* Posts by Perpetual Cyclist

122 posts • joined 9 May 2007

Senior IT workers caught in bank bonus tax crossfire

Perpetual Cyclist

As if.

I run the entire IT setup for my employer (by myself, since the last round of redundancies) and I don't get 25,000 salary, let alone a bonus. My bonus this year will be to still have a job come Jan the first.

If any of those Bank IT staff want to resign in protest, I'll be happy to do their job...

Neanderthal woman could whup Schwarzenegger

Perpetual Cyclist
IT Angle


This is not news.

Roman soldiers were renowned weaklings relative to Northern barbarians. They made up for that with better training, weapons tactics and discipline.

When the Vikings invaded in the 9th century they were feared as much for their giant proportions as their fighting skills.

Modern man evolved on the plains of Africa, when keeping cool whilst tracking game long distances were more important than lion wrestling skills. It is no coincidence that African runners win a lot of marathons.

Neanderthals needed to be be stockier and stronger because they lived in the icy north and had blunter weapons.

Tories oppose charges and speed cameras

Perpetual Cyclist

Cameras can work

Fixed cameras, especially when brightly painted, are pointless. Better to install automated warning signs that light up for speeders - as they do in our village. They are solar /wind powered and very cheap and effective.

Also, average time cameras work. The A14 near Cambridge is much safer and has better average speeds since they were introduced. There are still plenty of accidents because the road is inadequate for the number of cars, but there are a lot fewer fatalities.

Anyway, with North Sea Oil running out in the next decade, and the economy going belly up, we will all be driving like grannies because we can't afford petrol at £10 a gallon.

Police drag feet following DNA law change

Perpetual Cyclist

If history serves me right,

There is an unpleasant term which refers to a polity where private commercial interests like ACPO become part of the legal system of a nation. It was popular in Germany in the 1930s.

Stargazers spy retrograde planetary bloater

Perpetual Cyclist

talking hot air

Jupiter is just that - a gas giant with a small , dense liquid core. The density of an ideal gas like hydrogen is proportional to its temperature, all other parameters being constant. This planet is so close to its sun, it must be much hotter. It probably has its core heated by gravitational and magnetic effects as well. The only surprise is that it hasn't boiled off into space. Perhaps it has only entered this orbit recently, and will be boiled away in a few (tens of ) million years.

Mitsubishi to build range-extended hybrid

Perpetual Cyclist

Wheel at each corner?

But is it a conventional transmission 4X4 with one motor, or a rational design with one electric motor in each wheel? The latter would be mechanically much simpler and more efficient. The Prius is horribly compromised and over complicated.

If they can sell this for £15000 after subsidies, and return 100mpg average consumption, then I would buy one.

Tata threatens govt over e-car loan decision

Perpetual Cyclist
Dead Vulture

Whatever you think of 'leccy cars...

...this government is bankrupt. UK plc is running out of excuses and 'the cheque is in the post' just doesn't cut the mustard any more.

Our civil service are in denial. We are not going to honour our pledges. We are going to start defaulting on our treasury bonds soon, then the IMF will come knocking and we will really learn the meaning of crisis capitalism.

Pension? What's a pension?

Windfarm Britain means (very) expensive electricity

Perpetual Cyclist

And, when you have read without hot air,

Please visit this site


and learn about the future of energy, which is not what you might expect.

BTW Mackay is neighbour of mine. Just been elected as a fellow of the Royal Society.

Perpetual Cyclist

Very expensive electricity...

...is not avoidable.

In case you hadn't noticed, ten years ago the UK was a net energy exporter. North Sea oil and gas were a major revenue generator, for the private sector and the public purse.

UK oil production peaked in 1999 and has declined at 7% per year for a decade. Gas similarly. We are now a net importer of oil, gas, coal and (French nuclear) electricity. This is not cheap, and it is going to get a LOT more expensive. The UK government has a current account deficit of £800Billion, and yet is paying to bail out private banks who are largely owned by foreign shareholders. The banks, previously our other main revenue earner, are on life-support. What little is left of our manufacturing industry (cars, steel, wind turbines) are all being shut down.

The current value of Stirling is unsustainable. It is bound to fall hard soon.

If we don't invest very heavily in renewables, (mostly wind, some tidal) then in ten years a bankrupt UK will be importing 80% of its energy needs using ever more worthless pound notes.

Renewable energy infrastructure may not be cheap, but the wind is free, forever.

Nuclear stations will not be built fast enough to offset the decline in available energy, Without energy we do not have industrial society. The UK has a critical energy crisis.

(Not to mention the global supply peak of oil that happened last year - or climate change!)

DHS killing satellite self-spying program

Perpetual Cyclist
Black Helicopters

It's well known...

That the US and the UK do not spy on their own citizens.

We spy on theirs, they spy own ours, then we exchange intelligence...

New green and quiet jet-engine test results announced

Perpetual Cyclist
Dead Vulture

Too little too late

Passenger traffic down 5%. Freight traffic down 15%. Oil price double what it was five years ago. Air India not paying staff for two weeks. BA threatening not to pay them for a month.

The global supply of oil peaked last year, permanently. Mass aviation is dead. Shaving 5% or 10% off the fuel bill here or there will not save it. Most air travel is a luxury, not a necessity. It is a luxury the world will choose to do without.

Transition flying car into 'beta test': Deliveries from 2011

Perpetual Cyclist
Dead Vulture

Have you seen the price of fuel?

OK, it's probably no thirstier than a US style SUV, but the world past peak oil production last year, and after slumping in the credit crunch, the price has once more doubled in the last six months to $68/barrel.

By the time this thing is ready for production, the world will have stopped building anything thirstier than Polo bluemotion.


Worldwide GPS may die in 2010, say US gov

Perpetual Cyclist

Just because it is a critical system...

...does not mean it cannot fail.

It will not stop overnight in 2010. If the coverage started dropping to a level that affected military operations, then a satellite would be in orbit in 24 hours.

However, the US military do not give a monkey's fart about supporting critical civilian infrastructure.

And in the long run, it will crash and burn, just like the rest of IT.


US govt hydrogen highway runs out of road

Perpetual Cyclist
Thumb Up

For an unbiased analysis of options...

Read David McKay's 'without hot air' free at


He knows his chips. Hydrogen stinks.

Science tests for 11-year-olds to be scrapped

Perpetual Cyclist
Thumb Down


We are moving back to Victorian levels of teaching. By age ten I was doing independent research and writing reports on the history of timekeeping. These days you are lucky if a ten year old can tell the time on an analogue watch. By maths they mean arithmetic, useful for the little consumers they are being trained to be, but it will teach you nothing about the fundamentals of maths.

We need less emphasis on conforming to the median. As long as schools meet their targets the best and the worst just get ignored.

Parcelforce website cold-shoulders Linux lovers

Perpetual Cyclist
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Don't I know it!

In addition to this, Parcelforce REQUIRE my organisation to use this interface to log all our parcels, and it is impossible to link to the site directly from our intranet, requiring our operators to double-type the full dispatch details for all our orders. What's more, they need to run PC emulation on their Macs even to to do that.

We ship a lot of parcels to many countries.

Wrong kind of winter brings England to a halt

Perpetual Cyclist
Thumb Up

Didn't stop the bicycles...

...here in Cambridge.

I walked the first 200 metres of ungritted road just to be safe. I didn't want to be totaled by an out of control 4X4 on the rat run that my suburban road has become.

Four miles to work and only two minutes slower than usual.

Thames windfarm execs: We need more subsidy

Perpetual Cyclist

Fiddling whilst Rome burns...

Thanks to the European free market in natural gas, and political/business dispute in eastern Europe, our national winter reserves are at the lowest level for several years. We may not import gas from Russia, but for three weeks we were exporting it to Europe as fast as week could pump it. If we see another cold spell like we did two weeks ago, we could yet see power cuts.

Regardless of the global energy situation, the UK is rapidly running out of fossil fuel, and given the hopeless state of our national finances, we will find it very expensive to be importing 80% of our energy in a few years time. We need all the indigenous energy we can get, and for all it's faults, wind power is cheap and quick to install, cheap to run and almost free to decommission. Recent worldwide experience with running and building nuclear is that they are prone to huge cost overruns and delivery delays, and our existing fleet is lucky to get 60% of boilerplate capacity. I'm not saying all nuclear is bad, but right now we need to be building as much capacity of both as fast as we can because ten years from now we will be grateful for every watt, at ten times the price (which is probably what it will cost us).

UFO wind turbine prang site sealed

Perpetual Cyclist

Don't ya just love it?

The great advantage of conspiracy theorists is that it is impossible to prove them wrong. Just imagine the lawer's fees if a UFOlogist was injured or killed by a falling , broken turbine blade, as he sought to retrieve incontrovertible proof of our alien overlords. Of course site security has been beefed up. We must keep that evidence (of inadequate maintenance? ) from the public at all costs.

The sad thing is that it all distracts from serious conspiracies like the stitch up of alternative energy suppliers by the nuclear lobby....

UFO damages Lincolnshire wind turbine

Perpetual Cyclist



At the time the weather was dead calm and very cold. If water had got into the joint then it might have sheared the mounting bolts like a burst pipe. First blade hit the second on the way to the ground.

As posted above, occams razor.

NASA warns of 'space Katrina' radiation storm

Perpetual Cyclist

This is old hat.

There have been disaster movies already based on this scenario. I remember seeing one in which some astronauts got fried.

File it under 'another potential disaster we can do nothing to prepare for, so may as well ignore'.

In case you haven't noticed, we have already entered 'the long emergency' as industrial society collides head on with finite global resource constraints. I would be very surprised if GPS satellites are still operating when this solar storm hits.

Try reading 'The Collapse of Complex Societies' by Tainter or less academically, 'Collapse' by Diamond. 'The Long Descent' by Grier sounds good, too.

Tesla takes Top Gear test to task

Perpetual Cyclist

A quote I've used before...

Hydrogen is a bad answer to the wrong question.

In addition to all the other problems not mentioned in TG but listed by posters here, the main source of hydrogen today is - (fossil) natural gas, and it's production generates just as much if not more CO2 than driving a petrol car.

Also, fuel cell cars are never going to be cheaper than electric ones, as long as they use large quantities of platinumn in the fuel cell. Platinumn is more expensive and a lot rarer than gold, and there is not enough of the stuff on the planet to replace a fraction of the cars we currently have.

Honda whips out fuel-cell sci-fi style sportster

Perpetual Cyclist

Bad answer to the wrong question

Hydrogen is an engineering disaster. It is expensive and inefficient to make , the current primary source being - you guessed it - fossil fuels. It is difficult and dangerous to store or transport. It's energy density is low. Fuels cells are expensive because they use rare and/or toxic and expensive metals and minerals that are global short supply. Converting the existing transport infrastructure to support hydrogen would cost incredible amounts of money and resources - that the world does not have to spare.

The world is facing a global energy crisis. Wasting millions on a flash but totally unsustainable technology is a short cut to economic collapse. We need to spend what limited resources we have left learning to adapt to a low energy future. We will ALL be using a lot less energy 20 years from now. Adapt or go without.

BNP leaked list claims first victims

Perpetual Cyclist

What is British?

How far back do we go to get to a true British identity?

The first Britons were immigrants. They had a Neanderthal level of intelligence. They died out about 30,000 when they were out-foxed by smarter, lighter, African migrants.

The second Britons were also immigrants. They were so primitive they couldn't even make a decent stone arrow. (I've tried, it's damned hard). They left again when it got too cold to hunt woolly rhino.

The third Britons were pretty good at stone arrows, and other stone tools. They even learnt to farm and domesticate animals. At this point, history becomes a bit hazy, but the next lot we know about came from Italy. Then came the Angles, Saxons, vikings (Danes), Normans (who also were Danish via France, which was British half the time). Then things settled down a bit, and economic and social migration became the norm. Of course, the ruling class still had it's mix-ups, Half the time Britain was a French colony, and half the time the other way round. Not that it made much difference to the peasants. When we got a bit short of 'native' royalty, we ended up importing it from Scotland, France, Germany.

When the Empire got a bit shaky, we invited a lot of the previous slaves or colonials to come and do the hard work, and they did, and mostly worked very hard at it. A lot of these are now very well established in the family trees of our aristocracy if you look carefully.

Britons are mongrels. We should be proud of it.

BNP races to get membership list off the net

Perpetual Cyclist

Just remember...

This is a leaked list of data of untested quality and veracity. In these days of rampant

identity theft, just because someone's name is on a nominal membership list does not

equate to that person being the party that put it on the list...

it has already been noted that the list clearly includes non-existent addresses.

Speed cams ditched in Wiltshire

Perpetual Cyclist
Thumb Down


Speed cameras were originally designed to stop people speeding. Speeding being defined as faster than the locally declared speed limit. ALL speeding is dangerous, because ALL speeding vehicles are driving in a way that other road users cannot predict, and therefore ALL other road users need to drive more defensively ALL THE TIME just in case some idiot decides he has more right to get there sooner than other road users. It is deeply antisocial behaviour.

I agree that clearly marked bright yellow cameras in well signposted locations are worse than useless. ALL SPEEDING IS WRONG ALL THE TIME. It makes ALL roads more dangerous.

Anyway, ten year from now speeding will be a thing of the past. Petrol prices might be down a bit because the credit crunch has hit demand, but the global supply of oil is now past peak. In ten years, no-one will be able to waste money driving too fast, fuel will be far too scarce.

UK launches major road signage review

Perpetual Cyclist

One site that says it all.


Windfall taxing big oil: how to make the gas crisis worse

Perpetual Cyclist

Sunset industry.

I'm not really sure about taxing the oil and gas extracting (not 'producing') industry, but taxing the end user is a no-brainer. It is widely accepted that the global supply of oil excluding OPEC countries has just about peaked. Many people think OPEC is on the cusp of peak supply as well. The UK has gone from peak oil exports to oil importer in just SEVEN years. We exported our oil at $10 a barrel. We are importing OPEC oil at $113+ /barrel. We need to cut back, economically, environmentally, permanently. The £ is nose-diving even as I type, we are falling into an energetic and economic black hole.

The only way out of this is to use a LOT LESS ENERGY. Conservation is key. Smaller cars, better insulated houses, shorter commutes, fewer energy sucking household gadgets, colder houses in winter, no air con in summer, less long distance holidays, etc.

If the government had the balls to tax inefficient cars off the road, demand for oil would go down, the price would go down, the government could offset it's tax shortfall, the balance of payments deficit would improve, the pound would rise, further reducing the cost of oil.

It won't happen. The government will cut oil taxes in real terms, the country will go broke. We still won't be able to afford to drive.

Is green storage a dead end?

Perpetual Cyclist

I think the internet is great...

It is the best information resource ever invented, and is a brilliant means of communication.

However, 99.999% of the energy it consumes adds 0.001% of its value. All those endlessly downloaded u-tube videos of people being prats - who would seriously miss them?

Regardless of what others say, the world is in the middle of the final energy crisis. Power is the rate of flow of energy. The US may (or may not) have 200 years of oil (at current consumption rates) under the ground, but digging it out (because oil shale is DUG not pumped out of the ground) is VERY expensive and is rate limited by the supply of other resources, not least human. As all forms of fossil energy get harder to extract, we either spend more and more money getting them, or we accept a lower flow of energy - ie. less power.

Why does it take a modern PC longer to do the simple word processing than an 8086 based machine did 25 years ago? It's processor is nominally 100,000 times faster (and more power efficient). We need to reinvent the internet to use the available resources more efficiently. If we got 1% of useful data out of the bits flying around the world would be transformed!

Greens: Abandon economic growth to beat CO2 offshoring

Perpetual Cyclist

Don't worry, be happy...

I used to rage at SUV drivers. Didn't they know they were destroying the planet?

Now I just think 'poor schmucks'.


Hula-hoops are good exercise. My wife just bought one for each of our kids...

Doctors: Third babies are the same as patio heaters

Perpetual Cyclist

I was a third child..

..but since the second one died I suppose that lets me off...

I have not produced any children although I am father to two. The problem with children is that there are far too many of them in the world, and since we have hit the global limits to growth, a very large number of them are going to starve to death in the coming decades as the world population has only reached 6.5B on the back of fossil fuel powered agriculture. Fossil fuels are running short, and the green revolution is going into reverse as poor third world farmers are priced out of the market. Of course, this is not helped by our selfish profligate consumption in the first world. Two hundred years from now the global population will be below two billion. The only question is, how will we get there?

Even intelligent, rational people who realise what is coming continue to have children. It just shows how 'rational' we are, as a species.

BAA 'invented green superjumbo' to OK Heathrow plans

Perpetual Cyclist

In 2030 Heathrow will be a very quiet place.

Oil is today $131/barrel, down from $147 last week, up from about $20 ten years ago. ALL major airlines are cutting services, jobs, planes at these prices. Several large airlines are expected to go bankrupt within a year. The price isn't going down significantly anytime soon, and there is NO practical alternative fuel source. The UK is heading into deep recession, and is facing acute energy shortages in terms of oil, gas and electricity within ten years. Demand for aviation is unlikely to be coming back to recent levels within a generation.

And then there is the peak in the world's oil supply...

To invest in new runways in the current economic/energetic crisis is economic insanity.

I fully expect the government to force this through within months.

UK gov announces Road Pricing 2.0 - Managed Motorway

Perpetual Cyclist

Congestion will soon be solved nationwide.

Because we will not be able to afford to drive. The world supply of oil has peaked, and we are as a nation increasingly being outbid by the likes of China, for petrol and diesel. Already in the US (which is more price sensitive because of lower tax) some reports are of 5% drop in demand for fuel year on year. That must equate to a combination of fewer miles and lower speeds, and to a small extent smaller cars being driven. It is only a matter of time (and price) before we see the same effect and greater here. Any money now spent on expanding capacity on the UK road network will be money down the drain.

One side effect of the oil supply constraint, is a growing shortage of tar for asphalt. More of each barrel of oil is now converted into fuel fractions. Soon we won't be able to keep our existing road network patched up, and we will need to seriously consider closing lanes and abandoning little used roads.

Trousers Brown Counterpoint: Is Gordon right?

Perpetual Cyclist

Food and energy

...are closely related. We burn (in the West) about ten calories of fossil fuel energy to put each calorie of food on our plate. We all know oil is in short supply (hence $147/barrel on Friday) but gas and coal are also failing to keep up with demand, globally, and we know there is yet another 40% rise in gas prices for us in the UK before years end. These prices are feeding directly into our food prices by raising costs, but the effect in the third world is different, There, the farmers are simply priced out of the market for fertilisers and diesel fuel for tractors and transport. The 'green' revolution which avoided mass starvation 40 years ago is going into reverse. Add in large scale crop failures from climate change (drought, if you prefer) in places like Australia, and you have global food shortages that are only going to get a lot worse. Already the early signs of widespread malnutrition are appearing in Pakistan. They have a huge population, strong grass roots support for Al Qieda and nuclear weapons...

EU emissions trading to include airlines

Perpetual Cyclist
Dead Vulture

Don't worry, the carbon won't be traded...

...because the planes will not be flying. Oil is $135 a barrel and at those prices mass market aviation cannot survive. All the major airlines are cutting planes, flights, routes and staff. If oil stays at these prices, we will see a 60% reduction in global aviation in three years. Of course, the price won't stay at $135, it will go higher, thanks to the peak in the global oil supply. How much higher depends on how fast demand (mostly in the form of jet fuel) is destroyed by the collapse of the airlines....

If you want to fly, do it THIS YEAR.

Wind power key to UK's desperate renewable energy bid

Perpetual Cyclist

I think desperate is the word...

Here is analysis of the impact on the UK balance of payments, if we do not invest in renewables, based on a recent BERR report and current energy price trends.


The Uk would b spending $200,000,000,000 a year on importing energy by 2013 - 5 years from now. This would treble our balance of payments deficit and represent 10% of UK GDP.

I think that these are numbers that get noticed even by economists. This country is going into energetic and economic meltdown.

Gas crunch: Jatropha, kudzu, algae and magic to rescue

Perpetual Cyclist
Dead Vulture

I think this is the negotiation stage.

The stages of grief:

1. denial

2. anger

3. negotiation

4. sorrow

5. Acceptance.

The world is running short of cheap fossil energy, not just oil. No other energy source has the huge energy return on energy invested that a traditional oil well has. Modern industrial society is designed around cheap plentiful fossil energy. There is no plan B. Not even nuclear can make up the shortfall we are facing.

The global financial model is built on the assumption of ever increasing amounts of cheap fossil energy. That is even more insane. Even if we could make marginal schemes like algal biofuels work, we could never catch up with the demands of exponentially growing global GDP.

The global economy is going to contract in proportion to the global energy supply. We are profligate with energy, we can adapt to a low energy existence if we try, but it will not much look like industrial society. We have very little time left.

Android delays hurt self-realisation

Perpetual Cyclist

Where's the blade runner reference?

Mine's the one folded into the shape of a unicorn.

Biofuel 2.0 gets off ground in Kiwi airliner trial

Perpetual Cyclist

@Pascal Monett

Not sure what you're saying. Peak oil is physical reality. Agreed we haven't begun to feel the full economic implications yet, but we will, probably in the next two years. Sure China is building 10M extra cars a year, but if they can't pump or buy the oil, then they aren't going to be driven very far.

Oil represented about 1% of global GDP ten years ago. At $130 it represents 6.5%. About half this price is the real cost of developing new oil fields and pumping old ones, the rest is profit which is (to a large extent) recycled into the larger economy. It simply means the rich get richer whilst the poor get poorer.

The oil price is rising hyperbolically (faster than exponentially). So is the real cost of new oil production. Once (real) total energy costs reach about 15% of GDP, modern industrial civilisation becomes untenable. At current rate of increase, we reach that point in under two years. The price of oil cannot then increase further (in real terms - ignoring hyperinflation). The world economy MUST then shrink in line with the oil supply. All business as usual economic models then become invalid. Total financial collapse is inevitable.

Perpetual Cyclist
Thumb Down

Aviation is already in meltdown...

Every major airline is cutting services. Several small ones have gone bankrupt in the last month.

The world is facing peak oil, and no amount of biofuels will make up the decline in supply. Oil jumped a record $14/barrel on Friday. Ten years ago oil WAS $14/barrel.

Biofuels will not save mass aviation, but they might be the final nail in the coffin for the world's rainforests.

Hummer glummer on high oil price bummer

Perpetual Cyclist

And to reply to my own comment...

The price of oil jumped $6 back to $128 this evening as (presumably) US refineries realised that the price wasn't going back down any further, and if they didn't buy now they would be facing shortages.

You ain't seen nothing yet!

Perpetual Cyclist

And why is gas $4 a (US) Gallon?

Because the world is burning oil fast than it is pumping it out of the ground. It has been for the last 18 months.

The US is heading rapidly for $5 gas very soon. They are importing 1 Million barrels a day LESS than they are consuming. Their (commercial) storage tanks run dry in 4-6 weeks at this rate. The headline oil price may have slipped from $135 to $122 in the last couple of weeks, but it is just pausing for breath.

There is also a global shortage of diesel fuel. This is the primary cause of the oil price rise. Demand is growing even faster than for petrol, and the uses are even more inelastic. I anticipate we could facing diesel fuel rationing in the next two years.

We are in an unprecedented and PERMANENT energy crisis.

Adapt, or go without.

The economy: A big Arab did it and ran away, claims PM

Perpetual Cyclist

As I have been droning on about for five years...

...this is peak oil.

demand has exceeded supply, globally and permanently. From now on, supply goes down, and the price goes up until demand is choked off.

But... yell the economists, the economy is less dependent on oil now, because it we use it more efficiently and it is (was, until recently) a very small part of GDP.

Wrong. We are still fundamentally dependent on oil for our society. We need less per unit of GDP, but that means that each barrel of oil demand choked off destroys a larger chunk of GDP. About seven times larger than the 1970's oil shock.

What this means is that prices are going to keep going up, and accelerating, until demand is choked off. Already, the poorest third world has been priced out of the market. Now, the wealthy, developed, but heavily endebted first world is competing with the massive, low wage, massively growing and dollar rich developing countries. Who is going to get choked first ?


Royal Navy warships could run on sunflower oil - if fresh

Perpetual Cyclist

@peak oil

If you bother to read up on this, you will find that we have been burning oil faster than we have been discovering new oil fields, world wide, for THIRTY YEARS. For the last two years we have been burning oil faster than we have been pumping out of the ground. Supply has been nearly static for three years now, but the price has gone from $20 to $126 in the last 8 years. Russia (world's largest producer - more than Saudi Arabia recently) has said its production has peaked.

There are reports of billion barrel fields deep underwater almost every month, and they are all SPIN. None of that oil will be pumped until well down the global depletion curve. Tar sands have less energy per unit mass than a baked potato.

The world is going into powerdown, whether you like it or not. Best to adapt ahead of the curve.


Perpetual Cyclist

Once the rock oil runs out...

Now we are in the days of peak oil, I can see future navies (and armies and air fleets) fighting to the death over the last rape seed fields of the Ukraine as the starving millions are kept at bayonet point.

Shell pulls out of Thames Estuary mega-windfarm

Perpetual Cyclist

@anon coward

This indeed has very little to do with global warming, and everything to do with an energy crisis. But the UK is facing multiple energy crises. We are shutting down aging nuclear reactors and polluting coal power stations come what may. Although we have shiny new gas pipelines and LNG terminals to import gas, I strongly suspect that in five years Russian gas supplies will go into freefall as they pass peak production. Russia has recently announced their peak oil production, gas is sure to follow. Europe has already made it clear that they will honour long term contracts, not sell to the highest bidder, so we will go without enough gas. On top of this UK oil and gas production is in freefall, and global oil production has probably peaked. The global supply of coal cannot keep up with china's voracious demand. We can order new nuclear power stations today, and not see a watt out of them for ten years, given the loss of skilled engineers and the bottlenecks in the global nuclear power station construction industry.

That means we need every form of renewable energy now, at any cost, as soon as possible, or the lights will go out. It is very urgent that the government intervenes and mandates these projects, or we will see the 'law of receding horizons' come into play, where the price of raw materials, itself a function of energy prices, rises exponentially as the available supply of energy declines, and we will be in a downward spiral of not having enough energy to build ourselves out of our energy shortage.

The terror dam of doom that looms over Boise, Idaho

Perpetual Cyclist

@ Tonks

How many acre-feet are there in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, then?


World Bank chief: Ethanol cars run on human misery

Perpetual Cyclist

Ethanol is not the only problem.

There are many factors in the current world food shortage.

Bioethanol is one of the smaller ones. More people to feed, an increasing demand for meat in the developing world, climate change damaging harvests, soil degradation due to intensive farming methods, shortages of fuel and fertilizer due the impending peak oil (and after that peak natural gas) all add to the problem. The bottom line is limits to growth. We are making more people, but we are not making more land, that what we have is getting less fertile. We are not making any more oil , gas or even coal, but we are burning them all as fast as we can get them out of the ground, but that rate of extraction cannot keep up with demand, and the supply of oil is about to decline, permanently.

Industrial society and the green revolution are predicated on huge inputs of cheap energy. When those inputs stop growing, then society stops growing richer. From now on, economic growth is a negative sum gain. We get richer only if other people get a lot poorer. Worse still (for us), is that the global money system (fractional reserve banking with interest) is only stable in a growing economy. Once the global economy stops growing, the system collapses.

Credit crisis anyone?

The future is going to be nasty for all of us.

Pork and politics energise the biofuel delusion

Perpetual Cyclist

The current generation of biofuels are insane

...but that won't stop them being grown. The real reason they are expanding production is simple and has nothing to do with the environment. We are running short of oil.

Without oil the industrial world would grind to a halt. Even with a modest shortfall, the global financial system would collapse, because it is utterly dependent on geometric growth of the economy. Impossible without ever expanding consumption of energy, and oil in particular.

That is why big money will ensure we convert as much as possible of agricultural land in biofuels, so that rich industrialised countries can continue to prop up the dollar and other currencies even as the third world starves around them.

Of course it is futile. But that never stopped them before...

First supersonic swingwing synthi-fuel flight tomorrow

Perpetual Cyclist

They know something you don't

Specifically, they know about peak oil.

The US military is the world's biggest single consumer of oil. They take a very long term view of things, and have money to burn. They know oil won't last for ever.


The second world war was won by controlling access to energy supplies. To a large extent it was a FOR those energy suppies. Without oil the military has been so much scrap metal for a century.

Recession and banking collapses not withstanding, oil is over $100 £50 / barrel. It is NOT going to get cheaper.


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