Showing posts from June, 2015

Laudato Si

The talk of the town these past few days has been Pope Francis' encyclical letter Laudato Si'. So let's start by asking what would happen if we massively followed one of its key recommendations. "Replace consumption with sacrifice."  Let's leave aside the sacrifice part for a moment but, imagine if say, people heeded this message and world automobile production dropped by 50%. We would have in our hands the mother of all layoffs.  The reduction in auto production would have a cascading effect all through the network of suppliers, dealers, independent mechanics, government revenue, what have you. Almost certainly the weaker automobile companies would go bankrupt. All luxury brands would be history (remember, replace consumption with sacrifice). This would in itself generate another wave of bankruptcies among suppliers, dealers, etc.  Think also about the textile industry. If people replaced consumption... we would use our clot

Technical Feasibility

Many, maybe even most of the alternatives to fossil fuels that have been or are now being proposed are for the most part technically feasible. Is hydrogen as a fuel feasible? Yes. Are electric vehicles feasible? Absolutely. You can run now to the dealer and buy a LEAF or a Tesla. Could we generate, say, 30% of our electricity with solar and wind? Don't even doubt it. Will fusion power become a reality? You can take that to the bank. What about tidal power? Yes, it works, in France, Canada and elsewhere. Compressed air cars? Also, fully feasible and the "battery," in other words the air tank, can be recharged forever. Geothermal? Just ask Iceland.  So, if we have all these feasible and wonderful alternatives to fossil fuels, how come they barely make a dent in the global energy market? Ah, the reason is that to compete and win technical feasibility is not enough. To displace fossil fuels the alternatives need to be cheaper. If, for example, the kWh

Greenie Awards

The energy / climate discourse has reached such advanced levels of absurdity that a group of reasonable persons has decided to present "achievement" awards mirrored on the Academy Awards. The categories that we will be recognizing are listed below. Please add to the conversation in Twitter using the following hashtag: #GreenieAwards Feel free to:    a) Propose more categories and    b) Nominate whom you think should win in each category Yes, all this is somewhat tongue in cheek but it is time to have some fun at the expense of the doom and gloomers. Enjoy! Categories: "So called scientist of the year." Most anti-scientific hashtag. Most egregious death threat. Best supporting logical fallacy. Worst example of "professed" beliefs. Silliest consensus claim. Most tilted temperature chart. Worst activist commercial. Most egregiously tortured statistic. Most unserious meme. Worst publicity stunt. Most destru