?
If you're imagining hydrogen as a the fuel of the future for automobiles, consider this: the byproduct of burning hydrogen is water vapor — a very efficient greenhouse gas (far more efficient than CO2 at trapping heat). Would billions of future cars emitting water vapor from their tailpipes concern you vis-a-vis possibilities of "global warming"? If not, why not?
By the way, I'm not saying hydrogen can't be an efficient fuel of the future, nor am I claiming that it won't be. However, I think something far more efficient than solar panels — or even traditional fossil fuels — will be required to produce massive quantities of hydrogen for everyday needs. 
Here's a promotional piece by Toyota for its "Mirai", a sleek-looking car powered by a hydrogen+air fuel cell; and here's a sobering piece from MIT on the realities of hydrogen production. You might find both of interest.
Stephen Hunter Added Jan 1, 2019 - 10:33am
Mr Jones. Happy New Year. You ask some great questions, and I think we have the creativity and ingenuity to solve these obstacles. 
Storing solar power has always been the biggest drawback. The solution I read about recently where the energy generated in daylight, lifts a weight via pulley system. At night the weight is released creating energy. 
Thomas Sutrina Added Jan 1, 2019 - 2:13pm
My engineering background is in fluid flow as a aeronautical engineer that after Vietnam switched to a masters in heat transfer.  And I worked 20 years in electrical generation for airplanes.  So I have a background in the technology areas.  Wind turbines are the only renewable energy direct conversion that make economic sense.   Next would be to recover energy from the sea since like air a lot of sun energy is absorbed by both.   
The problem with direct sun energy recovery is that we can not match the cost effectiveness of plants by our machines.  And we seem to not want to understand that we are not as good as millions of years of evolution to find the most efficient collection means.   My third would be to collect and store energy in living cells and the dead material they create.  What we need to do is to make the collection more efficient.  Coal and oil is just using nature to do the job of collecting and concentration. 
The planet has show that this is the best by far ecological approach by developing plants over such a long period of time.  So far the plants we have chosen are poor choices that come from the thousands of years of developing food plants and not for some stupid reason we think they magically are great energy plants also. 
Stephen Hunter Added Jan 1, 2019 - 3:12pm
Thank-you Mogg- that is great to know! Sometimes I wonder if it is security settings, so this will verify the problem. 
Stephen Hunter Added Jan 1, 2019 - 3:14pm
Thanks Thomas. Yes mother nature has more figured out than we will ever hope to know. Got to be a way to burn stuff without the harmful emissions. If we could burn cleanly a lot of the stuff we put in landfills, that would solve 2 problems. 
A. Jones Added Jan 1, 2019 - 10:52pm
The solution I read about recently where the energy generated in daylight, lifts a weight via pulley system. At night the weight is released creating energy. 
But then what would we use to power everything we need in daytime (refrigerators, A/C, automobiles, dental drills, etc.) if your alternative energy source is channeled into lifting dead-weights during that time? Fossil fuels, probably.
A. Jones Added Jan 1, 2019 - 10:57pm
Also, I would have to disagree with Mr. Sutrina re wind turbines. Power generation via wind turbines is one of the most inefficient methods currently being endlessly subsidized by several European countries (Germany, Spain, Denmark). Also, the actual manufacturing of the turbine blades — not to mention the huge amount of concrete needed for the blocks in which the turbine poles are anchored — is an environmentally dirty, nasty business, requiring many resources and resulting in lots of pollution.
Finally, the fact is this: for every wind-turbine facility built, an additional fossil fuel facility has to be built, or at least made available, to act as the necessary backup during times of peak demand (hot summers, cold winters). Wind turbines cannot even store energy the way solar panels can, so when the wind stops blowing, wind turbines stop generating electricity.

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